Category Archives: Reviews

Music Review: Fort Knox Five and The New Gold Standard 2

Fort Knox Five on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads
Looking for some funk in your life? Tired of the only options to keep your groove being pop-rock choices (like the Black Eyed Peas)? Then you need to do yourself a favor and check out this group – Fort Knox Five or pick up The New Gold Standard 2 available on November 17, 2009. If you can’t wait, you can check out their music on their Myspace page or download their DJ mix “All Good Things Come in 5’s” for free from SoundCloud.com.

About Fort Knox Five

FORT KNOX FIVE is a DC based funk and global recording four-part group and they’ve had a huge impact on the international funk and breaks scene over the past couple of years. With the release of five critically acclaimed singles on their own independent label, Fort Knox Recordings, the FK5 have been thrust into the spotlight and caught the attention of music lovers around the world.

Review:

51rW3G66oSL._SL500_AA280_I received an advanced copy of the album for review and knew nothing of Fort Knox Five before listening. What impresses me the most about the Fort Knox Five songs on this album is the complex layering of sounds, instruments and vocals. This truly is modern funk at it’s best. With some of the songs feeling extremely old school (like the Jazz-funk track “The Sax Pusher”) to the modern, Eastern-influenced single “Shift”. All of these songs are great for a club or to get you moving at home.

“The New Gold Standard 2” is a compilation and a follow up to 2006’s “The New Gold Standard” and contains 15 new tracks including “Shift” featuring hip hop and international masterminds Afrika Bambaataa and Mustafa Akbar. It’s great to have a compilation album that isn’t just the same 14 songs you already have on your iPod and one new song, so if you’re looking for some new music, this is a great purchase.

If you’re interested in learning more about Fort Knox Five check them out on Twitter, Fort Knox Five, or Myspace. Also check out their upcoming shows in November in Hawaii, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Product Review/Giveaway: Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters [CLOSED]

NVGNC-Prize-Pack1In order to participate in this giveaway please read all of the rules at the end of this post.

Being on the go a lot, I love snacks that travel well. From walking around Disneyland to a trip to the beach, I need munchies that can stand up to heat, being shoved in a bag and taste great with anything. So when I received four bags of Nature Valley’s new Granola Nut Clusters, I was more than happy to review them.

About Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters:

Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters are a bite size blend of 100% natural ingredients that include select roasted nuts, whole grain oats and a touch of honey – a wholesome and delicious pick-me-up any time of the day. If you love nuts, you´ll enjoy this flavorful little snack featuring the perfect combination of sweet & salty flavors paired with a crunchy texture that you can see and taste. And with the first unique cluster-shaped granola packaged in a handy re-sealable pouch, it´s perfect for sharing on the trails or in your living room!

Review:

Since I already was a huge fan of Nature Valley’s bars, I was interested to know if the same quality would be put into their nut clusters. I tried all four of the current flavors and am happy to report that the same delicious ingredients and combinations of ingredients were present. With many packaged foods with nuts it’s hard to get nuts that don’t taste, to some degree, stale or the flavor of a wood chip. But the nuts in these granola nut clusters are absolutely delicious. My favorites were the almonds and cashews.

The nice thing about the clusters is they’re easy to eat without a lot of mess, so they’re perfect for a trip or eating around the home. And the protein and slightly sweet/salty combo made them a perfect mid-day pick me up at work when my energy was flagging. I also loved the packaging, the resealable bag actually sits up nicely, so the clusters are easy to get to and easy to store.

Warning though, these were so good it was hard to stop at just eating one or two!

Contest!

The good folks at MyBlogSpark and Nature Valley want you to win the same product pack they sent me (see pictured above)! In addition to the 4 varieties of Granola Nut Clusters, you’ll receive an eco-friendly sling backpack, binoculars, stainless steel water bottle, and a flashlight.

Main Entry: (you must complete this entry in order to participate, otherwise all other entries will be disqualified)

Visit Nature Valley’s page for Granola Nut Clusters and come back and leave a comment with which flavor you’re looking forward to trying!

Extra Entries:

1. Tweet this review using the text below and leave a comment with your Twitter handle:

Win a Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters Prize Pack at the QuadrupleZ blog: http://bit.ly/1MKPNr #giveaway

2. Leave a comment on another QuadZ post (come back here and leave a comment to say you did so)

3. Subscribe to us via email: Subscribe to Quadruple Z by Email (leave a comment to say you did so)

4. Blog about this giveaway and leave us the link in the comments.

Winner will be chosen on November 12th, 2009 at 9AM Pacific. US entries only. Leave a separate comment for each entry & a valid email address/blog URL. Winner, chosen at random, has 3 days to claim their prize, if there is no response a different winner will be chosen.

Written for MyBlogSpark as part of a campaign for General Mills, who supplied the product for review & giveaway. Other than a product sample, no compensation was received for this post.

TV Review: Legend of the Seeker 1×1 & 1×2

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Non-Spoilery Review

Legend of the Seeker on the outside might look like just another Xenia or Hercules-style show (which isn’t entirely a bad thing in my opinion) that’s way too campy to be taken seriously (point in fact all three shows are produced by Sam Raimi). Yet the show has a surprisingly awesome cast, beautiful shooting locations and a story line that is compelling and, at times, complex. If you enjoy fantasy odds are that you’ll really enjoy Legend of the Seeker, which is based very loosely on The Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind. Since I watched both episodes together we’ll review the first two episodes together. More spoilery review about the pilot episodes “Prophecy” and “Destiny” after the cut.

Continue reading

DVD Review: Superman/Batman Public Enemies

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Buy Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (Two-Disc Special Edition)
or Superman/Batman: Public Enemies [Blu-ray] on Amazon.com

*contains very light spoilers*

200px-SupbatpubI start this review by saying I have not read the comics this movie is based on. I have heard from other, however, that it’s done very well in relation to the story in the comics. This review will be based on my opinions coming solely from viewing the DVD. There will be light spoilers, but I won’t reveal large plot points.

To begin, Lex Luthor is elected President of the United States. President Luthor wants all superheroes in service of the government. Those who don’t agree to work for him will find out they are not above the law. Superman, of course, refuses to work for Luthor. He knows he’s up to something.

There is a massive meteor made of Kryptonite heading towards earth. Luthor wants to be the one to destroy it, so he can get the credit. That is behind closed doors though. He publicly announced that he wants to work with Superman to destroy the meteor.

Superman meets with Luthor, but Luthor brought Metallo with him. This weakens Superman and he pushes Luthor down. Luthor flees, while Superman is left to have an all out brawl with Metallo. This fight is awesome! Batman steps in, but he and Superman are no match for the machine that just keeps coming. They escape to Batman’s cave.

They find out, however, that Metallo is dead. Luthor is saying that Superman killed the innocent John Corbin and must be stopped. He has a video of Superman pushing him down and part of the fight with Metallo. Luthor claims the Kryptonite in the meteor is affecting Superman’s mind and offers a 1 billion dollar reward for his defeat.

This causes Superman and Batman to be confronted by a hoard of super villains, plus the super heroes working for Luthor. There are some great fights here as well. They must try to convince the other super heroes that they are on the wrong side. That’s all I’ll say about the plot, except four words: Lex Luthor Kryptonite Suit.

The story is really entertaining, with plenty of twists to keep your attention. There are loads of names you’ll recognize if you’re a DC comics fan. I didn’t know all of them, but that gives me the excuse to pull out my DC Encyclopedia. Powergirl, Hawkman, and Toy Man are just a few of the names of appear. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Superman and Batman. They had a lot of great jokes between the two. I’d highly recommend this movie. It’s one of my favorites among the DC animated features.

(Photo: Warner Home Video)

Why You Should Be Watching Eastwick

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The ABC drama, Eastwick, centers around three women who live in the town of Eastwick. They’re quite ordinary when we first meet them, though each has a very distinct personality. Weird things begin to happen when Bun, the head of the Eastwick Historical Society, is attacked by army ants.

This happens on the day that Darryl Van Horne moves into town. Darryl is a very wealthy, charming, and mysterious newcomer. He moves in and takes an instant interest in the three main ladies, who I should probably introduce now.

Roxie is the blonde bombshell, even if she is a little older. She’s dating a younger man, probably to make herself feel younger. Roxie is an artist. She has her own store, where she sells her bizarre creations. She has a daughter named Mia. After Darryl comes to town, she starts to have strange but psychic dreams. She also seems to have the power to make things happen by just wanting it. There is some sort of footnote to that power, though, because not everything she wants happens. My theory is, it has something to do with how bad she wants it.

Roxie also has a vision of someone killing her, then the person in her vision shows up in town. She decides the vision must be wrong and agrees to rent Jamie, the Johnny Depp look-a-like, the apartment above her shop.

Joanna is a shy and awkward newspaper reporter. Her best friend is named Penny and works at the paper with her. She has a crush on the newspaper photographer, Will. She always stumbles and says inappropriate things when talking to Will. After Darryl arrives, however, she is able to look into a man’s eyes and tell them what to do. Better yet, they do it. Joanna uses her charms on Will, but then wonders if he really likes her. Joanna also starts to investigate Darryl, and comes up with some very interesting and unbelievable information.

Kat is a mother of five and married to Raymond. She’s a registered nurse and is always taking care of everyone else. Raymond is very controlling and they start to have problems when she begins hanging out with Joanna and Roxie. Kat grows a backbone and lets Raymond know he can’t tell her what to do anymore, or maybe the lightning did that. Kat can control the elements, or so it seems. She may or may not be divorcing Raymond. That’s up in the air.

Eastwick is really entertaining. I’ve heard people compare it to Desperate Housewives with magic. It’s also very mysterious. You know the ladies have powers, but why or where they came from is unknown right now. I think everyone should check out this very interesting drama. It’s actually different from anything on television right now, and a nice change of pace. Also, it’s just a lot of fun.

Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Brings Books to Kids

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When I was a kid, there was a fun local restaurant that would give a Golden book with the kid’s meals. Long after my McDonalds toys had broken and/or disappeared I had those books. So I really loved the fact that my all-time favorite cereal (yes, I started when I was 2 and I still eat Cheerios) was going to be giving away six million children’s books free inside Cheerios boxes (Starting in October 2009). Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories will offer 5 different books (in English and Spanish) published by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. One of offered books is a new book in the popular “Trucktown” series, available only inside Cheerios boxes.

Of course, a big bummer with prizes inside the box is not knowing which prize you’re getting. But Cheerios has made it easy with a a special cut-out window on the front of the box, so you can select the specific book you want, or you can collect all five.

In addition to the books, Cheerios is also making a financial donation to First Book, an award-winning children’s nonprofit organization that gets new books to children from low-income families. Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories kicks off during Give a Child a Book Week, October 12 – 19. With the help of Cheerios’ financial support, First Book will give a year’s worth of books to every child participating in 50 selected reading programs, one in each state across the country.

For more info check out: www.spoonfulsofstories.com.

(Photo: PRNewsFoto/Cheerios)

Podcast Review: Why You Should Listen to Murder at Avedon Hill

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Listen to Murder at Avedon Hill (free) || Listen to Murder at Avedon Hill on Podiobooks.com

Crossing genres can work extremely well. Case in point is one of my favorite TV shows – Firefly (SciFi/Western). Of course, for this to work the artist/creatorhas to have some basic understanding of both genres to serve them well. After finishing “Murder at Avedon Hill” (MaAH), I can assure you that author P.G. Holyfield not only brings an entertaining fantasy story but a compelling mystery. Even if fantasy isn’t your cup of tea (or if tea isn’t your cup of… well, you get the idea) Holyfield spins a compelling tapestry of characters, situations and, of course, murder.

If you haven’t heard a podcast novel yet, they’re rich (and mostly free) sources of entertainment. MaAH is a novel, read by the author and featuring some sound effects and guest voices for the various characters. This gives you an enhanced narrative experience. Holyfield brings in a rich cast that adds color and life to his already deep characters.

Even though I really enjoy Holyfield as a person (I’ve met him on two occasions and have had multiple virtual conversations with him), I was not prepared for how awesome it was.

Murder at Avedon Hill follows the adventures (and mis-adventures) of Arames Kragen, retired Aarronic Advisor and scholar of prophecy, and Arrin, his young assistant. On a journey they come across a murder at the picturesque town of Avedon Hill. Much like a Agatha Christie novel, there’s a small town with hidden secrets and everyone seems to have a motive. Dash in sprinkles of magic, vampires, and fantasy and you have a compelling story.

If you enjoy a good mystery and some classic fantasy, you’ll enjoy Murder at Avedon Hill.

For more information:

Murder at Avedon Hill website.

Murder at Avedon Hill on Podiobooks.

Must Watch this Fall: White Collar

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USA’s New Original Series White Collar – October 23 at 10/9c

whitecollarTake one part smart, one part funny and add in a dash of charm and you have USA Network’s newest series – White Collar. I received a screener copy of the pilot and wasn’t sure how I’d enjoy the series. I shouldn’t have been worried, the show is endearing, clever, smart and enjoyable!

White Collar is a show that fits in well with USA’s other smart shows – Monk, Psych, Burn Notice, and Royal Pains – without being a clone of those shows. It follows the unlikely partnership of a FBI agent and a high-class thief named Neal Caffrey. The G-man, Peter Burke (played by Tim DeKay) is our middle-class hero who is comitted to his work. Caffrey is the effortless con man, who seems to be able to get anything he wants.

Matt Bomer, who many of you know as Bryce from Chuck, brings his sexy/snarky self to the role of Neal Caffrey, a character who is a mixture of The Saint and Frank Abagnale Jr. He plays off of his co-start, Tim DeKay (Carnivale) at a level that you usually don’t see in a pilot of a TV series. The back and forth between DeKay and Bomer seems like it’s come from years of working together, not a few weeks. And that’s the heart of why I loved the pilot for White Collar – there’s a great relationship between the actors (even the secondary characters interaction with the main characters is believable and fun to watch).

This was one pilot that I couldn’t stop watching. I was never bored, nor did I feel the story dragged at any point. I was kept enthralled with the story from start to finish. I also loved some of the fun camera angles and editing choices that kept the show feeling fresh. Especially watching Caffery deal with his new role and seeing Burke deal with his new partner. Despite the differences between the two both men have points of similarity that makes their conversations interesting.

It was also a pleasant surprise to see Mark Sheppard (Firefly/Battlestar Galatica/Dollhouse) in a guest role. His role is fun, if briefer than I would have liked (I think this pulls Sheppard’s ‘bad guy’ role up to the double digits).

In all, this is a series I can see jumping to the top of my “must watch” list and I think you should see it too.

Learn more at USA Network’s website by clicking here.