BOOKCON Announces Special All-Star Kickoff Event

Special Event to feature Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, director Shawn Levy, and writer Jonathan Tropper

Panel Discussion and Sneak Peek of Upcoming Feature Film Release “This Is Where I Leave You” on Friday, May 30 Sets the Stage for Highly Anticipated Consumer Book Event

Hot on the heels of its recent announcement of BookCon, a one-of-a-kind interactive consumer book event, ReedPOP, the world’s largest producer of pop culture events, announces a star-studded kickoff celebration to usher in the show.  Exemplifying the show’s mission of giving fans an experience where books and pop culture collide, ReedPOP will host a special panel and sneak peek of the upcoming film adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s bestselling book This Is Where I Leave You. The panel discussion will feature two of the stars of the film, Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, along with director Shawn Levy, and Tropper, who also wrote the screenplay, based on his novel. It will be followed by an exclusive Happy Hour to celebrate the debut of BookCon which will feature access to a number of top authors, giving fans the ultimate interactive experience.  The limited access BookCon kickoff event will happen on the eve of BookCon on May 30 at the Special Events Hall in the Javits Center.

The all-star BookCon kickoff event was created as a window into the type of events that BookCon will offer attendees.  The day-long event is crafted for creative-minded, passionate book fans in the publishing capital of the world.  Every aspect of the show is thoughtfully designed to appeal to the modern-day book lover with an appreciation for broader pop-culture and where these worlds intersect. By bridging the world of film and literature, the panel is a prime example of the mission for this consumer event and will usher in more exciting events and panels soon to be announced.

The hour-long panel, moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican, will start at 4:00 p.m. A limited number of tickets for the BookCon kickoff event will be available for all those who purchase BookCon and BEA tickets for an additional $10. ReedPOP will also offer tickets as part of a VIP package that will include special artwork, a signed copy of This Is Where I Leave You, First Access to seating, access to BookCon on Saturday, and more.

“This is exactly the type of event that embodies what BookCon is all about and sets the tone in a truly impactful way,” said ReedPOP’s Global Senior Vice President, Lance Fensterman.  “This is our way of celebrating the debut of BookCon and giving fans a unique experience that will carry into the following day.”

Announcement of the kickoff event follows ReedPOP’s recent news of BookCon and its lineup of feature headliners including Amy Poehler, Martin Short, John Grisham, R.L. Stine, Stan Lee, Cary Elwes, Cassandra Clare, and Maggie Stiefvater.

Jonathan Tropper says: “This Is Where I Leave You was launched at BEA five years ago, so returning now to introduce the movie for the first time is a fitting and deeply satisfying way to celebrate the adaptation.”

Additional exciting details about BookCon exhibitors, talent, and sponsors will be revealed in the coming weeks. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.TheBookCon.com or BookCon’s social media pages (FacebookTwitter & Instagram).

ABOUT THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU

The dramatic comedy This is Where I Leave You is directed by Shawn Levy, and based on the hilarious and poignant bestselling novel by Tropper.  It features a starring ensemble cast including Golden Globe winner Jason Bateman (Arrested Development); Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Tina Fey (30 Rock); and two-time Oscar winner, multiple Golden Globe honoree and 2013 Emmy Award nominee Jane Fonda (Klute, Coming Home, HBO’s The Newsroom).

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.  Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

Shawn Levy, who helmed the blockbuster Night at the Museum films, as well as Date Night and Real Steel, directs from a screenplay by Jonathan Tropper.

The film also stars Adam Driver (HBO’s Girls), Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids, X-Men: First Class), Corey Stoll (House of Cards, Midnight in Paris), Kathryn Hahn (NBC’s Parks and Recreation).

This is Where I Leave You is produced by Paula Weinstein (The Perfect Storm, HBO’s Recount) Shawn Levy, and Jeffrey Levine (The Family Man).  Mary McLaglen (Real Steel, The Proposal) and Jonathan Tropper serve as executive producers.  The creative filmmaking team includes director of photography Terry Stacey (Safe Haven, 50/50), production designer Ford Wheeler (Rachel Getting Married), editor Dean Zimmerman (Real Steel) and costume designer Susan Lyall (RED).   The music is by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino (“Up”).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Spring Creek Production, a 21 Laps Production, a Shawn Levy Film: This is Where I Leave You, opening September 12.  It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company

Author Talks about Writing and ‘Spies of Revolutionary Connecticut’

By Jason Harris

 

Author Mark Allen Baker talks about his book during his visit to the Colchester bookstore, Books & Boos.

Author Mark Allen Baker talks about his book during his visit to the Colchester bookstore, Books & Boos. Photo courtesy of Books & Boos.

Author Mark Allen Baker, who lives in Connecticut and has written 17 books, spoke to Jason Harris Promotions about a number of topics including writing and his current book, Spies of Revolutionary Connecticut: From Benedict Arnold to Nathan Hale.

JH: Mark you have written 17 books, when did you start writing and when was your first book published?

MAB: As a corporate executive for the General Electric Company, I began writing articles on graphics software and hardware; our division was involved with numerous early developments in graphics, most of which people are familiar with today as Microsoft PowerPoint. As an avocation, I have always been interested in baseball. After writing and publishing a number of articles on the 1980s boom in baseball collectibles, I was approached by a publisher to write a book. I accepted and wrote the Baseball Autograph Handbook for Krause Publications in 1990. While the word autograph is in the title, much of the information was historical.

JH: What was the impetus behind your latest book, Spies of Revolutionary Connecticut: From Benedict Arnold to Nathan Hale?

MAB: Having visited numerous historical sites here in Connecticut, such as the Nathan Hale Homestead (Coventry, CT) and the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum (Wethersfield, CT), the word spy kept creeping into my conversations with historians and volunteers. It intrigued me so much, that I instigated a bit of my own primary research and found that there was much more to many of the stories. Like my previous work for The History Press, the material filled a genuine need: a single resource that would answer a majority of questions any concerned individual might have. In this case, it was visitors to a historical site.

JH: When you were at Books & Boos in March, you mentioned that some of the spies you have written about are in the video game Assassins Creed. Can you elaborate more on this?

MAB: As most know, Assassin’s Creed III is a 2012 video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal for a variety of systems. The fictional plot is set in the 18th century, before, during and after the American Revolution. Benedict Arnold, who is featured in Spies of Revolutionary Connecticutis also included as part of the exclusive missions, available on PlayStation 3. Other individuals included: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Sam Adams, General Israel Putnam and Benjamin Church.

JH: How long did it take you to write Spies of Revolutionary Connecticut?

MAB: This work took me about nine months.

JH: How much research did you do for the book?

MAB: Since my interest in the topic goes well beyond the scope of the book, I conducted more primary research than usual; I easily could have written a dozen volumes on the topic. As far as locations, I visited numerous libraries, historical societies and landmarks. I was even in the attic at the Nathan Hale Homestead and inside the War Room at Versailles, France. Always believing that a writer must get as close to the subject as possible, I tried to visit where my subjects worked and lived, and even where they were buried.

JH: What draws you to writing about history?

MAB: The people are what draws me to history. They are more than two dates on a tombstone, far more. It’s my job, or so I believe, to bring them back to life and acknowledge, at least in most cases, their achievements. While most know the names of Ethan Allen or Nathan Hale, few are unaware of heroes like Daniel Bissell and Noah Phelps.

JH: What does your writing process look like?

MAB: The process depends upon the work. For Spies of Revolutionary Connecticut: From Benedict Arnold to Nathan Hale, I began with a full investigation of the topic. This ranges from books and manuscripts, to scarce articles and even pension testimony.  Since I stay in the period that I am writing about, my ‘downtime’ includes only related items, period books, videotapes on the subject, university lectures and even music. Only when I feel I am ready, often months into the contracting, do I finally draft, revise and edit.

JH: What is your least favorite part of the publishing/ writing process?

MAB: Editing. Having to extract so many individuals from this work-Spies of Revolutionary Connecticut: From Benedict Arnold to Nathan Hale-was difficult. For example, I had no other choice but to edit out some (minor characters) individuals from the chapter on The Culper Ring. Choosing 35,000 words to express any topic is a challenge.

JH: You started a sport’s bar. Where was this, how did it come about, is it still there and what was the name of it?

MAB: Upstate New York, Liverpool, to be exact. It was called “Bleachers.” It came through my participation in another business. We, the four of us, believed the timing was proper to undertake an investigation or market analysis. As a former Market Research guru for a Fortune 500 company that became my task. It took me about six months to complete my research. It confirmed our feelings, guided us to a site and composed our business. I sold my shares three years into the business. I believe it lasted about four years longer before shutting its doors.

JH: Have you been involved in any other businesses?

MAB: Having worked for a large corporation for the bulk of my professional life, I began exploring other options when I was still in my thirties. A mail-order business, along with a sporting goods store, prepared me for the sports bar. That being said, having had managed three fast-food restaurants, before I started my own, certainly helped.

JH: How did your involvement come about in the New York music scene? Can you describe some of your experiences?

MAB: From 1975 until 1979, I supervised the shows at the university I was attending. During that period I promoted, or assisted, over fifty regional shows including: Aerosmith, Boston, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Billy Joel, KISS, John Mayall, Queen, Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen. My experiences could fill a book, and eventually will.

JH: Besides writing, history, and music, do you have any other interests?

MAB: Gardening. Organic fruits and vegetables are a favorite of mine.

JH: Are you working on any current projects?

MAB: Yes, I am currently working on a follow-up to Spies of Revolutionary Connecticut: From Benedict Arnold to Nathan Hale, that will be available in the fall of 2014.

JH: Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

MAB: Ernest Hemingway, David Halberstam, David McCullough, John Updike, Joseph J. Ellis, Ron Chernow … there are so many.

JH: What book do you wish you could have written? And why?

MAB: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. Because it’s perfect.

JH: Are you there any upcoming promotional events you are doing for your current book?

MAB: Yes, I will be at Nathan Hale’s New London Schoolhouse on Saturday, August 16.

‘The Nut Job’ Arrives on DVD April 15

 

 
GO NUTS FOR THE FAMILY MOVIE EVENT OF THE SEASON!
THE NUT JOB
 
BE THE FIRST TO OWN IT ON DIGITAL HD ON APRIL 8
 
AND BRING HOME THE BLU-RAY COMBO PACK
INCLUDING BLU-RAY, DVD & DIGITAL HD WITH ULTRAVIOLET APRIL 15
 
NOW MOVIE FANS CAN WATCH THE NUT JOB ANYWHERE ON THEIR FAVORITE DEVICESCyan Magenta Yellow Black
Be prepared for one squirrelly adventure in the action-packed comedy, The Nut Job, starring Will Arnett (Despicable Me, Ratatouille) as Surly, a mischievous squirrel on a mission to prove himself. The Nut Job comes to Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray Combo Pack including Blu-ray, DVD, & DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet as well as On Demand on April 15, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The film will also be available on DIGITAL HD one week early on April 8.
Surly (Arnett) is a mischievous squirrel with a mission: to find the tastiest nuts for winter. When he discovers a whole store filled with his favorite food, he plans a heist of nutrageous proportions. But the place turns out to be owned by ruthless bank robbers so it’s up to Surly and his furry friends to stop the nearby bank heist and save the town.
Showcasing an all-star cast including Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, Whole Lotta Love), Liam Neeson (Non-StopThe Grey), Katherine Heigl (Knocked UpThe Ugly Truth), Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, Turbo), Jeff Dunham (Arguing With MyselfSpark of Insanity) and Gabriel Iglesias (Magic Mike, Hot & Fluffy), The Nut Job will prove “Enormously Entertaining” for the whole family (Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru)!
The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack include a Blu-ray, DVD and DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet.
·         Blu-ray unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
·         DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
·         DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download movies to watch on iPad®, iPhone®, Android™, smart TVs, connected Blu-ray players, game consoles, and more.
EXCLUSIVE BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY 3D & BLU-RAY:
·         DELETED SCENES - Check out Surly, Grayson and the gang in scenes removed from the final version of the movie.
·         STORYBOARDS - Watch key scenes from the film brought to life from the original sketches.
·         THE GREAT NUT HEIST - Will Arnett, the voice of Surly the squirrel, discusses the great caper story at the heart of the film.
·         DANCE-OFF END CREDITS - Surly joins his furry friends and a very special guest for this show-stopping number.
BONUS FEATURES ON 3D BLU-RAY, BLU-RAY & DVD:
·         ANIMATED SHORTS –
o   SURELY SQUIRREL - Meet Surly for the very first time in the award-winning animated short that started it all.
o   NUTS & ROBBERS - Surly and Grayson stumble upon a bank heist gone wrong in NUTS & ROBBERS – created by ToonBox Entertainment as a teaser for THE NUT JOB.
 
CAST AND FILMMAKERS:
Cast: Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Stephen Lang, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Dunham with Gabriel Iglesias & Sarah Gadon
Directed by: Peter Lepeniotis
Produced by: Wookyung Jung & Graham Moloy
Executive Producers: Daniel Woo, Hong Kim, Jay Ahn, Mike Karz, William Bindley, Hoejin Ha, Tom Yoon, & Hyungkon Kim
Written by: Peter Lepeniotis & Lorne Cameron
Screenplay by: Peter Lepeniotis & Daniel Woo
Edited by: Paul Hunter
Original Score By: Paul Intson
Art Director: Ian Hastings
CG Supervisor: Brad Falk
Animation Director: Daryl Graham
Lighting Supervisor: Sumit Suri
Music Supervisor: Julianne Jordan
Music by: Paul Intson
Casting Directors: Robert McGee, Ruth Lambert & Joanne Boreham
TECHNICAL INFORMATION – BLU-RAY 3D COMBO PACK
Street Date: April 15, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61128666
Running Time: 1 Hour 26 Minutes
Layers: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1
Rating: PG for some mild action and rude humor.
Technical Info: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French
TECHNICAL INFORMATION – BLU-RAY:
Street Date: April 15, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61127754
Running Time: 1 Hour 26 Minutes
Layers: BD-50
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1
Rating: PG for some mild action and rude humor.
Technical Info: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French
 
TECHNICAL INFORMATION – DVD:
Street Date: April 15, 2014
Copyright: 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61127752
Running Time:  1 Hour 26 Minutes
Layers: Dual Layer
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Rating: PG for some mild action and rude humor.
Technical Info: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

Interesting Magnets and Coffins at a Craft Fair

 

By Jason Harris

 

I have been to many craft fairs as a patron and as a vendor. I use to set-up events at craft fairs and open air markets for the New England Horror Writers (NEHW) organization. These events were very successful for the NEHW so I have continued setting-up events like these for my bookstore, Books & Boos, which I co-own with my wife. Along with these shows, I also set-up events such as conventions and comic book shows for the bookstore. You can find out about these Books & Boos’ events here.

At the 41st Annual Craft Fair held at the Keefe Technical School in Framingham, MA. yesterday, there were the usual jewelry sellers, dog stuff, and handmade wooden bird houses. There was one unusual seller at this craft fair. The vendor was Frankenstein Medical School, which is owned and operated by Jerry Stiles. He sells finger hooks, coffin-shaped keepsake boxes, and interesting magnets.

2014-03-29 14.51.50

Jerry Stiles

Coffin Shaped Keepsake box.

Coffin-Shaped Keepsake Box

Magnets

Magnets

One of Stile's magnets.

One of Stiles’ magnets.

Finger hooks.

Finger hooks.

 

Stiles has a site on Esty, you can check it out here.

 

McKay to take on Paramount Pictures and Plan B’s ‘The Big Short’ from Acclaimed Writer Michael Lewis

 

Paramount Pictures and Plan B announced that writer / director Adam McKay has come aboard to adapt and direct “The Big Short,” based on the acclaimed book by Michael Lewis.

Based on Lewis’ best-seller The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine about the housing and credit bubble of the 2000s, the film will be produced by Paramount and Brad Pitt’s Plan B. Pitt previously starred in and produced Lewis’ Moneyball, which earned an Academy Award-nomination for Best Picture.

“Michael Lewis has the amazing ability to take complex formulas and concepts and turn them into page turners. Plan B and I connected over that breathless quality the book has. Very excited to jump into this,” said McKay.

Said Adam Goodman, Paramount Film Group President, “I am so excited as this project marks my third collaboration with Adam McKay – a tremendously talented filmmaker and one of my favorite storytellers.”

Said Plan B, “There are those rare literary treasures – as with “The Big Short” – that park in the harbor and you just wait, with hope. Adam McKay is a singular voice and talent and a ferocious mind – the vector of Adam and this book is what a producer dreams of.”

McKay most recently co-wrote, produced and directed the sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, for Paramount Pictures. The hit film has grossed over $170m globally.

Movie Review: ‘Night of the Comet’

 

By Stacey Longo

nightofthecomet

Night of the Comet (1984) must have made its debut on VHS around 1985, coincidentally, the same summer that my family first got cable. Having subsequently watched it approximately 55 times on HBO (it was a movie! On television!), imagine my surprise when I found out that not everyone has seen this horror/sci-fi classic. Boy, are you missing out!

Sisters Reggie and Sam Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney, respectively) find themselves in a strangely empty world the day after the Earth has passed through the tail of an extraordinary red comet. Even more amazing is the fact that these sisters didn’t manage to survive the night together, but each on their own: Reggie by fooling around with her boyfriend in a steel-lined projectionist booth at the theater where she works, and Sam was in a steel-lined shed after fighting with her stepmother. The odds of two siblings both individually surviving a cosmic event that wiped out 99% of the population is about as likely as a huge cosmic event wiping out 99% of the population, but put your skepticism aside. Plenty more will happen to test the limits of your suspension of disbelief.

While the idea of tooling around the neighborhood now that humanity is mostly dead is overall pretty appealing, the two sisters quickly figure out that not quite everybody is dead. There’s a rabid zombie or two running around, and the sisters are at the top of the menu. They hear another survivor broadcasting over the radio, and head to the station, where they find Erik Estrada-lookalike Hector Gomez (Robert Beltran). Since everybody knows that the only thing to do after a mass extinction event is to find someone of the opposite sex to begin repopulation of the Earth with, it seems that things are looking up for the sisters. They decide to celebrate by going shopping.

Anyone who has ever watched a zombie apocalypse movie could’ve told Reggie and Sam that the worst place to go is the mall, but the sisters are a pretty clueless pair. To nobody’s surprise except Reggie and Sam’s, there’s a group of zombies there, and they barely make it out alive, and even then, only with the help of the government. Guess what? The government agents are baddies, too, and once again, the sisters are in trouble. Hector shows up to save the day, rescue the girls, and rescue a couple of little kids who were also being held by the big bad government. In the final scene, the zombies have died off, and an attractive young stud driving a sports car nearly runs Sam over as she crosses the street. Hooray! Now both of the sisters have boyfriends!

Cheesy, silly, and setting back women’s rights for decades to come, Night of the Comet is a fun glimpse at what used to pass for quality entertainment. The hairdos, outfits, and attitudes are all a tribute to times gone by, and you’ll find yourself missing those simpler days. Or not. At the very least, you’ll remember your Aqua Net and legwarmers fondly.

Movie Review: ‘Scream Blacula Scream’

 

By Stacey Longo

Scream Blacula Scream

Billed as a Pam Grier vehicle, Scream Blacula Scream (1973) probably had no intention of being as preposterous as it was. The story revolves around Prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall), also known as Blacula himself, revived from the dead by Willis Daniels (Richard Lawson), via voodoo magic. Blacula repays the favor by immediately turning Willis into a vampire and setting about his true agenda: finding a woman to fall in love with, antagonizing the cops, and making a whole bunch more vampires. He raises the suspicions of local ex-police officer Justin Carter (Don Mitchell), who ultimately hunts down and (spoiler alert!) with the help of voodoo princess Lisa Fortier (the aforementioned Grier), kills Blacula.

What makes this movie a trashterpiece is it’s unintentional hilarity, mostly due to the dated “jive talk” and the tendency, apparently, for African-American vampires to grow an unruly mass of hair on their face once they turn. Blacula sports two lightning-bolt sideburns that slash across his cheeks when he’s hunting; his apprentice, Willis, sprouts eyebrows resembling two wooly caterpillars mating in a briar patch. With references to ‘bread,’ ‘rags,’ and ‘dudes,’ the slang is dated and entertaining.

Grier is underutilized for the first twenty minutes or so, but hang in there: when she finally gets into the action, you’ll remember why she gets so much respect. She’s smokin’ hot and coolly confident. Yet she loses credibility points when she doesn’t recognize Blacula as Professor Mamuwalde at first, which is ridiculous. The only difference in his appearance is the rabid facial hair and a new, super-groovy black cape. Luckily for her, Blacula is immediately smitten, and he puts her under his protection against his rapidly growing clan of bloodsuckers.

Unfortunately for Blacula, Grier’s Lisa is already dating Justin Carter, and he doesn’t like the latest turn of events. However, a lousier shot with a crossbow you’ve never seen, and it’s up to Lisa to save the day.

Noteworthy in this flick, besides Ms. Grier, is William Marshall in the title role. His larger-than-life presence and baritone voice commands attention, and you’ll cheer when he announces not once, but twice: “The name is Blaa-cu-laa!” In a sea of porn mustaches and fabulous afros, Scream Blacula Scream is absolutely worth viewing. You dig?

Jamie Foxx Joins His Co-Stars of ‘The Amazing Spider-man 2′ and Earth Hour Super Heroes in Blue Revolution

 

Jamie Foxx, who plays the villain, Electro, in the highly anticipated motion picture The Amazing Spider-Man 2, will be joining his co-stars, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, in calling on a global community to take simple action online to protect the planet.

 

As part of Earth Hour Blue, the revolutionary program launched by WWF’s Earth Hour, Foxx will support ‘Light Up A Village,’ a clean energy project from WWF-Uganda. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 actor is urging participants to go online and contribute funds to the ‘Light Up a Village’ crowdfunding project, which will provide solar lights and energy efficient mud stoves to families living around an area in Uganda that has come to be known as the “Earth Hour Forest.” Through the simple steps of supporting these vulnerable communities, the project aims to empower the locals to become the future protectors of the soon to be rehabilitated forest area.

Foxx was inspired by a passionate video from a small community of Super Heroes in Uganda who came together to show how the project could protect the newly planted trees by meeting the basic energy needs of the locals. The video explains how just one energy efficient mud stove can save up to 33 trees from being cut down annually and also save money by reducing a family’s expenses on firewood and charcoal.

“Earth Hour isn’t just about lights off – it’s about people across the world coming together throughout the year to join forces to improve the planet. If you haven’t yet, you need to get involved. Never underestimate your power. Never underestimate what you can do,” said Foxx.

In conjunction with the Earth Hour 2014 celebrations in Uganda, one million trees will be planted across the country by youths over the next year, with the majority earmarked to help fill the 2700 hectares of land marked out for the Earth Hour Forest initiative.

Another global solution-driven crowdfunding project on Earth Hour Blue for people to back is a Colombian conservation project for The Amazon that aims to protect endangered species like the jaguar, Andean bear, and the pink river dolphin, and work with indigenous communities to use and restore natural resources in a responsible way.

The crowdfunding project from WWF-Colombia, called “Lights OFF AmazON,” allows you to invest in the largest ecosystem and air, water and life producer on the planet by raising funds to implement infrastructure for sustainable industries for indigenous communities. Known as the “world’s lungs,” the Amazon is quickly disappearing with mining and ranching causing loss of species and pollution in the area.

Earth Hour in Australia has today launched a report, ‘Lights Out for the Reef,’ that highlights the latest scientific findings about climate change impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. The report confirms that urgent action to cut carbon pollution is needed for the sake of the reef’s survival.

“If we don’t act now, the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef will be irreversible in a little more than a decade,” said Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, one of the world’s leading experts on the Reef and author of the Oceans Chapter of the upcoming U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

The easiest thing you can do on the Earth Hour Blue platform is to give support via a quick social post to Instagram for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The Reef is under threat due to climate change and the recently approved government decision to develop a mega coal and gas port that would cause dredging and dumping of millions of tonnes of seabed and rock in its Marine Park.

Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder for Earth Hour, announced today, “What we’re seeing is a massive group of Super Heroes around the world who are calling on support for incredible campaigns to address the environmental issues we’re facing in our daily lives. That’s why we built Earth Hour and Earth Hour Blue, so now it’s up to you to help bring together this global momentum to show what can be achieved when we use our power together.”

Earth Hour event activities will be amplified on islands across the world, with music becoming a major focus to inspire environmental action in the places on the forefront of climate change and sea level rise. Reggae artists in Jamaica will perform an acoustic concert for the second year running; and in Tahiti, 5000 people will gain entry to a massive acoustic concert at Stade Paster by handing in a piece of recyclable waste they’ve collected to avoid landfill.

Following the recent announcement that Spider-Man is the first Super Hero ambassador for Earth Hour, the global movement organised by WWF, the cast of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be on hand to help to switch off the lights across Singapore’s signature Marina Bay skyline on Saturday March 29, at 8.30 p.m. as part of WWF-Singapore’s flagship Earth Hour event.

Expanding on many sustainability efforts over the years, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 became the most eco-friendly tentpole production in the history of Columbia Pictures. These environmental efforts, on set and off, were supported at every level – from producers, studio executives, and cast and crew and began as soon as the film went into pre-production.

“I’m very proud of the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is entirely carbon-neutral. We made a commitment to be as eco-conscious as possible during production itself, when we took a special effort to think green and avoid waste; now, completing that process with Earth Hour Blue is a wonderful testament to what we can achieve when we all work together,” says Jeff Blake, Chairman, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“Use your power at earthhour.org, so you too can become a Super Hero like Spider-Man, Earth Hour’s Super Hero ambassador,” said Foxx.

Unreleased Rascal Flatts Song to be Featured in the Film ‘Heaven is for Real’

 

Rascal Flatts Rewind Cover“Compass” to Be Included On Country Supergroups’s Forthcoming Studio Album This May

 

A new Rascal Flatts song entitled “Compass” will be featured in the upcoming Sony Pictures film Heaven Is For Real, which opens nationwide on Wednesday, April 16. The song will also be included on Flatts’ forthcoming Big Machine Records album, REWIND, available May 13. The album is now available for pre-order at www.RascalFlatts.com.

Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, Heaven Is For Real brings to the screen the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world.

The film stars Academy Award nominee and Emmy award-winning actor Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo and co-stars Kelly Reilly as Sonja Burpo, the real-life couple whose son Colton (newcomer Connor Corum) claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience.  Colton recounts the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth … things he couldn’t possibly know. Todd and his family are then challenged to examine the meaning from this remarkable event.

As the best-selling Country vocal group of the past decade, Rascal Flatts (Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney) have sold over 22.5 million albums and over 28 million digital downloads since their musical debut in 2000. The Superstar group has delivered 14 #1 singles to the top of the charts and have the distinction of being one of only four acts during the SoundScan era to have seven consecutive studio albums debut at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. Rascal Flatts have earned over 40 trophies from the ACAs, ACMs, AMAs, CMAs, People’s Choice Awards and more. In 2012, they reached a new career milestone with over 7 million concert tickets sold and will hit the road again this Spring with the REWIND Tour 2014. In anticipation of their next Big Machine Records album this summer, fans will get a taste of the fresh sound and rewind back in time with some previously released tunes on March 4 with the release of a Walmart exclusive EP. Their new single “Rewind” is currently rising in the Top 15.

For tour information, new music, and more, visit www.rascalflatts.com.