Step up your game with UGG boots for him and her!

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UGG continues to expand their dynamic offerings for both men and women, and Bullz-Eye was fortunate enough to sample a pair of each. From the moment you take a pair of UGGs out of the box, there is no mistaking the quality and superior styling that this brand continues to produce. In order for men to look their best, we want our number one lady to look and feel great, as a couple in sync is always preferred.

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The UGG Australia Women’s Claudine Boot is the perfect boot for the fall and colder months, as the subtle sheen of a full-grain leather upper is counterbalanced by decorative whipstitch detailing, sleek ankle strap and full medial zip with UGG polygon pull. The whipstitch really pops and elevates the overall appearance of these classics. Comfort is also well thought-out with a foam-cushioned, leather-lined heel with a 7mm curly UGGPure forefoot, a heat-embossed logo on the heel and an outsole that consists of a 3-inch stacked leather wrapped heel and 1/4-inch platform with molded rubber forefoot with leather-like finish and UGG feather logo on the arch. Nudge your girl towards the Claudine or just go out and buy her a pair for around $300.

Now that your significant other is taken care of, you’ll need to step up your shoe game for the fall as well, and the UGG Men’s Scribner wingtip-styled boot, featuring brogue detailing and round cotton laces, is the perfect choice. The soft leather twinsole boot construction was clearly designed with the comfort and quality synonymous with UGG, making it perfect for the casual yet important meeting or just looking your best when hanging out with friends. UGG hits the mark with comfort and understated swagger with the Scribner for a very reasonable price point of $175.

UGG continues to impress with some of the freshest designs, and as we march towards winter, we’ll be back with a few more suggestions to bolster the luxury boot options for you and your main squeeze!

  

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Blu Tuesday: The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy and More

Every Tuesday, I review the newest Blu-ray releases and let you know whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping, along with a breakdown of the included extras. If you see something you like, click on the cover art to purchase the Blu-ray from Amazon, and be sure to share each week’s column on Facebook and Twitter with your friends.

“The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season”

WHAT: Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Co. continue to struggle for survival as they face a whole new set of challenges, including a deadly virus and the vengeful return of the Governor. But when the group is forced to flee the safety of the prison, the survivors get separated from one another and head for a sanctuary called Terminus.

WHY: The fourth season of “The Walking Dead” may be plagued by many of the same problems as previous years, but while its tendency to let plotlines drag on for too long causes the show to grind to a halt at times, the renewed focus on keeping the story moving even when its characters aren’t plays a huge part in its success. Though the first half of the season is bogged down by the silly virus storyline, the Governor’s return (from the pair of episodes detailing his whereabouts, to his eventual assault on the prison) serves as the impetus to the much stronger second half. It was a pretty gutsy move on the part of the writers to split up the group dynamic that makes the series so compelling, but it’s probably the best thing they could have done, because it’s refreshing to spend certain episodes focused on a handful of characters. Not only does it allow for more character development, but it gives some of the more peripheral characters their chance to shine. That may result in less thrills, but Season Four seems to have finally struck the perfect balance between zombie action and human drama, and although audiences love the former, there aren’t many shows that do drama better than “The Walking Dead.”

EXTRAS: In addition to cast and crew audio commentaries on four episodes, the Blu-ray set includes “Inside ‘The Walking Dead’” and “The Making of ‘The Walking Dead’” featurettes for each episode, some deleted scenes and additional featurettes on the parallels between the comic book and TV series, visual effects and more.

FINAL VERDICT: BUY

“Sons of Anarchy: Season Six”

WHAT: Just as Jax (Charlie Hunnam) is beginning to legitimatize the motorcycle club’s business ventures, SAMCRO is targeted by a tough-as-nails district attorney (CCH Pounder) when the weapon used in a school shooting is traced back to them. Meanwhile, Clay (Ron Perlman) attempts to save his skin by striking a deal with the Irish, and Gemma (Katey Sagal) and Tara (Maggie Siff) butt heads once again.

WHY: Why: Ask any “Sons of Anarchy” fan what their least favorite season is and many will probably list the oft-criticized third season (AKA the Ireland one). But while the series has had enough crazy plotlines over the years to justify why some might view the show as nothing more than a male soap opera, it’s always backed them up with great characters and writing. That is, until Season Six, when it finally became too ridiculous for its own good. Though the biker drama’s penultimate season has plenty of things worth celebrating (including a larger role for Mark Boone Junior and excellent guest stars like CCH Pounder, Donal Logue and Walton Goggins), a lot of the conflict this time around seems to be less about driving the narrative than shocking the audience, none more so than the death of Maggie Siff’s Tara. While fans have been waiting to see Clay’s demise for years (and rightfully so), Tara’s murder-by-carving-fork comes across more like a desperate attempt at a cool cliffhanger than a fitting end to her season-long arc. Tara was destined to die, but not like this, and the treatment of that character is just one of the reasons why this season is the most disappointing to date.

EXTRAS: The Blu-ray release includes cast and crew commentaries on the season premiere and finale, deleted scenes, a gag reel, character goodbyes and all three episodes of the post-show specials “Anarchy Afterword.”

FINAL VERDICT: RENT

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Relive the 90s with the Blast basketball shoe from Reebok

Reebok is bringing back the uber-successful Blast basketball shoe from the 90s, mainly worn by the great point guard Nick Van Exel, aka Nick the Quick. The Blast has reached celebrity status with its reverse contrast and OG style, and now history is about to repeat itself, because the best of the 90s is back.

We tested a pair to be sure that the 90s were as good as everyone remembers them, and these kicks stand the test of time, guaranteed to give all Bullz-Eye ballers out there both the style and lift they’re looking for when on or off the court. The Blast features Hexalite cushioning and a supportive cut, allowing players to explode to the hoop without worrying about rolling an ankle, while the stark contrast of the black and white with a touch of red really pops.

On Friday, August 29, 2014, limited pairs of the Blast (white/red/excellent red) will be available in adult sizing for $119.99 at retailers including Finish Line, Champs, Eastbay, Jimmy Jazz, Footaction, Villa and Reebok.com.

  

Product Review: Luchiano Visconti Dress Shirts

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Just like when Homer Simpson’s life immediately improved when he changed his name to “Max Power,” when you encase your torso in a shirt from Luchiano Visconti, you will instinctively begin using the hashtag #PowerShirt! Because that is exactly how you feel inside.

The picture says it all, doesn’t it? The voltage delivered by such a badass shirt could power the entire earth. Think about how much money we will save on gas!

Sure, you might be constrained by the office walls until roughly 5:00, but until then, you can let your freak flag fly with an incredibly loud shirt from Luchiano Visconti. But this isn’t just a loud shirt; this is a POWER SHIRT.

It’s a shirt that makes people take notice, to be sure. In an otherwise drab environment, no one within eye-shot can resist its allure. People have to look at you. It’s a shirt that, by itself, amplifies your mood and the situations around you.

But the shirt is so versatile that it isn’t about making people look at you, or you wouldn’t wear a shirt like this in the first place. The fact that the shirt makes the ladies take notice is an extension limited or enhanced by the man wearing it.

Then again, if the shirt was completely uncomfortable to wear, who cares how cool it looks? Thankfully, Luchiano Visconti has your back.

Visconti traversed the earth for his shirts. He uses only the finest materials imported from Italy, France, Portugal, Turkey and Hong Kong, and combines different prints together to produce contrast details on the collars, cuffs and a placket for a cohesive fashion statement.

“We use the best materials from around the world,” says founder Sheba Hourizadeh. “We are dedicated to bringing you the forgotten skills of the past and leading edge technology to create the perfect fit.”

The mission is simple: to create and deliver the best quality, the finest styling and most unique details in designer sportswear today.

What’s even more appealing is the price. As an owner of several dress shirts that cost in excess of $200, I assumed the Visconti line, based on the feel, texture and design would be around the same price. But I was amazed when I saw the $65 price tag. Frankly, I was floored. These are fantastic shirts with the look and feel of some of the most expensive designers on the market, at unbelievably reasonable prices.

But it isn’t just shirts. There is an entire collection of streamlined, refined and forward ready-to-wear collection of Italian inspired menswearfilled with jackets, pants, sweaters, scarves, vest, polos and shirts. Along with regular sizing, Luchiano Visconti also carries big and tall sizes. For example, in sport shirts, the line starts at size small and goes up to 6X.

The Luchiano Visconti line pens its designs as self-generated products of imagination blended with designers’ passion from experience and information. They aim to create meaningful luxury clothing, targeting both the fashion and social conscience of the customer.

For more information and images of the entire collection, visit the website here. Connect with the brand via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

  

Hall makes tasty Napa Valley wines

Hall Napa Valley currently produces about 120,000 cases of wine per year. They have been making wine in Napa since they opened their winery in 2005. Just this spring, the Halls launched a new facility in St. Helena. This new winery and tasting room was built on a site that has a 150-year history in Napa Valley wine making. The Halls still maintain their original, intimate location in Rutherford and continue to make some wines there, but the new facility allows them to host a variety of events as well as have more people visit and taste wine on a daily basis. On a recent trip to Napa Valley I stopped at Hall St. Helena, toured their new facility and grounds, and of course tasted through their current portfolio. Here are some wines from their Napa Valley collection that I enjoyed. These selections are widely available all over the country.

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Hall Napa Valley 2013 Sauvignon Blanc – All of the fruit for this wine was sourced within Napa Valley. It’s composed of entirely Sauvignon Blanc. Fermentation and aging took place in stainless steel; there was no oak influence on this offering. It has a suggested retail price of $24. Bright, ripe gooseberry aromas practically explode from the nose of this Sauvignon Blanc. Citrus and stone fruit aromas abound as well. The palate is rich and refreshing with both tropical and citrus zest flavors playing big roles. Hints of crème fraiche, white and green peppercorn and a touch of grass mark the finish, which is clean and crisp with racy acidity. The Hall Sauvignon Blanc will work equally well paired with light summery foods or all by itself as an aperitif.

Hall Napa Valley 2011 Merlot – The fruit for this wine was sourced at two vineyard sites within Napa Valley. In addition to Merlot (95 percent), it contains some Petit Verdot (5 percent) as well. After fermentation, it was aged on French oak for 20 months; 45 percent of the barrels were new. This Merlot has a suggested retail price of $33. Bright red cherry aromas are supported by bits of spice on the highly engaging nose of this Merlot. The palate is stuffed with both red and black cherry, as well as chicory and black tea characteristics. Kirsch liqueur interspersed with hints of sweet chocolate are in play on the above average finish. This is a fine example of Merlot that is loaded with varietal character and has terrific structure. It’s delicious now and will drink well over the next five years.

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Hall Napa Valley 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – This offering is composed of fruit sourced throughout Napa Valley. In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon (91 percent), some Merlot (8 percent) and Petit Verdot (1 percent) were blended in. After fermentation it was barrel-aged over 18 months in exclusively French oak; 55 percent of the barrels were new. This Cabernet has a suggested retail price of $50. Roasted coffee and berry aromas are prominent on the nose here. Blackberry, cherry and wisps of mission fig make up the substantial palate. Earth and gingerbread spices, along with a bit of brown sugar, all emerge on the persistent finish. Napa Valley Cabernet comes in all shapes, sizes and price points. This is a substantial one for the $50 category. It’s delicious now and will evolve and drink well for six to eight years.

The most important thing to me about these wines it that they are each a fine and genuine reflection of Napa Valley. Each individual offering speaks not only of the grape variety in question, but also of the place the fruit was grown. To varying degrees these are varieties Napa Valley is well known for. Cabernet Sauvignon is king there, and this selection is made in a classic style. Sauvignon Blanc has been hugely popular in Napa for years, but still it’s on the rise. Where most every tasting room seemed to once have a multitude of Chardonnays (many still do of course), it’s increasingly common to see multiple expressions of Sauvignon Blanc at one winery. Merlot — when done right, like this example — can be as well structured and complex as good Cabernet. These wines from Hall are also fairly priced for the quality they represent. And their wide availability helps make them solid go-to choices. In addition to these wines, Hall produced a range of selections in what they call the Artisan Collection. This higher end tier features vineyard designate as well as proprietary wines. So if you’re looking for genuine Napa Valley Wine, Hall should be on your radar.

Check out Gabe’s View for more wine reviews, and follow Gabe on Twitter!