Monday, March 28, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
It was the end of the year when all the studios are pushing out potential Oscar nominated films, and the cinema had promoted this film as such.
I was the youngest person in the audience, but about 15 years. So I figured it was going to be either really bad, or really good.
I'm glad to say, this movie is really good.
Here's a clip (for some reason I can't find the trailer on YouTube)
And here's the movie poster
As you can pretty much deduce, this move is about gambling, and the addiction of it.
But according to Dan Mahowny (Philip Seymour Hoffman), he doesn't have a gambling problem. He has a money problem.
Here we have Dan at his day-job, working for a Toronto-based bank, as an assistant branch manager.
And here we have Dan, down in Atlanta, working on a mathematical system he believes will pay off dividends.
As much as I went to this movie to see Philip Seymour Hoffman, the real stand-out performance was from Dan's girlfriend and co-worker Belinda (Minnie Driver).
Not only is the physical transformation something to witness, but Belinda's character and the role she plays; it's very fascinating.
The fact this is a true story also plays heavily. But you should note that this is a true story before watching the film.
Here we have casino-owner Victor Foss (John Hurt), who stops at nothing to get Dan back into his casino weekend after weekend.
This fact also plays into the movie. Isn't it illegal for casinos to entice problem gamblers into their casinos again and again?
You'll have to watch the movie to find out.
What I like about this movie is the concentration of the human aspect of the story, rather than simply showing the glitz and glamour of casino life.
This movie does that very well.
I give this movie a 9 out of 10, and I highly recommend you track it down and give it a watch.
And if you do, please let me know what you think by commenting below!
Until next time.
Friday, March 18, 2011
I was 7 at the time. I didn't get around to watching this film until a few months ago. I'm 30 now.
In the back of my mind I always knew this movie had an impact. I just never considered how much of an impact.
Here's the trailer
And here's the movie poster
What first hits me about this movie is the camera work, and it's ability to bring out the best in all the players in this movie. Oliver Stone does a lot of one camera panning, scrolling across a room as the actors work through, playing their part.
If even one actor stuffs up, the whole scene is ruined.
It's a smart move and means the actors have to be at the top of their game.
None more so than Bud Fox (played by Charlie Sheen). As the catalyst to the story and the main player, the whole movie is governed by him.
And I should point out, it's really nice to see Charlie Sheen actually acting here, rather than simply playing himself as he has been on TV for the past 8 years.
The main reason anyone watches this movie is of course to see Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas).
In the 80's there was no one better than Gordon.
Everything about him screamed success.
And why not? Just look at him here. The man's an animal!
A sheer delight of this film is seeing Carl Fox (Martin Sheen) knocking heads with his son Bud (Charlie). It's a thrill considering Martin and Charlie are actually father and son.
And of course Martin Sheen knocks his performance outta the park. Just brilliant.
I didn't realise he was in this movie but playing the part of Gordon's business rival Sir Larry Wildman is Terence Stamp.
For the most part though Sir Larry is a bit-player in the entire game.
Along for the ride is Gordon's friend and home decorator Darien Taylor (Daryl Hannah). Her part now makes me laugh due to the sheer absurdity of the 80's fashion.
But, much like the movie itself, that's the way things were back then.
Another bit-part is Gordon's wife, Kate Gekko (Sean Young).
It's almost blink and you'll miss her.
As I'm going through this list of actors I'm not sure if I should or shouldn't be surprised at the high-calibre Oliver Stone's collected together.
Here we have Bud's lawyer friend Roger Barnes (James Spader). James certainly has portrayed a lawyer for a sizable portion of his career so far, having appeared in The Practice and then in it's spin-off, Boston Legal.
And his doesn't disappoint here.
Playing up the laughs and keeping things interesting is Bud's work mate Marvin (John C. McGinley).
What could've been a bit-part doesn't seem that way now that I think about it. Maybe McGinley played the role larger-than-life. And it worked.
Now that I've watched it, and yes I did see the sequel, I have to say that nothing else compares to Wall Street.
For 80's cool, and for some interesting insight into how the stock markets of the world works, you just have to check this out.
I mean, come on! Look at these two guys right here. Now this is cool!
Just quickly, a few years back I passed up on buying the movie novel to Wall Street. I found it at a local op shop but now it's long-gone.
If anyone has a copy, I'd love to give it a read.
For ratings I'll give this movie 8 stars out of 10.
It get's one whole star just for the robot waiter.
Watch it and you'll know what I'm talking about.
Until next time!
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Never in a million years did I think I'd hear back from actor Sam J Jones. Not only did I hear back from him, but Sam was really excited to do the interview, and also a very nice guy. It just goes to show you that in life you're always going to be constantly surprised.
Of course for those of you left wondering who Sam J Jones is, he played Flash Gordon in the 1980 film.
I hope you enjoy my interview with Sam J Jones.
1. How did you land the role as Flash Gordon?
In late 1978, while competing on a game show (The Dating Game), I was discovered by members of the Dino DeLaurentiis family. In early 1979, I had a meeting with Dino at his Beverly Hills office. Then in mid 1979, I was flown to London (with numerous other actors) for multiple old fashioned Hollywood Screen Tests. One month later, Dino hired me as FLASH GORDON.
2. How did you prepare for the role?
I read Alex Raymond books and FLASH GORDON comic's, studied the old Buster Crabbe black & white serials and I ran Hyde Park every morning in London and did light weight training with push up's and pull up's every other day.
3. Being your first movie, what was it like to film, 10?
Yes, this was my first film and it was a major blessing being directed by Blake Edwards. I was a little star struck by him, Julie Andrews and John Derek. Bo Derek was super nice to me and a real professional. Dudley Moore was a good man and kept the cast and crew entertained at all times. Also, filming in Hawaii and Mexico was incredible, as it was a first for me at that time.
4. Please tell us about The Spirit tv movie.
We filmed it as a TV Pilot in 1985. The studio and network had great expectations for it to be picked up as a series. It did not happen. It was a lot of fun working with all involved. I have great respect for Mr. Will Eisner and his work.
5. Were you a fan of The Spirit comic?
Not until after I was hired did I appreciate Mr Eisner's work.
6. For your part in the pop-culture films you've been in, have you done many conventions?
I average one or two a year. It has to make financial sense, as I have a large family and am working consistently. I enjoy taking my family with me to these events - most American cities, Australia, New Zealand and England have been a lot of fun for us in the past. The fans have been very good to us and we appreciate their interest a great deal.
7. What would have been your favourite role, so far?
FLASH GORDON and THE HIGHWAYMAN. Flash, because of his integrity and passion to protect the innocent from evil forces. And The Highwayman because his character is Flash with an extreme edge.
8. What would be a dream role for you?
Any Superhero role that demonstrates moral integrity, family values and redeeming qualities. Our American youth and the youth of the world need to be encouraged and influenced by good - in it's pure form. Not a perversion of that purity. My dream, would be to make films that re-establish the basic doctrine - good is actually good and bad is really bad. As mature artists and leaders - Yes! we must entertain, but we must also impact and influence our society (especially our youth) with actual truth in it's basic foundational root. This will eliminate all of the confusion, wrong messages and nonsense that our young minds are already overwhelmed with and will give them guidelines, consequences and accountability. This will save their lives.
9. What's coming up next?
I am currently developing a tv series and in the middle of negotiations with a film project.
10. Is there a charity or event you would like to bring to my readers' attention?
LOVING LIFE FOUNDATION - Reaching communities and touching lives by serving and putting others first before self. I am one of the youth representatives. We are based in San Diego, California. Anyone who gives substantially to this foundation will receive (from me personally) autographed posters, photo's and rare Alex Ross signed art of me. Here is the contact info:
LOVING LIFE FOUNDATION
EIN number 35-2373436
10802 Willow Court
San Diego, CA 92127
Tel: 858 613-5263
Fax: 858 613-0796E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more info on Sam and his many projects please check out his website at www.samjjones.com/
I want to thank Sam for his time and enthusiasm with this interview.
Please feel free to leave a comment below.
Until next time.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
And to be honest, at times it can get quite difficult. I find someone I want to talk to, especially about a certain project they've worked on, and I find they're not all that interested in talking about it. Or to me about an interview.
Then came along my interview with Tim Pilleri.
Some time ago I interviewed G Larry Butler. Look on the right-hand side to find a link to the interview.
I've since befriended Larry and have kept up to date with his work. Then Larry messaged me directly telling me I might enjoy chatting with the director of his new movie.
Larry was right!
Tim Pilleri directed the movie Panman. I couldn't get a copy of it so Tim was nice enough to post it out to me!
Talk about a nice guy.
I hope you enjoy what I consider a very interesting interview with Tim Pilleri.
1. What is Panman?
Panman is the demon spirit of a great chef from the 70's. That demon spirit mixed with a living person, makes up the Panman. When possessed, the person always finds a big pot to place over his head. And then he murders culinary students with pans and kitchen utensils. PANMAN the movie is a horror/comedy/romance that some friends and I made over the course of a year and a half.
2. How did you come up with such an idea?
The idea was actually born while I was in high school in Medford, Massachusetts in 1999. That high school has a culinary department, and while walking thru a huge kitchen one day I placed a large pot over my head and starting making gestures. My friends laughed, and so I took the pot with me. Then we filmed a 20 minute movie in video production class about a killer named Panman. Ten years later, that silly idea has turned into a feature film and something I can be really proud of.
3. What was the inspiration behind Panman?
Good question, and it's a hard one to answer because I don't really know where it came from. We decided to make the movie because we thought it could really appeal to horror fans. But mostly, the inspiration was finishing the movie so that we could all move on. Editing, color correction, sound editing, all that crap started to get really boring after a while. But we stuck with it because we wanted to see what it could be. And we really wanted to see what audiences would think of such a weird story. And we've only gotten that once so far. So we'll be screening it a lot more in 2011.
4. What was it like working with G Larry Butler?
G. Larry Butler is a dream to work with. He came into the read-thru with a much different take on Professor Hunter than I was expecting. I remember being a little skeptical at first, but the quirks he brought about the character added so much depth, that we ultimately let him do whatever he wanted. Which, I'm sure was for the best. And Larry also let us shoot a scene at his place, we used his daughter and wife as extras, and he even helped us with location scouting. He actually found the cliff we used for the big showdown at the end while hiking one day. He called me and we went and checked it out, and it was perfect. He's the most professional actor and the best team player I've ever worked with.
5. How did you get involved with The Prestige?
I was a film extra on THE PRESTIGE. I was basically cattle in a steer-house. They needed someone to step in to be featured playing the piano on stage with Christian Bale. They just picked me out of a crowd, and presented me to the AD saying "Here's the piano player". I just kinda lucked into it.
6. Can you play the piano professionally?
I don't play piano and never have. I can't even remember if the people on THE PRESTIGE asked me if I did. But either way, it didn't matter; I did mime some keys, but you can still barely see me.
7. Were there any difficulties in getting Panman made?
There were many difficulties getting PANMAN made. Jim Zaguroli and I ultimately green-lit the movie over a countless amount of margaritas, so that sorta set the whole tone going forward. We didn't have any budget, just what we had in our pockets (which wasn't much). I guess the most difficult thing would be staying with it for so long. And that goes back to your question on the inspiration behind it. We did have the cops come after us once. Our very last shoot day was the day we shot with Kato Kaelin at the beach. While waiting for Kato to arrive we put the prop license plate on my car. The cops circled the lot and ran the plate. It turns out someone has the license plate "House" - and it wasn't my car. So the cops came back at us thinking we were driving a stolen car. But they were really cool, we told them it was a prop and that we're just shooting one scene in our silly little movie, and they were pretty cool with it. Of course right then Kato pulls into the lot. It was embarrassing for us because that's how we first met Kato on set, but it might've helped having someone so recognizable with us.
8. Have you attended any conventions, such as the San Diego Comic Con, as promotion for the film?
We have not attended any conventions for PANMAN yet. We plan on it though, as well as getting into some cool film festivals. So we're hoping to be out there with it a lot in 2011.
9. Have you ever considered Panman: The Comic?
A Panman comic is definitely an interesting thought. I have not ever considered it, although there is some talk of doing a cartoon with the character of Panman. But we'll probably just focus on making sequels.
10. What’s coming up next?
Up next is selling PANMAN. After that I've got a few other offbeat horror scripts that I'll be peddling around town. The one I really wanna make next is called, "THE BOGEYMAN". It's about a killer on a mini-golf course. "He's 1 over par...you're 6 underground". I need to get Bruce Campbell in this movie. I think the hardcore horror fans would go crazy for it.
11. Is there a charity or event you would like to bring to my readers’ attention?
I wish I had some money to donate to a charity, but I don't yet. If I did though, I would donate to different animal shelters around LA. Tina Molina (Justice from PANMAN) and I have 3 rescued dogs ourselves. They're always running around the streets of Los Angeles. So we try to help put a stop to it one dog at a time.
If you want to check out more about Tim and his projects I recommend you visit http://www.timpilleri.com/
And to find out more about Panman, have fun over at http://www.whoispanman.com/
Please feel free to leave a comment below. The more the better.
Until next time.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
I had no prior knowledge of the Charles Portis novel, or the John Wayne movie (and subsequent sequel).
All I thought was, "finally a tough-as-nails Western!"
Here's the movie poster.
And here we have Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn (Jeff Bridges).
A lot of people I've spoken to about Jeff in this movie complain they can't understand a word he says, and I can see where they're coming from.
My suggestion is, read the novel. Not only will you finally recall what he was talking about but you'll get a much broader, in-depth understanding of the story.
This movie was released around Oscar time and I've also heard people say Jeff did this movie to try to copy what John Wayne did when he started in the original true grit. That is, win an Oscar.
I'm not too sure about that. I just enjoyed the movie, and as always, enjoyed seeing Jeff up on the big screen.
Here's John Wayne as Rooster. He would subsequently appear in the sequel, titled "Rooster."
The story of the movie is that Mattie Ross (Hailee Stanfield) has lost her father to murder. As such she hires Rooster to help track down her father's killer and assist her in bringing him to justice.
Hailee is in a majority of the scenes and she nails the part perfectly. I look forward to seeing Hailee in many more films soon.
Also along for the ride is Texas Ranger Le Boeuf (Matt Damon). Le Boeuf is a fun character with a lot of heart.
It's also fun hearing his name spoken as it's pronounced "Le Beef."
As usual you can't really go wrong with Matt Damon in a movie. In fact I can't seem to recall seeing him in a bad movie yet.....
And of course there's the killer Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin).
Throughout the film we're lead to believe Tom Chaney is a drunk, and a coward. So when he turns up it's fun to watch his interaction with the rest of the cast.
Especially Mattie Ross.
I'm glad Josh Brolin was cast as Tom Chaney as the last film I saw him in was another Western movie, Jonah Hex.
In True Grit we're given a chance to see what Josh Brolin could have brought to the Jonah Hex movie.
Sigh. Oh well.
Westerns aren't known for being all that popular these days, especially with a female audience. A big plus for this movie though was Hailee Stanfield. My wife saw the trailer and told me she wanted to see this movie purely for Hailee and the character of Mattie Ross.
Upon seeing the film my wife told me she enjoyed it, except for the song right at the start of the end credits.
I'm inclined to agree with her.
I've now seen this movie twice. And read the novel. Prior to seeing this movie I highly suggest you read the novel. Not only is it a superb read but it makes the movie so much better.
I give this movie 8 1/2 out of 10.
Please feel free to leave a comment below. I welcome all comments.
Until next time!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Previously though Raoul had appeared in Highlander 3, Silk Stalkings, and doing the voice-over work of Namor the Sub-Mariner in the Avengers cartoon.
Raoul can be seen in the upcoming Harrison Ford/Daniel Craig movie, Cowboys And Aliens.
It is with great honour that I present to you my interview with Raoul Trujillo.
1. Which do you prefer, TV or film?
2. How did you get involved in voice-over work for The Avengers?
In my Toronto days, I did a lot of voice over work for animation. Love it. Funny though, haven't done any for Hollywood. Seems that they wait for you to be a huge star then they approach you.
3. How did you prepare for the voice-over role as Namor?
I let directors and producers guide me. No prep really. You see the character on screen and just give him a voice.
4. What was it like filming Apocalypto?
Brutal! Probably one of the hardest shoots I've ever done. Make up and hair for 5 hours ready for 7;30 am then on set shooting for 12 hours. As you can figure, not much time to sleep. Lots of injuries and bracing up and just doing it. Glad it was over after 10 months but enjoyed the results immensely.
5. Mel certainly loves his work behind the camera. What was he really like?
Mel is a very intelligent man, witty and sharp and quick with it. I enjoyed hanging with him personally. Very interesting guy with all kinds of interests in history, esoterica and alternative worldviews. He's a very generous director and no doubt understands his craft as director, storyteller and actor. I'd work with him again but ask for way more money for the suffering. He's a bit of a dictator, but he suffers along with everyone.
6. Please tell us about your involvement with Highlander 3: The Sorcerer.
Really one of my faves to shoot. Riding horses in the snow outside of Montreal and dressing up as a badass warrior immortal. What's there not to like. Fun shot too, shot like a music video and great city to be in, Montreal.
7. What can you tell us about Cowboys And Aliens?
It'll be a genre totally new to film; a western with cowboys, Indians and aliens. Visually way cool. Shot in my homeland of New Mexico. It'll be good fun and visually stunning. I've got a 3 picture deal with Dreamworks and look forward to 2 more for sure.
8. What would be a dream role for you?
I like sci fi and mythological roles so much cuz they're fun, but I guess to do a romantic lead in a comedy or drama but contemporary film would be a real change for me. hard to say really. I feel I've been very fortunate as an actor to do what i have done with directors that i have worked with so far. Maybe to play an iconic character like Sitting Bull opposite Charleze Theron directed by Edward Zwick????!!!
9. What’s coming up next?
Moby Dick should be released this late spring opposite William Hurt and Ethan Hawke. I play Queequeg. Neverland, a prequel to Peter Pan comes out in June opposite Rhys Ifans, directed by my fave sci fi director Nick Willing, who wrote and directed me in , Tin Man.
10. Is there an event or charity you would like to bring to my reader’s attention?
Saving the American Wildhorse.com. It's a cause very dear to me. Just finished narrating and appearing in a documentary about it. You can see it on youtube, Saving the american wild horse.
For more info on Raoul check out his website at www.raoultrujilloinfo.com/
And if you liked this interview please leave a comment below.
Until next time!
There are times when I'm interviewing someone and there's just a certain something about them which makes me think, "this person is five-seconds away from making it big."
I get this impression with Krizia.
Krizia was very nice in her emails to me. Very helpful.
And very patient.
It is my honour to bring to you my interview with Krizia Bajos.
1. How did you get involved with How I Met Your Mother?
I was fortunate enough to sign with an agent the first week I was in LA and they had been sending me out pretty often. About 5 months in is when I was called to audition for the show (which was in it's first season and hadn't aired a single episode yet). So I had no idea what the show was about or the tone for that matter, but it was one of my favorite experiences.
2. What was it like working on the show?
Fascinating. I had never been on a sitcom before and I absolutely love comedy so I was in heaven. I spent more time on set watching the actors during the rehearsal of scenes I was not a part of than in my trailer (which was another first for me so that was neat). Being so new, wide-eyed, and bushy-tailed, I got the jitters when I met the infamous Doogie Howser M.D. and the girl from Band Camp. The others were welcoming and warm though at that time I didn't know their names. The experience of that entire week set the tone for my adventure here in LA. The collaboration between the on camera and off camera crew was lovely to observe; I enjoyed watching them 'play' and wished that someday I too could have a gig as cool as this one. Funnily enough, that episode now seems to be one of the popular ones from the show so I'm pretty stoked to be a teensy, weensy, coconut bra'd part of the HIMYM series.
3. Can you please tell us about work you’ve done outside of TV and film?
hmmm... only if you're talking in the arena of entertainment: I started on stage, first at the local theater then through my school. I also had the uber glamourous position of a tool girl- literally- a spokesmodel for Makita in 2008. I've hosted events, been the voice of supermodelquins, modeled for furniture companies and perfume atomizers. If that's not all random enough... My jobs outside the realm of entertainment (although it's perception, really) were: a Steve Madden salesperson, waitress, beer tub girl, auto glass sales rep, plastic surgeon's assistant, cocktail server, bartender, a girl singing happy birthday while popping out of a cake, car test driver for charity, Pirelli Girl, production assistant, Abercrombie & Fitch salesgirl, host, and wine fairy, are amongst the few.
4. As we don’t get the show here in Australia, can you please tell us a bit about Ocean Avenue?
Ocean Avenue was a telenovela/soap opera filmed in Miami. I believe I was 18 when I started on that show and was thrilled to have a pseudo-steady paycheck and on-camera work. I'll have to be honest with you: I don't know the main story line all too well... all I remember was that I was an assistant to the head honchos at the 'fashion house', friends with the popular girl at school, and my name was Noelle. Oh yeah, and I said things like "Here's to being single, seeing double, and sleeping triple." Yup.
5. Balls To The Wall certainly is an interesting title for a movie. What’s it about?
It's as nutty (no pun intended) as the title leads you to believe. The goofier half of an adorable, recently engaged, young couple would like to give his bride the wedding of her dreams but doesn't have the funds to back it up. He starts moonlighting as an exotic dancer and of course, hilarity ensues. I play Anne: one of his biggest fans... that's all I can say about that.
6. Is there a particular charity or event you’d like to bring to my reader’s attention?
I recently attended an event for Children Awaiting Parents and they really touched my heart. They specifically help kids who are harder to place (older, minorities, have mental/physical/emotional problems, or sibling groups) and find foster or adoptive families. Any donation, time or even just consciousness would be greatly appreciated. These kids are the future, after all. www.CAPbook.org
I want to thank Krizia for her time on this interview.
I hope my readers' enjoyed it, as I sure did.
I ask that my readers' extend their support for Krizia's future endeavours. I'm sure they'll be great.
Please feel free to leave a comment below.
Until next time!