Saturday, October 16, 2010

Interview with... Erica Shaffer

I would like to introduce you to a genuinely nice actress.
That is, of course, unless you already know of her. I'm talking about Erica Shaffer.

My reasons for stating Erica's nice aren't just to blow smoke. It's for this reason;
I conducted the interview below via email, however for some reason the interview responses failed to come back to my inbox.
Erica sent me, in the post, a copy of the interview, along with a handwritten note explaining the problem, as well as a personalised autographed photo.
Neat, hey?

I hope you enjoy my interview with Erica Shaffer.

1. You've worked on some of TV's biggest hits. That must be a big kick for you as an actor.

Yes it is fun! I have been a working actress in Los Angeles for a long time and have worked with so many incredible people. Every show has it's own unique quality. I often run into the same crew member on different shows. The crew is the reason we "look good."

2. What was it like on the set of The New Adventures Of Old Christine?

Lots of fun! Julia Louis Dreyfus is wonderful. She is very supportive and a wondering inspiration to be around.

3. What do you prefer, comedy or drama?

I used get cast in dramas. So I would have to say that I lean towards drama. Comedy is a lot of fun and I really enjoy it. I am currently shooting a comedy (film) with Dane Cook. The film is called Detention, written and directed by Joseph Kahn.

4. Are live studio audiences daunting for you as an actor?

Yes it is daunting. The energy is just like doing theatre. I grew up doing theatre so when I work on a sitcom I really enjoy the immediate response of a live audience. It's always a wild and crazy energy on a sitcom sound stage!

5. May I say, you look like Patricia Heaton (Everyone Loves Raymond). Have you had people approach you in this regard?

Yes I do get that all the time. I am often told that I look like Julianne Moore too. When people meet me in person however they don't think I am either of those women but they so tell me that I resemble both of them. I am flattered by the references. They are both powerful actresses!!!

6. What would be a dream role for you?

I would love to do a period piece. I am a huge fan of Shakespeare. I would absolutely love to do a film adaptation of a Shakespearean play.

7. Is there a charity or event you would like to bring to my readers' attention?

I support the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). I think it's very important that people adopt animals... Please don't buy them. Buying pets supports puppy and kitty mills. There are so many wonderful animals, in shelters, who need loving homes.

I want to thank Erica very much for all her time and effort in getting this interview to fruition. I highly recommend you check out Erica's website at

Until next time, let me know what you think of this interview...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


In 2000 Fox Studios released this movie under the direction of Bryan Singer. For Fox it was a bit of a gamble, but it certainly paid off dividends.
Based on the Marvel Comics comic book, The Uncanny X-Men, this movie centres on Professor Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters. Or in lamens terms, mutants who protect humans from other mutants.
"Trust a few. Fear the rest" is the slogan, and it relates to Magneto and the Brotherhood Of Mutants...
Here's the trailer

Here's the movie poster.
I remember seeing this poster right before heading into an advance screening. I hadn't heard anything about the movie before seeing it on the big screen, although I was a big fan of the comics.
I remember thinking that it was a pretty snazzy movie poster.

Acting as a pathway character for audiences to step into the X-Men world is Logan (Hugh Jackman). Maybe this is what made him so popular as straight away he was the central character audiences bonded with in order to sit-through, and enjoy the movie.

Maybe it's just because Hugh Jackman beefed up for the role and the women went crazy.
And the teenage boys all thought Wolverine was cool.

He's first scene certainly is memorable.

Here we have Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Patrick Stewart was best known for Star Trek: The Next Generation, and now it's safe to say he's better known for the X-Men movies.

Portraying Xavier's nemesis and one-time friend Eric Lensherr is Sir Ian McKellen.
So far Bryan Singer has roped in some pretty talented actors for this long shot of a movie...

On to the Professor's X-Men we have Cyclops (James Marsden).
If you're a fan of Cyclops then relish each scene he's in. Subsequent X-Men movies show Cyclops doing less and less....

Yep, that's right James. After this film you can phone it in for the rest....

Playing the role of Cyclops' girlfriend, Dr Jean Grey is model/actress Famke Janssen.
I was never really a fan of Jean in the comics however Famke made her an interesting character.

Then there's Storm (Halle Berry).
Some fans and critics have been harsh of their run-down of Halle's performance in this movie. I can see why.
Still, she's enjoyable to see on the big screen.

Running alongside Logan/Wolverine as a central character the audiences can follow into the X-Men world is Rogue (Anna Paquin).
I didn't enjoy Anna's performances in the sequels however I have to say that in the original movie she was pretty good.
Sorry I couldn't find any images of her from the first X-Men movie.

Here we have Eric Lensherr leading the Brotherhood of Mutants as the master of magnetism, Magneto.
It might sound stupid but the script is (to this day) incredible, and Sir Ian McKellen has plenty to work with to make it realistic and enjoyable.

Now for a run-down of the Brotherhood of Mutants.
As the shape-changing Mystique we have Rebecca Romijn.

Here's Toad (Ray Park of the Star Wars movies).
I think that there's been no other mutant in the X-Men movies as disgusting as Toad. Certainly he looks grotesque.
He's also a very fun character.

Then we have Logan's long-time enemy Sabretooth (Tyler Mane).
Interestingly enough (for the fans) Wolverine doesn't recognise Sabretooth, despite the Wolverine spin-off movie showing they knew each other previously.

Tyler Mane didn't return as Sabretooth for the spin-off movie.
I wonder how he feels about that?

Bringing in the human/political element to the story is Senator Kelly (Bruce Davison).
Senator Kelly's involvement in the story makes for some interesting and debatable scenarios.

Here we have Professor X using the mutant-tracking device Cerebro.
Personally I think he's just using it to see what his X-Men look like out of their uniforms...


Yes, very sexy there Storm.

Actually, maybe not.

Here we go. Rogue before she got all trashy-looking in the sequels.

And lets not forgot Mystique.
All I'll say is, both John Stamos and Jerry O'Connell are lucky men indeed.

I'd like to point out that Hugh Jackman got the role days before shooting commenced.
The original actor for the role had to pull out due to his commitment to Mission: Impossible 2.

Yep, that's right. Dougray Scott was originally meant to play Wolverine.
I'd love to see some images or footage of Dougray in the Wolverine get-up. I wonder if it exists?

Anyway. Even with the movie being released in 2000 it still holds up against the test of time.
It's fun, it's enjoyable, and it's intelligent enough to not be a run-of-the-mill action film.

Some "fans" will tell you that Fox Studios has ruined the X-Men movies as they haven't stuck to the comic book history. There's some X-Men in here which shouldn't be in here. And there's some characters who's age isn't in line with that of the comic book.
To those people I say, get over it.
Fox Studios is a business. Like any other movie studio they're there to make money. So it's little wonder they opted for characters the movie-going audience most want to see.

If you don't like it go hide in your parents' basement.

I give the movie 7 out of 10. There's some special effects which you can point out as being done on computer, and some one-liners which are a little silly.
All up though it's an enjoyable movie.

Until next time!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mission: Impossible 3

Say what you want about Tom Cruise, but when he wants to get some cool actors together for a Mission: Impossible movie, you know he can do it.
Honestly the cast is really what makes this movie awesome. And it is just that, awesome.
Here's the trailer.

Whilst I'm mentioning how good the cast is, it's a disappointment that the story is a bit of a dud.

Here's the movie poster.
It's standard, but still it's a pretty cool one; seeing as it's 4 years old as I type this, and I still like the look of it.

As you can no doubt guess, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is back, accepting a mission which is once again impossible.
Tom Cruise knows what he has to bring to these movies to make them enjoyable and he doesn't disappoint for his third outing.

Luther (Ving Rhames) also returns for his third impossible mission, and again he's still as cool as he was in the first movie.
Until the very end scene when he arches his back, flipping his arms up in the air to hug Ethan Hunt. Boy did he look foolish, and boy did I crack up with laughter.

Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the resident bad guy for this movie.
I'd only seen Hoffman once before this movie, which was in Owning Mahowny. As such I was expecting big things from him.
What I got from him was pretty much what I expected.

Keri Russell makes an appearance as an MIF agent, and she's pretty good.
She's the catalyst to the plot.

Although looking like this, how can anyone follow the plot?

Which brings me to my next point.
Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a MIF agent working alongside Ethan Hunt....

But he also looks a lot like Musgrave (Billy Crudup).
Now when two actors look alike in a movie it always messes things up for me. I quickly lose track of the plot and spend the rest of the movie trying to catch up.
That being said both Declan and Musgrave have some pretty great scenes.

Rounding out the list of MIF agents is Zhen (Maggie Q).

Yep. I certainly lost the plot once she appeared on screen.....

Honestly, with all these gorgeous women running around, who can get any work get done?
Maybe that's the impossible mission in this movie? Try to do your job without getting distracted.

For me it'd be a quick fail.

Theodore Brassel (Laurence Fishburne) is also along for the ride.
I should probably mention the plot for this movie, shouldn't I?
Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is looking for a device known as a The Rabbit's Foot. We don't actually ever get to see The Rabbit's Foot, but that's beside the point.

Benji (Simon Pegg) is assisting the MIF agents in locating The Rabbit's Foot, and keeping track of Owen Davian.
Ricky Gervais was originally going to play the role of Benji but had to pull out due to scheduling conflicts. Personally I think Simon Pegg does a great job here.

There's also a subplot about Ethan Hunt being retired, and married to Julia (Michelle Monaghan). This all feels standard though as Julia is soon used as a hostage for Owen Davian to get what The Rabbit's Foot.
Again, not that we ever see The Rabbit's Foot.

For all I know The Rabbit's Foot could look like this!

Even still, don't let the relatively weak storyline stop you from watching what is, at the end of the day, a very cool movie.
Too bad the theme song reminds me of my high school music teacher, who played the Mission: Impossible theme music as often as humanly possible. Urgh.

My rating is 8 out of 10.
Please let me know what you think.
Until next time.