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MITNG speaks with actor Damion Poitier about life and becoming Thanos

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jLamarWhere are you from? Age? Religious affiliation? Who are you signed with?

DamionPoitier_tag_altI was born in Philadelphia spent my early childhood there then moved to Massachusetts (I choose not to reveal my age publicly) I am a Universalists (I believe all faiths are valid and you must choose the path to the creator that works for you… even if that is No path at all). I am represented by IDEAL Talent, Ryan Hayden

jLamarWhen and where, did your love affair with film, television and stunts begin? What were some of your early gigs, that lit the fire?

DamionPoitier_tag_altI was four when I saw a man that looked Just like my Grandfather on television and I asked my mother what he was doing. She explained that he was an Actor and I caught the bug immediately. I have Loved fantastical stories in all mediums as long as I can remember. Being able to see them enacted Live and realizing I could be a part of that was a Huge motivational force in my life. I began performing one man shows as early as second grade, but my first professional gig (I believe) was performing as a scare actor at Spooky World. My First on film gig was as a Stunt Performer on the Short lived television series Sheena Queen of the Jungle.

jLamarWhose been the biggest influence on your life creatively?

DamionPoitier_tag_altThere have been so many Influences on my life creatively it would be hard to pinpoint just one. Certainly Sidney Poitier, George Lucas, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Ralph Bakshi, R.A.Salvatore, Larry Elmore… This could go on for a while lol

jLamarYou’ve played a lot of roles, are there some you enjoy better than others and why?

DamionPoitier_tag_altThere are so many ways and parts to delivering a story Just being a part of the process is always thrilling. When it comes to roles I definitely enjoy playing Superlative Characters be they Protagonists or Antagonists. Heavy costuming (Prosthesis etc.) allows for a Physical difference in Viewpoint that I feel adds to finding a character. I do not favor Stereotypical characters (That I qualify for) as I believe it is too often the only portrayals I (and actors similar to myself) am (are) considered for and not reflective of my life experience or that of many of my peers.

jLamarYou worked on the indie science fiction thriller Hunter Prey directed by Sandy Collora of “Batman:Dead End” fame. Could you tell us a little about that and how hard or easy, it was being in full latex in the desert?

DamionPoitier_tag_altHunter Prey is one of those amazing experiences I am immensely happy I participated but really feel no need to be involved in the like again. It was a tough 407817_10151301988439455_1202469952_nshoot (shoestring budget, Small crew, ambitious schedule and production goals). Learned many of the Trials and Tribulations of independent genre film making (lessons that have both helped and hindered my current efforts). I formed a few lifelong friendships and also learned more about some friends than I need to know lol. Fortunately we shot early in the morning and or late afternoon so I was rarely attempting to perform in the heat of the day. On the days I was in the Prosthesis it was easily a 12-16 hour day and the makeup was designed with no nose holes so it was… not easy. Add a full suit of fiberglass armor to it and you have a Hell of an easy time finding the motivation to play a battered solider seeking to end a conflict as succinctly as possible.

jLamarHas being a double threat benefited you in Hollywood?

DamionPoitier_tag_altYes and No, There is a large benefit to fitting in a pre-established category in this business. We have all heard the phrase “Give me the same but different.” and it is not difficult to see the influence it has on the majority of the entertainment options we are offered these days (though I dare say there are more diverse options happening more frequently as the amount of available content continues to increase). When you buck those classifications it becomes a little more tricky to establish yourself, especially if you have a specific manner in which you wish to be seen.

jLamarThings are changing in Hollywood with regards to putting more people of color in lead roles on television. Shows like Almost Human, Sleepy Hollow and Scandal, all see people of color in lead roles and playing people of importance. Do you feel as though a shift is occurring?

DamionPoitier_tag_altMost definitely and a welcome one it is. I feel we can only benefit from having our entertainment better reflect the diversity of the world we see outside our doors.

jLamarZoe Bell is an example of a stunt actor whose done really well for herself. But she seems different than regular actors. More humble? More grounded? Is it because she’s had to do the dirty work for so long?
DamionPoitier_tag_altI think there is an aspect of devoted Martial Arts Study that can have a very grounding effect upon a performer. There is something about having a solid grasp of your capabilities and a willingness to push your limits, that can give you a different perspective on being in this business.

jLamarYou had the awesome opportunity to play Thanos through mo-capture, who appears at the end of The Avengers. Could you tell us about that process? I mean how does one go about becoming the face of one of Marvels most infamous villains and are you returning?

DamionPoitier_tag_altIt was actually Prosthesis and a costume with the Armor and Make up. Designed and constructed by Jose Fernandez and Ironhead Studios then Masterfully applied by Thom Floutz, with some digital augmentation. There were a few Make Up and Costuming sessions (Including the first one where I found out what role I was actually playing MIND=BLOWN) and a single shoot day for the sequence at the end of Avengers. I have been a Comic reader since I can remember ( I began hard core collecting when I was 9) and was Very familiar with the character. That being said it wasn’t too difficult to place my hand down, stand up, turn around and Smile “in Character”. Marvel would be the place to ask any and all questions about any future I may have in Purple…

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jLamarCan you tell us about any close calls you’ve had while on set?

DamionPoitier_tag_altI have been extremely fortunate in my career. Aside from a few minor instances (and resultant injuries) I haven’t really had any “close calls” of note.

jLamarCould you give us a run down of the type of training you’ve received?

DamionPoitier_tag_altAs a child I actively pursued Theater all throughout grade school and during the summers I attended the Charles River Creative Arts Program then the associated International Arts Program in Massachusetts. I am currently developing and refining at PlayHouse West in North Hollywood. My physical training includes primarily Tae Kwon Do, a smattering of other Martial Arts styles. Some gymnastics and a passing familiarity with other acrobatic movements. I was taught ground pounding and introduced to the amazing world of Stunt work in Florida by Glenn Wilder, Phi-Long Nguyen, Dave Kramer, Tyrone Wiggins, Micheal Li, James Sang Lee, and Jeff Pruitt (and that was Before I moved to Los Angeles).

jLamarAre there projects you are working on that you can talk about?

DamionPoitier_tag_alt I am Currently working on PayDay The Web Series, and PayDay 2 the video game. I did several voices on The Lost Planet 3 Game. I play Mr. Bennett in Agent 88 which was the highest earning Web pilot to be funded on Kickstarter I can be seen on Real Husbands of Hollywood season 2 (I believe I have at least one episode that has yet to air)as David Ty’Various Perrious the third. I show up in The upcoming Sitcom Surviving Jack (Starring Chris Meloni). That’s all I can think of that I can talk about…

jLamarYou frequent the San Diego Comic Con can fans expect to see you there next year?

DamionPoitier_tag_altWhy yes… I’m sure they can ;)

jLamarSidney Poitier…any relation?

DamionPoitier_tag_altWe are still trying to figure out the specifics but our Ancestors definitely hail from the same Island…

jLamarWhat do you enjoy doing when your not working?

DamionPoitier_tag_altSpending time with the Family. Physical training. Researching the background for one of the Many various projects I am working at. Working at said projects. Consuming as much Genre as I can find time for.

jLamarWhat’s the best bit of advice an actor has given you on a set?

DamionPoitier_tag_altTake your time until directed otherwise. Be in the moment. Do the Work. Walk away.

jLamarCan I borrow ten bucks?

DamionPoitier_tag_altNot much into “lending” these days but if you are in that much of a spot I could probably spare it ;)

 

It’s always a pleasure catching up with old friends. MITNG would like to take this time out to thank Damion for chatting with us. As always if you’d like to know more about Damion and his many endeavors feel free to click the links below. Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!

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Links to Damion Poitier

Blink or you’ll miss Atoms for Peace’s new video Before Your Very Eyes

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Thom Yorke (Radiohead, Atoms for Peace), tweeted this morning: “Aaah Blinkin’ Hollywood :) Thanks to everyone who came last night. The message was to all those who attended their concert last night at the Hollywood Bowl, but it’s also giving us a clue as to how to watch this video. I tried it and I can say, that it smooths out an otherwise glitchy video. The question is “how fucking long can you blink your eyes without them getting really tired?” The answer is five seconds…I tried it and at a certain point, I felt like I had no control over my eye lids anymore. Like a person with nerve damage. Then the effect got harder and harder to see, so I quit, but I know you, our readers, have much more stamina than me. So, let me know how it goes. Remember…don’t hurt yourselves, it’s not worth it.

ATOMS FOR PEACE WEBSITE

 

Will 2014 be the new Season of the Witch

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The answer is yes.. If you’ve been watching any of the new tv shows like Sleepy Hollow, American Horror Story or have heard news of Maleficent or Into The Woods, than you know that Witches are the new Vampires, but how did it get to this point? We were burning them two hundred years ago. How has something so steeped in mystery and misunderstanding become the new face of Hollywood?

This is when I tell you that we at MITNG, in our relentless need to get this kind of information to you, spoke to one of the leading experts in the field of the Occult and Demonology, SORRY….I had promised Craig and them…wait, what? What I meant to say is, that I did some web surfing, in a vague effort, to help you understand these purveyors of magic, just a little bit better and how they have and always will be, ripe for the picking in Hollywood.

As far back as I can remember, the world has always been fascinated by witches. The female witches in particular, represent a level of independence, that most men found threatening and alluring, although they would never admit it. The first record of a witch goes as far back as the Old Testament. Although what I’m about to tell you was supposedly omitted from the Bible years ago, it still stands as one of the first records. The story goes like this…in the beginning when G-d had already created man and he was lonely, he created a woman. Most of us know this woman to be Eve, but did you know there was a prototype? According to Jewish myth, the first woman was a very strong and independent succubus/witch, named Lilith and unlike Eve, Lilith wasn’t created from the rib of Adam, but was made from dirt, filth and sediment and not pure dust, to be exact, but for all intents and purposes, she was the physical manifestation of “his equal”. So when G-d said she had to obey Adam and have kids for him and yadda yadda yadda…Lilith wasn’t having any of it and ran away.

(Via. Gnosis.org)

Adam complained to God: ‘I have been deserted by my helpmeet’ God at once sent the angels Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof tolilith-by-DonatelloDrago3 fetch Lilith back. They found her beside the Red Sea, a region abounding in lascivious demons, to whom she bore lilim at the rate of more than one hundred a day. ‘Return to Adam without delay,’ the angels said, `or we will drown you!’ Lilith asked: `How can I return to Adam and live like an honest housewife, after my stay beside the Red Sea?? ‘It will be death to refuse!’ they answered. `How can I die,’ Lilith asked again, `when God has ordered me to take charge of all newborn children: boys up to the eighth day of life, that of circumcision; girls up to the twentieth day. None the less, if ever I see your three names or likenesses displayed in an amulet above a newborn child, I promise to spare it.’ To this they agreed; but God punished Lilith by making one hundred of her demon children perish daily; [5] and if she could not destroy a human infant, because of the angelic amulet, she would spitefully turn against her own. [6]

Whether fact or fiction, it’s a pretty ballsy move, to place a woman in direct defiance of G-d, especially in those days. I like to think the scribes were living vicariously through Lilith, thus they were able to anonymously speak out about their feelings toward the church by making her the embodiment of evil. This incarnation laid the ground work for women to look to her for guidance

Moving on.

For the true historians…forgive me if I jump around a bit. I’m not an expert.

The witch would undergo several manifestations before becoming the “wack-job on a broom stick” version, we know today. I think it’s pretty safe to say that that image of her came along when witch hysteria was taking hold of England. A lot of that had to do with the Black Death (1348-1350). That sickness wiped out millions, so when people began questioning why, many began providing their own answers. This and the Spanish Inquisition of 1478, created fertile ground for the persecution of practices deemed to be Satanic. There were even some who worshiped the same God, who were being persecuted, and had to flee. Whether true witchcraft was even being practiced during those times, I don’t know, but there are reports.

One such report comes from Ireland, Kilkenny to be exact. Dame Alice Kyteler (1280 – later than 1325) was the earliest known person to ever be formerly accused of witchcraft. Her, so called crime, predated the Black Death and the Inquisition, so perhaps she was legit. We may never know, because she skipped town before she could be formally tried, but her gimp…oh that poor bastard, was tortured until he confessed he was a witch and served under Alice. He was burned at the stake. She was also accused of money lending , adultery and murder so there’s a lot going on in this saucy tale. Behold.

The case was brought in 1324 before the then Bishop of Ossory, Richard de Ledrede, an English Franciscan friar. The bishop wrote to the Chancellor of Ireland, Roger Utlagh ( Outlaw ), to have her arrested but this rebounded on him, the Chancellor being her first brother-in-law. In fact de Ledrede himself was jailed by Sir Arnold le Poer, the Seneschal of Kilkenny, her fourth brother-in-law. John Darcy, the Lord Chief Justice traveled to Kilkenny to investigate the events and vindicated the Bishop, who again attempted to have Dame Alice arrested.

After some months of stalemate, one of her servants, Petronella de Meath, was tortured, and confessed to witchcraft, implicating Kyteler. After this, Kyteler was condemned. She fled the country, presumably to the Kingdom of England. She appears no further in contemporary records. The Bishop continued to pursue her lower-class followers, bringing charges of witchcraft against them. Petronella de Meath was flogged and burned at the stake on November 3, 1324. Her daughter apparently joined Kyteler in England. Kyteler’s son William Outlaw was also accused inter alia, of heresy, usury, perjury, adultery, and clericide. After “recanting”, William escaped relatively lightly, being ordered to hear three masses a day for a year and to feed the poor.

This was one of the first European witchcraft cases and followed closely on the election of Pope John XXII (1316–1334), to the Papacy. In 1320, he had witchcraft added to the list of heresies.

Then of course there were the Salem Witch trials of (1692-1693) and we all know how that went down, but I think Salem is  where most American’s formulated their opinions about what witches were and unfortunately, most of those opinions were wrong. With all religion comes paranoia, the Puritans having fled England to practice their faith in the new lands, were all alone in this strange world, so new ideas had to be formed to keep the flock from straying and when anyone is given something precious, especially a child, and that thing promises power, sometimes it’s too good to pass up. Things like knowing the future or beguiling an infatuation, is a time honored tradition and is primarily what witches were used for. This dates back to the Oracles at the Temple of Delphi. Course they didn’t call them witches then, in fact they became useful in swaying political decisions…you see where I’m going? We all see what we want to see, but what the fuck does all this have to do with witches in Hollywood. Nothing…I just thought you might like to know a little history and now for the good stuff.

There are two men, I ordain, for being solely responsible for ushering in the era of the witch into Hollywood and the effects can be felt to this walt-disneyday. Walt Disney (pictured left) and Victor Fleming (lower right). Walt Disney, as you all know, gave animation a new face with films like Snow White,Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Victor Fleming directed the one film that canonized the broom and pointy hat, The Wizard of Oz. Of course you can’t mention these artist without mentioning the source material Oz (L.Frank Baum) and…well pretty much every Disney film produced in the late thirties and early forties, The Brother’s Grimm.

Victor Fleming, circa 1933. Courtesy Photofest.  These two “single-handedly”, made witches cool. They gave them a face, some likable some, not so much, but they were always memorable and seemed to be what audiences wanted. Course, no witch film was ever complete back in the days, without a song or two in the film, but films with music in them was what Hollywood was serving up for a very very long time. The witches on film today tend to be a bit more serious. They’ve gotten rid of the striped socks and replaced them with fishnet stockings in most cases and tube socks and sneakers, in others.

In 1964 television brought the cauldron to tv with Bewitched starring Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York, until March 25, 1972, when the show was cancelled. In the seventies directors touched, ever so lightly, on the witch genre, but at a time when horror was all anyone wanted to see. So we got films like Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” and Daughter’s of Satan (1972). This new look on the craft was exploitative to say the least. Most of these films back then contained young women dancing around a fire naked or being tortured sexually by church inquisitors. No more song and dance and no more yellow brick roads, the witch had a new look or at least appeared to have a new look and it wasn’t all good. That is, until the eighties.

To keep up with the magic, film directors like Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg, were throwing down, directors needed to reinvent this genre again. Offer up some magic, but with a real story and real consequences. The 80′s saw witch films such as The Witches of Eastwick, Warlock (1989), Spellbinder (1988), The Little Mermaid (1989) and Teen Witch (1989).

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It’s important for you to notice that because these films most certainly involved women, these films could easily be referenced as the state of women at the time the film was made. Witches of Eastwick found three powerful witches (Susan Surandon, CHER and Michelle Pfeiffer) set upon by this demon played by Jack Nicholson. During this time you had films like Working Girl…get it? I don’t know, I was trying to make a connection, but failed miserably. However, the witches in the 80′s are getting sexy again, well…there was never a time when witches weren’t sexy, but you get my meaning. What’s also funny, but obvious, is that most of these films are watched by women.

You see I’ve always said women are the Earth Mother’s. Their ability to create life, connects them “like no other” with the spirit world. Divination, clairvoyance, astrology, incantation, are mostly practiced by women. Sure, there are a few warlocks out there, but most of the problems that are called upon by a witch to cure, usually entails that of a feminine nature. Mind you, this is neither good nor bad, but something I noticed hanging with Wiccan’s ( a pagan religion introduced in 1954) and working at a mineral store, in Orlando Florida. We all want to connect with something higher, it just so happens that higher seems too high at times and sometimes it’s easier to connect with something tangible, that’s not to say witchcraft doesn’t have it’s share of the fantastic, but so does the Bible. We do what works.

So let’s fast forward the chronometer pass the 90′s, past movies like  Hocus Pocus (1993) , Witches (1990, a brilliant film I must say)  and The Craft (1996) to the 2000′,s where we see the rise of the vampire. Stick with me, I am going somewhere with this.

If there was ever a period in time when the witch in Hollywood most certainly saw it’s imminent defeat, it was in the early 2000′s. Films like Queen of the Damned (2002), Day Watch (2006), Let the Right One In (2008), Twilight series, Underworld and True Blood, were all the rage and virtually wiped out any memory that witches even existed. Sure you’d could still find books being written about them, but for the most part Hollywood wasn’t having it, the vampires were too strong. It seemed adult and tween novelist, were doing any and everything to make these bloodsuckers more likeable or sexy. But in 2005-2010ish, a strange thing started to happen on shows like True Blood, the story took a  turn for the whimsy. It began incorporating/crossingover, by having the vampires battling witches. Around that same time the Bill Willingham book FABLES was being considered for adaptation by ABC. A hugely popular book that chronicles the lives of real life fable character’s who had been exiled from their home world. The story’s central character’s are witches from children’s story, given a modern twist of course. So now, nearly a decade later, A shift starts to occur and the witches are slowly coming back.  ABC, unable to secure the rights to FABLES, creates their own version of the story and calls it Once Upon A Time (not to be confused with Once Upon a Time: In Wonderland, but kinda sorta the same) also due out this fall. That show is followed by another fairly-like show Grimm and just like that…they are back…and now, in the year of our Lord 2013, we have shows like American Horror Story: Coven, Sleepy Hollow, Witches of East End, Oz the Great and Powerful, Hansel and Gretel, Disney’s Maleficent (based on the character from Sleeping Beauty), Snow White and The Huntsman, PIXAR’S Frozen, Into the Woods (based on the Broadway musical) so on and so forth.

In hindsight they only took a break for about ten years before reemerging, but this emergence happens to be with great fervor. It’s like something snapped, cause people are loving themselves some witches right now, and that’s fine, they do have a history of doing well in the cinema, but will they be portrayed in the right light? I’m optimistic, especially with the level of writing coming out of the studios these days and rightfully so. They do exist and have existed for thousands of years. They even live near you. No, they aren’t wearing anything special, outside of a five star pendant of quartz wand around their neck, but they are today’s practicing modern witches. I don’t know enough about them to really go depth about what their lifestyle entails, but there’s enough of them in the U.S. alone, to warrant a certain level of respect when portraying them on screen. I’ve visited places like Salem, Mass, Cassadega, Fla and Sedona, Az and I’ve seen the covens and they are good people and are respectable followers of Earth magic.

Alright some of the shows like AHS and Sleepy Hollow do tend to do a good job of not making them completely cheesy and let’s be honest, I don’t think America’s gonna buy into that any more, but there are still some movies/tv shows, that shouldn’t be made, but we will have to wait and see if I’m right. Nevertheless, expect to see a lot of them in the near future cause something tells me they aren’t going away anytime soon.



 

Checkout this Red Band trailer for Neighbors starring Seth Rogan and Zac Efron

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Not to be confused with the 1981 Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd film, Neighbors is a crude and brutal look at what happens when a fraternity movies in right next door to your castle. This red band trailer has got some chuckle moments, plus I trust the hell out of Seth Rogen when it comes to comedy, the guy can’t loose. Oh and yeah, that kid from high school musical is in it too. It’s funny that Universal would feel the need to debut this trailer so far from it’s release date, but who am I.

Neighbors stars Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
The film will be coming to theaters next summer, on May 9, 2014.

 

Hit Girl owns Kick Ass 2

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Just left Kick Ass 2, and I’m feeling really good about using my AMC free pass on this film. It’s been little over three years since director Matthew Vaughn (X-Men:Days of Future Past), spit out the surprisingly bloody debut “Kick Ass” into theaters. That film, based on the Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. comic book, ushered in a generation of superhero films that begged the question “what if superhero’s were ordinary people?” Although there have been a lot of films trying to put a middle-class coat on this multi-million dollar business, no one has done it as well as Kick Ass.

So it was with high expectations that I went into Kick Ass 2, having loved the first film and I’m pleased to say…it delivered! I know…I know…there’s a ton of mixed reviews already out there about the films ability to “do it again”, but fuck that! It’s a boy hood superhero flick with just the right amount of everything as to not spoil the pot.

SYNOPSIS:
After Kick-Ass’ insane bravery inspires a new wave of self-made masked crusaders, led by the badass Colonel Stars and Stripes, our hero joins them on patrol. When these amateur superheroes are hunted down by Red Mist — reborn as The Mother F%&*^r — only the blade-wielding Hit Girl can prevent their annihilation. When we last saw junior assassin Hit Girl and young vigilante Kick-Ass, they were trying to live as normal teenagers Mindy and Dave. With graduation looming and uncertain what to do, Dave decides to start the world’s first superhero team with Mindy. Unfortunately, when Mindy is busted for sneaking out as Hit Girl, she’s forced to retire-leaving her to navigate the terrifying world of high-school mean girls on her own. With no one left to turn to, Dave joins forces with Justice Forever, run by a born-again ex-mobster named Colonel Stars and Stripes. Just as they start to make a real difference on the streets, the world’s first super villain, The Mother F%&*^r, assembles his crew of evil doers.

The story essentially picks up where the last one left off. Everyone going about their respective lives, trying desperately to Film Title: Kick-Ass 2ignore the chaos from the last film and they do so…almost to a fault. If I was going to hate this film, it would’ve been in the first twenty minutes. It takes a little for the pace of the film to pick up, but when it does, it does so methodically. Never taking any cheesy chances to turn it into what it’s not, you can feel the same writing/pace, from the first film permeating this script. The current timeline is deeply rooted in character driven synopsis. Hit Girl played by Chloe Moretz , is struggling with life in high school, Kick Ass played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, tries to come to terms with what he’s started and Morris Chestnut, who plays Hit Girls surrogate parent, works diligently, trying to tame the demons lingering inside his adopted daughter Hit Girl.

Red Mist played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, on the other hand is still tormented by the death of his father and acts out, accidentally killing his mother early on in the film while she’s in a tanning bed (the only really cheesy part in the film). Red Mist or Chris D’ Amico is shepherded by one of his fathers loyal associates played by John Leguizamo. The two never get that moment, but what we do get is believable.

Film Title: Kick-Ass 2You couldn’t casts this film any better, everyone was so believable in their roles, lending weight to a story that gets much more serious than the first…real quick. My MVP award must go to Chloe who showed us a authentic self conscious side of Hit Girl. One that was vulnerable, something we never really got to see from the first film. There are several scenes in this film that will have you looking up, that means trying hard to get those tears to roll back inside your macho-ass eyeballs. She’s a titan in this film and the real reason people will stay and watch this film over and over.

On the other hand, there were times that it got a bit “Clueless” not the script, but the 1995 movie and I’m okay with that. The film pokes fun at what kids have become, which after watching the trailer for the One Direction movie just before Kick Ass, I personally got a real thrill from. It’s important to understand that within the confines of this film and the world it’s created, what more could one expect? It’s often times hard to put a finger on why you loved something to begin with, but I think fellow geeks and the like, will agree this is solid.

How do I know this, cause everyone that needed to die in this film did…bear with me. How often do you see scripts hang on to character’s just because the studios want people to come and see their stars..a lot right? Well, what Kick Ass 2 did was made the big stars pivotal, made them great and most importantly, made you care about them and then wham! Gone… but what it did was help motivate both the Kick Ass and The Red…excuse me…The Mother F@#ker, to take this war to Olympus, which happens at the very end. I’ve heard some people say there wasn’t enough Kick Ass in the film, well I say good…we got a ton of him in the first film and yes there was as a matter of fact. The whole movies about the guy, well him and his friends, who are a cute and highly lovable bunch…to say the least.

Film Title: Kick-Ass 2

Jim Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes, Night Bitch (Lindy Booth), Dr. Gravity (Scrubs’ Donald Faison) and his buddy Marty,Kick-Ass 2 now dubbed Battle Guy ( Clark Duke), make up the core of this dollar store version of The Justice League known as Justice Forever. They do a tremendous job of playing weekend warriors who are sometimes in way over their heads. I loved those guys.

I’ll admit missing some of the little things that made Kick Ass great, mainly watching a lone vigilante work it out, but this is a sequel and needed to go a little deeper. Just like The Dark Knight, people had to die and now there’s some real weight to the matter. Weight that, given the ending, we hope will be resolved with Kick Ass and Hit Girl teaming up again to crack a few skulls.

And so I will leave you with this quote and wherever you see a masculine reference, put a feminine one in and after you see the movie tell me I wasn’t spot on.

“So, we’ll hunt her, because she can take it. Because she’s not our hero. She’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Bad Ass!! (Okay I added that last part)

 

 

NOISEY gives us the lowdown on Hair, Style and Music

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How much does your look determine how well you will be accepted by the masses? That’s one of the questions, I think, NOISEY tries to ask, as they interview the likes of Sleigh Bells, Tegan and Sara and Rye Rye.

From David Bowie to Karen O , the image of the Rock Star has always played a pivotal part in the commercialization of rock, whether you suck or not. Plus it’s a security blanket for a lot of artists, as you’ll find out. I will say this, watching this video is like sitting in a hair salon filled with annoying people talking about themselves. Good Luck guys and I apologize ahead of time.

BTW…anyone else think these artist are too sober?

Artist Kim Keever’s creates surreal dreamlike landscapes in a fish tank

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Kim Keevers has taken old school Hollywood effects into a modern art direction. Some of you might remember watching one of those “Making of…” documentaries about Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters or Ron Howard‘s Cocoon and seeing the VFX artists using this exact same technique to create strange clouds that usually introduced the mother ships in those films.

The technique involves dropping liquid, usually milk or something heavier, into a tank filled with water and jI__AANTV3KBZigv4GhxlryJoAQthen filming it at a very high rate to slow the image down. Slow equals huge and epic. But Kim not only uses this technique, but he creates the diorama style landscapes that sit beneath these strange clouds and eerie mists. It’s a trip looking at his stills…their so visceral.

A lot of his works look like physical representations of early American artist such as Jasper Francis Cropsey and Thomas Cole. His sculptures harness the vastness of the American landscape in the 1800′s, but then drops in the odd hues like bright pinks and blues, twisting the pallet and putting an almost psychedelic spin on all the majesty.

Could he be making a statement about the times we live in? You would like that wouldn’t you? The man can’t just be creating what makes him happy…RIGHT?!! You communist!!

All of Kim Keever’s work can be found on his website

First look at the new trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig

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Pockata…Pockata…Pockata….do you remember that…from the 1947 film of the same name starring Danny Kaye? It was required viewing at my high school back in the day. I’ll admit…I fell asleep once or twice during the two days it took us to watch it, but I wasn’t being graded… so it was all good.

Looking like an ad for Icelandic tourist destinations, this new spin on the 1939 book by James Thurber, looks amazing, but most importantly it looks truer to the novel than the Kaye’s film. Where the Kaye film was about Danny Kaye as a showman, this one seems to be more about Walter Mitty as a character.

The trailer is beautifully shot, but does draw resemblances to Michel Gondry’sEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and Mark Romanek‘sOne Hour Photo“.  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is the fourth major film directed by actor/director/comedian Ben Stiller and is written by Steve Conrad (The Pursuit of Happiness). But as far as this trailer goes, it’s cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh (Bridget Jones Diary, The Piano) that deserves all the credit here. I’m serious…I kinda want to see this film in IMAX 3D now. Let us know what you think.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty stars Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, Kristin Wiig, Patton Oswalt, Shirley MacLain and Adam Scott and is produced by Gore Verbinski and Ben Stiller just to name a few.

Ben Stiller directs and stars in THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, James Thurber’s classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

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A List of successful science fiction films featuring amazing female leads.

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I wanted to compile this list in response to an article I read in Women and Hollywood, regarding the troubles director Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men) had, placing Sandra Bullock in the lead role of his new movie GRAVITY. When successful films that featured a female lead the list is pretty long, but why is Hollywood still reluctant to place females in lead roles in science fiction films?

My first thought is maybe it was because it was Sandra Bullock. I’ll admit, when I think of space epic, her name isn’t at the front of my mind, but that’s usually when the real magic kicks in. My first pick for a project like this might’ve been  Jessica Chastain or even Marion Cotillard, but never once would I think that a female couldn’t be a lead in a film like this. There’s just too many talented female actors out there. The problem, I think for me, would’ve been which one and could we get her.

I wish Hollywood would use their hearts when thinking about issues like these, but the suits are…and always will be, about the numbers. We as artist have the luxury of thinking outside the box..even if it fails, but production companies don’t like to chances, they need to know that “It’s worked before” and that’s all and if they’d take a second they’d realize that it has…hence the reason for this list.

So without further ado, I present to you my list of successful films with amazing female leads. It’s not huge, but these were the heavy hitter’s that came to mind when I wrote this. Feel free to add more.

1. Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in ALIEN(1979)

MCDALIE FE030I couldn’t start this list without metioning the queen of science fiction female leads. Sigourney Weaver’s performance as Ripley is the benchmark, that any female wishing to break into the sci-fi film business, should aspire to. Her role shattered Hollywood myths regarding marketability of females in films like this. Many will say that Aliens was a horror film and not science fiction and that she fit in there like a square peg, given the number of females being objectified by blood thirsty beasts at the time. But Ripley was much more than that. She never once was presented as being helpless, sure there was the whole skeevies ending, but if your like me, you weren’t thinking about any of that during the scene. Instead you were thinking how the fuck is she gonna get out of this messed up situation and the moment she presses the button and jettisons that Alien into space, there was no denying her role as a true intelligent hero and as if you didn’t get the message in Alien, James Cameron comes out with the sequel “Aliens” in 1986 and shifts her girl power into high gear.

2. Linda Hamilton as Sarah Conner in The Terminator 2-Judgement Day (1991)

There’s a reason I say Terminator 2 and not The Terminator. In The Terminator, she really was playing the role as the Sarah-Connor-Matsuda-Sunglasses-T2quintessential damsel in distress. They even gave her a bodyguard, the future soldier Kyle Reese, played by Michael Biehn. It wasn’t until the sequel, we really see Sarah come into her own, as the post traumatic, ass kicking, mother, coping with the impending robot apocalypse. She went so far down the rabbit hole to prepare for this role, it’s a shame she didn’t get recognized by the Academy. As you will see, there is a certain director that  has been at the epicenter of science fiction female leads cause my next choice is yet another one of his films.

3. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Lindsey Brigman in The Abyss (1989)

still-of-mary-elizabeth-mastrantonio-in-the-abyss-large-pictureJames Cameron’s Abyss was the first of it’s kind. He managed to blend eighties Cold War paranoia, oil drilling and extra terrestrials into one movie and in keeping with Jame’s undying need to make it bigger, he placed it all underwater. Here’s a real example of what I consider good casting and a perfect model to follow when considering a female lead in GRAVITY. The character Lindsey Brigman, was a no nonsense engineer that could’ve easily gone to actresses at the time who’d already proven themselves on the screen. Actors like Geena Davis, Glen Close and Susan Sarandon, could’ve done this role and delivered a decent Lindsey, but there was something about Mary (wow..I’m a genius). She brought all the spirit of quirky explorers like Jane Goodall and added a bit of wonder reminiscent of Richard Dreyfuss’s role in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The result was Hollywood magic. She became an inspiration not only because of sense of wonder, but her level of daring courage. I mean anyone who agrees to drown themselves, so that she could be revived later and it work… is AWESOME!! She’s a progressive thinker and way before her time.

4. Gillian Anderson as Agent Dana Scully in The X Files Movie

I never followed the X Files tv series on Fox, when it huge, but there was no escaping the hype it created. It had all the Gillian-Andersonelements that appealed to me, but I never had the time or something. That being said when the first X Files movie hit back in 1998, there was no denying Gillian Anderson’s presence as the hard nose Jiminy Cricket, to her partner Moulder’s, Peter Pan. The part that  cemented her in my mind as one bad ass female character, is when she’s stung by the bio-engineered bee, she slowly slips away describing to Moulder what she’s experiencing, so he might relay the symptoms to whom ever they can trust at the time. In the face of death, she goes with a fist. She just seemed so unbelievably strong at that moment, I’m sure there were others throughout her time on the show, but this was just one of those images that was burned indelibly in my mind.

5. Natalie Portman as Evy in V for Vendetta

Actress Natalie Portman in scene from new film V for VendettaEvery role Natalie touches becomes her’s. She’s grown so much as an actor and through it all, remains vigilante in choosing roles that feature her as a strong female. Case in point, her role in The Wachowski’s V for Vendetta, a film that touches on so many points, that I think it should be shown in every sociology and psychology class in the world. She starts out as a somewhat, naive young subordinate, but then grows, with V’s help, into someone whose truly and completely free of social restraints. The metamorphesis is amazing to watch and her final transformation, as is the climax of the film, is something to behold.

6. Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity in The Matrix

Why…you might ask? Cause I’ll smack anyone who doesn’t agree that “If Trinity didn’t exist, that filmed would’ve sucked”Trinity_Matrix_h2 and “Trinity was the primary reason for the films success”. This movie had every  woman, wanting to be her and every guy wanting to marry her. From the moment we see Trinity, there’s no doubt regarding her strength/ride or die, attitude. I can’t think of another actor who would’ve beeen better suited to pull off hard as nails and unbelievably nurturing, at the same time. Not only that, but Carrie wasn’t a spring chicken when they cast her in the role, she was 32, not old by our standards, but definitely old by Hollywood’s. Nowaday’s they would’ve casts some young and supple upstart for the role, and probably would’ve casts kids for the part of Neo and Morpheous too. Trinity was a smart and mature woman, something we see too little of in films of late and the decision to casts everyone in their thirties to forties added a level of credibility to it all (talented thirties and forties mind you). It was unfortunate her character became more of an accessory as the trilogy came to it’s unceremonious end.

So there is my short list of powerhouse female roles! In my research of this topic I found a tremendous amount of strong female roles in sci-fi on television, so perhaps I’ll do another write up on that topic. Sorry, if I left anyone out.

Have a great weekend!!

Sony Pictures Classics acquires N. American rights to the documentary Jodorowsky’s DUNE

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According to Hollywood Reporter the Cannes Film Festival documentary that chronicles the ill fated Jodorowsky film, has just just acquired N. American distribution of the Frank Pavich film. Sony Classics will be distributing this amazing film in the U.S.

via THR

“To have my first film distributed by Sony Pictures Classics is a dream come true. I’m incredibly excited to jodorowskys_dune_05know that we will be working alongside the company that so fully supported such great documentaries like Crumb and Searching for Sugar Man,” said Pavich in a statement. “SPC has seen that, even though this is a documentary about a never-completed film, it is not a story about failure. It’s a story about ambition and how the power of art can effectively change the world.”

In a festival review, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Stephen Dalton described Jodorowsky’s Dune a “homage” to a lost film. “For all its claims of prophetic genius, Pavich’s documentary may well prove to be a more enjoyable film than the high-camp carnival of excess it seeks to commemorate,” he wrote. 

In addition to Pavich, Jodorosky’s Dune is produced Stephen Scarlata and Travis StevensDonald Rosenfeld is the executive producer.

No word yet on a Blu-Ray DVD release, but we will determinately let you know.

 

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