Leif Tilden [Interview]

Hello Folks! Welcome to another Friday (it is Friday, btw). Today we have a wonderful interview with a legendary figure in the world of entertainment. It’s the great Leif Tilden, Everyone! Leif has done some incredible work in some pretty revolutionary costumes. And beyond the world of performances, he has also worked as a location scout on some of the biggest projects that you all know and love. On screen he has done some pretty amazing work in the world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the cult classic series Dinosaurs. As a location scout, he brings some pretty wonderful insight into America with the beautiful film Selma, and so many more.
So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Leif Tilden!
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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something that you had yearned to do since your youth, or did you just happen to find yourself in this world one day?  
For the sake of transparency, I would say probably this desperate need to be seen. When I was seven years old I stood in the doorway of my mother’s room and watched her commit suicide with a gun to her face. This was a loss not only of my mother but also my best friend who used to rock me back to life after my father used to beat me senseless. Performing was not really the intention but I enjoyed the rehearsal process. The putting together the idea.  The exploration.  What was fascinating was the look inside because I had so much to give in this regard.
What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work to date?
My first paid gig was a play I did with Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco.  We developed the play through improvisation.  I moved around the space while Sam played all different types of percussion instruments.  It was called, The Ways of Seeing, based on the book by the same name written by John Berger.
In 1990, you appeared in the absolutely incredible film, one that is beloved by our dear friend & colleague Bryan Bales from the Blue Tiger podcast, who is very curious to know, what is your fondest memory from working on this revolutionary project? When you look back on this experience from over 30 years ago now, what still makes you smile to think about from your work on this incredible film?
 
Hi Bryan…I wish we could step into a time machine together and I could show you around.  The first stop would be at the old Henson Creature Shop in London.  We would step into this larger warehouse where all these idiot servants who worked on films like The Dark Crystal and Never Ending Story would be hunkered down designing creature from clay while others would be designing how to move them.  I would tap you on the shoulder and point at Falcor’s head laying in the corner.   I would point to another corner and there would be Jim Henson playing with some strange object on his hand trying to give it life.
Bryan also would like to know…through the process of filming the 1990 TMNT, there were obviously a ton of props laying around. I am curious to know if you were able to take anything home with you? Anything special, in a physical sense, that you were able to take away from this project?
 
I grabbed a bunch of Bo staffs, some of which were made by the special effects guys and some that the chinese stuntmen made.  I also still have Donatello’s skateboard.
And while I am also a big TMNT fan, it would be remiss of me to not acknowledge that Donatello takes a back seat to my favorite reptilian character you have done. You also portrayed the wonderful Robbie in the cult classic favorite series Dinosaurs. There is not a week that goes by that I don’t think about that episode where they find vegetables in Robbie’s sock drawer, and don’t laugh either to myself, or to anyone who is willing to listen and is unaware. So, I am curious to know what it was like to work on this truly original project? Anything interesting that you would like to share with our readers?
 
Robbie was Gay.
In recent years, you have worked as a location scout on some pretty wonderful project, as have some of our other wonderful guests of the past. This seems like an incredibly rewarding profession that I am always curious about. From projects like the now classic Justified, to the recent wonder Cherish the Day, how has your work in this field been for you? And what are some of the most interesting locations you have helped to find for a project?
 
Location Scouting can be a very creative experience if the Director is actually creative himself/Herself. Justified was a nightmare.  A lot of egos battling for supremacy. Cherish the Day, on the other hand, is lead by Ava Du Vernay who is a very intense truth teller.  I love working for Ava because she takes no prisoners. When I worked with Ava on Selma it was like opening up this country with pliers to reveal just how fucking racist it still is.  The United States is not united.
 
 
What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?
 
Well at the moment my wife and I are inside our home getting fat.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
 
This interview.

Saturday Special: Cry For The Bad Man [Film]

 

“When a small-town widow is grieving in isolation, she receives a deadly ultimatum from the privileged sons of a local land developer to sell her beloved property. With 24 hours to decide and her pleas to the town’s corrupt sheriff falling on deaf ears, she realizes she must take matters into her own hands. Her quest for justice turns into an all-out battle and grisly confrontation.” – October Coast PR

 

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Hello Folks! Today we are sharing a truly wonderful and suspenseful film that may just surprise the hell out of you if you’re not careful. Cry For the Bad Man is a lot of things, but one thing it is not is subtle. It’s a bloody story of extortion and will power, and holding on to what is rightfully yours by the powers that would not only take it from you, but are willing to let you die in the process. Writer/Director Sam Farmer is a new name for me personally, but it is for sure one that I will be on the lookout for in the future.

 

 

Cry For The Bad Man invokes a lot of emotion and demands strict attention throughout, in my opinion. Of course a lot of this could have to do with the presence of the horror legend herself, Camille Keaton. Camille continues to prove that after 40 years in the world of horror, she knows EXACTLY what she is doing. And while she is obviously wonderful in Cry For the Bad Man, I have to admit that it was the trio of would be villain brothers that truly intrigued me the most, especially Scott Peeler’s performance as Wayne. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about his character simply scared the shit out of me. It’s likely simply a combination of a great performance and well written character, but I feel like there is something even more to it than just that.

I’m telling you Folks, if you are looking for a suspense thriller with enough twists to fill a year, yet takes place over a couple of nights, you are absolutely going to love Cry For The Bad Man. As I would usually say, I cannot recommend it enough.

 

Cry for the Bad Man is available now on DVD and VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment.

 

 

Greg Fitzsimmons [Interview]

 

 

Hello, Folks! And welcome back to another week in this crazy world, which I hope is finding you all at least a bit cheerful. If not, let us rectify that a bit. Today we have some brilliant words from one of the most legendary figures in the world of comedy. Yes, we have had dozens upon dozens of very hilarious people grace our digital pages over the years. But, if I were to toot my own proverbial horn for just a moment….I’d say we have have outdone our damn selves this time. Or we just got lucky. Either way, we have the incredible Greg Fitzsimmons with us today!

Greg has been bringing on the laughter to live audiences for over 25 years. He is also a writer who has written on just about every damn show you love. In fact, it was almost to difficult to make questions for him, as I wanted to ask about every damn project he has ever worked on. And (maybe, unfortunately?) I managed to be a damn fool and ask about one that was actually cancelled. But, fuck it. Crashing was lovely, and I shan’t regret it. Although I will say that it all but got me into the idea of moving this format to a streaming way of life or something to afford the opportunity to talk with Greg more. But, that’s neither here nor there.

Obviously you can’t catch Greg on the road right now. But thankfully he has been in deep in the podcast game for a very, very, long time. His show Fitzdog Radio just hit 856 episodes. Yes, you read that right. 856! You’ve got some catching up to do, Folks. His guest have included everyone you love. Seriously, all of them. Including some fine folks we have had here at TWS including Greg Proops, Jen Kirkman, Martha Kelly, and so many more. Like I said, he has been at it forever. And he has a couple of new podcasts to share with you all as well!

So Folks, allow me to politely stfu and share with you all some wonderful words from the brilliant Greg Fitzsimmons!

 

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When did you first discover that you were a hilarious human being and that you wanted to make people laugh for a living?

I stole the microphone at a swim team awards ceremony when I was about 9 years old. I did a big speech making fun of the coach and my parents and killed. It was over.

What was your first paid gig in comedy? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work to date?

Barnabys in New Hampshire. I was paid $10 to drive about 90 minutes and do 10 minutes opening for Mike Donovan. I still have that bill in a photo album in my room. Learned that I could get paid and that it didn’t matter how much when I first started. It mattered that I had made progress and it was addictive. I kept wanting to get to the next level for about 25 years. The last five I’m just where I want to be. Balance has been achieved.

We always like to ask touring comedians (back when that was a thing) about the performing in the “fly over states”. I am curious to know what some places happen to be wonderful for comedy that some people may not expect? In your experience, where do you love to perform the most?

The further away the better. Fargo ND was one of the most fun shows I’ve ever done. I was snowed in at a college and we decided to add another show because we couldn’t fit everybody.

 

 

I was pretty bummed when the HBO series Crashing was criminally cut short, but still remain grateful that it was ever put out into the world. You worked extensively on the show as a writer and producer, and are credited on some of favorite episodes. So, what was it that drew you to work on the show?

I’d known Pete and Judd Apatow for a while and they just approached me at a comedy club and asked me if I was interested. I started 2 days later. I love writing on shows that are built around a comedian because they know what they want and you speak the same language

 

Another question that we always like to ask our statue holding guest is this: Where do you keep your Emmy’s? And does their physical location hold any sort of significance to you personally?

I have 3 in my office way up on a top shelf where they are rarely seen. The other is in my mother’s house in Florida. She holds it when she watches the Emmys every year. I don’t have the heart to tell her it is a Daytime Emmy. Let her drink and enjoy

 

If you were handed the opportunity to put out a series, with a limitless budget, about any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

Lyndon B Johnson. I have read all four of the Robert Caro biographies on him and he is a true badass. He used to sit on the toilet while meeting with foreign dignitaries. A real Texan who pulled coalitions together in the senate that were brilliantly orchestrated. Stayed with JFK’s civil rights act knowing it was somebody else’s project and he wouldn’t get sole credit. That is rare in modern politics. He was deeply flawed but had conviction.

 

Can you tell us a bit about your podcast you co-host alongside the great Alison Rosin known as Childish. How did the concept for the show develop, and how has the experience been thus far?

I did not want to do it. I didn’t think I could take on the extra responsibility. Took Alison a year to convince me but now that we are doing it I look forward to talking to her for an hour every week. She is a joy and so talented.

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I started a 3rd podcast when the pandemic started called Sunday Papers. It is a weekly roundup of the news that we read section by section out of the Sunday paper. I do it with Mike Gibbons who is my best friend and has created or run shows like Tosh.O, The Great Indoors, Sports Show with Norm McDonald, The Burn w. Jeff Ross, Showbiz Show w/ David Spade and Between 2 Ferns.

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I am a 54 year old man who is addicted to TikTok. Cannot get enough of fat people falling down and rednecks totaling dirt bikes. It is like AFV without the annoying host from Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

 

 

To check out Greg’s three wonderful podcasts, and to see where he is on the road once the world is seeing straight again, visit GREGFITZSIMMONS.COM

Sunday Matinee: Mossville: When Great Trees Fall [Film]

 

“Mossville: When Great Trees Fall is a powerful and intimate documentary exposing the link between race and environmental injustice.  It’s the story of a centuries-old black community in Louisiana, contaminated by petrochemical plants, struggling with the loss of its ancestral home. The film focuses on one man who stands in the way of a plant’s expansion and refuses to give up on his family home – and his community.” – Maggi Simpson PR

 

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Today we have an absolutely mind-blowing and insanely frustrating film to share with you all today. Mossville: When Great Trees Fall should not only be watched for informative reasons, it should be a god damned message to say the least. Imagine if everything you ever knew was literally taken from you. What if you lived with knowing that a major corporation that is hell bent on destroying the earth for profit, is willing to do whatever it means to move you out of their way? Even if that means essentially murdering you? How do you think you would handle this situation?

The world is in a mass hysteria right now over COVID19. People are understandably furious about the governments reactions to the spread of this virus. But, I implore you all to check out Mossville, and understand that this is not a new concept. Black families have been getting poisoned, killed, and losing their heritage for a very long time now. I am sad to say that I was completely unaware of this, and that is nothing short of white privilege. This I am fully aware of. But it is suffice to say that if you think the rich not giving a shit about the poor is a new concept, you really need to look deep inside your own soul as well as do a bit more research. The genocide is continuous. And it is only the poor who suffers. Always.

 

 

Watching the “residents” of Mossville struggle to retain what little bit of an identity they have to the place they grew up is probably one of the most heartbreaking things I have witnessed on film in a very long time. The actions of one of the film’s subjects, Stacey Ryan, is absolutely commendable, and he should be proud of what he accomplished. He is definitely a stronger man than I would be, I’ll tell you that much for free.

This film from documentarian filmmaker Alexander Glustrom is another example of a film that should be shown in social studies classrooms across the globe. It’s a beautifully made film about a very ugly situation, and I implore you all to check it out as soon as possible.

 

MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall will be broadcast nationally on the PBS series Reel South beginning May 25 and on the world channel beginning May 31st.

 


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/145085489″>&quot;Mossville: When Great Trees Fall&quot; Trailer &ndash; In Theaters March 2020</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/fireriverfilms”>Fire River Films</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Bernard Robichaud [Interview]

 

Happy Friday, Folks! Today we have some wonderful words from an even more wonderful actor that you all surely know and love already. It’s Bernard Robichaud! Fans of the insanely popular series Trailer Park Boys, which has been disturbing the silver screen, especially on Netflix, with their frantic endeavors geared to make you laugh at the absurd, you will recognize him as one of the biggest foes of the Boys themselves, that motherfucker Cyrus. TPB fans will unite around that the fact that anytime Robichaud comes on screen, hilarity is sure to ensue.

Of course, Cyrus is a personification of a bad man in a wild world. And Bernard could not be a nicer person in real life. He was kind enough to take some time out of his schedule to share a few words with us, so obviously he is a very generous person, right? We are so excited to have Bernard grace our digital pages today, and share a bit of his personal life with us and how he is holding up in these insane times.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Bernard Robichaud!

 

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What was it that first inspired you to get into the world of performance?
Was it something you had wanted to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

It just happened through a series of events that made me realize I needed a better way to express myself than what I had been doing. That would’ve probably ended very badly for me as a person. So it was the right decision.

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still impacts your work to this day?

First paid gig, In Becky’s Name, – lessons, be prepared not just for your lines and the development of your character, but for never listening to anyone but the writer and director, and what they want. There are those that will try and sabotage you, not that that happened, but you don’t need to listen to anyone else. You did your homework, and you’ve made choices, go with those unless otherwise directed, and listen to your heart.

For close to 20 years, you have portrayed the beloved character of Cyrus on the insanely popular series Trailer Park Boys. I am curious to know what drew you to this role? What was it about the role of Cyrus that made you want to take it on?

Well, I would take on any role, and I auditioned for it. Yes, I was asked and considered for it, but it wasn’t a given. I grew up in a similar neighbourhood, with similar people every day as a boy, and those experiences I drew from, I believe, made the character and certainly my audition what it was, and I guess the rest is history.

 

 

If you were handed the opportunity to portray any legendary figure in Canadian history, who would it be?

Sir William Pearce Howland; one of the fathers of confederation. One of the men noted to have helped the confederation of Canada in 1867, or Hewitt Bernard, or Louis Riel, who were instrumental in bringing Canada together as we know it.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to share with our readers?

I have several projects in development at the moment, and a script I am presently reading based on a true story. But that’s’ all I can say, between NDA’s I generally don’t discuss anything until the ink is dry, I don’t want to jinx anything.

Where can people find you on the Internet? What is your preferred social media choice?

Lol, I think they can find me anywhere, IMDB, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Cameo for a quick video, or text message. Those links can all be found on my website https://www.BernardRobichaud.com

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Waking up this morning and seeing my Happy Easter notes, and my stepdaughter’s Shorgie I’m taking care of while she’s back in Canada Covid-19.

Project Superman: My 30 Movie Meditation on Nicolas Cage by Chris Eaves [Exclusive] – Brought to you by Super Geeky Play Date

 

Editor’s Note: So, our dear friend and resident film historian who should need no introduction, the great Christopher Eaves, is absolutely KILLING the quarantine. With “Project Superman”, Chris has ventured into a world that no man has ventured to before, I’m sure of it. He is a brave soul, and I am so excited to share this with you all. It’s a great read! But, hey, if reading isn’t quite your thing, our friends over at SUPER GEEKY PLAYDATE had the man himself break down the entirety of the project on their wonderful show. So check that out as well! Long live the Cage!

 

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BACKGROUND

I began this journey with a desire to better understand Nicolas Cage through his work as an actor – the roles he chooses, the choices he made with those characters and the people he collaborated with on these 30 films. Between 2011 and 2020 Cage released 30 movies through Limited Release, VOD and Direct to Disk platforms. I experienced these films in chronological order starting with Trespass (2011) and ending with Color out of Space (2020).

How did Nicholas Cage change over this 10-year period?

WHAT I LEARNED

Cage is drawn to flawed characters. There are very few heroes to be found, but characters who rise to be heroic for a moment. Cage is okay with being a villain. Cage has developed his own acting style referred to as – Nouveau Shamanic. This is a style which calls back to ancient human Shaman Culture where the tribes’ Shaman would wear a mask and through ritual attempt to reach deeper human truths. For Cage, this appears to be his approach with acting, by wearing the mask of his character to seek out those deeper truths. Cage being a method actor approaches his work in a way which forces him to find relatable experiences to bring out those deeper truths in the people he portrays.

While not every one of these thirty movies were great or even good, the Professional Actor and auteur Nicolas Cage was AMAZING in every single film.

 

THE FOUR GENERAL PILLARS OF CAGE

A CHILD MOTIVATION – Cage is saving a child. Typically, his own child but occasionally a child he has imprinted onto as being one of his own (Joe 214, Pay the Ghost 2015, The Humanity Bureau 2018). There are also a few examples of a Cage character being motivated by the death of his child or the death of a friend’s child (Kill Chain 2019).

CAGE IS A CRIMINAL – Cage is okay with being the villain. While this is not representative of many of these films, the data does show a good number of examples (Arsenal 2017, Dog Eat Dog 2016). In some cases (Running with the Devil 2019) Cage will play the protagonist but he is still playing a villain’s character. To which Cage’s villains’ actions carry story consequences.

CAGE IS A CRIMINAL BUT WITH A HEART OF GOLD – This directly ties into Cage’s searching for flawed characters – Criminals, outlaws, loners, people wronged by the world. They start off bad and are typically left still being bad, but by the end they have been made just a little bit better by their journey.

REVENGE – Cage is drawn to characters seeking Revenge and characters needing to avenge. The previous described pillars typically, but not always, result in a Cage character seeking out revenge to right the wrong either directly to or indirectly to someone else (Vengeance: A Love Story 2017, Dying of the Light 2015).

Revenge represents the largest segment of data followed by a Child Motivation.

COLLABORATION

Cage does not work with the same people. There are only two examples of Cage working with a director twice – Nick Powell (Outcast 2015, Primal 2019) and Paul Schrader (Dying of the Light 2015, Dog Eat Dog 2016). Most of the writers, directors and cinematographers are younger, being only their first or second films.

There is one wonderful anomaly to this – Elijah Wood. Cage acted with Wood in The Trust (2016). Cage would later star in Mandy (2018) and Color out of Space (2020) produced by Elijah Wood. This would be the greatest outcome in these three movies. The Trust, Mandy, and Color out of Space representative of three of the BEST CONSTRUCTED films as well as the MOST ENJOYABLE films to watch.

DISTRIBUTION

Many of these films do not have official budget numbers available. For the ones that do I took their average resulting in 10 million. I then applied that number to the missing date sets in order to obtain an estimated total budget for all 30 films of 448 MILLION. Using Box-office Mojo Worldwide Box-office date, these 30 films took via theaters – 68 MILLION GLOBALLY. This leaves a delta of 380 MILLION to be made up through Disk Sales, VOD Sales, and other distribution deals.

Top 5 Cage Distributors
RLJE Films – 6 Films
Lionsgate – 5 Films
Sabee – 3 Films
Momentum – 3 Films
Millennium Entertainment – 2 Films

ROTTEN TOMATO SCORE

The Critics Average RT Score – 32 Percent.
The Audience Average RT Score – 36 Percent.

CONCLUSION

Nick Cage is an auteur character actor.

Cage did not make 30 movies over 10 years for a paycheck. Although Cage does have eccentric taste – T-Rex skull, a castle, rare comics. Cage made 30 movies because he loves the craft of acting. Most of these 30 films have great concepts and moments of top-level film making. Cage typically lifts the material beyond what it is deserving. But this is a compliment to Cage’s ability as an actor. Paul Schrader reveals in an interview on Dog Eat Dog that the production was having difficulty landing William Dafoe due to a lack of money to pay him. Cage would pay 100,000 out of his fee directly to Dafoe to acquire that actor. This is not an action of a man who is only working for a paycheck.

Cage has continued to improve his craft managing incredibly manic characters to very serious characters.

RECOMMENDED FILMS

JOE (2014) – 9.5 (Best Film)
Outcast (2015) – 6.7
The Trust (2016) – 9.0 (My Favorite)
Army of One (2016) – 8.0
Mom and Dad (2018) – 8.0
Mandy (2018) – 9.2
Color out of Space (2020) – 8.2

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2011

 

Trespass 2011 (October 14) – 35m/10m BO

Movie – 3.5

Cage – 7.0 (50m/50s)

RT – Critics 10% – Audience 22%

  • Why is everything so tight when shot wide?
  • Ben Mendelsohn is a standout with an interesting second level motivation.
  • Setup is very much setup – pole.
  • Dir. – Joel Schumacher. Odd choices in structure. 
  • Location – New Orleans – Never feels like.
  • Distributed by – Millennium Entertainment.

 

2012

Stolen 2012 (September 14) – 35m/18m BO

Movie – 6.0

Cage – 7.0 (40m/60s)

RT – Critics 20% – Audience 34%

  • Josh Lucas is fun, but his motivation is dumb (stupid criminal who caused his own problem).
  • Plays more to thriller (The Game) then Heist (Thief). 
  • FBI vs Cage vs Lucas is fun.
  • Nick Cage loses his daughter
  • Setup for daughter is about 10 seconds – didn’t care outside of the trope.
  • Flat Direct to DVD look.
  • Dir. Simon West – Con Air, The Mechanic, The General’s Daughter – lacks personality.
  • Location – New Orleans – never feels like.
  • Distributed by – Millennium Films.

 

 

Seeking Justice 2012 (March 16) – 30m/12.3m BO

Movie – 6.0

Cage – 7.0 (40m/60s)

RT – Critics 28% – Audience 39%

  • Opens strong. Act 2 is bogged down.
  • Guy Pearce is a standout with some meat to his motivations.
  • Good action sequences.
  • Flat Direct to DVD look.
  • Fun with Secret Society but never goes deep enough like (John Wick)
  • Dir. Roger Donaldson – Dante’s Peak, The Bounty, Cadillac Man, The November Man – much less character then previous films.
  • Location – New Orleans – Never Feels like.
  • Distributed by – Anchor Bay Films.

 

2013

Frozen Ground 2013 (August 23) – 19.2m/5.6m BO

Movie – 7.0

Cage – 8.5 (20m/80s)

RT – Critics 61% – Audience 50%

  • Very serious film. No antics. 8mmesque
  • Nick Cage losing his adoptive daughter
  • True story.
  • Cage is outstanding with good support
  • Cinematography callout.
  • Dir. Scott Walker – Only Film
  • Location – Anchorage Alaska – Feels Like.
  • Distributed by – Lionsgate.

 

2014

 

Joe 2014 (April 11) – 4M/2.3M BO

Movie – 9.2

Cage – 10.0 (10m/90s)

RT – Critics 85% CF – Audience 68%

  • Beautiful cinematography.
  • Nick Cage loses his adoptive son
  • Rounded flawed characters – real.
  • Character driven.
  • Acting is fantastic from everyone.
  • Mud and Joe would be a great double feature.
  • Dir. David Gordon Green – Mud, George Washington, Halloween (2018) – Same auteurism.
  • Location – Rural Texas – Feels like.
  • Distributed by – Roadside Attractions.

 

 

Rage 2014 (August 12) – 25m/0m BO

Movie 8.4 Before Ending – Movie 6.8 After Ending.

Cage 8.0 (60m/40s)

RT – Critics 12% – Audience 28%

  • Flat Direct to DVD cinematography.
  • Nick Cage Loses his daughter
  • Cage is a gangster who got out to get back in.
  • The action gun sequences have style.
  • The Driving sequence is a fast cutting mess.
  • The ending reveal is cliché leaning into dumb given setup.
  • Dir. Paco Cabezas – Mostly TV
  • Location – Mobile Alabama – Never feels like
  • Distributed by – Image Entertainment

 

2015

 

Outcast 2015 (February 06) – 25m/4.8m BO

Supporting Cage

Movie – 7.0

Cage – 9.0 (85m/15s)

RT – Critics 5% – Audience 22%

  • Action is fast cutting chaos. What’s happening?
  • Pee Peeing on Hayden Christensen.
  • Setup is tired (Gladiator still has best use from movies I have seen)
  • Cage’s accent is… something?
  • “I am the White Ghost” – Cage
  • Does Christensen and Cage speak Chinese or does China speak English?
  • Dir. Nick Powell – Primal (Cage) – Stunts, Second Unit Director Background – Fight Master on Gladiator.
  • Location – Yunnan province of China – kind of feels like
  • Distributed by – Entertainment One

 

 

The Runner 2015 (August 25) – 6m?/750t BO

Movie – 6.5

Cage – 7.0 (10m/90s)

RT – Critics 24% – Audience 23%

  • No over the top accent (Outcast).
  • Political thriller
  • Best capturing of New Orleans so far.
  • Story is allowed to breath with character moments
  • Dir. Austin Stark – Feature Directorial Debut.
  • Location – New Orleans – Feels Like
  • Distributed by – Alchemy

 

 

Pay the Ghost 2015 (September 25) – /2.9m BO

Movie – 7.2

Cage – 7.0 (50m/50s)

RT – Critics 10% – Audience 25%

  • Nick Cage loses his daughter? – trend developing in characters.
  • Some good spooky elements to horror
  • Good dynamic cinematography
  • That bird is bad CGI
  • Huge end act 2 exposition dump flashback. 
  • Dir. Uli Edel – TV Background
  • Location – New York
  • Distributed by – RLJ Entertainment

 

 

Dying of the Light 2015 (February 17) – 5m/698t BO.

Movie – 5.0

Cage – 7.0 (65m/35s)

RT – Critics 08% – Audience 15%

  • Act 1 structure is odd with time jumps
  • Good cinematography lighting but coverage is very standard.
  • Action is singles edited together – terrible.
  • Cage grows more manic as metal disease progresses.
  • Cage build sympathy for a rough character
  • Is Cage trustworth with mind failing – yes.
  • Anton Yelchin is middle of the road, straight face serious.
  • Great ending idea but boring build up – opposing men with different diseases.
  • Score is a cookie cutter paid for.
  • Dir. Paul Schrader – Taxi Driver, Transcendental Style, – not here?
  • Location – Virginia/Romania/Africa but shot in Romania/Australia – felt Romaniun only.
  • Distributed by – Lionsgate

Dark 2017 (same movie)

 

2016

 

The Trust 2016 (May 13) – 9m/322t BO

Movie – 9.2

Cage – 9.0 (80m/20s)

RT – Critics 63% – Audience 29% 

  • Cage has a marvelous Mustache.
  • Not every movie needs to be a floating moving camera.
  • Cage has a tone of energy after a few more serious films.
  • “Are you refinancing your home to pay for a heist?”
  • Performances are outstanding
  • Cinematography is great looking.
  • Story is character driven. I understand what’s driving them even though this is a hyper real world.
  • Elijah Wood – Amazon. 
  • Dir. Alex Brewer/Ben Brewer – Young directors who have a voice
  • Location – Las Vegas 
  • Distributed by – Saban Films

 

 

USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage 2016 (Oct 14) 40m/1.6m BO

Supporting Cage

Movie – 3.5

Cage – 6.0 (20m/80s) – very little screen time

RT – Critics 17% – Audience 30%

  • Narration from Journal written in a way no one from 1945 would write it from that time “it’s 1945”
  • ‘It’s a fight” – sailers run to watch – stupid.
  • Cage Narration – On what a Heavy Cruiser’s role is as a ship – weirdly placed. Who is Cage talking to?
  • Trying to build feelings for the crew before the ship sinks – standar crew doing crew stuff – imitating the officers, two crew members don’t like each other, Hardass XO, sailor needs to get back to his new fiance, ect.
  • Captain Cage is isolated from the rest of the crew in his own boat. Limited days with Cage to shoot?
  • In the water conversation about black people fighting for a country that doesn’t care for them.
  • I have no understanding of where these survive groups are in relation to each other.
  • Guy starts to throw up then is killed by a shark – not supposed to be funny I think.
  • Cage has very little screen time.
  • Dir. Mario Van Peebles – TV Background and Acting – 
  • Location – South Pacific Ocean
  • Distributed by – Saban Films

 

 

Dog Eat Dog 2016 (November 4)

Movie –

Cage –

RT – Critics 

  • WTF is this movie?
  • Paul Schrader second team up – very different.
  • Style everywhere (natural Born Killers esk?)
  • Cage is Bogarte 

 

 

Army of One 2016 (November 15) ?m/353t BO

Movie – 7.1

Cage – 8.0 (95m/05s)

RT – Critics 25% – Audience 25%

  • WTF is this – good?!
  • Most manic Cage I have seen over such a long run time.
  • The released version of the film was recut by Bob Weinstein without Charles’s permission.
  • I am Gary Faulkner and I am the Donkey King. 
  • Dir. Larry Charles – Borat, Brüno, Religulous – has style and bizarreness.
  • Location – colorado/pakistan
  • Distributed by – TWC-Dimension

 

2017

 

Arsenal 2017 (January 07) ?m/41t BO

Supporting Cage

Movie – 3.0

Cage – 7.0 (65m/35s)

RT – Critics 03% – Audience 17%

  • John Cussace and Nick Cage return together
  • Why is everything so tight?
  • Not all shots need to be handheld shaky
  • Bonding antics feel forced and clishi
  • The framing is off – everyone’s head extends past top but the movie is in the right aspect ratio 2:35:1
  • 33 minutes in Cage returns – 23 years later in the story but looks the same as the first scene.
  • Terrible writing – Buy me a shot line, no, was funny.
  • Cage is doing the best he can with dialogue.
  • Cussace is a cop? I missed something.
  • Cage returns at 49 min for 20 seconds
  • Fun reveal – but how does Cage keep his men’s loayate if he is such a bitch?
  • Slow motion style in a few sequences but doesn’t carry over overall – done to be cool. 
  • Dir. Steven C. Miller – many VOD films I don’t know – 
  • Location – Mississippi?/south – no one has an accent?
  • Distributed by – Lionsgate Premiere

 

 

Inconceivable 2017 (June 30) 13m/218t BO

Supporting Cage

Movie – 3.5

Cage – 6.0 (05m/95s)

RT – Critics 31% – Audience 63%

  • Not all shots need to be handheld shaky
  • Gorgeous new woman in the main characters’ lives hates to have her photo taken – she is hiding – Yes – clishie yes.
  • Cage is a DR. MD.
  • 4 miscarriages – got an egg downer – new person in life is the doner? – Yes – shocking.
  • Flashbacks to woman and her kid and her killing of her husband 4 years ago.
  • “No, silly me” line delivery – rough.
  • Soap Opera Level Drama Twists
  • Is the mom the audience – asking the audience questions of why main characters are making their choices?
  • MD Cage’s Guest House is nicer than my real house. 
  • MD Cage’s child is in risk setup.
  • Film sets up mom had a drug issue in the past as why she might not be believable now but the audience knows friend is responsible – no doubt.
  • What happened to the bad lady?
  • Dir. Jonathan Baker – First Feature – 
  • Location – Cincinnati? – 
  • Distributed by – Lionsgate Premiere

 

 

Vengeance: A Love Story 2017 (September 15)

Support Cage

?/73t BO

Movie – 6.3

Cage – 6.0 (50m/50s)

RT – Critics N/A – Audience 28%

  • First 10 min – good stunt/mini shootout – terrible dialogue.
  • Villain Men – “I Spit on Your Grave”esk – played tragically in tone as one of the worst crimes but the Villain dudes are acting like it comical – A Clockwork Orange. 
  • Not all shots need to be handheld shaky
  • The Lighting has been very good
  • A daughter is in danger of motivation. 
  • Action is better then a lot of prior – Dir. STUNT BACKGROUND?
  • A Catholic Priest recommended a Lawyer to the Mom of the Boys who rapped this woman. He says “this man helped the Vandican with 18 cases”
  • I get what trial scene is going for but does it hit you on the bead with it.
  • Woman jumps but Cage standing off screen saves her.
  • The editing makes it look like Cage saw a dead cat but kept driving.
  • Not a lot of stunts.
  • The Cage/Don end conversation would have been a better movie: the Lawyer who defends Villains and the Cop who kills.  
  • Dir. Johnny Martin – Stunt Coordinator background – 
  • Location –
  • Distributed by – FilmRise

 

2018

 

Mom and Dad 2018 (January 19)

Movie – 8.0

Cage – 8.5 (80m/20s)

RT – Critics 

  • Style and personality and Self Aware
  • Boobs in young Nic Cage face
  • Zombies!
  • Not all shots need to be handheld shaky
  • Fun premise spin
  • Fun Cage!

 

 

Looking Glass 2018 (February 16) ?/80k BO

Movie – 6.5

Cage – 6.5 (20m/80s)

RT – Critics 17% – Audience 11%

  • Good setup with photo without exposition on family background – kid is dead
  • Good creation of atmosphere around the motel – a mystery unfolding.
  • Film has style and interesting character actors. 
  • Takes it time but doesn’t meander – always feels like progress.
  • Cage deals with a dead daughter.
  • What’s the deal with Shelf – interesting.
  • Have you heard from Ben – so many times.
  • “You got a new microwave” Ben Shot Dead – what is going on? In a good way.
  • Bad line – “So that’s how Ben knew” – Scooby doesk.
  • Dir. Tim Hunter – TV background, Twin Peaks,
  • Location – California Desert – 
  • Momentum Pictures

 

 

The Humanity Bureau 2018 (April 6) 22m/0 BO

Movie –

Cage –

RT – Critics 

  • Bad CGI Starting Off – Backgrounds!
  • Cage drives a El Camino as a government car?
  • Is this satire?
  • Exposition dump in boss office. Talking for the audience not for each other. These characters would already know all about their world.
  • Kid is annoying.
  • Dialogue is very very very direct. 
  • Kis is fucking annoying.
  • Kid is a reason for Cage’s motivation. 
  • Too clean and nonviolent to be exploitive but this is what this film genre is trying for.
  • If they stopped making cars 30 years ago, and coffee and stuff, what do people do in order to be considered productive?
  • How does the government work? Canada government?
  • How are there no lakes if there is still snow, therefore runoff and rain, therefor streams and pooled water – AKA Lakes
  • Why does everyone hellp the?
  • The kid is really fucking annoying. 
  • The Kid is Cages lost son – kill him!
  • Ending Revolution Means – something?
  • Dir. Rob W. King – lots of TV
  • Location – Nevada to Canada –
  • Distributed by – Minds Eye Entertainment

 

 

211 2018 (June 8)

Mandy 2018 (September 13)

Between Worlds 2018 (December 21) ?/0 BO

Movie – 6.8

Cage – 8.0 (80m/20s)

RT – Critics 29% – Audience 86%

  • Angelo badalamenti dit theme – also did music on Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive. 
  • Jim Agnew – ex producer on this and Rage (2014)
  • Aaron Collins an associate Producer – Production Manager on Dog Eat dog 2016
  • Written Produced directed by Maria Pulera
  • Cag is a very grease truck driver out of money.
  • “We dont hurt people down south” – Cameron Poe (Con Air) cousin?
  • “Wrestle a man gator”
  • Holding a photo “wife and daughter. Opps, they’re dead”
  • “What the hell, does that have to do, with being strangled?”
  • Not a shaky handheld camera – thank you!
  • Cage is strangling women so she can project her consciousness – woman needs to wear a turtleneck to hide hand prints.
  • Cage lost family. New family is motivation
  • Main acting is rough outside of Cage.
  • Sex Scene tjrow back to “The Rock” (1997).
  • Cage’s reactions to awkwardness of what daughter is up to – from the afterlife? 
  • Should Cage be shocked by the revelation given he buys into mom being able to throw her consciousness?
  • A third Nick Cage Sex Sceane?
  • Waterhouse scene while mom watches – sure…
  • “What do you expect, me to kill my wife”
  • Cage once again makes me feel through his acting. 
  • Dir. Maria Pulera –
  • Location – Mobile Alabama – 
  • Distributed by – Lionsgate/Saban Films

 

2019

 

A Score to Settle 2019 (august 02) ?/85t BO

Movie – 6.5

Cage – 6 5 (15m/85s)

RT – Critics 15% – Audience 21%

  • While straightforward – Decent movie so far
  • “I’m going to make it up to you” – Cliche Cage out of jail after 19 years. 
  • Benjamin Bratt is always charming and professional. 
  • “Nobody is ever really out’ clishi
  • The Insomnia angle is interesting.
  • Awkward shootout at the parlor
  • Said he was doing it for his son. CGe bieves action but his character is selfish.
  • Like the tension with the bellhop in the room. 
  • I was really hoping the kid would just be gone due to Cage’s choice. Half cliche to have him pulled back in as he ODs.
  • I actually didn’t see that reveal. Half take back.
  • The dragon guy is an annoying villain. 
  • Dir. Shawn Ku – Movies I have not seen –
  • Location – Salem Or Area – Filmed in Bc 
  • Distributed by – RLJE Films

 

 

Running with the Devil 2019 (September 20)

?/60t BO

Supporting esk cage

Movie – 6.5

Cage – 6.5 (15m/85s)

RT – Critics

  • Long shot through club serves what purposes other arriving at cocaine?
  • Text descriptions over lauded character frames
  • Fishburne really likes cocaine and pegging. 
  • So many characters!
  • Traffic cloan. 
  • I’m so confused by what is happening.
  • Cage is following a cocaine shipment looking for where it is getting cut/short?
  • This mexican whit suited middleman is fun. 
  • What happened to the Goldberg/Fishburne storyline?
  • I really like the drug smuggling route story but everything else has been fat.
  • The Agent outering the snitch off the books for info really isn’t got to hold up cort?
  • Really forced moment to get rid of Cage – fall off cliff – sure?
  • Cage is back – shocking.
  • Agent’s fingerprints all over close. The boss is still around. What point?
  • Barry Pepper and Laurence Fishburne costar.
  • Adam Goldberg is always fun.
  • Dir. Jason Cabell – actor background. First solo directing and writer – 
  • Location – Albuquerque ? Filmed but showed space needle for location
  • Distributed by – Quiver Distribution

 

 

Kill Chain 2019 (October 18) UHD

Movie – 6.0

Cage – 6.8 (22m/78s)

RT – N/A

  • Titles are a TV show
  • Enrico Colantoni is wonderful.
  • Colantoni got the hooker killed still.
  • Some shaky camera
  • A lot of shaky cam now. All tight too. Motion sickness. 
  • Where’s Cage – I’m 40 minutes in and he has had 2 minutes of screen time but is on the poster 
  • Turned subtitles on for so much mubaling. 
  • What is happening – why is there a shootout between kids yelling “I love you”
  • Cage is back at the 47 min mark.
  • Lots of Cage sex scense at the back end of this marathon
  • “He’s not a killer” “your right” – but Cage killed the guy downstairs with pills?
  • Loops back around but doesn’t play any differently, different angle.
  • “An organization” movie.
  • So much single cut to a different single.
  • No way this “plan” works out being set in motion. So many variables out of Cages control. 
  • Distributed by – Amazon Studios
  • Location – Columbia –
  • Dir. Ken Sanzel – The replacement Killers writer and other tv stuff

 

 

Primal 2019 (November 8) 31m/40k BO

Movie –

Cage –

RT – Critics 38% – Audience 28%

  • That’s one bad CGI Cat!
  • The Pocher with a heart of gold.
  • Kevin Serge Durand is amazing! – Lost the Strain.
  • Kevin is in a Cage. I bet he’s primal?
  • Famke Janssen – of Golden Eye and Jean in X Men
  • This boat is more of a wearhouse. 
  • Kevin is amazing!
  • Monster locked in the house with people.
  • Why would the U.S. not send a military jet or ship or plane? Why is the world’s most dangerous man traveling on a mexican fighter? Such a convoluted explanation of why Kevin has to be on this boat.
  • What a stupid escape plan – faking his seger – which was a convaluted setup to begin with. 
  • “I’m not going anymore until I feed my animals”
  • Bad CGI monkeys – kills the cook
  • Cage was 82 Mechanic. Cage and Kevin both hate authority. But will one be a lovable asshole?
  • How does a movie filmed inside a closed indoor set cost 31 million?
  • Of course the kid interrupts Cage capturing Kevin. 
  • Always the NSA. What a dumb agent. 
  • Dir. Nick Powell – Outcast – Team up us back
  • Distributed by – Lionsgate
  • Location – Puerto Rico 

 

 

Grand Isle 2019 (Dec 06)

Movie

Cage

RT

  • Dr. Fraser Kran. 
  • I hate when beautiful women in movies say they’re ugly. 
  • That 8s some amazing hair Cage
  • Key Largo (1948) with a Supernatural tone8

 

Titus Paar [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! Today we have a wonderful interview to share with you all with the brilliant Swedish born filmmaker Titus Paar. Titus has created some wonderful work, especially in the world of action and adventure films. He has directed the likes of Steven Seagal, documented the living world of ancient tribes that most of us probably didn’t even know existed, and re-invented the idea of filming the era of the Vikings, as well as so much more. He is a powerhouse of a filmmaker and a visual mastermind in the world of cinema. We are so excited to have him grace our digital pages to provide a much needed relief from the insane times and events that re surrounding us lately.

So, Folks, please enjoy this wonderful interview with the great Titus Paar!

 

******

 

When did you first realize that you wanted to work in the world of entertainment? Was it something you have wanted to do since your youth, or was it something that you just sort of fell into?

I was born with a very strong visual mind and have always seen everything in angles and cuts with big storys. Can’t shut it off. Started in the playground with me directing my friends to go out on my big adventures that could stretch weeks.

Then I started acting around the age of 6 and found my passion for theater. At the age of 12 I realized I wanted to star in movies and become the next Arnold (didn’t happen) but I also realised I lived out in the Swedish wilderness with no connections so…

I started making my own movies where I was the leading man and it grew from there. It lead me into making my feature debut at the age of only 15 and became the youngest filmmaker in Scandinavian history to make a theatrical feature.

So I’ve been doing this since before I can remember, natural born filmmaker. I try to stay true to that kid as much as a I can and remember the magic of seeing moves at that young age.

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work to date?

I was 8 and played Mowgli in The Jungle Book in a play (there were not a huge amount of Indian boys in Sweden, hence the white washing casting of me). It was great, we where on a tour and I made the money that I was able to fund my first film with.

 

You were recently kind enough to make me privy to a truly wonderful short film entitled Legend of Dark Rider that I absolutely LOVED. Can you tell our readers a bit about this project? And can we expect to hear more about the Dark Rider in the future?

Thanks, Man. Yeah that one is dear to me. I wanted to make a grand old tale based on a world I spent 8 years creating. A mix of everything I loved and I didn’t care if anyone else liked it, just needed to make something I got a kick out of. So I funded this short that also works as a pilot of the first 20 min of a feature .

I wanted to make a bloody barbarian movie in snow landscape, with a elements of Black Metal, Japanese story telling, Viking Folklore and with a story that is thoughtful and not just a guy with muscles trying to save the world/sexy woman.

We actually made this short for only 8k and it was the film that took me to Hollywood. Won 16 best film awards that year and was praised by people like John Carpenter, Anthony Hopkins and Dolph Lundgren.

Check it out HERE for free.

I’m currently working on the feature, got some very cool A-list cast attached that you will love in this type of film… can’t say who. Working on closing that now and hopefully film next winter, we’ll see if the movie gods are with us.

 

 

In 2016 you directed and co-wrote the action-packed film The Perfect Weapon, starring the legendary Steven Seagal. I am curious to know what inspired you to bring this story to life? And how was your experience bringing this story to the world. Was there anything that set itself apart from your other projects?

Yeah that was the craziest thing I have ever been through.

This film opened at No. 1 on Netflix in the US, was released world wide by SONY and made over 4M the first year.

This was the first story/script that I directed that wasn’t made by me. I got the script and was like “what is this B action shit?”. I saw that Seagal was attached and they wanted me to direct it because they could not find anyone in the states that could pull off this big sc-fi action move on this tiny budget.

So I thought, if I´m going to do a B-action movie with Seagal, let’s make it a homage to the 15 year old me and the best damn B-movie I can, I said “I’ll do it if I can do whatever I want”.

So I hired as many action stars from the 80-90s and crammed in as many pop culture references as I could. I didn’t want to make an obvious Kung Fury type homage, but an ironic one that felt like it was made in the 80-90s, when movies took themselves way too seriously but also not at all. They where charming.

I didn’t tell the actors it was a homage because then they would have over done it, but I think they thought the directions where strange at times 🙂

I mean just working with Seagal was nuts, what a guy. But I was very prepared that this was going to be a very hard movie to make with difficult actors. We had 260 VFX shots, 19 days filming and everything that could have gone wrong did.

But it turned out the way I wanted and I delivered that film on a 1.2M budget, It looks much more expensive than that.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liIOOTI4-oI&t=72s

My hope for this film was to have it become a cult classic and not an instant critical success (which I knew was never going to happen). And actually it has. People have really found this film and made so many homage videos and things about it, the film buffs and students love it.

 

 

Scrolling through your IMDb credits, I was intrigued by a documentary you created entitled Living with the Secret Kogi Tribe. It sounds fascinating, and I would love to hear more about it. Can you tell us a bit about the project, and what made you want to tell the tale of the Kogi tribe?

That was a truly amazing experience. We lived with this secret native tribe out in the jungle for weeks. The tribe never lets anyone in normally and they live the same way they did 2000 years ago. It was like time travel, to meet a saberthouth tiger.

My favorite word is “ADVENTURE”  and this was the biggest adventure of my life. I almost died 3 times, but hey, adventures come at a risk.

This film made the world a nicer place for an hour and a half I think and those are the kind of stories you feel good about telling.

 

 

If you were handed the opportunity to create the biopic of any legendary figure in world history, who would it be?

It´s not what I usually do, I´m more into creating my own world with my own set of rules. If you do a bio pic you are very locked in to the real world and real events that you have to respect.

BUT after my experience with the Kogi tribe and my love for a good western. I´m really keen to do a good movie or limited series about Sitting Bull.

There hasen’t been a good one, a true portrayal of the man. Done with real natives in their own language told through his conversations when he had become a circus act to his only friend Annie Oakley as he is reminiscing of his life. That’s a good foundation.

I think it has to be done by an outsider, there is to much pride and things at stake for a native director to tell that story and too much stigma and bad blood for a US director. I think I could make an interesting objective portrayal and find the man behind the legend and sprinkle it with some movie magic and poetry.

I’d like that. I just make movie I want to see that doesn’t exist, always as a fan of film.

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I´m in post on Fear of the Woods, a film about bear hunters in Alaska set in the 90s. A monster movie in the sprit on Spielberg. You know when there is a story and characters that are so interesting the film would be good even if you take out the beast crashing the party.

I’ve been wanting to make this film since I saw the anime Silver Fang for the first time when I was like 6. So 30 year later here we are, staying true to the kid.

Follow us on FACEBOOK

After that I got a slate of 5 films I´m planing to do over 10 years.
I was going to direct my biggest one ever with some of the best actors alive today now in April/June but then Corona came and fucked it up so we are trying to find a new date to start. When the world order returns we´ll be ready.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Hearing from you today actually is the most recent one. And doing this interview gave me fond memories. Movies are my life, talking about them fills me with so much joy. Thank you for having me guys.

Nick Powell [Interview]

 

Hello, Folks! And welcome back to another week of wonderful showcases here at Trainwreck’d Society. We kicked off the weekend last Friday with a great interview from an absolute legend in the world of stunts. And, well, we enjoyed it so much, I thought why not have at it again? That’s right Folks, we have yet another legendary figure from the world of stunts, and a cat who happens to be a filmmaker in his own right, as the evolution seems to happen. It’s Nick Powell, Everyone!

There has been quite a bit of talk over the years about the fact that stunt work is not celebrated at all in regards to the film world’s highest “honor”, which would be the Oscars. The art of creating realistic and appealing stunts is just that – an art. And it’s absolutely criminal that it is not showcasing to those outside of the world itself as to show just how important of an art it truly is. And it is suffice to say that should the Academy retroactively celebrate one pioneer of the industry, it would be Nick Powell. Not only has Nick worked on some of the finest action/adventure films of all time, he has worked on some of the finest FILMS of all time. This includes Best Picture winners like Braveheart and Gladiator. These films were celebrated for their cinematic achievement. Well, what was one of the most compelling aspects of these films? That’s right, the stunt work. So what is the deal?

Beyond the world of stunts, Powell is also an accomplished filmmaker. As we discuss below, thanks to some incredible research by our friend Chris Eaves which we will be sharing soon, Powell holds the distinction of being only 1 of 2 filmmakers who have worked with screen legend Nicolas Cage on more than one occasion. Check out his wonderful responses below for more details.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the legendary Nick Powell!

 

******

 

What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something that you had yearned to do since your youth, or did you just happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I was actually more into sports as a kid and played for a couple of 1st division schoolboy sides so I was very interested in becoming a footballer upon leaving school (soccer if you’re not from England) but was persuaded by careers teachers that I should get a ’solid career’ to fall back on in case it didn’t work out. As a naive 16 year old and maybe not being quite as skilled as I’d like to think I was, I  went to engineering college for two years where I trained and qualified as a design engineer.

At 18, engineering qualification in hand and not really having been active enough as a footballer to get scouted for a pro team, I had a place lined up to study for a masters in engineering at Sheffield University but really couldn’t see myself doing that for the rest of my life. One of the things I’d always loved the idea of was acting but where I came from it wasn’t really something you’d ever tell anyone about, at least not without risking being called a lot of very unflattering names. Anyway, having my university place already guaranteed I took the risk and, without telling anyone at home, I went down to London and auditioned at a couple of Drama Schools hoping that I could learn to be an actor. Maybe I could do well enough to get roles that would pay the bills whilst at the same time inspiring people or at least moving them emotionally the same way I was moved whilst watching a lot of movies as a kid. As I write this I realize just how naive it all sounds and what a long shot it really was.

Anyway, I was lucky enough to get accepted at a Drama school and studied acting for a couple of years. I did everything I could to get work after graduating and whilst I was actually one of the lucky ones and managed to find enough work in theatre and TV to pay the bills, just, it was always a hard slog. Whilst I was doing a theatre job I met a guy who was training to become a stunt man and he explained the requirements to get accepted on the British Stunt Register, it sounded like a lot of fun and even if I didn’t succeed I figured I’d learn a lot of things that might help in my acting career. After a couple of years of hard training I qualified as a probationary stunt man and what was intended to be the extra string to the acting bow gradually, over the next 6 or 7 years became the main string.

Stunt work was exciting and well paid, at least in comparison to a lot of the small theatre jobs I’d been doing so I’d take the stunt work over the acting and after being asked to choreograph all the fights and sword work on Braveheart, I figured I’d found what I was meant to do.

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work to date?

To be completely honest, I can’t recall the first few extremely minor jobs I had as an actor after graduation, I think they were in profit share theatre but the first real acting job I do remember was a small role in a BBC TV show The Diary of Anne Frank where I played ‘NSB Man’ with a few lines of dialogue (I think it was a year after I graduated) and I was extremely excited and happy to have gotten the role. I also played the role of Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island in theatre at the Edinburgh Playhouse around the same time and recall one of the actors in the show was a friend from the same drama school I went to and who I and everyone else thought was probably the most likely to succeed, he was a standout at the school and I followed his career which didn’t go very far which was a real shame as he was so talented. I learned from that that it’s not always the most talented people that are successful.

Early in your career, you worked on the stunts for one of my favorite films of all time, which would be the incredible Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I am such a fan boy of this film, and I have to ask how your experience was working on this project. And while you were making it, did you have any idea that you were making the finest depiction of Robin Hood that would ever exist?

When I was working on it, Robin Hood was just another job that I really enjoyed doing when I was starting out. I only had a few weeks work on it as a general stunt man, running around, climbing trees, sword fighting, shooting arrows, that kind of thing. So, no, I didn’t really know what we were making at that point but it was a real pleasure to be working in close proximity to Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman and it was around that time that I began thinking I was becoming a real stunt man. I’d done some work on the Tim Burton Batman movie a year or so before and I was doing a lot of television so things were starting to work out nicely for me at this point. Having the acting background was really helpful as I got a lot of work where directors wanted a stuntman that could act or an actor that could do his own stunts. It kind of kept the dream of one day going back to the theatre alive but unfortunately I never did get back there.

Whilst scrolling through your IMDb credits, I noticed that your first “credit” as a director is with the Nicolas Cage fronted action film Outcast, although you did quite a bit of work beyond the world of stunts prior to it. I am curious to know how this project changed things for you? How was your experience in taking on a project like this as your first role in the director’s chair?

Prior to Outcast I’d been approached to direct a few things – features and TV – but I’d had a lot of bad luck, either because of financing, timing or casting, none of them happened, although they had taken up a lot of time that I could have spent doing other jobs. That’s one of the things about directing, especially in the smaller independent world, you need to commit a lot of time prior to the movie actually happening so that takes you out of the running for things in the field you are already in, at least in my case anyhow. In fact, Outcast took over a year from when I agreed to direct it to actually going into pre production and lot’s of things changed dramatically from the time I said yes to when we started shooting including producer changes, script being rewritten, cast changes etc., etc., etc.

It was not exactly the experience I had hoped it would be as we started out making a movie for the world market and ended up making what was essentially a Chinese movie. I worked as hard as I could to maintain the initial vision that myself and the western producers had but it was essentially taken out of our hands. The main benefit I got from the project was that I realized I worked well with all the cast and I learned how to produce, direct and do a lot of other people’s jobs on the most insanely pressurized project I’ve ever been involved with.

 

 

Our dear friend, and resident film historian Chris Eaves, has noted that very few filmmakers have worked with Nicolas Cage more than once. You actually have, you did Outcast, more recently the film Primal. In fact, you are one of two. I am curious to know what you feel as though it is about your working relationship that led to a second outing? And what was it like meeting up with Cage for a second project as a director?

Continuing on from the response to your previous question, none of the western cast and crew had too great an experience on Outcast (for a variety of reasons) but I had developed relationships with the actors and crew whereby they all realized they could trust me and that given the right project and circumstances wanted to work with me again. Nick was especially supportive, and after we had finished on Outcast and realized it was not what we had hoped for he said he’d love to do something with me again under better circumstances. I was sent the script to Primal and immediately thought that Nick would be great for the lead. I reached out to him and within a few days he was onboard. As seems normal from my experience on these sort of projects, depending on producers I’m sure, once again it took a long time to get the project realized. From when Nick said yes it took almost a year before we started shooting. The benefit of working together for a second time is that the sense of trust between us has grown and Nick and I get on even better than before, he is a consummate professional and we have chatted about doing something else together at some point in the future.

If you were handed the opportunity to create the biopic of any legendary figure in world history, in any period, who would it be?

Of course, in the vein of Gladiator and Braveheart etc I’d love to helm a large scale battle pic such as a Genghis Khan movie. Especially since, having done quite a bit of study on the man, there are so many fascinating aspects to his general life story besides the battle elements. I think there are great stories to be told from some of the rock and roll legends such as Mick Jagger, David Bowie and the like whilst I’d love to take on more cerebral characters such as Freud or Jung as well.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I’m in the process of putting together a vampire love story very much influenced by Shakespeare with a lot of anachronistic steampunk type visual references that I’m hoping to shoot in Cuba later this year. Things are coming together as I write and if all goes well I hope we will have a complete picture ready for festivals next spring. I’ve also been approached to shoot a strong female led action project early next year that I’m really looking forward to as well.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My daughter a few minutes ago who is having trouble with her braces, now, in the middle of the coronavirus shut down I can’t get her an appointment and might have to have a go at adjusting her braces myself, not something I have a clue how to do. you’ve got to laugh!

Sunday Matinee: Red Rover [Film]

 

“Damon spends his waking hours searching for that elusive something. Whether it’s for deeper meaning, love, or just “treasure” on the beach with his metal detector, but to no avail. So when Damon meets an offbeat musician named Phoebe handing out flyers for a one way trip to Mars, a bond quickly forms. She’s going to help him find that thing he is looking for by sending him 33.9 million miles away, even though what he needs might be right in front of him.” – October Coast PR

 

******

 

I can’t even begin to lie to you, Folks. This one got to me. While I don’t have any specific experiences like the events that occur in Red Rover, I can relate to the feeling of wanting to get away from the real world so badly that I would, hypothetically speaking, rather move to Mars. Well, what if that was a reality? What if you were offered the opportunity to start fresh in a literal whole new planet. What if you feel like your life is in shambles and their are no repairable qualities about yourself? But more importantly, when such an opportunity becomes a reality….what could keep you back? These are the very personal questions that Red Rover presents, and I am here to say that they present it extremely well. Filmmaker Shane Belcourt has directed his way directly into my heart with this film, which is easily one of my favorite films of 2020. I wouldn’t be so bold as to guarantee a placement, but with 8 months left in the year, and a whole lot of time on my hands, I know that when we are talking end of year favorites, Red Rover will be nearing the top.

 

 

The previously mentioned filmmaker and co-writer Shane Belcourt and writing partner Duane Murray have a truly unique story to tell with Red Rover. And that story is merely amplified by some incredible performances. Kristian Brunn and Cara Gee absolutely light up the screen with obvious chemistry and that actually made he yell at my screen, when no one was awake, something along the lines of “What are you DOING man?”. You’ll get it when you see it. Or you won’t, and I am just an insane person. Either way, the latter mentioned performer, Cara Gee, may have just moved into my mental line up as one of the most wonderful performers of the modern age. And I’ve honestly never watched any of her other work, but I certainly will now! If she does half as amazing of a job as she does with Red Rover, I know I will enjoy all that she gives. Simply phenomenal.

So Folks, if you are looking for a film to pull on your heartstrings a bit, and make you feel something for once in your god damned life, I highly suggest Red Rover. It’s funny and poignant at times, down right upsetting with sadness at others, and is an overall delightful film that I can not recommend enough.

 

Red Rover will be available on VOD on May 12th, 2020 from IndieCan Entertainment.

 

 

Saturday Special: Getaway [Film]

 

 

 

“Tamara Miller has planned a weekend lake getaway with her two best friends. When she gets kidnapped by a backwoods cult, eerie and unexplained occurrences arise. Will she make it out alive or become the treasure of these deranged lunatics?” – October Coast PR

 

******

 

Now this was fun, Folks! I just have to say that right out of the gate. As somebody who has ingested quite a ton of horror films in their time, I instantly have to say that I approve of Getaway, just so much. The premise is simple get engaging, the build up is just enough to get you comfortable, the intensity rides like lightening on a scary spring night, and the pay out is ultimately bloody and satisfying. Getaway brings all of the elements you want in a horror film, and maybe some that you didn’t realize you wanted. With amazing performances, a compelling faith-based set of bad guys, and brilliantly simple effects, this is an all around gem of a horror film if I have ever seen one. When you simply want to turn your brain off for 90 minutes and let yourself be scared as hell, Getaway is the perfect film for you.

 

 

As previously mentioned, the film has some absolutely amazing performances. As expected, horror screen legends Scout Taylor-Compton and Landry Allbright deliver in their roles, no question. But, the biggest shoutout is obviously the film’s lead, Jaclyn Betham, who is just so damn convincing yet confusing as a character throughout the entire viewing. Which I couldn’t have loved more. And as far as performances go, director and co-writer (the other writer being Jaclyn herself!) Lane Tolan absolutely nails it as well. And fun fact, for those who aren’t aware or possibly not in your mid-30’s, Tolan is the legendary voice behind King Bob of the animated series Recess, as well as Wolfgang in the classic series Hey Arnold! Isn’t that something? King Bob out here capturing women for the Lord? I love it.

Seriously Folks, I can’t say enough good things about Getaway, and I would highly recommend to everyone, but especially those looking for a well made horror film in this day and age were details and storylines sometimes get substituted for gore and jump scares. This is not one of this film. Getaway is a very stylized suspense-filled horror film that you simply must see. Enjoy!

 

Getaway is available now on DVD and VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment.