Interview with Natalie Burn on the movie Awaken

At the time of our telephone interview Natalie Burn was in Turkey making a film. I caught Natalie on her day off sightseeing like an ordinary tourist.

In the fictional action movie “Awaken” Natalie Burn stars as Billie Kope. She’s a woman hell bent on finding her sister, but ends up on an island where a black market organ dealer is harvesting body parts for the rich. The film demonstrates Natalie’s fine acting talent as an up and coming action actor. Read more

The Overnight, a Spirited Little Comedy

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The splendid little comedy The Overnight turns a friendly evening with the new neighbors into an over the top night of uninhibited sensuality. While the theme has been used before in other movies with the most famous being Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, this modern day soon to be a classic leaves nothing to the imagination. Daring, erotic and unabashed yet not a skin flick, the movie has a very good cast and script that bares it all for those who have pondered about kinking up their own relationships. Read more

Terminator Genisys, For Thrill Seekers

TERMINATOR GENISYS posterThe movie Terminator Genisys surprises with top quality special effects, continuous action scenes and a welcome return of Arnold. The storyline may be a little complicated if you are trying to piece together the previous four outings, but take a deep breath and just go to enjoy the shape shifting time traveling bots that deliver chaos wherever they appear. If you are an action junkie and want an adrenaline rush, go see the newest edition of John Connor’s attempt to take down the spy in the sky that lead to annihilation of billons on the planet.

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Magic Mike XXL, A Female Delight

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Brawny, Bold and bawdy the movie Magic Mike XXL (I guess they didn’t use a third X instead of an L because it doesn’t go that far) struts and dances its way across the screen at the delight of a female audience. The story gets sluggish, silly and wacky, but I’m positive not a woman in the theater will notice. Not much on plot, the road trip to Myrtle Beach does have its moments at stops along the way. There the film bangs out tunes while muscle bound men raise hell tearing their T-shirts and dropping their drawers in places like Tampa, Jacksonville, Savanna and Charleston. Read more

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Endearing

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Directed toward a teen audience, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl easily appeals to a female audience and should even charm males through their late twenties. The film features excellent performances by a familiar cast, gets able guidance from director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and delivers an appealing screenplay by the original novelist Jesse Andrews. Working against last year’s tearjerker The Fault in our Stars, I found this film to be more realistic and less maudlin. Not a love story per se, but the bond between the two main characters that goes deep to the bone. Read more

Farewell Party, a witty film on a grim topic

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There shouldn’t be a dry eye in the theater from the heartfelt movie The Farewell Party set in an Israeli retirement home. Courageous acting, script and directing, the touching dark comedy takes a look at old age with story characters nearing their passing. If you see one foreign film this year and don’t mind shedding a few tears, rush to see The Farewell Party. Read more

Interview with Tina Ivlev on Bound To Vengeance

Tina Ivlev on Bound To Vengeance
Tina Ivlev on Bound To Vengeance

Tina Ivlev brings a broad acting background to Bound to Vengeance. She starred in the gripping teenage drama, Dry Land, a Colt Coeur production written by Ruby Rae Spiegel and directed by Adrienne Campbell Holt. The play immediately became a New York Times Critics’ Pick, playing to sold out houses in New York. She mesmerized film and television audiences alike with characters who are real, compelling and strong. Her screen credits include The Devil’s In The Details (with Ray Liotta) and Death Clique. Her TV work includes appearances in The Bridge, Graceland, Anger Management, Major Crimes, and CSI.

In Bound to Vengeance, Ivlev is Eve, a young woman who fights back and manages to escape a malicious abductor. But after discovering she may not be the only victim, Eve unravels a darker truth and decides to turn the tables on her captor. In this one-on-one interview, Ivlev reveals the challenges she faced in bringing Eve to life.

What attracted you to the role of Eve?

Tina Ivlev: I thought she was a hero to these other girls. When I read the script, it was this really crazy story. Had it been a sexual exploitation film, I never would have done it. But this was the opposite, because Eve is just so smart and resourceful and heroic. She was someone who had these girls’ best interest at heart.

TIna Ivlev
TIna Ivlev

Did you audition for the role? And what was that like?

Ivlev: It was a standard audition. I hadn’t met any of the writers or directors before. I went in, got a callback immediately after I left, and got the part.

How did you deal with all the bloody violence in the film?

Ivlev: I just got into character and imagined what Eve was going through. It was weird, but I kind of got desensitized to it after awhile.

Tina Ivlev as Eve in Bound To Vengeance
Tina Ivlev as Eve in Bound To Vengeance

What did you find most challenging about portraying Eve?

Ivlev: I think her state of mind. She was really in a fragile state early on in the film. She was under tremendous pressure from the extreme situation she was in. Around Phil (Richard Tyson) and these other guys. She had lost her sister, and I think that losing someone so close to her eventually just made her unravel. And that was the hardest thing to find those moments. Like where is she in the script right now, where is she emotionally and mentally. That was the hardest part in playing Eve. There were crazy moments on set where you’re screaming and you have this nose around Phil’s neck. I felt so horrible because Richard had this mark around his neck. It was kind of intense after awhile.

How did you psyche yourself up to play victim, savior and executioner?

Ivlev: That’s why I liked Eve so much, because she wasn’t this victim throughout the whole film. In the very beginning, she turns the table on Phil, which is really cool and refreshing to see in these kinds of films. It was cool and weird. That was also kind of hard to play, because sometimes she gets captured and then she has to be aggressive to turn the tables again. So you’re wondering, who is she now? Has she completely lost it? Will she kill everyone? In the Salt Lake screening, everyone was screaming, no no!

Tina Ivlev as Eve
Tina Ivlev as Eve

Why do you think Eve was so driven to try to save the other girls?

Ivlev: For me, it was just survivor’s guilt over just losing her sister. The fact that she couldn’t save her, that it was almost her fault. I don’t think it was conscious but in real life, when girls go missing, it’s virtually impossible to find them. They could be in a different country. I don’t know if she just wanted to be a vigilante and take matters into her own hands, but I thought that Eve had snapped and she was unraveling. She couldn’t live with herself leaving these other girls who were in the same situation she was in and who might never see their families again. All she could see was her sister dying in front of her.

What message do you believe the film imparts to today’s audiences?

Ivlev: Hope, I suppose. When I read the script, it was heartbreaking. This person is tying to save these people on her own. Love would be another message. Eve loved her sister and cares about people and wants to save them. She didn’t just run away.

What’s next for you?

Ivlev: I’m auditioning for some projects now. And I’m writing. I don’t know how writers do it. I think actors have it rough but writers have it worse.

So do you like to do these horror films? Or maybe some comedy?

Ivlev: I don’t like to even watch horror films, because I just get so scared. But I love films like Rosemary’s Baby. I also love comedy and drama. So I don’t really have a preference.

Survivor, A Cat and Mouse thriller

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The exciting thriller Survivor now on Blu-ray and DVD takes audiences on a wild ride through the streets of London. Starring Milla Jovovich as the hunted, Survivor has a good storyline, a solid well known supporting cast and able direction. While most of the film has edge of your seat action, the story may give you a hint of déjà vu if you have seen the movie SALT. That said the chase scenes in Survivor combined with Jovovich’s intensity are well worth the watch. Read more

Timbuktu, a powerful film

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The movie opens with a young gazelle running in the sand dunes of Timbuktu. Chasing the beautiful docile animal in a pickup truck are members of the Jihadists shooting their rifles in its direction. “Do not shoot the animal, we just want to tire it out” says their leader. It’s an act of domination repeated throughout the film, but instead of animals with humans living in fear. The film Timbuktu is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Read more

Cameron Is Not Who You Think He Is – Preview #Stitchers

When Cameron’s neighbor is killed, the Stitchers group works to determine if the bullet was really meant for Cameron. As they stakeout the location from Cameron’s apartment, Kirsten finds that she enjoys the reconnaissance, maybe a little too much. Meanwhile, Cameron shares more details with Kirsten about Marta’s disastrous stitch. Read more

Dope, Geeks ‘n the Hood

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Dope is “dope”; a fast moving comedy crime drama that takes you into the hood of LA and treats you to a story of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The nicely directed characters, equally good acting and satisfactory camera work combines indie magic with an exciting script. The movie won the audience award at Sundance and will delight moviegoers across the US. Other than a few flaws in production value you wouldn’t know the movie was made with a low budget. Read more

Inside Out, An Emotional PIXAR Comedy

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Just when you thought you knew what was going on in your child’s brain, up pops Inside Out a funny little film from Disney/PIXAR. The animation is PIXAR flawless, the direction pin point and the voice acting, well “pitch perfect”. The family film however is not without a downside as I feel it’s a bit too depressing. This little adventure is amusing, but let’s hope the sequel is a little more cheerful, adventurous, filled with fasciation and kindhearted next time. “Just saying.” Read more

Time Lapse, a Cool Snap Shot to Danger

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In the film Time Lapse a different kind of Sci-fi time travel takes center stage delivering a cool ride into danger. On target and compelling the filmmakers do more on a modest budget than some large production companies. The movie has some fine acting, directing and cinematography, but the story deals have a very tricky premise that can be puzzling. In my review I attempt to make the premise clear, so read on. Time Lapse entertains right up to the last twisted minute. Read more