True Story, a Slow Moving Crime Drama

TRUE STORY poster

 

The acting saves the slow moving crime drama True Story from being a dragged out snoozer. Based on a factual account of a murder and the discrediting of a rising star reporter at the New York Times, the film stretches the story making True Story lukewarm at best. While the movie has a disturbing plot involving a heinous killing, the nonchalant way the dastardly deed gets presented reduces the intensity of the unimaginable making it a side note to a con job. Even the long drawn out Casey Anthony trial was a lot more compelling than this “true story”. Read more

Beyond the Reach, a Sizzling Thriller

BEYOND poster

 

Suspenseful and often chilling the movie Beyond the Reach showcases Michael Douglas in a role that engages his signature performance. His cold and calculating character here may offer a few scenes of déjà vu for some, but it’s an acting treat you won’t want to miss. Together with up and coming actor Jeremy Irvine the two put on a cat-and-mouse show that’s so intense at times, I found myself on the edge of my seat. Take a ride into a rocky desert with this sizzling drama. Read more

Avengers Character Breakfast at Cobb Theaters Grove 16

On MAY 2 (opening weekend of THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON)

CAPTAIN AMERICA avengers

Take your little hero to the Cobb Theater Grove 16 in Wesley Chapel, Florida for a great time.  Have them dress up in their favorite hero costume. Meet us at the Cinebistro upstairs at 9:30am for activities, photo opportunities, food and more. Please call theater for details and event admission.

(813) 948-5445

Be cautioned that THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON has been Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments. It’s the 3rd Episode in The Avengers series and it plays out in live action, not animation.

Cobb Theatres Grove 16 located at 6333 Wesley Grove Boulevard in Wesley Chapel, FL 33544

John Doe: Vigilante, a Man Seeking Vengeance

JOHN DOE boxart 1

 

One of the most brutal films I’ve seen in years, John Doe: Vigilante kicks it up a notch as a disturbing crime thriller. Although a low budget indie, the film has the look and feel of a major film with the convincing special effects and make-up. Now on DVD, the Australian made film gives a swift wake-up punch in dealing with one of the leading weakness of society’s justice system. Read more

Roadside, a Run of the Mill Killer Thriller

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Taking a low budget film to extreme the movie Roadside makes 10 hours seem like real time. Now on DVD the mystery thriller takes the audience into the dark side of reason with startling results. Although the mechanics of the production are not up to par, the story reaches above average suspense even though it may seem familiar to those who frequently watch the genre. A higher budget, a few more rehearsals and better nighttime camera work could have saved this admirable attempt. Read more

Torri Higginson and Darren Jacobs Talk “Nobility”

The spaceship Nobility
The spaceship Nobility

A cross between Firefly and The Office, the new a space adventure TV series Nobility combines a sleek spaceship in a deep-space adventure with a hearty dose of comedy. The polite, albeit dysfunctional crew aboard the C.A.S. Nobility—the most powerful ship in the Confederate Alliance—are the subjects of a documentary about how this mightiest of all ships is run.  Each episode explores the actions of the ship’s wacky crew as they overcome their personal trials and challenges in a broken world that surrounds them.

In these one-on-one interviews, Torri Higginson (Stargate SG1, Stargate: Atlantis) talks about her role as Cdr. Eugenia Pikeman. Also weighing in on his role as the heavily disciplined Eujin Liaison, Lt. Sirius Halud is Darren Jacobs (Elevator Gods, Death Machine, and the two-part sci-fi Starship).

Torri Higginson
Torri Higginson

What attracted you to the role of Cdr. Eugenia Pikeman?

Torri Higginson: I find that I always get cast in these big-hearted, nurturing characters, but I love Commander Pikeman because she’s not that. She’s very smart. She has an eye and a wing over everyone, but she would rather not talk to you or you to her. She would rather smack you if you misbehave. I find her energy quite wonderful. She reminds me a little bit of a German dominatrix.

How is this different and how is it similar to the sci-fi work you’ve done in the past?

Higginson: I’d never been part of a project on this grass roots level. Adrienne Wilkinson (who plays Lt. Ara Eris) got in touch with me, so I first heard about it through the actors who told me there’s this world that E.J. De La Pena created that’s really exciting and filled with lots of possibilities. So let’s all dive in and play and see what happens with it. It was a little bit scary but it seemed like a nice environment to play. The cast had already been compiled at that point and it sounded fabulous. E.J.’s energy is very lovely and innocent and he has this big heart for sci-fi. You never know how it’s going to pan out. There’s a bit of irreverence, which you find in the original Stargate and the original Star Trek.

Adrienne-Wilkinson is Lt. Ara Eris
Adrienne-Wilkinson is Lt. Ara Eris

Did you audition for the role?

Higginson: No. Adrienne got in touch with me and I met with E.J. who said we’d love you to come on board. Usually when you audition, even though, as an actor, you don’t feel it’s a mutual audition, you walk into the room and you hope you get the gig. But there is this other thing that happens when you get a job and you have an audition, it’s nerve wracking because you realize you haven’t had a chance to see what the person on the other side of the table is all about. There is a kind of mutual audition that goes on. So that was interesting to walk in, even though I had a meeting with E.J., I didn’t know how it would work or how his energy was going to be. Actors are all little kids that refuse to grow up.

How did you prepare for this particular role, a commander in humanity’s most powerful starship?

Higginson: Well (laughs), I just drew on my life’s experience. I find that in a lot of science fiction, the world is so out there, you really just take what you get from the script. And it seems sort of non-pressured for the whole environment. To be honest, I didn’t do a lot of prep. I read the script and looked at the other characters to see what they were doing. I met with the other actors and with the series creator, and then I just shut up and decided to play.

Torri Higginson as Cdr.-Eugenia-Pikeman
Torri Higginson as Cdr.-Eugenia-Pikeman

What was the most challenging part of this role? What scenes or parts do you enjoy the most?

Higginson: It was inspiring to see what they did on such a budget challenged series. But you get used to certain things like their wardrobe—like really? I can fit three people in this thing. Just having to feel powerful and strong in an outfit that doesn’t make you feel that way was a challenge. But I’m still blown away by what they did—creating an entire set in basically one room—wardrobe, hair and makeup, shooting, the green room.

As a ship’s commander, do you get involved in any shooting and fighting? And do you do your own stunts?

Higginson: I had a hard time working on my right hook. We had this amazing stunt guy, Mario, who came in and organized these fabulous fights between Adrienne and Darren Jacobs. And they just rocked it out of the park. I just get to punch people occasionally. I don’t break a sweat, I punch and walk away.

How much can you tell us about your character arc? Will Cdr. Pikeman change? Or will she be immune to the zany antics aboard the Nobility?

Higginson: She has a dry outlook that I really like. She has one eyebrow cocked most of the time and a little bit of an eye roll. What I love about E.J. and what brought me on to the role was that E.J. had such a strong sense of where it’s going. Everyone has a very specific arc. He came at me with “this is the history of this character.” As an actor, E.J. created this world with an actor’s mind. So he has a very strong sense of who these people are. As for my character, she is strong and emotionally reserved, but I think she’s going to open up a bit.

Captain Eric Cern (Cas Anvar)
Captain Eric Cern (Cas Anvar)

Will there be any romantic entanglements for Cdr. Pikeman? Can you say with whom?

Higginson: I hope so. I not looking forward to another four years of celibacy in space. I think Eugenia and Captain Eric Cern (Cas Anvar) have an interesting history. I think they were best friends during their training days, but I don’t think they had a romantic history. And I don’t think they ever will because he’s got his eyes on the mission—like a modern day Captain Kirk. I think she will have a romantic relationship with someone—perhaps with a Eujin because they are a very reserved and deeply honest race of humans.

 

The series is ostensibly an incongruous coupling. How is Nobility like Firefly and how is it like The Office?

Lt.-Sirius-Halud (Darren Jacobs )
Lt.-Sirius-Halud (Darren Jacobs )

Darren Jacobs: It’s like the Office because we have these cutaways or confessionals where we talk directly to the camera. Nobility has these little robots that fly around and film things that are happening on the ship. They think it’s good for the general population to see what’s happening on board, but it’s not really a great idea because the people running the ship are not the best people. In terms of Firefly, it’s got the sci-fi humor, the science stuff and on-the-nose throw away comedy—like Red Dwarf. All the characters are flawed in some way. My character is differed because I come onto the ship as an innocent optimist who wants to do good. But being immersed with these people changes me. I become tarnished.

You have such a broad acting background. What drew you to the role of Lt. Sirius Halud?

Jacobs: I was in a film with E.J. at the time and he was telling me about this thing that he’d been thinking about—combining sci-fi and comedy. I read the script and I thought it was fantastic. Then he got Claudia Christian from Babylon 5 involved. He asked if I knew anyone could do the serious stuff and the comedy and I got the role straight away. The real test for me was when we did some confessionals with costume and make up. We had a couple of script pages and I did a little improv with the comedy and E.J. and the crew were laughing their heads off.

How did you prepare for the role?

Jacobs: I did lots of research because it’s set 700 years into the future. So I had to learn about the Eujin race of people. We went back and forth about how we (Eujins) would speak. In 400 years, humanity becomes isolated, and in 700 years, they come back. I liked the idea they’re kind of outdated, so we agreed on a 50’s UK accent. In the fight scenes, I’m like a snake.

Nobility spaceship
Nobility spaceship

What was the most challenging part of this role? What scenes or parts do you enjoy the most?

Jacobs: I really enjoyed the fighting, but I also hated it because it was in the middle of summer, we were in this hot warehouse and I had this plastic costume that had half an inch of foam in the front, which when it bunched up, looked like I had these rolls on me. The sweat poured out me. I loved the pilot because the camera follows me through the ship as I meet all the characters. So every day, I’d come to the set and I’d meet a new person.

How is this different and how is it similar to the work you’ve done in the past?

Jacobs: It’s similar in that you come on set and you work with great people. It’s different because I’d come on set and realize that every day, I was working on something that I’d dreamed of working on as a kid.

Will Lt. Halud have romantic liaisons with any of the crew? Can you say with

whom?

Jacobs: I don’t know. I do know that he is definitely attracted to Eugenia Pikeman. He likes the idea that she has some respect for him. Eugenia is a strong woman who is really the muscle behind the ship.

Nobility ship
Nobility ship

How much can you tell us about your character arc? Will Lt. Halud change? Or will he continue to evangelize the Eujin culture with its focus on genetic purity and directed evolution?

Jacobs: My character is from a Eujin family who has had some problems in the past but now my sister and I are doing very well. She is in politics and I’m growing fast in the army. Joining the crew of Nobility is a huge slap in the face for my family because it’s a human ship. I’ve literally thrown away my high rank. Lt. Halud has this hope that the humans and the Eujins can work together, to expand humanity and reach the next stage. But the things that happen in the pilot change everything. Initially both the humans and the Eujins don’t accept me.

 

 

 

At the roundtable with “Messengers” stars Shantel VanSanten and Craig Frank

Messengers' stars Shantel VanSanten and Craig Frank
Messengers’ stars Shantel VanSanten and Craig Frank

Messengers’ stars Shantel VanSanten and Craig Frank talk about the compelling  new series, which begins when a mysterious object crashes on earth and a group of unconnected strangers die from an energy pulse it emits.  The selected Messengers re-awaken to find out that they must work together and unite their various new powers to prevent the impending Apocalypse. Messengers premieres on Friday, April 17 at 9pm on the CW channel. Click Messengers for brief video.

 

Inside Amy Schumer, Unrated and Unabashed

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Not your average comedian, Amy Schumer takes the stage on DVD with her unrated version of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer Season 1 and Season 2. The hilarious unabashed woman never backs down for a good laugh no matter if it offends, titillates, provokes ire or even makes you vomit. It’s all in good adult fun and she takes it on the chin presenting it to audiences who want something different from someone who’s not afraid to dish it out.

Read more

The Immigrant, a Gripping Drama

IMMIGRANT boxart

 

The fine actress Marion Cotillard shows her ability to fascinate and convince her audience in the film The Immigrant, now on Blu-ray and DVD. A tale of hardship, debauchery and despair, the film takes you into the life of a woman who sought freedom from oppression to one of despondency and a life of challenging choices. Able direction, strong acting support and convincing cinematography make this period piece a definite choice for those that like their drama gripping and emotional. Read more

Effie Gray, Not Fanning’s Cup of Tea

EFFie POSTER

 

Dreary and unemotional the true story of Effie Gray with a script by Emma Thompson plays out on the big screen this weekend. Terribly miscast, hollow and not quite as realistic as other films of its ilk, the Victorian period piece falls short of any real praise. The camera work does create a spark of artistic applause and the scenic shots are a treat. Performances by its honorable cast while admirable, get wasted with very little character development. Read more

Furious 7, a Rip Roaring Thrill Ride

FURIOUS poster 1

 

Giving very good performances all around, able direction and an edge of your seat storyline, Furious 7 takes the “summer” lead with an awesome action theatrical entry. The high energy franchise proves again that there’s always another story for the team of actors that has carried the car crime thriller for seven big hits. The edges are getting a little frayed, but that doesn’t mean I’m not ready for another fast ride. Rev it up Diesel, I want more! Read more

VIDEO RELEASES April & May

April and May are offering comedy, terror, family animation, Sci-fi, drama, adult, and documentary home entertainment releases.  Most are being released on DVD, Blu-ray,even in Blu-ray Combo Packs as well as Video on Demand.  We will have reviews on most of the titles so check back often and see what our critics have to say about them.  You may find a gem that you never knew existed or a hilarous comedy to brighten your day. Whether you are looking for horror, action-adventure, drama, comedy, crime or alternative lifestyle— the next months will have a little something for most everyone. Read more

Harlock Space Pirate, an Exciting Anime Thriller

HARLOCK boxart DVD

 

Featuring captivating motion-capture animation the film Harlock Space Pirate kicks sci-fi up a notch with serious action, manga characters and beyond imagination space craft. The thriller establishes a whole new world for those who are not already fans of the dark story lines and the space traveling counter hero. If you are a gamer, like anime or just want to take a ride on the wild side, then check out Harlock Space Pirate. Read more

Queen and Country, a Romantic Sequel

QUEEN AND COUNTRY poster

 

Spooling out his final film Writer/Director John Boorman makes it a sequel and a good one at that. His Queen and Country being released in the United States takes his characters into the 1950’s as a follow up to Hope and Glory set during WWII. He works his magic one more time with interesting characters, some comedy, military boot camp drama and a whole lot of romance. Beautifully filmed, it’s a masterpiece of a period gone by that saw England transfer the crown to Elizabeth II and turn boys into men. Read more

It Follows, a Daunting Teen Sex Chiller

ITFOLLOWS poster Radius

 

Very daunting, compelling, edgy and different the chiller It Follows takes you on a horror ride where sex is key and death the consequence. The disturbing film takes on a complex storyline and sorts it all out during the finale. Perfect for fans that like a good scare and staying with you for a long time after leaving the theater. The movie should do well at the box-office with the teens and twenties being target audience. Read more