If you watch one true story drama this year, check out Stronger, a compelling and heartfelt movie. The film grabs you from the very start with its story involving the tragedy, heroism, and determination of a man and a woman dealing with a difficult recovery from traumatic circumstances. When you go to see the film, and you should, bring some tissues as it pulls at your heartstrings with messages of love, courage and family. Read more
“Kingsman” are an undercover group that manages to rescue the world without anyone actually knowing. These well-dressed proper mannered agents deal with many dangerous situations to overcome impossible odds to save the day. Now, England’s most secret service agency are back in business after the first films adventure and ready to face more threatening situations. Read more
One of the most powerful foreign films this year, Woodpeckers makes its debut in the United States. The prison drama, based on true events, takes a cool twist that leads to a strange romance with a little comedy thrown in for good measure. Direction, cinematography and acting combine to make the flick a must watch for film buffs and art house movie fans. Read more
One of the better art films to come out of Russia and France, Polina shows the determination by a young girl to buck the system and find a different direction in the world of dance. Taught at times, strong willed and conflict-ridden, the film has all the emotions, drama and flare that show an unconditional dedication to the arts. Read more
The perfect horror film enters the darkened rooms of local cinemas this weekend and It should slice off the biggest chunk of change of the year thus far for a horror film. The movie’s screenplay, based on a book by the master of sick and twisted stories Steven King, is simply called It! The production proves very screen worthy, nicely acted and directed and hits the target audience on the bulls-eye. If terror and scary is your cup of tea, It is looking for you. Read more
This true story aims straight at the heart with a compassionate delivery of one of America’s anomalies, wrongly convictions for a crime. According to the film 2.4 million people are in prison and an estimate 120,000 are innocent. Quite a statement don’t you think? The movie drama Crown Heights follows one such innocent convict showing how the penalty system can fail. Read more
If you are looking for a wacky romantic comedy with a nice high energy 70’s rock, try your luck with Gun Shy. It’s fun, crazy and adventurous with unusual performances by a couple of stars out of their element. Nicely directed by action master Simon West helming his first wacky comedy, the film should entertain both men and women alike. Read more
The British are known for their dry humor and two good examples are the stars of The Trip to Spain. Its number three in a series of road trips across European countries and Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon set out to test the food among the locals while creating a gorgeous travelogue of Spain’s amazing wealth of historical sights. Read more
A powerful, captivating, thrilling, jaw dropper, the exciting film Good Time showcases a fine performance by Robert Pattinson and a creative script by Roland Bronstein and Josh Safdie. The crime story works its way into your head as Patterson’s protagonist finds himself caught up in a paradox created by wrong decisions. Decisions that will decide the fate of himself and his mentally challenged brother. It’s a hypnotic non-stop adrenaline rush from start to finish. Read more
Known for Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Evelyn and Becoming Jane, Dublin born Sophie Vavasseur has also appeared in the historical drama Vikings. In this sixth installment of the popular Bring It On franchise, Vavasseur is Hannah, a key member of the Rebels cheer team. Challenged in a smack down by a rogue team called “The Truth,” the Rebels also face the U.S. Northern Elite Gymnastics & Cheer team and 19 squads from around the world. In this one-on-one interview, Sophie reveals what drew her to this film and how she feels about the various roles she’s had to play.
Most of your work has centered on heavy or serious topics. What drew you to this light-hearted film?
Sophie Vavasseur: I have a huge love and passion for dancing and gymnastics, which was a big part of my life growing up. I still know the words to the original Bring it On. Being able to combine all my passions in one project—acting, dancing and gymnastics—was almost like a dream come true. You rarely get that in a project, so I jumped at the opportunity to be in such an iconic franchise.
Did you ever have aspirations for getting into professional gymnastics?
Sophie: When I was younger, I trained three times a week. My mom is actually a gymnastics coach. She never coached me, but I took to it like a duck to water from the age of six. I competed until I was eleven, but it was strength and conditioning for nine hours a week. So I’m still able to do all the backflips. While I never competed professionally, it was a hobby and passion of mine.
Did you audition for the role?
Sophie: We had a couple of audition scenes that included dance and gymnastics. So I put a show reel together with me doing different floor moves and back flips. It came to me so easily and I was already familiar with the franchise.
Hannah was tough with a bit of an attitude. How is Hannah like Sophie and how is she different?
Sophie: Hannah was very diverse, certainly more than meets the eye. I suppose we share the same basic traits. I’m quite driven. I like to be the best I can be and reach my full potential at all times.
How hard was it to learn the cheer routines?
Sophie: We had five weeks of rehearsals. It was a boot camp of almost 10 hours a day and a shock to the system for all the actors. I was the only one who had a gymnastics background, but I hadn’t done gymnastics for eight years. We were all in about the same position. We were thrown right into the deep end, doing stunts on the second day. We had dancers and cheerleaders on set and they were very supportive. While it was physically and mentally demanding, it was my favorite part of the overall process. For me, it was like being a kid in a candy shop.
What was the camaraderie like among your team?
Sophie: Chris (Prosperi) and I were the first to arrive in Cape Town and we became friends from the start. Then Gia and Jordan came and we were all living in the same complex—basically in each other’s pockets for three months. We were all actors about the same age with different personalities and we made very authentic friendships. I still talk to Chris every second day and Gia and Jordan. They’ll be my friends for life. I feel very lucky to have that because not every project allows you to develop genuine friendships with cast members.
What was life like for you in Dublin, Ireland?
Sophie: I grew up as the youngest of four. We all have different career paths. My eldest is a consultant in pediatrics, my brother is a stockbroker and my other sister is in marketing. I’m the one who everyone worried about, being in the creative field. My mom and dad gave us lots of opportunities when we were younger, putting us into as many activities as possible to see what works for us. We all did a bit of modeling and advertising, but I was the only one who hung on to it growing up. It was strange growing up in Dublin, because I didn’t know anyone in the entertainment industry. In some ways, it was very lonely, but now, as an adult, I know a lot more people in the industry. Acting was definitely not the thing to do in Dublin.
You’re also in Vikings as Princess Ellisif. How would you compare being in Bring it On vs. Vikings?
Sophie: I’ve done quite a few period dramas. Vikings is a huge production and it was an honor to be part of it. But the intensity is there in both projects.
What’s next for you? More TV, more films?
Sophie: I just spent three months in L.A. auditioning, so hopefully, I’ll be back working very soon. I’m very open minded. Most important for me is to be able to relate to the character. Generally, I like more serious roles with substance that I can sink my teeth into. But I’m very athletic, so I won’t shy away from physically demanding parts.
This 6th Bring It On will be released on? ?August 29th.
Totally hilarious The Hitman’s Bodyguard turns into a wild ride early on in this action comedy “odd couple” movie. The script may give you a bit of déjà vu, but it’s well worth the laughs and thrills. Certainly a nice cap to a “dinner and a movie”, as Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson are a hoot together. Read more
Robbing a bank is hard enough, but what Logan Lucky features is a whole new ballgame on robbery. The film goes for high stakes at a motor speedway and even though it’s fiction, it’s a lot of fun fantasizing on the plan and the getaway. The treat here is not Channing Tatum as a redneck bank robber, but Daniel Craig as an accomplice to the whole event. Craig digs down deep and comes up with an American Southern drawl that’s convincing, yet comical knowing he was “James Bond” shaken not stirred. Read more
Hard-hitting and brutal, the movie Shot Caller shows how far a man will go to make it in prison and come out alive. Filmed with a passionate desire to show the danger, violence, torture and ruthlessness, Director Ric Roman Waugh hits the film on all four cylinders. If you like a gut-wrenching movie with realistic performances, then do not miss Shot Caller. Read more
Review by Brent Lorentson
Following the success of The Conjuring, it’s no surprise that sequels would follow, but I have to admit seeing an Annabelle film as one of them is a bit unexpected. While The Conjuring was based on true events (as true as one may or may not wish to believe in the paranormal) Annabelle’s mostly a work of fiction. I’ll admit I’m a bit of the fan of The Warrens and have read plenty about their investigations and I certainly feel their life is ripe for the Hollywood treatment along with the hundreds of case files they developed over the years. Read more
This interesting biography takes you back to days when the going was tough and families were economizing their lives. It’s a parody of even today’s society of lost jobs and stretching income that seems to invade every generation. But, The Glass Castle shows how one family survived life’s up and downs in this true story based on Jeannette Walls’s bestseller book. The film’s cast proves to be the main winner here with their tour de force performances. Read more