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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Samuel Bleak Movie Review



Samuel Bleak is the sordid tale of the son of a writer and a drunk Vietnam vet, living a life in hiding as an outcast. In the opening scene Doctor Ramirez (Deborah Kara Unger) and her senile are mother chatting, soon her mother sees Samuel Bleak scavenging amongst wood scraps in a clearing.

We later learn Samuel is a recluse, hiding in the woods, in a small shack with an old typewriter. He does not speak, but is not mute. He is writing a book, eventually he is discovered by Ruben Ramirez, a local police officer, husband to Unger's character.  Ramirez has a heart, and tries to help Samuel Bleak, tries to get him to eat and get help for his situation.

Above Pic: as Samuel Bleak

Samuel Bleak's Father Charles, portrayed as an abusive drunk, masterfully with Zeal by James Russo. In a flashback he bursts through the door grabbing a sloppy kiss from his wife loud and belligerent and he exclaims, I am sorry son I forgot your birthday, and slams a large Knife on the table and says happy birthday, not before forcing Samuel to close his eyes. Samuel Bleak's Mother was a writer.

Sadness exudes from Samuel's Eyes, as he has seen so much hatred, anger from one parent to last a lifetime. Samuel is admitted to a mental hospital after he does not eat then, the film truly begins.

Above Pic: Keith David, Deborah Kara Unger, David Zayas


Anger, love, consternation, hope, dreams, and a reflective look inside the creative tormented mind. Samuel Bleak is full of great acting and a thoughtful storyline, not only did the film hold my interest, I was thinking about it after the credits crawl. Auspicious, daring, bold, and inventive, while wearing three hats: writer, director, and star brings an amazing effort to the screen, and enlists some experienced and ultra-talented actors in Unger, Russo, along with newcomer as Kat, (whom Bleak befriends in the mental institution). Kelly brings an almost childlike innocence to her suicidal character, refreshing to watch and poignant.

The creative team behind Samuel Bleak are: Tom Conigliaro, Kevin Pugliese are
(Executive Producers), with Bernadette Dugas Producing. Carlucci Weyant is the Executive Producer, Producer, and Co-Developer of Samuel Bleak. The group obviously work well together and have come up with a professional independent film that should easily garner an audience on a major network, and be successful on the home video market. Split Vision Entertainment and Aria Relic Pictures are the companies behind the production.

Samuel Bleak, is not a fast paced film, but thoughtful in approach and direction, and artfully filmed. A worthy effort,  I rate Samuel Bleak an 8 out of 10.

For More info on Split Vision Entertainment go to:  http://www.splitvisionent.com/sve.html

For More info on Aria Relic Cinema go to:  http://www.ariarelic.com/#!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Raze Set To World Premiere At TRIBECA Film Festival!!! New Trailer!



Watch for RAZE movie exclusives from Dan's Movie Report! First UP. Marissa Labog chats about raze and other projects! :http://www.dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2013/04/actressstuntwoman-marissa-labog.html 

TARA MACKEN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: http://www.dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2013/04/tara-macken-interview-exclusive-dans.html

From shadows of post-production emerges the long anticipated “RAZE” trailer! RAZE stars Zoë Bell (Django Unchained, Oblivion) , Rachel Nichols (Continuum, Star Trek, P2), Tracie Thoms (RENT, Death Proof), Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy), Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), Bruce Thomas (Legally Blonde), Rebecca Marshall (Saw 3D: The Final Chapter), Bailey Anne Borders (The Change Up), Allene Quincy (The Sentient), Adrienne Wilkinson (Xena Warrior Princess), Tara Macken (The Hunger Games), and Jordan James Smith.



Awakening after being abducted, JAMIE (Nichols) finds herself in a concrete bunker, and she discovers that she is not alone. She and SABRINA (Bell), a fellow abductee, both soon realize that they are in a modern day “coliseum” where, along with 48 other women, they are condemned to kill each other in order to protect their very own loved ones.


“We wanted to show the [audience] an experience and emotional ride that they aren’t expecting,” says Bell.  “I hope what people get out of it is not just the physical horror of snapping someone’s neck or gouging someone’s eyes out or whatever, but the emotional horror of having to kill someone to save someone your love. That’s my hope.”



Produced by Zoë Bell, Kenny Gage, Andrew Pagana and Josh Waller, the project was developed with Cinipix and financed by Cinipix and Quincy Pictures, associated with XYZ films and Celluloid Nightmares, with executive producers Allene Quincy, Rachel Nichols, Bill Ceresia, and Mathew Hayden. 

Click Link for You tube Trailer @
http://youtu.be/6vAs4ZkGGSE


Raze will have its world premiere at the TriBeCa Film Festival April 21, in New York. Additional public screenings will be shown throughout the festival. For details on scheduling check out www.razethemovie.com for the latest news and updates about the film. Also be sure to follow RazeTheMovie on Facebook www.facebook.com/razethemovie  and Twitter www.twitter.com/razethemovie

Watch for Future Surprises, and Raze Contests on Dan's Movie Report!  As Tara Says "Watch your Back!"

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Actress/Stuntwoman Marissa Labog Interview (Exclusive! Dan's Movie Report)

Above Pic Credit: Marissa Labog

Update 2014! New action trailers for Violence: http://vimeo.com/83729982
                                                         Throne: http://vimeo.com/101785467

With sense of controlled aggression Marissa Labog is prepared to take on the world, no matter if the world includes stunt work, acting, or her first love of dancing. Marissa is a what she terms: “A Punch you in the face kind of sister.” Speaking of punch you in the face, Raze is set to premiere at Tribeca Film Fest, and Marissa chats about her time on Raze and other projects such as Columbiana and Act Of Valor. Sit back, grab a coffee, or a sharp object, or both, and check out the ruminations of Marissa.


You always loved dancing as a child?  Was there one influential person that you looked up to in your early dancing career?

I think I came out of the womb with jazz hands and a high kick.  I danced all the time.  I forced my family to watch me dance for hours and when they were too tired to watch I would prop my little cousin up in his high chair and make him be my audience.  So when I was four, my parents decided to put me in dance class to maybe get it out of my system. Wow… did that backfire! It fueled the fire and gave me the tools I needed to do it professionally.

I don't know if there was one influence because I was basically drawn to all movement whether it was vaudeville, ballet, jazz, funk, or even Kung fu.  But I did spend a lot of time watching musicals with Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse, Fred Estaire, and Ginger Rogers. I wanted to dance on the walls and ceilings like Fred Estaire or dance on roller skates like Gene Kelly.  It just seemed like anything was possible.

Were you always flexible, or was it something you had to work at?

I was flexible but somewhat in the opposite way I needed to be.  Starting with ballet, my teachers always joked that my legs were put on backwards because I didn't have a lot of outward rotation needed for ballet dancers but had extreme inward rotation. I was pigeon toed for the most part. So I had to work really hard to rotate the opposite direction.  However when I started doing Modern Dance and Martial Arts, my natural rotation proved to be a real asset.

Did your dance background lead to get into the stunt world or are they two separate developing careers?

My dance background absolutely led me to stunt work.  I really didn't know much about the stunt world growing up.  There are moments I'm still surprised I'm in this incredible community.  I went from dancing with ballet companies, to dancing in modern dance companies (which I'm still in), to breaking (a.k.a break dancing) in the industry, which led me to flipping around, which led me to parkour and martial arts, which fundamentally landed me in stunt work.  I never would have imagined that this was my journey, but I'm happy it happened.

Who are some of the stuntwomen you look up to?

The stuntwomen I look up to are amazingly enough, my friends. Jade Quon is amazing. We used to train together when she was also breaking back in the day. She is incredibly fearless and insanely talented. I'm in awe of how she has dominated the stunt world. Kara Petersen, Natalie Padilla, Tara Macken, are powerful and are constantly sharpening their skills.  But who I think is most remarkable is Zoë Bell.  She has not only been one of the top stuntwomen in the industry but has moved onto to being an incredible actor and producer.  She has been able to use this platform she has built to create content that promotes, supports, and revels in strong women and the portrayal of strong women.  I am definitely inspired to create and be part of more work like this.

Describe the audition process as a stuntwoman in general; is it the same as acting, or do the producers just bring in specific people for specific stunts?

It depends on the project and whether you are a stunt performer or doubling an actor or actress. Usually if they are looking for a stunt performer the audition process is like a dance and acting audition combined. In the beginning you would be asked to show off your individual skills or learn fight choreography. After that, depending on the role and what they are looking for you may be asked to read copy just like an acting audition. When you’re doubling, it is about your skills but more importantly about how much you resemble the actor. This is when your relationships and your reputation are vital.

Did you ever watch a stunt on screen and say "Damn" that is insane? (which one if you can remember?)

Man… there are a lot of stunts I think are insane.  In the ledge fight scene at the end of the Thai film "Chocolate" when the stunt men are falling off the concrete ledges and literally hitting each ledge and sign on the way down before they hit the concrete ground below is.... mind-boggling.  I still don' t know how any of them survived. The wirework of the ninja cliff battle in GI JOE: Retaliation is also incredible. The control and precision required for this scene is sick.  I' m so proud of my friends Aaron Toney, Travis Wong, Kerry Pak Wong, and Ming Qiu.

I saw that you doubled younger Cataleya in Columbiana, do you have to get in a different mindset when you are doubling children?

Whenever I double anyone, especially children I'm really mindful of how they naturally move.  I want to make sure I can embody their natural body movement while executing the stunt.  I want the audience to know that these young girls have the power to accomplish anything.

Maybe share a story about your filming Columbiana, and strange or funny things happen on set?

Shooting " Colombiana" was a trip.  First off, we were filming in a really dangerous area of Mexico City so we had security that was armed with AK-47s.  People in the area had never been around a lot of film crews so there were people crowded around watching everything we did, asking us for our autographs, warning us of what houses to stay away from.  It felt like a whole community came out to support the film.

But one of the most exciting parts of working on the film was working with David Belle, the proclaimed creator of parkour.  His mind set was just so fascinating.  He was so comfortable in the oddest situations.  For example, one of my first stunts was jumping out of a third story window onto a ledge, to a drainpipe, and then onto the top of a car.  David was on the ground near the car and I couldn't hear what he was saying. So he crawled up a drainpipe on the side of the building, much like Spider-Man (which was a nickname), to talk to me on the third story ledge.  Bizarre but incredible.  He just kept saying it was normal and natural to do what he does.  Yeah... Ok... David... Normal, natural,....if you got bitten by a radioactive spider.... Sure.

Above Picture: Marissa in Act of Valor, supplied by Marissa Labog


Recently I watched Act Of Valor, fantastic film, full of action, how did you get that cool role? Was the audition process lengthy?

Act Of Valor was thrilling.  My friend Sonny Sison, who was already working on the project, submitted me for the role.  I believe I was replacing someone because it was a little grueling.  So the next breakdown of the role included that she had to be a good actress who CAN FALL DOWN.  Sonny submitted me and I went in, was handed an AK-47, and ended up working on the film for two weeks instead of just a couple of days.

Maybe share a story on set with the boys in Act Of Valor, must have been fun to be in a mainly male dominated film?

I learned so much working on this film.  Everyone took care of each other.  No matter what the shot was, everyone was there to lend a hand.  I really felt like there was no room for ego on the set because we were pretending to live this life while the Navy Seals actually did.  I remember hanging out with our group of stuntmen and actors talking about our lives working in Hollywood.  Someone brought up the topic of luck. As we were sharing our experiences, one of the Seals starts talking about his experience in battle where the men on either side of him were shot and killed and he walked out unharmed. Another time, one of the higher rank officers was shot eleven times and not only survived but completed his mission, while his best friend was killed with one bullet.  These were his stories of luck, which of course made everything in our lives feel lucky.  It kept us in perspective, which was an incredible learning experience.


Do you have a new appreciation for the military and all the hard training after working on Act Of Valor?

I love my stunt family and think they are all incredible but Navy Seals could kick our ass!  It isn't t that they are physically stronger than the stunt men and women I know but that the Navy Seals are the most determined group of people I have ever encountered.  There is a laser sharp focus when it comes to the task at hand.  Nothing seems to shake them except when they talk about their families.  They would be cracking jokes, telling stories, but the moment they got in the zone, they were in the zone.

On to Raze, how did you get the part of Marissa, I mean you are Marissa so not much of a stretch right haha?

Haha… Yup! I got the role because of my name. I should really thank my parents for this one! No… all joking aside… I was first brought on to work on the Previz fights for the film, so I got to play in a couple of roles, which was a blast.  After that, I guess they liked me enough to keep me on for the actual movie, which was amazing.  I’m so honored.

Yeah the film set looked like a blast. Share a story from the set of Raze, any bumps, bruises, or falls?

I think we all walked out of this experience with battle wounds and a huge smile on our faces.  I mean we looked insane.  The ground was wet dirt so we were all filthy with crap in our hair, dirt down our pants, with fake and real blood oozing out.  I got a head butt to the face and had a huge black eye.  I was hoping we would use the take with the head butt because if you are going to get a black eye it should at least be worth it.  But what's super crazy is that the real head butt looks fake. There isn't as big of a reaction when it actually happens so it' s hard to tell that anything occurred except for the really disturbing sound of two heads colliding.


Must have been fun to work with Z Bell, did you pick up some new techniques from her?

Zoë is hilarious. She could be beating you up, breaking your arm, and you would still be laughing uncontrollably.  It is a remarkable thing to work with someone who really knows what it is like to fight and do stunts on camera as a woman.  She has incredible power and strength but never once loses her femininity.  She incorporates her strengths as a female along with her kick ass skills.

Experiencing a mostly male cast in Act of Valor and a mostly female cast in Raze, does it matter, or is it more enjoyable if the majority of the cast is female?

Honestly, I think it varies from project to project.  I loved working with both the male cast of Act of Valor and the female cast of Raze but I think for different reasons.  In Act of Valor we all came together because of the shared experience of navigating the life the Seals lived through. It was like we found ourselves in Oz and were learning about the Wicked Witch of the West.   In Raze Zoë really brought us together.  She had a special dinner for only the women of the film so we could bond and really get to know each other.  We trained together and then fought together. So we really bonded as a collective of strong females to really revel in our power.

Females fighting on film, as a writer and a person who enjoys balance on screen, I think Raze will break ground in this realm.  What are your thoughts on Raze, do you think it could lead to more films like it?

I hope Raze opens the door to more films like it.  I think it proves that women can really carry an action film. We have the ability to fight our own fight without the male hero coming to the rescue.  We are powerful survivors and warriors with crazy skills to back it up.  Raze shows that we can be shaken and bruised, but are determined to remain.

I hope this is the case with Raze opening doors, shifting gears to your influences, what actors and actresses do you enjoy watching and would like to work with in the future?


There are so many great actors out there and I find myself mesmerized by different ones depending on the roles. I love Viola Davis. She is amazing, raw yet composed. James McAvoy has an incredible way of being all the best parts of a human being. He is strong, focused, confident and then can switch to the nerdy, bumbling, insecure guy in a way that encompasses who we are as human beings. He is also hilarious with it. Jennifer Lawrence is very much the same way. But I think my all time favorite right now is James Badge Dale. He played the Gaunt Guy is Flight. He only had that one scene but it was powerful. He saw the humor and the nonsense of what we do with life in a way that was informative, sad, but joyful at the same time. I feel like anyone else would have focused on the sorrow and self-pity.

What is your focus now, more acting or stunts? Do you have a preference?

I would love to do both acting and stunts. The combination of the two would be my dream.  I would love to be a like the character Wesley in " Wanted" or to do films like X-Men and Avengers.  I always joke around that I'm a super hero in training but I do believe that is true.  The beauty of such a life is to be a strong, independent, highly skilled woman, but who is still dripping with flawed humanity.  I feel that this is what gives life and story the humor, determination, respect, and honesty it deserves.

Above Pic Credit: Marissa Labog Official Website


Marissa you are a superhero, closing this interview out, discuss some of your upcoming projects?

Right now I’m one of the leads on a great series called “Dead Man,” written and directed by Brian Maris. I don’t know if I can talk too much about it right now, but I’m exactly what I want to be. I’m a bad-ass with an intense past. So I get to live in both worlds of acting and kick ass action. In addition, I’m writing some of my own content, continuing to break ground on the possibilities of female strength and spirit. 

You are a bad-ass and that is no damn lie haha, thanks so much for the fantastic detailed interview Marissa!

Watch for more interviews from the ladies of Raze! More from Marissa later in 2013 on Dan's Movie Report! Click the links below to learn more about Marissa and her projects and follow her on twitter while watching her kicking ass!

Marissa Labog Official Site:  http://www.marissalabog.com/
Marissa Labog Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MarissaLabog
Marissa Labog updated stunt action reel for 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exy7eHakj8s 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Web Series Humber City To Premiere 4-30-2013!



Recently there has been an explosion in the popularity of the web series genre. The rise is exciting and dynamic, and allows for independent producers and directors to hone their craft, gain exposure, and possibly sell the rights to a network for distribution. Some series even have millions of views like Mortal Kombat: Legacy. Watch for more coverage on web series upcoming in 2013 on Dan's Movie Report, but first up is Humber City.

Humber City is an indie feature episodic crime drama, and premieres online at 8pm U.K. time, April 30th 2013.

Check out the teaser trailer for Humber City on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4FHw2lQ2co 

Click the following link for more promo videos from the cast of Humber City  http://www.youtube.com/user/LimitedFaith?feature=watch




Plasmafire Graphics are continuing the endeavor on creating new posters for Humber City in anticipation of the first episode of Humber City. This all new one sheet features Zara Phythian as DS Caroline Silvers - http://www.facebook.com/humber.city

Art by Plasmafire Graphics, Promo Photography by Shay McGreal.


Press:

Show Discription: A British crime drama web series with character, action, conspiracy and political unrest. In a city desperately in need of hope and salvation.

Small business owner John Radford (Michael Justice) finds himself in hot water when his deal with notorious crimeboss, Carl Southwark (Kenny Richards) begins to unravel.

"Darkest, Before the Dawn" stars John Carrigan and Joseph Stacey with guest stars Kenny Richards, Michael Justice, Sophia Agnew, Alex Bennett, Adam Bakes and Martin Upfold in a script written and directed by Peter Goundrill

Visit the Official Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/humber.city



Monday, April 1, 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Movie Review



Above Pic: Poster from G.I. Joe Retaliation
(All pics can be made wallpaper sized, by increasing the size in windows, left click, right click larger image and select view image and bam Wallpaper from Dan's Movie Report!)



Last year when Retaliation was delayed it was disappointing, as much summer promotion for it, I pointed out though to my friends that the season was too crowded. Getting a jump start on the Summer in 3d, and opening to over 130mil, no surprise the sequel is already green-lit.

Minor spoiler-

The president is captured by and impersonated by Cobra. The Joe's are sent on a mission to capture a rogue nuke, and boom all that is left is Roadblock: The Rock and two others, including Jinx . With the recent allowing of Females in combat was refreshing, using cunning and intellect do get the result.

Is Retaliation full of detailed stories and complexities, no, but the action is so mind crushing that more than makes up for some oddities. The humor is thrown fast and furious in the beginning, things get decidedly more serious towards the end.

Above, Ming Flies!

Above Pic Poster of Elodie! Ready to retaliate! (C) MGM


The use of swords and bullets worked, the action was so tightly choreographed, obvious time was taken in each scene development.  My favorite scene in the film by far is the action sequence on the mountain side, (in the trailer). Like a Monet Painting Stuntwoman Ming Qiu effortlessly flies through the air like a lithe bird full of anger and swords. Elodie Yung while rather quiet, speaks with her swords, trained by Ming her moves were crisp and aggressive. Tara Macken also had a hand in doubling Elodie. Watch for more on Dan's movie report about the ladies of Joe!



Regarding interplay between The Rock and Bruce Willis; a rip roaring testosterone fueled romp to watch. The sardonic quips,  violence initiation, and mention of cholesterol, to a sultry Jade, just made the film flow. Technology and swords don't usually work but here it the mix is like fine wine and filet Mignon, with the beef belonging to The Rock!

Villains, heroes, and legendary Martial Artist James Lew as the Chinese Leader in a cool cameo. Joe has it all and flaunts it!

In short, G.I. Joe has an ultra cool indie feel on a 150 million budget, I loved it! Is is accurate, who cares, all I care about for Joe is the action, and If it is swords you want swords you will get, See it or die by the blade! I rate Retaliation 8 out of 10 on the sharpness scale!

For more on Ming Qiu visit her official page unless you are frightened!  http://www.stuntming.com/