Friday, 29 April 2011
"Probably my first favourite move was Indiana Jones: Raiders of The Lost Ark. I would come from home school at lunchtime and watch the bulk of that movie and a friend would do the German and I would do the English dialogue. He didn’t know what he was saying but he would say all the German words. Now he’s a WWII memrobilia collector, how weird is that? If I walk by the tele and Jaws is on I’ll watch it and the same goes with the James Bond movies. I like evil movies, like The Exorcist and my favourite program is Dexter at the moment. I met the writer Jeff Lindsay on Adam Hills’ show (Gordon St Tonight) and I nearly shat myself. I love anything dark like that or action/adventure. I even like black and white English movies, like Breakfast At Tiffany’s, that kind of shit. I love the way they talk “oh, look at the sun.” I love Ladykillers and Peter Sellers movies.
Now, what’s something I’ve seen recently? The last thing I saw on the plane was Eclipse (The Twilight Saga). I had to watch it and see what the fuck it’s about. It’s not complete shit, there’s enough killing and stabbing for me but it was the sitting in the daisies saying “I know what I want, I want to be a vampire” that got me (pissed). You’re 17, you don’t know what you fucking want, now get your ass home! If I was 17 my mother would have never let me be a vampire. I watched Will Ferrell’s The Other Guys too, that was very fucking funny."
So, if that didn’t convince you he’s the greatest human being ever, maybe the fact the fact he had an outburst in the middle of the interview to say “Fuck! The fucking air-con in this country, it’s fucking ridiculous!” will. Byrne is coming to the big screen later this year in Killing Bono with Ben Barnes, Krysten Ritter and the late Pete Postlewaite and stay posted for an exclusive chat about that.
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
You like that title? I do, because after interviewing incredible stage actor, director, screenwriter and now musician Tim Robbins, I'm feeling quite affectionate towards him. He was polite, charming, intelligent and freakin' intriguing, as you will see when you read this transcript of my interview. Tim Robbins, Oscar-winner, has hit the big 5-0 and recently released his debut album as Tim Robbins and the Rogues Gallery. Believe me, part of my job is to review music for a living and I'm not lying when I say the LP is a beautiful, sweeping combination of Nick Cave-esque storytelling and Bob Dylan folk (when he's on).
Tim Robbins is playing at the 2011 Byron Bay Bluesfest, which ends later tonight, and to celebrate I'm posting this interview. I was fortunate enough to see Timmy and the Rogues play a live set on Saturday and they were all sorts of bluesy awesomeness. Robbins' attendance at the festival was in doubt after his mother passed away last week, but being the champ that he is he fronted up, played a rocking set in front of a black and white picture of his parents and left the stage drenched in sweat. Like I said, champ. Anywho, we talk music, movie and mid-life crisis' below.Tim Robbins: Hello, are you there?
Movie Mazzupial: Hi! Howdy! Can you hear me?
TR: Yes, yes, I can hear you. Sorry about the other day (-Ed. our previous interview got cancelled).
MM: Oh, don’t worry about it. I understand you have to do a lot of interviews so these things would get pretty tedious.
TR: Oh no, it’s not tedious. It was just me, I stuffed up.
MM: Well, no worries. It’s lovely to chat to you because I’m such a huge fan of yours and never in my wildest dreams thought I’d get to interview you so . . . this is very exciting.
TR: Well, I’m excited your excited.
MM: (Laughs). Cool. So, where are you speaking to me from at the moment?
TR: I’m in Venice, California and it’s a beautiful, sunshiney day. We’ve had torrential rain for the past few days and now finally it’s come out in beautiful sunshine.
MM: Nice. Now, the album, first of all I have to say I loved it. I listened to it on a long drive and I’ve never really quite heard anything like this before. I mean, Book Of Josie for me was the perfect track. You must be proud of this record.
TR: I’m very proud of it and I’m excited that you like it. What I figured was going to happen there was there were going to be some people that would put it on and give it a shot and others that would already hate it, so I appreciate you listened to it. It’s a good driving album.
MM: Yeah, I was driving through the country side at the time and it just complimented the situation so well.
TR: Yes, it would be perfect with the sweeping landscapes.
MM: Exactly. You’ve taken the unusual step, I guess, of not rushing into make an album when you first got famous and making your debut at 50, why was that?
TR: I didn’t feel like I had enough to say. Everything I’ve done in theatre and movies, everything I’ve written and directed, has been based on a story I wanted to tell and I just feel like that’s what should be behind the music as well. A few offers to do an album had come through before that and I felt like I had songs, but didn’t have an album. I’m big fan of albums, from beginning-to-end kind of albums where you sit down and listen and the album forms an impression on you. It’s like a good play or a good movie; you see imagery, you feel emotion, and I just felt like that if I’m going to do an album I’ve got to have a story I want to tell and that didn’t come until later. I’m glad I waited, I feel like now is the right time for it. I feel like I have something to say, I feel like I have enough knowledge of music and I know how I want it to sound. I’m not misguided by the wrong things. i think sometimes people jump into this kind of thing for the wrongs reasons.
MM: I heard you describe the album as the “mid-life crisis album”, why would you say that?
TR: It was a joke I made and I really regret making it. At the time it seemed funny and I laughed and everyone around me laughed, but apparently the irony and the humour was lost on the London tabloids because there were articles in the paper the next day about me going through a mid-life crisis and they had an accompanying article from a psychologist comparing me to a British comedian that had had a mid-life crisis and was institutionalised. It went viral on the internet and everywhere that Tim Robbins is having this mid-life crisis. It was probably the worst way to sell an album ever. I couldn’t imagine what you would like to hear less than a man in his 50s moaning about his life. None of these songs are about that. It was a bad joke and I can’t take it back
MM: (Laughs) Right, that sounds, erm, quite awful. I watched Dave Coulter from your band describe the songs as little movies in themselves, how do you respond to that? Is that something you were conscious of?
TR: They’re stories, definitely, and I can see how he would say that. You can make a movie out of Time To Kill or Crush On You or Book Of Josie, definitely. I think a good song has imagery in it that takes you to a different place and the great thing in song is that place is different for everybody. I have a certain image in my head and what’s exciting about music is that it can be perceived in many different ways. People get to cast their different opinions. How you see Josie is probably different to how someone else sees it and that story gets to be told through different imaginations. The realisation of song lies in the imagination, whereas a film makes all the decisions for you.
MM: From your career as a stage and screen actor and director, to these songs which really tell stories . . . being a storyteller is something you’re clearly passionate about – why do you think it’s so important to do that?
TR: Tell storeis?
TR: It gives me joy. I feel like I have stories to tell and I’m good at doing it
MM: Now, Dead Man Walkling, it’s one of my favourite films of all time and its been almost 16 years since you made that. We don’t have it in Australia, but in America how much do you think the debate surrounding the death penalty has increased, improved, evolved?
TR: It's got a lot better and I think the movie really helped start a dialogue, as Helen Prejean will tell you. I just got an email from her yesterday talking about the moratorium in Illinois and that's been happening all over the country. I think what the movie did especially was it had respect for the families and the terrible pain they went through; it didn't try to manipulate the story into being about an innocent man on death row, because he wasn't. We wanted to really present it in an honest way and I'm really proud of that. For seven years we've also had the Dead Man Walking play project, where I adapted the film for stage and offered the rights only to universities that can convince other departments in the school to offer courses on the death penalty. It's in about 200 schools now and the courses increase the amount of thinking on the issue, but also whenever there's a production on there (are) symposiums and debates, which has really helped.
MM: Wow, that sounds amazing. I’d love to see one of those productions. Your film career is absolutely incredible, there’s so many films I would love to talk to you about - from City Of Ember to Mystic River - but The Shawshank Redemption has really become a lasting classic. What is it about that film you think makes people keep going back to it and falling in love with it over and over again?
TR It’s a beautiful script, it’s a story that offers hope. That and I think people can relate to the idea there might be injustice that happened in Andy’s life, but with patience and perseverance you will be able to find freedom. I think we all want to believe there’s hope out there and it’s a beautiful story about a friendship that’s pretty rare. There have been stories about male friendship where there are car chases and whoring women, but this is about a real friendship and people want to believe that’s possible.
MM: Fantastic, well, thanks so much for speaking with me Tim. It’s truly been a pleasure and I can’t wait to see you guys on stage at Bluesfest.
TR: Alright, thanks and you will have to come and say hi.
This is a post with the sole purpose of shamelessy self-promoting my story on Snoop Dogg talking about a Hood Of Horror on BloodyDisgusting.com here. So go, read it, comment on it, join the horror buff discussion.
Also, here's a picture of me on Snoop Dogg's throne. Yes, he has a throne and YES I am sitting on it. Ya dig?
Friday, 22 April 2011
“Well, recently – I can’t say forever because that’s too hard – but I really liked Inception, I liked True Grit, The Kids Are All Right, I love Black Swan. I think Inception is brilliant. It was very beautiful, sharp and just amazing.”
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Alexander said director Kenneth Branagh had been busy looking for a real woman - "not a waif''- to play Thor's only female warrior and was struck by Alexander's likeness to the character in the comic books.
``It wasn't necessary to put me in short hot pants, with stilettos and a big fake chest,'' said Alexander.
``He made her really tough, but she has a very feminie quality about her too, which is great.
``I tried to make her my own and did research with the comic books, but I didn't want her to be Xena or Wonder Woman-ish; I wanted her to be really Sif.''
Amidst an industry surrounded by "a lot'' of pressure on body image, Alexander said she wanted the character of Sif to be an example to young girls.
``I want all the little girls who watch this to see that it's you as an individual that's appealing, not having a waifish body and starving yourself,'' she said.
Sif is one of Thor's closest friends in the film and part of a group of Asgardian warriors, each with their own unique weapons talent. After landing the coveted role, Alexander said she jumped straight into three months of intensive training with her male co-stars, including an incredibly buff Hemsworth who put on around 35 kilos to fill out Thor's frame.
``We did stunt training five days a week and running and lifting three days a week in the three months before we started shooting,'' said Alexander.
``I was the only girl, which was awesome because they would tease me all the time and it was like going back to highshool.
``I had the furtherest to go physically and I dropped 20 pounds unintentionally as I was working out so much to get muscle tone.
``And Chris . . .geez man, he was huge.
``His neck was as big as my hips and he had to eat heaps and work out.''
Alexander made her first trip to Australia last weekend for the Thor world premiere in Sydney and said Hemsworth had been busy showing her, Branagh and co-star Tom Hiddleston around the ``Sydney bar scene.''
``He's a true gentleman with a very sick sense of humour, a booming voice and biceps the size of my entire head,'' she said.
``We were able to meet his brother Liam (Hemsworth) and his parents too, and they're just good people.
``I feel like you're all doing something right down there.''
Thor is out in cinemas now. Read my review below.
(Above) Me, on the weekend, as a Bloody Bride to a friend’s B themed 21st. I lost my Bjork costume.
I guess life really does come full circle. When I was in Grade 9, high school, I got in trouble in English class for looking at BloodyDisgusting.com I believe my teacher said it “wasn’t appropriate” which, of course, made me an even bigger fan.
If you don’t already check their site regularly *scold* I tweet my stories regularly and you can follow me here.
Here’s a collection of my yarns so far:
-Charisma Carpenter on Sibling Rivalry
-Denis O'Hare talks American Horror Story
-Bad Behaviour trailer
-Charisma Carpenter on Human Target
-Katee Sackhoff on Growl
-Katee Sackhoff on Haunting In Georgia
I've also got a Scream 4 review and interviews with Snoop Dogg and Tom Felton to be posted on there soon, so stay tuned.
Monday, 18 April 2011
Unlike previous films based on popular Marvel comic-books (Iron Man, Spiderman, Hulk, Daredevil) Thor is set within two worlds; Earth and Asgard. Asgard is the fantastical realm where Norse gods such as Thor (Chris Hemsworth), God Thunder, and his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), God Of Mischief, live under the rule of their father King Odin, played straight-faced by Anthony Hopkins despite wearing a ridiculous Gold eye patch. It's a land that has been living in peace since a brutal war with the frost giants, peace which is nearly jeopardised when Thor leads his brother and his warrior buddies Hogun (Tadanobu Asano), Sif (Jaimie Alexander), Fandral (Josh Dallas) and Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) into their realm for a spot revenge. But King Odin doesn't look kindly on Thor turning Frosty The Snowmen into gravel with his powerful hammer (which, like a boomerang, returns to him on command) and he banishes the ``vain, greedy, cruel boy'' to Earth. This is where Thor literally crashes into scientists Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Professor Andrews (Stellan Skarsgard), and their assistant Darcy (Kat Dennings), who witness his arrival as an astrological event in the New Mexico dessert. As the trio try to help the fallen God adjust to his new environment and work out how he got there, a plot of treachery, revenge and moral corruption is unfolding back home in Asgard that could threaten the fates of both worlds.
In Branagh's first big-budget studio outing he has proved himself as mighty as his subject. While many directors have lost themselves and the story within the action-scenes, special-effects and CGI laden worlds of comic-book movies, Branagh has managed to include all of the above while grounding the film with an emotionally charged, complex family drama. Interestingly it's not within the breathtaking, utterly spectacular CGI-created world of Asgard where the magic happens; it's on Earth. Thor's arrogant, privileged manner provides much of the film's humour as the fish out of water tries to negotiate a world of mere mortals. And by negotiate, I mean ushering cars out of his way like lowly cattle as he walks down the main road or strutting into a pet store and demanding a horse.
"We only sell cats and dogs,'' says the startled shop keeper.
"Then give me one big enough to ride.''
Aussie Hemsworth gives a thundering performance as Thor, backed by Oscar winners Hopkins and Portman, and a plethora of other amiable supporting turns from Dennings to The Wire's Idris Elba. As has come customary with a Marvel Studios outing, there's an extra scene at the end starring Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the leader of the "super secret boy band'' S.H.I.E.L.D which funds The Avengers. It gives you a peek at perhaps one of the villains for Buffy creator Joss Whedon's highly anticipated super-hero mash-up, The Avengers, which will feature Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Captain America and more in 2012. Until then, comic-book geeks and mere mortals will be heartily impressed by the mighty Thor.
Thor opens in Australia on Thursday, a bunch of other countries April 27 and in the USA on May 6.
P.S. Marvel movie regular Agent Coulson returns, as well as Marvel’s Godfather Stan Lee in a chuckle-worthy cameo. And as you’ve probably heard by now, one of the main Avengers also gets some screen time in Thor . . .
Friday, 15 April 2011
I chatted with the frontman of one of my favourite rock bands last week, British India, and as soon as Declan Melia and I spent the first five minutes bagging out Anne Hathaway, I knew I was in for an awesome interview. When it came to favourite movies, Melia shared his spot-on picks below:
"Detroit Rock City, it had Edward Furlong in it, I like Brick, Reds, which is this really long film directed by and starring Warren Beatty. It's about the Russian revolution and really good, and probably The Graduate, I have a big poster of it in my room. It's one of the few movies that was better than the book."
Some great choices there and if you want to see British India in all their live glory, they're playing at The Cooly Hotel tonight.
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
This is material perfectly suited to director Jon M. Chu, who has made a name for himself with teen dance musicals Step Up 2 and 3. Chu is as on-trend as ever, cleverly opening the film by making the audience click through emails to watch famous You Tube clips, such as the sneezing panda, before they click on what started it all; footage of a 12-year-old Bieber singing Chris Brown's With You. It's the video, along with several others, that caught the eye of millions of internet voyeurs; including an ambitious, young music producer and promoter Scooter Braun who recognised Bieber as his ticket to the big leagues. With superstar backers, a major record label, bucket loads of talent and that haircut, The Bieb is crafted into what he is now; a phenomenon that turns normally sane girls into fiends-for-fans. Perhaps pop music legend Antonio `L.A' Reid describes it best in the film when he calls Bieber ``the Macaulay Culkin of music.''
But what Never Say Never unintentionally gives us is the opportunity to see how talent, combined with opportunity, can craft something almost completely out of the artist's control. For the duration of the film he's almost always surrounded by adults, his friends talk about how they barely get to see him and the only contact he has with people his own age is when he's sprinting away from a mob of Eenie, Meenie Mo Lover's or rapping with Will Smith's son Jaden. At one point, a physically run down Bieber asks his vocal coach Mama Jan Smith for McDonald's chicken nuggets for dinner, to which she responds angrily; ``Do you want to stay in the game? Or do you want to pack up and go back home to Canada?''
Never Say Never wants to make a Bieleber out of you, but unless Justin Bieber is already your one love, one heart, one life (for sure) then this film is going to be a test of endurance.
Never Say Never is out now.
Like, OMG, so I read a few excerpts of JLH’s book online and woooooww. Epic lols!!!!!! Ever since seeing that she actually uses Omg, lol, capitals, ha-ha and at least 20 exclamation marks in a row IN A PUBLISHED BOOK I’ve been dying to read this. You can smash it in a day and although I thought this would be an epic laugh-fest, which it was, it also made me feel sorry for Jennifer Love-Hewitt because she oh-so-desperately wants to find `the one’. And because she’s dumb. Um, like really, really dumb. Hi-larious reading. With all The Huger Games casting going on I thought I’d revisit the series and wow, just as amazing as the first time I read them (the first and second novels especially).Michael Connelly and Jeffrey Deaver are my favourite crime writers and with Connelly’s second novel-to-film The Lincoln Lawyer in cinemas, I wanted to read the source material. Suffice to say it was pretty different from my favourite book of his, The Poet, but like all Connelly creations it’s very smart, action-packed and full of great characters. I also loved all the unexpected rap references. A must-read. This is a continuation, what more needs to be said?Wow. What more can you say? This is a slow burner, to be sure, as the opening chapters are a tad tedious to get through but once you’re through . . .wow. Such a powerful, romantic and moving book which is a haunting glimpse into an alternative reality where humans live to be over 100 thanks to cloning. We meet said clones is this modern classic that creeps up on you. I dare you not to shed a tear come the draw-dropping conclusion.