Skewed 'n Reviewed http://sknr.net Movie News and Reviews Sun, 01 Feb 2015 04:39:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Seattle Seahawks 12th Man Fan Rally http://sknr.net/2015/01/31/seattle-seahawks-12th-man-fan-rally/ http://sknr.net/2015/01/31/seattle-seahawks-12th-man-fan-rally/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 04:39:44 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76911 Owner Paul Allen rented Chase Field to host a fan rally for the fans who travelled to AZ as well as for the huge number of fans who are based in AZ such as Snowbirds, retired individuals, and those like us who came down for business reasons.

The event had members of the Seahawks Ring of Honor, Games, Blue Thunder, Blitz, and of course, The Sea Gals. There were also some special moments such as Coach Chuck Knox not letting advanced years and health concerns keep him away.

 

We will post more pictures and video later so please check back.

 

 

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Dying Light Gameplay Video Shows Lag And Frame Stuttering Issues http://sknr.net/2015/01/31/dying-light-gameplay-video-shows-lag-frame-stuttering-issues/ http://sknr.net/2015/01/31/dying-light-gameplay-video-shows-lag-frame-stuttering-issues/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 03:50:33 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76909 You would think that an I7 Quad core, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a 2GB NVIDIA series graphics card would be enough to run the game since it is over the suggested specs. The opening parts and training ran well but then we had this issue. Dropping textures is the next step but sad that it has to be done on a system well over suggested specs.

 

 



 

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Why Does The Order:1886 Have So Much Pre-Launch Hate http://sknr.net/2015/01/31/order1886-much-pre-launch-hate/ http://sknr.net/2015/01/31/order1886-much-pre-launch-hate/#comments Sat, 31 Jan 2015 15:00:44 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76906 Ever since I first reported on The Order:1886 after a playtest various staff and I did at PAX Prime, we have noticed a large amount of negativity and almost hate for the game.
This continued through various opinion pieces we posted as well as a recent hands on over two days at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where once again, negative comments about the game followed.

At first I wanted to put this down as simply those that want to tear down anything that is new or does not fit their images of what a game should be, or Xbox fans lashing out over Sony having a new exclusive that they will not be able to enjoy without buying a PS4.

Even amongst supporters and those curious about the game, the debate over the lack of multiplay rages on. Some say that the game does not need it and it will stand or fall on its own merits. Others have said that with a reported 8-10 hours of play, then a multiplayer or co-op mode would be a nice idea especially with a $59.99 price.
One astute reader commented that they worry that some of the better elements of the game have been stripped away in favor of adding them later through DLC and essentially making the consumer pay more for features they should have had at launch.

There is also concern over what many perceive to be an overemphasis on cinematics that may hinder the flow of the game and the movement and control system of the game.

I will admit that the first time I got to play the game I did feel restricted in my movements as I was limited to moving left and right in a narrow area and when I advanced forward I was again limited in the directions I could go and had to deal with an interactive cinematic.

The second time I played the game I had a much different experience. I was sniping bad guys in a study, and at first I was restricted to left, right, up, and down, in a narrow area behind cover, but then, I was able to stand, run, jump, move down and up stairs, and in and out of rooms which allowed me to flank the enemy and attack them from different angles.

My biggest issue was that there were waves of very challenging enemies who took cover and shot well which forced me to make efficient use of my limited ammunition.

For me the game is one to look forward to but I can say I am not as overly enthusiastic about the game as I am about other titles that are pending. I think Sony may have been wise to push the game back from the original November release date to give them time more work as Sony has much riding on this game.

This is essentially the signature new game for the system until Bloodborne is released and this is the one that has been given the larger amount of attention and exposure.

People have embraced the PS4 in record numbers but Sony is anxious to develop new franchises for the system as powerful and entertaining exclusives are a way to keep revenue flowing in terms of new console sales as well as game and DLC sales.

So why does The Order:1886 appear to have so much hate about it ahead of launch? I think it is a case of people criticizing a game for what it is not instead of for what it is. Some people want a game that is more Gears of War and others want one with a more RPG or Steampunk element to it. They want a look and control scheme that is more familiar to what they have seen, even when they gripe about a lack of originality in games today.

If I had to analyze the game based on my experiences with it so far I would say great graphics and intriguing story, but the controls and gameplay mode will be a bit different for some and as such may frustrate or turnoff some players.

I am not sure this is a game players will instantly embrace the moment they start playing, I think this is a game that will grow on you as you play such as Resistance did for some. At first it was just a shooter but over time and subsequent games, the game found a loyal following which allowed three games to be made in the series with further titles possible in the future.
In the end, players will buy or avoid the game based on personal preference and what they have heard about it. I would suggest that people should give the game a chance but above all understand that the game is not for everyone and just because someone has an issue with it does not make them evil incarnate.

I for one am curious to see how the game does and what the future holds for the series as even with my reservations about it, I do see strong potential for the series as well.

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The Halo Poster Collection Is Here http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/halo-poster-collection-coming/ http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/halo-poster-collection-coming/#comments Sat, 31 Jan 2015 01:45:11 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76901 We may just have a contest to let a lucky winner get their hands on one of the books courtesy of Insight Editions.

Contest details are that you can win a copy by e-mailing us your entry with what you would like to see on the cover of our March and June magazine or you can sign up for your free preview of the magazine at Barnes and Noble and be entered upon confirmation and your set.

Since its inception, the award-winning Halo® franchise has revolutionized gaming through its innovative design and striking visuals, melded with elaborate storylines.

Now, fans can collect stunning art from the franchise with Halo: The Poster Collection (Insight Editions / $24.99 / November 2014). The definitive collection contains forty removable, frameable posters featuring the epic adventure and legendary heroes from every iteration of Halo to date.

Packed with thrilling action shots and detailed prints of fan-favorite characters, weapons, and environments, — including never-before-seen images from Halo 2: Anniversary—Halo: The Poster Collection is the ultimate celebration of iconic Halo art.

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ABOUT THE HALO FRANCHISE:

The “Halo” franchise is an award-winning collection of properties that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon. Beginning with the original “Halo: Combat Evolved” (2001), the critically acclaimed and record-shattering series of games has since inspired multiple New York Times bestselling novels, comic books, action figures, apparel and more.

Published by Microsoft Studios, the “Halo” franchise of games is exclusive to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and the Xbox Live online entertainment network. To date, more than 50 million copies of “Halo” games have been sold worldwide, driving more than 5 billion hours of gameplay by people connected to Xbox Live.

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Fast And Furious Ride Coming To Universal Studios Hollywood http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/fast-furious-ride-coming-universal-studios-hollywood/ http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/fast-furious-ride-coming-universal-studios-hollywood/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:50:18 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76898 Universal City, California, January 30, 2015 – Universal Studios HollywoodSM shifts into high gear with the debut of an innovative, national 30-second commercial for its summer 2015 launch of the “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” thrill ride during NBC’s Super Bowl Pre-Game coverage on Sunday, February 1, 2015.

The gripping spot will jump-start Universal Studios Hollywood’s campaign for the eagerly-anticipated opening of “Fast & Furious—Supercharged,” a high-octane, adrenaline-fueled thrill ride and new grand finale to the world-famous Studio Tour.

“What better place is there than the Super Bowl to launch a campaign where millions of viewers huddle for non-stop, edge-of-your-seat suspense,” said Larry Kurzweil, President, Universal Studios Hollywood. “In just 30, thrilling seconds, our compelling spot resonates with the exhilaration this immersive thrill ride will deliver when it opens at Universal Studios Hollywood this summer.”

“Fast & Furious—Supercharged” will reunite stars from the Fast & Furious series in a groundbreaking mega-attraction, conceived as a new installment to the dynamic film franchise that can only be experienced at The Entertainment Capital of L.A. Featuring Vin Diesel (Dominic “Dom” Toretto), Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz), Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs), Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce) and Luke Evans (Owen Shaw), “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” will catapult guests into the high-stakes underground world of fast cars in a harrowing escapade to save one of their own from an international crime cartel.

The dynamic hydraulic motion-based ride will tell an original Fast & Furious story that fuses sophisticated hyper-realistic special effects with a state-of-the-art 3D audio system and 3D-HD imagery, projected onto the world’s longest and most expansive 360-degree screen Spanning nearly 400 feet in length to encircle Studio Tour guests within a newly constructed 65,000-square-foot structure on the legendary backlot, the sprawling custom-built screen will employ 34, 4K projectors and a sophisticated projection configuration system to fully envelope guests in unprecedented realism.

Coupled with an intense blend of thrilling visceral effects, “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” will take guests on a wild ride that begins the moment they board the Studio Tour. Exclusive interstitial content, filmed with the cast members, will be featured on the tram monitors highlighting interactions as they engage guests en route to the ride’s climatic scenes. Along the tram route and featured at the ride, sightings of numerous prop cars from the Fast & Furious series, including Dom’s iconic Dodge Charger, will enhance the story

The adventure will culminate with spectacular action sequences that send guests careening through the streets of Los Angeles—at perceived speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour—aided by the elite team of unforgettable heroes.

Please click here to see Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” Super Bowl commercial which will be accessible in conjunction with the spot’s national airing. Join the conversation online using #FastFuriousRide, and for all the latest news, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @UniStudios.

Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue. World-class rides and attractions include the incredibly popular 3D Ultra-HD adventure, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and immersive “Super Silly Fun Land,” the critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™: The Ride-3D,” the intense, award-winning ride, “King Kong 360 3-D” on the behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, “Revenge of the MummySM—The Ride” and “Jurassic Park® —The Ride.” As part of its milestone 50th anniversary celebration in 2015, Universal Studios Hollywood will debut a slate of dynamic new attractions, including the electrifying 3D-HD thrill ride, “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” as the grand finale to the famed Studio Tour, “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM” and the “Nighttime Studio Tour,” offering evening tours of the iconic movie backlot.

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The Tom And Jerry Show: Funny Side Up http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/tom-jerry-show-funny-side/ http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/tom-jerry-show-funny-side/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:31:48 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76895 I grew up watching the classic Tom and Jerry episodes after school. Back when we could see a cartoon mouse take an axe, cleaver, or so to a cat and understand it was fantasy and not to emulate it. The cartoons today are tamer but still tons of fun and here is my audio review for the collection.

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We Talk American Sniper And Starcrossed With Ben Reed http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/talk-american-sniper-starcrossed-ben-reed/ http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/talk-american-sniper-starcrossed-ben-reed/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:00:42 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76869 It is the #1 film in the country and we got the chance to speak with Ben Reed about working with Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood in “American Sniper” as well as his new series Starcrossed.

What can you tell us about your character in AMERICAN SNIPER and what attracted you to the part?

In American Sniper I play Wayne Kyle, father to Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper). I had already read the book when I got the call for the film. I loved the book and admired the man. The fact that Clint Eastwood was directing and Bradley Cooper was playing Chris Kyle made the offer even more attractive.

How did you get into acting and what was your first big break?

I was always interested in acting. I was an athlete growing up and that took up all my time. When I was on spring break in Miami during college, I saw an ad in a newspaper for auditions for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts’ six-week intensive course. I traveled to Washington D.C. an auditioned. A month later I found out that I had been accepted. I drove out to LA after I graduated college and never looked back. My first job was a film called Frame Up, where I played a frat boy.

What sort of prep did you do for the film and did it differ in any way from your usual prep?

Like I said, I had already read Chris Kyle’s book. I then worked on the script with my own routine. I also researched the internet for any stories, video’s etc… I then bring my life experiences into the character. By the time I arrive on set, I’m ready.

What was working with your cast like and any special moments from filming?

The cast was great. I was being directed by Clint Eastwood, which was a special experience in itself.

Clint Eastwood is known for being a person who expects the best regardless of what side of the camera he is on. How was working with him compared to other directors?

The culture on set was something new to me. I found that most of the time the set was so calm and quiet. Most of the sets I’m on are usually loud and there’s always some sort of commotion going on. There weren’t any distractions working on American Sniper, which is great because it lets an actor focus and stay in character. Clint has worked with this crew for so many years and they all know what he wants.

In what ways does working on film differ from television and do you have a preference?

In television I feel the work is at a quicker pace than working on film. If the story is good, I’m fine either way.

When you get free time, what do you like to do?

I have five kids – they take up most of my time.

Looking at STARCROSSED, how did the move to Executive Producer come about and can you compare and contrast it with acting?

As far as my move to Executive Producer, it’s really nice to have control and to have a say on what’s going on. As an actor, you show up, shoot your scenes, and leave. For Starcrossed, I had the opportunity to be creative with people. I felt like I had a say in how to connect with audiences, which was really exciting.

You have been on many iconic television shows, what have been some of your favorites?

I’ve had the opportunity to work on some great shows. Every moment I have had on television sets have been valuable to my craft. It’s very rewarding working with such iconic casts, because they’re usually all so close to one another and I love getting to be a part of that.

What do you have coming up that we can look forward to?

My film, Starcrossed. Besides that, I’m in preproduction for two other films and I’m also waiting to hear back from a new series on HBO.

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We Talk GRIMM And His New Charity Project With Sasha Roiz http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/76879/ http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/76879/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:00:39 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76879 We first met Sasha and the cast of GRIMM two years ago at San Diego Comic Con International when we did roundtables with the cast. Sasha and NBC/Universal were kind enough to invite us to a conference call to hear about the show as well as Sasha’s new charity.

I want to thank Angle Colageo for covering. I have presented both the audio and transcript versions.

Moderator: Akiva Griffith

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Grimm Sasha Roiz press and media call. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards, we will conduct a question and answer session. At that time, if you have a question, please press 1 followed by the 4 on your phone.

If at any time during the conference, you need to reach an operator, please press Star 0. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded, Monday, January 26, 2015. I would now like to turn the conference over to Akiva Griffith, please go ahead.

Akiva Griffith: Thank you everyone for joining the call today. As you know, we have Sasha here from NBC’s Grimm. Before we start the question and answer, I wanted to give him a brief moment to speak about the Grimm Gala that will be taking place next week and which the auction opened today.

And he’ll give you guys sort of a little bit of information on that and you can follow up with questions once the Q&A begins immediately after he speaks. Go ahead Sasha.

Sasha Roiz: Thank you, and thanks everyone for joining me today. I really appreciate your support and your interest in all this. I’ll just give you a quick background on the gala, if you haven’t already read it and I’m happy to follow it up with any questions you might have.

And it’s to benefit an endowment that we began over here at Portland at the Children’s Hospital, called the Doernbecher and the endowment is called the Grimmster Fund and it’s to help benefit the families that need any financial assistant.

About a year ago we started the fund and then for the past year have been working closely with Comcast and NBC, our production of Grimm, of course and Nike, have all come together to help put together this Gala for us which will be taking place February 7 in Portland.

And we have amazing auction items, things from the set, props and costumes, as well as Nike pitched in and did an unbelievable one-time thing where they do a limited run of 50 Nike pairs of Grimm shoes, specifically designed for us. Some of them featuring the faces of the character on the shoe itself.

Those will be available at auction at the event as well as 400 fleeces, special Grimm designed fleeces, all designed by T. Hatfield, a very impressive name in Nike design. So we’re very excited for this event and currently it’s sold out so it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to help us benefit this fund.

And today, this morning the on-line auction of a lot of the props and costumes and some of the drawings, one of a kind drawings, have all gone on line and they’ll be available for bidding and for purchase up until February 4. That’s it. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.

Akiva Griffith: Great. And I’ll turn it back over to the operator to start the question and answer.

Operator: And ladies and gentlemen, once again, if you’d like to register for a question, please press one followed by the four on your telephone. Our first question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby with SciFi Vision. Please proceed with your question.

Jamie Ruby: Hi Sasha, thanks for talking to us today.

Sasha Roiz: My pleasure.

Jamie Ruby: Well, the first thing I wanted to ask about is kind of where the cliffhanger left off. Obviously Juliette came to talk to you now that she’s partly Hexenbiest, we don’t know what’s going on. Is there anything you can tease about that?

Sasha Roiz: There is a - this season has become kind of like the season of the Hexenbiest. It’s a hexen feast, as I like to call it. There’s been my mom, there’s been myself, Juliette's transformation, Adalind's involvement and a lot of sort of magical developments; some good, some bad.

And it’s definitely going to create havoc as you could imagine. Certainly already has for Juliette and now it slowly will trickle to everyone else. She’s come to me in that kind of partnership and assistance is going to be imperative for her to try to understand who she is and how to navigate this, you know, uncharted water for her.

So, we’re going to become a little bit closer than I think Renard is comfortable. Far more than he’s comfortable. And it’s going to be interesting to see how we walk this tightrope without falling back into any residual effects of that love potion a few scenes ago. Yes, so it’ll be definitely a fun story line.

Jamie Ruby: Sounds like it. So can you talk a bit about how, kind of, I guess I don’t want to say partnership, but how the dynamic at the precinct is kind of changing now that Wu's involved.

Sasha Roiz: It’s really interesting. It’s nice to have him on board. I like the dynamic as it’s, you know, slowly kind of evolving with Wu in the know, you know, of course now just keeping the rest of the precinct unaware.

But it’s fun to have yet another player, and, you know, a police officer in it, you know, because obviously we need all the help, as you can see we need all the help we can get because it’s starting to become unruly and far more than we can handle at this point.

Jamie Ruby: Okay. Great. Well, thank you so much for your time.

Sasha Roiz: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Rebecca Murray with Showbiz Junkies. Please proceed with your question.

Rebecca Murray: Good morning Sasha, how are you?

Sasha Roiz: I’m well, thank you.

Rebecca Murray: I’m going to (unintelligible).

Sasha Roiz: I’m sorry, I’m going to have to interrupt you, it’s breaking up. I can’t hear you very well. (Benjamin), are you having trouble hearing her as well?

Operator: Yes, her line is breaking up. We’ll move on to the next question. She should dial back. I believe she’s on a cell phone. She should just simply dial back from a land line and we’ll be able to put her back in queue.

Sasha Roiz: Sorry about that. Please call us - please call again.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Stephanie Piche with MingleMediaTV.com. Please proceed with your question.

Stephanie Piche: Hi Sasha.

Sasha Roiz: Hi.

Stephanie Piche: It’s great to see the cast of Grimm giving back with the Grimm Gala for OHSU. I have a special place in my heart for Portland as well as OHSU because I was treated for breast cancer there and have been cancer free for seven years.

And one thing I know is the business community in Portland does rally around causes like this so I’m so impressed with the, you know, that you’re going to have this as something that goes forever, not just one year for support of the families, so that’s great. Can you tell me what other things do you like about Portland or have you guys found that you want to give back to?

Sasha Roiz: Well, I mean, like you said, it’s an amazing community and just goes to show, I mean corporations as large as Comcast and NBC and Nike, who ostensibly seem likes these just giant companies that are impersonal are anything but. I mean, the people that I’ve met who have all come to assist us and who have gone beyond, you know, my expectations.

And have done so much in order to help put this together and help their own community. It’s really humbling and I’m so grateful for it. And it really is a testament to Portland and how strong a community it is here and how much they embraced us and so that’s really the motivation to give back.

Because it’s been our home now for four years and it really does feel like home now and so we really want to be a part of the fabric here and they’ve been so gracious in helping us accomplish that.

Stephanie Piche: Well, the show fits in by keeping Portland weird for sure. My follow-up question would be how are you liking the evolution of your character in the show?

Sasha Roiz: Oh I love this.

Stephanie Piche: You’ve gone from villain to good guy.

Sasha Roiz: Yes, and there’s probably room to go back to villain too and that’s what makes it so much fun. I don’t know, the audience doesn’t know, the writers keep me guessing as well as the fans. And that’s what makes it fun for me.

I like a character that is unpredictable and I like as an actor being in that position where I don’t know from episode to episode, from season to season, what is expected of me and where my character may go and it keeps me very interested and engaged.

Stephanie Piche: Great. Well, thank you so much and keep up the good work and we hope to see more of you on Grimm.

Sasha Roiz: Thank you. All the best.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Vicki Dolenga with ThreeIfBySpace. Please proceed with your question.

Vicki Dolenga: Good morning, Sasha. How are you doing?

Sasha Roiz: I’m good. How are you?

Vicki Dolenga: Good. So glad to hear about all the great work that you’re doing with the Grimmster Fund and I’m sure that I speak for most of us by saying that we wish we could be there for the Gala.

Sasha Roiz: Well thank you. You guys just publicizing it will be a lot of help so I appreciate that.

Vicki Dolenga: Oh, you’re very welcome, glad to do anything we can. So my question is now that Juliette is coming up with these new powers, is there any chance that you’re mother somehow planned on this as a way to have a hold over getting where Kelly and Diana are?

Sasha Roiz: It’s a good question. I mean, I don’t know for sure but you know, anything can happen. And, you know, like these characters have their own imaginations and agendas and its always interesting to see what happens. Again, the writers just keep us guessing so just when I think I kind of know where it’s all headed, I’m always left surprised. And you never know who’s going to pop in, whose mom is going to pop in, or whose parents or cousins or uncles.

I mean, I’m still having a lot of trouble with, you know, members of my family and there’s a few more coming, some new ones, who are, you know, definitely going to make things even more difficult so. There is an ongoing swell of activity and characters that keep pumping in and out. So absolutely, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by who appears.

Vicki Dolenga: That sounds very interesting. One other question. So we haven’t spoken to you since the new season started, what was it like having that long summer hiatus where your life was literally hanging in the balance, were you worried?

Sasha Roiz: Well, you know, I think when that initial script turned up where I was shot. You know, I always felt very confident that I was well positioned in this cast and that I wasn’t going anywhere but at the same time I was thinking, you know, this would be really good as a story line if they did kill me off. I’d be terribly upset but I’d understand.

And, but I did have at one point just a little panic attack and I’d have to go, you know, to our producer Jim Kouf one of our show runners and at one point when he was on set I pulled him aside and I just started.

I said, hey by the way I just need to ask, and he immediately interrupted and he goes, you live. And I go, thank you. So I was put at ease so I wouldn’t have to sweat it out over the hiatus and thankfully I just had a chance to enjoy myself and come back to work.

Vicki Dolenga: That’s good, and I promise you all of the fans would not have been happy if you had indeed died, so I’m very glad that you survived it.

Sasha Roiz: Yes, I really enjoyed the pouring of support and absolute, you know, hysterics, that were on-line, you know, in support of the character so it was fun to see that.

Vicki Dolenga: Well thank you very much and best of luck raising lots of money at the Gala.

Sasha Roiz: Thank you so much.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Josh Maloney with Niagara Frontier. please proceed with your question.

Josh Maloney: Thank you. Sasha when we talked to other casts that film in other cities, they always, you know, speak highly of their experience and people and whatnot. But we don’t really hear a lot about casts in shows getting as involved as you guys are with this initiative.

And I’m just wondering, have you seen anything like this before in your career or is this something that is sort of new even for you, to see a show and a network get so involved in a community initiative like this?

Sasha Roiz: I hadn’t experienced it myself. You know, not to say that it hasn’t happened before, but I don’t know of it myself. But you know, this is just a really special experience we’re having and I think it probably reflects that. You know, we are a show that celebrates the city that we film in, both on set and off set.

You know we actually represent Portland and I don’t think it’s really been quite as represented before. And so we take pride in that and in turn the City takes great pride in the fact that they’re being represented and positively represented by us, you know, aside from all the murderers and monsters and things like that. But I think they enjoy, you know, that we keep it weird as they say.

And, you know, and this has become, you know, and this is four years now and, you know hopefully we’ll have a few more and so it has become home for all of us. And, you know, everybody else in the cast, they all do their share and they participate in the community in different charities and nonprofits that move them and speak to them and it’s just been really just a symbiotic and natural evolution.

Josh Maloney: Can you tell us a little bit more about the Children’s Hospital and why you guys felt that they would be the best recipient for this Gala and for all the work that you guys are doing?

Sasha Roiz: Well, I mean, they’re an incredible hospital, OHSU is one of the premiere hospitals in the country and especially in this region where, you know, people come from bordering states, from all over the place to just be, to be patients of this particular hospital because of its reputation.

We came to realize very quickly in our visits that, you know, a lot of these families put their lives on hold and on top of all the difficulties and emotional trauma that they have to deal in regards to their children, they spend months, weeks, years sometimes, going back and forth trying to rehabilitate their kids.

And, you know, in addition to that they have to bear the burden not just emotionally but financially, it’s really, it can’t help but move you. And so I think we just felt a certain connection to that cause and the hospital and the staff are just tremendous and dedicated and it just spoke to us. You know, I’m sure it’s not the only charity, not the only hospital that certainly needs help, but we just kind of connected and were happy to be able to assist.

Josh Maloney: Okay, well thank you for your time and good luck with the event.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Ben Lay) with SpoilerTV, please proceed with your question.

(Ben Lay): Hi Sasha.

Sasha Roiz: Hi, how are you (Ben)?

(Ben Lay): I’m doing good, how are you doing?

Sasha Roiz: I’m good.

(Ben Lay): That’s good to hear. Well before I ask my first question, I just wanted to say, every Friday night, I always look forward to you, you are my favorite character on Grimm. You just, I really enjoy you on Grimm every Friday.

Sasha Roiz: Oh, thank you, I appreciate that.

(Ben Lay): It’s not a problem at all. My question is what do you like the most working about your character on Grimm? What do you like the most about your character?

Sasha Roiz: Well, I mean, like I mentioned before, I like the ambiguity, you know, the sort of moral ambiguity that you can’t quite predict this guy and even myself as an actor I can’t predict it because the scripts keep me guessing.

But I also like how he keeps his cards close to the vest and you just, you see him thinking, you see him constantly planning and scheming and just sort of trying to appraise the situation and how to best deal with it.

But you never quite know what his move is going to be so it’s a very interesting kind of like master chess player. And I love that about him. He’s, you know, a very, he’s working on so many levels at once and it’s really fun to enact that.

(Ben Lay): That’s so awesome. Well thank you so much for taking the time to do this, I really appreciate it.

Sasha Roiz: Our next question comes from the line of (Erin Marie Ritter) with Broadway World. Please proceed with your question.

(Erin Marie Ritter): Hi Sasha thanks for taking my call, I appreciate it.

Sasha Roiz: Thank you.

(Erin Marie Ritter): I wanted to talk to you, I love that you’re so involved in the city, but particularly with your theatrical endeavor with Portland Center Stage and Three Days of Rain with Silas Mitchell can you talk a little bit about that project. I know you’d spoiled, or Jeff kind of like spoiled at Comic-Con but didn’t have a lot of information. Now that it’s coming up do you have more information on that?

Sasha Roiz: Well, we’re very excited, Silas and I have been wanting to do theater for a long time. We, I mean, obviously came from the theater, but it’s just been years since we’ve had a chance to set foot back on the stage so fortunately it worked out and was the last slot in their season and it coincided with our break so it just worked out perfectly.

And it’ll be directed by their artistic director whose name is Chris Coleman a very, very talented director. It’s a three hander, so we’re going to audition the female role and we’re going to get started in rehearsals in late April and I think we open around mid-May.

So we’re thrilled and Silas and I love working together and unfortunately we don’t have a lot of scenes together. You know, over the years we’ve only worked together maybe a handful of times and we’re looking forward to it because we’re very different actors, very different energies but we, I think we really complement each other, so it’s going to be a really interesting endeavor.

(Erin Marie Ritter): Great, thank you so much.

Sasha Roiz: Thank you.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen if you’d like to register for a question, please press one followed by the four on your telephone. Our next question comes from the line of Courtney Vaudreuil with OhSoGray.com. Please proceed with your question.

Courtney Vaudreuil: Hi Sasha.

Sasha Roiz: Hi Courtney.

Courtney Vaudreuil: My question is, is there anything else that you can tease for us about this second half of the season, any new Wesen that we’re going to see, any twists and turns coming up, anything that people are really going to be surprised about, without spoilers obviously?

Sasha Roiz: Yes, there’s always Wesen. That’s one thing you can always rely on us for, there’s always some new creative and sometimes, like the current episode we’re filming, really weird new ones, like to the point that you’re scratching your head going, how did they turn that into a Wesen.

And you’ll see what I’m talking about, I guarantee, you’ll look after episode 16. But it’s, yes, there’s always residuals to everything. Every decision on Grimm comes with repercussions.

So my life saving experience is definitely going to kind of come back and reek a little havoc for me because it’s not without its residual effects which you’ll see slowly with Renard suffering from some of those residuals. As well there is issues with more family members coming over and creating a lot of trouble for him.

And, you know, it’s getting progressively more and more heated, both life threatening and the politics become a lot more heated and the dynamics from the characters, obviously with Juliette's new found, you know, (hexen bee) status, this is going to change things for everybody. So I get caught, or Renard gets caught in the middle of all of that and it becomes a really difficult seasons for him as the season progresses.

Courtney Vaudreuil: Wonderful, and for the Wesen, how does it work when they give you a script, do they give you a description about what this particular Wesen is going to look like? Do you get a drawing or do you just have to wait until the show actually airs to see kind of how it all works out with the special effect?

Sasha Roiz: It’s a combination, I mean, there’s the description in the script, which is you know, never more than really just a sort of brief description of what kind of animal or creature it’s based on. And then there’s definitely some drawings, some artistic renderings that you can look at.

Sometimes visual effects will come with their particular take on it and give you, you know, a chance to look at it so you can envision what it’s going to be. And if we have the time and, you know, yes, if we have the time, then our makeup team, which is remarkable, as you have seen, comes in and does all the prosthetics and then you get to look at it, you know, firsthand, which is always incredibly impressive.

Courtney Vaudreuil: Wonderful, well thank you so much I appreciate it.

Sasha Roiz: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (MaryAnn Audette) with Washington Square News, please proceed with your question.

(MaryAnn Audette): Hello?

Sasha Roiz: Hi.

(MaryAnn Audette): My question is what first drew you to the role of Captain Renard?

Sasha Roiz: I’m sorry, could you repeat that?

(MaryAnn Audette): What first drew you to the role of Captain Renard?

Sasha Roiz: Right, well, employment first drew me to the role, I really wanted to be employed. But beyond that it was, I’m just being facetious. But beyond that it was, you know, working with Jim and David which, they have such an incredible resume and such great success with so many shows that I’ve enjoyed.

They really know how to piece together an amazing ensemble and they thought that this character would be a really interesting player in this ensemble and they assured me of some amazing arcs and story lines and evolutions for him and they’ve come through. So I think I made a good choice.

(MaryAnn Audette): Well thank you for your time and good luck with everything.

Sasha Roiz: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Earl Dittman of Digital Journal. Please proceed with your question.

Earl Dittman: Hi Sasha, how are you doing?

Sasha Roiz: Good Earl, how are you?

Earl Dittman: Doing great. You know, being four seasons on, what is it about the role of Renard that you maybe find challenging or do you find easier now that you’ve been doing it for a while?

Sasha Roiz: Well the thing that remains challenging is that it’s one of the characters that keeps getting developed. You know, as an audience member you can probably attest to that. That you don’t know his back story and it slowly unfolds as the season goes on.

You start to realize that he’s a prince, that he’s a Wesen, that he’s, you know, got all this family, that all these things about him become revealed from season to season.

Now those things are not necessarily revealed to me four seasons in advance so I always have to kind of, as an actor, keep a certain portion of the character uncommitted, meaning like, when they bring something in, I can still fit that into the makeup of this individual.

So that’s been the most challenging part but at the same time it’s a really fun thing. Right, because, you know, I can tell you with every development that you’ve seen I’ve been equally surprised, you know. Oh, I’ve got a mom, oh I have a dad, I have a cousin, a brother, I’m a prince. I didn’t even know until the second season that I was Wesen. So all these things get layered from season to season and it’s really challenging and exciting.

Earl Dittman: What aspect of Renard do you relate to, I mean, how much is, is there anything about him that’s like you as a person?

Sasha Roiz: Sure. I mean, I think we all have parts of our characters that resonate with us. You know, I think being, to some extent being an outsider. To some extent, you know, not fitting in. These are all qualities that we can all relate to.

Certainly, you know, issues of identity or issues of belonging, these are things that resonate with me and I’m sure with a lot of viewers. I think that’s what makes him a very interesting and sympathetic character at times.

Even when he’s being as harsh as he is, you realize that there’s something fueling that that comes from a place of pain. And I think that’s, you know, something that as a human being you can certainly relate to whether it’s me acting it or you watching it.

Earl Dittman: One final thing, one final follow up. I asked a couple questions to our readers and what they would like to ask you and a lot of female readers and a couple male readers wanted to know when are you going to take your shirt off again this season.

Sasha Roiz: There’s a lot of that coming up.

Earl Dittman: Yes, you’ve become a sex symbol, how does that feel?

Sasha Roiz: It feels, you know, on the one hand very flattering. And on the other hand it’s a tremendous amount of pressure. I feel like every day, I’m like when am I going to the gym.

Like it’s just all about the gym and my caloric intake and it’s all these things, you know, very pressing, much more so than perhaps I would enjoy. But it’s definitely an interesting aspect of the job and, you know, I’ve come to embrace it. It’s not a bad place to be, certainly in my 40s you know.

Earl Dittman: Exactly. Well I appreciate it. Thanks so much for your great work and keep on doing it, I appreciate your time.

Operator: We have no further questions from the phone lines at this time.

Sasha Roiz: Okay. Well, thanks everyone. I appreciate you guys calling in and thank you for your support.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude today’s conference call. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines.

Sasha Roiz stars in NBC's hit drama "Grimm" as Captain Renard, Nick's politically adept superior officer and a descendant of a powerful royal line.

Roiz's work on "Grimm" follows his series regular role as Sam Adama, a brutal mob enforcer, on the critically acclaimed Syfy series "Caprica," prequel to "Battlestar Galactica."

In recent years, Roiz has become a familiar face on TV screens; making numerous guest appearances on some of television's most notable programs, including "House," "The Mentalist," "Lie To Me," "CSI," "NCIS," "Castle," as well as a series arc on "Warehouse 13."

Roiz's introduction to feature films was in a supporting role in the blockbuster "The Day After Tomorrow," followed by "16 Blocks," "Man of the Year" and "Unthinkable." Roiz shot his first starring film role in the independent science fiction thriller "Extracted" which premiered at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival. He recently starred alongside Kit Harington and Kiefer Sutherland in the blockbuster "Pompeii."

Raised in Montreal, Canada, Roiz trained theatrically at the Guildford Conservatoire (UK). Upon returning to Montreal, he began to work consistently in theatre, earning a nomination for his performance at the "Masques Awards" (Quebec's Theatre Awards). Roiz currently resides in Los Angeles.

NBC’S HIT DRAMA ‘GRIMM’ TO SUPPORT PORTLAND’S OHSU DOERNBECHER CHILDREN’S HOSPTIAL WITH GRIMMSTER ENDOWMENT
Fans Invited to Contribute to Endowment and Participate in Online Auction

PORTLAND, Ore. – Jan. 21, 2015 – The cast and crew of NBC’s hit TV drama “Grimm,” which is set and filmed in Portland, Oregon, are supporting OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital with the establishment of the Grimmster Endowment.

“Over the past few years, my fellow cast and crew members and I have fallen in love with the city. Since Portland has given us so much, we wanted to give something back,” said Sasha Roiz, who plays Captain Sean Renard on “Grimm.” “The cast visited OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital not long after coming to Portland, and we were moved by the families, the kids and everything the hospital does to ensure that patients receive the best possible care in a supportive, family-centered environment. We also were made aware of the hospital’s areas of greatest need, which inspired us to establish the Grimmster Endowment, a patient-assistance fund that provides children and families critical support associated with uncompensated care, travel, lodging and other services integral to the care and comfort of the most vulnerable patients.”

Fundraising efforts for the endowment will kick off with the “Grimm Gala” at the Eastside Exchange Ballroom on Feb. 7. Comcast and NBCUniversal are underwriting the cost of the event so that all proceeds will go directly to the Grimmster Endowment. The gala is sold out.

“Grimm” fans are encouraged to support the endowment by making a donation or by participating in an exclusive online auction of memorabilia from the show. The auction is open to the public and will run from Jan. 26 to Feb. 4. Bids can be placed at grimmgala.doernbecherfoundation.org. Online auction items include the Volcanalis eye from episode 218, Monroe and Rosalee’s cake topper and wedding invitation from episode 322, and drawings from the “Grimm” book, among other items from seasons one through four.

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Event Social Media Information

Event Hashtag: #grimmgives

Grimm Social Media:

Twitter and Instagram: @NBCGrimm

Facebook: facebook.com/NBCGrimm

Tumblr: http://grimmnbc.tumblr.com/

Comcast Social Media:
Twitter: @comcastorswwa

About “Grimm”

“Grimm” is a drama series inspired by the classic Grimm Brothers’ set of fairy tales. After Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers that he is descended from an elite line of criminal profilers known as Grimms, he increasingly finds his responsibilities as a detective at odds with his new responsibilities as a Grimm. Bitsie Tulloch, Russell Hornsby, Silas Weir Mitchell, Reggie Lee, Sasha Roiz, Bree Turner and Claire Coffee also star. “Grimm” is a Universal Television and Hazy Mills production.

In the wake of Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee's (Bree Turner) wedding, things have never been more chaotic. Nick, having lost his Grimm abilities, must dig deep and decide what type of person he wants to be, while Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) continues to try to come to grips with Nick's recent "betrayal." Monroe and Rosalee find themselves having to put their honeymoon plans on hold to try to not only figure out what happened to Nick, but also how to reverse it.

With Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) in critical condition after being shot by Agent Steward, Sergeant Wu's (Reggie Lee) biggest fears are becoming reality thanks to recent events, not the least of which is the strange young woman seen with Nick and the sketches he saw in one of her books.

In Europe, Viktor (guest star Alexis Denisof) is trying to make the best of the Royals' mishandling of the "hexenbaby," using Adalind's (Claire Coffee) desperation and vulnerability to make her his prisoner.

On top of all this, wesen crime in Portland doesn't seem to be letting up at all, with even more dangerous wesen making their way to the great northwest. It's going to take all of Team Grimm's strength and energy to keep Portland from bursting open at the seams.

Russell Hornsby stars as Nick's partner, Hank Griffin.

“Grimm” is a Universal Television and Hazy Mills production. The series was created by David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf and Stephen Carpenter. Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner (“Sean Saves the World,” “Hot in Cleveland”) and Norberto Barba (”The Bridge”) serve as executive producers along with Greenwalt and Kouf.

For embeddable clips and full episodes from NBC shows, please visit NBC.com's official show site: http://www.nbc.com/shows/.

Please follow us on http://www.facebook.com/NBCGrimm and at http://twitter.com/NBCGrimm.

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We Talk Alien Outpost With Joe Reegan http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/76865/ http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/76865/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:00:51 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76865 Recently I got the chance to speak with Joe Reegan about his new film Alien Outpost. I want to thank him for taking the time to answer our questions and make sure you check out this film.
(Photo Credit: Marc Cartwright)

What is the background and setting for the film:
The movie is set in a post-acpolyctic world, roughly 15 or so years into the future, after what the film calls, the 1ST Invasion.
A mass genocide of the human race has occurred… after an unidentified species begins to inhabit the earth

The world of the film puts you in a much more primitive place than you would come to expect.

What we once had, in regards to technology and civilization, have been stripped away…is a gladiatorial environment at this point, trying to survive by whatever means possible.

A ONE WORLD sort of army has been formed, and these bases, what the film calls, “OUTPOSTS” around the world have been formed to protect what’s left of the human race against another invasion.

And that’s basically where the film begins…at OUTPOST 37.

What attracted you to the part?
The script did, actually. I read this script and I immediately thought, this is cool.

There are of course, aliens in the movie, but I think when everyone watches this film, you will be incredibly surprised at HOW the story is told and the FORMAT of the film and HOW character driven the story is.

Any special prep for the film:
I did put on about 15 pounds of extra muscle for the role. I had 3 months before we started shooting, and it was appropriate for the character, so I figured why not.

When we got to Africa, we all went through boot camp and tactical training…

You here this a lot, but honestly nothing I could have done prior, could have prepared any of the actors for what (they) put use through before we started shooting. Wearing 50-75 pds of gear and guns and constantly being on the run and diving and shooting, changing mags, familiarizing yourself with the real weaponry…it was intense and awesome.

How would you describe your character?
I play a highly educated soldier who has been through all the simulations and training one could have, but I have spent little to no time in or on the “battlefield.”

The audience, I hope, and it was our intention, for my character to serve as the “eyes” into this world.

My character is the WATCHER, the OBSERVER, in the film.

He is the moral compass in this story, or trying to be…

And grappling with bigger ideas, can morality exist during war, in this environment and this world, and if it can, what is the point?
What is the “right” thing to do?

There was a scarcity to Omohundro, in the character’s backstory and dialogue– that I really only communicate out of necessity.

You have been in a few horror/supernatural films. Is this by design and would you say you were a fan of the genre prior to working in it?
As a working actor, at this stage of the game, nothing has been particularly “intentional” or by design.

I am a huge fan of sci-fi and have been since I was a kid.

All the films I’ve worked on, I been excited to be a part of, and a part of that world.

For me, the labels on genre or sci-fi go away fairly quickly, and the process becomes simply about telling this particular story with all the truth and authenticity you can.

My Favorite Films I’ve worked on…
Working on Alien Outpost has been so far my favorite experience. The ensemble cast, the director, and cinematographer, everyone was great, and there was this collective energy on set, that everyone was trying and giving their absolutely best, so even on the hard shoot days, we still went home at night excited to do it all over again the next day.

I also very much liked working on the remake of George Romero’s, THE CRAZIES. I love his films, and to be in a remake of it with Tim Olyphant and Radha Mitchell was great.

What was filming like and are there any moments you want to share that stood out?
Filming this movie was the most challenging and at the same time most fun I’ve ever had on a set.

First, filming in Africa, particularly South Africa, and in such rural rural areas, was incredible.

The shoot, there was such a huge amount of pressure, on everyone, to get the shots needed, make them as great as possible, and execute all of this on a very tight timeline. But it was great; because these were the same pressures everyone in the world of the film was dealing with.

So you just kind of said yes to the pressure, lean into it, and in the end, it enhanced everyone’s performance in front of and behind the camera.

Every gunshot, explosion, the dirt, the debris, the chaos, nothing is fake, its 100% the real deal.

On an indie budget, you get a few takes at most. So very quickly you realize how “on point” you have to be, when you are dealing with dialogue, gunfire, explosions, and a camera.

Many of the scenes had to be highly choreographed, because of the explosions and gunfire. We were firing live rounds, on the run, and had to hit marks, while explosions and debris.

Moments from the shoot…
2 scenes in particular, we got 1 take and 1 take only.
The explosions in 2 of the scenes took 3 days to rig, and there was no budget or time for a “take 2” if you messed up. So at times it was nerve wracking but again, it serviced the story we were telling.

And luckily I didn’t mess up.

Coolest moment:
One morning Reiley McClendon and myself had to be to set at 4:00am, so we checked into this huge helicopter and airplane hanger.

By 6am we were 1000’s of feet in the air, inside an army “Huey” Helicopter, and we started rolling and shooting 4 or 5 scenes inside the helicopter.

We were soaring through the air over South Africa, the sun was rising, and the landscape was surreal, and here we were improving and shooting scenes inside an army helicopter…those are the moments where you think to yourself, “wow, my job is incredible.”

And then we landed the helicopter on-location for that day’s shoot. So, it was pretty cool mode of transportation to work that morning.

Craziest moment:
We were doing this massive battle sequence with explosions and gunfire and the whole bit, and the take was incredibly long, and an explosion went off behind us, as we were pinned on the ground, and I felt this huge wave of heat and debris bury me. And your ears are ringing and you’re disoriented. And normally it would then stop, but this time, the sensations didn’t and I literally said, “I’m on fire!” And my pack/gear wear actually on fire, and my cast mate just stomped the flames out, and then we continued on with the scene, like it was normal.

What attracted you to acting and what would you say your big break was?
Since as early I can remember I wanted to be on stage. I think I did my first play when I was about 10 years old. I think it is honestly a gene you are born with.

As far as a big break goes, every job you get feels like a break.

As an actor, once you finish a job, you are on to the next, or auditioning to find the next.

The hunt for jobs and roles that push you to new places, challenge you in new ways, exploring new types of characters, different genres, it never ends. So with that mindset, it’s hard to pin down a defining “big break.”
9. What do you do in your free time?
I really have a love for dogs, movies, and architecture.

So in my free time I hang with my 2 dogs a lot. I work with a few animal rescue groups when time permits. I go to the movies non-stop.

And I think if I had another career it would involve re-designing and remodeling buildings and homes. Something to do with modern architecture.

What do you have coming up?
I have been working in TV a decent amount the past 6 months, on several shows…I think they will start airing in the next few months.

On the film side, I have a feature I’m getting ready to shoot in the spring, a huge passion project for myself, as well as many people close to me.

Biggest Differences between TV and Film
I think the assumption is that TV moves more quickly and film allows you more of an artistic process.

Now days, and even with Alien Outpost, film moves quickly as well. Budgets are tight and time is money. So in my experience, you have to come to set ready to shoot. You rehearse with yourself and prep everything you possibly can before day 1 of shooting starts.

I enjoy working equally in both mediums. What I enjoy most is any job that allows you to be with that particular storyline and character for as long as possible.

When you are looking for a new project, what type of things do you look for?
1st, and most importantly, a great script and character.
2nd, a great director.
And 3rd, is this new territory for me as an artist?
If you are lucky enough to check off 2 out of the 3, you’re in great shape.

What do I look for in a director?
If there is a playbook for “what makes a great director”, please send it to me.

I think with each project, a different “type” of director can be incredibly helpful.

Obviously you have to “get along” is some capacity. Or at least have a mutual respect for one another and the job at hand.

I’d think I have a fairly decent ability to read someone’s work style… and so as longs everyone is on the same page, its usually smooth sailing.

Strong personalities, especially people that are passionate about the work, are not always going to agree. Sometimes there is conflict and chaos, but the end result usually produces something great.

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Black Sea http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/black-sea/ http://sknr.net/2015/01/30/black-sea/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 07:05:01 +0000 http://sknr.net/?p=76875 Jude Law stars as Robinson, a former submarine captain made redundant after a long career with an underwater salvage company. Left without a pension, and blaming the company for his failed marriage, he learns from a former co-worker that a vast sum of Nazi gold is lying in wait aboard a sunken German U-boat at the bottom of the Black Sea. Upon securing financing and a submarine that has most definitely seen better days, he pulls together a crew of both British and Russian sailors, assuring every man that an equal share of the loot is to be had. Tensions among the crew soon arise and as one character chillingly questions, “What happens when one of them starts to figure out that their share gets bigger, when there is less people to share it with?”

A few too many easy coincidences drive this plot along, but if you’re willing to suspend just a bit of disbelief, there’s a great tale of paranoia, claustrophobia, betrayal and greed beneath the surface. Even through Jude Law’s dodgy Scottish accent, every performance (particularly newcomer Bobby Schofield as the inexperienced Tobin) is top-notch as both he and the supporting cast provide true believability to the disregard and distrust the two groups of men come to have for each other. Between Black Sea and his unexpectedly good turn in Dom Hemingway last year, Jude Law is firmly back on my radar, as he seems to be following in Matthew McConaughey’s footsteps by taking darker, more complex and challenging roles at this point in his career. From playing a father-figure for a boy frightened of what the future holds, to a man possessed of the determination, no matter what the cost, to return home rich, Law hits every note right and is more than capable of leading a cast this talented.

My only substantial complaint is the ending. On leaving the theater, it seemed one of the better solutions to the potential corner the filmmakers were painting themselves into, though the longer its sits, the more I think a film of this unrelenting intensity deserves an ending with some poignancy. Admittedly, I would have found something bleaker to be more satisfying. The easy route out taken in the last five minutes by director Kevin Macdonald and writer Dennis Kelly are a bit of a let-down when compared with the pulse pounding hour and forty-five minutes that precedes it, and for me it will only detract from Black Sea’s memorability.

With the mention of a submarine drama, it is almost inevitable that comparisons to Das Boot will be drawn. For the purposes of reviewing Black Sea however, I have been unable to do so as my only viewing of it was about a decade ago, when I very foolishly had the ambition to see not only the uncut 6-hour mini-series version that was put together for German television, but to do so in a single sitting. I was successful, but only in terms of completing the task. I know it was great and that it is above equal in the genre of submarine films, but at this point I’d be hard pressed to recall even a few minutes of it. It would seem, in this case, that Black Sea got a fair shake to be judged on its own merits (and that I now have a German epic to revisit, albeit in the slightly more truncated director’s cut form this time).

A few nitpicky complaints aside, and in direct contradiction with my take on the abysmally poor Blackhat from the other week, this is a fine example of a well-made, wall-to-wall suspense-filled thriller, and the film I wish I had started the year off with. Released in early December in the UK, where it has received generally positive reviews, it’s unfortunate that it has landed stateside in the January/February season of no-hopes.

4 out of 5

Second Review by Jennifer Fiduccia

Black Sea starring Jude Law is a movie filled with suspense and action. Jude Law was the only name in the cast that I recognized, but in the end, that didn’t detract from the film at all.
I did have to adjust my listening ears to be able to understand some of the heavy accents of the other actors cast in the film, but it did not detract from the film overall either.
Jude Law plays a recently laid off submarine skipper who gathers a crew of misfits to treasure hunt for a Nazi U-boat full of gold bricks.

The movie begins with skipper Robinson (Jude Law) bring laid off after 11 years of faithful service to his company, and his buddies (also either out of work or working in jobs they weren’t ‘meant’ to be in) trying to figure out what to do.

One of Robinson’s best friends mentions he knows of the location of a Nazi U-boat that sank full of gold, and that he has contacts able to finance the expedition.
Robinsons gathers a motley crew of British & Russian hands to help with the job and the adventure begins.

I was on the edge of my seat for most of this film, and literally jumped in my seat on more than one occasion.
The suspense in some scenes had me holding my breath and I was most assuredly NOT expecting ‘the twist’, which I will not give away.

Many films these days are so very predictable, and I didn’t hold huge hopes for Black Sea, but I was very pleasantly surprised.
The only way it was ‘predictable’ for me was that, of course, ‘something’ was going to go wrong, but then, if it didn’t, why would there be a film at all?

I guessed what would happen at the very end, but when it did, it was more of a sigh of relief and a reaction of ‘I’m glad they did that part’ rather than the disappointment of knowing that it was coming.
I would go see this movie again! It had action, suspense, an unexpected twist, and a very good story line.

I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

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