Monthly Archives: April 2010

Interview: Harry Brown’s Emily Mortimer

It’s a good thing I really enjoyed Harry Brown, otherwise I would have hounded Emily Mortimer with questions about Transsiberian. Mortimer’s characters in the two are actually somewhat similar; they’re very feminine women, but both have a particularly tough side. In Transsiberian she stars as Jessie, a young woman traveling from Beijing to Moscow via train who gets caught up in a drug smuggling effort. When she’s pegged with the goods she has to go up against an intimidating narcotics officer played by Ben Kingsley.

In Harry Brown, Mortimer is not only on the other side of the law, but she trades Sir Ben for another Sir, Sir Michael Caine. Caine plays the titular character, an older man living on an estate in South London. After his wife passes away and his close friend is murdered, he decides he’s had enough with the violent youths tormenting his neighbors and arms up to takes matters into his own hands. Mortimer steps in as DI Alice Frampton, the officer investigating the case of Harry’s late pal and the only one on the force who suspects Harry of committing a string of noble atrocities.

Frampton spends most of her time keeping a close eye on Harry, but eventually gets in on some of the action herself. Take a look at what Mortimer had to say about her brutal battle scene, omitted details about her character and the excessive on-set giggling.

Click here to read the interview.

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Tribeca Interview: Just Like Us’ Ahmed Ahmed

Say hello to Ahemd Ahemd. No, Microsoft Word Spell Check, that’s not a repeated word; that’s really his name. Okay, Ahmed’s version of that joke – that there’s no echo in the room – is far funnier, but even my version exemplifies some of what you’ll see in Ahmed’s documentary Just Like Us. The film depicts Ahemd’s journey to Arab countries including Dubai, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, all of which the average American assumes is not only devoid of comedy, but doesn’t even have a desire for it. Well, surprise! Arabs do enjoy some stand-up comedy and the chance to have a good laugh, just like us.

While promoting Just Like Us at the Tribeca Film Festival, Ahmed sat down with me for a whopping 30 minutes. He’s packed with great anecdotes, interesting details, a few wisecracks and even some information on a new project he’s working on, so I simply couldn’t bear to cut any of the interview. I’ve divided the interview into two segments, the breakdowns of which you can see blow.

Click here to watch the interview.

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Interview: Michael Caine is Harry Brown

Michael Caine may play Bruce Wayne’s loving and attentive butler, Alfred, in the “Batman” movies, but that doesn’t mean Caine isn’t capable of getting in on the action himself. In his new crime-thriller Harry Brown, Caine stars as the titular character, an older man living in a violent housing estate in London. After losing his wife and a close friend, Harry is pushed to the brink and decides to fight back against the vicious youths who rule the area.

Even though Harry Brown is ultimately a fictional tale, there’s a significant amount of truth behind the narrative. In fact, much of that truth is Caine’s truth. Not only is he an ex-serviceman, as is Harry, but he also lived in one of these estates himself. Between those connections, shooting on an actual estate and having some of these notorious teens in the film, a significant portion of the movie is factual. What isn’t quite realistic is Harry’s course of action. Vigilantes make for fantastic subjects in thrillers, but Caine prefers to keep things benevolent and attack the problem of misguided youths through charity and by simply offering them a second chance.

ComingSoon.net had the pleasure of sitting down with Caine to break down the details. He touched upon the usual; working with his co-star Emily Mortimer, getting into character and his hopes in terms of audience reception, but he was always eager to connect the filmmaking experience back to the actuality of the situation, the violent young gangs dominating the estates. Before wrapping up, he happily switched gears to briefly discuss his two upcoming Christopher Nolan projects, Inception and the highly-anticipated and rumor-consumed Batman 3.

Click here to read the interview.

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Tribeca Interview: Meet Monica Velour’s Dustin Ingram

It’s time to get to know Dustin Ingram. You may recognize him from the family-friendly superhero movie Sky High or the Nickelodeon seriesUnfabulous, but Ingram is all grown up now and delving into far more demanding roles. In Keith Bearden’s Meet Monica Velour, Ingram stars as Tobe, a geeky high school grad with eccentric interests, the most notable of which is an obsession with the hottest adult video actress of the 80s, Monica Velour. After finding out about an opportunity to see Monica perform live, Tobe hops in his hot dog truck and heads straight to Pinhook, Indiana. Nearly three decades past her prime, Monica is just not the same. The additional pounds and wrinkles are just too much for her fans to bear, but Tobe still looks at her as though she’s the same beautiful woman from Frankenbooty. Sadly, Monica has a hard time seeing the same.

Ingram may play the quintessential nerd quite well, but he’s certainly shed that image in reality. After the film’s premiere screening at the Tribeca Film Festival, Ingram was on hand to assist Bearden in funneling questions from the audience, a sense of confidence was clearly visible while at a festival photo shoot and, overall, his professionalism was through the roof. But, Ingram is still a 20-year-old guy just looking to have a good time and sees just that in what he’s accomplished with Monica Velour.

Click here to read the interview.

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Tribeca Interview: Meet Monica Velour’s Keith Bearden And Dustin Ingram

Keith Bearden and Dustin Ingram are pretty silly guys. I should have seen this considering the quirky nature of their film, Meet Monica Velour, but perhaps its sensitive side is what threw me off. Ingram stars in Bearden’s feature directorial debut as Tobe, a geeky high school grad who drives a vintage hot dog truck, hangs out with his 12-year-old neighbor and covets his collection of Monica Velour’s adult films. The latter would be considered a normal thing, but Monica was in her prime back in the 80s. Regardless, Tobe is adamant about seeing his dream girl live so hops in his hot dog mobile and heads to The Petting Zoo in Pinhook, Indiana. Monica struts her stuff, but to nobody’s liking. Well, nobody but Tobe. In fact, Tobe discovers he likes Monica for something entirely neglected by the porn industry, what she had on the inside.

See? Amusing, but serious, just like Bearden and Ingram. Both had an abundance to offer when it came to discussing the ins and outs of the filmmaking process, but, nevertheless, just couldn’t stop cracking jokes, which is very evident in my giggle-filled first question. Take a look at what they had to say about working with Kim Cattrall, the dirty movies within this movie and Bearden’s next project, an end-of-the-world comedy called God Hates Kansas.

Click here to watch the interview.

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Tribeca Interview: Metropia’s Juliette Lewis And Alexander Skarsgard

In an industry saturated with Pixar and DreamWorks animated films, Metropia is certainly on the unusual side. Not only are the characters created using a less conventional process, after which they are comprised of over 80 movable layers, but their story is made to feel real. There’s nothing wrong with an old man flying his house to Paradise Falls via balloon, but it likely (and hopefully) won’t inspire anyone to do the same. Metropia’s fictional telling, on the other hand, has a powerful message to deliver and is one that can legitimately impact our lives.

In the future the world is running out of resources and one company controls Europe’s subway system. Hesitant to venture down into the Metro, Roger opts to be the odd man out and ride his bike above ground. When he finds his bike mangled he has no choice but to conform and join everyone else down below. Upon going to the lower level, Roger starts hearing a voice in his head, one that’s not his own. That voices come from Alexander Skarsgard’s character, Stephen, a company employee doing what he’s told, but bothered by his job’s effects. In order to find out what’s going on inside that head of his, Roger turns to Nina (Juliette Lewis), a face he recognizes from a popular shampoo ad campaign and someone who knows far more about his situation than he could have ever anticipated.

While promoting the film at the Tribeca Film Festival, Lewis and Skarsgard were on hand to unravel the conspiracy of Metropia. Check out what they had to say about working with director Tarik Saleh, the atypical animation process and more.

Click here to watch the interview.

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Tribeca Review: The Disappearance Of Alice Creed

Van? Check. Location? Check. Masks? Check. Gun? Check. Vic and Danny (Eddie Marsan and Maritn Compston) had it all planned out. Kidnap a young woman, hold her for ransom and take off with the loot. But all that changed when they opted to take Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton).

That’s about all the plot detail I can give without spoiling one of The Disappearance of Alice Creed’s many twists, and revealing just one would tarnish the experience. Once the theater lights dim hold on tight, because writer-director J. Blakeson jumps right into the action. This is no glorified depiction of a kidnapping where someone’s thrown into a room with a cot and served food when necessary. Alice is kept completely restrained not permitted to do a single thing on her own, even go to the bathroom. If you’re able to get through the onset of her abusive and humiliating ordeal, the payoff is huge.

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