All posts in Acting

Creating Saturday Night Live: Control Room

An interesting behind-the-scenes look at how an episode of SNL goes from script to stage.

The Battle for Blade Runner

The Guest Recommendation Review Anthony Darnell

Three Must-See Halloween Movies for 2017

With Halloween just around the bend, I’ve been taking a look back at the best, and somewhat overlooked, horror movies from recent years.

While the endearing nostalgia of Stephen King’s IT enthralled late-summer audiences, I felt it lacked a certain oomph in the scares department. It Comes at Night was a unique take on the zombie/plague genre, but it didn’t have an interesting enough, or emotionally satisfying, resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed both, but I didn’t think they had enough pizazz to make the list. Read more…

Fuck you, Darren Aronofsky, and the Jennifer Lawrence you rode in on.

Let me begin with an apology: this will be a profanity-laced, spoiler-filled review of mother! If that’s not your cup of tea then hit the back button, close your browser window, or light your goddam house on fire—oh, that’s how the movie ends, by the way; Jennifer Lawrence lights the house on fire and then God—played by Javier Bardem—removes her crystalized heart from her charred-to-a-crisp body, places it in a display case, and that resets the movie back to the beginning. See? There’s gonna be fucking spoilers EVERYWHERE! Read more…

Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Carrie Fisher Irvin Kershner Behind The Scenes Princess Leia

Unscripted: How the Famous ‘I Love You/I Know’ Scene Really Came Together

It’s a legendary story, but it’s not true: When Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) confesses her love for Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Empire Strikes Back, the scripted reply was, “Just remember that, because I’ll be back.” Feeling that the line lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, Ford changed it.

“I love you.”

“I know.”

It’s humorous, poignant, and a spot-on character-driven interaction. It’s often cited as the best actor-improvised line in movie history, but, here’s the thing, it wasn’t improvised. Read more…

DUNKIRK: The Test of Time

If you thought Baby Driver was the must-see movie event of the summer then hold onto your butt! With heart-stopping special effects, lavish cinematography, and intimate, matter-of-fact storytelling, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is a soon-to-be-classic.

With recent films Inception and Interstellar, Nolan leaned heavily on ham-fisted theatrics, exceedingly complicated plot structures, and booming soundtracks. In Dunkirk, Nolan strips much of the histrionics away to tell a lean and mean, true-to-life story of survival. Far and away, it’s his best work since The Dark Knight. Read more…

Retroactive Continuity: The Secret to Star Wars Success

Yep. You read that title correctly. Here’s another goddamn article about Star Wars!

Star Wars celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and the ubiquity of George Lucas’s groundbreaking creation is enough to choke a rancor. Every time you get online, there’s a slew of clickbait promising spoilers, beat-by-beat breakdowns of the latest trailer, and advertisements for the newest doodad with Star Wars stamped on the box.

It takes a near-herculean effort to slog through the crap and remember what it is that makes Star Wars SO FUCKING GOOD. Read more…

Baby Driver (2017)

The lights dim; a less-than-witty set of M&Ms remind us to quiet our cell phones; and then something strange happens. Writer/director Edgar Wright thanks us for “getting off the couch” to see Baby Driver as it was intended: in a movie theater.

With the rise of Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and Amazon Prime Video, being a part-time couch potato is all the rage. From Game of Thrones to Transparent, binge watching long-form media is part of our cultural currency. Not only are these stories marvelously performed, written, and directed, but they’re an easy way for us to quickly relate to one another. Discussing the entertainment we consume is a shorthand approach for creating meaningful connection. Read more…

Hounds of Love (2017)

If you enjoy hard-hitting, tough-to-stomach entertainment, then Hounds of Love, the impressive debut film from writer/director Ben Young, is right up your alley. Hands down, it’s the most unnerving, disturbing, and effective horror movie of 2017 so far.

I have to be completely honest; this is a difficult movie to recommend. There are “fun” horror movies and then there are “not-so-fun” horror movies. The “fun” horror movies are the ones you can watch with a group of friends and laugh when you’re all spooked by a jump scare (think ScreamHalloween, or Paranormal Activity). The “not-so-fun” horror movies are the ones that stay with you long after you’ve seen them. They’re the kinds of movies that have a disquieting way of lingering in the back of your mind (think Cannibal Holocaust, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or Possession). Hounds of Love falls hard into the “not-so-fun” category. Read more…

When Heroes Die

Spoilers to follow.

The best Westerns don’t have happy endings. Movies like Unforgiven, High Noon, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid end on the lowest of low notes. Our heroes save the day, but they make tremendous personal sacrifices (most often their lives) in order to do so.

Of course, as far as endings go, there’s none better than John Ford’s The Searchers. Ethan Edwards, a haggard and out-of-place Civil War veteran (John Wayne), rescues his abducted niece (Natalie Wood) and returns her safely home. In one of cinemas most famous and bittersweet scenes, Edwards turns around, forgotten by his family, and walks off into the desert silhouetted by a doorway. It’s a near-perfect ending. The doorway is a threshold between the outlaw West and civilization; a metaphor for the character’s internal struggle to find his place in the modern world. Read more…

You said, 'People come here to change the story of their lives.' I imagined a story where I didn't have to be the damsel.

Dolores on HBO’s Westworld

Every Frame A Painting: How Does an Editor Think and Feel?

Every Frame A Painting explains the art and artistry of film editing. I’d also suggest checking out their videos on Edgar Wright – How to Do Visual Comedy and Akira Kurosawa – Composing Movement.

STRANGER THINGS: the Upside-Down and not Exactly Right

From House of Cards to Orange Is the New Black, Netflix produces many of the best television series currently running. Since Netflix isn’t bound by the same restrictions of cable television, they have the freedom to explore more mature subject matter that often carries a heavy dose of sex, violence, and Shakespearean heft. In an age where any form of entertainment is just a click away, Netflix is churning out high quality content that’s guaranteed to create the buzz and hysteria needed to attract new members. Read more…

SCHLOCK: The Weird, Wild, and Wonderful World of Red Letter Media

If you’re one of the rare breed of people who love a combination of in-depth film critique and analysis, off-the-wall campiness with a dash of wry humor, and binge-worthy YouTube channels, then Red Letter Media is just the thing for you.

I first stumbled across Red Letter Media when Mike Stoklasa’s The Phantom Menace review was just beginning to go viral in early 2010. If you’ve never had the pleasure of watching this internet masterpiece then do yourself a favor and watch this video ASAP. Read more…

Star Wars

They announced the cast for the new Star Wars movie today. Not gonna lie, I love a lot of these actors and now I’m pretty excited. I still have my fingers crossed; it would be extremely easy to mess everything up again. #prequels #yikes

“Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker in the new film.”

An Hour With Bill Murray

“I will not be a common man. I will stir the smooth sands of monotony. I do not crave security. I wish to hazard my soul to opportunity.” – Peter O’Toole

Michael Caine

These two (Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon) have the best Michael Caine impersonations that I’ve ever heard and the scene is hilarious to boot. This clip is from The Trip. I haven’t seen the film yet, but it’s on my list.

Side note: If you say ‘my cocaine’ it sounds like you’re saying ‘Michael Caine’ in Michael Caine’s accent. Go on, give it a try; you know you want to.

Anthony Hopkins on Breaking Bad

The Shining :: Room 237

A few weeks ago, I went to see a documentary called Room 237 with a few friends. All I knew going into the experience was that it was a documentary about conspiracy theories surrounding The Shining.

SIFF had brought the documentary to the Uptown in Queen Anne and we sat in the back row stealing sips of vodka from a flask. We were, perhaps, the most jovial and flushed audience members. The documentary takes itself too seriously, as did most of the audience at the showing. We, however, found it to be an out-and-out comedy much to the chagrin of the rest of the room.

Let me put it this way: to call Room 237 absurd would be an understatement. It throws every popular conspiracy you can think of into the mix. Everything from faking the Moon Landing to genocide. Read more…

Trillium

I’m very excited about this upcoming title from Vertigo. It’s a Sci-Fi thriller about the end of the universe and the promo images are stunning.

I’m currently working on a one-woman show about a mutiny aboard a space shuttle. There’s only one survivor and she needs to make it home before time runs out. It’s a Sci-Fi thriller in it’s own right and anything in the genre is peaking my interest. Especially, Trillium.

Read more…

An article detailing the difference between story and plot.