Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rutger Hauer Interview on 'Hobo with a Shotgun'

Read our exclusive interview with actor Rutger Hauer, who portrays the title character in the new action-adventure-crime movie ‘Hobo with a Shotgun.’ The movie, which will be available On Demand on April 1 and hits theaters on May 6, 2011, was based on the fake Canadian trailer that was attached to the 2007 double horror feature ‘Grindhouse.’ ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’ follows Hobo, who is determined to rid the crime that plagues the city he lives in, especially the corruption that is caused by main crime boss Drake (played by Brian Downey). Hauer discusses with us, among other things, what attracted him to the role of the Hobo, and what it was like working with first-time director Jason Eisener.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Shockya (SY): You have appeared in bigger blockbusters. So what attracted you to this role, which is a smaller, more independent movie?

Rutger Hauer (RH): Well, I’ve played so many different roles in so many films. Blockbuster movies, I haven’t done many of those. I’ve worked for the major studios, maybe four times, five times. So the question is not really about the size. I just thought this director (Jason Eisener) was so close to my heart and the story was raw and unusual. I just wanted to know how it felt. One of my biggest concerns was, will director and I know and like each other. But then I had to see what it was like on the set, and what the art direction was, and what the style. Basically, to fit myself to the other things was to complete or ad to where I thought he story had weak spots. Those were the two concerns I had. We just decide there would be more heart in the film if it wasn’t just noise.

SY: How did you prepare for the role? Did you do any research?

RH: I had two guys that I worked with in Halifax, apart from the director, who was very specific in what he was hoping to get from me. Dave, I think it’s Brunt, he was the inspiration for the story. He was in the trailer, in the fake trailer. He was my right hand and I felt I needed to read on it to get the character. He was there every day. Then there was a musician that I liked who was there now and then and he would sing street songs. That was kinda nice too. So those two, and the script, and the director. Then I had (actress) Molly (Dunsworth), Molly’s character (Abby). This one woman in the story that I meet and we end up trying to escape from this city that has turned to sh*t. The bad comes from all corners. We really kind of scrutinized the relationship between them. That’s where the peace came in, and that’s where the dreams live. That’s where the softer part of the Hobo gets a voice, so to speak. It’s an angry movie, I find, angry. Is full of anger and disgust with the world that we live in. He fights for his equality of life. You can never win that. It’s just like that, it’s impossible.

SY: Like you said, the movie was based on the fake trailer. Did you see the trailer before the movie?

RH: Yeah, yeah, of course.

SY: Were you surprised at how popular it was with the fans?

RH: Yes, absolutely. I did not know there was such a following. I woke up very slowly to it. At Sundance, I woke up and said “Oh, my God, this is so wonderful.” It’s very interesting to see the crowd on the Internet, how big it can be, how funny and serious and smart. Very nice, very nice.

SY: Like you said, the movie was at Sundance and it was an official selection. Were you surprised about that?

RH: Well, it was a world premiere. I can’t think of a more beautiful place to have a premiere for a film like this. I just didn’t think it would get such a great response, and I don’t think anyone was ready for it. But the people who knew and where there were up for it. I felt we gave them what they wanted and more. You’ve got to surprise people, you have to take it one more step.

To read the rest of this interview, please visit:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

'The Lincoln Lawyer' Movie Review

Title: The Lincoln Lawyer

Director: Brad Furman

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Marissa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, William H. Macy, John Leguziamo

Review Written by: Karen Benardello

While novels often captivate readers for allowing them to use their imaginations to picture how a story unfolds, their movie adaptations often pale in comparison. Readers are often disappointed by the director and screenwriters’ visions of how the plot-line should play out, and what the characters and settings look like. But one adaptation that breaks free from that stereotype is director Brad Furman’s screen version of author Michael Connelly’s crime novel The Lincoln Lawyer. The legal drama exceeds expectations by not only focusing on the book’s important theme of trusting your instinct and doing what’s right, but also featuring a surprisingly convincing Matthew McConaughey in the title role.

‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ follows Los Angeles defense attorney Mickey Haller (played by McConaughey) as he conducts most of his business out of the backseat of his Lincoln sedan. After building his career on pleading his guilty clients on open-and-shut cases, Mickey gets the case that could make his career. Bail bondsman Val Valenzuela (portrayed by John Leguziamo) refers him to the case of Beverly Hills playboy and real estate agent Louis Roulet (played by Ryan Phillippe), who was arrested for brutalizing and raping a prostitute.

While Mickey believes Louis’ proclamation of innocence when they first meet, his stance quickly changes. As Mickey has investigator Frank Levin (portrayed by William H. Macy) analyze the evidence in the case, he begins to struggle over whether or not he should believe his client. Adding to his suspicions is his prosecutor ex-wife Maggie (played by Marissa Tomei), who questions how he could defend criminals while she works to sentence them.

While ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ is McConaughey’s first crime legal thriller since 1996’s ‘A Time to Kill,’ and he has become known for his romantic comedies and action movies over the past 15 years, he still gives an excellent performance as Mickey. In the beginning of ‘The Lincoln Lawyer,’ McConaughey portrays Mickey as though he only cares about how many plea bargains and not guilty verdicts he can obtain to further advance his career. Even with other high-profile stars in the movie, including Tomei and Macy, McConaughey stands out as he convincingly gives Mickey a completely new outlook on life.

As ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ progresses, viewers will surely feel as though Mickey wants to stop persuading his clients to accept plea offers just because there isn’t enough evidence in the case. McConaughey seems to truly understand Mickey’s increased desire to protect the innocent, and do what’s best for his clients, instead of himself. ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ was the perfect platform for McConaughey to prove to the world that he can truly relate to his character on a philosophical level, instead of just spending the entire movie trying to charm the lead female character.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Steve Preeg Talks 'Tron: Legacy' Animation

Read our interview with Academy Award-winning Head of Animation Steve Preeg, who worked on the visual effects on the box office smash ‘Tron: Legacy.’ The sci-fi film, which is the sequel to the cult 1982 classic ‘Tron,’ is set to be released on DVD and a special 5-disc 3D Blu-ray edition on April 5, 2011. Preeg discusses, among other things, what the hardest part of working on the movie’s animation was, and how he got involved with the project.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Question (Q): What was the hardest part of the animation in ‘Tron: Legacy?’

Steve Preeg (SP): For sure the hardest part was Clu (who is played by Jeff Bridges); bringing a human being to the screen has long been considered impossible in CGI, as humans are very used to looking at other humans faces. Avoiding what is known as the uncanny valley is what we all face in this industry in regards to this type of work.

Q: What was it like working with a first-time director like Joe Kosinski? Did it contrast to working with a veteran like David Fincher (who helmed ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’)?

SP: They are both great filmmakers. With David you expect him to give great direction and explain exactly what he wants, and he does. As a first time director, I was amazed at how similar Joe was to David. Joe is very clear on what he wants; he had everything in his head of what he wanted. This was a really tough movie to direct for even a seasoned film veteran and Joe took it in stride more than I think anyone thought possible, plus he had a baby right in the middle of production. He is an amazing guy; I would love to work with him again.

Q: Will there be a sequel and if there is will you be involved in it?

SP: I haven’t heard for sure one way or another if there will be a sequel, but it would be a great opportunity to work on it if they do make one.

Q: Was the process of de-aging Jeff Bridges as Clu 2 in ‘Tron: Legacy’ similar to the aging effects applied to Brad Pitt in ‘Benjamin Button?’

SP: There was a lot of similarities as far as the work at Digital Domain itself. The main difference was on the acquisition of the data. With ‘Button’ we captured Brad Pitt months after principal photography. But Jeff Bridges wanted to be captured on set in the moment, which required us to come up with some new hardware as well as software to deal with the difference in the data we were receiving here at Digital Domain.

Q: Will you be involved with the animated series ‘Tron: Uprising’ at all?

SP: At this time I haven’t heard anything about being involved.

Q: What was the biggest challenge in making ‘Tron: Legacy?’

SP: For me personally it was just trying to live up to the legacy of the original ‘Tron.’ That film started the industry in which I work and is kind of considered holy ground by many of my peers, there was a lot of pressure to not screw it up.

Q: What in particular are you the most proud of in terms of pushing the envelope of effects?

SP: I think we are all proud to have made a film that paid appropriate homage to the original film. It was a daunting task and for the most part our work was well received, which was a great relief for us.

Q: Having worked on the third ‘Pirates’ film, where you a part of the 4th film in the series at all?

SP: No, the third film in the series is the only one I was involved with.

To read the rest of this interview, please visit:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RuneScape: Return to Canifis Book Review

Title: RuneScape: Return to Canifis

Author: T.S. Church

Written by: Karen Benardello

Vampires, werewolves and wizards have certainly cast a spell on the living in recent years, as evident in the number of books, movies and television shows focusing on the undead that have topped the charts. when Titan Books first announced it was releasing the novel RuneScape: Return to Canifis, which is based on one of the most played and popular Java-based massively multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPG) in the world, it seemed like the publishing company was on the track to launching another popular vampire franchise. However, author T.S. Church ultimately alienated people unfamiliar with the RuneScape game with his finished work, as he introduced far too many characters and secondary stories before getting to the main plot-line.

Return to Canifis, which is the sequel to the first RuneScape novel, 2008’s Betrayal at Falador, follows heroine Kara-Meir and her companions six months after they defeated and disfigured the evil Lord Sulla. Werewolf Gar’rth and the priestess Arisha accompany Kara-Meir into the Wilderness to track Sulla and his werewolf Jerrod. The remaining Falador heroes, Wizard Castimir, Dwarf Doric and Alchemist Ebenezer, have returned to their homeland.

Meanwhile, Squire Theodore, who has romantic feelings for Kara-Meir, is busy recruiting and training new soldiers for the Falador army in the city of Varrock in an effort to replace the numerous fighters who died in the battle against Sulla. However, an undead, winged creature from the evil realm of Morytania has been killing random men, women and children in Varrock. The creature seems to foreshadow the coming of the Vampire Lord Drakan, who holds immense power. He is believed to be one of the major figures in the on-bringing of a new king.

The Falador heroes reunite in Varrock to make the journey to Morytania, where werewolves and vampires roam free. The group must end the power struggle between the most powerful Lords in order to save Varrock.

Return to Canifis is a must-read for fan of the RuneScape MMORPG. Church gives a massively detailed back-story for all of the characters, which helps players who haven’t read Betrayal of Falador to fully understand what’s going on in this world of Varrock. The story is told from the viewpoints of various characters, so readers can understand how the characters all play a part in the Falador hero’s quest to Morytania. Church’s extensive research into multiple lifestyles, including those of the soldiers, scientists and the undead, clearly shines through in his meticulous description of every detail of life in Varrock and Morytania. While Church determined the fate of the characters, instead of the game players, they will still feel as though they’re on the journey from Varrock to Morytania with the Falador heroes.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

'Dumbstruck' Movie Review

Title: Dumbstruck

Director: Mark Goffman

Starring: Terry Fator (’America’s Got Talent’), Dan Horn, Kim Yeager, Dylan Burdette, Wilma Schwartz

Written by: Karen Benardello

Telling jokes at the expense of the audience with outrageous props is a popular way for comedians to get a laugh from their audiences. But if one of those props is a puppet, adults tend to steer clear of the show. In his new documentary ‘Dumbstruck,’ first-time movie director Mark Goffman creates a relatability to the ventriloquists he features, showing how they overcome the stigma placed on their profession.

‘Dumbstruck’ tells the struggles of five ventriloquists, including ‘America’s Got Talent’ season two winner Terry Fator; one of the world’s few cruise line ventriloquists, Dan Horn; Kim Yeager, who mainly performs at children’s shows but is trying to break into cruise lines; 13-year-old Dylan Burdette, who does ventriloquism as a hobby but wants to become a professional; and Wilma Schwartz, who has been disowned by most of her family for her love of puppets. Horn, Yeager, Burdette and Schwartz all aim to become as well-known as Fator, who struggled to gain recognition for his craft for 22 years in Corsicana, Texas.

The documentary also tells how Fator achieved his dream after winning the hit NBC reality series in 2007. After performing at the Las Vegas Hilton for three months in early 2008, he signed a five-year, $100 million deal with The Mirage. He attended the 32nd annual Vent Haven Convention in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky in 2008, where Horn, Yeager, Burdette and Schwartz were all in attendance.

Goffman, who rose to fame as a television producer and writer and has worked on such shows as ‘The West Wing’ and ‘White Collar,’ was still able to perfectly capture the troubles ventriloquists face in ‘Dumbstruck.’ People unfamiliar with the craft will come to appreciate the effort the performers put into entertaining crowds, and the personal obstacles they must overcome. Viewers will feel as though they know the ventriloquists by the end of the documentary, as they can relate to their conflicts.

To read the rest of this review, please visit:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

'Limitless' Movie Review

Title: Limitless

Director: Neil Burger

Writers: Leslie Dixon (screenplay), Alan Glynn (novel)

Stars: Bradley Cooper, Anna Friel and Abbie Cornish

Written by: Karen Benardello

People have always wondered how their lives would change if there was a drug that could make them smarter. The moral question of whether or not people should take such a drug is presented in the new Relativity Media thriller ‘Limitless,’ starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Abbie Cornish. But audiences will unfortunately forget this question quickly, as the movie glorifies illegal drugs and the extravagant lifestyle people can obtain by taking them.

‘Limitless’ follows writer Eddie Morra (played by Cooper) as he is hit with a severe case of writer’s block. While he is unable to formulate any ideas for his new novel and virtually has no other job prospects, Eddie’s girlfriend, Lindy (portrayed by Cornish), breaks up with him. Eddie then runs into his ex-brother-in-law, who convinces him to take NZT, a top-secret, experimental drug that allows people to use all of their brain power.

After he begins taking NZT every day, Eddie becomes extremely successful in the financial world, using his new-found math skills to make money on Wall Street. Business mogul Carl Van Loon (played by De Niro) becomes impressed with Eddie, and makes him his protege. But Eddie not only tries to hide his dependency on NZT from Carl, but also the fact that hit men are trying to kill him unless he gives them more of the mind-altering drug.

Director Neil Burger had the potential to create an exciting action thriller with ‘Limitless,’ but unfortunately, failed to live up to expectations. The movie, which is based on the 2001 techno thriller novel The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn, has an interesting premise, showcasing what positive effects a street drug can have on a person’s mind. Eddie, who should have been a likable character who proves that anyone can achieve anything they put their mind to, regrettably fails to grow or mature after taking the NZT.

To read the rest of this review, please visit:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

'Wrecked' Movie Review

Title: Wrecked

Director: Michael Greenspan

Starring: Adrien Brody, Caroline Dhavernas (Hollywoodland, Breach)

Written by: Karen Benardello

A-list actors with a large fan following are often criticized for taking roles that don’t physically or emotionally challenge them, as their fans will see any movie they’re in. Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody is one exception to this rule, as seen in the upcoming IFC Midnight Films release ‘Wrecked.’ The independent movie not only shows Brody’s ease at emotionally developing his character, who has little back-story and is in the majority of the movie by himself, he also wasn’t afraid to perform his own stunts to better connect to his role.

‘Wrecked’ follows the unnamed man (played by Brody), who wakes up to find himself to be the only survivor in a devastating one-car crash at the bottom of a steep cliff. Not remembering who the other passengers are or even who he is, why they crashed and how they got to the bottom of the cliff, the man only has his instincts to rely on to survive. Trapped in the car, the man has to figure out how to free himself while struggling with hallucinations, including one where a woman he doesn’t know (played by Caroline Dhavernas) who keeps coming back to taunt him.

While ‘Wrecked,’ which was written by Christopher Dodd, is essentially just a tale chronicling how people will react when they are not only fighting to remember their identity but for their survival as well, the story loses its appeal over time. While the audience immediately connects to the man, as they are just as interested as he is to find out why the car crashed, who he is and how he will escape, spending almost the entire film exclusively with just the one character makes it lose its appeal.

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'Mars Needs Moms' Movie Review

Title: Mars Needs Moms

Director: Simon Wells

Starring: Joan Cusack, Seth Dusky, Dan Fogler (’Take Me Home Tonight’)

Written by: Karen Benardello

A children’s story paired with computer animated sci-fi action in 3D seemed like it would be a perfect combination for Walt Disney Pictures when it first announced its new movie ‘Mars Needs Moms,’ particularly after the success of last spring’s ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’ However, the new Disney film unfortunately proves that not all similarly-themed movies fare the same. With its lack of creative graphics and a likable protagonist, ‘Mars Needs Moms’ proves that even animated action movies need unique effects and relatable characters to be enjoyable.

‘Mars Needs Moms’ follows nine-year-old Milo (voiced by Seth Dusky), who claims his life would be better if his mom (voiced by Joan Cusack) wasn’t around to make him do chores anymore. That night, Martians kidnap his mom in order to take her maternal instinct and plant it in the robots that are used to raise their children. Realizing that he would really miss his mom if she was no longer around, Milo follows her onto the spaceship that takes her to Mars.

While on Mars, Milo must avoid capture from the Martians and their leader, the Supervisor (voiced by Mindy Sterling). in order to rescue his mom. However, a fellow human, Gribble (voiced by Dan Fogler), is determined to keep Milo on Mars so that he can have a friend. But a rebellious Martian girl, Ki (voiced by Elisabeth Harnois), is determined to help Milo and his mom, and bring love back to the Red Planet.

While director Simon Wells is trying to recapture the box office success he achieved with his last directorial effort, the 2002 Academy Award-nominated sci-fi movie ‘The Time Machine,’ with ‘Mars Needs Moms,’ he ultimately failed to incorporate any effective action effects and elements into his latest effort. The most disappointing aspect of ‘Mars Needs Moms’ is the computer animation; while the genre has spawned numerous hits over the past 15 years, including ‘Cars’ and ‘Finding Nemo,’ the graphics in ‘Mars Needs Moms’ don’t have the same allure as the films that have made those films popular.

To read the rest of this review, please visit:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

'The Adjustment Bureau' Movie Review

Title: The Adjustment Bureau

Directed by: George Nolfi

Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and Lisa Thoreson

Written by: Karen Benardello

Action movies today often thrive on numerous big-budget stunts and forget about creating developed characters that audiences can relate to. However, the new romance thriller ‘The Adjustment Bureau,’ starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, successfully takes the risky move of forgetting the old stereotypes that comprise the suspense genre to instead focus on its characters.

‘The Adjustment Bureau’ follows New York congressman David Norris (played by Damon), who has long been embraced by the people he represents. However, his political luck is running out while he’s running for the U.S. Senate. On the night of the election, he meets a mysterious woman, Elise Sallas (portrayed by Blunt), while he’s preparing his speech in which he will announce that he’s stepping down from the race. She inspires him to instead speak from his heart, and the public embraces his honesty.

After leaving Congress, David begins working for his old campaign manager at a venture capital firm. While taking the bus to work on his first day, he once again sees Elise, who he was never supposed to see again, according to his life plan. David then arrives at work, and mistakenly sees men from the Adjustment Bureau examining his boss. The men then do whatever they can to keep David’s life on track and according to plan, including never seeing Elise again.

Universal Pictures, the studio that distributed ‘The Adjustment Bureau,’ tried to advertise the movie as being parallel to one of Damon’s most successful series, ‘The Bourne’ franchise. While ‘The Adjustment Bureau,’ which was directed and written by George Nolfi, certainly has similar characters to ‘The Bourne’ trilogy, including high-action chases between Damon and authority figures, it also surprisingly deviates from typical suspense thrillers.

Nolfi was skillfully able to focus the action on the characters’ fate, and their determination to fight for what they wanted. While many action thrillers focus solely on the characters’ need for revenge, David and Elise instead battle often unseen forces to stay with each other. David is a tremendously complex character, who not only struggles with the men from the Adjustment Bureau over who will make decisions for him and run his life, but with himself as well. Having watched his mother and brother die when he was a child, and then his father when he was a teenager, he constantly questions if his successful career will fill the void of not having close, intimate relationships.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

'Triangle: Remembering the Fire' Documentary Review

'Triangle: Remembering the Fire' HBO Documentary Review

Written by: Karen Benardello

While many workers across America today continuously complain about their jobs, they also forgot one important aspect of why their work conditions are safe. The new exclusive HBO documentary ‘Triangle: Remembering the Fire,’ which premiers on Monday, March 25, humbly memorializes the lives of the workers who gave their lives during the fire that broke out at the Triangle Waist Company factory in New York City’s Asch Building nearly 100 years ago. These workers died in vain, as the government and business owners cared more about profits than the safety of those who worked for them.

‘Triangle: Remembering the Fire,’ which was directed by Daphne Pinkerson and is narrated by Tovah Feldshuh, chronicles the events leading up to, during and after the fire, which took place on March 25, 1911. On the top three floors of the 10-story building, 146 workers, many of whom were young immigrant women and girls, died after the fire either burned them or caused them to jump to their deaths from the windows. The fire broke out accidentally after many women demanded better salaries and working conditions in 1909’s infamous “Uprising of the 20,000″ strike. After the government and businesses received complaints and negative press from the public after people found out the fire was preventable, officials began representing the working class, not just the wealthy.

Viewers will definitely connect to the victims and their families in this touching tribute to those who perished in the worst American work-place disaster of the twentieth century. Pinkerson made the right decision to feature interviews with some of the descendants of the victims, including Erica Lansner, the grandneice of the ninth floor forelady Fannie Lansner. Erica showed Fannie’s strength by recounting her selfless effort to escort many of her co-workers to safety before she was killed in the fire.

To read the rest of this review, please visit:

'Jane Eyre' Movie Review

Title: Jane Eyre

Directed by: Cary Fukunaga

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell

Written by: Karen Benardello

Considered ahead of its time when it was first released in London in 1847, “Jane Eyre” has become a classic novel for its social criticism of society, class order and gender disparity. While many movie directors have difficulty translating morality lessons of past generations to the big screen in a way that modern audiences can still relate to them, Cary Joji Fukunaga easily made the transition with his adaptation of ‘Jane Eyre.’ With the help of actors who effortlessly connected to their roles emotionally, Fukunaga was able to capture his characters’ desire to break free from their expected society roles in a way that will allow viewers to connect to them as well.

The updated, modern telling of the beloved Charlote Brontë novel follows the title character, Jane Eyre (played by Mia Wasikowska), throughout various stages of her isolated upbringing. Fukunaga successfully made the bold move to derive from the novel and introduced the Rivers, the family Jane receives refugee from as an adult, in the beginning of the movie. Working backwards, the director then introduces the 10-year-old orphaned Jane (portrayed by Amelia Clarkson), who is cast out of her home, Gateshead, by her deceased uncle’s wife, Mrs. Reed (played by Sally Hawkins). Jane receives an education at the charity school Lowood, where she is physically and emotionally abused.

Jane finally obtains the kindness and respect she’s always looked for when she begins working at the Thornfield estate as a young adult. Edward Rochester (played by Michael Fassbender), the master of Thornfield, comes to treat Jane with admiration, even though she is the governess for Adele Varens (portrayed by Romy Settbon Moore), the child under his care. Despite Rochester’s professed love for Jane and proposal to marry her, she still flees Thornfield, and finds solace with St. John Rivers (played by Jamie Bell) and his sisters. While with the Rivers, Jane questions whether she made the right decision leaving Thornfield.

When fans of the novel first hear of the Focus Features movie, they may question why the studio would want to create another adaptation of the timeless classic. But once they see the film, they will realize that even though the plot is still set in the 1800s, Fukunaga was able to preserve Jane’s innocence while turning her into a relatable, 21st century female protagonist. As he has said, Jane “…is on a journey and finds someone (Rochester) she can relate to, who has suffered loss like she has, as she is plunged into complex situations and emotions.” Even though she is only a lowly governess, Jane is happy to finally have found someone who not only understands her needs and wants, but still accepts her for who she is.

Allowing Jane to break free of the typical society rules she has abided by all her life to consider a life with Rochester, the audience will be more likely to understand her desire to break free from the repression she has always endured. Jane’s need for freedom and to explore life outside of being a governess perfectly parallels people’s need today to break from the life roles placed on them.

To read the rest of this review, please visit:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hobo With A Shotgun Movie Review

Title: Hobo with a Shotgun

Directed by: Jason Eisener

Starring: Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner, The Rite), Gregory Smith (Conception, The Patriot) and Robb Wells (The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day)

Written by: Karen Benardello

While some highly-anticipated movies live up to their pre-release hype, others fail to include the aspects that fans hope to see. The new grindhouse-inspired Magnet Releasing movie, ‘Hobo with a Shotgun,’ is unfortunately part of the latter group. The movie’s fake trailer, which was included in the Canadian release of the 2007 double feature ‘Grindhouse,’ received massive fan support, and the public demand it be made into a full-length feature. Jason Eisener, who has risen to fame as a short-film director and who helmed the fake trailer, was ambitious enough to give into the fans’ demand, but was ultimately unable to create relateable characters and a developed story.

‘Hobo with a Shotgun’ follows the title character (played by Rutger Hauer), simply known as Hobo, as he travels into a destitute city on a freight train. While he hopes to make a better life for himself, what he really discovers is that the city’s crime boss, Drake (portrayed by Brian Downey), and his two murderous sons, Slick (played by Gregory Smith) and Ivan (portrayed by Nick Bateman), rule the streets. The three incite fear into, and control, everyone who lives in the city, even the police.

After Hobo sees a second-hand lawn mower in the window of pawn shop, he is determined to clean up the city and make it a better place. But once he realizes that he won’t be able to do that while Drake and his sons rule, Hobo steals a shotgun from the pawn shop, and kills everyone he deems as a threat.

Expectations for the grindhouse-inspired film were high, as Eisener and screenwriter John Davies have long been fans of the genre. While Eisener has said ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’ isn’t a true tribute to the grindhouse films of the 1970s and ’80s, which he and Davies continuously watched together growing up, it does embody “everything that we love about the genre; and (it) continues to build on it.”

Also, ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’ won the Grindhouse Trailer Contest that was held at the SXSW Film Festival. Robert Rodriguez, who directed ‘Planet Terror,’ one of the two films included in ‘Grindhouse,’ picked Eisener and Davies’ fake trailer as the winner of the contest; their prize was having the trailer be included in the Canadian release of ‘Grindhouse.’ The trailer then received massive industry support from such outlets as Ain’t It Cool News, as well as a huge fan base through YouTube.

To read the rest of this review, please visit: