Thursday, May 26, 2011

'Somewhere' DVD Examiner Review

'Somewhere' DVD Examiner Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

The public often feels that Hollywood actors have a charmed life after achieving unlimitless wealth and fame. But New York native Sofia Coppola hopes to debunk these ill-conceived beliefs in her fourth directorial effort, the Focus Features drama ‘Somewhere’ that stars Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning and is now available on DVD. The talented director hopes to prove with the small, low-budget film that everyone has doubts about their lives, and even the most successful people don’t always know how to deal with their new-found fame.

The core lessons presented in ‘Somewhere’ are similar to the themes presented in Coppola’s previous efforts, notably the main character facing challenges in their life and being forced to assume new responsibilities. The drama follows newly famous Hollywood actor Johnny Marco (played by Dorff), who has trouble adjusting to his new lifestyle. Despite living the high life at the Chateau Marmont hotel in L.A. and performing the numerous press obligations required for his new movie, he doesn’t seem content. Johnny deals with his loneliness by driving his Ferrari, drinking alcohol, taking pills and engaging in several sexual relationships with different women.

Johnny’s life drastically changes when his 11-year-old daughter, Cleo (portrayed by Fanning) shows up at his doorstep. Happy wallowing in his own pain, Johnny is reluctant to alter his ways when Cleo first arrives. However, after he discovers that her mother went away on vacation and has no immediate plans to return to their daughter, his entire prospective on life immediately changes.

While ‘Somewhere’ is similar to the overall themes presented in Coppola’s first three directorial efforts, including ‘The Virgin Suicides,’ ‘Lost in Translation’ and ‘Marie Antoinette,’ she deserves credit for attempting to slightly deviate from recycling all of their ideas. While her first three movies feature on feminine self-definition and maturation, Coppola easily transitions to instead focusing on a man’s seclusion and depression in ‘Somewhere.’ While Johnny doesn’t experience any major external conflicts because of his new fame and questioning of self-worth, as the movie has more of a character-based plot, Coppola is easily able to translate his lack of feeling of pleasure through her visual cues.

To read the rest of this post, please click here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

'Cost of a Soul' Movie Review

'Cost of a Soul' Shockya Movie Review Written By: Karen Benardello

Director: Sean Kirkpatrick

Starring: Chris Kerson (‘Henry’s Crime), Will Blagrove (‘How Do You Know’), Judy Jerome (‘Bedwetter’), Gregg Almquist (TV’s ‘The Practice’)

Social commentary isn’t usually the first thing movie audiences think of when they watch films to be entertained. However, first time screenwriter/director Sean Kirkpatrick instantly grabs hold of the viewers of his full-length feature debut, ‘Cost of a Soul,’ by breaking the stereotype that dramatic interpretations of real-life issues can’t be captivating. His brave determination to show that continued violence hinders the growth of a community continuously shines through in the crime drama.

‘Cost of a Soul’ follows two wounded soldiers, Tommy Donahue (played by Chris Kerson) and DD Davis (portrayed by Will Blagrove), as they return home from active duty in Iraq to the slum neighborhood they grew up in. Both Tommy and DD seem proud of their accomplishments in the military, but are ashamed of the neighborhood they returned to. The two struggle to redeem themselves and improve their lives, but in the process, their families become involved in crime, violence and corruption.

Tommy returns home to his wife Faith (played by Judy Jerome) and disabled six-year-old daughter, Hope (portrayed by Maddie M. Jones). Faith is upset with Tommy for running off to the military when she was pregnant and leaving her without any health insurance. Tommy becomes distraught that Faith accepted money from the neighborhood crime boss, Charlie ‘Bernie’ Burns (played by Gregg Almquist), while he was in Iraq because she was desperate for help to take care of Hope. Bernie now has Tommy in his debt, and orders him to threaten and kill on his behalf.

Meanwhile, DD is struggling to find a job and make an honest living, and is disappointed that his older brother Darnell (portrayed by Nakia Dillard) has become the neighborhood drug lord. DD is determined to keep Darnell away from their younger brother James (played by Daveed Ramsay), so he doesn’t follow down the same path.

Kirkpatrick ambitiously wanted to tell the stories of the people of his hometown of North Philadelphia, one of America’s toughest and most violent neighborhoods. While filming ‘Cost of a Soul,’ Rogue, the studio that is releasing the movie, believed it would be impossible to complete it on its small budget and short 18-day shooting schedule. But Kirkpatrick proved what a resilient, creative filmmaker he is by pushing forward. His determination to show the anxiety wounded soldiers face when they return home from war brilliantly shines through in the movie’s plot-line and characters.

To read the rest of this review, please click here.

Interview: Bill George Talks 'I Am Number Four's Visual Effects

Read Shockya's interview with Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) visual effects supervisor Bill George, who oversaw the creation of the special effects in this year’s Touchstone Pictures sci-fi action film ‘I Am Number Four.’ The movie is set to be released on Blu-ray and DVD, as well as a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Download three-disc combo pack, on May 24, 2011. George discusses with us, among other things, what his favorite scene in ‘I Am Number Four’ was, and how closely he worked with the movie’s director, D.J. Caruso.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Question (Q): How do you decide which movie you are going to work on?

Bill George (BG): Our executive staff reads a script and assigns a supervisor to it who they think is best suited for the project. Many times a studio that has worked with a specific supervisor in the past will request him or her.

Q: If you had to pick one one scene that you liked the best that you worked on for ‘I Am Number Four,’ what would it be?

BG: I really was happy with the destruction of the Mog commander. You can see in the special features section of the Blu-ray “Becoming Number 6″ how little was shot and what was added. We shot practical explosions and sparks and bombs and there is nothing more fun than blowing stuff up! When we work on our shots we don’t have the final sound effects that are added right at the end and the sound design for that sequence was rockin’!

Q: There are tons of sci-fi movies out there. What did you try to put into ‘I Am Number Four’ that would separate it from all other alien films?

BG: Cute teenagers in love!

Q: How closely did you work with D.J. Caruso?

BG: On set, the ILM team met with him every day. We kept him updated on the construction of Bernie and the Piken and I would discuss with him his plan for any of the plates we were shooting. Early on in post (production), we would travel down to LA for creative meetings, and later at the end when things were super crazy, we had video reviews. Early on I told D.J. to think of Steve (the animation director) and I as the Piken. Give us direction the way you would an actor and we’ll give you a performance. D.J. directed every performance from the Piken and Bernie and he seemed to be having a blast doing it.

To read the rest of this interview, please click here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

'The Bleeding House' Movie Review

'The Bleeding House' Movie Review by: Karen Benardello

Director: Philip Gelatt

Starring: Alexandra Chando (‘As The World Turns’), Patrick Breen (‘Men in Black’) and Betsy Aidem (‘Far From Heaven’)

While his characters are trying to run from their past, first time director and screenwriter Philip Gelatt is trying to pave the way for his filmmaking future with his debut movie, ‘The Bleeding House.’ The horror thriller, which had a successful run at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, strives to create an original idea about the fear people have when dealing with their past actions in a genre that’s success is based on purely violent sequels and remakes. While Gelatt deserves credit for striving to create a unique story and characters, the end result fails to live up to expectations.

‘The Bleeding House’ chronicles the life of the Smiths, a seemingly happy Texas family that includes reclusive 16-year-old daughter Gloria (played by Alexandra Chando) and 18-year-old son Quentin (portrayed by Charlie Hewson), who’s determined to move out with his girlfriend Lynne (played by Nina Lisandrello). While their parents, Matt (portrayed by Richard Bekins) and Marilyn (played by Betsy Aidem), are determined to keep the family together, a past secret that has damaged their social standing in their town seems to be tearing the Smiths apart. The family tries to resolve their problems after a mysterious preacher, Nick (portrayed by Patrick Breen), shows up at their door one night. He claims his car broke down on a nearby road, but won’t be able to get a tow truck until the next morning, as the town is desolate. But Nick seems to be keeping a terrifying secret of his own.

Chando, who has made a name for herself on television, including a regular role on ‘As The World Turns,’ and received top billing for ‘The Bleeding House,’ is the true breakout star of the horror thriller. She truly understands Gloria’s determination to keep herself isolated from her family and her constant need to revolt against her parents, like most teen girls do. However, Chando skillfully makes Gloria appear so happy to distance herself from, and rebel against, the social norms and her family’s desire to assimilate back into the community. Marilyn hints to Nick that Gloria has had trouble in the past, but never fully explains what kind of misfortune she got into. But Chando makes Gloria’s abnormal behavior, including killing small animals and keeping their bodies, so intriguing and the audience almost forgets to question why Gelatt didn’t delve further into her background.

To read the rest of this review, please click here.

Interview: Chris Kerson and Will Blagrove Talk 'Cost of a Soul'

Read Shockya's roundtable interview with actors Chris Kerson and Will Blagrove, who portray Tommy Donahue and DD Davis, respectively, in the new independent crime drama ‘Cost of a Soul.’ The movie follows the two soldiers who have recently returned home to North Philadelphia after serving in Iraq. Tommy and DD must not only readjust to civilian life, but learn how to cope with the crime, violence and drugs that are plaguing the streets of their slum neighborhood. Rogue will release ‘Cost of a Soul’ into 50 theaters across the country on May 20, 2011, as part of the AMC Independent program. Kerson and Blagrove discuss, among other things, how they prepared for their roles and what characteristics they feel make a good soldier.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Question (Q): Can you give us your background?

Will Blagrove (WB): I went to Benjamin Cardozo High School in Douglaston (New York). I went to St. John’s University in Queens. I was born in Jamaica, Queens.

Q: Do your parents still live in Queens?

WB: Yes, both of my parents are still in Queens. They’re actually from Jamaica Jamaica. Yay mon! But yeah, they still live in Jamaica, Queens.

Q: When you’re in New York, do you still spend time with them?

WB: Yes, I just got a good home cooked meal!

Chris Kerson (CK): I’m from Westchester (New York), and I live in Westchestser now. But I was born in New York City, and my father’s from New York City. My mother’s from Westchester, so I would go back and forth between the two a lot. But I went to Westchester high schools and all that. I had an apartment in Mamoroneck (New York) for a time. I went to college down in Virginia. I’ll say it, and all of a sudden, the accent comes back. I attended William and Mary. I also spent a little time in Los Angeles. But I’ve been back ever since.

Q: How long have you been back?

CK: I would say over ten years.

Q: Will, did you study acting at St. John’s?

WB: No. I studied at the William Esper Studio (in New York). I studied with William Esper.

Q: So what did you study at St. John’s then?

WB: Law. I was going to be a lawyer! I did this United Negro College Fund spot with Spike Lee. I said, “Maybe I should try the acting!” You gotta go where life takes you. Sometimes life tells you to go left. sometimes we go right for some reason.

CK: I was a psychology major at William and Mary. I had a job as an investment banker, in corporate finance. I was at the trading floor at 277 Park Avenue. I was hired by DLJ (investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette). I had a summer internship, where I was working 100-120 hours a week. My family was so excited because they thought I was going to make all this money coming out of college. Then I got an acting class my last semester of college. My teacher at the time, John Goodlan, said “You’ve done some of the best work I’ve ever seen here.” We had some good people come out of there, like Glenn Close. He said “I really think you should reconsider what you’re doing.” I came to New York and studied with Al Pacino’s mentor, Charlie Laughton. That’s one of the reasons why I went to L.A. to study one-on-one with him. I jumped in, and didn’t look back with the investment banking. My family wouldn’t talk to me for like two or three years after that.

Q: Was that a downside?

CK: That was one of the downsides My father was a poor Jewish kid from Brooklyn and the Bronx who wanted to see his son have his finances secure. that was very important to him. I was going into a profession where only half of a percent of people we hear about. It was a tough situation. If it’s what I’m supposed to do, so be it.

To read the rest of this interview, please click here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Interview: Sean Kirkpatrick Talks 'Cost of a Soul'

Read Shockya's roundtable interview with Sean Kirkpatrick, who made his feature film writing/directing debut with the upcoming crime drama ‘Cost of a Soul.’ The independent movie won last year’s “Big Break Movie Contest,” which gives previously undistributed movies the chance to obtain exclusive on-screen distribution rights across the United States. ‘Cost of a Soul’ will be released by Relativity Media’s Rogue Division in 50 AMC Theaters nationwide on May 20 as part of the AMC Independent program. The film follows two wounded military veterans, Tommy Donahue (Played by Chris Kerson) and DD Davis (portrayed by Will Blagrove), as they return home to crime-ridden North Philadelphia from Iraq.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Question (Q): Can you talk about how, as an independent filmmaker, this deal came about, the process between Rogue and AMC Theaters?

Sean Kirkpatrick (SK): How it initially came about, we had been screening at the festival circuit for the last year. It played at about 10 film festivals. We had amazing sell-out screenings, encore screenings, standing ovations, you name it. We had an amazing festival tour. We were coming to the end of it, looking for distribution for it. My co-producer, Jonathan Risinger, walked into an AMC and saw a poster that said “Do you have a movie?” We had a movie. We submitted the film, and the rest is history.

Q: How’s the process been since signing up with them? Did they make any specific cuts?

SK: Unbelievably, no. It’s been incredible. As a first-time filmmaker, it’s so rare that it’s the filmmaker’s film that gets out there without being chopped or cut. The first thing I said, because it’s in the distribution contract that they have the final cut and edit, and they probably would re-cut the movie, and I said, “What are you guys going to change?” They said “Nothing, we love it the way it is. We don’t want to touch it, your movie’s staying intact.” It’s been an amazing experience. They let me maintain creative control throughout. I mean, everything from the design of the movie poster was approved by me. They’ve kept me in the loop on every creative decision possible, which has been amazing, rare thing for a studio like Relativity Media to allow a first-time director (creative control). I mean, they could have just said “Well, see you at the premiere, have a nice day.”

Q: Why do you think they did that?

SK: Well, I think their explanation was “We love the movie, we wouldn’t touch it, we wouldn’t dream of touching it.” That’s what they said. I think the movie just stands on its own, and I think they want the creative input from the artist and the filmmakers, which I think is great. I think that’s important too. It is all about dollars and cents at the end of the day, it is a business. But they were working with me, so we don’t compromise anything, so that I don’t compromise anything, any of the artistry in doing so.

To read the rest of this interview, please click here.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

'Priest' Movie Review

'Priest' Movie Review Written by: Karen Benardello

Director: Scott Stewart (‘Legion’)

Starring: Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q (TV’s ‘Nikita’)

A big budget, post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller with vampires is the perfect set-up for an entertaining, intriguing plot. Add in Cam Gigandet, who rose to fame after playing evil vampire James in the movie adaptation of ‘Twilight,’ and director Scott Stewart, who helmed last year’s similarly-themed film ‘Legion,’ and the new Screen Gems film ‘Priest’ seemed destined to become successful at the box office. But unfortunately, the story-line of the action-horror film fell under the pressure, and its only redeeming quality that positively captures the audiences’ attention is its visual effects.

‘Priest’ takes place in an alternate world, as Paul Bettany’s title character, a veteran warrior, tries to live in obscurity after the last Vampire War. Priest tries to assimilate with the other humans in one of the Church’s walled cities after the centuries-old war between vampires and humans ended. Church leaders are trying to make everyone believe that most of the vampires are dying in seclusion, but are still a danger to their society. But Priest is informed that his niece, Lucy Pace (played by Lily Collins), is kidnapped by the vampire leader Black Hat (portrayed by Karl Urban).

Priest defies Monsignor Orelas (played by Christopher Plummer) by breaking his sacred vows to leave the city to search for Lucy. Priest is accompanied by Lucy’s wasteland sheriff boyfriend Hicks (portrayed by Gigandet). While the two are searching for Lucy, Warrior Priestess (played by Maggie Q), is sent by the Monsignor to capture Priest and bring him back to the city, dead or alive.

To read the rest of this review, please click here.

'Bridesmaids' Examiner movie review

'Bridesmaids' Examiner movie review

Written by: Karen Benardello

Weddings are often a time for women friends to bond and celebrate with each other before the bride starts her new life. But as the new Universal Pictures comedy 'Bridesmaids' proves, they can also be a time for laughter, and ultimately jealousy, when the personalities of the bridal party start to clash.

'Bridesmaids' follows Annie Walker (played by New York native Kristen Wiig) as she finds out her best friend since childhood, Lillian Donovan (portrayed by Maya Rudolph), is engaged. Lillian asks Annie to be her maid of honor, and she accepts, despite her own disastrous love life and lack of serious boyfriend. Annie, who had to accept a low-paying job at a jewerly store after her bakery close, most compete for Lillian's attention with one of her rich bridesmaids, Helen Harris (played by Rose Byrne). But Annie's outlook on life starts to change after she meets police officer Nathan (portrayed by Chris O'Dowd), who shows her there are good things in life worth fighting for.

Directed by Paul Feig, who's known for helming such hit television series as 'Mad Men,' '30 Rock' and 'The Office,' and produced by Judd Apatow and his production company, Apatow Productions, 'Bridesmaids' has been rightfully labeled as the woman's version of 'The Hangover.' What makes 'Bridesmaids' so appealling is that all women can relate to at least one of the bridesmaids, whether it be Annie's questioning of her worth against Helen, who's always confident that she knows what's best; Megan (played by Melissa McCarthy) not caring about what people think about her; Becca (portrayed by Ellie Kemper) living a seemingly innocent and worry-free life; and Rita (played by Wendi McLendon-Covey), who just wants a fun break from her mundane, every-day family life.

To read the rest of this review, please click here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Exclusive Interview: Corey Feldman and Alex Loy Talk 'Operation Belvis Bash'

Read Shockya's exclusive interview with Corey Feldman and actor/writer/producer/director Alex Loy, whose upcoming musical comedy, ‘Operation Belvis Bash,’ is scheduled to have a limited theatrical release in June 2011. Loy portrays the title character, Belvis Bash, a struggling rock and roll musician who goes to Afghanistan to win over the Afghani people. Feldman portrays comedian Samuel Stilman, who joins Belvis on his journey, but the two are put in danger after they encounter infamous terrorist Abdul. Feldman and Loy discuss with us, among other things, how they prepared for the movie and how much support they have received from the public.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Shockya (SY): ‘Operation Belvis Bash’ follows the title character, a rock and roll musician, as he travels to Afghanistan to win the hearts of the Afghani people. Why were you attracted to the movie and this topic?

Corey Feldman (CF): Well, basically for me, doing what I do, being a rock musician for years now, doing what I do for as long as I have, I need to keep challenging myself. I like a challenge and make myself stretch, or take a leap further than I have in the past. When I saw this script, the first thing that I thought was, this is great. This is like a 40-year-old, fat Jewish guy, I need to play this role. I said to Alex, “Thanks for sending me the script.” I basically told Alex, if I’m going to do this, I need full prosthetic make-up, I need the ability to basically do whatever I want with this character. I can’t even tell you really what he’s going to look like or what he’s going to say once he walks out on the stage. It’s kinda going to be like, roll the cameras and see what you’re going to get. That’s what we did, and it was an interesting experiment, and at the end, I think we got a pretty good result.

SY: So how did you prepare for the role?

CF: Well, I went to beat up on a bunch of kids in a school yard for awhile. After that, I took advantage of some disabilities. No, I’m just kidding. I don’t know. I guess it was the darkest recesses of my mind in some way. I mean, the character was so far removed from me as a person. I guess it was kind of a combination of everything I’ve ever hated in people. I mean, he’s that guy you love to hate. He’s very opinionated, very cold, very callous, opposite of me. But that’s what I think made him so fun, because literally, the moment that make-up came on, I literally became this other person. You don’t have to make excuses for this guy because he’s completely inexcusable. Everything about him is just wrong. But that said, I guess it drives the message home that much better, that when you realize at the end, it’s about everything you think it is.

Alex Loy (AL): Well, he’s not that cold and callous.

CF: Oh, he’s pretty bad.

To read the rest of this interview, please click here.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

'Thor' Movie Review

'Thor' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Movie audiences seemed to have received a gift from the gods when Marvel Studios announced it was releasing its new superhero film ‘Thor’ in time to kick off summer 2011. With such respected Academy Award winning actors as Syosset's Natalie Portman, as well as Anthony Hopkins, leading the cast of a big-budget, special effects-filled movie based on a famous comic book character, the studio seemed destined to have a sure hit to start the competitive season. While director Kenneth Branagh delivered on the promised stunning visual effects, the story and character developments were unfortunately lacking on one of the summer’s most anticipated films.

The superhero film follows Ondin (played by Anthony Hopkins), the king of Asgard, as he describes to his two young sons, Thor and Loki, why he waged war against the Frost Giants of Jotunheim and their leader Laufey (portrayed by Colm Feore) in 965 AD. Ondin wanted to prevent the giants from conquering the Nine Realms, including Earth. The Asgardian king and his warriors defeated the giants, and as a result, took control over their power source, the Casket of Ancient Winters.

In the present day, the now adult Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth) becomes angry when the Frost Giants attempt to reclaim the Casket as he prepares to become the King of Asgard. With the help of Loki (portrayed by Tom HIddleston), their childhood friend Sif (played by Jaimie Alexander) and the Warriors Three, Volstagg (portrayed by Ray Stevenson), Fandral (played by Joshua Dallas) and Hogun (portrayed by Tadanobu Asano), Thor defies his father and travels to Jotunheim to fight Laufey. While Ondin is able to stop the battle, he becomes frustrated with his son’s arrogance, and exiles him to Earth without his powers.

Thor is sent to New Mexico, where he’s found by scientist Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman), her assistant Darcy Lewis (portrayed by Kat Dennings) and her mentor Dr. Erik Selvig (played by Stellan Skarsgard). The espionage and law enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D., led by agent Phil Coulson (portrayed by Clark Gregg), begins looking into the crash site where Thor landed, as well as Jane’s research.

To read the rest of this review, please click here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

'Something Borrowed' Movie Review

'Something Borrowed' Movie Review Written by: Karen Benardello

Director: Luke Greenfield (‘The Girl Next Door’)

Starring: Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin (HBO’s ‘Big Love’), Colin Egglesfield (CW’s ‘Melrose Place’), John Krasinski (NBC’s ‘The Office), Steve Howey (CW’s ‘Reba’)

Turning 30 still often scares people, as they start to examine their life choices and question if they’ve made the right decisions. People have to start making the fantasies they’ve had since their teens a reality, and prepare for the future. This cultural need to grow up as we hit the 30-mark is the main driving force behind the new Warner Bros. Pictures romantic comedy ‘Something Burrowed,’ which focuses on the question what people would do if they feel their moment of opportunity has passed them by.

‘Something Borrowed’ follows single New York City attorney Rachel White (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) as she watches her best friend Darcy Rhone (portrayed by Kate Hudson) plan her wedding to Dex Thaler (played by Colin Egglesfield). Rachel struggles with her maid of honor duties, as she has had a crush on Dex since law school. After turning 30 and being upset she’s still single, Rachel has a one-night stand with Dex. But she vows not to publicly admit her love for him in order to spare Darcy’s feelings and their friendship. Ethan (portrayed by John Krasinski), who has been friends with Rachel and Darcy since they were kids, quickly realizes what’s going on between Rachel and Dex, and encourages her to go after what she truly wants. Rachel refuses to believe Ethan when he says Dex is stringing her along, while she tries to dodge Darcy’s attempts to set her up with Dex’s friend Marcus (played by Steve Howey).

As an ensemble romantic comedy based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Emily Griffin, ‘Something Borrowed’ achieves its goal of concentrating on how the characters feel about, and act towards, each other. As director Luke Greenfield has said, the movie is “a character-driven ensemble about real people in a tricky situation,” and the audience is supposed to be put into the characters’ shoes to understand how they’re feeling. While screenwriter Jennie Snyder Urman was able to gracefully translate Griffin’s flawed, but well-meaning characters to the screen in a relatable way, Hudson and Goodwin’s bond unfortunately don’t have a believable bond together. While Darcy said in the beginning of the film that Rachel has been her first soul mate since they were kids, the actresses unfortunately seem as though they’re new friends who just met each other.

Hudson and Goodwin’s lack of chemistry seems like it would hurt the film, as their life-long relationship is one of the core driving forces of the conflicts in ‘Something Borrowed.’ But oddly enough, when the two are in scenes without each other, or when they’re interacting more with the other actors than each other, they both truly connect with their characters. Hudson truly brings Darcy to life, showing that most of her actions she has taken since she was a kid have been focused on how they benefit her. As Greenfield has said of Darcy, she’s one of those high-maintenance people who surrounds themselves with selfless people. The audience will feel as though Darcy truly believes everything will always work out for the best, and Rachel will help make it happen.

To read the rest of this review, please click here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Exclusive Interview: Paul Becker Discusses 'Sucker Punch,' 'Hellcats' Choreography

Read Shockya's exclusive interview with choreographer Paul Becker, who has created routines for movies, television shows, concerts and music videos. His recently created choreographed such films as ‘Sucker Punch’ and ‘Hanna Montana: Best of Both Worlds.’ Becker also serves as the lead choreographer on the CW cheer leading series ‘Hellcats.’ Besides being a choreographer, he also serves as a horror movie movement consultant, and has worked on such films as last year’s ‘My Soul to Take’ and the upcoming ‘Cabin in the Woods.’ Becker discusses with us, among other things, how he creates the choreography, and how his mentor, director and choreographer Kenny Ortega, influences his work.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Shockya (SY): You serve as the lead choreographer on the CW cheer leading comedy-drama series ‘Hellcats.’ Where do you come up with the ideas for the cheers, and do the storylines influence your ideas for the routines??

Paul Becker (PB): The story lines always guide the choreography as there is sometimes dialogue during a dance. However I always take liberty in writing my own concepts when necessary. Each week I have to come up with new concepts, so it is quite a challenge.

SY: Do the show’s main actors, including Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale, actually perform the routines? If so, how long does it take to teach them the choreography??

PB: EVERYONE must perform their own dances. The lead actors dance just as much as the professional dancers. Everyone is at a different skill level so the teaching time varies.

SY: You started dancing at an early age in multiple styles, including hip hop, ballet and tap. What is your favorite style of dance, and when did you realize that you wanted to make a career out of dance??

PB: I actually don’t have a favorite style…it all makes me feel the same. As a child I was reassured that this is what I want to do every time I saw live performances of other male dancers. It made me realize that this is possible.

To read the rest of this interview, please click here.