Thursday, January 20, 2022

God of War or Red Dead II? Drafting The Best Games Of 2018

Click to watch embedded media While the internet may be more familiar with fantasy sports such as football or baseball, that doesn't mean the gamers of the world can't have a little fun too. From God of War to Red Dead Redemption II and everything in between, join Game Informer as we pick the best games of 2018 and form the ultimate fantasy teams. But how does the process work? The panel of Ben Reeves, John Carson, Kim Wallace, Alex Stadnik, and Alex Van Aken have assembled to select five games apiece from 2018 to create the most robust roster possible. After randomizing the draft order, each person will have time to decide. At the end of the round, the order reverses, and the fun continues from the fifth person back to the first. Sounds pretty standard, right? You can fill your list with as many great games as possible and create the video game equivalent of the 1990s Chicago Bulls. That's where you're wrong. If you've played fantasy sports before, you're well aware that picking players in the late rounds can get rough. In that spirit, each panel member in today's video must select one title off Metacritic's list of the worst games of 2018. In a year of such high highs, it's incredible how low the lows can get. But why are we drafting games like this? Just for fun? Why no, for the community validation, of course! That's right, folks. You get to vote on who has the strongest list. Be sure to head over to our Discord to select the editor with the strongest list, and we'll read the results on this week's episode of The GI Show! Thank you so much for your participation and please let us know what you thought of the segment in the comments below!
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    Interview: Raini Rodriguez & Simon Otto Talk A Tale Dark & Grimm

    Based on the hit book series by Adam Gidwitz, A Take […] The post Interview: Raini Rodriguez & Simon Otto Talk A Tale Dark & Grimm appeared first on

    Interview: Frank Welker Talks Curious George, Being ‘Old and Lucky’

    Curious George Season 14 and the film Curious George: Cape Ahoy is […] The post Interview: Frank Welker Talks Curious George, Being ‘Old and Lucky’ appeared first on

    CS Interview: Kurt Sutter Talks Doug Liman’s Chaos Walking Adaptation

    CS Interview: Kurt Sutter Talks Doug Liman’s Chaos Walking Adaptation Chaos Walking is now playing in theaters and to commemorate the event we sat down with Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy), who makes a rare acting appearance in the film alongside Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley. Sutter discussed everything from working with Doug Liman to dealing with the film’s special FX. Check out the interview below! RELATED: Lionsgate Unveils New Chaos Walking Clip as Tickets Go On Sale! In the not too distant future, Todd Hewitt discovers Viola, a mysterious girl who crash lands on his planet, where all the women have disappeared and the men are afflicted by “the Noise” – a force that puts all their thoughts on display. In this dangerous landscape, Viola’s life is threatened – and as Todd vows to protect her, he will have to discover his own inner power and unlock the planet’s dark secrets. Pick up a copy of the novel series here! Based on author Patrick Ness‘ young adult sci-fi trilogy novel, Chaos Walking stars Tom Holland (MCU films) as Todd Hewlitt and Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker) as Viola Eade, and co-stars Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange) as Mayor Prentiss, Nick Jonas (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) as Davy Prentiss Jr., Demian Bichir (Alien: Covenant) as Ben, Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter as Cillian, and David Oyelowo (Selma, Interstellar) as Aaron. RELATED: Chaos Walking Trailer: Daisy Ridley & Tom Holland Lead Sci-Fi Thriller Chaos Walking is directed by Doug Liman from a screenplay written by Patrick Ness and Christopher Ford. Doug Davison (who worked with Liman on American Made) and Alli Shearmur (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Cinderella) are producing Chaos Walking with Robert Zemeckis and his ImageMovers’ partner Jack Rapke. I really appreciate you sitting down and talking to us about Chaos Walking. I’ll just start right off the bat. You make a rare acting appearance in this film. What ultimately drew you to jump in front of the camera to play Cillian? Sutter: Yeah, dude. It’s all a desperate need for attention. You know, I started out as an actor. I love acting — and up until [Chaos Walking], I was usually the only one who would hire me to do any acting. But you know, that movie came to me and at first, I got this email and I didn’t read the whole email. I just read the first paragraph that had the title [Chaos Walking] and I Googled it and I was like I don’t get the dark, edgy indie shit. So I dumped it off and came back again and blew it off. And then ultimately, they made an offer. And I was like, what is happening? As if I had skill that no one else had. And then I read the rest of the email and I saw that Doug Liman was directing, Charlie Kaufman had written the first draft of the script. And so Demián Bichir and Mads [Mikkelsen]. So I was like, oh shit. So I read the script and it was amazing. And I loved the character and I loved the dynamic, the ambiguous sort of love relationship with Demián’s character and the internal dynamic. It was just beautiful. And two really good friends of mine were producing it – Doug Davison and Erwin Stoff. And I was like, oh. That’s why they kept coming back. [Laughs] I was so grateful. I was so grateful because I figured it out, I had to make time for it. And then I got to work with – I’ve always been a big fan of Doug and it was fun working with him. And we’ve talked about doing things together now and Mads and Demián who I admired so much. And I have a quick funny story about Tom. Tom had auditioned for me and Paris Barclay for Bastard Executioner, the show I did in the UK. And he was amazing and he got the role. But then we couldn’t make the pilot dates work because the process on callbacks for Spider-Man began. And then considering Bastard got canceled after one season and he’s now an international movie star, I think he made the right choice. So, it was fun to see Tom again. And he just reminds me of one of my kids. He’s a sweet guy and super enthusiastic. And it was fun. Nick Jonas is such a lovely man. Nick just kept calling me sir. It’s like, I’m already the oldest guy on the set, man, can you please not call me sir? CS: So when you talk about working with director Doug Liman, what’s his process like? Did he make you feel comfortable in the role? Did he give you freedom to do what you wanted to do with your character? Sutter: Yeah, he very much did. I mean, we were working with the script that was sort of in process, you know what I mean, because it’s such a big world. And the phenomenon of the noise, of getting that right, which is where men’s thoughts can be seen either through visual or text. So it was wild because we were shooting a movie within a movie. So after every time we rolled cut, the visual effects team would come in, because there was so much they had to do with every frame of that movie. And it was such a long process, it took a minute for it all to come together because it was a monster to put together. But Doug is a guy who I was watching and he’s kind of this savant in that I was watching him and I was realizing as he was shooting, he was cutting the movie together in his head. You know what I mean? And it’s like, I realized he would do a setup, and then it’s sort of like, he would go away for a minute and he realized he was putting it together in his head and saw the next shot. And for me, at first, I’m so used to the rigidity of TV, where you’re doing five, six, seven, eight pages a day, and you don’t have a lot of time to explore in that way. And so, at first, it was odd for me to have that kind of looseness. But then, after a while, it was fascinating to me. It was fascinating to watch his process. And he, too, is a lovely, really sweet kind of a genteel guy and very respectful for the actors. Like if you came to him or were struggling with something, he would oblige you. We had several – we went to his cabin a couple of nights and had dinner and had long script discussions. And the original shoot was very collaborative and a really lovely experience. And then, the reshoots, which were like a year later or so were a little bit more by the numbers. Because at that point, you’re on a deadline. You’re already looking at the bottom line and you know exactly what you need, right? And then that process felt like TV. It was like, okay, you’re doing this, you’re doing this. All right, jump into ADR. Get that done. Do that. I was like, oh yeah, this, I know. CS: What’s your take on noise? How would you handle having your thoughts exposed at all times?  Sutter: Well, look, I don’t think you can deny the obvious parallel or analogy of how we live today, right? Social media and everyone’s personal thoughts are sort of open to be seen. And I think there’s the positives and negatives of that. I think in this movie, it’s really about how that can make you vulnerable, and how perhaps it just becomes overwhelming, the constant download of data and information that you have to process so you’re hearing one thing and seeing another thing. And you know, it’s almost impossible to escape the noise. And I think that is obviously, to some degree, the community that we’re living in. I also love, and this was written in 2008 and it seems very prescient. But you know, to have a character like Mayor Prentiss, who clearly is very smart and very controlling and a fear-based narcissist at his core, but to have Mayor Prentiss who has named the town Prentisstown controlling it and controlling the information, it just feels very familiar to the situation that we were recently in, where it was all fake news. There was no truth being told, and people who knew the truth kept it to themselves. And so, I thought that was sort of right on the money as well. CS: Would you want to come back and act in more films after your experience on Chaos Walking? Sutter: Yeah, I love acting. I started out as an actor. I studied and I got my masters in fine arts with performance and directing. So it’s influenced obviously my career choices, but also it’s really, that for me, has influenced my writing more than anything. So it’s all very much part of my circuitous path. And yeah, I love being a storyteller. That’s what I want to do and that’s what I will continue to do. And sometimes I do that strictly through writing. Sometimes if there’s a project that I feel like I can expand the visual representation of the narrative as well as I do the story components, then it makes sense for me to direct it. But yeah, if there’s something that I have time to do and it’s a role that I think is interesting or more importantly, if I have an opportunity to work with people whom I admire and I feel like I can learn something from, yeah, absolutely. I’d love to do some more. CS: You’ve given audiences amazing shows like Sons of Anarchy, The Shield, Mayans. What’s next on your plate? And do you feel pressure at all to top yourself, especially after the success of your shows that you’ve created? Sutter: No, you know, there’s never pressure. For me, it’s just about looking for the thing that makes sense and the characters that feel most compelling to me. And look, no one knew Sons was going to become what it became, right? So and so I don’t really ever go into something with a sense of it having a bar. I just kind of understand it and deliver the best story that I can. You know, and over the pandemic, it’s been actually really good. I’ve actually had time. Now I’m not being under a deal, I’ve sort of had the freedom to meet and work with people whom I’ve never been able to work with before. So most of the pandemic has been taking a lot of general meetings, talking to producers and directors who I’ve admired, and just sort of planting some seeds. I’m trying to do a little bit more producing now, as well. And sort of fostering projects, helping other writers get things off the ground. So I’ve been doing a lot of that. And hopefully, in the next few weeks, something I’m working on will sort of come together and there will be some news about that. But it’s just been a lot of meetings and a lot of planting seeds in gardens that I’ve not been able to sort of plant things in before. So I know that’s absolutely and completely vague, but yeah. That’s sort of the truth.

    CS Interview: Michael K. Williams on Body Brokers, F is for Family & More

    CS Interview: Michael K. Williams on Body Brokers, F is for Family & more Just in time for the true crime drama’s digital debut, got the opportunity to chat with four-time Emmy nominee Michael K. Williams to discuss Body Brokers as well as his possible return to the final season of Netflix’s F is for Family and hopes for a second season of HBO’s Lovecraft Country. RELATED: CS Video: Land Interviews With Director & Stars Robin Wright & Demián Bichir Body Brokers is a really interesting concept and it’s a field I feel is not really explored too often on film. What about the project really drew you to it? Michael K. Williams: I was pretty taken back that this is actually based on real events. This is, in my opinion the story and the poster child of capitalism taking advantage of vulnerable people. The same mentality that we reveal in Body Brokers, to me, is the same mentality with for-profit prisons, like these institutions are meant to rehabilitate and help to correct people’s wrongs and they get exploited. It becomes more about filling the bed than actually helping people that are in those beds, it’s just kind of disheartening, in my opinion. Then there was Wood. Wood was a huge draw for me. In a lot of the films or the stories that we’ve told or that I’ve seen that deal with addicts or recovery, it’s implied that just because a person puts down the drug or alcohol that all their problems go away and that couldn’t be further from the truth. The drug is not the problem, the drug is a symptom of the problem and there’s all sorts of character defects that still exist there when the drugs are gone. To me, Wood was a perfect example of that. CS: So what kind of research did you find yourself conducting prior to starting filming, to really get in tune with the story? MKW: There wasn’t really much research that was needed. John Swab, in my opinion, he did all the groundwork for us. You know, for me at least, I just needed to lock in and look for the truth that was already on the page. But Wood and the capitalists, it was kind of black and white until it came time when we had to make a decision that involved Utah toward the end. Other than that, he’s pretty much black and white, man. He’s a poster child for capitalists and as far as the world was concerned, everything you see on that and every frame of that movie, John Swab had already put it on the page. CS: What did you find were some of the biggest creative challenges for you then, getting to the heart of Wood? MKW: I don’t know if it was anything that was hard, but I will tell you one of the more liberating scenes when he stomps that doctor out to death, when he kills that guy. That felt really liberating in that moment, I understood where that rage is coming from of being looked down upon. It felt familiar and there was also the moment when he realized that he cared. He genuinely cared about Utah, when they had that conversation in the car, you know? That’s a really beautiful moment between Wood and Utah and Jack Kilmer, man, he just brought such a vulnerability and an honesty and a strength to Utah, it was just all right there in his eyes, man. Those two moments were very liberating for me. Click here to rent or purchase Body Brokers! CS: Since you mention Jack, so much of the film really rides on the evolving chemistry that you two have with one another. What was it like for you sort of building that chemistry with Jack prior to filming? MKW: It was effortless, he and I, I think we met on set. If you ever get to talk to him, he is effortless to, you know, I can’t really explain it, but like we say in Brooklyn, real recognize real. He’s a real young man. You know, we met on set and we actually ended up, once we worked together, then we began to hang out. It was a flow, like we hung out a little bit in Tulsa and I got to know him off the set. That happened again, like I said, after we started working, so he brings this energy to the set that you look him in his eyes and there’s nothing that needs to be said. You know where you need to go to connect because he’s all the way in it and truly, I really enjoy working with him, really enjoy it. CS: That’s fantastic. What was it also like then building the chemistry with Frank Grillo? You two don’t have too many scenes together, but the chemistry you do have in those few scenes is really intriguing to watch. MKW: I love the connection between — I forget Frank’s character’s name right now, but I love the dynamic because after we see Wood lose his temper and refer to his old ways, we see when he’s talking to Frank Grillo’s character, all of a sudden now the man becomes the child. You know, there was this moment when they’re talking in the parking lot and Wood is asking him what to do with the body and you could see the change in Wood’s energy, like Frank’s character became the fixer and Wood became the bright-eyed, the wide-eyed kid who needed to be told what to do. Frank brings this thing, he’s got this sinister-ness to him, but he gives you this assurance that everything’s going to be all right. He brought that vernacular, again effortless, he gave me what I needed to shift. Because we need to see a shift in Wood at that point. We didn’t have many scenes together, we really had like, I think really that one, but yeah, I needed that. What he brought to the table, I needed that for my shift, and it was a great exchange of energy, great. CS: A lot of the shooting locations, too, in the film really interested me, it seemed like some of it was here in LA, but then some of it seemed really sort of ambiguous as to where it was. Could you tell me what shooting on some of the locations was like? MKW: Most of the film, I think, I remember was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I believe that’s where John Swab is from, and that’s a really forgotten city for a multitude of reasons. The opioid epidemic ran rapid there, if you remember when one of those pharma companies had to pay off all those millions of dollars or trillions of dollars or billions, whatever, but I think Johnson & Johnson made the payout for the opioid, the epidemic, when they caught them coming and going. That money went to the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma. So you know, to see the city coming out of that and there are a lot of people hurting themselves in that city, and you can see the city trying to come back from that when we were filming. That was really humbling to see. What blew my mind, what really dropped me to my knees was actually standing on the corner of Greenwood, Archer and Pine which is where Black Wall Street was, and knowing what happened there. I don’t know if you know this, but we were filming — I filmed Body Brokers while I was on break from filming Lovecraft Country, So to have that experience of going to Tulsa to tell a story like this, like Body Brokers, in a city like Tulsa, to have the opportunity to see where the ancestors used to live and what it looks like now, I can’t really put it into words, electrifying, maybe. A lot of emotion. I want to be clear, they’re coming back. The spirit of the people is alive and you see that. They may be down, but they ain’t out. The people, the spirit of the people in Tulsa, Blacks and whites, you can see the fight in their eyes, man. That city is on the mend and I just want to make that clear. I saw that, it was very humbling to see the fight that was still in that city. CS: That’s incredible. Since you do mention it, Lovecraft Country ended not too long ago with its first season and there’s been a lot of — personally, I’m hopeful for a second season, but we just heard word that the writers are still looking for a possible path for the future. Can you see yourself coming back for more, if they found a path for Montrose? MKW: Yeah, you know, it’s a lot of we’ll have to wait and see. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in Hollywood, is they say to never say never. [Laughs] But yeah, you know, I could see me going back if things aligned and the paths were still aligned. You know, that show took three years to write, so I’m not expecting anything anytime soon. By the time they were ready to start casting actors, those writers have already given two and a half years of their life in the writers’ room. I could be wrong, but I think it would be very ambitious of us as an audience to expect another season right away. I could be wrong, I don’t know. CS: Sure. I can appreciate that. For my final question, we also heard back in October that F is for Family would be coming back for one more season and I’m curious if Bill Burr has reached out to you to have you come back as Smokey for any more episodes in the final season? MKW: [In Smokey’s Voice] Damn, they want to hear that Smokey might be coming back? I don’t know, motherfucker, I hear he might be coming back. He might, he might, he might be coming back. One mo’ time, one mo’ time. [Laughs] I heard rumors that there’s going to be another season and I do hear that. CS: That would be awesome to see you come back in that role because that is one of my favorite side characters on that show. MKW: I think you stand alone because that’d be one of the funniest things I’ve ever worked on that no one knows about, so I mean, that really made my day that you even know what that is because like, nobody in my house knows. [Laughs] RELATED: Lovecraft Country Writers Plotting Out Season 2 With Hopes of Renewal Written and directed by John Swab, Body Brokers is based on a true story and centers on a drug addict who is brought to Los Angeles for treatment, but soon learns the treatment center is not meant to help people but instead acts as a coverup for a fraud operation enlisting addicts to recruit other addicts. The ensemble cast for the film includes Jack Kilmer (The Nice Guys), Williams, Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day), Alice Englert (Them That Follow), Peter Greene (The Mask), Frank Grillo (Boss Level), Melissa Leo (I Know This Much is True) and Thomas Dekker (Miss Bala) Body Brokers is now available on digital platforms and VOD, the first season of Lovecraft Country is available to stream on HBO Max and the first four seasons of F is for Family are available to stream on Netflix now!

    CS Video: Sacrifice Interview With Horror Genre Icon Barbara Crampton!

    CS Video: Sacrifice interview with horror genre icon Barbara Crampton! In time for the film’s theatrical and digital debut, go the exciting chance to chat with horror genre icon Barbara Crampton (You’re Next, We Are Still Here, Re-Animator) to discuss her work in the Lovecraftian genre pic Sacrifice! Our interview can be viewed in the player below! RELATED: Sacrifice Trailer: Barbara Crampton Stars in New Lovecraftian Horror New Yorker Isaac and his pregnant wife return to a remote Norwegian village of his birth to claim an unexpected inheritance. Here they find themselves caught in a nightmare as an ancient evil awakens to claim a birthright of its own. The film is co-written and co-directed by Andy Collier and Tor Mian (The Sky in Bloom, Charismata) and sees Crampton starring alongside Dag Sorlie (That’s Interesting), Erik Lundin (Happy Hour in Paradise, Blue Eyes), Jack Kristiansen (Under the Crystal Dome, Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey), Johanna Adde Dahl, Ludovic Hughes (Murder Maps, Ride), Lukas Loughran (The Postcard Killings, Krypton) and Sophie Stevens (The Black Palace, The Haunted). Click here to rent or purchase Sacrifice! Crampton’s first dive into the world of H.P. Lovecraft came with one of her breakout roles in 1985’s adaptation of Re-Animator and would continue with her celebrated work in the following year’s From Beyond. Other notable roles of hers in the horror genre include Stuart Gordon’s Castle Freak, Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s You’re Next, Ted Geoghegan’s We Are Still Here and Jackson Stewart’s Beyond the Gates. RELATED: Exclusive Sator Clip Teases Chilling Indie Horror Treat Sacrifice is now in select theaters and on video on demand platforms and is set to hit shelves on Blu-ray on February 23.

    CS Interview: Richard Kelly Talks Southland Tales’ Cannes 15th Anniversary

    The infamous cut of the cult sci-fi comedy thriller is now available in a special Blu-ray set from Arrow! The post CS Interview: Richard Kelly Talks Southland Tales’ Cannes 15th Anniversary appeared first on

    CS Interview: John Rhys-Davies Talks Grizzly II: Revenge

    CS Interview: John Rhys-Davies Talks Grizzly II: Revenge had the opportunity to chat with Emmy nominee John Rhys-Davies (Shogun, The Lord of the Rings films, Indiana Jones franchise) about Grizzly II: Revenge, the horror sequel nearly four decades in the making from director André Szöts. You can check out the interview below and order your copy of the movie here! RELATED: CS Interview: The Cast of Cobra Kai on Season 3 Reacting to the slaughter of her cub, a 15-foot grizzly bear seeks revenge and kills anyone that gets in her way. The terror continues as the giant grizzly finds its way to a major concert to go on a killing spree. Written by Joan McCall and David Sheldon, the thriller also stars Charlie Sheen, George Clooney, and Laura Dern. The movie is a follow-up to William Girdler’s 1976 Grizzly and is finally hitting select theaters and VOD this year. RELATED: CS Interview: Roberto Benigni on the New Reimagining of Pinocchio I’ve actually known about this movie for a long time because in horror movie circles, there aren’t a lot of, A, movies that were never completed or are missing, and two, movies with this many names, including yours. It’s pretty unprecedented. I know a version of this story, but can you talk to your experience of sort of being there on the set, as this train was collapsing on the tracks? John Rhys-Davies: We had a lovely Hungarian director called André Szöts. It was his big opportunity. He was struggling because the producer didn’t turn up. My correction. The producer turned up for one day and then that’s it. The Hungarian producers were doing their best. This was going to be their entrée into the big-budget world of American filmmaking. This was going to transform the film industry of Hungary, which was constrained and of course, oppressed by being in the Soviet Bloc and itching to be able to get out into the world. Very strong independent streak that had been ruthlessly suppressed, what, 30 years before. The Hungarian uprising, I mean, it’s heartbreaking. And so, it was important to them, it was important to the country. And they were taking it very seriously. One never really got to know exactly what was happening financially in the background. But as you know, in the end, prison sentences were served. But it was a – one-time, actually, I met him twice. I think I met him in the States as well. A charming, confident, easy man, who, in that freelance producer way – and there were lots of them in those days, you know? CS: Joe Proctor. And this is the guy who absconded with the funds for the film? Rhys-Davies: [Laughs] Don’t forget. This is a time when suddenly we had VHS and you could watch a movie over and over again at home. You could own a movie, you know? And there was suddenly more of a demand than the big studios could ever meet and produce. And suddenly, there were funds from video cellars and things like that. There was a lot of money around. There were a lot of people putting money together. There were some notorious – and I’ve got to be very careful, they may still be alive, and they were connected, I believe, is the euphemism. CS: They were these guys. Rhys-Davies: Yeah. They could oblige you to have all your trousers shortened to the knee, you know? I had five percent of one of the films that they financed and that vanished, too. [Laughs] It was a little bit like the Wild West. But it gave wonderful opportunities for a lot of young actors. One or two of them did quite well afterwards in this film. And I cannot emphasize how much you actually learn when things go bad. You do a Bond film, and things go wonderfully. You do Lord of the Rings, you learn to appreciate the genius of great producers, who have the foresight and organization, the plan B, the plan C. I remember when we were doing Lord of the Rings, we were meant to be – we were going down to Queenstown to film a five, six-week, maybe two-month section. We got down there and the rain fell. And it fell. The production office is here. The center of the town is there. It is three miles between the two. The rain hits a hillside so much that it wipes 13 houses out and the main road, right. CS: Wow. Rhys-Davies: So now it’s a single track, 19-mile journey from the town to the production office. There was suddenly a little bit of commotion, that when I got back from the production office, where I had been told to collect a pair of Wellington boots. I got back and I got into my hotel by step ladder to the first floor because the ground floor was underwater. That was the night the classic daily schedule went out with a note, “There will be no filming tomorrow because the lake is underwater.” Not just the lake, but you know, 30, 40 miles around it flooded. So we did not work that day. We moved the following day to another part of New Zealand. You understand, you got what, 20 principles that you’re moving. You’ve got 200 horses. You’ve got a huge number of extras. You’ve got a crew of roughly around 200. And you’re moving in South Island, New Zealand, where the hotel industry hasn’t developed yet. So you’re really trying to find accommodation that will take three crew members there, two crew members there… CS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Rhys-Davies: A logistical nightmare. We did not film on the day that the lake was underwater. We traveled the next day, and we resumed shooting the day after that. CS: It’s incredible. Rhys-Davies: When you’ve got production ability like that, you are in the higher realms of filmmaking. But we struggled on. We struggled on. There were some difficulties. I think I do recall that one of our actors, and I shall not mention his name, it was hard to tell which was the greater, his ego problem or his nose problem. The quantifies of powder that he was putting up his nose, plus giving him a certain personality, a quality of aggression and a belligerence perhaps. CS: This was on Grizzly, just to clarify? This was Grizzly you’re talking about, right? Rhys-Davies: This is Grizzly yes sir. CS: Okay I’m like, was that Ian McKellan, was that Elijah Wood? Who was that? Rhys-Davies: [Laughs] I’ll tell you what, you never saw a lovelier [cast] than Lord of the Rings. There was only one miserable son of a bitch on it, and I wore his boots every day. CS: But in terms of your time in Hungary on the set, did everything collapse mid-shoot, towards the end of the shoot? At what point in the shoot did everything kind of fall apart? Rhys-Davies: Well, as Claudius will say, I am rank corruption mining all within, infects unseen. You know, on the surface, it looked okay. There were suddenly a few urgent sort of production meetings and things like that, but we continued shooting. We were looking forward to the grizzly bear. CS: Because they built like a big animatronic creature, right? Rhys-Davies: That’s right. And it didn’t work. Now I’ve heard different reasons why it didn’t work. The from the top thing was the guys couldn’t do it, they couldn’t deliver the thing. If we had some money, we might have development money to be able to do this thing. CS: Right. Rhys-Davies: So I can only pass on gossip as far as that is concerned. But really, we managed to shoot the big rock festival and because we did not have a proper animatronic bear, we had a lot of issues there. And I think it was after that, and that was quite later on in the shooting, that things really did fall apart because my sense was that people weren’t being paid. So some of us had managers and agents who made sure we got paid sort of upfront. I don’t think any overage was ever paid, but I can’t remember now. It’s 38 years ago or something like that. CS: Right. But there were probably like, a lot of below the line people that didn’t get – yeah. Rhys-Davies: Almost certainly, that was true. But you understand the madness being in Hungary at that time, it was Soviet. You know, it was well known that in the rather lovely, stately hotel room that we were staying in, and I can’t remember, it’s one of the great hotels in Hungary, an old palace overlooking the river. And there were mirrors in every room that you could not get out of the view of. I did call my wife once. I put the phone down and I thought, oh I forgot to tell her. And called back and I heard the last three or four phrases of the call that I’d had before. CS: Yeah, you gotta be careful they don’t get any kompromat on you. Rhys-Davies: Absolutely. Well, I think the policy was to do whatever you were doing very publicly facing the mirror with a big of that, you know? Which seemed to be the favorite sort of response. CS: But do you have any memories – like you had a very interesting accent. You got to get basically crucified. Your character gets to do a lot of cool stuff. Do you remember the actual experience of shooting? Rhys-Davies: I do. And I loved it. I mean, it’s a super part. There was going to be more to it, but somehow, we never quite got around to shooting that. But Bouchard, you know actors can very rarely judge their performances. And you’re either immersed in the part or you’re judging it and performing at the same time. And it was 1985, was it ’84 or something like that? CS: I think it’s ’83. Rhys-Davies: ’83? Good god. Well, you know, I was what? 14 years out of drama school. I was in my early, mid-30’s. I was beginning to make a little bit of a dent in the recognition thing. CS: Yeah, because this was post Raiders. Rhys-Davies: Post-Raiders, post-Shogun. And post-Victor Victoria. But I thought of it as being actually one of my better performances at the time. Now since I haven’t seen it, I’d be interested to do it. I mean, I probably will go, oh my god, how could I have imagined? But at the time, I thought, actually, I think that this is an interesting character and I played him interestingly. And so, I was a little bit disappointed when it didn’t sort of work out. But you know, I consoled myself with at nighttime, taking $100 in American cash down under the bridge and meeting the guy who was connected and buying an eight-ounce tin of caviar for $100. CS: Whoa. Rhys-Davies: Oh yes, yes, yes. I was nearly put in prison and never emerged if they sort of caught us in those days, but the smuggling was well known, and that one really, they weren’t worried about. CS: I wouldn’t think so. Rhys-Davies: But Hungary at that time was a fascinating place. The Hungarians are also one of the cleverest people on the planet, you know? Basically because they all speak about five languages. And I loved that part of it. The Hungarian production team I thought were super people. You know, when you’re young, a young up and coming actor, you don’t really pay much attention to the young kids who are playing the small parts. And you know, you just say hi, hello and I’m off now to go learn my lines and this sort of thing. You see, it’s only when you get older, I suppose, and not that the ego ever vanishes, but I suppose you feel confident enough and interested enough to actually look around and see what other people are doing and what they’re like. And but that’s happened after. So I cannot give you any great stories about George Clooney. CS: Yeah, sure. Rhys-Davies: Or Laura Dern. Or a young Sheen. I remember meeting Sheen and thinking, yeah, interesting kid. His father’s a good actor. CS: Well, they all had a big of lineage, didn’t they? Rhys-Davies: They did. CS: Yeah. Rhys-Davies: Yeah, they did, which is presumably how the career gets its start. But your destiny in the end, you can’t get by on dad indefinitely. In the end, you make your own destiny and they made their own destiny. CS: Yeah, more or less. Rhys-Davies: You know, I very rarely criticize my fellow actors. It’s such a mad business. And anyone who achieves their 15 minutes of fame actually has something. One tends to respect those whose careers have long legs, you know, they are the warriors that have survived. They have [enemies] and the enemy’s promise, drink, drugs, illness, whether brought on foolishly or just inadvertently, like coronavirus. CS: Right. Rhys-Davies: In the end, one sort of loves your fellow survivors. But I do now watch the goings on of younger actors and the ones who only got a couple of lines on the set, and I do try and talk to them and pass on the great, wicked stories, which is part of the inheritance of being a victim. We love to bitch and gossip, not in an adverse way, but to tell the great, notorious stories that have kept the profession alive, and particularly theater in the stories, how legendary.

    Dylan O’Brien & Jessica Henwick Talk Love and Monsters

    CS Video: Dylan O’Brien & Jessica Henwick talk Love and Monsters got the opportunity to chat with stars Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner trilogy) and Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist) to discuss their roles in the acclaimed post-apocalyptic rom-com Love and Monsters, which is now available on premium VOD and digital platforms! Our interview can be viewed in the player below! RELATED: Love and Monsters Review: A Charming & Wildly Fresh Teen Rom-Com In Love and Monsters (formerly titled as Monster Problems), seven years after the Monsterpocalypse, Joel Dawson, along with the rest of humanity, has been living underground ever since giant creatures took control of the land. After reconnecting over the radio with his high school girlfriend Aimee, who is now 80 miles away at a coastal colony, Joel begins to fall for her again. As Joel realizes that there’s nothing left for him underground, he decides against all logic to venture out to Aimee, despite all the dangerous monsters that stand in his way. Click here to digitally purchase Love and Monsters! The film stars Dylan O’Brien (Maze Runner films) as Joel, Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Clyde, Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist) as Aimee, Arianna Greenblatt (Avengers: Infinity War) as Minnow, and Dan Ewing (Occupation) as Cap. RELATED: New Mission: Impossible 7 Set Video Teases Tom Cruise’s Train Stunt Love and Monsters is directed and written by Michael Matthews with Shawn Levy producing through his 21 Laps banner. The project is said to be a coming-of-age story that will center around a road trip with a young man living in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by monsters. The film is likened to both Mad Max and Zombieland with John Hughes overtones. The post-apocalyptic teen rom-com is now available on digital platforms and premium video-on-demand!

    Co-Writer/Director Mark Williams Talks Honest Thief

    CS Interview: Co-writer/director Mark Williams talks Honest Thief got the opportunity to chat with Emmy nominee Mark Williams (Ozark) to discuss his work as co-writer and director on the Liam Neeson-starring action-thriller Honest Thief, which is set to hit select theaters this Friday! RELATED: CS Interview: Star Jeffrey Donovan on Action-Thriller Honest Thief Looking back on its journey from his mind to the screen, Williams described the development process for the Neeson vehicle as “a long road, as all things are” and that a lot of the time spent evolving the script and characters came from “really trying to figure out a way to walk that line of gray.” “You know, we’re all good, we’re all bad, for me, it’s really like, ‘Can you be bad and go good and can you have a second chance in life,'” Williams pondered. “So, for me, it was really just figuring out what kind of character that would be great to explore. Obviously within a genre that we’ve all seen a thousand movies of, and so, it’s like, how can we have the stuff that blows up and do the fun shootouts and car chases, but also have a character that has a moral compass that’s a little bit different than we’ve seen before. So from there, I ended up bringing on a writer to do a draft of the script, and we worked that over for a while. And then, at some point, I’d been debating on who would direct it, and then at some point, I’d end up directing Family Man, which then like, well, maybe I’m going to direct this. So I ended up doing a big rewrite on it to get it to where it was. Then, I got lucky that my guy who I had in mind when I was thinking about it was this guy Liam Neeson, I don’t know if you’ve heard of him, but I thought, yeah, he might be good for it. I sent it to his agent, just knowing how ridiculously a long shot that is, and I got that crazy call one day of like, ‘Liam likes your script. He’d like you to sit down with him and talk about it.’ I was like, ‘Oh, oh wow. Okay.’ So then I hopped on a plane, flew to New York and sat down with Liam and talked about it, and then, from there, you go very fast.” In addition to having the 68-year-old action veteran leading the cast, the roster for the film includes everyone from The Suicide Squad‘s Jai Courtney to The Umbrella Academy‘s Kate Walsh, Terminator 2‘s Robert Patrick, Hamilton‘s Anthony Ramos and Jasmine Cephas Jones and Burn Notice‘s Jeffrey Donovan, all of which he credits to landing Neeson to star. “Once I got Liam, I think it opened up the floodgates a little more than the average actor, so the opportunities were there for quite a few,” Williams expressed. “For me, it was all about finding that right chemistry between the different characters, and we started with trying to find Annie’s character because as much as this is an action thriller and everything else, it’s a love story. If the love story can work, that’s what may make it different than the other action movies that we’ve seen of the same ilk. So it really was about finding that perfect Annie, and Kate is such a lovely human being, that just she’s fun. She’s what you might expect out of her, but to the Nth degree of like, just caring and loving and always with a joke, and obviously gorgeous and everything else. So when we got her, we knew we had the love story piece. So then really it was about finding who are those different FBI agents, and I have four of them, so I wanted to give a variety and a different feel to them. Jeffrey Donovan, he’s just a genius in his abilities. I mean, every take he would do, he would do something different, and just on the turn of a dime, he’s just so smart and so clever and always a good take. And it’s — the hard part is you can’t edit between the takes because they’re all different, but they’re amazing in themselves. “Jai Courtney is just a stud, and that was really important, to have somebody that is formidable to go up against, and he works so hard,” Williams continued. “Robert Patrick is always fun because Terminator 2 is probably my favorite movie of all-time, so, it was a joy. Really my casting directors, Mary Vernieu and Michelle Wade Byrd, they were like, ‘You’ve got to really pay attention to this Anthony Ramos guy.’ I’m like, “I haven’t seen Hamilton. I mean, I see the clips you’re sending me, but’ — they’re like, ‘No. You need to pay attention to Anthony Ramos.’ Finally, after I passed on him I think maybe three or four times they said, ‘Trust us,’ and I said, ‘Okay, I’m trusting you.’ He was unbelievable and really what a great human, but also, he came to work so hard every day. Not to give anything away as you write this, but obviously that scene in the garage, he went toe to toe with Liam, and it was something to watch, just even when we were watching him do it in person, so it was kind of great to see.” The casting of Burn Notice alum Donovan also brought a star looking to collaborate even further with the minds behind the camera, looking to fill out the backstory of his character in order to better bring him to life on screen, and Williams found it to be an “awesome” experience from his end as the 52-year-old star had “so many creative ideas.” “It was almost more about wrangling like this idea and really kind of putting it into a box,” Williams brightly explained. “I mean, as you know, back story is back story, so it was more about what he needed to bring to the character. You know, it was how he could figure it out. But he’s the one that actually we know the most about back story because we learn about his ex-wife and the divorce and the reason why he’s got Tazzie. So for him, his back story was actually really, really important to give a sense, otherwise it would just be weird to have him carrying a little dog everywhere he went. So it was really important. But no, he has such good ideas, like I said, that it was a fun process, and he’s become a good friend in that process, too.” When it came to balancing the more darkly comedic elements of the script with the love story and action-thriller aspects, Williams laughed and found it wasn’t too difficult as “it’s kind of me” and that it was a smooth process of infusing the “wit or sarcasm” into the characters while ensuring he tried hard to “pull it out in the right place.” “Jeffrey Donovan did me so many favors because he’s just that way and he is so funny and smart, he played it very well,” Williams stated. “You know, he is almost the comic thread to — I mean, it’s not comedy, but he’s the humorous thread throughout the whole thing. Really when I was trying to figure out how to layer his character up a little bit more, I was like, if this FBI guy is what we always see, how do you make him a little bit different? And then, to give him a 15-pound dog that he just doesn’t want and watch him play off Tazzie, it really kind of sparked, and then I watched them on set, too, how they built their relationship as it went over the course of the movie. So it was kind of just working. Obviously, you know, Kate has a really good sense of humor, she’s very fun, and Liam’s hysterical in his own kind of Irish way, not the same as Jeffrey or Kate for sure, but he’s a very funny guy. So they all helped, obviously, bring out those moments, and when there were times to stop, because obviously as you say, once it goes, it goes, and you have to steal moments to breathe, really.” Though the casting and the writing remained a mostly smooth process for Williams, the real challenges arrived as production got underway and proceeded in a quick fashion, leaving him to “figure out a lot of things in a hurry” while prepping to begin shooting. “We basically started prepping, let’s say August and we were shooting at the end of October, so it’s a pretty fast prep, and the weather was changing on us pretty drastically,” Williams recalled. “I think that was one of the biggest hurdles that we faced. In fact, one night we were inside the house — actually, it was the night we were shooting the garage scene and somebody said, ‘It’s snowing outside.’ This is, you know, early November, I think, and we’re like, ‘Okay, whatever, we’re inside. It’s fine, whatever.’ Then I walked outside and there was that [motions with hand] much snow on the ground in about an hour and a half. Then you’re like, ‘Oh that’s not snow. That’s like a serious storm.’ We couldn’t get out of the house. All the trucks were trapped. It became a real event. Then you’re like, ‘Okay, we got through that.’ Then what you realize though is there’s snow everywhere, and this is the only part of the movie that has any snow. There’s no snow in the movie, and all of a sudden you’re like, you’re clearing streets and having to get rid of snow banks on the sides of the roads. New England weather is not always friendly, so that was part of the biggest challenges. But other than that, I think it was just fairly normal challenges of having enough time and getting everybody to stay focused when we’re shooting in the middle of the night one night in a park and it was cold and our generator went down and all the lights were out. We’re just standing there and going, ‘Uh, it’s two in the morning. We have no power’ and that kind of stuff.” The New England setting and shooting locations spawned from a lot of conversations with co-writer Steve Allrich as the two went back and forth on a number of possible big cities across the country, including Chicago, where Williams previously made his directorial debut. “As you flip around the United States, there’s only so many big cities that you really want to see, I think at one point we talked about Chicago, but then I had just shot Family Man in Chicago and I’m like, ‘I don’t think I want to go back and do the same thing,'” Williams noted. “So, I was just looking around on a map and going, you know, Boston’s a really cool city because it’s got its own character. It’s a specific city in the US, whereas a lot of cities are fairly interchangeable, and Boston has that certain style. We used the architecture a lot, you may not catch that, but there’s a lot of churches in New England, and there’s a lot of churches in the movie, which again, comes back to the theme of the movie of redemption and everything else. So I sneak it in there, even if people aren’t paying attention. But it wasn’t even hard to do because every other corner has a church on it in New England.” RELATED: Exclusive Honest Thief Clip Featuring Liam Neeson & Jeffrey Donovan! Written by Steve Allrich (The Canyon) and directed by Mark Williams, the co-creator of the hit Netflix crime thriller Ozark, Honest Thief will follow a bank robber (Neeson) who after attempting to turn himself in after falling in love with an employee from where his loot is stashed must deal with the complications that arise when his case is taken on by corrupt FBI agents, played by Jai Courtney and Anthony Ramos. Williams produced Honest Thief alongside Tai Duncan, Stephen Emery and Myles Nestel of Solution Entertainment Group, which sold the international rights to the film to Briarcliff and Open Road in June. Neeson has found large success in recent years in the action genre, starring in the fan-favorite Taken trilogy and starring in this year’s box-office hit The Commuter, the fourth collaboration between him and director Jaume Collet-Serra. The 66-year-old actor will next be seen in the upcoming comedy Made in Italy, the directorial debut of James D’Arcy (Avengers: Endgame), which is scheduled for an August 7 release. Honest Thief is set to hit theaters on October 16.

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