DVD Review “Almost Human: The Complete Series”

Starring: Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, and Minka Kelly
Distributed by: Warner Archive
Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Running Time: 558 minutes

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

When I saw that J. J. Abrams was Executive producing a new sci-fi/drama for Fox last Fall, I was psyched to check it out. “Almost Human” starred Karl Urban (“The Lord of the Rings” series, “Star Trek” series), Michael Ealy (“2 Fast 2 Furious”, “Barbershop” series), and Minka Kelly (“Parenthood”, “Friday Night Lights”). The cast is great and it had a cool idea but was rather poorly executed. Due to that this short-lived show was canceled after one season consisting of 13 episodes. Not sure if this show really caught on a fan base but thanks to Warner Archive, the show is available in a Complete Series DVD.

Official Premise: In this action-packed show set in 2048, a worse-for-wear cop teams up with a second-hand synthetic android to fight a strain of urban crime that’s evolved in ever more frightening ways. Detective John Kennex survived a catastrophic attack on the city’s police department that cost him nearly everything. Returning over a year later, he finds the transition difficult. Not only does he suffer guilt for the lethal ambush, but department policy now requires that every cop be paired with a highly evolved human-like android partner. Rejecting policy, Kennex reinstates an outdated Dorian android – whose somewhat dysfunctional platform is based on a “Synthetic Soul” program, allowing it to have emotional responses. It’s this flawed humanity, however, that connects Dorian and John. And together, they set out to keep the city safe, uncover the criminal conspiracy that threatens to destroy their world…and find their common humanity.

I think a show like this could have really benefited more from a Blu-ray release. Since even though it was canceled, the series still received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Special and Visual Effects. This MOD (manufacture on demand) release comes with all 13 episodes on 3 discs and is currently available to U.S. buyers via the studio’s WBshop online store. The episodes included in the complete series are Pilot”; “Skin”; “Are You Receiving?”; “The Bends”; “Blood Brothers”; “Arrhythmia”; “Simon Says”; “You Are Here”; “Unbound”; “Perception”; “Disrupt”; “Beholder” and “Straw Man”. There are no special features included besides the episodes.

DVD Review “¡Released! The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998”

Director: “Released”: Stanley Dorfman/ “Highlights of Released”: John G. Smith
Number of discs: “Released”: 6 Discs/ “Highlights of Released”: 1 Disc
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Shout Factory!
Run Time: “Released”: 16 hrs. +/ “Highlights of Released”: 2hrs. 38 min.

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Released: The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998” is this the first ever compilation of the historic Human Rights Concerts which were presented by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights organization Amnesty International from 1986-1998. Over those 12 years audiences around the world were treated to performances by a bevy of artists including Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel and Sting amongst a long list of others. To coincide with the 25th anniversary of the “Human Rights Now! 1988 World Tour” Shout Factory released the complete 6 disc version of the concerts in November of 2013. With over 16+ hours of footage directed by Stanley Dorfman fans for the first time were able relive all their favorite performances and moments from those truly memorable shows. The footage is also accompanied by a 40 page full color booklet that includes photos and written firsthand accounts from the people who were there during these events. Probably my favorite disc of the 6 was the “Context on The Human Rights Concerts- Part 2” which featured some really great performances by Green Day, Mumford and Sons and Seal and Jeff Beck. Though I found a large portion of the footage to be a touch grainy due to its age the overall sound of the 6 discs proved to be quite good and made up for the visual shortcomings of the release. The impressive amount of footage and artist roster make this release a music lovers dream however it may be a bit cumbersome for just your average listener.

The latest version of the Human Rights Concert series titled “Highlights of Released: The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998” was directed by John G. Smith and features select performances from the previously released 6 disc box set. Though the release sports a considerably stripped down program when compared to its predecessor viewers still get over 2 hours of footage with performances by The Police, Lou Reed and Bryan Adams along with an in-depth documentary featuring interviews with Sting, Pete Townsend and Bono. Though a number of the performances I enjoyed from the full release were left off this version I wasn’t too upset as there is only so much space to fill and it’s a select performance piece. The biggest thing is that the select portion of these releases is often times up to the director and/or producers to determine what they feel are the “best” pieces to include. This can certainly give a hit or miss element to a release like this but it seems like for the most part everything was a hit. If you were interested in the original release of these concerts however were a bit put off by the size or price you can now get a good taste of those memorable shows from a decade gone bye while supporting a good cause as both releases net proceeds will be given to Amnesty.

Blu-ray Review “Almost Human”

Actors: Graham Skipper, Josh Ethier
Director: Joe Begos
Rated: Unrated
Studio: IFC Midnight
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Run Time: 79 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When you see the amazing poster for “Almost Human”, it is simply impossible for any horror fan to say “No” this checking this film out. Unfortunately after the opening scene, this film falls terribly apart and really loses its momentum. I can honestly tell you that we are going to see great things from writer/director Joe Begos for sure. But “Almost Human” suffers from a terrible cast and no budget. If they could have got some money behind this, they really could have hooked this film up good. There is some good gore for those horror hounds and it feels like an old school slasher but I was overall left quite bored.

Official Premise: Two years ago, Mark Fisher (Ethier, Contracted, Scavengers) disappeared from his home in rural Maine in a brilliant flash of otherworldly blue light. His friend Seth Hampton (Skipper) was the last to see him alive. Now, Seth is having disturbing premonitions that Mark has returned as something other than human. When grisly, violent murders start taking place in the community, Seth and his girlfriend Jen Craven (Leigh, The Last Halloween) discover that Mark is indeed back, and that there is something terribly evil inside of him.

In the special features department, there is a commentary track from writer/director Joe Begos and Josh Ethier. There is also another audio commentary track from Begos and Ethier (again) along with Graham Skipper and Cory Lockman. There is a feature-length making of behind-the-scenes look into the production. There is a on-set visit with Graham Skipper. There is the short film called “Toxin”. Lastly, there is a theatrical and alternate trailers, vintage TV spot and a photo gallery. This is a rare film where the special features are worth watching more than the film itself. I did enjoy the film more honestly with the commentary track.

Blu-ray Review “Being Human: Season Five”

Starring: Russell Tovey, Lenora Crichlow, Aidan Turner, Jason Watkins, Dylan Brown, Sinead Keenan
Director: Toby Whithouse
Number of discs: 2
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: August 20, 2013
Run Time: 360 minutes

Series: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I have been a fan of BBC’s “Being Human” since the first season and I am sad to see it go. The fifth season is also the show’s final season. Damien Molony and Michael Socha return for season five and Kate Bracken was added to the cast as Alex Miller (a ghost). I liked the way that these three really played off each other as the vampire/werewolf/ghost trio. I would have be very curious to see where they could have all gone together. But overall Season 5 was a big improvement over the rather dull season 4. Especially with transitioning a new character it was pretty solid. Like the first season, this one really aims to capture the perfect balance of drama and comedy that this series is known for.

Official Premise: Hal, Tom and Alex are three housemates with some serious issues on their hands, and they’re not just about household chores. Hal (Damien Molony) is a 500 year-old vampire, Tom (Michael Socha) is a hardened werewolf and Alex (Kate Bracken) has recently had the misfortune of becoming a ghost. But threat lurks around every corner. There is the volatile and deluded Crumb (Colin Hoult) – a newly recruited vampire, and the sinister Mr Rook (Steven Robertson) – head of a secret government department. With bills to be paid, our heroes take jobs in Barry’s kitschest hotel, but alongside the flock wallpaper and the cocktail umbrellas dwells an evil greater than anything faced before. On the face of it, Captain Hatch (Phil Davis) is just another foul-mouthed decrepit old man but he hides a dark secret that threatens not only our heroes’ friendships but the entire world.

BBC delivered “Being Human: Season Five” with each episode presented with 1080p transfers and Dolby Digital 2.0 audio tracks. Each of the episodes both look and sound awesome. This has been consistent for each season for this show as well. In fact, BBC always delivers in this department and their quality of their shows are always high. There are some decent special features on this season. There are five bonus clips: “Alex’s Unfinished Business”.  There are a few deleted scenes, as well as some cast interviews included.  I would have loved to seen some commentary tracks though, especially on the series finale.

CARNIVAL OF MADNESS: First Tour Dates Announced; Unleashes August 13 In Cleveland With Shinedown, Papa Roach, Skillet, In This Moment & We As Human

FIRST TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED FOR THE FOURTH ANNUAL CARNIVAL OF MADNESS

UNLEASHES AUGUST 13 IN CLEVELAND, OH WITH SHINEDOWN, PAPA ROACH, SKILLET, IN THIS MOMENT AND WE AS HUMAN

June 3, 2013 – The first batch of dates for the highly anticipated CARNIVAL OF MADNESS tour, powered by Monster Energy, have been announced.

Sure to be known as the premier rock tour of 2013, the CARNIVAL OF MADNESS–sponsored by Monster Energy–returns this summer with multi-Platinum rock band SHINEDOWN, along with PAPA ROACH, SKILLET, IN THIS MOMENT, and WE AS HUMAN. The tour commences in Cleveland, OH on Tuesday, August 13. Go to www.CarnivalofMadness.com for specific on-sale date and ticket information, and see below for the first batch of shows. More will be announced in the coming weeks.

VIP ticket pre-sales for these shows are now available to the “Shinedown Nation,” SHINEDOWN’s exclusive fan club. For more information about VIP pre-sale packages and “Shinedown Nation” membership, please visit the band’s official website, www.shinedown.com.

SHINEDOWN makes their triumphant return to the CARNIVAL OF MADNESS after headlining the 2010 inaugural launch, with a lineup that also included Sevendust, Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd, and 10 Years. The first CARNIVAL OF MADNESS proved to be one of the biggest tours of the summer, heralded as a Top 50 tour by Pollstar. Last year’s trek featured Evanescence, Chevelle, Halestorm, and New Medicine.

CARNIVAL OF MADNESS 2013 TOUR DATES

DATE CITY VENUE

Tue 8/13 Cleveland, OH Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
Wed 8/14 Philadelphia, PA Mann Center for the Performing Arts
Fri 8/16 Canandaigua, NY Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center
Sat 8/17 Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center
Sun 8/18 Bloomington, IL US Cellular Coliseum
Tue 8/20 Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion
Wed 8/21 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
Fri 8/23 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Sun 8/25 Cedar Rapids, IA U.S. Cellular Center
Tue 8/27 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
Wed 8/28 Big Flats, NY Tags
Fri 8/30 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Sat 8/31 Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live
Sun 9/1 Raleigh, NC The Red Hat Amphitheater
Fri 9/6 Allegan, MI Allegan County Fair
Tue 9/10 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Sat 9/14 Sacramento, CA Discovery Park

About Monster Energy:
Most companies spend their money on ad agencies, TV commercials, radio spots, and billboards to tell you how good their products are. At Monster Energy, we chose none of the above. Instead we support the scene, our bands, our athletes and our fans. We back athletes so they can make a career out of their passion. We promote concert tours, so our favorite bands can visit your hometown. We celebrate with our fans and riders by throwing parties and making the coolest events we can think of a reality. www.monsterenergy.com

About In De Goot Entertainment:
In De Goot Entertainment powers CARNIVAL OF MADNESS and boasts an artist roster that defines rock music today! The management company opened its doors in 1993 and has grown into one of the premier rock management companies in the U.S. We represent a wide range of Platinum-selling rock acts and underground fan favorites. The company takes great pride in helping artists succeed in all areas of their career. With decades of music business experience shared amongst the staff, we strive to provide expert guidance and insight for the acts we represent. www.indegoot.com

Andrew W.K. talks about partying hard with his "Human Party Machine Solo Tour"

Andrew W.K. is a musician that found fame with his party rock album “I Get Wet”. Since then he has been rocking and partying hard.  His music really take you to a new place of excitement and gets you out of your chair your fit pumping.  He recently announced his new “Human Party Machine Solo Tour” this year.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Andrew about the intimate tour, his music and what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your upcoming “Human Party Machine Solo Tour”?
Andrew W.K. : This is going to be a different kind of tour, since it is solo. I did a world tour last year with my band. Nothing is more fun than playing with my full band. I still like doing different kind of shows where there is a more intense intimacy that comes from it with me being on the stage with my keyboard. That is what this tour is about. I have done a lot of solo tours all my career since I feel like when I am up on stage, just me, I feel like it makes me a better performer. I have to draw upon different skills and strength that I have. It is still trying to get to that same place of excitement and energy. Anyway, I have never done a full solo tour around the entire United States.

MG: What are you looking forward to most within the intimate club setting?
AWK: The idea what to pick very small venues almost like bars. So it is really more like a party atmosphere than a concert. It would include places that we wouldn’t normally play and really get that intense and extremely memorable atmosphere and whoever comes to the party. I feel that with these solo shows that the audience, the people that chose to be there, they become my band on nights like this. We are singing together. It is like hanging out with your friends dancing and enjoying music that makes you happy.

MG: How has partying changed for you since you started doing this?
AWK: I try to just get better and better at it. Whenever you meet new people during travels or adventures, life makes you are more powerful person in general. Sort of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Sort of what doesn’t kill you makes you able to party harder. So I just learned from so many people and experiences how to continue to make life as exciting and fun for me.

MG: Whenever I hear any track from “I Get Wet”, specifically “Party Hard”, I can’t help but get pumped and ready to kick some ass.
AWK: The music is a great and powerful way to get to a good feeling. A feeling of energy and strength. You have to give yourself credit to because you allowed yourself to find that feeling. People will listen to our music and say its “too loud”. So I am always thankful for people that find good feeling that I am putting out there.

MG: What is the track for that that drives you crazy?
AWK: Really it would be all of the songs. That is why we recorded and released them. If they didn’t get to that place of energy then we would have done it. This particular style of music is dedicated to getting you amped up and super pumped. If the song doesn’t do that for me or the people working on it, then we probably won’t be recording it in the first place. In a way they are all like one song. This one feeling of excitement. If it works to get that then I know the song is working.

MG: Being a fan of “Gundam”, how did you end up working on your album “Gundam Rock”?
AWK: First of all I appreciate you being aware of that album. “Gundam” is popular around the world but a little more obscure here. It is just great music for starters. The “Gundam” corporation, Sunrise, the company in Japan heard another “Gundam” song I had done and invited me to record this rock album to celebrate the 30th anniversary. It was such a huge privilege and when you have an opportunity like that you don’t even question it. The music is just so good. They are really incredible songs and they definitely made a better musician learning them and playing them for that album.

MG: Having done a few albums specifically for Japan; can you reflect on your worldwide fan base?
AWK: I am very thankful and grateful everyday. I do not think that anyone is more blown away or surprised that any of this has happened but me…or maybe my parents. It is a priveldge and you always want to make the most of an opportunity. I feel so lucky to have them. I just want to keep working harder and partying harder. I also always want to give thanks since there are a lot of other people besides me that are making this happen. Like you Mike, your belief in it, your enjoyment of it and your support over all these years. It is always a group effort to keep it going. It is always very encouraging and humbling at the same time.

MG: On the other side of Andrew W.K.; tell us about your love for “My Little Pony” and being a brony?
AWK: Of absolutely, I am a fan. I have know about “My Little Pony” for years. Since “Friendship is Magic” series came out, it has been a really interesting phenomenon. So many people that I was meeting was telling me about it. Then I got invited to the Canterlot Gardens convention in Ohio, that is what really took it over the top for me. I just like anything where people get really passionate and has that good positive vibe. It is hard to resist that type of feeling.

MG: Also tell us about how you became the official spokesperson for Fresh + Sexy Wipes by Playtex?
AWK: Again, since I moved to New York about 15 years ago, I had this particular mind set, no matter how unusual something seemed or challenging or weird. I had this mindset that I would just say “Yes” to things in my life. I figured my destiny was bringing me in touch with these things and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do it if I wasn’t meant to. You just follow that kind of instinct, so you are in the right place and the right time in order to do something. So the Playtex people came to be and asked me if I would be interesting in promoting this project. I just thought it was so wild and I couldn’t believe they would want me to do it. So of course because of that I said yes. I also like working on team projects where there are a lot of input and everyone working on their highest level because I feel that I a learn a lot. I want to work as hard as I can at all times and do as much as I can because firstly, it entertains me. I have to keep myself interested in what I am doing and I had never done anything like this before. I learned a lot. It is also a great product. Like for someone that doesn’t get a lot of time to shower or bath as much due to traveling, rocking out and partying, this was a product that I could actually relate to. So I am happy that they took a risk with me.

MG: When can we expect a new album from you?
AWK: Yes and thanks very much for asking about that. I have been working on two albums for several years. It is all about getting that 2-3 months of complete open time to focus on it. That has been very hard to get. I have been working on the songs and the lyrics in whatever what I can. I would think that hopefully this coming winter, I will have that block of time to finally finish it. I really want this new album to be the best thing that I have ever made. I have to figure with my destiny, when the time is right it will happen. I don’t want to rush it. We have a really big and exciting year though. We have a lot of touring and doing a lot of new things. So that is all very exciting! So I look forward to seeing you at the shows and stay tuned!

Sam Huntington reflects on season two of Syfy's "Being Human"

Sam Huntington co-stars in Syfy’s hit show “Being Human”, which returns this month for it’s third season.  He plays the character of Josh and is a werewolf that lives with a vampire (Sam Witwer) and a ghost (Meghan Rath). We spoke with Sam back in the very beginning of the show for season one, check it out here.  We got a chance to catch up with Sam again and got the scoop on the second season and what we can expect for the third.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about what you enjoyed most about playing Josh in season two?
Sam Huntington: I think for all the characters, it was great to see them go down their darker paths. As hard as Josh tries to do the right thing, sometimes that need to do the right thing forces him to do the wrong thing. So that was really interesting for me to see and play that aspect of him. As hard as he tries he just has these horrible flaws right down to the end of the season. So that was pretty cool. I also really enjoy the humor of the show.

MG: Each character seemed to go off on their own story in the second season, can you reflect on that for us?
SH: Josh is at his best when he is with Nora and with his roommates. Those are always my favorite moments. I think looking back I would have liked to be with those people more. I think in season three we are going to be put together a lot more so it will be pretty great.

MG: Do you feel that you have an creative freedom with the character now?
SH: I feel that I know Josh so intimately at this point. You are given these beautiful words to say, which sculpts the role. But then of course he takes on a life of his own now that I have been doing it for two years and going into a third. Put it this way, I think I know how Josh will react in every situation, which is super cool for me. I would say 99% of the time, the writers will nail it for his but there is that 1% when I have to chat it over and get on the same page. A lot of times they have reasons why I have to act in a certain way or do a certain thing. It is definitely a collaboration in that regard. We rarely have to intervene though, which is great.

MG: You parted ways with Nora and the surprise with Julia, no luck for you in woman department huh?
No he doesn’t. Word to wise for all those ladies out there who is curious about Josh the Werewolf…Don’t Do it! It’s a death wish. [laughs]. It’s just a bad situation. He is a wet blanket on relationships, trust me.

MG: How would you compare the two seasons production wise?
SH: I would say that season two was 100% more easier than season one. We ironed out a lot of kinks with everything…the make-up and the hours. The writers have figured out what works and what doesn’t. It is always process. You have to figure out what you are capable of doing. You want to always go right up to the limit but you obviously don’t want to kill everyone [laughs]. Season one nearly killed me. Season two was way smoother. I am hoping that season three is more of the same.

MG: During the first season when we spoke, I mentioned that I felt Josh bared most of the burden but in the second season it is more equally distributed.
SH: I think so. They were able to streamline a lot of the werewolf stuff  Beyond that also as far as the character goes but poor Josh just keeps getting hit and beaten down to the ground with the things he is dealing with. I feel so bad for the guy. He can’t win [laughs].

MG: Season two ended on cliffhanger, tell us what we can expect for this next season?
SH: When we finished the season we had no idea what was going to happen. We know now obviously since we’ve gotten the scripts. It is a great cliffhanger  What is the funny thing is that I don’t know if the writers knew [laughs]. I am sure they had a couple of ideas. At the end of the season everything kind of had their hands in the cookie jar, as far as what they wanted to see happen. They really want the show to be the best that it can be. The good news is though, now knowing where we go it is going to be SO awesome! It is such a great direction. I couldn’t be happier!

Mira Sorvino talks about new film “Trade of Innocents” and Human Trafficking

Mira Sorvino is well known for her Academy Award winning performance in “Mighty Aphrodite”, as well as her role as Romy White in “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”. In her new film “Trade of Innocents”, it takes a more serious look into the epidemic of human trafficking. She co-stars in the film with Dermot Mulroney and John Billinsgley. She is also working again with Dermot Mulroney next year for “Space Warriors”. Mira really took out some time to chat about her role and her stand on the topic in the film and what people can do in order to get involved.

Mike Gencarelli: “Trade of Innocents” is such an intense film; especially your role. How did you prepare for Claire Becker?
Mira Sorvino: I have met many survivors of human trafficking through my volunteer work. I am UNODC Goodwill Ambassador to combat human trafficking. So I meet victims all the time, so I took those experiences since I am always deeply moved. You get confronted it with the horror of what people are put through from others for the love of a buck and just realize the first time I you were exposed to that. The character really understands human trafficking, or slavery as Obama rightly put recently, for the first time. There is nothing like meeting a survivor of human trafficking and hearing their stories. There is just nothing like it. You are moved by their incredible strength and ability to not only come back to live and thrive but to help others. They are very optimistic people. So there is that. Then there is the fact that I am also a mother myself. In the story, our characters are bereaved parents and that were not a stretch to imagine but obviously I would never want to go there. I love my own children so much.

MG: How did this role come about for you? Was it due to your work against human trafficking?
MS: I was offered the role. I am not sure if they were aware how involved I was with this. I remember having a conversation with the director, Christopher Bessette, and he told me about modern day slavery and I told him what I do. Then I think we realized that we had far more in common than we thought and then worked together to make the story even deeper. What I loved about the film is that it highlights a solution both on the law enforcement side, with the International Justice Mission and then there are volunteer facilities. These are such an important part about fighting slavery, since you can’t just arrest people.

MG: Do you feel that film will create awareness against this?
MS: That is our hope. We are showing it to a lot of political people. It is really helping to drive to the message and outreach at child sexual exploitation. The sad this is that it is such a huge problem in our own country. The film is about a foreign situation but honestly we have a big, if not, bigger issue of child trafficking here in the US as in anywhere else. John Billingsley plays a pedophile in the film and goes to Cambodia to by children. If he is caught there, our US Federal laws will get him and he might get 25 years and put on permanent sex offender registry. If someone like him is caught in America, in most cases he will be let go at the scene and not even brought into the police station. The child will be brought in and charged with the crime of prostitution. That is really true. Nothing will happen to the “John” in the US as long as he has paid for it. If your neighborhood pedophile has sex with a kid in his basement and doesn’t pay he is going to get the full ride of punishment. That is the outrage in our country.

MG: Let’s talks about John’s role in the film, it was very well done and extremely disturbing.
MS: It was incredibly disturbing. He played it in a very self-justified way. That is what great actors have to do; they have to justify the behavior of the character. He wasn’t apologetic for it in any means.

MG: Tell us filming on location in Bangkok, Thailand?
MS: That was an eye-opener for us as well. While I was there I worked with the local UNODC office for Southeast Asia. They gave me a true education on the situation there in terms of human trafficking. I also worked with some local NGA’s one of which was called Nightlight. One of the women there took me into the Bangkok red light district late at night. She goes on this nightly walk-about with her volunteer staff. They try and find under-age girls working in the sex bars. It was very crazy and not something that an ordinary American female will ever experience. It is not something you would see. It is such much about of their culture there and a lot of their economy is based on sex tourism.

MG: What can people do if they want to get involved?
MS: I have three recommendations for you. First is EPAT (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking). This is global network organizations that span the entire world. You can go to the website for your country and find out how to get involved. Then, there is a group called Polaris Project. This project is absolutely amazing. They run the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, which is a 24/7 hotline that has led to thousands identification and rescues of trafficked people in the US than law enforcement has. Also on their website, you can see how you state rates in terms of human trafficking. Some states are good but some have no responses. You can see how to put pressure on your legislators to pass these new laws. Lastly if you just have money and don’t have time you can donated to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victim of Human-Trafficking, it is one of the only fund that grants money to NGO’s and people around the world to help people. That is a very big deal and even with a small amount of money. It all adds up and is very important.

Andreas Apergis talks about playing Ray on SyFy’s “Being Human”

Andreas Apergis is known best for playing Ray on SyFy’s “Being Human”. Andreas also has a role in the upcoming third “Riddick” film coming out in 2013. Media Mikes had chance to chat with Andreas about his role and reflecting on season two shocking cliffhanger of “Being Human”.

Mike Gencarelli: What do you like most about playing Ray in “Being Human”?
Andreas Apergis: I love the whole supernatural aspect of the show. It is definitely cool to be playing a werewolf. Usually for these characters their word is dangerous. It always allows for interesting situations as an actor. It is definitely not a boring show to work on. Ray is kind of a tortured soul who has been through a lot. I’m sure it’s not easy being a werewolf. It’s a very rich role.

MG: How do you compare playing your character from this season to last season?
AA: I call Ray this season Ray 2.0. He has kind of evolved and it is nice to see that growth in a character. He is definitely not the same character we see in season 1. He is more unbalanced and I think still reeling from his change. When we see him this season he seems to have made a pretty good turn around. He has some stability in his life and is happier. He has found some balance and seems to be in a way better place this year. It was nice to come in to a Ray that wasn’t a lunatic. Of course playing Ray last season was fun but he has grown in season 2.

MG: Can you reflect on the shocking season 2 finale?
AA: These characters get very desperate. Making themselves human is a real struggle. I don’t even know where the chips will land for next season. I guess we will find out what happens but the characters have been through a lot. Josh has really paid the price for being a werewolf. I am a fan of the show also so I am waiting to see how everything is going to be resolved.

MG: What are you most looking forward to for your character in season 3?
AA: I wish I could tell you. I have no idea what happens after the cliffhanger from season 2. I am in as much of the dark as to what comes next as everyone else. I don’t know? I am dying to find out what happens.

MG: Can you tell us how you got involved with the “Assassins Creed” video game series?
AA: Ubisoft is based out of Montreal. I played a couple minor characters in the second game and then they asked me to come in and read for the Cesare Borgia charcater. It was a lot of fun. You are in a world where the characters are larger than life. There are a lot of things going on. How often do you get to play a maniacal guy who wants to take over the world? (Laughs) Cesare is very nutty. It’s a fun role to play. There are so many diehard fans that are into every single detail of both “Being Human” and “Assassins Creed”.

MG: Are you working on any other projects?
AA: I just finished doing the 3rd Riddick film which doesn’t have a release date yet. I play a necro-monger commander. I can’t wait to see how that turns out. That was shot in Montreal and we just wrapped on that about a month ago. I have a knack for getting into these situations where the characters and their worlds are larger than life. It was fun to meet Vin and David Twohy. I am really looking forward to seeing the film.

Gianpaolo Venuta talks about playing Danny in Syfy’s “Being Human”

Gianpaolo Venuta is known best for playing Danny in Syfy’s “Being Human”. Gianpaolo can also been seen recently in the new TV series “The Firm”. Media Mikes took a chance to chat with Gianpaolo about his role on the show and his reflection on season two.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us what you enjoyed most about playing Danny on the series “Being Human”?
Gianpaolo Venuta: It actually wasn’t really “enjoyable”. It’s hard to empathize with a character like that. He had so many opportunities to do the right thing but his self-preservation always trumped any thoughts of confessing. It was also confusing for the audience to see this quiet, shy, guilt-ridden guy then suddenly turn into this homicidal maniac without.

MG: How was it working with Meagan Rath?
GV: Really, it was a lot of fun. We had a great rapport from the start. She’s really down to earth and always available for others. And super hot.

MG: In the end of season one, your character’s true identity gets darker and darker; how did you prepare for the role?
GV: You know that famous quote: “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering”? Well…

MG: In season two, your back with a vengenace; how was it playing a ghost?
GV: I didn’t really have any personal experience to draw on, obviously, so I focused more on the circumstances that led Danny to become the ghost. The guilt, paranoia, fear, etc., and how that transformed him.

MG: Due to the eclipse situation you came back after being shredded, any word about season three?
GV: No word as of yet, but I’m pretty sure Danny has breathed his last breath.

MG: How does this show compare that your other recent TV work like “The Firm”?
GV: It’s different in that “Being Human” always felt like one big family. I was fortunate enough to be there at the beginning and see the chemistry between the leads develop. But that chemistry was not only limited to the cast – it included the crew as well as the creators and producers of the show. “The Firm”, which i am incredibly proud to be a part of, has been different for me because my character’s story line only really gets going in the last 5 episodes of the show so I feel like a bit of an outsider.

MG: What do you have planned next?
GV: I’m not really sure – to be honest. I haven’t done any theatre in a few years and it’s always nice to go back to it every now and again.

Kristen Hager talks about playing Nora on SyFy’s “Being Human”

Kristen Hager is known best for playing Nora on SyFy’s “Being Human”.  Season two really gave her a chance to explore the dark side of her character as she became a wolf.  Kristen had a chance to chat with Media Mikes to discuss her character and season two’s finale.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you reflect on your character Nora during the first two seasons of “Being Human”?
Kristen Hager: It has been a great journey so far. I have loved it. In season 1 she is just a nurse and a normal human being. She is dating a guy with some commitment issues which coincide with a full moon. By the end of season 1 my character ends up being scratched. Season 2 has been Nora dealing with her new infliction. She is grappling with being a werewolf and everything that comes with that. Nora starts to think that this is something she wants however over time she begins to realize that it may be too much for her.

MG: What do you like most about your character being a wolf?
KH: It is different from a lot of the other things I have done. Not a lot of women have played a

female werewolf on television. That it’s self has been really exciting. Nora becomes a strong and very independent woman. This is ideal when you are a female. It’s been a fun adventure getting to play out all these scenarios that the writers create. I think we have done a really good job doing things that have not been done before.

MG: What was the initial make-up process like?
KH: I think the first time you see Nora change is the only time you see her full transformation. I was super nervous about filming that scene. Sam Huntington is a good friend and told me ahead of time about the process. I knew there were going to be a lot of prosthetics. I really didn’t have to do much of the prosthetic stuff. When they do the snout transformation they put these dots on your face and do a CGI transformation. The real challenge is the physicality of it. You have to act as though your body is being ripped apart. In the car scene where I first change there were certain spots I had to hit. They say action and you just go for it and see what happens.

MG: Do you have a favorite episode from season 2?
KH: My favorite episodes were the first couple from this season. I love all of the Nora and Josh stuff. I like working with Sam. I think those scenes are so well done. I like episode 2 from this season. Nora is just coming to terms with

her disease and there are a lot of lovely scenes in that episode.

MG: Do you think there is any hope in saving Nora and Josh’s relationship?
KH: I really hope so! That is really the main thing I am hoping for out of season 3.

MG: Do you have any sneak peeks into season 3?
KH: I don’t. Your guess at this point is as good as mine. I know the writers are working on the episodes but other than that I have no idea. I am really excited to find out. We are scheduled to start shooting in mid June so I hope to have some idea of what’s going on soon.

Natalie Brown talks about playing Julia in SyFy’s “Being Human”

Natalie Brown recently c0-starred in Season 2 of SyFy’s “Being Human”, playing the role of Julia.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Natalie about her role on the show and what we can expect from her next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with the show “Being Human”?
Natalie Brown: It was funny… The night before I even knew about the audition, I was on a panel judging submissions for best actor for the Gemini Awards (Canada’s Emmys) and it was then that I saw both Sam Huntington and Sam Witwer’s performances from the first season… I was blown away. The very next day, my agent called with the audition for Julia- Aiden’s new love interest, and Josh’s ex fiancé. I’d get to work with both of them!? I put myself on tape to send to Montreal, (where the show shoots) the director gave me a few notes, and after sending the second audition tape, I got the part!

MG: Where you aware/fan of the BBC series?
NB: I hadn’t heard of it before the US version, but once I saw it, I understood why it was such a hit- the chemistry between the actors, the mix of humor & humanity set against superhuman circumstances – the same factors that make the US version every bit as gratifying.

MG: What did you like most about playing the role of Julia?
NB: Besides working with the best cast ever?!? It was a great opportunity bringing Josh’s past to life. There was some pressure to live up to this legendary fiancé fans had only heard about in Season One, and I was also a bit concerned over what Nora fans might have to say about a new (albeit old¡) girl in the mix, but to my surprise and relief, there wasn’t any backlash. Julia is one of the few completely human characters, who represents what Josh, and the rest of the main characters are seeking- something normal and grounding… Although “normal” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She too is dealing with loss and pain, trying to make sense of her life and find her place in the world after hers was turned upside-down. Getting dumped – twice! – first by her fiancé, and again by a really hot vampire… totally sucks!

MG: The second to last episode in season two was a real shocker, can you reflect on that for us?
NB: I was shocked too! I received a nice phone call from the writers, saying how pleased they were with the job I was doing, and that what was going to happen to Julia was nothing personal. Normally, when you receive these types of phone calls, it’s sad because you know it’s the end, but in this case, this is the kind of show where you’re HOPING for that phone call. I thought “Great! I can’t wait to die! Get bitten, come back as a ghost, become Sally’s new BFF… The possibilities are endless!” But not Julia. I didn’t realize til I saw the long faces on everyone on set the next day that not only was Julia going to die, but she was getting her door. Immediately. Julia’s only issue was not truly knowing why Josh left her, & once she understood, Poof! Her door appeared and off she went into the … Well we don’t know what’s on the other side of the door, but hopefully if we ever do find out, fingers crossed Julia will be back! It was an emotional but really rewarding day on set. It didn’t take much to get to a gut-wrenching place when the circumstances were so dire, I was sad to be leaving, and Sam Huntington brought the house down and made every grown man cry with his performance.

MG: What was your highlight of working on the show this season?
NB: My first and only threesome, filming with Sammie and Jay Baruchel, for sure! Bestest strangest day on set.

MG: You also appeared on SyFy’s “Lost Girl” is season two, which has not aired in the US yet, tell us about that?
NB: Lost Girl is such a fun show with cast you can crush on. I was lucky enough to have scenes with most of the gang, playing a light Fae imprisoned for 80 years for falling in love with a man who was Dark Fae. I got to change from prison garb to sacrificial princess gown, to 1940’s hats and dresses in flashbacks, to finally running through the woods in head-to-toe leather, shooting porcupine quills out of my hair. Soooo much fun!

MG: What else do you have planned upcoming?
NB: Right now, I’m in Sault Ste Marie filming a small but fun role in the psychological thriller “Compulsion,” starring Heather Graham and Carrie Anne Moss. I’ll be playing opposite Kevin Dillon, which should be fun. I’m lucky, I get to work with a lot of talented people when they come to shoot in Canada.

Dichen Lachman talks about playing Suren on Syfy’s “Being Human”

Dichen Lachman appeared in season two of Syfy’s “Being Human” playing the role of Suren. Dichen is also known for her role in the TV series “Dollhouse”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Dichen about her role in “Being Human” and what she has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: What did you enjoy most about working on “Being Human”?
Dichen Lachman: I think playing a vampire is one of those things that are very appealing as an actor. You get to explore the shadows. You also get to dress up and go into that fantastical world. It’s such a gift.

MG: How did you prepare for your role on the show?
DL: The make-up and effects help you get into character a lot. What I did was I discovered a specific dialect that Suren spoke in. I worked with an incredible dialect coach. With the creators of the show we discussed how Suren should sound. That was probably the most challenging thing. In the end we were able to find something that everyone liked. You can tell I sound quite different playing that character.

MG: What was the best part for you working with Sam Witwer?
DL: He is great! Sam is so funny as are all of the cast members. They are great actors. It’s very refreshing to work and have fun at the same time. It’s amazing that they are able to snap back in and out of working so quickly.

MG: Do you have a favorite episode that you worked on?
DL: I loved doing the flashback stuff. It’s very rare that someone like me gets to do something like that. I don’t get to play people from the 1920’s and 30’s. It just doesn’t happen. For me to be in that world was remarkable. The costumes and set designs were so good. I was really excited to be able to do that.

MG: have there been any talks about doing flashback scenes in the upcoming season?
DL: I am not sure. I think it might depend on my availability and where they want to take the story. I would go back to Montreal to work with those guys in a heartbeat. Everyone involved with that show is great.

MG: How does this show compare to another show you have worked on “Dollhouse”?
DL: It’s hard to compare them. They are both sort of in that fantasy world. You are still dealing with real world issues but in a roundabout way. For me the only real difference was that I was working in another country. People were speaking French. I remember working on a scene and turning around and everyone had just left. I didn’t know what was happening. They had called lunch in French and I had no idea. It was strange to be on a set where for the most part everyone was speaking French. It was a total trip at first but I got used to it. It was strange but awesome.

MG: Can you tell us about your upcoming pilot “Last Resort”?
DL: “Last Resort” is very exciting! I think people are going to like it and I hope it gets picked up. I may be doing a film called “Too Late” which I hope will start shooting in May. I also am in post production for a film I produced titled “Lust for Love” which stars Fran Kranz from “Cabin in the Woods”. It is a very busy time but it is good and totally worth it.

MG: Do you have any plans to do more producing in the future?
DL: I think so. The world is changing and people are getting content in more ways than ever. Things have been going this way for some time now. I think more now than ever the internet and television are converging. We just have to start making our own things. It’s inevitable. I am still going to be working on other projects an auditioning. It’s important for us as actors to make things our fans want to see. It’s getting increasingly harder to make studio films that are going to make lots of money. Films have to be a 3 dimensional fire fest to get people to go to the cinema.

Dusan Dukic talks about playing Reaper in SyFy’s “Being Human”

Dusan Dukic is known best for playing Reaper in season 2 of SyFy’s “Being Human”.  Dusan took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about the role and his reflection on season 2.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you got involved with “Being Human” season two?
Dusan Dukic: I got a call from my agent to audition for a part called the Reaper in Being Human season 2. On the original casting breakdown it stated that it was a character that would recur for 3 episodes. I said I would do it, not knowing what would be the outcome, as I thought at first that the role would not be so heavily involved in the season. I was wrong and it was pleasantly surprising that I got to partake in such an exciting and interesting journey playing the Reaper.

MG: There is little known about the reaper, how did you prepare for the role?
DD: There is very little known about the Reaper, and when your character’s name is the Reaper, it seemed a very daunting role to play. However, Adam Kane and I had lengthy and extremely helpful conversations giving me great insight into the character, who he is, what purpose he serves and what is the precise connection to Sally.  Yes the Reaper exists in Sally’s mind, but to her he is completely real. The most important question to me was, why did she create him and why does she need him.

MG: How was it working with Meagan Rath?
DD: Working with Meaghan was absolutely fantastic.  She is very connected to her role, and she is extremely generous as an actress. She also has a great sense of humor.  It was a pleasure.

MG: What did you enjoy most about season two? Favorite episode?
DD: My favorite episode and what I most enjoyed in season 2 was “Dream Reaper”.  The episode was a blast to shoot, from the new décor, to the purple fashion invasion. It was a chance for the audience to see a different side of the Reaper. From my point of view he really was trying to help Sally, and I think he really cares for her well being in his own special way. I’m still getting so many wonderful comments by the fans  @dusandukic on how much they enjoyed the episode. I’ve never had the chance to wear so much purple in my life before.  I think, however, that Reapers prefer black.

MG: Can you reflect on the fantastic season two finale?
DD: The season finale was full of adrenaline and action. By the end of the episode all of the story lines are left hanging in the balance. We have no idea of what will happen to all of the characters. It was a rush to watch.  I’m really looking forward to seeing Sally in “limbo” next season. I’m curious to see what it looks like and what happens there.

MG: Any word if the reaper is coming back for season three?
DD: Will the Reaper be back for season 3? We will have to wait and see. That rhymed by the way.

Susanna Fournier chats about playing Zoe in Syfy’s “Being Human”

Susanna Fournier is known best for playing Zoe in Syfy’s “Being Human”.  The show recently ended its second season and is already beginning season three production shortly.  Susanna took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about her role on the show and her reflection on season two.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with season two of “Being Human”?
Susanna Fournier: I had known about the show from season 1 since it shoots in Montreal. I had read some of the scripts when they were originally casting the show then. I liked the concept and then fell in love with the humor in the writing. I knew this was a show I wanted to be a part of. When I got the breakdown for Zoe I got a really strong sense of her, and felt this was a character I could bring a lot to. I put an audition on tape and within a week was headed to Montreal for the read through.

MG: What did you like most about playing Zoe Gonzales?
SF: I like how weird she is. She’s bad at a lot of things, like any kind of social interaction with another person is a nightmare–especially flirting–she can really kill a buzz. It’s not often you get a chance on tv to play someone so obviously not cool. I love awkward humor so her deadpan approach to life is right up my alley. Yet when it comes to ghosts she’s like a whole other person with confidence, friends, and vulnerability. I liked the challenge of discovering how both of these sides of Zoe are always at play depending on who she’s with.

MG: The cast seems like a big family, was it fun working with Meagan Rath and the rest of the cast?
SF: I had a blast. The whole team is amazingly friendly. Meagan and I had the most stuff together so it was great to get to know her over the 5 months of shooting. She cracks me up and I learned so much from her. The double Sam effect of Witwer and Huntington is quite a combo–their senses of humor compliment one another so well I was sometimes amazed we got any work done cause everyone’s laughing all the time. It really is like a big family (on a really bizarro adventure).

MG: You definitely had some emotional scenes, tell us how you prepared for the role?
SF: Well my job was made a whole lot easier by the writers of Being Human. Everything on Zoe’s journey leading up to Nick’s shredding was all about her learning to open herself up to love and life and risk getting hurt. The whole season really builds up to her allowing herself to really love someone, who in her case happens to be the ghost Nick, and then he’s taken away from her. Learning to love someone and risking getting hurt is a story I can relate to, so when it came time to play out her emotional scenes with Nick I just remember about how vulnerable love makes all of us.

MG: What was your favorite episode this season?
SF: Episode 10! Again the writers totally took me by surprise with the Dream Reaper episode. We shot most of it over one very long week in studio and it began to feel like we were living the episode….trapped in the studio never to see the light of day again…since much of the action took place on the stair case we had to remove walls to shoot certain angles and then there was always the question of which layer of Sally’s consciousness we were in…the whole thing became like a really awesome puzzle we were all in. Plus it was a roller coaster for each character, the stakes were really high and everything was down to the wire. Also, who doesn’t love getting bitten by a vampire?

MG: Any word if Zoe will be back for season three?
SF: I hope so! I think she’s an extremely useful character for Sally, Aidan, and Josh. I mean with the amount of trouble those three get into they need as many people on their side as possible. Who’s gonna rescue Sally the next time she gets all Reaper on us!?

MG: What do you look for in a role when approaching a project?
SF: I definitely track my reactions about a character when I’m first reading a script. I like to see if my first impression remains the same, or if through the story unfolding, I feel differently about the character at the end. People are full of contradictions, quirks, and secrets and I’m interested in playing characters that are written as complexly as humans are. I like to be surprised by a role and I like to risk playing a character I might not at first see myself as. Of course super powers or sword fighting are big draws for me…

MG: What else do you currently have in the works?
SF: I’m also a writer and am developing three new plays at the same time right now (insanity) with theatre companies in Toronto. I’ve also been directing a theatre project with grade 8 students dramatizing the lives and words of famous figures in social justice–it’s an amazing thing to introduce young people to acting and performance and watch them come out of their shells. Most recently I finished an exploratory workshop of Chekhov’s “The Seagull”–it was great to get back onstage again after a year of television and film!