Book Review “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Animal ABCs”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Board book: 10 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: January 7, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I have an 18-month old daughter and I love her being able to have fun and yet still learn. “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” is such an amazing TV to get the best of both world in that department. This new book “Animal ABCs” is such a blast, it not only teaches the ABCs but also relates then to animals. My daughter is such a sponge right now and she literally has not put this book down. I see this being her favorite for quite a while! Highly Recommend!

Official Premise: Join Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the gang from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as they explore the jungle to discover all the animals of the alphabet, from Alligator to Zebra. This awesome lenticular novelty format makes learning the alphabet fun, as preschoolers can tilt the book to see a letter of the alphabet transform into a beautiful full-color photo of an animal.

What I like about this book is that it has some weight to it, it is not a flimsy book. It is high quality and looks to holds up again the little one. I also love the lenticular images since it is one animal looking one way and another the other way. I stood back and watched by daughter realize that and it really blew her mind. I can’t wait to see the next installment in this series “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Colors All Around”, which streets February 18, 2014. I will be first in line for sure…if I can pry this book from my daughters hands.

Blu-ray Review “The ABCs of Death”

Directed by: Various
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Run Time: 130 minutes

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

Yeah…I am not sure how to easily explain this film.  “The ABCs of Death” consists of 26 short films from 26 different directors from all over the world.  Some of these are downright awesome and some of them are absolutely terrible.  I am still recommending this film just because it is so unique and like nothing I have ever seen before. In case you haven’t caught on each director was given a letter and complete creative freedom.  The shorts range from live-action to hand drawn animated to claymation. So there is tons of variety here.  If you are a horror fan, this is easily one of the most creative films you will see this year…as long as you have a tough stomach!

I would love to list all the clever names for each show but for me finding out during the film was part of the fun. When I was watching, I was constantly trying to figure out what the hell was going on and what was the short going to be called. I will giveaway two of them since they were the most obvious. I am not going to give the premise away but I will tell you the names. One of my favorites was “D is for Dogfight”, it was well done and very clever with only one word of dialogue.  The absolute worst was “F is for Fart”, go figure it was made in Japan, which is downright stupid and just gross.  I like a good fart joke but this was terrible. That is another thing some of these shorts is that all of them don’t all fit in the horror genre either except for the fact of dealing with death.

Official Premise: Twenty-six directors. Twenty-six ways to die. The ABC’s OF DEATH is perhaps the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived with productions spanning fifteen countries and featuring segments directed by over two dozen of the world’s leading talents in contemporary genre film. Inspired by children’s educational books, the motion picture is comprised of twenty-six individual chapters; each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free reign in choosing a word to create a story involving death. Provocative, shocking, funny and ultimately confrontational, THE ABC’s OF DEATH is the definitive vision of modern horror diversity.

This Blu-ray being reviewing is the 1-disc Blu-ray version.  It also features an alternate cover which the baby holding the book has been removed. I personally prefer the originally artwork, which is only available on the 2-disc combo pack with a Blu-ray and DVD of the film. The 1080p transfers look good for the most part but constantly various in quality since there is many different types of camera options used for each short.  The same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio tracks.  It various from short to short but all around sounds decent.

The special features are quite impressive for this release. Get ready for this…there is a filmmaker commentary track on each short. I think that is a real treat because you can get to hear the vision behind each film. There are also extras included for 14 out of the 26 shorts. Including the letter A has a visual effects featurette. The letters B, D and I have a Making Of featurette. C includes some Deleted Scenes. F, H, J, T, V, W and Z all have Behind the Scenes looks and R has a Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery with 71 photos. Lastly there is “AXS TV: A Look at The ABCs of Death”, which runs under five minutes and some trailers included.


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Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa talks about ABC’s “Revenge” & “Mortal Kombat Legacy 2”

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa is an actor and martial artist that is known best for his role of Shang Tsung in 1995’s “Mortal Kombat”. This Fall, he joined the cast of ABC’s Revenge in the role of Satoshi Takeda replacing Hiroyuki Sanda, from the previous season. He is also reprising his role next year of Shang Tsung in the return of the wildy successful web series “Mortal Kombat Legacy 2”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Cary-Hiroyuki about those two projects and also his role as a healer.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you ended up replacing Hiroyuki Sanada this season as Satoshi Takeda in ABC’s “Revenge”?
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa: I got a call one day from my agent talking about the show. He was pretty excited. I personally had no idea about the show. I honestly do not watch television much. I have not actually been in one place in order to settle in for almost three years. When I got that call I was in Hawaii. So I sat down and watched the show. I thought it was a little bit complicated though if you haven’t watched from the beginning but I thought it was cool and plus it has Madeline Stowe. I was told that they were looking for a replacement for Hiroyuki Sanada. He and I actually recently worked on a film called “47 Ronin” and had a great experience. He is a fantastic Japanese action star. So I went back and watched a few of his episodes. I knew very clearly what the role entailed. It wasn’t anything deeply new and exciting but it was a standard role for an actor. Takeda is basically a good guy [laughs] and I have done many of those. But I am a good guy, so I figured I could do it.

MG: What was your biggest challenge for you stepping into the role this season?
CHT: The challenge for me was to make him interesting. The dialogue doesn’t usually change much. But personally, I like to throw in ideas and change it up a bit. I have always had some input into every character that I have played. Nobody would stop me from playing out an idea that was interesting. But you have to come up with something pretty interesting. Dialogue is the easiest thing to change and doesn’t cost them any money. I always think about the audiences. They always keep on watching the same kind of junk. The bad guy is mean and nasty and by the end, we know he is going to lose. It is a pretty given sort of structure. But for me, I tried and find a way that I can make it more interesting for the audience and bring something different. You can scare the hell of our people, which I think I have done with different characters. That would get people’s attention. For this role, Sanada played it very straight and to the point. Since he was a lot smaller than I am and doesn’t look so mean, I had to try and gauge how mean I could look playing a good guy. One of the things that I was excited about is that people only saw him playing that character for one season and how I can make a difference. One thing that I wanted to do was bring a different persona, so that when Emily was being her arrogant self that she wouldn’t get away with it with me [laughs]. I wanted you to see that at least in my eyes that I was a lot more intimidating. They encouraged me to bring something new to it.

MG: What approach did you take to improve this character? What can we expect?
CHT: I do not think that it would have been too difficult for them to at least explain that we weren’t the same person. I thought that it was sort of a rough transition for most of the fans. I could have been his mentor or uncle, something like that. I think there is still a lot more to discover for Takeda. It is just the matter of how long that I can hold my breath. I think there is an element the way that Sanada played him that did not account for a lot of mystery, in the very particularly nit-picky way that actors are taught to do. To be very specific, he played it very straight forward and with not a whole lot more intrigued for the character. I think that having played the bad guy so long helped me with this. I feel that bad guys are fighting something all the time. I think I am bringing a little more of that to the character and it leaves you wanting to know more about him. That is why in the way that I play him, I mix it up. At points, I speak with them more like an Uncle or Father and other times it will be different. I have tried to layer that in, given I have only been given three times this season so far to do it. I was intentionally from the beginning making that choice. The show is one break now but after the beginning of the year, I am not sure where the role is going to go. But I know it has only just begun.

MG: How did it come again with you reprising the role of Shang Tsung in the web series “Mortal Kombat Legacy 2”?
CHT:After the first movie, all of the character had made deals for the sequel. Only two characters, Liu Kang and Kitana ended up in the movie. So it was a great disappointment, considering the success of the first one. This was just a confirmation to me for to reveal the truth of some particular people that were part of that team. It played itself out in much bigger problems. When I saw that person for one of the last times, I said “May you get what you deserve”. When that was all over with all I could do was resign to the fact that playing Shang Tsung in the first movie would have been enough. Then when I heard about the first series of “Mortal Kombat Legacy” but I was’t involved with the first season. Kevin (Tancharoen) and I connected over Twitter and offered me the role of Shang Tsung in the second sesaon. Twitter is changing politics. This guy is an amazing director and just such a humble guy. He is about to direct his direct movie for $50 million for the third “Mortal Kombat”.

MG: Any chance you will get to you play Shang Tsung again in that upcoming feature film?
CHT: The difference between the time that I did that the first movie and where my career is in now is that I have some certain standards now. But it will all be up to the studio and the producers. I let them know from the beginning, I said I wanted to do it but I had a history of not being respected. I said told them I would leave it to them to be real and see how it goes. Let’s just say I am not doing the web series for the money. But just to be a part of the web series is great. I am excited about working with Kevin and I would like to work with him even away from “Mortal Kombat”. He seems to really understand actors, which is highly rare. He has a place in Hollywood. I actually met his father back on the film “Rising Sun”. In fact, I had actually met Kevin as well, when he was 5 or 6 and he told me that he has a picture of me from back then. But for right now, I am very excited about the web series and the possibility of being in the feature.

MG: Tell us about your role of a healer, in addition to acting?
CHT: One thing that I have been enjoying talking about is that I am healer. You have probably never heard of an actor saying that…but I am a healer. I was a healer before I came to Hollywood. Hollywood is my day job and my greater purpose is to bring this particular system of healing to the world. It is something that I have been working on for over 30 years. I credit it to my father, who I didn’t know very well growing up. But I feel like when he passed, he passed on in spirit this healer gift. I consider it a gift and I am further developing it. So I want to dedicate this system to him. It comes from an understanding of breath. When you say breath, it is interesting to see people’s reaction since they start breathing deeper. It is funny and when I say posture, they sit up straight [laughs]. I have always been very observant of people’s behavior. Those are two things that should be second nature to us but our society has neglected it for so long. To bring this forward now, I know it is going to resonate with everyone that hears it. Then how far and deep they get into it after that obviously has yet to been seen. This is not based on any system that I have studied. The theories come from the principles martial arts, in terms of posture like the horse stance. There are others systems like Qigong that focuses on breathing. This particular form has nothing to do with fighting. I am calling it Martial Healing.

MG: Tell us about what can we expect from this system?
CHT: There is a lot that we can do to keep us out of harm’s way and prevent the breakdown of the body. This system begins with teaching about breathing and how it can greatly aid in that process. This would focus on breathing and the principle of moments and how those two can affect the body. I have worked with athletes and martial artists also and have gotten great results. I am coming from a place of developing something rather than just taking knowledge of an ancient system and repeating it. It is a new understanding with a new system. I bet you didn’t expect that from the actor that played Shang Tsung [laughs]. You can find out more at

Andre Braugher talks about his role in ABC’s “Last Resort”

I first noticed Andre Braugher when he played the role of Thomas, one of the soldiers assembled to form the first black regiment during the Civil War, in “Glory.” The dignity in his performance played perfectly off of the angry resentment of Denzel Washington’s contributing, I have no doubt, to Washington winning the Oscar for his performance.

Probably best known for his Emmy Award winning work on NBC’s “Homicide,” the Chicago born Braugher has also done fine work in such films as “Duets,” “Striking Distance” and “Salt” and has had recurring roles in such popular television shows as “House,” “Law and Order: SVU” and “Men of a Certain Age.” This season Braugher stars as Captain Marcus Chaplin in “Last Resort”, skipper of a U.S. Submarine whose crew is now being targeted by the government for not obeying what Chaplin deemed an illegal order to fire their weapons. While promoting the second half of the season Braugher spoke with Media Mikes about what brought him to the role and what to expect later this season.

Mike Smith: Thank you for taking the time to talk this afternoon. It’s taken me 23 years but finally I get to tell you how brilliantly moving your performance was in “Glory.”
Andre Braugher: Really? Wow, thank you.

MS: After everything that has happened so far, how tough is it do you think for Chaplin to enter into negotiations with the government?
AB: Well at this point I think it’s what Chaplin wants. I mean, I have – he has a crew of sailors, very few of which truly understand what happened on the con and what the ramifications of being considered treasonous or renegades or mutineers of some kind. And so he wants to give his crew as well as his officers an opportunity to surrender the ship and not be held accountable for what Marcus and Sam did, you know, back in the pilot in terms of firing a missile on the United States. So it’s quite important because at this point it seems as though this is a crew that’s held together by the belief we ought to stick together long enough so that we can make it back home and these negotiations really are a way to get back home. Because in essence we’re not equipped to be traitors. We’re patriots and it’s of the utmost importance that we defend ourselves.

MS: Was there one factor that drew you to the series, the writing or the story line, that made you want to do the show?
AB: No it really wasn’t one factor. I mean, this is a show with a very ambitious premise and it could easily evolve into something kind of silly, you know. But Shawn Ryan has a craft for making very interesting, provocative television and, you know, his abilities are apparent. So that’s one consideration and the script was another consideration. Melvin Campbell, and I’ve worked with him before and admire him a lot, was another consideration. So it was a confluence thing. No one would have made it possible but all three of them together made it a very attractive prospect to be a part of the show.

MS: How much more tense will the situation get between Chaplin and Prosser as the season goes on? (NOTE: Robert Patrick co-stars on “Last Resort” as Master Chief Joseph Prosser)
AB: Well this is – well, you know, Robert is a very intense guy so this is what happens I think when patriots clash. We’re both very passionate about what it is that we’re doing and we’re both supremely concerned about the health and welfare of our crew. I would have to say that Chaplin needs Prosser very much not only because he exercises discipline over the crew but it’s because he is a touchstone for the crew. If the chief of the boat thinks that it’s right then the guys have a tendency to fall in line. And so Prosser is very important to Chaplin and is very important that – for Chaplin – that Prosser understands that our whole goal here is to get back home and to get back home in safety. And after last week’s episode in which the Secretary of Defense basically said to blow the boat under water and to kill all of these sailors, I think we understand that going home in this state would be perilous and we’re looking for the opportunity to go home safely and stand trial. And this week’s episode, “Skeleton Crew,” is really about our opportunity to negotiate, an opportunity to go home and stand trial, more so for the officers than it is for the enlisted men because ultimately officers are the ones who are responsible for the conduct of the ship. Prosser and Imay disagree but I think we do understand that the whole point is to get back home.

MS: What is it about Chaplin that you relate to and like the most?
AB: What is it about Chaplin that I relate to and like the most? Well I like the fact that he’s thinking ahead, you know. It’s the strategic part of Chaplin that’s fascinating to me. The fact that the next step may seem the next right one but when you think several steps out further it turns out to be a misstep, you know. So the negotiations are important….an important piece of theater, and every weapon at our disposal is brought to bear to make these negotiations fruitful. The thing that’s fascinating is that when I go back to the pilot it’s something I read the very first time I read the script. So after they discover the bombers are coming to make a strike on their position and everyone is scrambling back to the boat. During that time when everyone is saying to themselves we’ve got to get the hell out of here, we’ve got to submerge the boat, we’ve got to run, it’s at that point that Chaplin was thinking, you know, in that ten minute scramble back to the boat where Chaplin was thinking we’ve got to fire, you know what I mean. We’ve got to play this enormous game of chicken, you know what I mean. And after they backed down from this enormous game of chicken we’ve got to go even further, you know what I mean. We’ve got to put the fear of God into them, you know what I mean, so they understand. Otherwise our position really isn’t tenable.

MS: Have you or the other cast members heard from military people about the characters you’re playing and more importantly the premise and how provocative it is?
AB: Well it’s provocative as well as being farfetched. And they comment on that as well. I think in all the comments that I’ve heard is that what they really like is the fact that we are getting inside the head of Navy men and women and exploring the issues that are important to them. The premise is ambitious to say the least and our job every week really is to fill in that ambitious premise with some very down to earth, honest, raw, detailed kind of acting and storytelling. And it’s one thing to have an ambitious premise, but it’s another thing to drift off into a kind of fantasy land behind that premise. And I think what we’re dedicated to is making sure that it’s honest and it’s raw, it’s down to earth, and it’s compelling. And so far that has worked and that’s our great goal. That and delivering the action every week. And basically giving the broadcast television audience a movie every week. And that’s a tall order but so far we’ve succeeded and we’re really looking forward to seeing how far we can go with this thing.

Bruce Davison talks about ABC’s “Last Resort” and “Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem”

Bruce Davison is one of Hollywood’s best character actors in the business. He earned an Academy Award nomination for his work on “Longtime Companion”. He is also known for his his role as Senator Robert Kelly in the “X-Men”. movie franchise. He recently directed Barry Williams & Danny Bonaduce in the Syfy creature feature “Bigfoot” and also recently worked with Rob Zombie’s on “The Lords of Salem”. Bruce can also be seen weekly on ABC’s new hit series “Last Resort”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Bruce about his busy year and also what else he has planned.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved directing the creature feature “Bigfoot”?
Bruce Davison: Well, I had done some directing before for Showtime and few others. But I had done a few projects with David Latt at Asylum, like “Mega Fault”. I told him if he had any directing gigs come up to throw me a bone and that I would love to direct. I missed my chance with (Roger) Corman, back in the days. He calls me up one day and says “I am not giving you a gift, I am giving you a nightmare”. I went to Washington to shoot and I think we had a 14 day shoot that ended up being only 9 days. It was sort of like being the General at Dunkirk, I was trying to run two armies at the same time, shooting whatever footage we could and trying to juggle jello, basically.

MG: Tell us working with the duo of Barry Williams & Danny Bonaduce?
BD: I had the best time working with the two of them. I would just let them riff lots of time. I tried to get Florence Henderson and Shirley Jones to make an appearance at the end but it didn’t work out. They were wonderful and the best. The hours were impossible. The shooting schedule was insane. Danny was doing a radio show every day, getting up at 4am and then coming to shoot. But he was still so professional every moment. I feel that they pulled a lot of stuff together [laughs] out of their butts. We really had to. There was a lot of improvisation. And also at the same time, we were trying to create a Bigfoot. We had one difficulty after another; we had to shoot a raft scene in an afternoon, when we weren’t allowed to shoot in the water [laughs]. It was one thing after another. It was so difficult, it was laughable. If we didn’t have a scene of humor about it we would have probably killed each other. But we ended up having fun.

MG: It is funny how you directed “Bigfoot” and your first job directing was on the “Harry and the Hendersons” TV series.
BD: [laughs] I didn’t think twice. I figured that “Bigfoot” would be like “Mighty Joe Young” and “King Kong”, just another big behemoth monster that goes around biting the heads off pretty girls. We had all that going for us and it was completely different from “Harry”. People have said to be over the years “Wasn’t doing “Long Time Companion” difficult and emotional draining?” I have said “No, “Harry and the Hendersons” was”. Trying to get the Bigfoot on the van was much more difficult than playing something that was so close to the heart.

MG: You are co-starring in the new TV series “Last Resort”; tell us about your role?
BD: Pretty much, what you can expect you will have to wait and see. Admiral Arthur Shepard is the character I play. He is the father to Lieutenant Grace Shepard, the third-in-command on main submarine. He is a character that you don’t quite figure out where he is coming from for a while but things will evolve. He is an intriguing and interesting character and he has been a pleasure to play so far.

MG: How was it working with Rob Zombie on his film, “The Lords of Salem”?
BD: I am so looking forward to that film. I had the best time of my life working with Rob. I just adore him. I think the three girls playing the witches just go through the roof. I think he has a new franchise with them, since they are just outrageous. Dee Wallace, Patricia Quinn and Judy Geeson are great. I have a scene with them and I just chuckle every time I think about it. His wife Sheri Moon Zombie is just a dear. I am hearing that it is quite controversial and going to stir up the pot. I look forward to it. He is just brilliantly talented.

MG: Can you tell us about your role in film?
BD: I play an author named, Francis Matthias. I work at historical tourist traps in Salem, MA. I am like the investigator and trying to solve the mystery of what is going on. It is sort of like Martin Balsam in “Psycho”. It is a wonderful character. Maria Conchita Alonso plays my wife. I try and track down what is going on and well…get more than I bargain for [laughs].

MG: Lastly, tell us about your work the unofficial sequel To Martin Scorsese’s Film “Raging Bull”, “The Bronx Bull”?
BD: It is a whole other cup of tea and is told from a completely different angle. William Forsythe is going to really surprise a lot of people with this. He is a wonderful actor and is so close to Jake LaMotta in character in his later years. It is not so much connected to Martin Scorsese but it is a chapter two in the life of Jack LaMotta.

Barry Sloane talks about joining ABC’s “Revenge”

This month when ABC’s hit show Revenge returns it will be welcoming English actor Barry Sloane as Aiden, “a mystery man from Emily’s (Emily VanCamp) past”. Previously seen by American theater audiences in Broadway’s Jerusalem last summer, Sloane comes from acclaimed turns on British tv shows such as Hollyoaks and Holby City. Along with “Revenge”, Barry talked to Media Mikes about his upcoming film roles in “Penthouse North” and Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah”.

Lauren Damon: So you’re joining into “Revenge” cast which you’ve done before on other established TV shows, how is that?
Barry Sloane:  It’s great, it’s a really cool show and  when the opportunity came up to be a part of it, I was very excited, you know.  It’s got a fantastic cast. Great actors, isn’t it? I knew it was going to be a fun part. From what I was told about the character , it’s going to be a cool character to play and there’s a lot of mystery to the guy, We’ll do some interesting things.

LD: All I’ve read is that he’s a ‘mystery man’ from Emily’s past, but a lot of times her people from the past don’t do so well, is that a concern for you?
BS: (Laughs) Well these things, you know, you come in and I think the main thing is you’re going to be involved in with Emily, Emily VanCamp’s story, so getting to work with her quite closely is going to be great because she’s fantastic and she’s a great girl as well. We’ve had a couple of scenes so far that have gone really well so you kind of come in to these things and you never as an actor, you never kind of say ‘oh I’m going to be here three, four, five years’, you know. You kind of come in and the first thing, you do an arc or something interesting like that. So with these types of shows it’s always interesting because you get as much as the viewers most of the time because you’re kind of getting scripts very close to when you’re filming it. So you never get any  information so when I’m doing this type of show I always enjoy it because I kind of open the script and it’s like ‘Oh, that’s what I’m doing this week!’  It’s always an exciting moment when you get that and especially when we all get around and do the table read and you get to hear it for the first time. So who knows what’s going to happen but I’m excited to get the next script, that’s for sure. (laughs)

LD: The finale of the first season was a crazy, sort of white knuckle episode, are you working on anything that compares?
BS: They set the bar very high.  And that’s why you know, when you’ve got a great following viewing, they’re very passionate about the show, the fans of the show. I think Mike [Kelley]’s got some great ideas to keep everybody hooked and there’s so much more that can be told with the story and what Emily’s going to go through—or Amanda, should I say?— so there’s going to be loads of twists and turns and intrigue and drama, all the things you expect, you know? It’s going to be fun.

LD: “Revenge” has been getting the kind of ratings that “LOST” used to get, are you excited for that level of viewers?
BS: I don’t know that I’m entirely prepared for the level of exposure that will come with the show but I kind of, as with anything, it’s all about the character and the job really. And you know, anything else that comes with it will be fun I’m sure. But it’s only good to have that many viewers if you do a good job, so I intend to do a good job! (laughs)

LD: No pressure, by the way!
BS: No, that’s cool!

LD: Is it different working here than in England?
BS: Well, the weather’s fantastic, and the people are great and there’s an ocean.  The locations I’ve filmed at so far have just been beautiful,  just amazing places. You’re getting to work along a lot of the coastline of  Los Angeles, so it’s…yea, I’ve got no complaints! Let’s put it that way.

LD: Are you allowed to say if you’re kind of more of a bad guy? Or are you in the middle?
BS: Again, the information that’s out, he’s a character that’s linked to when Amanda was becoming Emily so they kind of went through a lot of the same things, they’ve got a history together.  I’m the kind of guy that gets things done in the same sense that she does so I think he’s as perfectly  as dangerous as  she is.

LD: She seems kind of like a revenge sniper, she picks her target and she gets it done…
BS: Yea, she’s quite dark and dangerous, she can hold her own, she could probably take him. But I’m having a good go. (laughs)

LD: I see you’ve got movies coming up as well like “Penthouse North”?
: Yea, “Penthouse North is due for release”, I think, November time. Got a screening coming up soon with Michael Keaton and Michelle Monaghan, should be viewing that with them soon. And I’ve just been, prior to this, just before I flew out to LA I’ve just filmed the new Darren Aronosky film, “Noah”.

LD: That’s huge…
BS: Yea, yea, it’s going to be epic. I was working with Russell Crowe, so that was cool. He’s a cool guy.

LD: What’s you role like in that?
BS: I’m playing a poacher who—obviously Noah’s keen on animals and I’m playing a poacher. I’m playing a poacher, he’s trying to kill animals. So you can work out how that’s going to end up! (laughs) It’s a fantastic script, it’s such a good script and with Darren Aronofsky directing and stars like Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connolly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone, you know, with a cast like that it’s just going to be a huge huge movie and it’s not going to come out til 2014 so I’ve kind of got a few years to wait to watch it. But just to be part of it is really exciting and I hope to work with the guys again.

LD: Where was that filmed?
BS: We filmed in Iceland.

LD: A lot of things are filming in Iceland recently…
BS: Yea, well it’s because you get twenty-two hours of daylight, it’s just good for filming. When I arrived I was given like a welcome pack with an eye mask and I was like  ‘Hmm, that’s odd, why am I given an eye mask?’ and then having come out the bar late and then I was like ‘Ah, because I won’t be able to sleep!’

LD: And then “Penthouse North” looks to be a heist movie, are you also kind of bad in that one?
BS: In Penthouse North? Yes, I’m quite an unsavory character in that shall we say.  I’m kind of Michael Keaton’s associate so, he plays a guy called Hollander, who’s a very very dangerous man shall we say. And however dangerous I might be, he is a lot more dangerous than that. Again, getting to work with that guy was amazing.

LD: He’s Batman…
BS:  Exactly. Exactly, you know it’s not so bad. Yea,  it was quite funny because I did that with Michael Keaton—so I’d just worked with Batman and then I got a pilot called Gotham, which was strange, so I thought this is becoming very Batman-themed.

LD: How did it go with “Gotham”?
BS: Gotham’s done, yea we made it for ABC, and we didn’t get picked up unfortunately. But it was a fantastic pilot and Francis Lawrence directed and he’s now doing the Hunger Games sequel and it was Michael Green who co-wrote The River and Heroes and Kings. So the script was incredible, so I’m sure Michael is going to get something huge very soon and hopefully I can be a part of that.

LD: And obviously ABC kept you on for “Revenge”.
BS: Yea. Yea, I must have done something right! (laughs)

LD: Do you think you’ll ever get back to theater after your big “Jerusalem” run?
BS: Yea, absolutely. I mean, it’s kind of difficult to top the whole “Jerusalem” experience because  that was just like an epic dream theatre job, you know? …The whole cast was just golden and the whole experience of doing it was wonderful and just the quality of the piece as well. I mean when I get back to the UK that’s the first thing I want to do is maybe work at the Royal Court again or do some theatre when I get back just to get back into it and get the live audience.

LD: Now when you’re in England, are you based in London?
BS: I had been but I moved back to Liverpool to be close to family for a while and then obviously when you do that you end up getting a job in LA (laughs) So we were close to family for about a month and a half.

LD: I’m sure they appreciated it.
BS: Yea! Yea, a month and a half with me is enough for anyone I think they were kind of happy for me to leave (laughs). But yea, so it’s all good and I’m excited for this season on Revenge, it’s going to be fun and hopefully the viewers are going to enjoy it and they’re going to enjoy the character.

Revenge” stars it’s second season on September 30th at its new time slot of Sundays at 9pm on ABC.

DVD Review “Little Angels: ABC’s”

Directed by: Phil Lollar
Starring: Roma Downey
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Run Time: 33 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This animated series is produced by Roma Downey, known best for playing the lead role in the TV series “Touched by an Angel” from 1994 to 2003. The show follows the adventures of preschool twins Alex and Zoe as they learn, laugh and play and accompanying them is are a group of animated guardian angels that assist them in guiding and teaching about life and God’s love. This is definitely a great tool for teaching basic lessons to your children and also Christian faith at the same time.

In “ABC’s”, Alex and Zoe work with the Angels to focus on learning to read by recognizing letters by their shapes and relating them to images. The angels uses ideas from the Bible to help. The lessons are learned through stories like Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors. This is aimed at the preschool audience and will definitely keep them entertained for the 30 minutes. What is also cool is that this DVD comes with a digital copy, so you can takes this stories with you on the go to keep your kids busy.

The DVD features three short stories, which can be viewed as a complete episode or as individual stories. The DVDs also include some decent special features. “Little Lessons with Roma Downey” talks about this series, what they have learned in the stories and gives tips for the parents to help their kids. There are fun sing-a-long music videos for the kids, including “Easy as ABC”, “G-H-I, Me Oh My”, “Q to the R to the S” and “W-X-Y-Z”. Lastly, there are downloadable activity sheets to continue the learning after watching the DVD.

CBS’s “Unforgettable” Interview Series

UNFORGETTABLE stars Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, an enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind. It’s not just that she doesn’t forget anything – she can’t; except for one thing: the details that would help solve her sister’s long-ago murder. Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but she’s unexpectedly reunited with her ex-boyfriend and partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), when she consults on a homicide case. His squad includes Det. Mike Costello (Michael Gaston), Al’s right-hand man; Detective Roe Saunders (Kevin Rankin), the junior member of the team; and Detective Nina Inara (Daya Vaidya), a sassy, street-smart cop. Being back on the job after a break feels surprisingly right for Carrie. Despite her conflicted feelings for Al, she decides to permanently join his unit as a detective solving homicides – most notably, the unsolved murder of her sister. All she needs to do is remember. Ed Redlich, John Bellucci, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers for Sony Television Studios in association with CBS Television Studios.


Daya Vaidya

Kevin Rankin

Michael Gaston