- TOP GUN: MAVERICK
- Starring: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly
- Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
- Rating: PG-13
- Running Time: 2 hrs 11 mins
- Paramount Pictures
In April of 1986 I was in the movie theatre business. I had begged the home office – and convinced them – to give me “Top Gun” as one of my summer pictures. I displayed the posters and ran the trailers, listening to the audience’s excitement when the preview ended. I was set. Then, during the first week of May, our company Vice President visited me in my office. To get the full picture in your head, I’ll preface his comments by letting you know that he sounded an awful bit like Fozzie Bear. “Michael,” he said, “I’ve just come from seeing what will be the biggest film of the summer.” “Top Gun,” I asked. “No, “Cobra.” You’ll play it for months!” “So I’m playing “Cobra” AND “Top Gun?” – my theatre was a twin – “Top Gun”?? That won’t play through June. Believe me, my friend, you want “Cobra.”” So I played “Cobra,” which fizzled out after 2 weeks. The other theatre in the area got “Top Gun.” It played through August!
As his jet rockets through the sky, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Cruise)begins a difficult maneuver and, as he often does in these situations, quietly whispers “talk to me Goose.” It’s something he’s done for the past three-plus decades and it’s always seemed to work. Will it work this time?
Packed with wall -to-wall action, “Top Gun: Maverick” finds, well, Maverick, back as an instructor at the Fighter Pilot Training School, where he is asked to get 16 of the best pilots ready for a mission. He balks at first at the assignment, stating his preference to be a part of the mission itself, but is told in no uncertain terms by his commander (Jon Hamm) that he’s just there to train and evaluate. However, things get a little more difficult when he learns that one of the students, call sign Rooster (Teller), is the son of Maverick’s late friend Goose, a young man who blames Maverick for many things, including, of course, the death of his father. Can you say tension?
It has been 36-years since “Top Gun” hit theatres, and I’ll have to admit that I was a little wary when I heard they were making a sequel. Anticipation grew as COVID delayed the film’s release – originally scheduled for May 2019 – for almost two years. Let me just say, it was well worth the wait. Combining several familiar themes from the first film, with an amazing amount of aerial action, “Top Gun: Maverick” delivers the goods. Cruise is his usual cocky self, and that self-assurance is multiplied several times by the assortment of hot shot pilots he is given to mentor. Teller, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the young Goose, plays a young man who should be confident of his skills but isn’t, causing him to hesitate at times he shouldn’t. Jennifer Connelly is Maverick’s love interest this time around, playing – if my memory serves me – the daughter of a former Admiral – a daughter that Maverick may or may not have taken advantage of. Jon Hamm and Ed Harris are well cast as the authority figures that just don’t seem to understand Maverick’s ways and it’s a genuine treat to see Val Kilmer back on the big screen. Director Kosinski keeps the film moving at a rapid pace, while the aerial action is downright dizzying.
The film is lovingly dedicated to the late Tony Scott, who directed “Top Gun.” I’d like to think that he would give a thumbs up and a salute to “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Charles Parnell, Bashir Salahuddin, Monica Barbaro, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Greg Tarzan Davis with Ed Harris
Release Date: May 27, 2022
Running time: 131 minutes
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
“Top Gun” is one of the essentially movies to watch of the 80’s. I have seen it MANY times and even on 3D Blu-ray, which is an incredible way to view it. So here we are 36 years later and we have “Top Gun: Maverick”. You got to be a little nervous revisiting such an important film as this but this sequel stands up on its on and even surpasses the first film in some areas. “Top Gun: Maverick” also packs a punch of nostalgia and is surprising funny…I mean like belly laughing funny. This was a pleasant surprise as well. The most shocking factor of this sequel is the fact that Tom Cruise hasn’t aged in the last 36 years and delivers one of his best performances. I see this film having a very healthy run at the box office. A must see for sure this summer season!
Before we get too deep into the movie, I need to provide y’all with three important reasons to experience this film in IMAX!!! The first reason is an easy one…with IMAX you get to experience 26% more picture that in standard theaters. A lot of films these days are shooting with these specific IMAX cameras and it’s no joke you get to see more of the movie, so it’s a no brainer. Second, is that you literally fear the roar with IMAX sound. The sound easily rumbled the entire theater. The last one I didn’t know till after I saw the film, which is that there was six IMAX cameras located in each of the cockpits. This was why the aerial shots were so stunning and heart-pounding for sure.
Official Premise: After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of TOPGUN graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose”. Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.
I have to give Jennifer Connelly props for nearly taking my breath away…she looks stunning in this movie (and she is another one that doesn’t age). Her and Cruise have great chemistry and I loved their love storyline that they had together. It was cool getting to see Val Kilmer show up again as Ice Man. The aerial scenes were absolutely stunning, like I mentioned above about the sound, the seats were literally shaking in the theater. I don’t know how Tom Cruise continues to out due himself with these films but the guy is a legend and literally wins you over even if your not a fan. Looking forward to a second viewing of this film because I feel like there is so much happening that you could benefit from multiple viewings.
New York’s blackened, death metal juggernaut ALEKHINE’S GUN returns to the forefront of the underground metal scene with the release of an annihilating new single titled, “21,” which debuted yesterday at ConsequenceOfSound.net and is streaming now on YouTube. The song is the band’s first new material in six years, since the release of their 2014 heralded breakout EP, …And Kings Will Fall, and will be featured on a forthcoming EP, Year of the Lazerus, that’s due out at a future date. Details of the release are forthcoming.
STREAM “21”: https://youtu.be/wchZMf371Zk
Commenting on their long-awaited new single, guttural vocal powerhouse Jessica Pimentel states, “Inspired by the traditional Tibetan Buddhist prayer ‘Praises to the Twenty-One Taras,’ ‘21’ is a musical offering and an act of paying homage to the primordial power within by delving deeply into calling upon the forces of fierce compassion and the wrathful aspect of love and wisdom needed in times of fear and uncertainty in order to seek refuge and gain enlightenment. Reaching beyond time and space, the bond between us and the true nature of reality is unbreakable, unstoppable and eternal.”
ALEKHINE’S GUN blends elements of thrash, black metal and death metal with subtle undertones and nods to New York hardcore of the 90’s and all things extreme. In this unique combination they have unlocked a captivating sound and style and created a feel that is notable and recognizably their own.
In 2012, ALEKHINE’S GUN released a four-track EP entitled Meditations In Wrath with Jeff Martinez (Desolate) on guitar, Dan Martinez (King Hell) on bass and Jessica Pimentel “The Crusher” (Everybody Gets Hurt/Desolate) on Vocals and guitar. This NYC veteran lineup delivered a greatly received, high-energy sonic assault with their debut release. Their music is laced with a barrage of head-banging riffs and groove, colored with dark harmony and accented by relentless, technical drumming. Adding to all of this are fierce, in your face vocals and lyrics steeped in the profound wisdom of ancient Buddhist texts, vibrant imagery, and raw emotional honesty. ALEKHINE’S GUN brings you a primal, transcendent, electric energy. This fury is not only felt in recordings but wherever they go as they have been marked as being stand out, vigorous, dynamic performers who hold their own in any live venue alongside world renowned bands. In 2014 with the sophomore release entitled …And Kings Will Fall still proved ALEKHINE’S GUN is a force to be reckoned with. They bring to you heart and passion; Insight and meditation; Wrath and spirit.
“We are Alekhine’s Gun from Brooklyn, New York. This is who we are. This is what we do.”
For More Information:
Casinos have a vast selection of slot games with themes ranging from sports to cartoons, music to fantasy and everything in between. If you are new to the world of slots, you will be delighted to learn that you can try them without spending any money at online casinos which offer free spins with no deposit which we have found for you. You can sign up to the offers and get to play for free without having to make a deposit. Movie slots are popular and one of our most favourite games is a nod back to the 80’s and comes in the form of the Top Gun Slots.
Top Gun the Film
If you haven’t seen the film for a few years then here is a quick recap. Feckless hero Maverick, played by Hollywood hunk Tom Cruise, is on a mission to be the best of the best. Reckless and branded a danger, he doesn’t care who he hurts on the way to the top. Until the fateful day that his best friend Goose is hit and ends up smashing into the cockpit release glass, dying on impact. With Meg Ryan playing his grieving widow and Maverick’s girlfriend Charlie, played by Kelly McGillis, on his case the hero is prevented from ruining his career when he becomes wracked with guilt. The film is both action-packed for octane seekers and brimming with emotion for romance lovers.
Top Gun the Slots
As you might expect, there is plenty of imagery from the film in the Top Gun slots. It is now owned by software giants Playtech who acquired it from the original developers IGT. On the five reels, you will find most of the big stars from the movie featuring as symbols on the reels. Maverick is missing, this is thought to be an infringement issue, but the game is still packed full of everyone else that you love. With 243 different ways to win, it comes as no surprise that there are win triggers associated with almost every symbol including Charlie, Goose, Iceman, Jester and more. The reels also feature iconic symbols such as the bomber jacket, the Ray-Ban sunnies and the fighter jets which also fly in and create Dogfight Wilds. You can also trigger the Danger Zone Free Game, which gives you some extra chances to win big. This is a real adrenaline-charged adventure that fans of the movie will love.
LINKIN PARK ANNOUNCE ONE MORE LIGHT WORLD TOUR
WITH SPECIAL GUEST MACHINE GUN KELLY
FANS GET FIRST ACCESS TO TICKETS THROUGH GROUNDBREAKING
One More Light Album Available Everywhere May 19
North American Tour Begins July 27. Tickets On-Sale May 12.
Photo credit: James Minchin
May 2, 2017 (Los Angeles, CA) – Linkin Park announced their One More Light World Tour today via Genius HERE, a first for both the genre-defying band and the lyric annotation platform.
Produced by Live Nation, the One More Light World Tour with special guest, Machine Gun Kelly, kicks off July 27 in Boston, MA at the Xfinity Center. See itinerary below.
In an effort to put tickets into the hands of real fans, first access to tickets for the One More Light World Tour will be reserved exclusively for fans – not scalpers or bots. The Linkin Park Presale – powered by Ticketmaster Verified Fan, will utilize unique fan-first technology to level the playing field and ensure fans compete against other fans for tickets – not software. The more you participate, the higher your spot in line and the better your access to tickets. Linkin Park Fan Club (LPU) members will get priority, but anyone can work their way to the top.
Pre-sale begins May 9. Fans and LPU members can register for the tour pre-sale right now at https://presale.linkinpark.com/. General on-sale is set for May 12 – for more information visit livenation.com.
Linkin Park will release their highly anticipated seventh studio album, One More Light, May 19 via Warner Bros. Records. The band’s risky creative choices – swinging wildly from song to song, album to album – are a hallmark of their career, and One More Light is no exception. Their most personal to date, the album is built on the stories of six voices coming clean about their lives and struggles, as if it were the first time. OML isn’t bigger, louder, or more avant-garde, it’s more human.
The One More Light World Tour set list will combine the biggest hits of Linkin’s Park expansive career, as well as material from the new album, with all the intense high energy and passion the band is known for. “Our fans know how much love we put into our live show,” says guitarist, Brad Delson. “They know how much we enjoy the connection when we play a fan favorite on stage. The emotional and sonic content of this new batch of songs is going to bring a whole new dimension to the show.”
Every single full-priced ticket purchased for the tour includes a choice of a standard CD or standard digital copy of the One More Light album (a $10.99 value).
Special guest on the tour is EST 19XX/Bad Boy/Interscope recording artist, Machine Gun Kelly. He is set to release his third studio album, bloom, the same day tickets go on sale for the tour – Friday, May 12. The inspiring debut single, “At My Best” featuring Hailee Steinfeld, was the number one most added song at Rhythmic radio, and has received 20.3+ Spotify streams to date. His “Bad Things” single earned Machine Gun Kelly his first #1 song on Pop Radio, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The One More Light World Tour won’t be the first time Linkin Park and Machine Gun Kelly shared the stage. In 2014, Machine Gun Kelly joined LP for a rendition of “Bleed It Out” on the band’s surprise appearance at the Van’s Warped Tour.
Also joining the tour in Boston, Philadelphia and Uncasville, is one of Japan’s most popular and electrifying live rock bands, ONE OK ROCK.
$1.00 from every full-priced ticket sold on the tour will benefit Music For Relief, the charity foundation Linkin Park founded in 2005 to aid survivors of natural disasters and environmental protection. For further info go to www.musicforrelief.org.
LINKIN PARK ONE MORE LIGHT WORLD TOUR
w/ special guest MACHINE GUN KELLY:
July 27 Boston, MA @ Xfinity Center *
Aug 1 Philadelphia, PA @ BB&T Pavilion *
Aug 2 Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live *
Aug 5 Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena *
Aug 7 Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
Aug 8 Toronto, ONT @ Budweiser Stage
Aug 10 Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
Aug 12 Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
Aug 14 Chicago, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Aug 15 St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
Aug 17 Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
Aug 19 Tampa, FL @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Ampitheatre
Aug 20 West Palm Beach, FL @ Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre
Aug 22 Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
Aug 23 San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
Aug 25 Dallas, TX @ Starplex Pavilion
Aug 26 Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
Aug 28 Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center Arena
Aug 30 Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena
Sept 1 Lake Tahoe, NV @ Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys
Sept 2 Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
Oct 14 Seattle, WA @ KeyArena **
Oct 15 Vancouver, BC Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena **
Oct 17 Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center at Fresno State **
Oct 18 San Jose, CA @ SAP Center at San Jose **
Oct 20 San Diego, CA @Mattress Firm Amphitheatre **
Oct 22 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl **
* Dates also with ONE OK ROCK
** Support To Be Announced
NEW YORK AND PENNSYLVANIA TO BE ANNOUNCED AT A LATER DAT FOR TOUR NEWS AND LATEST UPDATES GO TO www.linkinpark.com
Pre-order the album One More Light at www.linkinpark.com and receive 3 instant grat tracks: “Heavy,” “Battle Symphony” and “Good Goodbye” featuring Pusha T and Stormzy.
One More Light album cover art
Actors: Steven Seagal, Florin Piersic Jr., Jacob Grodnik, Jonathan Rosenthal, Radu Andrei Micu
Directors: Keoni Waxman
Release Date: December 13, 2016
Run Time: 93 minutes
Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 0 out of 5 stars
“End of a Gun” is the latest direct-to-Blu-ray dump from Steven Seagal. I can’t believe how many cheap action movies, this guy puts out every year. I swear that this is the 4th or 5th one just in 2016. Not sure how he does it but the guy keeps busy. Not the worst little action film. Low budget, nothing special but I do have a soft spot for Mr. Seagal. Keep them coming man!
Official Premise: An ex-DEA agent’s life takes an unexpected turn when he comes to the rescue of a seductive woman and finds himself entangled in a bloody game of cat and mouse with a maniacal drug lord after going on the run with her…and $2 million worth of drug money.
Lionsgate is releasing this Blu-ray with a Digital HD copy included of the film. And if you are looking for any other special features, there are none. Nothing at all, which is not surprising due to the quality of the film itself. Seems like a “we don’t care just throw Seagal on the cover and it will sell” attitude here.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside
Director: Tony Scott
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Run Time: 109 minutes
Film: 5 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Who doesn’t love “Top Gun”? This film is easily one of the best things to have come out of the 1980’s and has Tom Cruise at his prime. I think I must listen to Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” at least once a week. So what is new about this release of “Top Gun”, well most importantly it has been converted into the third dimension and boy is it impressive. Paramount did a really sharp job in restoring and releasing this film in 3D. It is a very solid 3D presentation without any cheap gimmicks. Of course when this film hits the skies is where the 3D really gets a chance to spread its wings. The aerial scenes are truly amazing and delivers the best added depth. The adding of the 3D just seems natural and like it was meant to be seen like this. If you are a fan, I mean who isn’t?, of this 80’s classic then this is a great way to enjoy the film again for the first time in its new format.
Paramount has delivered an impressive release within this two-disc Blu-ray. Besides the 3D Blu-ray, it also including the previously released 2D disc as well and an Ultraviolet digital copy as well. This 1080p transfer is newly re-mastered and comes with the highest quality image that “Top Gun” has ever been attributed to. This release carries over the same audio options as the last Blu-ray release, which are still amazing! There are two tracks a DTS-HD MA 6.1 and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. They are both impressive but the 6.1 track really shines the most. Once the film takes off any Loggins’ “Danger Zone” starts playing, I got the chills and blasted the volume to 11! Let me tell you how amazing it sounded. Of course that is not the only great song in this film including the classics Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and very funny “Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”. Besides just songs the aerial battles are great and have you ducking as they fly by your speakers.
The special features are taken from the previous releases but are still very impressive. First off we have a solid audio commentary track including producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, co-screenwriter Jack Epps, Jr. and naval experts. This track contains information overload and really delivers. Must listen! “Danger Zone: The Making of ‘Top Gun” is a fantastic super in-depth 2.5 hour six-part documentary. If you love “Top Gun” then this is the special feature for you. “Multi-Angle Storyboards” focuses on two sequences, “Flat Spin” and “Jester’s Dead”, from the film with optional commentary by Tony Scott. This is cool but multi-angles extras feel a little too DVD for me. “Best of the Best: Inside the Real Top Gun” is another fantastic documentary is a look into the real-life history behind this film.
Next up have two decent featurettes, the first focusing on “Behind-the-Scenes”, which is clips mixed with interviews on the production. “Survival Training” looks into what the cast has to go through to get prepared for their roles. There is a nice interview with Tom Cruise chatting about the role and the film. Of course I go back to the great music in this film. There are four music videos including Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone, Berlin’s Oscar-winning “Take My Breath Away”, Loverboy’s “Heaven In Your Eyes” and of course, the Top Gun Anthem with Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens. Lastly there are also seven vintage television spots wrapping up these great extras.
In a career spanning six decades, James Tolkan has conquered every medium he’s ever attempted. While pursuing a career in music at college he auditioned for a school play on the advice of a friend who suggested performing in front of an audience would help him with his stage fright. Tolkan was cast in the lead and he hasn’t looked back. Though best known for his work in “Top Gun” and the “Back to the Future” trilogy, I knew him best for his theatre work. In 1984 Mr. Tolkan originated the role of quick-tempered real estate salesman Dave Moss in the Pulitzer Prize winning drama “Glengarry Glen Ross,” a role I myself played many years later. While preparing for his appearance at this weekend’s Con X Kansas City Convention Mr. Tolkan spoke to Media Mikes about Broadway, “Back to the Future” and his memories of directors Tony Scott and Sidney Lumet.
Mike Smith: I guess I’ll start with the standard first question: what led you to become an actor?
James Tolkan: Oh my gosh! It’s a really complicated answer. When I got out of the Navy I was totally lost. I went back to college where I majored in art and minored in music. I was studying singing. I was very nervous getting up in front of an audience so a friend of mine suggested I try out for a play so I could get used to being in front of an audience. So I tried out for a play and was cast in the lead. I was like, “hey, this is interesting.” So I did another play at the community theater and suddenly I became very interested in acting. I then went to the University of Iowa, which had a large theater department and it was there that I was “encouraged” to go to New York and study the Method with some of the great teachers. So in 1956 I got on a Greyhound bus in Iowa City with $75 in my pocket and I went to New York to become an actor. I didn’t know what I was getting into…I was a total hick. I got off the bus and I was scared to death. I went through all kinds of various jobs while I studied with Stella Adler. After the first year she gave me a full scholarship to study with her. And then I started working. The first play I auditioned for off-Broadway I was cast. A lot of casting people saw me and I started going from one play to another. I also wanted to study with Lee Strasberg, which I did for three years. Both teachers were very valuable…but very different. It’s been a great experience. I’m really just a New York actor. I’m a stage actor. And I said I was never going to Hollywood until Hollywood sends for me. And in 1984, while doing the David Mamet play, “Glengarry Glen Ross,” on Broadway, Robert Zemeckis called me and asked me to be in “Back to the Future.” Of course nob ody knew who Robert Zemeckis was back then but I said “ok” because this was my chance to go to Hollywood. So after a year on Broadway I went to Hollywood and did the movie. I stayed in California and did some television series. Then I did “Top Gun” and all of a sudden I’m a Hollywood actor! It’s been a wonderful odyssey and I’ve survived it all!
MS: You started your career in what is now referred to as the “golden age” of television. In your opinion, what’s the biggest difference in the way television shows are produced today versus then?
JT: Well, at that time, a lot of television was done live. It was live television. You go on and you do it and that’s it! Today everything is much more safe. The three camera comedies. You have a live audience and a controlled condition. And the writing is very different. The writers today are very bright and very…demanding. They don’t always know how to use actors.
MS: You understudied Robert Duvall in a couple of Broadway shows, including “Wait Until Dark.” Did you ever get to play “Wait Until Dark” villain Harry Roat on stage?
JT: I took over the role of the Longshoreman in Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge” from Robert Duvall on Broadway and played that part for many months. Then “Wait Until Dark” opened with Lee Remick. Two weeks into the run I get to the theater and there’s no Robert Duvall. The director tells me Duvall broke his hip riding horseback and I was on. I was ready and I went on and I played that part for two years. I played it for a year on Broadway with Lee Remick then I played it with Shirley Jones on a tour and then later with Barbara Bel Geddes. And the character was so dark. Believe me it was hard on one’s psyche to do that.
MS: I’m so glad you mentioned “Glengarry Glen Ross.” You originated the role of Moss on Broadway and I’ve actually played Moss in a production here in Kansas City.
JT: Really? Good for you. Isn’t that just a fantastic play? It was a great experience in my life. To work with David Mamet. We previewed in Chicago and it was a big hit there. Then we took it to New York where it was a huge hit. It was one of those shows where you know you held the audience the whole night in the palm of your hands. It’s getting ready to go back to Broadway this year with Al Pacino playing Shelly “The Machine” Levine.
MS: Really? Pacino was a great Ricky Roma in the movie. Of course he’s older now.
JT: Before the movie was made Sidney Lumet had the rights to the show and he called all of us to come in and have a reading up at his office. At the time Sidney wanted Pacino to play Shelly but Al insisted on playing Roma. The project fell through and the production ended up in someone else’s hands and Al got to play Roma.
MS: Which leads me to my next question. You were obviously a favorite of Sidney Lumet, having worked with him several times. As a director yourself did you pick up any tips from watching him work?
JT: If you want to learn about how to approach actors and acting on a film, work with Sidney Lumet! Of course it’s a little late now but he was so special…so wonderful. He made you feel like THIS is why you want to be an actor. He was just amazing. With most movies in Hollywood you get together just before you start shooting and sometimes it’s 20 takes…50 takes…whatever until everyone is comfortable with the scene. With Sidney it was three weeks of rehearsal. The first week you just sat around the table. He’d say, “OK, no acting…just talk.” It’s very simple. We’re just trying to relate and connect with each other. The second week we’d start getting up on our seats and playing the various scenes. The third week we’d run through the script in sequence like it’s a play and he’d would go off with the cinematographer setting up all of the shots. So when we got on the set everybody knew their job. You’d start shooting and he’d get everything in one or two takes. You were going home every day at four o’clock. It was like working with a master. He was just a wonderful, warm and brilliant person.
MS: Tony Scott, who directed you in “Top Gun,” recently passed away. Do you have any memories of him to share?
JT: He was such a regular guy…rough and ready. He was always smoking a cigar. He was a mountain climber and he rode motorcycles. He was quite different from Sidney Lumet but a very good man to work with. Sometimes he’d want to do a scene that wasn’t scheduled and I’d tell him I wasn’t ready and he’d just smile and say, “you can do it, James” and we’d get it done. He was very off the cuff and non-chalant. But at the same time intense, if that makes sense. I’m still stunned about how he passed. Why he would make that kind of choice is totally a mystery.
MS: Originally “Back to the Future” ended with the words THE END. Only when it was released on home video did the words TO BE CONTINUED appear. Were you aware while you were filming that there were three films planned?
JT: Oh no. The first film was a very small movie. Steven Spielberg at the time was more interested in another movie he was producing called “Goonies.” This was something that was really on the back burner. Nobody knew who Robert Zemeckis was. We were working for not a lot of money and had really tiny dressing rooms. Then that movie opened and it was an amazing success! Like they say, all of the planets had to have been aligned for that movie to be so successful. And right after that they said they were going to do a part two and part three. But when we finished filming part one there was no talk whatsoever of the sequels.
MS: Were you able to do any scenes with Eric Stoltz?
JT: I did. When I got to the set Eric was playing Marty. But after seven weeks of shooting they shut down the production. During the dailies the filmmakers discovered they were more interested in the characters AROUND Marty rather than Marty himself. And that’s when they decided they would wait for Michael J. Fox to wind up his television series and then start up production again. And believe me that was a very brave decision. If that didn’t work out you would never have heard of Robert Zemeckis or Bob Gale. I was told that when they shut down the production after seven weeks Eric Stoltz was in his dressing room and he commented, “well, they can’t fire me now.” And that very day he was fired. But that’s how it goes. It’s a crazy business. (NOTE: Michael J. Fox was the producer’s original choice to play Marty McFly but, due to his commitment to the television series “Family Ties” the studio went with Eric Stoltz. Due to many reasons, including those Mr. Tolkan mentioned, Stoltz was let go and Fox brought on, often fulfilling his television duties during the day and filming “BTTF” at night.)
MS: Are you working on anything now?
JT: No, I’m pretty much retired. I did do an HBO movie over the summer with Al Pacino and Helen Mirren about the trial of record producer Phil Spector. I play the judge. Again, it’s a David Mamet script which he also directed. He called me up and cast me. If someone calls me, I’ll do it. But right now I’m enjoying my life.
One of three sons born into a military family in Britain, Scott showed an interest in art and painting and pursued that career in college, earning a Masters of Fine Art from the Royal College of Art. After failing to make a successful living painting for a couple of years, he teamed with his brother, Ridley, to form the Ridley Scott Association, where he began directing commercials.
His 1983 feature film debut was “The Hunger,” a vampire romance starring David Bowie, Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve. He followed that film with 1986’s “Top Gun,” which launched Tom Cruise to super-stardom. The next year he directed Eddie Murphy in the hugely successful sequel “Beverly Hills Cop II.”
Other early successes include “True Romance,” “The Last Boyscout” and “Days of Thunder.” He then began a long association with Denzel Washington by directing the actor in “Crimson Tide.” He guided Will Smith, Jon Voight and Marty Kircher through the political thriller “Enemy of the State.” His last four features, “Man on Fire,” “Deja Vu,” “The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3” and “Unstoppable” all co-starred Washington.
Britt Ekland is known best for her roles in 1973’s “The Wicker Man” and playing Bond girl in “The Man with the Golden Gun”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Britt about her film work and her experiences working with Christopher Lee and Roger Moore.
Mike Gencarelli: How was the experience working on the film “The Wicker Man”?
Britt Ekland: It was very difficult as I discovered during shooting that I was pregnant. I couldn’t understand why my dress suddenly felt so tight. So, took the night train to London on my day off and went to the doctor for a test. He confirmed that I was pregnant. We had a lot of exterior shooting and, of course, it always had to look sunny and warm, but we worked in October and November so it was quite cold and windy in Scotland. There were a lot of exterior shooting and a lot of walking!
MG: Can you reflect on the cult status the film has developed over the years?
BE: I don’t think any of us, at the time, thought about it, for me it was just another movie and one I hadn’t been very happy doing. But I guess it was the first time, on screen, someonewasn’t saved in the end and I think that had a big impact on the audience.
MG: What did you like most about playing a Bond girl in “The Man with the Golden Gun”?
MG: How was it working with Roger Moore and Christopher Lee (again)?
BE: When I did the “Wicker Man”, I always found Christopher Lee very quiet and distant, but when we did the Bond Film, I met his Danish wife and we all got on very well together. But he is a very serious man. Roger on the other hand was very friendly and open and great fun to be with, always looking for ways to make us laugh. Roger had his wife and children with him on location. I also had my 2 children, Victoria and Nicholai, with me.
MG: How did you feel being dubbed in the role?
BE: Yes I was dubbed in the “Wicker Man”n even though I did my own dubbing in a Scottish accent, obviously they didn’t like it. As an actress I think that is probably the worst thing that can happen to you and I was very unhappy about it.
MG: Can you reflect on your experience in the show “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!”?
BE: I was asked 2 years earlier to do the show but I wasn’t mentally ready to do it. It takes a lot of strength to “just be yourself” and not act. I also have a one-woman show and I wanted the exposure that a show like Get Me Out… gives. Even young boys on their bikes knew who I was, when I came out, amazing! To actually be in the show was quite boring as there is nothing to do all day, unless you have a task, and the rainforest set is quite small and you weren’t allowed to go outside it!
MG: You’ve done quite a bit of theatre, how can you feel it differs? Do you prefer?
BE: I went to drama school as a young woman and my first engagement was touring Sweden with a Variety show for many month, but then i was discovered by 20th Century Fox and my stage career ended. I went back to stage work in the early 90’s and had to learn all over again what it’s like being on stage. I had horrid stage fright in the beginning but slowly over the years, it doesn’t seem so frightening anymore. I very much enjoy being on stage and I love the interaction with the audience. I think you come to a certain age where your choices are limited and I now feel comfortable on stage.
100% Proceeds to benefit Angels of East of Africa Rescue Organization
(Beverly Hills, Calif.) September 14, 2011– Relativity Media is proud to announce it is working with eBay to auction off premiere tickets, an autographed movie poster, and a custom-built motorcycle from its upcoming release of Machine Gun Preacher. Gerard Butler (300) delivers a searing performance as Sam Childers, the impassioned founder of the Angels of East Africa rescue organization in Golden Globe-nominated director Marc Forster’s (Monster’s Ball) moving story of violence and redemption. All proceeds will benefit Childers’ charity.
The online charity auction http://www.ebay.com/machinegunpreacher goes live on Wednesday, September 14 when bidding opens for two VIP seats to the Los Angeles Premiere and an autographed movie poster signed by the cast, and closes on Monday, September 19. The premiere tickets’ starting bid is $500, while the starting bid for the autographed poster is $50. Bidding will begin on Monday, September 26 for the 2010 custom-built Rate Bike motorcycle, ridden by Gerard Butler in the movie, through Thursday, October 6. The starting bid is $30,000. The winning bids are 100% tax deductible.
Machine Gun Preacher is the inspirational true story of Childers (Butler), a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds an unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children in East Africa. The explosive, real-life tale of a man who has rescued over a thousand orphans from starvation, disease, and enslavement, Machine Gun Preacher is written by Jason Keller (Relativity’s Untitled Snow White) and also stars Michelle Monaghan (Source Code), Kathy Baker (Cold Mountain), Madeline Carroll (Mr. Popper’s Penguins), Academy Award® nominated Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road), and Souleymane Sy Savane (Damages). Producing are Forster, along with Relativity’s Robbie Brenner, Safady Entertainment’s Gary Safady and Craig Chapman, and GG Filmz’s Deborah Giarratana.
Machine Gun Preacher will be released by Relativity Media in New York and Los Angeles on September 23rd and will expand markets in the weeks to follow.
For additional information on the film, please visit: http://www.machinegunpreacher.org/movie/
MACHINE GUN PREACHER
September 23, 2011 NY/LA Limited Platform
Directed by: Marc Forster
Written by: Jason Keller
Cast: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, Kathy Baker, Madeline Carroll, Michael Shannon, Souleymane Sy Savane
Produced by: Robbie Brenner, Craig Chapman, Deborah Giarratana, Marc Forster, Gary Safady
Executive Producers: Gerard Butler, Michael Corso, Kyle Dean Jackson, Myles Nestel, Louise Rosner, Adi Shankar, Alan Siegel, Spencer Silna, Bradford Simpson
In this inspirational true story, Machine Gun Preacher is about Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds an unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children. Gerard Butler (300) delivers a searing performance as Childers, the impassioned founder of the Angels of East Africa rescue organization in Golden Globe-nominated director Marc Forster’s (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland) moving story of violence and redemption.
When ex-biker-gang member Sam Childers (Butler) makes the life-changing decision to go to East Africa to help repair homes destroyed by civil war, he is outraged by the unspeakable horrors faced by the region’s vulnerable populace, especially the children. Ignoring the warnings of more experienced aide workers, Sam breaks ground for an orphanage where it’s most needed—in the middle of territory controlled by the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a renegade militia that forces youngsters to become soldiers before they even reach their teens.
But for Sam, it is not enough to shelter the LRA’s intended victims. Determined to save as many as possible, he leads armed missions deep into enemy territory to retrieve kidnapped children, restoring peace to their lives—and eventually his own. The explosive, real-life tale of a man who has rescued over a thousand orphans from starvation, disease and enslavement, Machine Gun Preacher also stars Michelle Monaghan (Due Date), Kathy Baker (Cold Mountain), Madeline Carroll (Mr. Popper’s Penguins), Academy Award® nominated Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) and Souleyman Sy Savane (“Damages”).