Ep. 135 – Ad Astra, Between Two Ferns: The Movie, Fantastic Fest recap, and a weekend at Big Texas Comicon

September 25, 2019 by  
Filed under Podcast

This week on The CineSnob Podcast, the lads review AD ASTRA and BETWEEN TWO FERNS: THE MOVIE.

Cody also regales us about his time at Fantastic Fest, while Jerrod talks his weekend at Big Texas Comicon.

Click here to download the episode!

Ron Perlman – The Scorpion King 3 (DVD)

January 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Interviews

Best know in recent years for playing the grouchy comic book superhero Hellboy and for his role as a motorcycle club president on the TV series “Sons of Anarchy,” Ron Perlman is an actor that’s always had something to do ever since coming onto the scene in 1981 with the prehistoric adventure “Quest for Fire.”

Since then, Perlman, 61, has starred in a variety of films and TV shows including last year in “Drive” and “Conan the Barbarian.” In his latest film, “The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption,” Perlman plays Egyptian king Horus. During an interview with me, Perlman discussed his first trip to Thailand to shoot the film and what he thinks about all the Oscar buzz his fellow “Drive” co-star Albert Brooks is receiving.

“The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption” was released on DVD and Blu-ray Jan. 17.

What drew you to a role like King Horus in “The Scorpion King 3?”

I admired the heart and mind of this king. I admired the ramifications of his decision making. I admired he was always thinking in terms of the greater good. He was always taking into consideration the long term aspects of the positions he took. He was someone I respected, which is one of the reasons I wanted to play him.

You were also in “Conan the Barbarian” last year. What is it about these action fantasy films that resonate with you?

The only thing that ever matters to me is how well the story is rendered on the page and how interested I am in exploring the particular humanity of the character they offer. It’s never about the genre or other trappings like the period or whether it’s a comedy or drama or action film. In both instances, I really admired the characters and felt like the storytelling was really interesting, unpredictable and smart. The fact they are both period pictures with sword fighting is truly coincidental. It has no weight on whether or not I decide to be a part of the film.

As an actor, is a film that is going straight to DVD like “The Scorpion King 3” as rewarding as a film that has a theatrical release?

I never really concern myself with what happens to a project after I’m finished working on it. I mean it’s nice when you’re part of something that’s successful and that people love and respond to positively, but you have to be prepared for the opposite of that as well. The only thing that I know that I have any control of is the time I spend working on a project. If I’m happy with what I’ve done and other people I’m working around are happy with it, then I don’t concern myself with whether is goes to DVD or 8 million screens across the universe.

What was it like shooting the film in Thailand? Had you ever shot a movie there before?

It was my first time in Thailand and it was a beautiful experience for me. I’m kind of obsessed with immersing myself in new cultures and trying to understand how people think and why they move through life the way they do and what are the things that are culturally and socio-politically affecting them. It’s really interesting to go to as many places around the world as humanly possible and explore all those things. I was really struck with how beautiful the people of Thailand are. They’re very generous and joyful. They have dignity even in poverty. I try to understand how that is possible. Thailand was a phenomenal addition to a very lucky life of moving through the world that my profession has afforded me.

Now, you’re in pretty incredible shape yourself, but does sharing the screen with guys like Batista and Kimbo Slice ever get even a little intimidating for you?

Well, first thing I do when I get on the set is challenge them all to a fight. (Laughs) Then when I finish kicking their asses, we know who the real deal is. I have nothing but admiration for guys like that who are dedicated as they are and keep themselves in the condition they do. We all start out on this unbelievable respectable level with each other. We all know we’re here to do this movie together. We all know we all make each other look good. It’s great to work with guys that have delighted you in a lot of different ways.

What makes an actor like Billy Zane easy to hate as a movie villain?

It’s just the way he throws himself into a role. He’s one of the most theatrical performers that I’ve ever worked with. He doesn’t do anything halfway and he makes big, broad choices. So, when he’s playing a bad guy, that guy’s really bad.

Congratulations of everything that is going on with “Sons of Anarchy.” It must feel pretty great to be on a TV show with so much substance and to be able to mold your character every season.

It’s amazing. That’s one of those truly delightful aspects of life for me in these last few years. The public has really embraced that show. The critics are starting to realize the scope of the show and have really given us a second look. We’re getting a lot of love critically and in a populist way. Those things are rare in my business – to be that successful. At my age I’ve done a lot of things before that have fallen flat on their faces, so nobody appreciates a show like “Sons of Anarchy” more than I do.

On that note, someone who has found a lot of success in the last year is your fellow actor in “Drive” Albert Brooks. What are your thoughts on all the Oscar buzz his role is receiving? When you were shooting the movie did you realize it was an Oscar-worthy performance?

Well, yeah, all you have to do is read the script and see that the role of Bernie Rose is phenomenally rendered. [Director] Nicolas Refn might be the only guy on the planet that would’ve thought of that particular casting. It’s so interesting to put Albert Brooks in that role. You know what you’re going to get on the screen is going to be compelling and watchable and very unobvious. That’s one of the reason it’s attracting great praise and critical attention. I’m not surprised at all. Albert is one of the great American icons. He’s truly and American treasure and has been since he first burst onto the scene a few decades ago. It’s delightful to see him being noticed for this role.

If you could tell your fans to revisit one of your movies that you don’t think received enough attention, which would it be and why? Personally, I think more people need to see a little dark comedy you made back in 1995 called “The Last Supper.”

“The Last Supper” is definitely a film I’m quite proud of. I did a little movie about three years ago called “I Sell the Dead,” which got a lot of attention at the film festivals. People loved it critically. Audiences loved it. It got a horrible release and no one saw it. I was so proud of the work we did in that movie. That would be the movie I would recommend people to go get. It’s pure entertainment and really effective.

Season of the Witch

January 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Ron Perlman, Claire Foy
Directed by: Dominic Sena (“Gone in Sixty Seconds”)
Written by: Bragi F. Schut (debut)

In all fairness, when Entertainment Weekly film critic Owen Gleiberman called out Nicolas Cage back in early 2009 and pleaded with him in his article “Nicolas Cage: Artist or hack? The choice is his” to stop pursuing “cheesy paycheck films,” a much-needed substantial Cage performance as a coked-up cop in “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” was still six months from a festival premiere.

While Cage hallucinating iguanas in the Big Easy wasn’t as highly regarded as his Oscar-worthy role in 1995’s “Leaving Las Vegas,” it was proof the man could still act. Somewhere beyond career choices like “Bangkok Dangerous” and “Next,” Cage still had a steady pulse. Now, with the medieval fantasy “Season of the Witch,” the first official movie of 2011, he’s flatlined again.

In “Witch,” Cage plays Behmen, a 14th-century knight fighting during the Crusades who is forced to escort a woman the Catholic Church believes to be a plague-causing witch to an abbey where she can be destroyed with a powerful book of scriptures. Coming along for the journey is Behmen’s fellow swordsman Felson (Perlman), along with a panicky priest, a brave altar boy, and a frumpy guide. We’re not asking for “The Canterbury Tales” here, but the collection of flimsy characters in “Witch” would have sent Chaucer straight to the gallows.

Sidestepping any real Holy War history, director Dominic Sena (“Gone in Sixty Seconds”) and first-time screenwriter Bragi F. Schut take a broader approach to the religious themes of the period in favor of more uninspired supernatural mumbo jumbo. Even the Man vs. God tirades it produces are as appealing as a plateful of greasy fried sheep’s feet.

The anticlimactic scenes all lead up to an inevitable CGI-heavy showdown: Good vs. Evil, featuring a clan of grotesque zombie monks and a winged demon as realistic as the one Eddie Murphy jacks up in “The Golden Child.”

It used to be that discerning audiences were the only ones disinterested in a Cage blockbuster. Now, it seems, he is too, and he is easy to criticize when he phones it in like this. From his monotonous line-delivery to his frazzled eyes, his overall aloof attitude has grown tiresome.

Artist or hack? Cage has definitely made his choice — at least for this round.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

July 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones
Directed by: Guillermo del Toro  (“Pan’s Labyrinth”)
Written by: Guillermo del Toro  (“The Devil’s Backbone”)

There’s no denying how imaginative Guillermo del Toro is as a director and screenwriter. Anyone that can create a world as threatening and picturesque as the one in his critically-acclaimed “Pan’s Labyrinth” should be praised for his natural vision.

But as del Toro’s films start reaching a grander scale (like “Blade 2” and now “Hellboy 2”), there is something lost as his fantasies. Although still striking, they seems bloated.

In “Hellboy 2,” the perfectly cast Ron Perlman returns at the red-demon title character alongside his mutant team on a quest to save the planet from the evil Prince Nuada (Luke Goss) and his army of fantastic creatures.

As the special effects run rampant, Perlman keeps the film centered with his unique take on this comic book monster – a spawn of Satan and Nazis who now fights for the welfare of mankind. The mythology is still as interesting as its predecessor, but less important this time around.

When del Toro’s in charge, the film feels richer when it’s an intimate story like “Labyrinth” or “The Devil’s Backbone.” With “Hellboy 2,” it’s a ruckus that has some heart and is all Hollywood.