Appleseed: Alpha (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)Masamune Shirow (Ghost in the Shell) is blessed with a fertile (if not dark) imagination, and the new Blu-ray release Appleseed: Alpha (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 93 minutes) delves into the origins of his Appleseed universe.

Deunan (Luci Christian) and her bad ass cyborg sidekick Briareos (David Matranga) are barely subsisting in a post apocalyptic New York, and it’s their quixotic quest for the city of Olympus that keeps their dreams alive. After saving the lives of Iris and Olson (voiced by Bina Palencia and Adam Gibbs), two strangers they meet on the road, their chance for a new chapter begins. Olson and Iris may be actual denizens of Olympus, and our protagonists sacrifice their own well-being in hopes of a better day.

“That’s one of the things I love about the film,” said Palencia, who also starred in the CW series Star-Crossed. “Do you fight for what you want the world to be or do you let the world do its own thing and you do your own thing? I think what you come to realize that in order for the world to be livable and to be this wonderful place that we all want it to be, we all have to work towards that. Gandhi said ‘be the change you want to be in the world.’ I think that’s a big theme for the whole film.”

Appleseed: Alpha is blessed with beautiful visions as well as a gripping story. Thanks to the extensive motion and facial capture work on the project, the animation is a perfect balance of realism and science fiction-esque fantasy. Special features on the disc includes an in-depth, 52-minute featurette on the making of Appleseed: Alpha as well as filmmakers’ commentary.


To check out or full Q&A with Brina Palencia, please go to our sister site Deepest Dream.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi


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137Whether it’s climbing the wresting ladder as The Rock or becoming a bonafide box-office king, Dwayne Johnson understands that nothing ever comes easy. Challenges are part of his lifestyle, so taking on the iconic role of Hercules seems like the perfect fit. Along with undertaking a rigorous physical regimen, Johnson researched the role to ensure this film is the definitive version of Hercules for a new generation.

The picture took shape after Johnson and filmmaker Brett Ratner talked about their respective visions of the project. Ideas are a great thing, but with two of Hollywood’s heavy hitters in the mix, Hercules became a tangible reality.

Hercules opens in theaters this Friday.

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136Word hit over the weekend that JAMES GARNER was found dead in his California home at the age of 86. A leading man on both the large and small screen, he shot to fame as the titular charming card shark on the 1950s western send-up MAVERICK and followed that playing the titular cranky-but-charming private eye on the 1970s crime show send-up THE ROCKFORD FILES. A veteran of more than fifty feature films, GARNER seemed equally at ease dealing with drama or comedy.

A list of just a few of his unforgettable films would have to include THE GREAT ESCAPE, VICTOR/VICTORIA, MURPHY’S ROMANCE, THE THRILL OF IT ALL, MOVE OVER DARLING, THE WHEELER DEALERS and his own personal favorite, THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY (written by PADDY CHAYEFSKY and co-starring JULIE ANDREWS).

Over the years, we had the pleasure of sitting down with GARNER several times and it was during one of those interviews that explained what he thought was the key to his long career.

JAMES GARNER (1928 - 2014)

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Posted by Bob Healy


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24The Purge: Anarchy is the follow-up to last year’s hit horror thriller The Purge. In case you missed the original, the storyline centers on a 12-hour  period during which people can commit all types of crime without legal repercussions. With this installment, a married couple are coming home on the  night of The Purge and, unfortunately, their vehicle runs out of gas. An empty tank on a crime-ridden night is a recipe for disaster, and this couple undergo a nightmare of epic proportions.

Friday Night Lights actor Zach Gilford, last seen in the scary found-footage film Devil’s Due, has his own idea of what he’d do if an actual purge occurred.

The Purge: Anarchy also stars Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)  and Carmen Ejogo (Alex Cross).

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135Considered by many to be one of the biggest musical events of 1964 (and that was a year littered with major musical events), THE T.A.M.I. SHOW was a live concert filmed in a sort of proto-high definition format dubbed ‘Electronovision’ and aired in movie theaters all over the world. An acronym for ‘Teen Age Music International’, THE T.A.M.I. SHOW was hosted by JAN & DEAN who sang the theme song ‘FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD‘) and featured such diverse acts as THE BEACH BOYS, MARVIN GAYE, GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS, LESLIE GORE, THE SUPREMES, JAMES BROWN and THE ROLLING STONES (to name just a few). Produced by American International Pictures, the show reached an audience of unheard of proportion for the time and energized an already electric music scene.

ROLLING STONES frontman MICK JAGGER is currently a producer of GET ON UP, the soon-to-be-released big-screen biopic of the legendary JAMES BROWN and, at yesterday’s press conference to promote the film, he offered up his recollections of being part of the historical T.A.M.I. concert. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)



GET ON UP opens in theaters 8/1
THE T.A.M.I. SHOW is available on DVD

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Posted by Bob Healy


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134In theaters today, I ORIGINS spans the globe in telling its story of a young molecular biologist whose obsession with the human eye could lead to a scientific breakthrough that would change the course of the human race. Pitting faith against science and throwing in elements of a romantic thriller, writer/director MIKE CAHILL has fashioned a film both stylish and engrossing. Heading the cast are MICHAEL PITT, BRIT MARLING, STEVEN YEUN, ASTRID BERGES-FRISBEY and (the always wonderful) ARCHIE PANJABI.

A reunion for director CAHILL and BRIT MARLING, who started making movies together when both were in their teens, I ORIGINS was a natural collaboration. During our recent interview with the actress, MARLING talked about their history and her attraction to this role. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)


I ORIGINS opens in theaters today.

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Posted by Bob Healy


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ray_donovan_ver32Chadwick Boseman knows a thing or two about playing iconic figures, thanks to his star making performance as Jackie Robinson in 42. Playing the Dodgers legend  may have been a monumental challenge, but climbing up that hill isn’t over for Boseman. He plays James Brown, aka the Godfather of Soul, in Get On Up, a feature that opens in theaters August 1.

Boseman bears a slight resemblance to Brown, but to capture the essence of the role Boseman had to perfect the performer’s dance moves and pretend to have the  icon’s larger than life voice. The promising news is the film shouldn’t get lost within all the theatrics that surrounded Brown’s life, as the man behind the camera is blessed with a deep love for subtle storytelling. The picture, directed by The Help and Winter’s Bone filmmaker Tate Taylor, is produced by rock legend Mick Jagger. Get on the good foot to check out the Get On Up featurette and tell us what you think!


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23The lights of Broadway are just a little bit dimmer today with the news that Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress ELAINE STRITCH has died of natural causes at the age of 89. Known by many for her musical theater collaborations with NOEL COWARD and STEPHEN SONDHEIM, she was also adept at straight drama in such titles as A DELICATE BALANCE and BUS STOP. Her film credits include A FAREWELL TO ARMS, SMALL TIME CROOKS and SEPTEMBER. And, on the small screen she is probably best remembered for Emmy Award-winning guest appearances on LAW & ORDER and 30 ROCK.
In the past decade she found huge success touring her Tony Award-winning one-woman show ELAINE STRITCH: AT LIBERTY and just last year saw the release of the documentary ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME.

At a press conference to promote the TV broadcast of the filmed version of AT LIBERTY, STRITCH talked about her reputation for being a perfectionist and where that came from. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)


ELAINE STRITCH (2/2/25 - 7/17/14)

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Posted by Bob Healy


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133Following tonight’s series premiere of RUSH, USA presents the series opener of SATISFACTION, a thought provoking new drama about a seemingly happy suburban couple who discover that having it all is sometimes just not enough. Created by SEAN JABLONSKI (SUITS), the show stars MATT PASSMORE and STEPHANIE SZOSTAK as the couple who makes some seriously shocking and unconventional choices in an effort to hold their marriage together. Also in the cast are MICHELLE DeSHON, KATHERINE LaNASA and BLAIR REDFORD.

No stranger to developing a character for television, Australian actor MATT PASSMORE is following his four year run on the crime series THE GLADES with SATISFACTION. We recently sat down with him at the Television Critics Association and he talked about how it takes a few episodes of a series to get the role right. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

SATISFACTION debuts tonight on USA.

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Posted by Bob Healy


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132It’s a festival of bad behavior and questionable decisions tonight on the USA Network. First up is the series premier of RUSH, a dramatic story centered on a rogue doctor whose disdain for the ’system’ has led him to becoming a free-lance ‘fixer’ who will take care of any medical emergency if the price is right. To add to the glamor, his arrogance and hubris are matched only by his various drug addictions and hard-partying habits. Created by JONATHAN LEVINE (WARM BODIES), the series stars TOM ELLIS as the titular doctor and, somehow, he manages to make what should be an unlikable character quite appealing.

We sat down with ELLIS at the Television Critics Association where he gave us his take on the show and his role.


RUSH debuts tonight on USA

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Posted by Bob Healy


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