CinemAddicts Podcast Reviews Bill Paxton Thriller ‘Mean Dreams’

meandreams6If you’re a fan of Bill Paxton’s work in such hard-boiled narratives like One False Move and A Simple Plan, then Mean Dreams is right up your alley.

Paxton plays Wayne Caraway, a corrupt police officer who understandably wants his business dealings to remain top secret. When his Casey (Sophie Nélisse) gets involved with her next door neighbor Jonas (Josh Wiggins), Wayne immediately tries to break them apart. Jonas, along with Casey and Wayne’s recently scored drug money, leaves his home to escape from Wayne’s clutches, and it’s a move that he may soon regret.

Mean Dreams features memorable work from all three actors, and the movie is a fitting cap to Paxton’s diverse career. Nélisse and Wiggins, as displayed in their nuanced work in Mean Dreams, are young actors on the rise. Director Nathan Morlando’s sure handed direction enables the film to be a seamless blend of a coming of age drama and a crime film.

Also discussed on this week’s CinemAddicts is the comedy All Nighter, starring Emile Hirsch and J.K. Simmons. Click on the media bar below to hear our discussion of Mean Dreams and All Nighter:

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Sarah Habel Gets Futuristic With “Enriching” Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Atomica’

atomica14In the near future set Atomica, Sarah Habel (Riverdale) is Abby Dixon, a principled safety inspector who travels to a nuclear plant power plant that has somehow gone off the grid. A loner and workaholic at heart, Abby is the type of person who’ll do the job while everyone’s safe at home resting. Although that’s a great quality in a person, her latest task carries a potentially dangerous outcome. Tom Sizemore and Dominic Monaghan play the two power plant employees who each have a special connection to the plant.

Directed by Dagen Merrill, the film was shot on an indie budget but still managed to score an excellent location.

“It was a super cool experience,” said Habel, who was also a cast member on the TV series Rush. “It was like an indie, but with everyone who had all of the best intentions and was ready to party. The simplicity of the three-hander (construct) was great and we just scored in the biggest way possible by getting the location we got it was so creepy in there. It was three levels below ground in an abandoned silo. It was forty degrees in there and there were bats flying around. It was the creepiest, most enormous, sprawling, cool set ever.”

One of Atomica’s strongest aspects is its uncompromising approach to Abby’s journey. Caught between the two men with opposing viewpoints, Abby must make her own decision, with a final outcome that, while being sci-fi driven, is also grounded in truth.

“I was on board when I saw the nature of this character that was so different from me as a person,” said Habel. “Just being part of a film that doesn’t have that goes in unexpected directions is a huge blessing.”

Click on the media bar below to hear Sarah Habel talk about working with Dominic Monaghan and Tom Sizemore.

Atomica opens in select theaters March 17 and hits Digital HD and VOD March 21.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Carl Weathers Has No Problem Being A Remade Man

NUP_177142_0075.JPGBefore there was Samuel L. Jackson, there was Action Jackson. And the star of that ’80s kitsch classic was none other than Carl Weathers.  After making his name playing Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies, Weathers became one of Hollywood’s go-to guys in the action genre, taking roles in movies like Force 10 From Navarone, Death Hunt, and Predator.

These days, he’s not doing much running, jumping, shooting or fighting, as he’s got himself a pretty good gig as State’s Attorney Mark Jefferies on NBC’s Chicago Justice. But while he’s found a home on TV, a couple of his old movie franchises have been reborn. Creed didn’t bring back his Rocky character (after all, he was killed during Rocky IV), but was about the son who followed in his footsteps as a fighter.  And there’s a new Predator movie being made, due to be released next February.  There are some actors who get territorial about their old movies, especially when they aren’t involved in the reboots.  Is Carl Weathers one of those actors?

You can watch Weathers on Chicago Justice, Sunday nights at 9/8c on NBC.

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Posted by: Susan Brown

Being ‘Buffy’: Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Thankful For Her Time In The Slayer’s Lair

There are few child stars who have been able to maintain the kind of career Sarah Michelle Gellar has had.  Gellar, who turns 41 in April, earned her first acting credit at age 5, when she played Valerie Harper‘s daughter in a TV movie.  At 14, she had a featured role as the young Jacqueline Bouvier in NBC’s acclaimed miniseries, A Woman Named Jackie, and when she was 15, she was cast in a recurring role on long-running daytime soap All My Children.  But it was the TV role she won at age 19 that has defined her ever since.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which premiered on The WB 20 years ago this week, propelled Gellar into a worldwide spotlight, and she’s been a household name ever since.  In addition to changing her career trajectory and her life, Gellar says that Buffy was an extraordinary show that gave her an amazing role to play.  (Click on the media bar below to hear Sarah Michelle Gellar)

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Posted by: Susan Brown

Ryan Reynolds Brings “Cowboy Mentality” To Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Life’

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The sci-fi thriller Life centers on a several scientists (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada) who are tasked with retrieving a life form that is coming from Mars. Although the Red Planet discovery is life changing, expectations should be tempered, and it’s a pragmatism that’s engendered by Miranda North (Ferguson).

“(Miranda) represents caution, and my character has nothing to do with caution,” said Reynolds, who reteams with Safe House director Daniel Espinosa for Life. “He has kind of a cowboy mentality so she and I don’t really see eye to eye very well.”

Although the trailer suggests the film will have its share of action, hopefully Life will also contain a healthy level of world building before this creature takes hold of the crew. First rate sci-fi features such as Alien and the underrated Sunshine (which also starred Sanada) have us care for the characters before the inevitable chaos ensues, and with the top level talent involved, we’re hoping Life brings something interesting to the table.

Click on the media bar below to hear Ryan Reynolds talk about working with co-star Jake Gyllenhaal:

Life opens nationwide March 24.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi