Friday, December 3, 2010

Interview Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Posted By on Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
It took a couple of weeks amidst the bustle of the holiday movie season but I've finally had a chance to see Faster, the new action-filled drama starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. The title Faster, inspired more by the intensity of movement than the speed it implies is your average rough and tumble guy name Driver (Johnson) whose brother is gunned down in a double-cross during a heist. Years later, he sets out seeking retribution for his brother's murder by systematically eliminating all parties responsible for his death. As simple a plot as a vendetta film seems, Faster takes on a different hue as each of its pivotal characters adds heart and depth to each scene that blurs the line between the good and bad guys.

Set against Driver is a member of the group who felled his brother, Evangelist (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) who years later has taken the high road and found religion. The roles as nemesis gets jostled as Evangelist reaches out to minster Driver and lead him away from his vengeful path.

Agbaje's Evangelist is just another character on his impressive resume. Most recently known for his character Mr. Eko on the series Lost, he made people stand and take notice as the powerful, controlling Simon Adebesi on the HBO series Oz.

Recently Agbaje stopped through Atlanta to discuss Faster, his philosophy on the subject matter of the film and some of his previous and upcoming acting projects.

Faster is currently in wide release in area theaters.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Marvel and NYC team up to find Spider-Man a job

Posted By on Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 3:18 PM

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With unemployment numbers in New York City at 9.6 percent in September, it seems the city could only turn to one person to save the day - Spider-man uh ... Mayor Bloomberg.

Earlier today, New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg held a press conference at a local comic book shop to announce that he's giving Spider-man a job. According to a press release from the mayor's office, Marvel Comics has partnered with the mayor's office and the New York Daily News to create a special edition of The Amazing Spider-Man comic book entitled "Spider-Man, You're Hired."

The eight-page comic follows Spidey's alter ego, a now frustrated Peter Parker as he searches for a job. A chance encounter with Mayor Bloomberg leads to a conversation that helps him utilize the resources provided by New York City.

“New York City provides free, first-rate job training and placement assistance, and we want every New Yorker that needs help to know about it, so we asked Spider-Man to help us spread the word,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “One of the reasons we created the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment was to find new ways to connect with New Yorkers. Our partnership with Marvel and the Daily News is a fun and innovative way to let everyone know about the web of resources the City has to offer New Yorkers that need job assistance.”

The Amazing Spider-Man: You're Hired was distributed today as an insert in The New York Daily News and is also available on Marvel's iPhone app. The comic was written by Warren Simon and illustrated by artist Todd Nauck. The cover was illustrated by Phil Jimenez.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Interview: Gary Anthony Williams

Posted By on Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Gary Anthony Williams and his Boondocks alter ego, Uncle Ruckus
  • Black Voices
  • Gary Anthony Williams and his Boondocks alter ego, Uncle Ruckus
On the animated series The Boondocks, the Freeman clan are very seldom seen without their reluctant extended family member, the racially charged n'er do well, Uncle Ruckus. Ruckus, voiced by Atlanta native Gary Anthony Williams is an aging, bug-eyed slouch who believes he's a white man who suffers from "re-vitiligo" a made up skin condition that turned him from his natural white complexion to his current black state. Always full of vinegar in each episode, Ruckus spews racial slurs and the "N" word more often than the average person can count.

On Tuesday, November 9, The third season of The award-winning series will be available on DVD, uncut and uncensored. The special features include intros and outros hosted by Williams and Cedric Yarbrough, who plays the Freeman's neighbor Tom Dubois and the villanous (but oh so popular) Col. H. Stinkmeaner.

Recently I spoke with Williams via phone about the series, some of our favorite episodes and the future of The Boondocks cartoon.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Interview: Ralph Farris of ETHEL

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 4:08 PM

JAM SESSION: The group ETHEL is not your everydy string quartet.
  • JAM SESSION: The group ETHEL is not your everydy string quartet.
Imagine a classical string quartet performing with a Chicago hip-hop drum line, or picture them jamming with Native American flutist. Yeah, it may seem a bit far fetched but the postclassical "string band" ETHEL brings these types of collaborations to the stage regularly.

Formed over a decade ago, the Julliard-trained musicians: Cornelius Dufallo (violin), Mary Rowell (violin), Ralph Farris (viola) and Dorothy Lawson (cello) moved beyond the confines of the traditional quartet standards and pushed the envelope by exploring the synergy between other music genres.

Recently CL spoke with ETHEL's viola player, Ralph Farris to discuss the group, its music and the landscape of classical music.

ETHEL performs in Atlanta on Friday, October 22 at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hatchet II is a scream - seriously

Posted By on Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 1:03 AM

HATCHET JOB: Victor Crowley and his creator, Director Adam Green
  • HATCHET JOB: Victor Crowley and his creator, Director Adam Green
Move over Jason, there's a new horror franchise on the horizon. In the original film Hatchet, a group of tourist take a bayou ghost tour through the swamps of Louisiana only to wind up in the back yard of the infamous Victor Crowley. According to the legend, Crowley, a tumor-covered simpleton was accidentally killed with a hatchet blow to the head by his father haunts the woods to vent his anger on anyone who strays in his path. Needless to say the tour group is whittled down quickly as they discover the mythical homicidal maniac legend is true. Picking up just minutes after the original slasher horror ends, Hatchet 2 takes us (and a couple of non-believing victims) back into the murky backwater of the Louisiana swamp stomping grounds of the legendary killer.

Recently I spoke with the creator of the Crowley legacy, Director Adam Green on Hatchet 2, the anatomy of horror and why this film is being released unrated in theaters.

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Friday, September 3, 2010

International Bacon Day with Top Chef's Kevin Gillespie

Posted By on Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Bacon has its own holiday?

Yup, September 4, 2010 is International Bacon Day. It was apparently devised by some college students in Colorado in 2004 (according to the all knowing tome of know-it-all Wikipedia) and its spread like wildfire ... or hot bacon grease across the globe.

What exactly are you supposed to do on IBD, just eat bacon.

Purina, the creator of Beggin' Strips is hosting The Beggin' Bacon Bash this Saturday in Cincinati, Ohio and picked bacon aficionado and Top Chef Season Six fan favorite, Chef Kevin Gillespie as its spokesperson. Gillespie is the Executive Chef of Woodfire Grill here in Atlanta and keeps some variation of the our favorite food on the menu.

It seems that Gillespie's choice in sponsors ruffled some feathers though. Yesterday eater.com posted a spicy little rant about Kevin hawking dog food. Granted, it feels a little left field-ish for him to promoting an event from a pet food manufacturer, but really, the mighty fallen? I say let Kevin's food speak for him, and more importantly - let the man make his bacon ... and by that, I mean money.

Earlier this week, I spoke with Kevin via Skype about the Bacon Day and how he plans on spending Sept. 4th.

Kevin Gillespie from Top Chef: Beggin' Bacon Bash Interview with Creative Loafing from CatalystCharlotte on Vimeo.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sonia and Ed at the Takers red carpet

Local celebs and fans make their way to film premiere at Atlantic Station

Posted By and on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 3:57 PM

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So, the Red Carpet at Atlantic Station was all abuzz last night for the screening of Takers. And everyone, including the free pass holders were enjoying themselves - even in the humid heat of the evening.

Some of the first celebs to arrive were Yung L.A., Drumma Boy and Young Dro. No matter the question we asked, all were happy for T.I. and were there to support him. They also praised Atlanta as the new Mecca for entertainment. Even Takers film director John Lussenhop assured me, he would be back to film here.

A few other celebs passing through were Judge Hatchett, Angie Stone and Terri J. Vaughn (The Game, All Of Us, The Steve Harvey Show). Too nervous to talk to the Judge (she’s so stinking smart and articulate!), but as a big fan of TLC, I damn near climbed over the security guard’s back to talk to Chili. I figured as single parent chilling on a night out, we would be kindred spirits. She advises that yes, she was done with the school shopping and although her daughter wanted to come out, it was a “school night.” So with parent duties in check, I ask, “What does Chili want?” Her answer, simply, “Paul Walker.” No surprise, that some of the other woman on the red carpet said the same. Lisa Hartwell of The Real Housewives’ of Atlanta echoed the same name answer just minutes later. Once I saw the Fast & Furious star up close and in person I, too had the same wish.

Paul, here in Atlanta to film Fast Five (the fifth Fast & Furious), says the heat here is not a concern. “You know people talk about Atlanta’s heat. We just got in from Puerto Rico and this is nothing.”

Shoot, I try go for broke with T.I. and Michael Ealy, but only manage to ask two questions. With Michael I wanted to know what is next for him and even suggest a musical. He balks advising, “I just don’t sing well enough, love to do much more action.”

As for T.I. he answers my queries with the suaveness far beyond his 30 years. He would not say exactly what is on tap for him next, but whether or not he will do another genre up film is up in the air. “Can’t call it. Whatever I can do to diversify myself as an actor.”

Takers opens Friday, August 27 in area theaters.

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Takers Red Carpet
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Takers Red Carpet

Local and film celebs grace the red carpet for the premiere of Takers starring Atlanta rapper T.I. at Atlantic Station.

By Edward Adams

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scott Pilgrim fever hits Criminal Records

Hundreds line up to meet cast of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Posted By on Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Not even the blistering 93 degree temperature yesterday could keep fans from weathering the heat just to meet the stars of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

On Tuesday, actors Michael Cera who plays Scott Pilgrim in the film was accompanied by Jason Schwartzman - his onscreen nemesis Gideon Gordon Graves and the film's director Edgar Wright for a meet and greet with fans at Criminal Records in Little Five Points.

Hundreds of Pilgrim fans lined up to have posters, comic books, albums and other items signed by the trio, oftentimes holding the autograph session line to express their love for the book and the movie which screened here in Atlanta last week.

After 30 minutes, Schwartzman was rushed out of the record store to make another appointment but was gracious enough to chat and autograph items for fans waiting in line before his departure.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is based on the comic book series of the same name by Bryan Lee O'Malley. In the series Pilgrim, a Canadian slacker/bass player must battle the seven evil x's to woo his new love interest, Romona Flowers.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World opens in area theaters Friday, August 13.

Photos by Edward Adams

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Scott Pilgrim at Criminal Records
Scott Pilgrim at Criminal Records Scott Pilgrim at Criminal Records Scott Pilgrim at Criminal Records Scott Pilgrim at Criminal Records Scott Pilgrim at Criminal Records Scott Pilgrim at Criminal Records Scott Pilgrim at Criminal Records Scott Pilgrim at Criminal Records

Scott Pilgrim at Criminal Records

Actors Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman along with Director Edgar Wright meet die hard Pilgrim fans during an autograph session at Criminal Records in Little Five Points, Atlanta.

By Edward Adams

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Twilight Celebs invade Atlanta for 'Eclipse' release week

Posted By on Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 6:16 PM

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Scores of diehard Twilight fans, better know as Twi-hards got an additional treat as they awaited the release of the third film series, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Leading up to and during the opening, cast members from the Eclipse film made appearances at events and showings of the film last week.

On Saturday, June 26th, at a outdoor screening of Twilight: New Moon in the square at Atlantic Station, Twi-hards and other unsuspecting urbanites had a meet and greet with actor Daniel Cudmore who portrays Felix, the Volturi's ghoulish, undead muscle. During his session with the fans, Cudmore answered questions and judged an ultimate fan competition sponsored by 95.5 The Beat.

The following weekend, another member of the Volturi, made a stop through Atlanta to meet and greet twi-hards throughout the metro Atlanta area. Cameron Bright who plays the brooding vamp Alec made an appearance at Six Flags Over Georgia on Friday July 2 to meet the Twilight fans. On Saturday, Bright made several stops at local theaters to meet Twi-hards at Mall of Georgia, Discover Mills and Atlantic Station.

Bright's visit was part of a nationwide event where cast members from the Eclipse film visited theaters in select cities. Actors visited cities across the U.S. and Canada including Nashville, Tenn., Las Vegas, Nev., Chicago, Ill. New Orleans, Lou. and several cities in New York and California. Principle cast members Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson made an appearance at the AMC Century City in Los Angeles. Conyer's own Dakota Fanning made two appearances during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, both in Los Angeles.

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Twilight Eclipse gallery
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Twilight Eclipse gallery

Actors Daniel Cudmore and Cameron Bright greet Twilight fans at events all over Metro Atlanta.

By Edward Adams

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Speakeasy with ... Kate Levering

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Kate Levering is Kim Kaswell on Lifetimes Drop Dead Diva.
  • Kate Levering is Kim Kaswell on Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva.
The jury is still out on whether or not Kate Levering's character, attorney Kim Kaswell is the queen of mean on Lifetime's dramedy Drop Dead Diva. On the show, the sultry, smart and ambitious Kaswell pits her venom towards her in-office nemesis, rival attorney Jane Bingum (Brooke Elliott) who unbeknownst to everyone is really Deb, a bubbly L.A. model who was killed in a car accident and wakes up in Bingum's body. Sandwiched between the office politics and her stony approach to practicing law, Levering's Kaswell character slowly sheds her armor-clad, cold persona and glimpses of her true self to seep out weekly.

Kim Kaswell is just the latest character in the Levering's arsenal. Levering, a veteran of stage and the small screen received a Tony nomination for her role in Chicago and has appeared in more than 20 television shows spanning over 10 years. With Drop Dead Diva gaining momentum in the midst of its second season on Lifetime Network, Levering's character comes back with a new look and a new outlook - but not too much, she still has it out for Bingum. Recently CL spoke with Levering about her role on the show, the new season and what its like living in Atlanta where the series is filmed.

Drop Dead Diva starring Brooke Elliott, Margaret Cho, Kate Levering and Jackson Hurst airs Sunday nights at 9 P.M. on the Lifetime Network.


So now tell me about your character. You play a no nonsense lawyer on the show but I feel that the jury is still out on you - are you good or bad?

Obviously because I play her I cannot like see her as bad, because you know, nobody is all good or all bad. I think that she’s conflicted and I think that she’s misunderstood by a lot of the people around her but I think, the key to, you know, playing a character who’s seemingly a villain or a nemesis you know is breaking it down into everybody behaves the way they do for a reason. She can’t be your stereotypical bitch, and I don’t think the writers want her to be so last season and this season-towards the end of last season- she softened up and continued to see that through this season. And I think that her actions come from insecurity and you know fear of being hurt, fear of love, fear of not being in love, fear of not succeeding, the same, you know, issues we all deal with, hers just manifest themselves into you know this hardened kind of exterior.

What is the tension, in your opinion, between your character, Kim, and Jane (Brooke Elliott)?

That’s a great question. You know it’s interesting because as writers we haven’t really gotten into it. I think the underbelly of the conflict that the audience sees right away is that Kim has only ever dealt with old Jane-old Jane, the pushover, old Jane the, uh, you know the kind of grumpy, insecure version of Jane. So what they haven’t addressed is Jane is now Deb or that Deb is now Jane, Kim is dealing with a totally different person. So all of a sudden, overnight, Jane is standing up for herself, dressing differently, Jane is pushing Kim’s buttons in a way that she doesn’t recognize. And so I think that a lot of reactions from Kim are because she’s like “Who is this person, you know?” So that creates a really fun push and pull as actors for us to recreate. But I think it hasn’t really been addressed with the audience that this is a totally different personality Kim’s dealing with at work that she’s not used to. She did not have any competition in that law office until Jane came back as Deb, you know.

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