Tag: Ron Perlman (Page 2 of 2)

2009: A Year’s Worth of Interviews – The Top 100 Quotes

Some people think that the life of a work-at-home entertainment writer is one of the most lax jobs out there, since the perception is generally is that all you do is sit around and watch DVDs, occasionally venture out of the house to see movies or concerts, and then sit in front of the computer and write about them. Okay, it’s a fair cop. But when you throw interviews into the mix, there’s a bit more work involved. First, you’ve got to get the interview (they aren’t always handed to you on a silver platter), then you’ve got to do the research to make sure that you can ask some halfway knowledgeable questions, and after you conduct the interview, let’s not forget that you’ve got to transcribe it, too. In other words, yes, there really is work involved…and when I went back and discovered that I’d done well over 130 interviews during the course of 2009, I suddenly realized why I’m so tired all the time.

For your reading enjoyment, I’ve pulled together a list of 100 of my favorite quotes from the various interviews I conducted for Premium Hollywood, Bullz-Eye, Popdose, and The Virginian-Pilot this year, along with the links to the original pieces where available. As you can see, I had some extremely interesting conversations in 2009. Let us all keep our fingers crossed that I’m able to chat with just as many fascinating individuals in 2010…

1. Pamela Adlon: “In the first season (of ‘Californication’), when we had the threesome with the nipple clamps, I was, like, ‘I don’t get this, I don’t know how you’re gonna do it.’ And then, all of a sudden, there’s a crane with a camera hanging over our heads, and you’re, like, ‘Okayyyyyyy. But how are you gonna sell this? How are you gonna make it work?’ And they ended up shooting it brilliantly, cutting it together, and it just all ended up working without me having to compromise my own personal morals.”

2. Jonathan Ames: “After my first novel, my mother said to me, ‘Why don’t you make your writing more funny? You’re so funny in person.’ Because my first novel was rather dark. And I don’t know, but something about what she said was true. ‘Yes, why don’t I?’ Maybe I was afraid to be funny in the writing. But since then, seven books later, almost everything I’ve done has a comedic edge to it.”

3. Ed Asner: “I loved journalism until the day my journalism teacher, a man I revered, came by my desk and said, ‘Are you planning on going into journalism?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘I wouldn’t.’ I said, ‘Well, why not?’ He said, ‘You can’t make a living.’”

4. Sean Astin: “When somebody brings up a movie (of mine) that I haven’t heard about in a long time, I feel like a 70-year-old pitcher at a bar somewhere, and somebody walks in and says, ‘Oh, my God, I was in St. Louis and I saw you. You pitched a shutout.’ It’s real. I really did do that, because someone today remembers it.”

5. Darryl Bell: “The legend of ‘Homeboys in Outer Space’ has become much more incendiary than the actual show. It’s funny how I usually challenge most people who talk about how much they disliked ‘Homeboys’ to name me five episodes. Most of them can’t, because they just bought into the ‘oh, it’s awful, just the title. Oh, it’s terrible.’ What’s interesting is that I had a great conversation with Chi McBride, who was doing ‘The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer,’ which, if you want to talk about in terms of the imagery of what was wrong, that show was much more infamous than ‘Homeboys.’ Yet it’s not remembered in the same way because the title didn’t grab you in the same way. I remember Chi pulled me aside and he was, like, ‘Look, everyone who is criticizing what you’re doing would take your job from you in two seconds. All of them. So all I can tell you is that this is one blip on both of our careers, and we are moving on.’”

6. Adam Campbell: “For some reason, people always pick on the British sensibility, and we always come across as stupid, but remember: we used to run this country!”

7. Nestor Carbonell: “Let me make this perfectly clear: I do not wear make-up, and I do not wear eye-liner. This is something I’ve had to deal with my whole life. I remember I was in college in Boston, I had a commercial agent, and they sent me out for some print commercial stuff. And they called me into the office and said, ‘Look, we called you in to talk to you because we just want you to know that…well, we don’t think you need to wear eyeliner.’ And I’m, like, ‘What?’ ‘Yeah, it’s okay, you don’t have to wear it for print ads.’ ‘No, I’m not wearing eyeliner!’ And I kept dabbing my eyes and saying, ‘Look! No eyeliner! I’m not wearing any!’”

8. Elaine Cassidy: “The last two days of shooting (‘Harper’s Island’) was probably the most hardcore, the coldest anyone has ever been. It was like your head was freezing, and my motivation for most scenes was, ‘The minute this scene is over, I’m heading straight over to that heater to get warm.’”

9. Chris Cornell: “I started as a drummer, so I sort of took on singing duties by default. I had sung backgrounds and some lead vocals from behind the drums in different bands that I’d been in, and I’d gotten great responses for the songs I would sing. I really started pursuing the possibility of being a lead singer based on the fact that I was working a full-time restaurant job and then playing gigs at night, hauling drums around. One day, it just dawned on me that, ‘Hey, I could be in a band and be the singer, and it would be a lot easier!’”

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The Mutant Chronicles

Movies like “The Mutant Chronicles” are difficult to critique, because even though they may not be very good, you still have to respect their ability to create something from nothing. Shot on a shoestring budget with some of the best B-movie actors in the business, the film takes place in 2707 as corporations wage battle over the planet’s dwindling resources. When a mutant army is accidentally released during the heat of battle, however, a monk named Brother Samuel (Ron Perlman) enlists the help of seven soldiers (including Thomas Jane and Devon Aoki) to travel into the core of the Earth and destroy the machine responsible for creating the mutants. It’s essentially “Lord of the Rings” for the steampunk set, right down to the fellowship of nine and the orc-like mutants they battle along the way. Unfortunately, though the story sets up some cool action sequences, the experience is marred by D-grade special effects. You can almost always tell when the actors are working in front of a green screen, and the CG blood looks like it was added using Paint Shop Pro. Fans of campy sci-movies will no doubt appreciate the low production values and so-cheesy-it’s-funny dialogue (“I don’t get paid to believe. I get paid to fuck shit up.”), but for everyone else, “The Mutant Chronicles” is probably best ignored.

Click to buy “The Mutant Chronicles”

Shameless commerce with “I Sell the Dead”

I usually like my horror best when it’s well mixed with comedy. Moreover, this LAFF selection has gotten some good responses elsewhere, but I’m sorry to say that “I Sell the Dead” was my first real disappointment of the festival. It’s a fairly classic example of the kind of film where the cinematic “frosting” is sickly delightful, but where the actual movie “cake” beneath it is mostly a dud. Written, directed, and edited by Glen McQuaid on his first feature, the film is largely told in flashback as career grave robber/ghoul and alleged killer Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan, “Lost” and LOTR) is encouraged to recount his lengthy career by a fearsome but jovial cleric (geekfilm stalwart Ron Perlman).

Young Arthur (Daniel Manche) begins his profession under the tutelage of experienced corpse dealer Willie Grimes (cult/indie horror regular Larry Fessenden). Willie’s a rough sort and ready to do young Arthur in to curry favor with his fearsome main customer, an evil scientist who pays mostly in blackmail (the memorable Angus Scrimm, a.k.a., the terrifying “Tall Man” from the “Phantasm” series). But at heart he’s no murderer and the two become close friends as they eventually branch out from simple grave robbing to the commercial possibilities of dealing with the bodies of vampires, zombies, and assorted other deceased creatures, both undead and unusual. Eventually, Arthur’s ghoulishly sexy Lady MacBeth of a girlfriend (the terrific Brenda Cooney) complicates matters just a bit.

Writer/director/editor McQuaid is a designer and effects artist with a keen classic film and EC comics-inspired visual sense and a gift for horror-based humor, but the story he comes up with here is episodic at best and lacks anything resembling a spine. Moreover, while there are some wonderful gags and genuinely creepy moments starting about half-way through the film, it’s a long slog getting there and a fairly long feeling slog after.

I share McQuaid’s affection for the modestly budgeted horror/comedy/camp classics of old and “I Sell the Dead” is a nicely designed homage. However, without any clear emotional spine to the story, the director’s strong visuals and obvious enthusiasm for the genre, strong acting from the entire cast, and terrific score by composer Jeff Grace, sadly doesn’t add up to very much entertainment. Still, I know that fans of the endangered art of comic horror will want to seek this one out anyway. I hope they get more fun out of it than I did.

Greetings to the New Series: “Sons of Anarchy”

With “The Shield” entering its final season and “Nip/Tuck” heading to a conclusion in 2010, it’s high time that FX found itself a new signature drama or two…and given that “Dirt” has been cancelled, “The Riches” hasn’t gotten a third-season pick-up, and “Damages” is more popular among TV critics than actual viewers, they really to step up their game and hunt up a new series that can be embraced by a larger audience.

Enter “Sons of Anarchy,” a show which is somewhat Shakespearean in spirit but ultimately comes off more like “The Sopranos” if members of the Mafia were replaced with motorcycle-straddling toughs. Not that that’s a bad thing…especially not when Drea de Matteo’s in the cast of this show, too.

I was able to check out the first episode of the series when I was out in L.A. at the TCA Press Tour, but it was late and I was exhausted, so although I walked away from it feeling that it was too dark for its own good, I also felt like I wasn’t giving it my all as a critic, so I vowed to watch it again when it made its formal debut on FX. Now that I’ve done so, I admit that I found myself enjoying it a little more this time around…but it’s still pretty damned dark.

Not that the darkness is all that surprising. After all, “Sons of Anarchy” is the creation of Kurt Sutter, who’s done just about everything there is to do on “The Shield,” having produced, directed, written, and story-edited on that series, not to mention the fact that he played the role of Margos Dezerian. So, basically, the guy knows dark.

Setting aside the darkness, however, the bigger concern is whether or not the saga of a biker gang can be made into a series that the average viewer can latch onto.

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