With hard rock legend Janet Gardner about to release her debut solo album Dave Griffiths caught up with Janet and her songwriter/musician husband Justin James to talk about this brand new album and all the inspirations behind it.
You can listen to or download our Janet Gardner interview right here.
Dave G caught up with Adelaide newcomers Kings Within to find out a little bit more about the band that has just brought us the killer new single Feel The Rain. Benn from the band chats to Dave about how Kings Within came into being and about their upcoming tour.
Summary: A father named Roy (Michael Shannon) goes on the run with his son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), after the boy’s special powers attracts the attention of a cult who believes he delivers messages from God and also the CIA.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 21st April 2016
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Jeff Nichols
Screenwriter: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Lynn Berry (herself), Sean Bridgers (Fredrick), Kerry Cahill (Linda), Bill Camp (Doak), Adam Driver (Sevier), Kirsten Dunst (Sarah Tomlin), Joel Edgerton (Lucas), Lucy Faust (Caroline), Sharon Garrison (Jane Adams), Dana Gourrier (Sharon Davison), Nancy Grace (herself), Scott Haze (Levi), David Jensen (Elden), Allison King (Hannah), Sharon Landry (Merrianne), Jaeden Lieberher (Alton Meyer), Michael Shannon (Roy), Sam Shepard (Calvin Meyer), Paul Sparks (Agent Miller)
Runtime: 112 mins
OUR MIDNIGHT SPECIAL REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Jeff Nichols has really announced himself as one of the best modern day filmmakers over the past few years. To be honest Nichols is yet to make a bad film, and his features which have included Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Mud have been gems that have regularly made my Top Ten films lists of the years they were released. Hell, I would go as far as to say that Mud is right up there as one of the best modern day films made. For that reason alone when I heard that his new film, Midnight Special, was a dark edged sci-fi that just happened to star two of my favourite actors, Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton, I was just as excited as I was about the release of Captain America: Civil War or Batman vs Superman.
Midnight Special begins with Roy (Michael Shannon – Man Of Steel) on the run from the law after he and his childhood friend Lucas (Joel Edgerton – The Gift) snatched his son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher – St. Vincent) from a cult where it is expected that Alton and his supernatural gifts will continue to be the cult’s bridge between themselves and God.
But as Roy and Lucas rush to get Alton first of all to his mother, Sarah (Kirsten Dunst – Melancholia), and then to the co-ordinates that he has been sent, the journey is made dangerous by the fact that they are pursued by henchmen sent by cult leader, Calvin Meyer (Sam Shepherd – Mud) and law enforcement agencies led by Sevier (Adam Driver – Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Then there is the fact that Alton’s supernatural powers seem to be changing all the time, sometimes with catastrophic results.
There is no doubt that Midnight Special is going to frustrate some audience members. The film begins with an amazing opening as Nichols has the courage not to let the audience be able to figure out too much. In fact for the first 20-30 minutes you are led to believe that Alton has been kidnapped and you have absolutely no idea who Lucas is. The film keeps you completely in the dark to key information and that just adds to the suspense as you try to piece everything together like a jigsaw puzzle. That works remarkable well for the beginning of the film but what is annoying is when Nichols decides to do the same thing with the ending the film. There are so many unanswered questions in the end that it almost drives you crazy. In fact there are so many things left open that this is the one time I wouldn’t be angry if they decided to make a sequel to the film just to finish it off.
For the most part though Midnight Special works sensationally well. The way the film drifts from the cult storyline to a road-thriller shows that Nichols has the maturity to be a filmmaker that doesn’t shy away from throwing all the traditional filmmaking styles right out the window to get his story across. The fact that Nichols also manages to mix tropes from road trip and thriller movies into a film that ends up being a sci-fi also shows why he is one of the most exciting filmmakers of the modern generation.
Nichols’ well written screenplay also allows his cast to shine. As you would expect Edgerton and Shannon at their usual brilliant best while the film also allows Kirsten Dunst to remind audiences that she is still an actress who can really deliver when she is given the right material to work with. The script also lets Adam Driver show those who have been critical since his performance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens just how good he has always been in the indie filmmaking society. But the star here is clearly Jaeden Lieberther who like he did in the Bill Murray film St. Vincent shows the world how is destined to become one of the finest actors Hollywood has ever seen.
Midnight Special is the kind of film that has the potential to frustrate cinema goers who like a simple linear story, but if you like your sci-fi a little left of centre then you are going to adore this film. In fact this is the kind of movie that you’ll go to see and then urge your friends to see because you’ve loved it so much. Sure Midnight Special is not as good as Nichols’ previous films but it is still well worth a look.
You can hear Greg King’s full Midnight Special review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #173.
You can hear Nick Gardener’s full Midnight Special review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #173.
Buzz Magazine’s Dave Griffiths caught up with recently crowned Miss Asia USA Ashley Park and chatted to her about her title and her upcoming role in Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter. So here it is our Ashley Park interview.
First of all, Ashley, thank you for taking the time to do this interview for us and congratulations on your recent crowning.
Thank you very much! I’m happy to do the interview.
Ashley, first of all can I ask you tell us a little bit about how you became Miss Asia USA and what do you have to do while you are the reigning queen?
I was named Miss Korea USA 2015 by Virgelia Productions, which allowed me the opportunity to compete in the Miss Asia USA pageant this past November. After quite a bit of rigorous training and preparation, I was fortunate enough to win the pageant. As reigning queen, I will attend quite a few charity and red carpet events. It is the duty of every titleholder to represent the Miss Asia USA organization and Virgelia Productions with integrity, poise and elegance. I’m definitely excited for a busy and productive year as Miss Asia USA.
I read that your love for acting started at a very early age. Can you tell us how that love begun and what were the films that inspired you want to be an actress while you were growing up?
I would have to say that My Fair Lady stands out as the film that inspired me the most as a child. I memorized every song, and recited all of Eliza Doolittle’s dialogue (accents and all) to my family over and over again. I also owned every Disney Princess movie, and was quite obsessed with memorizing those as well.
Were you one of the students at your High School that was also cast in the school productions? If so what was your favourite character/production that you did?
You know, it’s crazy that I’ve never really done theater. I always wanted to! I remember hearing about auditions for school productions in high school, but I am extremely competitive and tend to only focus on one thing at a time. As much as I wanted to try out, I was on a very rigorous training regimen that required hours of practice every day. As a runner, my main goal at the time was to win every race and to earn a full scholarship to college.
How difficult was your decision to give up on a promising career as an athlete and go to Hollywood to pursue acting?
It was very difficult to give up cross country and track because it had been my life since I was 12. I didn’t really know much else. However, I also knew that it was time to move on because my heart was no longer in it. My only regret is that I wish I would have moved to LA earlier. It was the best decision I’ve ever made!
What was the first role were ever chosen for in Hollywood and how nervous were you when you turned up on set for the first time?
I think the first role I did was a project with some students at my very first acting program in LA. It was actually a very well done short parody video, and we got over a million views within the first week, I believe. I was probably a little anxious, but I mainly just remember having a great time. I recently did another viral video called Wedding Dresses Across Asia on BuzzFeed. These types of videos are always a blast to shoot.
You also got to play a role in the famous Days Of Our Lives, what was it like on set and were you nervous given the show’s popularity?
I was definitely a bit nervous, seeing as it was my first time on a network show. But the actors I met were so nice, and made me feel very comfortable on set. I really enjoyed being on such an efficient set with so many talented people.
One of the latest films you have worked on, Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter, is about to get released in Australia. Can you tell us a little bit about the movie and a little about your character, Rhianna?
It’s a desert sci-fi in the vein of Mad Max and Star Wars. It was actually shot in some of the same locations as Return of the Jedi. My character Rhianna was such a blast to play because she’s tough, but still girly. She has a lot of layers, and it was fun to play around with her many different character traits.
How did you first become involved with Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter and what was your first reaction after you read the script?
I was the first girl to audition for the role, and was thrilled to find out I’d been cast to play Rhianna. I absolutely loved the script! It’s so much more than just an action film. It has a truly in-depth story that follows Sienna (played by Tracey Birdsall), and her character’s journey to self-discovery.
How challenging did you find it to work on a big scale science fiction film like this?
I actually had a blast! Perhaps because I love a good challenge. We shot on location in the desert, so it was very hot, which was probably the most difficult part. But the cast had such great chemistry, and I loved the challenge of running and climbing all the sand dunes.
Are you a fan of science fiction? If so what movies have you loved over the years?
Of course, but I’m a fan of every genre, I think! I’m such a movie and TV show junkie. In terms of science fiction, I’d have to say Star Wars and Star Trek, of course. I also loved Avatar, Matrix and Her, to name a few. I’m a big fan of the shows Orphan Black, Continuum and Humans.
What was it like working with Neil Johnson, he has really developed a reputation of being one of the best sci-fi directors around at the moment?
Neil is wonderful! He is such a great director, and is so in tune with the actor. He was so relaxed on set, which I think really helps the actors and crew perform at their best level.
Lastly, Ashley, can you tell us about some of the other films that we will be seeing you in shortly?
Certainly. I worked on a feature film recently that will also be released soon, called Day For Night. It’s a wonderful film noir that stars the legendary Lin Shaye, Peter Bogdanovich and Sally Kirkland. My character’s name is Abelie, and I’m so excited to see this wonderful script by Guy J. Jackson come to life. I am also preparing to shoot another desert sci-fi soon, called Trapdoor. It’s a female-focused thriller in the vein of The Descent.
Ashley, thank you so much for your time in doing this interview for us.
Summary: THAT’S NOT MY DOG is a joyous comedy that celebrates our love of joke telling. The film centers around the lovable Shane Jacobson (playing himself) who is throwing a party. Invited are the funniest people Shane knows comprising of Australia’s biggest stars along with several Australian music legends playing their biggest hits live, right throughout the party. The invite that goes out is clear. Don’t bring meat. We’ll provide the beer. Just come armed with nothing but the funniest jokes you’ve ever heard. Shane will take care of the rest. It’ll be a night of great friends telling the world’s funniest jokes over a beer and BBQ.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 15th March 2018
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Dean Murphy
Cast: Bec Asha (herself), Michala Banas (herself), Adam Brand (himself), Rob Carlton (himself), Ross Daniels (himself), Dave Eastgate (himself), Stewart Faichney (himself), Paul Fenech (himself), Tim Ferguson (himself), Marty Fields (himself), John Foreman (himself), Stephan Hall (himself), Paul Hogan (himself), Ronald Jacobson (himself), Shane Jacobson (himself), Jimeoin (himself), Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows (themselves), Ed Kavalee (himself), Dan Kelly (himself), Khaled Khalafella (himself), Bev Killick (herself), Hung Le (himself), Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann (himself), Nathaniel Antonio Lloyd (himself), Lulu McClathy (herself), The Meltdown (themselves), Genevieve Morris (herself), Russell Morris (himself), Spud Murphy (himself), Fiona O’Loughlin (herself), Emily Taheny (herself), Steve Vizard (himself), Christie Whelan (herself)
OUR THAT’S NOT MY DOG REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths Review:
When it comes to comedy specials things are normally pretty straight forward – it’s either one comedian doing stand-up for the entire special or a producer randomly selects the current ‘it’ comedian to host a special where they simply just stand in front of a camera and ‘introduce’ a myriad of comedians to perform their own stand-up routine. That’s where That’s Not My Dog comes into its own.
Aussie comedy great Shane Jacobson (The Bourne Legacy, The Dressmaker) came up with an absolute gem of an idea when he rang his great mate producer/director Dean Murphy (Charlie &Boots, Strange Bedfellows) and said that he wanted to bring back the art of telling a good old-fashioned joke. Of course the creative mind of Jacobson wouldn’t settle for just the plain old comedy special, and in his brilliance he comes up with the wonderful idea of inviting 30 of his funniest mates to come to a BBQ – eat great food, have some brilliant live music played for them while they also stand around telling some of the funniest jokes that you are ever likely to hear.
The result is a brilliant film that turns out to be a celebration of Australian comedy like we have never seen before. The audience sits laughing themselves into hysterics as comedy greats like Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee, Strange Bedfellows) and Steve Vizard (Full Frontal, The Wrong Girl) join forces with comedians of today, like Jimeon (The Craic, The Extra) and Lehmo (Any Questions For Ben, Utopia) and tell three of the funniest jokes that they know. Then of course there are also the hidden talents of those such as Michaela Banas (Nowhere Boys, Always Greener) who steals the show with not only her jokes but also with her ability to tell them.
The concept of the jokes being told at a BBQ just adds to the film with the background noise, and live music being provided by the likes of Dan Kelly, The Black Sorrows and Adam Brand just adding even more atmosphere to the film. What works best though with the film is of course the jokes and luckily for Jacobson his cast came along armed with some of the best jokes that you are ever likely to hear. Aside from Michaela Banas the other star here who really steals the show is the great Marty Fields (Ghost Rider, Blue Heelers) who just delivers comedy gem after comedy gem.
That’s Not My Dog is a brilliant comedic idea that results in pure comedy gold. Shane Jacobson needs to be applauded for taking a stance and re-introducing the lost of art of joke telling to Australians and we should all support him by not only going to see the film but by turning up to work on Monday and saying “hey guys, you should hear this joke I heard on the weekend.”
Greg King’s Review:
The affable Shane Jacobson (whose previous film The BBQ was a massive disappointment and a laboured and unfunny comedy that failed to fire up) threw a massive party at his father’s property in Clarkeville, in regional Victoria. He invited along thirty of Australia’s top comics to share in the joy of joke telling and laughter. He provided all the meat and beer, all the guests had to provide was their funniest jokes. Guests included Paul Hogan, Jimeoin, Marty Fields, Stephen Hall, Fiona O’Loughlin and Tim Ferguson, amongst many others.
The whole night was captured on film by filmmaker Dean Murphy, who directed both Jacobson and Hogan in the road comedy Charlie And Boots. Murphy adopts a free-flowing style here as the camera roams around the party, recording the jokes and the camaraderie. Gags fly thick and fast throughout the relatively brisk 89-minute running time. Each of the guests are given their moment to shine, but some seem to get more screen time than others. Some of the jokes may be familiar, but the veteran comics also put a fresh spin on the gags. And the musical accompaniment to the evening was provided by a bevy of musical acts, including The Black Sorrows, Russell Morris, Adam Brand and Dan Kelly.
That’s Not My Dog is like spending an informal evening in the company of these comics as they enjoy each other’s company and eavesdropping on their funny stories in a somewhat relaxed setting. Everyone seemed to be having a ball. Jacobson’s father Ron comes across as a pretty good story teller himself, but his energy seems to be flagging by the end of the night. The whole thing was filmed over one long night, shot by cinematographer Robert Lanser (who shot Murphy’s Charlie And Boots). Then Murphy and his editor Robert Mond patiently worked through the footage to tighten up the material and remove jokes that were repetitious or potentially too crude or offensive.
One of the big distractions in the film is the blatant product placement, although this is probably how Jacobson and Murphy gained the funding for this low budget film and extravagant evening.
Depending on personal taste though some of the humour will be hit or miss. The title itself comes from the punch line to a classic joke that was used in a Pink Panther movie. For me the highlights were Marty Fields and his stream on clever and witty one-liners and a great joke about a woman joining the CIA.
And while a generally entertaining film, That’s Not My Dog is not great cinema. However, it will be best enjoyed in the cinema where audiences can share the experience and the humour with others, as laughter is often infectious. But it will also do well when released on DVD, where you can re-watch and listen to your favourite jokes over again.
Brisbane Metalcore newcomers Grave Places have just released their debut single and video ‘XXX Bummer’.
All XXXX Gold references aside, this track hits hard. The single focuses on the troubles of drug addiction and self-medication.
The single is available for download on iTunes.
One of the things I love best about the Melbourne music scene is there are certain bands you look at and think yup, only in Melbourne would you see that. The Rebelles are one of those groups. 15 singers that sound like a classic all girl 60s group with a punk attitude and wearing matching outfits, tell me where else you gonna see that? Backed with a rocking four piece band, the Rebelles are truly a gem that everyone can find someone they enjoy. One of the many singers Kitty Rebelle took time to talk Spector, outfits and the awesomeness of girl groups.
Munster: The Rebelles are a pretty unique band, kinda an only in Melbourne band, how did it all come about?
Kitty: it was about ten years ago. Bob D Rebelle and Rhonda Rebelle who are two of our cofounders and creative brains behind the band got together and had this idea of an onstage representation of Phil Spectors Wall of sound and part of that is aving a huge vocal presence. We ave layered and lush harmonies. That’s where its came from and we/ve gotten together over time people ave come and gone but we/ve always had that girl group sound.
Munster: Its an amazing sound is it 15 singers in the band?
Kitty: yes but we also ave bench as well you can imagine getting people to gigs is a logistical thing. We ave 15 singers at anyone gig and a four piece band as well.
Munster: when recruiting a new member what do you look for, I take singing isn/t the only requirement?
Kitty: we do a lot of harmonies so vocal range is important but also personality is big part of the band as we bring girl group rebellion to the stage and you got ave personality a bit of fun gotta shake your hips. That’s part of what we look for in a new Rebelle when we/re on the hunt.
Munster: What process went into recording the LP you made last year?
Kitty: we recorded at Sound Park studio with Idge, would like to give him a big shout out as he played a great role in dealing with all the logistics. We record in section usually the band goes first so we ave a guide then we/ll get the singers in. Sometimes we/ll go in with a big group or go in sections. We believe bigger is better I guess we keep adding more to the band we had guest musos from the Ska Vendors and a few extra guitars and Rhonda playing organ and had more friends in the studio. Idge turned round during the recording and said “gosh the more we add to this the better it sounds” so we really took that to heat.
Munster: the band you ave on stage is made up of blokes was that intentional for balance?
Kitty: Yeah we ave had women in the band as well we had Stick Rebelle on drums and we had two blokes on drums we had Thumper of ex Bitter Sweet Kicks fame and we now ave Bam Bam. Its not by design but it has worked out great quite visually. The boys always look amazing in their sharp suits provides a nice bit of balance but we want that girl band sound on the vocals hence the girl singers.
Munster: you mentioned the Spector girl band sound which comes through but I also hear a touch of the Ramones and the Cramps.
Kitty: Yep absolutely. We love that punk energy so you know theres that beautiful harmonic sound fo the girl groups that we/ve talked about but we also love that rocky garage edge and with punk energy. Our new single 1 2 3 4 GO is a huge nod to the Ramones you can hear the influence in that in lyrics and sound.
Munster: So what process would go into a Rebelles song?
Kitty: its quite a collaborative process. People get together for a jam and work on a sound there liking. Some might workshop lyrics or a feel for the song, it is very collaborative, some might just add a line or two its is a very cohesive process that goes into making all these tracks.
Munster: so when it comes to the singers I like the fact theres no star, so is it kinda an all in effort or are there times when someone might sit out or take a backseat role?
Kitty: we never ave solos we do work very much as a group and being apart of that is the blend. You listen to all these girl group records and you hear these beautiful vocal blend in together and part of trying to recapture that on stage is always being very conscious of your fellow singers. And making sure your tones blend in and being conscious when your section has a lead or your backing. So we do a lot of that manually and it means being sensitive to what other band members are doing. It’s a really nice part of singing together.
Munster: Aside from the Rebelles what else ave you do musically?
Kitty: well my background I ave done some gospel singing, in the past I did musicals at school. Musically our influences in the Rebelles are really common and exploring trying to bring an edge and modernizes from our influence and ad a Melbourne edge. For example Spanish Fitzroy takes a lot of parts we like about Fitzroy with a garage taste into the modern Melbourne setting.
Munster: With so many members is it hard arranging gigs or studio time?
Kitty: not really its all worked out magically. Its one of the wonderful things bout this band. In smaller bands ive heard of conflict amounts band members but with us theres none of that here its all worked very nice.
Munster: the video for 1 2 3 4 GO was a great tour guide of Melbourne how did that come about?
Kitty: Yeah that was a classic example of the great collaborative process. It’s a bit of a story that plays out of a bunch of us trying to find our gig. We went out with a bunch of cameras and went to a bunch of different locations. I went to Luna Park that day we kinda snuck in and stood in front of the rides. It’s a great mini tour of Melbourne and it ends with us meeting at the same place for a gig.
Munster: With the costumes do you ave a standard designer you use?
Kitty: we come up with a design we/d like to see and we/ve been helped out by a few designers who make the costume to order. The visual element is a big part of what we do. The red and black the jet black hair and river of black eyeliner and red lipstick it’s a big part of what we bring to the stage and we/ve had a lot of great designers brining that to the stage.
Munster: What does the rest of the year hold?
Kitty: Bigger and better gigs aiming for a Christmas gig. You can find gigs at www. rebelles.com.au
Winabago club at the Sk Kilda RSL is our next gig on the 19th June, and arvo gig
We would like to do some festivals and we are made for a big stage we wanna do bigger and better.
Munster: And favorite Fall LP if there is one?
Kitty: sorry can/t help. What would you recommend to start?
Munster: Code Selfish is good start.
The Rebelles launch their new double A side single 1-2-3-4 Go! / Spanish Fitzroy at the Winnebago Lounge, upstairs of St Kilda RSL on Sunday 19th June. Free entry.
Sydney based R&B Rockers Chasing Giants have just released their stunning new single ‘Drunk’ (featuring Adam Kearns.)
Chasing Giants approach their musical creation in a similar fashion to electronic producers such as DJ Khaled. The band is made up of core members Ben Corby, Maurice Webb and Jake Arvonen however they recruit a different vocalist for every new track they put out.
Check out new single ‘Drunk’ below and be sure to let us know what you think!
If you live and breathe cosplay, there’s no need to look further than Oz Comic-Con Sydney and Brisbane for the ultimate cosplay experiences. With something for cosplayers of all ages and stages, including the state and national finals of the Australian Championships of Cosplay, it’s time to put the finishing touches on your costumes and get ready for two weekends of fun at Australia’s premier pop-culture event.
Oz Comic-Con’s Australian Championships of Cosplay will be holding state finals on Sunday 11th September in Sydney, and Sunday 18th September in Brisbane. Following the Queensland state finals, the national final will also be held at the Brisbane event.
The winner of the Australian Championships of Cosplay will have the opportunity to represent Australia at the C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay in Chicago in 2017. Australia will be defending their crown in 2017, after 2015 Australian Champion Major Sam took out the top prize at C2E2 earlier this year.
Hosted by renowned Australian cosplayer Rae Johnston and judged by a panel of experts including Mandy Nichols (costumer for films such as The Great Gatsby), the Australian Championships of Cosplay are an amazing chance for Australian cosplayers to compete against some of the best cosplayers in the world, as well as to be in the running for some excellent prizes.
Before the national finals, cosplay fans in Brisbane will have the opportunity to hear the 2016 state finalists discuss their experiences in a special Championship panel. Joined by Major Sam, this is your chance to listen to the best cosplayers from around Australia talk about their cosplay journeys.
The championships are just the tip of the cosplay iceberg at Oz Comic-Con Sydney and Brisbane. Cosplay Central will feature exciting local and international cosplay talent, as well as photo walls and a cosplay repair station. Sydney fans will also have the opportunity to take cosplay shots with a picturesque Harbour background – just follow the signs at the event!
If you’re a cosplayer who wants to show off your creations, but don’t feel quite ready to compete in the championships, never fear! On Saturday afternoon in both Sydney and Brisbane, a general cosplay parade will be held, as well as Cosplay Active, an intermediate step where you can talk about your cosplay or take part in a skit! Oz Comic-Con’s littlest fans don’t miss out either, with a kids cosplay parade held on the Sunday afternoon of each event.
Oz Comic-Con will be held in Sydney at the Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island on September 10-11 and in Brisbane at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on September 17-18.
For more information on Cosplay at Oz Comic-Con, please visit www.ozcomiccon.com