The zen of Groot with Vin Diesel

guardiansofthegalaxy539f4856b8ef2He walked into the room to hoots, hollers, and screams from 25 bloggers who had seen his performance in Guardians of the Galaxy the evening before.  I considered asking him if he ever played a tree in elementary school, but once he started telling his compelling tales of how he came to take this role, I figured it was better saved for another time.

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8 Zen moments from Vin Diesel himself

1. The people that get the most credit for me playing Groot are those people on my Facebook page. Because they manifested this union between myself and Marvel when nobody had an idea of what we could do.

2. I was sent the conceptual art by Kevin Feige and I went into the living room, and the kids were there.  I opened up the book, and it was a double-truck picture with all of the characters, and I said to the kids, “What character do you think they want Daddy to play?” They answered in seconds.  I was praying that they would lead me in feeling good about this role, and they all pointed to Groot. They thought Groot was cool.  

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3. I knew when I did the voice of Iron Giant that it would be cool for my kids to say “my dad is the Iron Giant.”  But I didn’t anticipate what the effect would be from playing Groot.

4. When my kids are in the back seat, and we’re driving, whenever they see trees they say, “Look, Dad.  It’s your brothers and sisters.”  

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5. In some ways, Groot is nature’s ambassador, and there’s something beautiful about that.  Just the idea of talking about that, should promote or provoke conversation.

6. I do movies that are not necessarily for kids.  So, to do this and to be able to share this with the little ones, and for them to be so excited about it and so proud of it, and to think of trees differently.  They will never look at a tree the same way.  No one will, after this.  

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7.  I am about to do a movie called “The Last Witch Hunter” about a 700-year old New Yorker.  And I feel sometimes like I’m close to 700 years old.  It is going to be very cool, and we just cast Michael Caine.

8. I love the mommy bloggers. You know mommies are the first super heroes you guys

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Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1

For more details follow Guardians on:

Photos courtesy of: JustEnza.com & MeetKristy.com

Almost Human

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Critiquing one of our OWN writers projects isn’t always easy.

Almost Human 

Almost always when left to my own devices as a teen I would watch horror movies.  There was something about them I always connected with.  I would watch anything-possible good and bad and the awful.  They were all magnificent in their own way,  you almost always know what’s going to happen and how it is going to happen.  The film Almost Human is a love letter to the films I grew up with.  But did I love this flick? Am I biased because I know a few people that worked on it?  Probably.

But First a Synopsis

Mark Fisher disappeared from his home in a brilliant flash of blue light almost two years ago. His friend Seth Hampton was the last to see him alive. Now a string of grisly, violent murders leads Seth to believe that Mark is back, and something evil is inside of him. Pretty basic horror plotting which makes for a ton of fun.  It’s absolutely straight-up, with nothing complex or contrived, just a decent, well made horror film with some excellent, splatty practical effects.  The entire movie play like a series of scenes giving homage to classic horror directors.  There is the Carpenter scene a giant nod to Halloween, the Chronenberg scene where they raise the visual stakes, a few Thing references, and some definite Body Snatchers references.

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The acting in ‘Almost Human’ is kind of

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but honestly if you’re looking for acting here you’re in the wrong place. Then again, it’s better than most of the Twilight performances and you sat through those too, didn’t you?  Honestly this flick was just a fun love letter to great horror of the 70s and 80s.  It’s not a great movie but all of the visual references are a lot of fun to pick out and all the splatter was cheer worthy.  BTW the score was amazing!

Now the special features

                                                                              which there are plenty of. 

We have two commentaries the one with Begos and Ethier is so informative and the other is more fun.  There is an amazing making on feature.

**Am I just saying that because one of my best friends made it? 

However, it is more comprehensive than any other BTS feature I’ve ever seen.   We also get a shorter version of the BTS.  We are also treated to Toxin which is a really fun Short and some extra BTS stuff with Skipper.  There are various trailers too and a great photo gallery. All in all, the movie is fun.  Have a few beers yell when someone is getting killer in an insane way.  However there isn’t much more to the movie, its simple, either you grew up liking moves like this or you didn’t.  For people like me there is definitely a lot to love because it feels like an 80s midnight movie without the shit eating grin that every movie has these days.

Almost Human is available on Amazon.com and other DVD retailers. 

**Please note that one of our writers on The Review Broads AND here on Champagne Living – Jonathan Killoran was a member of the Almost Human film-making team. He stood on stage at TIFF. We are so very proud of him.