The Walt Disney Company has today announced that principal photography has begun in Victoria on the Disney+ Australian event series “The Clearing”.
Produced by Wooden Horse, the series is based on J.P. Pomare’s novel In the Clearing and is inspired by the real-life Australian cult The Family and its founder Anne Hamilton-Byrne, one of the rare female cult leaders in history. In the eight-part psychological thriller, a woman is forced to confront the nightmares of her past to stop a secret cult intent on gathering children to fulfill its master plan.
Teresa Palmer (Discovery of Witches,), Miranda Otto (The Unusual Suspects, Homeland)and Guy Pearce (Jack Irish, Mare of Easttown) lead a stellar line-up of Australian talent including Hazem Shammas (Safe Harbour), Mark Coles-Smith (Mystery Road).
They are joined by newly announced cast Kate Mulvany (The Twelve), Xavier Samuel (Elvis), Claudia Karvan (Bump), Anna Lise Phillips (Irreverent, Fires), Harry Greenwood (Wakefield, The Nightingale) Erroll Shand (The Luminaries), Doris Younane (Five Bedrooms), Miah Madden (Dive Club), Julia Savage (Blaze, Mr Inbetween), Gary Sweet, (Wentworth), Alicia Gardiner (Offspring, Deadloch), Matt Okine (The Other Guy) and Jeremy Blewitt (The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart) alongside Lily La Torre (Run Rabbit Run),and Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi (Neighbours).
Directed by Jeffrey Walker (Young Rock, Lambs of God) and Gracie Otto (Seriously Red, Bump, Deadloch), the series is created and written by Elise McCredie (Stateless) and Matt Cameron (Jack Irish), with co-writer Osamah Sami (Ali’s Wedding). “The Clearing” is produced by Wooden Horse’s Jude Troy (The Other Guy 1 & 2), with Wooden Horse’s Richard Finlayson and Egeria’s Elizabeth Bradley serving as executive producers alongside Jeffrey Walker, Jude Troy, Elise McCredie and Matt Cameron.
Summary: Ray Garrison, an elite soldier who was killed in battle, is brought back to life by an advanced technology that gives him the ability of super human strength and fast healing. With his new abilities, he goes after the man who killed his wife, or at least, who he believes killed his wife. He soon comes to learn that not everything he learns can be trusted. The true question is: Can he even trust himself?
Australian Cinema Release Date: 1st March 2020
Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA
Australian Home Entertainment Release Date: 7th April 2020
Country: United States, China
Director: Dave Wilson
Screenwriter: Jeff Wadlow, Eric Heisserer, Kevin VanHanhook (comic book), Bob Layton (comic book), Don Perlin (comic book)
Cast: Siddharth Dhananjay (Eric), Vin Diesel (Ray Garrison/Bloodshot), Eiza Gonzalez (KT), Alex Hernandez (Tibbs), Sam Heughan (Jimmy Dalton), Johannes Haukur Johannosson (Nick Baris), Toby Kebbell (Martin Axe), Lamorne Morris (Wilfred Wigans), Guy Pearce (Dr. Emil Harting), Talulah Riley (Gina Garrison)
Running Time: 109 mins
Classification: M (Australia) TBA (Thailand)
OUR BLOODSHOT REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths’ Bloodshot Review:
Actor Vin Diesel has become a super-star off the back of the Fast & Furious, XXX and Riddick franchises but over recent years he has rarely strayed from either, perhaps preferring to sticking to what he knows best. That is what makes Bloodshot such an interesting prospect. Arguably, one of the world’s biggest action stars rarely branching out to start something new, and something that from the look of the trailer looks interesting enough to take a chance on.
Based on the popular Valiant Comics series Bloodshot the film centres on Special Forces soldier Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel – The Fast & The Furious) who after returning from a mission is kidnapped and murdered alongside his wife, Gina Garrison (Talulah Riley – Inception).
He then wakes up in the laboratory of Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce – Memento) having being re-animated and turned into a super-soldier. While Harting marvels at his creation he quickly adds him to his team of super soldiers but while working with team leader Katie (Elza Gonzalez – Alita: Battle Angel) he suddenly has flashbacks and decides to seek revenge for what has happened. But what is real and what is a figment of his imagination… that is what he has to find out.
That is actually one of the joys of watching Bloodshot. The film has so many twists and turns that it is impossible to ever work out what is going to happen next. With a brilliant screenplay from Jeff Wadlow (Truth Or Dare) and Eric Heisserer (Arrival) the line between the truth and fiction and is often tested and the audience is left in the dark to what is really happening in just the same way the characters are. The result is a film that contains such a suspense element that it lifts the storyline well above what most films in the action genre can ever achieve.
When it comes to the action genre there is something uniquely intelligent about Bloodshot. The screenplay is suspenseful and thought-provoking while director Dave Wilson (Love, Death & Robots) is a smart enough director to actually keep the action to a level that actually makes the story seem more believable. The fact that Wilson is a first time director is almost unbelievable as he handles this film with the expertise of a seasoned director with the experience of Steven Spielberg. Wilson creates some pretty impressive action sequences, including a sequence in a tunnel that does more than show that he is a director with a big future ahead of him
The only side of the film that lets it down slightly is the fact that after the film delivers its big twist that turns everything on its head, which happens about halfway through the film; it feels like the film then loses its greatest source of suspense. From then on the film seems to become a simple good versus evil storyline that is purely kept interesting by the fact that by that time the audience have become invested in the characters – especially Ray and Katie.
Because of that we should thank goodness that this is one action film that has bothered to put some effort into characterisation, but that can’t be said for all the characters we find here. While the screenplay does give us a pretty good notion of who characters like Ray and Katie are it falls dangerously with the ‘villains’ who become one dimensional and very comic-book like – the kinds of characters that we have seen in films thousands of times in the past.
The result of that also sees up and down performances by the main actors as well. The biggest loser here is Guy Pearce whose talents seem to be completely wasted as he plays a characterless villain who would have been more at home in a video game. On the flipside my biggest fear going into this film was that I would not be able to not see Vin Diesel as Dom Toretto or Xander Cage. Luckily though, the characterisation that the screenplay allows for Ray the film does actually allow Vin Diesel the opportunity to test his acting chops while also delivering so awesome action sequences. He is also well supported by Eiza Gonzelez who grouped with her performances in Baby Driver and Alita: Battle Angel is showing Hollywood why she is one of the biggest stars on the rise.
There are some things that sadly let down Bloodshot but there is more than enough to make this the perfect film to sat down and watch when you just don’t want to think. So engrossing is the storyline that it does feel like you are watching a television pilot that wants to draw you more into its universe. At the end of the day Bloodshot is well worth watching if you are looking for a good action film to lose yourself in.
This review by David Griffiths also appeared on www.lilithia.net
Has any other actor been impacted as much by the Corona virus pandemic as Vin Diesel? I can rack my brain but can’t think of any. First Diesel had his latest instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise pushed back by twelve months and then his beer of choice took a massive hit because of the Corona name. But both those things really pale into insignificance when you consider what happened to Diesel’s latest release Bloodshot – the unfortunate film due to open the week cinemas closed.
I have a lot of respect for Diesel as an actor. Not because he is one of those actors who has the acting skills to play dramatic roles in between his action juggernauts, but because he is a man who becomes so passionate about a project that he invests not only his money but also his heart and soul into it to make it happen. With Riddick Diesel bought the franchise to make sure it continued and now he is also one of the main producers of the epic Fast & Furious saga so he could keep some creative control over what happens to the characters that he loves so dearly.
It is the same with Bloodshot. A hardened comic book fan himself Diesel was more than aware of the Bloodshot series of comics created by Valiant Comics. Drawn to the series as a fan Diesel then melted my heart by declaring one of the reasons he got behind the film was because his son declared “Daddy, you are Bloodshot” when he was considering playing the role.
I’ll admit I was bought as soon as I heard about this film. One of my favourite action stars in a comic book film that was rumoured to have a pretty gruesome dark side. Then Covid-19 hit and Bloodshot became one of the biggest cinematic causalities of the fallout. With no media screenings on offer I saw the film in a general session on its opening night and there was only myself and one other guy in the cinema – another tragic soul who was willing to risk the impending plague in order to get a Diesel fix.
Now Bloodshot gets a second life in the cinemas and I can only pray that this time it gets a bigger audience because this is one of action film that I have to admit not only worked for me, but impressed me enough that I would love to see the film become a franchise… as long as they can fix up some of the issues I’ll list below.
For those who haven’t read the comics Diesel plays Ray Garrison a soldier who while celebrating his latest successful mission is kidnapped alongside his wife Gina (Talulah Riley – Inception). He then suffers the heart-breaking trauma of watching her murdered in front of him and when he wakes learns that he was also murdered but has been re-animated as a super-solider in a program run by inventive scientist Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce – Memento).
And that is where I will leave the synopsis for Bloodshot because to say anything else would be going into spoiler territory and this is a film that you can’t have spoilt for you. I think the reason that Bloodshot worked so well for me is because I knew nothing about where the story was going to go. As a result I sat there like a kid in a candy store as every twist and turn played out in front of me. Spectacular action aside what impressed me the most about Bloodshot was the suspenseful storyline with twists that I definitely didn’t see coming.
Having said that though there is a major flaw with this film. While Diesel is Bloodshot to a tee Guy Pearce is horribly miscast as Harting. Actually, maybe that is a little unfair because to be honest I am not sure whether he was miscast or whether Pearce could have done something with the character had it had been written as more than just a walking cliché.
That is the strange thing about this film. Bloodshot and KT (Eiza Gonzalez – Alita: Battle Angeli) are brilliantly written and as a result Diesel and Gonzalez shine. Sadly though most other characters are either under-written or are so one-dimensional that the audience has very little interest in them.
As an action film Bloodshot does overcome its flaws with an unpredictable storyline and two leads I felt led the way. Now I simply can’t wait to see if the franchise develops or whether the pandemic has put a dismal finale to it all.
Based on the bestselling comic book, Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the super-human Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force –stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out.
Starring Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell and Guy Pearce
Summary: The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 19th May 2017
Australian DVD Release Date: 16th August 2017
Country: United Kingdom, United States
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenwriter: Dante Harper, John Logan, Michael Green (story), Jack Paglen (story), Dan O’Bannon (characters), Ronald Shushett (characters)
Cast: Demian Bichir (Lope), Javier Botet (Xenomorph), Andrew Crawford (Neomorph), Billy Crudup (Oram), Nathaniel Dean (Hallett), Carmen Ejogo (Karine), Alexander England (Ankor), Michael Fassbender (David/Walter), James Franco (Branson), Tess Haubrich (Rosenthal), Callie Hernandez (Upworth), Lorelei King (Mother (voice)), Goran D. Kleut (Xenomorph/Neomorph), Uli Latukefu (Cole), Danny McBride (Tennesse), Guy Pearce (Peter Weyland), Noomi Rapace (Dr. Elizabeth Shaw), Benjamin Rigby (Ledward), Amy Seimetz (Faris), Jussie Smollett (Ricks), Katherine Waterson (Daniels)
Runtime: 122 mins
OUR ALIEN: COVENANT REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Kyle McGrath’s Alien: Covenant Review:
2012 saw the release of Prometheus, the first prequel in the Alien franchise and Ridley Scott’s return to the series following the original Alien (1979). It followed the ill fated crew of the unfortunately named ship Prometheus on its expedition into deep space to search for the possible origin of mankind based on cave drawings of “Engineers” discovered worldwide by archaeologists including Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace). Several mishaps, sabotages and terrifying discoveries later, such as the team in reality discovering they were on some sort of weapons testing planet or the revelation the entire mission was in fact a means for the team’s extremely elderly benefactor, himself on board, to ask the Engineers to prolong his life. At the end of the film the entire team was wiped out and the mission a failure. The only survivors being Shaw and the severely damaged cyborg David (Michael Fassbender) on Shaw’s insistence set off to continue the search for answers and to discover the Engineer’s true home world.
Alien Covenant set 10 years after the disappearance of the Prometheus follows the crew of the Covenant, ship carrying 2000 colonists plus embryos on its way to populate a new world. A signal is picked up during repairs after a catastrophic event which awakens the dozen or so crew members from hypersleep (and kills the captain), not wishing to go back to sleep they decide to investigate the source of the signal. The planet does not turn out to be as welcoming as they had hoped and the crew come across David who had been busy.
Reaction to Prometheus was mixed to say the least, this seems to have influenced the filmmakers and the direction of the series hugely. Rather than follow on as a more direct follow up to Prometheus Alien a Covenant for the most part throws everything out the window and presents us with something more akin to a remake of Alien & Prometheus than simply a follow up to the latter.
The one almost universally liked thing about Prometheus was the creepy performance of Fassbender in the role of the android David. Now I’ll agree that he was one of the. Eat parts of the film but that doesn’t mean they should have made the entire next film about him at the expense of literally everyone else. Also what’s better than one creepy Fassbender androids? Two of them of course.
This is made worse by the way the filmmakers apparently haven’t really learned from the failings of the previous film. We don’t care about any of the characters in this film as they’re slowly picked off one by one. They’re nothing but fodder and their bizarre frankly suicidal behaviour, itself drawing the ire of fans last time, is still present here. These people invite death upon themselves because that’s what we the audience are apparently there for.
Another smart move from Prometheus this film corrupts is that the filmmakers realised that as iconic as H. R Giger’s Alien designs are they’ve largely been run into the ground or parodied to death for the last 30+ years. Fans may still eat it up but to much of the audience Giger’s Alien is now about as scary as Boris Karloff’s Mummy after Laurel & Hardy were done with him. The alien egg no longer has the mystery or horror about it that it once did, now it’s just as predictable as a jack in the box.
I’ve heard this is a “return to form” for Ridley Scott but that’s only in the most literal way as he has created something which feels like a cheap (though much more expensive) imitation of a movie he made almost 40 years ago. Alien Covenant comes off as a soulless attempt to cash in on a long dry idea. The new ideas Prometheus did well to establish this fails to take advantage of instead attempting to rehash what Alien (1979) did well which doesn’t work anymore.
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Alien: Covenant Reviews: N/A
In acting stakes of the finds of 2013 has been of the young star Dane DeHaan. He first wowed audiences when he portrayed troubled young writer Lucien Carr opposite Daniel Radcliffe in the acclaimed film “Kill Your Darlings.” But, by far, DeHaan’s breakthrough role in 2013 was that of Trip as heavy metal artists Metallica returned to the big screen in “Metallica Through The Never.”
Dane William DeHaan was born on Feb. 6, 1986 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. His father, Jeff DeHaan, is a computer programmer and his mother, Cynthia, is an executive at Knolls Furniture. DeHaan begun his schooling at Emmaus High School (in Pennsylvania) but ended up graduating from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
While still at school DeHaan had a small role in the film “A.K.A.: It’s A Wiley World” and also appeared in the short film “Woodrow Wilson.” It was upon his graduation from UNCSA in 2008 that his career really took off and he soon found himself as the understudy for Haley Joel Osment in the Broadway production of “American Buffalo.”
Soon DeHaan found himself acting in another short film, “Stormy Weather,” before landing his first television role in 2008 in the popular crime series “Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit.” From there DeHaan found himself acting in the television movies “At Risk” and “The Front” before appearing in feature film “Amigo” alongside Chris Cooper.
In 2010, DeHaan returned to the short film format in “The Layla Project” before landing two television roles that would make him a household name. He first appeared in the Gabriel Byrne led series “In Treatment” before appearing in three episodes of the hit adult vampire series “True Blood.” 2010 also saw DeHaan make a name for himself in theatre circles when he was nominated for an Obie Award for his work on the off-Broadway production of “The Aliens,” which also incidentally won the “Play Of The Year” award from “The New York Times.”
DeHaan’s string of hits on the big screen then began in 2012 when he portrayed Andrew Detmer in the camcorder science-fiction flick, “Chronicle.” The film became a hit at the box office and DeHaan soon followed it up with a role opposite Juno Temple and Kylie Minogue in “Jack And Diane.” DeHaan then starred with Tom Hardy, Shia LeBeouf and Guy Pearce in John Hillcoat’s “Lawless” before sharing the screen with Ryan Gosling in “The Place Beyond The Pines” and Daniel Day-Lewis in the Oscar-nominated “Lincoln.”
The critical success continued with “Kill Your Darlings” and Reese Witherspoon’s “Devil’s Knot” before appearing in the eagerly anticipated “Metallica Through The Never,” which was directed by Nimrod Antal. DeHaan teaming up with Metallica also saw another honor bestowed upon DeHaan when the band played under the name DeHaan at the Orion Festival
When it comes to his private life, DeHaan has always kept things out of the press; however, it is known that he began dating actress Anna Wood (whom DeHaan appeared with in “Chronicle”) in 2006 and the pair became married on June 30, 2012.
2013 may have been the year that DeHaan really made a name for himself, but cinema-goers can expect to see a lot more of this young star very soon as he is about to appear in comedy film “Life After Beth” with Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick and “Life” with Robert Pattinson, before becoming the Green Goblin in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Yes, it seems his star is about to rise that little bit further.
Soap television shows. Yes, they quite often have some very tragic story-lines, terribly clichéd dialogue and some woeful acting, but believe or not some of the finest actors going around today got their start in the acting world in those dreaded soaps. Let’s have a look at some actors who have soap operas to thank for launching them.
Russell Crowe: It’s hard to imagine that screen strong man Russell Crowe started his career off in a soap opera. The actor, who hails from New Zealand, may have made a name for himself winning an Oscar for playing the tough Maximus in Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator,” but he started his acting career in an Australia soap opera called “Neighbours.” As a television show, “Neighbours” is often joked about, yet has been the starting ground for many a young celebrity including Dean Geyer, Kylie Minogue and even Guy Pearce. The ‘soft’ opening to his career certainly didn’t hold back Crowe who has become a megastar and has performed in many memorable films including “The Insider” and “A Beautiful Mind,” which also earned him Oscar nominations.
Susan Sarandon: There isn’t much that Susan Sarandon has achieved during her acting career. She has appeared in classic films such as “Thelma & Louise” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” as well as receiving a number of Oscar nominations over the years – for films such as “Atlantic City,” “Lorenzo’s Oil” and “The Client.” She even won an Oscar in 1996 for her role in “Dead Man Walking,” but what most people don’t realise is that five years before she made a name for herself in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” she spent a year playing Patrice Kahlman in television soap “A World Apart.”
Chris Hemsworth: These days, movie fans know Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth mainly as “Thor,” the God with the Hammer that has had two feature films of his own as well as appearing in the big action blockbuster “The Avengers.” The last few years has seen Hemsworth appear in a number of big films including “Rush,” the “Star Trek” franchise, “Red Dawn,” “Snow White + The Huntsman” and “The Cabin In The Woods,” but before that Hemsworth was known to Australians as a soap star. He first made a guest appearance in “Neighbours” before starring in the other ‘rival’ soap “Home & Away” for three years.
Liam Hemsworth: Of course, it wouldn’t be right to mention Chris Hemsworth without mentioning his brother Liam who is known right around the world as the quiet and brooding Gale Hawthorne in “The Hunger Games” franchise. Liam also made a name for himself as a soap star in Australia before making his way to Hollywood. In an exact opposite to his brother, Liam started his career with a guest spot in “Home And Away” before landing a semi-regular role in “Neighbours” playing Josh Taylor. Liam Hemsworth has also made a name for himself in America appearing in “The Expendables 2” and “Paranoia” alongside Harrison Ford.
Josh Duhamel: Many wrongfully believe that modern day big screen star Josh Duhamel got his acting break on television drama “Las Vegas,” where he played intelligent detective Danny McCoy. That theory however is wrong because Duhamel had been on the small screen years earlier than that as he played Leo du Pres in “All My Children” from 1999 to 2002. In only a storyline that only soap operas could get away with, Leo disappeared over a waterfall and his body was never found again. Since those days, Duhamel has made his way onto the big screen and appeared in “Transformers,” “When In Rome” and “Life As We Know It.”
So if you’re a budding young actor and you get cast in a television soap, certainly don’t think that the role on offer is beneath you, because as you can see, so many great big screen actors of today started with a role in the humble television soap.
The first The Rover trailer has been released. The film is directed by David Michod and was adapted by a story by Joel Edgerton. Starring Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce and Scoot McNairy the film will be released in Australia on July 31st.