[Interview] Bobby Moynihan: Living The Pug Life

Originally published online at MANIA Magazine.

The Secret Life Of Pets is one of our favourite movies of the year, and we can’t wait to grab a copy on DVD so we can watch it 24/7! If you’re like us and can’t get enough of it, then check out this AWSM interview with comedian Bobby Moynihan, the voice behind Mel the pug! You’d be barking mad to miss this!

MANIA: What was your first pet?
BOBBY: “I had a parakeet. But he didn’t last very long, unfortunately. I never had a dog or a cat, but I did have some fish. I had those for a very long time.”

MANIA: Do you have a pet now?
BOBBY: “Not right now.”

MANIA: Did you ever wonder what they did when you left the house?
BOBBY: “I did! I thought it was a Toy Story situation, where my pets would go hang out with other pets when I wasn’t around.”

MANIA: Do you have a dream pet?
BOBBY: “I would love to hang out with a monkey for a little while. Sloths are pretty cool too.”

MANIA: Are you a cat or a dog person?
BOBBY: “I think I’m more of a dog person. Cats are too full of anxiety and running around too much for me.”

MANIA: How did you land the role of Mel?
BOBBY: “The studio sent me a picture of Mel, and I saw his tiny little feet and though, ‘Man, I’d love to do this!’”

MANIA: What was it like playing Mel the pug? Did you do any method acting to get into the role?
BOBBY: “Yeah, I only drank out of a bowl for six months, haha! Mel’s such a fun energetic character, it was a blast coming up with that energy to play such a happy dog.”

MANIA: What does it take to live the “Pug life”?
BOBBY: “A lot of being pampered. A lot of waiting for people to come home so they can feed you. And a lot of running into walls!”

MANIA: What type of friend is Mel to Max?
BOBBY: “That friend you keep around who might be an idiot, but he’s fun and loveable. He might be the best person to have on your team, but he’ll always be there for you if you need him.”

MANIA: If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
BOBBY: “Any animal that can fly, because I don’t have that ability… yet. A bird of some kind, or maybe a monkey so I can swing around.”

[Interview] Georgina Hayns: Master of Puppets

Originally published online at MANIA Magazine.

Georgina Hayns is the Creative Supervisor at Studio Laika. She’s in charge of supervising the fabrication of all the amazing little puppets that are used to make awesome films like ParaNorman, Coraline and The Boxtrolls. We caught up with Georgina to talk about the puppets used in Kubo and the Two Strings!

MANIA: How did you get into stop-motion animation?
GEORGINA: “I got into it through being really hopeless at everything at school except for art. I had no focus; I love drawing, I love painting, I love sewing, I love sculpting. I went to art school when I was older and I was really interested in old Victorian dolls. I decided that I wanted to make dolls as a career, so I tried to convince my teachers that doll making was the way to go! They weren’t very impressed, haha. Puppet making was kind of a way for me to get around my teachers – puppets are like an artistic form of dolls. I really didn’t know much about stop-motion animation at the time, but I managed to get an internship at a stop-motion animation studio while at university. It really opened my eyes to a whole new world where all my skill sets were usable!”

MANIA: Was there any particular influences on your art?
GEORGINA: “When I decided I was going to do puppets I went out and found as many movies and TV shows that I could. I watched Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal and it blew my mind! It was exactly what I wanted to do.” Continue reading

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Recurring Nightmares: When Hollywood Remade the Slasher

Originally published online at 4:3.

I think I was nine when I first saw Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street. They were playing on TV back-to-back as part of a Halloween marathon, and for whatever reason my mum thought it was okay for me to watch them. In hindsight, probably not a good idea on her behalf but from there I started tracking down as many horror films as I could. A few years later I finally saw Halloween and completed the trilogy of iconic slasher films. Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers – three of pop-culture’s most recognizable figures, all of whom have persevered in our collective psyches for over three decades. Even if you’ve never seen one of their films, you know the significance of a hockey mask or a razor-clawed glove. Their names alone carry a huge amount of weight.1

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[Film Review] Twilight Zone: The Movie (Roundtable)

Originally published online at 4:3.

The Anthology Series is a roundtable column here at 4:3 where we look at the oft-overlooked genre of anthology films. Also known as portmanteaus, the anthology film is composed of a series of short films grouped together by theme or some awkward overarching premise. Some of the more popular portmanteaus in recent memory include Paris, je t’aime and horror anthology series V/H/S. There are also anthology films done by the same director, think Love Actually, Argentian Oscar-nominee Wild Tales and Robert Altman’s Short Cuts. For the purposes of this column, we will be focusing on anthology films with more than two directors.

In this entry in the series, Chris Neill and Brad Mariano talk about the 1983 brainchild of John Landis and Steven Spielberg, the homage to a legendary TV show in The Twilight Zone: The Movie, a film generally more known for its tragic production than artistic merits. Continue reading

[Film Review] Five Minutes To Live

Originally published online at 4:3.

Five Minutes To Live [aka Door-To-Door Maniac] (dir. Bill Karn, 1961) – Watch

Five Minutes To Live is an interesting take on the heist genre, in which the leveled-headed crook Fred Dorella and the sadistic Johnny Cabot attempt to rob a small town bank by holding the wife of its’ vice president hostage. What Fred and Johnny don’t know is that the vice-president, Ken, is on the verge of divorcing his wife and eloping to Las Vegas with his mistress. While it’s not a bad movie, I’m not sure whether or not I’d consider it a good one either. It’s an interesting enough concept and a decent script but it’s unfortunately marred by bland direction, poor pacing (the first third is near-glacial) and an overall low production value. The films biggest draw is that Johnny Cash plays the cruel Johnny Cabot, in the first of his incredibly few big-screen appearances. And he does a really good job of playing an absolutely horrible asshole – a minute into the film he merciless guns a police officer down, and spends the majority of the film both physically and mentally torturing the VP’s wife.

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[Film Review] Paterson

Originally published online at Shotgun Cinema.

4 / 5 STARS

On paper, it’s easy to read the plot for Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson as bland. Throughout the course of a week, we follow Paterson as he wakes up at 6:15am, walks to work, drives a bus through the New Jersey town of Paterson, works on his poetry, comes home, walks his wife’s dog and drinks exactly one beer at a local bar. Wash, rinse and repeat. But this is Jarmusch; a man who can take something simple like drinking coffee or smoking a cigarette, and turn it into something that’s anything but mundane.

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[Film Review] Live By Night

Originally published online at Shotgun Cinema.

2 / 5 STARS

The last 12 months have been rough for Ben Affleck. He’s had to suffer through the embarrassment of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the overwhelming whatever-ness of The Accountant and his new status as a kind of funny Internet meme. While the announcement that he’s helming the new solo Batman movie bodes well for the Dark Knight’s cinematic future, he now he has rabid comic nerds crawling up his arse screaming, “When’s Batman?” every hour of every day. The man just needs to catch a break, something he can chalk up as a win. Unfortunately, his new crime feature Live By Night isn’t it. Continue reading

[Film Review] In the Mouth of Madness

Originally published online at 4:3.

There isn’t any other director who defined the cult cinema of the 1970s and 80s more than John Carpenter. His run from 1976’s Assault on Precinct 13 up until 1988’s They Live may be one of the most consistent track records of all time. He helped define the slasher genre with Halloween, while The Thing is an unparalleled horror classic that features the all time greatest practical special effects. Beyond that, films like Escape from New York and They Live have undeniably left their fingerprints throughout pop-culture. Unfortunately, like most cult film directors who prospered in the 1970s and ‘80s (Wes Craven, George A Romero, etc.) his output fell to the wayside during the 1990s, with films ranging from average-at-best (Escape from L.A.) to laughably bad (Ghosts of Mars). There is one gem from his later career worth watching, however; the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired and extremely underrated In The Mouth of Madness.

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