Ashley Bell

love and air sex

It’s time to declare a moratorium on the tired rom-com stock character dichotomy. For too long, movies both independent and mainstream have relied on leads that fall into one of two types. The first is the average joe, the guy/gal who is grounded, hesitant in matters romantic, and often quietly artistic. These are usually, though not always, the protagonists of their stories. The average joe is supposed to be pleasant and relatable, but instead they are boring and too muted to possess any discernible personality. The other type is the partier, the spontaneous, fun-loving, and sex-driven dude/lady. You’ll mostly see them in supporting roles. The partier theoretically provides enjoyable comic relief to the proceedings, but instead they are obnoxious, their every overdone quip grating on the soul. Love and Air Sex pushes this trend to its breaking point, featuring a pair of the boring and a pair of the obnoxious at the core of its supposedly romantic plot. Cathy (Ashley Bell) and Stan (Michael Stahl-David) are the boring ones. They are defined chiefly by their aspirations (Cathy wants to be a doctor, Stan a screenwriter) and the fact that they are In Love (TM). Why they are in love is unclear – the film’s first sequence shows their first date, then fast-forwards through a whirlwind romance right up until it’s broken by their inability to maintain a long-distance relationship. They both move away from their hometown of Austin in pursuit of their goals, Stan to LA and Cathy to New […]

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The Last Exorcism Part 2

When the word started to get out about a new found footage movie called Cotton back in 2009, it immediately stuck out from the then current crop of similar horror films by being character driven movie with a legitimate reason for filming. The story of Reverend Cotton Marcus was interesting and engaging, that of a man brought up in faith who’d come to regard the whole lifestyle as a hoax, an elaborate play put on to calm the nerves of the anxious churchgoers. And he was unquestionably the star, a charming, energetic young man who knew just how to play an audience. But growing concerned with an increasing number of requests for exorcisms, Cotton decides to bring on a film crew to help him expose exorcism for the stage play it really is. Obviously, the name of the film was changed to The Last Exorcism before release and the film that bore that name did a lot of things right. A few minor quibbles aside, it was a pretty good film. So of course someone decided that we should all be exposed to a sequel, mainly in the hopes that money could be grubbed. While many have poked fun at the idea of a film entitled The Last Exorcism getting a Part II, it’s not completely ridiculous. After all, the exorcism from the title of the original film was referring specifically to Cotton’s last exorcism. Although, the Cotton character doesn’t appear in the new film so maybe the title doesn’t […]

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The Last Exorcism Part 2

In the second Last Exorcism, Nell (Ashley Bell) has moved on from the old farmhouse, but even as she tries to have a normal life, the demon that rose from the fire in the first film has different plans. Because demons make plans. Forgetting the ridiculous title, the film boasts two key strengths. The first is Bell — who was steely in the first film and gets a bigger spotlight here. The second is co-writer/director Ed Gass-Donnelly, whose most recent work was the beautiful crime flick Small Town Murder Songs. The Cajun setting is also pretty promising. Watch the voodoo for yourself:

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Editors Note: The following interview was conducted in September 2011 but has never been published before today. It is finally seeing the light now because The Day is finally hitting DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday, November 27.  In an interview posted earlier today, director Douglas Aarniokoski and actors Cory Hardrict and Michael Eklund discuss the beneficially miserable conditions of shooting The Day, a post-apocalyptic thriller about a band of starving survivalists who go up against a group of cannibals. After talking with them, I sat down with Dominic Monaghan, Shawn Ashmore and Ashley Bell to talk about their own experiences making the film and developing characters they were given little background on. Monaghan and Ashmore also addressed aspects of The Day extra-diagetically relating to their work on Lost, The Lord of the Rings and the X-Men films, while Bell discussed her role as a kick-ass action heroine, which I’ll admit is the highlight of the film. Someone should give her a franchise besides the Last Exorcism films.

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Given the nature of the film, and the nature of a sequel that makes no sense given its title, the news that one of the actors from The Last Exorcism is coming back for the next installment could be considered spoiler-ish, so proceed with caution. The first film was a mixed bag that erred on the good side with strong performances from Patrick Fabian (who finally broke out of his Saved By the Bell: The College Years pigeonhole), the newcomer Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, Tony Bentley as a calm-headed pastor, and Caleb Landry Jones and Louis Herthum in hard-wrought roles as the only family of the affected girl. The strangeness of making The Next Last Exorcism aside, especially considering the ending, Bloody Disgusting is reporting that (at least) one of these actors will be back.

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If the only music that will play in the post-apocalyptic world will be Explosions in the Sky, someone hit a big red button on an atomic bomb so I can strap on some leather and guns and go cavorting around a disseminated landscape, because that sounds like an excellent time. And Shawn Ashmore is there? Blow this damned planet sky-high! The Toronto International Film Festival has recently released the titles that will form its Midnight Madness program this year, and that includes a film with all those elements, and more – Douglas Aarniokoski’s The Day.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr puts on his preachin’ suit and heads out to the multiplex to exorcise the demons of bad movies. Sadly, this won’t be the last exorcism of this kind because January and February are just around the corner. In the wake of the money grab re-release of Avatar: The Big Blue Sex Scene Edition, Kevin takes aim at Takers and The Last Exorcism.

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