Shawn Ashmore

last stand 55

Maybe it’s the fault of The Avengers, but another Marvel Comics movie franchise seems to be trying to throw together as many heroes together as possible. We’ve been hearing for a while now that X-Men: Days of Future Past will connect the original X-Men trilogy with the 2011 prequel, X-Men: First Class, and in doing so director Bryan Singer is uniting all the old and new (or is that new and old?) characters for a massive mutant ensemble. The three latest additions to the cast, as announced by Singer via Twitter, are Anna Paquin (Rogue), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) and Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat). The last time we saw these three was seven years ago, in X-Men: The Last Stand (not to be confused with the new Schwarzenegger vehicle), the third installment, which also saw Brett Ratner take the helm from Singer, who’d done the first two. In his tweet, Singer thanks Ratner for “letting them live” at the end of his movie. Page was actually the third actress in three films to portray Pryde (the others were Sumela Kay and Katie Stuart), but she was the last, is the biggest name and as an Oscar-nominee seems to be the best person for the part, especially if she’s the main character, as Pryde was in the comic book version of the “Days of Future Past” storyline. 

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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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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.  After seeing the minimal-exposition post-apocalyptic thriller The Day at the Toronto Film Festival last year, I wanted to rename the film “The Real Hunger Games.” Not because it’s anything like The Hunger Games but because it’s about a group of survivalists (played by Dominic Monaghan, Shannyn Sossamon, Shawn Ashmore and Cory Hardrict) who are starving. And unlike another group (led by a man known only as “Father,” played by Michael Eklund), as well as the majority of humans still roaming the land, they won’t allow themselves to become cannibals in order to stay alive. Directed by Douglas Aarniokoski, a protege of Robert Rodriguez, The Day was apparently purposefully a grueling film to shoot, with the ensemble cast making the effort to play their parts as if they were actually living the 24-hour plot, suffering freezing temperatures and avoiding craft service in service to their craft. I talked to Aarniokoski and most of the actors about working on the movie, with the group separated into two groups. First up is my conversation with the director, Eklund and Hardrict about the production and why being miserable on location is actually a great benefit.

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“In some cases however, the passage of time is a blessing…Time heals all wounds, makes us forget, or, allows us a chance to reflect. Three years is an abundance of time. A lot can happen in 36 months: wars have been fought and lost, relationships have blossomed and then been destroyed, children have been conceived, born, and taken their first steps. In the case of Mother’s Day, 3 years was the amount of time it took me to become disillusioned with the filmmaking process.” That’s director Darren Bousman revving the horror engine on a nightmare. It doesn’t involve a reverse bear trap or a team sent back for your organs, so it’s probably scarier. It’s the story of how a movie that Bousman made that simultaneously met his creative vision and received high praise from testing audiences went from a huge potential opening to a release last weekend that no one heard about. Bousman goes into deep detail, chronicling the journey of a movie that wrapped in 2009 and didn’t see the light of day until 2012. It’s a must-read piece for how candid Bousman is regarding a hell on the other side of development. Let’s call it Post-Production Hell. His segment on what watching a test audience react to his work is especially enlightening. Ultimately, the train of events looks something like this:

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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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‘Frozen’ can be boiled down to ‘Open Water’ on a ski lift, but it’s still quite entertaining.

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I Liked This Movie, Dammit!

The Ruins is one of the creepiest, most disturbing tales to hit theaters in months. The last time I saw such a visceral, effective thriller was when Neil Marshall released The Descent. It’s bleak and it’s gory, and if there is a film that is guaranteed to make your skin crawl, this one is it.

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published: 04.19.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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