Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Best Of British.
143 Minutes. Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Ben Whisaw, Albert Finney & Judi Dench. Screenplay: John Logan, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade Director: Sam Mendes.
It's been a great year to be British...a great couple of years in fact for Great Britain pride. Following the Royal Wedding last year-of the worlds most famous celebrity couple-the Queen started 2012 with a Diamond Jubilee. This same 2012 which recently saw England's capital London hosting an incredible, inspiring Olympic Games where they really took home the gold. The Queen isn't the only one celebrating 50 years however. The nations leading man and the worlds most famous spy James Bond turns 50, although he's switched between many ages over the last half century from Sean Connery and Roger Moore, to George Lazenbery, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. What a year for Ian Fleming's Bond to mark his half-century too, making it a double celebration with Her Majesty by parachuting into the Olympic Stadium with her in true 007 style.
Daniel Craig, yet again on Her Majesty's secret service, shows he has the classic style and the gritty substance to be a modern day killer with a license. It's a real shame his contract is almost up, but the rumors through the wire of current Brit-hit man, 'Luther' detective, 'Thor' gate-keeper and classic American television veteran Idris Elba are ones that could be very interesting and inspired. After remaking 'Casino Royale' and re-branding Bond with a 'Bourne' again style in 'Quantum Of Solace', Craig takes it higher with 'Skyfall'. Where this picture hangs next to the years favorite franchise films 'The Avengers', 'The Hunger Games', 'The Dark Knight Rises' and of course the yet to be viewed 'Hobbit' remains to be seen. Still, this might just be one of the best Bond's ever right there with 'Live and Let Die' and the original Bond, Sean Connery's best.
Director Sam Mendes really knows how to bring the picture perfect ('American Beauty') and the brutal reality ('Revolutionary Road') out of things and he re-charges this super spy show like 'Ghost Protocol' did for 'Mission: Impossible' last fall. With amazing 'Road To Perdition' (a film where Craig and Mendes previously collaborated) gun action this machine is a rapid, surefire hit. With a updated 007 that harks back to the homage of the greats this 50 year celebration looks to bring in the big six zero numbers. Also amongst exotic and exciting locations in Europe and Asia, James is brought back home and to the roots via London for a perfect, capital exclamation of action in the city of 2012.
Still it's the villain of the piece here that is the real draw and homage. Complete with self-righteous smarts, a lot of camp and vamp and a platinum, eighties blonde haircut which makes his 'No Country For Old Men' do look like a super-cut, Javier Bardem may just be Bond's greatest, cruelest and craziest adversary. He's more than a tribute to the baddies of eighties and decades past, with a little snapping nod to Jaws. He's a scheming villain who could even avenge Loki as bad-guy of the year. Silva is so good his name should be Oscar. Expect more awards for the acclaimed Spanish star. If you thought Javier was great at being bad in the classic 'No Country' then wait until you see this one..."Mommy has been very bad".
The Bond gir...pardon me women are a pretty good addition too. From the beautiful femme-fatale Bérénice Marlohe to Naomie Harris' chemsitry filled return to the silver screen, (she had a gold year in 2006 with a hot summer of 'Miami Vice' and 'Pirates Of Carribean-Dead Man's Chest'). Still the ultimate woman in Bond is national treasure Judi Dench and the legend is yet again the perfect mother in M, shouting, swearing and even gun-toting in a way that would make her 'As Time Goes By' fans drop their biscuits in their tea. With all that and support from a man who could play Bond himself what more could you ask for? What best of British film could you do without Ralph Fiennes? Now who does he play? Felix? Another double-0? All you need to know is he's brilliant yet again in this secret service masterclass. The rebirth of Q in the young, recognizable face of Ben Whishaw (with 'Star Trek' like familiar character introductions) and the re-introduction of the gorgeous gadgets keeps this clever film ticking over like a slick watch. Desmond Llewelyn would be proud.
All in all Bond is back with a bold bang ready to leave you shaken AND stirred. From top British singer and worldwide superstar Adele's triumphant theme song to tube stops that move at a rush hour action pace, this film is a network of thrilling twists and turning amazing action sequences. Taking ques (no pun intended) from everything from 'The Dark Knight' to 'Home Alone' of all films this film has one hell of a third act to follow. Even four years and four Bourne movies couldn't stop or spy Bond. 007 is fit for active duty and you can be sure Daniel Craig will return to rule Britania once again. What a 50 years its been. Here's to 50 more. Now how about that Martini? TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Sunday, 28 October 2012
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
Way down yonder in New Orleans comes an acting talent like no other. Anthony Mackie isn't the hottest, most underrated actor of the moment...he's been that for years. Ever since the 34 year old in 2009 emotionally told fellow breakout star Jeremy Renner, all bombed out and depleted that all he wanted to do was leave the war zone of the critically acclaimed, 'Avatar' beating 'The Hurt Locker' and have a son. Now a few years and many more great roles later Mackie is set to join this 'Bourne' star in the next assembling of 'The Avengers'.
Mackie is currently in the weight-room, arming up for the big battalion of Marvel sequels, starting with 'Captain America-The Winter Soldier', where Mackie will play the first African-American soldier 'The Falcon' which he tells 'Total Film' magazine is "an honor". Soon Anthony Mackie will join the legendary legacy making likes of Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Terrence Howard and Jamie Foxx as not only one of the best African-American actors, but one of the best actors around regardless of race or creed.
It doesn't end there either for the proud alumni of the Julliard School's Drama Division. The man with a voice as smooth as Morgan Freeman (he's already narrated 'The Best That Never Was' legendary ESPN '30 For 30' documentary about Philly football star Marcus Dupree) has lent his vocal and visionary talents to many films of late. Last year the man in all those trailers bolted up for 'Real Steel' with Wolverine, Hugh Jackman and camped it up with Captain America and co-star Chris Evans in 'What's Your Number'. This year he aided the president in a right hand performance in the 'other' Lincoln movie, 'Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter' whilst tipping the balance with Sam Worthington on the surprise 'Phone Booth' esque hit 'Man On A Ledge'.
With 'Ten Year', 'Pain & Gain' and his lead role in 'Bolden' even more is coming out of Mackie, but that won't be before he suits up with fedoras and a badge alongside fellow breakout talents Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Michael Pena to take down Sean Penn's 'Gangster Squad' in a classic, 50's American cops and robbers tale that looks to follow in the legendary law footsteps of 'The Untouchables', 'L.A. Confidential' and this years best film 'Lawless'. Even a respectable scene change (done after 'The Dark Knight Rises' shooting tragedy) won't halt this movie from being a cinematic classic.
Mackie's film debut came in Eminem's brilliant trip down '8 Mile' and with a real performance as Slim Shady's nemesis (he's so good at being bad you actually hated this undeniable, likable actor) you could see why only this man would do to play the one and only, late and great Tupac Shakur in the Biggie biopic 'Notorious'. If they ever do a full-length 'Pac picture then they've already found their man. He's already played the best rapper of all time on and off Broadway. The thespian who won an 'Independent Spirit Award' for his inspired performance as a homosexual man dealing with prejudice in 'Brother To Brother' and a 'Black Reel Award' for 'Night Catches Us'. And then of course there is the haunting, harrowing 'The Hurt Locker' and all the award acclaim for a man whose credits also include 'The Manchurian Candidate', 'Hollywood Homicide', 'Eagle Eye', 'Half Nelson', 'Freedomland', 'Sucker Free City', Spike Lee's 'She Hate Me' and Clint Eastwood's 'Million Dollar Baby' among other vast greats for this vastly versatile and great star player.
Far from just another character actor though it was his scene stealing, sobering and sweet performance in the Matt Damon vehicle 'The Adjustment Bureau' that really showed just how much Mackie could keep going, pushing the accelerator forward off the momentum built off 'The Hurt Locker's' Oscar hype. This was the 'Ascension Day' for the 'Crossover' talent who made his rounds on and off Broadway like George Benson as a serious, breakout star with off-key Jazz versatility. His sympathetic and sublime performance draped in smart clothing and conscious smarts helped change and re-course the great fate of this young, humble talent. Matt Damon could see it and now the whole world is going to. The Obie award winner can one day expect a film Oscar. He has an Academy of talent.
Thanks to his choices the former 24 hour New York play star and 'Topdog/Underdog' understudy of Don Cheadle is ready to show 'Iron Man's' War Machine that he has the mettle to play the Robin role to 'Captain America' perfectly as Sam Wilson's Falcon. Let's just hope Mackie can get his claws into 'The Avengers 2' too going into battle with Hawkeye once again. Hold your comic books for now though (or at least until 2014) as Anthony has more in the works including biopics on Jesse Owens, Antebellum slave revolt leader Nat Turner, and the previously mentioned jazz man Buddy Bolden. Who better for these roles then a man who one day may be taking flicks from the likes of Denzel, Will and Foxx? Anthony Mackie is the next one. The legacy of his legend is his to create and he's already made it. It's only going to get greater.
Saturday, 13 October 2012
Tyrese: Fast 6 is going to be big man. I'm on the set everyday. You know I'm really shocked there are so many stars in one movie yet Justin Lin-the director-who I think is a genius. We call him the Zen master because how can you have all these different personalities and ego's and energy on one set yet we feel like our characters have been individualized. You'll never catch Vin saying something that Roman Pierce would say. You'll never catch Dwayne Johnson saying something Paul Walker would say. Or doing anything anyone else should be saying or doing. So we all think we have big moments in the movie and it's a big deal. We're very grateful that 'Fast Five' is the biggest one to date and I think 'Fast Six' is going to be a problem when it comes out Memorial Day weekend.
Q. 'Fast & The Furious' isn't the only franchise you're a part of. You're a part of 'Transformers', but 'Transformers 4' will you be in it?
Tyrese: Erm...I don't know. Me and Michael Bay have been exchanging text messages and I hope it works out. I mean things fell apart with Megan Fox and so we had to do what we had to do to pick up the pieces and keep moving and that’s when we started to rock with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and now things have fell apart with Shia. Business is business and I think Shia has expressed this openly but when you're associated with movies like 'Transformers' other than the box office receipts as an actor, like a full on actor a lot of people can arguably say that they don't treat you serious in this town called Hollywood as they can say "the only reason this movie did big is because of the robots, or the big action and special effects". In a certain capacity it could diminish your value as an actor and what you bring to the table even though it's huge for your brand and your image and your celebrity around the world, but Shia is one of them real actors. Full-on real actors and I think whether it's an independent role and he's just getting paid per diem, or if it's a role that he's just passionate about that he can do for free, as long as he's associated with these heavyweight actors that's the space he's in. But for me I started this shit with Shia, Josh, Michael Bay and the team and sometimes you lose a team member. For me not being a part of 'Transformers 4', if that's what’s happening, it would fuck me up if I'm honest. I love it you know it's a childhood movie favorite of mine I don't want to not be a part of that franchise period and sometimes when you lose a team member you just have to keep it going...period.
Q. The new question is. How do you follow 'How To Get Out Of Your Own Way' with Rev Run on 'Manology'?
Tyrese: 'Manology' is the new book I did with Rev Run and that's coming around February. You guys can pre-order that book around the world right now. You know I'm excited man. There's nothing like sharing and giving people inside information about life live, love, relationships, challenges, things that people are struggling with. We should assume that until we speak on it, no one is listening because we have fans that hold on to the things that we speak on in our minds and our views and our perspectives. So you know 'Manology' is definitely coming, it's going to be some shit. It's going to shake up the world, I believe.
Q. Even with all this it looks like your triple-threat 'Black Rose' is looking to be your biggest project. Is this true?
Tyrese: Well 'Black Rose' is going to be very different. I think it's going to mean something very controversial you know. It's going to be a double album. It's going to be one side Tyrese, me singing and the other side Black-Ty, me rhyming, rhyming again like I did with 'Alter-Ego' and I'm also releasing a book called 'Black Rose'. So you know it's going to be some shit man I'm excited.
Q. I think the most important question is what is your biggest fear?
Tyrese: My biggest fear I think is...erm death. I fear death and I don’t fear death for a reason most people fear death. I'm not afraid to die because when its time to go it's time to go. I'm afraid of dying because I've got a lot of shit to do and I've I'm not here then it can't be done. I'm a giant. I'm a game changer. I'm fearless. The size of this building can't handle my thoughts, my visions, my dreams. I dream beyond what I can afford. I dream beyond my finances. I have visions beyond my circumstances. I've never claimed to be the biggest star in the world but I'm unstoppable in my mind and none of this stuff could be lived out if you're dead. So I got shit to do.
You can catch the full video interview on Tyrese's Mobli site.
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Friday, 12 October 2012
By TIM DAVID HARVEY.
The legend Clint Eastwood and this generations Cary Grant; George Clooney better watch out. There's a new actor/director who looks to be the next great in the long silver-screen line and his name is Ben Affleck. Yes that Ben Affleck. The 'Bennifer' guy that was for years cruelly criticized for choosing the wrong films compared to his friend and co-fame founder Matt Damon. The guy that stunned the world with his sobering and sublime debut 'Gone Baby Gone', directing his underrated, talented brother Casey. The guy that shot the lights out of everything even the iconic shoot-out in 'Heat', in-front and behind the lens in 'The Town'. The Berkeley born, Boston raised, blue-collar director who has earned himself the title Mr. November. The man that looks to gain more Academy and acclaim with his next big hit 'Argo'.
'Argo' is based on a true story of back when-during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis-the CIA posed as a Canadian film crew shooting a Sci-Fi movie (the same titled 'Argo') in order to rescue six U.S. diplomats from Tehran. The movie has drawn the talents of legends John Goodman and breaking star of the moment Bryan Cranston, to go along with rave reviews and a production credit and co-sign from politically and socially conscious actor/director George Clooney. This just goes to show that Affleck is in the esteemed company of the likes of Clooney's legendary legacy. These days-like George-the choices Ben makes are bold, brilliant and unapologetically unwavering.
Like the blueprint of acting/directing Clint Eastwood, Ben knows how to direct and deal with the toughest of subject matters that need to be addressed. With 'Mystic River', 'Changeling' and more Clint courageously dealt with the callous crimes done to children in a necessary and thought provoking way deep into his career, but with the great 'Gone Baby Gone' Affleck did it with his first movie. A movie that showed a gritty yet beautiful side of his native Boston much like one of the best thrillers/dramas in the epic 'The Town'. A film with some of the best shoot-outs action films have ever seen. Taking inspiration and almost taking over the classic bank job in De Niro and Pacino's 'Heat'. We feel sorry for whatever stage hand had to pick up the bullet casings after this one.
In 'Gone Baby Gone' Affleck turned his younger brother into a star, like he did with Blake Lively and 'Avenger'/'Bourne' Jeremy Renner in 'The Town'. Not bad for a guy that was said to be suffering from his writing friend Matt Damon's 'Bourne' rebirth in the same spy franchise. In 'Argo' Ben looks to bring the best out of screen greats Goodman and Cranston, like he did with Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman in 'Gone Baby Gone' and like he did in 'The Town' taking 'Mad Man' Jon Hamm from the television screens to the silver ones.
Just like he does with everyone else, Ben is bringing the best out of himself and that is the mark of a true leading man whether it be in regards to direction or acting action. In just three films in the directors chair (he was already doing it with his first) Ben Affleck is gaining the respect of every peer and critic alike that he couldn't with dozens of his roles in the last decade. The 'Bennifer' days are long behind him, he is married to another Jennifer now in 'Daredevil' co-star Garner. Still, those J-Lo tabloid days where harshly scrutinized by the press. After all this was Ben's private life and should have remained as such. His work in the public eye should have demanded more respect too.
When Ben wrote the generational classic 'Good Will Hunting' with high-school friend Matt Damon he did more than add a farts worth as 'Family Guy' jokes and peoples opinions can attest. Together the dominant 'Dogma' boys changed the game and set the tone for future young writers and introduced themselves as major stars and Academy players. Following this Damon went on to find more gold in a spy franchise that would draw him Bond comparisons along with other movies while Affleck looked at blockbuster season. Many saw it as Damon's substance over Affleck's style, thinking that Ben was just taking the money. The reality is, is that both big-names took the big-roles and the small ones too (if not Affleck taking more indie ones). Besides when your friend is being compared to 007 the coolest man alive, what chance do you stand? You could date Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez and still not touch that type of cool class.
Affleck who looks set to direct an adaptation of Stephen King's 'The Stand' and had even been offered a directing gig for a 'Justice League' movie (apparantly he's passed, he probably wants to stay away from the superhero capes) may be in a much better, greater career space now, but his early filmography is nothing to be sniffed at. There's 'Mallrats' and 'Chasing Amy' his classic, classy cameo where he owned the floor in 'Boiler Room' the indie hot, modern day 'Wall Street'. For every 'Pearl Harbor' there's a 'Reindeer Games' and even Michael Bay's epicly, long, war blockbuster was better than most say.
Just like the big, bold blockbuster 'Armageddon', Affleck put in a great performance even drawing some tears in the kind of big, bravado films Hollywood doesn't make anymore. He also passed the torch from Harrison Ford and did a great job as Jack Ryan (Chris Pine should take note) in 'The Sum Of All Fears' in one of those great nineties style thrillers that these days that have sadly left with Tony Scott on that tragic day this year. Even the heavily criticized blind superhero 'Daredevil' should have seen more love, especially from those racist critics who said 'Armageddon' co-star Michael Clarke Duncan (rest peacefully) "shouldn't have played Kingpin because Kingpin isn't black". Please! The late, great Clarke Duncan put in a great performance as did everybody in an underrated, fun superhero film. Besides Affleck got a marriage out of it (to co-star Jennifer Garner),Garner got a spin-off out of it (thanks to 'Elektra') and Jon Favareau got a love for comic-books and an 'Iron Man' gig out of it and we all know how well that turned out. Plus Ben's 'Pearl Harbor' co-star Josh Hartnett is due to reboot it so this hero's obviously done some good.
Sure the 'Golden Raspberry's came but at least 'Paycheck' had a cool concept, even if it didn't work. The tense, head-to-head drama with Samuel L. Jackson 'Changing Lanes' did however wonderfully, running critics off the road and half (alongside with 'Arlington Road') inspiring Sam Jackson's underrated recent find 'Lakeview Terrace'. The classic 'Hollywoodland' and his sobering performance in 'State Of Play' brought everything back together for Affleck however before he started creating great movies and helped make real, new ones with real, relevant things to say like the recession proof 'The Company Men'. It's clear after suffering from being down and out, Ben Affleck's career had tightened up his belt and afforded more.
'Runner, Runner' comes next for the man that just keeps going and going and wants to one day run for congress. Let's just hope him and his 'LivePlanet' co-founder Matt Damon write and star together one day because one of the greatest duo's in film need to give us another classic to add to their A-List catalogue. That would really make the two leading men the Lennon and McCartney of movies and after all they've been through imagine what they could come up with!? For now though it's all about 'Argo' and with award season coming up this film is a genuine picture based on a fake movie with a real chance of making a difference. Affleck may be a long way off Eastwood and Clooney but in the short space of three feature lengths look what he's done. Can you imagine where he'll be when he gets their decades behind his belt. Not breaking rocks and waiting for his friend to show up to tell him not to make the same mistakes as him. This is Ben Affleck's time now.
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
An Open Invitation.
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
What more can we say? To be on top of your game in the entertainment industry is one thing, but to be at the top of four games is just incredible. When someone has versatile and diverse talent in two fields like say a Frank Sinatra, or a Dean Martin did, or a Harry Belafonte everybody credits the singer/actors as being a double threat. Still, recently triple-threat territory has been traversed by the likes of the multi-talented actor, singer and comedian Jamie Foxx who really is everything entertainment...but then there's someone else. Someone who dominates the industry across the board. That someone is Tyrese Gibson.
Ever since this 'Baby Boy' got film credits and record deals after catching a bus for a commercial and singing about Coca Cola, this model talent has kept on top of his game all whilst keeping it real and never selling out. Right now Tyrese is in England's capital London following the Olympics keeping a Heptathlon of events on the go. You can currently find him with multi-talented likes of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, The Rock, Ludacris, Sung Kang and more revving up 'Fast Six', the latest in the full throttle 'The Fast and The Furious' franchise. Still, even though he's hard at work you can best believe he doesn't stop motoring on when he heads back to his trailer.
It's almost like he's trying to best his career year of 2011. A year which saw 'Fast Five', the latest in the 'Transformers' series (his 'other' big franchise pictures) and just a few more things. Those things being an inspiring, New York Times best selling book ('How To Get Out Of Your Own Way') which has made it into the hands of everyone from Will Smith to Michelle Obama and a new album. Did we forget to mention this Grammy nominated, platinum certified star was a force in music too? After all it's his singing on a bus which has ensured he will never have to ride on a bus again. Reference his critically acclaimed book to see just how far the man who now "just pulls up in a McClaren" has come.
He's making it all look too easy. Last year-after his self-titled debut and more classics like the '2000 Watts' juggernaut and the breakthrough 'I Wanna Go There'-Tyrese released his fifth and arguably best R&B album 'Open Invitation'. A classic which ignited his independent imprint 'Voltron Records' to rave reviews and hit singles like 'Too Easy' (with 'Fast' co-star Ludacris in tow), the sublime 'Stay' and the hands down 'Nothing On You' to join an all killer no filler record. This was the 'Sweet Lady' singers first release since his ground-breaking double disc set 'Alter-Ego'. An album which showed both sides of his musical personality.
To follow his classic R&B side, Gibson gave us his rap alter-ego, Black-Ty with the singers most diverse and bold work to date. Last month we we're reintroduced to Black-Ty via the free 'Invisible Bully-The Lost Tapes' mixtape. A more than generous offering of 53 tracks, that already broke download records just days after its release. The inspired Tyrese and Black-Ty look to double up again on the forthcoming 'Black Rose' album (oh and that's coming with another book too). That will come in between all the other movie deals and projects this multi-skilled man looks to offer up in-between tweeting and video and audio-tuning inspiration to his two million plus Twitter followers.
Tyrese looks to get even more numbers out of his collaborative projects too. We haven't even begun to mention his next book 'Manology' with Run-DMC legend Rev Run or the legendary legacy he looks to make with fellow kings of R&B, Tank and Ginuwine with the supergroup TGT and their album due next year. Did we forget anything? Movies, books, R&B and rap, that's four. That's a quadruple talent. It looks like Tyrese Gibson is working this year to make next year even better than his last. What more can we say? Maybe it's time to hear from the man himself?
We caught up with Tyrese in London.
"Every single day I just try my best to be the best version of me I can be. That's pretty much it. I think we're all a gift and some people don't recognize their own gifts and that's why they don't use them and some people want to give up on their gifts and the timing, the energy and like these random kind of stars line up. Then you start paying attention to you gift and work hard to elevate it to another level. So you know its kind of the gift that keeps on giving. You have a gift and you're not afraid to use your gift."
Q. So Tyrese it's safe to say you've been a busy man of late, your looking to make next year even better than your last. Where do we start? How you doing?
Everything is alright man. You know just taking it all in. You know what I've up to you've seen it on Twitter.
Q. Getting into a bit of trouble?
Just a little bit,
Q. Nothing you can't handle?
I got it all covered.
Q. You've been in London for awhile now filming how are you enjoying this city and country?
Its cool man you know I don't go out as much as I should. There's a lot of history and architecture out here. You know I'm still trying to get adjusted to the time zone 'cause we're 8 hours ahead of L.A. but you know it’s been good man. We getting a very, very big movie shot and everyone's enjoying themselves, the cast, the energy is right we just having a good time. It's beautiful.
Q. Your return to the 'Fast & Furious' franchise really has helped re-energise the series. What's it like to be properly back in the driving seat?
Well you know I think its very powerful to be part of such a huge cast, but yet Justin Lin and the writers as well as us-I don't want to discredit the work we've put in-we've all figured out a way to coexist and we've all figured out what we individually bring to this franchise. Nothing that I'm doing will remind you of Vin, nothing that Dwayne is doing will remind you of Paul, nothing that Ludacris is doing will remind you of Sung or Gal. I mean everybody is playing their role and it’s very incredible to be part of this process you know. If it was horrible I'd tell you but it’s been very powerful to be a part of this franchise.
Q. What can you tell us about 'Fast Six' and the location of London? A lot of people have wanted me to ask you about a tank on the motorway. I was thinking TGT, like what's Tank doing on the motorway.
Well a lot of the tank stuff has been happening in Austria I think or Oslo, I believe, don't quote me but they've been doing a lot of second unit stuff out there with a whole other crew. Doing a lot of big action, so a lot of the tank stuff has been going on over there. I haven't done anything with a tank. Shit the car that Dwayne drives looks like a tank but he hasn't done anything with a tank. I got a big action sequence coming up with a tank but I haven't got to that yet.
Q. Can you share with us some of your favourite memories and experiences being a part of the 'Fast Five' and '2 Fast, 2 Furious' movies?
Q. It's hard to believe it's been ten years since '2 Fast 2 Furious'.
Q. Yeah I was 16/17.
You where 16? How old are you now?
Q. Ludacris had the 'fro, you where wearing the Allen Iverson armband.
You know I had Allen Iverson say to me; "yo I love you man, as soon as the movie came out my kids went to see it and they saw you rocking the wristband man and I became their favourite dad for like a year" because I wore that 'The Answer' wristband. You know things that you think nobody would notice. I'm also the biggest Allen Iverson fan whether he's in the NBA or not. He's a legend. He's on fire man. He reminds me of Derrick Rose, just that fire just so aggressive going to the basket and always smooth at the end. Like (mimics a lay-up) 'heeeey'.
Q. Keeping it basketball, you're from L.A. does that make you a Lakers fan?
Q. Me too (we shake hands) we got a good team this year.
Dwight Howard and who else did we just get Steve Naaaash from Arizona, Phoenix Suns right? Yeah.
Q. Still, that's another blog. Keeping it on screen, in 2011 you had a big year with 'Fast Five' and 'Transformers-DarkOf The Moon'. Any plans for more 'Transformers' or other pictures in the pipeline?
You know I don't really know how this 'Transformers' thing is going to work out man. You know the idea of not being a part of something I helped build really hurts man. I just hope Michael Bay decides to figure out a way to make it work. You know Shia has gone public and clearly said he's not interested, in a different space as an actor and doesn't want to come back and do 'Transformers'. I just hope Michael specifically figures out bring some of the other parts back. They're in the middle of production and tweaking the script and doing everything else they're doing. I hope they call and say 'hey we figured something out' I don't know. But Michael Bay created my character out the clear blue sky. My character didn't really exist at all. As a matter of fact a lot of people don't know this but Michael actually wanted me to play the role Bernie Mac had in 'Transformers 1' but then when we hung out more he just created Robert Epps out the blue and put me in this crew with Josh Duhmel, you know Lennox. I just hope he figures something out and we can move from here.
Q. Speaking of Shia thanks for the 'Lawless' recommendation that could be the film of the year?
(Nodding) Shia is a motherfucker (in a good way) man. Shia.is.a.motherfucker.
Q. This is the burning question I've been meaning to ask you; who would really win arm-wrestling out of you and The Rock?
I don't know. I think I would definitely give it my best shot you know what I'm saying. I'd go all out. I don't know if I could take him out but I'd try.
Q. Is he brave enough?
I don't know if he'd actually do it. But I'd challenge him to it.
Q. You could take Paul Walker (in an arm wrestle)though right?
Yeah, I could prob...yeah.
Q. You could definitely take me.
More than likely, yeah.
Q. From 'Baby Boy' to now could you share with us your favourite movies that you've been a part of? A personal favourite of mine is 'Four Brothers' you all really brought it with that one.
You know I’m going to be honest man. At this point my favourite movies tend to be the experience you know what I’m saying. The ones that I have fun while we're making them. 'Baby Boy', 'Four Brothers' man we laughed all day everyday, all four of our personalities man. Mark, Andre, Garrett we laughed so freaking hard. I wonder if we actually had a gag reel, we cracked so many jokes it was unbelievable. You know for me nothing compares to the outcome of Transformers, the special effects and the way Michael Bay moves that camera. There's no comparison. I just hope you know it works out.
Q. Speaking of 'Transformers' I love that scene when that building in Chicago snaps in half and you're all sliding down it, how much of that was C.G and how much was real?
That was all the combination of reality and C.G. we where sliding down the side of something. It wasn't quite that building but it was something. If you get the Blue Ray, you'll see the making of how it happened. It's pretty elaborate.
Q. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker aren't the only guys your teaming up with in music you've just made your group with Ginuwine and Tank official with Atlantic Records. What can you tell us about that and the forthcoming album?
You know it's a passion project and I don't really know if anybody see's how big this will really can be the way I do. Ginuwine and Tank can see it but I don't even think they see what I see as far as how big this can go. Right now when it comes to fans because of social media fans are spoilt and they have access to their favourite stars in a way like never before in the history of fans and stars. Also iTunes has single-handedly outside of Napster contributed to creating a shift in a major way in what we call the music business. As we all know iTunes created the lazy feeling of 'I don't feel like going to four or five different record stores to buy an album now I can just click a button and have it'. So therefore all of the traffic that was physically moving into the record stores like Virgin and Tower Records is gone. All these music companies aren't where they used to be. We're talking about full on music stores that have been shut down. A few of them still exist but for the most part their wiped out because the convenience of itunes, great for them, bad for the music business. Then you have chains like Walmart or Target, where if they where just in the music business they'd be wiped out but because they have 75 to 1000 options of things beyond C.D's and DVD's that you can buy then it becomes a one stop shot. So as crazy as an analogy that is that's why TGT makes all the sense in the world, because you got me, you got Ginuwine, you got Tank. We're all young legends in the music business so to speak individually but the idea that it becomes a one stop shop where you can get all these different flavours and colours and energy musically. It's going to contribute to the game in a major way. Where you can get everything you want to experience musically in one concert and one album. I'm not saying that me, Ginuwine and Tank are Walmart or Target but you get everything in one store and that's what makes us the R&B Avengers.
Q. I’m loving the logo, it’s like something out of ‘Tron’.
Q. You guys work very well together and have a great chemistry especially on tracks like the 'Please Don't Go' and the Let Me Grind' remixes, as well as 'One Night Stand' and 'Can't Blame You'. What do each of you bring to TGT and what influences and inspiration can you bring from both Ginuwine and Tank?
Basically what I'm getting out the fans right now they want more. They want more. If you think about Young Money, if you think about people with clicks of talented artists and they're all touring together everyone realizes the power of combining the energy and effort. If you look at the success of 'The Avengers' it just goes to show you. All of the stars and the comic book characters have had huge success on their own and it's the ultimate fan experience to get Superman's biggest fan and Iron Man's biggest fan in the same row. They would probably decide they don't want to coexist in one theatre but because all of their favourites are in one movie that's why they're here. That's what we are. I've tweeted a picture of the three of us and said 'ladies just pick one' and they'll say 'Tyrese is my number one hands down, I like Ginuwine or Tank but they can't touch him', or 'Tank all day or every day, end of story. I got love for y'all but Tank is my baby' and it's the same for Ginuwine. You know it's arrogant to assume that fans of Ginuwine and Tank will love me too, but you know what? They will love me because now we're all in the same movie. You can come to the concert to see Ginuwine but they got to see me. I'm not sharing any of these screams, I'm not sharing any of these photo-ops. I'm stingy. They getting screams over me I ‘aint having it.
Q. Ginuwine say's he's Wolverine and Tank's the hawk so which Avenger are you?
I'm Iron Man. I'm Iron Man. Only because-damn this just hit me right now thank you-because I'm a very shrewd businessman. I think compared to Ginuwine and Tank's personality I'm the one that has the strongest bottom line. I'm very aggressive about everything and anything I do. That's just it man, that's where I'm at with it.
Yeah, I like her as a songwriter a lot but more importantly as a person. She's very very sweet, she's been to the house with Tank a few times while we where doing R&B boot camp. I told Tank she should be writing on the album.
Q. Can we expect to hear that friend of yours Black-Ty guest featuring on the album?
We'll see what happens. Right now Black-Ty is chilling waiting to be unleashed on this 'Black Rose' album. You know I'm full throttle right now.
Q. With that in mind congratulations on the huge success of your 'Invisible Bully' rapping mixtape how does it feel?
It feels great man. We're well over a million downloads right now. You know it's been about three or four weeks since it dropped. I think we're well over 2 million downloads if you really think about it, because outside of the DUBCNN download, people have created their own sites and tweeted the shit out. So the downloads are pretty endless. It was just my way of reintroducing Black-Ty. It's like Chris Rock said it best "you don't want to be the first black man to do anything". Of course I wasn't the first R&B singer to rap its happened plenty of times before. I think when I did it, itwas so full on, it wasn't a gimmick, I wasn't like me fucking around it caught a lot of people off guard. It messed a lot of people up. Now all of sudden you got Chris Brown, Trey Songz, you got Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and a bunch of different R&B stars rapping and they got alter-ego names. So for me I'm not looking at it like them trying to be like me but I will say I was the first one to jump into that world and make people think it's possible to fall all the way in love with an R&B singer and then listen to them rap at the same time. I will also say a lot of rappers have cleaned up their looks and image. If you where at home watching 106 & Park on mute you wouldn't know who's singing or rapping, because everybody looks the same. Everyone’s got the sexy girls in the video. R&B singers are wearing the big chains, the big earrings with the fancy cars and all the girls.
Q. I think what sets you apart is the concept rap songs. Like 'Lost With Guns' over Jay-Z's 'Lost One' or the 'Alter-Ego' one where you go back and forth with yourself. Where do you draw that creativity from? The acting maybe?
That's some other shit man.
Q. 'Alter-Ego' started it off with a great mix of tracks like 'One', 'Roses', 'Come Back To Me Shawty' and 'Fly Away' and now another double rap and R&B album 'Black Rose' will come next fall. It's early days yet but what can you tell us about the new album?
Well you know this word just dropped on me right now. I am on a mission to takeover emotions. That's what I'm on. So there is a lot of emotional outlets. You weren’t feeling that way till you heard that song. Or you weren’t feeling that way to you went to see that movie. Or you weren’t feeling that way, or considering those things until you read that book. So I'm on a mission to takeover emotions and you can't just do it through music you have to do it through as many areas as possible and so I'm very grateful that people have given me emotional access to them and ama ride this shit all the way out. Ama keep going.
Q. We can't not talk about 'Open Invitation' and the tracks 'Stay' and 'Too Easy'. We thought your previous work was classic but you really knocked it out the park with this one. First off congratulations, how does your return to music feel? I guess that so called expert that said you couldn't sell independently is on his own now?
You know its so good man. I think more than anything I came into it very confident but equally as insecure because a lot of people are very consumed in other people’s opinions. What they should do, how they should do it, when they should do it and if they should even do it at all. I've decided all of a couple of years ago ama live my damn life. I'm not going to base what is successful in the eyes of the world to what it is successful to me. What's successful to me is I had a vision, a concept and idea and I got it out of my heart, out of my mind and I put it out there. When you release it to the world then people will decide whether to show up or not. You can't give power to the numbers. What is successful is getting it out. For you to have an article or a vision or a story in your mind Tim and it stays in mind because you're allowing people not showing up, paying for your hotel room or committing to interviews with the Lakers or whatever the fuck it is. You can't give them power because they're diminishing the gift and they don't even know they're wiping you out. They're just doing what they do. "Oh we where going to send you but now we're going to go with someone else", then you decide to shut your whole fucking career down and they don't even know they wiped you out, "oh shit I took him out". They don't know, but you know. I didn't know my album was going to sell the way it did 400,000 plus thousand. I didn't fucking know, but it happened, I went all out. So this TGT album....we're going to do our best album...period and when we hit the road motherfuckers better get ready. That should be the headline (taps table) motherfuckers.better.get.ready.
I love Ludacris man. Ludacris is a good man. That's what I have to say about him. He is a good dude man for real. I hope to be friends with Ludacris for a very long time. We may never do another movie or record together...I hope we do, but that's my friend hopefully for a long time. He's a gift.
Q. You say your latest video is your greatest. You had a great time it looks filming 'Too Easy' and have acted alongside some leading ladies recently too but what remains your favourite video you have done?
I love the 'Stay' video because of my girl Taraji and you know this 'Best Of Me' video is going to take me to another level.
Q. How about your own favourite guest features your spot on the posthumous 2Pac album was truly inspired?
Yeah you know what scary man is. I don't know what's about to happen bro. This dude knows me (points to his friend G. Flowers) no two days are ever the same when you're around me. It's always some other shit. This is what's scary-in a sarcastic way-about my life is that this is normal for me. When other people come around and respond to me like "oooh shit" I realise it's not normal and the thing is it's not that I'm taking any of my blessings or access for granted. In the midst of everything I'm forever grateful for what's happening but this is my world and you come into my world there's a likelihood that you're going to be exposed to some life changing shit. And where not just talking about hanging out with stars, but where talking about one person who is literally involved in at least 12 or 15 different world simultaneously on an extreme level. I'm liable to be hanging out with Michael Bay and get a text from Vin Diesel. I'm in my back yard with Martin Luther King's son and daughter and Will Smith, Vin and Paul Walker are sitting to my right, the King kids to my left. I'm hanging out with a fucking holiday. Ooh shit, what the fuck? Like this is normal. It's some other shit man and they don't come to my house for like an hour, motherfuckers come to my house like 14, 15 hours straight. Me and Vin Diesel are in our house playing basketball in my backyard for like 6 hours, drink in hand. Vin comes to my house and buys me Starbucks (mock voice) "Hey Ty, (holds up cup that I brought him) I brought you some Starbucks". Like what the fuck is going on right now, I'm telling you man. It's some other shit I never take it for granted. Here I am man. The only Olympic game I go to I get on the phone I have a conversation with Elaine Wynn, the first lady of Las Vegas from the Wynn Hotel. She invites me to the Olympics. We have dinner, I bring her to the set the next day. She invites me to the Olympic Games. I have the best seats in the house. I get Vin to come down, Ludacris was there, he ended up blessing my whole friends with tickets to the game, that's why I love Luda man he's just a giver and I'm here to witness the American basketball team win the gold medal and whup some ass. With Elaine, Vin, Ludacris and everyone and their momma. Like, what is going on right now. I could of paid to go to the game but the way I went was on some other shit and that's my world man. That's my world bro and that's my shit.
Q. Even Jamie Foxx should be jealous of you.
Jamie ‘aint jealous of me. There are definitely some worlds that Jamie needs to jump into. Jamie's got so many stories to tell.
Q. More importantly from your self-titled debut to now what remains your personal favorite album and song?
My favourites are the ones I love listening to as well as performing. When you experience the reactions of the fans to the songs. The feeling you get when you're on stage, when I do 'Stay' it's bar non. 'Stay', 'Sweet Lady', 'How You Gonna Act Like That' these are records that are going to be around for a long time. When they come on in concert it's like some shit you'll never see, it's like the Holy Ghost. When the intro for 'Sweet Lady' comes on (mock sings and cheers) I don't even know if they're in church yelling like that. If it looks like when these songs come on it takes these peoples problems away.
Q. Is it safe to say in five or ten years that 'Stay' could be as big as 'Sweet Lady'?
It's already there. It is and I'll tell you why. First of all 'Sweet Lady' technically is not as big a song as 'Stay'. 'Stay' was number one for eleven weeks'. 'Sweet Lady' got to number 3 but it still did a lot for women’s confidence and is a classic record that everyone loves. 'Stay' is a record that's going to be around for a long time. It's pretty scary.
Q. Although you're all different. The thing you Tank and Ginuwine share is that you represent that more mature side of R&B, singing about themes like settling down instead of the throw away stuff that won't be around in years. Can you tell us more about what sets you apart?
You get in the vocal booth you put your heart on the mic and you just hope people can relate and identify to what it is. Whenever you do anything and it comes from your heart it's going to find hearts and connect with hearts. This is why Autotune-even though I've used it a couple of times- with Autotune there's a disconnect because you can't feel peoples soul sounding like a robot. People can't connect to that. So you know that's it on that.
Q. Is TGT going to follow in the footsteps of the classic nighties R&B acts like 112 or Jagged Edge and even going further back then that Boyz II Men, Blackstreet, etc.?
I don't really know if we can be compared to anybody. Naturally because Gearld Levertt, Johnny Gill and Keith Sweat did LSG before. We don't even compare to them. Now the concept of three solo artists doing a three can be compared, but they where a much more mature and older demographic. We're young gunners. We about to get that...
Q. Maybe you represent that mid-point-because you're all in your thirties-bridgin the gap between the younger and more mature generations?
The thing is we just don't compare. If you heard our songs there's some other shit going on right now dawg. It's not fair that this TGT album sounds this good. It's not fair. Because this isn't coming from an arrogant place I'm just speaking facts. Like if you look at all three of us that's going to get women to show up but it's not FAIR that our music sounds this good. It's almost expected that the three of us getting together with all this much hype, we'll end up getting together and doing an album that is trash and horrible. But this shit sounds SO good it's scary.
Q. You guys on Slim Thug's 'Let Me Grind' remix and 'Please Don't Go' and you're duet with Ginuwine on 'One Night Stand' have already shown great chemistry and am sure we can expect more.
Yeah it's definitely way different then that.
Q. All this hard work has really paid off congratulations on the success of Voltron Records and your recent award nominations? How does all this feel? I guess it motivates you to just keep going?
You know what it's one of them things where you put your best foot forward and the rest is on God and the fans. You know I worked my ass off on that 'Open Invitation' album and I had to remove the spirit of doubt. You can't go into anything having any type of doubt in yourself. You have to just say 'fuck it, if nobody is checking for this, that's what it is'. People said, there where comments like 'this is not todays R&B', 'this is like R&B of the nighties' 'R&B is very different these days'. Well R&B today ‘aint selling. So what's missing is the R&B you used to love, the albums you used to love where you could press play and listen to top to bottom. Albums these days sound like mixtapes because they have 12 different producers and I wanted to get back to the formula. Like when Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis did Janet Jackson's whole album, like when Jermaine Dupri did Usher's whole album. This is the formula. All the Wyclef and Lauryn Hill albums.
Q. Like Timbaland producing Brandy's 'Afrodisiac' which was easily one of the best R&B albums of the last ten years.
I don't know if that was her best. When she got with Rodney Jerkins for the 'Full Moon' album that was way better in its entirety. They where classic fucking albums. One producer, one batch of songwriters and just take flight. For me that's the formula.
Q. Which artists past and present influence and inspire you?
People compare me to other artists and I listen to a lot of other artists. I don't get into the vocal booth to purposely sound like anyone else. I'm just me you know. Just me man at all times and I'm a self confessed weirdo. It always has such a negative connotation but I think weirdoes are the most forward thinking individuals. You know I've tweeted this before. There is no such thing as thinking outside the box in my mind there isn't a box. I'm on some other shit. I've left earth a long time ago. I'm on Google maps. Motherfuckers looking up at me, everybody down there doing the same shit, I'm on some other shit.
Q. Of course music and movies aren't your only fortes. You recently penned a very inspiring book 'How To Get Out Of Your Own Way' which congratulations was a New York Times bestseller. Can you describe what its like to inspire your fans in a different way and reach an even wider audience?
You know it's the most amazing thing man. First of all the timing of releasing that book was very important. Because there's a lot of people with the gift of the gab who just know how to talk a good game. You know people in the world respond to success. Statistics, numbers, results. I've never claimed to be the biggest star in the world. Nor do I think I'm interested. I don't like the pressure that comes with being a fucking megastar. Barely can move anywhere, can't go anywhere without being recognized, everyday, all day. It becomes this non stop feeding frenzy that becomes too much. I don't know if I want that always, always. So you know I just want to do me and be me and however far that goes and takes me, I'll take it.
Q. And now the 'Black Rose' book is coming with the double album what can you tell us about that?
'Black Rose' is in the embryo stage and where going to get that book in motion I'm very excited about that. I'm going to fly the woman who I wrote 'How To Get Out Your Own Way' to London so we can just try and get into it. It's going to be one of those real game changers. I'm excited. 'Black Rose' is going to be scary, that's going to be one of those books that have a flow and an energy to it like 'woo'. It's going to fuck people up.
Q. Is that what some of the video blogs you've posted on Twitter have been for?
We used a lot of that content for the 'Manology' book. Whenever I did a video these two girls that are beautiful would transcribe that and we'd use it for the book.
Q. You inspire a lot of people and we thank you but in and outside your industries who inspires you we know your close with R. Kelly, Will Smith, Michael Jordan and the Obama's?
You know I'm inspired by a lot of different people man in a lot of different areas. I'm inspired by people who think outside of the box. People who are unapologetically, boldly, doing their motherfucking thing period. Like, just do your thing. I'm a force I believe that, like the size of this building can't handle my thoughts. That's how I rock. I'm a giant in my mind that's how big my spirit is. If you don't have this type of mind state you're just average and I'm not average. So Denzel, Oprah, Will Smith, Steve Jobs, R. Kelly, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, I mean I just saw that trailer for that movie 'Lincoln'. Are you fucking kidding me son!? I'm ready for that Dr. King role because of that trailer. I got a lot to do. Let me tell you something man my biggest fear is dying. I don't fear anything but death and they say you don’t fear death and I'm not afraid of dying because of death. I'm afraid of dying because I got a lot to do man. I can't do shit if I'm gone. I don't want to die. That's why I'm kind of like a hypochondriac, as soon as I find myself under the weather man I go straight to the doctor. Fuck that. I'm feeling something in my chest (taps veins in his arm) man hook me up. Something ‘aint right. C'mon man.
Tyrese thank you it's been an absolute pleasure and really appreciated. I remember Ginuwine wrote in the thank you's of his 'Senior' album that "the game owes you". Things really are paying off now, I guess good things really do happen to those who work hard and patiently. I guess you won't have to sing 'Taking Forever' that much anymore hey!
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Back To The Looper.
118 Minutes. Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis & Emily Blunt. Writer & Director: Rian Johnson.
Ever since Joseph Gordon-Levitt made his way from the '3rd Rock From The Sun' the baby faced star has always been ahead oh his time, from '10 Things I Hate About You' to spending '500 Days Of Summer' with a 'New Girl' the young talent has made mainstream hit after independent hit. Still over the last few years the 'Inception' of his legendary legacy has begun. Right now along with 'Dark Knight Rises' co-star Tom Hardy this is his year. The rising star has had a 'Premium Rush' of movies and 'Batman's' trusty sidekick doesn't look to give up soon. Now the boy wonder looks to continue writing his future with Sci-Fi smash 'Looper'.
A shotgun time travel affair that opened the Toronto Film Festival to a blunderbuss of five star reviews and critical acclaim thanks to Joe's irregular performance, capturing a young Bruce Willis in all his essence. Gordon-Levitt has it all done and down from the altered features to the eyes, walk and talk...the string vest also makes an appearance in a Josh Brolin/Tommy Lee Jones, 'Men In Black 3' chameleon portrayal. Levitt's incredible performance-which is one part Willis influence with an equal measure of his own inspiration-could result in an award 'Looper' scooper next year.
Still why is Joesph playing a young Bruce you ask. Well 'Looper' is a film and concept based on special assassins whose targets are zapped back from the future to be zapped and killed by hitmen who can carry out the killing and leave their victims permanently in the past. It's a strange idea but one that works and one that Phillip K. Dick would be proud of. Still what would happen if your old self was sent back from the future to be killed by your own hand? That's the question facing out protagonist here as Joe Levitt and Bruce Willis play the same Looper, young and old.
Don't go round in circles trying to get the idea of messing with time travel right in your head-"wait a minute if he does that, wouldn't that?"-just take the old saying of 'what goes around, comes around' to heart. Besides all will be explained in a tense, terrific, head-to-head diner scene which is only a few coffee's away from cooling down De Niro and Pacino's in 'Heat'. It's this interplay between the old and young lead that makes this film and as Willis refuses to 'Die Hard' we get to see this legend do what he does best in what will end up another underrated gem in this somewhat undervalued actors classic catalogue. With amazing action and dominating drama this is the hit man's next 'Twelve Monkeys'.
A killer cast featuring an American accented Emily Blunt and a bearded Jeff Daniels along with many more gives this film more substance. There's style to boot too, from the clothes to the weapons of choice. Rian Johnson's wonderfully wrote and decadent directed vision of the future is so well sought out it could even send 'Total Recall' back to the eighties. Mixing a high-rising future of a sublime, superior Singapore with the corn maize of Kansas gives this film textural parallels that mirror the tone of this reflective story. Science Fiction fans that dream of electric sheep will really be woken up by this one. Bringing it back to the future this is something to be learned about ourselves and the world from this one. It all comes around to an incredible end that will start you thinking. With all it's hidden silver linings, this hired gun shoots for gold. TIM DAVID HARVEY.