Category Archives: Films

Eric Roberts vs. Robert Vaughn, Podcast Style

Eric Roberts and Robert Vaughn

Eric Roberts and Robert Vaughn

We here at Risky Fuel believe in the principle that you “find your people.”

So if, say, you’re the sort of person who is super-obsessed with late actor/spy Robert Vaughn, all you have to do is check in with someone who’s obsessed with actor/cartoon villain Eric Roberts to put together that the two of them had worked together on the film A Cry From Within.

Next thing you know Sarah is on episode #42 of the Eric Roberts Is The Fucking Man podcast talking to host Doug Tilley about Vaughn and Roberts.

You can listen to/download the podcast by going here.

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Stevie Nicks ‘In Your Dreams’: Fleetwood Mac Singer’s Doc Almost Foiled Due to Vanity

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Toward the end of In Your Dreams, Stevie Nicks and Dave Stewart’s documentary about the making of their album of the same name which opened at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox last night, Stewart muses about the magic that he experienced in that year of writing and recording with the rock ‘n’ roll legend and his hopes that a piece of that comes across in the film.

“I hope it brought you a little closer to Stevie’s heart,” he says in his closing narration.

The film certainly lives up to Stewart’s expectations. The result of the producer and former Eurythmics member’s almost obsessive need to film and document everything in his life, In Your Dreams takes viewers deep into the year-long creative process behind Nicks’s 2011 album — her first solo release in over a decade — and just as deep into the heart of its co-writer and co-director.

With his omnipresent camera essentially becoming part of the gang, Stewart documents almost every detail of what happened from the time that Nicks asked him to produce her new album to the assembly of her band and crew (including superstar producer Glen Ballard and her Fleetwood Mac bandmates Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham) to the videos the crew made to accompany each song on the disc.

Obviously comfortable with her creative partner, Nicks opens up about almost everything. Her family, her early music history, her sometimes rocky history with Buckingham, and her current inspirations are all covered. She even waxes poetically on her love of the Twilight films, which were the inspiration for the song “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream).”

“I was taken with this movie because what happened to Bella absolutely happened to me,” she says about Bella’s post-Edward heartbreak in New Moon.

The result of this intimate and open atmosphere is a documentary that actually does make you feel like you’re part of the action, as cliched as that phrase may be. And, as it turns out, the film was only really the opening act for people who attended one of the two screenings and Stevie Nicks Q&As last night. In the flesh, the rock star was even more personable and charming.

Clad in one of her trademark flowing outfits, Nicks amiably sauntered on stage after the screening, settled into her seat and started regaling the sold out crowd with a story about the genesis of the In Your Dreams film, and how her own personal insecurities almost destroyed the project before it even began.

Stewart, she explained, original brought up the idea of filming the whole process when he first agreed to produce the album for her. Nicks wasn’t big on the idea, as it stood in the way of all of dreams of recording and home and dressing as a complete slob.

“That means serious hair, makeup and clothes,” she said, in mock horror.

In the end, though, it was Running Down a Dream, the 2007 Tom Petty documentary, that convinced her to give the camera a shot.

“I remember the footage from Tom Petty’s very, very long four-hour documentary, which I personally loved, every minute of it,” she said. “But there was a part on the Traveling Wilburys that was so brilliant and it really showed the five of those guys like they were in the James Gang or something. And we got to see them for a half-hour really be who they were and just looking so handsome and playing this amazing music and then, within minutes, it seemed, two of them died. And if they hadn’t have done that, what a shame that would have been.”

This got her reevaluating her own priorities.

“What a shame it would be if you, Miss Vanity, said no to this because you don’t want to spend a half an hour doing makeup and picking a uniform,” she continued. “What if we come up with something that’s really great and we don’t film it? And then how are you going to feel a year after that? You’re going to go, ‘Wow, now you really can admit to the vanity of women because you lost out on something really brilliant.’ So I said ok.”

Soon, she said, her appearance wasn’t even on her mind.

“It’s amazing how easy the process becomes because of the people involved.”

Taking questions from the crowd, Nicks indulged the audience in questions about making the classic Fleetwood Mac album Rumours (“It wasn’t a very pleasant experience,” she quipped before embarking on a more philosophical reflection on the romance and the drama behind those days), and opening up about the death of her mother.

She also talked about how the promotion of In Your Dreams really forced her to adapt to the new realities of the music business. For someone who came of age in a wildly different music industry, it hasn’t always been an easy transition.

“The music business has turned to stone,” she said. “I can’t expect anyone to help me.”

She also pointed out that record companies just don’t have enough money to invest in bands for the long term anymore, using Fleetwood Mac’s post-Rumours career as an example.

“If it had been now and we had done Rumours and had that success and then we did Tusk, the double record from Africa? Warner Brothers would have said ‘Get out and take your African tusks with you!’ It’s such a different age now.”

Nicks credits her fans and their support or allowing her to tirelessly tour and promote In Your Dreams and help her make it the modern day music business success that it is. As such, she pointedly thanked those in attendance for their part in it.

“I’m not going to worry about record sales anymore and I’m not going to worry about what people think,” she said.

“Because what really matters is what I think, because if I’m thinking good and I’m thinking happy, then what I do is going to turn around and make you feel good. So we just bounce off of each other. I throw the dreams out there and you throw them back at me. And that’s how we make this together. This is not anything that is done by one person. It happens because we’re a team. And you’re my team. You are. I mean that.”

This story was originally published April 16, 2013 on Spinner.


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Filed under Films, Music

Idris Elba: Fighter Doc Is Smart, Real

Idris Elba

Idris Elba

For fans of Stringer Bell, DCI John Luther or his real-life non-actor personification as Idris Elba, the idea of Elba embarking on a quest to become a pro kickboxer on the wrong side of 40 was… disconcerting.

Idris Elba: Fighter, the doc series that emerged from this journey, however, is entirely real and genuine.

Sarah watched and wrote about it for Fightland.

To read what she said click here.

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Filed under Films, Jock Stuff, Shameless Promotion, Television

‘The Accountant’ Fails Autistic Character Development

The Accountant

The Accountant

Now that Hollywood film writers have developed a basic grasp of (some of) the traits that a person with autism may exhibit, they’ve started to use this as part of their character development toolbox.

The thing is, when you’re a Hollywood writer making a Hollywood film and you decide to make one of your characters autistic you need to do so with the same thoughtfulness you’d tread a First Nations character or a black character or physically disabled character.

If you’re Ben Affleck and you’re playing an autistic killer in the film The Accountant, well, “thoughtfulness” appears to be too high a benchmark.

Sarah wrote about this phenomenon for The Establishment.

To read the story click here.

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That Awesome Guy In ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Is Donnie Yen

Donnie Yen

Donnie Yen

One of the actors getting next-leveled thanks to being in Star Wars: Rogue One is the martial arts movie star Donnie Yen.

Yen will be familiar to any avid follower of combat films like Ip Man and Shanghai Knights. But his storm trooper takedowns in the Rogue One should introduce him to a whole new audience.

Sarah wrote about Yen for Asian World Of Martial Arts.

To read the story click here.

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‘The War Show’ Documentary Shows Impact Of Syrian War

The War Show

The War Show

It’s pretty easy for most of us here in the western world to bury our heads in the sand and ignore what’s been happening in Syria.

Part of this is distance and another part is perceived difference — if you don’t know these people it makes it easier not to care about them, right?

A new documentary called The War Show is helping illuminate what it’s like for the Syrian people and it’s… awful.

I spoke to The War Show co-director Andreas Dalsgaard about this when he was in town for TIFF.

To read the full interview click here.

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Filed under Films, Politics, Shameless Promotion

‘The Fits’ Is Bringing Art Back To Boxing Movies

The Fits

The Fits

It could be fairly argued that the boxing movie as a genre has gotten quite predictable and stale.

That’s why new indie movie The Fits is such an intriguing, welcome new film.

Its use of the sweet science is a bold new direction for fight — or at least fight tangential — films.

Sarah wrote about it for Fightland.

To read about this click here.

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Filed under Art, Films, Jock Stuff, Shameless Promotion