GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ I Smell Sheep: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Francis Ford Coppola new film and The Bat Guy

Not long ago I took a trip up north to my Mom's house in Nice, CA. Wine Country baby! While I was there she mentioned to me that Francis Ford Coppola had recently been in the area shooting his newest film. Coppola's film, titled Twixt Now and Sunrise, is described as "suspense with horror undertones" due to release later this year. Notable actors such as Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern and Ben Chaplin all hold key roles. In a recent interview Val said this about his part in the film:

“It’s a Halloween extravaganza. There’re dogs and vampires. I play a writer who’s something like [author] Mario Puzo, or at least how Francis describes Puzo‘s experience where he wrote The Godfather while he was waiting for inspiration for his masterpiece. My character is a guy who tossed off this book about witches, and it became a big deal, and now he’s known as doing these silly witch books and he’s on hard times now looking for inspiration.”

At this point in film production, specific details remain vague. However, knowing such a big-name director was filming in my Mom's small town, I couldn't resist seeking out first-hand information about this exciting film. The first stop I made was to John's, aka The Bat Man's, shop where Coppola filmed for a few days. According to my sources, aka "Mom", Bruce Dern is playing the part of a sheriff whose side job is selling bat houses. I took a look around John's shop and immediately feel in love with the rustic look and hand-made houses that he creates.

Our Sheep had a blast too! John's a down to earth guy who was pretty thrilled to have the cast and crew filming on his propriety his place. They seemed to like it just the way he had everything set up, didn't change much. We talked for a while about all the different experiences he had with the cast and crew, the best moment for him being able to just sit and chatting with Coppola for a few hours. Coppola owns a winery in Napa, so he knows the area pretty well and it's no wonder he headed to nearby Nice for a filming location.

I am looking forward to watching Doc Holiday (Kilmer) back on the big screen. After MacGruber I can only hope this movie will put him back at the top where he belongs. If you would like to find out more about John and his bat/bird houses head out to Nice, CA
where you will find him at 3527 E. Hwy 20! :)

Plastic Fang Teeth not required, but highly recommended!


Friday, April 29, 2011

Stake Land, run for your life!

Stake Land, co-written and directed by Jim Mickle, stars Nick Damici (co-writer), Connor Paolo, and Kelly McGillis. Stake Land is a vampire movie through and through. I love vamps, but I mean really who doesn't? (lol ok don't answer that) BUT these are not the romantic daylight-sparkly vamps, no no these are more the type of vampires that go snap crackle pop! These are the vamps you run screaming from; blood thirsty, fifthly, mindless creatures that haunt your nightmares and really truly scare the bejesus out of you. If you like horror and want to enjoy a great script that's well acted and tells a dramatic story, then look no further: Stake Land is it!

Martin (Connor Paolo) was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed into an empty pit of economic and political disaster. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the United States's abandoned towns and cities. It's up to a man simply known as Mister (Nick Damici), a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent's New Eden. Along the way they recruit fellow travelers, including a nun (Kelly McGillis) who is caught in a crisis of faith when her followers turn into ravenous beasts.

Stake Land starts with bite, literally. It lets you know within the first two minutes that THIS film is going to be gritty. The movie takes you on a ride and holds you in its grip until the very end. Horror is not what I would have watched, but I am so glad I did. Stake Land allows the audience to become emotionally invested in its characters. You're really rooting for the main characters, hoping they make it to New Eden. The journey is long and dangerous, filled with crazy humans and blood thirsty beasts alike. It's wild!

Nick does a superb job as his character "Mister", the lonely man that just never fit into society before the epidemic hit. Now Mister thrives in a world gone to hell, and he is training young Martin to follow in his foot steps. If Martin wants to survive, he'll have to learn how to fight off vampires and human scavengers alike. A big help to the film is that Nick not only co-wrote this movie but also got deep into character. He spent time camping out in the woods, and made all the stakes they used in the movie. I was really impressed with his dedication to the project.

Kelley brings a huge mixed-bag of acting skills to the film, she sold me with her nun character lock, stock and exploding barrels. Each part in this movie, big or small, was important to the overall story. I didn't feel let down in any way or bored during any part. The movie has an Epic feel, and while it may be an IFC movie, I never once got that perception while watching it. Excellent directing, beautifully shot, fantastic makeup work and a new vampire interpretation with a western feel made this movie what it is. It's a great horror film for those that love this genre, and truly a great movie to watch.

Getting 4 and 1/2 Peeing Santa Suit Sheep

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Interview with actor/writer Nick Damici :)

Actor Nick Damici co-wrote and starred in the IFC Film Stake Land, a vampire horror flick opening this weekend in San Francisco and spreading out to key cities over the next week or so. With some previous film credits including Mulberry Street and World Trade Center, I was very eager to talk with Nick. :)

He chatted with me a bit about how Stake Land came to life through the creative process. Originally he wrote about 40 mini 8-minute segments of a guy teaching how to kill vampires. The segments had nothing to do with the apocalypse or the world of Stake Land, but it allowed Nick to create the characters and all the different kinds of vampires. From that he sat down and fleshed out a story and thus birthed the epic movie Stake Land. I wanted to learn more about the film as a whole and the possibility of this story becoming a comic or series of comics, here's what I found out....and lots more!

Nick: As far as I know, it [a Stake Land Comic] was talked about. I have a few promo covers at home. It would be a prequel to Stake Land. Essentially "Mister" in Mexico. I wrote his history prior to this so you get to see his history and why he hates vampires and all that good stuff.
Katie: That's great because in the movie you don't really get anything about his past.
Nick: We didn't mention the back-story, I hate when people talk about themselves in movies. I would rather see it. But I did through the whole shoot I wear my actual mothers wedding ring on my pinky. I borrowed it off her and that was my idea of giving "Mister" back-story. The fact ya know that he's a guy wearing a woman's ring on his pinky says something. Where he came from. Why he hates vampires.
Katie: Wow I totally missed that when I watched the movie.
Nick: Yeah you may notice it if you watch it again. But even then it's not something that we show off.

Katie: What got you into movies in the first place? Was this a childhood passion, or something that came later in life?
Nick: I think I stared off pretty young liking movies. My father was a bartender on the West Side of New York, we used to spend summer and on the weekends especially. We would be there late at night, he would lock up. Ya know it was a pretty rough neighborhood. He would lock the door and we would sit in the bar with all the lights out. Have the TV up on the telephone booths and we would watch the late late show. It was from Humphrey Bogart, all the old movies that my father schooled us. Old horror movies that you would have to have AMC to get those movies. And at some point I just decided I wanted to be an actor. So I did a lot of theater in high-school from there. Then I got married and worked from there. Then I got divorced 10 years later and said, "Ok I'm an actor again". So I started a little bit late. I was about 28-29 when I really started acting seriously. It took me a while to get here, but I got here.

Katie: So touching back on the theater thing have you done anything outside of high-school?
Nick: Yeah, I've done a lot of off Broadway stuff. Two summers ago I was in a play of Sherlock Holmes, a comedy. I have read just about every Sherlock Holmes book I can get my hands on, almost. He's one of the most prolific living characters, other people write him all the time. It was like an hour film, one act. Was up here in the city for two weeks, was a lot of fun. Especially to play Sherlock Holmes, but I'm a New Yorker and nobody here thinks I can do a British accent. I get gangsters and other stuff....
Katie: Okay now that YOU brought it up I want to hear your British accent! lol
Nick:*in British accent* "Elementary my dear Watson. Elementary."
Katie: Love it! Very good.

Katie: I know that you made all your weapons and wardrobe for the film. So I wanted to ask how long did that take you and how fun was that for you to do?
Nick: Oh, it was too much fun for me to do. I whittle and I work in clay sometimes. I'm not fantastic but I'm not bad. It was most just wanting to do the movie and it was going to take us like 10 months to get done. So I just went crazy. Probably about 5 months work altogether to do everything. That big long bow in the film, I carved that from a piece of Oak in my kitchen.
Katie: Yes, and I heard it actually worked too.
Nick: Yeah, it doesn't have a great strong pull on it. Probably about a 45 lbs pull, but it works. I looked it up on the Internet, how do you build a bow.

Katie: As you are a NY city boy, how great was that to camp out in the woods for the film?
Nick: I loved camping since I was a kid. It's one of the things my father did when I was a kid, he got us out of NY once in a while. I love the outdoors. If I didn't have my brothers and had to be here for work I would be upstate sitting on the porch in a rocking chair. I much like, the less people around the better. I really enjoyed that aspect of it. That was one of my favorite things about the shoot. I had my own little campsite. Connor stayed with me for about the first week and half, two weeks or whatever. But then his allergies were getting to him he had to go into the trailer. Swollen eyes. But it was just a great experience, the nights that we weren't working everybody would hang out at the campsite and have a fire.
Katie: Did people bring any instruments, like guitars?
Nick: Jim and I both play guitar. Jim plays the banjo in the movie, he's terrific.

Katie: So what scene was your favorite to shoot?
Nick: The scene I liked the most, I don't know if it was my favorite to shoot...I think I had the most fun driving that god-danm old car actually. The scene when we go over the railroad tracks in that town, and I'm kinda pissed off because of the way that guy treats me. Connor and I are in the car and it was our first week, I mean we had known each other for a while but I mean we had just started driving the car 2-3 days before that. And I floored it once and I just looked over and Connor was just wide eyed with fear. That was kinda fun. lol
Katie: But I did hear that car broke down a lot?
Nick: Yeah, it was the first thing they gave us money to buy. And we were just like little kids in a candy store, we just saw and said "we're buying it!" Yeah the seats were broke I had to wire them all the time.
Katie: Sounds like it was fun though.
Nick: Actually the hood of the car, the convertible hood white leather was nonexistent. I spent a whole week up at Jim's place and I did the whole canvas roof and we aged it to look like it was old. That's how much I liked that car.

Katie: There is a good amount of fighting in the film, did you do any fight training or was that just stock Nick moves?
Nick: I spent a lot of time with Connor, I worked at a gym at the time. I actually just retired from there, but for 30 years I worked at gyms. Kickboxing, I do a lot of yoga so I stay in shape. I have been doing martial arts since I was about 8 so for me it wasn't a big stretch. But when we signed Connor and knew he was going to be "Martin" he was totally into training. He would come for about 2 month with me for 3-4 days a week and we'd train like 2-3 hours and kinda came up with our own system of fighting with stakes. We called it "Stake Fu". We wanted to keep the fights as real as possible. Ruff, like if you ever see a real fight. They're not pretty to look at. Not choreographed.

Katie: The next question comes from Ben, a writer on my blog. He would like to know if you had to become a supernatural creature which would you pick?
Nick: I gotta be honest. I would probably want to be a vampire. But I would want to be one of the Twilight kinda ones. The more upbeat ones. Not that I like to watch them, but I would want to be one.
Katie:*busting up laughing* Right I understand what you're saying. You don't want to be a flesh eating crazy zombieish type of vampire.
Nick: Yeah those kind don't turn me on. I don't want to wake up naked dirty with blood all over me, just no. I mean it's those guys are classic vampire. They drink blood, if you can get over that....
Katie: {Shakes head and agrees, while planning how to bite Nick's neck. Kidding. Not really. lol}

Katie: What other creatures, aside from vampires, would you like to write about OR act in a movie as?
Nick: I think a good mummy story would be fun and historical… also have an interest in Golems and a she-demon based on Adam's first wife, Lilith, who interestingly could be one of the first vampires. She refused to lie beneath Adam and was banished from Eden. She mated with demons and became a Succcubus… they don't teach you that in Sunday School...
*Ben shouts from other room "I did!"*
*Katie shouts at Ben to get back into his dungeon!*

Katie: What book are you reading right now?
Nick: I've been working my way through the Henning Mankell, Kurt Wallander series. It's a Swedish detective series and terrific stuff. The one I'm reading now is titled, Before the Frost.

Katie: Since Zombie Awareness Month starts in May Ben would like me to ask you one more question: Which type of Zombie would you rather face? Romero Shamblers or 28 Days Runners?
Nick: Give me a shambler any day. I saw Night of the Living Dead when I was 10 at a drive-in in Upstate NY… scared the pants off me… my brother and I spent the whole night planning how we would survive when the zombies came. We'd get hammers and climb up on the roof and take them out one at a time as they tried to climb up after us.

Katie: We do a fun Rapid Fire Round of questions on I Smell Sheep so if you would like to play along I will ask a few. Clear your mind and answer with the first thing that pops up...ready?

Katie: Apple Jacks or Frosted Flakes
Nick: Bacon

Katie: Motorcycle or ATV
Nick: Motorcycle

Katie: Knife or Crossbow
Nick: Crossbow

Katie: Captain America or Superman
Nick: Batman

Katie: Coffee or Tea
Nick: Coffee

Katie: Eyepatch or Peg-leg
Nick: Peg me baby...
Katie: *laughing really hard*

Katie: Stephen Hawking or Carl Sagan
Nick: Michio Kaku

Katie: Yogi Bear or Scooby Doo
Nick: Quick Draw McGraw

Katie: Coke or Pepsi
Nick: Coke
Katie: YES!!! I love you Nick.

Katie: Dark Choc or Milk
Nick: Darker the better
Katie: Mmhmm, could not agree more.

Katie: MMA or Boxing
Nick: Boxing

While I plot my wedding with Nick, I hope all of you go out and see this film! If you happen to live in an area NOT showing it, which really sucks, you can find this movie OnDemand. A big thank you to Leo at Larsen Associates for all around awesomeness, and my un-dead heart to Nick for being an amazing guy and badass actor! I look forward to much much more from this man. :)


Kicking Mythological butt!

Ascension (Dark Breed Book #1) by Sable Grace

What a fun read! I would classify this as a PNR with UF elements. It had all the things I look for: kick-ass heroine (Kyana), brooding alpha-male goodness (Ryker), side characters with depth, action packed and a new twist on the old Greek myths (as opposed to the new ones, rolls eyes at self).


The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed—vampyre, demons, shape shifters—and mankind fight their last battle for survival.

Kyana is half Vampyre, half Lychen . . . and the last of her kind. Determined, dangerous, and damned, she has no love for the mortals who have imprisoned and misused her. But when the Order of Ancients entrusts her with a mission—to find the key that will send the Dark Breed back into Hell for eternity—Kyana has no choice but to accept.

She is furious to learn her assignment comes with an escort . . . Ryker, a demigod and fierce warrior who long ago found a way under her skin and stayed there. In a shaky alliance, they discover an ancient cult with dangerous motive and a god who seeks to destroy all others. And as Kyana begins to feel the heat that threatens to bind her to Ryker, she knows she has to resist. For it could only mean the undoing of them both


The writing is very polished for a debut. The book has been getting a lot of knocks because the first 2 chapters are a bit overwhelming with all the world building. Don’t give up on it! I swallowed it all in one gulp and guessed I would figure it all out by the end of the book! I was happily rewarded with the snarky dialog and action scenes that were fast paced. Most importantly, the sexual tension between Kyana and Ryker was steamy (and otherworldly sex is one of the reasons why we love this genre. I am woman enough to admit it ). There was even a twist at the end I didn't see coming, and who doesn't enjoy that?

The only thing that bothered me was the way the book ended. You are reading along and there is a big climactic moment, and ends! I honestly thought the next chapter was missing from the ARC . This isn’t so much as a cliff hanger as a shove off the cliff, but what can you do? Cliff hangers, we love to hate them. I will be looking forward to the next book.

Some of my favorite lines: (Ryker and Kyana talking)

"Kyana blinked up at him, unable to stop the warmth of satisfaction she felt at seeing the welts of her palm print on his cheek. 'I shouldn't have slapped you.'

His hard glare rested on her. 'No. You shouldn't have.'

'I should have punched you instead.'"

(Haven, Kyana's best friend)

"I'm not staying out here by myself. I watch scary movies. I know what happens to the blond girl in the woods."

I give Ascension 4 mythological sheep (the Greek kind)


Check out Sable Grace at their website

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Water for Elephants, this circus train crashed!

Water for Elephants, directed by Francis Lawrence, stars Robert (my husband) Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz. First off I want to make it VERY clear I love Rob, he is a great guy and soon him and I will be wed. BUT he really does need to take some acting classes and soon. If he wants to continue a career in acting it's just one of those things you need to always work on. That being said, the movie for the NYTBS book was a disappointment but not a total loss.

When Jacob Jankowski (Pattinson), recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits. He joins a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena (Witherspoon), the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August (Waltz), the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her. Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.

Positive side. The movie is visually stunning to watch, very crisp and colorful. I liked the circus tents and train rides; watching all the people setting up and breaking down was very cool. I wanted to transport back in time so I could have been there, just sipping lemonade and watching all the commotion. Reese did a very decent job with her parts in the film, not always believable but overall not awful. She looked great in the various costumes and was stunning to watch with the animals. Christoph is a brilliant actor. Period. :)

Negative side. I HATE wild animals being used for entertainment, I think it's one of the most disgusting things in the world. Animal abuse? NOT WINNING! But that's MY opinion and not what you all care about, plus this is just a movie review so I will leave that rant behind and continue on. :) Rob in no way sold me in his role, he lacked chemistry with Reese big time. I have to be honest and fair, even when the guys I love turn out awful performances. I never felt like his character was a viable contender for the woman he was chasing; Rob just felt kinda dopey and floppy through out. It seemed like whenever he didn't know how to act a scene he just did this weird smile and head shake thing. It was odd.....

The movie as a whole just felt a bit disjointed, lacking a continuous flow. Knew I was watching a movie most of the time, and I hate that. I want to be sucked into the story. Script was Chop Chop Chop. And cut! Don't people with skills check movies out before the public sees them? So much of this movie was just a mess. People are getting hurt and injured but you can't understand what the actors are saying! Huh? Moonshine....and then what happened?! Can you repeat that please? It was very frustrating, jumbled words and clowns are never a good mix in a movie. Speak up! I missed key parts and I am still bitter about it.

Some hokey CGI thrown in at the end had my eye balls rolling around in my head big time. I was done with this film 20 minutes into it. But I stayed because I saw it with my Mom, and to be fair she did give this movie 4 Sheep and LOVED the ending. But she also loved The Notebook. So, to each their own.

Too bad the movie lacked so much. Stick with the book on this one. Still have mad love for Rob but I need to see some serious acting skills from him STAT!

Getting 2 and 1/2 Crazy Clown Sheep