Interview: Ray Liotta (The Identical, 2014)

identical-rayliotta2From Something Wild to Goodfellas and this year’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Ray Liotta has played a lot of crazy, criminal and disreputable characters — but he’s also played his share of decent characters, too.

One of the most decent of them all is Reece Wade, a preacher who adopts a boy at the height of the Great Depression and watches his son grow up to choose music over the ministry in The Identical, the latest film to be pitched to the “faith-based” market.

The film opens this weekend, and I had a chance to speak to Liotta over the phone. Here is an edited transcript of our interview.

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Interview: Blake Rayne (The Identical, 2014)

identical-blakerayneThe life of Elvis Presley was bookended by doubles. He began as one of two identical twins — the other was stillborn — and by the time he died, an entire culture of Elvis impersonators had arisen to commemorate his legacy.

The fact that these doubles exist at opposite ends of Elvis’s life has led to some interesting fiction.

In 1985, an episode of the revived Twilight Zone imagined that an Elvis impersonator went back in time to 1954 and met the original Elvis before he became famous. The impersonator convinced Elvis that he, the impersonator, was the stillborn brother brought back to life — but by the end of the episode, Elvis was dead and the impersonator felt obliged to take his place in the history books.

And now, there is The Identical, a movie opening this weekend that sort of asks what if Elvis’s twin brother was not really stillborn, but had actually been given up for adoption — and what if the twin brother grew up to become an Elvis impersonator himself.

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Go behind the scenes of Exodus: Gods and Kings in a new featurette

exodus-yahoo2-2-aWith less than three months to go before the film premieres overseas, Yahoo! Movies has released the first behind-the-scenes clip for Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings. It’s called ‘The World’ and it focuses on director Ridley Scott and production designer Arthur Max, both of whom explain how they went about making what might be the biggest film of their careers.

In addition to the usual behind-the-scenes stuff — actors doing their thing in front of greenscreen backdrops, etc. — the clip includes two shots from the film that were not included in the trailer. Interestingly, however, the dialogue in those shots was heard in the original trailer. Check it all out below the jump.

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That studio that made Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is now working on an animated movie about the first Christmas

devonfranklinSony Pictures has had some success this year with “faith-based” films such as Moms’ Night Out, When the Game Stands Tall and Heaven Is for Real. Now their animation division is getting in on the action.

The Wrap reports that Sony Pictures Animation — the company responsible for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Smurfs and Hotel Transylvania — is teaming up with DeVon Franklin, a preacher and former Sony executive who now heads his own production company, to develop The Lamb, an animated version of the Nativity story featuring “an all-animal cast.”

If the film does get made, it would be only the second Bible-themed animated feature to be made by a major studio, following The Prince of Egypt, which was produced by DreamWorks in 1998 — though the independently-produced Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie also got a wide release in 2002.

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Moms’ Night Out comes to Blu-Ray and DVD

momsnightoutThe kids are back in school today, so it’s kind of fitting that today marks the DVD and Blu-Ray release of Moms’ Night Out, a film about a woman who wants to get away from the kids for a few hours and spend some time with her friends.

Then again, the woman in question has a pro-homeschooling bumper sticker on her minivan, so maybe it wouldn’t be so easy for her to get away from the kids today. Hmmm.

In any case, the film is out on home video, and it comes with a number of bonus features, including an audio commentary by the directors, some deleted scenes, and interviews with the cast, the producer and the directors.

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Newsbites: Clavius! The Dovekeepers! Black Nativity! Book of Amos!

clavius-tomfeltonFour quick Bible-movie-ish items.

1. I somehow missed the fact that Clavius, which concerns a Roman soldier investigating reports of the Resurrection of Jesus, started shooting a couple weeks ago. Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, posted some photos to Instagram — and apparently he’s playing a character named Lucius, which also happened to be the name of Draco Malfoy’s father.

In addition to Felton and Joseph Fiennes, who is playing the presumably titular Roman investigator, the film’s IMDb page lists several actors who are playing well-known Bible characters — and at least two of those actors have extensive experience in the Bible-movie genre already.

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