Author Archives: Leo Craven

Actor Trading Cards: Morena Baccarin

Morena Baccarin
MORENA BACCARIN

Born: June 2, 1979 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height: 5’8

Personal Quote:

“I would love to be a Bond girl. That is on my bucket list, definitely.”

Did You Know?

Has done voice work for multiple animated series including Justice League (Black Canary); Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Cheetah); Son of Batman and Batman: Bad Blood (Talia al Ghul); and is also the voice of “Gideon” on The Flash television series.

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Actor Trading Cards: Lena Headey

Lena Headey
LENA HEADEY

Born: October 3, 1973 in Hamilton, Bermuda (raised in Yorkshire, England)
Height: 5’6

Personal Quote:

“I’m a tomboy. I used to get into a lot of fights. Don’t know why – self-expression, I guess.”

Did You Know?

Has a number of tattoos, including a large floral design on her back and a Pema Chodron quote on her ribs.

 

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Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Comic Book Subscriptions

Comic Books

There are some terrific writers at Biff BamPop  who contribute in-depth articles relating to the world of comic books and graphic novels…I, admittedly, am not one of them. However, I am a father of two teenagers, and sometimes the price tag of video games, brand-name clothing, and technology leaves us parents with only a few gift options for our kids during the Holiday Season. That’s why I’m recommending an economical gift that will only run you about $30 and give your kid (or your spouse) something to look forward to every month of the year = comic book subscriptions.  Read the rest of this entry

Leo Craven On… Mom and Pop Video Rental Stores

Video Rental Stores

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

There are few things (if any) I remember more fondly from my childhood than the days of going to the locally-owned video rental store and looking over hundreds of movie boxes in order to score the perfect entertainment for the evening. The Golden Age of these marvelous ‘meccas’ of movie eye candy started in the early 80’s and lasted until the mid-90’s when major video chains like Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video took over the landscape. While most people do not look back on the chains with fondness, I for one am glad they came along…because I’d have a lot harder time liking Netflix if it had displaced our local business owners. Putting the video chains out of business, on the other hand, made me a fan of Netflix from the start!

Resentment for Blockbuster aside (I worked for one while I went to college = awful experience!), allow me to venture down memory lane with you…

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Actor Trading Cards: Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford
HARRISON FORD

Born: July 13, 1942 in Chicago, IL
Height: 6’1

Personal Quote:

“Han Solo is not a cardboard character to me at all. He’s as real as anything else. I never thought of the character as having only two dimensions until the critics said so. And they’re wrong. The third dimension is me.”

Did You Know?

Indiana Jones was voted the second greatest screen hero of all time by the American Film Institute.

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Actor Trading Cards: Tina Fey

Tina Fey
TINA FEY

Born: May 18, 1970 in Upper Darby, PA
Height: 5’4

Personal Quote:

“If you want to make an audience laugh, you dress a man up like an old lady and push her down the stairs. If you want to make comedy writers laugh, you push an actual old lady down the stairs.”

Did You Know?

First-ever female head writer of Saturday Night Live.

 

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Actor Trading Cards: Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan
MICHAEL B. JORDAN

Born: February 9, 1987 in Santa Ana, CA
Height: 6’0

Personal Quote:

“I want to do everything. I’m a producer at heart. Eventually, when I can produce the way I want to, my acting’s going to help fuel that. And not just vehicles for myself – I’m a member of this film society, and I want to contribute. If you’re in the industry, you can’t just take from it; you have to deposit something back to keep it going for the next generation.”

 

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Actor Trading Cards: Gwendoline Christie

Gwendoline Christie
GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE

Born: October 28, 1978 in Worthing, West Sussex, England, UK
Height: 6’3

Personal Quote:

“Part of the reason why I love acting is that you do hope that somehow your work will connect to people and somehow expand their consciousness.”

Did You Know?

Trained as a semi-professional gymnast as a child, but after a spine injury forced her to abandon that career, she took up acting.

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31 Days of Horror 2015: Actor Trading Cards: Elvira

Elvira
‘ELVIRA’

Created: 1981 in Los Angeles, CA
Height: 5’7

Personal Quote:

“There’s nothing wrong with G-rated movies, as long as there’s lots of sex and violence.”

“My name’s Elvira but you can call me ‘tonight’.”

Did You Know?

Inducted into the Horror Host Hall of Fame in 2012

 

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31 Days of Horror 2015: Saw (2004)

“We think craft is important, and the irony has always been that horror may be disregarded by critics, but often they are the best-made movies you’re going to find in terms of craft. You can’t scare people if they see the seams.” – James Wan

In last week’s post I spotlighted the ‘Torture Porn’ sub-genre and the movie that was credited by movie critic David Edelstein to have started it: Eli Roth’s Hostel (2005). Among today’s Top 10 lists and thousands of movie review sites, however, it is more often that James Wan’s SAW is recognized as the film that kicked off the torture porn fad (I use the term ‘fad’ to reference the use of the term, not the genre which has existed within the Horror industry since the 1970’s). While the numerous Saw sequels may deserve to be lumped in with that notorious label, I recently watched the original film again on Netflix and I can assure you that Saw is more ‘thriller and style’ than ‘torture and gore’.

Saw

Okay, I admit the movie poster does not support the claim I just made. However, marketing aside, this film features a fantastic cast (Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Michael Emerson), a talented director (James Wan), and a slow unveiling of the plot that places the focus on the build-up of suspense, not the shock of gore.

PLOT SUMMARY:

“After waking up in a tiny cell, two men find themselves victim of a serial killer who plays games with his victims and gives them one last chance to survive. If they wish to live, they each have to play their own game as the killer has told them on an audio script. As the film goes on, connections between the victims and the true identity of the killer are revealed.” – J.S. Golden

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