Jake Presley: One Step From Stardom

Lebanon teen shows his chops in 'The Accountant"

Lebanon's Jake Presley, 13, has won more than 30 world and national Taekwondo titles during his short career, but he may get his biggest kick Friday night.

That's when he pops up on the silver screen in the new Ben Affleck thriller, "The Accountant,"

Seth Lee portrays Affleck's character as a youngster. Presley portrays a younger version of another major character and appears in four scenes.

"He is very protective of his brother, and the scenes I do with Seth are very emotional," said Presley, a home-schooled eighth-grader. "I have not seen the movie yet, but I have heard from Seth that it is very good. We're in one big fight scene and one small one."

The teenage stuntman-actor worked on the set of "The Accountant" in Atlanta for a month in the spring of 2015.

While he didn't get cozy with any of the top names, he reported, "I saw a bunch of big stars like Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons and Jon Bernthal, who plays in 'Daredevil' [TV series] and as the main bad guy in 'The Walking Dead.' He and I talked about my family and his family and martial arts and about our roles in the film. It was very cool."

to continue with the article, please head over to The Wilson Post.

Film Review: Baby Driver

Warning: This review is going to be biased. The incredible Edgar Wright is one of my favorite directors, and it’s hard for me to see anything but magic when watching his films.

For me, Edgar Wright is one of the few directors that not only creates a unique and robust world in his films, but also references the real world with honorable relevance. His projects don't shy away from current pop culture. He never pretends that the fourth wall is present, even if he never breaks it. He creates balanced films that are pure enjoyment to experience. All of his projects, from the TV Spaced to Baby Driveryou can tell you are watching an Edgar Wright production. The difference with the newest release is that he has taken all the lessons he’s learned before and produced an unforgettable film.

It was always hard for me to choose my favorite of his films, as each one had something wonderful the others didn’t, unique yet equivalent in their brilliance. At the time of this writing, Baby Driver is by far the best one. The way he blended all the necessary elements that make up a film—music, acting, visuals, story—into a compelling heart racing story is mind blowing. From the moment the film starts you realize you are about to strap in for one hell of a ride.

Baby (Ansel Elgort) is an impeccable driver. He knows how to weave his way elegantly around barriers, creating an expansive road for him, and those around him, to accomplish their goals without worry. Granted, this usually means being a get-away driver for criminals, but either way he knows how to get the job done. His employment under Doc (Kevin Spacey) introduces him to a wide range of characters, from the extremely loving couple of Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eiza Gonzalez) to untrusting Griff (Jon Bernthal) to the ruthless Bats (Jamie Foxx). The jobs aren’t always easy, and sometimes forced upon, but he’s determined to get out of them alive.

Now comes the hard part. How do I discuss the elements of the film that make me squeel with joy without giving too much away? A favor you can do for yourself with this film is go into it knowing as little as possible. The little things that pop up throughout the film that you may not realize at first are much welcomed surprises. I don’t want to ruin it for you. 

One of those phenomenal surprises is the way music was worked into the story. It’s known that Baby constantly has ear buds in his ears for he does love his music. It’s a bit part of the character and one many of us can relate to. We all have that killer track that we listen to when we need to get pumped, or calm down, or the one that just makes us happy. Wright knows this, and incorporates it in a way that literally has you saying, “same.”

Beyond the explained universal connection we have to music is the way all of that is woven into the film seamlessly. It goes beyond having the soundtrack of the movie actually be the song Baby is listening to, which is always fun when that happens, but into the core of the film. It becomes the heartbeat of the film, and the editing techniques that match the rhythmic beats of the songs are so precise it’s breathtaking. The collaboration between these two timed elements is so detailed it’s as if they line up at a molecular level, atom for atom.

To continue reading, please head over to
The Entertainment Section

Stunt double Caitlin Dechelle on 'Wonder Woman' and her real-life superpowers

Caitlin Dechelle fights for a living.

She doesn't suit up and step into the Octagon, or put on gloves and get into a ring. She slides on shields, thrusts people off towers and wields swords. As the lead stunt woman for the Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment's Justice League film "Wonder Woman," which comes out on Friday, Dechelle may qualify as a real-life superhero herself.

Behind Gal Gadot's portrayal of Diana Prince -- the Amazonian warrior who is also Wonder Woman -- is Dechelle. She's punching, kicking and, yes, leaping through the air. She doubles Gadot and was selected specifically for her fighting proficiency.

"Fighting is my thing and what I'm hired for 99 percent of the time," Dechelle, 26, said in a phone interview.

For the Patty Jenkins-directed "Wonder Woman" film, Dechelle spent eight months (seven in London, and one in Italy) on location shooting, which gave her plenty of time to get to know the woman she was doubling.

Dechelle had nothing but kind things to say about Gadot, who certainly held her own regarding action scenes and fitness. When their shooting overlapped, Dechelle stood off-camera, coaching Gadot through footwork and her portion of the stunts. "She picked up quite well," Dechelle said. "Obviously, anytime you do something you've never done, it's tough, but [Gadot] had such a willingness to learn and was always upbeat."

Dechelle has been honing her superpowers since she was 6 years old, which is when she started taking martial arts. Her two decades of training have led her to black belts in three disciplines: Chinese Kenpo, Japanese Goju-Ryu and taekwondo. All of which proved quite helpful for many of her film projects.

"I was trained to be like the boys, if not better," Dechelle said. "People say that men can do it better, but that's not true. This film portrays that."

However, pro fighting didn't seem like a long-term career option. After high school, Dechelle enrolled at the University of Central Florida as a biology major with the goal of becoming an orthodontist. At the time, she was still participating in martial arts competitions but knew that that road would eventually end. But she wasn't quite ready to hang it up. 

"I loved school and was always a straight-A student," Dechelle said. "But martial arts had been my life, so I wanted to somehow transfer that from the competing world into the [entertainment] industry -- still doing what I love, just in a different fashion."

To continue with the article, please head over to
ESPNW

 

Exclusive Interview with The Accountant’s Seth Lee

Photo Credit: Rowan Daly

Photo Credit: Rowan Daly

Originally posted on TALK NERDY WITH US:

Seth Lee may only be a teenager, but his performance in Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant is proving to audiences everywhere that he’s a young actor whose talent and skill belie his age. In the film, Lee plays the younger version of Ben Affleck’s Christian Wolff, a man with Asperger’s Syndrome who learns through his father’s tough love how to exist in a world that doesn’t always understand his unique abilities. Lee delivers a compelling performance, perfectly capturing the fear and frustration of a child who’s forced to go against his own grain. While we only see Lee in flashback sequences, his performance complements that of Ben Affleck’s and gives audiences a full view of this character’s lifelong struggle to understand himself.

More than just a budding actor, Lee is also an aspiring director. When he’s not acting, he’s at home diligently crafting his own sketches and short films, many of which he posts to his YouTube Channel.

Lee took a few minutes out of his day to speak with us about his role in The Accountant as well as his passion for directing:

to continue with the article, please head over to the full interview on Talk Nerdy With Us.

GAME MASTER TIPS WITH SATINE PHOENIX – THE NEVER-ENDING STORY

Originally posted on GEEK & SUNDRY:

Welcome back to another exciting season of Game Master Tips! Our Game Master extraordinaire, Satine Phoenix, shares with you some of her tips for creating amazing adventures, dealing with difficult parties, or what it takes to sit behind the GM screen. Even if you are a first-time storyteller or a veteran of the field, Satine helps you to become a better player at the table.

This season, Satine brings in some of the best minds to craft an adventure to the show to tackle the issue of the day. TJ Storm pulls up a chair to the table to share his wisdom for running a long (15 years!) campaign.

How to keep it going even after your story is done. Try bringing back elements from the original story. Let them experience the consequences of their experiences. (Remember that NPC they left behind?) Bring more of the world to life to give your characters something to do or let your players be your guide to the next story beat. TJ talks about letting your players get into trouble. A trip to jail means that someone needs to go break them out. Use modules when you need them, but learn how to use them. Simple choices can often have huge consequences.

to see the video of TJ and Satine Phoenix, please head over to the Geek & Sundry website.

Tim Kennedy: A Fighter for Truth

Image by Karla Reina

Image by Karla Reina

Originally posted on THE ENTERTAINMENT SECTION:

Upon meeting Tim Kennedy, Army Special Forces—UFC Middleweight fighter—action actor, perceptions are shattered. Kennedy embodies all the different occupations he undertakes, yet he breaks all stereotypes of these quintessential manly men. Most people bounce between jobs depending on what occupation they are currently at, but for Kennedy, he is all his professions all of the time. He is a complicated charismatic character, and one hell of a great guy.

“It’s not like they are separate things. Being in Special Forces [Green Berets/Ranger], you have to be pretty athletic,” Kennedy adds. “It was pretty easy to go from there to fighting, that’s what we do everyday anyway. The stuff I’m doing with TV, everything I’m going to do is going to be very physical, very textured in realism/sudo-realism.”

Kennedy knows what his strengths are and he will use them to his advantage. It’s hard not to acknowledge his confidence, especially if you’ve ever seen him in the ring, but his strength in character goes beyond his physical stature and military background. He’s putting an element of authenticity that is lacking in so many projects today.

the rest of the interview can be found at Tim Kennedy: A Fighter for Truth on The Entertainment Section.

Krysten Ritter of ‘Marvel’s Jessica Jones’ On Punching Stunt Men in the Face

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones. (photo: Myles Aronowitz/Netflix)

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones. (photo: Myles Aronowitz/Netflix)

Netflix rolls out Jessica Jones on November 20, the second of four planned Marvel Studios series culminating in a Defenders special. While Daredevil introduced us to a comic book show of dark quality audiences hadn’t seen before, Jessica Jonesoccupies its own unique space in the television landscape: a series led by a badass, super-powered anti-hero who also happens to be female.

Krysten Ritter, (recognizable from years of quality, but small parts. Remember when Walter White let her die?) sat down at press round-tables at New York Comic con to shed some light on Jessica Jones. Turns out, playing Marvel TV’s resident super-heroine came at the expense of a few stunt men’s faces.

“This character Jessica Jones is such an adrenaline rush. I’ve never done stunts like this before,” Mr. Ritter said. “I have no experience. I may have punched a few people for real. But I think the stunt men kind of like it? They might get paid more? But I would break character a lot. I would be doing this stunt, and I’d hit somebody in the face and immediately be like ‘Oh my God I’m so sorry!’, just totally switch from badass Jessica Jones to Krystin Ritter, who is not badass. It was a process just getting comfortable with it.”

Through the series first two episodes, none of which I will spoil except to say they are dark, Ms. Ritter toes the line between a cool, no-cares confidence and a genuinely unlikable character.

“At her core I think Jessica is a good person,” Ms. Ritter said. “I mean, she goes about things in a very odd way. She’s rough around the edges. She’s dry, she’s sarcastic. She’s basically a total asshole. But I think at her core she’s a good person. It’s about finding those little moments of vulnerability.”

Behold These Stuntmen In Jetpacks Soaring Next To A Huge Plane Over Dubai

Warning: this video may stop your heart.  Two daredevils in custom-built jetpacks soar around an Emirates A380, as the fantastical buildings of Dubai whip past thousands of feet below.

Emirates Airlines and stunt team Jetman Dubai planned the unprecedented October 13 stunt for months. Jetman Dubai comprises pilot Yves Rossy and his protégé Vince Reffet, an experienced skydiver. The pair use jet-powered rigid wings, and completed their first duo formation flight in March.

The plane, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, flew in a holding pattern at the relatively low elevation of 4,000 feet. Rossy and Reffet deployed from a helicopter 5,500 feet up. Cameras on helicopters and inside the plane captured the results.

“It was absolutely surreal flying alongside the biggest aircraft there is and we felt like mosquitos beside a gigantic eagle,” Rossy said in a statement [sic].

The gorgeous film doubles as a branding coup for Emirates. Five and a half million people have viewed the video on YouTube since its release on Wednesday, and it’s trending onFacebook