Ari Cohen is a Canadian stage and television actor. He has performed with the Soulpepper Theatre Company (as Biff in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and as Bobby Gould in David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow, both 2012), and the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company.
Inspired by his grandmothers, he created Advanced Style, a fashion blog focused on stylish seniors with fierce street style.
My Babysitter’s a Vampire
Geeky freshman Ethan Morgan (Matthew Knight) is mortified when his over-protective parents assign classmate Sarah to babysit his younger sister. What he doesn’t know is that Sarah isn’t just a pretty face—she’s a fledgling vampire. Ethan and his dorky pals Benny (Atticus Mitchell) and Rory (Cameron Kennedy) get dragged into Sarah’s mission to stop her blood-sucking ex Jesse and his den of vamps from taking over their sleepy town.
The series is created by Fresh TV, the team behind 6teen and Total Drama. It taps into tweens’ and teens’ vampire obsession in a humorous take on the Twilight formula. Dusk spoofs both the movie series and the vampires-assimilating-into-high-school plot, with clips from both showing up throughout the show.
Cohen, who was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been acting since 1990. His big-screen debut came in Guy Maddin’s cult classic Archangel. He’s also appeared in such films as Priscilla, Mouthpiece, Special Correspondents and Molly’s Game. In addition to his work in film and television, Cohen is an accomplished stage actor. He has performed with the Soulpepper Theater Company and has a Dora nomination to his name for his performances in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and David Mamet’s Speed The Plow. Cohen’s most recent works include the television series Advanced Style. He resides in Toronto.
The L Word
When The L Word first aired in 2004 it broke new ground in presenting lesbians as normal people, but by season five the show had lost its way. The plots had become soap-style silliness and whiny egomaniac Jenny was killed off in an unsatisfying whodunit story line. Fans were disappointed and felt the show had betrayed them by ending on such a negative note.
Mia Kirshner, who had a long list of TV and film credits to her name before she landed the role of Bette Porter in The L Word, has continued acting since the series wrapped up. She has starred in films like The Barrens, Milton’s Secret and A Swingers Weekend as well as recurring on 24 and a regular spot on SyFy’s Defiance.
She also has a number of theatre credits to her name, including roles at the Soulpepper Theatre Company (as Biff in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and Bobby Gould in David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow) and the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company.
Rosanna Arquette played Cherie Jaffe in The L Word and is an accomplished writer, director and producer with a vast array of television and film credits to her name. She has appeared in over 75 movies and TV shows, including IOWA, MAX & GRACE, RUSH OF FEAR, SILVERADO, THE WHOLE NINE YARDS and GREY’S ANATOMY.
Shoot the Messenger
When Ngozi Onwurah’s Shoot the Messenger first aired in 2006, it was not only one of the most troubling films of the year, it blew apart expectations about what Black British film could be. Onwurah’s boldly skewed tale of newspaper reporter Joe Pascale (David Oyelowo) confronts one of the community’s greatest taboos—the Black racist.
This drama starts off to a bumpy start, with overt title sequences and music that screamed “made for TV”—but then it settles into its stride as an effective thriller. Its script is surprisingly objective, and it resists the temptation to demonize or idolise Webb.
The cast is solid, with especially strong work from Elyse Levesque as Daisy Channing, the hard-nosed reporter on the case. Her clashes with her editor Mary Foster (Alex Kingston) and co-worker Simon Olenski (Lucas Bryant) become more complicated when she uncovers a conspiracy that involves cops, gangs, drugs, and politicians.
Shot the Messenger hasn’t dated at all, but it isn’t easy to watch. It’s explicitly addressed to a black audience and isn’t meant for audiences outside that community, but it provides food for thought as we struggle with issues of race and the media. The BFI Blu-ray includes the shorts The Body Beautiful and Flight of the Swan. It’s encoded for Region B and has a 15 certificate. The transfer is 1.78:1 and looks good.
It Chapter Two
After defeating the monster clown Pennywise in It Chapter One, the Losers Club made a pact to return to their hometown if he ever returned. 27 years later, he did, and the now-adults must face their deepest fears in order to fight him once again.
The cast is solid overall, but Ari Cohen and Bill Hader in particular stand out as the movie’s most compelling performers. They both deliver laugh-out-loud one-liners while also demonstrating that their characters have more depth than just their petty feuds and romantic dramas. Hader in particular is a joy to watch as he straddles a tightrope between his comedic persona and an actor who truly understands how to convey emotions.
While it’s not as good as the original, It Chapter Two is still an enjoyable and terrifying horror film. It explores fear and the many different forms it can take, and its talented cast delivers likeable characters with plenty of chemistry. However, it is weighed down by too much heavy-handed CGI meant to induce nightmares.