art and life…

year four…








The ‘Universal Soldier’ Paradox: When a Bad Franchise Produces a Great Film

CITY ON FIRE  (10.28.12)  by HK FANATIC

“Director John Hyams isn’t content to merely serve up your typical action movie dreck. He’s made it his mission to challenge audiences and their expectations of what a film like “Universal Soldier” can do… and it might take more than one viewing of “Day” to truly appreciate it…”


“…intense, brutal and beautiful all at once.”

DEN OF GEEK  (12.26.12)  by GABE TORO

“…easily the best action film of the year.”


New Universal Soldier has Van Damme, Lundgren, Facepaint, and Face Punching


“…Day of Reckoning is a film so intense and dark of tone that, as a Unisol movie, it really shouldn’t work. Hyams though keeps such a tight grip of proceedings, with a good script and engrossing direction, that he never lets the ball drop… it’s actually one of the ballsiest movies out there.”


“I love Reckoning’s formal audacity, its pretensions, and its willingness to throw backstory out the window…  I wish there were more movies like it, and I can’t recall ever thinking that about a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie.”

IGN  (9.25.12)  by CHRIS TILLY

“It may not always be successful, but in an age when filmmakers seem happy to churn out the same movie over-and-over again, credit should go to Hyams for mixing up the tried-and-tested formula.”

INDIEWIRE  (9.23.12)  by ERIC KOHN

Fast and Furious ‘Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning’ Is One of the Best Action Movies of the Year

INDIEWIRE  (10.24.12)  by ERIC KOHN

Why the Latest ‘Universal Soldier,’ Now On VOD, Is Better Than ‘Skyfall’

INDIEWIRE  (11.28.12)  by GABE TORO

‘Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning’ Combines Art House Intentions & Strong Action In A Franchise Return To Form


“I relished its off the wall and deep storyline, its trippy audio/visual style, strong acting, insane action scenes and its ‘take no prisoners’ attitude.”

L.A. TIMES  (11.29.12)  by MARK OLSEN

“…the movie creates something of the sensation of huffing industrial solvents — in a good way! — a waking-sleep zombification that can’t exactly be described as pleasurable but definitely has an odd, distinct power.”


“…a complex, thought-provoking film, words not usually used to describe a balls-to-the-wall action genre film. In fact, it may be impossible to define it by any one genre as, if anything, it is genre-bending in some of the most unexpected ways.”


8 Reasons Why ‘Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning’ Is Among the Weirdest Movies Ever


“It’s no stretch to say this is the best Universal Soldier movie – better to say it’s the biggest cinematic boner your inner (or outer, depending) 17 year-old boy is likely to have this season.”

NY TIMES  (11.29.12)  by ANDY WEBSTER

Technologically Enhanced Strongman vs. Government Evildoers


“…muscular, atmospheric and surprisingly scary… John Hyams has resuscitated a long-dead franchise and restored it to its former glory…”

TWITCH  (9.23.12)  by JAMES MARSH

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning Will Take Your Head Off!


John Hyams Is the Best Action Director Working Today


“The melee fight scenes are seemingly conjured into this dark, poo-encrusted world from some other, happier film containing sunshine and magic, in which muscley men grapple and put one another’s heads through walls.”

VARIETY  (9.23.12)  by JOE LEYDON

“Hyams and co-scripters Doug Magnuson and Jon Greenhalgh reference a wide range of sources throughout…  To their credit, however, the filmmakers make mostly clever use of their borrowings, and they play fair: that surprise twist is signaled early on by clues hidden in plain sight.”

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING”  2012  directed by John Hyams; written by John Hyams & Doug Magnuson and Jon Greenhalgh; starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Scott Adkins, Andrei Arlovski, Mariah Bonner, Craig Walker and Andrew Sikking

and look for the Blu-ray release 1.22.13 including the documentary “DAYS OF RECKONING: THE MAKING OF US4“…


Grand Central Station in New York City is turning One Hundred Years Old next year…


the premiere…


UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING” has it’s U.S. Premiere this Saturday 9.22.12 in 3D at FANTASTIC FEST, Austin, TX… 

it will also be screening at the TORONTO AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL in October and opening in theaters 11.30.12…

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING”  2012  directed by John Hyams; written by John Hyams & Doug Magnuson and Jon Greenhalgh; starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Scott Adkins, Andrei Arlovski, and Mariah Bonner

and look for the Blu-ray release 1.22.13 including the documentary “DAYS OF RECKONING: THE MAKING OF US4“…


an interview with monster of rock — Timo..!


This Thursday, Spacehog fans fortunate enough to be at New York’s Rockwood Music Hall, will not only be amongst the first to hear live performances of tunes from the upcoming new album, but they will also be there for the debut of Spacehog’s new guitarist Timo Ellis. “Wait, what???,” you might be saying. That’s okay. Take a minute, I’ll wait.

Yessssss, you did read that correctly. There is a new album, As It Is On Earth, due out this May, and joining Royston, Jonny, and Rich, is The Netherlands’ Timo Ellis, who has stepped in on guitar and vocals for Antony, as Antony pursues fame and fortune in film on the west coast.

For those who may be wondering about this fresh face in the band, Timo was kind enough to allow me an interview.

Charlotte: Jonny Cragg once mentioned jamming with you and Sean Lennon back in the summer of 1994. Was this when you first met? What was your impression of the Spacehog guys at that time?

Timo: ..I just remember initially thinking that they were sweet and totally hilarious (and then not too much later that they were making a really great record!!)

C: On your website you list yourself as performer, producer, tv/film composer, arranger, drummer, guitarist, bassist, singer, songwriter, ukulele-r, programmer, visual artist, and graphic designer from New York City, and on your Facebook band page under genre you list that you do it all. Is it fair to ask if there is an instrument, a role in the music world, and/or a specific type of genre that you like best or is that too much like asking a parent which kid they like best?

T: I’m a drummer first but I’ve been playing guitar and bass for almost as recent years I’ve done a lot more composing/ recording/ producing stuff as distinct from really becoming more virtuosic on any one instrument…+ “genre-wise” on a professional level it would probably help me if I really aesthetically refined/ simplified my “brand”, so to speak, but well, I don’t really feel like doing that, frankly!

C: Bands that you are currently in are The Netherlands, Miho Hatori, Cibo Matto, and of course Spacehog. How do you balance your time between various bands and any other projects that you may have in the works?

T: I work at least 12 hours a day, every day IE I don’t have a lot of “balance”. C’est la vie tho, ya know?

C: Thursday, February 16th, you play with both Spacehog and The Netherlands. Is that as exhausting as it sounds?

T: Not in the slightest! It’s gonna be wicked!!!

C: Is it true that you’ve released over 25 EP’s and Albums, including your first solo EP, The Enchanted Forest of Timo Ellis in 2001? What is it that inspires you?

T: I wouldn’t say I’m inspired really; obsessed is more like it

C: How long have you been working with Spacehog? You may be considered by fans to be “the new guy” but in eyeballing your accomplishments, your projects, and collaborations, some with names that have also been associated with other members of Spacehog, is “the new guy” an unfair or inaccurate assessment of your relationship with Spacehog?

T: I’ve only been playing with these guys this year..+ I am the “new guy” so I don’t mind being called that (+ doesn’t it connote being young, or “fresh” or something?)

C: After waiting over ten years, long time Spacehog fans finally got the news they wanted to hear last month, that the 4th album is to be released this spring. The website was revamped and a brand new Spacehog tune and video was premiered. Then holy moley, there was a bit of a shock, as fans realized that Antony Langdon was not in this line up. As Ant’s presence in the band has always been a strong one, there may be some fans who find the idea of someone, anyone, stepping in on guitar and vocals for him to be a bit disconcerting. Does knowing this affect you going on stage, particularly for the upcoming shows, where some fans may still not be aware of the change?

T: yeah…I’m not even caught up in any of that; hopefully people won’t be put off by it fer very long, if at all

C: You provide lead vocals in some of your other projects, will you share in the lead vocal duties with Roy for Spacehog? If so, would this be for some of the new songs, their old songs, or both?

T: yes, both! ..mad fun, it is!

C: The list of other musicians that you’ve collaborated with is quite extensive. So a fun question…. with no limits what so ever, even if a time machine were required, who or what band would you love to perform with?

T: Spacehog in 1996 (+ I was skinnier back then…)

C: What are your interests aside from music?

T: ..the arts!!! food, film, design, politics, history, philosophy…ya know, the humanities/ the usual left-wing stuff

Here’s sending huge amounts of gratitude to Timo for taking time out of his insanely busy schedule to answer my nosy questions! And for those reading this, quick, quick… turn up the volume and click the links below to hear and see the talented Mr. Ellis’s other projects…





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