A test screening audience member’s reaction to ‘Black Sky.’


This is a review left by z74neo at IMDB after attending a screening of “Black Sky.”  Title of it?


So I was lucky enough to catch a test screening last night. An invitation was sent to me to preview an upcoming film called “Untitled Tornado Project”. But I was kinda iffy about it since I hadn’t heard of any tornado film coming out–certainly not this one–it sounded straight-to-video, and they didn’t mention any cast members. Yet I had always wondered if they were ever going to do a Twister sequel (although something kinda cheesy about the idea), and I’ve always been fascinated by tornadoes (I’m actually kinda subconsiously terrified of them while at the same time a “fan”), so I thought I’d check it out. Bless mother nature that I did.


THIS. BETTER. GET. RELEASED. It’d be an IMMENSE shame if this went straight-to-video or was shelved. People gotta see this on the big screen. If you like Twister, you’ll love this one. Now, maybe because I’m a fan of Twister, I did feel this film lacked a certain charm that Twister had, but there are SO many things this film did BETTER. Of course, for sure, one main aspect being the effects. They said the film wasn’t finished and asked us to be understanding if certain shots looked incomplete, but I didn’t notice anything looking poor.


If the actual release does look even better, I’ll literally be blown away (pun intended). The film also feels a bit more real than Twister, and doesn’t have as much “yeah, right” moments–although there are a few. More over, there are moments during the awesome climax where you want go “yeah, right”, but you’re just so entranced by ingenuity of the sequence that you can’t help but be amazed (at least, I couldn’t). While still contrived in certain respects, and not a whole lot more in way of a plot, it does have a marginally better story and slightly more interesting characters. And finally, it does feel as though it has a certain relevance today in wake of all the recent tornado tragedies, as well as the advent of our youtube generation. If you like Twister or disaster pics or tornadoes in general, then when this comes out, GO SEE IT. It’s a great ride.


(Well, we weren’t expecting Shakespeare–it is a found-footage disaster film, after all–but it certainly doesn’t sound as if it’s something of which Mr. A should be ashamed, either. And I suspect I would find a certain character much more than “slightly more interesting” than any characters in Twister. )

Your thoughts?


My own Photoshop Elements-made fake movie poster for the film. The top photo is one tweeted by Todd Garner, film producer, during post-production.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

51 responses »

  1. I really don’t like disaster pics that much, but I’ll guess I have to watch this one…. for obvious reasons!?! Thanks for the info and the picture!

  2. This is what the poster had to say to the question if RA has a “pseudo American accent”:

    Sorry, he does (lucky enough to catch a test screening last night). He plays a the dad of two american teenagers, but you can hear his british accent in disguise. His acting overall his just fine, tho. I had never heard of this film coming out and they didn’t tell us who was in it, so I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed–hey that’s Thorin! And Lori lives! And Peter Pan grew up! And that’s about all I recognized.

    GREAT movie though. Helluva fun ride.

  3. I’m a big Twister fan and I liked the style of Cloverfield, so this is my type of movie. I couldn’t care less if he has an American accent in disguise either. Disaster movies are about hope. If I wanted something real, then I’ll watch a documentary.

    • Yes, I really don’t think the disguised accent is going to be a problem. It’s not like it’s going to be the central focus of the story, you know? I’ve seen enough of the real thing re tornadoes (been in one and seen the aftermath) that I truthfully don’t WANT the real thing–give me a Hollywood version where I can hope for everything to turn out alright in the end–i.e., Mr. Armitage’s character (and his kids) and “Lori” all survive the ending credits. 😀

  4. Thanks, FL for providing this review, but i think ultimately, he’ll have to master a good American accent if he wants more opportunities to open up in Hollywood. And I have no doubt he can do it with coaching and practice.

    • I’m usually a most agreeable person, but I disagree with him having to get rid of his accent to get a role in Hollywood, e.i., Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman… They have used American accents in roles, yes, but usually use their unique foreign voices.

      • Re the accent issue–I do think it would be to his advantage career-wise in terms of a greater variety of potential roles if he could master a credible “generic” American accent. And knowing what a hard-working, dedicated actor he is, I have no doubt he will apply himself to doing that as is necessary. That being said, I believe his superb acting skills combined with the beauty of his “natural” voice and that impressive onscreen charisma will still allow him to do very well in his career–even with some limitations. Actually, it’s been a while since I heard Gary Oldman use his English accent in films. Maybe it’s just been the films of his I have watched . . . I guess I would hate for him to miss out on a role that HE really wants to play due to the fact he couldn’t nail the accent. That would be a shame. 😦

        • I think in the end there may not have been enough time to work on the accent. Who knows how long (or short) in advance he knew about this role. He went to Michigan coming straight from NZ with no(?) break and filming only took two months. So he was probably busy doing his scenes on location every day instead of rehearsing with a voice coach. Compare this with effort he put into finding Thorin’s voice before filming started in NZ. I wouldn’t be surprised if he accent is much better now then it was a year ago.

          • And that’s entirely possible, too. I am sure he did the best he could under the circumstances. I hope he can reach a point with it where he does feel reasonably satisfied (if he hasn’t already).

      • There I agree with you- that if he is allowed to keep his British accent then he will have no issue- and unless there’s some back story that requires a character to have an American accent, then he could be British, or it’s just mentioned. For example Colin Firth in “Then She Found Me,” had a British accent with no explanation, and none needed – and the examples you gave, On us TV now there are more and more British actors in US series who just keep their accent, and even more in guest-starring roles.

          • In some film contexts I would say things do have to make sense or would risk raising criticism about the skills of the actor- for example, a film involving family relationships in an American family would require American accents as would anything historical or where the background of the character was really well known.

            • Yes, it really depends on the role and the situation for that particular character, the setting, and so forth. I live in the Deep South, yet we have had several citizens of our small town who had English accents–one was the maiden sister of a war bride who came overseas with the couple and the other married a former Navy officer whom she met in London at a concert one summer’s day. But as a general rule you won’t want people with British accents roaming the streets outside of the occasional tourist. 😉

              An actor who has proved outstanding playing two very different American soldiers–real-life WW II hero Maj. Dick Winters in Band of Brothers and the duplicitous Sgt. Nicholas Brody in Homeland is Damian Lewis–who is, of course, British. 😉 Simon Baker plays an American on The Mentalist (but is Australian, as is Ryan Kwanten on TB). So yes, some Brit/Aussie actors play roles using their natural accents on American TV, but quite a few do not. Oh, well, we shall see what transpires–I think all of us are simply eager to see him onscreen and to know what comes next!!!

              • Absolutely–I think we’re all dying to know what his next projects will be and when they will begin filming, whether they’re movies or tv series or whatever. Of course, it would also be nice to know when “Black Sky” will finally be released.

              • As I told someone at FB, I saw where the movie “300” (can’t remember rest of title) another WB film that was also delayed by the bankruptcy of the FX house has been slated for release in mid-March 2014. Apparently there are still some pickups to be done to finish the FX for “Black Sky” and perhaps after that we will soon get a release date for it, too.

              • Ouch, that long? Oh, well, any glimmer of light in the tunnel at this point–it’s just now that I’m starting to see reviews from the preview, I’m really anxious to see it.

              • Damien Lewis and Hugh Laurie- I heard them speak at an Emmy awards ceremony or maybe it was Golden Globes, I almost fell off my chair. I just think if Richard Armitage masters this skill, its another tool in his in belt that will enhance his chances for more roles, He’s already shown almost a natural knack for various British dialects, so I believe he can do it with good coaching and practice. I would hate for him to be subjected to the sort of criticism GO’N was in Spooks, for example, or Kevin Costner in Robin Hood.

              • That’s my view–that it will simply be another valuable weapon in his acting arsenal that will open him up to even more meaty roles in more good projects. *fingers crossed*

  5. I’m with the reviewer–THIS BETTER GET RELEASED. And also with Morrighan–if I want reality (which, sad to say, I don’t most of the time), I’ll watch a documentary or (God forbid!) a reality show. I think with Richard’s dedication to his craft, he can easily master an American accent–but I don’t think it would ever stop me from going to see anything he chooses to do.

    • Reality is overrated. 😉 Which reminds me that basic cable’s highest-rated show is The Walking Dead, NOT a reality show, and, of course, it stars Strike Back’s Andrew Lincoln and (formerly) the lovely Sarah Wayne Callies, RA’s co-star in this film. Oh, I’d watch him in anything. *sigh*

      • I was only kidding about the reality shows–don’t watch them and never plan to. Plenty of British actors are very successful here without doing anything whatsoever to their marvellous voices–and let’s face it, Richard’s is one of the very best. Again, tornado movies are not normally my kind of thing, but this is one I will most definitely see.

        • Oh, I know, what I wanted to point out is a scripted drama series (which is about much more than zombies–it’s the complexity of the survivors’ relationships in this post-catastrophic world that keeps you watching) is pulling in great numbers, over 12 million viewers per episode. And it has direct ties to a certain TDHBEW we all love through Andy and Sarah. ❤ (Got to give Andy Lincoln a shout-out for doing a very credible southern accent, too–unlike Stephen on True Blood, I don't want to laugh or plug my ears when he speaks. ;)) Richard has got some golden pipes, that is for SURE—–and I will look forward to hearing them in any project he pursues.

          • I think that people are getting fed up with the reality genre–seems like more and more viewers want to go back to the days where scripted shows both challenged and entertained, instead of watching idiots air their dirty laundry or give insider views into their boring lives (okay, that’s my opinion–they bore ME). I grew up during the golden age of tv when being creative and engaging the audience was a requirement. I also think it says a lot that all of these terribly expensive blockbuster movies that have come out so far this summer are dying at the box office and some will not even make back a third of their cost (can we say “The Lone Ranger”?) These guys need to get a grip.

  6. I think that for some reason, a credible American accent is something that Richard really struggles with. He may be one of those people who just can’t manage it. That could end up a detriment to his career. And that makes me really sad for him. Richard’s voice is normally such a vital part of his acting. (It makes us melt into puddles of goo!) Hopefully, his acting skills and charisma will overshadow that and directors will hire him anyway. It’s got to be frustrating for our lovely, hard working fellow. Oh come here big man, I’ll give you a HUG!

    • It may be that his particular natural dialect –which is delicious to MY ears–makes it hard to transition to an American accent–I just don’t know enough about linguistics to say. I know I can do a very credible British accent but I’ve been able to do that since I was nine or ten. Nobody taught me, I just picked it up from movies and series on TV.

      Perhaps mastering an American accent is a weak area for him,a bit of an Achilles heel–and yes, it HAS to be frustrating, because he is so dedicated and gives so much attention to detail and trying to get it all right, doesn’t he? I find myself wanting to give him a hug, too, and just ruffle those curls a little bit.;)

      • I love those little curls, too! I’m hoping he’s growing his hair for a new role. It so hot under all of those prosthetics, that he would rather that it was short!

        • I was wondering the same thing–if the longer hair was in anticipation of a new role. Yes, there’s enough hair that with that head form he has to wear as Thorin, plus the long wig, RA must be quite sweaty (thus requiring him to be “milked” even more often LOL)

          • I wondered about that myself, since it seemed like he always kept his hair way short when filming for “The Hobbit” before. Oh, let’s hope–they should be finished soon and maybe he has something waiting for him already?

      • I think we’re missing the point here….I had a friend who has since passed away. She was from New England. She and her husband were transferred to Texas. She got a job at Walmart. She quit after a month because are you ready….They couldn’t understand her and she couldn’t understand them….. We Americans are an arrogant lot. I can’t understand the lads who live on the island of Tangier 15 miles north of me. They think I have a western drawl. I say jockey box… Do you know what that is?

        • We have some former New Englanders who live here. They do stand out. 😉 I have no idea what a jockey box is, sorry–container for men’s underwear?? LOL

          My mother’s relatives in Tennessee had very different accents than we did down here–a sort of lilting cadence to their speech, and “tire” was “tar” and “iron” was “arn” and so on. Yet, my mother seemed to have completely lost that accent (if she ever had it). Most Yanks don’t think my husband is from the south. He sounds like he always did, however. Yet one of his brothers is REALLY southern. Grew up in the same household.

          Yes, we have many regional accents and dialects, and I don’t think RA needs to nail every one of them by any means. There is that generic sort of broadcaster accent–the mid-Atlantic–that many people aspire to. I guess at lot of it boils down to the roles he wants to pursue and how much he wants to work here in the US, and we know he has a desire to do so . . . Oh well. I seriously need a nap. Lunch first.

          BTW anyone who has the Inspiration channel on cable or satellite can watch North and South tonight. I have shuffled my usual Sunday night lineup around on the DVR and have it set up to record all four eps from 7 to 11 our time.

        • I agree with you. I guess I just don’t pay that much attention to accents and dialects–plus, I’ve lived in the south (Tennessee) and in the north (upstate New York and Connecticut), and being a native Northern Virginian, I really don’t have much of an accent of any kind (so I’ve been told).

          • Updates for those who are ordering the new pressing of “Staged”–I received an email this morning that says they will actually start sending them out this week, so maybe the reprint has already begun. YAY–can’t wait!!!!

  7. Just to say, in spite of being the eternal pessimist, I have absolutely no doubt that this will finally reach our screens and actually get a wide release. I’m even pretty optimistic that it will reach my (small German) home town (they did show Todd Garner’s movie from last year, Here comes the Boom). I have reservations about some aspects of this movie, but we do know that this is far away from being a low budget movie. They did spent $40m in Michigan, and that probably includes neither CGI nor work done in LA or the actors pay. That is a LOT of money, way too much to shelf it or only release it on DVD. A big, big blockbuster like the Hobbit or popular superhero movies costs $200m, but in comparison the first series of RH on did cost 8m pounds! To break even a movie needs to earn twice as much as it has cost, so you get an idea what kind of box office numbers they aim at. It will probably be released at a time when it doesn’t have to compete with big summer blockbusters or Oscar contenders, so perhaps in spring 2014. The schedule for the rest of 2013 is already full will strong contenders, it wouldn’t make much sense to release it too soon.

      • I think the target audience for this is (as with most movies) young males. The action and CGI has to be sufficient to make them happy.

        • You’ve also got fans of The Walking Dead (which draws fans of all ages, including old folks like me 😉 ) with Sarah Wayne (didn’t always like her character, but she’s a fine actress and gorgeous) and Richard’s ever-growing legion of fans to help boost the box office. I really wouldn’t expect a release before 2014 at this point–as said, not to have to compete against some of the blockbusters (some of which are not doing very well, as Stephanie pointed out).

          Jane, have you been taking happy pills, girl?? 😉 I finally got SLEEP. My husband airily said, “You know worry might be a big part of this.” Ya THINK?? He is feeling better, no fever right now, thank goodness, but there’s still the skin condition and even if there’s no fever, he IS going to the doctor tomorrow to follow up on all this. The man has a history of staph infections, for crying out loud!! Why would I not worry??

          • The target audience is almost always young males, you have to spend quite a lot of money to get them, and then you better get a lot of them! And I still don’t think that RA has become such a global phenomenon that he has “bankability”. Twilight is almost the only big movie franchise that made a lot of money without the boys.

            • OH, sure, I know that movies are targeted at young males, that’s why so many of them simply don’t interest me, being neither one. 😉 They like action and adventure and it looks like this film will offer them that. I didn’t say RA was a global phenomenon–I am not expecting this to be “Twilight” (Ick), some lower-budget film that far exceeds expectations at the box office. What I am saying is that HERE in the US, at least, the success of TH and the appeal of RA as Thorin and the many fans of the show TWD (and both my husband and I are) will help fill some extra seats in the theatres.I believe it could make a very respectable showing. That’s all I, at least, am suggesting. I actually think my husband will probably enjoy this film more than he did The Hobbit–it’s certainly more in the line of what he likes to watch, and he’s still in possession of his inner 12-year-old child. 😉 He really enjoyed “Strike Back” (and TBF, he enjoyed The Hobbit a lot more on the second go round at home, when it didn’t seem so god-awful long to him LOL)

              • I know that Richard has me watching things I might have otherwise never seen–if he’s doing the same magic on others (and I think we know he is), it probably won’t be long before he would be considered a global phenom. And rightfully so.

              • Well, I certainly never would have (thought so)–but except for him, I would never have watched “Strike Back” or something like “Black Sky” or even “Robin Hood” maybe. And he has me glued to the screen.

              • I just watched N&S twice–had it on my DVR. I was thinking about how he brings such an intensity to each of his roles–and not just when he’s shouting or snarling. In the quiet moments, too . . . how much he can express with those incredible eyes or the way he tilts his head or tightens his mouth or swallows . . . keeps your attention, that is for certain. He puts you in the shoes of his character so you are on the journey with him.

              • And he’s one of the few modern actors that can do that for me–sweep me right along with him so that I forget where I am or that I’m watching a story. He makes me lose myself because I don’t want to miss anything by taking my eyes away from him for a second. Which makes it hard to work on needlepoint and watch Richard at the same time.

  8. How important is ACCENT? (All right, poor GoRs struggles impeded her acting. As a Canadian, I’m accustomed to all sorts of accents in films! No good actor has to be obliged to emulate one of my favourite actresses, Ms. Streep; she has a knack. Just don’t let it get in the way of a good performance.

    • As an American, I am accustomed to hearing a lot of Canadian accents (so many TV series are filmed there). 😉 If it’s really bad–as GoR’s is, it can definitely get in the way. Her apparent complete lack of chemistry with RA, in spite of his best efforts, didn’t help. But you are right, Judith, every actor isn’t going to be as good as Streep. I tend to think it’s one of those things a person may be born with, that knack. Apparently I have that gift.I was “speaking in tongues” when I was a little girl. 😉 It sounds as if, from the comments the audience member made at the screening, RA still gives a good performance. 😀

      • Let’s face it, folks, when it comes to accents, probably no one will ever equal Streep–but it’s possible to do a credible, even stellar performance without putting so much emphasis on the accent. Richard is amazing–I, too, would hate to see him lose out on roles because someone thinks his “American”accent isn’t perfect, but we have so many, after all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s