Thursday, August 30, 2012

24 Aug 12 part 1

Oh no!

Watch out!

Be careful because something sinister and deadly is about to go down especially when deep inside the seedy word of underground gambling. Sometimes're either dealt a bad hand or not playing by the house rules. And if you want to know more, SouthSide then highly suggests blogspot readers tuning in at every Friday night at 8p (CST) for next installment of Cafe Kremlin from now until Oct 5th.

On Friday night, this reviewer attended a party held at Elbo Room for the premiere screening of Cafe Kremlin episode one in which was followed by a sneak peek of episode two and then the world premiere of Lucid Ground's new video, "All To You". In a nutshell, this web-based series is about two friends, Michael (Jon Kasunic) and Banks (Ariel Grigas)  living dangerously on the edge within the underground grambling world where they enjoy taking suckers for a ride during their "fixed" games of high stakes poker. Plus, they're also two partners in a quick rich, money-making scheme by placing online bets for their clients that now includes a suspicious new player.

What and why does this character make him so suspicious? Tune in to episode three, "Knocking A Zero Off" and beyond to find out, blogspot readers.

Filmed entirely in Chicago, Cafe Kremlin weaves more intrigue and suspense into the plot by the end of the second episode because you get the distinct feeling the two main characters are about to head into treacherous waters due their new partnership and association with this particular Russian character named Sergei (protrayed by Vernon A. Hintt III) . Strong focus on the "Russian" here. This reviewer won't give too much away about episode two "Weird KGB Vibe", blogspot readers, but you'll definitely feel that vibe someone's about to get doublecrossed when it's over and this reviewer is betting it won't be the "soft spoken" Russian either.   
Still there's nothing glamorous or lavish when you're brought inseid the world of Cafe Kremilin. The production and design teams did a good job scouting and choosing locations around Chicago that would depict what the underground gambling world would be and feel like. No one's living in Gold Coast mansions or penthouses as playing poker in some secret hidden Capone backroom, blogspot readers. Try any ordinary apartment or row townhouse and neighborhood bar for Kremlin's scenery. The cast (seen thus far in the first two episodes) offered a sense of realism to their characters they portrayed from Michael's cociane-snorthing girlfriend, Alyssa to Sergei and his silent group henchmen. There are other characters that you'll meet such as Carmine (played by Harry W. Walters), Lisa (played by Rachel Joy Mazza), Jake, Michael's older brother (played by Jordan Miczek)and Chicago's own World Ranked Super Middle Weight Contender Don "Da Bomb" George as himself.

Besides the Chicago's rarely filmed locales and cast, Cafe Kremlin also featured music by local bands especially in the first two episodes by Lucid Ground and 72 Hours. Songs used in episode one was Lucid Ground's Shaken Crown and 72 Hours' The Elephant Song meanwhile in episode two it was all Lucid Ground and their Breaking Point and Learn to Speak songs. And speaking of Lucid Ground, it was time to view the band's new video, "All To You" after watching episode two, blogspot readers. This video featured random shots of the band members before, during and after their recent performance at the House of Blues ...even with candid shots of them backstage and dressing rooms. For more information about this band, visit

  Until next time, support your local scene, SouthSide

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