Saturday, January 28, 2012

Man on a Ledge Movie Review

'Man on a Ledge' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

The most successful and popular thrillers are most often directed by experienced filmmakers who heavily feature big-budget stunts and special effects. But first-time feature film helmer Asger Leth proved that movies in the genre don’t just have to feature stunts to drive the plot forward. His new movie ‘Man on a Ledge,’ which is now playing at area Long Island movie theaters and was filmed at such locations as the Grumman Corporation airspace in Bethpage and the Nassau County Jail in East Meadow, proves that character development and interaction can be just as engaging.

‘Man on a Ledge’ follows ex-officer Nick Cassidy (played by Sam Worthington), who is sentenced to 25 years in prison after he’s framed for stealing a rare, prized diamond from real estate mogul David Englande (portrayed by Ed Harris). After escaping from officers during his father’s funeral, Nick goes on the run to prove his innocence. He climbs on the ledge of The Roosevelt Hotel, urging all of New York City to watch him as he fights for his freedom.

While Nick stands on the hotel’s ledge, his brother Joey (played by Jamie Bell) and his girlfriend Angie (portrayed by Genesis Rodriguez) search for the diamond in David’s vault, to prove it was never stolen. Nick also demands that Lydia Mercer (played by Elizabeth Banks) be the one who negotiates with him, much to the puzzlement of fellow negotiator Jack Dougherty (portrayed by Edward Burns). While Lydia has been on leave for the past month after her last negotiation notoriously failed, Nick feels that she’s the only one who will understand his struggle.

While Worthington is primarily known for his performances in such sci-fi/action films as ‘Avatar’ and ‘Clash of the Titans,’ Leth made the right decision in hiring the actor to play Nick in ‘Man on a Ledge.’ Worthington convincingly portrayed the character’s struggle to prove his innocence, and not allow David and the rest of the rich and powerful of New York determine his future. Nick embodies everyone’s, particularly the working class’, desire to stand up for their freedom and rights. He wouldn’t let anyone, especially David, determine the course of his life, even if it meant making enemies along the way.

To continue reading this review, please click here.

Interview: Grace Folsom Talks Things I Don't Understand

People are often fearful of the unknown, including such debatable topics as spirituality, the meaning of life and what happens to us after we die. Everyone also questions how they should react when our lives are threatened, and are faced with obstacles and forced to make changes that they don't know how to make. The new drama Things I Don't Understand, which was written and directed by second time filmmaker David Spaltro, courageously looks at the difficult topics that people are often afraid to approach.

Things I Don't Understand follows grad student Violet Kubelick, played by Molly Ryman, who's studying near-death experiences. She withdraws from her life after a failed suicide attempt. Her life continues to unravel when she and her two roommates face financial difficulties. To make herself feel better, Violet forms a bond with Sara, portrayed by Grace Folsom, the terminally ill girl she's interviewing for her thesis.

Folsom generously took the time to sit down in a café in New York City to discuss what attracted her to the role of Sara. The actress, who's making her feature film debut in Things I Don't Understand, which shot for 20 days in Brooklyn last spring, also spoke about how she prepared for the role, and what it was like working with Ryman and Spaltro.

Question (Q): You play Sara, a terminally ill patient who is looking for a last connection, in Things I Don't Understand. What was it about the character that convinced you to take the role?

Grace Folsom (GF): I think Sara's a strong character. It's a sad thing when children become ill. It's one of those things that you think's never going to happen to you or your family. When it does, it's devastating.

I admired that part of her, that she had to mature so quickly, and she had to become her own caregiver. She was abandoned by everyone around her and who ever knew her. I admired her strength and majority. I think the way she handles it is really interesting. I was really attracted to the conflict within her. Just dealing with something that big at that young of an age is terrible and admirable.

Q: How did you get into Sara's mindset? How did you prepare for the role?

GF: I researched a lot of aspects of the illness she has, Osteosarcoma-the stages you would go through, the medicine you would be on, and the side effects. A lot of the work was recreating the memories of not only the illness, but how her family, friends and boyfriend reacted.

Sara's mother decides that she's not going to come back and see her daughter anymore in the hospice she's living in. I recreated that in my mind. Her boyfriend kept pushing her away. He decides that he's not coming back, either. Violet is the one person who stays. So for me, I think the big preparation was recreating the memories of the toll the illness has taken on her.

Q: Violet is obsessed with dying and the possibility of an afterlife. Why do you feel people are so curious about the supernatural, and what happens to us after we die?

GF: I think that people, in a sense, want to know about the unknown. It drives everything in the world-science, religion, art. People want to know. There's a curiosity, whether on a small scale or a large scale, of what happens. It's scary, because we have no information about what goes on after death. It all comes down to what we believe is going to happen, because that's all there is.

To continue reading this interview, please visit Yahoo! Voices.

One for the Money Movie Review |

'One for the Money' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Director: Julie Anne Robinson (‘The Last Song’)

Starring: Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara and Daniel Sunjata (‘Gone,’ TV’s ‘Grey’s Anatomy’)

Movies based on successful novels and feature high-profile actors are often destined to become popular and entertaining, as they already have a built-in fanbase. But the new action comedy ‘One for the Money,’ which is based on Janet Evanovic’s 1994 book of the same name and features Katherine Heigl and Jason O’Mara in the lead roles, is one of the unfortunate adaptations that fails to live up to its source material. While the two actors have an easy-going and natural working relationship, the film lacks any true character or plot development.

‘One for the Money’ follows New Jersey girl Stephanie Plum (played by Heigl), who is forced to take a job as a bounty hunter at her cousin Vinny’s (portrayed by Patrick Fischler) bails bond agency in Trenton, after she loses her managerial position at Macy’s. While she doesn’t know anything about apprehending criminals and doesn’t even own a gun, Stephanie is happy to take on the job and by-pass the easy cases in order to apprehend former vice cop and murder suspect Joe Morelli (played by O’Mara). Stephanie not only needs the $50,000 fee from bringing Joe in, but also wants revenge on him for sleeping with her in high school and then leaving her. In the process, Stephanie must also deal with her meddling family and a boxer involved in the shooting who’s intent on hurting her and the witnesses she talks to.

Much like director Julie Anne Robinson’s last film, 2010′s romance drama ‘The Last Song,’ the action comedy also appeals to a large female audience. Women will surely relate to Stephanie’s struggles, including her desire to financially succeed without having to rely on anyone else and escape from their mother’s meddling ways, as well as seeking revenge on the man who hurt them in high school. Stephanie is a surprisingly independent protagonist who will do whatever it takes to stand up for what she believes in and what’s morally right, even if it means putting her own life in danger.

Despite Stephanie’s determination to find out what really happened the night Joe’s shooting, ‘One for the Money’ unfortunately fails to include any of the intelligent investigating Evanovich included in the novel. The film includes unrealistic situations, such as witnesses to Joe’s alleged crime instantly and willingly speaking to Stephanie. While she has no previous knowledge of the bails bond business, she also quickly picks up on the skills needed to succeed, such as shooting a gun, in the mere three days after she takes on Joe’s case.

To continue reading this review, please visit: One for the Money Movie Review |

Friday, January 27, 2012

Interview: Shawn Davis Talks Shark Tank

Yahoo! Voices Interview: Shawn Davis Talks Shark Tank

The massive appeal of ABC's hit reality series Shark Tank, which is now airing its third season on Friday nights at 8/7c, is that the five wealthy investors, or "sharks," negotiate investment proposals from emerging entrepreneurs. But the investors can't financially support every product they see, but some entrepreneurs they turn down ultimately do find success from other ventures after leaving the show.

Shawn Davis, who is also known as Chef Big Shake, appeared on the second season of Shark Tank to seek an investment of $200,000 for his line of gourmet shrimp burgers. While the show's investors turned his idea down, his company, CBS Foods, was immediately approached by 10 to 15 different investors after his episode aired. The chef, who plans on expanding his shrimp burgers nationwide, has seen the sales of his creation grown from $30,000 to a purported $6 million in 2012.

Davis took the time to speak about his Shark Tank appearance and his shrimp burgers over the phone from Manhattan. He discussed why he decided to pitch his burgers on the show, how he initially felt about being turned down and why he thinks Shark Tank offers opportunities to all investors.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Question (Q): You appeared on the second season of Shark Tank to seek an investment of $200,000 for your line of gourmet shrimp burgers. What was your motivation in trying to seek financing from the entrepreneurs on the show?

Shawn Davis (SD): My motivation, obviously, was stop living paycheck to paycheck, and to pump some money into my business. So basically not living paycheck to paycheck, and to expose my burger.

Q: After presenting the shrimp burgers to the investors on Shark Tank, they decided to turn the idea down. After the taping, did you feel deterred from continuing trying to find investors to support the burgers?

SD: You know what, I didn't have, or go in, with any initial expectation. If I got the money, it would have been fantastic. But on the other hand, I look at it as a fantastic three-minute commercial. So it was either the exposure or the money, or both. I was a little hurt, I'm not going to lie, after they turned me down initially, but I got what I wanted, as far as the exposure, so it worked out great.

Q: Immediately after your episode aired, you were approached by 10 or 15 private investors to put money into the shrimp burgers. What is the feeling like, knowing so many people were interested in financially supporting the burgers?

SD: I felt extremely humbled and blessed, first off. Secondly, I was excited that people took notice and really supported the idea that I had. So definitely blessed and very humbled that people wanted to put money into my company. It was a very humbling feeling. Ultimately, (I was) overwhelmed.

To continue reading this interview, please click here.

Interview: Josh Altman Talks Million Dollar Listing |

Read's exclusive interview with leading Los Angeles real estate agent Josh Altman, who appeared on the fourth season of Bravo’s hit reality series ‘Million Dollar Listing’ during the winter of 2011. Altman has made a name for himself in Hollywood, and is one of the leading agents in the business, as a result of drawing in celebrities and high net worth cliente from around the world. He currently works at the highly regarded, luxury real estate firm Hilton & Hyland Real Estate. Altman discusses with us, among other things, why he decided to appear on the show, and what he enjoys the most about the real estate business.

Written by: Karen Benardello

ShockYa (SY): You appeared on the Bravo reality series ‘Million Dollar Listing’ during the show’s fourth season. What was your motivation in appearing on the show?

Josh Altman (JA): Bravo had approached me, due mostly to my celebrity cliente, and my success in the real estate business at such a young age. When they approached me, originally I wasn’t sure if I was going to do the show, because it was a reality show,and typically, reality shows make people look silly. (laughs)

But after doing a lot of research, and watching the old shows, I felt I could bring something to the show that no one’s brought yet. I felt as a real estate agent, marketing yourself and advertising yourself is the most important thing. I thought the advertising and the marketing that I would get out of a national TV show is priceless, compared to what I’d be able to pay for in magazines, or any of the regular things that relators do. So that’s why I decided to do it. I was pretty happy with the results.

SY: So appearing on the show has helped your business?

JA: Yes, it has helped my business, but I think my hard work is the reason it has succeeded. Not so much from the TV show. The TV show’s fun, and it gets my name out there. But at the end of the day, it’s all about making sales and performing at my job. That’s the reason why my business has been successful.

We just closed the largest condo sale in Santa Monica, for $10.5 million, last week, and that was an amazing sale that we’re very excited about. This year, to date, we’ve already sold $20 million in product. Last year, we sold over $60 million in inventory. We’re pretty happy with the results, but that’s not by any means from the show. That happens to be from our work, and working 24/7.

SY: Besides the Santa Monica sale, you also recently sold the sixth largest sale in LA County, for $16.5 million on a listing at Beverly Park. So do you feel that your own success has spoken for itself?

JA: Yes, I feel my own success has spoken for itself. I think that’s the reason why ‘Million Dollar Listing’ wanted to follow me around. It’s because of the success I got the show, it’s not that I got success after appearing on the show. So there’s a big difference. Everyone asks, are you doing that well because of the show? The truth of the matter is, I was doing that well before. But now, everyone just sees what I’m doing.

SY: You originally entered the real estate business by flipping homes with your brother and partner, Matt, in 2002, which led you to own and run your own mortgage company. You eventually became a top earning real estate agent with the highly regarded, luxury real estate firm Hilton & Hyland Real Estate. Why do you enjoy the real estate business so much, and is there a particular area that you enjoy over the other?

JA: Well, I always say, people ask me what my job is, and I say, I don’t have a job, because I love what I do. I love everything about real estate. My favorite thing to do, actually, is flipping homes. I love doing that, and that’s something I do on the side as a hobby. There’s something about buying a run-down house, and making it beautiful, I have fun doing that whole process. Then, of course, at the end of the day, you make money on it, and that’s nice.

I also love being an agent. I get to help people fulfill their dreams of owning a home, which is an American dream. So I get to see people at pretty much the happiest points of their lives, when I hand the key over to them. So that’s extremely fulfilling for me. That’s pretty much my favorite part about it.

To continue reading this interview, please visit: Interview: Josh Altman Talks Million Dollar Listing |

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I am looking for another writing entertainment position

I am looking for another writing entertainment position; view my resume on Craigslist, and contact me here or there: Craigslist

Interview: Robin Hardy Talks The Wicker Tree |

Read's exclusive interview with filmmaker Robin Hardy, who wrote and directed the new horror film ‘The Wicker Tree.’ The movie is set to be distributed by Anchor Bay Films into limited theaters on January 27, 2012. ‘The Wicker Tree’ follows two young, engaged missionaries from Texas, Beth, played by Brittania Nicol, and Henry, portrayed by Henry Garrett, as they travel to Scotland. They go on behalf of their religious group, Cowboys for Christ, to educate the people there about their religious views.

After being charmed by the locals of Tressock, the two agree to become the local Queen of the May and Laddie for the annual town festival. However, the two don’t realize the disturbing secrets they’re about to discover about Tressock’s seemingly nice townspeople. Hardy discusses with us, among other things, why he decided to write and direct ‘The Wicker Tree,’ and what the casting process was like.

Written by: Karen Benardello

ShockYa (SY): You directed ‘The Wicker Tree’ as a companion piece to your original cult classic film, ‘The Wicker Man.’ What was your motivation in retelling the story for modern audiences?

Robin Hardy (RH): Well, I don’t the story is, in terms of date, all that different. It is set for a modern audience, but in a way, you wouldn’t notice the difference, because it’s set in the countryside, and the people are on the island. In ‘The Wicker Man,’ the people were contemporary to their time, but they’re kind of timeless, because there aren’t any cars or cell phones. (laughs)

The same is true of ‘The Wicker Tree,’ although of course it’s set now. The main intrusion is that there’s a nuclear power station, which is really important to the story. Otherwise, the story’s set in rural countryside Scotland, in both case. So the similarities between the films are perhaps more important, in that I think it was Christopher Lee who said of this film, ‘The Wicker Tree,’ that it’s comic, erratic, romantic and horrific enough to strain the bowels of a bronze statue. (laughs) It’s a lot of different things, in terms of genre.

SY: Besides ‘The Wicker Man,’ the only other film you directed before ‘The Wicker Tree’ was 1986’s ‘The Fantasist.’ Why did you decide to take such a big break between directing films, and why was ‘The Wicker Tree’ the right movie for you to return to directing?

RH: Well, I do a lot of other things. I was trained as a painter in Paris years ago, so painting and drawing is a love of what I do. I’ve written five novels. I have eight children, so I’ve kept myself busy.

I decided to do ‘The Wicker Tree’ because I was always surprised that no one had made a film of the same genre of ‘The Wicker Man.’ In other words, where you had music and comedy and a little bit of sex and jokes. But ultimately underneath, something frightening truly happening. That hasn’t really been done much, and I thought it would be fun to do it again.

Also, there was a remake of ‘The Wicker Man’ (in 2006, starring Nicolas Cage and written and directed by Neil LaBute), which ignored all those things, but somebody kept the plot. The plot wasn’t all that special, it was a perfectly good plot. But the remake had none of the fun or the music or the jokes that made the first film special. So I decided to do another one in the same genre.

SY: While Anthony Shaffer wrote the screenplay for ‘The Wicker Man,’ you penned the script for ‘The Wicker Tree,’ basing it on your 2006 novel ‘Cowboys for Christ.’ Why did you decide to adapt the screenplay ‘The Wicker Tree’ yourself?

RH: Like I said, I write novels, and I have written lots and lots of screenplays, mainly for television, over the years. I consider myself a writer, as well as a director. So adapting my screenplay from my own book seemed like a natural thing to do. Then, of course, I’ve been directing all my life, television, commercials, dramas, theater, so on and so forth.

SY: Do you think writing ‘The Wicker Tree’ helped you in your directorial duties, once you were on the set?

RH: Yes, a great deal. Not only did I do that, I story-boarded the entire film myself. So I had every aspect of the film in my head, and that made the directing much easier.

To continue reading this interview, please visit: Interview: Robin Hardy Talks The Wicker Tree |

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Interview: Terrell Samuels Talks Huzo

The public has always been passionate about buying their favorite movies, music, games and books, as well as finding ways to help benefit their favorite charities. The new social networking website, Huzo, not only allows the world to connect with each, but has stepped above and behind its competitors; not only does it also allow its users to buy their favorite entertainment, but also donates two percent of the profit to charity.

Huzo's CEO and president, Terrell Samuels, has also made the social networking website unique in the fact that celebrities who join can sign up their favorite charities. When their friends and fans make entertainment purchases on the website, their donations will benefit their charities.

When the public subscribes to Huzo and watch movies, play games and listen to music on the website, they can even generate income for themselves. Users can recoup two percent of the cost in cash, which they can keep for themselves or designate to go to any organization they choose. Huzo subscribers also receive additional cash incentives for referring friends who subscribe.

Samuels generously took the time to speak about Huzo over the phone from Los Angeles. He discussed his motivation in launching the social networking platform, the positive support he's garnered since starting Huzo in June, and how successful the website has been.

Written by: Karen Benaradello

Question: What was your motivation in launching Huzo, and why did you decide to donate some of the profit to charity?

Terrell Samuels (TS): I decided to launch the website because I'm pretty much a Christian. I believe in giving back and being a blessing and doing good for other people. On all these entities, like the iTunes, Amazon and Netflix of the world, people are spending over $100 billion every year, just in the U.S., on movies, books, games and music. I said, why not create a platform where we can give some of that money back, because it's a recession right now.

Even during the recession, the number went from $1 billion in 2009, to $120 billion. More people want to stay at home, and not take their families out to dinner and things of that sort. What better way than to come up with a platform to give some of those revenues back to school, church or business during the process.

Q: What is the process like in getting celebrities to sign up for Huzo?

TS: Well, let me give you our definition of a celebrity first. Our definition of a celebrity is anyone with a fanbase or database of 5,000 or more people. A celebrity to us can be a school, a church, a charity, a foundation or person. What we found was that some of these Hollywood celebrities, they've worked so hard to build up their fanbases on these social media sites, since the start of the whole social networking movement, with Facebook, Twitter and Myspace.

But no one has figured out how to monetize on that fanbase on a consistent basis. Considering that we figured that out with our platform, we wanted to lead by example, and make sure some of that money was going to charity, or using it to give back. The celebrities meet with me and the members of my team, and we emphasize signing up their charity, and the whole philanthropic aspect, keeping that in the forefront.

Q: Tyrese Gibson and Rob Kardashian are just two of the Hollywood celebrities who have joined Huzo. Does having such name recognition draw attention to Huzo's goal of raising money for charity?

TS: Well, it does, because people want to find out why a lot of these A-listers are signing up on our site. The benefit behind it is that Tyrese Gibson, Jamie Foxx or Rob Kardashian, they have a couple million followers on Twitter. When I sat down with them, I asked them, how are you monetizing that database? The normal answer is when they watch my show or buy my music.

With our platform, we found a way to actually give back to their fans. Some of our athletes, like the Lakers, Matt Barnes. He was excited about signing up his foundation (Athletes Vs. Cancer). He said, Terrell, fans come and see me play every night. I'm signing up with Huzo because I can finally give back to them, and invite them to join a network, and receive a rebate back in cash. Hopefully, if they get enough people to join their Huzo pages, they can come see me for free eventually. In addition to that, I don't have to go ask my friends, family and other people to raise money for my foundation.

Matt's foundation benefits cancer, because his mom died of cancer (in 2007). He thought it was a great way to raise money for his foundation without having to ask people. It's almost like you're raising money and giving back in the same breath, which has never been done before.

To continue reading this interview, please visit Yahoo! Voices.

Interview: Larry Hankin Talks Buzz Kill |

Read's exclusive interview with actor Larry Hankin, who portrays Granger in the new comedy ‘Buzz Kill.’ The film, which was written and directed by Stephen Kampmann, follows a once promising screenwriter, Ray Wyatt (played by Daniel Raymont), who refuses to get a job in advertising just to please his wife Sara (portrayed by Reiko Aylesworth), and moves into a run-down apartment as a result. His new landlord, Granger, hassles him for money, and is reluctant to fix the problems that plague the apartment.

Ray’s future improves when an L.A. producer wants to meet with him to discuss his new screenplay, ‘Great Shame.’ Having little travel money, Ray allows a young waitress from a local dinner, Nicole (played by Krysten Ritter), to travel with him. After Nicole leaves him in the middle of their trip because she’s become bored, Ray encounters the notorious Karaoke Killer (portrayed by Darrell Hammond), who steals his car and script. While Ray follows the killer to get his screenplay back, he’s reluctant to turn him into police, as he’s the first person interested in the new ending.

Hankin discusses with us, among other things, what attracted him to the role of Granger. He also talks about what his working relationship with Raymont was like, and how shooting independent films differ from big budget studio movies.

Written by: Karen Benardello

ShockYa (SY): You play Granger, Ray Watt’s landlord who insists he pay his rent, despite the negligent conditions of his apartment, in ‘Buzz Kill.’ What was it about the script that convinced you to take on the role?

Larry Hankin (LH): Well, I like Steve Kampmann, who is the director. I’ve seen him direct other things, another movie that he’s done. I like Steven.

Then when I read the script, I liked the character, he’s so out there. I love those kinds of characters, and that’s what I do. They fit into what I’m able to do. I thought it was really funny.

SY: How did you prepare for the role of Granger before you began shooting the film?

LH: I’ve lived pretty much like that for many years of my life. That’s about it. For that particular role, Granger, there’s not much research that you have to do. There’s serious roles where you do, but Granger’s just a natural. It was on page, what you would professionally say. It was in the script, how to do that guy was right on the page.

SY: Daniel Raymont, who plays Ray Watt in ‘Buzz Kill,’ has said the cast did some improvisation while shooting. Did you do any improv while filming?

LH: No, not that much. One was because I liked the way it was written. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But I didn’t have that big a role. My scenes were kind of quick. I didn’t think it was necessary, and I think we got the funny. It was pretty funny. So I didn’t do much, no. (laughs) I didn’t do much. But it depends on the moment, really.

SY:The main character Granger interacts with in ‘Buzz Kill’ is Daniel. So what was your working relationship with Daniel like?

LH: Oh, it was great, Daniel is really cool. He understands deadpan humor, which is the kind of humor I like, as does Steven. He’s very good. I liked working with him. When you’re working with some really good, it’s not work, it’s fun and easy. It’s not work at all. So big points for Daniel.

It’s comedy, which is very hard to find, especially dead pan comedies. I think they’re rare, not hard to do, but rare, and Daniel did it well.

SY: Steven Kampmann both directed and co-wrote the script, with Matt Smollon, for ‘Buzz Kill.’ Did the fact that Steven worked on the screenplay help in his directorial duties?

LH: I don’t know. I just show up and do my work, I don’t check if Steven did his homework. He seemed prepared. He had a really good working relationship with the cinematographer (Stephen Treadway), and that’s always a good sign.

My scenes were mainly hand-held, and they worked together to get the joke. I really liked that. They had really good focus on what was important, and they worked together well. So that was just a good sign to me. I took that as I didn’t have to worry about the director, because I saw how well he was working with the cinematographer and with Daniel. So I just relaxed, and went with whatever was happening.

To continue reading this interview, please visit; Interview: Larry Hankin Talks Buzz Kill |

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Interview: Paul Blackthorne Talks The River |

Read's exclusive interview with actor Paul Blackthorne, who can next be sen as producer Clark in the upcoming anticipated ABC horror-thriller series ‘The River.’ The show, which premieres on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 at 9pm ET/PT, was co-created and directed by ‘Paranormal Activity’s writer-helmer Oren Peli. ‘The River’ follows Dr. Emmet Cole (played by Bruce Greenwood), a famed wildlife explorer and TV personality who ventures into the Amazon and never returns. When Emmet’s emergency beacon goes off six months after his disappearance, his wife, Tess (portrayed by Leslie Hope), and his son, Lincoln (played by Joe Anderson), go searching for him.

Tess and Lincoln agree to allow Clark to film the mission for a documentary, in exchange for funding the rescue. The three venture into the Amazon to discover what truly happened to Emmet. Blackthorne discusses with us, among other things, what attracted him to the role of Clark, and he finds appealing about the horror-thriller genre.

Written by: Karen Benardello

ShockYa (SY): In ‘The River,’ you portray Clark, the ex-producer of Dr. Emmet Cole. What attracted you to the role of Clark, and convinced you to appear on the show?

Paul Blackthorne (PB): Well, what attracted me to Clark was the slightly ambiguous nature of his character. Some people might think he’s a self-serving person. But I believe he himself believes he’s doing good things. I was attracted to the fact of, and what appealed to me was, the ambiguous nature of his character, whether he’s good or bad. I guess that makes it a little bit more interesting-is he the good guy or bad guy? I like the ambiguity. So that’s what I liked about the character.

In regards to ‘The River,’ I think the originality of the show was what really appealed to me. It’s as though you’re watching a reality TV show, in the realistic fashion in which it’s portrayed. Also, the paranormal factor, where you’ve got very ordinary people who are about to experience very extraordinary events. In the scope of the paranormal context, I thought it was interesting that you never knew what was going to happen in the next story and the next script.

SY: What was the preparation process like for your role of Clark before you began shooting the series?

PB: Well, I would never bore you with the whole acting process, because that’s terribly boring to hear. But there were certain people in the reality show world that I looked at. I looked at their careers to see what they’ve been up to. But regardless what the man does for a living, he’s a human being. He’s got his needs, he’s got his desires.

I tried to create a character with a background and backstory. I try to think more about his character than what he does for a living.

SY: Oren Peli, the writer and director of ‘Paranormal Activity,’ is one of the co-creators of ‘The River.’ What has it been like working with him?

PB: He’s great. He’s very laid back and insightful. He knows what he’s doing. When you’re in that kind of company, you feel privileged.

SY: Besides ‘The River,’ you’re also known for appearing on such horror-thriller television series as ‘The Dresdon Files’ and ‘The Gates.’ What is it about the genre that you find so appealing, and convinces you to keep returning to it?

PB: Like I was saying before, with the paranormal and sci-fi and fantasy, the story-lines can be stretched around a bit. It’s an unpredictable nature. They’re the classical psychological thriller. You can really create who you want in that world.

That’s the thing with ‘The River.’ There’s some classical, mythological stuff floating around. But they really created a whole new world of paranormal weirdness I’ve never experienced before. Again, that’s what I found interesting.

To continue reading this interview, please visit: Interview: Paul Blackthorne Talks The River |

Monday, January 23, 2012

Buzz Kill Movie Review |

'Buzz Kill' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Director: Steven Kampmann (‘Stealing Home’)

Starring: Daniel Raymont (TV’s ‘The Naked Brothers Band,’ ‘Smash’), Krysten Ritter (TV’s ‘Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23′) and Darrell Hammond

People sometimes take drastic measure when trying to achieve their dreams, and surprisingly, through twists of fate, the acts can actually pay off. The new independent comedy ‘Buzz Kill,’ directed and co-written by actor Steven Kampmann, amusingly shows the extreme measure people take to carry out their professional goals. While those around down-on-his-luck Ray Wyatt view him as being immature and refusing to grow up, Ray thinks of himself as staying true to his dreams.

‘Buzz Kill’ follows Ray (played by Daniel Raymont), a once promising screenwriter who refuses to “sell out” and get an advertising job, to the dismay of his wife Sara (portrayed by Reiko Aylesworth). Just when he’s about to end his life, Ray receives a call from an enthusiastic L.A. producer, who wants to meet with him to discuss his new script, ‘Great Shame.’ With little money, Ray loads up his beat-up car, and plans on driving cross-country from New Jersey to Hollywood.

Ray allows a young waitress from a local diner, Nicole (played by Krysten Ritter), who promises to pay for half of the trip. But once she becomes bored with Ray, she abandons him, leaving him to finish his road trip alone. He then encounters the Karaoke Killer (portrayed by Darrell Hammond), who steals his car and the only copy of his script with the new ending. Ray follows the killer to get his belongings back, but is hesitant to turn him into police, as he wants to know what he thinks about the new ending.

Kampmann made the right decision in hiring Raymont to play Ray. The actor wasn’t afraid to portray his character as taking a naive, but daring, approach to life. Ray is proud of who he is, and determined to achieve his goal of being a screenwriter, he doesn’t feel the need to change his lifestyle. While he loves Sara, and doesn’t want to end their marriage, he courageously takes the trip to L.A. to reach his goal and get the job that will truly make him happy.

Due to Raymont’s somewhat simple outlook on life, and being unsure how to forcibly take charge of situations, he humorously interacts with those around him. As an experienced impressionist, Raymont amusingly portray Ray’s British accent and defensively protects his mother’s heritage, against Granger (played by Larry Hankin), the landlord of the apartment he moves into before he travels to L.A. Ray wants Granger to fix the apartment, such as adding an air conditioner and remove the smell, but is deterred by the landlord’s continuous ridicule of his accent and lifestyle.

Read more:

To continue reading this review, please visit: Buzz Kill Movie Review |

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Director Justin Kerrigan Helming Urban Hymn

Director Justin Kerrigan has signed on to helm 'Urban Hymn,' which was scripted by screenwriter Nick Moorcroft, for British studio Instinctive Film. The filmmaker will use the UK summer riots as the backdrop for the movie, which follows a young woman who is growing up in the British care system, who also possesses a remarkable voice. She's inspired to use her voice by a determined social worker.

Instinctive is producing 'Urban Hymn' with Powder Keg Pictures, in association with Mighty Village and Universal Music UK. Casting is currently underway, and the film is expected to began shooting on May 1 on location, in and around Bristol and Cardiff.

Kerrigan said he was attracted to direct Urban Hymn because "as well as being a powerful commentary on what young people are experiencing growing up in the UK today, it's also about filling the void of lost love, a universal theme that I'm really excited about exploring." One of the film's producers, Darryn Welch, added that Kerrigan was hired because he "has a proven track record dealing with narratives that explore disenfranchised youth and has a distinct visual style that will elevatae this project into a sophisticated film with wide commercial appeal."

Bad Girl Island Hittitng DVD and Internet VOD on January 24, 2012

Bad Girl Island, the supernatural thriller starring AnnaLnne McCord, Antonio Sabato Jr. and James Brolin, will be released on DVD and Internet VOD on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. The film, which was directed and written b Stewart Raffill, will be distributed by Freestyle Digital Media, after being shot in 2007.

Murder, temptation and mystical forces are the main themes in Bad Girl Island, which is set on an exotic island in the Bermuda Triangle. The film follows Simone, played by McCord, who mysteriously appears on the island of Eleuthera. She is so enchanting that no man can resist her deadly charm. After seducing wealthy movie producer Michael Pace, portrayed by Sabato, in his dreams, Simone comes back to haunt him in real life.

Michael's best friend is murdered, and the only evidence is of him also being seduced by Simone. When she surprisingly shows up at a casting call with Michael and famous director Terry Bamba, played by Brolin, they become involved in a deadly game of deception, seduction and revenge.

Bad Girl Island is rated R for sexual content, language and some violence. The bonus feature included on the DVD is the trailer for the film.

Purification Movie Review |

'Purification' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Director: Joe Ciminera

Starring: Joe Ciminera, Natalie Swan and Danielle Ventura

People are often quick to criticize others for the sins they have committed in their lives, and often place judgment on them if they’re unable or unwilling to redeem themselves. But once people are faced with correcting the mistakes they have made, they come to realize how difficult it truly is to change. This all-important message is a main theme of the new horror-thriller ‘Purification,’ which was written and directed by Joe Ciminera. The filmmaker also appeared in the film as the critical main character Bret Fizpatrick, who is faced overcoming his own struggles, after a lifetime of condemning others.

‘Purification’ follows Bret, a New York real estate investor, as he becomes caught between reality and the supernatural. While he initially values business and making money over the well-being of his family, friends and tenants, Bret soon has a change of heart after he crosses paths with people who can’t emotionally mature. Those around Joe can’t move on with their lives, as a punishment for the terrible acts they have committed. As a result, Bret comes to realize that he must change his outlook on life and his actions in order to redeem himself and his soul.

Ciminera realistically portrayed the feelings of self-importance Bret experiences in the beginning of ‘Purification,’ as he has advanced in his career, accumulated wealth and successfully moved past his difficult childhood. But as Bret journeys into the world between life and death, he sees the pain and suffering others have come to endure, and realizes that not everyone can successfully improve their fate. He slowly begins to understand the conflicts people face are the main contributing factor that motivates them to take risks and put their futures in danger.

Ciminera also memorably showcased the deterioration of Bret’s mental and emotional states throughout the course of ‘Purification,’ as his own past comes back to haunt him. He wants to help his brother become sober and help save their family home from going into foreclosure, but is torn over his conflicting belief that people only have themselves to blame for their difficulties. The debate over whether Bret should help his brother or himself is a true reflection of who Bret is as a person, and whether his new so-called outlook on life should help save and protect his soul.

To continue reading this review, please visit: Purification Movie Review |

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Interview: Daniel Raymont Talks Buzzkill and Smash |

Read's exclusive interview with actor Daniel Raymont, who plays struggling writer Ray Wyatt in the new comedy ‘Buzzkill.’ The film, which was directed and co-written by Steven Kampmann, follows Ray as he becomes upset that his girlfriend, Sara (played by Reiko Aylesworth), wants him to grow up; his landlord wants him to pay his rent; and his girl on the side, Nicole (portrayed by Krysten Ritter), wants him to loosen up. Deciding that he’s finished with life, he hits the road.

Ray’s life changes when he meets the notorious serial killer known as the “Karaoke Killer” (played by Darrell Hammond). After stealing Ray’s car and manuscript, the Karaoke Killer begins quoting his work. As Ray begins to obtain fame and fortune, he suddenly disappears.

Raymont discusses with us, among other things, what convinced him to take on the role of Ray, and what it was like working with Kampmann and his co-stars. The actor also reveals details about his upcoming guest appearance on the NBC musical comedy-drama series ‘Smash.’

Written by: Karen Benardello

ShockYa (SY): In ‘Buzzkill,’ you play lead character Ray Wyatt. What was it about the script and Ray that convinced you to appear in the movie?

Daniel Raymont (DR): Well, I was interested in the story about the writer who wanted to stay true to his own dreams without compromising. I thought it was a well-written story-that’s one of the first things that appealed to me.

I felt very privileged to be part of such a special cast, also. When I saw who else was cast in the movie, I did some research on the director, Steven Kampmann. (I was drawn to the fillm) between the story, the cast and the director, with his experience. I really liked the fact also that in addition to having a film background, he’s also a professor. He teaches screenwriting, so he has an interesting background, and that made for an interesting experience making a movie.

SY: Speaking of Steven, ‘Buzzkill’ is his second directorial effort, after the 1988 drama ‘Stealing Home.’ What was it like working with him?

DR: He was great. He felt like a kindred spirit. He was very funny, very receptive to adjusting and changing the scene a little bit. He was a lot of fun to work with, and funny.

Sometimes when you work with a director who has acting experience, or has done acting (like Kampmann has), it can be very nice. They know what it’s like being in front of the camera. So the experience can be very smooth.

SY: Since Steven also co-wrote the screenplay for ‘Buzzkill’ (with Matt Smollon), did that make it easier for you to work with him as a director?

DR: Yes, because we met several times beforehand. Before I said yes to the movie, we wanted to meet. I think it’s important because if you’re going to spend a month-and-a-half, 16-hour days with the same person, that you’re going to like them. You want to make sure that you understand each other and speak the same language.

I think because he wrote ‘Buzzkill,’ it wasn’t just a job for him. This was something that he had been working on. He had a co-writer, and they were both present on the set all the time. It’s nice, it’s a privilege to have the writer on the set.

Sometimes if you’re making a painting, and you have all the colors, but you’re missing a color, it’s not a complete painting. I think having the writer there is very nice, because you can fit in the last color to fill in the beautiful painting.

To continue reading this interview, please visit: Interview: Daniel Raymont Talks Buzzkill and Smash |

Underworld: Awakening Movie Review |

'Underworld: Awakening' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Directors: Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein (‘Shelter’)

Starring: Kate Beckensale, Theo James (TV’s ‘Downton Abbey’), Michael Ealy (‘Takers’), India Eisley (TV’s ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’) and Stephen Rea

Creating a successful horror-action film is never easy, as the director and screenwriter has to perfectly balance an entertaining plot line with entertaining stunts and frightening emotional and physical scares. But filmmaker Len Wiseman did just that when he co-founded the ‘Underworld’ franchise, which focuses on the centuries-old epic battle between Vampires and Lycans. The new fourth installment in the series, ‘Underworld: Awakening,’ sees the return of the first two films’ main star, Wiseman’s wife, Kate Beckensale, who effortlessly embraces the role once again after six years. The actress once again performs unique action sequences while giving an emotional performance as the vampire Selene, which makes up for the second sequel’s surprisingly and unfortunate lack of plot-line.

‘Underworld: Awakening’ picks up six months where its predecessor, the series’ first sequel, ‘Evolution,’ leaves off. Selene is captured by humans, and government officials and the public learn of the Vampire and Lycan species. Humans began a crusade to eradicate both immortal species by wiping out the infections that create them. Selene is separated from Michael (portrayed by Scott Speedman, shown through archived clips from the first two ‘Underworld’ films), her Lycan-Vampire hybrid love, and is imprisoned in cryogenic suspension for 12 years.

After waking up and discovering that both immortal species have been virtually eliminated by humans since she was imprisoned, she manages to escape the facility where she was being held, Antigen. The facility is run by Dr. Jacob Lane (played by Stephen Rea), who claims to be ridding the world of both immortal species. Helped by fellow vampire David (portrayed by Theo James) and Detective Sebastian (played by Michael Ealy), who was once married to a vampire, Selene manages to fight off Dr. Lane, save Eve (portrayed by India Eisley), the hybrid daughter she never knew she had with Michael, and search for her love.

The plot-line in ‘Awakening,’ the second sequel in the franchise, following the 2003 original film, 2006′s ‘Evolution’ and 2009′s prequel, ‘Rise of the Lycans,’ unfortunately fails to live up to its three predecessors. Wiseman, who directed and co-wrote the first two films and produced the prequel, returned to the series to produce and work on the script for the fourth movie. The filmmaker created an in-depth, memorable explanation surrounding the conflict between the Vampires and Lycans in the original trilogy.

The first three ‘Underworld’ films were also effective in the fact that they only used action sequences to build upon the Vampire and Lycans’ hatred for each other, and their determination to kill off the other species to make up for the wrongs their enemies had committed. With the human race discovering the existence of both immortal species in ‘Awakening,’ as well both species wanting to protect Eve from the other, Wiseman had more than enough material to create another detailed, constructive storyline.

To continue reading this review, please visit: Underworld: Awakening Movie Review |

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Interview: Raphael Sbarge Talks Once Upon a Time |

Read's exclusive interview with actor Raphael Sbarge, who’s currently portraying Archie Hopper, as well as Jiminy Cricket’s human form, in ABC’s acclaimed fantasy fairytale drama ‘Once Upon a Time.’ The series follows Emma Swan (played by Jennifer Morrison), the daughter of Snow White (portrayed by Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (played by Joshua Dallas), as she escapes the Evil Queen (portrayed by Lana Parrilla) transported to present day Boston. When contacted by her son Henry (played by Jared S. Gilmore), whom she had given up for adoption when he was born, she discovers that he lives in Storybrooke. Henry informs her that everyone is in really a fairy tale character who is living there in exile. However, because of one of the Evil Queen’s curses, no one remembers their true identity.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Sbarge, who has appeared in over 30 films, including ‘Risky Business’ and ‘Independence Day,’ and has made over 100 guest appearances on such shows as ‘NCIS’ and ‘Burn Notice,’ discusses with us what attracted him to the role of Archie Hopper. He also talks about how ‘Once Upon a Time’ differentiates itself from similarly-themed shows.

ShockYa (SY): You portray psychologist Archie Hopper in ‘Once Upon a Time.’ What was it about the character that convinced you to audition for, and accept, the role?

Raphael Sbarge (RS): The thing that’s so great about this show is how the writers have really put such original spins on the fairy tales we’re all familiar with. That quality storytelling was apparent from the pilot script—it was one of those scripts that actors fall in love with because we get to explore our characters’ journeys in both the fairy tale and modern worlds.

You get to see why Jiminy became a cricket, and you get to watch Archie start to come into his own and out from under Regina’s control. You don’t often get the chance to explore what’s essentially the same character, in so many different ways. What the writers have crafted is just quite magical.

SY: Archie is Jiminy Cricket’s human form in present-day Maine. Since he is such a beloved character, do you feel any pressure to portray him in a particular way?

RS: Definitely—who doesn’t love Jiminy Cricket, after all? I think we all felt a certain responsibility—we wanted to show our respect for these beloved characters from everyone’s youth, but also stay true to the story we’re telling on ‘Once Upon a Time.’

This is where the writing has really helped us, by painting such vivid back stories for our characters that fans tell me they never knew Jiminy was a man who chose to be a cricket! It’s really a testament to our writers that the viewers have bought into the show so much that they don’t realize the stories we’re telling are new.

SY: Archie serves as Storybrooke’s resident therapist, who treats the show’s central characters. What are your thoughts on the psychological evolution of the main characters so far-do you feel they have changed at all since the series launched in October?

RS: Oh, absolutely. I think the Storybrooke characters are starting to question their realities and everything they’ve known and accepted for years. Their world is starting to become more, well, real, now that Emma is in town. And she’s gaining that sense of family and community that she never had as an orphan. Both worlds just continue to expand in such wonderful ways with each script.

To continue reading this interview, please visit: Interview: Raphael Sbarge Talks Once Upon a Time |

'Abduction' DVD Review

'Abduction' DVD Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

The most effective, thought-provoking and memorable action thrillers don’t solely include high adrenaline stunts, they also include an intriguing story filled with surprising twists and well developed characters. Unfortunately, famed action director John Singleton failed to recapture his former glory with ‘Abduction,’ which is now available to rent on DVD at select Long Island RedBox locations. The movie chooses to instead capitalize on clichéd stunts, predictable plot points and one-dimensional characters to appeal to its intended audience.

‘Abduction’ follows teenager Nathan Price (played by Taylor Lautner), who’s dealing with feelings of rage and anger, and thoughts that he’s living someone else’s life. While working on a school project with neighbor Karen Lowell (portrayed by Lily Collins), the two discover a missing children website with a picture of Nathan when he was three years old. He discovers that his parents, Kevin and Mara Harper (played by Jason Isaacs and Mario Bello, respectively), aren’t his birth parents, and they’re hiding a mysterious and dangerous secret.

While trying to figure out his true identity, CIA agents and assassins begin targeting Nathan, and he is forced to go on the run. He brings Karen with him, as her parents are away on vacation, and he begins to feel that he can best protect her. Nathan and Karen race to elude the agents and assassins, while aiming to solve the mystery behind his elusive biological parents.

Lautner’s fans will surely enjoy the bonus features featured on the DVD, as the actor hosts a production journal, ‘Abduction Chronicle.’ There are also two behind-the-scenes featurettes and a gag reel.

To continue reading this review, please visit Examiner.

'The Ides of March' DVD Review

'The Ides of March' DVD Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Political films often strive to showcase the views of the director and screenwriter, and often times only appeal to the people who agree with their opinions. While George Clooney, who not only starred in the political drama ‘The Ides of March,’ but also directed, co-wrote and produced it as well, infused his liberal beliefs into the movie, he also created unique characters that audiences can relate to. The filmmaker interestingly didn’t just present his views in the film, which is based on the play ‘Farragut North’ by Beau Willimon; he also showed how they can change people’s attitudes, beliefs and personalities.

‘The Ides of March,' which is now available to rent on DVD at select Long Island RedBox locations, follows Junior Campaign Manager Stephen Myers (played by Ryan Gosling), who is working to help secure the Democratic presidential candidacy for Pennsylvania Governor Mike Morris (played by Clooney). Stephen works under Mike’s Senior Campaign Manager, Paul Zara (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman), as they strive to win the Ohio primary, which will nearly guarantee the nomination.

After a debate, Myers is asked by rival Campaign Manager Tom Duffy (portrayed by Paul Giamatti) to switch campaigns and work for Mike’s rival, Senator Pullman, who is also striving for the Democratic nomination. Myers is initially weary about not working for his friend anymore, but his views of Mike change after he discovers a secret between the governor and intern Molly Stearns (played by Evan Rachel Wood). The campaigner also becomes upset after his meeting with Tom is leaked by his presumed friend, New York Times reporter Ida Horowicz (portrayed by Marisa Tomei).

While ‘The Ides of March’ is one of Clooney’s major projects, Gosling is the main actor to watch in the political drama. He convincingly portrays Stephen as someone who strives to succeed in his political career, and enjoys devoting his life to his professional aspirations. As the scandalous events in the film unfold, Gosling naturally develops, matures and transforms his character, based on the corrupted and selfish acts of his fellow politicians.

Stephen wants to do the right thing and positively change Americans’ lives, but becomes discouraged when he sees what Mike, Paul, Tom and even Ida will do to further their careers at the expense of others. His optimism fades and is replaced by cynicism when he realizes he betrayed his ideals for political success and revenge.

To continue reading this review, please visit Examiner.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Carol Channing: Larger Than Life Movie Review 2 |

'Carol Channing: Larger Than Life' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Director: Dori Berinstein (‘ShowBusiness: The Road To Broadway’)

Starring: Carol Channing, Harry Kullijian and Debbie Reynolds

Iconic stage performers are remembered for their vivacity and their undeniable glamor as they hit the stage. While many high-profile actresses garner extensive fame as they release their most acclaimed work, few have been able to easily maintain their charm and appeal nearly two decades after retiring. However, the eccentric 91-year-old former Broadway actress Carol Channing is one of the rare talented performers who has managed to do just that. In the new biographical documentary about her career and personal life, Channing isn’t afraid to share information with the audiences who have long embraced her.

‘Carol Channing: Larger Than Life’ features interviews with the acclaimed Broadway and film actress as she reflects on her 70-year stage career. She, along with some of her biggest fans, including Loni Anderson, Debbie Reynolds, Lily Tomlin and Barbara Walters, discuss her most well-known originating roles in musical theater, including the bombshell Loreli Lee in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,’ and the matchmaking widow Dolly Gallagher Levi in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ Channing also reflects on her fourth marriage, to her junior high school sweetheart, the late Harry Kullijian.

Director Dori Berinstein, who has made a career out of helmng films that tell inspiring stories, perfectly captured Channing’s enthusiasm towards life and her career. The actress, who never became disenfranchised with singing and acting, happily discussed the hard work she put into her performances. Channing truly radiates happiness throughout the documentary as she discusses her dedication to her craft; she truly cares about her audience, refusing to miss a show, even when she was sick.

One of the most entertaining aspects of ‘Carol Channing: Larger Than Live’ is when her fellow performers, who are among the actress’ biggest fans, discuss their working and personal anecdotes about her. Anderson watched Channing on television while she was growing up, which gave her the confidence to enter the world of acting. Tomlin, who waited outside the Stage Door when she was a child whenever Channing performed in Detroit, raved about the Broadway star’s performance of Dolly. She said Channing truly showcased the meaning of humanity in the role.

Berinstein also truly showcased Channing’s humility by including details about the actress’ life, particularly her romantic relationships. It discusses how she married her manager and publicist, Charles Lowe, in 1956, and hints that he was more concerned about her as a brand than a person. Reynolds even described the marriage as disastrous, as he sold her Broadway memorabilia without permission.

To continue reading this review, please visit: Carol Channing: Larger Than Life Movie Review 2 |

Interview: Pollyanna McIntosh Talks About Her Role in The Woman |

Read's exclusive interview with actress Pollyanna McIntosh, who’s next set to appear as the title character in the horror crime drama ‘The Woman.’ The controversial film, which was directed and co-written by Lucky McKee, is set to be released on Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand and Digital Downlad on January 24, 2012 by Bloody Disgusting Selects. It follows a domineering, upper-middle class father, Chris Cleek, played by Sean Bridgers, who abducts the woman while on a hunting trip. He decides to civilize the woman, a decision he and his family soon regret. McIntosh discusses with us, among other things, what her working relationships with McKee and the rest of the cast were like, and how she’s been responding to the controversy.

Written by: Karen Benardello

ShockYa (SY): In ‘The Woman,’ you play the unnamed title character. What was it about The Woman that attracted you to the role?

Pollyanna McIntosh (PM): Well, the first time I played The Woman was in 2009, in a movie called ‘Offspring,’ before we did ‘The Woman.’ ‘The Woman’ was written for me, so obviously that was enough reason to do that one, having played her before.

For ‘Offspring,’ I read the book by Jack Ketchum, and his insight into the character and the detail about her thought process, and her doctrine for living, was really appealing. I just couldn’t put the book down and I was very excited for an opportunity to take on the character.

SY: How did you prepare for your role-did you do any kind of research?

PM: Yeah, I kind of ran around like an animal for a long time, and lived in the woods a bit. (laughs) I got into researching into big cats and apes and wolves and watched documentary footage of both animals and feral children and went to the zoo. Just really getting to feel my body for what it would be if I didn’t live in this modern society.

SY: Did you have any rehearsal time with the rest of the cast before you began shooting?

PM: We didn’t, and I think that’s quite appropriate for a role like this. Lucky and I did talk and prepare about our feelings for things for about four months beforehand. He really let me role with the character. We talked about the writing and how it was going to be shot, and all that fun stuff.

I don’t think rehearsal was necessary, considering that my character didn’t have relationships with the people that she was going to be meeting in the story. So I thought it was really appropriate that we didn’t run things beforehand.

I don’t think Lucky works with a lot of rehearsal anyway. I think he kind of trusts his actors that he hired, and he trusts himself that he’s chosen the right people, and then it’s about seeing what comes out.

To continue reading this interview, please visit: Interview: Pollyanna McIntosh Talks About Her Role in The Woman |

Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox Competing to Portray Elizabeth Taylor |

Lindsay Lohan is reportedly in the final stages of negotiating a deal to portray Elizabeth Taylor in the upcoming Lifetime movie ‘Liz and Dick,’ which based on the legendary actress’ life, TMZ is reporting. However, the ‘Mean Girls’ star, who is considered the frontrunner for the role, is facing competition from Megan Fox.

Larry Thompson, ‘Liz and Dick’s executive producer, told E! News that he has been talking to Lohan directly. But he has “been in conversations with other actresses,” including the former ‘Transformers’ star. “It’s a very serious selection. It’s like casting for Hollywood royalty,” he added.

To continue reading this post, please visit: Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox Competing to Portray Elizabeth Taylor |

Interview: Bonnie Morgan Talks Flexibility and The Devil Inside |

Read's exclusive interview with contortionist, stuntswoman and actress Bonnie Morgan, who can currently be seen as the demonically possessed Rosa in the new horror thriller ‘The Devil Inside.’ The movie, which is the highest grossing film of 2012 so far, follows Maria Rossi (played by Suzan Crowly) as she calls 911 in 1989 to report that she had brutally killed three people. It’s revealed the victims were two clergy members and a nun from Maria’s church, who were performing an unsanctioned exorcism on her. Twenty years later, her daughter, Isabella (portrayed by Fernanda Andrade), begins filming a documentary to uncover what really happened on the night of her mother’s ill-fated exorcism.

Morgan, who rose to fame after performing Samora’s infamous spider walk in ‘The Ring Two,’ discusses with us what it was like filming with director William Brent Bell. She also talks about how shooting the new low-budget film differed from the sequel to the acclaimed Japanese remake.

Written by: Karen Benardello

ShockYa (SY): You can currently been seen in the horror thriller ‘The Devil Inside,’ in which you play the demonically possessed Rosa. Did your experience as a stuntwoman and contortionist influence your decision to audition for, and accept, the role?

Bonnie Morgan (BM): Actually when I auditioned for ‘The Devil Inside,’ they were not necessarily looking for a contortionist, or even a girl with any stunt experience. I walked into an unsuspecting room as an actress. I came in with the whole thing wrapped and ready: The script was in English, to later be translated, and with the help of my friend Marco Fiorini (the pope in ‘Angels and Demons,’ go figure), I came in with it already done.

I even went as far as to wear a brunette wig and brown contact lenses (I have bright red hair and blue eyes) to look more the part. We got into the scene, Italian curses flying (and some French profanity too, just for good measure)…and then I dislocated my shoulder and screamed like a toddler in a grocery store. And so did they.

SY: While preparing for your role as Rosa, did you do any type of inquiries into exorcisms? If so, did your research influence the way you portrayed her, and the stunts you performed, in the film?

BM: I have actually done quite a bit of exorcism research in the name of character development throughout my career. When it comes to possessed little girls with “otherworldly” movement-I am sort of the go-to-girl.

For instance, in ‘The Ring Two,’ I portrayed ‘Samara’ in the ‘well sequence.’ Production was originally slated to produce her in CGI, but the director, Hideo Nakata, was searching for something more for his audience. I was fortunate enough to be that end result-and developed a movement that my boyfriend assures me gave him nightmares long before he met me, and recurring ones since he realized that she and I were the same.

To continue reading the rest of this interview, please visit: Interview: Bonnie Morgan Talks Flexibility and The Devil Inside |

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Joyful Noise Movie Review |

'Joyful Noise' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Director: Todd Graff (‘Bandslam’)

Starring: Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer (‘Akeelah and the Bee’) and Jeremy Jordan (TV’s ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’)

People don’t always know how to agree on running groups, but their determination to do what’s best for their community leads them to try to work together. This is the main motivating factor among the choir members, particularly the leaders, in the new musical comedy ‘Joyful Noise.’ The newly-appointed Divinity Church Choir director Vi Rose Hill clashes with the church’s largest beneficiary, G.G. Sparrow, over what to sing to win the Joyful Noise competition. But the two ultimately agree they have to do what’s best to lift the spirits of their singers and the church’s congregants.

‘Joyful Noise’ follows the struggles the small town of Pacashau, Georgia has fallen on since the downfall of the economy. After the surprising death of Bernard Sparrow (played by Kris Kristofferson), the director of the Divinity Church Choir, his wife, G.G. (portrayed by Dolly Parton), expects to become the new leader of the group. However, to G.G.’s shock, Vi Rose (played by Queen Latifah) is selected as the new director.

Vi Rose stubbornly tries to stick with the chorus’ traditional songs in order to win the National Joyful Noise Competition. But when G.G.’s rebellious grandson Randy (portrayed by Jeremy Jordan) moves in with his grandmother, he encourages the choir to sing more modern songs that will appeal to everyone. Combined with his pursuance of Vi Hill’s daughter, Olivia (played by Keke Palmer), Randy’s arrival causes even more friction between his grandmother and the newly-appointed choir director.

Writer-director Todd Graff, who is known for helming the musically-themed ‘Bandslam’ and has served as a back-up singer for such artists as James Taylor and Carly Simon, included a heart-warming message that music can unite everyone in ‘Joyful Noise.’ The filmmaker said while making the movie, he drew on his childhood memories of his mother conducting a musical group in their home. His memories realistically created Vi Hill and G.G.’s understated bond over their love of music and faith.

Despite the Vi Rose and G.G.’s contrasting approaches on how to run the choir and which music to sing, they still tried to overcome their differences to do what was best for the choir and their town. They knew that with the difficult economic hardships many Pacashau residents were facing, their faith in their church and community was boosted by their music.

To continue reading this review, please visit: Joyful Noise Movie Review |

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Interview: Allie Gonino on The Lying Game |

Read's exclusive interview with actress and singer Allie Gonino, who is presently starring as Laurel Mercer on the acclaimed ABC Family teen drama series ‘The Lying Game,’ which is currently airing the second half of its first season. The show, which is based on the series of books of the same name by Sara Shepard, follows foster child Emma Becker, played by Alexandra Chando, as she finds out she has an identical twin sister, Sutton.

The girls were separated at birth, and Sutton was adopted by wealthy parents and has a seemingly ideal life, including an adoptive sister, Laurel. Sutton convinces Emma to step into her life for a few days, so she can travel to Los Angeles to search for their birth mother. In the process, Emma discovers her sister’s many secrets. Gonino discusses with us, among other things, how her band, The Good Mad, fits into an upcoming episode of ‘The Lying Game,’ and what convinced her to audition for the role of Laurel.

Written by: Karen Benardello

ShockYa (SY): Your band, The Good Mad, will be featured in the January 16, 2012 episode of your show, ‘The Lying Game.’ How does the band fit into the storyline, and will you be playing any of the group’s songs on the episode?

Allie Gonino (AG): Yes, it’s Laurel’s first time playing on stage, and basically it’s a surprise to her. The band, which is actually called Strangeworthy on the show, is playing at this ballet fundraiser that Kristin (played by Helen Slater) is putting on. Then Laurel ends up on the stage with the band and they play a song, which is an original song of ours, called ‘What Money Pays For.’

SY: What are some of the challenges of balancing your music with The Good Mad, and playing Laurel Mercer on ‘The Lying Game?’

AG: Well, luckily, everything has tied together recently. So we’ve been able to hang out a lot more and write, and play our music. So I’m just thankful that I have time to devote to both things. But it is hard when the boys are in L.A. for us to have rehearsals over Skype. But we’re going to make it work, and whatever’s supposed to happen will happen. We’re trying to take it one step at a time.

SY: Before you joined The Good Mad, you were also in another band, The Stunners. So what was it about ‘The Lying Game’ that convinced you to take time away from your music, and audition for the role of Laurel?

AG: Well, The Stunners were on tour with Justin Bieber, and that was the most amazing opportunity for us. We got to a point where we were writing, and everyone was going off in different directions. Hayley (Kiyoko) was doing Lemonade Mouth, and some of the other girls wanted to focus on school.

Then I got the job (on ‘The Lying Game’), and it was time for me to have a steady job. So I took it, but we’re still good friends. There’s no bad blood between us. Everyone is doing really well.

To continue reading this interview, please visit: Interview: Allie Gonino on The Lying Game |

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jennifer Hudson Claims She Didn't Turn Down Precious Due to Weight |

Jennifer Hudson is now claiming that she didn’t turn down the title role in the Academy Award-winning drama ‘Precious’ because of her weight, TMZ is reporting. While promoting her new book, ‘I Got This: How I Changed My Ways And Lost What Weighed Me Down,’ in New York City, the singer-actress said that despite what she told ‘Dateline,’ weight had nothing to do with her decision.

“I’m totally fine with my decision. I got my Oscar,” Hudson said, referring to her Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for 2006′s ‘Dreamgirls.’ “I’m a firm believer that what is mean for you is meant for you,” she added. Hudson also said she felt the ‘Precious’ role was clearly meant for Gabourey Sidibe, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal.

To continue reading this post, please visit: Jennifer Hudson Claims She Didn't Turn Down Precious Due to Weight |

Rob Marshall Claiming Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Being Rewritten |

‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ director Rob Marshall is claiming that the follow-up to the film, one of 2011′s most financially successful, is being rewritten, Slashfilm is reporting. The news comes after the franchise’s producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, called for rewrites on the fifth film, when ‘On Stranger Tides’ received poor critical reviews. While the fourth sequel in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ series was completed even before ‘On Stranger Tides’ hit theaters in May, Bruckheimer said he felt the script wasn’t good enough.

To continue reading this post, please visit: Rob Marshall Claiming Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Being Rewritten |

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interview: Rachel Boston Talks The Pill

Read Shockya's exclusive interview with actress Rachel Boston, who portrays the free-spirited New Yorker Mindy in the comedy-drama ‘The Pill.’ In the film, which is scheduled to be released on VOD and Broadband on February 28, 2012, Mindy has a one-night stand with Fred, played by Noah Bean. After learning that Mindy isn’t on birth control, Fred spends the following day with her, pretending that he wants a serious relationship, to make sure she takes both doses of the morning after pill. Boston, who is also known for portraying Detective Abigail Chaffee on the USA series ‘In Plain Sight,’ discusses why she decided to take on the role of Mindy in ‘The Pill,’ and how working in movies compares to appearing on television.

Written by: Karen Benardello

ShockYa (SY): You star as the free-spirited New Yorker Mindy in the independent comedy drama ‘The Pill.’ What was it about the story-line that you found compelling, and convinced you to take on the role of Mindy?

Rachel Boston (RB): I grew up on a mountain in Tennessee and moved to New York City when I was 17. I didn’t know a single person in the entire city when I landed. So I’ve experienced building a life and falling down and getting back up along the way in Manhattan. Mindy was such a great role to explore boundaries. Deep down she is an incredibly strong woman, but is limiting parts of herself and her heart to be loved. She knows the deepest and most rewarding things in life are intangible. Love, confusion, passion, faith; they shape who we are. I found it very compelling how two lives were shaped dramatically by strangers in one day.

SY: Mindy claims that the birth control pill is against her religious beliefs, and is resistant to trying to prevent a pregnancy. Do you relate to Mindy in any way, and how did you prepare for the role?

RB: Mark Twain said, “Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.” I certainly relate to that!

SY: What was your work relationship like with Noah Bean, who played Fred in the film?

RB: Oh, the wonderful Noah Bean. He is incredibly focused and brings so much truth to his roles. We met years ago working on a show in Los Angeles, and I had a feeling we would work together again. When we filmed nights on ‘The Pill,’ we would ride the subway home together at 5am, discussing all the scenes for the next day. We’ve been on location in Palomar Mountain for the past month, working on a film and living in the woods and wandering around by flashlight. Very different locations but the same approach. When you are working on indie films of this size, you have to throw yourself into the project. The work is very pure because there is very little time.

SY: J.C. Khoury made his feature writing and directing debut with ‘The Pill.’ What was the process like working with him on the movie, since he was a first time filmmaker?

RB: J.C. wrote, directed, camera operated, edited, managed to clean the set every night and had boundless energy every step of the way. He set up a very free environment and we were encouraged to improv from the table read to the last day of filming. Every day was an exploration and many of our “mistakes” ended up in the film.

SY: Since ‘The Pill’ is an independent film, were there any limitations or difficulties you experienced while shooting?

RB: Well, we shot the film in the middle of a heat wave, so we were blessed with humidity. We filmed all over New York, so we looked like the traveling circus trying not to melt.

SY: Anna Chlumsky, who is most remembered for her childhood role in ‘My Girl,’ portrays Nelly, Fred’s girlfriend who he cheats on with Mindy. What was it like working with her on ‘The Pill,’ and were there any acting tips you learned from her while on the set?

RB: I stopped by the set when Noah and Anna were filming and she is lovely. We didn’t have any scenes together so hopefully we will work together on another project where we are both happily in love and no one is being cheated on.

SY: ‘The Pill’ is reflective of the reality of New York’s twenty-something dating scene, in the sense young adults often find it difficult to find a serious relationship in the city. Do you feel audiences in New York, and across America, can relate to Mindy’s desire to have a relationship, and Fred’s reluctance to have a child with someone he had a one-night stand with?

RB: My best friend from childhood has a precious 3 year old daughter Lucy. Just today Lucy said, “I can’t wait to know who my husband is!” She’s 3 and already relates to the desire to have a relationship. My grandparents were married for 56 years and shared a beautiful love story, so I’ve seen it. My 93 year old grandmother is filled with love and light from the life they had together, so from 3 to 93, it’s there for many people and it evolves along the way.

To continue reading this interview please visit Shockya.

Special Five Day Online Screening Series of Horror Thriller Donner Pass

Special Five Day Online Screening Series of Horror Thriller Donner Pass, Yahoo! Voices; Written by: Karen Benardello

A special five-day series of event screenings of the dark thriller Donner Pass will take place on Constellation, the leading innovator of virtual online movie theater experiences. Constellation TV, Freestyle Digital Media and Arroyo Filmworks are hosting the screenings, which cost $4.99 each.

The screenings come after Freestyle's mandate to reach every corner of the market by leveraging "FreeStyle Social Cinema." The program uses social network platforms and capitalizes on the power and reach of web-connected video. Donner Pass is just one of several films that will have selective online theatrical screenings of Freestyle's upcoming release date.

Constellation's revolutionary virtual theatrical technology will feature screenings that will be hosted by directors, actors and other filmmakers. The screenings offer the audience a way to interact with the directors, actors and filmmakers, and will provide an intimate film festival.

To continue reading this post, please visit Yahoo! Voices.

Murder by Proxy: How America Went Postal Movie Review

'Murder by Proxy: How America Went Postal' Examiner Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

American work conditions have become increasingly glim in recent years, since the fall of the economy has led thousands of people struggling to find work. But even the people who are fortunate enough to have a job are being more and more discontent with the lower pay and higher expectations they’re given. In the new film ‘Murder by Proxy: How America Went Postal,’ which is now available for download in New York, first-time filmmaker Emil Chiaberi courageously explores the workplace and social conditions that lead discontent workers to unleash their rage in mass killings.

‘Murder by Proxy’ chronicles the widespread changes that have occurred in workplaces across the United States over the last 50-years, and what societal conditions have caused people to commit mass shooting sprees in the workplace. Most people who are responsible for the shootings have no criminal record or history of mental illness, but are driven to take severe action to have their grievances heard. The documentary also examines the complex personal factors that are the primary causes of workplace massacres.

Chiaberi, who served as ‘Murder by Proxy’s director, writer and producer, effectively showed the growing socio-economic changes that have taken place throughout the U.S. since the Reagan era. The filmmaker took a risky move in trying to show the murders were more of a rebellious act than a crime, and viewers may initially think the director is being sympathetic to the shooters. But he commendably showcased the reasons why they felt compelled to take such an extreme method to be heard.

‘Murder by Proxy’ focuses on several of the most well-known workplace shootings in American history, including the first, which occurred on August 20, 1986 at the Emond Post Office in Oklahoma. After being reprimanded by two supervisors the day before, the shooter, Patrick Sherrill, walked into the post office shortly after 8 AM. He immediately killed one of the supervisors, and ended up killing 14 people in all, and wounding six others.

Chiaberi emphasized how Sherrill felt alienated and targeted by his bosses for not following their guidelines of productivity. While viewers will still remain sympathetic to the victims of the crime, they will also come to understand that Sherrill took an extreme measure to have his grievances against the post office heard.

To continue reading this review, please visit Examiner.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Melissa McCarthy Latest Actress to Be Honored at the Seventh Annual Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film Event

Melissa McCarthy will join Michelle Williams as an honoree at this year's seventh annual Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film event, which will be held on February 23, during Oscars week. The Bridesmaids actress will be accepting an award during the event, which will be held at Bad Robot, JJ Abrams' Santa Monica production company.

The Irish-American actress, writer and producer has also been nominated for a SAG Award for her portrayal of Megan in last spring's hit comedy. McCarthy, who also appears in the hit CBS sitcom Mike and Molly, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series last fall, has also been nominated for a Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film.

To continue reading this post, please visit Yahoo! Voices.

'What's Your Number?' DVD Review

'What's Your Number?' Examiner DVD Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Sometimes people have to go through multiple choices to find the best fit for them. Much like her character Ally Darling in the romantic comedy ‘What’s Your Number?,’ which is now available to rent at select Long Island Blockbuster locations, Anna Faris broke society expectation to do what was right for her. While Ally dated the wrong men just to find someone society would approve of, the actress continuously took on ditzy characters that the public has come to recognize her for playing. But both Ally and Faris both finally stood up for themselves and went after what made them happy.

‘What’s Your Number?’ follows Ally as her life begins to crumble on the eve of her younger sister Daisy’s (portrayed by Ari Graynor) wedding. Not only does she break up with her boyfriend and get fired from her marketing job, Ally is still being pressured by her mother, Ava (played by Blythe Danner), to be perfect, like Daisy. But the most damaging blow to Ally’s ego is when she reads a magazine article claiming the more men women sleep with, the less likely they’ll find a desirable, committed life partner.

Seeing that Daisy became engaged to one of her ex-boyfriends, Ally decides to track down all of her previous boyfriends to find her best match. So she hires her neighbor, Colin (portrayed by Chris Evans), whose father was a cop and taught him to investigate, to track down all 19 of her ex-boyfriends and flings. But much to both of their surprise, the two ultimately start to develop feelings for each other.

For viewers who want to see more of the memorable chemistry between Faris and Evans, the DVD includes the unrated extended cut of the film, deleted scenes and a gag reel. Women can also relate to Ally’s continuous battle to find the right boyfriend through the extended flashback dates feature.

To continue reading this review, please visit Examiner.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Devil Inside Movie Review

'The Devil Inside' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Director: William Brent Bell (‘Stay Alive‘)

Starring: Fernanda Andrade (‘Sons of Anarchy’), Simon Quarterman (‘The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior’) and Evan Helmuth (‘Fever Pitch’)

Dramatizing a supposedly real exorcism in the ever-popular found footage sub-genre is a frighteningly effective plot element for horror directors. Despite the early success of the sub-genre with such acclaimed hits as ‘The Blair Witch Project,’ ‘Cloverfield’ and ‘Paranormal Activity,’ the real-life use of terrifying shots has lost its efficiency in scaring viewers. ‘The Devil Inside,’ the latest entry in the found footage category that claims to be inspired by actual events, is the perfect example of why the pieced-together shots of the missing or dead doesn’t automatically guarantee an intriguing storyline.

‘The Devil Inside’ follows Maria Rossi (played by Suzan Crowly) as she calls 911 in 1989 to report that she had brutally killed three people. It’s revealed the victims were two clergy members and a nun from Maria’s church, who were performing an unsanctioned exorcism on her. Twenty years later, her daughter, Isabella (portrayed by Fernanda Andrade), begins filming a documentary to uncover what really happened on the night of her mother’s ill-fated exorcism. She’s determined to find out if her mother is really mentally ill, as the Vatican insists, or if she’s demonically possessed.

Isabella travels to the Centrino Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Rome, where her mother was sent after she was declared not guilty of the murders by reason of insanity. With the help of a cameraman, Michael (played by Ionut Grama), Isabella recruits two exorcists, Ben (portrayed by Simon Quarterman) and David (portrayed by Evan Helmuth). The group tries to cure Maria using unconventional methods that combine science and religion, and as a result, they come face-to-face with pure evil.

Andrade, who is making her feature film leading role debut with ‘The Devil Inside,’ started off the supernatural horror movie convincingly questioning the motives of her mother, and what led her to commit the murders. The actress, who has made a name for herself guest starring on such television roles as ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and ‘The Glades,’ portrayed Isabella as being well-adjusted, and even content, with her life. But with the numerous attempts made by her father to find out what went wrong with his wife before his recent death, Isabella understandably wanted to fill the void of essentially losing both of her parents.

But over the course of ‘The Devil Inside,’ in part to Andrades’ inexperience in leading a cast in a full-length feature, the actress unfortunately lost touch with Isabella’s emotions and motives. As she persistently pushes Michael and David to jeopardize their careers in the church, and even face deportation from Italy, just to look into the possibility that her mother is demonically possessed. Isabella has no regard in how the investigation into her mother’s case will affect the priests, or even Michael, who cared for her welfare in the beginning of the film. But when he questioned whether pursing another exorcism for Maria is the moral thing to do, she doesn’t take his opinion into consideration, and instead lashes out at him.

To continue reading this review, please visit Shockya.

Shame Movie Review

'Shame' Examiner Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

While people often think they know and understand a controversial subject, and are content to argue their opinion on the topic, certain issues are more complicated or surprising than they may realize. Such is the case in the new drama ‘Shame,’ which is currently playing in select New York theaters. While the film has drawn widespread debate over its extensive sensual content, ‘Shame’ shockingly pushes the graphic nudity and sex scenes into the background to instead focus on the struggles people face when faced with an addition to sex.

‘Shame’ follows the seemingly reserved and introverted New York businessman Brandon Sullivan (played by Michael Fassbender), as he secretly deals with his powerful sexual appetite. He’s obsessed with pornography and prefers short-term relationships that are purely based on sex, so that he can keep the world at a comfortable distance. Brandon’s routine is overturned when his younger sister Sissy (portrayed by Carey Mulligan) stops by for an extended visit without prior notice, and doesn’t have anywhere else to go.

Since she doesn’t care about her brother’s need for privacy, Sissy shockingly learns about Brandon’s sexual desires, and forces him to closely examine his life. Refusing to leave, Sissy tries to help Brandon understand how he became the man he is today.

Filmmaker Steve McQueen, who directed and co-wrote ‘Shame’ with Abi Morgan, made a risky decision in creating a character-driven film focusing on a lead protagonist who is continuously motivated by his sexual desires. While the drama, which shot in New York, is the rare film to receive an NC-17 rating, for its explicit sexual content, McQueen skillfully didn’t allow the sex scenes to overpower the plot’s true meaning. The director created a character in Brandon who not only understands the need for change in his personality, and realizes his sexual desires are ruling his life, but also comes to emotionally care for other people.

To continue reading this review, please visit Examiner.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lily Collins In Negotiations to Play Lead Role In The Evil Dead Remake |

Lily Collins is currently in final negotiations to play the lead role, Mia, in FilmDistrict’s upcoming anticipated remake of ‘The Evil Dead,’ Comic Book Movie is reporting. Mia is reportedly the female version of Bruce Campbell’s character, Ashley J. Williams, in the original trilogy.

‘The Evil Dead’ remake is set to follow Mia and four friends, David, Natalie, Eric and Olivia, as they travel to a remote cabin so that Mia can detox. There, they find a Book of the Dead that unleashes a demonic force. The friends are all possessed, until only one is left to fight for survival.

To continue reading this post, please visit: Lily Collins In Negotiations to Play Lead Role In The Evil Dead Remake |

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Things I Don't Understand Movie Review

'Things I Don't Understand' Examiner Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

While people work hard to improve all aspects of their personal and professional lives, the continuous strain of intensive labor to achieve these successes can be physically and emotionally draining. David Spaltro, who wrote, directed and executive produced the new comedy-drama ‘Things I Don’t Understand,’ fearlessly drew on his own personal experiences to create the movie. The emotionally-charged characters, brought to life by memorable performances, will surely make viewers question where their own lives are headed, and what they can do to better themselves.

‘Things I Don’t Understand’ follows Violet Kubelick (played by Molly Ryman), a former prodigy student in her psychology and sociology graduate program, who now only cares about living in “the pressure-less expectation free zone.” After a failed suicide attempt, she decides to give up on her career and work at a minimum wage job at a local bookstore, enjoying her free lifestyle. But her ever-lasting fascination with the human condition of dying and the possibility of an after-life pushes Violet to continue on her thesis.

Violet’s therapist, Dr. Anne Blankenship (portrayed by Lisa Eichhorn), encourages her to work at Our Lady of Hope, a Hospice where she meets Sara (played by Grace Folsom), a terminally ill girl. Sara helps Violet open up emotionally, allowing her to pursue a meaningful relationship with Parker McNeil (portrayed by Aaron Mathias), the mysterious bartender who lives downstairs from her. Sara’s life is also turned up-side down when her and her two roommates, the drug-addicted musician Remy (played by Hugo Dillon) and the failed activist and performance artist Gabby (portrayed by Meissa Hampton), face eviction from their rent-controlled loft.

The comedy-drama takes a memorable, realistic look into the life of young adults who are questioning what professional and personal choices they should be making in their lives. Violet insists to everyone, even herself, that she’s perfectly happy with her minimal responsibilities at work and her care-free, casual relationships. But once she’s faced with the possibility of losing the only true home she’s ever known, Violet takes a sympathetic turn, realizing there’s more important things in life than just always having a fun time.

Spaltro emotionally based the script on his own experiences, which effectively allows the audience to question what they would do if life makes changes for them that they’re afraid to make for themselves. Violet, who is unsure of her faith and trust in other people, creates a sentimental bond with Sara after learning about her illness.

To continue reading this review, please visit Examiner.