Thursday, October 25, 2012
Interview: Matthew Lillard Talks Fat Kid Rules the World, Written by: Karen Benardello Teenagers often struggle with numerous obstacles throughout high school, from not fitting in with their peers to struggling with their body images and how they perceive themselves. That's certainly the case with the main character, Troy Billings, in the new comedy 'Fat Kid Rules the World,' which is now playing in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles, and is available nationwide on VOD. But when Troy finally finds a friend who wants to help him, he faces even more conflict when his father disapproves of his new relationship, starting the cycle all over again. 'Fat Kid Rules the World,' which is based on the 2003 novel of the same name by KL Going, follows Troy (played by Jacob Wysocki), an overweight and suicidal 17-year-old. Just as he's ready to end his life by jumping in front of a bus, Marcus (portrayed by Matt O'Leary), a high school dropout and street musician, saves Troy. The two begin an uneasy friendship when Marcus enlists the musically challenged Troy to become the drummer in a new punk rock band. As their friendship begins to grow, Troy's father (played by Billy Campbell) becomes increasingly concerned about his son's new relationship. Actor Matthew Lillard, who made his feature film directorial debut with the comedy, generously took the time to discuss over the phone recently the shooting of the movie. Among other things, the filmmaker, who also produced 'Fat Kid Rules the World,' spoke about why he wanted to helm the movie, why he financed the project through Kickstarter and what the casting process was like for Wysocki. Question (Q): You made your feature film directorial debut with the new comedy 'Fat Kid Rules the World.' What was it about the script that led you to become interested in helming the film? Matthew Lillard (ML) : Troy's an underdog, and I love underdog stories. I saw myself reflected in him. He represents every kid in high school that doesn't feel like they fit in. I think everyone feels that in some point in their life. I loved that he started in a really dark place. Q: Michael M.B. Galvin and Peter Speakman co-wrote the script for 'Fat Kid Rules the World.' Did Michael and Peter approach you with the script, and ask you to direct the film? How did you become involved in the project? ML: I recorded the book on tape. I found it, and saw in it a great story, and an unbelievable opportunity to tell a great story. So I went searching for someone to write the script on spec. Michael and Peter had a great spec script, and I read it, and I loved it. I brought them in, and Michael plays punk rock music in a little punk rock band. I completely fell in love with the story, and we all hit it off. They wrote the script on spec 10 years ago. It took 10 years to find somebody to believe in me and the story enough to write a check to make the movie. To continue reading this interview, please visit Shockya.
Posted by karenbenardello at 7:09 AM
Friday, October 19, 2012
Alex Cross Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello Director: Rob Cohen (‘The Fast and the Furious, ‘XXX’) Starring: Tyler Perry, Edward Burns and Rachel Nichols (‘Star Trek,’ ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’) Creating a suspenseful, intriguing action crime film adaptation of a novel by one of the world’s most popular authors is a daunting task. The adaptation can become even more unnerving when the film is a reboot of several moderately successful movies from over a decade ago. Such is the case with the new move ‘Alex Cross,’ which is not only based on James Patterson’s novel ‘Cross,’ but also reboots the well-known detective series starring Morgan Freeman. Director Rob Cohen seemed like the perfect choice for the job, after helming such action films as ‘The Fast and the Furious, ‘XXX’ and ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor;’ unfortunately, the multiple unsettled plot points and hectic cinematography he included took away from the well-intentioned film. ‘Alex Cross’ follows the title detective/psychologist (played by Tyler Perry), who picks up the case of the ruthless Four Rose Killer with his Detroit homicide unit, including his childhood friend, Tommy Kane (portrayed by Edward Burns) and Monica Ashe (played by Rachel Nichols). The team nicknames the assassin (portrayed by Matthew Fox), who is killing high-ranking executives, Picasso because he creates drawings of the murder victims that are reminiscent of the works of the famed artist. As the team, particularly Alex, becomes even more determined to stop the killer before he can kill again, he personally tries to throw the detectives off his trail by personally attacking them. Alex is pushed to his moral and psychological limits as he relentlessly, and at times illegally, pursues Picasso. While Alex pursues the assassin, he tries to convince his wife, Maria (Carmen Ejogo), that he should accept the FBI’s offer to work as a psychological profiler in their Washington, D.C. office, so that they could have a more stable home life. Cohen surprisingly cast Fox as the villainous and malicious Picasso. Despite the actor’s humane relatability that he has garnered from the beginning of his career and his small, unintiminating frame throughout ‘Alex Cross,’ Fox daringly pushed the boundaries of the ominous killer. The actor portrayed Picasso as vicious and continuously devoted to his mission of bringing down the executives, despite his subtle indications to Alex that he has suffered emotional pain himself. The assassin’s motives were rightfully motivated by his own painful past, leading him to take suspenseful means to inflict the same pain on others. To continue reading this review, please visit Shockya.
Posted by karenbenardello at 4:19 PM
Interview: Britt Robertson Talks The First Time, Written by: Karen Benardello Finding someone who truly understands, and supports, your passions, desires and need for independence is difficult for adults, let alone teenagers. But the two teens in the new coming-of-age romantic drama 'The First Time,' Dave Hodgman and Aubrey Miller, have an undeniable instant connection. Their natural chemistry makes them realize they had to go through the pain of their past relationships to truly discover what it means to be loved and appreciated by each other. 'The First Time' follows Dave (played by Dylan O'Brien), a high school senior who spends his time pinning over his friend, Jane Harmon (portrayed by Victoria Justice), who has no romantic interest in him. But when Dave meets Aubrey (played by Britt Robertson), a junior with artistic aspirations, outside of a house party on a Friday night, their casual conversation sparks an instant connection. Over the weekend, their romantic feelings towards each other intensify, despite the fact that Aubrey already has a boyfriend, Ronnie (portrayed by James Frecheville), who doesn't quite understand, or care about, her. Aubrey and Dave discover what it's like to fall in love for the first time, despite her initial hesitance to start a new, meaningful relationship with Dave. Robertson generously took the time to sit down in New York City recently to discuss 'The First Time.' Among other things, the actress spoke about what attracted her to the role of Aubrey; her natural chemistry and working relationships with O'Brien and writer-director Jon Kasdan; and what she brought from her own past romances and life experiences into the role. Question (Q): You play Aubrey Miller, a junior with artistic aspirations, in 'The First Time.' What was it about the character and the script that convinced you to take on the role? Britt Robertson (BR): What I really liked about the character of Aubrey was how smart she was, and also how confused she was. I also liked how many opinions she has that don't make sense with all the other opinions that she has. (laughs) She's constantly conflicted, I think. It was just a really dynamic role to play, in a really simple way, which I thought would be a pretty big challenge. I had a great relationship with Jon (Kasdan) after meeting with him and auditioning. I also had a great relationship with Dylan (O'Brien), so it felt like all the pieces were coming together really nicely. Q: Jon both wrote the screenplay for, and directed, 'The First Time.' Do you think the fact that Jon wrote the script for the film helped him in his directorial duties once you began shooting the film? BR: Yeah. I don't know how I feel about most writer-directors. I've had mixed feelings about some-not with any I've worked with, but just watching films and being aware of it. But working with Jon, I think no one else could have directed this film. He has such a strong vision for what this movie is, and how he wants it to be perceived. He also had a strong vision of what he wanted to do with Aubrey and Dave, and how he wanted their relationship to develop. Honestly, I did all my work as an actor, but I almost feel like I threw it all away once I was on set. He was giving me everything that I needed. He was able to communicate exactly what he wanted at every moment and second of each scene. It was a really great experience. To continue reading this interview, please visit Yahoo! Voices.
Posted by karenbenardello at 1:54 PM
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Interview: Corey Grant Talks 'Bigfoot: The Lost Tapes,' Written by: Karen Benardello People often question the credibility of urban legends, but at the same time are intrigued by the minute possibility that the myths can indeed be real. The mounting suspense and question is a major motivating factor of the main characters in the upcoming horror-mystery-thriller 'Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes,' which will be released in select theaters on October 19 and on VOD on November 2. The intense belief by some that the fabled creature does indeed live in forests, which is aided in the film by realistic special effects, gives a new take on the legend. 'Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes' follows Sean Reynolds (Drew Rausch), an eager television host who is on a mission to debunk famed Bigfoot hunter Carl Drybeck (Frank Ashmore), who claims to possess the body of a dead Sasquatch. When Sean's team arrives in Northern California to interview Carl, they are immediately happy, as they think his enthusiastic belief in his hoax is going to create entertaining campy paranormal television. However, when Carl's hunting partner is mysteriously attacked, Sean's team is left alone and reality begins to set in. The evidence suggests that Carl's theory may not be a hoax, and the existence of Bigfoot might just be the least of their worries. Director Corey Grant, who helmed 'Bigfoot: The Lost Coast,' generously took the time recently to discuss the filming process for the horror mystery thriller over the phone. Among other things, the filmmaker spoke about why he wanted to direct the movie, what differentiates his film from other movies in the found footage subgenre and what the casting process was like for the main characters. Question (Q): You directed the new horror-mystery-thriller 'Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes,' which follows Sean Reynolds, a disgraced investigative journalist, who stakes his comeback on proving that a Bigfoot Hunter's claims to possess the body of a dead Sasquatch are a hoax. What was it about the script that convinced you to helm the film? Corey Grant (CG): Well, since I was a little boy, I have always been fascinated with the legend of Bigfoot. Ever since I saw 'The Six Million Dollar Man,' Bigfoot has always been something I was interested in. So when I received the treatment, my producing partner, Chevez Frazier, and I looked at it, and it stuck out to us. I thought it was a very unique way to talk about this legend. It was an original story that was actually accurate about the folklore that surrounds Bigfoot. The whole POV, found footage-style was organic. I thought it was a no-brainer, because Bigfoot is of course known world-wide. Every continent has its own form of Bigfoot. So I thought it would be a good concept, and a great idea to shoot. So we jumped on it. To continue reading this interview, please visit Yahoo! Voices.
Posted by karenbenardello at 6:53 AM
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Greystone Park DVD Review, Written by: Karen Benardello It’s common for many curious adventure-seekers to want to test out the validity of all urban legends, no matter what the danger they may put themselves in. Even the threat against their mental capabilities doesn’t deter people, and at times can encourage them, especially if they can videotape it to prove that the unbelievable event actually happened. That’s certainly the case in the new horror film ‘Greystone Park,’ which is based on the true events of the film’s writers, which can be rented on DVD tomorrow at select New York Blockbuster locations. ‘Greystone Park’ follows two filmmakers, Alex (played by Alexander Wraith) and Sean (portrayed by New York native Sean Stone), who are accompanied by Antonella (played by Antonella Lentini), as they broke into the abandoned title psychiatric hospital. Greystone was notorious for its use of electroshock and lobotomies to treat mental illness in its patients. The three want to test the urban legend that anyone who enters the hospital goes insane. Once inside, they discover that they’re truly not alone, as they’re haunted by ghosts and demonic shadows. They record their descent into a realm of fear, paranoia and madness. Stone, who made his feature film directorial and writing debut with the horror film, made the bold and daring decision to base his first movie on actual experiences he and Wraith, his co-scribe, actually had in the real Greystone Park hospital. But what truly differentiates ‘Greystone Park’ from other documentary, found-footage style horror films is that Stone effortlessly uses the power of suggestion and doesn’t fully show every scare the characters encounter, in order to allow audiences to use their imagination to fully understand what Alex, Sean and Antonella are experiencing. The shakiness of the cameras aids the allusions of what the filmmakers truly experienced while they were initially exploring Greystone Park, before they began shooting the narrative film. To continue reading this review, please visit Examiner.
Posted by karenbenardello at 10:25 PM
Monday, October 8, 2012
Seven Psycopaths Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello Director: Martin McDonagh (‘In Bruges’) Starring: Colin farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Abbie Cornish and Woody Harrelson Unsympathetic crime bosses who are determined to get whatever they want, at the expense of the lives of the people around them, is one of the main characteristics of crime films. But when a screenwriter humanely looks at the all of the characters’ struggles between wanting to do something spiritual, as well as dark and deranged, the result is a comedic satire of modern day criminals. The new crime comedy ‘Seven Psychopaths’ takes a humorous look at what leads people to become a psychopathic criminal, and the constant struggle their friends take to help them. ‘Seven Psychopaths’ follows Los Angeles screenwriter Marty Faranan (Colin Farrell), who’s past his deadline on his latest script and is at the end of his girlfriend Kaya’s (Abbie Cornish) patience. His efforts to fix his professional and personal lives are constantly disrupted by his best friend, struggling actor Billy (Sam Rockwell). With the Jack of Diamonds killer murdering thugs across the city in an effort to clean up the city, Billy recommends Marty look to him for inspiration for the first psychopath in his script, also titled ‘Seven Psychopaths.’ But Billy’s well-intentioned attempts to help Marty soon spiral into a whirlwind of crime. Billy and his dognapping business partner Hans (Christopher Walken) are faced with trouble when they inadvertently take Bonnie, the shih tzu belonging to gangster Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson). Obsessed with his dog, Charlie vows to find and kill whoever stole Bonnie. Billy, Hans and Marty suddenly find themselves forced to hide from Charlie and his men, in order to protect their own lives, but Bonnie’s as well. While Billy thinks Marty is one of the best screenwriters of his generation, the scribe admirably has differing viewpoints from his friend on how crime scripts should be evolving. Marty, who has become known for writing violent films, insists that he wants to include a moral in his new film, showing crime movies can be spiritual and focus on love and peace, while also being dark and deranged. Through Marty’s moral struggles on which direction to take his script, ‘Seven Psychopath’s writer and director, Martin McDonagh, truthfully and comically showed the contradictory perspectives many crime action films are experiencing today. To continue reading this review, please visit Shockya.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Interview: Alexa Prisco Talks Glam Fairy, Written by: Karen Benardello Some people become so involved in their work and finding success in their career that often times, they push personal relationships aside so they won't put their job in danger. Business owner Alexa Prisco, who runs her own make-up, hair and styling business in Hoboken, New Jersey, the Glam Factory, was so involved in her work that she surprised everyone, even herself, when she became engaged. Prisco, who is now married and is expecting her first child, who has finally found personal happiness, is putting her life and career in perspective. The second season of Prisco's hit Style Network reality show, 'Glam Fairy,' which debuts on Sunday, October 7 at 9pm ET/PT, follows her romance with her fiancé Danny. The make-up artist also learns how to manage personal relationships while running the Glam Factory. Prisco's life is completely different than how she expected it to turn out-from falling in love to getting married to having children. But Prisco realizes that she can't control everything, from planning her wedding to dealing with family drama to expanding her Glam Fairy empire. But conflict and insecurities still do run wild at the Glam Factory, which puts relationships to the test as Alexa learns to manage her staff without ruining friendships. Prisco took the time to discuss the second season of 'Glam Fairy' over the phone recently. Among other things, the expectant mother-to-be spoke about why she decided to film a second season, why she's still so involved in all aspects of her business empire and why she won't allow work to come in the way of raising her first child. Question (Q): The second season of your Style Network reality show, 'Glam Fairy,' is set to premiere on Sunday, October 7 at 9pm ET/PT. Why did you decide to continue chronicling your professional and personal lives on the show for another season? Alexa Prisco (AP): Well, I think the cool thing about this season is that you're going to see a much different side of me as a business owner. You're going to see what I'm struggling with as a mom and a wife, and I think that's what makes it super interesting. Q: 'Glam Fairy' is a spin-off of another Style Network reality show you appeared on, 'Jerseylicious.' What was the process of having 'Glam Fairy' being picked up as a series-did the network approach you with the idea, or did you pitch the idea to Style? AP: No, they found me. I liked that they wanted to cover my business, and I thought it was a really good opportunity. For the first season, we kept it more of a hybrid of a documentary, where you learn something, and a soap opera. But now I would say it's more on the drama end. I think that's going to quench a lot of people's thirst out there. (laughs) To continue reading this interview, please visit Yahoo! Voices.
Posted by karenbenardello at 12:43 PM
Monday, October 1, 2012
Interview: The Cast and Crew Talk About 'The Oranges,' Written by: Karen Benardello ‘The Oranges’ director, English filmmaker Julian Farino, along with actors Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Allison Janney, Adam Brody and Alia Shawkat, all participated in a press conference recently at New York City’s Crosby Hotel, to speak about shooting the movie. The filmmaker and the cast discussed, among other things, how previously working together on other projects helped them act together in the film; what attracted them to the script; and how the themes and morals of the story could have taken place anywhere in the world. Question (Q): Adam, can you talk about your upcoming projects for this year? You have three other films besides ‘The Oranges’ set to come out. Adam Brody (AB): I do have a few things coming out this year. However, ‘The Oranges’ has been a long time coming. Julian, was I the first cast in this? Julian Farino (JF): I’m sorry to say that you were not. (laughs) But you were the only person I had in mind for your part. AB: I feel as though I’ve been on this for three years. So it’s great this is finally coming out. I’m excited to be here. Q: Julian, were there any thoughts of casting Alia as Oliver’s daughter? There’s more of a resemblance between them. JF: You have to go through the essence of the parts and the characters. Vanessa was always intended for Alia. She had the intelligence and the point of view of Vanessa. I did have maps of where everybody fits with their likenesses. Once we had all the correct characters in place, we worked towards making the characters feel as though they have history. The friendships feel as though they go back 25 years. When you have a half day of rehearsal, it’s not that easy. That’s what the actors brought. To continue reading this interview, please visit Shockya.
Posted by karenbenardello at 9:59 AM
'The Hole' Examiner DVD Review, Written by: Karen Benardello People often work hard to move past their past mistakes and overcome their fears, but rarely do they have to contend with anxieties that are physically unleashed from their basement. But physical defeating everything that frightens them is certainly the case for the main characters in famed horror genre director Joe Dante’s new film, ‘The Hole,’ which is set to be released at Long Island Walmart locations tomorrow. While the new adventure fantasy thriller doesn’t create as many emotional and physical scares as the director’s early famed work, the film’s locations do offer intriguing insights into the characters’ mental state of mind. ‘The Hole’ follows 17-year-old brooding artist Dane Thompson (played by Chris Massoglia), as he moves from Brooklyn to the small rural town of Bensonville with his eager 10-year-old brother, Lucas (portrayed by Nathan Gamble), and their mother, Susan (played by Terri Polo). Dane only comes to accept the move when he notices their 17-year-old neighbor, Julie (portrayed by Haley Bennett), who offers to show him around town. But their lives all soon change when Lucas accidentally discovers a strange locked door in their basement. Watch the official trailer for the Joe Dante-directed horror fantasy thriller 'The Hole,' which is coming to DVD. Video: The Hole trailer After Dane manages to open all the locks, they discover a bottomless black hole. By opening the door, Dane and Lucas unknowingly unleash forces of evil, which specifically targets each person’s unique fears. With the help of Julie and while their mother’s at work, Dane and Lucas spend the end of their summer vacation trying to contain the evil that they unwittingly released, as well as face their own fears. ‘The Hole’ had the potential to truly scare audiences by preying on their darkest fears, as Dante, first made a name for himself in the horror genre in the late 1970s and early 1980s, by helming such panic-inducing films as ‘Gremlins,’ ‘Piranha’ and ‘The Howling.’ Unfortunately, the new fantasy horror thriller instead spent a majority of its plot building Dane’s relationships with his family and peers, including his resentment towards his mother for continuously moving the family around the country; his annoyance with Lucas for intruding on his space; and flirting with Julie as she shows him around Bensonville. To continue reading this review, please visit Examiner.