Friday, December 28, 2012

Interview: Eric Kripke Talks the Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester

'Interview: Eric Kripke Talks the Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester,' Written by: Karen Benardello

The long awaited book 'The Essential Supernatural: On The Road with Sam and Dean Winchester' has finally been released by Insight Editions to serve as the ultimate visual guide for the critically acclaimed series. The coffee-table-book offers a comprehensive look into the previous seven seasons of the fantasy horror drama show, which stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. The guide also offers a glimpse into the second half of the current eight season, which returns on January 16, 2013, with the episode 'Torn and Frayed.'

'The Essential Supernatural: On The Road with Sam and Dean Winchester,' which was written by Nicolas Knight, also features extensive cast and crew interviews, candid behind-the-scenes photos, revelatory production art and collectible pullout elements, including postcards, stickers, photos, and a map that details the cross-country adventures of brothers Sam and Dean Winchester.

Eric Kripke, the award-winning writer, director, producer and creator of 'Supernatural,' which premiered in 2005, wrote the foreword for the book. He generously took the time recently to discuss 'The Essential Supernatural: On The Road with Sam and Dean Winchester' and the series over the phone. Among other things, he spoke about he became involved with the book, how working on the guide brought back memories from previous seasons and how the crew keeps track of the mythology listed in the book.

Question (Q): How did this all come about, and how did you get involved with it? Was it your idea being that you did the foreword to the book?

Eric Kripke (EK): I wish it was my idea, but it was not. We have been publishing a lot of 'Supernatural' guides over the years, and it is something really for the fans. It is to really give them a behind-the-scenes look of how the show is made. The writer has been great with doing those over the years.

It has been nice to have a real guide and history of the show for the fans and, frankly, for the people who are making it. It helps to remind us what the hell we been doing over the years. (laughs) 'The Essential Supernatural Guide' is the next step up from what we been doing at this point. It really makes an all-inclusive collection of everything 'Supernatural,' and it's done with a tender loving care for the graphics and production design. It's a really stunning guide of what 'Supernatural' has been. We are all really excited about it.

So when they ask you to do the foreword--of course I immediately signed on. 'Supernatural' will always be my first child, and I am just incredibly proud of it. It is a job that everyone has worked so hard on over the years.

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

NCM Fathom Events and Relativity Media Offering Sneak Peak into Safe Haven

'NCM Fathom Events and Relativity Media Offering Sneak Peak into Safe Haven,' Written by: Karen Benardello

A sneak peek into one of the most anticipated film adaptations of 2013 is being offered by NCM Fathom Events and Relativity Media, as they jointly present "A Night with Nicholas Sparks' Safe Haven: Filmmakers, Author and Stars Bring the Book to Life." The event will be broadcast live to select cinemas nationwide on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT and tape delayed at 7:00 p.m. MT / 8:00 p.m. PT/Alaska and Hawaii. The one-night event will be broadcast live from LA Castle Studios in Burbank, California.

Sparks will participate in a live discussion and Q&A session with fans about the cinematic adaptation of his best-selling novel, 'Safe Haven.' The event will be moderated by 'Extra' TV host Maria Menounos, and will feature appearances from the film's lead stars, Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough.

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

Interview: Bree Michael Warner Talks Officer Down

Interview: Bree Michael Warner Talks 'Officer Down,' Written by: Karen Benardello

While people may initially be surprised by the helpfulness of strangers, who seemingly commit random acts of kindness that save their lives, they may be motivated by an ulterior motive and need for their own help that they will later come back to collect on. That's seemingly the case in the upcoming independent crime drama 'Officer Down,' in which a former bad cop will continuously have to pay for his past wrongdoings to a stranger driven by his own need for revenge. While the officer now wants to do what's right, he has to question if his desire to change was built on a lie.

'Officer Down' is set to have an exclusive theatrical engagement on January 18, 2013, with a Blu-ray and DVD release to follow on January 22. Directed by Brian A. Miller and written by John Chase, the drama stars Stephen Dorff, Bree Michael Warner, James Woods, Stephen Lang, Dominic Purcell, AnnaLynne McCord, Walton Goggins, David Boreanaz and rap star Soulja Boy in his feature film acting debut.

'Officer Down' follows dirty cop Detective Callahan (played by Dorff), who one year ago was shot in a drug bust gone wrong and was saved by a stranger. He was then given a second chance to fix his life after the accident. But when the stranger finally comes forward, seeking revenge against the men responsible for a string of assaults on young women at a local strip club, Callahan must go rogue.

The detective must find the attacker in an effort to hide how his own past played a part in the crimes. Callahan's desperation to find the attacker and cover his past mistakes takes him down a road of deception and fraud. He must find a way to play the good cop and track down the assailant, while keeping his reputation clean.

Walker generously took the time recently to answer some questions about the independent crime drama. Among other things, the actress discussed what attracted her to the character of Brogan, and how she prepared for the role; what it was like working with Dorff and the rest of the cast; and what it was like working with Miller, who has previously written and directed such crime dramas as 'House of the Rising Sun' and 'Caught in the Crossfire.'

Question (Q): You play Brogan in the upcoming crime drama 'Officer Down.' What was it about the character and the storyline overall that convinced you to take on the role?

Bree Michael Warner (BMW): I think as a woman in the business you're always searching for those strong female roles that allow us to be respected as intelligent, savvy and strong mined individuals. Emotionality and vulnerability are wonderful traits, but it's a woman's ability to balance the feminine and masculine that makes for much more interesting characters. Brogan is a woman who plays successfully in an otherwise men's game.

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Interview: Lee Child Talks Jack Reacher

Interview: Lee Child Talks 'Jack Reacher,' Written by: Karen Benardello

Adapting a popular book featuring a lead character who’s determined to obtain justice into a visually stunning film is not always an easy task. But the new action crime drama ‘Jack Reacher,’ which is based on ‘One Shot,’ the ninth novel in best-selling British author Lee Child’s ‘Jack Reacher’ book series, naturally embodies the multi-dimensional and iconic nature of the title character. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the film features the vigilante’s moral viewpoints and captivating stunt work.

‘Jack Reacher’ follows an ex-military, trained assassin who randomly shoots five people dead as they go about their everyday lives in Pittsburgh. When the police, led by Emerson (David Oyelowo), quickly apprehend the sniper, he only asks for Jack Reacher (portrayed by Tom Cruise), an ex-Army military investigator, who prefers to avoid other people. When Jack first arrives in Pittsburgh to help the sniper’s attorney, Helen (played by Rosamund Pike), the daughter of the District Attorney prosecuting the case, Rodin (portrayed by Richard Jenkins), he’s convinced of the suspect’s guilt. But despite his belief and his past connection with the believed killer, Jack proceeds with the case.

Easily self-sufficient and hyper-observant, Jack is determined to help Helen win the case, as he’s driven by a keen sense of justice. During the investigation, he finds an unlikely enemy, and uses his bias for violence and strategy to expose the entire truth.

Child, who has written 17 novels in his famous ‘Jack Reacher’ series since its debut in 1997, generously took the time to exclusively talk about the film adaptation of his 2005 book, ‘One Shot,’ in New York City. Among other things, the writer discussed what it was like collaborating with both Cruise and McQuarrie; how Cruise’s acting landed him the role of the title role, even though he doesn’t fit the book’s physical description of the lead character; and how he was impressed with Cruise’s stunt work in the film.

ShockYa (SY): Christopher McQuarrie directed and wrote ‘Jack Reacher.’ How did the process of adapting the book come about-did the studio approach you with the idea to make the film, or were you interested in making a movie based on the Jack Reacher character?

Lee Child (LC): I love the movies. Obviously, as an author, there’s no automatic way to make your book into a movie, but you have the possibility of doing that. So, initially someone comes along and says, do you want to do a deal? The answer is either yes or no, and I said yes, because I hoped it would happen, and eventually it did happen. I’m pleased about it.

SY: ‘Jack Reacher’ was shot on location in Pittsburgh, and had an industrial feel to it. Do you think the cinematography helped enhance the story and the character of Jack Reacher overall?

LC: Yeah. I think that even though the fictional city in the book was not Pittsburgh, it had the same feeling, with the river, the wet streets and the brick buildings. I think it captured the mood of the book very well. The mood and the tone of the book are very largely created by the environment they’re set in.

I think not only (Chris) McQuarrie, but Caleb Deschanel, the DP (Director of Photographer), and all the designers really got that. They dressed the film well, and it looks like the book to me.

To continue reading this interview, please visit Shockya.

10 Years DVD Review

10 Years DVD Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Teenagers often times want to rush their high school experiences so they can embrace the freedom that they often associate with adulthood. Little do they realize that the time they spend with their friends and peers during their youth often influence and shape their adult lives, and they’ll often spend their time after graduation trying to rectify the problems created in school. This emotional dilemma is daringly and comically featured and debated in the ensemble film ‘10 Years,’ which New Yorkers can now buy on Amazon. The movie respectably refuses to present the insecurities people carry into adulthood from school as trivial, and isn’t afraid to show the lengths people will go to in order to improve their self-worth and confidence.

‘10 Years’ follows a group of high school friends who reconnect on the night of their 10-year reunion, and discover that a decade after graduating, no one’s fully grown up. The group is led by Jake (played by Channing Tatum), who is deeply in love with his girlfriend, Jess (portrayed by Jenna Dewan-Tatum), and id ready to propose to her. He quickly doubts his decision when he runs into his high school flame, Mary (played by Rosario Dawson), for the first time since college. But when he discovers she’s married to Paul (portrayed by Ron Livingston), Jake learns to value his relationship with Jess.

To continue reading this review, please visit Examiner.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Interview: Walter Salles Talks On the Road

Interview: Walter Salles Talks 'On the Road,' Written by: Karen Benardello

Immediately following difficult periods in history, people often turn to liberation movements in order to fix society. That determination is emotionally shown in the upcoming adventure drama ‘On the Road,’ directed by ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ helmer Walter Salles. Based on the best-selling classic 1957 novel of the same name by Jack Kerouac, the film, which was written by Jose Rivera, shows the historical context and the motivations of Americans living in the late 1940s. Led by a talented young cast, the movie gives a clear understanding of the characters’ relationships and their struggles to overcome their internal struggles.

‘On the Road’ follows young New York City writer Sal Paradise (played by Sam Riley), whose life is ultimately redefined by the arrival of Dean Moriarty (portrayed by Garett Hedlund), a free-spirited, fearless Westerner. Dean and his girlfriend, Marylou (played by Kristen Stewart), are living a carefree style, and urge Sam to join them on a personal quest for freedom from the conformity and conservatism surrounding them. They travel across the country in search of themselves, through the use of drugs, jazz and poetry in the aftermath of World War II.

Along the way, the trio’s pursuit of the pure essence of experience is continuously shaped by their interactions with the people they meet along the way, including Camille (portrayed by Kirsten Dunst). Dean ultimately marries and has children with Camille, feeling that he should settle down, but still continues to live his care-free lifestyle with Marylou and Sal.

Salles generously took the time to sit down during a roundtable interview in New York City recently to discuss filming ‘On the Road.’ Among other things, the director spoke about the research he did into the Beat Generation, how the music of that generation influenced the film’s story and the casting of the lead actors in the adventure drama.

Question (Q): You cast the film in 2004, and it took a long time to get it made. Would you still have cast Kristen Stewart after the ‘Twilight’ phenomenon?

Walter Salles (WS): We did (cast Stewart in the beginning of the ‘Twilight’ series). Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, the director of ‘Babel’ and ’21 Grams,’ is a friend of mine, and he had just seen a rough cut of Sean Penn’s ‘Into the Wild.’ We had dinner that night. He said, “Sean’s movie is so beautiful, and there’s this incredible young actress who you should consider for Marylou in ‘On the Road.’ There’s something very impactful about the film. She appears int he last third of the film, but there’s an echo of her presence that’s long lasting, you should meet her.”

I saw Sean Penn’s film, which I also loved. I met Kristen, and she was so knowledgeable about the book, and knew so much about the character. So I invited her to do the film, if it was going to be made. That was a big question, also. It hadn’t been made for so long, that we never knew if it was going to be a reality.

Then, of course, it took us five years to get the financing, which came from independent producers in Europe. All those years, she remained tied to the project, and to do it, says a lot about her, I think.

Q: What kind of research did you do into the gender relationships?

WS: We did very extensive research that took us six years, between 2004 and 2010. I shot a film in Brazil with non-actors between ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ and this. But in doing the research, the characters of the book were still alive. Or we met with the families of the characters, who are not with us anymore. Meeting, for instance, Carolyn Cassady was very helpful to inform the Camille role of Kirsten Dunst.

Carolyn’s a woman of great knowledge and sensitivity. I wanted her to be played by an actress who would not only be extremely talented, but would also have the same degree of intelligence, so I forwarded the invitation to Kirsten. Kirsten was the first actress who signed on for ‘On the Road.’ That was very early on, in 2005, I think. Then Garrett and Kristen and Sam, a little bit later. Everyone was very passionate about this book.

To continue reading this interview, please visit Shockya.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

AskMen Reveals the 99 Most Desirable Women of 2013

'AskMen Reveals the 99 Most Desirable Women of 2013,' Written by: Karen Benardello

Jennifer Lawrence has been ranked as the most desirable woman on AskMen's 12th Annual "Top 99 Most Desirable Women" list. The honor comes after the actress, who was most remembered this year for playing heroine Katniss Everdeen in the highly anticipated film adaptation of 'The Hunger Games,' was named "the most talented young actress in America" by Rolling Stone.

More than 2.4 million votes were cast by the lifestyle website for men's readers, who voted for women with edge and unconventional beauty.

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Our Nature Movie Review

'In Our Nature' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Filming a low-budget, independent film with a first-time feature writer and director can be taunting for many actors, but filmmaker Brian Savelson effortlessly found the perfect cast to create a realistic, emotional, character-driven movie with his new drama, ‘In Our Nature.’ With a talented quartet of well-known actors, including Jena Malone, Gabrielle Union, John Slattery and Zack Gilford, Savelson rightfully forgoed featuring any other characters and set the story in an isolated home to truly focus on the tension and strained relationships between the four. Between an obviously strained father and son bond, which drives the story’s central conflict forward, to the subtle differences in opinion of all four characters that affect the two romantic relationships, ‘In Our Nature’ genuinely looks at the petty differences that can unnecessarily drive people apart.

‘In Our Nature’ follows Brooklynite Seth (played by Gilford) as his brings his girlfriend of two years, Andie (portrayed by Malone), to his family’s weekend house in upstate New York for a romantic getaway. While the two think they’ll have the house to themselves for the weekend, they’re unexpectedly joined by his estranged father, Gil (played by Slattery), and his much-younger new girlfriend, Vicky (portrayed by Union).

When Gil and Vicky first arrive, he and Seth are hesitant to spend time together again. But Vicky and Andie, who Gil didn’t know was dating his son, push the two men to share the house for the first time since the summer vacations of Seth’s childhood. The unexpected family reunion is filled with new and old tensions, as Seth and Gil would rather start new families than deal with their lingering problems and separation from each other. But spending time together makes them realize the bonds of family are stronger than expected.

‘In Our Nature’ is an emotional, character-focused drama that’s driven by the four actors’ realistic portrayals of overcoming pain, and learning to trust each other again. Savelson truly created an isolated house in the middle of the woods that held both welcoming and painful memories for Seth and Gil, that also brought the actors out of their comfort zone. Each actor was well-cast in roles they’ve never explored in previous films, and all responded to the distinct moments of their characters pondering if they should, and could, maintain their difficult relationships with each other.

To continue reading this review, please visit Shockya.

Interview: Judd Nelson Talks Bad Kids Go to Hell

Interview: Judd Nelson Talks 'Bad Kids Go to Hell,' Written by: Karen Benardello

The children of rich, powerful and influential leaders in the community, particularly those dealing the emotionally confusing time of adolescence, can often feel like they deserve to get everything they want, and they don’t have to suffer the consequences of their actions. But in the new independent, low-budget comedy mystery thriller ‘Bad Kids Go to Hell,’ which is based on the popular 2010 graphic novel of the same name, the spoiled students are forced to finally contend with their conflicts on their own. Described as a mix between ‘The Grudge’ and ‘The Breakfast Club,’ ‘Bad Kids Go to Hell’ shows how ill-prepared the teens are to cope with the ghosts of their past.

‘Bad Kids Go to Hell’ follows six students, including Tricia Wilkes (played by Ali Faulkner) and Matt Clark (portrayed by Cameron Deane Stewart), from the prestigious private high school, Crestview, as they’re placed in detention on a stormy Saturday afternoon by Headmaster Nash (played by Judd Nelson). While Matt must contend with not letting his parole officer find out he’s in detention, he must also deal with the other five students fighting over a shared secret. However, during the eight-hour incarceration, each of the students fall victim to a horrible accident, until one one remains. They try to figure out if one of their classmates is secretly evening the school’s social playing field, or if one of Crestview’s ghosts if finally coming to punish them.

Nelson generously took the time to speak with us over the phone recently about filming ‘Bad Kids Go to Hell.’ Among other things, the actors discussed why he wanted to play the role of Headmaster Nash in the comedy mystery thriller; what it was like working with first-time feature film writer-director Matthew Spradlin, who co-wrote the graphic novels, and his younger castmates; the experience of shooting a movie based on a graphic novel and what it was like promoting the movie at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

ShockYa (SY): You play Headmaster Nash, who gives six students, the spoiled offspring of society’s elite, from his prep school Crestview Academy Saturday detention, in ‘Bad Kids Go to Hell.’ What was it about the character and the script overall that convinced you to take on the role?

Judd Nelson (JN): Well, I read the graphic novel, and I thought it was a lot of fun. I thought, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. These are horrible kids, and they get the justice they deserve. It seemed like a fun thing to be a part of, and it was.

SY: Speaking of the graphic novel, were you familiar with the novel at all before you signed onto appear in the film? Did you reference the novel at all when you were preparing to shoot the movie?

JN: I was familiar with it. But you don’t necessarily reference it, because on a certain level, a graphic novel has to answer to a different higher power. I was worried that we were going to do the graphic novel a disservice by making the film live action. But they kept it very true to the graphic novel.

We don’t necessarily look like the artwork, because we couldn’t match it exactly. But it’s pretty close to the story. The bad kids get punished for what they do. There’s nothing funnier than that.

SY: While ‘Bad Kids Go to Hell’ is a comedy, it also has horror and thriller elements in the story. Were there any horror or thriller films that you like, or referenced, while preparing for this movie?

JN: Well, I didn’t watch any to prepare for this. But I love scary movies. When I was a kid, I would love to scare the crap out of myself. To this day, I still think ‘Jaws’ is the scariest movie. I don’t think I’m alone when I go in that water, I’m hearing that music. (imitates ‘Jaws’ theme music)

I really like scary movies and zombie movies and gory movies and suspenseful movies. I’ll tell you, I was very impressed when I saw the first ‘Saw.’ I was like, wow, that’s a great film. ‘The Exorcist’ is also incredible. It’s a horror film, but also quite a drama.

To continue reading this interview, please visit Shockya.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Interview: Edward Burns Talks The Fitzgerald Family Christmas

Interview: Edward Burns Talks 'The Fitzgerald Family Christmas,' Written by: Karen Benardello

Many large, tight-knit families have come to appreciate the bonds they have developed with their siblings and parents, and the diverse dynamics of their relationships have served as the realistic motivating factor of many genuine films. But when they come together to celebrate an important holiday, such as Christmas, they become surprised to learn that everyone had extremely contrasting memories, points-of-view and opinions that have driven the way they have lived their lives. This realization is an important motivating factor for the characters in scribe-helmer-actor Edward Burns’ latest writing and directorial effort, the new drama ‘The Fitzgerald Family Christmas.’ The movie is a homage to the filmmaker’s first two films, ‘The Brothers McMullen’ and ‘She’s the One,’ and marks his return to his working-class, Irish-American Catholic roots after a 16-year absence.

‘The Fitzgerald Family Christmas’ follows the seven New York working-class, Irish-American adult Fitzgerald siblings, led by Gerry (played by Burns), as they’re dealing with the desire of their estranged father, Jim (portrayed by Ed Lauter), to return home for Christmas for the first time since walking out on them 20 years ago. Family rifts emerge, and like with any family, the holiday brings about mixed emotions and dynamics, with Gerry leading the cause for their father to reunite with the family. When his younger siblings and mother, Rosie (played by Anita Gillette), object to Jim returning home, after remembering the pain he caused them, alliances form. But when Jim reveals a secret about himself, the possibility for a new hope and forgiveness emerges. With Gerry feeling conflicted over the growing rift in his family, he forms a connection with Nora (portrayed by Connie Britton), a nurse for one of his mother’s friends, who helps give him clarity on how to cope with his family’s arguments.

Burns generously took the time to sit down in New York City recently to discuss writing, directing and acting in ‘The Fitzgerald Family Christmas,’ and his return to his working-class, Irish-American roots that he featured in his successful first two films. Among other things, the writer-director-actor discussed how his own family influenced the characters and the script; why he decided to re-cast several actors he directed in his earlier films, and what his working relationships with them, particularly Britton, are like; and why he thinks audiences are relating to the movie’s theme of forgiveness and rebuilding family relationships.

ShockYa (SY): ‘The Fitzgerald Family Christmas’ focuses on a large Irish-American family with seven adult children, who all contend with their estranged father, who wants to return home for Christmas after 20 years. Why did you decide to return to the Irish Catholic working class themes that you explored in your first two films, ‘The Brothers McMullen’ and ‘She’s The One?’

Edward Burns (EB): It came from when I was working with Tyler Perry on the film, ‘Alex Cross,’ and he had just re-watched ‘Brothers McMullen.’ He asked me, ‘McMullen’ and ‘She’s The One’ were so successful, and in 15 years, how come you’ve never gone back to revisit that world, that Irish-American working class family theme?

He said, “you have to take a look at what I’m doing. You have to think about super-serving your niche. I guarantee you, if you were to make a film back in that space, the audience that loved those first two movies would thank you for it.”

The minute he said it, I knew that he was right. I think I had been hesitant to go back there, because I think I felt like my life is so different now. I thought, can I write about that world with any authenticity?

I opened up my laptop, and I just started to write. Usually it takes me about six months to write a screenplay, and this took me six weeks. I was happy to discover that yes, I could still write about the world, because I knew it very well.

Sitting on these characters for 15 years, they were dying to get out of me. I didn’t have to give any thought to who they were, how they sounded, how they dressed, where they went to school, where they drank and what are they afraid of. It was all right there, and I think that’s why they just poured out of me.

SY: When you were filming ‘Alex Cross,’ did Tyler offer you any advice on how to re-approach this genre?

EB: No, not really. It was just sort of that initial conversation. We were talking when I got toward the end of the screenplay, about the big theme of the movie, which is forgiveness, and the importance of family. I told him were I was, and kept telling him where the story was progressing, and the question of whether Rosie forgives Jim or not. **SPOILER ALERT** He felt very strongly that she should. I kind of know that she should **END SPOILER ALERT**, and that was sort of the one big conversation that we had.

To continue reading this interview, please visit Shockya.