Monday, October 29, 2018

Movie Review: Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis - This Horror Movie Delivers Blood, Scares, Gore and Everything Else Desired by a Die-Hard or New Horror Fan

Review by Connor Moriarty

Halloween (2018) admirably fills the shoes left by its predecessor. Direction is sharp, performances are strong, horror sequences are suspenseful and exciting, and the blood flows oh so beautifully. Writer/Director David Gordon Green and collaborator Danny McBride have reinvigorated a franchise that, for the past two decades, has put out nothing but laughably bad sequels and remakes. While it may not live up to the greatness of the original 1978 classic, fans and newcomers alike should find this new entry unequivocally satisfying.

Even with all the praise I just gave, Halloween (2018) doesn’t do anything new with the Michael Myers character. Michael stalks. Michael stabs. Michael stabs again. If you’ve seen any of the 6 sequels or even just the two remakes, you know what to expect. Even Laurie Strode’s paranoia and action hero persona aren’t new elements – see H20. However, it’s this barebones approach that makes the film so enjoyable. There’s no forced sibling backstories, no druid cults, and no reality TV shows - thank God!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Egg: A New Film on Motherhood Directed by Marianna Palka and Starring Christina Hendricks, Alysia Reiner, Anna Camp, Gbenga Akinnagbe and David Alan Basche to Premiere in Theaters and Streaming January 2018

Cast and team behind Egg the movie at Tribeca premiere.
A new film called Egg will be out in theaters  and streaming on January 18th, distributed by Gravitas. The film, which takes a new look on the ever-changing concept of motherhood and family has a lot of familiar names in it. It stars Christina Hendricks (Madmen and most recently The Romanoffs), Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), Alysia Reiner (Equity, Orange is the New Black), Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Deuce) and David Alan Basche (Equity, The Exes).

This film centers around two couples that have a very different take on life with and without children and offers food for thought on new options for motherhood in this century. Centered around the lives of two couples, the movie will make you think and laugh. Orginially a play, it was written by Risa Mickenberg. It is produced by Reiner, Basche and Michele Ganeless (former Comedy Central president). Marianna Palka, who currently acts in Glow, continues her directing career for this flick.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Interview with Big Brother's Jessie Godderz aka "Mr. PecTacular" on His New Music Video with 98 Degrees Superstar Jeff Timmons; Who Gets the Girl in "The Girl is With Me?' Watch Video Here

There's a whole lot of HOT in this new video by 98 Degrees artist Jeff Timmons and Big Brother's Jessie Godderz AKA Mr. PecTacular. Jessie teams up with super artist Jeff Timmons in the new song "The Girl is With Me." But just who wins out? You'll have to watch. 

The song's got a great beat and a catchy tune. It will keep you watching until the end.

I had the opportunity to ask Jessie, who I met at the Datyime Emmys for his work on Tainted Dreams about his musical debut. Yes, Jessie the popular Big Brother Alum and wrestling superstar who also acts in the Emmy-nominated series Tainted Dreams on Amazon and in a new movie can now add musical artist to his resume. So what does he have to say about his debut role as a musical performer?

Did you do any singing prior to this?

Jessie Godderz: I've sung before in High School Choir and Swing Choir but that was many years ago and I never sang in public since...and never professionally. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Interview: Inspiring Mom Kathleen Butler Smith on Going from Prosecutor to Business Owner & Podcaster: How Morphmom Can Change Lives for Women

What exactly is a Morphmom? 

That is the question Kathleen Butler Smith, founder of Morphmom, will answer. To give a hint, it's about a re-invention, a new beginning starting later in life. Or, perhaps, a substantial change in career earlier in life. 

Kathleen, a former prosecutor in one of the busiest counties in New Jersey and possibly the US, now runs the company Morphmom. Morphmom is a website, events where women (and men) can learn about how to change their career paths in life, and also  a popular podcast in NYC, interviewing some of the most prominent women in the New York metropolitan area.

Monday, October 15, 2018

NEW FILMMAKER SERIES: Interview with Elsa Levytsky of the Award -Winning Horror Short Goodnight Death Starring Callum Blue as The Grim Reaper

Filmmaker Elsa Levytsky is off to a great start. Her latest short, a horror thriller, Goodnight Death is not even completed yet but has already been named "Semifinalist for Screenplay" at the Hollyshorts Festival in Los Angeles. The film, which stars Callum Blue (Smallville, Royal Pains, The Tudors) and Danielle Kotch (Person of Interest, Made in Jersey) will be making its rounds at film festivals beginning 2019. Simply put, this film is about the Grim Reaper.

Goodnight Death was created and directed by Elsa and written by Elsa, Richard Weems and Mick Lexington. In this interview we find out more about this talented Ukranian-born filmmaker (who happens to be fluent in Japanese) - and how where she lived  - across from a cemetary- just might be her reason for this choice of genre. Regardless, horror is hot and Elsa is on the pulse of this new generation of films.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

An Acceptable Loss Movie Screens at the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival: New Political Thriller Stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Tika Sumter and Ben Tavassoli Coming to Theaters 2019

Tika Sumter and Ben Tavsolli with
members of the producing team
An Acceptable Loss, the new film by Director Joe Chappelle (Chicago Fire, Fringe, The Wire) and Colleen Griffin of CorradoMooncoin Productions is screening for the first time at the Chicago International Film Festival 2018. This film, a fictional political thriller, stars Tika Sumter (The Haves and the Havenots, SouthSide with You, Nobody's Fool), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) and Ben Tavassoli (New Blood, No Offence). It is a female-driven plot centered around the fallout of something the United States does in a time of peace.

The movie was shot in various location around Chicago last year, home of the filmmakers.

Also featured in this film are a bevy of talented actors including Jeff Hephner  (Mars, Chicago Med), Alysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black, Equity, Egg) , David Eigenberg (Sex and the City), Alex Weisman (Chicago Med, Chicago Fire), Clarke Peters (The Wire, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and  Deanna Dunnagan (The Exorcist)

Monday, October 8, 2018

As The World Turns and General Hospital's Trent Dawson Working on New Short Film Called The F Starring CBS Instinct's Alejandro Hernandez - Video Interview with Trent about his Film and Crowdfunding Campaign

Trent Dawson, best known for his role as on Henry Coleman on As The World Turns and most recently as on General Hospital as Huxley Lynch, is busy at work on his first short film, The F. The F is a drama with some very funny moments about a very vibrant couple battling with uncertainties while waiting for a subway train in New York City.

UPDATE: The new name for The F is The Six

Trent has announced the actors for this film, which they all actually filmed in a NY City subway on one hot summer night. The lead actors are Alejandro Hernandez (CBS' Instinct) who plays the boyfriend, NY and Chandler Rosenthal who plays the girlfriend. NY actress Lily Davis plays an onlooking subway rider.

Trent had a reading of the play in the Village this past summer, which was attended by a bevy of his soap friends including  Austin Peck, Terri Conn, Anne Sayre, Eric Sheffer-Stevens and Martha Byrne .

Friday, October 5, 2018

Review: The Color Purple at NJ's Paper Mill Playhouse Directed by John Doyle: A Powerful, Heartwarming and Beautiful Musical Adaptation of Alice Walker's Famed Novel

By Beth Abramson Brier, My Thoughts Exactly!

Hell Yes!

Number 1 on your “to do” list this October: Get tickets to see “The Color Purple” at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. Even before you buy your Halloween candy and scary Lindsey Graham mask, come see this powerful performance. John Doyle directs this production of Marsha Norman’s screenplay based on the novel by Alice Walker. Set in rural Georgia in the early part of the 20th century, it is perhaps more timely than first intended. Read on.

Actor Interview: Adrianna Hicks and Carrie Compere of Paper Mill Playhouse's The Color Purple Dish About Their Roles in this Iconic Story

 Hell More!- Interview by Beth Abramson Brier

After the stunning opening night performance of “The Color Purple” at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, I had a chance to informally chat with Adrianna Hicks (Celie) and Carrie Compere (Sofia) at the after party between photo shoots.  In sharp contrast to Celie, who must spend hours in make-up and wardrobe to look so shabby and downtrodden, Adrianna (in a fabu purple jumpsuit) is beautiful and radiant.  Carrie is just gorgeous and as sparkling as her character Sofia. Both Adrianna and Carrie were authentic and forthcoming and I thank them for taking time to talk to me before they even had a chance to get some dinner. 

What was the first performance you saw that inspired you to pursue theater?

Adrianna:  I saw a high school production of “Guys and Dolls” and I just knew.  We cannot underestimate the power and importance of the arts in school.

Carrie: I never considered a career in theater until I saw “Betsey Brown” at McCarter Theater in Princeton.  It was an all-black cast and I saw myself on stage.

Movie Review: Netlfix's Hold The Dark: Not much Darkness Held Back in this Disturbing Yet Beautiful Film by Jeremy Saulnier

Review by Connor Moriarty

There’s no government, no civilization, no laws, and no common power. Humanity is in a war of “all against all.” So, writes English philosopher Thomas Hobbes in his 1651 book, Leviathan. This particular sentiment refers to Hobbes’ theory on the “state of nature.” A state in which he would famously quote, that human life is “nasty, brutish, and short.”

Apart from being a centerpiece of every university’s freshman seminar class, Hobbes’ philosophy has also found itself the subject of American filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier’s, ever-growing body of work. While the motivations for violence differ between the two films, they both borrow themes from Hobbes’ writing.