Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Opinion: What an Enterainment Writer Needs to Gear Up on for 2019

My Thoughts...exactly!  An Opinion by Beth Abramson Brier 

Welcome back to me.  I finally emerge from my sugar-plum-soaked-post-Hallmark-holiday-season stupor only to learn that Reese Witherspoon drinks whiskey from a teacup!  FROM A TEACUP! Did you know this?  More to the point, how did I not know this??? Even worse, I came to know this only because - and understand my shock here- it is a title of a book on the clearance table at Costco. Did you hear me?  AT COSTCO!!  ON THE CLEARANCE TABLE!!!  Not only does the news of this genteel inebriation take me by surprise, it leaves me wondering - WHAT ELSE HAVE I MISSED? 

Interview and Video: Alex Weisman Talks His New Film An Acceptable Loss and Being in Harry Potter on Broadway

Alex Weisman's character Jordan is front and center to the events unfolding in the new political thriller An Acceptable Loss  starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumter  In this edge-of your-seat thrileer by Writer/Director Joe Chappelle, Alex plays Jordan,  grad school roomate of  Martin (played by Ben Tavassoli)  Martin has a secret that haunts him in this movie and then does what he can to protect a secret  (but no spoilers here you'll have to watch the movie to see if it's the same one). Jordan doesn't quite know what's going on, but his trusting spirit knows it's something.. somthing BIG.

Behind the Scenezz caught up with Alex Weisman on a cold night in NYC for a Special Screening of An Acceptable Loss  hosted by Joe Chappelle at the IFC Film Center. In this interview you'll hear about how he got into his character so well and believably and also about his current job, in the immensly popular Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway.

You can see Alex Weisman in An Acceptable Loss in theaters and on-demand. If you can't make it to NYC to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, stream episodes of Chicago Med and Chicago Fire to see Alex in his role as Chout.

Watch Full Interview Here (3 minutes)


For more information on Alex: 

Event: Start the New Year Off with Inspiration: Morphmom Presents "Brainstorm, Believe, Begin" for Women Who Want a New Career

Are you interested in doing something new? Learn the secrets and get inspiration on ways to make a change for the better in your life. Whether you are just starting to consider a "second chapter" or "second career" or ready to make a definitive step, Morphmom's "What's Next" Conference can lead you in the right direction. This first conference of 2019 is called "Brainstorm, Believe, Begin."

The event takes place on Feburary 4, 2019 at the James Ward Mansion in Westfield NJ. Speakers inlcude the Executive Editor of Good Housekeeping, A Broadway actress and female entreprenuers. Complete list is:


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Interview with Actor Jeff Hephner: On Being Adrian in Newest Film An Acceptable Loss, A Proud Michigander and A Girl's Basketball Coach

Jeff Hephner of An Acceptable Loss and Love Takes Flight
Interview by Suzanne Ordas Curry


UPDATE: Watch Jeff Hephner in the new Hallmark Channel movie Love Takes Flight 
Info:  https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/love-takes-flight 

You will recognize the dashing actor Jeff Hephner from his many roles on TV including Chicago Med, Chicago Fire  and Code Black as well as from film including Interstellar and Peppermint.  He's also just started on this season of the popular sci fi series Mars on Nat Geo as Kurt Harrelle. Here we talk to him about his latest film role, starring as the powerful behind-the-scenes operative Adrian in An Acceptable Loss with Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumter. An Acceptable Loss is a political thriller written and directed by Joe Chappelle (Chicago Fire, The Wire) that is full of twists and turns to keep you watching until the very end, and Jeff's character Adrian is the man responsible for a lot of the drama. And without giving away any spoilers... you may or may not agree with his decisions.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Movie Review of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse - This Oscar-Nominated Film is Truly a Treat as it Revels in its Roots

Movie Review of Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse 
by Connor Moriarty


Self-aware humor is a dangerous chasm to traverse. Its impact is completely dependent on its writer’s care and understanding of what surrounds it. Plot, characters, and atmosphere are just a few elements that need to be carefully fleshed out in order for jokes of this kind to feel clever as opposed to cringe.

Films like Deadpool 2 and Scream 3 sacrifice a lot of these devices in order to shift focus onto how “meta” they can be. While clever(ish), their dependence on self-referential comedy hollows them and will eventually date them.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Review: Director Marianna Palka's Egg with Christina Hendricks, Anna Camp and Alysia Reiner is Complicated and Funny

Review by Emily Galow

Marianna Palka’s EGG is a biting dramedy starring the beautifully-acted Tina (Alysia Reiner) and Karen (Christina Hendricks) as old art school friends meeting for dinner after years apart. Tina, shocked that Karen is in the final months of pregnancy with her husband, Don (David Alan Basche), eventually reveals that her and her own husband, Wayne (Gbenga Akinnagbe) are having a baby via surrogate mother, Kiki (Anna Camp). Conflict immediately ensues, though that’s foreshadowed from the beginning: Tina and Wayne live in a run-down neighborhood, which wealthy developer Don scoffs at, while Tina asks her husband how she looks in an elegant dress clearly designed to compete with Karen before she even arrives. The characters argue almost like stock sitcom characters: Tina and Wayne are the liberal couple who are having a child via surrogate to subvert gender roles, while Karen and Don are a typical white suburban couple who wax on about the joys of pregnancy.

Watch this Movie on Just About All Streaming and Video Services
See Facebook for Select Theaters

Friday, January 18, 2019

Interview: Writer/Musician Risa Mickenberg Talks About How Her Film "Egg" with Christina Hendricks, Anna Camp and Alysia Reiner was Hatched: The Path to Motherhood is Changing and not without Controversy

Interview by Suzanne Ordas Curry

Risa Mickenberg is the writer of EGG The Film, now showing in theaters around the country and on demand almost everywhere. It's the story of two couples, played by Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) and David Alan Basche (The Exes, Equity) and Alysia Reiner (OITNB) and Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Deuce) and their quests towards parenthood. But wait, there's also a third female, played by the lovely Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect). You'll have to see the movie to see how a third female figures into the mix but needless to say this movie attemps to shatter some pre-conceived and traditional notions about motherhood and parenthood as we continue in this new millenium. In this interview Risa will share how EGG was fertilized and hatched. And we'll also learn a little bit more about her, including how she's also the lead vocalist for a popular East Coast band Jesus H Christ and the  Four Hornsmen of the Apocolypse. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Movie Review of Joe Chappelle's Political Thriller An Acceptable Loss with Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter: Tension and Surprising Plot Twists Keep You Watching Till the Very End


Review by Connor Moriarty

An Acceptable Loss (2018) is a political thriller with an intriguingly ambitious execution. Tika Sumpter (Ride Along. Nobody’s Fool), Ben Tavassoli (Overlord), and Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween ’78, Halloween ’18) all turn in strong performances in their respective roles and Writer/Director Joe Chappelle (Chicago Fire, The Wire) crafts a timely, thrilling, and emotional story.

Political thrillers a-la Body of Lies (2008) and The Ides of March (2011), tend to bite off more plot devices and elements than they can chew. An Acceptable Loss gains a lot of ground in its innate sense of urgency. Right off the bat, there’s an undeniably frightening tension between the two leads, Martin (Tavassoli) and Libby (Sumpter).

Friday, January 11, 2019

New York Filmmaker and Musician David Patrick Wilson Releases Country Song Pickup Truck


David Patrick Wilson is a filmmaker out of New York that just released a new song. His last film, Collar the Movie, available on Amazon stars Tom Sizemore and Rebecca DeMornay. Now he is turning to his musical roots with a new country song just released but with more in the works.  

Tell me what prompted you to do this. Have you done anything similar in the past?

David P Wilson: I had a pickup truck that my Uncle left me when he passed and I was staying at his place in Long Island.  I went to visit my mom upstate NY in Sullivan County and I took her dog, "Shadow" on a ride in the pick-up.  I had such fun with him on that ride that I wrote the song on the way back to Long Island.  I had never done anything like that before, mostly because my mother hated country music, which I love.  I have written a lot of music of all different kinds, but that was my first foray into country music.

Monday, January 7, 2019

MOVIE REVIEW: Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give is A Must-Watch - Masterfully Created and Acted, Personal and Human - A Story to Make Us Think, and Maybe Act


Review by Emily Galow

"This movie is masterfully crafted and acted, and more than that, it tells the story of a teenage girl, in all of her messiness, in all of her humanity, and the journey she undergoes to find her voice and use it. The Hate U give is personal."

When you hear the words “movie adapted from a YA novel,” certain tropes and images may spring to mind: dazzlingly attractive 25 year-olds playing teenagers, a vaguely evil futuristic dystopia that demands conformity above all else, a special white girl rebelling against the dystopia with a ragtag group of freedom fighters.

Here’s the plot of Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, adapted into the movie directed by George Tillman: Teenage Starr Carter is the only witness in her childhood best friend Khalil’s murder at the hands of a police officer, and she has to decide whether to testify on his behalf in the trial to come. Here’s the first scene in The Hate U Give: when they were little kids, Starr’s father, played with fierce love by Russell Hornsby, gives Starr (Amandla Stenberg), her older brother Seven (Lamar Johnson) and her little brother Sekani (TJ Wright) The Talk black families give to their children on what to do when an officer approaches you or pulls you over. “Put your hands on the dashboard,” Maverick tells his wide-eyed children, “Don’t make any sudden moves.” 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Interview with DriverX Film Producer Mark Stolaroff: Secrets to Making a Micro-Budget Movie, Working with Patrick Fabian and What He Learned Making This Movie - Prioritize, Find a Cast Who Cares Plus More Tips

Interview by Suzanne Ordas Curry

It's not easy to make a film these days. It's not easy to make a good film these days. And it's even harder to make a HIT film on a limited budget. But Mark Stolaroff knows a few secrets, some secrets any new filmmaker could learn from. His latest film, DriverX, written by Henry Barrial and starring Better Call Saul's Patrick Fabian is now in theaters and on-demand, all over the place. It's a success story of an indie securing distribution from a great company - IFC films, winning awards and making money. Driver X is the story, insprired by the writer's true experiences, of a middle-aged man who after exploring other job opportunities after his record business fails (no suprise there) and ends up as an Uber-type service driver. It's funny and enlightening, with a great cast. We speak to Mark about the genesis and production of this film.

BTS: Tell me about how DriverX came to be, how you got involved in it.