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Interview with Jerry G. Angelo, Scott Engrotti, and Christine Maag about Warfighter

Three people involved with the new military drama speak about how it's more than just a movie, it's a movement.
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During the inaugural Fandemic Tour Sacramento weekend, I found myself coming across a variety of things. At nearly every vendor, there was something I was interested in purchasing or picking up, or there was something at which I just wanted to stop and take a look. While I wandered the main floor, I came across a booth for a movie called Warfighter. I had never heard of the movie prior to Fandemic, but, having a love for military-related history and cinema, my interest was immediately piqued. I had briefly chatted with Jerry G. Angelo - the film’s star, producer, writer,

Director Christian Papierniak on His Feature Film Debut, Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town

"Whatever scene you’re doing is just about trying to grab whatever the truth is in that moment whether it’s a video game or whether it’s a movie." - Christian Papierniak
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In Izzy Gets The F*ck Across Town, perennial scene-stealer Mackenzie Davis gets a rare opportunity to carry a film on her shoulders. But she manages to do it with ferocious gusto. As Izzy, a struggling riot grrrrl rock star, Davis delivers a performance that possesses both dramatic insecurity and deadpan comic bite. Izzy may not be the easiest character to like and in many ways, is a complete mess. But Davis still makes her a protagonist worth watching thanks to her charisma that shines through in every single frame of the picture in which she appears. The film follows her

Interview with Jason David Frank about Fandemic Tour Sacramento and Power Rangers

Jason David Frank talks about the upcoming Fandemic Tour and his work on the Power Rangers franchise.
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This weekend marks the start of a new type of comic convention hitting the national market. Fandemic Tour, which was started by former Wizard World CEO John Macaluso, is set to kick off its inaugural show in Sacramento, CA, on Friday, June 22 and will run until Sunday, June 24. Pop-culture fans will have the opportunity to meet many actors from a variety of their favorite television shows and movies, as well as numerous artists and, of course, some incredible cosplayers. One of the actors who will be attending all three days of the event is Jason David Frank of

Tribeca Film Festival 2018: Naomi Ko and Andrew Ahn Discuss Their TV Pilot 'Nice'

"We were able to find the tricky balance between comedy and drama by keeping Teddy and the world of Nice grounded." - Naomi Ko
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While the Tribeca Film Festival may primarily be focused on film, it has also become a hub for television recently. During this year’s festival, there were season premieres of television shows being screened along with pilots looking for distribution. One of them that I was fortunate enough to watch was a pilot for a series called Nice. Nice is a story of a 23-year-old woman named Teddy (Naomi Ko), who previously fought breast cancer. But when her cancer comes back, she tries to keep it a secret from her family and friends. At about 22 minutes, Nice is a powerful

Director Leena Pendharkar on Her Latest Film '20 Weeks'

She talked about bringing the authentic relationship between the two main characters to life, the filmmaking aesthetics, and the backstory behind the screenplay as well.
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Abortion is a topic that feels as if it is rarely discussed on film. We’ve seen films about failing marriages and pregnancies before. But it is rare to get a film that depicts certain complications of pregnancy that some couples face. However, 20 Weeks dares to touch on the hot-button topic of abortion and it does so in a nonjudgmental manner. Anna Margaret Hollyman and Amir Arisan play Maya and Ronan, a couple that is faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to abort their unborn child when they discover that he has a severe birth defect. The

Director Brian Crano Talks Fantasy, Romance, and His New Film 'Permission'

"I wanted to reflect the lives and social problems that I'm seeing, both personally and in my community." - Brian Crano
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With the sheer number of romance driven films it's always refreshing to find one unique in its approach. Director Brian Crano has risen to the occasion with his latest film, Permission, the story of a couple together since childhood who decide to have individual flings in their relationship. Can their love survive? Ordinarily the immediate answer would be no, but the beauty of Crano's film is found in genuine discussions that leave things unpredictable. Crano sat down with Kristen Lopez of Cinema Sentries to discuss his film and how he attempted to avoid copying other movies. The obvious question is

Director Alexandra Dean Discusses 'Bombshell' Hedy Lamarr

Director Alexandra Dean sits down to talk about Hedy Lamarr and her documentary, Bombshell.
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Between the rise of the #metoo movement and Time Magazine naming "the Silence Breakers" as their Person of the Year, the role of courageous women has only intensified in 2017. Adding onto the pile is director Alexandra Dean's investigative documentary on Hedy Lamarr, Bombshell. In the last 24 hours it took home the Best Documentary prize from the New York Film Critics Circle in what's hoped to be the first of many awards. Dean sat down to talk to Cinema Sentries about researching her complex subject and Lamarr's renewed place in history. What was your history with Hedy Lamarr before

Director Mickey Lemle on His New Film, The Last Dalai Lama?

Lemle discusses his intimate portrait of what is on the heart and mind of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at 80 years old.
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While serving in the Peace Corps in Nepal, writer, director, and producer Mickey Lemle began engaging with the Tibetan people and learning about their plight and genocide. In 1991, Lemle made Compassion in Exile, his first film about His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Now, 25 years later, Lemle revisits His Holiness in his newest film, The Last Dalai Lama? The film is an intimate portrait of what is on the heart and mind of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at 80 years old. This film features interviews with His Holiness, his family, and other people who have been deeply influenced

Hailing Frequencies Open with Dennis Hanon, IKV Stranglehold

A discussion about the long-running panel's history and workings.
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Stranglehold is a not-for-profit, San-Diego-based fan group that not only puts on the long running Klingon Lifestyles panel at San Diego Comic-Con (this year held 8:30 PM on Friday in Room 6A), and also cosplays as pirates, steampunk villains, and now Doctor Who. I spoke with Dennis Hanon, who portrays Fleet Admiral K'Han Den to learn more about the panel How did the fan group start? It started as a fan group dedicated to the Star Trek aliens known as Klingons. Through the years it changed from being a fan group to a performance troupe and later adding other elements

Actor Kevin Sorbo Talks Hercules and More at Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con

Sorbo also talks about playing an exaggerated version of himself in a movie and some of the future projects he has lined up.
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I first interviewed Kevin Sorbo back in 2013, when he was doing a promotion for a little film called Storm Rider. But, back then, I was talking to him over the phone while on my lunch break at the day job I had at the time. This year, I was able to speak to him in person for five minutes. Sure, that’s not a lot of time for an interview, but it’s enough to get in some questions while he’s on a break from signing autographs and taking pictures. Sorbo is one of the many guests lined up for the

Chad Derdowski Chooses to Answer Questions about 'Fortune Favors the Bold'

"[It] is not a parody because it is a fantasy/sword n’ sorcery book - but maybe it’s safe to say that it gently teases those genres a bit." - Chad Derdowski
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The youngest of seven children, Cinema Sentries contributor Chad Derdowski survived the harsh Michigan winters by pretending he was on Hoth fighting the Empire. He grew to manhood, continued to do imaginary battle with AT-ATs every snowfall and eventually ended up writing this biography. In addition, he co-created and authored the acclaimed young adult science-fiction post-apocalyptic buddy comedy novel All Robots Must Die! and has contributed stories to the Eisner Award-winning Aw Yeah Comics! and the Spacepig Hamadeus and the Captive Planet anthology. He used to write the weekly Comicscape column for the now defunct, but he mostly just

Director Matthew Ross Talks Low Budgets and Big Stars With 'Frank & Lola'

Director Matthew Ross talks about making his directorial debut with the romantic drama Frank & Lola
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Director Matt Ross is a lucky guy. It isn't often that you make your feature-film debut with stars like Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots. And yet Ross takes Shannon and Poots and puts them through their paces, with the end result being the smooth, confident romantic drama Frank & Lola. Ross talked with me about shooting on a low budget, working with big stars, and reveals how great an actor Michael Shannon truly is. With all the emphasis on food and watching Michael Shannon cook I was pretty hungry afterwards! Mike doesn’t cook at all in real life. My friend

Actress Sarah Baker on Christopher Guest's Mascots

"I never even thought about actually taking part in one of his movies. It's your wildest dream, but even beyond your wildest dream." - Sarah Baker
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In case you missed it, Christopher Guest has given the world a new movie, Mascots. I had the chance to sit down with two of the film’s stars, Susan Yeagley and Sarah Baker. The other day, I brought you my interview with Susan Yeagley. This is my interview with the amazingly talented, smart, and beautiful Sarah Baker. I loved Mascots. I am so excited about this film. It is so good. Oh good. I’m so glad. How did you get involved in Mascots? About a year ago David Ruben the casting director called. He and his associate Melissa Pryor were

Actress Susan Yeagley on Christopher Guest's Mascots

Yeagley reveals what it was like joining the dinner party that is a Guest production.
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It has been 10 years since Christopher Guest has treated the world to a film. It is not that Guest has been dormant. He has been busy with television and commercial work as a director, writer, and actor. But the wait is over as his new comedy, Mascots premieres on Thursday, October 13th in select theaters and on Netflix. Mascots follows the stories of different people who “mascot” as these individuals ready themselves to compete in the World Mascot Association’s annual competition known as the “Fluffies.” The chosen twenty who are asked to compete are all hoping to take home

Illeana Douglas Talks About Blazing Her Own Trail for TCM's Trailblazing Women

TCM's popular Trailblazing Women series returns for a second season of leading ladies.
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It's hard for me to pinpoint the first film I saw actress Illeana Douglas in, but she's been one of the actresses I've always enjoyed watching in cinema. Whether starring as the overly perky and pretentious art teacher in Ghost World (who mimicked a ceramics teacher I once knew), Nicole Kidman's snarky sister-in-law in To Die For, or the struggling songwriter with the new sound - starring opposite my pre-teen crush Eric Stoltz - in the utterly wonderful Grace of My Heart (or appearing in my guilty pleasure show, Law and Order: SVU), Illeana Douglas has crafted a prolific career

Michael Fiore and Eric Sharkey Talk Floyd Norman: An Animated Life

The directors of Floyd Norman: An Animated Life talk Disney, their subject and free art.
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Floyd Norman is an animator with a big heart, and that's evident from hearing Michael Fiore and Eric Sharkey - the directors of Floyd Norman: An Animated Life - discuss him. They sat down with Cinema Sentries to talk about Norman, the editing process, and what happens when you're following the nicest man in the world. What was your background with the Walt Disney Company? Were you guys just fans of the studio or was there something more? Michael Fiore: We have no connection with the company. We are both Disney lovers and grew up on the great movies. As

Ryan Hurst and Kyle Gallner Discuss Their Characters from WGN's Outsiders

"L'il Foster is very sensitive and incredibly loyal to his family." - Ryan Hurst
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I had the opportunity to listen in on a conference-call interview featuring Ryan Hurst and Kyle Gallner of WGN’s new hit series, Outsiders. Hurst plays, L’il Foster, son of the highest-ranking male clan member. Gallner plays Hasil, a cousin, curious about the civilization below the mountain. When asked how his character, L’il Foster, differed from others he played before, Hurst first pointed out that his character looked like the beloved fan-favorite Opie from Sons of Anarchy. He said that L’il Foster is very sensitive and incredibly loyal to his family. He also said he still has some growing up to

J.J. Abrams Talks Star Wars: The Force Awakens with Howard Stern

If you can't get enough Star Wars, come listen to J.J., Howard, and Mick the Nerd.
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As the seemingly endless marketing juggernaut for Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to roll on, director J.J. Abrams sat down for an interview on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show on November 30. Below are selected highlights. J.J. Abrams On Why He Directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens J.J. Abrams Discusses The Controversies Surrounding Star Wars J.J. Abrams discusses injuries on the Star Wars set J.J. Abrams on screening Star Wars for Bob Iger and Disney J.J. Abrams on Leonard Nimoy J.J. Abrams on George Lucas Mick The Nerd Asks J.J. Abrams Star Wars Questions

Call Me Lucky Director Bobcat Goldthwait Talks about Barry Crimmins, the Loss of His Best Friend, and the State of Comedy Today

"This movie is just a weird combination of my love for Barry and the courageousness Barry has and the byproduct ended up being this thing that sometimes helps other people." - Bobcat Goldthwait
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Call Me Lucky is Bobcat Goldthwait’s funny and powerful documentary about comedian, political satirist, and activist Barry Crimmins. The film not only documents Crimmins' life and career as a comedian and political force, but the horrific rapes that he experienced as a child. While the film does address dark subject matter, Goldthwait does not just hand over his audience into the darkness of sexual abuse. He paces the film perfectly by introducing us to Barry Crimmins and allowing us to get to know him, his family, his comedic talent, and his passion for fighting injustice. Goldthwait weaves together footage of

Alexander Skarsgard Talks About The Diary of a Teenage Girl

"It was just the most amazing atmosphere to creatively be in." - Alexander Skarsgard
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The Diary of a Teenage Girl opened this past Friday in select theaters. It is the directorial debut for Marielle Heller and stars Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgard, Kristen Wiig, and Christopher Meloni. The film is the story of Minnie, a young girl who is growing up in San Francisco during the late 1970s. While trying to figure out life and love, she begins a sexual relationship with her mother’s boyfriend Monroe. I wrote a review of this incredible film for the site. The character of Monroe is played by the talented and charming Alexander Skarsgard. Monroe is a complex character

Rifftrax Co-Host Bill Corbett Talks Bad Taste and Entering Tommy Wiseau's The Room

"We're just weird enough to enjoy it!" - Bill Corbett
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The Rifftrax gang, consisting of hosts Bill Corbett, Mike Nelson, and Kevin Murphy, are ready to bring their patented brand of cinematic humor back to audiences nationwide when Rifftrax presents Tommy Wiseau's atrocious drama The Room May 6th and 12th. I've been fortunate to talk to Mike and Kevin in the past, and can finally say I've talked to all three when Bill sat down to talk about The Room, bad movies, and the limits of good taste. I've talked to Kevin [Murphy], Mike [Nelson], and now you. You were the last one I needed to get and I officially

Director Jason Priestley on His Feature-film Debut, Cas & Dylan

"I fought for rehearsal time with these two and it brought such huge dividends."
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Cas & Dylan is a film about two people at the opposite ends of life who are thrown together on a cross-country adventure. Dr. Cas Pepper (Richard Dreyfuss) and Dylan Morgan (Tatiana Maslany) meet in a hospital where Cas works and Dylan is observing patients. After Cas learns he has a malignant brain tumor, he decides to drive from Winnipeg to Vancouver to end his life. As Cas is trying to leave to begin his final journey, Dylan convinces him to give her a ride home and a series of unfortunate events sends them off on Cas’s final journey together.

Meryl Streep Talks About Going Into the Woods

"What I hope for the audience: that they will be thrilled and challenged." - Meryl Streep
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With director Rob Marshall's Into the Woods availble Tuesday March 24 on Blu-ray, Disney Movies Anywhere, and Digital HD, Meryl Streep, who was Oscar-nominated for her role as the Witch, sat for an interview provided to us to promote its release. Tell us what drew you to the project. When I turned 40, I was offered three witches in one year and I realized this was the way my career was going to go: they don’t know what to do with women past a certain age. So I turned them down and I have said “no” to playing witches ever

D.W. Smith Has A Whole Nuther Kind of Spy Novel For Ya

"He remembered that bone was called the humerus, and he had a little chuckle as he heard it snap."
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D.W. Smith is a screenwriter, novelist, and podcaster living in Orange County, California with his wife and two little girls. He co-wrote the movies Replicant (2001) and Assassin’s Code (2011) and would like to take this opportunity to apologize for both. Whiskey Tango: A Whole 'Nuther Kind of Spy Novel is his first book. His podcast, The Indispensable Thursday Show, can be heard weekly at an internet-connected device near you. What's the origin and/or inspiration of 'Nuther? It always bugged me in the back of my mind that Superman went out of his way not to kill really bad people
Todd Ford is a web developer by day and a film fanatic by night. He has been writing film reviews and articles for various publications since 1994 and is a curator for the Cinema 100 Film Society of Bismarck, North Dakota. See You in the Dark presents a selection of his reviews from the past two decades and reveals where his passion for film has taken him during that time. Can you give a little bio to introduce yourself to readers? I grew up in Southern California to parents who had little interest in the arts and were frankly terrified

Rifftrax Host Mike Nelson Talks Anaconda, Michael Bay and More

Nelson also covers the joys of Jon Voight, how hard it is to watch movies out of riff mode, and whether he thinks time is a flat circle.
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If I interview Bill Corbett, I'll have talked to all three members of the Rifftrax crew! Maybe that sounds like bragging on my part, but these guys are the coolest trio on the planet, responsible for creating hilarious "riffs" on your favorite (and films whose favoritism you refuse to acknowledge) films via their site, Rifftrax. After a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, and the presentation of Roland Emmerich's Godzilla on the big screen (which was reviewed by Mark Buckingham), the trio are back with a Halloween treat: performing a live Riff on Anaconda! I sat down with Mike Nelson to

To Be Takei Director Jennifer Kroot: The Past and Present of a Cheerful Bulldozer

"I just couldn't figure out how the U.S. government could have imprisoned Mr. Sulu as a five-year-old."
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The new documentary To Be Takei looks at the fascinating past and exciting present of the one and only Mr. Sulu, George Takei. Cinema Sentries’ Adam Blair caught up with the documentary’s director Jennifer M. Kroot, who revealed the intricacies involved in getting an interview with Takei nemesis William Shatner, and how Takei’s relationship with husband Brad Altman unexpectedly became an important element in the finished film, which is being released in select cities, VOD platforms and on iTunes August 22. How did you get involved with this project? I was always a Star Trek fan, but I didn’t really

Boyhood's 12 Years in the Making: Jumping into the Void

Director Richard Linklater and stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and Ellar Coltrane on creating an "epic of minutia."
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That Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s “epic of minutia,” had an unconventional production schedule is something of an understatement. For an even dozen years, the cast and crew met once a year to chronicle both the aging and maturing (two distinct and separate processes) of Mason (Ellar Coltrane), his sister Samantha (played by the director’s daughter Lorelei Linklater), and their parents Olivia and Mason Sr. (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke). What for some less fearless actors and filmmakers would have been a quixotically crazy commitment has produced a unique film, not without its flaws, that effectively plays with audience expectations about plot,

Interview: Caroll Spinney and Dave LaMattina Talk Big Bird and 'Wow' Moments

Documentarian Dave LaMattina and puppeteer Caroll Spinney talk about their collaboration.
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I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story sits comfortably at number one on my Best Movies of 2014 list. Whether it stays at number one depends on the rest of the year, but it'll be hard for another movie to play on my emotions, and better yet, my nostalgia, than this. I was fortunate to spend a few minutes talking to I Am Big Bird's co-director Dave LaMattina, and Big Bird himself, Caroll Spinney, about the documentary, the moments that made them go "wow," and Disney dunking their characters. In the end, these two left me laughing and almost
After watching the phenomenal documentary, CinemAbility, I was excited to sit down and talk to the movie’s director, Jenni Gold about her time as a Hollywood director and her amazing work. I’m wont to performing formal interviews, especially fearing I’ll run out of questions, but while talking to Jenni I found myself deferring the questions and having an amazing conversation with her about disability, movies, and everything in between.Our conversation started with me gushing about the documentary and discussing the merits of wheelchair use with Jenni. Take note, they have as many advantages as disadvantages. The thing I loved the

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