Jan 2012 25

By Daniel Robert Epstein

“After September 11th I sat in my house for a year and was scared.”
– Albert Brooks

Albert Brooks gets treated like a living comedy legend by nearly everyone in the world, deservedly so, except by studio executives looking at the bottom line. Brooks is releasing his seventh feature as director, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, through Warner Independent Pictures after Sony dropped it because of their fear.

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World is the hilarious story of what happens when the US Government sends comedian Albert Brooks to India and Pakistan to find out what makes the over 300 million Muslims in that region laugh. Brooks, accompanied by two state department handlers and his trusted assistant, goes on a journey that takes him from a concert stage in New Delhi, to the Taj Mahal, to a secret location in the mountains of Pakistan.

Read our exclusive interview with Albert Brooks on

Jan 2012 24

By Fred Topel

“…The Supreme Court, with whose opinions I’ve not always agreed, declared that corporations are people and that money is free speech.”
– Al Gore

Since being elected president in 2000 (look it up if you don’t remember), Al Gore has forged a career as a public speaker. The movie of his speech about the climate crisis, An Inconvenient Truth, won an Oscar for best documentary. The former vice president also serves as the chairman of Current TV, a next generation news service he cofounded. The cable network features political programming with hosts like Cenk Uygur and Jennifer Granholm. It offers an alternative to the ultra right wing Fox News, and serves as a breath of fresh air when compared to the staid but supposedly balanced CNN.

Gore presented the network’s latest programming, anticipating the 2012 election cycle, to the Television Critics Association on Jan. 13. The critics must have reminded Gore of his days facing the White House press corps. We get the scoop on Snooki, so we’re not letting any fancy guys in suits get off easy.

Perhaps Gore is still a politician at heart. He took questions from critics but you might say he was filibustering to keep the conversation revolving around his talking points. Yes, he brought up the climate crisis on his own. Check your cable listings for Current TV and below for Gore’s thoughts on news coverage, Occupy Wall Street and the upcoming election.

Read SuicideGirls’ interview with Al Gore on

Jan 2012 17

By Daniel Robert Epstein

“My goal is to have six films that take place in wildly different areas of the country with different social strata and just come up with a little box of movies that are just a snapshot.”
– Steven Soderbergh

Early on in his career everyone knew that Steven Soderbergh was an innovative and brilliant filmmaker. But no one had any idea that he would eventually have such an effect on the business side of making films. Bubble is the first film in a series of six that will be shot on high definition video and be released on three platforms at once, theatrical, DVD and to air on HDNet.

Bubble is about three people who work at a doll factory in a small town in rural West Virginia. One is an older woman named Martha [Debbie Doebereiner] who obviously has a crush on a young factory worker named Kyle [Dustin James Ashley]. But when a young and sexy single mother named Rose [Misty Dawn Wilkins] comes to work to the factory Martha doesn’’t like her…

Read our exclusive interview with Steven Soderbergh on

Jan 2012 16

By Daniel Robert Epstein

“I wasn’t like a Yoko Ono, with a controlling scary thing going on but i was definitely consulted and involved.” – Kate Beckinsale

Big surprise! Underworld: Evolution is a good film. This is a rare case of a sequel being much better than the original. This second film takes off nearly exactly at the end of the first. Now that the death dealing vampiric Selene [Kate Beckinsale] and the hybrid werewolf/vampire Michael [Scott Speedman] have defeated the evil leader of the vampires, they must stop the founder of the vampire’s bloodline from releasing his twin brother, the first werewolf, from his prison.

I got a chance to talk with Kate Beckinsale in New York.

Read our exclusive interview with Kate Beckinsale on

Jan 2012 13

By Daniel Robert Epstein

“I’’ve picked up a reputation as an actor’’s director, which is great.” – Wes Craven

Back in ’70’s Wes Craven turned the movie world on its ear with horror films such as Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes. He had even greater success in the ’80’s with A Nightmare on Elm Street. But unlike many of his contemporaries who have fallen on hard times and made crappy film after crappy film, Craven has had great success in the past 10 years with the Scream franchise and his first mainstream thriller, Red Eye.

Red Eye is a very tense movie that eschews all the trappings of a traditional thriller. Lisa Reisert [Rachel McAdams] hates to fly and moments after takeoff her seatmate, Jackson Rippner [Cillian Murphy] reveals the real reason he’s on board: He is an operative in a plot to kill a rich and powerful businessman and Lisa is the key to its success.

I got a chance to talk to Craven about the extra packed DVD of Red Eye, the new remake of The Hills have Eyes and much more.

Read our exclusive interview with Wes Craven on

Jan 2012 12

By Daniel Robert Epstein

“I’ve found, especially in this industry, one compromise leads to another…” – Nick Valensi

Few bands in the last few years have made such on impact on rock music and music in general than The Strokes. Their first album, 2001’’s Is This It, set the bar very high in terms of sales and critical acclaim, so it was inevitable that their sophomore release, Room on Fire, didn’t live up to expectations. They have just released their third album, First Impressions of Earth, and I got a chance to talk with guitarist Nick Valensi about their rise, stumbling a bit, then rising like a phoenix up through the granite of insecurity.

Read our exclusive interview with Nick Valensi of The Strokes on

Jan 2012 11

By Fred Topel

“I’ve always been a sponge.”
– Vincent D’Onofrio

Vincent D’Onofrio has been a memorable character actor for 25 years. The first role most people remember was Pvt. Pyle, the marine cadet driven insane by a drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket. From other dark roles like a serial killer in The Cell and a meth dealer in The Salton Sea to high comedy as a farmer possessed by an alien in Men in Black, D’Onofrio may be unrecognizable between roles, but is always distinct.

D’Onofrio moves behind the scenes as director with the horror musical Don’t Go In the Woods. That’s right, horror musical. The conventional slasher movie gets a twist when a band goes on a forest retreat to write songs, and breaks into song as they’re being chased by a killer.

Sam Bisbee and Bo Boddie wrote the music for the film and most of the actors are first timers, so if you like them you can’t see any of their previous work. I sort of fell in love with Kate O’Malley so it’s a bummer she hasn’t done anything else. D’Onofrio had previously directed a 30 minute short, but Woods is his feature debut.

On the phone from New York, D’Onofrio sounded as intense as I expected, and hoped he would be. Not intimidating, mind you. It was a friendly conversation, going into depth about his process on both sides of the camera, and touching on some of the filmography I love. Don’t Go In the Woods is now available for download on VOD, it opens in New York theaters Jan. 13 and comes to L.A. in February.

Read SuicideGirls’ exclusive interview with Vincent D’Onofrio on

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