Dean Devlin talks about directing David Tennant in “Bad Samaritan”

Dean Devlin went from starting out chauffeuring for Al Pacino in the early 80’s to writing/producing some one of the biggest films including “Stargate”, “Independence Day” and “Godzilla (1998)”.  Dean stepped into the director’s chair for the first time last year with the big-budget “Geostorm”. He is back again directing and producing a new film starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan called “Bad Samaritan”. We had a chance to chat with Dean about this new movie and how was it shifting in scale from big studio to independent.

Mike Gencarelli: “Bad Samaritan” has been in development since at least 2013, can you tell us how about you became involved with it?

Dean Devlin: What happened is, back then I got a call from writer Brandon Boyce, who I have been a fan of since “Apt Pupil” and “Wicker Park”, and he said he just finished a new script but before he sent it out to the world he asked if I would make some notes. I read the script and I only had one note for him…and that was not to show it to anyone else because I was going to make this movie. I was in love with it and bought it immediately. Right after, I went on did two other projects, so I had to wait till I was done with those to get back to it, but I was desperate to make the picture from the moment I read the script.

MG: You directed, produced and wrote “Geostorm” and with “Bad Samaritan”, you produced and directed; how was your experience differ between the two?

DD: Well, the experiences were night and day. The difference is doing a movie in a studio or independently. All of my best work has been from projects where it was independent or we had the creative freedom we needed. This was night and day, the best experience that I have ever had making a picture.

MG: Yeah I would agree, the scale is very different; what was your biggest challenge on this film?

DD: It is so out of what I have ever done before. I have never done this dark tone before. For me it was top to bottom, I had to rethink everything I would do like framing a shot for example or approach music. It was a terrifying task to take on but at the same time, it was thrilling. I have an amazing team of people. We spent a lot of time doing our homework and making sure the thrill and tone were set effectively. It was so exciting to do.

MG: How did David Tennant and Robert Sheehan come on board?

DD: Again, because this was an independent movie I didn’t need anybody’s permission to cast the film. If you do a studio film, that the process can be ridiculous. This was the case were I could just cast simply best actors we could get. My dream cast was to get Robert Sheehan and David Tennant in these roles. I felt like so blessed when they both said “yes”, because I really didn’t have a second choice for either part [laughs]. You get somebody in your head and it’s really hard to rethink it. When I did “Independence Day”, we wrote that part for Jeff Goldblum. If he had said “no”, we would have had to rethink the entire part.

MG: Tell me one film that is your “go-to” film to watch? …for me it’s “The Shining”.

DD: It really depends. I would have to say there are three and if they are on television I can’t turn them off. It doesn’t matter if I catch one scene…the first is “Enter the Dragon”. Another is “Tombstone”. I have to at least stay on until he says “I’m your Huckleberry” [laughs]. The last one has to be “E.T”. Those films are the ones that I can’t get enough of.

MG: What would be a dream project for you to direct?

DD: Listen, I have been so blessed in my life that once I have a dream project in mind, it becomes my next film. I approach this whole business like a fan. I never try and figure out what is going to be a success, I think that is a mistake. For me, it is like a fan boy, what do I want to see? And if no one else is making it then I try and go make it. I have been blessed from being able to make “Independence Day” and that I got the script of “Bad Samaritan” from Brandon Boyce. Each time out has been a dream come true.

MG: I am impressed to see that an independent film like this is getting a decent theatrical release.

DD: Well you know, the new Avengers saw that we were on their date…and they knew…they knew they needed to get out of our way. Run Avengers! [laughs]. I am going to throw this out for your readers: What is the thing that is in both in the new “Avengers” and “Bad Samaritan”? Let us see if readers can figure this out. (Leave comment below!)

All Photo Credit: Courtesy of Electric Entertainment

How Bad the Weinstein Scandal Is for the Film Industry

This year’s most resounding scandal was surely the one involving movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his misconduct and inappropriate behavior (and we’ve been mild) that went on for years after years. Since the Weinstein scandal first broke out, numerous other filmmakers, actors, directors, and producers were accused of similar behavior. It is laudable for the victims of all this abuse to finally find the courage and strength to speak up and unveil the practices that have been going on for far too long in the film industry. Unfortunately, though, films – and viewers – are also hurt by the fallout of these scandals. The effects are already felt – fans have bashed Warner Bros. for not reshooting Johnny Depp’s scenes in “Fantastic Beasts 2”, for example. And it will likely also hurt some of the 10 movies to look out for in 2018.

One of the movies that have already felt the effects of the Weinstein scandal is “The Current War”, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, this Weinstein Company production has been delayed – it was originally set to be released this November but thanks to the scandal, its worldwide release date was postponed for an unspecified date in 2018. “Hotel Mumbai”, starring Dev Patel and Armie Hammer, has been presented this year to the audiences at the Berlinale and was also set to be released this year. Now it is also delayed until next year – the date has not been revealed just yet. Other Weinstein productions, like “The Man With the Iron Heart”, “Mary Magdalene”, “The Upside”, and “Paddington 2” might also feel the effects of the scandal.

Actors – and, indirectly, the movies they play in – are also affected by the Weinstein ripple effect. Among them, we find stars like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the above-mentioned Johnny Depp, comedian Louis C.K, whose movie “I Love You Daddy” was canceled, and the list will likely grow further as time passes. At the same time, disturbing news about many more celebrities have seen the light of day. Pixar head John Lasseter has taken a leave of absence as a result of his past “missteps” and “painful” conversations. TV host Ryan Seacrest has been accused of misconduct. Actor/director Sylvester Stallone, One Tree Hill creator and showrunner Mark Schwahn, actors Tom Sizemore and Richard Dreyfuss, actor George Takei, producer Andrew Kreisberg, producer Gary Goddard, actors Steven Seagal, Jeffrey Tambor, Dustin Hoffman, producer and director Brett Ratner, and a whole list of other personalities from film, TV, radio, politics, and business have been accused of behaving in an inappropriate way at various times. And how all these will affect the film industry – and the others – is yet to be seen.

 

Related Content

CD Review: Bad Cop Bad Cop “Warriors”

“Warriors”
Bad Cop/Bad Cop
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 11

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s been a hectic few years since Los Angeles punk quartet Bad Cop/Bad Cop dropped their debut full-length, “Not Sorry”. The band spent a huge chunk of their intervening time on the road like many bands do and in that time wound-up discovering some ugly things about themselves. Out of those experiences came a number of tracks which make up the band lasts release titled “Warriors”, the bands third album which features 11 new tracks which are once again being released via Fat Wreck Chords.

If the song titles and lyrics are just a glancing look at what was going on with Bad Cop/Bad Cop over the last few years it’s a miracle this album even happened at all. Thankfully things smoothed out with the four piece as the group’s latest offering “Warriors” is a gritty and searing album brimming over with pop-punk infused goodness making for a fun and enjoyable listen. Tracks like the albums opener “Retrograde” instantly had me moving with its sparkling guitar intro and catchy sing along chorus while songs like “Amputation”, “Wild Me” and the album’s title track “Warriors all hit with similar results.

Bad Cop/Bad Cop are living proof that good can come out of a bad situation and the group’s latest offering “Warriors” is a fitting testament to that statement. The band sounds better than ever and each of the albums 11 tracks has the potential to get stuck in your head for long periods of time. I found myself listening to the album multiple times and with each listen I was able to find something new to enjoy each and every.

Track Listing:
1.) Retrograde
2.) I’m Done
3.) Womanarchist
4.) Why Change A Thing
5.) Victoria
6.) Amputations
7.) Broken
8.) Wild Me
9.) Warriors
10.) Kids
11.) Brain Is For Lovers

Blu-ray Review “Bad Santa 2”

Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Brett Kelly, Tony Cox, Kathy Bates, Christina Hendricks
Directors: Mark Waters
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Broad Green Pictures
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Run Time: 94 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Billy Bob Thornton, Brett Kelly, Tony Cox all return for the completely unnecessary sequel. The 2003 film was a great film and that’s it. We never needed a sequel to this…did they see what happened to “Anchorman 2” or “Zoolander 2″…they didn’t learn. Kathy Bates and Christina Hendricks are to the cast but add no value, in fact I usually love Bates but she was flat out terrible in this. A few funny jokes but overall this just shouldn’t have happened.

Official Premise: Fueled by cheap whiskey and greed, Willie Soke (Academy Award-winner Billy Bob Thornton), teams up once again with his angry sidekick, Marcus (Tony Cox), to knock off a Chicago charity run by curvaceous Diane (Christina Hendricks). But the arrival of Willie’s horror story of a mother, Sunny (Academy Award-winner Kathy Bates), and “the kid” – Thurman Merman – may upset their plan. You better watch out, Bad Santa 2 is coming to town!

The Blu-ray presentation is nothing special but works for what it is. No complaints. If you want a Digital HD copy of this film included, you would need to shell out for the 4K Ultra HD release…but I wouldn’t waste your money. The special features aren’t anything special either. There are two versions of the film included. The Theatrical Version runs 1:32:16 and the Unrated Version runs 1:34:50. So it is really nothing extra included here making this worth it.

The special features included are “Thurman Then & Now” is as look into the actor between the two films. Next is “Just Your Average Red Band”, which looks at how raunchy the film is.  “That’s My Willie” Original Animated Series is a collection of animated shorts. “Jingle Balls” is (not a shocker her) the song “Jingle Bells” giving a dirty twist. Lastly there are a few deleted scenes, an alternate opening/ending and gag reel included.

Win Free Passes to Florida Screenings of “Bad Santa 2”

Calling Florida moviegoers, below please find the codes for the screenings of “Bad Santa 2”. If you want to see this film before ANYONE else! Hurry fast and grab tickets below and spread the word to your friends as well! They will go VERY fast! Enjoy and be sure to leave comments below after the film!

Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) teams up with his angry little sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Along for the ride is chubby and cheery Thurman Merman, a 250-pound ray of sunshine who brings out Willie’s sliver of humanity. Mommy issues arise when the pair are joined by Willie’s horror story of a mother, Sunny Soke, who raises the bar for the gang’s ambitions, while somehow lowering the standards of criminal behavior.

JACKSONVILLE- 11/21 REGAL BEACH BLVD 7:30PM
Jacksonville- http://broadgreenscreenings.com/BS2MMJax

MIAMI- 11/21 AMC AVENTURA 7:30PM
Miami- http://broadgreenscreenings.com/BS2MMMia

ORLANDO- 11/21 REGAL WATERFORD LAKES 7:30PM
Orlando- http://broadgreenscreenings.com/BS2MMOrl

TAMPA- 11/21 AMC WESTSHORE 7:30PM
Tampa- http://broadgreenscreenings.com/BS2MMTam

WEST PALM BEACH- 11/21 CINEMARK BOYNTON BEACH 7:30PM
West Palm Beach- http://broadgreenscreenings.com/BS2MMWPB

Enter to Win a Digital HD Copy “Bad Moms” [ENDED]

To celebrate the digital HD release of “Bad Moms”, Media Mikes would like to give two of our fans a chance to win a digital HD copy of the film. If you want to win this great prize, please leave a comment below with a crazy mom party story! This giveaway will remain open until October 28th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL HD OCTOBER 18, 2016

AND ON BLU-RAY & DVD ON NOVEMBER 1, 2016

FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT

ALL-STAR COMEDIC CAST INCLUDING MILA KUNIS, KRISTEN BELL, KATHRYN HAHN, 
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE, JADA PINKETT SMITH AND ANNIE MUMOLO IN 
THE OUTRAGEOUS AND ENDEARING COMEDY FROM THE WRITERS OF THE HANGOVER

Bad Moms, the year’s biggest R-rated comedy – a runaway hit with audiences and critics alike – is coming to Digital HD on October 18, 2016 and Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on November 1, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.  The raunchy film described as “incredibly funny!” by Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly, is the first R-rated comedy since The Hangover to earn an “A” grade from audiences nationwide.  Hailed by critics from The New York TimesChicago Sun-Times and Washington PostBad Moms is one comedy not to be missed.  The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD come with nearly an hour of exclusive bonus content including hilarious deleted scenes, gag reels and exclusive interviews with the cast and their moms that will have everyone laughing again and again!

Written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (The Hangover, Four Christmases) and produced by Suzanne Todd, (Alice Through The Looking Glass) and Bill Block (Dirty Grandpa), the comedy also features Jada Pinkett Smith (The Women), Christina Applegate (Anchorman 1 &2), Annie Mumolo (The Boss) and Jay Hernandez (Suicide Squad).  It’s time to party like a mother with this hysterical and relatable film.

In this hilarious and heartfelt comedy from the writing duo behind The Hangover, Amy (Mila Kunis) has a seemingly perfect life – a great marriage, over-achieving kids, beautiful home and a career. However, she’s over-worked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she’s about to snap.  Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms (Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn) on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities – going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence – putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her clique of devoted perfect moms (Jada Pinkett Smith and Annie Mumolo).  See the movie that critics are cheering as “…a funny, giddy, sentimental laugh-in…” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times.

DVD Review “Bad Asses on the Bayou”

Actors: John Amos, Danny Trejo, Danny Glover
Director: Craig Moss
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2015
Run Time: 85 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

When I “Bad Ass” was released back in 2012, I could have never predicted that this film would ever become a franchise. It was a blast of a film and a real surprise. The second was a bit of the same as the first and the third film follows again, a little campy and probably not needed but if you enjoy the team of Vega (Trejo) and Pope (Glover), then you will enjoy this. This guys may be older but like the title suggests, they can still are bad ass.

Official Premise: Bad Asses on the Bayou reunites the dynamic duo, Frank Vega (Danny Trejo) and Bernie Pope (Danny Glover), as they travel to Louisiana to attend the wedding of their dear friend Carmen Gutierrez (Loni Love). What was pictured as a wedding weekend escape to the south turns violently ugly as madness and mayhem ensue, pressing our senior heroes to once again serve justice.

Personally, I am a little disappointed with Fox that this film was only released on DVD. For “Bad Ass 1 & 2”, the films were released on Blu-ray and even included a Digital HD copy. That was not the case here for the third film as no Digital HD copy was included with this DVD only release. In terms of special features, there is only one extra included, which is a brief “Behind the Scenes of Bad Asses on the Bayou” featurette.

 

Related Content

Digital Film Review “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5”

Actors: Johnny Knoxville, Greg Harris, Spike Jonze, Jackson Nicoll
Director: Jeff Tremaine
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Run Time: 86 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

If you are familiar with the “Jackass” film series, you should be used to the “.5” films in the series since everyone of the films has had one, like “Jackass 3.5” etc. Basically what they consist of are brand new never-before-seen pranks. “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5” is being sold as an “all-new, uncensored movie” and normally it would be fine but “Bad Grandpa” had somewhat of a plot. This is more of a behind-the-scenes look into the film with additional gags throughout. So I really do not feel that is so much of a movie as it is a special feature. Now don’t get me wrong it is still very funny, there are some really solid jokes in there but definitely not as as good as “Bad Grandpa”.

Official Premise: BAD GRANDPA .5 gives you a whole new perspective on the world of Irving Zisman with unbelievable bonus scenes and hilarious pranks also featuring Academy Award-winner Spike Jonze (as “Gloria”) and Oscar®-nominee Catherine Keener (as Irving’s wife “Ellie”)…plus a look at the evolution of Johnny Knoxville’s naughty alter-ego, the Academy Award-nominated makeup effects, and an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at the idiocy it takes to make a hidden camera movie in public.

The Unrated film is available now exclusively to download or stream at digital stores including Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, Google Play, iTunes, Sony Entertainment Network, Target Ticket, VUDU and Xbox Video. When the film comes out Blu-ray on July 8th, there will be over 40 minutes of additional footage including a round table discussion with Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze and director Jeff Tremaine about the evolution of Irving Zisman, a series of pranks gone bad, outtakes and more. If you enjoyed “Bad Grandpa” and just looking for a little more pranks, I could recommend checking this out.

Blu-ray Review “Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses”

Starring: Danny Trejo, Danny Glover, Andrew Divoff, Jacqueline Obradors, Jonathan Lipnicki, Dante Basco
Director: Craig Moss
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

When I first saw the film “Bad Ass” with Danny Trejo and Danny Glover. I just knew it was going to be a riot. But after watching it I was really left speechless. The film was so over-the-top and crazy that it has you laughing out of loud screaming “DAMN!”. When I saw that the senior citizen duo were back in business for a second one, I thought to myself “Really?” but if you liked the first one this is still quite the trip.

Official Premise: Vietnam vet Frank Vegas (Trejo) not run an East L.A. Community center where he trains young boxers to survive in and out of the ring. But when his prize student falls in with the wrong crows and turns up dead, Frank teams up with his pal Bernie (Glover) to take matters into their own fists and prove that justice never gets old.

Danny Trejo and Danny Glover are really fun together. I can watch Trejo in anything he does, the guy is really a rock star. Not a huge Glover fan personally but he supports Trejo well. They are also a little more hammy this time around. The film also co-stars Jonathan Lipnicki (“Jerry Maguire”) and Andrew Divoff (“Wishmaster”).

Fox delivered the film as a combo pack including a Blu-ray and Ultraviolet HD digital copy. The 1080p transfer works well with the film and action. Remembering the first film it wasn’t that special either. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is solid as well. There is only one special feature included, which is a “Making of Bad Asses” featurettes, which gives a brief behind-the-scenes looks.

If you enjoyed this film, then don’t worry since the third film in this new franchise just finished being filmed and is called “Bad Ass 3: Bad Asses on the Bayou”, which might be taking this a little too far but strangly enough I am still game. How about you?

Film Review “Bad Words”

Starring: Jason Bateman and Rohan Chand
Directed by: Jason Bateman
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 29 mins
Focus Features

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Guy Trilby (Bateman) is a man with a dream. That dream is to be named the best speller in America. And what better way to prove your skills than at the annual Golden Quill Spelling Bee? The only problem: Guy is 45 years old.

In a very strong directorial debut, Jason Bateman gives a change of pace performance as a spoiled man-child who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. Finding a loophole in the rules, which states that no contestant can compete if they have graduated 8th grade, Bateman completely leaves behind the gentle “everyman” persona he’s made a career out of playing in everything from ”Arrested Development” to “Identity Thief.” Whether it’s convincing a fellow contestant that he’s just had sex with his mother or threatening to physically assault a girl contestant, Bateman adds a new “trick” to his overloaded bag of comic goodies.

Equally good is the supporting cast, headed up by eight year old Rohan Chand as a little boy who, despite his best intentions, ends up bonding with guy. That the boy and his father may be just as dastardly as Guy is one of the comic highlights of the film. Other strong supporting work is turned in by Kathryn Hahn as the reporter who sponsors Guy’s attempt, Allison Janey as the “Bee” overseer and the great Phillip Baker Hall as the long time educator who will stop at nothing to keep the spelling bee scandal free.

As a director, Bateman knows how to tell a story and, more importantly, how to pace the comedy so, when it’s at its best, it just flows smoothly across the screen. In a word, “Bad Words” is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!

Blu-ray Review “Bad Milo!”

Actors: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Patrick Warburton
Directors: Jacob Vaughan
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Run Time: 84 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I saw the poster for this film, I literally what “What the F*ck” and knew that I immediately had to see it. I wasn’t surprised at all that after watching this film I had the exact same reaction. An alien that lives inside of a man’s ass? It’s just so crazy that it has to work. This was easily some of the most fun I have had watching a movie all year. It is a great blend of horror and comedy. “Bad Milo!” features some quite impressive creature effects and puppet work with smartly placed CG as well. Highly recommend for anyone looking for a good time. I see this becoming a cult classic for sure!

Official Premise: Duncan’s (Ken Marino) mounting stress starts to trigger an insufferable gastrointestinal reaction. Out of ideas and at the end of his rope, Duncan seeks the help of a hypnotherapist, who helps him discover the root of his unusual stomach pain: a pint-sized demon living in his intestine that, triggered by excessive anxiety, forces its way out and slaughters the people who have caused Duncan stress. Out of fear that his intestinal gremlin may target its wrath on the wrong person, Duncan attempts to befriend it, naming it Milo and indulging it to keep its seemingly insatiable appetite at bay.

Ken Marino (“Children’s Hospital”) is at his best and really stands tall with this leading role. He is funny as well and I have always been a fan of his work since MTV’s “The State”. Only a great character actor like himself can pull off playing a guy with an alien in his ass. Patrick Warburton (“Rules of Engagement”) is always fun at playing the douche bag and he does it quite well here as Duncan’s boss. Peter Stormare (“Fargo”) plays Duncan’s hypnotherapist and is a riot as well. If that is not enough, Stephen Root (“Office Space”) plays his stoner father with a secret of his own.

The Blu-ray presentation is solid in both video and audio. The 1080p transfer is solid and works well with the creature effects. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works well with the jokes and the crazy antics, especially in the film’s finale. The special features are also a must watch as well. There is a great audio commentary track featuring the cast and crew. It is a must listen a great way to revisit this fun movie. There is a great interview with Ken Marino included. There are a few decent deleted scenes and outtakes. “AXS TV: A Look at BAD MILO!” is an EPK piece looking behind-the-scenes. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

 

Related Content

Blu-ray Review “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, Jackson Nicoll, Jack Polick, Catherine Keener
Director: Jeff Tremaine
Rated: R (Restricted) / Unrated
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Run Time: 91 / 102 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

If you saw “Jackass 3D”, then you will remember Johnny Knoxville running around in old man makeup and it was epic. When you see this title, “Jackass Presents”, you might think this to be expect just gross ass stunts and funny antics but “Bad Grandpa” is much more. The film has quite a bit of heart…mixed in with the crazy stunts and funny antics.  Jackson Nicoll adds a different level of funny and balances out Johnny Knoxville quite well who again rocks that make-up.  Fan of “Jackass” series or not, I would highly recommend checking out.

Official Premise: Jackass ringleader Johnny Knoxville reprises his role as 86-year-old Irving Zisman in the story of a crotchety old man unexpectedly saddled with the care of his 8-year-old grandson, Billy (Jackson Nicoll). The two generations of troublemakers soon develop a bond, as they hustle their way across the heartland of America pursuing hijinks and pulling pranks on unsuspecting, real-life people—all of whom had no idea they were starring in a hidden camera film.

Paramount is releasing this film in a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + HD Digital Copy. It also includes two different version of the film, the 91 minute theatrical cut and a 102 minute new unrated cut with more hilarious footage not shown in theaters! This is not your typical two minute longer unrated cut, this packs some impressive new footage. The 1080p transfer is good but you have to remember that a lot of this was shot with hidden cams. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works ok but I had some issues here some of the talking over the louder music.

In terms of special features, the fun doesn’t stop with the film. There are eight Behind-the-Scenes featurettes including, “The Funeral”, “Estate Sale”, “Window Launch”, “Shipping Billy”, “The Penguin”, “Wedding Crashers”, “The Drop Off” and “Beauty Pageant”. There six different Alternate Reactions takes from Real People with “Meet Billy”, “Meet Irving”, “The Skype Call”, “Billy Shops for Parents” and “Irving Hits on Women 1 & 2”. Lastly there are three deleted scenes included.

 

Related Content

Scott Frazelle talks about co-producing and co-writing “House of Bad”

Scott Frazelle co-produced and co-wrote December’s House of Bad. Media Mikes had a chance to catch up with the multi-tasker to get the low-down on one of the most buzzed about horror films on the net.  Be sure to check out “House of Bad” when it hits DVD on December 3.

Mike Gencarelli: What exactly does a co-producer do?
Scott Frazelle: In my experience, that title is given to an individual that not only has a specific job, but also brings something to the table in the form of resources or creativity, or both. In the case of House of Bad, our Director, Jim Towns, Producer Dorota Skrzypek, and myself all shared an equal part of producing this feature. Jim brought the script, and a location already in mind. I secured resources and began planning logistics. Dorota found capitol. We equally hammered out the creative details to make it work on screen, and we did the same through the process of post-production. There are plenty of examples where one individual took the lead, but it is absolutely accurate to say we shared this task equally.

MG: How hands-on were you? Was it a case of being on set, doing whatever needed to be done there and then, or was it more a case of making sure the ducks were all in a row before Jim started shooting the movie?
SF: It worked out that Jim asked me to get involved right at a moment where I was between projects for a short time. I was able to do a few weeks of solid prep, then we were off and running. Things were organized pretty well. I stayed on set and was Line Producer through the shoot, as well as another pair of hands wherever needed. I’ve worked in many capacities on Indie features, so its hard for me not to be involved while on set. Plus, I love the culture of being on set. Its amazing to watch complete strangers come together and step into this circus that is filmmaking.

MG: What’s the biggest difficultly doing an indy film?
SF: Overcoming the urge to let enthusiasm overpower good judgement. A lot of Indie projects are a labor of love or a great idea that hasn’t reached the right channels to properly realize them. As a result, the movie suffers, and the people involved suffer. There’s a saying that goes around town, “If you don’t have enough money… you don’t have the right script.” Often times that’s thrown at small projects that are trying make ends meet as a criticism, but really, it should be a mantra that helps guide your judgement. Its not easy, sometimes, to get your start or see your project come to life, but you have to pick your projects in a way that best honors the quality of the project. If you’ve done a budget several times, and you know you really need $250K, it’s going to get rough when you raise only half of that, and decided to do it anyway. Asking people to work 16 hour days for an entire week “for the sake of the movie” is garbage, damaging, and insulting. You can’t do that if you want to work with people again, and you certainly can’t do that if you want what’s on screen to be right. I’m a firm believer in quality, and it begins with EVERYTHING. The script you write or choose, the people you hire, how you treat them, it all has to be guided by doing it right. The best decision you can make could be to NOT proceed with a project…until you’re prepared.

MG: You’re actually a bit of a horror veteran. I see you were in “Creepshow III”! Where and when did the love affair with fright-films begin?
SF: Like all good American kids of the time, through television! I fell in love with classic, and b-movie horror films, at an early age. I remember being fascinated watching The Creature from the Black Lagoon around age 6, followed quickly by Tarantula, Them, The Blob, and re-run after re-run of The Twilight Zone. My father has an affinity for those works, so I was able to catch them on TV with him. Those kinds of horror films really had a fantastic quality to them, they were able to make an impression on me much better than say, Casablanca, would have at that age. I think I saw Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and Psycho when I was about 10, and I no longer needed a monster suit to hold my attention, those were the films that made me realize people are the monsters in our world. My involvement with Creepshow3 was in many ways a dream come true, I got a chance to be a part of the legacy of one of my most favorite movies.

MG: Did the script go through many drafts?
SF: I don’t know how many rewrites Jim went through before he decided to show it to me, but when we both agreed to move forward on it together, there wasn’t the need for a lot of work. I wanted to make some changes, but mostly in the nuances. I thought Jim had some great little moments still lurking in his script, and that the movie would be better served by dragging those things into the light. Jim and I worked together to do that, and it didn’t take much time before we both felt it was done.

MG: When you sold the film to the distributor, were you forced to make any changes – either in the title, how the film was marketed, or otherwise. Was it like handing over a baby to a stranger and just hoping it’d be Okay?
SF: It was! We had been handling everything about the movie from day one-including PR, and generating reviews, and all the stuff it takes to get a distributor interested; so when we made a deal with Osiris Entertainment, there was the relief of not having to do all that any more. At the same time, it was the beginning of a whole new kind of stress because, you know, there goes our baby. But one of the biggest factors in accepting the offer from Osiris was that they genuinely liked the film, and didn’t feel there was a need to change anything about it. Jim, Dorota and myself, all agreed that we’d get the best support from a company that appreciated and enjoyed what we had created, so when they did decided to change the DVD cover, we felt their reasoning was sound and continued to put us in the best position possible.

MG: Was it always called House of Bad? or did you have some alternative titles at one stage?
SF: It’s always been House of Bad. I liked the title when I first read it, I thought there was something just a little spooky about it. It never made me think of a slasher film, or torture porn, or anything like that. There was something unsettling about it, in just the right way. Our cast and crew were one of the best little production families ever, we got along, and there was a lot of fun riffing on the title throughout the production, but nobody ever came up with anything that fit better. Once we began, and started talking about it with friends, everyone seemed to react the same way. The planned sequels, however…

MG: You’re also a book editor. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
SF: My formal education is in writing, and one of my gifts, I believe, is the ability to help a fellow writer improve or refine their ideas. This is different from Punch-Up, where you’re hired to take a script and actually rewrite portions of it to meet certain needs; I feel like when I read another writer’s work, I can see their story through it’s flaws, the most common of which is keeping a particular voice, and pacing. I don’t like to put my words into other people’s work, but I can help another writer see where they’ve gotten off course, or change things to keep to the spirit of their story. Its a little like being a coach; sometimes, because you’re the not the one swinging the bat, or club, or whatever, you can see where a tiny adjustment harnesses the all the power. The first time I’ve officially been named Editor was in 2008, when Dorota began her women’s fiction series Sex, Life, and Hannah. She had this idea for a dating series set in Los Angeles. It was high-energy, and magnetic, and the characters were all very real, but it was still evolving. I’ve been attached to that project for three books now, with a fourth on the way, and it’s been great. I’m also serving as editor on her erotic thriller, The Need, which is going to blow people’s minds (and which I really hope gets realized as a feature)! Its great to work in that creative capacity, being there to help things click.

 

Related Content

Jim Towns talks about directing the film “House of Bad”

If you walk away from December’s rather tense House of Bad a little shaken and stirred, the man to send your letters of complaint to is Jim Towns. Media Mikes had a chance to talk to the talented up-and-coming filmmaker about one of the most daunting films you’ll see this year. Be sure to check out “House of Bad” when it hits DVD on December 3.

Mike Gencarelli: How far back does the story of House of Bad’s conception go?
Jim Towns: All the way back in college I’d had a vague idea for a story about three sisters on the run with a stolen suitcase of drugs. I thought I’d someday do it as a graphic novel or a prose story, and at one point I wanted to do it as a black box theatre play, but I’m glad I held onto it for a while until it could be realized on film.

MG: Were you a horror/thriller fan growing up? Is that what stemmed the interest in doing a genre film? Or is it because horror seems to be an easier sell these days?
JT: No, I’m an old-school, dyed-in-the-wool horror fan. Scooby-Doo, The Munsters, and Abbott & Costello meet Frankenstein pretty much sealed my fate at an early age. I think it’s pretty apparent when “mainstream” filmmakers try to exploit the horror genre in order to get a film made and sold and bolster their reputation. I’ve been sent a few of those scripts and I think those films – and we’ve all seen them- come across as very hollow and half-hearted. Horror fans are smart, and they know when someone’s trying to exploit the genre. Also, I’m not sure horror is actually that easy of a sell these days either, because there’s a helluva lot of people making a helluva lot of horror films right now. It’s pretty hard to rise above the white noise of all that and land a good distribution deal, it takes something unique.

MG: You co-wrote the script. We picture two guys on computers, side-by-side, madly writing something by moonlight. Is that how it worked?
JT: Not really. I had a rough draft done before Scott [Frazelle]came on. We never actually sat together in a room with duelling laptops or anything, it was mostly emailing each other scenes and revisions and working in tandem to hone in on the best structure and the most compelling character moments to give the film the most impact for the viewer. Scott’s a great writer with a natural instinct for what makes a story work, and that was a huge benefit for the movie.

MG: Are the people involved in the film – particularly behind-the-scenes – all friends? Or was this a case of ’rounding up’ the best for the job?
JT: Scott and I have each worked in just about every capacity on films and TV at some point over the years, so it really was a matter of tapping our combined talent pool. Luckily we knew just about everyone we needed for the crew, and the jobs we didn’t have anyone for, someone we knew would know someone who was perfect. When you basically have no time for pre-production, you have to find people you know aren’t going to let you down, because lost time is lost money and that’ll sink you, so you simply cannot afford to pick the wrong person. I look at the finished film now and I see the amazing look our DP Chad Courtney and art director Nikki Nemzer gave it. The great makeup by Jennifer Jackson. The seamless blend between Anthony Eikner’s SFX and Gregg Deitrich’s VFX work on many of the blood gags. Nina Lucia’s razor-sharp editing. The incredible score by Terry Huud, and on and on. So yes, they were all friends, and yes we got the best for the job. It’s nice when that works out.

MG: Who is the audience for the film, in your opinion?
JT: House of Bad has all the signature moments of a good horror film- building suspense, big scares, great gory effects, so I’m not too surprised that horror fans have responded so favorably to it. What has surprised me is how well it’s connected to non-horror viewers. I think the dramatic setup of the movie, the dynamic of the three sisters dealing with the ghosts of their past, connects with a much larger demographic beyond the horror fanbase– so to answer your question, I think the film is for anyone who enjoys a good story, but can handle a few scares, too.

MG: Complete the sentence. ‘You’ll love House of Bad, if you liked…’
JT: Indie films, ghost stories, and films that don’t suck.

MG: The movie seems to be getting a lot of publicity online. How important is the internet in terms of marketing a film like this?
JT: It’s absolutely critical when you can’t afford to buy ad space or billboards. Online critics, reviewers and bloggers are a vital component in getting the word out about your movie, and I’m really thankful for everyone who’s taken the time to watch and review HoB and for the interviews, especially since the reaction has been so overwhelmingly positive. I’ve never had any of my films get such good press across the board and it’s been a pretty awesome few months, I can tell you. To my peers out there with a film project in the works I’d say put aside a few bucks aside and try to hire a good PR company like ours (October Coast) to raise your film’s awareness. Social media is great but it can only reach so far.

MG: What’s your next movie?
JT: There’s a few things coming up for me right now, which is exciting. There’s a supernatural western called A Man with a Gun, which is about this gunfighter with a dark past who travels through Purgatory to rescue the souls of his murdered wife and son. I wrote and am producing it, and it will feature Dani Lennon (Bite Me) and Tony Todd. Getting a call on your cell from the Candyman is a pretty cool thing, I gotta say. I’m also set to shoot 13 Girls next year, which is sort of a cross between Rosemary’s Baby and Law & Order. Sadie Katz and I will be reuniting on that one, as well as another little film we’re developing called Invasive, which will be really scary and really really sexy, too. Maybe even more sexy than scary, I don’t know. But it’ll be a lot of fun to watch, without doubt.

Film Review “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”

Starring: Johnny Knoxville and Jackson Nicoll
Directed by: Jeff Tremaine
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 32 mins
Paramount

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When you think of a film by the people behind “Jackass” what words come to mind? “Outrageous?” “Over the top?” “How in the hell did they do that?” Well their latest collaboration, “Bad Grandpa,” can certainly be described by those words. And don’t forget “Hilarious.” Heck, I’d even add “Even Touching.”

No, I’m not kidding.

We meet 86 year old Irving Zisman (Knoxville in some incredible make-up) shortly after his wife has passed away. To add to his bad news his daughter (Georgina Cates) informs him that she is heading back to prison. She asks her pop to please take her 8 year old son, Billy (Nicoll) from Nebraska to North Carolina to drop him off with his father. Irving is reluctant at first but, seeing she has no other choice, agrees. Thus begins the ultimate road trip.

Like “Borat” before it, “Bad Grandpa” is a hidden camera experiment taken to new heights. Knoxville is so skilled in his performance that he manages to convince anyone he encounters that he is a kindly old man who’s just having a string of bad luck. Be it an estate sale gone bad, a funeral service gone even worse or a night of drinking at a St. Louis bar featuring male dancers, director Tremaine’s cameras catch everyday people at their best (and, to be honest, most of the people do take a liking to gramps and Billy). I think it has something to do with respecting your elders. When in one scene Grandpa tries to ship Billy to North Carolina packed in a box at a local shipping store, the ladies assisting him go to great lengths to help him. EVEN AFTER THEY LEARN THERE IS A LITTLE BOY IN THE BOX!

What makes the film special are the moments between the “bits” — when Billy and Grandpa are alone, talking about fishing and the future. You almost forget you’re watching a seriously “R” rated comedy, so endearing are Knoxville and Nicoll. I’d love to see these two characters on screen again.