Win Passes to the Kansas City screening of “God Bless the Broken Road”


Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures to give (35) readers and a guest the chance to be the first to see their latest film, “God Bless the Broken Road,” which will be screened on Wednesday, September 5th at the B&B Lee’s Summit Theatre.  The screening will start at 7:00 pm.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (35) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once the (35) passes have been claimed, the giveaway has ended.  GOOD LUCK!


Wednesday, September 6, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

B&B Lee’s Summit Theatre, Lee’s Summit, Missouri


@gbbrmovie #BlessAVet #GBBR

#BlessAVet is a huge initiative for this film launched in partnership with Disabled American Veterans, Fandango, and the film God Bless the Broken Road where people can contribute to give a veteran a night out to dinner and to go see God Bless the Broken Road in theaters this September. Visit for more information!


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Unexpected Worlds Collide and All Boundaries Are Broken in “LEGO Dimensions”

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today released the story trailer for LEGO Dimensions, the upcoming entertainment experience that merges physical LEGO brick building with interactive console gameplay.  The game features an original story that combines characters and worlds from 14 of the most popular entertainment brands including DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, The LEGO Movie, The Wizard of Oz, LEGO Ninjago, Back to the Future, Scooby-Doo, LEGO Chima, Doctor Who, Jurassic World, Ghostbusters, The Simpsons, Portal and Midway Arcade.

In the game, there is an ancient planet at the center of the LEGO Multiverse inhabited by an evil mastermind, Lord Vortech. It is said that he who controls the Foundational Elements that this planet is built upon, controls all of the Multiverse. Lord Vortech has vowed to be that ruler, summoning characters from a variety of LEGO worlds to help him find these building bricks of LEGO civilization. Some have agreed, others have rebelled, and only the combined powers of the greatest LEGO heroes can stop him.

When a mysterious and powerful vortex suddenly appears in various LEGO worlds, different characters from DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings and The LEGO Movie are swept away. To save their friends, LEGO Batman, LEGO Gandalf and LEGO Wyldstyle journey to locations beyond their wildest imaginations, and they soon realize that Lord Vortech is summoning villains from across different LEGO worlds to help him gain control. As his power grows, worlds mix, unexpected characters meet and all boundaries are broken. Our heroes must travel through space and time to rescue their friends before the vortexes destroy all of LEGO humanity.

Launching September 27, 2015, LEGO Dimensions will be available for Xbox One, the all-in one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation4 and PlayStation3 computer entertainment systems and the Wii U system from Nintendo.

Follow LEGO Dimensions at:
Twitter: (@LEGODimensions)
Instagram: (@LEGODimensions)


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CD Review: Shaman’s Harvest “Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns”

Shaman’s Harvest
“Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns”
Mascot Records
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Shaman’s Harvest the 4 piece southern tinged hard rock band who’s independent debut release “Shine” spawned the successful single “Dragonfly” are back with a brand new album titled “Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns”. The album features 10 brand new tracks along with an extended acoustic version of the hit song “Dragon Fly” and a rousing rendition of the Michael Jackson song “Dirty Diana” which only adds to albums overall appeal.

To be honest I was pretty much in the dark when I first put “Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns” into my player. However by the end of track 1 I was hooked! From start to finish each track has the potential to become a hit. The bands catchy lyrics and rhythms will have you singing along and bobbing your head almost instantly especially on tracks like “Dangerous” and “Ten Million Voices” while tracks like “Blood in the Water” and “Country As Fuck” showcase the bands southern rock twist and diversity.

Due to the sheer power and in your face performance of each track you would have never guessed that just prior to the recording of the album lead vocalist Nathan Hunt was diagnosed with throat cancer. Despite the grim diagnosis Hunt and company fire on all cylinders making “Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns” a must have!

Track Listing:
Here it Comes
Ten Million Voices
Blood In The Water
The End of Me
Country As Fuck
Dirty Diana
In The End
In Chains
Silent Voice
 Dragon Fly (Extended Unplugged Version)

Blu-ray Review “Broken City”

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kyle Chandler, Barry Pepper, Justin Chambers
Director: Allen Hughes
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Run Time: 109 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Both Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe had big years in 2012, with “Ted” and “Les Misérables”, respectively. Wahlberg gives a a solid performance with the messy story that he is given. The film keeps switching being being a cop drama to a political war film. I didn’t really hate this film but I do not think that I will give it a second thought after this first viewing. The drama is not very intense and you really don’t fall in love with these characters. So it is worth checking out if got nothing else to do but like I said nothing special.

Official Premise: Seven years after being forced to resign as a New York police officer, private detective Billy Taggart (Wahlberg) takes on his toughest case yet: following the wife (Zeta-Jones) of the city’s hard-nosed mayor (Crowe), who’s convinced she’s cheating on him. But by the time the mayor reveals his true intentions, Billy is already in too deep. Now, with his freedom – and quite possibly his life – on the line, Billy will risk it all in a desperate bid to expose the truth, and seek redemption in a city where second chances don’t come cheap.

Despite the film, 20th Century Fox delivered a nice release with a combo pack including Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy. The digital options include both an Ultraviolet digital streaming and and iTunes digital copy. The film was shot digitally and still looks very impressive and well-detailed with it’s 1080p transfer. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works with what it is giving here. There is nothing epic that happens here but the dialogue at least sounds great.

The special features included decent but nothing special like the film itself. “Putting It All Together” is an in-depth making-of documentary blended with nice behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. There are six deleted scenes, including an great alternate ending. I saw great since I was not a fan of the ending at all. There is also a theatrical trailer included and also a sneak peek at other upcoming 20th Century Fox titles.

Win an Autographed DVD of the New Film "Broken Roads" [ENDED]


Media Mikes is proud to offer two of our readers the opportunity to win a copy of the new film “Broken Roads” on DVD. The film, recently reviewed HERE, stars Academy Award nominee Sally Kirkland and was written and directed by Justin Chambers, who has autographed the DVD cover. All you have to do is tell us which “small” film really impressed you when you saw it? Was it the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple?” P.T. Anderson’s “Hard Eight?” What movie made you sit up and take notice of a new and exciting filmmaker?

At the end of the giveaway (2) random entries will be selected and the winners notified by email. This contest runs until Friday, March 15, 2013. Good luck!


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Jonathan Lipnicki talks about producing "Broken Roads"

At age seven, Jonathan Lipnicki was a bona fide star. As Ray Boyd, the precocious son of the title character’s love interest in “Jerry Maguire,” he stole more hearts from the audience then star Tom Cruise. Regular television roles on such series as “The Jeff Foxworthy Show” and “Meego” kept him in front of the camera, as did roles in films like “Stuart Little” and “The Little Vampire.” Though he’s still busy in front of the camera, Lipnicki has embarked on a new career, adding the title of Producer to his resume with the release of the film “Broken Roads.” While promoting the films upcoming NYC appearance Lipnicki spoke to Media Mikes about his new career and dealing with fame at such a young age.

Mike Smith: At age 22 you began a new career as a producer. How did this come about?
Jonathan Lipnicki: I always knew I would end up doing something behind the camera, but I didn’t know it would happen at this point in my career.

MS: How did you become involved with “Broken Roads?”
JL: I like to say I fell into it. I met the director, Justin Chambers, through a mutual friend, and we hit it off. He has this crazy charisma, which makes you want to be friends with him and support him. One day he asked me if I knew any actors who I thought would fit the roles he sent out breakdowns for. I sent him a few actors that I knew and he liked my choices. Not long after that he asked me if I wanted to get involved.

MS: You continue to act. Is this something you’re going to continue to pursue or do you see your career moving to more behind the scenes?
JL: Acting is my number one priority, but I would like to produce more in the future.

MS: You were a star at age 7 when “Jerry Maguire” was released. Does fame look different at that age as opposed to now when you can appreciate it more?
JL: Your perception changes about certain things like fame when you grow older, it definitely loses some of its innocence. That being said I look different so I live in anonymity, which is amazing.

MS: What do you have coming up next, either in front of or behind the camera?
JL: I currently have a web series from the Russo Brothers (“Arrested Development”) on YouTube, and I have two films in post production, “Edge of Salvation” and “TAG”.

Sally Kirkland talks about her new drama "Broken Roads"

With a career that began in 1960, Sally Kirkland has built an incredible resume’ of roles on both television and in film. After small roles on episodic television and the occasional film, she hit it big in 1973 by appearing in two of the year’s biggest hits, “The Way We Were” and the winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, “The Sting.” While continuing to appear on some of the more popular television series of the decade (“Baretta,” “The Rookies,” “Kojack” among others) she continued on the big screen with roles in “Blazing Saddles,” “Bite the Bullet,” “A Star Is Born” (which was just released on Blu-ray) and “Private Benjamin.” In 1987 she won a Golden Globe and earned an Academy Award nomination for her role as a former Czech-star trying to make it in New York City in the film, “Anna.” She continues to work steadily, with notable roles in films like “The Best of the Best,” “JFK” and “Richard III.” She currently stars in Justin Chambers’ new drama “Broken Roads.” Ms. Kirkland recently sat down with Media Mikes to talk about her new film, what she has coming up next and what it’s like to be an Oscar nominee.

Mike Smith: Tell us about Mrs. Wallace, your character in “Broken Roads.”
Sally Kirkland: She is a strong, proud, and lonely survivor who when we find her has been lost since her husbands death. She never had a good relationship with her daughter. And when her grandson shows up at her door step angry over his mothers death she has an extraordinary opportunity to experience love again.

MS: What attracted you to the role?
SK: Because I’ve never been a physical mother or grandmother and it was an opportunity to experience that with her. I feel she is amazingly dramatic and funny, the best kind of role. Her vulnerability is breath taking. I love roles where I get to open peoples hearts. I was motivated by (writer/director) Justin Chambers passion and vision…as well as Aiden Bristow’s. (Ms. Kirkland’s co-star in the film).

MS: You’re also credited in “Broken Roads” as an associate producer. How did that come about?
SK: In this particular case it allowed me to bring in writers to help with the script and to have casting consultation and bring in music composers. It also gave me creative consultation in the look of the marketing and posters, etc.

MS: One of my favorite clips on Youtube is the Academy Awards ceremony when you were nominated for “Anna.” While most nominees, then and now, appear calm you were anything but. What was going through your mind in the few moments after you hear: “And the winner is……?”
SK: I think in my own mind. I thought I was going to win, and I’ve never been good at covering up my feelings or knowing how to lie. It was a huge humbling experience. Check out the video below to watch Ms. Kirkland at the Oscars.

MS: You’ve built an incredible body of work over six decades. How have you managed to sustain such a long and successful career?
SK: I’ve been very blessed to have worked with some of the greatest actors and directors in the world. Starting with “The Sting” and “The Way We Were” (directed, respectively, by George Roy Hill and Sydney Pollack and both starring, coincidentally, Robert Redford). They let me know there was no where to go but up. I’ve been passionate about acting since I was ten years old. Never was too interested in going to college or having a family. My whole life is my art and God. I experience the flow of God when I’m doing my best acting.

MS: What do you have coming up next?
SK: A film called, “Alice Stands Up”, written and directed by Brent Roske, who directed me in a short called “African Chelsea.” He’s written this film for me, which is extraordinary. We should begin shooting by spring.

Film Review "Broken Roads"

Starring: Sally Kirkland, Aidan Bristow and Shoshana Bush
Directed by: Justin Chambers
Not Rated
Running time: 2 hours 31 mins
Crevice Entertainment

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. One of the pleasures of this job is getting the chance to take a look at some of the first work a filmmaker does, especially when it’s done well. This week it was my pleasure to watch the first feature from writer/director Justin Chambers, a drama called “Broken Roads,” which is opening in New York City on February 19.

Aldo Russo (Bristow) is a happy kid of 17. But when he and his mother are involved in an auto accident that takes her life he finds his world turned upside down. As he is not yet 18 he is sent away to the country to live with his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Wallace (Kirkland). As his mother left home at a young age and never returned Aldo has never met Mrs. Wallace. At first things are strained. Though they are technically family there is nothing but the memory of a dead woman to bond these two together. Aldo has to wonder how long the next nine months are going to seem.

An intimate drama, with only a few main characters, “Broken Roads” could easily have gone down the maudlin road that bigger budgeted and similar stories (the Jane Fonda/Lindsay Lohan stinker “Georgia Rules” comes to mind) have followed. But with a smart screenplay by director Chambers and a talented cast, led by former Oscar nominee Kirkland, the story maintains its credibility throughout.

As Aldo, Bristow (who bears a strong resemblance to a younger Joaquin Phoenix) does a fine job dealing with the various emotions he’s called on to express. Anger. Fear. Loss. And, eventually, love. It’s a strong performance from an up and coming actor. Kirkland, who has somehow always managed to remain under the radar, is equally impressive as she deals with the same emotions Aldo is experiencing. Supporting work by Bush, as a young girl Aldo meet, along with Rolanda Watts as a kindly neighbor and Ross Marquand as someone from Aldo’s past, helps carry the film along. And special mention needs to go to cinematographer Michael Moghaddam for his camera capturing the beauty of the countryside as well as composer Jimmy Gelhaar, whose score is an excellent accompaniment to the on screen story.

Philippe Brenninkmeyer talks about working with Broken Lizard

Philippe Brenninkmeyer is best known for his work with Broken Lizard on their films like “Super Trooers” and “Beerfest”. He has also worked with the guys indivdually on projects like “I Heart Shakey” with Steve Lemme, “Dark Circles” with Paul Soter” and “The Babymakers” with Jay Chandrasekhar and Kevin Heffernan. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Philippe about his films and his love for comedy.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you met up with the troupe Broken Lizard?
Philippe Brenninkmeyer: It happened quite simply. I went out for an audition for the part in “Super Troopers”. When I went in they were all there in the room. Normally you audition for just a director and casting director. There were five of them there, so it was pretty fun. After my audition, I was pretty upset because I didn’t think I did a good job. I didn’t feel that I was that present. Then a few months later they called my agent and said I got the job. I had already forgotten about it. So that’s the way it happened.

MG: Your role in “Super Troopers” is so great; can you reflect on that experience?
PB: The great thing about the Broken Lizard guys is that they do all their own writing. They are really good comedy/script writers. They stick close to the script, even though they may improvise here and there. The scenes were so well-written you didn’t need to do much to deliver the lines. So, the first scene – the famous scene – with the feather and all, they were doing car chase scenes all day, which took a very long time. Just before the light was going down, I was waiting and waiting all day – then they came about and shot it very quickly. The light was very low but you can do a lot with film to fix it up. But from what I remember it was a very quick shot.

MG: With “Super Troopers 2” in the works, did they give you any hint about being involved?
PB: No they haven’t yet. They are such wonderful and loyal guys. They are really professional in the sense that they don’t want to promise anything that might not happen at the end of the day. So far they have taken care of me very much in their films. They wait until they have the greenlight and then give you a call…hopefully.

MG: “I Heart Shakey” was a cute film, how was it playing Mattias Ober?
PB: The characters that they cast me in aren’t too much of a stretch for me. It comes to me easily. They are close to me in real-life. I am kind of that crazy guy. I would say the character in “Super Troopers” was a bit more difficult, but he was still a laid back German swinger. Mr. Ober in “I Heart Shakey” was the kind of character that I relish in. It was great, great fun. Lemme was amazing in this film. It was great playing off him, since he is so subtle and real. You only do something if it really affects him and that is when the truth comes out. The truth is the most believable thing to watch on film.

MG: I loved how that film included the song, “Bidibodi Bidibu”, which the same song you had playing in your Porsche in “Super Troopers”, was that your doing?
PB: What is really funny is that I wasn’t even aware of that. But that is really awesome, I love it.

MG: What do you enjoy most about doing comedy?
PB: In the drama based films, I feel like it is more difficult. The script would need to be really good. In a comedy if the script is good but there is dialogue issues, I have the means to make up for that. In comedy, I just have a comedic head. I can also detect straight away if something is wrong in comedy very easily. In drama, I can do the same but I usually need more time to figure it out. People say that comedy is so difficult but I find it comes natural for me, since it is just so much fun.

MG: Switches gears from comedy but sticking with Lizard, was it working with Paul Soter directing on “Dark Circles”?
PB: That was really great also. There is something about the horror genre that responds to me because it is so out of this world. A horror film is something that you think would never happen, so there is an element in there that is crazy. That is what really responds to inside of me. It is a bit out there like a comedy is out there. I like stuff that is sort of filtering on the edge. It was great fun working with Paul.

MG: What projects do you have planned next?
PB: I am trying to get into producing now. I’ve got two scripts going right now and one is with Paul, actually. Paul is an absolutely amazing writer. He has gotten to a point where he is pretty prolific. He is writing all sorts of projects, like dramas as well. This one is actually a drama/thriller. I work a lot in Germany, so I am trying to produce that there. So that is really it. Acting-wise, there is nothing right now but who knows…maybe tomorrow. You never know.

CD Review: Order of Nine “Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror”

Order of Nine
“Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror”
Nightmare Records
Tracks: 11

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Originally formed under the name Templar, the Pennsylvania based band Order of Nine are back with “Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror”. The album is the follow up to the bands 2008 release “A Means to Know End” and could be described as 2 parts Type O Negative and 2 parts Dream Theater. Each of the 11 songs contained on the album cover immense ground both musically and lyrically. From virtuous guitar shredding to booming base lines, and haunting vocals that reach down into the very core of one’s soul Order of Nine give their all. The albums opening/title track “Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror” sets the tone for the album and lets you know right off the bat just what you are in for. While tracks such as the thickly layered “Dreamspeak” feature elegant piano passages combined with classic guitar shredding. The song “Reign Down” which is featured towards the end of the album was another personal favorite as it had an early Queensryche vibe while still sounding fresh.

Though the band could easily be classified as a progressive metal band their songs don’t follow the often standard 12 minute plus time frame. With most of the albums tracks clocking in at just under 6 mins. Order of Nine does a great job of getting in and out. You won’t have to worry about lengthy solos or overdubbed intros wasting your listening time as “Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror” cuts right to the chase. If you are looking for something to bolster the prog-metal section of your music collection pick up a copy of Order of Nines latest album “Seventh Year of the Broke Mirror”.

Track Listing:
1.) Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror
2.) Words that were Said
3.) Dreamspeak
4.) Spiral Staircase
5.) Changing of the Guard
6.) Innocence
7.) Third Wish
8.) Eye of the Enemy
9.) Twelfth Talisman
10.) Reign Down
11.) Winter’s Call

Kevin Heffernan talks about Broken Lizard, “Super Troopers 2” and “The Babymakers”

Kevin Heffernan is a member of the comedy group Broken Lizard.  He co-stars in the new film  “The Babymakers” along with fellow Broken Lizard member Jay Chandrasekhar, who also directed.  Kevin is currently touring the stand-up comedy circuit with fellow Broken Lizard member Steve Lemme.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Kevin about Broken Lizard, “Super Troopers 2″ and “The Babymakers”.

Mike Gencarelli: How was it working with Jay Chandrasekhar solo compared to a Broken Lizard production?
Kevin Heffernan: He is a total dick…no he’s good. It was great. It was a project we put together a while back. It was closed and then fell apart and then closed then fell apart. So it was great to finally do it. It wasn’t that different from shooting a Broken Lizard film. We used a lot of the same crew and it is sort of like family. I’ve worked with Jay a lot so it was really smooth. Smooth sailing.

MG: Tell us what you enjoyed most about playing Wade?
KH: It is kind of funny since that with some of the early reviews, it has been said that it is a bit of a departure from our Broken Lizard work and features more mature material. But the fact of the matter is that I got to play the “Broken Lizard” asshole character. So it was fun for me. I got to be a jerk and a dumb guy. It ended up not being too far away for us. We dealt with issues with having kids and stuff but I was still running around with my pants down.

MG: What was your favorite experience from “The Babymakers”?
KH: Jay and I haven’t worked on something together since “The Slamming Salmon”. So it was fun to get back into that. You kind of realize the more movies you do the more comfort you have. There is a lot of improv on this. We got to come up with a lot of funny stuff. The other nice thing was working with a guy like Paul Schneider. I didn’t know Paul before but he has a lot of indie film cred. He is a real actor [laughs]. Unlike us, you know. To spend time on a set with a guy who is that talented was different than hanging out with my college buddies.

MG: What do you like most about working in comedy genre?
KH: I think it is just the sensibility of it. Being on set is fun, the atmosphere is just very fun. It is the base instinct of trying to make people laugh. I guess I could do drama but I really don’t seek any of that stuff out. I just love doing comedy.

MG: After “The Slamming Salmon”, you plan to direct again?
KH: Yeah, I would love to do more directing. We got a lot of irons in the fire currently. We had a couple of movies that have come close in the last year and one of those I was going to direct for Broken Lizard. So I still want to do that. You just gotta ride the wave a little bit. We made this movie. Then Steve Lemme and I got the stand-up tour also, which we actually just shot for a special last month. So we are editing that together right now. I like doing multiple things, that way you don’t get bored but I hope to direct again soon.

MG: Tell us about your stand-up tour with Steve Lemme?
Steve told me you and him are working on a new Broken Lizard script, any details?
KH: We got a couple of things we were working on right now. One we really like where we (Broken Lizard) all play minor league umpires. So it is funny kind of “Bull Durham” movie…but with umpires [laughs]. That is kind of secondary though. The big push is really for “Super Troopers 2”. The hold up is just a negotiation with Fox right now. They own the first one and the rights to the second one. So its moving along just slowly.

MG: You guys also have a TV pilot in the works, any update?
KH: Steve and I actually just pitched a new idea to a few places including NBC. They seem to really be into a few of the new ideas we have, so I think we should have something moving forward soon hopefully.

Steve Lemme talks Broken Lizard, new film “I Heart Shakey” and comedy tour with Kevin Heffernan

Steve Lemme is known best for being a member of the comedy troupe Broken Lizard.  He has co-star in “Super Troopers”, “Beerfest” and “Club Dread”.  He is taking the lead role in the upcoming 3D family film “I Heart Shakey”.  Steve is also currently touring comedy clubs with Broken Lizard co-member Kevin Heffernan.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Steve about his new film and also his current comedy tour.

Mike Gencarelli: “I Heart Shakey” looks like sweet family film and a sharp right turn from your work with Broken Lizard, what did you enjoy most about it?
Steve Lemme: Actually, I can honestly say it was the best acting experience I have had. When we made the Broken Lizard films, it’s been an ensemble. Right off the bat, we got to the set and I got to rehearsals and realized I had 90 pages of disalogue to learn. Suddenly I had a much greater responsible because I was “the guy”. It then became aware to me that I would be acting with only a 9-year old girl and a dog. The conversation I had with the director was that I was going to have to be pillar of strength and experience here. In someway, I think I grew up a little bit. With the Broken Lizard movies, you always have to be improving and acting on your toes. I think you have to be more so with this film. You find yourself right in the middle of your lines and all of the sudden the dog pulls you off in a different direction. You have to put a greater amount of focus into this. It is also harder not to do comedy certain times. Overall it was just a great experience.

MG: As a new parent yourself, did that contribute to your playing J.T. O’Neil?
SL: The truth is we did the movie before my baby was born or my wife was pregnant. So some people have said that this experience gave me the desire to be a dad…and I wouldn’t deny it. The girl that play my daughter in the film, Riley, after a week or two I became very naturally protective of her. We were spending 14 hours a day together and we bonded. So the running joke is she made me want to be a dad.

MG: You’ve known director Kevin Cooper since college and collaborated with Broken Lizard, how was it reuniting?
SL: We met when he was in NYU film school and Broken Lizard has just started. I acted in his first two student films. He went to Hollywood then and worked for Michael Bay and Jim Cameron. He then moved back to Chicago and became a professor of film production at Columbia College. When we were kids we always talked about making our careers about working together and makings tons of movies together. We just bonded in that way. He called me up a few years ago and sent me the script for “Shakey” and asked me to play the lead. It is a kids movie and so far from the stuff I have done. Overall it was a great experience for me and also a challenge. It was a low-budget feature being shot in 3D and with a dog.

MG: How was it shooting your first film in 3D?
SL: I had mixed feeling about it honestly. In terms of the distribution of the film, since 3Dmovies are so popular right now. But what we are finding it is actually hindering our distribution. Then people are thinking to themselves it was going to cost much more to market and cost the audience more as well. You are then going to be competing with the Pixar movies for 3D screens and be bumped in a heartbeat. On a shoestring budget, shooting 3D is such a time constraint. You are really at the mercy of the 3D cameras.

MG: Was it exciting to work 80’s legends Steven Guttenberg and Beverly D’Angelo?
SL: Well I only got to work with Beverly for one day. In the film her character and my character don’t get along, she doesn’t like me. So I think she was a method actor…so in between takes she would just sort of glare at me [laughs]. So I didn’t enjoy my day with Beverly very much. But Guttenberg and I, we had a great time shooting together. We are both very immature guys. He was in “Police Academy” movies and I was in “Super Troopers”. We really had a blast working together.

MG: You also reunite in this film with Philippe Brenninkmeyer from “Super Troopers”; planned or not?
SL: They were looking for local German actor, who has a good sense of humor. I told them I knew a guy but they were going to have to bring him down from Los Angeles. He showed up on set and just nailed it. He is one of the best characters in the movie. Of course awesome to work with again.

MG: Tell us about your currently comedy tour with Kevin Heffernan?
SL: Broken Lizard started off as a stand-up comedy group. We wanted to do more of that with sketches and that culminated a few years ago with a Comedy Central special. Kevin and I decided afterwards that we liked it so much that we wanted to do more. The problem with the Broken Lizard tour is that we each only got like ten minutes of time. I felt I had a lot more to say and Kevin felt the same. Jay wanted to get back to directing TV. Paul was going off to direct a script he did. Eric was focusing on doing motivation speaking. Kevin and I decided to put together this show and have been touring for the last year and a half. We are going to shooting this show as well for a special during our stop in San Francisco. We are having a blast.

MG: What do you have planned next either solo or with Broken Lizard?
SL: Kevin and I have been writing a lot together. We just sold a show to NBC for us to act/write in. On the side, when the group is not together, Kevin and I have taken it up to write a new Broken Lizard script. Our agent is telling us we are going to hit every comedy club in the country. So after a year and a half, we still haven’t been to the same place twice. So we are just building our stand up reputation and really enjoying it.

Interview with Broken Lizard

Broken Lizard consists of Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske. They have made the films “Super Troopers”, “Club Dread”, “Beerfest” and the recent “The Slammin’ Salmon”. With many projects planned for the future Broken Lizard is just getting started. Movie Mikes had the chance to talk to the group and discuss their movies and their plans for the future.

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Mike Gencarelli: You guys recently toured the country with a comedy show, was that fun?
Jay Chandrasekhar: It was incredibly fun. We started out performing on stage in New York. Back then we used to hand out fliers in the street to try and get people to come. It was exciting to show up in these 1200 seat theaters and see big crowds and their excitement. It was fun and we had a blast. Plus we got to hang out every night after the shows so it was great.

Mike Gencarelli: In case anyone missed the show was it taped for TV or DVD? Are you planning future tours?
Steve Lemme: We actually filmed something for Comedy Central. It airs this September and we are definitely planning future tours, now that we got a taste for it. We are ready to hit the road a lot.

Mike Gencarelli: Kevin, “The Slammin’ Salmon” was your directorial debut, how was it stepping behind the camera, as well as starring?
Kevin Heffernan: It was great. We kind of work as a family, we use the same crew a lot and same actors. It was a very comfortable situation. There were no curve balls or anything. It was a fun way to direct your first movie. With “Salmon” we filmed it independently without a distributor. Then you kind of scramble and get people to put it out there. Since it is on DVD now, I think now people will be able to see it, discover it and it will be great.

MG: After doing the studio film “Beerfest”, how was it returning back to indie roots with “Salmon”?
Kevin: It was great. It was fun going back to the way we did “Super Troopers”. We did that independently. It was a really fun experience. You took away layers of people giving you notes and stuff. We were able to do a lot of what we wanted to do.

MG: Paul, I know you directed 2007’s “Watching the Detectives”, how did you land that gig and any plans for you to direct more?
Paul Soter: Probably right after “Club Dread” came out, I started writing a script. It was a little indie script, to see if I could do one by myself. I thought from watching these guys it seemed like a fun thing. I wanted to see if I would be able to direct. I wrote it and sent it around. It took about a year of going around to production companies until we found a producer for it. We shot it right after we wrapped “Beerfest”. Yeah it was a great experience and it was a fun little indie. I am just going out with the next script I am going to direct. I am talking to producers in the next couple of weeks, so we will see what happens.

MG: Steve and Erik, how about you guys planning to direct anytime soon?
Steve: I am directing Erik in the “The Erik Stolhanske Story”
Kevin: I can play that part!
Erik Stolhanske: I am directing Steve in “The Erik Stolhanske Story” project, it will be a two part series.
Kevin: I play Steve.

MG: Here is the most important question though…Will it be in 3D?
Steve/Erik: (Simultaneously)…. 4-D

MG: Jay, you directed “The Dukes of Hazzard”, that was a high profile studio film, how did it differ from let’s say “Super Troopers”? Did you have creative control?
Jay: The film was PG-13, so we had to sort of keep within that box. We did do an R-Rated version for the DVD though. The good thing about “Dukes of Hazzard” was we had a garage running 24 hours. We would crash the cars during the day and then take them in and fix them in the night. The next day we take them out and crash them again. We had fifty cop cars from Batman and twenty five General Lee’s. We had an entire stunt crew shooting. We shot 50 days, they shot 25 days. It was substantially more action going on in the background. “Super Troopers” was a blast too. They have all been really fun to make. We really worked hard on the scripts and get them to a certain point when it is fun to go and execute those jokes.

MG: I got to ask, how much beer was actually filmed during the making of “Beerfest”?
Jay: A lot. There was a lot of real beer and then we couldn’t get enough work done. We switched to fake. We drank more real beer during the afternoons and more fake in the morning.

MG: Out of all the films you have made so far, what has been your favorite?
Jay: “Super Troopers”
Paul: “Club Dread”
Steve: “Beerfest”
Erik: “Puddle Cruiser”
Kevin: “The Slammin’ Salmon”

MG: Has there been one film that has been the most challenging out of all of those?
Kevin: I think different ones for different reasons. “Puddle Cruiser”, since we didn’t know what the hell we were doing. “Super Troopers”, since we made the movie on a small budget that had a bigger scope. “Beerfest” has been the largest scope, I think so far. They all have their own elements.

MG: How much improv is actually used on the set?
Steve: We like to start off with a strong script. We will do a few takes as scripted and now that the budgets have gotten a little bit bigger, we have more time to improvise. In the beginning we didn’t have the money to just burn film and free form it. I think we really started during “Beerfest”.

MG: You currently have numerous movies listed in development, what is actually getting made and what is just rumored?
Jay: We are writing “Super Troopers 2”. We are also writing a film called “Rogue Scholars”, which is at Universal. We are under contract to write a movie called “Pot Quest”, which is also at Universal.
Kevin: “Rogue Scholars” is kind of a twist on “Animal House”. It is a college comedy in which we play professors that are in a war with the students. It is a funny different twist.
Steve: We already mentioned our comedy tour on Comedy Central that airs in September but it will be on DVD also after it airs.

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