Blu-ray Review “Broadway Danny Rose”

Starring: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Nick Apollo Forte, Sandy Baron, Frank Renzulli, Howard Storm
Director: Woody Allen
Director: Henry Koster
Distributed by: Twilight Time
Run Time: 84 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: April 8, 2014

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

“Broadway Danny Rose” is easily one of my favorite films in Woody Allen’s filmography. Even having seen the film numerous times it is still able to deliver some great laugh out loud moments. It also has its sweet and endearing moments as well. Mia Farrow is stunning the role and very funny as well. Fun fact, the part of Lou Canova was originally offered to Sylvester Stallone. Twilight Time has been given us Woody Allen fans quite the treat with his films being released on on Blu-ray recently. This one follows the equally amazing “Crimes and Misdemeanors”. So I have to say that this is definitely a must for any fan of Allen’s work.

Official Premise: Broadway Danny Rose (1984), starring, written, and directed by Woody Allen, gives us a variation on his patented schlub character: this time, the eponymous good-hearted talent agent who represents not just the worst but the most pathetic acts in show business. Among these is Lou Canova (Nick Apollo Forte), a corny lounge singer saddled with a drinking problem and a temperamental mistress, Tina Vitale (Mia Farrow, in a terrific comic performance). When Lou asks Danny to be his beard with Tina, the wimpy agent suddenly finds himself dealing with the Mob—and with the feisty Tina, herself.

This Blu-ray release is an Screen Archives Entertainment Exclusive and is a Limited Edition release with only 3000 copies produced. “Broadway Danny Rose” is the third Twilight Time film I have reviewed this month and each of them has just been so impressive. This film is delivered with a very sharp 1080p transfer in 1.85:1 that is beautifully rendered in black-and-white by cinematographer Gordon Willis. The DTS-HD Master Audio Mono also works perfect with the dialogue and score. In terms of special features, besides some trailers there is only an Isolated Music and Effects Track as well. Which is worth checking out if you enjoyed the score like myself.

Barry Williams and Danny Bonaduce talks about Syfy’s “Bigfoot”

If you are a fan of SyFy, they you must be a fan of their original movies. This summer, the month of June is packed with new great films. “Bigfoot”, Syfy’s Saturday original movie, premieres on Saturday, June 30 and easily is the best of the month. It stars two 70’s TV legends Barry Williams (“The Brady Bunch”) and Danny Bonaduce (“The Partridge Family”). Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Barry Williams and Danny Bonaduce about working together on the film and what we could expect with this fun film.

Mike Gencarelli: So can you guys talk about how you became involved with this show and what made you want to do it?
Barry Williams: It was really easy for me. They said that they were talking to Danny Bonaduce and they wanted me in the movie. And I said as long as I can beat him up I’ll do the movie.
Danny Bonaduce: Fair enough. I, interestingly enough and I hope this doesn’t make anybody look ill prepared because the movie went off like a hitch. It was perfect. Everybody worked really fast. But I was doing my radio show two years ago and heard that I was doing a movie about Bigfoot with Barry Williams. I called my agent who also has my name on Google Search and he said I just read that too. I said is there any truth to it? And he said I haven’t heard a word about it. And two years later we started production. It was really bizarre but it’s neat.
BW: I have to tell you too, I love doing a monster movie. It’s great fun to do because it’s only scary when you watch it and not so much when you do it. I’m always interested in something where I have a chance to save the world.
DB: God I’ve got to disagree with Barry vehemently. This is going to be a long phone call. Scary movies are not that scary when you watch them but it was terrifying to make. I even asked Barry, I said hey man, when that guy says look up here and scream because Bigfoot’s going to eat you and there’s no Bigfoot. You’re just staring off at a big stick with a piece of tape on it because we’re going to put in by magic – I’m sure there are some initials, that Bigfoot will be there later. Everybody screams. I said Barry, do you like feel really stupid when we do that? And Barry said no, I’m an actor. When he says Bigfoot’s right there I assume Bigfoot’s right there. And I went wow, I’m bad at acting because I feel really stupid.
BW: Well see, I paid a lot of money for acting lessons so I’ve spent my whole life trying to justify them.
DB: Hey don’t – I swear, I said – I was talking to a reporter. I said Barry Williams, I don’t know if you know this or not, but is a real live actor. To be honest with you and not just flattering to Barry. Honest to goodness, I have another occupation and this came along as a gift.
I didn’t have to audition, I didn’t have to jump through hoops and that’s what a lot of actors have to do and one of the reasons I don’t really do it anymore. So I was more than pleased to do it. But Barry, God bless him, not only takes it very seriously but made it kind of easier on me to do because he’s really, really good at it.
BW: Well Danny’s being very modest about his talents and what he brings to the table. But we did work together well. I’d do it again for sure.
DB: Yeah. Me too. I don’t know what happens to Bigfoot at the end of this but if he dies bring him back. If he has a cousin yeah, it was fun.
BW: We brought in the Air Force with like nuclear missiles. I think Bigfoot is going to bite the dust in this. DB: Well don’t give away the end man.
BW: Okay. Forget I said that.

MG: So Barry, you had done “Mega Piranha” a few years ago. Talk about how this was different, working on this creature feature than the other one. And did you kind of give Danny some tips on how to go about working on one of these?
BW: You know, the format for working on a movie is working on a movie. Danny has plenty of experience working on television and movies. So no on that. The difference with this and “Mega Piranha” was I was much more involved in the process. My role in Mega Piranha largely took place in offices and in cars. So I was kind of away from the cast through most of it. In this we were out working on location, we’re working with a green screen, we’re working in some pretty challenging circumstances because Seattle enjoyed the worst storm in 100 years through the time we were filming. And so it was very hands on and I had a lot more to do in it. So overall I it was a more satisfying experience if you could say.

MG: What’s your take on the legends of Bigfoot in general? Do you actually have any kind of belief in the Missing Link?
DB: I just moved about eight months ago and I do my new radio show – I guess I should publicize this as long as I have a chance on KZOK 102.5 in Seattle. Seattle, which I didn’t know because it was weird doing a Bigfoot movie that wasn’t about Seattle. I didn’t know this about Seattle either. Bigfoot is one of the main things about Seattle along with the rain and gray skies. In the airport is the Sasquatch Café. You can get your Bigfoot burgers and Bigfoot’s a thing up here that people talk about all the time. Now our Bigfoot in our movie is enormous. If there was something hiding that big I believe – and when I say this immediately all of the techno nerds are going to go hey, he’s one of us. It wouldgive up a heat signature and we would find it. Do I believe that there is something – I don’t know if it’s necessarily out in the woods or under the sea or in the sky but I believe for sure that there is something unlike us that has equal or superior intelligence. So whether it’s a Bigfoot or you’re using Bigfoot as an umbrella for aliens or not the Loch Ness Monster because that’s really an inlet and the Loch Ness Monster would starve. But do I believe in stuff like that? Yeah. Absolutely.
BW: Well I certainly believe the Bigfoot in this movie. If there is a real Bigfoot just whatever his size, I hope he’s not as angry as our guy because our guy is not having it. He pretty much is cutting a swath, right…
DB: And he’s really scary.
BW: …down the town. Yeah. He is scary. And I’m not sure – he’s as big as King Kong. I mean this thing is fast too. But I’m fascinated with theories and concepts. And like Danny was just saying, in Seattle it’s quite a big deal. The sitings, the trackings I enjoy kind of observing it. And you have to know that somewhere in there there’s got to be some type of missing link or something that’s bridging the gap through our own evolution. But it’s hard to imagine with GPS taking it down to inches of where you are that if we really wanted to find it, it would be pretty hard to hide.

MG: You are two of our pop culture icons and there is yet another pop culture icon of ours in this film, Alice Cooper. Can you tell us about working with him?
DB: I’ll start with this one. I know Alice a little bit. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Alice a few times in the past but never working with him. And he really intimidated me. Not the crazy makeup and I’m so envious of that leather jacket. That leather jacket rules. But the director, Bruce at one point we had a real problem with continuity because as Barry said in the opening, we had a snowstorm that Seattle has not seen in at least 50 years if not 100. I mean everybody wasflipped out. Snow doesn’t stick to the ground here. That doesn’t happen. We are essentially snowed in and then it melted really fast. So we had to shoot things in a very – not quick as in haphazard but quick in as people had to think very quickly. And I’m sorry, what was your basic question again? I started to answer questions about the weather.
BW: Working with Alice.
DB: Oh, thank you. So we had to change things to match that the snow had melted and we had just shot the original master shot with no snow. So at this point he just looks at me and he says why don’t you and Alice just riff for a minute which means improv which on the radio is one thing. With people filming you and Alice Cooper standing there and Alice is really clever. I said to him – my line was – my one written line and then that’s where we were supposed to riff for almost two full minutes, I had said come on, you have to help me out Alice. We go way back. And he goes go way back? I’ve known you for two hours and I already hate you. And he hit me with a riding crop. And I thought this is a really – this is an interesting way to delve into the world of improvisation with Alice Cooper who insists on hitting me. But I mean it’s super neat.
BW: Absolutely. I was – I knew we needed a pop icon in the role and Alice was not yet cast when we started the movie. And when I found out he was coming out and going to join us I was absolutely beside myself. I’m a big fan both of him, Kiss and he came in full regalia with all the leathers, the riding crop and a very cool guy. And I was also, you know, hoping because I sing a song in this movie and I was kind of hoping maybe I get some props from the Man and that didn’t happen. I think he referred to it as – was he – he was asking Danny about whether…
DB: I just saw the clip.
BW: …this thing was a hootenanny.
He looks at you. He looks at you singing and he says, what is this a hootenanny?
BW: Yeah, a hootenanny. Right. I didn’t quite get that little wish fulfilled. But he’s a very cool guy. He’s nice to have in the movie and a lot of people don’t know this about Alice but he is a scratch golfer. He’s a really good golfer. So there you go.

MG: So was this movie fun, grueling or both to shoot?
BW: I go crazy when I watch actors and actresses get on television and they go oh, it was so much fun to make. Making a movie is not what you’d call fun. You get good things that come out of it but it’s work. We had some extra challenges on this one because most of it was filmed outdoors and the weather was not cooperating. So we had that element to deal with – wind, snow, matching. We worked at night. We didn’t have heaters in a lot of places. So you just do what you need to do and keep your eye on the ball which is how it’s going to turn out. I wouldn’t say fun but I’m glad that I did it and I’m pleased with what I’ve seen that’s come out. But grueling, you know, it was a tough shoot. It was a tough shoot.
DB: I don’t mean to just say ditto because that would make me a poor interview. Barry has been overly kind but also rather insistent. And I thought that was nice too. On the set of the movie I would ask Barry’s advice a lot. I’m not shy. I have other talents. Barry’s really good at this so I would ask Barry how should I play this, how should I do that? But I got very nervous because I gave an interview about this movie and the first thing they said was so, how was it making this movie and I didn’t think about the all encompassing question. All I thought was knee deep in snow for four days straight and the outfit I had already worn so it was established which was not warm, when you go on the scale of hard I mean we weren’t, you know, soldiers in the deserts carrying an 80 pound rucksack. I’m a talk show host. I stand in front of a microphone and try to be amusing. That’s my real job. Out there acting beside a skilled actor like Barry Williams in the snow – it really did have its more difficult moments. But like I said, this was a big deal in my life. I don’t do this kind of stuff anymore. This was just handed to me. Do you want to be in a monster movie. Do you want to be in a monster movie with Barry Williams? And I thought who says no to such things? I was going to ask the same question about our celebrity boxing match. Somebody asked me why would you do that? And because I like to box I said somebody asked me if Iwanted to box Barry Williams. Who says no to things like – these opportunities do not come along every day. But hey, it was an arduous shoot at the very least.
BW: Yeah. And in addition to which Danny – we were actually filming around Danny’s radio schedule so he’s getting up at 4:00 in the morning, on the air at 6:00 all the way until 10:00 and then driving up an hour away to the film location and working into the night. So it was challenging as we say. And regarding the boxing thing I’m glad that I did it but save the tape because that is the last time you will see Barry Williams in a boxing ring.
DB: Smart call Mr. Williams. I’ve done it about 12 other times and every time you think it’s a good idea that I thought it was a good idea and then eight weeks out I start getting scared and is this going to hurt and by the way, it always does. So you’ve seen the last of me doing the same thing. I’m with you.
BW: Stuff happens in the boxing ring.
DB: Yes it does.

MG: Bruce Davison is the director and your characters kind of have an adversarial thing
going. Did he give you room to kind of play off each other and kind of come up with your own thing?
BW: Yes.
DB: Well he did, I believe, it will depend on the movie which I have not seen yet. I’ve seen some of the trailers. But Bruce said – he kept looking at me with this really intense face and I think not mocking in a bad sense or maybe I mean parroting, the expression that I had. And yes Barry Williams and I do have an adversarial relationship but we’re mad at each other. And like I said, Barry’s the trained actor between the two of us. The script says I think – Harley Henderson is my name. Harley’s really made and to the point of violence. Well all I can do is replicate what I’ve seen in my real life whether it was the way I was raised or whether it was the way I really used to get really angry and fight. But I’d grit my teeth and get ready to do my line and Bruce would say just bring it down Danny. Just bring it down. He said there is so much more power when you do – and it really – I must tell you I felt like he was mistaken. But he’s the boss. You do what the director says. I remember that much from the Partridge Family and the few shows I’ve done after. And on the good side see I remember doing the rage thing and then the clip that made it where it’s just – where I just throw it off cuff – I’m going to kill Bigfoot. His take on it was much smarter and he’s absolutely right. Sometimes replicating real life just the way it actually happens, at least in my head, is not as good as a delivery. And Bruce Davison gave me a lot of direction that was very helpful.
BW: I want to say and I think everyone at Syfy should know, that the hero of this movie is Bruce Davison.
DB: For sure. Good call.
BW: He had to change gears in the middle of the race. We had to edit and cut. We had to make things work because certain locations were not available. There were time constraints. There were all kinds of things that a less flexible director never would have been able to overcome. And so yes, he was leaning heavily on the actors and – both in being prepared and also making some of the carving out some of the characterizations as adjustments had to be made throughthe movie. And he never wavered. He was always organized. He always had good ideas and he would come to us when he wasn’t clear about those ideas. But by the time we got to the set we were ready to go. And he finished that film I think a week early. I don’t know another director that could have done it. And he’s an actor. So for Danny and for me, you know, the kinds of things that Danny was just talking about in terms of how to produce something to the greatest effect, he knows how to relate that to us and it made it a lot easier for us.

MG: So you guys battle it out, quite a bit on the film as we’ve discussed before. I’ve got to ask, the chemistry between you two was just great. Did you guys have any good outtakes during shooting and/or have a hard time keeping it serious?
DB: I had a hard time because I’m really out of my element, I had a hard time with some things. But you know what? Barry and I – see each other off and on maybe ten times, 15 times throughout the years. I’m realizing I’m throwing around these accolades and I don’t want you to think we’re best friends. It’s just that I had no problem keeping it serious because Mr. Williams, I just want to – I’m really prefacing this to make sure everybody knows, really keeps it serious. It’s off – when they say cut then he says Barry Williams, the guy that got there in the morning and the guy that’s going home in the van with me at night, so to speak, or back to the city anyway. But I mean Barry Williams is the consummate actor. I interview people that are like Barry Williams and like me in the sense that they got really famous for something and not that I’m not super grateful for Danny Partridge, I wouldn’t have half the stuff I have had I never been Danny Partridge. But you’re kind of stuck with it. And Barry’s done a more successful job than most at being able to branch out from that. And I think the reason that is, is because he takes his craft so seriously that when we’re shooting it’s work. And I remember distinctly he would take a pencil and paper along with the director – he wasn’t impolite or anything. But he would say things like this doesn’t make sense. I’d agree but I’ve got to tell you if we would take an extra five minutes I wouldn’t have mentioned it. Barry was looking out for the quality of this movie all the time.
BW: What I did want to say about what was cool was, you know, Danny does – four hours of talking every day. And it’s basically him and he’s really entertaining. The amazing thing is that doesn’t stop. He shows up on the set and he takes right off again. And it’s just as funny. It’s like being entertained between all the takes and the drives and the rides back and forth. So it was really fun because he’s funny. So there we go.
DB: Well thank you. To some people that sounds funny. Others, that’s my wife, would just say please stop. There are no microphones in our house. To which I just want to get microphones in my house.

MG: The creature features can range anywhere from really serious to really campy. How did you determine the right tone to play your characters?
BW: Good question.
DB: I do comedy if you will. There are no jokes. I’ve never written a joke in my entire life. But the flavor of my morning show which has been on the air for 25 years and done pretty well by the way.
BW: Yes.
DB: Most of the feeling for comedy is where to put your emphasis. And if the movie itself is supposed to be like tongue in cheek then the only way to make it more funny would be to play it as straight as possible. I know for myself and I think I can answer for Barry but since he’s right here I won’t. For me my answer was to play it as straight as possible. And I played mine like I wanted those trees out of there. Barry and I were at each other’s throats. I played my character like I wanted him dead. I played it as straight as I could play it. If it’s campy, that will add to the campiness. Plus like I saidBarry does much more of this than I do. But the fact of the matter is it’s written. The dialog is pretty serious at some point. So I thought – I think the premise probably puts the tongue in cheek. But at least on my place I play it as seriously as I can. Barry Williams: Yeah. That’s – and you’re exactly right. When you cast Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams in the same movie – in a monster movie you know it’s going to have some degree of camp to it. That’s why we’re picked. And so it’s going to have that certain tone. But the only way to play the movie is to play it for real, for keeps and let the situations and the appearances – of Bigfoot and the circumstances, let them kind of play out. It’s all a little bit larger than life in that sense. I think this movie will be best enjoyed with a box of popcorn in your lap.

MG: What was your favorite monster movie growing up, both of you?
DB: I don’t know if you want to consider it a monster movie but this is with your, you know, as a disc jockey or a talk show host I’ve moved into half a dozen cities or more and there are some things that you can just count on. And one of them is so what’s the scariest movie that’s ever been made and your phone lines light up. Now I usually have a fight between the Exorcist and Jaws. And in my world Jaws wins out because it’s now been 35 years, something like that but I dive.And I will tell you there is not a time that I dive that at some point I don’t hear that (da da, da da) from Jaws. Jaws continues to scare me especially on night dives. So if you consider – and I don’t think there’s ever been a Great White shark that big ever caught so I’ll still make it a monster. My favorite monster movie therefore is Jaws.
BW: Growing up Frankenstein – the green one with the things coming out of his neck.
DB: The bolts. Yeah.
BW: That was the one it would just stay with me after the movie was over and I’d be looking under the bed kind of thing.

MG: After Debbie Gibson and Tiffany did “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid”, they went on tour together. Any chance you guys might do something?
DB: Wow. It’s a great question and probably a wonderful tour. It’s very funny. I know both of those young ladies rather well. The year I got into radio was the years they were the hottest. Now Deborah as she prefers to be called now, did you know she’s in the Guinness Book of World Records?
BW: For what?
DB: For the youngest person to ever write, produce and perform a million selling album. She wrote all the words, wrote all the music. Yeah, she’s in the Guinness Book of World Records. I saw her on Broadway. She’s just a really, really talented girl. Tiffany is a wonderful girl too. I’m not sure what I would do on a tour with Barry Williams because I’ve done stand up comedy for David Cassidy a couple of times when he’s been in the towns where I’m working. And Barry is a consummate performer. He’s got a song and dance show that he takes on the road. But comedy is so frightening. It’s hundreds of people daring you to laugh plus if Barry and I were to go and do something together they would want funny reflections from the Partridge Family. Well, it was a very long day and I was ten years old. I have a couple of funny stories but I don’t have a half an hour’s worth so I don’t know what I would do. But Barry’s got a show he takes on the road.
BW: Well I will travel but I’m stationed and living in Branson, Missouri where I’m doing – it’s called Lunch with the Brady Bunch. And so it’s a standing show here. I do it four days a week and it opened this year. And it will be here for the foreseeable future. And it’s a nostalgic ride in a very kind of on the nose way for people that watch – I watch 50 year old women become teenagers in the show because they’re back to 12, 11 years old when they were watching the Brady Bunch and it’s a lot of fun. So I do take that out as well. We don’t have plans to go out on the road everybody’s got a busy schedule. I’m in Branson. He’s in Seattle. He’s doing a radio show. I’m performing a show here. And you never know. The right thing could come along. We’ll get to spend some time together with all of you and maybe someone will come up with something that makes sense for us and we’ll show up and do it.

DB: Can I ask a question, what is – because I’ve seen your stage act. What is Lunch with the Brady Bunch?
BW: That’s the show that I’m doing.
DB: Are there other Bradys there?
BW: I have the new Brady Bunch kids with me. So they are all…
DB: Oh, very smart. BW: So I’ve got them in costume, original choreography. We’re doing all the music. It’s multimedia. It’s, you know, I’m using support clips and graphics and photos and stories.
DB: Oh, that sounds fun. I would totally come see that.
BW: It’s the whole ride. In fact at one point, there are a couple of things but one of the songs, I talk about how the Bradys became a concert – or recording act because I had gone to the producer and I said look, there are all of these families that are making records. And some of them are selling millions of records, why not the Brady Bunch kids? I mean look at the Jackson 5, look at the Osmond Brothers, the Archies and of course the Partridge Family. And then the Greg character that I – is in my show he comes out and sings with everybody, I Think I Love You.
DB: Oh, that’s hysterical.
BW: And a little bit of One Bad Apple and ABC and Sugar Sugar and like that.
Danny Bonaduce: Oh, that sounds like a great show.
BW: It’s a fun show. It is a fun show.

Danny Trejo talks about “Machete Kills” & “Ranchero”

Danny Trejo has appeared in over 200 acting roles. Most recently Danny appears in the film “Ranchero” which was directed by Richard Kaponas. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Danny about the film as well as his involvement in the upcoming Robert Rodriguez sequel “Machete Kills”.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about your latest film “Ranchero”?
Danny Trejo: That was kind of a labor of love for me. A good friend of mine Rick Gutierrez and I were in prison together. His brother Roger is in this film and he asked if I could do him a favor and read the script. I told him sure but I couldn’t really promise anything. I read the script and thought it was good and they asked if I had any time I could give them. I had about 3 days and told them if they could make it work I would do it. They made everything work and I am really glad I was able to do the film. Acts of love always come out really well.

AL: Can you describe your role in the film?
DT: I am a badass! The director was pretty sharp because he put me in a wheel chair. He showed that you can be a badass sitting down. The character comes across really well. The whole story is about struggle.

AL: With the film being released straight to DVD will it include any bonus material?
DT: Oh yeah. I think there is going to be a few additional scenes included on the disc. I didn’t take part in that portion of things so I can’t be too sure of what all will be on there.

AL: You just wrapped on a film titled “Dead in Tombstone”. Can you tell us anything about that?
DT: The film is a western and it came along awesome. It was directed by Roel Reine who also directed me in “Death Race 2” and “Death Race: Inferno”. I love his mode of direction as it is very similar to Robert Rodriguez. Those guys shoot everything and I love working like that. There isn’t a lot of down time and things are action packed.

AL: You have quite a few projects in the works right now but when you first started in the film business did you ever envision a career like you have now?
DT: No. I am still scared that someone is going to come along and wake me up for chow as I am still in the joint. (Laughs) It’s just unbelievable.

AL: What do you think has been the biggest change in the movie industry since you started?
DT: I think one of the biggest changes in the industry has been Robert Rodriguez. I think he has hit it and really made an impact. He has done both independent and low budget films. He showed that you can come out of high school, put a little bit of money together and make a film. He made it possible for my kid to make a movie if he wanted to.

AL: You have done quite a few films with Robert Rodriguez. How did you first meet?

DT: I had walked into his office to do “Desperado”. He looked at me and told me I reminded him of the bad kids in his high school. I told him I am the bad kids in his high school. From there we just hit it off.

AL: What can we be expecting from the much anticipated Machete sequel “Machete Kills”?
DT: June 14th we start shooting. The film is going to be over the top and bigger than the first film! “Machete Kills” is going to put a new coat of paint on action.

AL: Having played the role of Machete a number of times now; have you been allowed to give any input towards the role?
DT: Robert has always let me give input. In fact the line “Machete don’t text” came about because I was trying to get a hold of Robert before Comic-Con and he wouldn’t answer his phone. When I finally got a hold of him I asked why he would answer my calls. He told me that every time I tried calling him he was either in a meeting or shooting something. He said the best way to get a hold of him was to text him. I told him “Machete don’t text” and he just laughed. When I saw it was in the script I couldn’t believe he remembered it from when there was 20 thousand people around us at Comic-Con. The guy is a genius and remembers everything.

Gianpaolo Venuta talks about playing Danny in Syfy’s “Being Human”

Gianpaolo Venuta is known best for playing Danny in Syfy’s “Being Human”. Gianpaolo can also been seen recently in the new TV series “The Firm”. Media Mikes took a chance to chat with Gianpaolo about his role on the show and his reflection on season two.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us what you enjoyed most about playing Danny on the series “Being Human”?
Gianpaolo Venuta: It actually wasn’t really “enjoyable”. It’s hard to empathize with a character like that. He had so many opportunities to do the right thing but his self-preservation always trumped any thoughts of confessing. It was also confusing for the audience to see this quiet, shy, guilt-ridden guy then suddenly turn into this homicidal maniac without.

MG: How was it working with Meagan Rath?
GV: Really, it was a lot of fun. We had a great rapport from the start. She’s really down to earth and always available for others. And super hot.

MG: In the end of season one, your character’s true identity gets darker and darker; how did you prepare for the role?
GV: You know that famous quote: “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering”? Well…

MG: In season two, your back with a vengenace; how was it playing a ghost?
GV: I didn’t really have any personal experience to draw on, obviously, so I focused more on the circumstances that led Danny to become the ghost. The guilt, paranoia, fear, etc., and how that transformed him.

MG: Due to the eclipse situation you came back after being shredded, any word about season three?
GV: No word as of yet, but I’m pretty sure Danny has breathed his last breath.

MG: How does this show compare that your other recent TV work like “The Firm”?
GV: It’s different in that “Being Human” always felt like one big family. I was fortunate enough to be there at the beginning and see the chemistry between the leads develop. But that chemistry was not only limited to the cast – it included the crew as well as the creators and producers of the show. “The Firm”, which i am incredibly proud to be a part of, has been different for me because my character’s story line only really gets going in the last 5 episodes of the show so I feel like a bit of an outsider.

MG: What do you have planned next?
GV: I’m not really sure – to be honest. I haven’t done any theatre in a few years and it’s always nice to go back to it every now and again.

Interview with The Last Vegas’ Danny Smash

Danny Smash is the bassist for the rock band The Last Vegas. The band is set to release their second full-length album this coming year. Media Mikes had a chance to ask Danny a few questions about the upcoming release as well as what it was like working with Sybil Danning.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the band?
Danny Smash: It’s always hard to accurately describe things when your on the inside looking out.  From my perspective I think were just five Midwest guys who are trying to be 1970s Aerosmith in 2011.  We come from the five piece mold cast from bands like The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, The New York Dolls, Guns n Roses, Alice Cooper, and of course the Jackson 5.  For some reason we get perceived as a hair metal band, but were actually much more 70s rock influenced.   I think its because most peoples last reference point for real rock n roll is the eighties so they place you in that category even if its not accurate. You’ll never find a bottle of aqua net in our van man!

AL: Tell us about the upcoming album?
DS: The new album was recorded right in here in Chicago with producer Johnny K(Staind, Disturbed, Megadeth). He has an awesome studio located literally five minutes from where we practice, so it was really convenient. We recorded 14 songs but we’ll probably send a couple of them down to the minors. Musically the album is a little less polished and a little more eclectic than our previous album “Whatever Gets You Off.”   There were a lot of different elements thrown in the rock caldron on this one. We have four songwriters so there’s a lot of perspectives and a lot of arguing. Were talking about a spring release.

AL: have you picked a favorite track from the album?
DS: My personal favorite is a track called Evil Eyes. The song has a really cool rhythm and vibe to it.  The song reminds me of “Nobody’s Fault” off Aerosmith’s  “Rocks” album. The song takes an introspective look into the mind of a stalker. Its heavy but you can shake your ass to it. Ass shaking + Stalker = #1 hit single???

AL: What was it like working with Sybil Danning?
DS: It was a really great experience to work with a legend.  She is such a professional.  When she turned on the acting button it was a very surreal moment.  I knew right then and there I needed to step it up.  She’s also a very kind, patient, and down to earth lady.  The whole experience exceeded all expectations.

AL: What are the bands upcoming plans for 2012?
DS: For 2012, The Last Vegas train wreck is focusing on international touring and our album release. We’ve been touring around America for the last three years, so its time to poison the minds of the rest of world.  Were getting the party started with a three-week tour of Spain in February.

Interview with Biohazard’s Billy Graziadei and Danny Schuler

The legendary NY hardcore group Biohazard has a new album coming out in January titled “Reborn in Defiance”. Media Mikes had a chance recently to speak with Biohazard members Billy Graziadei and Danny Schuler about the upcoming release and their plans for 2012.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the new album “Reborn in Defiance”?
Billy Graziadei: We worked really hard on this album. It actually was a culmination of us coming together on the reunion tour. We had a lot of fun playing together again and everything just worked. We didn’t sit down and say we were going to make a record. It was just something that happened. I can’t wait to get the album out and play the songs live.

AL: Did you guys try any new approaches to the recording process?
BG: To be honest we had all kind of forgotten how to do everything. It had been so long since we all worked together we just didn’t know how to approach things. It was interesting to figure out how to all work together again.

AL: Have you guys settled on a favorite track off the album yet?
BG: I think they are all our favorites. I don’t think they would be on the record if we didn’t like them. Time will tell as to which songs will stand out the most.
Danny Schuler: Some songs just have a different vide when you play them live while other work better just listening to them on a CD. There is a certain energy level with the band that we like to keep around 10 or 11. We will just have to see.
BG: I remember after doing our first album in 1990 we had been touring and writing new songs for what would be our next album. We played some of them live and you could just tell they were different from our previous songs but they still fit. The songs on “Reborn in Defiance” I think have that same feeling. We are pretty excited.

AL: What are the release date/plans for the album?
BG: January 28th the album will be available worldwide.
DS: The record will actually hit Europe first. We have been talking about doing some cool release things here in states. We love vinyl and it would be cool to see the album released that way however we will have to wait and see. Everything will start unfolding in the coming weeks.

AL: Can you tell us what Evan Seinfeld’s involvement is with the band these days?
BG: The album was recorded with the original band lineup. We actually recorded the album at the end of the reunion tour. We finished this album around spring time of 2011. Evan called us out of the blue in June and quit the band for personal reasons. We love what we do and decided to keep on going. I look at it now as this being a different era. The time frame is a little confusing but we just wanted to leave the record as it is.

AL: What will the tour line up look like?
DS: We are going to have someone else there with us.
BG: We have been touring with a friend of ours lately. We took him to China with us recently and we also did some shows in the UK. I think the back and forth Biohazard vocals are something that we all love and can’t do without.

AL: Going back into your guys history can you tell us how you got hooked up with the rap group Onyx?
DS: It was kind of a natural thing. We were managed by Def Jam back in the late 80’s early 90’s. We were pretty much the only heavy white band that was a part of their company for awhile. People didn’t like us too much because we were a real street band. We weren’t silly or anything. Billy had been approached about doing a remix of the song “Slam”. I don’t know how that quite happened but I did play drums on the track and some of us were in the video. That led to us doing some shows with Onyx as well as working on the soundtrack for the film “Judgment Night”. We got along well those guys and we were all from NY. There were a lot of parallels with what we were saying and with what hip hop was saying through our music.
BG: We got to work with Jam Master Jay through the “Judgment Night” film and that was really cool for us. We had grown up with bands like Iron Maiden, Agnostic Front and The Sugar Hill Gang. Everything seemed really natural for us. Where we were coming from was very similar. We never sat down and said “hey lets mix what you do with what we do”. We were friends and put some tracks together. After we did some other tracks with Cypress Hill and House of Pain we stepped aside and let Limp Bizkit collect all the money off that style. (Laughs)

AL: What are the rest of the plans for the band into 2012?
DS: We are doing the first group of shows here in the states with Madball. That kicks off towards the end of February. From there we go to Australia to do the Sound Waves festival. It’s going to be a lot of fun as we have five or 6 big festival shows across Australia. We have a short break and then we are going to start planning U.S. and European festival dates for the summer. We will probably make it back to South America as well this year.

Click here for our CD Review: Biohazard “Reborn In Defiance”

Interview with Danny Hicks

Danny Hicks is known for playing Jake in “Evil Dead II” and Bill Roberts in “Intruder”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Danny about working on “Evil Dead 2”, working with Sam Raimi all these years and what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: What would you say was the most difficult part of working on “Evil Dead 2”?
Danny Hicks: I would say the temperature. It was very hot and when you see close up shots of us that sweat is real it’s not spray on. We were in a gymnasium at an abandon school in North Carolina and they had built a two story long cabin so they could have a basement. We shot on the second floor of the cabin and it was summer time in North Carolina so it had to be 120 degrees in there. They had to keep the air conditioning off because it would mess with sound so that was probably the most difficult part of the shoot. The shoot was also pretty physical as well and we beat each other up. Bruce kicked me in the nads real hard once as we were shooting the scene where I hit him in the head with the shotgun. He fell off the porch and when he did his foot came up right between my legs. He connected really hard. So hard that as soon as Sam called cut I threw up all over everything. That was interesting.

MG: Tell us about working on the film “My Name is Bruce” with Bruce Campbell directing you?
DH: It was fun. We got to right our own parts and pretty much do whatever we wanted to do. Just before we started shooting he asked what I was going to do and I told him but then he decides to throw in that my character was gay. Bruce says action and I was trying so hard not to laugh that I think I peed myself just a little bit. I had worked with Bruce before doing some audio stuff for his books but this was the first time working with him as a film director. He is very focused and serious which is something you wouldn’t guess by watching his movies.

MG: Most of the cast from “Evil Dead 2” also worked on “Intruder”, including Sam Raimi in an acting role, tell us about working on that?
DH: It was fun but for me it was very difficult. It was very physical as I did a lot of my own stunt but it was interesting to work with Sam as an actor. Most people don’t know he is an actor but he is very good. I think the best part of the film was I got to kill half the Raimi family! (Laughs) It was fun.

MG: How was it working with Sam Raimi as he grew from “Evil Dead 2” to “Darkman” to “Spider-Man 2”?
DH: As far as I know Sam hasn’t changed a bit. “Evil Dead 2” was like a $3 million dollar movie and “Spider Man 2” he had some bigger toys to play with but he was same guy on both films. Sam likes to torture his actors and become part of the scene. That scene where spider man is holding the train back Sam instead of watching the monitor was standing in front of the wind machine throwing pieces of wood and gravel into the wind so it’s hitting us in the faces. (Laughs) Sam hasn’t really changed and he is the same guy I met in 1985.

MG: Tell us how you got started working with Michael Kallio on “Paranormal, Burbank” & Koreatown”?
DH: “Koreatown” was not a very good experience for me. We worked really hard for a few days and then I was cut out of the movie by the producer. I guess I am in the DVD version in the deleted scenes section but I have never seen the movie as it was not a pleasant experience. Michael is great to work with though. For “Burbank” Michael called me up and asked if I played guitar. I told him I did but I wasn’t that good and that’s how I got the role. He cut out most of the guitar stuff but it was really fun to do. It’s a wacky series.

MG: What was your involvement with the TV series from early 90’s “Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero”?
DH: They promised me that it would never air in the United States! (Laughs) I grew up on the original version of “Ultraman” but I actually got to say “Ahh it’s a Monster!” which is in every bad Godzilla movie ever made. I did that line with all the grace I could muster.

MG: What do you have currently planned upcoming?
DH: I worked recently with Ted Raimi on his new web series called “Morbid Minutes”. I don’t know when it’s going to come out but it’s supposed to be soon. It’s a series of stories which will be about a minute and a half and they are going to be in 3-D. How they are going to do that I don’t know. Ted really surprised me. He has a different style than his brother but he is very good. I am going to be at a few upcoming conventions such as Comic-Con as well as one in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In late November I am going to start work on Sam’s new movie. From what I am told it’s supposed to be the most expensive movie ever made in Michigan. I really love working with Sam.

Interview with Danny Glover

Danny Glover is diverse well known actor who has ranged from work like “Lethal Weapon” series to “Saw”. Last year he took the hilarious role “Death at a Funeral”.  Danny is co-starring in the new film “Infected” along with a great cast Vinnie Jones and Beverly Mitchell. Media Mikes had a chance to briefly ask Danny a few questions about that film and his other films.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us a little bit about “Infected” and your role in the film?
Danny Glover: I play the character Locke. He is a sort of mad scientist who will do anything to advance his own experiments and at the same time profit off his diabolical conspiracy.

MG: What did you enjoy most about working on the film?
DG: This was a different type of role which involved a lot of action and I enjoyed playing the villain.

MG: Tell us what do you look for in a character when you approach a project?
DG: I like to see if the role challenging, does it give light to a person in the world or a character that is unexplored and unique.

MG: From having done horror like “Saw” to comedy/action like “Lethal Weapon”, do you have a genre that you enjoy to work in most?
DG: No, i don’t have one specific genre that i like better than another. What is most important is that I feel I can portray the character.

MG: You were absolutely hysterical in “Death at a Funeral”, any plans for more comedies?
DG: Of course I would do more comedies if the opportunity was brought to me.