Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Kids Love & Family Expo is September 12 & 13, 2015 at Museum of Discovery and Science

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – September 3, 2015 – The Museum of Discovery and Science announced today that it will host the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Kids Love & Family Expo for the second year in a row on September 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and September 13, 2015 from noon to 5 p.m. It will be a fun-filled family-themed weekend event produced by Entercom South Florida 101.5 LITE-FM, Magic 102.7, 790 AM The Ticket and the new 104.3 FM The Shark.

The Kids Love & Family Expo is a celebrity-filled extravaganza with everything that KIDS LOVE! With over 75+ interactive activities and exhibits for kids, the Museum of Discovery and Science is already something that KIDS LOVE! And while the kids are having fun, parents will discover the latest and greatest in products and services to make their busy lives healthier, easier, and more enjoyable from more than 50 sponsors & exhibitors!!!

Visitors will get a chance to meet celebrities, such as TV’s Lea Black from the Real Housewives of Miami and Genevieve Goings from Choo-Choo Soul on Disney, Jr. Plus, a special appearance from Kid KJ “Lil’ Monster Truck Jam and Ride”. Take a ride in a real monster truck, watch Kid KJ demonstrate monster truck tricks, and get an up close look at the monster trucks in Kid KJ’s & The Mighty Monsters collection! Don’t forget to bring your camera as there will be appearances from favorite your storybook characters – Madeline, Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog – on the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Storytelling Stage throughout the Kids Love & Family Expo!
Museum President/CEO Kim Cavendish stated, “The Kids Love and Family Expo is truly a treat for the entire family. Costume characters, local exhibitors, dancing and prizes highlight this special two-day event. Plus, visitors will get to explore the hundreds of interactive exhibits that the Museum has to offer. Come one, come all.”

To learn more about the Kids Love and Family Expo, visit:
Kids Love and Family Expo 2014 Photos:



The mission of the Museum of Discovery and Science is to provide experiential pathways to lifelong learning in science for children and adults through exhibits, programs and films. Founded in 1976 as The Discovery Center, the nonprofit facility serves approximately 400,000 visitors annually. Major operational support for the Museum is provided through generous support by Leadership Guild members including: JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Broward Health, Sun Sentinel and Wells Fargo.

The Museum is open seven days a week, 365 days a year with extended IMAX® hours on most evenings. Exhibit only admission prices are $14 adults; $13 seniors; $12 children 2 to 12. Children under 2 are free. The Museum of Discovery and Science is at 401 SW Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. For more information call 954.467.MODS (6637) or

Win Prize Packs from Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles LOVE & Michael Jackson ONE [ENDED]

Media Mikes is teaming up with Cirque de Soleil and giving away some amazing prize packs from their newest shows Michael Jackson One and The Beatles LOVE. If you want to win this great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Cirque de Soleil show. This giveaway will remain open until December 26th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada 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.

Here is what is included in the five prize packs, including a variation of:
– Michael Jackson One Hats
– Michael Jackson One Souvenir Programs
– The Beatles LOVE T-Shirts
– The Beatles LOVE Hats

This holiday season, head out to Las Vegas and experience two awe-inspiring Cirque du Soleil shows featuring the music from two of the most iconic names in the Music Industry; Michael Jackson ONE and The Beatles LOVE. Log on to for a special ticket package now.


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Film Review “Love is Strange”

Starring: John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei and Charlie Tahan
Directed By: Ira Sachs
Rated: R
Running Time: 94 minutes
Sony Pictures Classic

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Today’s a big day for Ben (Lithgow) and George (Molina). After spending the past 39 years together, they’re finally getting married. It’s a joyous occasion, accompanied by friends and family, who’ve watched the couple stick it out through thick and thin for nearly four decades. The honeymoon, the real and metaphorical one, is now over and an unexpected snag begins to take hold.

George, a respected teacher and member of the Catholic school he works for, has been fired because of his marriage. With his meager salary and Ben’s pension, they can’t quite make the bills anymore. They now can’t afford their apartment and need to seek a new residence. Because of George’s work, they’ll have to split for the time being. Ben goes to live with his nephew Elliot (Darren Burrows) and his wife Kate (Tomei). George has to move in with a pair of gay policemen who party on the weekends and play Dungeons and Dragons on the weeknights; Far from ideal for both men.

While their current predicament may not seem like the worst thing in the world, their calls and conversation hint at much tougher hurdles in the past that have been overcome. “Love is Strange” teaches that love can become stronger through adversity, but it’s not their love that’s in for a bumpy ride. The real struggle lies within Elliot, Kate and their son Joey (Tahan). They’re a decaying family. Elliot is constantly busy, but one may suspect he’s having an affair. Kate is usually at home attempting to write her latest book, but finding that most of her daily stresses are hampering that. Then there’s Joey, a real enigma. He can tell his parents aren’t on the best of terms and it doesn’t help he’s not on the best of terms with both of them.

There’s so much conflict told visually that many of the problems are never solved or fully developed verbally. It leaves the audience wondering what, if anything, is actually happening. While that’s off putting to some, that’s perfectly fine with me. Speculation is the most fun one can have during a movie and after leaving the theater. Joey seems to resent Ben at first, but…that’s the biggest mystery in the movie. While Kate may believe Ben is the reason things are imploding, the family dynamic appears to have been festering for years. Elliot seems to believe nothing is wrong at all or is too busy to care.

The most telling moment is when Joey has trouble answering a question from Ben. “Have you ever been in love?” Joey immediately takes offense wondering if Ben is implying he’s gay. That can easily be chalked up to a typical teenage homophobic concern that’s rooted in one’s own sexual confusion. But instead it tells me that he hasn’t grown up in the most loving of households. That watching his mom and dad slowly drift apart is taking a personal toll on him and he’s slowly losing grip on everything else.

The ending comes after a traumatic event that has clearly impacted Joey. Tahan is given the arduous task of portraying the only real tearful, emotional moment of all the characters and he’s spot on. It’s not an ensemble cast, but it’s definitely one that has the swagger. Lithgow leads the way perfecting every little word he speaks and every little facial movement. He lives and breathes inside Ben and has never done a more believable job in a role. If he doesn’t get a nomination at this year’s Oscars for his performance, it would be a damn shame.

“Love is Strange” is short and thoughtful. Outside of being a touching film, it’s shot in a very beautiful way. Most times people love to focus on the cold concrete structures of New York, but director Ira Sachs finds the grandeur of nature breaking through the cracks. It’s a bittersweet symphony that displays a different message to different people. It may tell you that life, in essence, is short and that we need to cherish it. Or maybe it’ll tell you that even in the most desolate of circumstances, you can come out in the end a happier person.

Enter to Win “The Beatles Love by Cirque Du Soleil” Exclusive Gift Packs [ENDED]

In order to celebrate the  50th Anniversary of The Beatles coming to America, Media Mikes excited to be able to giving away Five (5) The Beatles LOVE gift packs (check out details below). If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Beatles song. This giveaway will remain open until September 12th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to all of our Media Mikes readers worldwide. 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.

Head to Las Vegas and celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles coming to America with The Beatles Love by Cirque Du Soleil. LOVE brings the magic of Cirque du Soleil together with the spirit and passion of The Beatles as never before, only at The Mirage in Las Vegas. Book now and enjoy the special anniversary offer with tickets starting at $60. Get your tickets now at

Prizing: Five (5) The Beatles LOVE gift packs, each containing:
– The Beatles LOVE Collectible Hat
– The Beatles LOVE Reusable Water Bottle
– The Beatles LOVE Pins
– The Beatles LOVE Plastic Bag

Promotion: The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil – 50th Anniversary of The Beatles Coming to America Special Offer
Flight Dates: Aug 25 – Sep 3

Book Review “Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row”

“Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row”
Authors: Damien Echols and Lorri Davis
Hardback/ 448 pages
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Release Date: June 17, 2014

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Lorri Davis was a single woman, living in New York City, when she was invited by a friend to go to an early screening of a new documentary. What she saw changed her life. Lorri saw alienation, and she saw herself being represented onscreen. Coming from the South she had always felt like she didn’t belong there, and that she did not fit in with those around her. This documentary showed her a teen-age boy who had gone through the same situation: only a hundred times worse. The documentary was “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills” and the teen-age boy she identified with was Damien Echols; one of the West Memphis Three.

The story of the West Memphis Three, as told through “Paradise Lost” stuck with Lorri, and haunted her. She became relatively obsessed with Damien, and could not get him out of her head. So, like dozens of others whom viewed the same film, Lorri decided to write to Damien. And so began a love story like no other.

Damien and Lorri started to write each other letters, reaching a point to where they both would write several letters a day. They felt a real connection with each other, and within less than four years they were married. The ceremony being unique in and of itself: a Buddhist ceremony held on Death Row. Lorri Davis would soon quit her job, move to Arkansas, and lead a team of investigators and lawyers to one day bring release and exoneration to her husband. While the release has occurred, the exoneration still has not.

In “West of Memphis”, one of the four documentaries that cover the West Memphis Three case, Lorri mentions her and Damien having written somewhere around 5,000 letters to each other; all between 1996 and 2011 (the latter being the year Damien was released from prison). Lorri also states in the film that she had contemplated burning all of the letters; presumably as a way to start anew and move on. However, she and Damien did no such thing.

“Yours For Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row” is a collection of a very small portion of those letters; as well as present day notes to fill the reader in on the authors’ mindsets. Giving bits of notations to things referenced or alluded to. It truly is a wonderful journey into the minds of two people; two people slowly falling in love, no less. Damien has always been a writer and a poet. Having self-published a memoir in 2005 called “Almost Home”, and an updated version of the same book, with more content, in 2012 entitled “Life After Death”.

“Yours For Eternity” offers a unique perspective on the West Memphis Three case, in as much as it almost has nothing to do with the case itself; but offers a look at the circumstances Damien and Lorri were put in because of the case. Together they don’t spend their time delving into clues and information about who may or may not have committed the crimes; they leave that to the outside world. Within the letters they spend their energy trying to decipher and decode each other. They create a world and a life together using only their words. Damien and Lorri built a friendship, relationship, and a marriage, using the only thing Damien was allowed to have on Death Row: anything made of paper.

This book is a fast and easy read, and it’s rather beautiful. The reader is allowed access to the most intimate of thoughts and feelings and will allow you to view the people involved in this case in a whole new light. Damien Echols and Lorri Davis are currently traveling the United States in support of this book. Go see them if they come to your city.

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Book Review “I Love My Daddy”

Author: Giles Andreae
Illustrator: Emma Dodd
Age Range: 1 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Maybe this book hit home with me more than the average person, but I really love this book. I have a 2 year old daughter and she is my world. When I saw that there is a book called “I Love My Daddy”, I couldn’t request it sooner. The fact that this book features a girl with her daddy only makes it more special to me. My daughter has been talking more and more every day, starting to form sentences etc and one of the things that she says all the time is “I love my daddy” and that is not a lie. She calls me “my daddy”. If you have a young child, this is a must own for sure and don’t worry there is also a “I Love My Mommy” as well for all your amazing mother’s out there as well.

Award-winning and bestselling author, Giles Andreae is also responsible for other great books including “Rumble in the Jungle”, “Giraffes Can’t Dance” and “The Lion Who Wanted to Love”. Besides illustrating “I Love My Mommy” also, Emma Dodd’s work  includes the popular Amazing Baby series as well. Overall, this book is so much fun and features rhyming verses and great illustrations. It is sweet and I have a feeling that this is going to become our new bedtime book for quite a while. I owe Disney/Hyperion a big thanks for reissuing this book because it has made my week reading it and I honestly look forward to tomorrow night!

Blu-ray Review “I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 1”

Starring: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley, Vivian Vance
Number of discs: 6
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: May 6, 2014
Run Time: 907 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“I Love Lucy”, who doesn’t? This 1950’s classic television show is coming to Blu-ray thanks to CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment in this 6-disc Blu-ray release of “Ultimate Season 1”. This season includes the first 35 episodes of the show, which starred the legendary Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley and Vivian Vance. This season includes some of the most beloved episodes includes “The Ballet”, “Pioneer Women” and “The Freezer”. These episodes are still hysterical today and that just proves how amazing this show was going strong still over 60 years later. I am looking forward to the rest of the seasons hopefully season two will come later this year, hint hint!

Official Synopsis: You’ve loved and laughed at Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel for years, but you’ve never seen I Love Lucy like this on glorious high-definition. Coming to Blu-ray in a highly collectible set with special gloss packaging that includes every episode from the first season, each one beautifully restored in high definition, in original night-of-broadcast form with original sponsor openings and closings. The set also includes a number of as yet undetailed special features, many never before released on home video.

These episodes are presented in their original aspect ratio: 1.33:1 and have never looked better. The pilot episode has also been remastered from a newly discovered original 35mm negative. The episodes look extremely crisp and have very sharp black color (since the show is black and white only). The audio comes with a PCM 2.0 mono track that has been cleaned up a bunch and really delivers the comedy aspects very well for this show. Paramount really has been great with restoring older shows to Blu-ray ala “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.

Here are a full listing of the episodes includes for season 1. “Pilot”; “The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub”; “Be a Pal”; “The Diet”; “Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying to Murder Her”; “The Quiz Show”; “The Audition”; “The Séance”; “Men Are Messy”; “The Fur Coat”; “Lucy Is Jealous of a Girl Singer”; “Drafted”; “The Adagio”; “The Benefit”; “The Amateur Hour”; “Lucy Plays Cupid”; “Lucy Fakes Illness”; “Lucy Writes a Play”; “Breaking the Lease”; “The Ballet”; “The Young Fans”; “New Neighbors”, “Fred and Ethel Fight”; “The Moustache; “The Gossip”; “Pioneer Women”; “The Marriage License”; “The Kleptomaniac”; “Cuban Pals”; “The Freezer”; “Lucy Does a TV Commercial”; “The Publicity Agent”; “Lucy Gets Ricky on the Radio”; “Lucy’s Schedule”, “Ricky Thinks He’s Getting Bald” and “Ricky Asks for a Raise”

The special features are equally impressive as the season itself. First we have “I Love Lucy: The Very First Show CBS special”, which is a great. There are audio commentary on select episodes by Lucille Ball, Desi Arnes, Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Davis, Bob Carroll, Jr. and others. There are 13 episodes includes with alternate elements, which is a real nice bonus. There are on-set color “home movies” from the season. There are also selected episodes of Lucille Ball’s “My Favorite Husband” radio series. Lastly there are bloopers, guest cast bios, production notes and photo galleries included.

Film Review “Endless Love”

Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde and Bruce Greenwood
Directed By: Shana Feste
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 104 minutes
Universal Pictures

Our Score: 1 out of 5 stars

It must be that time of year. The quick cash in where nearly every company tries to find that bankable Valentine’s Day product. I’m not saying it isn’t a holiday(although that is up for debate), but unlike most economically driven holidays where plenty of businesses can spread out their plans over a couple of months, Valentine’s Day only hits home for a couple of days or just for the one week it rests upon. In terms of the movie industry, February is an opportune time to roll out some romance movies. This year the day of love falls on Friday and instead of taking that opportunity to shine, they’ve rolled out a cart of trash for everyone to feast on called “Endless Love”.

It’s graduation day at the only school in America that doesn’t have ugly teenagers. That’s where we meet David Elliot (Pettyfer). He looks about 10 years older than he’s suppose to be and looks so airbrushed you’d think they patterned the Ken doll off of him. Which raises even more questions as to how he’s single. Anyway…David is smitten by a girl he’s never even talked to, Jade Butterfield (Wilde). David tells us that he’s spent two years simply watching her from afar; too afraid to talk to the most antisocial, quiet girl in the school. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of more things that don’t make sense. So of course the only way for these two to finally meet and converse is at David’s job as a valet. He wins her over with a little grand theft auto and a bunch of quick near kisses. I’m barely 10 minutes in and I already wish I had the metaphorical watch to look at. So as we go through the motions, we realize that our protagonist of this movie will be Jade’s father, Hugh (Greenwood). This is because he automatically distrusts David’s chiseled good looks and scoffs at the fact he has no ambitions for college. Instead of character motivations, we’re given long speeches by characters that are horrendously written and sometimes woodenly delivered. These useless dialogues are suppose to make us feel like our characters have a deeper understanding of life, even though their asinine actions would tell us otherwise. Eventually I quit taking notes because I was putting way more thought into my review than the writers did on this script.

If you’ve never seen attractive white people fall in love before, then this movie will feel like a breath of fresh air. Since I doubt any of you haven’t, you’re going to get through the first act of this movie wondering if the projectionist left a Lifetime movie on by mistake. As you wait for the predictability to play out, you’ll begin to wonder if you’re actually trapped in a time loop where time doesn’t pass because the length really begins to feel like water torture as you pass the hour mark. Then the third act really drags out and pulls out nearly every soap opera twist it can find. This movie falls in the category of “romance movies”, but even admirers of that genre will find this movie incredibly stale. And as the old saying goes, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

As for the veteran actors in this movie, like Greenwood. You really feel sorry for them. The most agonizing moment comes when Robert Patrick is wheeled out as David’s father, Harry. He was probably has the only enjoyable moments because my mind wandered off to him trying to kill John Connor. It’s sad really. Hollywood had the chance to prove there’s plenty more to be done with the genre this week. They knew movie lovers would use this weekend as a chance to enjoy their two loves, their significant other and movies. Instead of dazzling them and giving them something memorable, Hollywood generated another generic and forgettable movie. You’re better off staying home with your loved one this Friday. Order a pizza and watch “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown”. It’s more touching than this plane crash.

Dichen Lachman talks starring and producing her new film “Lust for Love”

Dichen Lachman is best know for her work in Joss Whedon’s science fiction drama TV show “Dollhouse” as Sierra. She also played Suren in Syfy’s hit series “Being Human”. Her latest film is “Lust for Love”, which is directed by Anton King and reunites her with a lot of cast from “Dollhouse”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat about the film with Dichen and what was it like working with friends.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved to star in “Lust for Love”?
Dichen Lachman: I don’t know if a lot of people know this but Anton (King), the writer/director, and I used to be in a relationship. We moved to LA and were together for a very long time. Anyways, life happens and we went our separate ways. He went off to Vietnam to write scripts. We kept in touch and he ended up sending me “Lust for Love” and I really liked it. It was really fun, clever and quirky. He suggested that maybe we could make it. I thought that would be great but making a movie is very complex. Even though I have been working in the business for so long, I didn’t even know where to begin. All of the cast from “Dollhouse” all became very close friends over the two years we worked together and then on. I was invited into that “Whedon” world through Joss and my work on the show. So, I thought if we did it with our friends it would be fun.

MG: Tell us about funding the film on Kickstarter?
DL: Anton mentioned Kickstarter and we decided to look into that and we were able to raise some of the budget there thanks to the fans. The first and most important part was if our friends even wanted to be involved at all. I always thought that Fran (Kranz) would be great as Astor. I thought that he could bring something that wasn’t on the page. So we asked him to read it and he really liked it and it just grew from there. Our first table read was so much fun and it gave us the energy to keep going. Once we brought on a group of people, who thought it was a fun script, that is when we proceeded with the Kickstarter. If our friends didn’t respond it would have diminished the desire to move forward. Since they enjoyed it so much, we knew we had to do it!

MG: What was it like get back together with your crew from “Dollhouse”?
DL: It was so much fun. We would always hang out together after the show but it felt like we were hanging on to something that we lost. We got so close during our time on “Dollhouse” that it was extremely fun to revisit that place. The feeling that you have when you are on set with friends and collaborating, don’t get me wrong it was extremely difficult making this movie, but it was also very rewarding. Those moments you catch where you are doing a scene and you can’t get through it because you are laughing are wonderful.

MG: Yeah! I was going to ask, when you are working with friends like Fran; do you find it harder to focus especially for the dramatic scenes?
DL: Working with Fran is an experience that every actor should have the privilege of. He is a wonderful actor and person. It is just an extreme amount of fun. It is very difficult to get through a scene with Fran without laughing. There is one scene in the movie when we are sitting on the steps and trying so hard not to laugh. He is just riffing and bringing this life to the character that wasn’t there and because I didn’t read it, it is unexpected and spontaneous. It is so wonderful.

MG: What did you enjoy most about playing Cali?
DL: She was a great character because she is not typical. She is rather resistance to the whole romantic side of things, which I liked. She is also very practical. So acting while also producing on this project was probably one of the hardest things that I have ever done. You are trying to inhabit a character and then at the same time worrying if the caterer is going to arrive on time. I don’t know if that helped my performance since it got me out of my head and just made me do it. I didn’t have the distraction of doing too much acting. She was a really fun character and I liked her relationship with Fran a lot. She is also not a girl’s girl either and I liked that. She was like one of the guys and it was really fun to be in that place.

MG: You mentioned producing, is that something you plan to do more?
DL: I would love to, yeah! I have so much more respect for people that do that job now. It is one of those things that you have to understand every department. It is extremely difficult. We did have an incredible team though, Jack Wylson was so key and worked so hard with the other producers as well in terms of making this flow right. So I would like to do it again but I am not sure I would do it the same way though. I am excited and I hope that this opportunity will help me do more.

MG: I am not really a huge fan of romantic comedies but I was really surprised with this film and enjoyed it a lot!
DL: You can’t imagine how happy that makes me. It is definitely different and quirky. I think for people that ordinarily don’t enjoy rom-coms, there is something about this one that will speak to them.

MG: What can you tell us about your role in The CW’s “The Hundred”?
DL: I can tell you that how it came about because two writers from “Dollhouse”, Liz (Craft) and Sarah (Fain) asked me if I wanted to come play on this show. I said “Of course”. Jason (Rothenberg), the creator, is super talented and such a great writer. I spoke with him recently and he told me that “People have been asking me about your character on the show, make sure that you do not tell anyone about who you are playing” [laughs]. So in terms of that I guess I can’t say much. But I think people are really going to really respond to the show and that everyone involved is really excited about it. It is very dark, especially for The CW. I know they have stuff like “The Vampire Diaries” but this takes it another step further. After the pilot, it takes some really exciting turns, so I would say stick with it. I am very lucky to be a part of it.

Anton King talks about directing his feature debut “Lust for Love”

Anton King is an Australian writer-director, who made his started in the business by premiering short films to the film festival circuit. One of those short films, “Lust for Love”, was just turned into a feature film which packs a fantastic cast including Fran Kranz (“Dollhouse”) and Dichen Lachman (“Dollhouse”) and Beau Garrett (“Tron Legacy”). Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Anton about the film and how fans can see it.

Mike Gencarelli: “Lust for Love” was originally a short film you did back in 2007; what made you turn it into a feature?
Anton King: The “Lust for Love” short was one of the first films I made, it’s a sex comedy that played at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival a long time ago. I just always liked the title so I decided to reuse it.

MG: Tell us about how you financed the entire film from your Kickstarter campaign?
AK: We were blessed with the support of our Kickstarter backers and many volunteers who contributed to the production, however like most independent films Lust for Love took longer and cost more than anticipated. After shooting the film we obtained other investment necessary to complete and deliver it, although we’re still very proud of what we were able to achieve given our limited budget.

MG: Tell us how you got Fran Kranz and Dichen Lachman and many others from the “Whedonverse” involved with the film including Enver Gjokaj, Miracle Laurie, Maurissa Tancharoen and Felicia Day?
AK: I think the performances in Lust for Love are definitely one of its best attributes, and we were certainly lucky to get such a great cast. I’ve known Dichen and Caitlin since they played sisters together on the Australian show “Neighbours”, and I got to know the “Dollhouse” cast through Dichen. I was even fortunate enough to shadow the director Félix Alcalá for one of the episodes of “Dollhouse”. Maurissa asked me if I wanted to direct the music video for her song “Remains” and we cast Fran in that too. When Dichen and I were casting “Lust for Love” we just chose great actors we knew that were available, so the cast is a mix of people she’d worked with on “Dollhouse”, and some Australian actors we knew. We also cast Karim Saleh who’s just an endlessly entertaining close friend of ours and Beau Garrett who Fran recommended.

MG: Honestly, I am not a big romantic comedy fan but you blend the two so well; tell us about this achievement?
AK: With both I just tried to keep it organic and not to overplay anything, but of course it’s difficult when you’re working in a genre that has no real darkness. It’s no coincidence that two of the most respected romantic comedies “Annie Hall” and “(500) Days of Summer” are actually about couples that aren’t supposed to be together and that don’t end up together. I also think that Lust for Love is helped by the fact that it’s about one guy chasing lots of girls rather than just one girl.

MG: Love the music in the film for example Jed Whedon and Jack Savoretti; tell us about that aspect of the film?
AK: The music supervisor Brienne Rose and I worked really hard to find the right songs for the film and Dichen came up with quite a number of selections too. While our composer Darren Morze created many wonderful pieces. It was a long process of trial and error, but for a film like this the music’s really important. Jed and his wife Maurissa were really supportive of the film and let us use both “Tricks On Me” and “Heat Of A Match” which are two of my favorites from Jed’s album “History of Forgotten Things”. We were also contacted through Kickstarter by Ryan Darton who allowed us to use songs from his album “I Am A Moth”.

MG: You juggled quite a few hats with this film; what was your biggest challenge?
AK: Perhaps the biggest challenge in making “Lust for Love” has been dealing with the sheer volume of work and the fact that it continues for so long. With such a small team and budget there’s been a lot we’ve had to do ourselves. Creatively, screenwriting is of course endlessly challenging, and we spent quite a bit of time in the edit making sure the non-linear narrative was clear.

Tell us how and where can fans see this film and what do you have planned next?
AK: “Lust for Love” is available on VOD and iTunes from Feb 7 in the US and Canada with DVD and foreign releases coming soon.

Enver Gjokaj talks about reuniting with “Dollhouse” cast in “Lust for Love”

Enver Gjokaj is know best for his role of Victor in Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse”. He also appeared in a small role in “The Avengers”, again with Joss Whedon and the new TV series “Witches of East End”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Enver about his new film “Lust for Love” and reuniting with his “Dollhouse” cast.

Mike Gencarelli: How was it reuniting with your “Dollhouse” cast members for “Lust for Love”?
Enver Gjokaj: We have always been good friends even after “Dollhouse” ended. “Dollhouse” was one of those jobs that spoiled you on every other job. You get a job and it is your first job and you think that every job will be like this…but it is not [laughs]. I have made though so many great friends from that show. Dichen (Lachman) and I are practically best friends. So we have been hanging out for a while and that is from where the inception of the film began. We were always looking for another project for all of us to do. We also wanted to figure out how much we would be able to do on our own. This was one of those projects. Everyone involved just wanted to see what we could do and it ended up being quite a lot actually.

MG: When you work with friends, do you find it more challenging or easier?
EG: It depends. Of course we love each other, so we had a ton of fun. When you are shooting something on a budget, there is no one hat so to speak. Dichen, who was the main actor and also producer, would go from setting a table for lunch straight to in front of the camera [laughs]. She wore many different hats but for me I just got to be an actor for this, which was a total pleasure. Anton (King), the director, gave me total layaway and I made the character my own. I went in a pretty comedic direction with him.

MG: Jake was definitely a funny character, tell what you enjoyed most about him?
EG: I loved it because nobody really lets me do comedy [laughs]. I have done a lot of auditions for comedies but in terms of stuff I’ve gotten hired for, I do not think people are aware that I am able to be funny [laughs]. It has been quite a few years since I was able to do quite a broad character. Anton was great and very encouraging. I would do something and it would be way over the top and then I would come to him after all apologetic. He was like “Are you kidding me? Go farther…more…more”. So that was a total pleasure since you do not often get to take the limits off a character and get to do whatever you want. There is a part where I slapped Fran (Kranz)’s character with a piece of chicken and all of that just came out of the moment. Also for me playing a lovable dickhead is right in my pocket, so to speak [laughs].

MG: What is your technique when preparing for a role?
EG: For this character, I really found him at the table readings. At first I didn’t know what to do with him. I feel like a lot of time you read a role over and over and it eventually shows itself to you. I do not think anyone planned for this character to be so broad. You really don’t plan it though and after a while it just comes out naturally.

MG: What else do you have in the cards for 2014?
EG: Right now, I am excited for “Lust for Love” getting released. Also we are in pilot season now and everyone is casting the new TV shows. I am out there auditioning for a lot of stuff. So I will see if anything comes out of it.

Tech N9ne talks about his love for music and latest album “Therapy”

You may not be familiar with the name Aaron Donetz Yates, but if you’ve been a fan of rap and hip-hop for the past two decades you surely know the name Tech N9ne!

Born in Kansas City, he embraced rap early in life, even rapping the letters in his name to alert others as to how to spell it. In 1991 he began his professional career as a member of the group Black Mafia. In 1997, after appearing with several groups on different record labels, his solo song “Questions” appeared on the soundtrack album for the Tupac Shakur film “Gang Related.” In 1999 he had partner Travis O’Guinn founded the Strange Music record label.

His thirteenth studio album, “Something Else,” was released last summer and features guest collaborations with artists like Cee Lo Green, Krizz Kaliko and the three remaining members of the classic rock group The Doors (keyboardist Ray Manzarek passed away in May 2013 before the album was released). His current EP, “Therapy,” was released at the end of 2013.

While preparing for a recent concert in Grand Rapids, Iowa, the rapper and music label president took time out to talk with Media Mikes about his 2013 releases and what he has planned for the future.

Phillip Smith: How is “Therapy” different from your other past records?
Tech N9ne: “Therapy” is 7 songs that are just amazing to me. It is just what I was feeling at the time. I know there are some fans that won’t be down with the rock rap sound but that’s what I was feeling, it’s what I wanted to do. The beats were constructed in KC and we than flew out to Venice Beach to meet with Ross Robinson. We stayed at Ross Robinson’s house and Wes Borland (formerly of Limp Bizkit) was staying out there at the same time. He sat in on the album and played on nearly every track. It’s condensed but it’s full of energy. It’s totally different from anything Tech N9ne. It has elements of Tech N9ne because it’s me, it was fun. But it’s all new, a new sound, a new message.

PS: When you come back and play in the KC Metro Area, what is one of your favorite places to play?
T9: I have played everywhere from the Uptown Theater to Kemper Arena. I’m about to play at the Sprint Center here soon. But I’d have to say right now it has to be the Midland Theatre. I won’t know that answer when I play the Sprint Center. I was on stage there one time, Lil Wayne brought me on stage when he was here and it was crazy man. I felt that whole place roar, but this time I get to perform.

PS: Is there any other place that you circle on your tour or make sure that you play every tour?
T9: Denver, totally man. It’s incredible man, incredible. I don’t know how it happened over the years but it happened. It’s still going man, that’s why I have a song called “Colorado” on “Something Else”. I have to give to all the people who have been down with me for a long time. They were always down before KC and now KC is finally catching up! You know it’s crazy out there energy wise.

PS: And they let you get away with Chiefs colors in Denver?
T9: Yeah man (laughs) because they all wear the colors when I come to town. They wear the colors of the rival team for me man (laughs loudly).

PS: Do you ever envision yourself stopping the touring and just falling back on family or just writing?
T9: It’s funny you asked that man…I’ve been saying with this tour that If I stopped…. I would be letting everyone down. They are so with me you know what I’m saying? I feel like I’d leave them high and dry I don’t know if I’ll be able ever to stop man. It’s not like they stopped liking the music and said alright stop. Than it would be easy to stop you know. But I get doper as I get older. I just had my 42nd birthday but I feel like I’m still 19. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stop…I don’t know. It’s weird.

PS: That sounds like a lot of pressure to keep going.
T9: Man, it’s a wonderful thing to still be afloat after all this time, but to be still getting bigger. It’s wild. I can’t quit this!

PS: Now that you have become known nationally and internationally… you’re no longer just Kansas City’s secret. Is this what you expected? Not just the money and being famous, but that you still have people who want to hear what you have to say, than afterwards stand up and cheer?
T9: Well man I’ve been planning this for a long time, a real long time. I always knew I had something special. It just took longer for me to make it here because I’m different. I’m the black guy with the painted face. It’s like it’s always going to be… I don’t know man… I’m gonna push hard no matter what. I’m going to always stand out. I’m not going to perform for no amount of money and change. I am the way that I am. I always knew that I was going to do this. But this isn’t the end. This is a wonderful thing but it’s not Global Domination. I won’t stop till the world knows my story.

PS: Is there someone out there right now that you haven’t worked with that you would love to collaborate on a song or an album.
T9: I think Two Murders together would be great, I think people would like to hear that, I know I would like to hear that. I would like to hear myself next to one of the best rappers in my opinion. You know I have tried a couple times, and I just haven’t been able to get it done . If it happens it will and if it don’t it don’t. I’m still a fan of the man’s music. We will just see if we can make it happen.

Justin Kirk talks about new film “Last Love” and TV show “The Blacklist”

The first time I saw Justin Kirk perform he was naked! Of course, to be fair, I should note that all of the performers were naked. It was 1995 and I saw Kirk and a stellar cast, including Nathan Lane, John Glover and Anthony Heald, in the Tony and Drama Desk Award winning play, “Love! Valour! Compassion!” One thing that stood out about Kirk (no pun intended) was his bio in the Playbill in which he noted, among his credits, that he was “Michelle Pfeiffer’s dead brother in WOLF.” If truth be told, it was actually a PICTURE of Kirk portraying Ms. Pfeiffer’s dead brother but still, to say your first film starred Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer does look good on a resume.

Since then, Kirk has worked steadily, in both film and television. His real first feature was the film version of “Love! Valour! Compassion!” in which the entire cast, less Nathan Lane and Anthony Heald, recreated their roles. Lane was replaced by Jason Alexander while Stephen Spinella subbed for Heald. He has also appeared in popular television series like “Everwood” and had a recurring role in the Showtime series “Weeds.” He can also be found occasionally on the Emmy Award winning “Modern Family,” where he plays Mitchell’s boss, Charlie Bingham. He can also be seen in upcoming episode of the new show “Blacklist.”

On the big screen, Kirk has appeared in “Angels in America” (made for HBO), “Vamps” and can now be seen in the recently opened “Last Love.” Mr. Kirk took some time out of his schedule to sit down with me and talk about his new film, working with James Spader and how his photo got screentime.

Mike Smith: I’m not sure if the rep told you when I scheduled this interview but I had the great opportunity to catch you in New York in “Love! Valour! Compassion!” And if I didn’t say it then, let me say thank you for signing my Playbill.
Justin Kirk: Wow! That’s going back some. Talk about déjà vu…I just did an episode of the “The Blacklist” with…not one of the original cast but in the second string…an actor named Richard Beacon. I hadn’t seen him in 18 years. And I just got a text from Stephen Bogardus, who was in the original cast. I’ve managed to keep in touch with all of those guys over the years.

MS: Can you give us a brief introduction to your new film, “Last Love”?
JK: Sure. Well, an introduction from my perspective is that Michael Caine and I are an angsty father and son. It’s a movie about some lonely people trying to reach out to each other.

MS: What attracted you to the project?
JK: Well, right off the bat you’ve got Michael Caine…that’s a tough one to turn away. (laughs) I enjoyed the writer/director’s (Sandra Nettlebeck) first movie, “Mostly Martha.” I was a big fan of it. It was a great script. It all just came together and I decided I’d better haul my ass to Europe for a couple of months.

MS: You’ve done a lot of film and television work. Do you have a preference? And do you have to prepare for a role differently for film vs television?
JK: Not really. I think in this day and age the lines between the two are blurring. A lot of people will probably see “Last Love” on the same box they watched “Weeds” on. The difference pretty much is that in television there’s a different script every week…you don’t necessarily have your characters beginning, middle and end when you sign on to do the job. You don’t know what it’s going to be. Other than that it’s pretty much the same. They turn on the camera, look at the other actors and try to remember who the person is that you’re playing…what they do…and start talking.

MS: Do you know yet if you’re going to be back on “Modern Family” this year?
JK: Wow! Thanks for asking (laughs). I did two episodes for this year. The first has already aired where I hit on Haley. That was a lot of fun. And then there’s one more that hasn’t aired yet. That’s been a good one over the years. They usually have me back at least once a season or so. It’s not a bad show to be a part of.

MS: One of the things I remember most about you and “Love! Valour! Compassion!” was that in the Playbill you’re claim to fame was that you were Michelle Pfeiffer’s dead brother in “Wolf.” You’re actually just a PHOTO of Michelle Pfeiffer’s dead brother. How did that come about?
JK: (laughs) Someone actually sent me a shot of that scene and I was shocked at how young I was in the picture. That came about because I was doing a play on Broadway and the costume designer for the show, Ann Roth, is also Mike Nichol’s costume designer (NOTE: Oscar-winner Roth has designed the costumes for all of Mike Nichol’s films since “Silkwood”). I had never met him. One day she told me that she and I were going to take a ride about 45 minutes out of town and take some pictures. And later on, there it was in the movie. It pops up on the screen and Jack Nicholson says, “Nice face.” I rode that one for awhile! And then years later I worked with Mike Nichols on “Angels in America” and I continually had to remind him that I had worked with him before. He was fairly unaware of that. (laughs). But you know, you never know where things like that will lead.

MS: That’s like Bruce Willis trying to convince Paul Newman on the set of “Nobody’s Fool” that they had worked together before because Willis was one of the galley members during the courtroom scenes in “The Verdict.”
JK: Really? I didn’t know that. That’s a good piece of trivia.

MS: What else do you have coming up?
JK: I just did a pilot for FX called “Tyrants.” We’ll see what the life of that one turns out to be but it was a pretty crazy experience in Morocco. I just got home yesterday from doing an episode of “The Blacklist,” which is a hot new show with James Spader. That was a lot of fun, being a bad guy. And that should air fairly soon…they have a fast turnaround there because the show is doing very well so they have to make them quickly.

MS: I think it’s because of the characters he plays but I’ve always imagined James Spader would be the worse person you could ever want to spend time with. But having just said that I’m guessing James Spader is pretty cool.
JK: He’s super cool. I’ve been a fan of his since I was a teenager in Minneapolis and went and saw “Sex, Lies and Videotape” at the local art house. He’s been for me, and a lot of my generation of actors, much like Michael Caine. When the opportunity came to work with James I was like, “I’ve got to go act with Spader for a second!”

MS: That’s really all I had. Thanks again for signing my Playbill. Everybody at the stage door was mobbing Nathan Lane when you came out so I don’t know if I got to say thank you.
JK: (laughs) That’s great. I’m glad. Maybe we’ll get the chance to do it again in the future.


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Blu-ray Review “Love Is All You Need”

Actors: Trine Dyrholm, Pierce Brosnan
Directors: Susanne Bier
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Run Time: 116 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“All you need is love (all together, now!)
All you need is love (everybody!)
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need (love is all you need)”

No ones says it better than The Beatles, right? Although this film is unrelated to the film, I couldn’t help it but make the connection here.  And also what is it about films set in Italy that make they so beautiful and very romantic? I am Italian, so I have grown up with a big Italian family but have never made the trip. Normally I am not a big “romantic comedy” fan but set in Italy, the city of love, I just couldn’t resist.  I also have found a new found love for Brosnan since he rocked it hard on “Mamma Mia”. The film is well directed and well-acted.  I recommend this for any couple to enjoy on a date night.  It is a little cheesy but it will definitely score you point men! Take my word for it!

Official Premise: From Susanne Bier, director of the Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning film In A Better World (2011, Best Foreign Language Film) comes a romantic comedy set in Sorrento, Italy. Philip (Brosnan), an Englishman living in Denmark, is a middle-aged widower and estranged single father. Ida (Dyrholm) is a Danish hairdresser who’s just been left by her husband for a younger woman. The fates of these two souls are about to intertwine as they embark for a trip to Italy to attend the wedding of Patrick and Astrid, Philip’s son and Ida’s daughter. It’s a story about seeking love and having the courage to change your life – even when you think it’s too late.

Sony delivered an impressive Blu-ray release. The 1080p transfer really captures the beauty of the film’s surroundings and looks very sharp. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks works with what is it given, there is nothing special but it is clear for the dialogue. The special features are decent as well. I was excited to see that there was an audio commentary with Pierce Brosnan, as well as the director Susanne Bier. This makes for a great revisit to this film. There is a Q&A included with Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Susanne Bier & Anders Thomas Jensen. There are additional cast interviews from the 2012 Venice Film Festival and also a Behind-the-Scenes with Trine Dyrholm from Venice Film Festival 2012.


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Liana Liberato talks about new film “Stuck in Love”

Texas-born Liana Liberato is a month shy of her 18th birthday and already she has honed out a career that would make other actresses envious. Before age 10 she had been discovered doing local theatre in Galveston and was encouraged to head to Hollywood. Roles on such popular television shows as “House,” “Cold Case” and “CSI: Miami” followed and soon the movies came calling. In 2010 she appeared in the feature film “Trust,” playing a young girl victimized by an on-line predator. Her performance in the film was deemed “remarkable” by the late Roger Ebert and she later went on to win the Silver Hugo Award as Best Actress at that year’s Chicago International Film Festival. Other film roles include “The Last Sin Eater,” “Safe Harbor” and “Trespass,” in which she co-starred with Oscar winners Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman. This week she’s back on the big screen in the new film, “Stuck in Love.” While visiting Kansas City Ms. Liberato sat down with Media Mikes to talk about the new film.

Mike Smith: Give our readers an introduction to Kate, your character in “Stuck in Love.”
Liana Liberato: Kate is a girl who becomes involved with a boy named Rusty, played by Nat Wolfe. Rusty is a hopeless romantic who has had a crush on Kate for a long time. Kate is battling a long time drug and alcohol addiction and, with Rusty’s help, she replaces that addiction with love.

MS: What attracted you to the project?
LL: I think the challenge. There aren’t a lot of roles out there like this. I liked the ideas shared in the film. And I’ve never played a role like this before.

MS: Speaking of roles, most of your film work has been pretty intense so this was certainly a chance to do something different. What was it like as an actress to work in new territory?
LL: Kate does have some darker layers to her so it wasn’t that different from what I’d done before. One of the main differences, I think, is that she’s more mature. She’s more worldly. Also, in a lot of the other projects I have done I was never really exposed to the younger generation…actors my own age. So working with Lily (Colins) and Nat and Patrick (Schwarzenegger) was really a great experience.

MS: You also got to work with a couple of Oscar nominated actors in Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly (NOTE: Kinnear was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in “As Good As it Gets” while Connelly was nominated for, and won, the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “A Beautiful Mind”). Were you able to study them or learn from them?
LL: They were awesome. And they were both so very down to earth. Usually between takes Jennifer would just sit down next to me on the couch and we’d talk about our day. So would Greg. They were both just really down to earth people.

MS: What do you have coming up?
LL: I just finished a film about a week ago called “Dear Eleanor,” and it is completely different than anything I’ve ever done. It’s a comedy and my character is actually funny and lighthearted. It’s basically a young person’s “Thelma and Louise.”

MS: Are you Thelma or Louise?
LL: (laughs) You’ll have to wait and find out.