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Cinema

Interview with Daniel Teleky Toth

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Cinema, Interviews, MikeyMoscowTV, Travel | Leave a comment

What’s a journalist’s path if you don’t end up in some surprising places. This September I set out to a tiny Hungarian town named Komlo for its first ever movie festival Het Domb Filmfesztival (Seven Hills Festival, if that’s easier) to see some old time LA friends and make some new ones.

These were extra packed and friendly three days. I went to spa with the villain from Mad Max/Commando, sneaked into a hot tub at night, ate tons of weird meat, curated Q&A session for upcoming horror/western extravaganza “Rusty Revolver” (watch this space) on stage, drank gallons of palinka, took way too many interviews, learned about chanting and literally saw a couple of deer in the headlights crossing the road at night.

As for the interviews, here’s the first one I’m sharing: Daniel Komlo ft. Mikey Moscow. At least one of these dudes knows Brad Pitt and George Clooney. The other one’s got a cooler jacket. Up-and-coming actor Daniel Teleky Toth (“Suburbicon”, “War Machine”) talks going from a tiny Hungarian town to huge Hollywood movie sets, meeting Brad Pitt, stealing a lighter from George Clooney and fighting hangovers in the process.

Fall TV Previews

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The main TV season isn’t even over yet (I still have the final episodes of ‘The Royals’ and ‘The Following’ to enjoy after ‘Revenge’ and ‘Glee’ recently died their slow deaths), but networks are already lining up their freshly recruited TV warriors. In other words: the season of the fall previews is up. I decided to check out most of them and describe what I’ve seen in couple of words – solely based on the trailers. Spoiler alert: I was hardly impressed by most of it.

Click on the shows’ titles to see the (mostly painfully long) trailers.

Supergirl looks like a Sesame Street remake of Superman.

Scream Queens looks like a Scooby Doo remake of Sorority Row.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend looks like a mediocre Funny or Die skit.

Grandfather looks like a PG-rated Adam Sandler movie (that’s a compliment).

Blindspot looks like a throwaway Luc Besson flick.

Limitless looks, well, like a Bradley Cooper-less Limitless (that’s hardly a compliment).

Lucifer looks like a very gay version of ‘Angel’ series.

Angel from Hell looks like a tedious SNL skit.

Legends of Tomorrow looks like a Asylum Studio (one word: Sharknado) remake of The Avengers.

Containmentlooks like a Soderbergh’s Contagion with soap opera twist instead of the A-listers.

Oil looks like a Dallas/Final Destination crossover nobody ever asked for.

Wicked City looks like a The Following/True Detective deranged and horny offspring.

Lost River

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Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut ‘Lost River’ left me with a lot of mixed feelings.

I do like such stories: all of this small town Americana romanticism, odd teens, confused adults, urban myths, coming-of-age-plot, neon, metal, glitter, blood, fire, woods. But Gosling is not quite there yet.

I saw some bits of ‘Drive’ here (neon + blood), some Cronenberg (the ‘shells’ room), some Lynch (the freakshow of a town and Eva Mendes’ gory variety show) and some bits of Araki’s early films (teens with that age-long sadness on their faces). But I didn’t see Gosling The Director there, and some of his camera acrobatics did make me feel dizzy. I think he’d be better off directing someone else’s script (or at least team up with another writer). But it’s still a decent debut. Let’s see what he’s doing next.

The Boy Next Door

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Do yourself a favor – go see ‘The Boy Next Door’ movie: the one where the ever-youthful Jennifer Lopez is playing a teacher who becomes an object of obsession of a hunky and maniacal young neighbour. I promise: it’s ever more hilarious than ’50 shaded of Grey’.

Bad news: it’s not a musical (although there’s a Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth playing a vice principal and JLo’s songs would make a perfect soundtrack for this passionate story). It’s not even a porn flick (although the image of Jennifer Lopez who’s wearing glasses and sitting on a teacher’s desk can easily overshadow any typical ‘Sasha Grey’).

Good news: it’s a truly phenomenal movie. The one where each scene, a moan and a twist are filled with such surrealism that the creators of any run-of-the-mill ‘Scary Movie’ should start making notes ASAP. It’s even better than the quite similar ‘Obsessed’ thriller, where Beyoncé was fighting her husband’s lover while Beyoncé songs were playing in the background.

All you need to know about ‘The Boy Next Door’ is captured in the already infamous scene, where the young stud presents a first edition of ‘Iliad’ to his literature teacher from Bronx, saying that he ‘has got it on a garage sale for a dollar’. The first. Edition. Of. Iliad. Although it’s not entirely clear wheather these characters are quoting Homer from Ancient Greece or Homer Simpson. One thing for sure, they did learn their detective tricks from Scooby-Doo.

It’s always great when the most fascinating character in a thriller isn’t the actual psychopath but the curvy middle aged beauty, who’s dealing with her cheating husband (she now has to go on a date with a loathsome sexist, ew!) and raise her asthmatic son (‘My kid is bullied at the school where I also teach? Well, what can I possibly do?!’). Jennifer’s portrayal of Claire is even more pleasant than the jeweler’s attention of the camera to her world-renowned culo. She exclaims and sighs like a professional telenovela star and her countless ‘Oh, no!’ sound even better with the Russian dubbing.

This poor teacher can’t cut a cake, pull up a garage door, brake up with a cheating husband, resist a young seducer and eat a single cookie (in the movie’s most sensual and mysterious scenes she picks up a cookie, smells it and then puts it back on a plate – Homer could never! ).  But at least she can spy on her naked neighbor, brake into a stranger’s house and slowly but surely delete all the files from the MacBook’s bin; she needs about a minute to hide more than hundred photos in her class room and she likes to walk on the stripper heels in her underwear in a bedroom when she’s by herself. And she can also score a meeting with a detective without even saying why she’s so concerned about the case.

But she says a strict no to stripping: this momma got it all under control, as she has her name on the producers’ list. So ‘Step Up’ graduate Ryan Guzman had to do all the work, pulling down his boxers whenever the director said ‘Go!’ and patiently showcasing every bit of his muscles. He’s allowed to ‘play’ a true villain around the finale and we get a healthy mix of ‘Benny Hill’ and early 80s horror movies, where the heroes are running in circles in a tiny barn filled with weapons, so that at the very end (spoiler alert!) Jennifer Lopez could remember a lesson from ‘Loony Tunes’ and drop a weight on the psycho’s head (piano would definitely be a better choice).

All of that brings an enlightenment of such proportions that’s I’m willing to forgive the crew for not recording a sequel to JLo’s ‘Papi’ called ‘Mami’. And I’m gifting them an idea for a whole franchise: pop stars VS psychos (as the movie’s director has the first ‘Fast & Furious’ in his resume which evolved into a proper monster of a series). ‘The Boy Next Door 2’ can have Britney Spears as a gymnastics teacher who’s stalked by a villainous football player, Part 3 can see Lady Gaga as an arts teachers with a student who paints with blood and then Part 4 can be about Taylor Swift as a chemistry teacher who’s suffering from a crazy 12-year-old. The one that will give her the first edition of the Periodic table.

GLEE-nale

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Cinema, Music | Leave a comment

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There are songs that bring back the memories and then there are TV shows that define the whole eras of your life. I will forever treasure Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the show that helped me settle into my teenage years or the campy-yet-charming 90210 remake that was launched when I was 18, becoming the show that at times mirrored my love dramas (hey, maybe that’s why my romantic life has been such a trainwreck!).

And then there was Glee, my Big Dream show. I remember watching my very first episode of Glee on my first plane to New York in the summer of 2010 when I was 20. There’s no other way of putting it: that trip was a turning point of my life with me living on my own in another country for the first time, renting my fist ever apartment and learning that life’s nothing but a series of dreams and goals. So getting addicted to a pop-culture-galore show about making your dreams come true was pretty much a given. I loved the music, I loved the style and I loved the idea of taking all of the high school movies’ clichés and pushing them to the max. But when the show became a bit too soapy around the season one’s finale, I lost my interest: my main complaint was that it’s hard to take a bunch of caricatures serious.

I skipped Glee’s season 2 and 3, but jumped back on this musical train when the season 4 premiered, seduced by the potentially inspiring ‘Let’s conquer New York’ storyline and an impressive list of the A-list guest stars (Kate Hudson as a dance teacher from hell was my ultimate favorite). At this point I didn’t care much about the show’s logics (let’s be realistic: Ryan Murphy’s shows tend to lose its plots quite quickly) and embraced the goods – the jokes, the covers and the eternally blissful message. There are shows like Girls that show you how ridiculous our real lives are and then there are shows like Glee that remind us that life can become quite dull if your fantasy’s denied a proper flight.

And though Season 5 was an even messier ride, when it was good – it was spectacular, with the ‘Quarterback’ and ‘New Directions’ being some of the series’ best episodes (I still believe ‘New Directions’ would make a perfect finale for the show although that would be a rather somber move). The New York part of the season was quite unbearable, so I was happy the shortened final season 6 saw the much needed return to the show’s basics.

I could spend days listing what was wrong with Glee and what should’ve been done with its storylines instead, but let’s remember Mr. Shuester’s philosophy: it’s always better to focus on the good. Glee was a show that inspired a whole generation of people, launched several successful careers and embraced all types of the outcast, while constantly making fun of itself. Yes, it was rarely consistent, often silly and it didn’t even invent its unofficial motto ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ (it was all Journey’s achievement), but it sure as hell showered us with the (un)healthy dose of glittery escapism and made a whole lot of people happy for these past 6 years, me included – not unlike a lot of the pop tunes the show re-imagined along the way.

And that’s why the finale brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion: during the final Sue VS Shue performance of ‘The Winner Takes It All’, Rachel’s solo performance of ‘This Time’ and her Tony speech. At the end of the day these scenes captured what the show was all about: a great dream is nothing without a great battle and it doesn’t matter if you were fighting with a conniving enemy or with your inner demons.

A lot has happened since I was 20-year-old self, watching the show in the living room of my Harlem apartment, and me crying and laughing at the finale this Sunday as a 25 year-old so-called-adult. But one thing never changed: I still appreciate a good performance and a good inspirational speech.

So Farwell, Glee. Thanks for reminding us that you don’t need a visa to dream. And also giving us Brittany.

PS: Surprisingly, this is my favorite performance from the show:

Pop Culture of 2014: 35 Best Moments

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Cinema, Music, Style, Без рубрики | Leave a comment

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Even though 2014 didn’t see the comebacks of Rihanna or Kesha or the revival of Lady Gaga’s career, it did have some kickass moments. 35 of them, to be exact. So let’s take a look back and remember the best songs, movies, series, music videos, crossovers, catfights, fashion collections, deers and gorillas of 2014. Beware: the following list is highly subjective, but I did try to explain my choices.

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Just a theory…

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Cinema, Music | Leave a comment

It that what’s up, Sia?

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#conSIAracytheory
#conspiRENEEtheory

ps: Yes, I was too tired of all that Renee Zellweger nonsense.

10 Things We Want From Ryan Murphy’s ‘Scream Queens’

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Cinema | Leave a comment

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Ryan Murphy just announced his next series – a horror comedy anthology ‘Scream Queens’ that will premiere in the fall 2015. The plot will revolve around two scream queens in the midst of the college campus massacre. As it’s still a year from now and as I’ll always be very sensible about 90s slashers, here’s my list of demands for the show.

1. There must be cameos (or even better – secondary characters) by the most important 90s scream queens. The top 3 are Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Neve Campbell, obviously.

2. The gore must be spectacular – no lazy it-happened-off-camera kills.

3. Just because it’s gonna be a comedy it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to spooky. Think ‘Scream 2’ instead of ‘Scream 3’.

4. “Everyone’s a suspect” is a must.

5. There must be some sort of the 80s vs 90s vs 00s slasher showdown. Maybe have 3 scream queens, maybe 3 villains from different horror eras.

6. The comedy aspect is the only thing I’m skeptical about so far, so please make it right. Maybe just a have a weird Brittany-like character (just like in ‘Glee’) and make her a lunatic geek. That will provide enough fun if the casting is right (meaning: if she will be played by Heather Morris or Anna Faris).

7. The killer’s look should be absolutely iconic.

8. Kevin Williamson should be involved somehow: at the end of the day he WAS the 90s slashers. Maybe cast him in the role of the college’s chancellor.

9. The survivor girl(s) must be cool and not some boring virgin (she can still be virgin – just not boring!). Learn all you need to learn from the ‘Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon’ movie about breaking the rules.

10. No singing. Absolutely no singing.

‘Selfie’ pilot #review

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Cinema, TV | Leave a comment

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I gave that new show ‘Selfie’ a try and while it’s surely painfully cute and it’s painfully formulaic as well. It’s pretty obvious it was written by the people whose biggest social media victory so far was setting up their own MySpace page as all the selfie/hashtag jokes here are uninspired and trite. All that social media bashing on the show serves solely as a lazy excuse for another story about oh-so-different-yet-mutually-attracted Mister Right and Miss Clumsy. There is a chance the whole thing would be way better if Isla Fisher was playing the lead instead of her knockoff. But the show’s also way too cute to not (potentially) cause an #addiction. At least that Bad Romance-makeover scene was a killer.

5/10

Interview with ‘Salem’s Ashley Madekwe

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Cinema, Interviews, Style, TV | Leave a comment

I was pleasantly surprised by the first season of WGN’s ‘Salem’. What looked like an ‘American Horror Story: Coven’ cash-in turned out to be a way better show with impressive twists, great atmosphere and decent character development. So I was very happy to arrange an online chat with one of the show’s stars – British actress Ashley Madekwe (‘Revenge’), who’s also quite a fashionista – when on holidays from her witchy duties she runs a personal style blog Ring My Bell with the help of her husband (and ‘Salem’ co-star) Iddo Goldberg.

The Russian version of the interview was published on Cosmopolitan Russia website and the original version is below.

You have quite a background! Can you lead us through the main points of your life?

I was born and raised in South London. I love London and really think of myself as a ‘Londoner’. After attending RADA (drama school) in London and working as an actress for a few years I decided to move to America with my husband and cat! I’ve been living in Los Angeles full time for 3 years and still miss home!

You worked both in English and US movie industry. Is there any difference?

The only difference for me is the amount of material available. There is a greater volume of material in the US and that’s why British actors gravitate here. I find myself having more scripts to read in the US than I ever did at home.

What’s your personal experience with the supernatural? Are you a believer?

I believe there are things in this world that can’t rationalized or explained. It would be very boring not to believe in a little magic!

If you were an actual witch, how would you use your power?

It depends on what my ‘powers’ were! In Salem the witches have no real supernatural power. All their magic comes from ritual and sacrifice… I certainly would NOT be using Tituba’s powers of necromancy! (re-animating the dead).

Did you do any research while preparing for ‘Salem’?

I read as much as I could about Tituba and the period that the show is set in and then disregarded it all! “Salem” is a fictionalized story and we’re not trying to stay true to the historical events.

Seeing you’re quite a fashion expert, did you give any advices to the ‘Salem’s costume designer?

I wouldn’t dare give Joseph fashion advice! He’s so fabulous and chic that he doesn’t need it. Our discussions about costume are all to do with how the costume makes the character feel and the message that it gives to the audience. For example, Tituba is Mary’s servant to the outside world but privately and within their coven she is not. We tried to highlight that a little with Tituba’s clothes. She doesn’t quite dress in the rags you would typically expect from a servant of the time.

I know you probably can’t reveal much, but can you give us a hint about ‘Salem’ season two and if we will see Tituba again?

I think it’s safe to say we will see Tituba in season 2 but we don’t know what her relationship with Mary will be like.

Any chance the fans of ‘Revenge’ will see you again in the Hamptons?

I never say never because Ashley Davenport didn’t die and she’s a tenacious little thing! I have no immediate plans to go back though.

How did ‘Ring My bell’ come about and what’s your goal there?

I love personal style blogs and my husband has a true love of photography. We combined the two and Ring My Bell was born. For me it’s another creative outlet that has nothing to do with acting. Eventually I’d love to expand the Ring My Bell brand into a small capsule collection of chic, directional wardrobe staples.

Photo from http://ashley-ringmybell.blogspot.ru/

Is fashion just a hobby for you or you plan to explore the industry more at some point?

My love of fashion is very organic and a true pleasure right now. I would one day hope to explore it more but I’d be careful to keep it as organic and fun as possible. Acting will always be my first love.

What are you fashion advices/favorite trends of summer 2014?

Birkenstocks are back! Go for minimalist black or white or metallic gold or silver.

What was the most memorable experience from the ‘Salem’ set?

Tituba’s familiar is a spider. I am absolutely terrified of spiders so this was a difficult scene for me to shoot! Luckily my body double isn’t such a baby and she helped out. I usually love it when we have animals on set. My favorite is the toad. He’s really quite sweet!