Robert Bailey Jr. and JR Lemon Talk ‘The Night Shift’ Acting Journey


The Night Shift wraps its third season Wednesday night on NBC (10 pm et/pt), and part of the reason for the show’s success lies in its talented ensemble cast (although Freddy Rodriguez and Jeananne Goossen are missed). Creators Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah have also fostered a nurturing and creative environment that enables the actors and crew to do their best work. “For me, they made it clear that was the environment they wanted on the pilot,” said Robert Bailey Jr. who plays Dr. Paul Cummings on the show. “They made it very open and it’s kind of a trickle down effect that they’re not these very serious, strict people. Gabe and Jeff are very relaxed, very open, and very loving so they want the entire cast and crew to feel that way. We were able to own it from day one and it was very collaborative (in terms of) figuring out who are these peple and what kind of stories we’re going to be able to tell.”

For JR Lemon, who plays nurse Kenny Fournette, he found a deeper level of comfort with his character during the show’s second season and he recounts a specific scene with Brendan Fehr (Dr. Drew Alister) which served as a turning point. Click on the media bar below to hear Lemon discuss his acting journey with The Night Shift.

I still wish Goossen was on the show, and in memory of her two seasons on the program, here’s a “duet” with her and Robert Bailey Jr. proving that, along with being solid actors, they also own a melodic and golden set of pipes!!

Catch The Night Shift with Bailey Jr., Lemon, Eoin Macken and Jill Flint Wednesday evening on NBC (10 pm et/pt).

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Don’t Breathe’ Exhales As Box Office King With $26 Million Weekend

Don't Breathe

Don’t Breathe was the #1 film over the weekend, and its $26.1 million debut should ensure this $9.9 million budgeted film should turn a profit for Sony. Well reviewed and powered by good word of mouth, the flick should do brisk business in the coming weeks. Fellow newcomer Mechanic: Resurrection was dead on arrival, making just $7.5 million for a limp fifth place finish. This weekend’s top 10:

1. Don’t Breathe – $26.1 million

2. Suicide Squad – $12.1 million

3. Kubo and the Two Strings – $7.67 million

4. Sausage Party – $7.7 million

5. Mechanic: Resurrection – Even with Jason Statham leading the way, the flick had a disappointing opening weekend with just $7.5 million.

6. Pete’s Dragon – $7.2 million and it’s a surprise this movie just didn’t catch on with audiences. Domestically, the picture has made a little over $54 million.

7. War Dogs – $7.25 million

8. Bad Moms – $5.7 million and one of this year’s biggest sleepers. Domestically, it’s made over $95 million.

9. Jason Bourne – $5.23 million and to date over $347 million worldwide.

10. Ben-Hur – Even with the chariot race, movie is one of this year’s biggest bombs. This weekend it made $4.5 million.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Natural Selection’ Powered By Ensemble Cast And Compelling Story


Available today on Video on Demand, iTunes, and playing in select theaters, Natural Selection is a hard hitting drama about Tyler Evans (Mason Dye), an introspective teenager who’s finding it hard to fit in at his new high school. When charismatic student Indrid Wardin (Ryan Munzert) enters his life, Tyler may have found a temporary way out of his troubled life, which includes dealing with his irresponsible mother Laura (Amy Carlson). Anthony Michael Hall plays a security guard who helps Tyler find his way, with Katherine McNamara (Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments) starring as Paige, a fellow student who also bonds with Tyler.

What initially started as a senior thesis project evolved to a full bodied movie for writer/director Chad L. Scheifele, and he has been working since 2009 to get his feature directing debut off the ground. Though he describes the experience as a valuable learning process, it was a huge advantage to learn on the job with a stellar ensemble cast. “Anthony Michael Hall was fantastic and he responded very well to the script and material and he really liked it and he wanted to be a part of it,” said the filmmaker, who shot the film in Chester County, Pennsylvania. “I think if you have material people want to jump on and do, then that really helps you out. I was very grateful to get such a talented cast with Katherine, Mason, Ryan, Amy and Anthony Michael Hall. It all just fell together very well.”

Natural Selection’s strongest creative aspect lies in the dynamic between Mason Dye and Ryan Munzert. While Dye does a solid job at keeping his character’s emotions close to the vest, Munzert has the showier role, as Indrid’s emotional complexities and impulsive actions drive the narrative. “Mason and Ryan are both fantastic at what they do,” added Scheifele. “Phenomenal actors. Extremely great people. Mason’s character has to hold a lot of his emotions but then he has his time to kind of let it all out in the film and with Ryan, it was a lot to take on but that’s the great thing about both guys. They took the material and they brought more to it. In a sense, I drew the outline for them and they colored it in. They just worked very well on screen and did a fantastic job of taking the material and making it their own.”

Also coming out today are Don’t Breathe and Southside With You. To check out our latest CinemAddicts podcast, click on the media bar below!!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

John Krasinski Connects To “Existential Magic” of ‘The Hollars’


John Krasinski directs and stars in The Hollars, a family drama about John, a New York City graphic novel artist who returns home after his mother (Margo Martindale) is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Though his girlfriend (Anna Kendrick) is pregnant, John’s joy at becoming a father is obviously tempered with his mother’s condition and the prospect of dealing with his dysfunctional family (Richard Jenkins is the partriarch and Sharlto Copley is John’s ne’er-do-well brother). Jim Strouse penned the screenplay.

“I had no intention of being in a family movie or doing anything derivative until I read Jim’s script and realized that’s the way to tell a family story,” said Krasinski, who previously directed the 2009 feature Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. “So I signed on immediately. Four years later, as it often happens with these small movies, the financier at the time couldn’t get it made and asked if I’d buy the script outright and make it myself. That’s a pretty big undertaking but I didn’t hesitate for this one just because the script was so good.”

Since signing onto the project seven years ago, Krasinski has become a father himself and his connection with The Hollars and his own family took on a deeper shape. Click on the media bar below to hear John Krasinski talk about the “existential magic” that exist within families.

The Hollars, co-starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead as John’s ex-girlfriend, opens in select theaters Friday, August 26.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘CinemAddicts’ Review Thrilling ‘Don’t Breathe’ And ‘Southside With You’

Don't BreatheOn episode 34 of CinemAddicts, Anderson Cowan and I review the first rate, pulse-pounding thriller Don’t Breathe. The picture, directed by The Evil Dead filmmaker Fede Alvarez, centers on a trio of young thieves (Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto) who break into the home of a blind man (Stephen Lang). Desperate to leave Detroit and strike out on their own, these youths believe this operation should be completed with a hitch. Needless to say, they’re dead wrong! Thanks to pinpoint direction from Alvarez and an engaging ensemble, Don’t Breathe is a must see movie for thriller lovers. Though I really enjoyed the film, Anderson loved it just a bit more, and he prefers Don’t Breathe over the well received thrillers Lights Out and It Follows.


Directed and penned by promising filmmaker Richard Tanne, Southside with You is an engaging drama that centers on Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) and Michelle Robinson’s (Tika Sumpter) first date. Thanks to solid performances from the leads and a well written script, Southside with You absolutely worked for me, and if you’re a fan of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise trilogy Southside with You might be your cup of tea. Though Anderson wanted a bit more likability to Michelle, I loved and appreciated her reserved and seemingly detached nature. We both agreed, however, that Southside with You is a worthwhile film to watch, and it’s great watching Sawyers absolutely embody Barack Obama (most notably  in a standout,monologue scene in a Church).

Anderson’s streaming pick of the week is the Alex Winter directed documentary Deep Web and my DVD pick is the standout, modern day set film noir The American Side.

Check out this week’s episode of CinemAddicts, which is available for download on iTunes, by clicking on the media bar below:

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi