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Get Hard

Narrow-minded millionaire James King (Will Ferrell) is arrested for fraud and sentenced to ten years at San Quentin prison. King looks upon a physically and vocally colorful Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) for prison prep help. James King will have to go from soft millionaire to the hardest prisoner on the block under Darnell’s coaching. 100 min. Rated R.

Home

Jim Parsons and Rihanna star in the DreamWorks picture Home. A misguided alien lands on earth and meets a girl who is on an adventure of her own. 94 min. Rated PG.

While We’re Young

Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts star in a coming-of-age story of a middle aged couple. Their lives and careers are dramatically changed when a younger couple enters their lives. 97 min. Rated R.

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An Interview with ‘Get Hard’ Star Paul Ben-Victor

by Alexandra Fraioli on March 27, 2015

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Paul Ben-Victor has his roots in the New York theatre. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ben-Victor made the transition from east to west coast early in his career. Scene spoke with him while shooting Emmett/Furla Films’ Empire State, a film set in New York but shot in New Orleans. “I started off a little bit in New York,” said Ben-Victor. “I started off on the off-off-off-off-off  Broadway thing for about a year. I got some early commercials in New York… the original Levi’s 501 Blues campaign. And then I got shipped off to L.A. to do a Dodge Boy campaign commercial. I did a bunch of those. The weather was great. I didn’t have any allergies out there.”

His budding film and television career grew during his early years in Los Angeles. “Back lots had no security,” Ben-Victor recalls about getting his start in 1980s Southern California. “I’d sort of walk on and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to walk in this building.’ ‘Alright.’ I’d walk in, I’d introduce myself. I did my monologues wherever I wanted to, an office here, an office there. Some guys said, ‘Come on in. You’d be good. Go in at four o’clock for a show called L.A. Law.’ I got my first guest on L.A. Law, and the rest is history. I started doing a scene here, an L.A. Law here, a Cagney and Lacey, a China Beach and a movie there. I became a member of the Actors’ Studio out there. I did a play by a playwright named Lyle Kessler who wrote Orphans.”

Though his career seemed to be developing rapidly, it wasn’t without growing pains. “Twenty years ago, I was confused, I was less happy,” remembers Ben-Victor. “A little nuttier, a little angrier. I burned some bridges that I regret doing back then. Just being a little cockier. But there was nobody to teach me otherwise. I had to learn these things alone.”

Perhaps Ben-Victor’s biggest break came when he was cast in the HBO drama The Wire, also starring Wendell Pierce. “That was probably one of the most exciting times of my life, in terms of career,” he says. “That was probably one of the most exciting times of my career so far because I was doing several things at the same time. I had written a play with my mom that was playing in a beautiful theatre, The Hayworth Theatre in L.A. At that time it was called The Good Steno, but we’re changing the name to This Little Jew Girl. Morty is this horrible villain, and I play Morty. So it’s a great play, and I was doing that. And then I get an offer to do The Wire, which was the greatest offer at the time. I don’t know how exactly that happened but [The Wire casting director] Alexa Fogel… I owe her a lovely gift that’s long overdue.”

“[Alexa] was amazing. She made that happen,” says Ben-Victor. “I don’t know how, but I get a call saying, ‘Paul, you start shooting next Monday. Get on a plane to play this Greek guy.’ I was doing Entourage at the same time, and I was doing The Good Steno, In Plain Sight. There was a lot of stuff happening that year. I was overwhelmed doing theatre, TV and film all at the same time. It was a great time.”

Now a veteran actor, Ben-Victor has gone back to his roots, again collaborating with his mother, but this time as a writer. “It’s Should’ve Been Romeo,” says Ben-Victor. “I co-wrote it with my mom. She’s a playwright, Leah Kornfeld-Friedman. We started writing it fourteen years ago, based on a summer stock play I did thirty years ago. [It was] Romeo and Juliet where I played Benvolio. When I should’ve been Romeo, but I was Benvolio. So it was the seed and wrote a draft, then kept writing new drafts. Greg Ferkel is another writer that came on board and myself. And then my friend Michael Goldberg came on board, who wrote Cool Runnings and Snow Dogs. Big family film writer. And that’s what this is: it’s a wonderful, funny, lovable little family story. We wanted to make a funny movie, a lovable feel good movie.”

“Over the years it just evolved and evolved and evolved and we finally put it together,” he continued. “And it stars Ed Asner, Carol Kane, Michael Rappaport, Alanna Ubach and Evan Handler. Kelly Osbourne has a  wonderful cameo in it. Mary McCormack from In Plain Sight has a cameo. It’s chock full of cameos! We needed Tina Majorino (True Blood), so I think we had to work around her schedule for the movie. She’s wonderful. Again, she has a cameo, and then she turns around and hits it out of the park. Everybody does. Costas Mandylor is in it. Natasha Henstridge and I go back to the Van Damme movie we did twenty years ago, Maximum Risk. Evan Handler and I did The Three Stooges together. We became and are still very close friends. Matt Winston, he did In Plain Sight. It’s a wonderful thing to call your old friends and say, ‘Hey, could you come do a day for us? Could you come do a couple days?’ And they go, ‘Sure, when should I show up and where? If I’m in this country, I’ll get there.’”

There’s more!

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Scene Magazine editor Micah Haley and Mac Alsfeld, the writer/director of Father-Like Son, review Get Hard, the new film directed by Etan Cohen that stars Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart.The SceneCast is the official podcast of Scene Magazine, the entertainment magazine. Find out more at Sceneent.com. Email us at scenecast@sceneent.com.

SHOW NOTES

0:50 – Intro
1:46 – Father-Like Son’s distribution plans and release strategy
5:01 – Get Hard review
11:55 – Spoilers for Get Hard

Music for this week’s show is “Still D.R.E.” by Dr. Dre. You can buy this song in iTunes here.

SPONSOR:
This episode of the SceneCast is brought to you by Delaney and Robb, a premier New Orleans law firm focused on estate planning, family law and general practice. The only established firm in New Orleans dedicated to the LGBT community, Delaney and Robb greet each client with compassion and understanding, in addition to experienced legal expertise. Whether you are a member of the LGBT community or just need great legal representation, Delaney and Robb are there for you. Visit delaneyandrobb.com for more information.

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1419354491_will-smith-margot-robbie-zoomIn the run-up to each fiscal session of the Louisiana Legislature, critical media coverage of the State’s tax incentive programs intensifies in both print and broadcast media. In a year when the State of Louisiana has a projected budget shortfall, that coverage is even more intense. But it doesn’t accurately reflect the positive impact that programs like Louisiana’s film incentive program are having on the general public, many of whom work in or own businesses that have been impacted by the film industry.

A new report released today says that the Louisiana public overwhelmingly favors tax incentives to attract businesses to the state, including Louisiana’s film tax incentives. You can read the report in its entirety here. The report comes from Louisiana State University’s Public Policy Research Lab, which conducted the 2015 Louisiana Survey.

The report states that “nearly three fourths of residents (72%) support reducing state taxes on businesses to get them to come to Louisiana. A smaller majority (55%) supports using state government funds to pay businesses to get them to come to Louisiana.” Both of these statements describe the State of Louisiana’s film tax incentive program, along with other initiatives.

Even after pollsters offered specific arguments raised by critics of tax incentives, the Louisiana public remained supportive.

The support for tax incentives as a tool for economic development is also nonpartisan. “Both Democrats and Republicans support reducing state taxes on businesses,” the report says, although the two parties differ on the details of how the reduction is implemented.

I believe so strongly that part of the story isn’t being told, I chaired a Kickstarter campaign to fund an independent economic impact study to prove it. Hundreds of people statewide believed in it and together we raised $55,818 to fund the study. We’re still waiting on the results of that study. But in the meantime, this is another new study just released that continues to show how much wide support the film tax incentives have.

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Pelicans Fall Short To The Houston Rockets

by Jordan McGuire on March 26, 2015

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Last night, Anthony Davis went for 24 points and 14 rebounds but missed a dreadful eight free throws on route to the 95 – 93 loss to the Houston Rockets. The team as a whole shot a disappointing 20-32 (62.5%) from the charity stripe and gave up too many open looks from in the paint and beyond the arc.

At one point, the Pelicans had a 17 point lead and crumbled in the second and third quarters being outscored 58 – 36. James Harden led the way for the Rockets scoring 25 points followed by former Hornet Trevor Ariza who scored 22 points going 9-13 from the field. The dark horse X-Factor in this match-up was the seven-footer from Lithuania Donatas Motiejunas. Try saying that name five times fast. The Lithuanian big man played 37 minutes and scored 21 points and seemed to have an answer to every Pelican basket. His footwork and touch with both hands around the basket gave the Pelican front court fits throughout the night.

Eric Gordon finished the night without making a basket but did shoot 6-8 from the foul line giving him six points. Tyreke Evans led the Pels in scoring shooting an incredible 4-6 from long distance and finished with 28 points. I think it’s safe to say we have found our point guard in the Crescent City. He powered by defenders, hit open jumpers and created havoc at times on the defensive end. Who knows if and when Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson will be back in the lineup of a team that’s playoff dreams are slowly fading away. Don’t know how much longer Pelicans fans can keep hitting the snooze button in hopes of making the playoff dream a reality.

This loss caps a four game losing streak for the Pelicans and pushes them to 3.5 games behind the Russell Westbrook-led Oklahoma City Thunder. Pelicans claimed that illustrious eighth seed for a brief moment before dropping six of their last ten games. Next up for the Pelicans is Friday, March 27 as they will host the Sacramento Kings at 7pm. Below is the current state of the race for eighth for the Western Conference playoffs.

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TRAILER: Arnold Schwarzenegger in New Orleans-Shot ‘Maggie’

by Jordan McGuire

The first trailer for Maggie shows a father’s will to protect his daughter knows no bounds. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars alongside Little Miss Sunshine‘s Abigail Breslin. Their roles in Maggie are a far cry from anything either actor has played in the past. The zombie virus has spread its lifeless wings across the plains of civilization […]

The New Orleans 48 Hour Film Project 2015

by Jordan McGuire

One of the most innovative and challenging film contests will be held in New Orleans the weekend of July 24-26. The New Orleans 48 Hour Film Project is simple. Filmmakers will compete in hopes of making the best short film in only forty-eight hours. Filmmakers from New Orleans will be competing against others from around […]

FASHION: Andi Eaton Breaks Down Southern Design Week F/W 2015 | The SceneCast

by Arthur Vandelay

Andi Eaton recaps Southern Design Week’s Fall/Winter 2015 collections, including Lady Gaga’s designer Stevie Boi, Courtney Marse, Ottilie Broddman and Tabitha Bethune, along with a splash of great events. The SceneCast is the official podcast of Scene Magazine, the entertainment magazine. Find out more at Sceneent.com. Email us at scenecast@sceneent.com. SHOW NOTES 0:50 – Intro 2:09 – Sunday at […]

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Chloë Sevigny Joins ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ as a Series Regular

by Jordan McGuire

Following the 87th Oscars, we received news of Lady Gaga joining the cast of American Horror Story: Hotel, the anthology series’ fifth installment. We now have news of White Collar star Matt Bomer and former Asylum player Chloë Sevigny jumping aboard the horror drama. Sevigny appeared on season two of American Horror Story as a recurring character. The talented blonde actress, […]