The Squeeze
Film Review by Kam Williams

Augie Baccas (Jeremy Sumpter) is a God-fearing golfing sensation who credits his phenomenal success on the links to a combination of hard work, talent and a belief in the Almighty. And the promising prodigy is on the verge of leaving his dysfunctional home for the greener pastures of the PGA Tour so that he’ll no longer be mistreated by his abusive stepfather (Elliott Grey) anymore.

But then he’s approached by an unsavory character who rolls into town in a classic convertible with an attractive blonde (Katherine LaNasa) riding shotgun. Reeves “Riverboat” Boatwright (Christopher McDonald) is a brash gambler sporting a thick Southern drawl and enough cash to seduce the youngster into making a deal with the devil

The plan is to sucker a mark unaware of the kid’s prowess into betting a million dollars against him in a two-man match. Augie’s take will be 10% provided he wins. In Las Vegas, they find what they think is a patsy in Jimmy Diamonds (Michael Nouri), a high-roller with his own golf pro (Jason Dohring).

That is the basic setup of The Squeeze, a pat cat-and-mouse caper marking the writing and directorial debut of Terry Jastrow. Unfortunately, this battle-of-wits’ plot proves way too predictable to hold one’s attention very long.

A moralizing, paint-by-numbers parable lifted right out of the Hollywood hack playbook.

Fair (1.5 stars)

Rated PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, drug use and mature themes  

Running time: 95 minutes

Distributor: ARC Entertainment  

To see a trailer for The Squeeze, visit:


The Human Experiment

The Human Experiment
Film Review by Kam Williams

I suspect that this eye-opening expose’ will probably play out like a case of preaching to the converted, since the only people willing to watch a depressing documentary about the toxins poisoning just about everything in the environment are likely to be well-informed folks already inclined to agree with the picture’s central thesis. That being said, The Human Experiment is nevertheless an excellent flick, even if it might have a hard time attracting a wide audience.

Co-directed by multiple Emmy-winners Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, Jr., the picture indicts the chemical industry for the dramatic increases in cancer, autism, genital deformities, asthma, leukemia, ADHD, infertility, birth defects, early onset puberty and pediatric brain tumors. The problem is that instead of policing the polluters, the Environmental Protection Agency has adopted an innocent ‘til proven guilty approach which makes it nearly impossible to get an unhealthy product off the market.

That point is driven home by reminding us how past EPA ineptitude enabled the tobacco, lead, asbestos and vinyl chloride companies to “get away with murder” via a combination of deception and distraction. Today, it is China that is often the culprit, reflected in how it treats the U.S. like a dumping ground by shipping stuff here containing formaldehyde and other poisons it has banned domestically.

The Human Experiment features interviews with a number of very dedicated activists, such as Jessica Assaf who risks arrest to slap homemade warning labels on hazardous goods sitting on store shelves which read, “Ingredients in this product have been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity and reproductive toxicity.” A cautionary expose’ making a convincing argument that consumers would be very wise to learn all they can about the ingredients in the products they buy.

Excellent (4 stars)


In English and Spanish with subtitles

Running time: 91 minutes

Distributor: Area 23a / FilmBuff

To see a trailer for The Human Experiment, visit:


UserpicKevin James (INTERVIEW)
Posted by Kam Williams

Kevin James
The “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” Interview
with Kam Williams

Watch Out! The Portly Security Guard’s Back on the Segway

Kevin James, star of the hit comedies Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Zookeeper will also be seen late this year in the ensemble, sci-fi comedy Pixels. He began his showbiz career as a stand-up comic on the Long Island circuit. After being discovered at the 1996 Montreal Comedy Festival, he signed a network development deal to create his own sitcom.

“The King of Queens,” which premiered in 1998, ran for nine seasons on CBS with Kevin co-starring and executive producing. The show garnered him an Emmy nomination in 2006 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and has continued to air all around the world in syndication since concluding its run.

On the big screen, Kevin made his feature film debut in Hitch opposite Will Smith. Since then, he headlined Here Comes the Boom, and starred alongside Adam Sandler in Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Besides his live-action work, he’s done voice work in such animated features as Monster House, Hotel Transylvania, and its upcoming sequel, Hotel Transylvania 2, opening this fall.

Here, Kevin talks about his new film, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, a slapstick-driven sequel which finds the hapless hero on vacation in Vegas with his college-bound daughter (Raini Rodriguez) until he instinctively jumps into action when duty calls.


Kam Williams: Hi Kevin, thanks so much for another opportunity to speak with you.

Kevin James: No problem, Kam. How’s it going?


KW: Great, thanks! The last time we spoke, you were doing Here Comes the Boom?

KJ: Oh, I wish that one did better. I loved that movie.


KW: So did I. I gave it a great review.

KJ: That was awesome. Thank you.


KW: So what inspired you to put back on the badge on hop onto the Segway again?

KJ: You know, we all loved the character, and after the first film did well, I didn’t want to see him disappear. It was just time, it felt right, and we missed him. We also wanted to bring him back because the world needs a hero now. So, it was nice to bring him to Vegas, make it a bigger platform, and raise the stakes. He’s going through an emotional time with his daughter [played by Raini Rodriguez] who’s about to go off to college. But he can’t separate himself from his calling, and even though he’s on vacation, he’s got to serve and protect. You can’t take him away from his work.


KW: How was it co-writing the script with Todd Garner and Nick Bakay, who wrote Zookeeper for you?

KJ: It’s just great, because these guys know Paul Blart so well. So, we’re able to bounce ideas off each other, which makes the process more comfortable. And of course, the character’s more familiar to us, which means we were able to take it to another level.


KW: I have some questions for you from fans. Editor Lisa Loving says: There is something about the mall cop as a stock persona in American culture. We've all giggled at mall cops. In our town, the mall cops used to dress up in Canadian Mountie hats like Dudley Do-Right. And yet they are serious law enforcement professionals too, as we have seen in some of the more outrageous acts of mass violence during the past decade. In my home state of Oregon that includes the Clackamas Town Center shooting of a few years ago. Paul, what do you draw on in creating this character?

KJ: Initially, I drew on the stereotype of them as goofy. But then I thought about the fact that these security guards have basically the same job as regular cops but without any of the training or lethal weapons. It was inspiring to me. I was like, “These guys are really heroes!” They’re doing more with less. That’s the key.


KW: Sangeetha Subramanian says: Hi Kevin! I'm a huge fan of your stand-up and on-screen work! Is your approach to comedy different for a family-friendly movie like the Paul Blart movies versus your other work?

KJ: They’re certainly different from The Grown-Ups films which aren’t dirty at all. But since I have four kids now, I try to gear my movies towards them, so we can sit down and watch them together. That’s what makes me feel good and drives me to create content for parents who desperately want to have a great time in the theater with their children as a family.    


KW: Eleanor Welski asks: What's the special place your song takes you to? I think she might be referring to your character, Paul Blart.

KJ: It takes him to a higher level, to hero status.


KW: The Harriet Pakula-Teweles question: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you'd like to star in?

KJ: Wow! That’s a good question. A movie I would like to do again is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I love that movie. That’s the sort of movie I gravitate towards, one where you have an underdog who somehow overcomes the odds. I’m always looking for movies, and I would definitely consider a remake.


KW: Did you ever see Baby’s Day Out? That’s another great film by John Hughes.

KJ: I’m a huge John Hughes fan, but that’s one of his I haven’t seen.


KW: It’s every bit as funny as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. And you can watch it with your kids.

KJ: I gotta see it. 


KW: The “Realtor to the Stars” Jimmy Bayan’s question: What’s your dream locale in Los Angeles to live?

KJ: In L.A., I like Orange County. There also some beautiful spots in San Diego. And I was in Encino for a long time, and enjoyed that as well.


KW: The Kerry Washington question: If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

KJ: I’d say a manatee for several reasons. I don’t have long arms… I like to just float… and I eat a lot. [Chuckles]


KW: The Anthony Mackie question: Isthere anything that you promised yourself you’d do if you became famous, that you still haven’t done yet?

KJ: Get ripped.


KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?

KJ: On the red carpet, you’re always trying to watch and guide your way through these questions, while at home you free to just be loose and let your kids climb all over you, and you don’t have to throw any makeup on your face.


KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

KJ: Wow! That’s a good question. That would be the question.


KW: The Sanaa Lathan question: What excites you?

KJ: The possibility of bringing an unsung hero to the screen.


KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? 

KJ: Humility.


KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What is your favorite charity?

KJ: I have several different causes I support, but I don’t have one favorite.


KW: Let's say you’re throwing your dream dinner party—who’s invited.

KJ: This is gonna sound weird, but it would be the band One Direction.


KW: Would you be inviting them for yourself or for your kids?

KJ: For both.


KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

KJ: I think it would be Under Armour.


KW: The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid on the set anymore?

KJ: I get butterflies because I’m excited, but not because I’m afraid.


KW: The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?

KJ: This is awkward, because I do have a superpower. I have a vertical jump of about 17 or 18 feet.


KW: The Laz Alonso question: How can your fans help you?

KJ: By going out with their families and enjoying Paul Blart 2 and the other movies I make.


KW: The Pastor Alex Kendrick question: When do you feel the most content?

KJ: When I’m at home with my family, just hanging out and watching a movie.


KW: Lastly, Kevin, what’s in your wallet?

KJ: What’s in your wallet? My goodness! A little Pyle [GPS chip] to help me find it, because I lose it all the time.


KW: Thanks again for the time, Kevin, and best of luck with the film.

KJ: You’re awesome, Kam. I appreciate the support.

To see a trailer for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, visit:


UserpicPinto's Intro
Posted by Kam Williams

Freida Pinto

Freida Pinto
The “Desert Dancer” Interview
with Kam Williams

Born in Mumbai on October 18, 1984, Freida Pinto exhibited an interest in acting from an early age. She had participated in community theater as well as school productions by the time she graduated with a degree in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College, rated the top college in India for the Arts.

Freida was signed as a model by the Elite Agency and was hired to anchor a TV travel show prior to making her highly-acclaimed screen debut co-starring opposite Dev Patel in Slumdog Millionaire, which swept the 2009 Academy Awards. She’s since appeared in Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, portrayed the title characters in Trishna and Miral, and played James Franco’s love interest in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Here, she talks about her latest outing in Desert Dancer, a biopic about Afshin Ghaffarian, the Iranian dissident who founded an underground, modern dance company in a country where dancing is strictly forbidden.    



Kam Williams: Hi Freida. Thanks for the interview. I’m honored to have this opportunity to speak with you.

Freida Pinto: Of course, Kam. Thank you so much for doing this for my little, tiny film.


KW: A small, but powerful art film. It had everybody at my screening crying.  

FP: Oh my God! Thank you for telling me. We love hearing that there wasn’t a single dry eye in the room. That’s what we aimed for.


KW: Yes, it was very moving, as well as uplifting. In this picture, you reminded me of Halle Berry in Jungle Fever, where she also played a drug addict. Have you seen it?

FP: No, I haven’t. But I love Halle Berry, so thanks for the compliment. I’m going to watch it.


KW: How did you prepare to play a heroin addict?

FP: I didn’t want to watch any film about heroin addicts, because I didn’t want to imitate or exactly copy someone else’s take on what the individual symptoms were, although I did watch Candy, with Abbie Cornish and Heath Ledger, which was amazing. Instead, what I did was spend a lot of time with my director [Richard Raymond] at A.A. meetings in London, and just listened to people speak.


KW: I told my readers I’d be interviewing you. So I’m mixing in some of their questions with mine. Sangeetha Subramanian says: Hi Freida, the movie looks great! What was the process like learning the dances for the film? 

FP: It involved a physically-demanding regimen, because in a movie like this about dance, the actors are expected to look the part. So, first, we had choreographers and trainers come and break us down. If we arrived thinking movement was a certain thing, they were teaching us something brand new. We were being twisted and turned and bent backwards, and under the most challenging of circumstances, as well. We were working really, really long hours, so we had to push ourselves. It was amazing to test your endurance and find yourself motivated to go one step beyond what you thought were your limits. Another aspect was the mental and emotional training, especially with my character, Elaheh. It was very important that I let myself go, and experience things I was afraid of experiencing.


KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: Did your training in classical Indian dance help prepare you for the 8 hours of daily practice for this role?

FP: [Laughs] I wish I really had any training in classical Indian dance. That’s Wikipedia just lying. That is not true. I came with zero experience from the dance world. The only dancing I’d ever done was in clubs. [Laughs some more] 


KW: Bernadette also admires that you are so involved in causes respecting girls and education. She asks: Is there any particular subject or course of study you would recommend to young girls considering a career in film? 

FP: In film? I have not been formally trained at an acting school or even a film school. But when I majored in English Literature in college, part of the syllabus covered film in literature, adaptations, and reading poetry and prose from the early 19th Century to the present, all of which was beautiful and opened your mind to so much more. But I also studied Psychology which helped me immeasurably, and continues to help me in terms of the science of accessing emotions and how the human brain functions. I find all of that very intriguing. I’m not saying that’s the answer for other actors, just that I’m a very cerebral and scientific kind of person. More than anything else, if you can spend a great deal of dedicated time observing people without judgment, that can be a great way of learning. 


KW: Editor Lisa Loving says: You are such a talented performer, and yet I have been thrilled at the work you have done to support underprivileged women and children around the world. This film, too, shows the power of art in a corrupt society. What do you think are the most pressing political and social issues we should be addressing today? And what do you think we, as citizens of the world, should be doing to make it a better place?  

FP: I’m not going to comment on political issues. America and India both have their issues. One thing I can say is that awareness is very, very important because we’re living in a world which is literally shrinking by the day. We are global citizens. So, for us not to be aware of what’s happening to our neighbor is almost sad. Once you’re aware, then you can decide what cause you want to dedicate your time to. I feel that all of us can contribute something, and it doesn’t have to be money. It can just be service or talent.  


KW: Environmental activist Grace Sinden asks: Have you ever felt culture shock in moving between the Indian and American cultures? If so, what have you found to be the biggest differences between the two cultures?

FP: No, not at all. Perhaps growing up in Bombay made me immune to culture shock, in a way. So, culture shock is not part of my DNA.


KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: Would you be interested in dubbing your dialogue into Hindi?

FP: I’d love to, if that means opening up the film to another audience. In fact, I did that for Slumdog Millionaire and in Trishna, which was part Hindi, part English. The subject-matter of Desert Dancer is not just limited to Iran. Freedom of expression can be a topic of discussion in India as much as it is in America or Iran. 


KW: Patricia also asks: Is there an Indian figure you would like to portray in a biopic, such as Indira Gandhi?

FP:Yes! Quite a few. Indira Gandhi and Jhansi Rani, to name a couple. Jhansi Rani was actually a soldier. You should Google her. She’s phenomenal! There’s also a Pakistani character I’d love to play. But I’d never mention her name right now, because I’d get into so much trouble.   


KW: The Harriet Pakula-Teweles question: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you'd like to star in?

FP: Oh, I’ve never been asked that… I’m a great admirer of Audrey Hepburn, so I’d love to be a part of a different take on any of her films, like a re-versioning of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. 


KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

FP: Gosh, there are so many. My association and affiliation with a lot of fashion brands goes way beyond the fashion itself, almost into a relationship. Right now, I have a very, very strong relationship with the Ferragamo family. So, I’d have to say Salvatore Ferragamo.


KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?

FP: This was an exercise I had to do in an Actor’s Workshop. It was of me getting lost in a fair in Bombay. I thought I was lost for about 2 hours, but my dad said it was only about 2 minutes.


KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

FP: Anything that is breakfast-related. I love making eggs and avocado toast, but I have no patience for the rest of the day. The only thing I can pride myself on is making a really good breakfast.


KW: Lastly, what’s in your wallet?

FP: Money, hopefully. [Laughs] I don’t carry a wallet, per se. I just carry a tiny thing that can hold a credit card, an I.D. and a little bit of cash.


KW: Thanks again for the time, Freida, and best of luck with the film.

FP: Thank you, Kam.

To see a trailer for Desert Dancer, visit:


Furious 7
Film Review by Kam Williams

The late Paul Walker (1973-2013) was best known for playing Brian O’Conner, a charismatic lead character of the Fast and Furious franchise. During a break in the filming of this seventh installment, he perished in a fiery crash away from the set while being driven in a Porsche by his friend and financial advisor, Roger Rodas.

Putting the production on hiatus, director James Wan (The Conjuring) consulted with Walker’s family before deciding to complete the project. After revising the script, he resumed shooting, using Paul’s younger brothers, Caleb and Cody, as body doubles.

Between the delays and complications flowing from the overhaul, the picture’s budget ballooned to over a quarter-billion dollars. Nevertheless, the rewrite was undeniably well-worth all the effort, since Furious 7 is easily the best offering from the series by far, for it’s the first to convincingly combine sincere sentiment with its trademark swagger and spectacular action sequences.

Yes, it’s remains mostly a muscle car demolition derby featuring an array of sensational stunts, destroying 230 automobiles along the way. But it’s also a touching tribute to the much-beloved Paul Walker, poignant homage carefully crafted to ensure there won’t be a dry eye in the house when the closing credits roll.

At the point of departure, we’re reintroduced to Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), a trained assassin hell-bent on avenging the death of his brother, the diabolical villain who met his demise during the climax of the previous episode. Deckard’s already killed Han (Sung Kang), so gang leader Dom (Vin Diesel) encourages his wife (Michelle Rodriguez) and the rest of his ragtag crew of mercenaries to regroup in order to avoid the risk of getting picked off one-by-one, since there’s strength in numbers.

However, coaxing brother-in-law Brian out of retirement isn’t easy, now that he’s settled down in suburbia and has already started a family with Mia (Jordana Brewster). By contrast, unencumbered playboys Roman (Tyrese) and Tej (Ludacris) are game for another round of bombastic vehicular warfare, especially given the addition to the team of a cute computer hacker (Nathalie Emmanuel) whose affections they can compete for.

After a bit of obligatory flirting and jive talk by the brothers, it’s not long before the plot plunges the mercenaries headlong into a familiar concatenation of fisticuffs and gravity-defying car chases punctuated by macho exclamations like “I’m back bitches!” and “Time to unleash the beast!” Yet, such simplistic non-sequiturs are effectively counterbalanced by tender exchanges with Brian (“You’ll always be my brother!”) during a denoument where he makes it clear that this dangerous adventure will definitely be his last.

A captivating combination of camaraderie and cartoon physics tempered by just enough nostalgia to tug at your heartstrings.

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for pervasive violence and mayhem, suggestive content and brief profanity

Running time: 137 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures

To see a trailer for Furious 7, visit: