YRB Magazine Interview: Actress Jena Malone

Photo by Seth Kushner for YRB Magazine

Would you like half?” Jena Malone asks me at the start of our interview, referring to her bottle of Vitamin Water. Sweet and soft-spoken (and extraordinarily polite), you may not know her name—yet—but chances are you’ve seen one of Jena’s films. From Into the Wild to Saved! the young starlet has already racked up over 35 big and small screen credits, and at 23-years-old she’s just getting started. That’s why we jumped on the opportunity to chat with Jena about her upcoming films, her burgeoning music career and her take on the world of fashion.  Continue reading

YRB Magazine Interview: Rapper Lil’ Jon

Crunk Ain’t Dead.

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, also known as the easiest day of the year to get laid. You’ll still have to pay for it – but with flowers and chocolate instead of by the hour. Hey, romance might be dead, but take solace in the fact that like sweet crunk music, love is alive and well – just ask Lil’ Jon. We did, and here’s what the original dirty South rapper had to say.

JG: In “Lovers and Friends” you talk about “knowing a girl for a long time, but fuckin’ never crossed your mind.” Is that your definition of love?
LJ: Well, that was in the ‘friends’ context… . If you got a homegirl that’s your homegirl, sometimes you don’t never even think about crossing that line. That’s what that was about, just having a female that’s your friend. But sometimes, someone that you’re friends with, something might happen where you just look at someone in a different way, like, ‘Damn, this person been around me all this time, and now I see something else.’ When I first met my wife, I knew that was someone I wanted to be with. We was friends for a lotta years before we even started. And really, the friends in your life are the ones you end up settling down with, only because you known them the longest, you trust them the longest, they know everything about you, and they’re your friend.  Continue reading

YRB Magazine Interview: Director James Wan

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After making his wildly successful directorial debut with the low-budget horror film Saw, young director James Wan returns with Death Sentence, a revenge-thriller about a family man (Kevin Bacon) who takes matters into his own hands after his son is murdered. I caught up with Wan to discuss Death Sentence and his approach to filmmaking, and here’s what he had to say.

Interview: John Leguizamo & Donnie Wahlberg

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Who needs Jack Bauer when you’ve got… Pittsburgh?

“I love Pittsburgh, I think it’s underrated,” says actor Donnie Wahlberg, who plays hostage negotiator Horst Cali on Spike TV’s new summer miniseries The Kill Point, shot on location in the ‘Burgh.

Joining Wahlberg on set was John Leguizamo in the role of  Mr. Wolf, the ringleader of a team of disgruntled Iraq War veterans who decide to rob a bank.

Wahlberg admits that although he is ostensibly playing the role of hero, “You could just as easily not root for [my character]. I think in the end people will,” he says, “but [Wolf and Cali] are two flawed characters, they’re not perfect. It seems like sometimes the choices they make aren’t always great, but at their core they’re both good guys and they make a connection. They’re both fearlessly determined to get their way, and while they respect each other, it’s like a very good chess match. They find that they have a lot in common but they both want to win, they both want to accomplish their goals.”  Continue reading

Interview: Perez Hilton

Photo by Jeff Forney for YRB Magazine

In the age of the gossip blog, if you still subscribe to the belief that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, then chances are you’re not a publicist.

“I’m a polarizing figure,” says Perez Hilton, the self-anointed “Queen of Media” and the creator of the celebrity gossip blog PerezHilton.com. “Some people love me and some people hate me. Some people wanna tell me everything, some people are afraid to even make small talk around me. It depends who you are and how I rub you.”

Every day, close to four million unique visitors flock to Hilton’s site (formerly PageSixSixSix.com) for the inside scoop on the latest Hollywood scandal, juiciest truth-based rumor and even the occasional news byte.  Continue reading

Movie: Fanastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben are as fantastic as ever in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the latest installment of the Marvel Comics-inspired films. In the sequel, the astronauts-turned-superheroes must face-off with a new enemy: the evil, intergalactic Silver Surfer, who has touched down on Earth with the intention of destroying the planet and anyone that stands in his way. As in the first film, expect some fancy, hi-tech special effects and a few hours of entertainment, but don’t lose too much sleep wondering whether the Silver Surfer will succeed in his efforts or whether the Fantastic Four will prevail and save the world. Something tells us they will.

Interview: Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

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Movie: Live Free or Die Hard

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

After Sylvester Stallone brought retro back with last year’s Rocky Balboa, this summer, Bruce Willis, 52, is back as Average Joe-turned-hero John McClane in Live Free or Die Hard. In this, the fourth Die Hard flick, the plot has been updated to accommodate a post- 9/11 world, and focuses on a terrorist group that is using the Internet to wage war against the United States. Live Free or Die Hard boasts the same entertainment value of the first three Die Hard movies, but with better technology and action sequences. In short, failure to go see Live Free or Die Hard would be downright unpatriotic – and these days, that’s enough to land you an open-ended stay at Guantanamo.


Movie: Smokin’ Aces

Common and Jeremy Piven in Smokin' Aces (Photo: Universal Pictures)

Simply put, Smokin’ Aces is Pulp Fiction meets Saving Private Ryan – if the objective hadn’t been so much rescuing Private Ryan as it was tracking down and killing him. With an A-List cast, Smokin’ Aces features excellent performances by Ryan Reynolds (yes, we are as surprised as you to see Van Wilder coming into his own), Jeremy Piven (as Buddy “Aces” Israel, the powder-nosed, Vegas illusionist with a $1 million bounty on his head), Ray Liotta, Alicia Keys, Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Jason Bateman (who has a small but ingenious role), and even a cameo by Lost’s Matthew Fox. The long list of characters and complex web of relationships á la The Usual Suspects might seem confusing at first, but before you realize that you’re not totally sure what’s going on, the movie is over and it all makes sense. With everything you could possibly want – violence, drugs, hookers and mobsters – we venture to say Smokin’ Aces is one of the best movies we’ve seen all year.


DVD: The Messengers


Although this horror flick didn’t break any records when it was released in early 2007, The Messengers did hold down the top spot at the box office over Superbowl weekend and was generally popular among horror fans. The movie (which stars Dylan McDermott, Penelope Ann Miller and Kristen Stewart) tells the story of the Solomon family, and the events that transpire after forces of darkness begin to infiltrate their formerly tranquil North Dakota farm. Bonus footage on the DVD includes the standard featurette on the making of the film, interactive commentary with the actors and so on. And don’t be skeptical about the film’s fright factor just because it’s rated PG-13; kid-approved movies are allowed to be terrifying – they just can’t contain excessive nudity or profanity. Which totally makes perfect sense.

Movie: 28 Weeks Later

Photo courtesy of Fox Atomic

The sequel to 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later picks up six months after a deadly, blood borne virus was released from a London laboratory, devastating the city and transforming those infected into ferocious, murderous predators. Now, the U.S. Army has come to restore order, claiming to have eradicated the virus, but as the surviving refugees begin to return to the city it seems the nightmare has only just begun. A new cast of characters is led by Rose Byrne (Star Wars Episode II; Troy, Damages) and although 28 Weeks Later may seem like little more than a vaguely altered version of the first film, the story carries over quite well and suspense levels remain high. Don’t be surprised if this one sticks with you after you leave the theater, but be sure to remain seated until the final credits role – you wouldn’t want to miss another famous alternate ending.

Interview: Director Wes Craven

Photo by Carly Feingold / Courtesy of Fox Atomic

Believe it or not, Wes Craven made quite a few movies before Scream (“You mean Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?!” jokes Wes), including the original versions of The Hills Have Eyes and The Hills Have Eyes 2 in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We recently caught up with Wes to discuss his latest film–a remake of The Hills Have Eyes 2–and his approach to scary movies.

JG: What is required to make a good horror film? Do you just need to have a morbid imagination to make a movie like Hills?
WC: I don’t really have to have a morbid imagination these days – I just have to read the newspaper… It’s basically doing something that’s intriguing to you at the moment that you find frightening. Not that there’s Hills Have Eyes people running around in the United States. But if you nudge that just a bit, you can understand what it’s like, say, for an American soldier in Afghanistan, encountering people that will literally skin you alive or cut your head off in the middle of the mountains. The Hills’ underlying concept is, ‘What do Westerners do when they confront people who would like to kill them, and follow none of the rules they were trained to fight by?’ What does that do to your own sense of personal confidence and morality?  Continue reading

Interview: The Vincent Black Shadow

Photo by Jeff Forney for YRB Magazine

Listen to “Metro.”

The infectious lead single off The Vincent Black Shadow’s debut full-length, Fear’s In the Water (Bodog Music), will turn metalheads and grunge enthusiasts alike into instant fans of the pop-punk rockers.

The Vancouver-based quartet, which pounced onto the scene in recent months, is fronted by Cassandra Ford (lead vocals) and the Kirkham brothers – Robbie (guitar, vocals), Chris (bass, vocals) and Anthony (drums). Continue reading

TV: The Sarah Silverman Program

Photo by Marc Lecrueuil / Comedy Central

From a woman rivaled only by Borat when it comes to making jokes about all things taboo comes Comedy Central’s The Sarah Silverman Program. Oddly enough, Sarah Silverman plays a character named Sarah Silverman, and the show focuses around her daily life and the various kooky events and situations in which she finds herself. It may sound like a typical sitcom, but if you’re familiar with the comedic stylings of Ms. Silverman then you know this is no Friends rehash. In the premiere episode, Sarah has a run-in with the police after she ingests too much cough syrup and then proceeds to park her car in the middle of a playground. As in her full-length film, Jesus is Magic, Sarah takes every opportunity to incorporate songs with off-color lyrics into the show, and also shares the screen with some of the funniest people in the world of comedy today, most notably Brian Posehn, who plays one of Sarah’s gay neighbors. Whether she’s reading aloud from The Diary of Anne Frank for the talent portion of a children’s beauty contest, or taking in a homeless man, we love The Sarah Silverman Program, and if you have any sense of humor whatsoever, you will, too.



Product: Spray On Condoms

Illustration by Brian Romero for YRB Magazine

As if regular old condoms weren’t already an intrusive (albeit necessary) way to kill the moment, a German company recently developed a whole new way to ruin your sex life. Spray On Condoms are the next big (or small) thing in prophylactics, and while we can’t imagine it would be easier to fit a spray can in your wallet than a Trojan, the new product might prove to be the perfect choice for those seeking to maximize awkwardness in the bedroom. But before all you graff writers let your imaginations run wild, be advised that you don’t simply spray away to your heart’s content. Rather, insert the given organ into the aerosol can, push the button, and presto chango, you’re covered. Literally. According to the Institute for Condom Consultancy (yes, that is indeed a real organization), the new product takes only five seconds to “put on” and will protect you from contracting the clap just as effectively as good old rubbers. The Spray On Condom is still in testing, but is expected to hit stores sometime next year.