TV & Film

Monday Morning Critic podcast was developed by my passion for people whose work has moved me. Guests are hand picked and purposely selected in a format where storytelling is done properly. If you’re like me and you’re a huge movie fan of the big and small screen, welcome! Monday Morning Critic Podcast. Twitter: @mdmcritic Instagram: Monday Morning Critic Facebook: Monday Morning Critic Podcast www.mmcpodcast.com

Episodes

Yvon Barrette's iconic portrayal of Goalie Denis Lemieux in the legendary 1977 movie "Slap Shot" produced some of the most memorable moments of the movie, which starred Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean, Strother Martin and the Hanson Brothers, played by Steve and Jeff Carlson and Dave Hanson of the Johnstown Jets.

 

Meet the awesome: Yvon Barrette!

 

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Annie Rose Buckley is an Australian actor whose performance in "Saving Mr. Banks" remains one of the best in recent memory.

Her role as "Ginty" was nothing short of phenomenal. 

 

Meet the very kind and talented: Annie Rose Buckley.

 

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His big Hollywood break came in the form of him being cast in the upcoming Bourne Ultimatum (2007) by award-winning director, Paul Greengrass, in which he plays 'Desh', a Blackbriar super assassin working for the CIA who goes up against Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).

 

You can currently find him in the Netflix smash hit,  "The Old Guard"

 

Meet the very awesome, Joey Ansah.

 

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Lauren Sweetser is an actor whose filmography includes the four time nominated "Winter's Bone" and Season 3 of "True Detective"

Meet the very cool: Lauren Sweetser.

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Meet one of the best documentarians on the planet!

Joe Berlinger!

 

Emmy-winning and Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger has been a leading voice in nonfiction film and television for over two decades. A pioneer in the genre of true crime documentaries, Berlinger draws attention to social justice issues in the US and abroad with such landmark documentaries as Brother’s KeeperParadise Lost, and Crude. Highlighting the issue of oil pollution in the Amazon rainforest, Crudewon 22 human rights, environmental, and film festival awards and triggered a high profile First Amendment battle with oil-giant Chevron, while Brother’s Keeper and Paradise Lost influenced a generation of documentary filmmakers and are routinely studied in numerous film and law schools across the country. The New York Times included Brother’s Keeper in its guide to the 1000 best movies ever made, a list that represents all genres of film. Berlinger has received multiple awards from the Directors Guild of America, the National Board of Review and the Independent Spirit Awards. Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, is a feature-length documentary produced by CNN Films and theatrically released by Magnolia in 2014. Berlinger’s film captures notorious crime boss Whitey Bulger’s sensational trial, using it as a springboard to explore allegations of corruption within the highest levels of law enforcement. The film was one of six Berlinger features to have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

In addition to social justice filmmaking, Berlinger has explored cultural icons in such documentaries as Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, a film that redefined the rockumentary genre, and Under African Skies, about the 25th Anniversary of Paul Simon’s Graceland album. The film was nominated for three primetime Emmy awards after its 2012 Sundance Film Festival premiere, including Outstanding Nonfiction Special. In the summer of 2016, Netflix released Berlinger's Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru, a riveting vérité film that goes behind the scenes of renowned life and business strategist Tony Robbins and his mega once-a-year “Date With Destiny” seminar. Also for Netflix, Berlinger directed and produced Hank: 5 Years From the Brink, a dissection of the actions taken by then Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson to stave off a global meltdown during the financial collapse of 2008.

In 2017, Berlinger completed Intent to Destroy, which pulls back the curtain on the violent history of the Armenian Genocide and legacy of Turkish suppression and denial over the past century. The film won numerous film festival awards after its Tribeca Film Festival world premiere and was broadcast on Starz. In 2018 Berlinger executive produced Paris to Pittsburgh for Bloomberg Philanthropies and National Geographic. The film highlights the impassioned efforts of individuals across the United States who are battling climate change despite the Trump administration’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement. The film debuted in December of 2018 and aired globally in 172 countries.

In addition to his feature documentary work, Berlinger, a two-time Emmy and Peabody award winner (with five additional Emmy nominations), has created hundreds of hours of television as both a producer and director, including the Emmy-winning History Channel series 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America and the Emmy-nominated Gray Matter. He directed and produced six seasons of the critically acclaimed Sundance Channel series Iconoclasts and directed/executive-produced the first two seasons of the Emmy-nominated Master Class, a series for the Oprah Winfrey Network. His numerous HBO productions include AddictionJudgment Day andVirtual Corpse, and he has created series for VH1 and Court TV. Berlinger’s dramatic television directorial credits include NBC's acclaimed hit drama Homicide: Life on the Street, as well as the short-lived UPN/Dick Wolf series D.C.

Berlinger’s multiple Emmy-winning Paradise Lost series for HBO helped spawn a worldwide movement to free the “West Memphis Three" from wrongful murder convictions, ultimately resulting in a death sentence and two life-without-parole sentences being vacated, allowing the men to finally be released from prison on August 19, 2011. The last film in the trilogy, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory was nominated for an Oscar and two primetime Emmys in 2012.

In 2015, the filmmaker finished directing and executive producing The System with Joe Berlinger, an eight-part series examining systemic problems within the American justice system for Al Jazeera America. Berlinger also directed and produced Judgment Day: Prison or Parole, an investigative series for Investigation Discovery that takes viewers inside the high stakes decisions made by parole boards everyday. Killing Richard Gossip, another Investigation Discovery series, tells the haunting story of a former motel manager sentenced to die for orchestrating a murder that he swears he had nothing to do with.

In the summer of 2017 Berlinger’s eight-part docuseries for Spike TV premiered. Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio, about the deaths and disappearances of six young women in southern Ohio, is a tragic saga shrouded in a mystery that includes a dark underbelly of a struggling Midwest region plagued by drug and sex trafficking, and a system that seems to have failed to protect these women. In the fall of 2017 Berlinger’s four-part true crime documentary series Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders reexamined the crime chronicled in Truman Capote’s landmark book and Oscar- nominated film.

In 2018, Berlinger produced and directed Wrong Man, a documentary series for Starz. An investigation into three separate cases of wrongful conviction, the show seeks to bring three innocent people the justice that the American criminal justice system has denied them. Wrong Man has been greenlit for a second season, where Berlinger and his team will examine three new cases. His most recent series, Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers, is an investigative look into the brutal murder of a Mississippi teenager, which Berlinger directed and executive-produced. It debuted as Oxygen’s highest rated show since its true crime rebrand in 2017.

Berlinger directed two projects which premiered days apart in early 2019. Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, a four part series for Netflix, examines notorious serial killer Ted Bundy through exclusive interviews with the killer himself after being sentenced to death in Florida. The series debuted on January 24, just two days before the Sundance premiere of Berlinger’s narrative feature film on the same subject: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. The film chronicles the life of Ted Bundy through the eyes of Liz Kloepfer, his longtime girlfriend, who refused to believe the truth about him for years. Starring Zac Efron, Lily Collins, John Malkovich, Jim Parsons, Haley Joel Osment, Kaya Scodelario and Angela Sarafyan, Extremely Wicked made its world premiere at the Eccles Theater in Park City on January 26. Netflix also aquired the film and released it globally in May of 2019. 

Berlinger’s articles and photographs have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, ArtForum, Film Comment, and Aperture magazines. His book, Metallica: This Monster Lives, The Inside Story of Some Kind of Monster, was published in 2004 by St. Martin’s Press.

Berlinger’s film and television development company, Third Eye Motion Picture Company, has had a long-standing unscripted production output deal with RadicalMedia, which also represents the director for commercial and branded-content production.

Berlinger is a member of the DGA, PGA, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) and the National Board of Review. He serves on the boards of the International Documentary Association, The Bedford Playhouse and the wrongful conviction nonprofit Proclaim Justice. Berlinger is on the Advisory Boards of the Jacob Burns Film Center, The Woodstock Film Festival and Rehabilitation Through the Arts. 

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While playing disabled characters has been, for the past 27 years at least, a great way for actors to win an Oscar, Americans haven’t actually seen many impaired people on their screens. So when American Horror Story: Freak Show, introduced Mat Fraser as Paul the Illustrated Seal Boy in 2014, it was a challenge for some and a revelation for others. An actor with phocomelia a congenital condition triggered in tens of thousands of children after their mothers used the drug thalidomide for morning sickness, Fraser has short arms and no thumbs. His casting, among others in American Horror Story, triggered a wave think of pieces about the depiction, casting, and exploitation-versus-agency of disability in the media. But although Fraser is a new figure to many Americans, this wasn’t his first rodeo. Long a presence in British media before coming to the States, Fraser has used his art and public profile to push and shape conversations about disability depictions, rights, and equality for years.

Meet the awesome Mat Fraser!

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A look at the hidden classic from 2010, "Hot Tub Time Machine"

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Bao Nguyen is an award-winning Vietnamese American filmmaker whose past work has been seen in the New York Times, HBO, NBC, Vice, ARTE, and PBS. He has directed, produced, and shot a number of short films, which have played internationally in numerous festivals and museums including MoMA and the Smithsonian. His graduate thesis film, "Julian", won a CINE Golden Eagle Award, the Best Student Documentary Short at the Palm Springs ShortsFest, Special Jury Prize at DOCNYC, and was nominated for an IDA Award. He was the producer and cinematographer of "Nuoc 2030", a feature narrative set in near future Vietnam which opened the Panorama section of the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival and was a recipient of the Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Filmmaker Award. His feature doc directorial debut, "Live From New York" opened the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast nationally in prime time on NBC, preceding the 41st season premiere of Saturday Night Live. He is a 2011 PBS/WGBH Producers Workshop Fellow, an alumnus of the 2012 and 2014 Berlinale Talent Campus, and a Firelight Media Fellow. He earned his BA at NYU and his MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

 

Bao's current documentary "Be Water" an ESPN 30 for 30 is currently one of the most successful in recent memory.

Meet: Bao Nguyen.

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The first Monday Morning Critic Movie Loft!

Avengers: Endgame

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William Xifaras's path to acting is very much unlike anyone I have ever interviewed. I found him kind, open, honest and extremely talented on screen. His filmography includes Ted 2, The Equalizer, Castle Rock, The Heat and most recently and notably "Defending Jacob" in which he plays (and is absolutely fantastic as) "Father O'Leary"

Meet: William Xifaras.

 

 

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Jim Morris always dreamed of being a major league baseball player. When he got drafted in the first round in 1984, that dream felt close to becoming a reality. Unfortunately, a series of injuries forced him into early retirement. Instead, Morris got married, started a family, and got his college degree. Shortly after, he became a high school science teacher and baseball coach in West Texas.

One day, while giving a speech to his high school team about pursuing their dreams, a player challenged Jim to go after his own. So they made a bet, if the team won the District Championship, he would try out for the majors.

The team did their job. Now it was time for him to do his.

The 35-year-old Morris wasn’t very sure of himself at the try-out. When he saw the scout shaking the radar gun, he was worried his fastball didn’t even register. But soon he learned the truth. He was bringing it. Hard. 98 miles-per-hour to be exact.

Three months later, Jim Morris was toeing the rubber for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, finally living his major league dream.

Disney quickly turned Jim’s incredible story into a feature film, The Rookie, starring Dennis Quaid. And the rest is history.

Today, Jim Morris is a renowned motivational speaker, sharing his journey with audiences across the globe.

Meet: Jim Morris.

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Mark O'Brien is an actor whose filmography includes "Ready or Not", "Marriage Story", "Bad Times at The El Royale" and "Arrival."

Mark's newest film, "Hammer" is available June 5th.

Meet: Mark O'Brien.

 

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Marcus LaVoi is best known for his roles on shows like Gone, Touch (TV Series) and as well as in Den of Thieves and Maternal Instinct TV Movie as Police Officer. He has also portrayed the role of “Commander Porter” in the Power Rangers Time Force. In his early years, he has worked as security guard on film sets.

He started his career as a security guard. He made his movie debut with movie “The Expendables” (TV Movie) in 2000. In 2002, he appeared in movie “Outta Time” as Riker. He also portrayed “Luka” on the series “The Young and the Restless” (TV Series) in 2005.

LaVoi's 14 years with the San Diego Sheriff's Department and his experience as a maximum-security prison officer for the California Department of Corrections made his role as a bodyguard in Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra a natural fit. With an expert-level command of a wide range of firearms, including handguns, assault and sniper rifles, and a certified side-handle Baton, LaVoi has worked with Hollywood's top stunt coordinators. He has also put to work his experience as a weaponless self-defense instructor by helping choreograph hand-to-hand combat and tactical fight scenes.

Meet Marcus LaVoie.

 

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Cara Pifko is a Canadian born actor and currently has a recurring role on Better Call Saul, Seasons 2-5.

She was a winner as Leading Female for LA's Stage Raw Award and a Gemini Award (Canadian Emmy). She's had roles in blockbuster movies, including the Steven Spielberg directed "Ready Player One"

Meet the very kind and talented: Cara Pifko!

 

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Harry Waters, Jr. is most famous for his portrayal of Marvin Berry in the movie Back to the Future, which earned him a Gold Record for his rendition of “Earth Angel.” Television acting credits include Adventures in Wonderland, among other guest-starring roles. He worked as an actor on and off Broadway, and continues to teach acting today.

Meet the Iconic: Harry Waters Jr. 

 

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Vikas Swarup is a diplomat and a well known writer. He is the current Secretary (PCV) at the Ministry of External Affairs in India and previously as High Commissioner of India in Canada.

He is best known as the author of the novel Q & A, adapted in film as Slumdog Millionaire. The winner of Best Film for the year 2009 at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA. 

Meet the very kind, talented and funny: Vikas Swarup.

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James DuMont is an American actor and producer who played Hal Osterly in Jurassic World. Other notable films DuMont has appeared in include Speed, Primary Colors, War of the Worlds, Ocean's Thirteen, Dallas Buyers Club and Deepwater Horizon. You can also find James in Spenser Confidential on Netflix, The Righteous Gemstones on HBO and The Banker on Apple TV+

Meet the very cool, kind and busy: James Dumont.

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Coming from a musical background (he is Benjamin Britten’s godson), Martin read drama at Manchester University. Fortunately for the acting profession, he decided to concentrate his energies on writing music. Since scoring his first TV drama, Eureka Street, in 2002, he has won 2 BAFTAs 5 Ivor Novello Awards, and gone on to write music for many of the most interesting series of recent years, including the BBC and Weinstein Company’s War and Peace, Hugo Blick’s Black Earth RisingPeaky Blinders and Black Mirror. Martin is currently scoring season 4 of the Leftbank Pictures/Netflix series, The Crown.

Martin’s film credits include the Weinstein Company’s Woman In Gold (scored with Hans Zimmer), starring Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren.

Meet the awesome, Martin Phipps.

 

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Keith Richards first role, (Uncut Gems) is an absolutely legendary one. Senior Film writer (Vince Mancini) at Uproxx.com describes Keith's performance...

"Phil, one of the terrifying mob guys to whom Adam Sandler’s Howard Ratner owes money. Played by Keith William Richards, with creased skin, piercing blue eyes, and a voice like a rock polisher, Phil instantly became one of cinema’s all-time great heavies. Richards is the kind of guy with a face that just screams “I’ve got some stories” 

Meet the very cool, very talented, Keith Richards.

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In 1958, 34-year-old Marlon Brando got great notices for his complex and layered performance as Nazi officer Lt. Christian Diestl in Edward Dymtryk’s Oscar-nominated World War II drama, “The Young Lions.” Like Brando in “Lions,” 36-year-old Mexican actor Harold Torres’ turn as dirty soldier Sgt. Manuel Contreras in Amazon’s limited narcoworld series “ZeroZeroZero” has sent writers and critics scrambling to describe his impact. The dynamic actor has been racking up honors and significant credits in the world of Mexican film and television. In the past 10 years, Torres has been nominated for the lead actor Ariel award (the Mexican Film Academy’s Oscar equivalent) three times and won the actor prize at the Morelia Film Festival in 2013.-Variety.

 

Meet the Awesome, Harold Torres.

 

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Michelle Wilson was last seen in the New York Theater Workshop's critically acclaimed production of The House That Will Not Stand by Marcus Gardley. Michelle is best known for her Tony nominated performance in the Pulitzer-Prize winning play Sweat. Wilson played long-time factory worker Cynthia, a role she originated off-Broadway at the Public Theatre before the show transitioned to Broadway with incredible reviews. In 2017, Sweat received three Tony award nominations including Best Play, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role for Wilson. Wilson’s other notable theater credits include A Raisin in the Sun, Detroit ’67, Follow Me to Nellie’s, Fahrenheit 451, Two Trains Running, The People Before the Park and more. Wilson also had memorable turns on the small screen in Madam Secretary, The Good Fight, Blue Bloods and E.R., as well as in indie films Nehemiah, Sink and The Bicycle. Wilson can be seen next in the indie film The True Adventures of Wolfboy alongside Jaeden Lieberher and John Turturro. The film is currently in production. 

 

You can currently find Michelle in "Amazing Stories" on Apple TV+.

 

Meet the very talented, very kind and a wonderful sense of humor, Michelle Wilson.

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Matthew Del Negro was born in Mount Kisco, New York, as the youngest of three children. He grew up in Westchester County.

After graduating Boston College, Del Negro began to study acting, and after appearing in several minor commercials and independent films, he was cast as Brian Cammarata on The Sopranos. His filmography includes "Wind River", "City on a Hill", "Scandal", "The West Wing" and so many more.

His Podcast "10,000 no's" is as motivating as it is informative. 

Meet the awesome and very kind: Matthew Del Negro.

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Will Ropp is an American Actor.

He is a Connecticut native and attended the University of Michigan .

His phenomenal portrayal of "Kenny Dawes" in "The Way Back" is one of the best performances I've seen this year.

Please meet the immensely talented, Will Ropp.

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Edu has shot movies and commercials around the world with very unique directors, developing a beautiful eye, an honest smile and a very personal style.

Born in Barcelona in 1981, Edu Grau studied filmmaking in ESCAC (Spain) and the NFTS (UK) specializing early as a Director of Photography.

At 23, when he was not ready for that, and after the Sundance winning short "LA RUTA NATURAL", Edu shot his first feature, Albert Serra's "HONOR DE CAVALLERIA", which premiered at Cannes'06 and 40 other festivals.  Then he paired up with Tom Ford for his debut feature in Hollywood, "A SINGLE MAN", that was acclaimed as one of the most cinematically beautiful films of 2009 and got Colin Firth a Bafta and an Oscar Nom. Vice magazine included it in the ¨30 most beautiful movies of all time¨.

In 2009, Edu filmed "BURIED" with Rodrigo Cortés, and starring Ryan Reynolds. The film won Edu the Bronze Frog for Best Cinematography at Camerimage'10 and a Goya nomination. "FINISTERRAE" won the main award in Rotterdam'11, while his return to the Uk was with Nick Murphy's "THE AWAKENING", with Rebecca Hall and Dominic West. Shortly after came a special movie by his talented old friend Marçal Forés,"ANIMALS", pretty much in the vein of the shorts that they used to do together. 

Edu was then given the opportunity to work with Lady Gaga at the peak of her career, "BORN THIS WAY" was the result. In 2012, Edu premiered in Toronto Dante Ariola's "ARTHUR NEWMAN" with Emily Blunt and Colin Firth. "A SINGLE SHOT" with Sam Rockwell and Bill H Macy was just before "SUITE FRANÇAISE" by Saul Dibb, with Michelle WiIliams, Kristin Scott Thomas, Mathias Schoenaerts and Sam Riley.

"SUFFRAGETTE", directed by Sarah Gavron and with Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep  was Edu's next step modernizing a period film. "THE GIFT" by Joel Edgerton and starring Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall was one of the surprise film of 2015. "TRESPASS AGAINST US" by Adam Smith featuring Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson was a gypsie chase movie. His new 25M budget movie, "GRINGO" by Nash Edgerton with Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo and Joel Edgerton is a dark action comedy. 

In 2017, he shot "QUIÉN TE CANTARÁ" directed by the cult auteur Carlos Vermut. He was nominated for a Goya, a Gaudí and a CEC for Best Cinematography. Later on, Edu reteamed with the one and only Joel Edgerton to do "BOY ERASED" with  Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Xavier Dolan and Flea.  The movie got two Golden Globes nominations.

Edu recently shot Gavin O'Connor's latest movie at Warner Bros "THE WAY BACK" starring Ben Affleck. The movie will be released March 6th 2020. After an amazing run with some top commercial directors, Edu has just wrapped Rebecca Hall's debut feature "PASSING", with Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negra, Andre Holland, Alex Skarsgard and Bill Camp. It is Edu's first film in glorious B&W and 4:3. The movie will be released in the festival and awards season of 2020.

Meet Edu Grau.

 

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Jack Cunningham was an HS basketball phenom who walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Years later, when he reluctantly accepts a coaching job at his alma mater, he may get one last shot at redemption.

 

Darek Thomas reviews "The Way Back".

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Adam Kownacki is a Polish professional boxer.

As of February 2020, Kownacki is ranked as a top ten heavyweight boxer by The Ring magazine.

He is currently 20-0.

Kownacki draws a big, largely-Polish contingent to Barclays Center in his hometown of Brooklyn. In September 2018, he won a unanimous decision over former world champion Charles Martin (25-2-1, 23 KOs) in an all-out brawl that left his boisterous Polish fans giddy. 

On January 26, 2019, Kownacki took another major step toward a world title shot with a second-round TKO of former world title challenger Gerald Washington (19-2-1, 12 KOs). 

“It’s time to continue my goal of getting a title shot,” said Kownacki. “I'm a man on a mission to become the first Polish, Polish-American heavyweight champion of the world. No one will stop me.”

Kownacki returned to the ring on August 3 versus former world title challenger Chris "The Nightmare" Arreola at Barclays. The two warriors produced a classic heavyweight brawl, landing a combined 667 punches and throwing 2,172, both CompuBox heavyweight records. In the end, Kownacki's skill and firepower were too much as he won a 12-round unanimous decision by scores of 118-110, 117-111, 117-111.

 

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When a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan opens in a small South Carolina town, the idealistic Reverend Kennedy (Academy Award (R)-winner Forest Whitaker) resolves to do everything in his power to prevent long-simmering racial tensions from boiling over. But the members of Kennedy's congregation are shocked to discover that his plan includes sheltering Mike Burden (Garrett Hedlund), a Klansman whose relationships with both a single-mother (Andrea Riseborough) and a high-school friend (Usher Raymond) force him to re-examine his long-held beliefs. After Kennedy helps Mike leave behind his violent past, the Baptist preacher finds himself on a collision course with manipulative KKK leader Tom Griffin (Tom Wilkinson). In the face of grave threats to himself and his family, the resolute Kennedy bravely pursues a path toward peace, setting aside his own misgivings in the hopes of healing his wounded community. From Oscar (R)-nominated filmmaker Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club) and writer/director Andrew Heckler comes this dramatic true story of compassion and grace in the American South.

 

Meet Writer and Director Andrew Heckler.

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"The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez" is Directed by award-winning documentarian Brian Knappenberger, the six-part documentary bares the horrific life and death of little Gabriel after repeated abuse by his mother Pearl Fernandez and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre.

The Los Angeles boy was found naked, with a cracked skull and severe burns at his family’s home in Palmdale on May 22, 2013. He died two days later.

Meet the man who got justice for Gabriel (Jonathan Hatami) and the men who brought the story to our attention (Brian Knappenberger and Garrett Therolf).

 

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Nigel Bluck is a New Zealand born Cinematographer whose work includes all three "Lord of the Rings" movies, "True Detective" and most recently "The Peanut Butter Falcon"

Meet the very talented, dedicated and kind, Nigel Bluck.

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Exclusive: "The Green Mile" Actor: Doug Hutchison talks his new memoir.

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Some brief "Pregame" thoughts on the Academy Awards and My Top 5 Movies of 2019.

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Rachel Balkovec was hired in November  as a minor league hitting coach, believed to the first woman hitting coach employed by a big league team.

"She was really impressive. I really look forward to having more conversations with her," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday after talking with Balkovec at the winter meetings. "She has a really good understanding, especially when it comes to the pitch tracking."

A 32-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska, Balkovec was a minor league strength and conditioning coordinator and coach for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2011-15, then switched to the Houston Astros as Latin American strength and conditioning coordinator. She worked with the Dutch national baseball and softball teams in the past year while studying for her second master's degree.

Meet Trailblazer: Rachel Balkovec.

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Ryan O’Callaghan grew up in Redding, CA where he earned a full ride football scholarship to the University of California. After entering the NFL draft out of college, Ryan played in the NFL for six seasons for the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. After retiring from football in 2012, Ryan gained the courage to be honest with himself and then the world about his sexuality and came out as gay.

Ryan was also in the Netflix Documentary: Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez.

In college Ryan protected Aaron Rodgers and in the NFL he protected Tom Brady. His amazing story is just beginning...

Meet the very cool and kind: Ryan O'Callaghan.

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Jackie Martling was the Head Writer on the Howard Stern Show for over 20 years, changing the face of radio forever.

Jackie is also in the movie "Private Parts" and has been doing Stand Up Comedy for over 40 years.

 

Meet the kind and talented: Jackie Martling.

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Dustin O’Halloran is a composer based in Los Angeles.

He founded indie rock band Devics with singer Sara Lov, who he met while studying art at Santa Monica College.

In 2004, he released his first record as a solo artist, Piano Solos. He has since released three more solo records, the latest of which is Lumiere (2011), which featured contributions by Peter Broderick and Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid), and was mixed by the late Jóhann Jóhannsson. With A Winged Victory for the Sullen, his project with Adam Wiltzie, Dustin O’Halloran has released two albums, A Winged Victory for the Sullen (2011) and Atomos (2014).

He has gone on to score a number of films and TV shows, including Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (2006), Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy (2011) and Jill Soloway’s Transparent (2014–). He was awarded a Primetime Emmy Award for his original Transparent theme.

Dustin O’Halloran collaborated with Hauschka (Volker Bertelmann) to score Lion (2017), and they won an AACTA Award for their score and were nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA.

Dustin has also composed music used in Nike commercials and worked with Katy Perry.

Welcome the immensely talented, Dustin O'Halloran.

 

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Vince DiCola is an American composer, keyboardist and arranger best known for his work on the "The Transformers:
The Movie," "Staying Alive" and "Rocky IV" soundtracks.

DiCola also pioneered the use of sequencers on his
soundtrack recording for "Rocky IV,"
one of the first to exploit the Fairlight CMI
and Synclavier II computers' sequencing capabilities.

 

Meet the awesome: Vince DiCola.

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William Sadler is an iconic actor whose filmography includes Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, Bill and Ted Face the Music (August 2020), Die Hard 2, The Green Mile and his absolutely phenomenal performance as "Heywood" in the best movie in the history of cinema, The Shawshank Redemption.

 
Meet: The very cool, kind and supremely talented, William Sadler.
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Billy Hayes and his life story were made into the 1978 movie "Midnight Express", which told the true story of an American backpacker who was jailed for trying to sneak a few kilos of grade-A hashish back into the United States. With a screenplay by Oliver Stone (earning him his first Oscar), a haunting electro score by Giorgio Moroder (also scoring an Oscar) and a riveting performance from then newcomer Brad Davis, Midnight Express became a breakout hit that would forever be ingrained in the memories of many a viewer.

Meet: Billy Hayes.

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Jason Watkins is an English stage, film and television actor. He played the lead role in the two-part drama The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, for which he won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor. His most recent performance as Prime Minister Harold Wilson in "The Crown" is absolutely phenomenal, and personally speaking my favorite performance of the year.

Jason is very kind, immensely talented, has a wonderful sense of humor and I consider myself extremely fortunate in having the opportunity to converse with him.

Meet Jason Watkins.

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Patrick's iconic role as Mike Eruzione of the epic 1980 United States Olympic Hockey Team in "Miracle"... the greatest sports story in the history of modern day sports-continues to impact thousands of athletes and dreamers from professional athletes to those children just starting to realize what "dreaming" is.

Welcome the awesome, talented and very cool...Paddy Demsey. 

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Special Christmas Release!

Episode 164. Garon Grigsby!

Garon's filmography includes The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Quantum Leap, Grey's Anatomy and the absolutely epic, Richard Jewell.

Meet the very kind and talented Garon Grigsby.

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Film Guru Darek Thomas breaks down "The Rise of Skywalker"

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Mathilde was raised in a multicultural environment, surrounded by her Russian grandfather, German grandmother, and Belgian parents. While growing up in the small city of Liège (Belgium), she took dancing classes for over a decade, trained in improvisation, and performed in a few plays throughout the years, coached by professional comedians.  Two months after graduating from high school, she took a leap of faith and made her way to New York City to pursue her dreams. She first studied Meisner at The Acting Studio under James Price, then completed a "One Year Acting for Film Conservatory" at The New York Film Academy, and finally graduated with a "Two Year Acting Conservatory" diploma from The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. 
In 2019, she's been portraying Amity in the J.J. Abrams & Stephen King series, Castle Rock.
 
Meet the very talented and fearless: Mathilde Dehaye.
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Darek Thomas breaks down "The Irishman"

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A Cleveland grandfather is brought to trial in Israel, accused of being the infamous Nazi death camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible...

Director Daniel Sivan and I talk about his much talked about Documentary.

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Tait Fletcher is an actor, speaker, former mma fighter, and stuntman.

He can currently be seen on Disney Plus as Paz Vizla (Heavy Mando) AND Alpha Trawler.

Tait's filmography includes:

 

John Wick, Breaking Bad and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

 

Meet the very honest, generous and talented, Tate Fletcher.

 

 

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Born in Saratoga, New York Scott Valentine over came early adversity, to star in one of the greatest family shows (Family Ties) of all time and build a very strong filmography in short period of time.

Meet the very cool, very kind: Scott Valentine.

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Darek Thomas and Monday Morning Critic Podcast reviews "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"

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Paul Hirsch is an academy award winning editor who has been editing movies for over 50 years.

His Filmography includes Star Wars: A New Hope (Academy Award Winner), The Empire Strikes Back, Carrie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and so many more.

Meet the legendary Paul Hirsch.

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Jerri Tubbs is an American actress known for her roles in Stranger Things, Into the Badlands and Ozark, among others. She will be playing the role of Margo in the upcoming 10th season of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Jerri is originally from Newburgh Indiana. She grew up in San Jose, California and moved to Los Angeles to study acting at UCLA. Upon receiving her MFA in Acting, she trained with the celebrity acting coach Ivana Chubbuck at her studio in Hollywood. Her television and film credits include The Passage, Under the Dome, Valor, Logan Lucky and Pure Country, Pure Heart. Jerri was also recently cast in the Emmy-nominated  series Cobra-Kai.

Meet the very cool and talented: Jerri Tubbs.

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