Interview: Director Max Winkler

You probably have heard the last name Winkler before. It was probably Harry Winkler that you’re familiar with, however, a new Winkler has been making waves and that’s Harry’s son, Max. With numerous TV directorial credits, his latest feature film Flower is a fantastic dramatic comedy starring Zoey Deutch. It’s a film that depicts a complex family dynamic seen through the eyes of a rebellious teen girl, played by Deutch. I recently spoke to Max about the film and what prompted him to want to do it.


I found it interesting to hear Max compare Erica’s (Deutch) character being based to the ones in Rebel Without a Cause. He also talks about growing up with John Hughes movies and being inspired by them, which is evident in this film. It was surprising to hear that they almost didn’t do the movie due to the difficulty finding an actress to play Erica. Even though Zoey Deutch is a perfect fit, it would have been a shame if this movie hadn’t been made. It was worth nothing also how Max describes the movie being the opposite of a coming of age movie, as to how the characters end up at the end.

Sometimes you get a rare moment of reliability when you speak to someone. I was ecstatic to hear Max talk about going on his food blackouts in Chicago and listing some of the places he’s tried. The first one he mentions is Johnny’s Beef. Not let me tell you about Johnny’s Beef! It’s a local joint in Arlington Heights, IL (there is one more location) that has the best Italian Beef in town, but most definitely the greatest Italian ice you will ever find. I have been pitching this place for years. Have a great success record of converting people to love this place, so you can hear how thrilled I was to hear Max try it. Awesome.

Unfortunately Max was limited on time. I’d like have talked to him more and at least hear his thoughts on the food places in depth. Like a Max and Jim Chicago food review. That be a fun chat.

FLOWER releases is out now and releases in Chicago on March 23


Landmark Century
Zoey Deutch, Max Winkler
Joe Swanberg
Start time
7:35 PM
Q&A time
9:00 PM
3/23/2018 Chicago Cinemark Evanston 18 Zoey Deutch, Max Winkler Moderator
10:15 PM 11:45 PM
3/24/2018 Chicago Landmark Century Zoey Deutch, Max Winkler Moderator
5:00 PM 6:40 PM
3/24/2018 Chicago AMC River East Zoey Deutch, Max Winkler Moderator
7:00 PM 8:30 PM

Interview: Actor Logan Lerman

Logan Lerman is one of the finest actors in the industry that many still don’t know about. Most probably know him best from the Percy Jackson films, but he’s had numerous quality films and roles since Percy Jackson. It seems that everything Lerman is featured with is a home run. The latest gem Lerman stars in is The Vanishing of Sidney Hall. I spoke to Logan about the film and what he looks for in a role, he also shares his favorite movies of 2017 and much more. Listen to the audio below:


This was the second time I had a chance to speak to Logan. The first time was in Chicago when he was joined by Sarah Gadon during their press junked for Indignation. I found Logan to be one of the more enjoyable people to talk to. He’s quirky, soft spoken, but not quiet. He’s also very humble and low key. It’s as if he doesn’t realize how good of an actor he is. There is this charming shyness about him also. What I particularly enjoyed about him when I spoke to him both times is how forthcoming he is and how he likes to engage the person he’s speaking to. It’s not just Q&A, but he turns it into a conversation, which I greatly appreciate.

So many interesting points Logan shared. I found it very interesting about his decision to take on a role and the factors that go into it. He stressed physical appearance as one of the big ones when he decided if he’s suitable for a role. That’s an interesting point, because it seems he envisions the look of the character and if he’s fitting for it. He’s an actor that’s done a variety of very different roles. I found his role in Sidney Hall to be difficult and so did his director Shawn Christensen, due to him having to play a single character through three different stages in life.

The fun part was when he shared his favorite films of 2017 and really championed about the non-Oscar nominated films that he enjoyed, such as The Florida Project and The Beguiled. Both fine films. I appreciated how in depth he went and how passionate he sounded. Seems to me that Logan is a person that walks to the beat of his drum, which personally I respect a whole lot.

Once again he’s tremendous in his role and credit to him for picking interesting films such as The Vanishing of Sidney Hall. My interaction with Logan has been great. He’s always polite and just a normal relatable guy. You don’t sense any star attitude about him at all. At only 26 he has the world ahead of him and has a real chance to be mentioned among the greats if he continues doing what he’s done.

THE VANISHING OF SIDNEY HALL is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital

Interview: Actress Nadia Gray

Nadia Gray is a name you should be hearing a lot about in the near future. Not to be confused with the actress of the same name who starred in La Dolce Vita and alongside greats such as Frank Sinatra and Audrey Hepburn. This Nadia Gray stars in David Ayer’s Netflix movie Bright, alongside today’s greats, Will Smith and Joel Edgerton. I had a chance to speak to the bubbly, fun and stunning Nadia Gray. We touch on numerous topics including her career start, acting, Bright and her favorite current TV shows. Hear all about that and more. Apologies for the audio issues. I tried.


Nadia exuded lot of excitement and passion that she spoke about. It was interesting to note that the big takeaway she had from working on Bright was to be fearless and go all out. I really enjoyed how relatable she was and honest. It was just so simple to talk to Nadia, she’s so engaging and fun.

She proclaims to be a fangirl, which is awesome in my view. Too many actors or industry people lose the sense of appreciation for film and television, just because they are deeply involved in the industry. Nadia loves the same thing that she’s doing now, which are movies. It’s that original love for film and acting that stays with you no matter way. Just cause she has been fortunate enough and worked hard to get where she’s at, she still understands where her passion for the industry comes from and manages to indulge in it. It’s important to know who you are and not forget what started your passion or interest, even when you achieve success in that industry.

Nadia had some great Netflix recommendations of Black Mirror, Mindhunters and The End of the Fuckin World are all fantastic choices. I definitely checked out Black Mirror based on her recommendation and I did find it intriguing to say the least.

Bright is coming back for a sequel, which is something to definitely look forward to.

Listening back to the interview, it brings a smile on my face. It was so much fun and time flew talking to Nadia. We even got into Bachelor discussion. I mentioned Arie knowing what he’s looking for, umm, maybe I’ll backtrack on that statement, haha.

I’m excited to see what the future holds for Nadia. She ranks as one of my favorite interviews. Such a straight shooter and joyous person with a ton of personality. Hopefully she will come on the Reel Talker podcast soon.

You can follow Nadia Grayon social media:

Instagram: itsnadiagray

Twitter: itsnadiagray

PHOTO: Julio Duffoo

Must-See Blu-ray Releases For This Week (March 20)

We are changing things up a bit. Usually you can expect the must-see movies of the week listed on Friday’s, comprising of Blu-ray and theatrical and VOD releases. Why not make it more exclusive and have the Blu-ray/DVD releases get their own shine on Tuesdays, while the theatrical sleepers and VOD releases get their glow on Friday’s. Here are the must-see Blu-ray and DVD releases for the week of March 20.


Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor keep things small on-screen, but they deliver a big idea. Matt Damon plays a man who wants to live a lavish life, but he can’t live that life in his current situation. What does he do to change his situation? He undergoes a procedure to shirk him to a size of an action figure. As he experiences life one inch at a time (promise that’s my last pun), he deals with the struggles of his new life while coping with his past one. Will he discover the treasures and meaning of life in his new state of identity? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

While from the trailers and promotion the movie is depicted as a comedy, it is, but it’s also a lot more than silly humor. There is a real emotional journey that the characters partake in learning about themselves and what their purpose in life is. Damon, Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz give terrific performances, as usual, but it’s Hong Chau who steals the show. This is a clever movie with an intriguing concept that works and becomes more that it sets out to be. On the surface it might seem like it was ripped-off from Honey I Shrunk the Kids, but it’s a lot different, more imaginative and mature.

Blu-ray Bonus Features:

  • Feature film in high definition
  • Bonus Content:
    • working with Alexander
    • the cast
    • a visual journey
    • a matter of perspective
    • that smile
    • a global concern

DOWNSIZING is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital

Must See Movie Releases of the Week (March 13)

The middle of March delivers some fantastic movie releases on Blu-ray/DVD and theatrically. Here are the top must-see movie and TV show releases for week of March 13. Some are fan favorites and other are under-the-radar picks. A little bit of everything for everyone.


There was a reason why Margot Robbie received an Oscar nomination (should have won) for her portrayal of Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. She was fantastic. It’s not easy by any means to portray the loose cannon that Tonya Harding was in her skating prime, but Robbie nails every aspect of it. Allison Janney managed to secure an Oscar for playing Harding’s imposing mother in the movie. This is as well acted film as you’ll see.

The plot is pretty fascinating in itself. It’s told from Tonya’s perspective, no Nancy Kerrigan doesn’t get her side, but she’s by no means excluded from the film. Interestingly it’s a movie that will make you laugh and gasp in awe at the antics that Harding creates. I felt it was a entertaining and detailed look at Hardings life and the world famous incident with Nancy.

I, Tonya delivers in all fronts. Well directed, acted and presented. It’s a shame it didn’t earn a Oscar nomination for Best Picture, as it certainly deserved it. This is a must-see see movie Kudos to Robbie for many of the skillfully executed skating stunts.


    • Deleted Scenes
    • All Sixes: The Perfect Performances of I, Tonya
    • Irony Free, Totally True: The Story Behind I, Tonya
    • Working with Director Craig Gillespie
    • The Visual Effects of I, Tonya
    • VFX: Anatomy of the Triple Axel
  • Feature Commentary with Director Craig Gillespie
  • Theatrical Trailers 

I, TONYA is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital, Movies Anywhere and On Demand

Interview: Actor-Wrestler John Hennigan

John Hennigan has achieved worldwide fame. You may know him as Johnny Nitro, John Morrison, Johnny Impact and Johnny Mundo. Hennigan went by many aliases throughout his wrestling career, but has made an impact (no pun intended) at whatever organization he’s been a part of (WWE, IMPACT Wrestling, Lucha Underground, Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide). Currently Hennigan is spreading his talents among pro wrestling and acting.

Hennigan was most recently seen in films such as Sharknado 5, Boone: The Bounty Hunter and Never Leave Alive. I had a chance to speak to the multi-talented Hennigan about his latest film Never Leave Alive and of course his in-ring wrestling work over the years. Check out the audio for this unfiltered and insightful interview from Hennigan.


I really had a blast speaking with John. He was candid and forthcoming about the wrestling business and his life. John was very gracious with his time and answered every question I presented him with. I found him to be a thoughtful guy who had really interesting honest answers for every question I posed to him.

Some really interesting stuff he shared with me, in particular, about the wrestling industry. I was interested to hear his take on the safety of the industry and a wrestlers thoughts on the precautions that are being taken. John seems to be a pretty smart guy and fully realizes the dangers he takes when he steps into the ring and if you’ve seen him wrestle you know he gives it 100% every time with some of the high-risk moves and bumps that he takes.

I always felt his in-ring mic skills were very solid, it seems like they may have helped in his acting also. It was interesting to note when he mentioned about needing to town down his facial expressions initially when he started acting. It’s the opposite on film as it would be in a wrestling arena with thousands of people. In that way, wrestling is a lot like doing a stage play. It’s not the easiest of transitions to tone it down for the camera, but John has done a great job adjusting.

I really have enjoyed his film work. He’s definitely putting himself out there and getting better with every film. No doubt he has a chance to join the likes of a John Cena and Dave Bautista as a mainstream guy. He has this cool charisma to him that’s suitable for many roles. I feel John is already more polished coming into the acting world than Bautista was initially. Bautista grew exponentially.

Kenny Omega is the biggest star in wrestling that hardcore WWE fans seem to know little to nothing about. John speaking about him sure brings validity. I would have liked to delve deeper if time was permitting as to who he’d like to work with and his biggest up-and-comers he’s excited about. Maybe I can get him for a podcast to talk more about movies and wrestling, as well as the upcoming WrestleMania.

You can follow John Hennigan on social media:

Instagram: @JohnHennigan 

Twitter: @TheRealMorrison

NEVER LEAVE ALIVE is out now on DVD and Digital

Watch Johnny Impact on IMPACT Wrestling on POP TV Thursday nights at 8/7c

Win a Free Copy of ‘Pitch Perfect 3’

Universal Home Pictures Entertainment’s Pitch Perfect 3 is releasing on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on March 20, 2018. You have a chance to see the Bella’s come together for a final time and win a Blu-ray Combo Pack of Pitch Perfect 3.

All you have to do is follow @TheReelTalker and/or @TheJimAlexander on Twitter and tell me who your favorite Bella is and use the hashtag #PitchPerfect3 and you will automatically be entered for a chance to win a free copy of the Pitch Perfect 3 Blu-ray.