Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hit and Run: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell Interview


Whatchamacallit Reviews: The movie is about a man in witness protection, if you had to choose witness protection names, what would they be?

KB: Hooty McBoobity
Dax Shepard: C’mon, for real?
WR: That would really keep you protected.
DS: I think I would go by Dad Shepard.
KB: You don’t think that would be too…similar?
DS: Said Hooty McBoobity.
KB: First of all, don’t talk to me about Hooty McBoobity. It’s because it’s from my favorite episode of the Simpsons where they take Marge down to the DMV and have her name legally changed to Hooty McBoobity.
DS: I don’t know if it actually works this way, but we were told that is works this way, that SAG—the Screen Actor’s Guild—only permits one person to have a name at a given time. That’s why John C. Reilly has the “C”, but once someone dies, that name is back on the books. So I told Kristen that I was going to legally change my name to Marlon Brando, so it would say like “Parenthood, starring Marlon Brando”.
KB: He has been threatening this for a while.
DS: So maybe I would, for witness protection, go by Rock Hudson.
KB: And I would go by Barbara Stanwick.

WR: Very classy. Speaking of names, on twitter, you’re DaxShepard1because there was already a DaxShepard?
DS: There are tons. Fake ones, yes. They have stolen the name.
KB: The person who took “KristenBell”, because IMKristenBell came forward and said “Hey, you know if you want this, I’m just a fan” and was being cute like no big deal, but the prick who took DaxShepard has not come forward and I feel okay saying prick because I highly doubt his name is not actually Dax Shepard.

WR: You do a lot of getaway driving, which is more of a rush, chasing or being chased?
DS: Being chased, for sure. Stakes are much higher.
KB: Being chased, for sure.
DS: You can even see it on these televised police chases, the guy running’s heart rate is up in the 170s to 200s doing a lot of midbrain reptilian thinking. The cops are very cool and calm and following their playbooks.
KB: I’ve been followed in my car before and my hands were sweating, my hands were shaking, it was a really bad feeling.
DS: The chasing, who cares? It’s fun.
KB: Yeah, I’ll chase anyone.
DS: Sure. Drop of a hat.
KB: And I’ll chase them while I’m asleep--practically asleep behind the wheel.
DS: Of course you would.

WR: So if you were part of a heist, what part would you be?
KB: Ooooh. I would definitely be the person in the cat suit that repels into the building. I don’t know what my responsibilities would be beyond that point, but I would repel and it would be some sort of neoprene or shiny, black leather.
WR: I’m not sure they have much other responsibility afterwards.
KB: I’d let everyone it. I’d shimmy through the milk shoot if it was a low level job. My sisters used to shove me through the milk shoot if we forgot our key. They’d be like, “make a plank!” and then they would shove me through the little milk shoot. So in fact, I’ve already had this job. (to Dax) What would you do?
DS: I would be the getaway driver.
KB: You wouldn’t be the muscle? (clicks tongue)
DS: I’m handy with a pistol, but I think I would definitely be the getaway driver. God knows I couldn’t be a passenger running out of the bank, letting someone else drive getaway.
KB: Nobody else is allowed to drive if Dax is in the car. Not possible.
DS: No it’s not.

WR: Where did you get your driving training?
DS: I worked for GM as a kid and was on racetracks very young. I worked at a place that raced cars when I was 14.
KB: He did dirt biking when he was three years old.
DS: My stepdad raced GP motorcycles. I got into motorcycles. I drag raced in high school. Then I off-road race now.
KB: He won’t tell you this, but I will. When we were doing the movie, we got some really, really killer stunt drivers and they said to Dax at the end of the film, because they were driving for Bradley and other people— but Dax did all his own driving, and they were actually on the road with him, they said to Dax, “You know, if you were to become a stunt man you would be one of the best stuntman in the country, if not the world right now.”
WR: Wow! That’s a big compliment!
DS: Well, I was paying their checks, so you gotta take that with a grain of salt.

WR: Switching gears, what is your favorite part about Austin?
KB: Oof, I mean, the lake, the weather, the attitude, the food trucks, there’s not any specific…
DS: The liberalness.
KB: Yes! The “liberal hillbillies” as Dax describes them. It’s honestly the perfect city. It really is. I love the humidity.
DS: Me too.
KB:--for my skin.
DS: I love Barton Springs and barbecue.
WR: Barton Springs is so cold though.
DS: It’s like what, 68 degrees?
WR: Yeah! It’s freezing!
KB: Boys don’t have an internal thermometer like us, though…it doesn’t matter to them.
DS: It’s so hot though that you can hang. That’s kind of cool that if it’s cold or hot, it’s 68 degrees or whatever the hell it is.
KB: I like the mental state of the city, the mental and the emotional state is so appealing to me. Everyone is really nice and no one is that weird. I mean everyone is weird, but not too weird and everyone is nice, but not too nice.
DS: The right kind of weird.
KB: The right kind of weird.

WR: It’s like they say, “Keep Austin Weird”. To wrap up, what was the best story that happened while filming?
DS: Our stunt coordinator pulled a terrible prank.
KB: Amazing.
DS: He really got us. It wasted way too much of our shooting day and I was ultimately very mad, but it was tremendous.

KB: Okay, so when we got to Cal State, Northridge, where we drive the car up on the steps of the library. It was sort of unheard of, doing that. We got the university to agree to it.
DS: We had to petition the board and explain to them why it wouldn’t damage the stairs.
KB: It was monumental to the end of the film, because you never see a huge racecar driving up the steps of a library like that. So the morning we get there, they had laid down the paper, they had run the stunt, etcetera, etcetera and while Dax is prepping to do it, this police officer says “What are you doing over there? You’re driving this car up to there? No absolutely you’re not.” And everyone from the film is like “No, no, we have permission from the board, these are our permits to shoot here” Police officer says, “I don’t care what you have, it’s not happening on my watch or someone is getting arrested.” So we had a police officer telling us we couldn’t do a stunt we knew we could do. This went on for two hours.  Dax’s head was steaming out the ears, his whole face face was red, he was getting punk’d. The police officer was a buddy of somebody’s.
DS: He was a phenomenal actor, that police officer.
KB: Oh my god, so good.
DS: Once I got that thing was clicking, that we weren’t going to get this, now I’m going to tell this motherfucker how I feel.
KB: Then the police officer was like, “Just kidding”, or something, I can’t remember how it was revealed but it was really tense for a while and then it turned out to be an amazing prank.
DS: Stupid Castro.
KB: Yeah, our stunt coordinator Steven Castro did it.
DS: That jerk.
KB: It was an amazing prank though. 

Hit and Run hits theaters August 22nd in a theater near you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One Last Thing Before I Go: By Jonathan Tropper



You don’t have to look very hard at Drew Silver to see that mistakes have been made. His fleeting fame as the drummer for a one-hit wonder rock band is nearly a decade behind him. He lives in the Versailles, an apartment building filled almost exclusively with divorced men like him, and makes a living playing in wedding bands. His ex-wife, Denise, is about to marry a guy Silver can’t quite bring himself to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter Casey has just confided in him that she’s pregnant—because Silver is the one she cares least about letting down. 

So when he learns that his heart requires emergency, lifesaving surgery, Silver makes the radical decision to refuse the operation, choosing instead to use what little time he has left to repair his relationship with Casey, become a better man, and live in the moment, even if that moment isn't destined to last very long. As his exasperated family looks on, Silver grapples with the ultimate question of whether or not his own life is worth saving.

With the wedding looming and both Silver and Casey in crisis, this broken family struggles to come together, only to risk damaging each other even more.


I’ve read everything Jonathan Tropper has written, from the humorous to the touching, and yet this book is different from anything else he’s ever written. You can still tell he’s written it if you’ve read enough of his books. It still centers around a non-practicing jewish man in his 30s-40s who has screwed up his life in some way shape of form. It contains humor, touching moments, and leaves the reader with a sense fulfillment in having read a book that you instantly are happy you read, and know was not wasted time.

But this book was different as well. The first fifth of the book is incredibly depressing, not that Tropper doesn’t usually start off in chaos and sadness, his last book This is Where I leave you Now takes place with a family sitting shiva for their deceased father. But this book starts with a depressed, lonely, divorced man who has lost everything of value to him. His marriage, his daughter’s respect/love, and his career. He is a man sitting in neutral at the low point in his life, and has been for years. And it’s not until the book gets about a fifth of the way in that Tropper begins to lighten the mood with some of his famous awkward family dynamic humor.

But this humor almost seems to come to little to late to effectively cut through the sadness that has already set into the story. Of course, Tropper may be trying something new, losing some of his telltale witty and awkward situations for a more serious book about life and death and the effect everyone has on everyone else, whether they know it or not.

This review may not sound happy and promising, but let me be clear, I very much loved this book, it is just not what I was expecting. I would easily recommend it to family and friends and fully plan to, but for those who are curious and read This is Where I Leave You Now, or Plan B, or Book of Joe and loved them for their humor and high degree of writing know, this is incredibly well written, it just wont have you rolling in the aisles. But it, like its predecessors, will still leave you breathless as it tugs at your heart strings, making you both sad to see it over, and happy to have chosen to have read it.


Publisher: Dutton Adult

Published: August 21, 2012

Price: $26.95

Link to Buy:

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Boy Recession: By Flynn Meaney



It's all about supply and demand when a high school deals with the sudden exodus of male students.

The boy recession has hit Julius P. Heil High, and the remaining boys find that their stock is on the rise: With little competition, even the most unlikely guys have a good chance at making the team and getting the girl. Guitar-strumming, class-skipping Hunter Fahrenbach never wanted to be a hot commodity, but the popular girls can't help but notice his unconventional good looks. With a little work, he might even by boyfriend material.

But for down-to-earth Kelly Robbins, the boy recession is causing all sorts of problems. She has secretly liked her good friend Hunter for a while now, but how can she stand out in a crowd of overzealous Spandexers?

As if dating wasn't hard enough without a four-to-one ratio!


The Boy Recession is not the most original book, but it certainly is enjoyable. It is filled with relatable and endearing characters who keep the story interesting the reader glued to the pages.

Readers will thoroughly enjoy Eugene’s shockingly perverse (and successful) money making schemes and with the cool authority that he pulls them off.

(slight scene spoiler)

My person favorite was  when Eugene is getting the promstitutes (prom dates he’s sold to the girls from other schools) ready, by having them watch Pride and Prejudice.

OF course, besides humorous scenes such as the one mentioned above, the book is propelled primarily by its characters. I legitimately wanted to find out what happened to everyone after the summer, and in my opinion that is the mark of good character creation.

All in all the Boy recession is not incredibly original nor surprising, but it is a funny, well written young adult novel, that will entertain and leave the reader with a happy feeling in their belly after finishing. A fun summer read.


Publisher: Poppy

Published: August 7, 2012

Price: $17.99

Link to Buy:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

False Memory: By Dan Krokos



Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.
Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can't remember loving.
Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter...when there may not be a future.


Some authors you can just tell are going to be amazing. I’ve had my eye on Dan Krokos and False Memory since it was announced the book was being published by Disney Hyperion. Sometimes these gut feelings are wrong but, man when they’re right the books are usually pretty amazing.

This is one of those times where my gut was right.

False Memory is an exciting blend of fantastic characters, a captivating plot, and almost non-stop action. This coupled with Krokos’s mesmerizing writing style and you’ve got a real hit on your hands.

Of course, if you’re not sure who this book will appeal to, the answer is everyone. Boys will love the non-stop action, gun fights, and mystery of the roses back-story. Girls will love the action and the love story interest.

Speaking of the love interest part of the story, when it first came up I was a little scared, I didn’t want this book, which was going in such a great direction, to get bogged down in a weak attempt at a love.

But I should have had more faith in Krokos.

Krokos weaves a story that while utilizing the love aspect of the story, it is not the primary focus, but instead a strong secondary story that helps carry the primary story of discovering the truth behind these false memories (hence the title of the book). Of course, not only is it well utilized, it is also well crafted, and between that, the interesting characters, and the shocking twists and surprises filling the book, readers will be utterly unable to put this book down.

In case you weren’t able to tell from my glowing praise, I loved False Memory. I don’t know what else to say except that I can only hope that the sequel (and there will be one) is as good as the first in this fantastic series. 


Publisher: Hyperion Book CH

Published: August 14, 2012

Price: $17.99

Link to Buy:

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Wolf at the Door: By K.A. Stewart



Jesse James Dawson was once an ordinary man until he discovered that demons were real, and fighting them meant putting his own soul on the line. His new case is a beauty: Gretchen Keene, a Hollywood starlet who's become an unwitting catalyst in an all-out demon war. It's not her soul Jesse needs to protect, but the two-hundred-and-seventy-six others she's carting around--all the souls sold to spend just one night with the blonde bombshell. That's a lot of baggage, although it might explain her meteoric rise to fame. And it's all up for grabs by the demon world.

All Jesse has to do is keep her safe until New Years. Sounds easy.  But darkness is casting a nasty shadow in the California sun--a new unseen enemy is closing in and leaving Jesse to wonder, how do you fight something you can't see coming?


I’ve been a fan of K.A. Stewart since her first book A Devil in the Details, it and each of her successive books are sharp, action-packed, filled with the slightest bit of humor, and above all else well written and captivating. But while the other two books A Shot in the Dark and A Devil in the Details are great books, I honestly believe A Wolf at the Door is her best yet.

A Wolf at the Door, opens the door to larger questions in the series. What is the demon war raging on, who exactly is Ivan, and what exactly is magic.

But if these greater story arcs and mysterious questions are not enough for you, this book also contains enough action to keep even the most jaded of action junkies satiated. Jesse has to fight monsters in a way that he’s never had to fight before, and while there weren’t any normal champion bouts fought by Jesse, there was still plenty of action between his fights with the other creature sent at him.

For those of you who haven’t read this book, you should, but only after reading the first two books in the series. This is not a book that will be nearly as well appreciated without the proper knowledge and setting in place brought on from knowing what happened before it. That said each book is well written, action-packed, and full of interesting and fun characters (especially Jesse and Axel). Fans of Kevin Hearne will absolutely love this and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for an utterly engrossing book that will leave them shaking for more.


Publisher: Roc

Published: August 7, 2012

Price: $7.99

Link to Buy:

Wooden Bones: By Scott William Carter



Since he changed, Pino has struggled to live a quiet life with his father Gepetto. But a boy who used to be a wooden puppet doesn’t fit in well with the other villagers. When Pino creates a replica of his Gepetto’s late wife and brings it to life, the two are chased out of their village by an angry mob demanding the resurrection of their own loved ones. On the run with a dying Gepetto, Pino must face a world that would seek to use—and misuse—him for his powers. And when Pino discovers that his abilities are slowly transforming him back into a puppet, he faces a choice: strike a deal with those who only want to use him, or stand up for who he really is.


Pinocchio, the little wooden puppet made by the carpenter Gepetto and brought to life through magic, you would think that would be the end of the story, but Scott William Carter proves that this is only the background to the real story. A story of discovery and strength.

Carter does an amazing job capturing the essence of humanity in Pinocchio, focusing on how a boy who is different from everyone else, a boy altogether more pure and special, would feel and grow in a world fearful of him and his abilities.

Wooden Bones is dark, complex, and full of rich and inviting characters. The author breaths life into a story told time and time again, giving the story depth and making it into something altogether richer.

All in all, I have no trouble recommending Wooden Bones to anyone, and I fully intend to. I was sucked in and couldn’t put it down until the end. I know it’s a small book, and some might wonder if they should buy a book they might finish in a day or so, but believe me when I say that this book is beautifully written, edited to perfection, and is worth every penny it costs. A great book, go buy it now.


Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Published: August 7, 2012

Price: $15.99

Link to Buy: