The Thorough, In-Depth “Star Wars Episode VIII ‘The Last Jedi'” Movie Review We Promised You, And The Internet Needs And TDQ Readers Deserve

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Spoiler Alert: People are better off with Luke in their life.

On occasion, with the help of certain Canadian super agents we know who live in Los Angeles, we get invites to various movie premieres and awesome parties. But we didn’t want to big-time you, our readers, when experiencing the latest “Star Wars” flick. We wanted to experience it the same way as you coal miners, dishwashers and blue-collar workers that make up our core audience: in the trenches with tickets we bought ourselves, with holes in the seats and dried Coke on the floor. 

And so we went opening night to experience the latest installation of the saga and sat in the last row of the theater at a 10:30 showing on a regular, non-Imax, non-3D screen.

And it was pretty good. It was by far the funniest “Star Wars” film. No doubt. Keep reading for the plot, and at the end of the piece, I’ll give you all the spoilers you can handle. 

We must admit we never saw the beginning of this film coming at the end of the last one. When Rey finds Luke at the top of his island mountain home that the Swiss Family Robinson would envy, he is so depressed at how Ben Solo/Kylo Ren turned out and all the mistakes he made over the course of his life, that he is this close to ending it all. He is certain that everyone in his life would have been better off if he’d never been born.

But in comes his guardian angel, Rey. She spends the next 152 minutes showing Luke exactly how worse off everyone would have been had he not been born: his wife Mary would have been a spinster all her life; his old boss, Mr. Gower, would have done time when he botched a prescription for a kid’s medicine had Luke not caught it; and all those people on the Navy transport that his little brother saved by shooting down that kamikaze pilot would have died had Luke not jumped in the frozen lake to save him when they were kids. 

I somehow glossed over a lot of the important stuff in Luke’s early life, I guess I need to go back and watch the other films this weekend. 

But overall, Rey does a great job showing Luke why he shouldn’t jump off that bridge, earning her own wings in the process. It was a truly feel-good movie all around. 

Now for the promised spoilers:

The identity of Supreme Leader Snoke is revealed. He is Keyser Soze.

“Rosebud” is shown to be the name Luke gave to his lightsaber. 

We find out who Rey’s parents are thanks to an unexpected cameo by Maury Povich. They are Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.

“Star Wars Episode I” is shown to be, in reality, just a long dream experienced by Pamela Ewing. The movie ends with Patrick Duffy in the shower. 

If you do end up ruining the movie for your loser friends before they watch it, go ahead and blame Jar Jar Binks. That’s what we do. 

You are now informed. Go and do likewise. 

“At The End Of The Day Never Sacrifice Your Art For Anyone:” A TDQ Q&A With Actor And Producer Monte Bezell

Monte Bezell

Actor, director, and producer Monte Bezell is Brooklyn born and raised. Brooklyn, according to our hasty research, is know for their vegan brunches, craft breweries, and historically accurate facial hair.

This week’s Q&A is with actor/producer Monte Bezell. Monte spoke to us about how growing up in Brooklyn formed his desire to be in show business, how staring out in indie films shaped his career and his upcoming projects. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with Monte Bezell:
 
The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to get into show business?
 
Monte Bezell: I was always a big film fan, and one day I walk by this huge set on the steps of City Hall in downtown Brooklyn and I knew right then I wanted to be in the business!
  
TDQ: Who was your favorite actor growing up?
 
MB: As a New Yorker it was always going to be Al Pacino. His roles were classic and he represented everything I grew up to respect and idolize from my upbringing in Brooklyn. 
 
TDQ: What was your favorite TV show growing up?
 
MB: I didn’t really watch a ton of TV growing up but I was always a fan of “Seinfeld” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” 
 
Monte Bezell

Monte Bezell doesn’t follow the rules. He shows us that all black can be green and that you can ride a bicycle down a red carpet.

TDQ: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
 
MB: At the end of the day never sacrifice your art for anyone. I think this really built in the notion of never giving up and always staying true to yourself.  
 
TDQ: What is the worst advice you have ever gotten?
 
MB: Someone once told me that no one would care for my Brooklyn accent and that I should learn how to suppress it. That ended up being advice I am glad I never took. 
 
TDQ: Who are your influences?
 
MB: As a New Yorker you have to name the greats of De Niro, Pacino, and Scorsese.  It would be almost blasphemy to not include them. 
 
Monte Bezell - Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas, starring Monte Bezell, appears to tell it’s story from a very interesting perspective.

TDQ: You started your career working on indie projects. How has that background helped you as your career has progressed?
 
MB: Idie films really make you earn your keep. You fully comprehend how a full set works – there is no compartmentalization. This is so essential as you make your way up the ladder of studio films and sets. 
 
TDQ: Besides acting, you’ve moved into a producer role, especially in the past few years. What has that transition been like?
 
MB: It has actually been a smooth transition! I really enjoy finding a great story (tough part) financing the project (toughest part) putting together a great cast & crew (fun part) and shooting it (best part) and finally selling the project (deep exhale, lol!).     
 
TDQ: What project(s) are you working on next?
 
MB: Currently working on two films: a crime drama set in New York, and a sports film. I also have two other films coming out in 2018 entitled “Saint Nicholas” and “El Gallo.”   
 
Monte Bezell - El Gallo

Monte Bezell stars in and co-directed El Gallo.

TDQ: Where do you see yourself and your career in five years?
 
MB: I see myself collaborating with actors and directors I admire on studio projects. And a couple of awards would be cool too!  
 
Follow Monte on Twitter and check out his IMDB page too. 
 

Teachers Fear For Literacy Of Elementary School Students Thanks To Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! Program

BookIt Then

In the days of peak Pizza Hut a combination of innovative architecture, delicious pan pizza, and inviting marketing materials were a great incentive to read.

Plano, TX—The nasty, horrible, disgusting, awful quality over the past few years of Pizza Hut pizza is finally having a disastrous effect on young peoples’ literacy, as more and more students across the country are refusing to read, protesting the “prize” of a personal pan pizza from the pizza chain for reading books as part of the BOOK IT! reading program. Educators across the country have expressed their concerns about the future of reading as 

The BOOK IT! program started in 1984, and according to the propaganda on their website, 14 million children suffer from their horrendous pizza annually.  

“It’s sad, really, and I’m really very concerned, honestly,” said 4th grade teacher Janelle Howard. “I get it, though. Don’t get me wrong. I refuse to eat their pizza, too. I’d rather drink drain de-clogger. But I do worry about my kids’ reading skills.”

BookIt Now

The Pizza Hut of today has mostly retreated to take-out only strip mall locations and offers pizzas with either cheese stuffed in unnatural places or topping like pineapple. The current BookIt logo exists only as a lazy web graphic instead of the vibrant buttons of yesteryear. No wonder kids don’t want to read.

“I’ve had both students and parents alike tell me that the incentive of a free Pizza Hut pizza is an absolute turn-off,” said another educator who asked to remain anonymous. “It’s a non-starter. Students are rebelling and refusing to read altogether. I’ve had free pizza certificates thrown back in my face after I tried to give them to students, and I’ve even had my car vandalized with personal pan pizzas thrown and dumped all over it. Truth be told, I’m concerned for my safety.”

Other teachers have said they first started to note a problem a few years ago, when their students started missing days after redeeming their free pizza coupons. That led to mutinies nationwide as students stopped using the coupons as a reaction to the downward spiral of the quality of the pizza chain’s pizza.  

Pizza Hut refused to comment for this story on either their horrible, inedible pizza or the fact that it is a real, frightening possibility that they may single-handedly destroy the art and joy of reading for the nation’s youngsters. 

“We Must Present Our Rawest, Most Honest Selves, And Let Them Take It Or Leave It” A TDQ Q&A With Actress Pilar Holland

Pilar Holland

It’s Pilar Holland, everybody!

This week’s TDQ Q&A is with actress Pilar Holland. Pillar spoke to us about working on a bunch of Shonda Rhimes shows, her love of Shannen Doherty and her theater debut, “A Feminine Ending.” Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with Pilar Holland:

The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to get into show business?

Pilar Holland: As a child, I didn’t know how to express myself. I had a huge emotional well and no outlet. I was very shy and couldn’t connect with people on a deeper level. I wanted the chance to learn how to do that. In college, when I realized that it was something I could actually do well, that’s when I knew it was my aspiration to explore life and all the different experiences that can be had and share those experiences with audiences. 

TDQ: Who was your favorite actress growing up?

PH: My favorite actress growing up was Shannen Doherty. There’s going to be a theme here. I was a HUGE fan of “Beverly Hills, 90210” and the movie “Heathers.”  

TDQ: What was your favorite TV show growing up?

PH: And here it is!! (drumroll) My favorite TV show growing up was “Beverly Hills, 90210.” I wanted to live in their world and that’s really what first piqued my interest in becoming an actress. I dreamt about living on that campus and wished I could create an alternate life and do so.

TDQ: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?

PH: The best advice I have received was from my acting teacher Stuart Rogers—who taught me the distinction between being what we think a casting director wants, and what a casting director really needs. We must present our rawest, most honest selves, and let them take it or leave it. 

TDQ: What is the worst advice you have ever gotten?

PH: One thing I remember a girlfriend telling me once was that if you don’t make it by the time you’re 22, you’re not going to make it at all. And that simply isn’t true. I always tell people you don’t become a doctor overnight. So, why should a career in the arts be any different? It takes time to build a career. You need training and experience.   

There is still time to see Pilar Holland in A Feminine Ending which is showing into early December.

TDQ: Who are your influences?

PH: I’ve always admired Cate Blanchett and over the past few years I’ve become a huge fan of Brie Larson’s career.  Some of the projects they choose have so much weight in social relevance and they have been able to create such empathic characters in their process.

TDQ: Tell us about working with ultra creator and show runner Shonda Rhimes on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.”

PH: I actually haven’t had the opportunity to officially meet the woman behind it all. She does have final say on everything. So, I know she’s seen my work and continually hires me. Linda Lowy casts all of Shonda’s shows and they regularly bring me to audition for her projects. Once you’ve become a part of the Shonda Rhimes family, they really do bring you into the fold. One of my favorite acting moments thus far was working with director Tom Verica on the set of “Scandal.” He is one of my favorite directors I’ve worked with and I hope I get to do it again soon.

TDQ: You’ve also appeared on half hour sitcoms like “Young and Hungry” and “Happy Endings.” What’s the biggest difference between working on those and full hour-long dramas?

PH: Well, there’s a huge difference between multi-camera sitcoms and dramas. Those two shows you mentioned were actually single camera sitcoms and not that different from working on dramas, besides the content of course. On a multi-cam set you rehearse the show for four days prior to filming. The script is constantly being altered as the writers are seeing how jokes land and play out during the rehearsal process. Then when we do film, there are multiple cameras filming different angles at the same time versus on a single camera sitcom and drama, they only use one camera for filming. 

TDQ: What project(s) are you working on next?

PH: I’m starring in a play “A Feminine Ending” right now. It’s my theater debut! I’m very excited to share my art and the story with audiences. The subject is very timely and relevant. It’s about gender norms and the societal rules we are boxed and categorized into, and learning how to navigate outside of those boxes. We run through December 2nd, Friday and Saturday nights 8pm at Stuart Rogers Studios. We’ve already gotten a few rave reviews.

TDQ: Where do you see yourself and your career in five years?

PH: In five years, I see myself as the lead on my own television series. Hopefully with the opportunity to film indie movies in between seasons. That’s the game plan!

Pilar Holland Fashion

Sadly the topic of fashion never came up in this conversation. Pilar Holland’s style is both fun and accessible with an eye on repurposing the unexpected. We would say she even looks very stylish wearing nothing at all. Look at those cheek bones!


Be sure and follow Pilar on Twitter and  and like her Facebook page.

Now We’ll Never Know If Higgins Was Really Robin Masters: John Hillerman Has Died At 84

John Hillerman

John Hillerman, right, met RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, left on the set of the 1990 British made-for-television mystery film Hands of a Murderer. As far as the two of them knew up until to day of shooting the pilot DiMaio was to play Sherlock Holmes to Hillerman’s Doctor Watson. At the last moment the gaslighting of Hillerman by director/prankster Stuart Orme was revealed: the role of Holmes was to be played by renown British actor Edward Woodward and not DiMaio. Hillerman expressed great relief saying DiMaio had the worst British accent he had ever heard.

Houston—Actor John Hillman, best known for his fantastic portrayal of estate manager and Doberman Pinscher owner Jonathan Quayle Higgins on “Magnum, P.I.” from 1980 to 1988 (documented as one of the very few television shows that never jumped the shark), died last week. He was 84.

He won both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for playing Higgins. He also appeared in such TV shows as “Wonder Woman,” “Hawaii Five-O” and “The Bob Crane Show.”

In the big screen, Hillerman appeared in the films “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” “Blazing Saddles,” “RECOiL” and “A Very Brady Sequel.”

He is survived by one sister.