Ben Shenkman

Ben Shenkman

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Fish In The Dark Cast Change

Jason Alexander, Rosie Perez, Larry David, Jayne Houdyshell, Ben Shenkman and Anna D. Shapiro - Photo call for the cast change at Broadway play Fish In the Dark at the Cort Theatre. at Cort Theatre, - New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 28th May 2015

Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander

"Girls" Season Four Premiere

Lauren Greilsheimer and Ben Shenkman - Photographs of the stars of the hit TV show "Girls" as they took to the red carpet for the Season Four Premiere in Manhattan, New York, United States - Tuesday 6th January 2015

Lauren Greilsheimer and Ben Shenkman

Lost Lake Opening Night - Arrivals

Ben Shenkman - Disney On Ice presents 'Frozen' at The Barclay's Center in Brooklyn - Arrivals at Barclays Center, Disney - Brooklyn, New York, United States - Wednesday 12th November 2014

Ben Shenkman

Concussion - Green Band Trailer

When Abby suffers a mild concussion after getting hit by her son's baseball, she begins to yearn for a life of excitement outside the realm of her house, wife and kids. In a dramatic attempt at escape, she secretly buys a small pied-a-terre in New York where she becomes a high-class escort named Eleanor and indulges in days and nights of female pleasure which she sees as the ultimate release. However, things get complicated when her two lives cross over and she is set up on a 'date' with a woman she recognises from her hometown, Sam. Nonetheless, the women quickly get over their shock and waste no time in setting out on a full-blown passionate affair. When the women begin to regularly bump into each other in other circumstances, Sam begins to suspect that she is being followed and when Abby discovers she is in a happy relationship with a man, things get even more complicated. Abby herself is shocked by her inability to separate her feelings and starts to suffer the backlash of her no-strings exploits.

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Concussion Trailer

Abby is a lesbian whose life seems wonderful on the outside with her wife, kids and a beautiful house. However, after an incident whereby she got struck hard in the head by her son's baseball, she begins to suffer from a concussion that convinces her to seek other pleasures in life. In order to live a life that she believes offers more excitement, she buys a small apartment in Manhattan and becomes a high-class escort named Eleanor for other women seeking similar thrills. Letting her desires reign free gives her a sense of liberation, that is, until she is set up on a 'date' with Sam - a woman she knows from her town. The women are shocked, but the pair embark on an illicit no-strings affair anyway and, understandably, wind up bumping into each other in various parts of the city. However, when Abby discovers Sam is with a man, she finds that she now has to deal with some unwarranted emotions towards her new lover.

A story of self-discovery, 'Concussion' talks about finding true inner peace within one's own life and shows how real happiness and contentment can be disguised as mundane. It has been directed and written by Stacie Passon in her feature film debut and is due out in cinemas on October 4th

Click here to read - Concussion movie review

Second Stage Theatre's 26th Annual Bowling Classic Held At Lucky Strike Lanes - Inside

Eve Plumb and Ben Shenkman - Second Stage Theatre's 26th Annual Bowling Classic held at Lucky Strike Lanes - Inside New York City NY United States Monday 4th February 2013

The New York Premiere Of 'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower' - Outside Arrivals.

Ben Shenkman Thursday 13th September 2012 The New York premiere of 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' - Outside Arrivals.

Blue Valentine Review

This portrait of a strained relationship is often difficult to watch, simply because it feels so real. Fortunately, the screenplay includes plenty of raw humanity, which gives us a chance to laugh and sigh as well.

Cindy (Williams) is clearly feeling strained in her marriage. Dean (Gosling) is a loving husband and a great dad to their lively daughter (Wladyka), but she can no longer cope with his lack of ambition as he settles for blue-collar work rather than developing his musical talent. A last-gasp weekend at a themed hotel isn't looking very promising either, but they make a real attempt to sort things out. Their issues go back to events before they even met, and it'll take a lot for Cindy to change her mind.

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Blue Valentine Trailer

Since the moment Dean and Cindy met, they knew they'd spend a long time together. After courting the couple tied the knot but as with all relationships, the couple have recently grown apart. They spend one night reconciling their relationship by looking at the best times they've had together in the past.

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Breakfast With Scot Review

A lively, realistic tone helps make this Toronto-set comedy much more than we expect, stirring in some thoughtful themes and honest emotion.

After being badly injured during a hockey game, cocky Maple Leafs player Eric (Cavanagh) finds a new career as a sports commentator. No one knows he's gay, living with his long-term partner Sam (Shenkman). When Sam's sister-in-law dies suddenly, he inherits his 11-year-old nephew Scot (Bernett), who is far more interested in musicals than hockey ("Who's Wayne Gretzky?"). As Sam is busy with work, Eric ends up trying to bond with Scot, adapting Scot's figure-skating skills to the hockey arena even as Scot helps Eric relax his mask of masculinity.

Frankly, the plot sounds like the premise for either a bad sitcom or a lame movie farce. Fortunately, the filmmakers take a refreshingly layered route through the story, breathing new life into the fish-out-of-water foster child genre in the process. It's the well-rounded characters that make this work, as they never settle into the stereotypes they could so easily have become. And the cast is likeable and engaging.

Bernett is the discovery here, creating an effeminate young character in just 90 minutes who's just as complex as Mark Indelicato's Justin after three seasons on Ugly Betty. Scot also brings a strong tinge of emotion to the comedy as a boy grieving over his mother even as he struggles to find his identity in a new setting. And his interaction with Cavanagh is telling and entertaining, especially when Eric starts worrying that Scot might be making him too gay.

The film's overall tone is a little uneven, wavering between Mighty Ducks-style silliness and much more serious family drama, including extremely heavy themes like drugs, death and sexuality in both school and the workplace. But it's written with a natural honesty that keeps us thoroughly involved. And even when the standard movie structure kicks in for the final act, we're caught off guard by how sweet and touching the predictable finale actually is.

Then She Found Me Review

"Don't be glib with me!" declares a character in Helen Hunt's ticking-biological-clock panic comedy Then She Found Me, and it's too bad Hunt didn't take her character's advice in the shaping of the film. For most of its running time, Then She Found Me stays safely within television sitcom glibness, the edges softened and motivations rigged into idiot-box coincidence and artificiality. It's Mad About You with home pregnancy test swabs.

Hunt is April Epner, a 39-year-old schoolteacher, married to Ben (Matthew Broderick), the puffy, neighborhood schlub. April is childless and longs for "a baby that is really hers." Being an adopted daughter in a close-knit Jewish family (she envies Ben Shenkman's Freddy, the biological family brother), she wants the biological connection of a birth child. As the film begins, her mother Trudy (Lynn Cohen) is in the hospital, her father has died, and April's comfortable world is about to explode. Things go awry from the get-go when April, obsessed with getting pregnant, greets Ben at home with a nightie under her coat, eager for a surprise tumble. But Ben tops her by announcing his decision to leave their months old marriage. Things continue falling apart -- April juggling the death of Trudy, having an affair with the embittered, divorced Frank (Colin Firth), and -- to top it all off -- the sudden appearance of April's biological mother, Bernice Graves, a brassy, unpretentious loudmouth and local talk-show hostess, played by Bette Midler (who else?).

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Celebrity Mix Review

Well, this is truth in advertising: Celebrity Mix is a compilation of vanity projects featuring headliners like Paul Rudd, David Hyde Pierce, and Zooey Deschanel.

As is always the case with compilation discs, some of the eight vignettes are good/great, and some are barely watchable. The headlining short, "Laud Weiner," makes up for its obvious title with a dead-on portrayal by Pierce of an egomaniac power broker. Just four minutes long, don't expect a lot of nuance, but it's funny to see the normally mild-mannered Pierce yell at interns.

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Table One Review

Bad idea: Make a comedy with nothing but loser guys and no real female parts. Lots of people are gonna line up for that one (Jackass excepted).

The wafer-thin story here, about the misadventures of a group of guys who somewhat foolishly invested in a bar/restaurant and hang out there every night in the hopes of impressing the ladies. Needless to say, they impress no one and end up the same losers 90 minutes later.

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Just Like Heaven Review

Ah death - so hilarious. If not for the neo-glow cinematography and jangly pop soundtrack, one could almost mistake Just Like Heaven as a potentially morbid downer. The story starts with a car crash, follows with an impromptu haunting, and then introduces a sad sack crippled by his depression. Are we laughing yet?

Heaven actually softens the blow by refining its cute idea about two souls needing a connection. One of them just happens to be a widow and the other a ghost. The former, David Abbott (Mark Ruffalo), lost his wife and hasn't been able to recover from the shock. The latter, Elizabeth Martinson (Reese Witherspoon), was a workaholic doctor who was the victim in the aforementioned car accident. When he moves in to her newly available San Francisco flat, David discovers Elizabeth's restless spirit around every corner, and the two set out to learn why her soul is trapped in limbo.

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Pi Review

"Personal Note: When I was a kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun, so when I was six, I did. The doctor's didn't know if my eyes would ever heal. I was scared, alone in that darkness, but slowly, light began to creep through the bandages. But something in me changed that day. That day I had my first headache."Thus begins Darren Aronofsky's 1998 independent trek into the surreal Pi, an incredibly complex and ambiguous film filled with both incredible style and substance. To get an idea of the director in case you have never seen him before, imagine the cinematography originality of Jim Jarmusch's Stranger than Paradise mixed with the perfect dialogue of Kevin Smith's Clerks and the bizarre and cryptic storyline of David Lynch's Eraserhead. Any surprise that all three of the aforementioned films are black and white? It shouldn't be. Pi uses an 8mm for the majority of its duration and film in a grainy black and white, giving the impression that you are watching a nightmare.The first large challenge of reviewing this thoroughly intriguing movie is describing its plot. Max Cohen (Sean Guilette) is a brilliant number theorist. He has three assumptions about the universe, one of which is that all things have an underlying pattern, an order. The hypothesis that he creates out of this is that he can predict anything, given enough variables and knowing the underlying pattern. His place to test this hypothesis: the stock market. In his search for answers in the stock market, he discovers a 216-digit number that seems to be the key to it all: it predicts Black Monday. Jewish mystics (Ben Shenkman) believe it to be the real name of God. Market manipulators (Pamela Hart) believe it to be the key to a fortune. A brilliant mathematician (Sol (Mark Margolis)) believes it to be a bug caused when a computer becomes conscious in the instants before it dies. Max is quickly launched into a world so paranoid it makes the Orwellian works of Andrew Niccol look safe.Max is also plagued by headaches. These headaches, strong enough to force him unconscious at regular intervals, have him taking a cocktail of painkillers in order to subdue. As he creeps closer and closer to the answer, the headaches increase in their intensity.I think the best way to interpret this massively cryptic film would be as a single man's search for peace. Through the movie, Max is gripped by a violent obsession with numbers and a complete phobia of social interaction. He constantly shuns the advances of his neighbor Devi (Samai Shoaib). He finds himself unable to take a break from anything and, as a consequence, finds himself inside of a complete nightmare. The only way to get away from this nightmare is to give up the one thing that has been his lifelong passion: numbers. The suspense of the film is helped along with an electric score by Clint Mansell, a soundtrack that keeps you on the edge with its razor-sharp notes. Also helping is the cinematographer Matthew Libatique, who gives us an infectious feeling of paranoia with the black and white film and the constant use of an unsteady camera to show the fast movement of Max.The film, although making numerous references to number theory, is fairly easy to understand with no mathematical knowledge: not to say that it doesn't help to know how to add and subtract. What is difficult is to view this film without a mind seeking to be intrigued, because, if you don't want intrigue, you shouldn't be watching Pi.Also known as p and Pi: Faith in Chaos.
Ben Shenkman

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