Movie Review: THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES poster | ©2014 Warner Bros./MGM/New Line

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Aiden Turner, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Manu Bennett, Lawrence Makeore Writers: Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien Director: Peter Jackson Distributor: Warner Bros./New Line/MGM Release Date: December 17, 2014 Steal from a dragon, lie to a wizard and underestimate Peter Jackson at your peril. The filmmaker, who first managed to get J.R.R. Tolkien’s sprawling LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy to fit into three movies …Read On »

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TV Review: ASCENSION – Season 1 – “Night One”

A female who was murdered on board the spaceship ASCENSION gets sent off into space in "Night 1" | © 2014 Syfy

Cast: Gil Bellows, Tricia Helfer, Brandon P. Bell, Brian Van Holt, Andrea Roth, Jacqueline Byers, Emily Vanderhaus, Ryan Robbins, PJ Boudousque, Ellie O’Brien Writers: Adrian Cruz, Philip Levens, Melody Fox Director: Mairzee Alams Network: Airs on SyFy, Monday @ 9 p.m. Original Telecast: December 15, 2014 ASCENSION is an interesting mix of THE TRUMAN SHOW meets BIOSHOCK meets TWIN PEAKS meets DOCTOR WHO. If you are unfamiliar with BIOSHOCK, it is an award winning video game based on an idea that a slew of rich people disgusted with the way America was turning broke off from the Union in the …Read On »

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CD Review: FRANK and RUDDERLESS soundtracks

RUDDERLESS soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

For all of the rock stadium popularity that a studio polished song soundtrack might have, it’s often the raw tunes of a decidedly unsigned, outsider band that reaches into the heart, or madness-addled brain in a way no Grammy-friendly album can. At their best, these little tune-filled albums can even find appeal with score fans who normally regard songs CDs as heresy, an open-minded listen especially deserving from them for a big-headed bizarro and a garage band finding the power of healing in unthinkably written songs. FRANK is very loosely based on the strange career of England’s Frank Sidebottom, who had …Read On »

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CD Review: MARY POPPINS and SLEEPING BEAUTY soundtracks

SLEEPING BEAUTY soundtrack | ©2014 Walt Disney Records

For a company that’s re-released their soundtracks as many times as there have been DVD editions of THE EVIL DEAD, Disney might have finally reached the alpha and omega of truly special special editions with their new spectacularly presented Legacy Collections. Begun with Hans Zimmer’s Oscar-winning LION KING, these gatefold CDs have used beautiful original art, copious liner notes and a kitchen sink of complete scores and outtakes to chronicle the creation of Disney music that remains undying for good reason – a heritage that now wonderfully continues with series producer Randy Thornton’s impossibly ambitious release of MARY POPPINS and …Read On »

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TV Review: CONSTANTINE – Season 1 – “The Saint of Last Resorts”

Zed (Angelica Celaya) fights for her life in CONSTANTINE The Saint of Last Resorts | © 2014 Daniel McFadden/NBC

Cast: Matt Ryan, Angelica Celaya, Charles Halford, Harold Perrineau, Michael James Shaw, Emmett J Scanlan Writer: Carly Wray Director: TJ Scott Network: Airs on NBC, Fridays @ 10p.m. Original Telecast: Dec. 12, 2014 If NBC does not renew CONSTANTINE for a second season it will really be a shame because as “The Saint of Last Resorts” proved, there is a lot that this show has to offer and a show that could be taken in a variety of entertaining ways. The Fall Finale is the first two-parter of the season leaving viewers dangling at the edge as to what will …Read On »

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CD Review: DEAD RINGERS, NAKED LUNCH and CRASH soundtracks

DEAD RINGERS soundtrack | ©2014 HOWE Records

Howard Shore made his musical bones on the body horror of director David Cronenberg, a match particularly made in visceral-intellectual heaven with DEAD RINGERS, NAKED LUNCH and CRASH, three scores that show the chilling diversity in what’s arguably the most rewardingly unhinged (and ongoing) collaboration between two creepily-minded auteurs of this dark side of Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock. Now Shore gives this twisted trio a collector’s edition re-mastering, made complete with additional music that truly brings out his music’s mesmerizing power. 1988s DEAD RINGERS marked Shore’s fourth collaboration with Cronenberg for the most realistically disturbing movie the director had …Read On »

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TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 10 – “Hibbing 911”

Kim Rhodes as Sheriff Jody Mills in SUPERNATURAL - Season 10 - "Hibbing 911" | ©2014 The CW/Katie Yu

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Kim Rhodes, Briana Buckmaster, Morgan Taylor Campbell, Fred Ewanuick Writer: Jenny Klein, story by Jenny Klein & Phil Sgriccia, series created by Eric Kripke Director: Tim Andrew Network: The CW, Tuesdays @ 9 PM Original Airdate: December 2, 2014 SUPERNATURAL is clearly revving its mythology motor, ready to do some big stuff with Dean (Jensen Ackles) and the Mark of Cain he still bears. However, since this is a broadcast series with twenty-two episodes a season, it’s natural that sometimes the show falls back on monster of the week stories, which is fair enough – …Read On »

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CD Review: MISTER MOSES soundtrack

MISTER MOSES soundtrack | ©2014 Prometheus Records

After doing numerous re-performances of John Barry’s work through the years with LION IN THE WINTER, ROBIN AND MARIAN and an especially spectacular resurrection from the deep of RAISE THE TITANIC, the team of producer James Fitzpatrick, conductor Nic Raine and the now-stellar performers of The City of Prague Philharmonic take another trek with the composer’s sprit into what’s arguably his most successful continent. But where the themes for his furious jungle drumming, sweeping romance and brassy adventure of  ZULU and his Oscar-winning scores to BORN FREE and OUT OF AFRICA can be recalled by audiences the world over, 1965s …Read On »

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TV Review: BONES – Season 10 – “The 200th in the 10th”

David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in BONES - Season 10 - "The 200th in the 10th" | ©2014 Fox

Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Boyd, Michael Badalucco, Patricia Belcher, Eugene Byrd, Carla Gallo, Billy F. Gibbons, Andrew Leeds, Ryan O’Neal, Ignacio Serricchio, Laura Spencer, Michael Grant Terry, Pej Vahdat, Mather Zickel Writer: Stephen Nathan, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs Director: David Boreanaz Network: Fox, Thursdays @ 8 PM Airdate: December 11, 2014 Not too many scripted TV series (outside of soaps) make it to two hundred episodes. BONES is one of the fortunate – and deserving – few. The series chooses to celebrate …Read On »

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CD Review: BAD MILO soundtrack

BAD MILO soundtrack | ©2014 Movie Score Media

Ted Masur is an ass clown in the truest sense of the world with a memorable physical soundtrack debut that poops out his delightfully twisted score for BAD MILO about a monster that emerges from a nebbish’s butt to unleash hell on his master’s tormentors. Packed with devilish fury and eccentricity to spare, Masur’s music is a clever delight as it not only goes rampaging about in Elfman-esque fashion, but channels horror-indie energy into a uniquely comic sound that would be perfect for some Mike Judge movie down the line. There’s lunacy to spare in the off-kilter clocks of a …Read On »

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