CD Review: WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD soundtrack

WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

From “The Doom Generation” to SPLENDOR and KABOOM! Greg Araki’s films are Technicolor, sexed-up acid trips, full of bad behavior that can range from the hilarious to the disturbing – but never without empathy for his misfit characters. Two composers to particularly to get that vibe are Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd, who first teamed to give a beautiful, translucent synth-rock vibe to the surreal UFO imagery that hid two young men’s awful truth behind Araki’s MYSTERIOUS SKIN. Now the filmmaker sends another teen on a hallucinatory vision question to find the WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, a caged bird …Read On »

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CD Review: ST. VINCENT soundtrack

ST. VINCENT soundtrack | ©2014 Sony Classical Records

MARLEY AND ME composer Theodore Shapiro has always had a thing for the comedic underdog in such scores as DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY and ONCE CHANCE, all while creating clearly distinct musical characters for these seeming losers, whether it be wacky percussion, dream-like melody or operatic triumph. But he’s likely never gotten a true, cantankerous schlub like Bill Murray’s boozing Vietnam vet who seems to be anything but ST. VINCENT. Yet like all of his previous life-losers, Shapiro finds a heart of gold underneath them with his catchy, rhythmic approach. The trick here …Read On »

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Movie Review: PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR

PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR poster | ©2014 DreamWorks/20th Century Fox

Rating: PG Stars (voices): Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Conrad Vernon, Christopher Knights, John Malkovich, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Stormare, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru Writers: John Aboud and Michael Colton and Brandon Sawyer, based on characters created by Eric Darnell & Tom McGrath Directors: Eric Darnell & Simon J. Smith Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox/DreamWorks Animation Release Date: November 26, 2014 First introduced in 2005’s MADAGASCAR, continuing to steal scenes through two sequels and gaining their own TV show, the quartet of ever-caper-ready Antarctic flightless birds are now headlining their own 3D animated feature, PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR. The results are usually deft, paced …Read On »

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Movie Review: THE IMITATION GAME

THE IMITATION GAME poster | ©2014 The Weinstein Company

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Alex Lawther Writer: Graham Moore, based on the book ALAN TURING: THE ENIGMA by Andrew Hodges Director: Morten Tyldum Distributor: The Weinstein Co. Release Date: November 26, 2014 By now, it is generally known that, during WWII, the British set up a secret code-breaking unit in Bletchley Park dedicated to deciphering the messages put out by Germany’s Enigma Machine. Information once hidden under the Official Secrets Act also includes the fact that mathematical genius Alan Turing (played in the film by …Read On »

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CD Review: 21 and 22 JUMP STREET soundtracks

22 and 21 JUMP STREET soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

Far from signaling film scoring Devo-lution, ex-cult rocker Mark Mothersbaugh has consistently proven himself as one of Hollywood’s most wackily animated composers, loading his work with hip retro samples, wacky rhythms and knowingly bombastic strings. It’s a child-like glee that’s often having fun with his assignments while satirizing them at the same time, an ironic, adrenalin sense of fun that most recently hit it awesomely big for filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller with THE LEGO MOVIE, a road of unabashed energy that began in CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. But Mothersbaugh’s most hilariously satiric work for the duo …Read On »

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Movie Review: HORRIBLE BOSSES 2

HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 movie poster | ©2014 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Jonathan Banks Writers: Sean Anders & John Morris, story by Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Sean Anders & John Morris, characters created by Michael Markowitz Director: Sean Anders Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: November 26, 2014 2011’s HORRIBLE BOSSES was a pretty funny if not always on-target riff on STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 suffers in part because it’s not organized as a riff on anything in particular, and partly because a notable portion of its …Read On »

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TV Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS – Season 19 – Week 11 – Season Finale – Alfonso Ribeiro wins

Alfonoso Ribeiro and his partner Witney Carson win DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 19 | ©2014 ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Stars: Janel Parrish, Alfonso Ribeiro, Sadie Robertson, Network: ABC Original Telecast: Nov. 25th, 2014 He waited 10 years to be on the show and he was worth the wait! DANCING WITH THE STARS: Season 19 ended with Alfonso Ribeiro & Witney Carson winning the mirror ball trophy. DUCK DYNASTY star Sadie Robertson & Mark Ballas came in second, while PRETTY LITTLE LIARS‘ Janel Parrish & Val Chmerkovskiy ended the season in third. Ironically, last night’s eliminated couple, internet sensation Bethany Mota & Derek Hough, received the most votes for the encore, which they happily performed before we were treated to …Read On »

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TV Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS – Season 19 – Week 11 – Finals Night – Bethany Mota eliminated

Bethany Mota and Derek Hough in DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 10 | ©2014 ABC/Craig Sjodin

Stars: Bethany Mota, Janel Parrish, Alfonso Ribeiro, Sadie Robertson, Network: ABC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: Nov. 24th, 2014 Wow! I can’t remember the last time Derek Hough came in anything other than second or first place, until now. Hough’s partner, internet sensation Bethany Mota, and he finished fourth on DANCING WITH THE STARS: Season 19, leaving just three couples to fend for the mirror ball trophy Tuesday night. Ending the night in first place with a perfect 80 is Alfonso Ribeiro & Witney Carson. Landing in second with 78 points is Sadie Robertson &, Hough’s best pal, Mark Ballas. And …Read On »

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TV Review: BONES – Season 10 – “The Money Maker on the Merry-Go-Round”

Emily Deschanel in BONES - Season 10 - "The Money on the Merry-Go-Round" | © 2014 Fox/Patrick McElhenney

Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Boyd, Brian Klugman, Gil Bellows, LaMonica Garrett, Charlene Amoia, Adam Bartley, Lisa Datz, Jamison Haase, Drew Wicks Writer: Keith Foglesong, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs Director: Michael Lange Network: Fox, Thursdays @ 8 PM Airdate: November 13, 2014 The title of the BONES episode “The Money Maker on the Merry-Go-Round” turns out to refer to a murdered hedge fund manager whose head is found under a piece of playground equipment. One’s first thought may be of something else entirely …Read On »

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Movie Review: A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT

A GIRL WALKS HOME AT NIGHT movie poster | ©2014 Vice/Kino Lorber

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marno, Dominic Rains, Milad Eghbali Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour Director: Ana Lily Amirpour Distributor: Vice/Kino Lorber Release Date: November 21, 2014 Here is something that doesn’t come along every day – a Farsi-language vampire story set in Iran, written and directed by an Iranian woman, Ana Lily Amirpour. Early into A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, we can surmise this wasn’t made in Iran (there’s nudity, blood, self-determining women and whatnot), but the Kern County, CA locations are for the most part persuasive as a city in the …Read On »

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