TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 10 – “Ask Jeeves”

Jared Padalecki as Sam, Izabella Miko as Olivia, and Jensen Ackles as Dean in SUPERNATURAL - Season 10 - "Ask Jeeves" | ©2014 The CW/Michael Courtney

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Izabella Miko, Kevin McNulty, Gillian Vigman, Debra Lynne McCabe, Clare Filipow, Marcus Rosner Writers: Eric Charmelo & Nicole Snyder, series created by Eric Kripke Director: John McCarthy Network: The CW, Tuesdays @ 9 PM Original Airdate: November 18, 2014 SUPERNATURAL goes from the sublime (the previous week’s “Fan Fiction”) to the serviceable with “Ask Jeeves,” a pastiche of CLUE and MURDER, SHE WROTE (visually and verbally name-checked here), with the addition of a monster. The best thing about “Ask Jeeves” – kudos to the editing department – may be the “Then” sequence, i.e., SUPERNATURAL’s catch-up …Read On »

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CD Review: REAR WINDOW soundtrack

REAR WINDOW soundtrack | ©2014 Movie Score Media

In a particularly striking case of turning fate’s rotten apples into ironic oranges, quadriplegic actor Christopher Reeve went with his immobilizing accident to gain the opportunity of bring true realism to the part of the paralyzed, voyeuristic hero – whom unlike the broken-legged James Stewart of the Hitchcock original – isn’t going to be getting out of his wheelchairl. Beyond Reeve get an Emmy nomination for his performance here, the TV remake’s second Emmy recognition would deservedly go to composer David Shire. With such memorably tense scores to his credit as THE CONVERSATION and ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, Shire approached …Read On »

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CD Review: SEE NO EVIL soundtrack

SEE NO EVIL soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

Where Henry Mancini got to play blind woman’s bluff with Audrey Hepburn in WAIT UNTIL DARK with creeping restraint, composer Elmer Bernstein got to scare the already-gone sight out of Mia Farrow with way more symphonic lavishness in this 1971 thriller from BOSTON STRANGLER director Richard Fleischer, who opened up the basic girl-in-peril idea from a Manhattan apartment to an English home and its surrounding countryside – where nearly all of the occupants have gone lights out thanks to a cowboy-boot wearing killer. Where Bernstein was best known for intimate Hollywood dramas or period epics, the composer was equally adept …Read On »

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Movie Review: THE BABADOOK

THE BABADOOK poster | ©2014 IFC Midnight

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Barbara West Writer: Jennifer Kent Director: Jennifer Kent Distributor: IFC Midnight Release Date: theatrical/VOD, November 28, 2014 Writer/director Jennifer Kent’s film THE BABADOOK pulls off the harder-than-hell trick of keeping us guessing whether what we’re seeing is supernatural or psychological all the way through, without ever making us feel cheated. More, the filmmaker keeps us plenty scared throughout, using the kind of storybook imagery that leaves lifelong impressions. Amelia (Essie Davis) is a single Australian mum who has it very rough. Her beloved husband died in a car crash when …Read On »

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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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