Movie Review: THE LEGEND OF TARZAN

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN movie poster | ©2016 Warner Bros.

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Alexander Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou, Christoph Waltz Writers: Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, story by Craig Brewer and Adam Cozad, based on the TARZAN stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs Director: David Yates Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: July 1, 2016 THE LEGEND OF TARZAN is a title that is at once helpful (this will be a movie about Tarzan) and misleading. Between all of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ stories about the Lord of the Jungle and the various films, cartoons and TV series about the character, using a “The” seems a bit overly authoritative. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: FREE STATE OF JONES

FREE STATE OF JONES poster | ©2016 STX Entertainment

Rating: R Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, Keri Russell Writer: Gary Ross, story by Leonard Hartman & Gary Ross Director: Gary Ross Distributor: STX Entertainment Release Date: June 24, 2016 Rather extraordinarily, the broad facts of FREE STATE OF JONES are true. During the Civil War, a Mississippi farmer named Newt Knight brought together a small, multiracial militia and effectively seceded from the Confederacy. The story was previously fictionalized in the 1942 novel TAP ROOTS and its 1948 film adaptation. There remains a great deal of controversy about Knight’s motives and specific actions. In FREE STATE OF JONES, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE SHALLOWS

THE SHALLOWS movie poster | ©2016 Sony Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen, Sedona Legge Writer: Anthony Jaswinski Director: Jaume Collet-Serra Distributor: Sony/Columbia Release Date: June 24, 2016 THE SHALLOWS pits Blake Lively’s surfer, Nancy Adams, against a Great White shark that has taken up residence near a secluded beach in Mexico. No one should go to a summer shark attack movie expecting plausibility – once in a great while, something like the all-too-believable OPEN WATER comes along, but that’s the exception. It’s usually not a problem, except when the movie wants to be taken seriously on a number of levels. THE SHALLOWS aims […]Read On »

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Book Review: THE LAST DREAM KEEPER

THE LAST DREAM KEEPER | © 2016 Ace Paperback Original

Writer: Amber Benson Publisher: Ace Paperback Original Publication Date: January 2016 Suggested Retail Price: $15 THE LAST DREAM KEEPER is a follow-up to Amber Benson’s THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK. Anyone who is familiar with that area of Los Angeles probably wondered if Benson’s first book in this series was fact or fiction. Echo Park is funky and forested and seems entirely likely to host a coven of magical practitioners. In fact, WITCHES is a work of horror-tinged urban fantasy, with Lyse returning from out of state to tend to her beloved great-aunt Eleanora, who turns out to be Lyse’s […]Read On »

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TV Review: GAME OF THRONES – Season 6 – “Battle of the Bastards”

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister and Conleth Hill as Lord Varys in GAME OF THRONES | © 2016 HBO

Stars: Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Liam Cunningham, Sophie Turner, Aiden Gillen, Carice Van Houten, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kristofer Hivju, Iwan Rheon, Alfie Allen, Michiel Huisman, Jacob Anderson, Gemma Whelan, Ian Whyte, Enzo Cilenti, Paul Rattray, Dean S. Jagger, Art Parkinson, Bella Ramsey, George Georgiou Writers:.David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, series created by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” Director: Miguel Sapochnik Network: HBO, Sundays @ 9 PM Original Airdate: June 19, 2016 At the risk of sounding over-enthusiastic, after the first fourteen minutes of the GAME OF THRONES episode […]Read On »

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Highlights from the 2016 LA FILM FESTIVAL

LA Film Festival

1) The new venue. Once upon a time the LAFF was in Hollywood. The it was in Westwood next to the UCLA campus. Then it was in the LA LIVE center downtown. All three areas managed to dwarf what was going on around it. In Hollywood it didn’t stick out enough from usual Hollywood goings on. At UCLA film goers were over run by campus dwellers (even though it was during Summer break). At LA LIVE it looked like it had been dropped into some Blade Runner-esque hybrid of LA and Tokyo with some sports championship or pop concert running […]Read On »

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Movie Review: FINDING DORY

FINDING DORY poster | ©2016 Pixar / Walt Disney Pictures

Stars (voices): Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Sigourney Weaver Writer: Andrew Stanton, story by Andrew Stanton and Victoria Strouse & Bob Peterson, based on characters created by Andrew Stanton Director: Andrew Stanton; co-director, Angus MacLane Distributor: Walt Disney/Pixar Release Date: June 17, 2016 FINDING DORY is a sequel faithful in both form and content to 2003’s FINDING NEMO. In the earlier film, little clownfish Nemo is scooped out of the ocean and put in an aquarium, leaving his distraught father Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks) […]Read On »

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TV Review: GAME OF THRONES – Season 6 – “The Broken Man”

Jon Snow and Sansa Stark are reunited in GAME OF THRONES | © 2016 HBO

Stars: Lena Headey, Nicolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Rory McCann, Maisie Williams, Natalie Dormer, Jonathan Pryce, Kristofer Hivju, Jerome Flynn, Alfie Allen, Ian McShane, Diana Rigg, Clive Russell, Gemma Whelan, Faye Marsay, Tim McInnerny, Tobias Menzies, Hannah Waddingham, Bella Ramsey, Daniel Tuite, Tim Plester Writer:.Bryan Cogman, series created by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” Director: Mark Mylod Network: HBO, Sundays @ 9 PM Original Airdate: June 5, 2016 Generally, surprises in GAME OF THRONES are tragic, but the Season 6 episode “The Broken Man” opens with a happy […]Read On »

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DVD Review: MONSTERLAND

MONSTERLAND poster | ©2016 RLJ Entertainment/Dread Central

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Josh LaCasse, Ebon Moss-Bachrach Writers: Kaspar Ainelo, Jan Andresson, Jack Fields, Kate Fitzpatrick, Erik Gardner, Cody Goodfellow, Dick Grunert, Patrick Longstreth, Sander Maran, Peter McCoubrey Directors: Graham Denman, Jack Fields, Erik Gardner, Andrew Kasch, Patrick Longstreth, Sander Maran, Robert Mclean, the McCoubrey Brothers, Corey Norman, John Skipp, Frank J. Sudol Distributor: ©2016 RLJ Entertainment/Dread Central Release Date (DVD, digital video): June 7, 2016 MONSTERLAND is another horror anthology of the type that has come into fashion recently. Bucking the mini-trend, it is not “found footage” in the sense of someone running around recording everything against all […]Read On »

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TV Review: BONES – Season 11 – “The Monster in the Closet”

David Boreanaz in BONES - Season 11 - "The Monster in Closet" | ©2016 Fox/Patrick McElhenney

Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Boyd, Pej Vahdat, Jim Beaver, Sara Rue, Sunnie Pelant Writer: Michael Peterson, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs Director: Randy Zisk Network: Fox Network, Thursdays @ 8 PM Airdate: April 28, 2016 While BONES and CRIMINAL MINDS are both popular, long-running TV series – in fact, BONES is in its eleventh season, while CRIMINAL MINDS just wrapped theirs – and both are procedurals that deal with teams of brilliant government investigators, it seems like there isn’t a huge amount of […]Read On »

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