TV Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS – Season 20 – Week 9 – Judge’s Picks – Tears were flowing

Witney Carson and Artem Chigvintsev in DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 20 - Week 9 | ©2015 ABC/Adam Taylor

Stars: Noah Galloway, Nastia Liukin, Riker Lynch, Rumer Willis Network: ABC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: May 11th, 2015 Another emotional night on DANCING WITH THE STARS as the couples perform two dances, one of which was mentored by one of the four judges – a first in DWTS history. The scores are so close that the contest is still anyone’s game. Two couples – Nastia Liukin & Derek Hough and Riker Lynch & Allison Holker – earned perfect scores tonight with 70 out of a possible 70 points. Right behind them is Rumer Willis & Val Chmerkovskiy with 68 points …Read On »

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TV Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS – Season 20 – Week 8 – Trio Night – No Eliminations

Rumer Willis, Artem Chigvintsev and Val Chmerkovskiy in DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 10 - Week 8 | © 2015 ABC/Adam Taylor

Stars: Noah Galloway, Robert Herjavec, Nastia Liukin, Riker Lynch, Chris Soules, Rumer Willis Network: ABC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: May 4th, 2015 No elimination tonight on DANCING WITH THE STARS – hooray! After last week’s dreadful goodbye to Willow Shields & Mark Ballas, tonight’s show was a pleasant reprieve, until tomorrow’s results show, that is. Trio night on DWTS and only one couple perfected the night with a total of 80 points for two dances…Rumer Willis & Val Chmerkovskiy! They did the Rumba to a perfect 40 and then sealed the deal with their trio dance, the Paso Doble. Right …Read On »

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Movie Review: MAGGIE

MAGGIE movie poster | ©2015 Lionsgate

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, Douglas M. Griffin, Raeden Greer, Bryce Romero Writer: John Scott 3 Director: Henry Hobson Distributor: Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions Release Date: May 8, 2015 MAGGIE gives us a whole lot of things we don’t expect and perhaps didn’t know we wanted, but come to appreciate soon and thoroughly. John Scott 3 has crafted a screenplay that thinks through the zombie apocalypse more thoroughly than most in the genre. More, this is not a movie about a group of survivors, or even a lone survivor, facing down a horde. It’s a sober family drama …Read On »

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TV Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS – Season 20 – Week 7- Eras Night ditches Willow Shields

Willow Shields was sent packing on DANCING WITH THE STARS | © 2015 ABC/Craig Sjodin

Stars: Noah Galloway, Robert Herjavec, Nastia Liukin, Riker Lynch, Chris Soules, Rumer Willis, Willow Shields Network: ABC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: April 27th, 2015 There is only one thing to say about tonight’s DANCING WITH THE STARS show – it was devastating, especially for Willow Shields & Mark Ballas who were prematurely ejected out at just week seven. The irony of it all is that after a dance off they were the highest scoring couple of the night. This is reminiscent of a prior shocker years ago also involving Ballas when he and partner Sabrina Bryan – said to be …Read On »

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Movie Review: THE HARVEST

THE HARVEST movie poster | ©2015 IFC Midnight

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Samantha Morton, Michael Shannon, Natasha Calis, Charlie Tahan, Leslie Lyles, Peter Fonda, Meadow Williams, Nolan Lyons Writer: Stephen Lancellotti Director: John McNaughton Distributor: IFC Midnight Release Date: New York theatrical and VOD, April 10, 2015; Los Angeles theatrical, April 24, 2015 Too often, thrillers with child/young adult protagonists are either BAD SEED/THE OMEN-esque – nothing wrong with these, except that they tend toward the predictable – or the cleaned-up-to-the-point-of-anemia PG-13 model. THE HARVEST is neither. There are several points where we get a little ahead of where writer Stephen Lancelotti and director John McNaughton are leading …Read On »

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TV Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS – Season 20 – Week 6 – Spring Break ousts Patti LaBelle

Chris Soules in DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 20 - Week 6 | ©2015 ABC/Adam Taylor

Stars: Noah Galloway, Robert Herjavec, Patti LaBelle, Nastia Liukin, Riker Lynch, Chris Soules, Rumer Willis, Willow Shields Network: ABC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: April 20th, 2015 It’s spring break/team dance night on DANCING WITH THE STARS and all eight couples boogied to the beach decor as Patti LaBelle & Artem Chigvintsev got thrown to the sand, ending their race for the special 20th season golden mirror ball trophy. Still, what a way to go out. Ms. LaBelle was shake, shake shakin’ it! Truly, she was a positive spirit in the ballroom. Also uplifting were Riker Lynch & Allison Holker’s amazing …Read On »

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Blu-ray/DVD Review: ECHOES

ECHOES Blu-ray | ©2015 Anchor Bay

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Kate French, Steven Brand, Billy Wirth, Steve Hanks, Caroline Whitney Smith Writer: Nils Timm Director: Nils Timm Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment Release Date: April 14, 2015 ECHOES was an official selection of the New York City International Film Festival and FilmQuest Film Festival. It won Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Director. All of this goes to prove that there are many different opinions and tastes out there – clearly, some people think this is a terrific movie. The film does have gorgeous Joshua Tree, CA desert landscapes to recommend it, courtesy of cinematographer Robert Toth. …Read On »

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Movie Review: UNFRIENDED

UNFRIENDED | © 2015 Universal Studios

Rating: R Stars: Shelley Hennig, Moses Jacob Storm, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki, Courtney Halverson, Heather Sossaman Writer: Nelson Greaves Director: Levan Gabriadze Distributor: Universal Release Date: April 17, 2015 There is nothing new about vengeful ghosts, but there is certainly novelty in setting a horror story entirely in a multi-person Skype/Facebook chat, which is the case in UNFRIENDED. Apparently unworried that its users may be too creeped out to continue to use the social media site after seeing the film, Facebook has allowed its features to show up prominently here, as do YouTube, Google and a number of …Read On »

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Blu-ray/DVD review: TREEHOUSE

TREEHOUSE movie poster | ©2015 Uncork'd Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: J. Michael Trautmann, Dana Melanie, Nick Herra, Clint James, Daniel Fredrick Writers: Alex Child, Miles Harrington & Michael Bartlett Director: Michael Bartlett Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment Release Date: Blu-ray DVD, March 31, 2015 TREEHOUSE is one of those low-budget horror movies that starts off so slowly that it seems like it’s never going to pick up speed. Unfortunately, unlike some other genre entries that lull us in order to make the jolts that much more impactful, TREEHOUSE continues as it begins. It takes 25 minutes to get into the treehouse, where we wind up feeling more trapped …Read On »

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CD Review: ELMER BERNSTEIN: THE WILD SIDE soundtrack

ELMER BERNSTEIN: THE WILD SIDE soundtrack | ©2015 Varese Sarabande Records

No composer embodied the pure movie swing of jazz during the art form’s mainlining into much of film scoring during the 50s and 60s like Elmer Bernstein. From the hot sax heroin rush that flooded into Frankie Machine’s veins in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM to the lustful brass catfight of WALK ON THE WILD SIDE or the salacious gossip beat that stank of  THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, Bernstein tapped into the energetic transgressiveness of music that promised a rawness that the Hayes Code-enforced movies could only hint at. So it’s only natural that Varese head Robert Townson …Read On »

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