Reviews

Movie Review: SECRETARIAT

SECRETARIAT movie poster |© 2010 Walt Disney Pictures

SECRETARIAT is about a horse called “Big Red” by those who knew him, who was one of the great equine athletes of all time. In 1973, Secretariat won the three races that together are the Triple Crown of American horse racing, setting a speed for the last one that has not yet been matched. It’s a story known to horse race fans and indeed to many people who aren’t into the sport but have heard the statistics.

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TV Review: GLEE – SEASON 2 – “Grilled Cheesus”

Cory Monteith in GLEE - Season 2 - "Grilled Cheesus" | ©2010 Fox/Adam Rose

When you’re going to take on religion, take it on head first and do something powerful with it or humorous. Don’t do something like GLEE does with “Grilled Cheesus” a rather sucky episode that has its intentions in the right place, but yet again doesn’t know how to deliver the goods. Falling somewhere between sappy (Kurt’s dad has a brain aneurysm and is in critical condition in the hospital) and silly (Finn prays to the image of Jesus that ends up burned into the toast of his grilled cheese) it’s a weird blend of spiritualism and comedy that never quite comes together.

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TV Review: CHUCK – Season 4 – “Vs. The Cubic Z.”

Steve Austin in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. The Cubic Z." | ©2010 NBC

Something has definitely been off with CHUCK in its fourth season. Maybe making Chuck (Zachary Levi) more of a spy has actually taken the edge off of why the show was so charming in the first place – he was an average guy put in extraordinary circumstances he was incapable of dealing with alone. Add to that the “will they or won’t they” relationship between Chuck and fellow spy Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) completely gone since they’ve consummated and become a couple. Now the show has had to stoop to relationship woes to keep their romance alive and chemistry. Unfortunately, when the relationship woes include Sarah upset that Chuck eventually wants to have kids and get married, it seems so pat and obvious for a show like CHUCK that’s always been so clever and different in the handling of this type of material.

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Preview: It’s three cheers for The CW’s HELLCATS

Heather Hemmens, Matt Barr, Aly Michalka, Robbie Jones and Ashley Tisdale in HELLCATS - Season 1 | © 2010 The CW/Andrew Eccles

This may be the last year for Tom Welling playing Clark Kent on The CW’s SMALLVILLE, but he’s already lined up his next gig – as executive producer on the new CW drama HELLCATS about competitive cheerleaders. “I thought it was a great story, had a lot of heart and found it very interesting,” says Welling at this summer’s CW’s TCA press tour. In terms of dividing his time between the two series, he adds, “fortunately, HELLCATS also shoots in Vancouver, ten minutes away from SMALLVILLE.” “It’s a huge benefit,” says Welling. “We have a fantastic crew on both shows […]Read On »

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Music Review: Gin Blossoms – NO CHOCOLATE CAKE

Gin Blossoms - NO CHOCOLATE CAKE | ©2010 429 Records

The Gin Blossoms were one of the 1990s strongest hook-happy groups that shot to the top of the charts with their hit single “Hey, Jealousy” off NEW MISERABLE EXPERIENCE and later with “Til I Hear It from You” co-written by pop-craftsman Marshall Crenshaw for the film EMPIRE RECORDS. Though they disbanded in 1997, the group eventually reformed in 2002 followed by the lackluster 2006 disc MAJOR LODGE VICTORY.

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2010 Toronto International Film Festival – The New Complex

Dateline Toronto September 9-18, 2010 I was wrong. I’ve been gleefully attending the Toronto International Film Festival for more than 20 years but when I heard they were assembling a festival entertainment complex I bitched. And I moaned. Much of the fun  and success of Toronto’s film festival is that it is sprawled all over town. By jumping from theater to theater and event to event you’re forced to learn all the wonders the city holds. I feared the new complex would consolidate the festival too much. I was wrong. Located at the corners of Kings and John St, the […]Read On »

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Hello, Bandit’

C.S. Lee in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Hello, Bandit" | ©2010 Showtime/Randy Tepper

The DEXTER episode “Hello, Bandit” has a lot in common with Dexter (Michael C. Hall) – now that both have gotten past the shock of Rita’s death and figured out the direction they’re taking, they’re both slowly getting back to normal. This is understandable, but there’s a certain amount of clean-up and waiting for things to return to normal that’s more realistic than it is engaging.

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TV Review: FRINGE – SEASON 3 – “The Box”

Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv in FRINGE - Season Three - "The Box" | ©2010 Fox/Michael Courtney

When Walter (John Noble) learns that if you can’t hear the sound there’s no way for you to be killed, Peter takes it upon himself to defuse the device when Thomas Newton (the guy from Season Two that had his head frozen, thawed then reattached and helped Dark Walter cross over to take Peter back to the alternate universe) places it in a subway for any unfortunate bystander to unleash.

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Preview: DEXTER will focus on “Atonement” for Season Five

Michael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 5 - "My Bad" | ©2010 Showtime

What to expect from DEXTER‘s fifth season? How about “atonement,” which is the theme this year  according to executive producer John Goldwyn who says that Dexter (Michael C. Hall) feels that he was involved in some way and feels culpability in Rita’s death. “This scene is of atonement and illuminated and dramatized over the course of the year,” says Goldwyn. Executive producer Sara Colleton adds “the form Dexter takes to achieve atonement, is not in a form that is conventional in any means.” The Showtime series, which airs Sunday nights, will also have “tattoos” playing  an integral part of the […]Read On »

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TV Review: HOUSE – Season 7 – “Selfish”

Hugh Laurie in HOUSE - Season 7 | ©2010 Fox

Stars: Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Robert Sean Leonard, Omar Epps, Jesse Spencer, Olivia Wilde, Peter Jacobson Writer: Eli Attie Director: Daniel Attias Network: Fox, airs Monday nights Original Telecast: September 27, 2010 Did we get our first real HOUSE episode of the season? Not to knock the season premiere, “Now What?” (which was good but hardly resembled a HOUSE episode), but “Selfish” showed us that Huddy and HOUSE can coexist and in fact make for some darn good television. To be honest, that was what was on the line this week: whether HOUSE can truly pull this off or if, […]Read On »

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