Reviews

CD Review: IN A BETTER WORLD soundtrack

In A Better World Soundtrack | © 2010 Movie Score Media

After his innovative, haunting work on LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and MURDER FARM, Swedish composer Johan Soderqvist teams for the eighth time with BROTHERS and AFTER THE WEDDING filmmaker Susanne Bier for a family story that segues from the Sudan to Denmark. The result is another deeply affecting, eerily off-kilter score from Soderqvist that uses some of the most strikingly beautiful percussion to grace a drama since Mychael Danna’s ICE STORM. Here, the spectral, bell-glass sounds of the African Array Mbira merges the feelings of a doctor treating victims of tribal violence in a Sudanese refugee camp with the […]Read On »

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CD Review: ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT soundtrack

© 2010 Buysoundtrax Records | On A Dark and Stormy Night Soundtrack

In the movie ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT, a bunch of Halloween revelers get a very nasty tricks played to their quickly decimating numbers in this aptly titled horror film, which features an appropriately creepy score by Albanian composer Aldo Shllaku. Though he might not have a 100-piece orchestra at his command, Shllaku has obvious fun with the musical tropes of a black-humored body count. What really socks him over as a composer to not turn your back on are ferocious bursts of a pipe organ and throttling rock guitar riffs. Combine these unexpected treats with any bunch of […]Read On »

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The Dork Side: Bristol Palin RUINS America

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas on DANCING WITH THE STARS (11-22-10) |© ABC/Adam Larkey

Welcome to ASSIGNMENT X’s newest weekly column THE DORK SIDE written by Sonia Mansfield, which will tackle all things geek from a humorous perspective. Apparently, if Bristol Palin wins DANCING WITH THE STARS then the terrorists have won. That’s the impression I’m getting from all the media coverage anyway. There are a lot of things I don’t care about. My top 3 right now are JERSEY SHORE, 3-D movies and DANCING WITH THE STARS. Yeah, I said it. I don’t care about DANCING WITH THE STARS. Make sure to report me to the Pop Culture Police. I really don’t care. […]Read On »

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TV Review: CHUCK – Season 4 – “Vs. Phase 3”

Yvonne Strahovski in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. Phase 3" | © NBC Universal

The last thing I would ever call CHUCK’s super-hot spy Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) is “the giant blonde she-male.” Yet, that becomes one of the funnier running gags on “Vs. Phase 3,” an episode where Chuck (Zachary Levi) is fighting for his life and the loss of brain cells in Thailand as villain Adelbert De Smet (Richard Chamberlain) goes digging in his brain for the Intersect.

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Profile: CHUCK star Zachary Levi gets TANGLED up in Disney’s latest animated feature

Flynn Rider (voiced by Zachary Levi) from TANGLED | ©Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Zachary Levi may play a nerdy super spy on TV’s CHUCK, but this Wednesday he’s moonlighting as the roguish animated character Flynn Rider in Disney’s Rapunzel retelling TANGLED (which opens nationwide on Wednesday). It’s the kind of double duty the actor relishes – especially since both parts are so different. In TANGLED, Levi plays thief who befriends the long-haired Rapunzel and the two go on an epic adventure together. On CHUCK, which is now in its fourth season on NBC, Levi is the show’s title character who was co-opted by the CIA because he accidentally downloaded a program into his […]Read On »

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – “Teenage Wasteland”

Michael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Teenage Wasteland" | ©2010 Showtime

A lot of things get blown open in the latest episode of DEXTER called “Teenage Wasteland” and all of them matter. Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), confined to file room duty, finds DNA evidence that there’s more than one perpetrator in the barrel girls” case. Deb convinces a reluctant Lt. Laguerta (Lauren Velez) to reopen the case, previously considered closed. Deb is shocked when her boyfriend Quinn (Desmond Harrington) says he loves her – and shocked again when Quinn admits that he suspected Deb’s brother Dexter (Michael C. Hall) might be Trinity Killer associate Kyle Butler, though he now wants to leave it alone. Liddy (Peter Weller), the disgraced cop Quinn hired as a private investigator, doesn’t want to leave it alone, and has pictures of Dexter and Lumen (Julia Stiles) doing something late at night on Dexter’s boat with big plastic bags.

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TV Review: FUTURAMA – Season 6 – “The Futurama Holiday Spectacular”

Robot Santa in FUTURAMA - Season 6 - "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular" | © and TM 2010 20th Century Fox

While nothing is going to supplant “X-Mas Story” as the ultimate FUTURAMA holiday episode (the one where Robot Santa terrorizes citizens every December 25), there is something cool about the three-pronged story arc of “The Futurama Holiday Spectacular.” Three separate holidays are featured in segments that also include their own deranged song and dance number.

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TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD – Season 1 – “Vatos”

Steven Yeun and Norman Reedus in THE WALKING DEAD - Season 1 - "Vatos" | ©2010 AMC

In the latest episode of AMC’s great new zombie series THE WALKING DEAD, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) takes a team back to the city to check on Merle and retrieve that desperately-needed bag of guns while the rest of the camp reacts to Jim’s strange grave-digging behavior. Has the man become a prophet, dreaming of death amongst the survivors, and if so, who in their little party will suffer a horrible fate before the day is out? And is Rick really just like a certain whip-wielding archaeologist, incomplete without his trusty hat? “Vatos” inevitably draws added scrutiny as it’s the single […]Read On »

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

©2010 Fox | Anna Torv in FRINGE - Season Three - "The Abducted"

It is a shame more people aren’t watching FRINGE. Since moving to Thursdays last year, the show has steadily declined in ratings. I like to believe it is because of the heated competition rather than the fact people have lost interest in the show. Seriously, how could anyone lose interest in this show? Week-after-week it continues to amaze and deliver the goods. This season especially has been quite enjoyable with the show alternating between the two universes each with their own perils and monsters. Granted, the monsters “over here” have been mostly generated from the bad guys “over there” trying […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE NEXT THREE DAYS

© 2010 Lionsgate | THE NEXT THREE DAYS poster

THE NEXT THREE DAYS is an English-language remake, apparently quite faithful, of the French thriller POUR ELLE. In the new version, scripted and directed by Paul Haggis (CRASH), Russell Crowe plays a husband so devoted that, when it looks like his wife is going to spend the rest of her life in prison, he decides to break her out and flee the country, even though he has no previous criminal expertise whatsoever. This last is the most prominent of the several plot engines propelling THE NEXT THREE DAYS. Most movies about something as large-scale as a prison breakout have at […]Read On »

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