Reviews

Movie Review: MADE IN DAGENHAM

© 2010 Sony Pictures Classics | MADE IN DAGENHAM movie poster

With all of the arguments today about labor unions, MADE IN DAGENHAM is certainly timely. The film, directed by Nigel Close and written by William Ivory, concerns the real strike that occurred in 1968 at the Ford auto factory in Dagenham, England, when a one-day walkout by the plant’s 187 female workers over their designation as “unskilled” workers (and the commensurate lower wages, vs. the 50,000 skilled males then employed there) turned into a full-on strike for equal pay for equal work. We can see the cause is just. Stitching car seats together is not something that can be done […]Read On »

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CD Review: ALIEN RESURRECTION

© 2010 La La Land Records | Alien Resurrection Soundtrack

The release of Fox’s mega-ALIEN ANTHOLOGY collection on Blu-ray is a particularly good time to revisit the saga’s scores, which have now gotten virtually complete releases on CD and isolated DVD tracks. While we’re still waiting on a full album release for Elliot Goldenthal’s wonderfully strange score to ALIEN 3, another major check has been added for what might be the most unsung score in the series with the release of John Frizzell’s music to ALIEN RESURRECTION, which hits from La La Land as a two-CD edition that collects the complete score, its alternate takes and the original 1997 soundtrack. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1

© 2010 Warner Bros. | HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1 movie poster

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1 gets off to a bit of a wobbly start, as even those who are familiar with J.K. Rowling’s series of novels and the previous HARRY POTTER films (which is to say, the majority of the audience) may need a little while to remember just where we’re at in the story. Steve Kloves’ screenplay assumes we remember the salient facts from the last film, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, where the ailing Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) was killed by Dark Arts teacher Professor Snape (Alan Rickman), to the general horror […]Read On »

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TV Review: SOUTH PARK – Season 14 – “Crème Fraiche”

© 2010 Comedy Central | SOUTH PARK - Season 14 - "Creme Fraiche"

As Season 14 of SOUTH PARK comes to a close with “Creme Fraiche,” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone tackle two disparate topics – food porn and the Shake Weights phenomenon. When Stan’s dad Randy begins to obsess about cooking shows (staying up late and masturbating to them), his wife Sharon starts to block the programs on their TV. But Stan is addicted, which soon leads him to the 1-800 hotline for the Food Network (think phone sex, but about food) and eventually he’s the new cafeteria chef at Stan’s school. Suffice to say, his food choices are way too […]Read On »

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TV Review: HUMAN TARGET – SEASON TWO – “Ilsa Pucci” – Season Premiere

©2010 Fox | Mark Valley in HUMAN TARGET - Season Two - "Ilsa Pucci"

I definitely like the way that the opening episode of Season Two of HUMAN TARGET, “Ilsa Pucci,” set the table for the season ahead. While I’m sure some fans will be upset they glossed over the Season One finale – we got nothing to the fate of Katherine (Amy Acker) or Classic Chance (Lee Majors) who were introduced in the season finale – and the whole point of the finale, the mysterious book, gets destroyed in the first five minutes, it was a necessary evil to progress the show for the second season. The introduction of two new female characters […]Read On »

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CD Review: 127 HOURS Original Soundtrack

© 2010 Interscope Records | 127 Hours Soundtrack

When it comes to grooving filmmakers, Danny Boyle just might be the most creative D.J.-cum-director of them all. Cutting his movies to the fierce energy, and hallucinatory rhythms of a rave with particularly good drugs, Boyle’s best, confrontational imagery has pulsated with often-improbable mix tapes of score and songs, creating any number of memorably crazy scenes. Scottish addicts did screwball crimes to Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” in TRAINSPOTTING, the religious strains of “Ave Maria” gave way to the rabid zombie guitar run of John Murphy’s score to 28 WEEKS LATER before that composer teamed with the electro group Orbital […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SKYLINE

© 2010 Rogue Pictures | SKYLINE movie poster

Although its creators have stated otherwise, SKYLINE feels like a movie where the plot was created to service the special effects rather than the other way around. This said, as apocalyptic alien invasion movies go, it’s got a lot of action and characters who behave mostly as we’d expect suburbanites would when confronted with a shocking, insoluble situation. SKYLINE begins with the alien attack – huge, organic-looking ships that hover and emit a bright light that sucks up anyone who ventures out to see what’s going on – then flashes back fifteen hours earlier to introduce the main characters. Jared […]Read On »

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TV Review: GLEE – SEASON 2 – “Substitute”

© 2010 Fox | Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow in GLEE - Season Two - "Substitute"

One good thing could be said for the latest, lackluster episode of GLEE. The title “Substitute” didn’t result in a show choir version of The Who’s “Substitute.” Now that would be too obvious for a show, that occasionally lacks in subtlety. What is obvious?  “Substitute” features movie star Gwyneth Paltrow in yet another one of GLEE’s throwaway episodes designed to showcase a particular concept (“The Rocky Horror Glee Show”/Britney Spears songs) or to give a guest star the full court treatment to suck away valuable screen time from the very able recurring cast. “Substitute” isn’t as bad as many episodes […]Read On »

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TV Review: CHUCK – Season 4 – “Vs. The Fear Of Death”

© 2010 NBC Universal | Summer Glau in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. The Fear of Death"

After the last episode of CHUCK, where our intrepid titular character (Zachary Levi) had the Intersect scrambled by his double crossing spy mother (Linda Hamilton), we get an episode focused on Chuck trying to get the Intersect back online. With “The Fear of Death,” CHUCK finds the show finding its comedic rhythm again and opening the story up even wider than before. The episode is aided by guest star Rob Riggle who plays the hilarious agent Jim Rye. He’s a master at psy-ops, and understands what it will take to repair Chuck’s Intersect in his brain (namely fear). However, everything […]Read On »

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TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD – Season 1 – “Tell It To The Frogs”

© 2010 AMC | Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun and Robert 'IronE' Singleton in THE WALKING DEAD - Season One - "Tell It To The Frogs"

With two new vehicles and one less racist, the team that braved the zombie-clogged Atlanta streets returns to the survivors’ camp in the powerful third episode of THE WALKING DEAD, “Tell It To The Frogs.” The most significant development is Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) long-awaited reunion with wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies),  son Carl (Chandler Riggs), and best friend Shane (Jon Bernthal). That’s Shane, the man that replaced Rick as Carl’s father figure and Lori’s lover in addition to ruling over the fearful fiefdom that serves as our microcosm of human society. Now that Rick is back, what will happen to […]Read On »

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