TV Review: SOUTH PARK – Season 15 – “1 Percent”

Cartman and the South Park kids in SOUTH PARK - Season 15 - "1 Percent" | ©2011 Comedy Central

Writer: Trey Parker Director: Trey Parker Network: Comedy Central, airs Wednesday nights Original Telecast: November 2, 2011 One of the best reasons for Trey Parker, Matt Stone and the entire production team at SOUTH PARK to put themselves through hell to deliver brand new animated episodes in six days is the ability for them to be topical. That means that whatever is current or in the news, can be instant fodder just like SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, THE DAILY SHOW, THE COLBERT REPORT and others of its ilk. Yet, this is also animation – and very complex to pull off, especially […]Read On »

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TV Review: SOUTH PARK – Season 15 – “Broadway Bro Down”

Randy and Sharon in SOUTH PARK - Season 15 - "Broadway Bro Down" | ©2011 Comedy Central

Writer: Trey Parker Director: Trey Parker Network: Comedy Central, airs Wednesday nights Original Telecast: October 26, 2011 It was a given that at some point Trey Parker and Matt Stone were going to tackle their Broadway experience with BOOK OF MORMON on SOUTH PARK. The question was “when” and “how?” The wait is finally over with “Broadway Bro Down”, the funniest episode since the midseason finale “You’re Getting Old.” This is classic SOUTH PARK where all the elements smash into each other head on and actually have a couple of very satisfying pay-offs. It all starts when Randy Marsh is […]Read On »

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Song Reviews: AMERICAN IDOL – TOP 4 SEASON 10 album

AMERICAN IDOL: The Final 4: Haley Reinhart, Scotty McCreery, James Durbin and Lauren Alaina | ©2011 Fox/Michael Becker

After last night’s strange episode of AMERICAN IDOL – Season 10, where the Top 4 contestants sang two songs apiece (one that inspires, the other from the Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller songbook), it was clear the judges are still all over the map when it comes to criticism and what an IDOL should exactly be (okay, one map, everyone is great EXCEPT Haley). While James Durbin, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery have gotten pretty much a free ride to the Top 4 with nary a critique (especially when they blow hard), Haley Reinhart has had to claw her way into her […]Read On »

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TV Review: AMERICAN IDOL – Season 10 – “The Top 4 Perform”

Haley Reinhart performs on AMERICAN IDOL - Season 10 - The Final Four | ©2011 Fox/Michael Becker

Cast: Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson Network: Fox, airs Wednesdays and Thursdays Original Telecast: May 11, 2011 We are down to nearly the home stretch on the world’s greatest karaoke competition, AMERICAN IDOL. And lucky the theme of the night was not Randy Jackson’s “Who is in it to win it” but more about the home stretch and who will either falter or bring home the bacon. Each four contestants sang two songs again tonight: The first, songs that are meaningful to the contestants; the second, songs from the writing combo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller […]Read On »

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TV Review: AMERICAN IDOL – Season 10 – The Top 10 plus 1 Perform

AMERICAN IDOL - Season 10 - Final 10 + One: Clockwise from top left: James Durbin, Paul McDonald, Pia Toscano, Scotty McCreery, Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone, Lauren Alaina, Casey Abrams, Naima Adedapo, Haley Reinhart and Thia Megia. | ©2011 Fox/Michael Becker

Cast: Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez Network: Fox, Airs Wednesday and Thursday Original Telecast: March 30, 2011 Last week, Casey Abrams was saved by the judges on the world’s greatest karaoke competition, AMERICAN IDOL. While that’s good for Casey, that means we are deep-sixing two this week. Hopefully the voters will get out and vote for the right person to go home. As much as some people (especially TV critics) seem to jump all over Casey for his choices, the dude is a performer and one of the better singers on the show. We got yet another […]Read On »

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CD Review: GNOMEO AND JULIET soundtrack

Gnomeo and Juliet soundtrack | ©2011 Walt Disney Records

There might not be a kitschier combination than the pairing of garden gnomes and Elton John, or in the case of GNOMEO AND JULIET, a more unexpectedly winning one. For when you add up the soothing, soulful sound of the 70’s pop-rock icon with the orchestral bells and whistles that composer James Newton Howard is duty-bound to deliver for the plaster faerie figures, you end up with a musical confection only slightly less eccentric than the classic song mash-ups of MOULIN ROUGE– made far less maddening here by the fact that it’s only Elton John’s immortal tunes that are being […]Read On »

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TV Review: AMERICAN IDOL – Season 10 – “The Top 12 Perform”

Pia Toscano (holding Casey Abrams), James Durbin, Paul McDonald, Jacob Lusk and Scotty McCreery. Bottom Row L-R: Haley Reinhart, Karen Rodriguez, Stefano Langone, Naima Adedapo, Thia Megia and Laurn Alaina are the Top 12 on AMERICAN IDOL - Season 10 | ©2011 Fox/Michael Becker

Cast: Ryan Seacrest, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson Network: Fox, airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays Original Telecast: March 16, 2011 We are on week two of the world’s greatest karaoke competition, AMERICAN IDOL, and after losing Ashthon Jones and having all females in the bottom three, I made the argument that once again despite all the changes in format that the tween 13-year-old girls are dominating the voting bloc. Now, obviously, it may be too early to tell but if we end up with all the chicks going first in the first few weeks, it will probably ring true […]Read On »

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Profile: Elton John brings the beat to GNOMEO & JULIET

GNOMEO AND JULIET | ©2011 Miramax Films

Elton John considers life an extraordinarily unpredictable adventure with no necessary time line of events to meet. You just take it as it comes to you. For example, he was in his mid forties when he assumed a new career in composing and producing songs for such musicals as THE LION KING and BILLY ELLIOT. And now at the ripe old age of 63 he and his long time partner David Furnish just adopted twin boys. The proud papa couldn’t be more excited to share his newest venture. “It’s fantastic,” he admits. “I love the smell of nappies and diapers. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: GNOMEO & JULIET

GNOMEO and JULIET teaser poster | ©2011 Miramax Films

Rating: G Stars (voices): James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Jason Statham Writers: Andy Riley & Kevin Cecil and Mark Burton, additional writing by Emily Cook and Kathy Greenberg, based on an original screenplay by Rob Sprackling and John Smith Director: Kelly Asbury Distributor: Touchstone Pictures What would it look like if a bunch of 3D animated garden gnomes danced to famous Elton John/Bernie Taupin songs? If this seems like a strange question, rest assured that the answer is equally loopy in GNOMEO & JULIET. Adapted very, very loosely from William Shakespeare’s similarly-titled tragedy, GNOMEO takes us into a world […]Read On »

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Exclusive Photos: From the World Premiere of GNOMEO & JULIET

Emily Blunt at the World Premiere of GNOMEO & JULIET | ©2011 Sue Schneider

Touchstone Pictures held the World Premiere of GNOMEO & JULIET in 3D at the El Capitan Theatre, Sunday January 23rd. This animated comedy adventure GNOMEO & JULIET, which is the greatest love story every told … starring garden gnomes? Caught up in a feud between neighbors, Gnomeo (voiced by James McAvoy) and Juliet (voiced by Emily Blunt), but with plastic pink flamingos and thrilling lawnmower races, can this young couple find lasting happiness? GNOMEO & JULIET showcased both classic and original songs by Elton John, who is also executive producer of the film. Seen walking the red carpet were the […]Read On »

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