Movie Review: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG movie poster | ©2013 Warner Bros. / New Line / MGM

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom Writers: Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien Director: Peter Jackson Distributor: Warners/New Line/MGM Release Date: December 13, 2013 On one level, filmmaker Peter Jackson and his loyal companions have a problem uncommon in book-to-film adaptations. Most of these require that large chunks of the source material be removed or at least condensed and altered to fit into a running time […]Read On »

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TV Review: SOUTH PARK – Season 17 – “The Hobbit” – Season Finale

Wendy and Butters in SOUTH PARK - Season 17 - "The Hobbit" | ©2013 Comedy Central

Writer: Trey Parker Director: Trey Parker Network: Comedy Central, airs Wednesday nights Original Telecast: December 12, 2013 After the three-park SOUTH PARK epic that took on Black Friday, GAME OF THRONES and the videogame console wars between PS4 and XBOX ONE, the series gets back to basics with a great season finale “The Hobbit.” When SOUTH PARK does satire right, it’s dead on and this episode tackles the poor role models young girls have from the likes of heavily Photoshopped celebrities like Kim Kardashian. It all starts when cheerleader Wendy tries to give heavy-set and ugly Lisa Berger a pep […]Read On »

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TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 8 – “Pac-Man Fever”

THE CW logo | ©The CW

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Felicia Day, Linda Boyd Writer: Robbie Thompson, series created by Eric Kripke Director: Robert Singer Network: The CW, Wednesdays @ 9 PM Original Airdate: April 24, 2013 Given the entirety of SUPERNATURAL’s seventh season, one might be forgiven for guessing in advance that an episode titled “Pac-Man Fever” would involve the return of the Leviathans. It turns out that “Pac-Man Fever” instead is a loose reference to a videogame that isn’t really a videogame, but rather just a djinn-created offshoot of a recurring nightmare had by Charlie (Felicia Day), which winds up also engulfing Dean […]Read On »

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Movie Review: JACK THE GIANT SLAYER

JACK THE GIANT SLAYER movie review | ©2013 Warner Bros.

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy, Ewan McGregor Writers: Darren Lemke and Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Studney, story by Darren Lemke & David Dobkin Director: Bryan Singer Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: February 28, 2013 First of all, let’s clear up one misconception that may or may not be popular: JACK THE GIANT SLAYER isn’t a hyperactive attempt to soup up the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk (at least, not wholly), but rather a marriage that familiar myth with a slightly less well-known but still famed folktale from Cornwall. In the lore, […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (Special Edition)

THE HOBBIT soundtrack | ©2012 WaterTower Music

Probably the best reason to celebrate Peter Jackson’s plodding return to Middle Earth in THE HOBBIT is that it gives Howard Shore a chance to once again make the aural trek from Hobbiton for THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY. The fact that listeners will feel they’ve already been on this familiarly epic road for a good long time makes for a welcome sense of return to the dictionary’s worth of musical vocabulary that Shore had so painstakingly set up in the previous LORD OF THE RINGS saga. Now THE HOBBIT more than proves the axiom that if it something ain’t […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY - Bilbo poster | ©2012 Warner Bros./New Line/MGM

Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis Writers: Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo Del Toro, based on the novel THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien Director: Peter Jackson Distributor: Warner Bros./New Line/M-G-M Release Date: December 14, 2012 There’s a lot to love about THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, particularly for fans of director Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS films. Like that astounding fantasy trilogy, THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY is based on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien – THE HOBBIT actually came before LORD OF THE RINGS in Tolkien’s work, but it was […]Read On »

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TV Review: SOUTH PARK – Season 16 – “Obama Wins!” – Season Finale

Cartman in SOUTH PARK - Season 16 finale - "Obama Wins!" | ©2012 Comedy Central

Writer: Trey Parker Director: Trey Parker Network: Comedy Central, airs Wednesday nights Original Telecast: November 7, 2012 As SOUTH PARK winds down Season 16, the series hits a homerun with its season finale “Obama Wins!” Since this episode was pretty much done before the outcome of the Presidential election was announced, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone could have been tempting fate with its proclamation and storyline of an Obama win or would have had to do an “alternate ending” of some sort if the Presidential election went in Mitt Romney’s direction. Regardless, “Obama Wins!” is one of the funniest […]Read On »

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TV Review: SOUTH PARK – Season 16 – “A Scause for Applause”

Stan in SOUTH PARK | ©2012 Comedy Central

Writer: Trey Parker Director: Trey Parker Network: Comedy Central, airs Wednesday nights Original Telecast: October 31, 2012 After two strong weeks, SOUTH PARK heads back into iffy territory with “A Scause for Applause”, a failed attempt at dealing with the disgrace of Lance Armstrong for using performance enhancing drugs. In the SOUTH PARK version, everyone wearing “What Would Jesus Do” bracelets decides to cut them off when it’s discovered that Jesus used performance enhancement drugs to perform his miracles. This leads to a dilemma with Stan, who decides he’s not going to cut off his bracelet like everyone else – […]Read On »

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TV Review: SOUTH PARK – Season 16 – “A Nightmare on FaceTime”

Randy, Stan, Shelley and Sharon in SOUTH PARK - Season 16 - "A Nightmare on FaceTime" | ©2012 Comedy Central

Writer: Trey Parker Director: Trey Parker Network: Comedy Central, airs Wednesday nights Original Telecast: October 24, 2012 It’s been some time since SOUTH PARK has done a Halloween episode, but it was worth the wait as Trey Parker and Matt Stone come up with a new classic with “A Nightmare on Facetime.” Sending up THE SHINING, Blockbuster Video’s financial woes, The Avengers and our obsession with Apple products, there’s enough good will here to provide ample laughs and a great story to boot. When Stan’s dad Randy comes home and says the family is going to be rich because he […]Read On »

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TV Review: SOUTH PARK – Season 16 – “Going Native”

Butters and Kenny in Hawaii in SOUTH PARK - Season 16 - "Going Native" | ©2012 Comedy Central

Butters gets some bad news from his parents in SOUTH PARK – Season 16 – “Going Native” | ©2012 Comedy Central Writer: Trey Parker Director: Trey Parker Network: Comedy Central, airs Wednesday nights Original Telecast: October 18, 2012 Often times SOUTH PARK tries so hard to be topical and “parody” things all the time, that you begin to expect parodies even when there is none. And sometimes, when they are sending something up – it can get quite obscure and then you feel like a complete idiot for not even getting the point of the episode. “Go Native” is one […]Read On »

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