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‘Happyish’ Review: Showtime’s Dark Comedy Is Just Sad

Happyish

With Mad Men about to end its seven-year run, a new dark comedy from This American Life contributor Shalom Auslander is debuting at April 26 to try to skewer the advertising industry and almost everything else. However, unlike AMC's Matthew Weiner-created drama, there isn't a lot to recommend about Showtime's Happyish. Despite a cast led by Steve Coogan, Kathryn Hahn and Bradley Whitford, the flabby show about middle aging, economic insecurity and social media bald spots… Read

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‘Something Rotten!’ Review: A Musical Comedy Creampuff Set In Shakespeare’s Era

Something Rotten Broadway

Facing competition from that red hot up-and-comer down the street, one Will Shakespeare, the Bottom brothers have to come up with a new hit or see their troupe out on the streets. The amusing result is Something Rotten!, a creampuff-light play within a musical comedy opening on Broadway that, as I say in my video review above, I think many theater-goers will happily sink their teeth into. The play just opened at the St. James Theater and stars Brian d’Arcy James and John… Read

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‘The Age Of Adaline’ Review: Blake Lively’s Love Story For The Ages

The Age of Adaline Blake Lively

Avengers fans don’t kill me, but if I had my choice between Age Of Ultron and The Age Of Adalinea splendid new romantic drama opening Friday, I just might choose Adaline. Guess I am just a romantic at heart but as I say in my video review above, this magical, quirkily original and beautifully acted love story is irresistible. It’s almost like an elongated Twilight Zone episode merged with Somewhere In Time but at its core, it has its own beating heart. It’s one of those… Read

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‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Review: Marvel’s All-Stars Even Bigger, But Are They Better?

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Considering its global success ($600 million-plus in North American grosses alone and $1.5 billion worldwide), it was a no-brainer that Marvel and Disney would pump out a sequel to 2012’s  The Avengers as fast as possible. And here it is, Avengers: Age Of Ultron or, as I like to call it All-Star Wars. This latest Avengers aims to break its own record with the film business’ highest-grossing opening weekend ever. No doubt the appetite for this sequel is out there: Every… Read

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‘The Water Diviner’ Review: Russell Crowe Finds New Direction In Epic Triumph

The Water Diviner Russell Crowe

With about 40 films under his belt as an actor, an Oscar and several nominations, Russell Crowe now adds film director to his resume with The Water Divinera sweeping, humane and riveting tale that reminds you of the big and bold movies of the past that we loved. Or at least loved before Hollywood discovered gold in them thar comic books. As I say in my video review above, Crowe has delivered a real crowd pleaser that I think for him is a triumph in every way… Read

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‘Unfriended’ Review: Will Teens Actually Go Offline To See This ‘Grand Googlenol’?

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It seems Hollywood finally has found a way of getting teens offline and in line. Just make a movie like Unfriendedwhere the entire 82-minute running time takes place in front of a computer screen. Blumhouse has done it again. As I say in my video review above, they have made a cheapie horror thriller that is virtually disconnected from human interaction and plugged into a cyber-age Friday The 13th-style Facebook fright fest. Let’s call it “Grand Googlenol.” In Universal… Read

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‘Finding Neverland’ Musical With Kelsey Grammer Believes In Audiences, Not Critics: The Video Review

Broadway musical produced by Harvey Weinstein

Perhaps taking a cue from colleague Marc Platt – who defied critics’ expectations by turning the widely dissed Wicked into one of Broadway’s biggest all-time moneymakers – Harvey Weinstein stayed the course with Finding Neverland, the musical adaptation of the 2004 Miramax movie about the creation of Peter Pan that has finally arrived on Broadway. As I say in my video review above, the resulting production stars Glee‘s Matthew Morrison as Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie… Read

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‘Beyond The Reach’ Review: Michael Douglas Aims To Thrill

Beyond the Reach Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas goes to the dark side, showing off his talents as a villain in the new thriller, Beyond The Reach. As I say in my video review above, however, this film may be ‘beyond the reach’ of hit status but nonetheless, it provides a nice showcase for the villainous talents of Douglas, who for my money never topped the evil he displayed in his Oscar-winning turn in 1987’s  Wall Street. Douglas plays Madec, a wealthy businessman looking to add to his trophy case by… Read

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‘Gigi’ & The Gershwins Plant Post-War Paris On Broadway: Video Review

Gigi

Broadway this week welcomed a pair of lavishly produced revivals of 1950s musicals that were processed by MGM’s Arthur Freed unit into hugely popular movie musicals, both directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Leslie Caron: An American In Paris (six Oscars in 1951, including Best Picture), and Gigi (nine Oscars in 1958, including best picture). As I say in my video review, An American In Paris  – about the love affair of an expat American artist and the French… Read

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‘Desert Dancer’ Review: Freida Pinto & Cast Shine In Iran-Set True Story

Desert Dancer Movie Freida Pinto Reece Ritchie

As I say in my video review above, Richard Raymond’s directorial debut Desert Dancer is an inspiring true story set in the extremely dangerous period around the 2009 Iran presidential election, when a group young people went underground and created a dance troupe in a country that bans this kind — basically all kinds — of creative expression. Even access to the Internet was denied, but they found a way to see videos of dance legends such as Gene Kelly, Rudolph Nureyev and… Read

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‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 5 Review: Bloodier & More Ruthless Than Ever

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It has been a long, long wait for Game of Thrones fans since Season 4 ended in June, but solace is at the Wall, so to speak. The most-watched series in HBO history returns for its fifth season on April 12, and this might be the bloodiest and most ruthless yet for a series drenched in blood and viciousness. With Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister on the run from King's Landing over the seas, this also is the season when many of GoT‘s threads start to be tied together &ndash… Read