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‘Halt And Catch Fire’ Season 2 Review: Series About Dawn Of Digital Era Returns With Way More RAM

Halt And Catch fire 4

Get ready to travel back in time three decades on Sunday night with the debut of Season 2 of Halt And Catch Fire on AMC. Now the Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers-created series about the dawn of the digital revolution was one of my favorite new series of 2014 but, as my video review above says, the stronger Halt And Catch Fire 2.0 has a lot more bandwidth and ram. Picking up in 1985 in the middle of the Reagan Era, Cameron Howe, played by Mackenzie Davis… Read

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‘Aquarius’ Review: David Duchovny Dominates In Manson-Era Drama

Aquarius 2

Debuting on May 28, NBC's Aquarius really is a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite its entire 13-episode season going up on the network's website for four weeks, Netflix-style, and despite the 1960s-set John McNamara-created show's storyline of the real-life rise of the murderous Charles Manson, Aquarius, as my video review above says, is at its heart a damn good network cop drama. It takes awhile to achieve liftoff but is on a solid… Read

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‘Texas Rising’ Review: History Shouldn’t Have Messed With The Lone Star State

Texas Rising

With a Memorial Day debut on History Channel, Texas Rising has ambitious aims. But sad to say, the 10-hour multi-week miniseries just doesn't hit the target. Brought to the small screen by some of the team behind the blockbuster The Hatfields And McCoys series, the Roland Joffe-directed tale of Lone Star warfare and revolution ends up, as my video review above says, being shrill instead of strong. Not that Texas Rising lacks a Texas-sized cast as it picks up this piece of… Read

TV

‘Between’ Review: Netflix’s YA Dystopian Series Is No Binge-Watcher

Between

The Canadian-spawned drama hits the airwaves in the Great White North tonight and on the streaming service soon afterwards, but don't expect to dig in all at once. Unlike past Netflix series, as my video review above of the very much run-of-the-mill Young Adult show notes, the whole first season of Between will not be available in one chunk. Like a regular non-streaming TV series, which it is in Canada, the 6-part show will instead be going up one episode at a time over… Read

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Emily Blunt & Benicio Del Toro On How ‘Sicario’ Takes Drug Cartel Movies To New High – Cannes Video

[Watch] Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro 'Sicario' Cannes Interview

In the wake of Breaking Bad and such films as Traffic and Savages, you’d think you’ve seen it all when it comes to epic drug cartel stories. But then you haven’t seen Lionsgate’s SicarioExplains director Denis Villeneuve on how Sicario stands apart, “It’s a hybrid cartel and war movie…it’s about the victims of the cartels and how America thinks it can solve problems outside of its borders with violence.” In Sicario, which is playing in competition at the Cannes Film… Read

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‘Irrational Man’ Review: Woody Allen & Joaquin Phoenix Make Perfect Pair

Irrational Man

I am here at the Cannes Film Festival this week and filing film reviews of some of the more significant titles on display. If you haven’t already, I highly urge you to check out my colleague Mike Fleming Jr’s sensational in-depth interview with Woody Allen. It opens a whole new window on the unique creative process of this remarkable filmmaker. This year marked his 45th film as a director with Irrational Mana dramedy in which a college professor played by Joaquin Phoenix… Read

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‘Mad Men’ Series Finale: 7 Seasons In 7 Scenes

Mad Men

All good things eventually come to an end — and in this case so do great ones, with the series finale of Mad Men this weekend. Unquestionably one of the greatest TV dramas of all time, the multiple-Emmy-winning series created by Matthew Weiner took us with fresh eyes into a decade many thought already had been fully exhumed. It also put AMC original series programming on the map and helped pave the way for blockbuster The Walking Dead. To commemorate the end of a TV era… Read

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‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’ Review: Blythe Danner Shines In Movie Aimed At Hollywood’s Forgotten Older Demo

Ill See You In My Dreams

Surprisingly, I’ll See You In My Dreams was a big hit with critics and audiences when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. I say surprising because this comedy-drama about an aging widow who tries to find renewed life 20 years after the death of her husband is at its heart an old-fashioned movie about senior dilemmas that would seem to be the antithesis of what hip film fests go for these days. As I say in my video review above, movies where retired… Read

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‘Pitch Perfect 2′ Review: Anna Kendrick And Crew Have Something To Sing About – A Fun Sequel

Pitch Perfect 2

The Barden Bellas are back, and that’s good news. It really is. Although Pitch Perfect 2 on paper didn’t really sound like a sequel anyone desperately needed, one of the co-stars and co-producers of the 2012 surprise hit about an all-female a cappella singing group, Elizabeth Banks, has taken on directorial reins and succeeded in not only topping the original but really making it sing. Hate to state the obvious, but Banks has gotten this one pitch perfect in every way. As… Read

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‘Good Kill’ Review: Ethan Hawke Scores A Bullseye In Hit-And-Miss Drone Drama

Good Kill

In the new drama Good KillEthan Hawke effectively plays an Air Force pilot who has served several tours of duty in the Middle East wars but now is based in Las Vegas as a drone pilot and is questioning the ethics of his new mission. At his day job, killing Taliban a world away is almost like some kind of perverse video game. At night he goes home to his wife (January Jones) and a marriage on the rocks because of the pressures of his career and life. All of this sends… Read

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‘Mad Max Fury Road’ Review: Pedal-To-The-Metal Kick-Ass Action Drives This Summer Winner To The Max

Mad Max Fury Road

It’s hard to believe, but it has been 30 years since Mad Max roared onto theater screens, but in my opinion, the series hasn’t missed a beat based on Mad Max: Fury Road. To put it mildly, it is a thrilling adventure that not only makes a great summer movie, but works as a stand-alone film that doesn’t require even having any knowledge of the first three films which all starred Mel Gibson, beginning with 1979’s classic, Mad Max.  The role was definitely an iconic one for… Read

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‘Hot Pursuit’ Review: Witherspoon & Vergara Beg For Laughs In Comic Misfire

Hot Pursuit

Hot Pursuit director Anne Fletcher has been quoted as saying in essence she’s only concerned — presumably, in this case — about making a movie for audience satisfaction, not critics. All well and good but, as I say in my video review above, this movie is one hot mess that even easy-to-please average moviegoers are going to recognize is just. not. funny. Sorry. And this Reese Witherspoon-Sofia Vergara vehicle comes from a director  I have admired for smart… Read