‘Home’ Review: Jim Parsons & Rihanna Team For Fun Frenetic Family Ride
Move over, E.T.: There’s a new lovable alien on Earth and ironically he’s in a movie called Home. This new DreamWorks Animation confection is the company’s only planned release this year, and as I say in my video review above it is out-of-this-world fun for the whole family.
The movie skews very, very young, but adults should be happy to go along for the ride on this road trip, though, because of the zippy dialogue in Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember’s screenplay and a fine… Read
‘Wolf Hall’ Review: Damian Lewis Rules As Henry VIII In PBS Drama
With the beginning of the end for AMC's Mad Men, the debut of NBC's Biblical A.D. and American Odyssey plus the premiere of The Lizzie Borden Chronicles on Lifetime, Easter Sunday's primetime is a very crowded place this year. Among the offerings, I recommend in the video review above that you check yourself into Wolf Hall on April 5. The six-part series on PBS' Masterpiece provides some very compelling television.
Based on Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels and… Read
‘The Dovekeepers’ Review: Mark Burnett & Roma Downey’s Historical Epic Proves Big Isn’t Better
Debuting just before Passover starts this year, The Dovekeepers is not the only story of faith from the First Century A.D. to show up on network television in the next week or so, and it certainly isn't the best. As the video review above says, this epic two-night tale of the siege of Masada – starring Cote De Pablo – by Rome’s bloodthirsty legions proves that big is not always better on the small screen.
Based on the best-selling Alice Hoffman novel of the same name and… Read
‘The Heidi Chronicles’ Review: Jeremy Gerard On Elisabeth Moss’ Fine Turn In Broadway Revival
Fans of AMC’s Mad Men, returning April 5 for the final episodes of its final season, have watched Elisabeth Moss’ Peggy Olson evolve from meek secretary to rising-star protégé of the brilliant ad-man Don Draper, against the tumultuous backdrop of the 1960s. Moss… Read
‘Bloodline’ Review: Netflix Family Drama Runs Deep, Says Dominic Patten
The tagline for the new Netflix original series is, "We're not bad people, but we did a bad thing." Well, as my video review above says, the debut of Bloodline tomorrow on the streaming service is far from bad – in fact, it's good and well worth watching. While the pacing of the 13-episode first season might seem a little measured, it’s actually perfectly binge-worthy with a payoff worth savoring.
Bloodline comes from Damages creators Daniel Zelman and brothers Todd A… Read
‘Insurgent’ Review: Pete Hammond On Shailene Woodley’s Next Blockbuster
Sort of a poor cousin to their The Hunger Games series, Summit is hoping Insurgent, the second in the Divergent Series, ratchets up the game a bit. Aimed directly at female fans of Veronica Roth’s books, this edition lays on the special effects and action to such a degree that, as I say in my video review above, it’s obvious they want to attract guys, too.
Shailene Woodley continues her role as Tris, a dreaded Divergent who stands out from the five main factions everyone… Read
‘One Big Happy’ Review: NBC Comedy Just Sad, Says Dominic Patten
Debuting at 9:30 tonight, One Big Happy isn’t. In fact, the comedy produced by Ellen DeGeneres and created by Liz Feldman is, as I say in my video review above, one big waste of time.
Telling a blended family tale that I feel like we've heard many times before, and in far better ways, One Big Happy delivers stereotypes galore where a script should be. With frat-boy-level pee jokes and unfunny quips about lesbians, straight guys and Brits all over the place, it creaks… Read
‘The Gunman’ Review: Pete Hammond On Sean Penn’s Bull’s-eye In Movie That Misses
Liam Neeson proved it could be done when, in his mid-50s, he suddenly turned into Hollywood’s hottest action star by launching a new tough-guy persona with Taken. Now that film’s director, Pierre Morel, is at it again, as I say in my video review above. Only this time Morel is working with 54-year-old Sean Penn, who with The Gunman is aiming to be Hollywood’s most unexpected new action hero.
Or maybe in this case it is a little more complex because Penn plays Jim Terrier… Read
‘Run All Night’ Movie Review: Pete Hammond Says Liam Neeson’s Latest Is A Real Nail-Biter
Liam Neeson, now 62, seems to have become the go-to guy for action films, particularly since the success of the Taken franchise has made him a household name in this area. The third and most recent of those films took in $88 million domestically and more internationally. Neeson stumbled a bit at the box office with last fall’s very fine A Walk Among The Tombstones, but for my money, he nowhas put it all together in the superlative and gritty action drama Run All Night… Read
‘The Royals’ Review: E!’s First Scripted Drama Regally Good, Says Dominic Patten
On March 15, E! gets into the original scripted drama realm for the first time with The Royals. Now, drama is nothing new to the channel that brought us Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but going scripted is a move that the network has avoided until now. As my video review above says, God save the queen because this Lionsgate Television-produced show lives up to its highly promoted hype and is regally good. On the English throne is Vincent Regan as the conflicted king… Read
‘Cinderella’ Review: Pete Hammond On The Gorgeous, Lively Live-Action Remake
Kenneth Branagh directs this live-action take from Disney of the classic Cinderella fairy tale, featuring Lily James as the girl by the fireplace, Richard Madden as the prince, Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother, and Helena Bonham-Carter as the fairy godmother among others in a fine cast.
Yes, you’ve seen a hundred versions of this story before (spoiler alert: it ends happily ever after), including that great animated Disney version from 1950.
But as I say in my video… Read
Larry David’s ‘Fish In The Dark’ Review: Jeremy Gerard Is Hooked
Shtick is to Larry David as location is to real estate: everything, everything and everything.
As I say in my video review above, David is making his first stage appearance since grade school. The acerbic comic genius behind Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld makes his Broadway debut as playwright and star of Fish in The Dark, a comedy about death, sex and who inherits Dad’s Rolex.
This Fish tale – which also stars Rita Wilson and Rosie Perez – struck me as a throwback to… Read