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6 articles


Food Network Star Returns June 1st – Meet The Contestants

8 hours ago

Food Network Star is a show that represents a bizarre high and low for me. If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably already know my take on the show, and what happens afterward. The short version is that while I actually love the competition show itself, it never (almost) ends up with a person that I would ever watch, and that’s almost always because the person I would actually watch gets cut fairly early.

On the other side of the coin, the show becomes less interesting to me (as do all reality competitions) the more we move into the category of contestants who already own restaurants, or otherwise have a fairly decent food-related career. But, that’s just me.

At any rate, the show has some new twists this time around, and the competition is going on the road.

Take a look at all the info below, »

- Marc Eastman

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Bob Balaban Webseries Approach The Bench Hits

16 hours ago

In the always expanding, and continually more fascinating world of webseries, which now includes some huge names, Above Average is becoming a major player. Their latest effort, Approach the Bench, features Bob Balaban as a judge, and showcases the strange conversations that take place during sidebars. The first episode, for example, finds the judge and attorneys trying to decide if one of the jurors is Danny Aiello.

Catch the trailer above, and then check out the first episode of Approach the Bench here. You can also get some more info below. It is a little odd that the series puts itself out as having a 3-episode season, but perhaps we’re just testing the waters. I hope that’s the case, because this is the sort of thing, especially with Balaban center stage, that could lead to some hilarious bits as time goes on.

Let me know what you think about this one, »

- Marc Eastman

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Ru? Instant Reaction Review Podcast Ep. 98 – Need For Speed Review

16 hours ago

Need for Speed turned out to be a very strange film for us, and while some part of me actually hopes that some people enjoyed it, it’s a bizarre mashing of so many efforts, that none of them end up working out.

Shane and I tied on ratings again, though I’m sure big differences are coming up soon, and that actually speaks volumes, because any decent attempt here should have had one of us giving this at least a passing review.

Aaron Paul and Michael Keaton deliver a few interesting scenes, and there are even some plot points that could have been interesting in a better film, but the overall construction is poor, and Scott Waugh’s directorial effort doesn’t even live up to his other credit, Act of Valor, which wasn’t great either.

Still, much as we didn’t take away anything special, and are »

- Marc Eastman

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Devious Maids Complete First Season DVD Review

19 hours ago

Devious Maids probably isn’t an especially surprising show, if you know that it comes to you from the creator of Desperate Housewives, but even in comparison to that effort, it’s a certain kind of forward move. Desperate Housewives started off aiming for what we’ve actually achieved with Devious Maids, but it wasn’t quite there, and it didn’t take long for it to turn down a less interesting road.

The guilty pleasure genre is a tricky one, especially if you want people to help spread the word by admitting they watch your show, and there is a razor thin line separating worthwhile efforts from shows that are calling their own audiences stupid. Worse, virtually every aspect of creating the story you’re after is trying desperately to shove you over that line.

With shows like Scandal, or Grey’s Anatomy post-1st season, it’s easy »

- Marc Eastman

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Black Box TV Review – ABC Takes On Mental Health Drama

22 April 2014 5:12 PM, PDT

The Black Box – ABC’s “The Black Box” stars Ditch Davey as Dr. Ian Bickman, Kelly Reilly as Catherine Black and David Ajala as Will Van Renseller. (ABC/Andrew Eccles)

Black Box, ABC‘s latest drama, feels a lot like a show created by committee, and constructed largely by piecing together ratings research of plot and character points. A little bit House, a hint of Grey’s Anatomy, and a heaping dose of the hokey, “we’re calling you stupid,” plot construction of Scandal… et voilà. Of course, if those last two are among your favorite shows, welcome to your new obsession.

Dr. Catherine Black (Kelly Reilly) is the world’s most impressive and important neurologist… or whatever. She’s so cool that she has her own facility in New York City. Known as “The Cube,” it’s all neurology, all the time, and Dr. Black runs the show. But, »

- Marc Eastman

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Philomena Blu-Ray Review

22 April 2014 7:54 AM, PDT

Philomena is as surprising in its existence as it is in its ability to transform a story that ought to be cliche syrup into something real and moving. The film’s ability to deliver honest emotion may be more surprising, given the synopsis, but the existence question may need some explanation.

Steve Coogan, of Alan Partridge and other comedic efforts fame, isn’t a name you immediately associate with not only starring in a venture like this, but also co-writing it and becoming something of a driving force behind the production. Moreover, it’s rare to get anyone behind a film that is taking a pretty serious shot at the Catholic Church, much less big names like Judi Dench and Stephen Frears. And, speaking of Stephen Frears, though he manages a lot of variety in his films, ranging from Dangerous Liasions, and Liam, to High Fidelity, and Tamara Drewe, a biopic exploration of hope, »

- Marc Eastman

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