Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 67% (Critics) 58% (Audience) Directed By: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman Written By: Christopher B. Landon & Oren Peli Starring: Lauren Bittner, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Jessica Tyler Brown, Chloe Csengery Studio: Paramount
Synopsis: The third in the series that mixes horror with cinéma vérité, Paranormal Activity 3 is a prequel that journeys back to 1988 to see how sisters Katie and Kristi became tied to the malevolent spirits that plagued them in the first two films.
I had been anxiously waiting for the second season of THE WALKING DEAD to begin since the moment the (too short) first season ended and in the first 16 or so minutes of the Second Season Premiere I was rewarded with a textbook example of how to make a suspenseful zombie apocalypse experience. The panic that came over the crew of survivors when they realized too late that they had stumbled into an oncoming herd of shuffling flesh-eating zombies was great and the tension as each character scrambled for a sufficient hiding place was palpable. Andrea being trapped and unarmed in the RV’s bathroom, Sophie being chased into the woods by two zombies, and Rick’s daring rescue were all edge of your seat moments.
The last season of Dexter was a disappointment on many levels. The show was unable to fully capitalize on the murder of Dexter’s wife Rita and spin that tragedy off into storylines that were interesting and entertaining. Instead we were made to suffer through a first half of the season that was almost painful to watch and a second half that, while better than the first, did not live up to the standards set by this show over the years. This dip in quality was augmented by the show having come off of what was arguably its best season ever. The Trinity Killer storyline was amazing and to follow that up with Dexter in mourning and then falling in love with some creature named Lumen (the interminable Julia Stiles) was just a serious misstep.
The new season of the post-Charlie Sheen era begins with a funeral for Sheen’s eponymously named character. The funeral was not nearly as funny as one would have hoped considering the proceedings were attended by a host of beautiful but scorned women who all wanted to make sure that Charlie was indeed dead. Instead the entire segment came off like public therapy for show creator Chuck Lorre. It was mean spirited and a bit angry in my estimation. Sadly it wasn’t all that funny aside from a little exchange between Russell (Martin Mull) and Alan Harper (Jon Cryer) about money that Charlie owed Mull’s character for supplying a boatload of pharmaceuticals.
Synopsis: This episode kicks off the second half of the sixth season of the Doctor Who series that was relaunched in 2005. The show left off earlier this year with The Doctor and his married companions Amy and Rory discovering that their comrade-in-arms, (the very much adult) River Song, is in fact Amy and Rory’s daughter. Long story short…River was kidnapped soon after her birth by the Doctor-hating religious cabal known as The Silence and the Doctor has vowed to rescue little Melody Pond from their evil clutches if its the last thing he does.
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 23% (Critics) 34% (Audience) Director: Marcus Nispel Writers: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, Sean Hood Starring: Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman and Rose McGowan Studio: Lionsgate
Synopsis:CONAN THE BARBARIAN is the slick remake of the far grittier (and better) 1982 version that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star. In this updated tale the Cimmerian warrior embarks on a quest to protect a virgin priestess and exact revenge for the murder of his father.
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 76% (Critics) / 91% (Audience) Directed By: Tate Taylor Written By: Tate Taylor Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer
Studio: DreamWorks Studios
Synopsis:THE HELP is the movie adaptation of the phenomenally popular book of the same name. The movie is set in 1963 Jackson, Mississippi in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement and is about the black maids who work in the white households of Jackson and the young white woman who decides to tell their stories. The book has been pretty controversial with a lot of black historians taking offense to the telling of this story by a white woman and a black maid suing the author for supposedly stealing the story of her life. And that controversy extends to the movie as well with some black groups condemning it sight unseen. I didn’t have any preconceived notions about THE HELP because the story is based on a work of historical fiction so it strikes me as odd for people to get all pissy about it. Maids, mammies, and racism existed and hating on a movie just because it deals with those facts is just stupid.