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Sara Rue

TV Review: ABC Pairs ‘Last Man Standing,’ ‘Malibu Country’ on Fridays

CHICAGO – I wasn’t a big fan of “Last Man Standing” when it premiered over a year ago but it looks like a landmark program when compared to the vastly inferior new sitcom with which it has been paired, the new “Malibu Country” with Reba (who apparently goes by one name now) and Lily Tomlin. Both shows hearken back to the old-fashioned TGIF brand of programming, complete with laugh tracks and borderline offensive cliches.

TV Review: ‘Shedding For the Wedding’ Turns Weight Loss Into Torture

CHICAGO – As mash-ups take off in the music world, it was only a matter of time before reality TV joined the party, taking two concepts that worked on their own and smashing them together in a fit of childlike glee. What do you get when you cross “The Biggest Loser” and “Bridezillas”?

TV Review: Despite Sexy Stars, ‘Eastwick’ Has Yet to Cast a Spell

CHICAGO – Clearly inspired as much by the success of “Desperate Housewives” as that of its actual source material, ABC’s “Eastwick” is a mixed cauldron of possibilities, a show with a strong enough cast and concept to warrant a second look but also one with enough deep flaws in its premiere to suggest that perhaps this spell will not be cast over too many viewers.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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