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Movie Review: Zootopia
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Zootopia Header

Zootopia
Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush
Writers: Jared Bush, Phil Johnston
Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Shakira
Studio: Disney Animation Studios
Release Date: March 4, 2016

On the surface, Zootopia looks like just another talking animal with anthropomorphic features piddling around getting laughs by means of using childish humor. But that is just the surface, and it is a very thin one. In reality, for beyond that layer lies a deeper and more meaningful story, and if you peel that layer back, you’ll soon discover that Disney Animation Studios’ latest film has a message, a very poignant one that could not have come out at a more perfect time.

In a day and age where bullying, prejudices, stereotypes, and preconceived notions are hurting many, and social issues are becoming more prevalent in our neighboring communities and homes, Zootopia has a message. Yeah, expecting a film like this to get everyone to get along is merely impossible and expecting too much, but all it is asking of us is to “try.” Try to understand one another, because if you do, you’ll become more exceptional. Check out the full review of the movie here below.

...continue reading »
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TV Review: Weird Loners 1.6 “We’re Here. We’re Weird. Get Used To Us.”
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Weird Loners Caryn

Weird Loners
Season 1 Episode 6: “We’re Here, We’re Weird, Get Used To Us.”
Directed by Robert Cohen
Written by Joanna Quraishi
Created by Michael J Weithorn
Starring Becki Newton, Zachary Knighton, Nate Torrence, Meera Rohit Kumbhani
FOX
Air Date: Tuesday, May 5th, 2015, 9:30pm

It is the sixth and last episode of this tiny little season of Weird Loners on FOX. No word yet if it has been picked up for a full second season. I think it deserves at least one more season, to see if it can find a groove. A quirky little comedy about four lonely, relationship challenged people who become each other’s support (sometimes in an unsupportive way), the show does garner a few laughs and has the potential to be bigger and better, especially with the addition of Stosh’s (Zachary Knighton) son.

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TV Review: Weird Loners 1.5 “The Weirdfather”
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Weird Loners 105-02

Weird Loners
Season 1 Episode 5: “The Weirdfather”
Directed by Christine Gernon
Written by Daniell Uhlarik, Michael J. Weithorn
Created by Michael J Weithorn
Starring Becki Newton, Zachary Knighton, Nate Torrence, Meera Rohit Kumbhani
FOX
Air Date: Tuesday, April 28th, 2015, 9:30pm

The title is apt for tonight’s Weird Loners 1.5 “The Weirdfather.” Stosh (Zachary Knighton) goes to stalk his son. His son? Self-proclaimed “douchebag” knocked up a waitress, but she won’t let him near the kid. So he sneaks money to him. The mother catches him and tells him to take him, most likely to see him fail.

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TV Review: Weird Loners 1.4 “Weird Knight”
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Weird Loners 104-05

Weird Loners
Season 1 Episode 4: “Weird Knight”
Directed by Reginald Hudlin
Written by Joanna Quraishi, Michael J Weithorn
Created by Michael J Weithorn
Starring Becki Newton, Zachary Knighton, Nate Torrence, Meera Rohit Kumbhani
FOX
Air Date: Tuesday, April 21st, 2015, 9:30pm

Quirky comedy, Weird Loners is up to its 4th of 6 episodes. Still no word on a Season 2. So what is this little show about?

Caryn (Becki Newton) and Eric (Nate Torrence) are neighbors. She has a wild roommate and he lived with his dad until he passed. Stosh (Zachary Knighton) is his cousin and moved in under the pretense of helping him deal, while really he pretty much lost everything because of his penis (sleeping with coworkers wives and girlfriends), and was homeless. And Zara (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) is a street artist who left her fiance, helped Eric home one day, and moved in with Caryn. The four have a funny chemistry and put the “weird” in weird. Although they do get mad at each other (well really scammer Stosh), there is genuine affection, and no one is sleeping with each other yet! It is only episode 4, so maybe soon. There are some laughs and the characters are interesting so far. I guess we’ll stick it out a few more episodes and see what happens.

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TV Review: Weird Loners 1.3 “Weirded Out”
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Weird Loners 105-07

Weird Loners
Season 1 Episode 3: “Weirded Out”
Directed by Bill Purple
Written by David Litt and Michael J Weithorn
Created by Michael J Weithorn
Starring Becki Newton, Zachary Knighton, Nate Torrence, Meera Rohit Kumbhani
FOX
Air Date: Tuesday, April 14th, 2015, 9:30pm

First a tiny recap, then a review of this week’s Weird Loners 1.3 “Weirded Out.”

Last week on Weird Loners, Zara (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) felt bad for Eric (Nate Torrence) so she pretended to channel his dead father’s spirit. Eric spent a wonderful day with his “dad.” In the meantime, after Caryn (Becki Newton) accuses Stosh (Zachary Knighton) of being the most selfish person ever, he flies down to Florida and surprises her by pretending to be her fiance so she doesn’t have to break her dear Nana’s heart. Of course he charged thousands on Eric’s credit card, but good intentions, eh?

Weird Loners 1.3 “Weirded Out” review: This little show still has potential. I think it’s harder for a comedy than a drama to get recognition. You have to be REALLY funny to stand out, when there are any number of ways a drama pull you in (murder, explosions, twists, etc.). But this one is still chugging along. The characters are charming and the show has decent little storylines. I’m unsure of its potential season 2 fate, but it’s early. This episode was pretty good.

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TV Review: Weird Loners 1.2 “Weird Dance”
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Weird Loners 00

Weird Loners
Season 1 Episode 2: “Weird Dance”
Directed by Jake Kasdan
Written and Created by Michael J Weithorn
Starring Becki Newton, Zachary Knighton, Nate Torrence, and Meera Rohit Kumbhani.
FOX
Air Date: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015, 9:30pm

Weird Loners premiered last week on FOX and did provide us with some giggles. After a brief recap of last week’s episode, you will get a review of tonight’s.

It’s a comedy – there’s not much in the way of spoilers.

Last week on Weird Loners 1.1 “Pilot,” we were introduced to the foursome who are more than weird, they are incredibly eccentric. Originally, Eric (Nate Torrence) and Caryn (Becki Newton) are neighbors. He lives with his dad, and she has a much younger roommate. But his dad dies and her roommate has one too many naked guys running out of the house, so they find themselves alone. But not for long. Eric’s cousin Stosh (Zachary Knighton) finds himself out of a job (for sleeping with everybody’s wives and girlfriends), therefore out of the company apartment, so “generously” offers to stay with Eric so he’s not so alone. Zara (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) escorts Eric home after buying art, and since she walked out on her fiance and apartment, finds Caryn a willing landlord. Caryn almosts decides to marry a boring guy to not be alone, but sparks do fly between her and Stosh. It was a funny episode.

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TV Review: Weird Loners 1.1 “Weird Pilot”
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Weird Loners 101-01

Weird Loners
Season 1 Episode 1: “Weird Pilot”
Directed by Jake Kasdan
Written and Created by Michael J. Weithorn
Starring Becki Newton, Zachary Knighton, Nate Torrence, and Meera Rohit Kumbhani
FOX
Air Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 9:30pm

One of my favorite things about being a TV reviewer is trying out pilots, because it’s filled with possibilities. Is this going to be the new breakout show? Is the lead actor going to be my next crush? Will it scare me? Will I laugh out loud?

Pilots also come with lower expectations because sometimes there’s a big backstory to tell, and sometimes it’s just that you haven’t connected with the characters yet. You need a little more time. And if it’s only a half hour (approximately 23 minutes without commercials), well… that’s just the cherry on top of the Mike TeaVee cake.

My verdict on Weird Loners?

Loved it!

...continue reading »
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