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Vampire Academy (2014)
The Weinstein Company
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‘Vampire Academy’ Review

Based on the bestselling YA book series, 'Vampire Academy' seemed a promising movie adaptation. Combining the cutthroat world of high school with the bloodlust of vampire fiction, it had an enticing starting point. Adding to its allure were a writer and director who have defined the modern teen queen movie, Daniel Waters, the screenwriter of 'Heathers,' and Mark Waters, the director of 'Mean Girls.' So how did the 'Vampire Academy' turn out so lifeless?

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Beyonce
Dave Kotinsky, Getty Images
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Beyonce, ‘God Made You Beautiful’ – Song Review

A new Beyonce song, 'God Made You Beautiful,' leaked partially this week, and now the full track is online. How is it?

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Disney
Disney
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‘Frozen’ Review

Beautiful. I scribbled this word in my notebook seven times as I watched Disney's latest princess adventure, 'Frozen.' Lots of other compliments can and will be paid to this profoundly wonderful film, but it is, above everything else, spectacularly beautiful.

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Hunger Games Catching Fire review
Lionsgate
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‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Review

When the closing credits rolled after the original 'The Hunger Games,' I thought to myself "eh, not bad." But I was in no rush to see the follow-up. When the closing credits rolled after Francis Lawrence's 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,' after I was able to collect myself, I was fully prepared to run out and get a mockingjay tattoo. Over my heart. With the phrase, "I will lay down my life for you, Katniss Everdeen, because you are the first and finest true hero of 21st century cinema."

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Lionsgate
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‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Review

In 2012, 'The Hunger Games' was not only critically acclaimed; it was also the third highest grossing blockbuster of the year, coming in behind 'The Avengers' and 'The Dark Knight Rises.' This meant Francis Lawrence, who took over directing duties for the film series after Gary Ross bowed out, has an incredibly high bar to meet with the adaptation of Suzanne Collins' second novel in her trilogy, 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.' We're elated to report that he's created a sequel that is bigger, bolder and all around better than its solid predecessor, helped in part by an extraordinary cast and a lusher budget.

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Ender's Game Review
Summit Entertainment
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‘Ender’s Game’ Review

The kids today and their video games! Well, if Gavin Hood's adaptation of Orson Scott Card's beloved sci-fi novel, 'Ender's Game,' is any indicator, the fragging youngsters of today may become the saviors of tomorrow. Whether they want to or not.

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Carrie review
Screen Gems
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‘Carrie’ Review

For a gal named Carrie White, she's sure got a lot of red on her.

Watching Kimberly Peirce's 'Carrie' is an odd experience. If you've seen Brian De Palma's version from 1976, this new version is - and there's really no point in denying this - like watching a cover band. There's a tweaked scene here and there (including a new, creepy-as-heck opening) plus the addition of cell phones and references to 'Dancing With The Stars.' This remake, more than most, really feels like hitting the same marks. It may be a peculiarity specific to 'Carrie,' because, let's face it, not a whole heck of a lot happens in this story. Considering most moviegoers' familiarity, there's plenty of room to stew and think, "Why is this considered such a classic?"

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Category: Movies, Reviews Tags:
Katy Perry
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Katy Perry, ‘Unconditionally’ – Song Review

Katy Perry's second 'Prism' single, called 'Unconditionally,' isn't a 'ROAR' redux.

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Don Jon's Addiction Scarlett Johansson Joseph Gordon Levitt
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‘Don Jon’ Review

Before I write anything else about 'Don Jon': yes, there are some guys in Northern New Jersey who really do act this way. Some of the particulars are exaggerated, but not really. Whether the interior life of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's protagonist gym rat, club denizen, muscle car driver is accurate is something I'll never know, and considering the emotional dysfunction on display, I think I'm okay with it.

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Mark's old hot tub
Mark Richards TSM
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What Bad Purchases Have You Made That You Want to Warn Others About?

What bad purchases have you made that you want to warn others about? What are you scared to buy based on what you've heard? When I bought a 50" TV I also purchased a 3 year extended warranty. Guess what? Three years and three months later, it needed a $500 repair, no help at all from the warranty company. Never again.

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Now You See Me review
Summit Entertainment
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‘Now You See Me’ Review

The magic of cinema and the magic of magic tend to cancel each other out. Once you convince someone they're seeing alternate realities, alien conquerers, and distant futures, pulling a rabbit out of a hat looks a little underwhelming. It is a cruel, sad truth that a single cut negates all the impact of the greatest act of sleight of hand.

So, a movie about magic needs to be about more than just magic. The silly but not entirely unpleasurable 'Now You See Me' is about showmanship. There are a lot of good actors in this movie, including Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Melanie Laurent, and Mark Ruffalo. They play illusionists, mentalists, hucksters, debunkers, billionaire industrialists, Interpol officers, and FBI agents, respectively(ish). All of them, no matter whether they're wool-pullers or wool-pullees, look like they're having a grand old time misdirecting us through a labyrinthine plot involving magicians, bank heists, and decades-old vendettas. For a while, the fun is infectious. I found myself chuckling at the outrageous character names -- Dylan Rhodes! Jack Wilder! Arthur Tressler! Thaddeus Bradley! J. Daniel Atlas! -- and grinning at the ludicrous twists. Like a mark at a good magic act, I knew I was being worked over and was enjoying every second.

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Category: Movies, Reviews Tags: ,
Mike Wolfe
Rick Diamond/Getty Images Entertainment
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Is The History Channel’s Show ‘American Pickers’ Fake?- This Author Thinks It’s Real

Is the History Channel's show 'American Pickers' fake? Do you think the show is just staged? I don't. I can get sucked into Mike and Frankie picking anything. I think the show is real and I want to prove one blogger wrong.

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