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'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' Review: Brilliant, Breathtaking And The Best Of The Franchise

July 13th, 2014 4:16am EDT
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Rarely is a sequel better than the original. Of course, there are exceptions, such as 'Godfather 2' and now 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.'

This film is absolutely fantastic on every level, starting with Andy Serkis as Caesar, the soulful, emotional, kind and fair ape that we met in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' which starred, James Franco.

Right off the bat, I have to say that Serkis is amazing. He gives such a beautiful, nuanced performance that we, as an audience, are able to feel everything that Caesar feels and thinks. The film, shot in 3D, is brilliantly directed by Matt Reeve...
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5 Actors Who Absolutely Should Be On Your Radar

March 17th, 2014 12:15pm EDT
5 Actors Who Absolutely Should Be On Your Radar
There are a lot more great actors than ever get the spotlight they deserve. For every A-list star, we'd wager there are three underrated ones. That's why we at BFTV put together a new list to start your week: the five actors who should definitely be on your radar.

Five actors who are - in our opinion - the best actors we've ever seen, yet none of whom are necessarily Hollywood heavyweights. These are the five people that we absolutely have to watch in everything they do, no matter the project or the size of the part. Read on to familiarize yourself with our favorite five.

Josh Charles

...
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5 Underappreciated TV Actors: Where Are They Now?

April 14th, 2013 1:00pm EDT
Fairly Legal
In December, I gave you my list of five TV actors deserving of more notice this year. With 2013 more than a quarter of the way over, it's time to check the results. Where are these talented folks now? Did they get the extra attention they should have? And who else is poised to reach the next level?

1. Michael Trucco

You Know Him From: USA's Fairly Legal, Syfy's Battlestar Galactica

Why He Made The List: He was the MVP of Fairly Legal. While Sarah Shahi was deservedly center stage in the USA original series as mediator Kate Reed, he was her perfect foil as Kate's ex-husband and frequent...
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Jason Clarke Underwent Simulated Waterboarding For 'Zero Dark Thirty'

January 9th, 2013 1:44pm EST
Jason Clarke
Actor Jason Clarke tackled a terrifying simulated waterboarding experience as research for his role in critically-acclaimed drama Zero Dark Thirty.

The Australian plays an operative for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Kathryn Bigelow's movie, based on the real life hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, and he went to extreme lengths to prepare for the shoot.

Clarke, whose character interrogates a terrorist using physical and mental torture in the film, tells The Hollywood Reporter he underwent a simulation of waterboarding to gain insight into the horrific technique.

The...
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5 Television Actors Deserving of More Notice in 2013

December 26th, 2012 9:00am EST
Michael Trucco
Now that Christmas is over, it's time to look forward to the New Year and new entertainment. With that comes the opportunity to hopefully see some familiar faces again, and there are several that I've got my fingers crossed for. These five actors have distinguished themselves in television roles in the recent past, and deserve more of our attention - and hopefully to be back on our small screens - in 2013.

1. Michael Trucco: Former Battlestar Galactica star Michael Trucco did a complete 180 two seasons ago when he stepped into the role of Assistant District Attorney Justin Patrick on USA...
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'Lawless' Is A Cold, Stark Punch In The Gut

August 29th, 2012 9:40am EDT
Lawless
When it was originally released in 1932, Howard Hawks’ film Scarface was slapped with the subtitle The Shame of the Nation by the MPAA because they felt the story glamorized the gangster lifestyle. Hollywood has had a love affair with gangsters, outlaws, drug dealers and renegades since the earliest days of filmmaking and audiences have been shown literally hundreds of examples of how dangerous that lifestyle can really be.

Lawless, directed by John Hillcoat, tells the story of Bondurant brothers who, at the height of the Great Depression, are operating an extremely lucrative moonshine ope...
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The 10 Most Underrated Cable TV Actors & Actresses

July 22nd, 2012 12:00pm EDT
Xander Berkeley
There are a lot of talented actors and actresses in Hollywood - probably a lot more than you think. For every big name you remember, there are five or ten who don't get their due. While we don't have the space to recognize all the actors we enjoy, here's a short list of the ten that are most glaringly overlooked...

In alphabetical order:

1. Xander Berkeley

Where You Should Know Him From: As Percy on CW's Nikita. Also George Mason on FOX's 24, and the flicks Gattaca, Air Force One, A Few Good Men and Terminator 2: Judgment Day...just to name a few.

Xander Berkeley is one of those acto...
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The 11 Best From 2011

December 31st, 2011 11:00am EST
Southland
2011 was a fantastic year for entertainment. Here are my eleven favorite things from the year that's about to wrap, in chronological order...

1. Southland, TNT

(Season 3 began January 4)

I have to admit that I didn't keep up with TNT's gritty Los Angeles cop drama as much as I would have liked; it fell victim to sharing Tuesday nights with three other shows on my watch list. Yet when I did find time to catch it, I was no less than impressed every time.

There's been talk about the show's TV-MA content (allegedly the reason that NBC axed it), but the real talking point should be the st...
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Commentary: The 5 Things I'm Thankful For In 2011

November 23rd, 2011 11:00am EST
The Voice
With Thanksgiving tomorrow, many Starpulse writers are giving thanks for our favorite pop-culture moments. Here's what's on my list, from a reality show to a play that was all too real.

My list is a bit different from those of my colleagues. I've had a very blessed - and also very difficult - year that has had amazing highs and been marred by literally life-changing lows. When I look back on 2011, I'm not thinking just about things I enjoyed, but experiences and people that made a difference.

It goes without saying that I'd like to thank my loved ones and the doctors, surgeons, nurses, ...
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Shawn Ryan Says 'Chicago Code' Won't Return

June 15th, 2011 6:09am EDT
The Chicago Code
The Chicago Code creator Shawn Ryan was the bearer of the worst possible news on Tuesday: the acclaimed police drama is officially dead.

"Exhausted the last network possibility to keep The Chicago Code alive," he Tweeted. "Unfortunately, the show won't be back. Thanks to all who watched."

That sound you hear is a collective cry of anguish from the show's legion of devoted fans, who had been campaigning since FOX cancelled the freshman series last month in the hopes that the net would reverse its decision or that another might strike a deal to spare it from the TV graveyard. Ultimat...
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'The Chicago Code' Star Jason Clarke Lands New Role

June 14th, 2011 12:37am EDT
The Chicago Code
The Chicago Code star Jason Clarke is the next actor from the cancelled FOX show to land a post-show project.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the former Det. Jarek Wysocki has joined director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Romeo & Juliet)'s adaptation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby. Clarke will play George Wilson.

It will be familiar territory for him: not only is the flick shooting in his native Australia, but one of the members of the star-studded cast is actress Carey Mulligan - who appeared, like Clarke, in Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Slee...
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My Favorite TV Police

May 28th, 2011 3:00pm EDT
The Chicago Code
There's no group of people that I love seeing on the small screen than the police. Having been there and done that, I have a certain affection for good portrayals of the men and women in law enforcement. Now that we've recently celebrated Police Week, here's my tribute to the TV cops (note: not federal agents or anything else - just cops!) who've left impressions on me over the years.

Sergeant Joe Friday (Jack Webb) and Detective Ben Gannon (Harry Morgan), NBC's Dragnet

My earliest memories of TV cops have to do with one of the most storied franchises in the genre. Thanks to Nick ...
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The Chicago Code 1.13 'Mike Royko's Revenge' Review

May 24th, 2011 1:21am EDT
The Chicago Code
I knew I was going to be moved by the finale of The Chicago Code. I didn't expect just how much.

The show set up plenty of dominoes over the season, and in another display of its trademark efficiency, starts knocking them down within minutes. We learn that Liam/Chris isn't dead yet (just missing a spleen), Lieutenant Kelly is finally getting arrested for being a tool, and both Elizabeth Killian and not-so-innocent secretary Lily have been found. Things would be looking up for our heroes, if Alderman Gibbons wasn't on TV calling for Teresa's resignation, and privately trying to con...
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Farewell To 'The Chicago Code'

May 23rd, 2011 3:08pm EDT
The Chicago Code
Dear The Chicago Code,

Well, this is heartbreaking. Just two months ago, I was writing you a love letter. Now, it's time for us to say goodbye. I hope it's not forever, but I don't know, so I'm going to say everything right now, just in case.

You've really been spectacular. My disagreements with you have been minor at best. That's virtually unheard of, given how high I set my standards. But you and I have had a relationship that I haven't had with a TV show since Sports Night was axed eleven years ago. In my world, there's Sports Night and everything else; you're the first show I'...
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Saving 'The Chicago Code' - The Fans' Story, Part 2

May 23rd, 2011 12:00pm EDT
The Chicago Code
Last week, I brought you the exploits of devoted fans of FOX's The Chicago Code. This week, the story continues.

It's been about two weeks since The Chicago Code was axed, and as the initial furor has died down, some of the less fervent fans have moved on. Yet the die-hard fans are as dedicated as ever, perhaps even moreso because they know tonight will be the last we ever see of this series unless we continue to push for more.

For some, this is a nearly full-time campaign, and being dedicated to something so completely isn't without stress and strain. The day after I wrote my fir...
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'The Chicago Code' 1.12 'Greylord & Gambat' Review

May 17th, 2011 9:40am EDT
The Chicago Code
The cruel fate of The Chicago Code hasn't dampened my goodwill towards it. Possibly because this show was written and wrapped months ago, there's no sign of giving up or backing down.

I've mentioned previously how much I appreciate that this show hits the ground running, and it does: after giving us a quick, efficient catch-up on the events of last week's episode, we find out that Teresa's star witness has gone missing just before he's scheduled to testify, and Gibbons is now aware of the existence of a mole, though he doesn't know that it's Liam, who's being blatantly hit on by ...
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Saving 'The Chicago Code' - The Fans' Story

May 16th, 2011 11:10am EDT
The Chicago Code
FOX's The Chicago Code is an outstanding series. What's equally worth talking about are similarly great efforts of its fans to save it. It's my pleasure to bring you my insider's blog as the fans fight to bring The Chicago Code back.

Day 0

Late Tuesday, May 10, 2011, word leaked that The Chicago Code would be no more. FOX's decision to axe the drama came as a surprise; its ratings had gone up 7% just the night before, and with no shortage of critical praise, it had been considered the strongest of the network's "bubble" shows. Surprise quickly turned to anger for the show's devoted fan ...
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Dearly Departed: Eulogizing 'The Chicago Code' & 'Human Target'

May 11th, 2011 9:45am EDT
The Chicago Code
FOX, I'm not talking to you anymore. Not after you cancelled my two favorite series, The Chicago Code and Human Target.

No, this article is directed at the people still coming to terms with the network's decision to bring the hammer down on those two series Tuesday night. This is for the dismayed fans, for the casts and crews that are now in need of other jobs. I had the pleasure of working on both Code and Human Target for their entire runs. (In addition to fellow victim Lie To Me this season.) I wasn't just a critic, I was also a fan. I'm just as upset as the viewers, and I sure a...
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'The Chicago Code' Is Cancelled

May 10th, 2011 11:31pm EDT
The Chicago Code
Here's a shocker from FOX: it has said goodbye to The Chicago Code.

Alan Sepinwall broke the news (you can read his original article here) and it's been retweeted by Shawn Ryan, so this is for real. Despite Ryan's name behind it and considerable critical acclaim, the network has axed the promising Chicago drama starring Jason Clarke, Jennifer Beals, Matt Lauria and Delroy Lindo after only one season.

Allow me to step outside my critic's box for a moment: as a fan, the cancellation deeply upsets me. I haven't loved a show this much in a long time. Having to report this news is sho...
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'The Chicago Code' 1.11 'Black Sox' Review

May 10th, 2011 6:03am EDT
The Chicago Code
This week's The Chicago Code touches a subject I know all too well: hate crimes. When Lance Dolan, a prominent gay man, is murdered, it's a firestorm of a case. As tough as the idea is to tackle, the writers handle the material with class, and it's another solid episode from a show that's hardly missed a beat all season.

An episode about a hate crime contains sensitive subject matter by its very nature, and this one is no exception. Dolan's companion, who survived the attack, is a married man with a kid who's resistant to testify and risk destroying his family. In fact, that's wha...
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'The Chicago Code' 1.10 'Bathhouse & Hinky Dink' Review

May 3rd, 2011 1:04am EDT
The Chicago Code
Among the many things I love about The Chicago Code, one of the biggest is that it is never formulaic. While there's an individual story each week, it's more often than not just a springboard for the sprawling tale that the show really has to tell, with us uncovering new pieces every episode. This is one of those episodes. It starts simple enough, but it's not at all like it first appears. This is television at its smartest.

This week, after a city Waste & Sanitation official named Darren Wall sees his corruption trial end in a hung jury, the prosecuting attorney (Tamlyn Tomita, ...
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Rewind Recaps - Brotherhood: "Things Have Changed 1:7-8"

April 23rd, 2011 5:00pm EDT
Brotherhood
The first season of Brotherhood had a finale that was pretty much perfect. The end of season two couldn't quite meet that high standard, but in a way, that belies the more tumultuous nature of the show's sophomore year.

When last we left Providence, things had gotten kind of ugly. They've only gotten worse since then. The one-time informant Marty Trio is no longer with us thanks to Colin, Freddie Cork is on the run, and everyone else is up in arms. Moe Riley (I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm amazed this guy has a pulse) meets with Michael, who wants to know where Fr...
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'The Chicago Code' 1.09 'St. Valentine's Day Massacre' Review

April 19th, 2011 6:45am EDT
The Chicago Code
I loved last week's episode of The Chicago Code because it focused on character with a simple plot. I love this episode for the opposite reason: it's got one heck of a plot that still revealed more about our characters. As a writer, I have an incredible amount of respect for a show that changes its approach to best serve its stories. It proves that they're willing to do whatever it takes to do the best job possible, and they have done an outstanding job all season long.

On-screen, doing the best job possible is a major issue this week. Teresa gets thrown under the bus twice this ...
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Interview: Shawn Ryan Takes Us Inside 'The Chicago Code'

April 18th, 2011 5:11pm EDT
Shawn Ryan
To the television world, Shawn Ryan is A Name. He's the critically acclaimed genius who brought us The Shield, The Unit and Terriers, did a season on Lie To Me, and used to write for Angel. They don't make resumes much cooler than that.

To me, he's the guy that I want to hug and thank profusely for creating The Chicago Code, my favorite television series of the season, and potentially one of my most favorite in a long time. It's the show that got me excited about TV again. Oh, and he once also validated my entire career. Shawn is one of those people who's got an open invitation to dr...
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Rewind Recaps - Brotherhood: 'Only A Pawn...1:7-8'

April 16th, 2011 6:55pm EDT
Brotherhood
The biggest episode of Brotherhood's second season is episode seven. It's election day, and when things don't go smoothly, Tommy is forced to take desperate measures to secure his position. On the other side of the equation, Michael shoots a hitman point-blank in the head. It's not a docile episode by any means.

While everyone's out trying to get Tommy reelected, Michael is asked by the Italian mobster Alphonse Nozzoli to escort an incoming hitman to and from his job. When Michael asks what the intended target did to deserve being murdered, he gets the vaguest of vague answers. Th...
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'The Chicago Code' 1.09 'St. Valentine's Day Massacre' Advance Review

April 15th, 2011 5:00pm EDT
The Chicago Code
Here's how good The Chicago Code is: I saw this episode last Friday and I'm still excited to talk about it.

It's our most grisly case yet as Jarek and Caleb are assigned to a multiple murder in a restaurant not far from the location of - you guessed it from the title - the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre. As if a few dead bodies weren't bad enough, Teresa is called out on live radio by an irate police officer, and then thrown under the bus on live television by the mayor (John Heard). As the police union rallies against her and the mayor looking for any reason to fire her, sh...
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'The Chicago Code' 1.08 'Wild Onions' Review

April 12th, 2011 9:43am EDT
The Chicago Code
It feels awesome to have The Chicago Code back with new episodes. (Even though I watched the last two weeks of reruns anyway.) While the trailer played up that this episode is set during a heat wave, that really just provided the backdrop for solid stories for each of our characters this week. No games, no gimmicks, just good TV.

I find it adorable that Jarek is picking up Teresa every morning to drive her to work. They clearly deserve each other, and I mean that as high praise. He's handpicked some potential new drivers for her, and she finally picks one - ex-Marine Ray Bidwell (Wa...
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Interview: Talking 'The Chicago Code' With Matt Lauria

April 11th, 2011 2:00pm EDT
The Chicago Code
Did you miss Matt Lauria? I did. After two weeks of reruns, he's back tonight as FOX's The Chicago Code returns with the first of six all-new episodes to finish out its critically acclaimed first season. To mark the occasion, Lauria and I sat down to discuss his role as Chicago rookie detective Caleb Evers, the NBC premiere of his previous series Friday Night Lights, and what it's like working with some true heavyweights to make one of the best shows on television.

You're in a unique position: you're not in production while your show is airing. Is it different to have done all the wo...
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A Catch-Up Guide To 'The Chicago Code'

April 10th, 2011 3:00pm EDT
The Chicago Code
FOX's The Chicago Code - my favorite show on television - returns tomorrow night at 9 PM ET/PT with the first of two all-new episodes. In case you're still trying to jump onboard (and what are you waiting for?) here's a primer on what you might have missed. (For more information about each episode, you can also consult my The Chicago Code reviews.)

The Chicago Code is anchored by the character of Teresa Colvin (played by Jennifer Beals of The L Word), a Windy City native who grew up witnessing corruption first-hand in her father's hardware store. Thus motivated, she went on to become...
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Rewind Recaps - Brotherhood: "One Too Many Mornings 3:4-8"

April 9th, 2011 5:00pm EDT
Brotherhood
Last month, we cracked season one of Brotherhood. Welcome to season two.

The near-perfect conclusion to season one is a tough act to follow. In fact, the entirety of season one is one of the best self-contained stories I've ever seen told on television; if the creative team had wanted to quit while they were ahead I would have understood. Thankfully, they didn't.

It's a few months after season one. Tommy (Jason Clarke) has a lot of anger to deal with over wife Eileen's (Annabeth Gish) infidelities, so he decides to take it out on a wall with a sledgehammer. Though he and Eileen tr...
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