DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
2014
Sep
2
 
 
TCM has an especially rare double feature in prime time tonight. It would be noteworthy enough just to schedule 1927’s The Jazz Singer, the Warner Bros. movie credited with officially making the shift from silent to sound cinema. That movie, starring Al Jolson as a rabbi’s son who forsakes a career path as a cantor to pursue popular music stardom, is shown at 8 p.m. ET, and watching it is all but mandatory for cinephiles– as all my Rowan University Film History & Appreciati
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Sep
2
 
 
SEASON PREMIERE: This series has proven to be one of cable’s most durable original series, surviving even a move from HBO to Showtime over the years. And the years go back to 1977, with tonight’s show launching the start of Season 25. And beginning tonight with “2014 Week 1,” it has to survive some even more drastic shifts: the move from Wednesdays to Tuesdays, and the loss of Cris Collinsworth, the most dynamic, outspoken and entertaining part of the show for many, many
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Sep
2
 
 
Tonight’s episode features a “Judge Match” – which sounds like a grudge match, and is, sort of. The special-effects makeup experts who, on other weeks, judge the efforts of contestants, this time team with them to compete against teams led by their rival judges. It’s not the sort of thing they’ve yet done on, say, Project Runway – but they should.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Sep
2
 
 
John Oliver may have taken a two-week break from his HBO series Last Week Tonight, but he can't seem to stay away from the news...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Sep
1
 
 
This is Day 12, the final day, of FXX’s Simpsons every-episode marathon, one of the smartest and most successful cable network promotional stunts in years. The marathon concludes at 11:30 p.m. ET with episode No. 552, Season 25’s “The Yellow Badge of Cowardge,” from last May. But before that, there are two episodes today that deserve special mention. At noon ET, there’s 2013’s “The Saga of Carl,” a Season 24 spot-on parody of a truly unusual subjec
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Sep
1
 
 
For the holiday weekend, HBO is repeating the first three episodes of The Knick in a mini-marathon, so folks can catch up. What makes this noteworthy? Because HBO is repeating a show that it didn’t present the first time, because The Knick premiered, and still runs, on sister network Cinemax. But it was so well-received that HBO has made room for it on its own schedule. Lots of room. Clive Owen stars.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Sep
1
 
 
Part documentary, part social commentary, part comedy routine and part automotive analysis program, this Top Gear spinoff, starring the plain-speaking James May, continues to provide his very personal perspective on cars and their history. Tonight’s topic, as he puts it: “the baffling world of the European micro-car.” Highly entertaining.
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Sep
1
 
 
MINISERIES PREMIERE: Adrien Brody stars in the title role of this new two-part, four-hour History miniseries. And he’s virtually the only star, unless you recognize Kristen Connolly, who appears in House of Cards, as Houdini’s wife, Bess. This new biography, filmed in and co-produced with Budapest, probably is going to be another History hit – but it’s largely a disappointment. Its CSI-style special effects, unless they’re revealing magic trick secrets, are inserted
 
 
 
  
 
 
2014
Sep
1
 
 
Things may have seemed bad and complicated enough under the dome, but tonight they get worse. The sheriff (Dean Norris) comes face to face with his wife, who’s been presumed dead for almost a decade – and other townspeople are visited by departed loved ones and acquaintances, too, people who were not only presumed dead, but were dead. These days, almost everywhere I turn on TV, I’m like the little kid in The Sixth Sense. I see dead people.