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Even more grueling test of endurance

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“FEAR Factor” Photo from NBC

It had been months since we watched “Fear Factor,” so we were amazed to see it as an even more grueling test of endurance and willpower than ever, occasionally to the point of painful cruelty and even abject debasement.

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Old weight-loss notions debunked

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One of our resolutions for 2014 is to get rid of our unhealthy plump midsection, so we were recently happy to catch the Solar TV special telecast, “10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight.”

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Films we don’t get to see

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MICHAEL Fassbender (left), Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”

The Philippines, with its film-loving population now about to hit the 100-million mark, has become a big player on the global movie scene, with some major productions opening here even before they start playing in traditionally more favored territories in Europe and the United States.

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Senior stars figure strongly in new films

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DE NIRO and Stallone in “Grudge Match”

As veteran stars slide into their senior years, they keep looking for challenging and attention-calling projects that will make viewers feel that, despite their decades-long acting careers, they aren’t over the hill just yet—and that, in fact, the best is yet to come!

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Saving promising comics from themselves

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It’s depressing to note that the local comedy scene has become much too strident and cynical of late, with the “rise” of in-your-face female and gay comics who, instead of being genuinely funny, shock viewers into paying attention with their loud and livid behavior.

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Deal-breakers hamper hit rom-com’s ability to delight

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XIAN Lim (left) evinces growth, while Kim Chiu is an energetic and antic performer.

Kim Chiu and Xian Lim’s latest costarrer, Mae Czarina Cruz’s rom-com, “Bride for Rent,” is doing very well at the tills, making the stars’ love team one of the more bankable screen tandems this season. For us, however, the new production has a deal-breaker in Kim’s still thin and sometimes even whiny speaking voice and placement.

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John Lloyd plays it deftly light and vulnerable in new sitcom

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CRUZ. Then and now.

“Home Sweetie Home,” ABS-CBN’s new Saturday night sitcom, costars John Lloyd Cruz and Toni Gonzaga—but, if its first telecast last Jan. 4 is any indication, it’s John Lloyd who carries the show.

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New ‘passionate melodrama’ lets it rip

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ALYSSA Milano and Jes Macallan in “Mistresses” photo: IMDB.COM

We’re usually among the first to know, but it turns out that we were clueless for some weeks about the weekly “passionate drama,” “Mistresses,” being telecast here Monday afternoon on Star World. Well, when we finally did catch up with the series last December 16, we were thrown for a loop by its series of urgent and unctuous developments.

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Novelty talent tilts appeal to niche markets

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Our channel-surfing adventures last month were particularly fruitful in terms of the unusual and even bizarre novelty talent competition that we unearthed: “Face Off” turned out to be a truly spectacular showcase for the expert skills of prosthetics and makeup artists, whose phantasmagoric creations wowed viewers in a major way.

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Top stars essay edgy roles too challenging to pass up

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CAMERON Diaz has the most daunting thespic challenge of them all.

Actors and film buffs who are on the lookout for examples of strong characterizations need look no further, because the best templates are on view in the recent film “The Counselor,” by the estimable Ridley Scott.

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Issues in entertainment

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TV-film talents do their best to give the impression that most everything about what they do is fine and dandy, the better for viewers to concentrate in “enjoying” themselves.

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‘Inspirational’ drama series starts telecasting

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1120pau-600

If ABS-CBN plays its cards right, its new series, “Honesto,” could end up as long-running, appreciated and acclaimed as “May Bukas Pa” some seasons ago. The new show, which started telecasting only last Oct. 28, is all about a clan that is so honest that, when one of them tells a lie, his or her nose ends up looking like a big, red tomato!

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