Archive | February, 2015

Saturday Night Live “Dakota Johnson/Alabama Shakes” Live Blog and Review (40×14)

28 Feb


REAL STORY WITH GRETCHEN CARLSON/GIULIANI: I feel like I’ve seen this same parody at least fifty times now. It’s definitely entertaining–especially Killam as Keaton and Bennett as Birdman–but at the same time, it’s still light on laughs; it’s definitely a better use of the political angle than we’ve been seeing recently, though. Anyway, does the audience even know what this is parodying? GRADE: B-

MONOLOGUE: Nice to see them let Dakota Johnson host in order to promote Ben and Kate! Oh wait…she’s here to talk about Fifty Shades of Grey, and this is a completely forgettable monologue. Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith show up, but they don’t really add anything to the bit. GRADE: C

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Banshee “All the Wisdom I Got Left” Review (3×08)

27 Feb


“You can’t kill me. You’re just a man, and no man can kill me.”

When this show says it’s going to do something, it does it. It wastes no time playing cute games or throwing in filler, and as much as a Chayton-Hood showdown would make for an exciting season finale, it works just as well here in episode eight. “All the Wisdom I Got Left” is a satisfying, thrilling, and brutal close to the Chayton-Hood storyline, and once again, it is Banshee operating at its best.

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Justified “Alive Day” Review (6×06)

25 Feb


I haven’t brought out my “bullet point reviews” in quite some time, but I’ll do it for this episode because I’m a day late. Apologies; yesterday, I had my hands full with the Parks and Recreation series finale and Person of Interest, but as promised, I will be providing my thoughts on every episode of this final season of Justified. Here we go…

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Person of Interest “Blunt” Review (4×16)

25 Feb


“What happens when you reach the cliff?”

“I’ll let you know when I get there.”

“Blunt” doesn’t integrate the overarching storylines and themes as well as previous episodes have, but it still plays with interesting ideas through the story of Harper Rose, a con artist who steals from Dominic when she scoops up some cash from a medical marijuana dispensary. By bringing Dominic back into the fold, the show once again delves into the Brotherhood side of things, a side that should become even more compelling as we move toward the season’s closing arc; right now, we get more of a standard POI episode in “Blunt”, but it’s an episode that nudges the story along and anticipates an exciting future.

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Parks and Recreation “One Last Ride” Review (7×12/7×13)

24 Feb


“Yes, I’m ready.”

After 7 years and 125 episodes, Parks and Recreation has finally come to a close. It’s been an up-and-down ride in recent years, but this final season brought the show back to its roots–back to what made it truly great–even as it was showing us where its characters were going in the future. In “One Last Ride”, we get one last look at these wonderful people that we’ve come to know and love, and we get to experience a moving and satisfying series finale to one of the funniest shows on television.

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The Top 15 Film Scenes of 2014

23 Feb


Did not have the chance to see, but I heard about some scenes: The Raid 2 (Chase scene, Baseball Boy/Hammer Girl, prison yard fight), Guardians of the Galaxy (Dancing Groot, others), X-Men: Days of Future Past (Quicksilver), Nymphomaniac, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Elevator scene), The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Frank (I Love You All), Godzilla, Noah, Ida, Obvious Child

Honorable mentions: Edmund Pettus Bridge (Selma), The reveal of the man upstairs (The Lego Movie), The football player (Two Days, One Night), The beach scene (Calvary), The ending (A Most Wanted Man), Amelia vs. The Babadook (The Babadook), The attack (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Tom Cruise dies a lot (Edge of Tomorrow), The chase scene (A Most Violent Year), The avalanche (Force Majeure), Listening to Dwight’s voice message (Blue Ruin), “Trapped By a Thing Called Love” dance scene (Only Lovers Left Alive)

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The 87th Annual Academy Awards Live Blog and Review

22 Feb


All times central. The actual show is starting at 7:30 pm.

7:00- “Oh hi, Dakota Johnson. You just recently starred in Fifty Shades of Grey, in which you got very naked. Now, let’s ask your mother about it!”

7:15- “He would absolutely be blown away,” says Chris Kyle’s widow about how he would react if he were at the Oscars. It’s Taya with the first (unintentional) joke of the evening!

7:25-It’s Chris Evans. Speaking of, Snowpiercer should be nominated for everything.

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The Top 15 Film Performances of 2014

19 Feb


HONORABLE MENTIONS/OTHERS CONSIDERED: Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year), Philip Seymour Hoffman (A Most Wanted Man), Carrie Coon & Tyler Perry (Gone Girl), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Tom Hardy (Locke), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Mark Ruffalo & Steve Carell & Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow), Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar), Miles Teller (Whiplash), Amy Adams (Big Eyes), Reese Witherspoon & Laura Dern (Wild), Tom Hiddleston (Only Lovers Left Alive), Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Emma Stone (Birdman), Rene Russo (Nightcrawler), Andy Serkis & Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Josh Brolin & Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), Johannes Kuhnke & Lisa Loven Kongsli (Force Majeure)

Man, that’s a pretty damn good “Honorable Mentions” list. What a year for performances.

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A Most Violent Year Review

18 Feb


To convey what went on in 1981 New York City, A Most Violent Year relies less on actual violence and more on crafting a very deliberate mood. We hear news reports of violent crimes, we see decay at every turn, and we feel the corruption blanketing the city as our characters go about their business. Director J.C. Chandor and cinematographer Bradford Young team up for this film, and the result is a very elegant set of visuals that perfectly capture the grim mood of the time period; lovely snow-filled landscapes contrast with dark and gloomy interiors, and the production of the movie lends itself very well to its central themes.

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Person of Interest “Q&A” Review (4×15)

18 Feb

Q & A

“They are remaking the world in the image of their leader.”

“Q&A” sees the return of Claire Mahoney, the young hacker we met at the beginning of the season in “Nautilus”, and it expands upon her story by revealing that she’s now working as a Samaritan operative. It isn’t difficult to guess this twist early on in the episode, but that doesn’t prevent it from still being an entertaining and engrossing hour of television; after all, this is Person of Interest we’re talking about.

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