Archive | November, 2015

The Leftovers “Ten Thirteen” Review (2×09)

30 Nov


“It’s pointless.”

How appropriate. The show returns to this knock knock joke from the beginning of the season in “Ten Thirteen”, this time telling it in a Meg context as she sits on a bench with Evie. It’s a dumb joke that also plays as a nihilistic statement, as an encapsulation of many of the storylines of the show. It’s the central statement of Meg’s storyline, one that has become increasingly prominent as time has progressed.

Continue reading

Carol Review

23 Nov


One look speaks volumes. We can feel the desire emanating from the screen, the magnetic pull bringing Therese Belivet and Carol Aird together from across a crowded room. That type of moment plays out through the entire movie, each time growing heavier and lovelier as the two share fleeting touches and lingering glances. This is pure attraction, plain and simple, and it’s conveyed in a natural, tender, and deeply affecting manner.

Continue reading

The Leftovers “International Assassin” Review (2×08)

22 Nov


“Holy shit.”

Holy shit is right. This is undoubtedly going to be a polarizing episode for the viewers, but it’s one that gripped me from start to finish. It’s both hilarious and absolutely devastating, and it rides a trippy wave of energy as it plunges deep into the show’s supernatural elements. It’s not an episode that takes us on a “WTF?” journey just for the sake of it; it’s also a character and theme study that deftly brings us back to the beginning of the season. Goddamn, this hour is a pleasure to watch unfold.

Continue reading

Creed Review

20 Nov


Creed is a crowd pleaser that doesn’t really carve out its own identity, but a lot of that crowd-pleasing just plain works. Ryan Coogler’s dynamic filmmaking serves the boxing sequences well, particularly an early one-take scene that generates quite a bit of excitement and creates a wave of energy that the movie rides all the way until the end. We’ve seen it all before, but it’s done well for the most part.

Continue reading

The Night Before Review

19 Nov


The Night Before is being released in theaters about a month before Christmas, presumably to avoid polluting the holidays with its insipid humor and its irritating characters. The movie is half people partying and half Seth Rogen drunkenly stumbling his way through New York City, and what results is something I probably wouldn’t enjoy even if I were on drugs. Jonathan Levine attempts to inject some heart, some heartfelt lessons about enjoying yourself and then eventually having to grow up. He manages to find a balance between the touching and funny, utilizing his cast well as he tells a story that captures…I’m sorry, I went off on a tangent about 50/50 with this sentence.

Continue reading

How Security Systems and Cell Phones Changed the Horror Genre

15 Nov

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 9.05.06 PM

Written by: Maria Leia 

The bloodcurdling scream. The dead telephone line. Suddenly the electricity doesn’t work and no one is around to help. It looks like someone is going to die. Or at least, it used to look that way. Nowadays, there’s always the silent alarm, the motion-sensored lights and the handy cell phone ready to come to the rescue. And when all else fails, a Twitter mayday tweet generally does the trick. Which means that as terrifying as those old horror tropes were, it is time for an update.

Continue reading

The Leftovers “A Most Powerful Adversary” Review (2×07)

15 Nov


“It was finally over. That’s freedom.”

So far this year, The Leftovers has focused on the concept of faith, on why we feel the need to believe as we navigate the often illogical world around us. “A Most Powerful Adversary” reemphasizes that point, but it also delves into our desires to simply escape, to just end things and be free of the worries that have constantly plagued us. The central figure for this exploration is Kevin Garvey, someone who has tried before to escape and has felt a heavy weight on his shoulders since the beginning of this all.

Continue reading

Spotlight Review

10 Nov


The shuffle of papers drives Spotlight. Notes are furiously scribbled on pads, documents are constantly pored over, and the full, horrifying extent of the central story is revealed in the newspapers. It’s an important story that doesn’t feel important (something Truth unfortunately succumbed to). It may not be the most exciting set-up in the world, but when you have such a stellar cast and the director of masterpieces like The Cobbler behind the movie, it’s bound to be good.

Continue reading

Spectre Review

6 Nov

1$_V?_Job Name

Spectre has everything going for it: a talented cast, a great cinematographer, the same team that wrote and produced Skyfall. It also has a promising opening sequence, an extremely entertaining Day of the Dead chase scene that ends with helicopter fisticuffs and Sam Smith sobbing his way through the theme song. Once we get down to the story, though, we realize that there is none. For a movie about the ghosts of James Bond’s past, there is remarkably little emotional connection to the audience or between the characters. There are certainly characters and callbacks and people doing things like running and shooting, but we are given no reason to care. This is an opportunity to tie Craig’s movies together, to provide a satisfying ending to his run* as James Bond. What it is instead is a mix of weakly written motivations, a Daniel Craig who has had enough of this shit, and a subplot about surveillance and security that would be more interesting coming from a textbook. In fact, the writers attempt to tie so much from the last few movies together that it all just comes across as frustratingly contrived.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: