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Archive | June, 2016

The Neon Demon Review

29 Jun

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This is the type of movie that generates strong reactions in the audience, reactions that run the gamut but at least rise above the resounding “meh” that meets most summer films. It’s a meticulously crafted work of art, each scene precise and perfectly calibrated as colors dissolve into each other and create an artificial world of detachment. As Cliff Martinez’s phenomenal score pulsates in the background–scratch that, at the forefront–Natasha Braier’s striking cinematography balances beauty, hollowness, and the grotesque. Anything from mirrors to animals are used as key symbols throughout, and a runway scene during the second half is a brilliant symbolic representation of an essential transformative moment. This is style over substance in a good way; sure, the film’s satirical elements and Refn’s penchant for symbolism aren’t particularly mind-blowing, but the way they’re integrated into the aesthetic experience is fascinating.

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Person of Interest “return 0” Review (5×13)

21 Jun

"Return 0" -- The team must embark on one last suicide mission to prevent Samaritan from destroying The Machine and cementing its hold over mankind, on the series finale of PERSON OF INTEREST, Tuesday, June 21 (10:00 -- 11:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured L-R: Michael Emerson as Harold Finch, Kevin Chapman as Lionel Fusco, and Jim Caviezel as John Reese Photo: Giovanni Rufino/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. ©2016 WBEI. All rights reserved.

“Maybe this isn’t the end at all.”

I started watching Person of Interest about halfway through season one. I don’t remember why I was on the CBS website the day I decided to click on one of those early episodes, but in hindsight, I am just so damn glad I made that choice. I am so glad that the show blew all my expectations out of the water, completely transcending the CBS crime drama mold as it evolved into something complex, original, and enthralling. I am so glad that a science fiction show like this is getting to finish on its own terms, going out on top after five incredible years and leaving its fans with something to remember. I don’t think “return 0” is a perfect series-ender, but it’s still an emotionally satisfying conclusion that brings the series’s big themes full circle. For the final time, let’s dig in.

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Now You See Me 2 Review

17 Jun

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Some movies are so awful that they don’t deserve anything but derision. Now You See Me 2–the worst of the movie’s possible titles–is one of those movies. I hate this movie not only because it’s a steaming pile of crap, but also because it has the ability to make me so angry. It isn’t even worth more than a millisecond of thought because a lobotomy would be needed if you allowed it to gestate too long up there, but alas, I’ve allowed it to ravage me. It’s a blight on 2016 cinema, an embarrassment to all the good–or at least not hopelessly incompetent–filmmakers whose movies have to share theater space with this turd.

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One Million Views. Thank you.

15 Jun

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Several days ago, this site hit one million views, a number I never thought would be possible unless I photoshopped a few extra zeros onto the view count. When I decided to start this blog in August of 2013, I was pleasantly surprised from the outset by how rapidly it grew. The fact that my articles have been viewed one million times (even if 999,999 were probably from me) is truly incredible, and I’d like to thank all of you for reading and commenting. Even all you accidental clickers out there still played a role.

This summer, I plan on continuing to go strong. I intend to cover a bit more television than I’ve been able to over the last few months–perhaps returning to old shows–and I will still be watching a ton of movies. There’s a lot of good stuff out there this summer. Once again, thanks.

Photo credit: polarbearsinternational.org

Person of Interest “.exe” Review (5×12)

14 Jun

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“Your Machine can serve a greater purpose.”

So, it comes to this: two gods facing off, each embodying a different perspective on the world as security, power, and legacy collide in the center. What really is the “greater good”? What should an AI’s purpose be? Is this all progress and evolution, or is it dangerous proliferation? “.exe” is centered around questions like these, exploring the conflict between Greer and Finch as it tackles some of the most fascinating questions currently posed on television. It’s a great penultimate episode overall, and it effectively sets the pieces up for what should be a fantastic series-ender (sob) next week.

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Person of Interest “Synecdoche” Review (5×11)

7 Jun

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“Synecdoche” certainly isn’t one of the season’s strongest, but it’s a fairly enjoyable hour that brings back some old faces: Harper Rose, Joey Durban, and Logan Pierce. It’s nice to see that the Machine Team has not only saved lives, but has also influenced people to do good and carry on the cause. What they’ve accomplished over the years means something to the people they’ve helped, and we see the evidence front and center with this newly assembled Machine Team. As The Machine tells Harold at the beginning of the episode, “it must be comforting fixing something, creating order amidst chaos.” This is kind of what these people are doing, and it’s fun to watch.

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