Archive | August, 2016

Hell or High Water Review

19 Aug


It would require constantly falling asleep throughout this film not to get what Taylor Sheridan is trying to say, and even then, a line or two might slip in about how the evil banks are suffocating the old way of life in town. As heavy-handed as the dialogue can be, though, this contemplation of generations past effectively lends an air of melancholy to the film. Along with the beautiful photography by Giles Nuttgens and the wonderful score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis–the masterminds behind the even more melancholic Assassination of Jesse James–the script’s themes do a nice job of drawing you into this desperation-filled world.

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Veronica Mars “Rashard and Wallace Go to White Castle”/ “Ain’t No Magic Mountain High Enough” Review (2×12/2×13)

19 Aug



This episode essentially sends Wallace and Weevil on opposite paths: the former begins the episode in a state of denial and uncertainty, but ends in a happier place, whereas the latter’s life seems to be going well until it all goes to hell at the end. For me, the biggest thing to come out of Wallace’s story is the fact that Jackie’s in on the Rashard plan, that she seems to be fine with Wallace dating the girl from a few episodes back; I haven’t been the biggest fan of her character thus far, but this episode makes her a bit more likable (which continues in the next episode).

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Veronica Mars “One Angry Veronica”/ “Donut Run” Review (2×10/2×11)

19 Aug


EPISODE 10: “One Angry Veronica”

This is the first time after watching an episode that I’ve thought: “Man, that was mediocre.” “One Angry Veronica” is extremely disappointing because it takes a dull plot and mashes it up with a few awful plot twists, all of which are straight out of Veronica Mars: What You Thought It Would Be Before You Watched the Show. First of all, Leo’s sister is conveniently pulled out of thin air in order to give him motivation for stealing the Kane/Echolls sex tapes, and second of all, Meg wakes up just in time to say “Please take care of my baby” (aka “I’m going to die later on in this episode, so I’ll go ahead and wake up from my coma to tell you this and make the whole situation more poignant”). Sure, there are nice moments to be found throughout–Dohring is once again excellent during the tape-watching scene–but this is all getting to be too much.

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Mr. Robot “eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme” Review (2×07)

17 Aug


“Where do you think you are right now?”

Here’s the thing about reveals: it retroactively makes you wonder about the logic of past storylines, and it becomes a problem if it’s viewed as some magical restart button that can be employed every so often. I’m going to give the show the benefit of the doubt here and try to be optimistic about the second half of the season, but the first half seems like the result of pretension catching up to Esmail a bit. Sure, I’m enjoying the season so far–and last week’s episode was a wonderful piece of entertainment in and of itself–but Malek can only do so much with a storyline that sometimes seems lost. Mind you, pretension is not inherently bad, but it can weaken and needlessly convolute this show.

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Suicide Squad Review

14 Aug


This crap is what results when you vomit a sludge of ideas onto the screen in lieu of trying to figure out what fits where. This is what happens when your set sounds like a worse place to work at than a sweatshop. This is what you get when the society you live in demands a new superhero movie every week, quality be damned. This is incompetent filmmaking, plain and simple, and it’s clear that the man who helmed the terrific End of Watch has plunged off a cliff to his fiery directing demise.

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Mr. Robot “eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes” Review (2×06)

10 Aug

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 9.30.48 PM

“I’m never going to leave you.”

First of all, I have to commend USA for letting Sam Esmail do whatever the hell he wants. Devoting the first ~20 minutes of a television episode to a sitcom version of a dark psychological drama is already outlandish enough, but add onto that the ’90s commercials and you have a wonderfully trippy experience. It’s a strange, enjoyable, and unsettling opening sequence, and it’s an example of just how fun this show can get. Sure, some might argue that it overstays its welcome a bit, but it’s so ridiculous that I’m willing to go with it for however long it might take.

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Mr. Robot “eps2.3_logic-b0mb.hc” Review (2×05)

4 Aug


“You’ve surrounded yourself with the constant reminder of mortality.”

Last week, a gorgeous montage set to Green Day’s “Basket Case” concluded with Elliot telling us that he wanted to fight for the world depicted, i.e. a world filled with people he cares about and spends time with. It’s a fantasy world, but it’s driven by meaningful connection and devoid of the cynicism that reigns supreme in real life. It’s something that seems so far away and so unrealistic, but it’s definitely worth fighting for.

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