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Fall Festival Review: Pieces of a Woman

1 Oct

The film never tops its heart-wrenching first act, a dizzying yet controlled horror film that is as impressive a piece of filmmaking as it is a relentlessly harrowing sequence of events. The fact that it’s a long take isn’t the only impressive thing about it – it’s utterly immersive as a set piece, from the blocking to the performances to the ways in which the camera maneuvers within the space. You feel every emotion and ounce of terror as things slowly but surely careen off a cliff.

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The Best Films of 2019

14 Feb

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25. (TIE) Pain & Glory / Tigers Are Not Afraid

24. Avengers: Endgame

23. Marriage Story

22. Booksmart

21. Atlantics

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The Best TV Shows of 2019

1 Feb

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25. (TIE) Back to Life & A Black Lady Sketch Show

24. You

23. Chernobyl

22. Dead to Me

21. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

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The Best Television Episodes of 2019

2 Jan

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15. Watchmen, “A God Walks into Abar”

14. Bojack Horseman, “The Face of Depression”

13. Ramy, “Ne Me Quitte Pas”

12. Pose, “Never Knew Love Like This Before”

11. Catastrophe, “Season 4 Episode 6”

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The Best Television Performances of 2019

27 Dec

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As is tradition, time to kick off my year end lists in television, film and music! Stay tuned for more.

15. Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, “Pen15”

14. Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”

13. Regina King, “Watchmen”

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The Top 15 Television Shows of 2018

7 Jan

15. Who Is America? 

14. Atlanta

13. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

12. Killing Eve

11. Better Call Saul

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The Top 10 Television Episodes of 2018

31 Dec

10. Better Call Saul, “Winner”

9. Pose, “Love Is the Message”

8. Homecoming, “Protocol”

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The Top Television Performances of 2018

30 Dec

And we’re back for another round of year end lists! To kick it off, we have the top television performances of 2018:

15. Brian Tyree Henry, “Atlanta”

14. Elizabeth Olsen, “Sorry for Your Loss”

13. Bill Hader, “Barry”

12. Elisabeth Moss and Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

11. Hayley Atwell, “Howards End”

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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Review

28 Dec

This is a middling episode of Black Mirror elevated by the Choose Your Own Adventure framework, one that can only really work on a one off basis before its inventiveness wears off. This applies to the episode itself as well; on the first go around, I was thoroughly enjoying the ability to make choices, but when I revisited the choices to gain a better understanding of the full picture, I found myself thoroughly bored and occasionally frustrated. I’m being a bit generous due to the time and skill that must have gone into the crafting of this episode, but repeat viewings further uncover a flimsiness in character and plot that lead to an underwhelming conclusion no matter what.

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Hereditary Review

12 Jun

So close. So, so, so close. Most of this film is fantastic. The scares feel organic, the tension is relentless, and the performances are impeccable. It certainly works as a horror film on a purely technical level, but where it draws its strength is from its humanity. After all, the horror is inextricably linked to sorrow, regret, pain, and the helpless feeling of being trapped within your own lineage. Just one sentence from mother to son can have the same effect as a creature jumping out at you from the shadows. The above are all fascinating ideas, and for most of the runtime, Aster brings them out to play without necessarily needing to subvert the genre.

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