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Allied: Film Review

Allied: Film Review

The pairing of Allied, an old-fashioned spy romance starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, and its director Robert Zemeckis, whose career of late has been consumed with technical gimmicks like motion capture, is somewhat odd. It should not have to take a director on the cutting edge of technology to make a film that presumably could have been made decades ago. But it is the aesthetic choices that make the film what it is; a sumptuous and dazzling throwback to an earlier era of storytelling. 

Film Review: Sully

Film Review: Sully 
Sully, the latest film by Clint Eastwood, stars Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the guy who landed a plane on the Hudson River in January of 2009. The film is about that landing and the subsequent investigation about whether Sully made the right call. While it doesn't quite reach the heights of Eastwood's best work, Sully is a gripping drama about what it means to be good at your job. 

The 2016 Timmys Television Awards

The 6th Annual Timmy Television Awards

The Timmys annually honor excellence in television from the previous season. This year we look at the great work form the 2015-16 season. Winners are in bold.

The 25 Greatest Game Shows of All Time

The 25 Greatest Game Shows of All TimeAnd the 25 greatest American game shows of all time are...

TV Review: Aquarius

TV Review: Aquarius

I watched the entire first season of Aquarius on Thursday, June 16 in anticipation of the commercial free season two premiere event that aired on NBC that night. While I normally do not like to go through shows that fast, it proved to be a fitting way to consume this imperfect but very compelling crime drama.
The series in set in Los Angeles in the late 1960s. David Duchovny stars as Detective Sam Kodiak, who at the start of the series is tasked with finding Emma Karn (Emma Dumont), a teenager who joins the Manson Family. The series follows two plot lines that occasionally intersect; Kodiak and his cases (which usually are tied to larger ideas like race or gender) and the exploits of the Manson Family in the years leading up to the infamous Tate-La Bianca murders of August 1969. 

Theater Review: "Waitress"

Theater Review: "Waitress"
Waitress, the new musical opening April 24 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, depicts a woman's struggle to leave her abusive husband after she learns she's pregnant and starts an affair with her OBGYN.  While the story, based on Adrienne Shelley's 2007 film, doesn't exactly sound like the perfect musical comedy, the show works surprisingly well, especially considering how much I loathed the movie.
With its book by Jessie Nelson and music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, Waitress isn't always sure what type of musical it wants to be. The setting, a roadside diner somewhere in the South, suggests a deep-fired, country-tinged show, while the young and racially diverse ensemble seem better suited for a modern show with pop songs, and the score incorporates both styles. The real through line of the piece is its message of female empowerment, represented by Jessie Mueller's Jenna, a waitress with a talent for baking pies, and her journe…

Theater Review: "Bright Star:

Theater Review: "Bright Star"
"The sun is gonna shine again', or so goes the song that opens the second act of the new musical Bright Star. In a Broadway landscape dominated by jukebox musicals and endless adaptations of popular movies, it's original musicals like this one that offer hope that maybe the sun will shine again. Written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, the musical takes place in the South in the 1920s and 1940s, and follows Alice Murphy, the editor of a literary journal, deftly played by Carmen Cusack. With music by Martin and lyrics by Brickell, the bluegrass score sounds truly like nothing else currently on Broadway.

Oscars 2016: Who Will Win?

2016 Oscars PredictionsThe Oscars are approaching fast and that means it's time to predict the winners. Here's how I think the major races will turn out.



Film Review: "Clouds of Sils Maria"

Film Review: "Clouds of the Sils Maria"



The play's the thing in Olivier Assayas' latest film, Clouds of Sils Maria, which stars Juliette Binoche as an actress preparing to star in a revival of the play that made her famous. The twist is that Binchoce's Maria Enders is playing the older woman of the play, who is driven to suicide by the younger woman, originally played by Maria and now being played a tabloid-friendly starlet (Chloe Grace Moretz). This set-up allows for the film to reflect on the passage of time and how we react to it. It's an interesting subject, and as the parallels between the play and the film, and the film and real life begin piling up, it's clear that Clouds of Sils Maria is operating on multiple levels. 

Film Review: "Hail, Caesar!"

Film Review: "Hail, Caesar!"

"Hail, Caesar!", the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen, is set in Hollywood in the early 1950s, the final years before the collapse of the studio system. Josh Brolin plays Eddie Mannix, a studio exec whose job entails putting out all the fires started by the stars of the various films in production at the studio. These stars include George Clooney as an actor in a Ben Hur-like epic who gets kidnapped, Scarlett Johansson as the star of an 'aquamusical', similar to the ones starring Esther Williams, and Channing Tatum, who plays a Gene Kelly-like dancer starring in a sailor musical. The amount of time and detail given to these movies-within-the-movie is evidence of the brothers' love and appreciation for moviemaking, without which the movie would be in danger of feeling hollow and disingenuous.