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Showing posts from June, 2017

Four "Younger" Seasons In, Just Give Sutton Foster the Emmy Already: Review

TV Review: Younger Season Four When Younger premiered on TV Land in 2015, its premise mimicked the situation the network was in at the time. The show was about a 40 year old masquerading as a 26 year old in order to be more attractive to potential employers. The network, then known for showing mainly reruns of classic series like Gunsmoke and The Andy Griffith Show, was in the midst of rebranding to a much younger, digitally engaged audience. The intent of the rebranding was to better compete with the hundreds of different cable networks out there, but ironically had the effect of making TV Land indistinguishable from all those other networks vying for the young people demographic. Their original scripted programming went from delightful throwback fare like Hot in Cleveland, to quirky, comparatively edgy single camera sitcoms like Impastor and Teachers. Never heard of either of those shows? I'm not surprised. The only show since the rebranding that could reasonably be considered a…

"Baby Driver" is the Coolest Movie You Will See this Summer: Review

Film Review: Baby Driver

The latest film from director Edgar Wright, Baby Driver is the perfect summer movie. Slick, stylish, and action-packed, Baby Driver soars with a rhythmic energy other movies can only dream of achieving. It stars Ansel Elgort as Baby, the getaway driver for an Atlanta crime boss (Kevin Spacey), who longs for a fresh start, out of the criminal world. As he discovers, getting out is harder than it seems. 

Baby Driver features some of the most engaging car chase sequences I have ever seen on film. Unlike the CGI-heavy ugly spectacles of most modern action movies, the chases in Baby Driver  look and feel distinctive and unique. Wright's screenplay, while not groundbreaking, is incredibly sharp and can be quite funny at times. A lot of movies have great soundtracks, few of those movies use their soundtracks as effectively as Baby Driver.  Baby is rarely without his earbuds, as he uses music to drown out the tinnitus he's suffered from since childhood. We hear…

Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled" is a Tense and Artful Tale of Vengeful Southern Women: Review

Film Review: The Beguiled
In 1971, Don Siegel directed two movies, both of which starred Clint Eastwood. One would become a franchise-starting classic; a gritty and violent thriller about a cop who makes his own rules. The other was an oddity in both people's filmographies, an unsettling drama about a Union soldier who attempts to seduce, and then is terrorized by, a group of women at a Southern boarding school, that failed to make any sort of impact at the box office. 46 years later, one of those films has been remade, and it's not Dirty Harry. Siegel's The Beguiled is a strange movie. There are interesting visuals, the camera swoops and swerves and the dim lighting is absolutely haunting. But the film introduces more threads than it has time to invest in, and while it is clear the audience is not supposed to root for the Eastwood character, it's hard to root for the women either, so the audience is left wondering what it is we are supposed to take away from the story…

"The Mummy" is a Fun, Confused Start to the Dark Universe: Review

Film Review: The Mummy


When Universal announced its intention to revive its classic monster brand in a new cinematic universe called the Dark Universe, I was intrigued. Part of my interest came from me not being sure what movies about the Mummy, Frankenstein's Monster, and the Wolfman would look like in 2017. I definitely was not expecting them to look like a Tom Cruise action movie. But that's exactly what we got with The Mummy, the first installment of the Dark Universe. 

The movie revolves around Nick Morton (played by Cruise, of course), a treasure hunter with no moral compass to speak of, who unearths the tomb of a mummified Egyptian princess (Sofia Boutella). The Mummy then becomes obsessed with finding Nick and using him as a vessel to bring the god of death, Set, into the world. 

The Mummy suffers from trying to do too many things at once. It's a horror movie inside of an action-adventure with some comedy mixed in. The movie has six credited writers, so it's no w…

'Rough Night', Bad Movie: Review

Film Review: Rough NightThe plot of Rough Night concerns a group of friends, led by Scarlett Johansson, who while celebrating a bachelorette party end up accidentally killing a stripper. It’s an audacious premise and one that a movie could have probably mined for laughs. But that movie isn’t the uninspired and only sporadically funny Rough Night. Continuing the trend of recent female-led raunchy ensemble comedies like Bridesmaids, Bachelorette, and the upcoming Girls Trip, Rough Night seemed to be different as this one also had a woman behind the camera, director and cowriter Lucia Aniello. But it’s also notable for taking the concept much, much farther, unless I’m forgetting a scene in Bridesmaids where they snort cocaine and then kill multiple people. It's certainly a watchable movie, it’s full of funny people saying kind of funny things. But the places it goes are ultimately incongruous to a comedy like this.

Johansson has been in comedies before (like Woody Allen’s Scoop) but s…

Ranking All 17 Pixar Films

Ranking the Pixar FilmsHere's the definitive ranking of all 17 feature films ( I didn't include Cars 3  because it is not out yet at the time I'm writing this so I have not seen it) from Pixar Animation Studios from worst to best:

Third Season of Netflix's "Bloodline" is a Sad, Stunning, and Satisfying Conclusion: Review

TV Review: Bloodline Season Three

It's no secret that Bloodline is one of my favorite shows. Created by  Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman, the Netflix drama's final season was released on May 27. One of the main reasons I recommend that everybody watch this terrific show is for its killer cast, including Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz, and Sissy Spacek. I enjoyed season one, even if it was too long and used too many flash forwards (which were also used to similarly-annoying effect on the creators' earlier show, Damages). Season two, on the other hand, was the absolute best thing on all of television in 2016. Season three falls somewhere in the middle. While not as heart-stopping as season two, the new season serves as a satisfying conclusion for the series, an epilogue of sorts.

"Wonder Woman" is One of the Best Superhero Movies of the Last Few Years: Review

Film Review: Wonder WomanIt's baffling to me that Wonder Woman is arguably one of the three most famous superheroes in the world and yet it has taken 75 years for her to get a live action feature adaption. In the same span of time, Superman has starred in eight movies and Batman in nine. Whatever the reason for the delay, Wonder Woman has finally made it to the big screen. Wonder Woman is a sharp, funny, and high-energy origin story. Director Patty Jenkins has figured out how to have an optimistic superhero, a symbol of love, exist in a dark and destructive world without a jarring of tones.