Why I Couldn’t Even Make It Through the First Commercial Break of The Bachelor Pre-Show

Buzzfeed listicle with puppies. Buzzfeed listicle with gifs. #PrinceFarming. Engagement. Engagement. Thoughtcatalog article on relationships. #PrinceFarming.  Thoughtcatalog article on being in your twenties. Thoughtcatalog article on having the best twenties EVER. Thoughtcatalog article on not worrying if you suck at your twenties and eat ramen for every meal because it will get better. Bill Cosby article. New Baby. #PrinceFarming… The rest I had seen a million times, but who was this “Prince Farming” plaguing my newsfeed? Continue reading Why I Couldn’t Even Make It Through the First Commercial Break of The Bachelor Pre-Show

Science Fiction Done Right

A man walks into a bar. At some point, he asks the bartender for a joke. “A man walks into a bar,” the bartender says, and stops there. The butt of the joke sarcastically but good-humoredly retorts “Very funny,” and demands a better one. The bartender (Ethan Hawke) insists that he knows no good jokes, but tries a chicken road-crossing one. It fails miserably, but he recovers by getting philosophical: “Do you ever wonder about that? The chicken and egg, which one came first?” Humoring the bartender, the man confidently declares “The rooster!” Continue reading Science Fiction Done Right

An Affair to Forget

The Affair knows that it is retreading well-worn ground. Adultery has been covered so extensively across all forms of media that it’s hard to imagine a new TV drama adding much to the conversation. For the first few episodes, though, it seemed like Sarah Treem and Hagai Levi had achieved the massively unlikely. The show actually felt original, with a fresh angle on its main characters and an innovative storytelling style. It’s unfortunate that by the tenth and final episode of the season, that freshness had all but disappeared into the many clichés of infidelity fiction. Continue reading An Affair to Forget

Big Eyes, Blurred Focus

Big Eyes, Tim Burton’s latest biopic, brings to mind that quote nebulously attributed to Mark Twain: “It is no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” While the life story of artist Margaret Keane is fascinating, and Burton adapts it more accurately than you might expect, the film as a whole doesn’t cohere. Simple chronology plays a larger role than narrative craft in its structure. Big Eyes is far from senseless, but its themes and storylines conflict in ways that are more acceptable in life than art. Continue reading Big Eyes, Blurred Focus

World War Three Will Have To Wait

The Interview has been released on Youtube which means unfortunately that two valuable time-wasting Youtube hours will be squandered on this movie by many unsuspecting folks. Of course this is partially the result of all the hoo-hah that this film has already caused. A hacker group had broken into parent company Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer network and threatened terrorist attacks against cinemas that show The Interview before the film was even released. The likely result of all this free publicity however is that most people are going to be vastly disappointed that such a film caused any concern in the first place. Continue reading World War Three Will Have To Wait

The Good Machine of the Last Good War

The marriage of man and machine is a classic trope, and Fury takes it to the next level by bonding multiple men with the ultimate war machine of the Second World War. The result is a complex and original film about the familial bond between soldiers. Brad Pitt is Wardaddy, the hardened veteran commander of his M4A3E8 Sherman tank named Fury and the father figure of his tank crew family. The film’s formal introduction to the gang is through trained typist and new recruit Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), reassigned to be Fury’s assistant driver and bow gunner. He meets gunner “Bible” (Shia LaBeouf), driver “Gordo” (Michael Peña), and loader “Coon-Ass” (Jon Bernthal) after Wardaddy reluctantly but good-humoredly accepts Norman into his command. Continue reading The Good Machine of the Last Good War

A Touch of Crass: The Transcendent Vulgarity of The Eric Andre Show

In 2015, in an era when Office-style cringe comedy is the norm, where the President can appear on Between Two Ferns, and Tim & Eric’s basement public access style has become a Madison avenue fixture, The Eric Andre Show‘s ferocious assault on conventional comedy manages to stand out as something entirely new. Continue reading A Touch of Crass: The Transcendent Vulgarity of The Eric Andre Show

Unbroken? Speak For Yourself

Angelina Jolie’s sophomore feature, Unbroken, is the kind of film that you could probably only sit through once. Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s biography of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini, Unbroken tries to give legs to the harrowing true story of a man’s journey from celebrated athlete to Japanese prisoner of war. This film, which Jolie terms her “passion project,” brings together Hollywood heavyweights behind the screen. The Coen Brothers (True Grit), Richard LaGravenese (P.S I Love You), & William Nicholson (Gladiator) join Jolie as screenwriters with Universal Pictures distributing. Jolie commits to an honest account of the brutality inflicted upon Zamperini during the film’s 137-minute runtime, but in doing so forgets that everyone’s tolerance for pain is not quite as limitless.

Continue reading Unbroken? Speak For Yourself

I Sacrificed Three Hours So You Don’t Have To

With Dean’s Date rapidly approaching, I gave up an eighth of a day to watch the Golden Globes and even more to report on them here. I did that for you, readers, so I hope you forgive me if we disagree about any of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s decisions. Unlike the ceremony and Michael Keaton’s speech in particular, I’m going to keep it concise. Here, then, are the noteworthy moments from the 72nd Golden Globes!

Continue reading I Sacrificed Three Hours So You Don’t Have To

Snowpiercer: The Little Engine That Couldn’t

The year is 2031. In a colossally failed attempt to combat global warming, scientists have accidentally launched the world into an inhospitable ice age. All forms of life freeze solid after just minutes of exposure to the murderously bitter cold. Humanity has narrowly escaped total extinction by clambering aboard a glorified choo-choo train. Continue reading Snowpiercer: The Little Engine That Couldn’t

A Film and Television Review