Better Call Saul Expenses Review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

At this point in Better Call Saul, it’s difficult to know whether or not we’re supposed to root for Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk). Obviously, to a certain degree, we are. We’re in his house, after all. He’s hit rock bottom in “Expenses,” and though we know he’ll end up back on top (sort of) by the time Breaking Bad begins, it’s become obvious that the path there is going to be a profoundly ugly one. “Expenses” plays like a partner to “Chicanery” as an episode that captures exactly just how naturalistic the drama at the center of it is. It’s a show that’s pared down and precise — the pain doesn’t come from the near-operatic as it did in Breaking Bad, it comes from small, simple human foibles.

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alien covenant

(Because of the mixed reactions to the film from critics across the internet, we are running two reviews of Alien: Covenant. Here’s a positive take on the movie. For a different perspective, you can read Josh Spiegel’s negative review.)

The planet upon which most of Alien: Covenant unfolds is not unlike the movie itself: it’s a vast and beautiful thing, though not without its share of dangers and unexplored territory. Covenant is an epic that sprawls across genres and ideas, some of which are better addressed than others, but in its final act, it shines just two beacons through the darkness. There’s its base DNA in the self-contained drama and horror of 1979’s Alien, and there’s the near-biblical story that director Ridley Scott now wants to tell about man and post-humanity, and the creation of life. The resulting mix is a thrill, in no small part because — for a franchise that seems so determinedly nihilistic — it’s surprisingly earnest.

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better call saul off brand review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

In true Better Call Saul fashion, this week’s big revelation comes as a whimper, not as a bang. It’s a quiet moment that underlines one of the biggest truths of the show: more than anything else, it’s a tragedy. Unfortunately, it’s a quiet that’s slightly undermined by how loudly Breaking Bad rings throughout this episode, as the comings and goings of the cartel, while granted a touch of the delicacy that makes Better Call Saul so special, pander a little too obviously after the tour de force of last week’s episode.

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King Arthur Legend of the Sword Trailer - Charlie Hunnam

Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword shares its DNA with the big action movies of the late ‘90s/early 2000s. As insane as the proceedings become, there’s not a lick of shame or self-consciousness to be found anywhere; instead, there’s a rowdy energy and a penchant for some truly inspired visual spectacle. Granted, this heritage also comes with its own set of problems, and it’s the beats in which the movie adheres most closely to the template it’s cut from that are its weakest.

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chicanery review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

“Chicanery” showcases everything that’s best about Better Call Saul. Last week’s episode was a thrill as it delved into the gangland politics that will ultimately set up Breaking Bad, but the main character of this show is still Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk). This week focuses exclusively on the final nail in the coffin of his relationship with Chuck (Michael McKean) over the course of essentially only three scenes. While we passed the point of no return a couple of weeks ago, the break still isn’t a clean one. It’s the tearing of flesh from bone, and it makes for a devastating hour of television.

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15 Movies Defined By Amazing Song Choices

best movie soundtracks

Music is a powerful tool in a moviemaker’s arsenal. The right song can make a movie as much as the wrong song can break it, and the best musical cues come to be indelibly linked with the scenes they accompany. Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, know this well, using music to define key sequences and lend a unique flavor to an already offbeat space opera.

Here, we take a look at some of the best uses of music in movies that already boast impeccable soundtracks, and what it is that makes them so special.

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sabrosito review 4

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

The majority of concerns voiced about Better Call Saul have been about the show’s dual nature. Strictly speaking, the show’s a two-hander, with Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) going down one path and Mike (Jonathan Banks) going down another. They’re roughly parallel, yes, insomuch as they intersect and will keep intersecting until the events of Breaking Bad come to a head, but there’s still a limit, especially as Mike’s half of the show becomes Gus Fring’s. The mythology there is different; it’s grander, whereas the struggle playing out between the McGill brothers is something a little more tangible. The show’s managed to keep its balance so far, let’s hope it stays that way.  Read More »

the host 10 years later

When The Host was first released, it broke box office records in South Korea, and received critical acclaim upon its festival and stateside debut. It’s been a decade since then, and in the intervening years, the movie’s reputation as a masterpiece has only solidified.

Directed by Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder, Mother, and more recently Snowpiercer), the film centers on a family thrown into chaos after a monster emerges from the Han River and kidnaps its youngest member. It’s a monster movie, a family movie, a tragedy, a comedy, and a sociopolitical commentary; its elements should be at war with each other, but instead, they coalesce into a remarkable whole. A decade after release, it’s better than ever.

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better call saul sunk costs review 3

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

The title of this week’s Better Call Saul, “Sunk Costs,” refers to a cost that’s been paid and can’t be recovered, i.e. it refers to irreparable damage. A lot has happened over the course of the last two seasons, but the ground lost has always seemed like it could be regained. But something’s snapped, now. We’ve past the point of no return on the path from Jimmy to Saul, and the pall it casts over the show is palpable, not to mention painful.

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gotham season 3 header

As Gotham returns for the rest of its third season, it’s still full of mixed blessings. Since the pilot, the good has gotten better and the bad has gotten worse, making it a bit of a hard sell to anybody who isn’t a Batman nut already. And even then, the liberties that the show takes might be enough to turn the biggest Bat-fans off. This becomes more of a pity as the good gets really good; as such, the question is whether or not it’s good enough redeem the parts of the show that are as baffling as any puzzle posed by the Riddler. Let’s see where we stand as we head into the back half of season three, “Heroes Rise.”

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