Thelma Review

Joachim Trier‘s Thelma begins with one of the most haunting opening scenes in recent memory. A young girl and her father trek out into the wilderness surrounding their home, crossing over a frozen lake and entering the woods. The father is armed with a rifle. When his young daughter isn’t looking, he takes aim at the back of her head. He hesitates. He doesn’t pull the trigger.

And then we leap forward a number of years and Thelma (Eili Harboe) is heading to university in Oslo and learns that something is wrong with her. Or right with her. Because Thelma has supernatural abilities. And like any kid heading off to college for the first time, she’s got some serious stuff to figure out.

Read More »

Star Trek Discovery review

(We are running two reviews of Star Trek: Discovery – one from an old school Star Trek fan and one with less experience in this iconic universe. Here is the second of the two reviews.)

Star Trek: Discovery feels like J.J. Abrams’ Trek films.

Your mileage may vary on whether or not that’s a good thing. For me, a non-Trekkie whose familiarity with the universe doesn’t really extend beyond the original series timeline, I had no idea what to expect with this new series. But my enjoyment of the Abrams movies – including the Justin Lin-directed Star Trek Beyond, which Abrams produced – was enough to carry me through the first two episodes of Discovery with a basic understanding. If you’re also a non-Trekkie looking for a series gateway, this is a good place to start. Read More »

Room 104 Boris Review

(Each week, we’ll kick off discussion about Room 104 by answering one simple question: what’s the strangest thing in Room 104?)

Room 104 has hosted ghosts, voyeurs, and Mormons. But until this week, no celebrities. Enter Boris, an internationally famous tennis star who’s having an erratic evening. Through his unlikely friendship with a housekeeper, Boris faces some long buried trauma. But not before he dons an unusual costume.

Read More »

star-wars-kyogen-at-byodoin

Earlier this month, director Rian Johnson was in Japan doing promotions for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the upcoming eighth episode of the Star Wars saga. That film seems like such a sure thing, box office-wise, that no one probably needs to worry about praying for its success. There is always the off-chance that it could be terrible, but given Johnson’s track record as a filmmaker, and producer Kathleen Kennedy’s fiercely protective brand of quality control, that seems unlikely. Lest we forget, when not playing with genre to memorable effect in films like Looper and Brick, Johnson has also been known to direct stellar television episodes, such as “Ozymandias,” the antepenultimate episode of Breaking Bad.

Sure, inheriting the burden of a behemoth film franchise like Star Wars might drive any director, even a publicly professed non-religious one, to pray. But in this case, Johnson’s appearance at a historic temple near the ancient capital of Kyoto was more likely a symbolic gesture. As StarWars-jp.com and The Kyoto Shimbun reported, he was there as part of the unveiling of a Star-Wars-themed Japanese folding screen, rendered in stunning black ink by artist Masayuki Kojo. Fans of movie art will want to see the full unobstructed view of this thing, as it looks like some rad 18th-century version of a Mondo poster.

Read More »

anna and the apocalypse review

As a Scottish zombie Christmas musical comedy, Anna and the Apocalypse sounds like a joke. And for a little while, it feels like one.

Conceived as a High School Musical riff where the shambling undead arrive to wreak havoc on a more trivial teen movie, director John McPhail‘s film leans hard into comedy and irony in its first act. But like the 21st century’s greatest horror comedy (Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead), the film finds its voice and its soul when it drops the wink and becomes a fully realized musical horror movie with actual stakes…and the nerve to literally tear its lovable cast to pieces.

Read More »

The Deuce The Principle is All Review

(We’re going to kickstart our weekly discussion of HBO’s The Deuce by answering one simple question: who or what is the “best bet” in this week’s episode?)

In its third episode, The Deuce feels like it’s starting to settle into a rhythm. This episode is slow — there’s no rush to get anywhere now that all the pieces and players have been set into motion — but at the risk of getting into innuendos, it’s a good time. The pleasure is in seeing how these pieces come together, not how quickly it happens.

Read More »

star trek discovery review 1

(We are running two reviews of Star Trek: Discovery – one from an old school Star Trek fan and one with less experience in this iconic universe. Here is the first of the two reviews.)

Star Trek: Discovery has brought the historic Gene Roddenberry property back to the network that started it all for the U.S.S. Enterprise. Thankfully for CBS and many Star Trek fans, Star Trek: Discovery doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it stands up to the original and the movies while retaining the classic Star Trek cerebral nature.

Perhaps this intro reads more Vulcan than I would like it; speaking in standard human terms, Star Trek: Discovery is fun, exciting, and provides us with one of the most interesting protagonists we’ve seen in a while. It’s not without its issues, though, which we’ll get to soon enough.

If you’ve seen the first two episodes, keep reading; if you’re afraid of spoilers, you’d better bounce now.

Read More »

cars-characters-in-costume-at-dca

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • See what a Nightmare Before Christmas ride might have looked like, as envisioned by one Imagineer
  • Cars characters get into the Halloween spirit by dressing up at Disney’s California Adventure
  • The Star Wars: Galactic Nights event is returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Get details on how Universal Studios and Legoland are incorporating VR worldwide
  • The parent company of Louis Vuitton is bringing a steampunk theme park to Paris
  • Details for Tokyo Disneyland’s 35th-anniversary celebration have been announced
  • And more!

Read More »

Stranger Things 2 Netflix

Boo! Did I just send you to an early grave with fear? If so, I apologize. Now rise from your coffin and read the rest of this. September is winding down, which means it’s now time for October and with it, Halloween season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With a new month comes new titles on Netflix. So bust out your pumpkins and remotes and browse along with us with this list featuring the new movies coming to Netflix in October 2017.

Below, check out our list of the best TV shows and movies coming to Netflix in October.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Kingsman The Golden Circle reviews

Saving the world generally doesn’t look as fun as it used to in spy movies. Looking cool and having a blast has gone out of fashion for some of cinema’s spies – with the notable exception of Xander Cage – who tend to have more inner-turmoil than a good time. They’re sometimes brooding, tortured, and self-serious – which are not the words to describe Eggsy (Taron Edgerton) and the world of Kingsman, born from Mark Millar and Dave Gibbon‘s comic.

Screenwriters Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn adapted the source material with glee. That feeling of all-around giddiness comes from the spy movies Goldman and Vaughn, who’ve worked together for over a decade, grew up loving. With Kingsman: The Secret Service and its new sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the co-writers want to celebrate spy tropes, not poke fun at them, as Goldman recently told us.

Below, check out our Jane Goldman interview.

Read More »