Westworld The Riddle of the Sphinx review

Welcome to our weekly recaps of HBO’s Westworld. This Westworld review takes a look at the fourth episode of season 2, “The Riddle of the Sphinx”. Be warned: spoilers follow.

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Best Movie Moms

Mothers are incredible creatures, that’s a given. From your own to those of a fictional existence, all of the moms of the world each play a critical role in the story of our lives, or in the tales of our favorite pieces of media. They inspire the hero, teach them the fundamental building blocks of life, and energize them to continue on their own personal journeys – all the while being their own special brand of magical, smart individuals (or being terrifying villains of the horror sort, but that’s for another list.)

So with a certain mother themed holiday having just passed, along with the momma-positive flicks Life of the Party and Breaking In now in theaters, it is definitely time to celebrate some of the best moms in cinematic history. There will be some obvious choices for sure, but there are also some underrated ladies that need their moment to shine. Whether you would put them on your own list, or choose a different movie mom to recognize, there is no denying the importance these women have within their stories, and for the legacy of moms on film as a whole. So grab your bouquet of flowers – its time to pay the 10 best movie moms some respect! Read More »

venus review

I’m going to spoil Venus for you up front: it’s a film that ends happily.

This isn’t so much a spoiler, though, as much as it is a reassurance of what becomes amply clear mere minutes in. It’s a family comedy – in tone, structure and everything else – and thus, it’s a queer narrative that doesn’t wallow in the misery of its protagonist. Things don’t often end well for queer women in fiction (for trans women especially), and so a film that not only centers a trans woman, but does so this lovingly, is undoubtedly worth noting. What’s more, it exists at the nexus of Canada’s queer and Punjabi-immigrant cultures, bringing with it not only a whole host of quirks, but the requisite nuances therein.

Indo-Canadian trans woman Sid Gill (Debargo Sanyal) discovers the teenage Caucasian son she fathered when she identified as a man in her teen years. She doesn’t have the bandwidth to compartmentalize this disruption. Her son Ralph, well… Ralph wants to be more Indian than Sid has ever allowed herself to be, whether in terms of music or language or food. It is, quite simply, a delight.

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the hungry review

The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus is one of the harder-to-adapt Shakespeare plays. Its ultra-violence can border on self-parody if mishandled, and losing that element of the story leaves it somewhat limp. Even when juggled deftly, it’s simply grotesque. Though as with any transposition of the Bard to a modern setting – in this case, New Delhi – it’s the adaptation of context that seems to matter most.

Enter Bornilla Chatterjee’s The Hungry, Andronicus loosely set against family industrialism in northern India. The Andronicus’s and Goths are now the Ahujas and Joshis, agrarian business partners entangled in political corruption on the eve of a family wedding. The play’s basic framework remains, a cyclical revenge saga (minus the rape), though its characters are combined for an easier follow.

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Movies to Watch with Life of the Party

Melissa McCarthy goes back to school this weekend in Life of the Party, which fits squarely into the McCarthy comedy mold that has made her approximately a quadrillion dollars. A genre she’s made her own, becoming one of the few genuinely new movie stars in an era where the intellectual property is the star. A genre that’s best described as crassly heartfelt.

It may be formulaic, but it’s also weirdly subversive, if only because there aren’t many movies in the grand ol’ college party flick tradition that focus on women. At least not many where the leading ladies aren’t hiding in their sorority house from a masked slasher or fighting Seth Rogen.

Also, Revenge of the Nerds is super creepy, y’all. So here are 6 movies to pair with McCarthy’s new vehicle for telling jokes about her vagoogle.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

/Answers: Our Favorite Summer Movie Memories

jurassic. park

Every week in /Answers, we answer a new pop culture-related question. In this edition, we ask “What is your favorite summer movie memory?”

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evil genius review

Netflix’s engrossing, captivating, and shocking new true crime series Evil Genius investigates the bizarre “pizza bomber” case. In the process, a tragic, unsettling story unfolds involving a series of manipulative, destructive people with no moral compass to speak of.

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Breaking In Review

It was just last summer when Halle Berry’s Karla Dyson took matters into her own hands when she jumped into her minivan and chased down a pair of villains who abducted her son in Kidnap. That marked the first time in far too long that we saw a woman of color — and “of a certain age” — centralized as a badass hero and a mom on the big screen. She was no longer merely the sidekick or the villain the main character (usually a white actress) knocks off within the film’s first 30 minutes. She was the star.

I felt a similar sense of progress while watching Breaking In, the new thriller starring Gabrielle Union. In it, she plays a mother who stops at nothing to fight off armed criminals (Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Levi Meaden, and Mark Furze) who break into her home and threaten her and her children.

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Life of the Party Review

Over the last decade, Melissa McCarthy has helped boost a handful of comedies with her fierce comic charm and timing. Spy, The Heat, Bridesmaids, and the Ghostbusters remake (which wasn’t perfect, but was still pretty damn funny) all were elevated by her ability to play someone who’s wild and outlandish while managing to feel slightly rooted in reality. Her immense talent in these films makes it all the more puzzling that the three films she’s co-written and produced, including the new comedy Life of the Party, are so scattershot. Life of the Party has a familiar, straightforward premise, but is hampered by dull jokes and a poor sense of pacing.

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In 2000, The L.A. Times published a first-person account written by former census bureau trainee Virginia Leaper, who recalled a sunny California Day during the Spring of ’70, where she’d been assigned (on the last day of training) to survey the infamous Spahn Movie Ranch, where the Manson Family had allegedly plotted the ritualistic murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others. Charles Manson was already in custody and awaiting trial, but a handful of his followers still resided at the ranch with its then 81-year-old owner, George Spahn. As Ms. Leaper tells it, these zealots knew the government had Manson locked down, yet still believed he’d return to them any day, cleared of all charges.

Leaper had heard the rumors regarding the old blind man and the “hippie” commune on his ranch. According to local legend, the young women that still counted Manson as their savior kept Spahn satiated with visceral pleasures (i.e. food and sex), to the point that the geriatric groundskeeper turned his cloudy eyes away from the nefarious happenings on this dusty home front. However, on the afternoon this hapless census employee turned off Santa Susana Pass Road onto the dirt trail that led to Spahn’s ranch, she found Manson’s harem suspiciously eyeing her after she entered its elderly owner’s home. While Leaper asked Spahn a series of questions (all contained in a “three-pound” binder), the dirty faces in the room multiplied, closing in and making her quite uncomfortable.

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