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In just five days, I have visited Disney World’s new Pandora: The World of Avatar, experienced Universal Orlando’s third theme park Volcano Bay, and the grand opening of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disneyland Resort’s Disney California Adventure. I’ll have more on Volcano Bay and AvatarLand next week, but today, I wanted to give you my quick reaction to Mission Breakout. How does Marvel’s first step into North American Disney Parks compare to the former and beloved attraction it replaced, The Twilight Zones Tower of Terror?

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Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Review

How convenient it is that one of the last lines of dialogue uttered in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, courtesy of Captain Jack Sparrow, sums up the experience of watching the film: “What a truly revolting sight.” Indeed. What was once the flagship franchise for Walt Disney Pictures has now become an unavoidable anchor weighing the studio down. This Pirates is perhaps not the most exhausting entry in the series, but it is easily the most visually and narratively incoherent.

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Fargo The Lord of No Mercy Review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off a discussion about Fargo season 3 by answering one simple question: who f*cked up the most this week?)

“The Lord of No Mercy” is a more than fitting title for this week’s episode of FargoNoah Hawley‘s FX series got grimmer this week, paying off previous events in an unexpected and tragic fashion. Things are destined to only get worse from here, but the two most recent episodes of Fargo had few laughs to soften some serious blows.

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Baywatch Review

It’s time for the second big studio comedy of the summer to hit theaters in the form of Baywatch, the big screen adaptation of the popular TV series from the 1990s that starred David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson.

Hitting the beach are Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron as a couple of musclehead lifeguards who get caught up in some high stakes action and danger. All the trailers have teased an action comedy in the same vein of 21 Jump Street, but if the first Baywatch reviews are any indication, then it’s nowhere near as good, and it barely keeps itself afloat.

Read on for the Baywatch review round-up after the jump. Read More »

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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The Meyerowitz Stories Reviews

Adam Sandler has become an easy punching bag as he continues to make awful to mediocre comedies to fuel not just his career, but also the careers of his less talented comedian friends. But every now and then, Sandler reminds us that he can be a really good actor when taking roles in films like Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, Spanglish and to some extent, Funny People. It sounds like one of those movies just debuted at Cannes, and some are even saying it’s a career-best performance.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is a new film from writer/director Noah Baumbach (Greenberg, The Squid and the Whale, Frances Ha) that just debuted at the Cannes Film Festival as one of two titles playing in competition coming from Netflix. Adam Sandler stars in the film along with Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Candice Bergen and Emma Thompson, and the actor known for being a complete goofball is getting positively rave reviews.

Find out what some of the critics are saying in their The Meyerowitz Stories reviews. Read More »

the blood boy review

(Each week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Silicon Valley season 4 by answering one simple question: what was the most awkward moment?)

If you’re looking for cringe humor, there’s no better place than in a wedding. While Silicon Valley is not anywhere near the current champ of cringe-inducing weddings (that honor still belongs to Peep Show) this episode has one for the ages.

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Pirates 5 Reviews

Disney is practically overrun with film franchises these days, but since Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides made over a billion dollars worldwide back in 2011, another sequel was inevitable. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales arrives in theaters this Friday, but what are the early reviews saying?

The consensus: maybe this film isn’t quite as good as the early buzz coming out of CinemaCon a few months ago seemed to indicate.

Find out more in our Pirates 5 reviews round-up below.
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american gods git gone review

(Each week, we’ll kick off our discussion of American Gods by answering one simple question: which character do we worship this week?)

Bone orchards, man-eaters, fire genies, oh my! The first three episodes of American Gods gave us a lot to swallow, but episode four, “Git Gone,” following Laura Moon’s journey to and from the grave, showed us that things aren’t just not what they seem when it comes to gods, but also when it comes to (seemingly) boring, uninteresting humanity.

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Alien Covenant

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.)

In 1979, Ridley Scott unleashed Alien on unsuspecting moviegoers, creating something that would end up becoming iconic in the process. Scott, a filmmaker with a background in graphic design, took what was essentially the type of B-movie that cluttered up drive-in theaters and turned it into something greater – a haunted-house picture set in space, dripping with atmosphere and dread, heightened by grotesque creature designs from nightmare-expert artist H.R. Giger.

Alien would turn into a franchise, although Scott stayed away for most of it. He returned for the sort-of prequel Prometheus, one of the most polarizing films of his career. Fans expecting another Alien were sorely disappointed, as Scott no longer seemed interested in the simple, dread-inducing terror of his 1979 film. Instead, the filmmaker wanted to use the Alien mythology as a framework on which to build a more complex, existential examination of the origins of humanity.

Scott could’ve walked away from the Alien franchise after Prometheus, but instead he seems committed to riding this out to see how far it will go. He has returned with Alien: Covenant, which loaded its trailers and promotional material with the familiar xenomorph alien that fans are familiar with. This film, Scott seemed to be saying, would be the Alien-type film Prometheus was not. It was a trick, though. The filmmaker had more complicated, complex ideas in mind. They don’t always work, but you have to at least appreciate his willingness to experiment with them at this stage in his career.

Spoilers follow.

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