house of cards season 5 spoiler review

(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: season 5 of Netflix’s flagship series House of Cards.)

Can we take a minute to bow down to Robin Wright? The Oscar-nominated actress was last seen as Antiope on the big screen annihilating a bunch of angry male villains donning a big ole smile and golden warrior gear like a badass in Wonder Woman. Though she was only in the movie (which, in case you haven’t heard, is now the biggest blockbuster from a woman director ever) for a few memorable scenes, her presence encapsulates everything that movie represents: strength, femininity, and command.

The same can be said of Wright’s performance in season 5 of House of Cards, now streaming on Netflix.

Spoilers begin right here.

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mummy

(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: Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy.)

Bad news: The Mummy has risen from the tomb, and it stinks! Universal Pictures bet big on the first film in their “Dark Universe” – a cinematic universe meant to capture the magic of the Marvel movies. The studio was hoping that the surest way to success was to take characters they already owned and fit them into an uninspired action movie formula. The results are stunningly inept. Just how did this film go so wrong? Let’s excavate this monster and get to the bottom of it all.

Spoilers ahead.

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The Hero review

The Hero centers on an aging movie star who’s best remembered for his performance in a beloved western forty years earlier. It’s a vehicle written specifically for actor Sam Elliott, who, of course, has his own storied history in that genre and has embraced that vibe as a key part of his acting persona, even in films as divergent as Ghost Rider and The Big Lebowski. While The Hero doesn’t offer any particularly insightful observations about what it means to get older in Hollywood, it’s still a pleasure to watch Elliott – a perennial ensemble player since his made-for-TV movie heyday of the ’80s and ’90s – do terrific work as the clear lead of a film that lasers in on his sensibilities as a performer.

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it comes at night spoiler review

Trey Edward Shults’ It Comes At Night opens today and while it’s not the movie being sold in the trailers, it’s an exceptional piece of work. Tense and unsettling and bleaker than bleak, it’s going to rattle nerves of audiences everywhere this weekend. And everyone who sees it is probably going to have a lot to talk about.

Alex Riviello and Jacob Hall certainly did. Unable to get the film out of their minds, the two of them sat down to talk about the movie in spoiler-filled detail.

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The Mummy review

Hubris, thy name is The Mummy.

What other word describes a film that kicks off a presumed franchise in the vein of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in spite of not gauging whether or not audiences want such a franchise? The ingredients for a compelling single movie exist within The Mummy, yet they never cohere into a genuinely exciting adventure. The pieces are here, but director Alex Kurtzman isn’t able to put them together; he’s too busy trying to make the so-called Dark Universe worth the effort.

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The Mummy Trailer

Last night brought the first round of press screenings for The Mummy, the first film in Universal’s ambitious Dark Universe franchise that will see remakes of classic monster movies from the studio’s history, including The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, as well as recently announced additions The Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

With a lot riding on its shoulders, how does The Mummy fare not just as the start of a major franchise, but as a new vehicle for Tom Cruise? Well, the reviews don’t have many kind things to say, which doesn’t bode well for the Dark Universe, despite Universal’s confidence in the franchise.

Find out more in our The Mummy review round-up below. Read More »

wonder woman spoiler review

(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: Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman.)

It’s astounding that in this day and age, when superheroes are either disillusioned or self-deprecating, that we can have a hero like Wonder Woman. In the bleak DC Cinematic Universe, where nihilism reigns supreme, here we have a hero who champions the ideas of hope, compassion, and goodness.

Diana (Gal Gadot) is not dissimilar from the Disney princesses, who have long been heroes of overwhelming empathy. They are aspirational figures who exist in an elevated reality — fairy tales themselves are metaphorical by nature, and rarely depict anything other than a black and white reality. This is Diana at the beginning of the film, the embodiment of the ultimate Disney princess, for all the gifts and faults that they have — though thankfully without the frequently troublesome depiction of an “evil” mother or stepmother figure commonly seen in fairy tales.

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wonder woman review

Much like its heroine, Wonder Woman manages to soar to some sublime heights. There are sequences that demand to be gazed at and the action — specifically the Amazon women in battle, soaring through the air — make slo-mo seem fresh for the first time since 300. The cast is charming, with each character afforded a particular grace note, and Gal Gadot shines as the goddess at the center of the whole affair. But Diana of Themyscira has to go through some growing pains before really becoming a hero, and so does the film.

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Fargo The Law of Inevitability 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 blue streak continues on Fargo. Life has never been worse for Sy Feltz (Michael Stuhlbarg), Emmit Stussy (Ewan McGregor), and maybe Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who’s mysterious and world-weary enough to indicate season 3 of Fargo is far from her first bad time in Minnesota. Noah Hawley‘s FX series experiences the shockwave of last week’s shocking episode in “The Law of Inevitability,” in which Chief Moe Dammick (Shea Whigham) enlightens us on the mashed potato theory and how he proceeds when the sun is out.

Below, check out our latest Fargo review.

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bloodline season 3 review

The Rayburn family is a complicated bunch. John Rayburn (Kyle Chandler) once believed they were good people who just did a bad thing, but in season three, the waters get even murkier. In the emotional, sometimes frustrating third and final season, the family takes some long, contemplative looks in the mirror.

Below, check out our spoiler-filled Bloodline season three review.

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