wayne's world 2 defense

(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: the sequel to Wayne’s World is actually better than the beloved original.)

In 1993, just one short year after Wayne’s World transitioned from SNL favorite to box office hit, Paramount unleashed the sequel. Despite the fact that Wayne’s World 2 received mixed reviews and couldn’t seem to attract as many fans as the first film, it remains a hilarious and highly-underrated sequel – a delightfully silly follow-up that ups the ante while wryly (or obnoxiously, given the behind-the-scenes drama) delivering a formulaic sequel; a sort of self-aware cinematic Mad Libs. In my mind, Wayne’s World 2 belongs to the small group of comedy sequels that are better than their predecessors, like Problem Child 2 and Gremlins 2. At the very least, it should be considered just as great as the first film.

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the marvelous mrs. maisel recap

Break out the manischewitz and a plate of shrimp spring rolls because The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is back, babies! It’s been over a year (actually one year and six months, but who’s counting) since Rachel Brosnahan’s Midge Maisel last took the stage, and while Season 2 is sure to bring plenty of changes, there’s quite a bit you might not remember about Season 1. To make sure you’re properly prepared (Midge wouldn’t have it any other way), we put together this handy guide to everything you need to remember about Season 1 before the long-awaited second season premieres on Amazon Prime on December 5.

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House That Jack Built 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: The House That Jack Built.)

It’s been five years since Lars Von Trier released Nymphomaniac, the bold and astonishing two-parter that figuratively put a period (or exclamation mark, if you rather) on the end of his filmography. Where does a provocateur like Von Trier go from there? What else is left to say? The answer is The House That Jack Built, a deranged, pitch-black comedy (yes, really) that explores the life of a narccisistic serial killer, played by Matt Dillon (again: yes, really).

As is typically the case with Von Trier, the story is far more thematically complex and layered than that short synopsis might suggest, and every bit as unsettling and occasionally brutal as you might expect. But is the director’s cut – which screened in theaters for one night only – as controversial as some have claimed?

Major spoilers to follow.

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(Welcome to Hidden Streams, a column focused on the best older movies available to stream on your favorite services, including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and more.)

FilmStruck is dead, which might make it harder for cinephiles to dig those older hidden gems out of the overwhelming piles of streaming titles. But that won’t stop us from trying. From lesser-known classics to cult favorites, we’ve put together a handy guide to some of the best older films you can stream on the various platforms. In this edition of Hidden Streams, you’ll find plenty of golden (and not-so-golden) oldies to check out or revisit, including a deeply upsetting animated film, a melancholy musical, the master of suspense, and more – and nothing that was released after 1985.

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The Favourite True Story

The Favourite is, predictably, a somewhat fictionalized telling of the story of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and the rivalry between two of the most important women in her life: Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone). But you might be surprised to learn that the latest work of darkly comedic idiosyncrasy from Yorgos Lanthimos is actually more faithful to history than most period dramas. When it comes to monarchy, truth is often stranger (and more absurd) than fiction, and the embellished bits of Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara’s screenplay only serve to enrich the true story on which The Favourite is based.

So exactly how much of The Favourite is fact, and how much is fiction? In this companion piece, we’ll explore the life of the real Queen Anne (including her ill health), the party politics at play in her court, her relationships with Sarah Churchill and Abigail Hill, the alleged love triangle between the three women, and the ultimate outcome.

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ralph breaks the internet ebay checkout

In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Ralph and Vanellope head into the wild and vast realm of the internet for a new and exciting adventure. As you can probably guess, Disney’s highly-anticipated sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph is packed with cameos and Easter eggs. With Ralph and Vanellope leaving their tiny arcade for the seemingly boundless internet, those references aren’t limited to video games. And since this is a Disney movie, you can expect to see several familiar faces from just about every corner of the wonderful world of Disney.

Thanks to the trailers, you already know about the Disney Princesses, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read on for guide to the cameos and Easter eggs in Ralph Breaks the Internet. And yes, there will be major spoilers

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Blair WItch 2 Defense

Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: the much-derided sequel to The Blair Witch Project actually rules, thank you very much.)

A little over a year after The Blair Witch Project hit theaters and subsequently became a box office phenomenon, Artisan Entertainment released a sequel that did…the opposite.

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 was meant to capitalize on the success of the first film, expanding the mythology for Blair-obsessed audiences eager for another trip to the Burkittsville woods. But Joe Berlinger’s self-aware sequel failed to bewitch fans the same way its predecessor had. And that’s a shame because Book of Shadows is one of the most delightful and rewarding sequels in horror history.

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the_misfits_star_80_the_hunger

(Welcome to Hidden Streams, a column focused on the best older movies available to stream on your favorite services, including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and more.)

Everything going on with FilmStruck might make it harder for cinephiles to dig those older hidden gems out of the overwhelming piles of streaming titles. From lesser-known classics to cult favorites, we’ve put together a handy guide to some of the best older films you can stream on the various platforms. In this flagship edition of Hidden Streams, you’ll find plenty of golden (and not-so-golden) oldies to check out or revisit, including torrid love affairs, post-apocalyptic terror, the tragic death of an emerging starlet – and nothing that was released after 1985.

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the grinch trailer

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: it’s much easier to relate to the grumpy, Christmas-hating Grinch than those basic Whos.)

Illumination’s new animated adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! – shortened to The Grinch – introduces a younger generation to Dr. Seuss’ iconic green curmudgeon and his journey toward understanding the true meaning of Christmas. But many of us grew up in a world that never knew a holiday season without the Grinch, be it the classic children’s book or the 1966 animated TV special, or Ron Howard’s garish live-action reimagining. The Grinch has always been there – for some of us more than others. While most viewers undoubtedly identify with the Whos of Whoville and their unrelenting holiday cheer, I find the big green fuzzy meanie far more relatable a character, and it’s not just because I don’t particularly care for Christmas.

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