Written by Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, and Jesse Armstrong
Directed by Nat Faxon
I don’t want to write a review that simply compares Downhill to the film it is remaking, Force Majeure, but my god, I have to. Downhill is a recent example of a horrible way movie studios take foreign films and make butchered rehashes that show total disrespect to the audience. This movie loses every single element that made the original such a sharp, well balanced dark comedy and makes themes and characters way too obvious and on the nose. I laughed, possibly once, a slight chuckle, but spent the rest of the runtime having my worries confirmed.
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Written & Directed by John Patrick Shanley
Meryl Streep dominates this movie, and her entrance is such a fantastic one. In the middle of Father Flynn’s (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) sermon about doubt, the camera follows a black shrouded figure walking along the pews. This is Sister Aloysius (Streep) looming over the children in attendance, intent on bringing down her hammer on any one of them who shows slight disdain for being in church. I wouldn’t say Aloysius is a villain, but she is most certainly the antagonist in the picture, on her fervent crusade to flush out what she sees as wrong-doing in a place she believes is her church.
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Jupiter’s Legacy Volume 2 (2017)
Reprints Jupiter’s Legacy v2 #1-5
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Frank Quitely
Decompressed storytelling in comic books rose to prominence in the 1990s and basically ended the “done in one” style of narratives that had dominated the medium since its inception. The original idea was that you could pick up issues of Superman or Batman and get a complete story, only needing to know the basic concept of the characters. Decompression took those stories and broke them into multi-issue arcs much the same way serialized television popped up in the 2000s with a move away from procedurals.
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The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Written by Aline Brosh McKenna
Directed by David Frankel
There is a certain kind of movie made in the first decade of the 21st century that faded away. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but it is often derived from is referred to as “chick lit,” novels published for the demographic of women 18-40-ish. I believe everyone should read what they like, and there isn’t necessarily a line between “high art” and “low art,” you like what you like. I simply just don’t like this genre of literature or type of film. It doesn’t have the aesthetic qualities and thematic elements that appeal to me, but if you do enjoy these things, all the best to you. The Devil Wears Prada is one of these things.
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Written by Garret Shanely
Directed by Lorcan Finnegan
The concept behind Vivarium is deeply intriguing. A young couple (Imogen Poots & Jesse Eisenberg), just beginning their lives together, steps into a realty office just for a laugh. They are met by a strange realtor who is extremely aggressive in an alien polite way to get them to leave the office and visit Yonder, a picture-perfect suburb. His pitch for the house is peppered with questions about the couple’s current status and as time passes he loses the warmth once presented. Then the realtor is gone and the couple finds themselves unable to find the exit to return to their lives. They become trapped in Yonder. One morning a box appears outside the house. Inside is a baby and a message “Raise the child and be released”.
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The Hours (2002)
Written by David Hare
Directed by Stephen Daldry
A single day in the life of a human being can shake the foundations of the earth like an earthquake. The Hours takes place at three points in time following three women, each on a day that alters the course of their lives. Suicide is an element in each of their days, but not all attempts are successful; however, the suicides ripple through their world, much like that earthquake mentioned above. And always the interminable hours, time continues to tick by so slowly, making them feel each moment they endure life.
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Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access)
Season 1, Episode 10 – “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2”
Written by Michael Chabon & Akiva Goldsman
Directed by Akiva Goldsman
I really loved the idea of Star Trek: Picard. Bringing back the aged captain and seeing what he’s like now, how he relates to the galaxy around him. Of course, we knew going in that Picard would be surrounded by new faces, and I was a little apprehensive but still open to new characters. From looking at Discovery, it was clear that this new show would push the boundaries in terms of violence, language, and sex. That’s acceptable and could make the show more “realistic” in terms of human behaviors. Ultimately though, Picard never becomes the thing so many expected it to be. There are real moments of brilliance, but for the most part, it plays out predictably with characters taking actions and saying things you would expect them to, not much better than mediocre fan fiction.
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