Posted in November 2015

TV Review: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 3.08, “Ava”

TV Review: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 3.08, “Ava”


“Watching the cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine come together either in the pursuit of shenanigans or the performance of their jobs is standard routine for the series. In Season Three, we’ve seen whole precinct skive off work in the midst of Holt and Jake’s annual prank war (“Halloween III”), and unite over Captain Dozerman’s passing (“The … Continue reading

Review: Very Semi-Serious, 2015, dir. Leah Wolchok

Review: Very Semi-Serious, 2015, dir. Leah Wolchok


“Documentarian Leah Wolchok’sVery Semi-Serious is a semi-okay movie. It isn’t good. But it isn’t bad. It also, amazingly, isn’t just simply “there.” The film has perspective and an idea of what it wants to say. It’s also quite entertaining for the first hour. But in painting her “partially thorough portrait of The New Yorkercartoonists,” Wolchok … Continue reading

Review: Mediterranea, 2015, dir. Jonas Carpignano

Review: Mediterranea, 2015, dir. Jonas Carpignano


“Occasionally, fate and movie release schedules collude with one another to drop a fresh title on audiences at exactly the right moment. That’s more or less the case with Mediterranea, the feature debut of short filmmaker Jonas Carpignano: Check his picture against the United States’ dialogue on immigration, and you may feel the unnerving sense … Continue reading

Review: Creed, 2015, dir. Ryan Coogler

Review: Creed, 2015, dir. Ryan Coogler


“There’s an alternate timeline in which Creed is a superfluous waste of nostalgia. In that universe, Warner Bros. gave the reins to a filmmaker other than Ryan Coogler, the young Oakland-born director who stunned viewers in 2013 with Fruitvale Station, a bio-drama about the death of Oscar Grant. Maybe Coogler is the last person anyone … Continue reading

Review: The 33, 2015, dir. Patricia Riggen

Review: The 33, 2015, dir. Patricia Riggen


“Patricia Riggen’s The 33 ends appropriately with a seaside reunion between its cast’s real-life counterparts: The cadre of Chilean miners who lived buried beneath a mountain for 69 days in the 2010 Copiapó mining calamity. One by one, Riggen introduces her audience to these men in a beautifully lit scene that pays homage to the … Continue reading

Set Visit Report: The Finest Hours

Set Visit Report: The Finest Hours


“If you’ve never hunkered down in your den, hot cocoa in hand, ready to wait out the gusting winds and extensive precipitation that come packaged in a nor’easter, then count yourself lucky. A nor’easter storm is no joke, even if you’re at home with all the necessary accoutrements to get through its duration in one … Continue reading

Review: Entertainment, 2015, dir. Rick Alverson

Review: Entertainment, 2015, dir. Rick Alverson


“Rick Alverson’s Entertainment is best described as a case of willfully false advertising. “Entertainment,” to Alverson, is an invocation of abject human misery rather than a promise of amusement and delight. His film offers neither pleasure nor diversion—instead, it spiritually brutalizes its viewers with a portrait of one comedian’s professional struggles on a road trip … Continue reading

TV Review: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 3.06, “Into the Woods”

TV Review: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 3.06, “Into the Woods”


“Like many sitcoms, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s chief traits are the relationships between its characters. Whether it’s Boyle’s unfaltering loyalty to Jake, Jake’s odd couple professional bond with Holt, Holt’s mentor-mentee rapport with Amy, or Amy’s socially imbalanced encounters with everybody in the office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine best thrives when the writing creates a space where these characters … Continue reading

TV Review: Ash vs. Evil Dead, 1.02, “Bait”

TV Review: Ash vs. Evil Dead, 1.02, “Bait”


“After last week’s high-octane masterclass in zombie butt-kicking, Ash vs. Evil Dead has decided to slow down the pace a bit with its second episode. But don’t mistake “Bait” as a sign of post-pilot slumping: the show remains top notch even as it takes a necessary detour on the road to sending the Deadites back … Continue reading

Interview: Travis Beacham, Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift

Interview: Travis Beacham, Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift


“For a writer best known for penning large scale stories, Travis Beacham’s enthusiasm for small stakes comes as something of a surprise. 2010’s Clash of the Titans, which Beacham wrote an early draft for, threw the balance of power among Greek gods into turmoil; more notably, 2013’s Pacific Rim, which Beacham co-wrote with Guillermo del Toro, put the very survival of humanity … Continue reading

Review: The Hallow, 2015, dir. Corin Hardy

Review: The Hallow, 2015, dir. Corin Hardy


“If you’re the type of person who avoids setting foot in a forest, you’ll probably feel validated byThe Hallow, the debut from Irish filmmaker Corin Hardy. This is a horror film that treats the natural world as a source of mortal danger. Here there be monsters, yet Hardy’s macabre aesthetic lends even an undisturbed bosk … Continue reading