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AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Movie Review (So Many Spoilers)

Avengers AGe of Ultron Team

It’s not easy making something that’s fun. You know this fact too well if you’ve ever planned a party or set up a Slip ‘N Slide or procreated a party clown. Although movies that are referred to as “mere entertainment” are looked down upon by those whose noses are turned up so high that they enter a room Adam’s Apple first, it is almost as difficult to make something that feels effortless and carefree as it is to craft that homeless amputee drama you’ve been writing. Read more…

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“The Gross, Pukey Green Wedding,” GAME OF THRONES Season 4 Episode 2 Review- ‘The Lion and the Rose’

game of thrones season 4 episode 2 the lion and the rose joffrey margaery

This review is littered with spoilers that the Internet will probably have ruined for you by the time you eat breakfast on Monday morning. It is also written from the point of view of someone who has not read the books. If you have any spoilers you would like to share, don’t.

There’s a lot to talk about tonight, but all anybody is going to be discussing tomorrow is Joffrey. As he shuffled off this mortal stick up his ass and made his way to the Great Midget Fight in the Sky, I could almost hear the echoing calls of millions of Game of Thrones fans elating into the night. It might just be the single biggest cause for celebration since V-J Day.

But “The Lion and the Rose” was so stuffed with really good stuff that it’d be a shame for this review to only comment on Joffrey’s always-inevitable but much-fantasized downfall. Hell, that’s half the reason why I divide these reviews into sections, so that I can give every aspect of the show its due. That should prove particularly tricky tonight, as the vast majority of the episode takes place at the wedding reception of Joffrey, of House Baratheon and House Lannister, and Margaery Tyrell, of House Tyrell (which raises more than a couple questions about her lineage, but I’ve sort of just stopped asking questions about bloodlines as far as royalty is concerned, real or fictional). To keep things interesting (and short winded), I’m going to subdivide the events at King’s Landing tonight into a few different, smaller sections, and, by the end of this review, announce this week’s winner. But first… Read more…

“The Red Honeymoon,” GAME OF THRONES Season 4 Episode 1 Review- ‘Two Swords’

Game of Thrones Two Swords Daenerys Dragon

This review is rife with White Walking Spoilers, slowly, slooooooowly shambling toward you. Also, this is written from the point of view of someone who has not read the books, so please refrain from both spoiling future events/ telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about because I bet there’s at least one book out there that you haven’t read and I can rub my intimate knowledge of Pride and Prejudice right in your face.

Aaaaaaaaaaand we’re back!

As I’m sure your Facebook has made you aware, Game of Thrones is back for Season 4, which is actually the second half of Book Three, which is why last season ended with what felt more like a scene where Harry Potter breaks his arm playing Quidditch and less like a scene where he lucks into stopping Voldemort. The show has some mighty big shoes to fill, namely its own, as last season’s Red Wedding took the Internet by storm (the Internet apparently having never watched television before).

Obviously, nothing that happened in tonight’s premiere was going to match the severity of last season’s big Stark-slaying. This wasn’t only the first episode of a season of a television, but the first episode of a season of Game of Thrones, a show based off of books, a medium famous for taking a long time to do things. Read more…

“Shut Up, Peeta”- THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Spoiler Review

Catching Fire Katniss Peeta Effie

The Hunger Games is an international phenomenon but if you somehow haven’t read Catching Fire, then you should know that spoilers lurk past this point, so dust off your daughter’s copy of the book and give it a read before scanning below.

Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games book series has permeated the international consciousness, which is weird because it is both good and actually about something. Careful study of culture and Facebook statuses tells us that the books that transcend language and are read by tweens and warlords alike are either light, simple, and fluffy (Harry Potter) or boring, boring, and fluffy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). The Hunger Games, for all of its leaning on a storytelling structure based on a love triangle, is about revolution, and the overthrow of a government. It is strange that these books are predominantly popular amongst twelve-year-olds, who generally like to think that their government is pretty all right and focus more on the important things, like the next big thing in bra-stuffing technology.

I have read the first two Hunger Games books, after growing weary of answering the question “Where are you from and why haven’t you read The Hunger Games?” with, “From under a rock, why? What are the Hunger Games? Wait—where are you going?”

The first Hunger Games book is a solid adventure and was interesting enough for the second installment to earn a reading. I remember absolutely loving Catching Fire, and don’t really remember much else about it really. Going into this flick was like reading the cliffs notes version of a book I probably enjoyed, if memory serves, which it doesn’t. Most of the good bits are still intact, with only one or two glaring omissions that I could find. There are probably more things missing, but I don’t have time to reread Catching Fire. Too busy rereading those Harry Potter books with the sweet new covers.

But this review isn’t of a book. It is of a movie. And since adaptations have to be more than just a Great Illustrated Classics version of the book, it must be judged on its own merits. So, let’s talk merit. . . Read more…

“Lots of Skinny People Coughing Up Blood”- THE DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB Movie Review

Dallas Buyers Club

In his recent tirade of giving really good performances in really good movies and thus making me regret all those effigies I once made, Matthew McConaughey turns in another hell of a performance in Dallas Buyer’s Club. Read more…

“Don’t You Dare Compare This To Django”- 12 YEARS A SLAVE Movie Review

12 years a slave michael fassbender chewitel ejiofor

12 Years a Slave is a film that only gets better and better as it goes along. What starts off as a slow, heavy-handed depiction of slavery by Paul Giamatti turns steadily into a breath-taking and terrifying depiction of slavery by Michael Fassbender. Gradually, Steve McQueen the filmmaker we loved from Hunger and Shame for his ability to photograph Michael Fassbender starving/ having lots of sex (respectively) winds his way into the true life story of Solomon Northrop (Chewitel Ejiofor), a free and educated black family man from New York who is sold into slavery by a pair of real jerks. One of whom was imported from Saturday Night Live. McQueen shoots the latter, better half of the film in his characteristic long takes, letting the actors unfold as they feel they should, going on until you think there is no way they could possibly keep going and then going on a little longer still. It’s enough to make a film student’s heart flutter. Read more…

“Lilys Be Trippin'”- How I Met Your Mother Season 9 Episode 4 Review- ‘The Broken Code’

himym season 9 episode 4 the broken code ted barney

We pick up right where we left off this week after the cliffhanger from last week’s episode that I never got around to reviewing (In a nut shell: Solid Ted and Lily story, funny runner with Barney and Robin dodging old people, Marshall needs to get to this goddamn wedding right now).

At first, I was very worried that they were going to do a total cop out of last week’s meaty moment when Barney quickly dismissed Ted, but then it took over the episode and my concerns were assuaged. And replaced them with further concerns. Read more…

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 16 Series Finale Review- ‘Felina’

Breaking Bad Felina

Super mega double spoilers.

There’s not much to say about this one. Not that it was bad. At all. Quite the opposite, incidentally. It’s just that there’s not much to discuss.

There are no meaty bits of story to chew on here, and no fun preponderances as to what might happen later. Unlike Lost or The Sopranos, this is a definitive, fall over, smack down finale. I have no further questions.

It was the weirdest choice in the world to take the character of Walter White, the terrible, awful, wretched man who poisoned a child and watched a woman die, and make us feel for him again. I could never have seen that coming. And it worked. Goddammit, it worked. When he was stripped of everything and made his last ploy to set the record straight, I was back on Walter White’s side again, which is something I’m going to have to war over with myself for a while as to whether the show really earned it. Read more…

How I Met Your Mother Season Nine Episode 1 & 2 Premiere Review- ‘The Locket’ and ‘Coming Back’

How I Met Your Mother Season 9 Episode 2 Coming Back James Barney Robin Neil Patrick Harris Wayne Brady

How I Met Your Mother has always been great televised comfort food. From its first four seasons where it was reliably stellar and inventive television on the barren CBS wasteland, to the back half of its lifespan where it has been less reliable but continues to turn out one or two episodes a season that really surprise in the still barren CBS wasteland, HIMYM has always been there to feel like the entertainment equivalent of eating chocolate ice cream straight out of the bucket. Featuring some great romances, clever time manipulation, and an endlessly enjoyable comedic team, the drunk thirtysomethings of MacLaren’s have been nothing if not a consistent way to spend a Monday night for the last eight years.

To put that into the proper frame of mind: I was twelve when this show first aired. Lord. Almost half of my life has been spent with Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin, and Barney. It’s the first show I ever truly fell in love with, and probably the one I’ve done full rewatches of more than any other. It really is the perfect show to put on after you get off a ten hour Christmas shift at McDonald’s.

I suppose that’s why this drastic shift in narrative form for the final season gives me a bit of pause. Read more…

The Way Way Back Review- “Everybody’s Just So… Sad”

the way way back steve carell sam rockwell

This review is presented free of spoilers. Except for my tears. Those are fairly well-documented.

“My mom doesn’t smoke pot…”

So is the plight of young Duncan (a terrific Liam James), a boy in the throes of that awkward time in his adolescence, as he contends with his mom’s new boyfriend and just being sad all the time. It doesn’t help that his stepdad (Steve Carell) is an absolute dick, and Duncan’s mom only seems to want to hang out with him, leaving poor Duncan on his own, lonely and singing REO Speedwagon ‘till his heart’s content. Problem is, Duncan’s heart gets content pretty fast, so he finds his way to a local water park called Water Wizz and starts working there, under the watchful eyes of a bunch of really funny people you didn’t know you secretly wished would run a water park together. Read more…

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