Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has said on multiple occasions that his upcoming entry to the Marvel cinematic universe was inspired by one of my all-time favorite movies, Big Trouble in Little China.
Now I’ve done it. I went and accidentally watched the whole three-hour extended cut of Batman Versus Superman, the stupid title I won’t write out. In case anyone cares, I liked it better than Civil War, though both movies had the consistency of tapioca — pure mush, pure cinematic gibberish.
Mild SPOILERS ahead for BvS, and the Netflix series Stranger Things.
To close out April Fool's Week 2015, CC2K's Tony Lazlo does some makeup homework, covering two versions of Romeo & Juliet, two versions of Henry V, all while finding time to revisit Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet and Julie Taymor's Titus. Enjoy!
Inherent Vice didn’t electrify me the way most of Paul Thomas Anderson’s other movies do, but I still dig it, because it’s a movie that’s meant to be dug. It’s a sidewinding, meandering goof of a noir; like Raymond Chandler had lived long enough to write about the late-60s death of hippie counterculture … or if Thomas Pynchon had decided to write about it himself. And while it pains me to start this review on a pair of off-notes, I’ll say that even though Vice showcases Anderson’s utterly unsurprising knack for literary adaptation, watching the gifted director cram his style into the episodic, blocky confines of a detective yarn — even one as good as this — feels unnatural, like watching Shaquille O’Neal try to fit into a Mini Cooper. In essence, Inherent Vice is Paul Thomas Anderson’s Jackie Brown; a rock-solid literary adaptation that calls a great deal of his skill set into use, but which still doesn’t quite feel like one of the director’s signature projects.
It's easy to get suckered in by a sad story. Tamara Jenkins' The Savages, though well-crafted and impeccably acted, suffers from a reliance on cliché that is woven so deeply into the script that it's easy to overlook.
It’s time to talk about Black Mirror. Charlie Booker’s remarkable and disturbing—remarkably disturbing?—new show just dropped its third season on Netflix, and as with its first two outings, the reaction from across the critical spectrum is about the same: this show is messed up, but it’s one of the greatest shows of all time. But there are some dissenting voices…
In competing narrative voices (mostly first with a dash of third), author Mayer ably explores the turbulent headspace of Quinn, a teenager with a condition known as congenital analgesia—he can't feel pain.
John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a southern-gothic masterpiece that borders ever so slightly on gonzo journalism—though it falls short of passing into that bizarro realm. Reading it spurred me to contemplate the border between the two major realms of nonfiction writing; the DMZ between the ordered lands of subject-first traditional journalism and the wild…
Fanbase Press has one of the great unheralded stories of the comic-book publishing world. Run by Los Angeles-based husband-and-wife team Bryant and Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press has been putting out top-notch content for the past several years. The company’s first two titles, Identity Thief and Something Animal, were both painterly explorations of dark psychosis. Since those releases, they’ve steadfastly sought…
One of the myriad pleasures of the classic TV series Twin Peaks is sensing the artistic tug-of-war between showrunners David Lynch and Mark Frost. By now it’s received wisdom that Frost—an alum of more traditional story-driven shows like Hill Street Blues—was a necessary correction for Lynch, the dreamy abstractionist.