Aziz Ansari-Right Now

            With the release of Right Now, the largest comeback attempt yet of the #MeToo moment has been enacted.  Yes, Louis CK has popped up at comedy festivals, and Kevin Spacey releases weird videos into the internet’s void, but Aziz Ansari’s new special is a Netflix-cosigned release where Ansari is trying to rediscover himself in a post-Babe.net world.  The previously larger-than-life comic’s return to the stage with a candid, casual, and most importantly thoughtful special that is second most importantly, his best.

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Swallow (dir. Carlo Mirabella-Davis)

Comparisons will be drawn between Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ Swallow and the films of Yorgos Lanthimos and Todd Solondz, with its showcasing of the most grotesque and depraved parts of humanity using very clean-cut, sanitized and symmetrical imagery. But apart from some absurd and darkly comic dialogue, at no point does this film become untethered from reality, and perhaps that is what makes the viewing experience of Swallow so stressful. Lanthimos and Solondz might push the limits of horror, absurdity, and magical realism for the sake of satire, but Mirabella-Davis tip toes right up against the line. Exaggerated, sure, but never unbelievable. Continue reading

Andre the Giant (dir. Jason Hehir)

My knowledge of pro-wrestling for the most part starts and ends with the Mountain Goats’ 2015 album Beat the Champ[i].  Prior to that album, it seemed like big guys performing a high energy stage show for an audience of drunk idiots.  What John Darnielle does so well is showing that limited and first impressions are very often wrong.  Beat the Champ is an album that really humanizes so many different aspects of wrestling: the matches, the fans, and the wrestlers.  Like the Mountain Goats album, Andre the Giant was a similar experience.  It educated me on something I thought would just be a weird anomaly.  HBO’s Andre the Giant sheds light on the mythic Andre Roussimoff that is engaging for both fans and casual viewers. Continue reading

Thoroughbreds (dir. Cory Finley)

Thoroughbreds is only a mildly exaggerated representation of the elite of suburban Connecticut, or Westchester, New York. Greenwich is filled with beautiful yoga moms and their children dressed in matching blazers, designer-bred show dogs and cars worth more than your house. This is an expose of the young and privileged, who both comfortably occupy the bubble they’ve grown up in and desperately long for freedom from it. They’ve grown up financially secure but emotionally neglected. Privilege is a necessity and empathy is a weakness. Continue reading

A Negative Review of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (dir. Martin McDonagh)

It didn’t have to be this way. In the hands of a better director or a better screenwriter, this could have been a really poignant story about grief and redemption. Instead it’s a melodramatic, sloppy, grim and empty husk of a movie with absolutely no idea what its thesis statement was. This has the stench of an Oscar-bait movie written on a time constraint, with some of the most awkwardly stilted dialogue, the most contrived coincidences and one of the most abrupt endings of 2017.

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Kendrick Lamar (& Various Artists)-The Black Panther (Music from and Inspired by the Film)

Prepare for the Black Panther to be your new favorite Avenger.  Not only is the film opening to rave reviews, the excellent Ta-Nehisi Coates now writes the comics, and we’ve been granted worthy enough to receive this incredible soundtrack curated by Kendrick Lamar, featuring a who’s who of hip hop.  Kendrick is the reigning king of rap, and his production and choices have made this the most fun rap album to come in a long time. Continue reading

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction-Barack Obama

David Letterman takes the stage of the Amsterdam Campus of the City College of New York in My Next Guest Needs No Introduction looking more biblical than his CBS days.  Letterman comfortably sits opposite President Barack Obama. In a format more intimate than Late Night, Letterman seems at ease in this new role. Still, some things feel familiar from his light comedic tone to bringing on Paul Shaffer as the composer of this series. Continue reading