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

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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.

Spoilers:
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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

Fred Armisen-Standup For Drummers

Fred Armisen’s Standup For Drummers is the personification of your hometown “DRUMMERS IN THE [Area code]” without all the ads for local gigs or bands in need of a gig.  Armisen isn’t particularly funny; it seems like his only knowledge of standup comedy comes from movies and TV.  He isn’t really interesting or funny.  It’s full of in-jokes that can’t really provoke laughter.  The boneheaded drummer who’s unintentionally funny is one of the easiest tropes, but Fred Armisen is the hyper intelligent who can’t come up with a decent joke. Continue reading