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Posted inFilm/TV

Christian show ‘The Chosen’ vandalizes its own billboards to generate buzz

Reading Time: 4 minutes In an attempt to portray themselves as better than other forms of faith-based media, the producers of a new Christian TV show engaged in the most stereotypically evangelical scheme ever: They depicted themselves as victims of persecution when no such thing was actually happening. The show is The Chosen, which generated plenty of (earned) media […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Review: Oscar hopeful ‘Belfast’ offers a wistful look at a grim period

Reading Time: 2 minutes There’s this incredible moment in Conor McPherson’s low-key horror flick The Eclipse that finds Ciarán Hinds’s melancholic widower driving alone at night, lost in thought, when he’s suddenly visited by the not-yet ghost of his dying father-in-law sitting in the front passenger seat, the soundtrack’s chorus segueing from soothing to bloodcurdling, causing a startled Hinds […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Review: Woody Allen’s ‘Rifkin’s Festival’ is a depressing exercise in nostalgia

Reading Time: 2 minutes Woody Allen’s latest film Rifkin’s Festival would have completely escaped my notice were it not for Will Sloan’s gleeful description of official Rifkin’s Festival tie-in NFTs (non-fungible token) on the Michael and Us podcast. The film, about the existential/marital crisis of a retired Film Studies professor, is among the unlikeliest candidates imaginable for blockchain gimmickry. […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Review: ‘They Say Nothing Stays the Same’ adrift on the small screen

Reading Time: 2 minutes For decades, theatrical exhibition has been synonymous with tent-pole event movies, with smaller films typically relegated to the home video/streaming sphere. But my viewing of They Say Nothing Stays the Same (hereafter They Say) would have dramatically benefited from a theatrical screening, not so I might better soak in its impressionist panoramas (lovely as they […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Review: ‘Ema’ takes a cinematic flamethrower to the status quo

Reading Time: 2 minutes Martin Scorsese recently published an editorial in the Los Angeles Times urging readers to go watch Guillermo del Toro’s stylish Nightmare Alley (currently in theaters, including a black and white version; available on Hulu and HBO Max starting February 1). I was lukewarm on it but nonetheless saddened by its underwhelming box office against that […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Review: ‘The Mitchells vs. the Machines’ brings meme culture to mainstream

Reading Time: 3 minutes Sony Pictures Animation is quickly becoming a dark horse favorite in the typically risk-averse realm of mainstream American animation. Lacking the pedigree of Disney/Pixar and overwhelming magnitude of Katzenbergian stunt casting at DreamWorks Animation, Sony has nonetheless housed talented weirdos like comedy duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), formalist […]

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