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Review: Ready or Not

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Yes Not Maybe So: Bombshell

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Entries in Mike White (5)

Thursday
Dec282017

Review: "Pitch Perfect 3" 

By Spencer Coile 

Pitch Perfect could not have arrived at a better time. Its release in 2012 was met with solid reviews and box office figures, but that was just the beginning for the fandom that would ensue. It told the story of the Barden Bellas, an all-female university a cappella group led by Anna Kendrick vying for the top spot at Nationals. Blending Top 40 hits and an underdog narrative was effective. Soon, you could not escape the presence of singing groups and acapella wordplay ("aca-scuse me?").

The arrival of Pitch Perfect 2 in 2015 proved that the Bellas were no fluke. The second film dipped in quality, but was a worthy successor. Now, in 2017, Pitch Perfect 3 is the (supposedly) final installment...

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Monday
Sep182017

The Furniture: Beatriz at Dinner in a Tacky Muted Mansion

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Beatriz at Dinner is a film of climaxes, moments of outrage that burst through the veneer of respectability cultivated by the rich and amoral. Beatriz (Salma Hayek), overwhelmed with disgust at a picture of Doug (John Lithgow) and the body of a recently-murdered rhinoceros, throws his phone at him and storms out. Laughing at her principles, he looks at his hosts and asks, “Does she get out much?”

This, of course, is a central irony of Miguel Arteta and Mike White’s tightly-wound send-up of American wealth. Doug is the CEO of Rife Worldwide, an internationally-reviled real estate firm. He’s a Trumpian nightmare of toxic masculinity and unbridled capitalism, breaking laws and displacing communities as a best business practice. And so when he asks this question, we are reminded that his life is spent constructing hideous monuments to tackiness that replicate a precise vision of high-end living no matter the context...

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Thursday
Sep142017

Review: Brad's Status

by Murtada

Brad’s Status, the new film from Mike White (the creator of Enlightened and the writer of Chuck And Buck) is about a forty-something man’s emotional crisis. That information made me giddy with anticipation. Could White have come up with the male version of Amy Jellicoe in Ben Stiller’s Brad Sloan? Are we in for an emotional ride with a polarizing but endearing character with rough but compulsively watchable qualities?

Alas, no. If you were expecting all that, I’d say go in with tempered expectations...

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Monday
Jul312017

Review: The Emoji Movie

By Sean Donovan

The internet has spent the past few days savagely ripping apart The Emoji Movie, the animated film about sentient emojis and the adventures they have within your smartphone. This is a film made specifically for children of the internet, who might gaze upon this Sony vertical integration monstrosity of app references and infomercials for about a minute before heading back to their own smartphones. It’s tough to review The Emoji Movie, because it’s tough to take its lack of creativity and basic construction seriously when such cynicism and apathy burns off the screen. It singes your eyebrows. No one cared about making this movie; I can’t imagine anyone coming up with a criticism the filmmakers would even protest. The Emoji Movie is the unadulterated heart of capitalism pumping out disinterested beats, an infomercial for WeChat here, a paid ad for CandyCrush there, Sony everywhere you look...

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Friday
Feb102017

Laura Dern Week: "Enlightened" (2011-2013)

Manuel here capping off Laura Dern Week on her 50th birthday.

Enlightened’s Amy Jellicoe is one of the most indelible television characters of the 21st century. And while that sounds like hyperbole, it may very well be an understatement. Pitched as a show “about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakthrough” (gotta love that wordplay) Mike White’s two-season wonder of a show was a quiet meditation on low-key Cali self-empowerment in the age of bitter cynicism. The HBO production was also a great performance showcase for co-creator Laura Dern who rightly won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Amy, a woman whom we first meet while having a full-on breakdown at work. And it’s a thing of beauty...

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