Week of « Prev | Next »
Adam Sandler Wastes the Potential of "Pixels"
22 October 2015 1:36 PM, PDT
Writing off Adam Sandler movies as probable train wrecks before you even see them isn’t just a common practice, it’s also a wise one. For a star who seems to be fully entrenched in that phase of his career where he’ll sign on to any project as long as there’s a paycheck, Adam Sandler has shown he’s still capable of doing more than his usual underdog hero schtick, he just doesn’t want to. Films outside his comfort zone like Punch Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, and Funny People now happen with increasing rarity, and instead we’re now getting a non-stop parade of formulaic garbage like The Cobbler, Blended, Grown Ups, That’s My Boy, and so on. Pixels is now the latest atrocity on that list, and though it gets a couple laughs, the rest of the film is a wasteland of duds »
- Lex Walker
Nycc 2015: Cosplay Costume Highlights
22 October 2015 11:15 AM, PDT
Every year at New York Comic Con, cosplayers find a new way to up their game and open it up to new fandoms. Once a parade of Batmans, Iron Mans, Harley Quinns, and Black Widows, the crowd is now much less homogeneous.
Not that there is anything wrong with dressing up as Batman (and many people did), but this year, it was gratifying to see a wider variety of characters walking around the show floor. There were more women, more people of color, and more Lgbtq characters. For every Power Ranger or Spiderman, there was an Effie Trinket, a Kamala Khan, or Frank N. Furter.
Young fandoms, like Agent Carter, Rick and Morty, and Mad Max: Fury Road, were well-represented. Peggy Carter’s red fedora and Furiosa’s mechanical arm were everywhere, and it was nearly impossible to go anywhere without seeing a white lab coat and a shock of bright blue hair. »
- Rachel Kolb
"Empire" Feels Like a Mini-Series Stretched Into a Series
22 October 2015 11:00 AM, PDT
Empire caused quite a stir when it debuted on Fox as the more mature, hip-hop-centric, older sibling to Glee. It still had a lot of the melodrama that drew crowds to Glee, but it also boasted a far more mature outlook on the state of music in our modern age and it had Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson headlining its cast. Right from the start it had a lot of promise in its corner, and from there it managed to make the most of it in many ways, while still managing to underwhelm expectations in others by taking the easy way out on a number of plotpoints. As such, Empire truly was the spiritual successor to Glee: so much raw potential that the writing didn’t quite know how to handle it. That indecision makes the first season feel like a mini-series that got picked up for a second run, »
- Lex Walker
"Fresh Off the Boat" Disembarks Onto Shaky Ground
22 October 2015 10:05 AM, PDT
Family sitcoms have been around since the earliest days of television and will likely outlive us all, especially since they benefit from the post-mortem gift of syndication. Television has had roughly 60 years to fine tune the format with classics like I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Home Improvement, The Simpsons, and so forth, but even today contemporary entries are still finding ways to freshen the genre. One such improvement being an increase in the role of the kids and how much they contribute to the comedy, and not just with cutesie one-liners. Unfortunately, that’s where Fresh Off the Boat falls short in its comparison to other contemporary hits like Modern Family or The Goldbergs: the child actors (Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, and Ian Chen) just aren’t up to snuff and don’t have the comedic timing to really make the most of their material. By contrast, »
- Lex Walker