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This Christmas, Why Not Get Happy with Grant Morrison?

8 December 2013 9:37 AM, PST

Happy #1-#4

Writer: Grant Morrison

Artist: Darick Robertson

Colorist: Richard P Clark

Publisher: Image Comics

Christmas is a magical time. It’s a time when people come together, put aside their differences and truly, live for the moment. Sure, there are some pessimists who say that the spirit of the holidays has been perverted by the corporate conglomerates who are trying to bleed every last penny from the general populace, but to them I say ,“Bah humbug”.

The holidays are what you make it. If you want to get all pissy because someone wants to sing a Christmas carol and bake you cookies, thats your prerogative. Me and mine? We’re gonna eat those cookies dammit, and we’re going to watch the heck out of Die Hard. Why? Because it’s Christmas. I mean, it could be worse. You could be a drugged up in a hospital bed, hallucinating a blue horse with wings. »

- Sean Tonelli

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‘Diamond on Vinyl’ offers a distant and lonely look at how the socially inept live

8 December 2013 8:34 AM, PST

Diamond on Vinyl

Directed by J.R. Hughto

USA, 2013

When Beth (Nina Millin) discovers that her fiancé Henry (Brian McGuire) has been secretly recording themselves having sex, and more disputably, rehearsing his marriage proposal, she storms out of their celebratory hotel room and emotionally stays dominant in her car at a nearby parking lot. When a mysterious passerby named Charlie (Sonja Kinski, granddaughter of Klaus Kinski) takes interest in her ordeal, a seemingly romantic triangle emerges testing the plight of the couple’s meaning of love.

Beth takes a friendly liking to Charlie, possibly because of how distraught she is, and asks Charlie to return her key to the hotel front desk. Charlie’s curiosity leads her to their hotel room, introducing herself to Henry. After a brief confrontation, Henry and Charlie agree to meet up again for private recordings. As platonic and romantic intentions compete with one another, the film »

- Christopher Clemente

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Sunday Shorts: ‘Archangel’, starring Adam Driver

8 December 2013 8:30 AM, PST

Today’s film is the 2010 short Archangel. The film is directed by James Lawler, who co-wrote it with Dan Selz, and stars Karolina Babczynska and Adam Driver. Despite a relatively short acting career, Driver has already managed to leave an impression, with roles in movies such as You Don’t Know Jack, J. Edgar, Lincoln, and Frances Ha, alongside his best-known work on the tv show Girls. His newest film, titled Inside Llewyn Davis, opened in limited release in American theatres this weekend.

****

The post Sunday Shorts: ‘Archangel’, starring Adam Driver appeared first on Sound On Sight.

»

- Deepayan Sengupta

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‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ ranks among the Coen Brothers’ best work

7 December 2013 10:11 PM, PST

Inside Llewyn Davis

Written and directed by Joel & Ethan Coen

USA, 2013

The folk music scene in New York City in the 1960s produced a legend in Bob Dylan, but he wasn’t first. It had been a fad for some time before him, enough that record labels and radio stations had already taken note. It’s entirely possible that there was a Dylan before Dylan, a great talent who didn’t find his opportunity or his audience. The Coen Brothers’ new film Inside Llewyn Davis posits the existence of such a man, and he may well be the most interesting character they’ve ever created.

Oscar Issac plays Llewyn Davis, who is bouncing from friend’s couch to friend’s couch while singing for practically nothing in local coffee shops and collecting no royalties on his records from his agent. He’s in the shadow of a much more commercial »

- Mark Young

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Nikita, Ep 4.03: “Set-Up” explores Birkhoff’s personal history

7 December 2013 8:41 PM, PST

Noah Bean

Nikita, Season 4, Episode 03: “Set-Up”

Written by Carlos Coto

Directed by Marc David Alpert

Airs Fridays at 9pm (Et) on the CW

With the death of a key doppelganger mole last week, Nikita and the ex-Division crew fired a shot at The Shop that, while not crippling their plans, was nonetheless too strong to ignore. However, Alex’s arrest, coupled with Amanda’s assertion that The Shop had another ace up their sleeve, did not bode well for the team. This week explores the connection The Shop has drawn between Alex and Nikita while exploring Birkhoff’s backstory, in another fast-paced episode that once again manages to leave the end in a way that leaves the possible course for the season wide open.

The idea of Alex Udinov as a CIA fugitive is an intriguing one. While Alex herself is no stranger to being on the run, since her public return to Zetrov, »

- Deepayan Sengupta

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Grimm, Ep. 3.06, “Stories We Tell Our Young” highlights series’ strong characterization, relationships

7 December 2013 7:51 PM, PST

Grimm, Season 3, Episode 6, “Stories We Tell Our Young”

Written by Michael Duggan

Directed by Aaron Lipstadt

Airs Fridays at 9pm Est on NBC

This week, on Grimm: Capt. Renard goes to visit family, Rosalee calls the Council, and Nick learns how to spell eukaryotic

After last week’s delightfully straightforward fallout to the email from Nick’s mom, “Stories We Tell Our Young” gives viewers another episode that refreshingly bucks procedural conventions. When Nick and Hank look to be dealing with the closest thing the Wesen world has to demon possession, the answer to the bizarre phenomena they witness is unsurprisingly found in science, thanks to Juliette. Rather than Star Trek the explanation though, writer Michael Duggan adds complexity, starting with the basics and layering on scientific specifics. We don’t get a load of technobabble from Juliette which is then pared down so the simple folk can understand, »

- Kate Kulzick

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‘Six Assassins’ is a simple story treated with care and an artistic vision

7 December 2013 12:00 PM, PST

Six Assassins

Written and directed by Jeng Cheong-Woh

Hong Kong, 1971

Not all is well during the time of the Tang dynasty. The emperor’s cold-hearted brother, Lord Zheng Gui Li (Yun Il-Bong), spends his time visiting various fiefdoms and smaller such lands with the intent of bribing its tenants for food and money. In the event of resistance, occupants are immediately slain without mercy. Arriving at the domain of Lord Ding Yuan (Chen Feng-Chen) proves fateful. The latter calmly, diplomatically refuses to cough up provisions, resulting in his execution to which his followers take much offense. Minister Cui Yin (Shum Lo), equally obfuscated by the killing and an upcoming royal edict that is to exempt Zheng from punishment, concocts a plan with one skilled warrior, Mu Jun-Jie (Ling Yun) and five other novice fighters (among them the delightful Lily Li Li-Li, who sadly does not end up doing very much »

- Edgar Chaput

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Dracula, Ep. 1.06, “Of Monsters and Men”: Burn

7 December 2013 10:26 AM, PST

Dracula, Season 1, Episode 6, “Of Monsters and Men

Written by Katie Lovejoy

Directed by Nick Murphy

Airs Fridays at 10pm (Et) on NBC

Dracula has to be the most up and down show on TV. One episode is good, one is bad, and one simply inspires indifference. That’s a shame too because the things that Dracula does do well, it does really well.

The show was never going to be groundbreaking but it is simple, sometimes intriguing, and a lot of sexy fun. Except when it’s not; when it’s not focusing on Grayson (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Van Helsing’s (Thomas Kretschmann) search for a cure or Grayson and Mina’s (Jessica De Gouw) love, that’s where the problems arise.

Thankfully, “Of Monsters and Men” hones in directly on Grayson’s inability to walk in the light and what the audience gets is great. The episode is »

- Tressa

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Saturday Shorts: ‘The Smile Man’, starring Willem Dafoe

7 December 2013 10:18 AM, PST

Today’s film is the 2013 short The Smile Man. The film is written and directed by Anton Lanshakov. The film stars David St. James, Camille Guaty, and Willem Dafoe. Dafoe has been in the acting industry for over 30 years, appearing in movies such as Platoon, The Last Temptation of Christ, Mississippi Burning, The English Patient, American Psycho, and Spider-Man, among many notable roles. His newest feature, titled Out of the Furnace, opens in wide release in American theatres this weekend.

****

The post Saturday Shorts: ‘The Smile Man’, starring Willem Dafoe appeared first on Sound On Sight. »

- Deepayan Sengupta

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The 2013 “Hey You Geeks!!” Holiday Shopping Guide

7 December 2013 4:12 AM, PST

What do you get the Wookie who has everything? Yes, it’s that time of year again; time to figure out what to give those passionate geeks in your life for the holidays. Whether they believe in the jolly, white-bearded Santa, the white-bearded wisdom of Obi-Wan or believe that the rotund, white-bearded George R.R. Martin will actually finish The Winds of Winter, the film, comics, TV and gaming geeks in your life deserve to know you care. This year, Hey You Geeks is covering all levels of geekdom with a 2013 gift guide which includes something for everyone.

Blu-rays and DVD’s

Always a good place to start is with the new Blu-ray and DVD collections conveniently released around this time each year. This year’s big movies like Man Of Steel or Pacific Rim make obviously great choices on Blu-ray, but here are four of 2013’s newest collections offering more unique, »

- Tony Nunes

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Mousterpiece Cinema, Episode 121: ‘Frozen’

7 December 2013 2:00 AM, PST

Ok, we know that we kept you waiting for an extra week, but finally, it’s time for Mousterpiece Cinema to get cold. In fact, we’re so cold, we’re…wait for it…Frozen! Yes, this week, Josh and Gabe take a look at Walt Disney Animation Studios’ newest film, a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, and more, and music from the composers of The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q. With such high expectations and hopes, were Josh and Gabe thrilled with this frigid fairy tale? And what about their guest, returning favorite Corey Atad? Did this tale of sisterly love work magic on the trio? And what of the attached Mickey Mouse short, Get a Horse!? One of these stories inspired Gabe to say he wanted to vomit–no joke. The only way »

- Josh Spiegel

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The Vampire Diaries, Ep 5.09: “The Cell” reveals more of Damon’s personal history

6 December 2013 10:07 PM, PST

Michael Malarkey, Ian Somerhalder

The Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 9: “The Cell”

Written by Melinda Hsu Taylor

Directed by Chris Grismer

Airs Thursdays at 8pm (Et) on The CW

The unexpected reveal of Damon’s past history with Augustine last week, alongside the exposure of Jesse to the campus at large, added intrigue and a personal investment to the previously low-stakes story. While previous allusions to the Augustine vampire had been ambiguous with regards to whether they were a part of the team or a captive, Damon’s recognition of the number proved that Jesse was not the first vampire the group had experimented on without their consent. This week’s episode focuses on Damon’s time in captivity with Augustine, in an entertaining episode that reveals more about both the secret society and the vampire himself.

Seeing Damon’s history with Augustine is a great way to expand on »

- Deepayan Sengupta

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Elementary, Ep. 2.10: “Tremors” – Welcome to the Greys

6 December 2013 7:11 PM, PST

Elementary, Season 2: Episode 10 – “Tremors

Written by Liz Friedman

Directed be Aaron Lipstadt

Airs Thursday nights at 10 on CBS

Continuing with the previous Elementary episode’s concerns of challenging Sherlock and Joan’s methods of catching bad guys, “Tremors” raises the philosophical and emotional stakes much higher by having Detective Bell get caught in the crossfire. As stated in the script, it isn’t a direct cause of Sherlock’s almost immature ways of handling his suspects and decisions, but Sherlock and every other person close to the situation knows that Bell getting shot with the possibility of permanently losing function in his arm wouldn’t have happened if Sherlock had been more careful or at least less carefree (in the sense that he does not anticipate the repercussions to his callousness and arrogance). Sherlock, though, doesn’t do things by the book by design. He and Joan exist in the grey areas, »

- Sean Colletti

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Glee, Ep. 5.08, “Previously Unaired Christmas” should have remained unaired

6 December 2013 3:49 PM, PST

Glee, Season 5, Episode 8, “Previously Unaired Christmas”

Written by Ross Maxwell

Directed by Wendey Stanzler

Airs Thursday 9pm Et on Fox

Glee‘s “Previously Unaired Christmas” should have stayed hidden in the archives. Overly contrived and without the show’s typical well-done music numbers to keep it afloat, this episode should never have seen the light of day. Between the hamster posing as a vole, Sam and Unique’s obviously current hair, and Sue being nice, this episode keeps us laughing at the characters, instead of with them.

First let us address “Mary’s Boy Child”, Jamaican style, with tear-away fur coats and sparkly white leotards (except for Unique, who looks like a drag queen posing as a sailor). Why? My first question is, who thought that was a good idea to begin with? That person then had to convince a room full of other writers and producers that it was »

- Rachel Brandt

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Almost Human, Ep. 1.04, “The Bends” works as a whole but moves in an unfortunate direction

6 December 2013 3:48 PM, PST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost Human, Season 1, Episode 4: “The Bends”

Written by Daniel Grindlinger

Directed by Kenneth Fink

Airs Mondays at 8 P.M. Et on Fox

“If you approach your work with reverence and pour your very soul into it, it starts to get a life of its own.”

In one of the best moments from this week’s episode, Mackenzie Crook’s Rudy Lom gains the trust of a drug-dealing dirty cop with an insightful, self-empowering speech detailing a philosophy that the writers seem to be making a conscious effort to learn from.

Seeing Rudy work undercover is a treat since Mackenzie Crook has a reason to stick around for longer than a minute and take on some material that shows off his ability to play unsure and awkward. Rudy is a fun and quirky character to feature, and his presence here doesn’t go to waste. Supported by some spot-on scoring, »

- Amanda Williams

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Scandal, Ep. 3.09, “Yolo” delivers a nonstop stream of tense, jaw-dropping moments

6 December 2013 2:56 PM, PST

Scandal, Season 3, Episode 9, “Yolo”

Written by Chris Van Dusen

Directed by Oliver Bokelberg

Airs Thursdays at 10pm Est on ABC

On this week’s Scandal, Mama Pope’s escape from Rowan ignites a war between B613 and Pope & Associates, Huck tortures Quinn, and Cyrus’s marriage begins to implode.

Let’s be honest here, Scandal‘s never delivered a bad finale, midseason or otherwise. The show’s regular episodes generally pack the number of shocking storylines others save for their finales, so it’s always exciting to see what Scandal whips out for finale season. And oh, does “Yolo” deliver (and it’s only part one of a two-part finale!)

First, opening the episode with Huck torturing Quinn is sheer brilliance. The scene is everything Scandal does best–namely, tense and horrific character drama. No music accompanies the scene–just Quinn’s heavy, panicked breathing–heightening the tension to an unbearably traumatizing level. »

- Ashley Laggan

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Hawkeye #6 is a Wonderful Slice of Life Comic

6 December 2013 2:36 PM, PST

Hawkeye #6

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: David Aja

Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run on Hawkeye has been critically acclaimed winning two Eisner Awards for Aja’s art. It also has gained a cult following of fans for whom “bro”, “Hawkguy”, and “Pizza Dog” have become part of their personal vernacular. Sometimes Hawkeye can be too cutesy for its own good and focus on its protagonist’s ineptitude at the expense of storytelling. However, Hawkeye #6 represents the series at its finest. Matt Fraction’s dialogue is sharp and occasionally hilarious, and he delves into Clint Barton’s inner demons and interpersonal relationships without getting too melodramatic. Aja’s collage-style art fits Fraction’s writing because it juxtaposes Clint’s facial expressions, body language, and reactions to the people and objects around him. The many fragmented panels he uses to tell the story fit the »

- Logan Dalton

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‘The Narrow Margin’ expands the confines of train compartments for solid thrills

6 December 2013 12:00 PM, PST

The Narrow Margin

Written by Earl Felton

Directed by Richard Fleischer

USA, 1952

Single-location films can be a tough sell for some. In some instances, the location might seem too preposterous to be the setting for an entire story, thus creating a sense that the project is based on a gimmick. It requires some considerable storytelling prowess to properly convey the reasons why characters would remain in said location if dangers lurk around every corner, and to create new, plausible threats to keep the interest level high. Trains as single-location settings present some interesting challenges. They offer its passengers the opportunity to peruse its in and outs in many ways, not all of which offer a lot of breathing room. Richard Fleischer turned out to be one such director capable of taking full advantage of the setting with 1952’s The Narrow Margin.

Detective Sergeants Walter Brown (Charles McGraw) and Gus Forbes »

- Edgar Chaput

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New on Video: Robert Altman’s ‘Nashville’

6 December 2013 8:58 AM, PST

Nashville

Written by Joan Tewkesbury

Directed by Robert Altman

USA, 1975

At the Cannes preview screening of Apocalypse Now in 1979, Francis Ford Coppola infamously declared, “Apocalypse Now is not about Vietnam; it is Vietnam.” Watching Robert Altman’s 1975 opus Nashville, perhaps the best film in a career full of exceptional work, one gets the feeling that it isn’t really about America; it is America. With its eclectic cast of individuals from all walks of life (typical for Altman), its sprawling narrative of disjointed personal and professional connections (ditto), and its setting of a distinctly American city around the time of our nation’s bicentennial, Nashville comes across as more than a fictional depiction of characters embodying certain nationalistic traits; it truly feels like the film is America in a nutshell. In the words of Keith Carradine, it’s an “extraordinary accomplishment.”

Now, with The Criterion Collection release of the film »

- Jeremy Carr

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‘Inside’ – bloody, gory, chock full of suspense – the perfect Holiday treat

6 December 2013 8:50 AM, PST

Inside (À l’intérieur)

Directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury

Written by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury

2007, France

Inside (À l’intérieur) takes the home invasion genre about as far as it can go with an exceedingly simple premise. Four months after the death of her husband, Sarah (Alysson Paradis), who is nine months pregnant, is tormented by a strange woman (Beatrice Dalle) lurking outside her house on Christmas Eve. After a few unsuccessful attempts at trying to talk her way in, the mysterious woman invades Sarah’s home with the intent on killing her. The twist here however, is the intruder first plans to perform an botched C-section with a giant pair of scissors so she can take Sarah’s baby for herself.

This movie is not recommended for women on the brink of motherhood. Inside is one of the most vicious and cringe inducing horror thrillers ever made. »

- Ricky da Conceição

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