10 items from 2016
Editor’s Note: This article is presented in partnership with Seeso, an ad-free streaming service for comedy lovers. Subscriptions are $3.99 per month, with an option for a one-month free trial.
In early August, The New Yorker Magazine’s esteemed television critic, Emily Nussbaum, sent a tiny missive into the Twitterverse: “I just watched this new sitcom & it was good & funny & romantic. Wtf is Seeso??” with a link to “Take My Wife,” a scripted half-hour series by comedy’s favorite married lesbians, Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher, and a Seeso Original Series.
So, Ms. Nussbaum, to answer your question, what indeed (expletive redacted) is Seeso? In a growing world of niche streaming platforms, Seeso stands out for its wealth of TV classics (including all 42 seasons of “Saturday Night Live”), stand-up specials from the likes of Janeane Garofalo, Brian Posehn, Joey ‘Coco’ Diaz, Doug Stanhope, and Rory Scovel, and Original Series from »
- Jude Dry
The Ussr’s Cinerama knockoff proved a ‘good business’ between the rival superpowers, when some producers imported and re-edited six Soviet Kinopanorama travelogues to make an action- & culture-packed 3-panel Cinerama attraction. In some ways it’s one of the best.
Cinerama’s Russian Adventure
Blu-ray + DVD
1966 / Color / Smilebox widescreen / 127 min. / Street Date November 22, 2016 / 39.95
Narrated by Bing Crosby
Film Editor Hal J. Dennis
Original Music Alexsandr Lokshin
Written by Homer McCoy
Produced by Thomas Conroy, Harold J. Dennis, J. Jay Frankel
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
And Now for Something Completely Different, or, There’s Always Something New to Learn. The excellent Flicker Alley series of Cinerama restorations dazzle us with their technical virtuosity and inform us »
- Glenn Erickson
After weeks of speculation about the big game-changer that American Horror Story had planned for its sixth episode of Season 6, Ryan Murphy spilled the beans on Tuesday, and a day later, we did the twist, so to speak, leaving behind the format of My Roanoke Nightmare to join the series’ producer (Cheyenne Jackson) on the other side of the camera. But, this being Ahs, that was only the beginning. Read on, and we’ll go over the other ways that “Chapter 6” flipped the script.
Related2017 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble? »
Hey, there’s another movie out this weekend that’s “based on a true story”, but as the Monty Pythons would say, “And now for something completely different”. It’s not a gripping disaster like Deepwater Horizon (although its release problems were a disaster), but a “caper farce”. This flick concerns a real life heist like The Brink’S Job, but committed by The Gang That Couldn’T Shoot Straight. This crew gets by on sheer, bumbling stupidity because nobody would ever seriously refer to them as Masterminds.
The first mastermind we meet is Loomis Fargo money transport armored truck driver David Ghatt (Zach Galifiankis) circa 1997. Via voiceover he explains that he leads a dull life, that he’d even welcome a hold-up, despite the fact that he’ll soon tie the knot with his off-kilter fiance’ Jandice (Kate McKinnon). His world is soon rocked by the hiring of his new work partner, »
- Jim Batts
A nearly 600-page biography of a French filmmaker would not make every summer reading list, but any discerning cinephile will consider Éric Rohmer: A Biography. It’s one of several stunning recent releases, along with a weighty oral history of Star Trek, an intimate remembrance of Stanley Kubrick, and a fascinating breakdown of the great Suspiria. Now that’s an eclectic roster of beach reads.
Even minor Star Trek fans will be spellbound by The Fifty-Year Mission, a stunning oral history from Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman. The first in a two-volume set — Volume Two, covering the last 25 years, will be released in late-August — is impressively comprehensive, and full of unforgettable stories. These include the original series rivalry between William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, »
- Christopher Schobert
And now for something completely different. Here is a just-released music video to promote Season 3 of The Strain, which premieres August 28 on FX. This ditty wasn’t written by some carpetbagging songsmith looking to scoop a paycheck; “Vamps Rule” — billed by the cable net as “summer's most infectious new beat” — was penned by series co-stars Kevin Durand and Miguel Gomez, with David Bradley’s rap written by Ep Regina Corrado, a two-time WGA Award nominee. The Comic-Con… »
What an outrageously abundant year it's been for great TV — and we're only halfway through. 2016 has been a small-screen gold rush so far, from low-key comedies to mega-glitz miniseries, the Battle of the Bastards to the City of the Broads, hilarious fake news to horrifying true history — with dragons and spies and crooks and drunks. When two of the year's best shows are totally different takes on the same 1994 murder trial, you know all bets are off.
So here's a salute to the 10 best TV shows of 2016 so far:
I didn't mean to begin with a Monty Python quote but they were Brit contemporaries of Writer/Director John Boorman. And Zardoz (1974), the follow up to his most enduring classic (Deliverance, 1972) might be better if it were aiming for comedy instead of merely conjuring laughs. Nevertheless it doesn't get any more "different" than John Boorman's bizarre drug trip about false gods, immortal hippie communes, sentient crystals, marauding assassins, chest hair, and Charlotte Rampling's unique power to both cause erections and lecture about them simultaneously.
I chose it for Best Shot only to finally make sense of its frequent meme-ready presence online -- the jokes on me as it will never make any sense -- but I don't regret it. It's too weird to go unseen. It's the only movie in existence that begins with a floating disembodied head spewing out firearms, »
- NATHANIEL R
Force Awakens fever is still gripping the film industry two months after the release of the seventh Star Wars entry, and the world of cinema-centric books is just as Snoke-obsessed. But there’s plenty more worth snagging, including in-depth analyses of Pixar and Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, a lavish study of musicals, and a graphic stunner called Filmish.
Dk’s Star Wars visual dictionaries are, quite simply, must-owns. (Even the three prequel editions are fascinating.) And the Force Awakens Visual Dictionary might be the best yet. Author Pablo Hidalgo goes deep, providing everything you wanted to know about Jakku (but were afraid to ask), offering insight on briefly seen characters like Max Von Sydow’s Lor San Tekka, and breaking down exactly why the “crossguard blades” of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber are a necessity. Plus, the film stills »
- Christopher Schobert
And now for something completely different: Rodents doing a podcast. Canine bullies at the dog park. Unwelcome feline neighbors. Throat-slitting birds. Randy turtles. Pupating butterflies. A snake-gobbled mouse. The offbeat list goes on in this trailer for Animals, HBO’s decidedly adult animated series that premieres next month promising “a new breed of comedy.” Created by Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano and produced by Duplass Brothers Television, Animals focuses on the… »
10 items from 2016
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