5 items from 2017
Austin, Texas — The new season of “Veep” is coming at a time where the media is fascinated with the White House, but according to the cast of the HBO comedy, don’t hold your breath for any Trump-isms in the upcoming sixth season.
“A lot of the writing came basically last June, so way before he won and Hillary lost,” showrunner David Mandel said about President Donald Trump, during a Monday afternoon panel for HBO’s series at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. “We’re not ‘Saturday Night Live’ and if we try to make a joke about what Trump did yesterday on ‘Veep,’ it won’t air until it’s the stalest joke ever,” he added.
“I think that we’ve set up this premise for our show which is this alternate political universe,” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus said on the panel. “We don’t have any real-life celebrities on the show, we »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Negan has taken Eugene hostage on The Walking Dead. On a recent episode, Negan tries the "nice guy" route with his new prisoner; he gives Eugene a great room, video games, and all the pickles he could possibly want. In this episode, Eugene also repeats an old lie he once used on Abraham and Rosita: he tells Negan that he had been a scientist who was working on the Human Genome Project before the plague took over. According to Eugene's story, his work involved weaponizing diseases to fight against other military forces who were doing the same thing. We learn this is a lie all the way back in season five, when Eugene tells Glenn, Maggie, Rosita, Tara, and Abraham that he's "not a scientist," that he "doesn't know how to stop it," and that he "just knows things." But what if some of his story is true? I think »
- Ryan Roschke
An intense depiction of the risks undertaken by two of the first U.S. Army Special Forces units deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11, and the long-term personal impact of such experiences on those who fought, “Legion of Brothers” has surviving soldiers relate their harrowing missions, 15 years later. Those memories are still fresh wounds to many, who believed, at least, that their sacrifices had a quick, decisive effect. Implicit in the documentary is the veterans’ dismay that a series of disastrous subsequent American tactical decisions would create ensuing “quagmires” in the region years after. The film would make a striking double bill with Charles Ferguson’s 2007 “No End in Sight,” which depicted the cumulative failures of judgment which undid the progress made by successful initial actions.
Greg Barker’s feature doc sidesteps any overt political agenda, making this the rare nonpartisan documentary that might tap some of the wide, largely conservative audience that embraced “American Sniper. »
- Dennis Harvey
The Oscar best documentary feature nominee “O.J.: Made in America” is a staggering achievement, a film magisterial in its scope, riveting in its detail. It lets you feel like you’ve finally taken the full haunting measure of the O.J. Simpson saga — cultural, biographical, sociological, legal, forensic. Yet it still seems fair to ask: Why has Ezra Edelman’s five-part epic swept the year-end film critics’ awards, and why is it now the frontrunner to win the Oscar for best documentary? The movie, which is seven hours and 47 minutes long, was first presented as part of Espn’s “30 for 30” series, (and it now has the distinction of being the longest film ever nominated for an Academy Award). It was conceived, and made, to be shown on television.
That may sound like a quibble. “O.J.: Made in America” has been racking up film honors, and is now in the thick of the Academy Awards race, »
- Owen Gleiberman
Many movies, fiction and non-fiction, have been made about the second Iraq war. The best one was, oddly enough, a documentary: 2007’s No End In Sight. As far as fiction goes, though, none really “got” the war. Maybe they all came out too early and the war needed a little more digesting and thought, but the lack of a thoroughly made and informative depiction has yet to emerge.
Of course, one can say that none captured the tension and confusion of the war the way Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker did back in 2009. However, the film never mentioned the word “Iraq” and chose to not disclose its setting. Bigelow’s effort noted that “war is a drug,” and in fact its protagonist had such a rush at defusing bombs that he rather be shipped off to the middle East than spend any time with his own family.
Unlike The Hurt Locker‘s main protagonist, »
- Jordan Ruimy
5 items from 2017
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