When Olivia Cooke’s Amanda enters a lavish Connecticut home at the beginning of Thoroughbred, it’s immediately clear something is off. It’s not just the eerie pops and crackles of the film’s score, or the fact that the opening scene showed her taking a knife out of her bag after menacingly staring at a horse. It’s that her face is entirely drained of emotion. When scanning the smiley-faced family photos of her childhood best friend’s home, Amanda suddenly looks up, cocks her head, and shoots a freakishly phony smile into a mirror. She holds it for an uncomfortable beat, then, as if deciding that particular emotion didn’t fit her right, she reverts back to her blank expression. Amanda is a sociopathic bored suburban teen who tries on different emotions like clothes or a grand gesture of performance art. But little does she know, she’s not the only one with sinister tendencies.
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One day after the presidential inauguration, SNL host Aziz Ansari followed Dave Chappelle’s example to deliver a thoughtful and ultimately optimistic monologue about America’s future, but it wasn’t the night’s only news. Kristen Stewart has signed on as 2017’s third SNL host, due in early February.
Melissa Benoist certainly made some worthwhile headlines this weekend, and just in time for Supergirl herself to make a 2017 debut with Kevin Smith’s “Supergirl Lives.” The first clips for the Girl of Steel’s return episode have arrived, and suffice to say, Kara and Mon-El are going to spend some time facing their vulnerabilities.
Ah, the 1990s. That glorious decade of eyebrow rings, prepaid calling cards, and Blockbuster Video. Landline makes you nostalgic for that great time, when you could go to the movies without fear of a jerk in front of you checking their phone the entire time, like the jerk two rows in front of me during Landline. That lady really knew how to put the divide between then and now into stark relief.
I have a young daughter, and I love sharing pictures and videos of her antics on social media. Occasionally people who follow me online will tell me in person how much they love my baby or how happy I seem with her. And I am. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows; I just don’t share the moments where she wakes the whole house up at 4AM or has diaper rash so bad that she screams for 10 minutes straight. The line bteween reality and fiction online can get very blurry — and sometimes the persona we create there is much more appealing than the real thing.
After recently re-watching Captain America: Civil War on a cross-country flight, I gotta admit I’m ready for a little bit more screen time for Martin Freeman’s character. Sure, it’s always good to see the Fargo and Sherlock star show up in a fun supporting role, but with Marvel’s penchant for introducing characters at the periphery of films before ramping up their involvement in the franchise, it felt like Freeman’s performance was just a taste of what he could do in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And thanks to recent rumors from the Black Panther set, it looks like I may get my wish sooner rather than later.
January is considered something of a dump month at the movies, when studios quietly release many of their clunkers. (With apologies to Monster Trucks, see: Monster Trucks.) At this time of year, true cinephiles basically have to hang their hats on the awards contenders from the previous year still making their way into theaters around the country, and, for those lucky enough to attend, the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Cyberattacks — or, as newly elected President Trump would say, “the Cyber” — are an increasingly common part of the world we live in. With most private information and secure data now available online, one tech-savvy computer user can do more damage to an institution than hundreds of lawyers or corporate spies. And while we might think of cyberattacks as being reserved for the Big Evil Corporations of the world, it turns out that not even film festivals are immune from being targeted.
How about that last Logan trailer, huh? While the first trailer will probably be remembered as the one that got everyone excited for a mature Wolverine movie, the second trailer — even without the Johnny Cash music playing in the background — is the one that really sets the hook. What was hinted at in the first go-around now feels lived in and personal; Hugh Jackman’s Logan has never seemed more tired, and Dafne Keen’s X-23 has never seemed more dangerous.
With James Cameron caught in an endless loop of Avatar rumors and delays, it’s become fashionable for some fans to treat the director like a Hollywood has-been. I don’t get it. Even if you think the original Avatar is a hollow mess of special effects, it’s still a fun entry in Cameron’s ‘Soldiers vs. Monsters’ filmography. Are we so awash in incredible action directors that we can afford to dismiss Cameron’s eye for spectacle and clean action scenes? I think not.