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reviews

So what did you think of this week’s Twin Peaks? The good news is you’ve got two weeks to figure out what just happened, the bad news is that two weeks is only about 25 per cent of the time you’ll need to even begin to try and decode everything. If you thought David Lynch was being purposefully obstinate and aloof thus far, you were not prepared for whatever the hell just happened in episode 8. Perhaps Lynch thought he and Mark Frost were being too direct last week by actually moving the narrative forward, but only Lynch can dedicate an hour of cable TV to a master thesis in media art.  (more…)

Michael Bay (Armageddon, The Rock, Bad Boys) has spent the last decade spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $1b to bring Hasbro’s toy line to CGI life. Worldwide, moviegoers have embraced Bay’s emphasis on slo-mo, explosives-heavy action, robot-on-robot action, and crude, low-grade humor. Of course, those same moviegoers have proven time and time again that story, character, and dialogue mean next to nothing to them. Here’s the thing: They have a point. Mute the dialogue in Bay’s latest contribution to another “Summer of Sequels, Prequels, and Reboots,” Transformers: The Last Knight, and it’s almost a tolerable experience. Bay’s special set of skills put him in unique company. He can deliver massive, massively scaled controlled chaos like few other directors can. But he’s also a limited moviemaker, incapable of finding or developing scripts with recognizably human characters, believable dialogue, or humor above the second- or third-grade level.

SOME SPOILERS BELOW

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Here we are at Twin Peaks episode 7. It’s the beginning of the second act (if we are to split the series into three groups of six episodes), and let’s consider the idea that the number 7 itself has been a significant number in the world of Twin Peaks. So what would the seventh episode of the revival give us? Clarity, I think was the hope. Lord knows that despite how much we’ve been enjoying the zaniness and the weirdness we would really like to see some sign that the series is out to tell a story and is not being used as a dumping ground for every odd thought that David Lynch has had in the last quarter century… (more…)

American Gods Party

Last week’s episode of American Gods was one of the weakest of the season. As stated before, it didn’t really feel like a penultimate episode and probably should have switched around with the previous week. Learning about Essie McGowan (who looked eerily similar to Laura Moon) and her devotion to Mad Sweeny didn’t add much overall, but it did deliver fine performances by Pablo Schreiber and Emily Browning as they were the central characters that episode. However, we still have the Cold War between the Old Gods and the New Gods. Thank goodness for this week!

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With Episode 6, Twin Peaks proves that even though you may not know where it’s going, it can still give you an emotional reaction whether that’s humour, horror, or grief, and you got all three in this week’s edition. I don’t know if this new Twin Peaks is David Lynch dumping every idea he’s had for the last 27 years into one narrative, or whether he’s punking TV recappers and fans that like to turn over every rock on set for every little clue, but I do know that the developments on this week’s episode had me hypnotically transfixed from one hilarious moment to the next utterly shocking moment.  (more…)

Throw An American Werewolf in London, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lifeforce, the ’99 Mummy remake, and Dawn of the Dead: Zack Snyder Edition, into a figurative blender. Subtract everything you love about those movies and the misshapen, shambling, stitched-together mess that results would look a lot like Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy, Universal’s desperate attempt to kickstart their own interconnected cinematic universe to rival Marvel or DC and their multi-billion dollar grosses. Without any superheroes of their own, Universal did what any major studio with Fast & Furious money would do: They dug deep into their century-old back catalog and came up with the so-called “Dark Universe,” a shared universe starring Universal’s “famous monsters.” If the stillborn The Mummy is any indication, though, the “Dark Universe” has failure written all over it. And Tom “Mr. 120%” Cruise isn’t to blame, at least not completely. A badly underwritten script pieced together from the work of six credited writers deserves most of the blame. (more…)

American Gods Vulcan and Wednesday

Last week on American Gods, we got our first real confrontation between the Old Gods and New Gods as Wednesday and Shadow came face to face with Mr. World. We got to see the full extent of his power as he literally has all the power of “the world.” Although he went to great lengths to ensure that Wednesday and Shadow could be in police custody for their meeting, he continued to reaffirm that the Old Gods were not the New Gods’ enemy (despite the Technical Boy wanting to kill Wednesday and Shadow), and they could help the Old Gods by way of rebranding. Despite the good intentions, the New Gods are not to be messed with as some sort of tree monster laid waste to all those in the police department, and even left a parting gift for Shadow.

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There comes a point when you’ve got to ask yourself, what will it take for someone to realize that something is desperately wrong with Dougie? Or perhaps to put it another way, what was so desperately wrong with Dougie that no one seems to notice how strangely this person is acting? Or maybe blissful ignorance is the hallmark of the Twin Peaks universe, but as we continued the journey of Dougie, I mean Agent Cooper, it was foremost in my mind how Dougie can be walking around acting like a spaced out weirdo and no one in his life seems to notice/give a damn. (more…)

At least I wasn’t alone. In evaluating the first two episode of the relaunched Twin Peaks it seemed like many people weren’t really into whatever the heck and David Lynch and Mark Frost were doing. It was weird for the sake of being weird, full of non-sequiturs and oddities, and they dealt precious little with the titular town or any of the menagerie of beloved characters left behind in 1991. I’m not sure if the turn was purposeful, but admittedly, it did seem like a little bit of that old Twin Peaks peered out from behind the bushes in episodes three and four. (more…)

If the recent, already forgotten Internet meme of the rotting corpse of an unidentified giant sea creature came back miraculously to zombified half-life, it would like, sound, not to mention smell like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth overlong, over-directed, over-everything entry no one seems to want or care about with the exception of Disney (they have $.37 billion reasons) or Johnny Depp (in desperate need, once again, of a career revitalizer). To be fair, even as American moviegoers gave the last, underwhelming entry, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, close to a pass (relative to a typically bloated budget), international audiences fully embraced On Stranger Tides. In short, we have international audiences to blame for foisting one more, hopefully last entry in the theme-park-ride-turned-improbable movie-franchise and maybe one more after Disney counts international box-office returns from entry No. 5.

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