Dec 2, 2016

The Dates for Listmania 2016 Are Officially Here!

It's finally here. As we switch over from one year to the next, it's time to look back over the past 365 days and explore the highs and lows. While 2016 hasn't been a perfect year, there's been more than enough memorable moments to look back on and discover what defined the year in movies, music, and TV. Listmania is a series that will do just that. The following is a list of dates for the annual 10 day extravaganza. Memorize them and look forward to seeing just how great this year actually was. 

Nov 30, 2016

Channel Surfing: Drunk History - "Hamilton"

Scene from Drunk History
Welcome to a new column called Channel Surfing, in which I sporadically look at current TV shows and talk about them. These are not ones that I care to write weekly recaps for and are instead reflections either on the episode, the series, or particular moments. This will hopefully help to share personal opinions as well as discover entertainment on the outer pantheon that I feel is well worth checking out, or in some cases, shows that are weird enough to talk about, but should never be seen.

Nov 26, 2016

Review: "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is A Lot of Fun, But Needs Better Direction

Eddie Redmayne
With a franchise so beloved as J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter," it's hard to think that there's anything that audiences don't know. After all, the movies were released years after each book and were faithfully adapted for the most part. How could anything be mined out of the series after almost 20 years? Well, there's director David Yates' Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: a prequel series of sorts that follows wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he travels to America and discovers that the wizarding world is in more peril than expected. What follows is the first of many films (all announced to be directed by Yates) meant to fill in the gaps of the pre-Potter landscape. While the first entry doesn't feel obvious in doing this, it definitely has fun introducing the new world. 

Nov 25, 2016

Review: "Bad Santa 2" Lives Up to Bad Comedy Sequel Standards

In 2003, director Terry Zwigoff introduced the world to Willie Sokes (Billy Bob Thornton): a man who made his cash while robbing stores while disguised as a mall Santa. He was bitter and reckless in ways that made for one of the most delirious comedies of the decade. It was a miracle that it worked at all. So, how do you make a sequel to a film based around holiday bitterness and hostility? You probably shouldn't. Director Mark Waters proves in a jam-packed 90 minutes of  discomfort that bitterness doesn't make good comedy. All it makes is a terribly abrasive film that undoes the good will that Willie had gotten 13 years before, soiled pants and all.

Alternative to What: "Pocahontas" (1996)

Welcome to Alternative to What: a weekly column that tries to find a great alternative to driving to the multiplexes. Based on releases of that week, the selections will either be thematically related or feature recurring cast and crew. The goal is to help you better understand the diversity of cinema and hopefully find you some favorites while saving a few bucks. At worse, this column will save you money. Expect each installment to come out on Fridays, unless specified.