3/20/2013

Battle for Brooklyn

BATTLE FOR BROOKLYN
8 years in the making, this excellent documentary details the political and financial manipulations the people behind Brooklyn’s Barclays Center used to force a vibrant neighborhood to fall prey to a capitalistic bastardization of eminent domain. Also indicting lazy media, it’s maddening and inspiring at the same time.

Final Destination 5

FINAL DESTINATION 5
When a fistful of dull movie archetypes survives a freak bridge collapse, a cheated Death sets off a chain of Rube Goldberg deathtraps! How will the Tom Cruisey dude die? What about not-Megan Fox? And most of all, when will this exhausted franchise suffer its own wacky, long-overdue demise?

3/14/2013

Steve Martin: The Television Stuff

STEVE MARTIN: THE TELEVISION STUFF
While much of Martin’s ironic showbiz-parodying stand-up hasn’t aged well, most of the skits in this collection of vintage TV material are as smart and hilarious as ever. Sadly, some of the content (mostly musical) has been edited out, and a disc of “bonus” materials feels slight.

Melancholia

MELANCHOLIA
Lars Von Triers’ languid rumination on depression starts off promising (with a beautiful world-ending cataclysm), but ultimately feels like a self-serving attempt to recast a debilitating disease as a source of strength. A completely unrelatable setting and mostly wispy characterizations ultimately left me cold… which may have been the point.

3/02/2013

New Girl, Season 2

NEW GIRL Season 2
Man, did this thing tank hard and fast! Granted, it was always mannered and sugary, but NEW GIRL has become an unfunny parody of itself, an agonizing patchwork of unrelenting mugging, cutesy-quirky non-sequiturs and big-eyed touchy-feely moments, overplayed by actors who all need to calm the fuck down.

Dave Stevens: Covers & Stories

DAVE STEVENS: COVERS & STORIES (IDW)
The late, great creator of the Rocketeer was best known for his Bettie-Page-inspired cheesecake, and with good reason: he was a Frazetta-level master. This beautiful collection (all shot from the original art) highlights pin-ups, covers, sketches, and too-infrequent storytelling from a career that was heartbreakingly truncated by leukemia.

The Following

THE FOLLOWING
I want to love this Kevin Bacon cult-killer show, and it does have its moments, but every episode leaves me wishing the same thing: That it was smarter. Populated with clich├ęd villains and dumbed-down literary allusions (I like Poe, but c’mon), the whole shebang just reeks of network TV compromise.