Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E07, BINGO (Or, Building Up An Immunity To Electromagnetism)

Theft is at the heart of "Bingo", whether it's the Kettlemans and their theft of the money in the first place, Mike's theft of it back, Jimmy's perceived theft of the Kettlemans as clients from HHM, or Mike and Jimmy's... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

SXSW 2015 Review: WESTERN, A New American Marvel

The Ross Brothers' 2012 film Tchoupitoulas showcased Bill and Turner's proclivity for visually arresting imagery, compelling yet dreamlike narrative flow, and a keen eye for the undercurrents that run below the more obvious stories that have flooded from post-Katrina... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E06, FIVE-O (Or, The Tragic Backstory Of Mike Ehrmantraut)

"Five-O" is the Mike-focused episode of Better Call Saul we've all been waiting for. It must be incredibly confusing for those that are fans of Breaking Bad to find themselves watching an episode entirely devoted to a Saul side character,... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E05, ALPINE SHEPHERD BOY (Or, Need A Will? Call McGill!)

More than any episode of Better Call Saul so far, "Alpine Shepherd Boy" questions whether Chuck's condition is something physical that he's really suffering from, or more of a psychological affliction. It's to the show's credit that this has been... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: WILD CANARIES, An Effervescent Comic Murder Mystery, Both Retro And Modern

One of the most interesting forms of music sampling is what's known as the "mash-up." In some of the best and most creative examples of this practice - e.g. Danger Mouse's Grey Album (Jay Z's Black Album/Beatles' White Album) or... More »
  

FrightFest Glasgow 2015 Review: 88, Two Women, One Body

In British bingo, if the number 88 comes up, the caller will shout, "Two fat ladies!", as a conventional code for the two figures' pictographic appearance. Similarly the title of April Mullen's 88 represents a conundrum in need of decoding:... More »
By Anton Bitel   
  

Review: MAPS TO THE STARS, Cold, Dreary, And Dull

This doesn't bode well. For the second film in a row, David Cronenberg has made a stinker. Yes, there were some bits in Cosmopolis that didn't suck, but it was hardly vintage DC. As I mentioned in my review for... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E04, HERO (Or, The Plan Comes Together)

With its fourth impressive episode so far, we can now confidently say that Better Call Saul knows what its doing and is doing it well. It's a worthy successor to Breaking Bad, not because it slavishly mimics what that show... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E03, NACHO (Or, The Perils Of Trying To Do The Right Thing)

For an episode called "Nacho", this includes very little of the man himself. It's more about Jimmy's perception of Nacho (Michael Mando) and what he might do, rather than what he's really done. Jimmy is scared of him, but he's... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Spokane 2015 Review: DRYLAND Combines Demolition Derbies And The Waning Of Wheat Farmers In Washington

O beautiful for spacious skies. For amber waves of grain. The Palouse region of the inland northwest is one of the wheat breadbaskets of the world. I recently relocated to this area and frequently commute from my small town of... More »
By Stuart Muller   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, Not That Terrible

Not wanting to be a snob, I attempted to read Fifty Shades of Grey, the bestseller inspired by the Twilight books (which I also haven't read). It's quite badly written, but hey, it was popular, so maybe I was missing... More »
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E02, MIJO (Or, Talking Your Way Out Of Being Held At Gunpoint)

Better Call Saul deserves to be talked about for its own merits, so I'm going to put the Breaking Bad comparisons to one side this time around. Saul's second episode, "Mijo", throws Jimmy into a dangerous and seemingly deadly situation, but... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E01, UNO (Or, Going Back Before BREAKING BAD)

Better Call Saul was always going to struggle, like all prequels do, to feel relevant. The nature of a prequel makes it an afterthought, but it's a good start that Saul firmly places itself in the world of Breaking Bad,... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: 2015 Oscar Nominated Short Films, An Eclectic, Globe-Trotting Selection

As much talk as there's been about the lack of diversity among this year's Academy Award nominees, there is at least one section where diversity, and an illuminating look at world cultures, can be found. That place is the in... More »
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: YOSEMITE Beautifully Captures The Fearful Majesty Of Boyhood

What is it about childhood that makes us adults so wary of who we once were? Perhaps it is that great fear of the unknown, a shadow, a whisper of adulthood that scares us as children into submission of these... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE, DIY Terror At Its Very Best

It begins in the dark hollows of your mind. But you can feel it in your heart. Pumping through your veins. The notion that something is wrong. That the world is wrong. That reality is not what it seems. That... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: THE OVERNIGHT Goes There

It's so incredibly tempting to reveal all the bizarre places Patrick Brice's new film, The Overnight, takes its audiences, who, if they're anything like this viewer, will likely watch the film with mouths gleefully agape.The film opens in the bedroom... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: H. Explores The Strange Dissonance Of Coupling

There's something strange in the waters of Troy, New York. Something life-changing in the skies. Some of us can see it, some of us can hear it. Some of us will wander into the woods to find it, leaving our... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: HELLIONS, A Monstrous Misstep

Hellions, Journeyman director Bruce McDonald's first foray into horror since 2008's slow-cooker Pontypool, is a maelstorm of horror traditions and tropes, good and bad alike. While the film is never boring for its constant barrage of evocative imagery, cacophonous score... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT And The Closeness Of The Great Divide

Director Rodrigo García's minimalist Christ-centered parable on fathers and sons pivots the holy man as everyman and observer. It's an approach that feels of merit: one that ultimately doesn't see earth-bound humanity and a more intangible sense of spirituality as... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  
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