Film & TV

‘Mafia Mamma’ Brings Laughs but Also Rom-Com Baggage

Ulises Duenas

It takes a while for the movie to get going, but once Kristen is in Italy, the humor starts to pick up. Collette has a good sense of comedic timing and the supporting characters do a good job of keeping the movie light and charming. The downside is the humor constantly clashes with the romantic elements, which feel like they were pulled out of a novel you’d find at the airport. 

The Most Anticipated Movies of 2023

Ben Friedman

The trailer set to Also Sprach Zarathustra pays direct homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, highlighting the tongue-in-cheek humor Gerwig brings to the property. Accompanied by lavish costuming, impressive set designs, and dance montages, Barbie looks to achieve something wholly unique. Hopefully, the film shares more in common with The Lego: Movie rather than G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra.

‘Paint’ Crafts a Great Story of Love and Creativity

Ulises Duenas

Nargle’s fear of failure and creative complacency create a real set of issues for the character and it’s interesting to see Wilson’s character navigate the challenges. He spent 19 years trying to create the perfect painting of a local mountain to hopefully get into a museum, yet he never took the initiative to take one of the paintings there himself out of fear of being rejected. The idea of being content with being a big fish in a small pond at the cost of stagnation is relatable.

The Razzies Want Hollywood to Own Its ‘Bad’

Forrest Hartman

The Razzies also hammered Tom Hanks, who is one of the most celebrated actors in cinema history. Hanks not only won Worst Supporting Actor for his outing as Col. Tom Parker in “Elvis,” he received a share of the Worst Screen Combo Razzie. For the latter award, co-winners were the oddball accent he adopted as Parker and the latex facial prosthetics that made him look overweight. “These people have choices,” Wilson said.

‘The Worst Ones’’ Take on Meta-Filmmaking Creates a Compelling Piece of Art

Ulises Duenas

The entire movie is also a commentary on the practice of street casting, which is the exact thing that the fictional director in the movie and the actual director of “The Worse Ones” does: taking people who aren’t professionals and having them portray alternate versions of themselves. The criticism of reinforcing negative stereotypes is brought up and characters say that the film risks showing that the neighborhood is worse off than it really is.

Retro Americana: The Return of Drive-Ins

Sandra Bertrand

Take neophytes Jeff and Jennifer Karl from Valley, Nebraska, opening right before March 2020, the height of the dreaded pandemic. On the plus side, some customers found isolating in their cars to be a possible solution to enduring the virus. From the start, Jeff’s friends thought his new plan was a crazy idea. Eleven acres that needed mowing each week, $30,000 for a laser projector, and Jennifer’s conviction that “if you have a dream, you can build it” made Quasar a reality.

‘Cocaine Bear’ Is ‘Highly’ Problematic

Garrett Hartman

The antagonist of the film is shifted away from the clear and obvious villain and the film is punctuated with yet another overindulgent and unpleasant death scene. The film is a frustrating montage of violence whose story and comedy serves solely as a thinly veiled excuse to view and trivialize death. My dislike of this film is not merely a distaste for gore. I would argue I’m quite the fan of gory media, but this film simply lacks any of the tact that makes gory movies fun.

International Filmmakers Dominated the Live Action Oscars

Ben Friedman

Le Pupille is set in an Italian orphanage and follows a group of girls rebelling against nuns. Backed by Disney and Alfonso Cuarón, the film is directed by celebrated Italian director Alice Rohrwacher. The girls are effortlessly adorable and funny, especially Melissa Falascon, who portrays the protagonist, Serafina. Admittedly, of the five films nominated, Le Pupille was easily my least favorite of the group.

Watching the 2023 Oscars: A Year of Reckoning

Tara Taghizadeh

After the unforgivable slap seen and heard around the world at last year’s Oscars ceremony, a few major questions remain: whether the Academy did enough to punish Will Smith for the attack on Chris Rock, and, given the general decline in viewership, are awards ceremonies still relevant? Of course, the greatest slap in the face to Will Smith – pardon the pun-- would have been if Chris Rock had hosted this year’s Oscars, but Rock turned down the offer.

‘History of the World, Part II’ Delivers Mel Brooks’s Delightful Brand of Humor

Ulises Duenas

This is a sketch show that serves as a follow-up to the movie of the same name that was released in 1981. It has a cast full of veteran comedians like Nick Kroll, Pamela Adlon, Wanda Sykes, and Jack Black. The whole series is a sequence of parodies that skip around different historical periods and events like the Civil War, the Bolshevik Revolution, and World War II. One of my favorites was the story of Jesus Christ, which was framed like an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

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