listenupposter

LISTEN UP, PHILIP

Listen Up Philip is a peculiar film, shot somewhat like a wildlife documentary, on why you should never ever date a writer of literary fiction.  If you’ve ever dated such a writer and had it end badly, you’ll get a few solid laughs out of movie that is both incredibly on point and largely grating. The titular Philip (Jason Schwartzman) is feeling disaffected with everything upon the release of his second novel. He finds the perfectly reasonable publicity demands of his publisher unreasonable, grouses that his girlfriend Ashley Kane (Elizabeth Moss) isn’t interested enough in his work because she has her own career as a photographer, and is flummoxed when his book receives little critical notice. The one bright spot in his life is interest in his career from an older writer, Ike Zimmerman (Jonathan… Continue
True Blood Feat Image

TRUE BLOOD, Series Finale

True Blood met its final death with the odd mix of zany plot twists, lingering grief, exploding vampires, dropped narratives, and awkward allegories about discrimination that defined all seven seasons of the series. Much of the episode was dedicated to Bill and Sookie arguing about Bill’s impending death.  He desperately wants Sookie to kill him with her faerie powers. Not only will this release Bill from the burdens of being a vampire, but will mean that Sookie is no longer fae. After seeking counsel on the issue from a range of somewhat unlikely individuals, including Jason and Reverend Daniels, Sookie agrees to sever the ties between herself and the world of vampires by killing Bill. Eric and Pam, meanwhile, serve as something resembling the comic relief as they kill off Team Yakanomo and take Sarah… Continue
MayinSummer

Movie Review: MAY IN THE SUMMER

Cherien Dabis’s May in the Summer (Dabis is the writer, director, and star of the film, as well as a co-producer) follows May and her sisters – who all grew up in the U.S. — on a visit to Amman, Jordan to prepare for May’s wedding. The wedding is the central plot device of the film, and in some ways is also its central flaw. May’s devoutly Christian mother (Hiam Abbass) disapproves of her Palestinian Muslim fiancé Ziad (Alexander Siddig in almost no screen time whatsoever), who is a high-profile scholar in the U.S.  Additionally, May and Ziad are trying to hide their cold feet from Ziad’s mother who is deliriously into wedding planning, while May juggles the dramas of her divorced parents and the twenty-something growing pains of her sisters. Aspects of the film… Continue
TrueBlood

TRUE BLOOD, Episode Nine

With just two more episodes to go and shocked by Bill’s refusal to drink Sarah Newlin’s blood, Team Everyone Else tries to reason with him.  Sookie even slaps him. Twice.  She goes for a third time, but Eric stops her. Jessica is just as upset, but her slap is more metaphorical.  She demands Bill release her and he gives an awesome speech about how proud he is of the vampire she’s grown up to be.  This is the first parenthood-related moment of this episode, but not the last, and we’re all pretty sure that Sookie is still having sad vampire Bill’s sad vampire baby. Meanwhile, Sam’s plotline gets wrapped up with him almost entirely off camera.  He’s left Sookie a note at his place about leaving town with Nicole, because he can’t stand the thought… Continue
thegiver

Movie Review: THE GIVER

Based on Lois Lowry’s novel, as a film The Giver manages to be unsatisfying as entertainment while also, somehow, being emotionally effective. If you’re not already familiar with Lowry’s novel, the plot takes place in a centrally planned society that has eliminated difference, conflict, and emotion. The Giver is the story of Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), who is training to be the one person allowed cultural memory and emotion in his society, referred to as The Community. While Jonas is supposed to keep his learning secret, he is ebullient at discoveries like music, dance, and colors.  He stops taking his government mandated medication that suppresses emotion, and shares these items with his family and with his two wary best friends, drone pilot Asher (Cameron Monaghan), and nursery worker Fiona (Odeya Rush). Eventually, given the knowledge of… Continue
True Blood Feat Image

TRUE BLOOD, Episode Eight

We’re three episodes from the end of True Blood forever, and this week the show actually manages to wrap up two plots (Tara’s and Violet’s), while continuing to reopen Hoyt’s, and completely ignoring that Sam even exists. The episode opens with Sarah Newlin begging Eric to kill her so that she can be the new messiah (and Eric having been the king of bad choices regarding Sarah’s sister), Eric drinks from her, gets cured, and leaves her alive. Back in Bon Temps, Sookie and Bill follow-up last episode’s sad sex with a sad post-coital chat about a plot from seasons three and four you might not even remember. This involved Sophie-Ann wanting Bill to bring Sookie to her, and Sookie wants to know why. Bill reveals that Sophia-Anne wanted to breed Sookie, continuing to foreshadow… Continue
TrueBlood

TRUE BLOOD, Episode Seven

Now that the audience knows there’s a cure for Hep V, it’s time for everyone on True Blood to be incompetent in order to make the plot last through the end of the season. Erin, Pam, and the American head of the Yakanomo Corporation interrogate Sarah’s sister, since she’s now the key to everything. Despite – or because of – this, Eric lets his vampire temper get the better of him and stakes her before finding out where Sarah is. Also making reasonable but bad decisions are Andy and Holly, who discover that Adilyn and Wade are not at the tree house (although their cell phones are) and assume that they are at Holly’s ex-husband’s cabin and take a long drive out of their way to get there. Of course, Jessica and Sookie, don’t even… Continue