Monthly Archives: May 2014

Review: Orphan Black, Season 2, Episode 7

Alison_Sarah_Orphan_Black_Season_2_Episode_7Cosima said it in episode six and episode seven just proved it; the clones are stronger together.

The material in the rehab center exemplifies what makes Orphan Black so special – it’s ability to strike a unique, entertaining and incredibly satisfying balance of honesty, humor and suspense. The show’s been busy building Family Day hype, the importance of Vic’s return and the threat of Angie’s determination to catch a clone – and in ‘Knowledge Of Causes, And Secret Motion Of Things’, all three come to a head (and at the very same time nonetheless).

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The Best Movie Trailers of the Week

snowpiercerWelcome back to Best Movie Trailers of the Week, a column where we handpick the best new movie trailers that have arrived online over the past week.


Snowpiercer

The Snowpiercer promotional campaign is making an extraordinary turnaround heading into its June 26 debut. We got one trailer with a frenzied and confusing sampling of the story and thenanother that tried to wow us with action without any character development.

Then this gem arrived, a trailer that captures your attention in an instant through commanding dialogue and then builds momentum as it steamrolls through an enthralling world of politics, heart and thrills. This latest edition picks up right where that previous trailer left off – with the engine. We get a clear sense of what the train is, what keeps it running and why Chris Evans and co. need to put a stop to it, leaving you in full support of their mission

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Review: Maleficent

Maleficent_PosterAngelina Jolie playing Maleficent has loads of potential, but that alone can’t support a movie.

This is “Sleeping Beauty” from Maleficent’s perspective. As a young fairy living in The Moors, Maleficent meets a human boy named Stefan (Sharlto Copley). As they get older, they remain friends until Stefan decides he’s really a power-hungry wannabe king and betrays Maleficent in exchange for the crown. When Stefan’s daughter Aurora (Elle Fanning) is born, Maleficent retaliates by putting a curse on the newborn, one that will have her slip into a deep sleep on her 16th birthday.

However, the story is secondary because prime importance is placed on the fact that Jolie dressing up as a Disney villain will draw a crowd. Minus the light 97-minute running time, there isn’t a single redeeming quality to “Maleficent.” It’s a harsh assessment, but when you’ve got such a talented visual effects artist at the helm, iconic source material, an all-star cast and a hefty studio-sized budget to back it all up, there’s just no excuse to deliver such a lazy film.

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Interview: Night Moves’ Peter Sarsgaard & Dakota Fanning

Night_Moves“To cook meat well, don’t touch it too much.”  According to Peter Sarsgaard, that’s the approach writer-director Kelly Reichardt takes to her movies and you can absolutely see that in her latest, Night Moves.  Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning lead as Josh and Dena, a couple and pair of environmental activists determined to blow up a dam in Oregon.  In order to get the job done, they team up with Sarsgaard’s Harmon, a former Marine who has a little more knowhow.  Even though the trio actually manages to pull it off, their success doesn’t have the intended effect and instead leaves them suffering the consequences themselves.

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Review: Frequencies

Frequencies_PosterThe most impressive feat in “Frequencies” is its exceptional union of science and romance, but that only makes it more noticeable when the balance is off, even if just the slightest bit.

“Frequencies” takes place in a world where a person’s frequency determines their luck, relationships, potential and everything in between. Shortly after a grade school test confirms that Zak is low frequency and Marie is high frequency, the two begin experimenting with their tendency to literally repel each other regardless of how they truly feel about one another. Years later, Zak (Daniel Fraser) works tirelessly to overcome his fate and challenge the scientific fact that he and Marie just aren’t destined to be together.

“Frequencies” is a smart and ambitious movie, but sometimes, too much for its own good. This idea of everyone having a definitive frequency that dictates his or her place in the world is deeply fascinating. The moment the movie explains this rating system and what it means for an individual’s quality of life, you instantly wonder where you might fall on that scale, making the scenario highly engaging right at the start. But, the further it delves into the science behind frequency and how to change it, the more distant you become from the concept.

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Set Visit Interview: The Night Shift’s Eoin Macken, Jill Flint & Ken Leung

The_Night_Shift_Eoin_Macken_Jill_FlintMeet the doctors of NBC’s The Night Shift – Eoin MackenJill Flint and Ken Leung.  Thanks to a recent promotion, Flint’s Jordan Alexander is doctor #1, but even though Jordan’s in charge, Macken’s TC Callahan has no intentions on abiding by any hospital rules, especially if it means sacrificing a patient in the process.  Leung’s Topher always puts his patients’ wellbeing above policy and finances too; he’s just a little more deft at manipulating the system so that the San Antonio Memorial senior manager, Michael Ragosa (Freddy Rodriguez), doesn’t bear down on Jordan for breaking too many rules.

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Review: Penny Dreadful, Season 1, Episode 3

Harry_Treadaway_Penny_DreadfulNight Work’ and ‘Séance’ were enough to get you on board and interested in more, but ‘Resurrection’ marks the first sign of binge-watch tendencies. Late night, work obligations or other pressing commitments? Forget about them. Had there been access to ‘Demimonde’ right now, Penny Dreadful would have been the priority.

The show’s already achieved quite a bit in terms of building characters and this world thus far, and that’s as evident as ever in the success of this episode. Dr. Frankenstein and Caliban’s (Rory Kinnear) situation should have been a difficult storyline to pair with the continued search for Mina (Olivia Llewellyn), but seamless transitions, a strong foundation and a stunningly subtle union at the end of the episode make both highly engaging on their own yet feel like natural components of the same world.

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Collider Goes to the Set of NBC’s THE NIGHT SHIFT; Meet the Staff of San Antonio Memorial

Night_Shift_Set_Visit_3-600x450It won’t be easy adding yet another medical show to the mix, but Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah (Freaks and Geeks90210) are giving it a go with their comedy-drama hybrid, The Night Shift.

While on the show’s Albuquerque set, Sachs himself even admitted that it wasn’t easy finding someone to give them a shot.  “We would go in there and pitch and it would be like, ‘That’s so great.  So anyway, so they’re in high school …’”  He continued, “And then we said, ‘Well, we want to do a medical drama that has this intensity, but also adds some humor into it,’ and it was just so foreign.”  Fortunately the concept wasn’t foreign to everyone because come Tuesday, May 27thThe Night Shift begins its run on NBC.  Hit the jump for our full report from visiting the set of this unique new series.

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Review: Orphan Black, Season 2, Episode 6

Helena_Jesse_Orphan_BlackEpisode five gave the impression that characters were finally going to converge and work together to find a cure, safety and answers, but episode six, ‘To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings’, did the exact opposite and suffered for it. The entertainment value is still high enough, but this episode had the least momentum of Orphan Black season two thus far.

If you’ve been keeping up with these reviews, you know how I feel about Helena – the more, the better – but for the first time, the writers took her playfulness a bit too far. Seeing Helena try to share her can of beans with Sarah is one thing, but the shadow puppets, fart and sing-a-along is too much. Helena’s always been a prime source of humor for the show, but it’s humor with a darker touch and that’s what lets the character maintain that enthralling intensity. When Helena tells Sarah, “If you knew where Swan Man was, you’d leave me behind,” it hits hard, but had it not been embedded in such goofy jokes, it would have resonated more.

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The Best Movie Trailers of the Week

life-itselfWelcome back to Best Movie Trailers of the Week, a column where we handpick the best new movie trailers that have arrived online over the past week.


Life Itself

It’s hard to work in this industry and not be completely taken by the trailer for Life Itself, but even for a causal moviegoer or perhaps someone who doesn’t know Roger Ebert at all, this promo not only offers a rousing sampling of his life, personality and achievements, but also does just what Ebert says of the movies at the end of the piece: “It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us.” I’ve identified with Ebert for many years through his reviews and look forward to experiencing that again in a different form through this film.

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