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Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Jul 24, 2019. 10 comments

Honeyland couches an apocalyptic warning in a beekeeping documentary

Honeyland couches an apocalyptic warning in a beekeeping documentary
Movie ReviewMovie ReviewHoneylandB+Movie ReviewHoneylandB+B+HoneylandDirector

Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov

Runtime

85 minutes

Rating

Not Rated

Language

Turkish

Cast

Documentary

Availability

Select theaters July 26

Before an apiarist can scrape a single honeycomb, they must first accept that life is pain. We watch a lot of people get stung by a lot of bees in the new documentary Honeyland, and it...

10 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Jul 16, 2019. 24 comments

The dead-eyed new Lion King painfully illustrates the difference between cinema and video games

The dead-eyed new Lion King painfully illustrates the difference between cinema and video games

For a generation of children, the sight of lion prince Simba watching his father, Mufasa, die in a wildebeest stampede in 1994’s The Lion King represented a first encounter with mortality. Disney’s animators render the moment with a terrible poignancy that can stay with a person for the rest of their life. Mufasa first falls down toward the “camera,” a reverse shot from above accompanies his...

24 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Jun 21, 2019. 23 comments

Chucky may be wi-fi enabled in the new Child’s Play, but it’s hardly an upgrade

Chucky may be wi-fi enabled in the new Child’s Play, but it’s hardly an upgrade
Movie ReviewMovie ReviewChild's PlayC+Movie ReviewChild's PlayC+C+Child's PlayDirector

Lars Klevberg

Runtime

90 minutes

Rating

R

Language

English

Cast

Gabriel Bateman, Mark Hammill, Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry

Availability

Theaters everywhere June 21

Kids these days, with their newfangled wi-fi enabled homicidal dolls. Back when we were whippersnappers attending the 1988 stab-a-thon Child’s Play, we...

23 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco May 16, 2019. 22 comments

Riverdale readies for one grim senior year in its 3rd season finale

Riverdale readies for one grim senior year in its 3rd season finale
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

Aaron Sorkin has this little habit of titling the first-season finale episodes on his various TV series “What Kind Of Day Has It Been?” He takes each stopping point as an opportunity to take stock, to look back at what’s come before and look ahead at what’s to come. Though Riverdale has shackled itself to obligations of plot, the...

22 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco May 09, 2019. 24 comments

The organ thievery business is booming on an incisive Riverdale

The organ thievery business is booming on an incisive Riverdale
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

Archie’s mother uses the word “endgame” in this week’s episode, an assemblage of letters that’s taken on a few alternate meanings as of late. When she utters this word, Mary Andrews means it in the colloquial neologism sense, an expression of one’s belief that two characters deserve to be together in the conclusion of a fiction. She...

24 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco May 02, 2019. 23 comments

Rigged elections, crash dieting, multiple homicides — must be prom night on Riverdale!

Rigged elections, crash dieting, multiple homicides — must be prom night on Riverdale!
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

“Prom is this weekend? We still do things like that here?”

A fair question, Veronica Lodge! With one serial killer on the loose, a second not quite as dead as we may have previously believed, and a cult spreading its influence through the town like a psychological plague, who’s got the time for such quintessential prom activities as...

23 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Apr 25, 2019. 23 comments

Three major goodbyes on this week's Riverdale, and none of them for the show's toughest loss

Three major goodbyes on this week's Riverdale, and none of them for the show's toughest loss
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

Two days ago, on his Instagram account, Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa announced that this week’s episode was the last that Luke Perry shot prior to his shocking passing. (Cast members Madelaine Petsch, Gina Gershon, and Ashleigh Murray all dutifully responded with broken-heart emojis.) The rational TV viewer may then assume...

23 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Apr 18, 2019. 20 comments

The bared-torso-per-minute ratio hits a new high on a particularly sweaty Riverdale

The bared-torso-per-minute ratio hits a new high on a particularly sweaty Riverdale
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

Every character contained within Riverdale is acting on a different show, and every week, they’re in competition with one another to be the best act on the bill. In this episode, Archie and Veronica are trapped in the first four minutes of a gay porno. (Veronica is the girl at home, watching it on her computer.) Cheryl Blossom, now in...

20 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Mar 28, 2019. 23 comments

Infiltrating a cult turns out to be pretty tricky business on a Riverdale flush with bad choices

Infiltrating a cult turns out to be pretty tricky business on a Riverdale flush with bad choices
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

Riverdale is a show about teens who look like they’re in their twenties acting like they’re in their thirties and forties. That applies to their romantic and sexual lives, and this playacted maturity also regularly extends to their amateur extracurricular pursuits. This episode’s two main prongs — Jughead and Archie’s attempted...

23 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Mar 21, 2019. 24 comments

Color me stoked, Riverdale goes Heathers in a superior musical episode

Color me stoked, Riverdale goes Heathers in a superior musical episode
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

For all intents and purposes, Riverdale is a musical. In big Broadway productions, outsized emotion spills over past the limits of reality to the point that it can only be expressed through performance. That also happens a lot on this television show, which won plenty of fans with an early scene in which Veronica and Cheryl Blossom...

24 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Mar 14, 2019. 23 comments

As Riverdale turns fifty, the more things change, the more they stay the same

As Riverdale turns fifty, the more things change, the more they stay the same
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

This week marks Riverdale’s fiftieth episode, a milestone the show nods to through F.P.’s fiftieth birthday party. It’s a time for reflection and summing-up, for taking inventory and speechmaking. The newly reunited Jones clan receives a State of the Family address from Jughead near the tail end of this hour, in which he comes...

23 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Mar 07, 2019. 23 comments

Luke Perry casts a long shadow over a blissfully unaware Riverdale

Luke Perry casts a long shadow over a blissfully unaware Riverdale
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

One week ago, Luke Perry suffered a stroke at his Sherman Oaks home. He was immediately hospitalized, where he remained until passing away from complications related to the stroke five days later. His untimely death at age 52 has spurred an outpouring of excellent, passionate writing vaunting Perry both as the indelible embodiment of...

23 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Feb 28, 2019. 22 comments

Archie stings like a butterfly, floats like a big beautiful idiot through a punch-drunk Riverdale

Archie stings like a butterfly, floats like a big beautiful idiot through a punch-drunk Riverdale
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

The hazard of squeezing a baker’s dozen of plot developments into a single hour, as Riverdale did when last we met in the appropriately-named “Biazrrodale,” is that an episode merely containing a near-fatal cult ritual and a corrupt boxing match feels slight by comparison.

It would be factually inaccurate to suggest that nothing...

22 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Feb 07, 2019. 24 comments

The Sex Bunker gets a workout in a Riverdale chockablock with cock-blocking

The Sex Bunker gets a workout in a Riverdale chockablock with cock-blocking
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

On Riverdale as in life, our time feels both impossibly long and impossibly brief. It is nothing short of mind-boggling to me that each episode of this show lasts only forty-two minutes, swollen as they are with minimum four hours’ worth of plot developments. The volume and mass of this show simply do not square up.

Every week, there’s...

24 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Jan 31, 2019. 23 comments

Forget it, guest star Kelly Ripa, it's Extra-Reverent Noir Homage Week on Riverdale

Forget it, guest star Kelly Ripa, it's Extra-Reverent Noir Homage Week on Riverdale
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

Watching “The Red Dahlia,” Riverdale’s most reverent homage yet to the tropes and textures of film noir, a viewer might be reminded of another show well-schooled in pop-culture mimicry, Community. Both programs demonstrated an in-and-out understanding of what defines a certain Dan Harmon’s cult-adored sitcom regularly savaged such...

23 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Jan 24, 2019. 23 comments

Riverdale returns to form (and high school) as the gang bones up for the SATs

Riverdale returns to form (and high school) as the gang bones up for the SATs
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

The trouble with shows like Riverdale, which survive by continuously raising their stakes, is that the writers can’t keep raising them forever. Eventually, American Horror Story Syndrome starts to take effect, and the creative team must fling every provocation at the wall in increasingly desperate hopes that one may stick. At that...

23 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Jan 17, 2019. 24 comments

Riverdale returns with bisexual cat burglars and shifting relationship dynamics 

Riverdale returns with bisexual cat burglars and shifting relationship dynamics 
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

Riverdale is a show built around protracted flirtations, none more thrilling than that between its kookoo-bananas invented world and our flesh-and-blood reality. For a vast swath of fans (including, admittedly, myself), the program does not take place between 8 and 9 P.M. on Wednesday nights but all day every day, insofar as the lives...

24 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Dec 13, 2018. 23 comments

A knife-brandishing Gina Gershon livens up Riverdale's midseason finale

A knife-brandishing Gina Gershon livens up Riverdale's midseason finale
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.  

Endings on Riverdale always feel strange, relative even to the normal out-of-body experience that is watching this gloriously reason-averse show. When the writers arrive at a finale (or in this case, a mid-season finale), they must pass off a season that frequently seems to be making it up as it goes in the guise of a carefully plotted...

23 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Dec 13, 2018. 24 comments

A spoonful of nostalgia helps the calculated Mary Poppins Returns go down

A spoonful of nostalgia helps the calculated Mary Poppins Returns go down
Movie ReviewMovie ReviewMary Poppins ReturnsC+Movie ReviewMary Poppins ReturnsC+C+Mary Poppins ReturnsDirector

Rob Marshall

Runtime

130 minutes

Rating

PG

Language

English

Cast

Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer

Availability

Theaters everywhere December 19

Mary Poppins isn’t a great childcare professional because she’s magic. Her real power is imagination. (Let it be established...

24 Comments

Charles Bramesco Charles Bramesco Nov 20, 2018. 21 comments

Kurt Russell gives his all as DILF Santa in The Christmas Chronicles

Kurt Russell gives his all as DILF Santa in The Christmas Chronicles
Movie ReviewMovie ReviewThe Christmas ChroniclesC+Movie ReviewThe Christmas ChroniclesC+C+The Christmas ChroniclesDirector

Clay Kaytis

Runtime

103 minutes

Rating

Not Rated

Language

English

Cast

Kurt Russell, Judah Lewis, Darby Camp, Kimberly Williams-Paisley

Availability

Netflix November 22

Kurt Russell could’ve just cashed the check. It would’ve been so easy for him to sign on the dotted line, grumble...

21 Comments

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