Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Silver Screen


"Fist Fight," though comedic, highlights important issues in public schools

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 02/17/17 10:34am

"Fist Fight" is a comedy about a fight between two male teachers on the last day at a public high school. Charlie Day, known for his role as Charlie in "It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia," plays pushover English teacher Andy Campbell. He is challenged by the aggressive history teacher Ron Strickland, played by Ice Cube. The film follows Andy Campbell’s day leading up to the feared fight. He tries to figure out a way to get out of fighting Ron Strickland, go to a teacher’s meeting where his ...

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"The Great Wall" has great visuals, but not a great plot

By Jack Reilly Last updated: 02/17/17 9:00am

Epic battles, grotesque monsters and stunning visuals define “The Great Wall,” starring Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Tian Jing, Andy Lau and Willem Dafoe. The story features two European mercenaries, William (Damon) and Tovar (Pascal), who travel to China’s Great Wall with the goal of acquiring the famed Black Powder, a legendary powder said to be extraordinarily powerful. Little do they know that there is much more to the Great Wall than meets the eye. It is the Chinese main line of defense ...

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Why I can’t buy into the "La La Land" craze

By Haley Samsel Last updated: 02/16/17 3:53pm

The hype around "La La Land" over the past few months has been palpable. Critics have raved about the film’s rejuvenation of the movie musical. FiveThirtyEight is using some type of statistical magic to predict that the movie will win “Best Picture” at the Oscars on Feb. 26. Even one of our own writers, Dilpreet Raju, called "La La Land" a “sprawling success” in a review posted earlier this month. Friends from all walks of life have spoken to me about how the film profoundly affected them. ...

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"The Lego Batman Movie" teaches valuable lessons in a fun way

By Michael Blickstein Last updated: 02/12/17 6:18pm

The Lego Batman Movie stars Will Arnett and Michael Cera as Lego Batman and Robin respectively, and is the follow-up to the well-received and highly rated The Lego Movie from 2014. This film follows Lego Batman (Will Arnett) on his journey to overcome his fear of having a family and opening up to other people, as well as his duty to defeat all of the movie villains locked in the Phantom Zone.Similar to The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie is a film made up of what you’d expect a child’s Lego ...

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Bill Burr is at his best in "Walk Your Way Out"

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 02/11/17 10:02am

Bill Burr has become a sort of icon in the comedic landscape of the 21st century. His humor is not exactly prototypical when compared to some other household names of today, such as Louis C.K. and Sarah Silverman. All three find common ground in an ability to use vulgarity as a mechanism to further a joke, not dilute it. That is where Bill Burr begins to diverge, however, and with his new Netflix special “Walk Your Way Out,” he displays his variance from the average. Despite a rather outrageous ...

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"Fifty Shades Darker" disappoints with lack of passion

By Liz Holmes Last updated: 02/10/17 6:18pm

At the beginning of Fifty Shades Darker, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) renegotiates the terms of her former relationship with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) such that the relationship now has no rules and no punishments. Ana starts a new job as an assistant at a book publishing firm, and Christian continues to buy companies and nice things with his seemingly endless supply of money. Over the course of the film, Ana and Christian become much closer to each other as they try to develop a more healthy ...

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"John Wick 2" feels like a video game

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 02/10/17 6:11pm

The sequel to Chad Stahelski’s 2014 film, John Wick, brings back the same level of action and stunts in John Wick: Chapter 2. The movie follows John Wick, played by Keanu Reeves, as he ties up loose ends after the events of the first film. The introduction is filled with a menacing Russian mobster smoking a massive cigar as he describes the horrors that John Wick has committed. As he basically describes the entire events of the previous movie, John Wick brutally murders almost all of the mobster’s ...

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Review: Rings

By Nazli Togrul Last updated: 02/04/17 2:49pm

Rings is the third movie in The Ring franchise and brings the story into present day. All three movies are based on the urban legend of the girl who died by falling into a well and seeks revenge by killing people who watch a disturbing tape. The infamous tape that kills whoever watches it in seven days is now available on your iPhone. The highly anticipated film directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez starts off calm with a few jump scares here and there, even in the broad daylight. Julia (Matilda Lutz) ...

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The Young Pope, episodes 1-5: Paolo Sorrentino’s HBO mini-series explores the Vatican like it never has been before

By Matt Holt Last updated: 02/04/17 2:27pm

HBO has another hit on their hands. The Young Pope, created and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, takes on one of the oldest institutions in the world: The Catholic Church. The college of cardinals — the mechanism that chooses the Pope — picks a young, handsome Lenny Belardo (Jude Law) to lead the Catholic Church. At 46 years old, he’s the youngest Pope as well as the first American to ever assume the Papacy. Angelo Voiello (Silvio Orlando), the Secretary of State of the Vatican, orchestrates ...

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The sprawling success of La La Land

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 02/03/17 5:00pm

Before all its praise and positive clamor, most average moviegoers had a tentative approach to La La Land. A musical with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone? Can they even sing? I’m not even sure I like musicals. Why would I like this one?It turns out, any fears audiences had would be dismissed by the end of the first act. Universal acclaim has led to the film winning seven Golden Globes, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented La La Land with a whopping 14 nominations, tying the ...

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