Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Silver Screen


‘Annihilation’ has its reach exceed its grasp of horror sci-fi

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 02/23/18 2:50am

"Annihilation,” Alex Garland’s much-anticipated follow-up to his smash hit “Ex Machina” is in theaters this weekend. Trailers have teased the film as sci-fi horror with world-ending stakes, a seemingly odd turn from “Ex Machina.” In the end, “Annihilation” is a slow burn sci-fi thriller pondering over gender status, humanity and creation. Aside from the hype around Garland’s second time in the director’s chair, the film has garnered some press for its release structure ...

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Put down the board games and go watch “Game Night”

By Brandon Ermer Last updated: 02/23/18 2:49am

It’s probably safe to say that traditions, no matter how celebrated, can become dull after endless repetition. This is the case for the characters in “Game Night,” a film co-directed by the writers of “Horrible Bosses” (Jonathan Goldstein) and more recently “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (both John Francis Daley and Goldstein). When the subjects of the film decide to shake things up a little bit, it drastically backfires, sending the gang into a frenzied adventure when one of their friends ...

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‘Lady Bird’: on class and place

By Jacob Robbins Last updated: 02/16/18 12:49pm

“I live on the wrong side of the tracks” says Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson ( Saoirse Ronan) in the movie, “Lady Bird.” At first, the comment seems innocuous, a humorous quip that cements the utter quirkiness of our female protagonist. On a second reading, however, it gives more depth to the film; “Lady Bird” is a movie on place and class more than it is about the mother-daughter dynamic. Much has been made in the flashy advertisements on television and social media about “Lady ...

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“Black Panther” is a watershed moment in pop culture

By Jacob Robbins Last updated: 02/16/18 10:37am

Among conversations on contemporary pop culture, there is a consensus: a lack of representation is certainly holding back important stories from being told. Among conversations on cinema, there is a question: if movies are heralded as the universal and accessible art form than for whom are they accessible to? It is clear that we have reached a fever pitch in our society where the demands for equal representation in film is, perhaps finally, being met with real action. It is not an exaggeration ...

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Top 10 shows to help you relax and de-stress this semester

By Grace George Last updated: 02/14/18 11:20pm

In order to maintain sanity between exams and homework, it is essential to take breaks from studying any way you can. Whether you are looking for a laugh or a good mystery, here are a few shows to watch when you want to destress and forget anything that might be weighing you down. “The Office” “The Office” is a classic TV series that will make you laugh at every awkward turn. All nine seasons of this raunchy, easy-to-follow comedy are available on Netflix and no matter how far the characters ...

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A Fantastic Woman is a stunning and vibrant examination into loss

By Jacob Robbins Last updated: 02/10/18 10:37am

LGBTQ films are having a mainstream moment; from “ Moonlight” to “BPM” to “Call Me By Your Name,” recent audiences have been intrigued and delighted by the portrayal of non-hereto norms on the screen. Enter “A Fantastic Woman,” Chile’s official submission to the 2018 Oscars and front-runner for best foreign film. This film is all at once a meditation on identity and sacrifice, discrimination and acceptance and love and loss. Make no mistake: this is not a love story, but in ...

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Super Bowl LII commercial roundup: Because it’s not all about football, right?

By Anna Donohue Last updated: 02/05/18 7:46pm

Sunday night’s Super Bowl LII resulted in a historic win for the Philadelphia Eagles over the New England Patriots, drawing in an audience of over a hundred million viewers across the United States. While the game is a big event for sports fans, many of us look forward to another aspect of the evening -- the commercials. Companies shelled out $5 million dollars -- as a baseline -- for a 30-second ad during this year’s Super Bowl coverage, according to a report by Sports Illustrated. For ...

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‘The Shape of Water’ is a human love story between a woman and an amphibian

By Becky Evans Last updated: 12/08/17 4:39am

Guillermo del Toro loves creatures. From the Pale Man in “Pan’s Labyrinth” to the titular character of “Hellboy,” his films have become famous for their inhuman characters. Now, del Toro thinks it is time to give some love back to his creatures. “The Shape of Water” is del Toro’s newest film. It chronicles the star-crossed romance between Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a strong-willed mute woman who works as a cleaner in an underground government lab, and the strange humanoid amphibian ...

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‘Tom of Finland’: A solid biopic that lacks focus

By Ali Almutairi Last updated: 12/08/17 3:39am

Directed by Dome Karukoski, this Finnish film tells the real-life story of Touko Laaksonen, more famously known as Tom of Finland, one of the most important and influential gay icons of the 20th century. “Tom of Finland” effectively reveals Touko’s inner frustrations and accomplishments, but lacks the flow and emotional heft necessary to pack a bigger punch. Touko Laaksonen was an artist who drew “homoerotic fetish art” in the latter half of the 20th century, and many of his works became ...

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Gary Oldman delivers an Oscar-worthy performance in an otherwise unremarkable ‘Darkest Hour’

By Brandon Ermer Last updated: 12/08/17 2:39am

Something anomalous has happened in filmmaking recently: Two World War II films released concurrently by different directors happened to contain eerily similar subject matter, and managed to complement one another. These films were “Dunkirk” (Christopher Nolan) and “Darkest Hour” (Joe Wright). “Dunkirk” is a harrowing film chronicling the escape of the surrounded British armed forces from the clutches of the Nazis while “Darkest Hour” serves as a biopic of the man who delivered ...

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