Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Silver Screen


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

By Dilpreet Raju Last updated: 02/11/17 3:02pm

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 Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 02/10/17 11:18pm

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 11:11pm

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 7:49pm

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 7:27pm

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 10:00pm

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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The Salesman delivers a twisted tale of vengeance

By Alix Mammina Last updated: 02/03/17 9:23pm

Veteran Iranian director Asghar Farhadi returns this year with “The Salesman,” a nuanced portrayal of one couple’s struggle to come to terms with a brutal assault. Emad (Shahab Hosseini), a high school English teacher, and his wife Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) balance rehearsals for their parts as leads in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” with their move into a new apartment. After Rana is violently attacked by a stranger while in the shower, her and Emad’s differing reactions ...

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The Space Between Us desperately seeks to please audiences by sticking their heads in the clouds

By Cordilia James Last updated: 02/03/17 2:00pm

Peter Chelsom’s The Space Between Us will either have audiences choking on an abundance of cheesy cliches, or experiencing feelings of wanderlust.  Following an astronaut’s unintentional pregnancy during a mission to Mars that leaves her dead, Gardner Ellis (Asa Butterfield) is born in outer space. For the first sixteen years of his life, he lives on Mars alongside scientists, kept a secret from the rest of the world in order to salvage the company’s reputation for allowing such a tragedy ...

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xXx: Return of Xander Cage delivers with ridiculous but colorful action sequences

By Michael Blickstein Last updated: 01/20/17 3:00pm

xXx: Return of Xander Cage is the third movie in the xXx franchise and focuses on Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) coming “back from the dead” as he takes part in one last mission to help return Pandora’s Box, a supercomputer that can control all the satellites in orbit, back to the U.S. government.This film opens with the team of villains rushing into the government building holding all of the directors of the intelligence agents and stealing Pandora’s Box. After a few shots of extreme athleticism ...

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Split’s inconsistencies outweigh strengths

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 01/20/17 3:00pm

Split is like the dissociative identity disorder seen in the antagonist: a confusing jumble of good and bad elements that result in a weak film. James McAvoy portrays Kevin, a man who houses 23 incredibly different identities. Some require glasses or insulin shots while others are female or as young as 9 years old. All of these identities and characters are played very well by McAvoy as he kidnaps three teenage girls and ominously talks about “The Beast,” an unknown identity that is explained ...

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The Founder: True stories don't always have happy endings

By Arielle Weg Last updated: 01/20/17 2:15pm

Whether it’s opening your Happy Meal to reveal your special toy, dipping your McNuggets into a variety of sauces or running around the PlayPlace during a birthday party, almost every American has a memory at McDonald’s. The Founder tells the true story of how one family-owned San Bernardino burger shack became one of the most recognized and profitable fast food chains in the world. And it’s not what you think. Director John Lee Hancock produces yet another Hollywood portrayal of an American ...

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20th Century Women provides aching look at what it means to grow up in a changing world

By Naomi Zeigler Last updated: 01/20/17 2:00pm

In 1979, it was no easier to be a young person than it is now. Using the landscape of changing politics, rock bands and a cynicism with the world, director Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women reflects on the internal conflict that comes with growth.The film follows 55-year-old single mother Dorothea (Annette Bening) and her 15-year-old son Jamie, played by newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann, as they both attempt to find happiness and meaning in the complex world of Santa Barbara, California. Feeling distant ...

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"Gilmore Girls" revival proves you can't really return home again

By Lara Jakiel Last updated: 12/09/16 5:15pm

This review contains spoilers for Gilmore Girls and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.The much-anticipated revival Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premiered on Netflix on Nov. 25, nearly ten years after the series’ finale in 2007. After creator Amy Sherman-Palladino left the original show prior to its seventh and final season, many passionate fans felt disappointed and let down by the series finale’s lack of closure. Expectations were high and fans were ready to return to Stars Hollow in this ...

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Black Mirror's Horrifying Tomorrow

By Michael Valenti Last updated: 12/09/16 2:00pm

Black Mirror, created by Charlie Brooker, depicts a horrifying version of where our society is moving to in the near future. The show turns the mirror back on society and it speaks to how social media is creating a false reality, how technology can be evil, the future of incarceration and so much more. If there is any problem with Black Mirror, it is that it covers so much and forces the audience to question nearly everything about current and future Western society. Yet, because the show has a ...

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Westworld Season 1 Finale: What Happened and What It Means

By Griffin Rowell Last updated: 12/08/16 4:27pm

HBO’s big-budget sci-fi show Westworld has finally come to the end of its first season, ultimately leaving even the most astute viewers positively puzzled, either at what the episode decided to show, or what the implications were behind it all. Long-standing questions about what the maze is, whether or not there are different timelines and what exactly Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) endgame is, were all answered in the finale. There’s no question Westworld is intellectual and thought provoking, ...

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Review: "Seasons"

By Elisabeth Holmes Last updated: 11/28/16 3:17am

Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud's new film Seasons opened on November 25, the perfect time to be thankful for what we love and the beauty in our own lives. Though it takes a while to get there, Seasons is a call to action for viewers to protect the wilderness from decreasing any further. Humans have developed and powerfully pushed against the wilderness. This film asks us to question why we cannot allow nature to rebuild and reclaim places that were cultivated and developed by humans. Seasons ...

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