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Reviews

Wednesday, August 20 2014

‘Toy Story of Terror!’ Delivers on Halloween and the Toy Story Name

This holiday special perfectly balances the recognizable elements found in horror movies and the elements of the Toy Story universe.


Monday, August 18 2014

‘Dallas’ Season 3 Is Rich with Reincarnations and Recycled Plots

The real pleasures of the new Dallas involve engaging with repetition in all its forms and taking melodrama seriously.


Wednesday, August 13 2014

‘The Knick’: Clive Owen in 1900s New York City

Again and again, The Knick makes visible the traumas suffered by bodies, at risk, unequal by law, and struggling to survive.


‘Low Winter Sun: The Complete Series’: Maybe It Needs to Burn

Low Winter Sun tries to stand out as a refreshing take on the cop drama formula, but it's far too preoccupied with the shows that it knows audiences will compare it to.


Monday, August 4 2014

Joyous Cadre of Cinematic Excrement: ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXX’

There are good MST3K box sets, and then there are great MST3K box sets. The difference? All the Jack Palance jokes you could ever hope for.


Tuesday, July 29 2014

‘Frontline: Losing Iraq’ Shows a History of Mistakes

By the time Frontline: Losing Iraq arrives at the present moment of ISIS, the long history of US missteps in Iraq seems nearly overwhelming.


Sunday, July 27 2014

The Elemental Appeal of ‘The Choking Game’

A paean to the virtue of arrested development lurks at the core, here, which may be predictable. After all, we’re talking about a Lifetime original movie.


Thursday, July 24 2014

Tatiana Maslany Continues to Astound in ‘Orphan Black: Season Two’

The second season of BBC America’s Orphan Black continues its breakneck pace of twists and turns, all the while showcasing the best performance on television.


Tuesday, July 22 2014

‘30 for 30: Slaying the Badger’: Shenanigans at the 1986 Tour de France

Slaying the Badger constructs an exciting, sometimes troubling story of competition and deceit, focused on the 1986 Tour de France.


Tuesday, July 15 2014

‘Frontline: Separate and Unequal’: The Case Against Resegregation

Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, points out, "People who do things that have racial implications always say that race has nothing to do with it."


Sunday, July 13 2014

Guillermo del Toro’s Vampires Are Let Loose in ‘The Strain’

People must make choices, dire, resonant, tragic, repeatedly in The Strain.


Wednesday, July 9 2014

Vengeance Is the Motive for Almost Everyone in Season 2 of ‘The Bridge’

While vengeance is surely a reliable dramatic device, its use here is also potentially more far-reaching.


Tuesday, July 8 2014

Halle Berry Lands on TV for ‘Extant’

Flashbacks appear first as if in her mind (via circular mirrors and quaint iris transitions) and then as if on digital recording (on a tablet), neither obviously accurate.


The Groundbreaking Wonderfulness of ‘I Spy’

I Spy is filled with revolutionary diversity, exotic filming locations, and a textbook example of on screen chemistry.


Monday, June 30 2014

You’ll Lose Your Religion in ‘The Leftovers’

The cop and the reverend spend the first few episodes starting or not avoiding fights, their faces increasingly bruised and bloodied, increasingly emblems of disorder.


Sunday, June 29 2014

Word Play, Opera, ‘Endeavour’

Both Endeavour, and its parent series Inspector Morse make a point of juxtaposing a lovely illusion of Oxford with the city's uglier realities.


Thursday, June 26 2014

The Sophistication, Charm and Murders in ‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries’

The mysteries are consistently smart and well done, but it's the relationships between the characters that really make the show.


Wednesday, June 25 2014

‘The First World War: The Complete Series’ Is an Outstanding Primer on This Multi-Faceted Conflict

Often overshadowed by the World War II 20 years later, the Great War remains, in many sad ways, the yardstick for futility, pointlessness and waste.


Monday, June 23 2014

‘Brazil With Monty Python’s Michael Palin’ Isn’t the Brazil You’re Thinking of

This BBC series is a nice way to learn some things about the world's fifth largest country, which is hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.


Sunday, June 15 2014

David Tennant Is a Brilliant Barrister in ‘The Escape Artist’

Will (David Tennant) may be his chambers' most promising barrister, but he's flamboyant and ruthless only in the courtroom.


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