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Reviews

'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Is a Small Part of a Growing Live-Action Comic Book

Marvel is making their own live-action comic series, and while you don’t necessarily need to collect all the pieces to enjoy the story, there’s a much bigger payoff if you do.

Reviews

'I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season One' Is Really Smokin'

I Love Lucy has been treasured for years, but this is the first time that it has been presented in a manner so thoroughly studied and examined within its historical context.

Film

Ron Burgundy and the Sorry State of Journalism

I didn't expect Anchorman 2 to be something the first Anchorman was not at all: a relevant, and dare I even say intelligent, satire on the state of news reporting in the US.

Reviews

Darkness Comes to 'Downton'

Season 4 of Downton Abbey is suddenly like the British aristocracy’s version of Breaking Bad.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

PBS Masterpiece

Film

'The Great Muppet Caper' and 'Muppet Treasure Island'

Even in this tech-dominated age, the fixed eyes and features of the Muppets remain expressive and alluring.

Reviews

'Downton Abbey's Poor Relations

What's so captivating about Downton Abbey is that the servants are thrust into the forefront, wholly realized characters themselves and often the ones we care about most.

Reviews

'Now You See Me' Is but an Illusion of Substance

There's a lot of balls in the air, and a lot of talented stars needing equal screen time in this film.

Television

Go Home, Walter: The Case for Gustavo Fring as the Greatest Villain in Television History

Gus Fring has earned his spot in the all-time Villain Hall of Fame. It his unexcitable demeanor when enraged that makes him unpredictable and highly volatile to be around, and that's exactly what you want in a good antagonist: never knowing what he is going to do next.

Matt Grant
Reviews

Place and Satire in 'Portlandia'

The genius behind Portlandia is its gentle lampooning of a very specific population that still manages to be accessible to those who live outside the limits of the Portland metropolitan area.

Reviews

Time and Prejudice Eat at You in 'Rectify'

Daniel may be free, but he is far from exonerated, and it is this dichotomy that lends Rectify both its brilliance and its unique sense of tension.

Reviews

Blue Like Jazz and Christian Art

In trying to make Blue Like Jazz’s Christian sensibilities more palatable to non-Christian crowds, Jesus becomes less the moral of the story and more of an afterthought; a way for the filmmakers to tell Don’s story rather than the reason they’re telling the story in the first place.

Reviews

Make It So: 'Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One'

Trekkies take note: this isn’t just a standard upconvert job from videotape. The footage has been recreated from the original film elements, and the payoff is huge. The episodes look as brand new now as they would have in 1987.

Film

To Be Young Again: Maturity and Adolescence in Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Was love purer for us when we were 13? Probably not, but it sure is nice to remember it that way.

Matt Grant
Reviews

'Hell on Wheels': Race and Reconstruction in the Old West

Between former soldiers from both sides of America's deadliest war, prostitutes, immigrants, freed slaves, lost preachers, and Native Americans, there’s no shortage of stories to tell, and in just ten episodes Hell on Wheels embraces them all to varying degrees but with equal insight.

Film

'Battleship': What Did You Expect?

The film is a huge missed opportunity, not because of its action potential but because of its subtext.

Film

Surprise: The Avengers Uses CGI!

When we do finally reach the CGI-infused Last Stand in the breathtaking third act, we are cheering for those heroes in ways that we never quite have before.

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