Reviews

Sketchbook XXL Is a Collection of Creative and Wacky Comics from a Minnesota Artist

A world without coffee is a world without bliss, as far as I’m concerned. This glorious beverage adds normality to my day and gives me an energy boost. So of course I would be the one to stumble upon an online comic about coffee—or, rather, Koffee—on the indie-comic web platform Tapastic. Koffee and Marijuana Cig was my first introduction to the outlandish work of Twin Cities artist Jesse Hedman, and I mean “outlandish” in the best of ways. This series is...

Scum’s Wish Will Hurt You in the Way You’ve Always Dreamed Of

As Anime Detour, my “first love” convention, draws near, I find my free time increasingly taken up by the pursuit of new anime and manga series. While I’ll watch just about any genre of anime that comes out each season, I’m especially drawn to slice-of-life dramas, especially of the high-school-romance variety, of which there is no shortage . . . ever. With that said, Scum’s Wish has made a unique impression on me owing to how well it excels at what...

T2 Trainspotting Rock and Rolls through Once-Familiar Destinations

One of the things I have discovered about being a parent is the almost daily quantum experiences of memory. My son, now a toddler, will occasionally remind me of myself several decades ago—after which I always have a feeling like vertigo, like déjà-vu, when I simultaneously feel very young but also view the full scope of all those years in between passing like the view from a train window. It’s a reminder that life may be long at times,...

Prepare a Team of Teenagers with Character Development and You Get the New Power Rangers

I didn’t quite realize how much of a Power Rangers fan I was until yesterday. Knowing that I was about to see Power Rangers, I spent the day singing the old theme—and I don’t just mean the chorus, I mean the lyrical verses that remind us that “Noooooo one can ever take them down!” That being said, I went into the movie with . . . medium expectations. They weren’t too high, but they weren’t bottom of the barrel, either....

Throwback Thursday: Lost in Space Opera

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. In 1998, there were over 15 film remakes (Psycho, Rear Window, and Parent Trap to name a few), or reimagined films based on television shows (The Avengers). Some were good, or at least made money (City of Angels, A Perfect Murder, You’ve Got Mail), and some were absolutely horrible (Psycho, Godzilla, The Avengers),...

Movies of Mention! Kong: Skull Island, Pete’s Dragon, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and More

Welcome to your movie-geek roundup of what’s new and worth your attention on the big screen and streaming at home. Let us know in the comments what you’re going to be watching! In Theaters Beauty and the Beast (Now Playing) There may be something there that wasn’t there before, but it’s certainly not something that was needed. Director Bill Condon does deserve some credit for essentially replicating all the familiar songs, characters, and story beats of the original animated...

Minnesota Tonight Brings You the Local News . . . Hilariously

Minnesota Tonight is a local news show delivering politics, headlines, and legislation content in an entertaining package, not unlike Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Episodes tape at the Brave New Workshop every month, usually to sold-out audiences, and you can catch them after the fact on their website or their YouTube channel. I recently met up with founder and executive producer Jonathan Gershberg to learn more about this increasingly popular show. Gershberg, who is also the host of Minnesota...

The Northside Celebration from Capri Theater and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Is a Joy to Behold

Last night, in the auditorium at North Community High School, a gospel choir sang. A spoken-word poet recited a piece. A woman told a story. In between, a string quartet strummed their instruments, a woodwind quintet performed a couple of pieces, and a high schooler read a poem by one of his classmates. These disparate parts all came together as a wondrous whole to form the Northside Celebration, a collaboration between the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis and the...

Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale Is a Satisfying Wrap-Up for Fans of the Series

On March 9, I had the chance to attend one of the limited-release showings of anime film Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale. Sword Art Online is an anime series I’ve recently gotten into, and I was excited to see what direction the story would take in movie form. The movie is based directly on the anime—to date, there have been two series of SAO, but the movie is primarily based on the first. The original series is set in the near...

Beauty and the Beast Can’t Live Up to the Animated Classic

They say if ain’t broke don’t, fix it. And there’s very little to fix with Disney’s 1991 animated classic Beauty and the Beast. Whatever issues it may have are tertiary nitpicks spawned from the endless stream of Cracked and Buzzfeed articles, essays, theories, parodies, and fanfics. The animation was beyond beautiful, the characters lovable, and the songs undeniably catchy. So revered is it that it became the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best...
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