Reviews

Alien: Covenant is Faithless

In every cop TV show there is a scene where the detectives have to visit the family of a murder victim and inform them that their loved one has been killed senselessly. The family cries or yells, and the cop either shrugs it off or says something really pithy. My dear, dear Alien fans, I am the detective and I am on your doorstep. Knock, knock. I am going to do the merciful thing and spare you the hundred...

Throwback Thursday: In Space, No One Can Hear an Alien Scream

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. With the imminent release tomorrow of the latest film in the Alien saga, I figured now would be the perfect opportunity to look at this space opera franchise and what the individual production teams have brought to each installment. As discussed in last week’s column, a confluence of events...

Movies of Mention! King Arthur, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, 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 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Now Playing) Guy Ritchie’s wild take on King Arthur could stand to be more crazy. Sure, it begins quite fun with magic swords decapitating wizards, giant elephants blasting through armies, and a rather fast montage of Arthur’s life growing...

Anxiety! The Musical Confronts Mental Health with Song and Comedy

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Those with social anxiety disorder experience an intense fear of being scrutinized and negatively evaluated by others in social or performance situations. Some literally feel sick from fear in seemingly nonthreatening situations.” Simply defined, social anxiety is the fear of interacting with other people. But social anxiety can be selective. Anxiety! The Musical, presented by Fearless Comedy Productions at the Historic Mounds Theatre, is not a show that makes light...

Ocean of Secrets Is a Fantastical Whirlwind

I was intrigued by the manga Ocean of Secrets by Sophie-chan as soon as I saw the cover art. And when I read the short description, which told of a young girl named Lia whose seemingly normal life is turned upside down when she’s swept away in a storm and rescued by a magical ship, that was all I needed to know I had to check this one out! My expectation going into the story was that it would have a steampunk feel...

Minnesota Orchestra Concert Shines the Spotlight on Underplayed Pieces

Not all classical music is well known. Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms represent the top 40, if you will, of classical artists, and even within their repertoire there are pieces that are better known than others. (Can anyone hum “Wellington’s Victory,” Beethoven’s Op. 91 work?) Some works are played less often because they require a very large orchestra, or a very small one; some are played less frequently because they require a very expensive score. Still others are rarely performed...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Isn’t Your Father’s Arthurian Story

There have been numerous films set around the exploits of King Arthur and his Round Table. Most have focused on Arthur’s rise to power, his love triangle with Guenevere and Lancelot, or his later years. (For just one take, see my look at 1981’s Excalibur here.) But King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is something different. Never before have I seen so many of the standard tropes of this legend removed to create something different, yet also familiar. Guy...

Throwback Thursday: Dark Star Is an Excavated Classic

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. I’m going to start off this throwback with a big ol’ declarative sentence. Dark Star is not a good film. There. I’ve said it. You might be wondering why I’m devoting a column to its existence, then. It might not be a good film, but it is an important...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Isn’t Perfect, But It’s a Pretty Great Sequel

It’s great. It’s not as good as the first one. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, that’s a pretty sufficient TL;DR review of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, the latest whiz-bang spectacle from Marvel Studios. James Gunn is back in the director’s chair for the follow-up to his 2014 surprise hit, Guardians of the Galaxy, a film that stars, in the words of its second trailer, “a thief, two thugs, an assassin, and...

Looking Back on Six Seasons of Girls

On April 16, 2017, the HBO original series Girls aired its final episode after six seasons. I watched every episode of the series, and if someone asked me why, my answer would be, “Well, it’s kinda funny.” But was that enough? As soon as the sixth season premiered I knew I would be writing something about the show, but I simultaneously realized that I found myself in a unique situation. Normally, a show is good for reason A and...
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