Reviews

Disney’s Coco Is a Victory for Mexicans Everywhere

When I first saw the news about Disney/Pixar’s plans to make a movie set in Mexico and based around the Day of the Dead, I was cautiously optimistic. On the one hand, after two too many movies about cars, it was about time they made a movie about at least part of who I am. On the other, I hoped they wouldn’t make a joke or a mockery out of the culture with the movie. I’m happy to say...

Is The Gifted a Gift to the People or More of the Same?

I am an X-Men guy. I love all that Marvel and DC have to offer these day in regards to television, but the X-Men were always my team. So when I first got wind that The Gifted was going to be a live-action show starring my favorite group of people who possess the X gene, I was excited. However, I feared we’d be graced with another perfunctory attempt at pleasing fans like me. (Does anyone remember a little failed...

Capturing the Natural World, Elephant Fire Aims to Blaze the DIY Indie-Rock Scene

There’s a growing do-it-yourself movement among artists, which has led to some great stuff to experience but also means there’s a lot of noise to cut through. Filtering through all the choices to find what you want can be daunting, but there are those rare times you discover a gem that really finds purpose and captures the imagination, like an anthem of sorts. New Jersey–based Elephant Fire’s debut LP, Natural Heart, is one of those gems, and it’s come...

In the Justice League Movie, Things Actually Come Together

As I sat down for the newest entry in the DC Extended Universe, there seemed to be a general consensus in the theater: “I hope this movie is good.” That’s not necessarily an odd comment to make by itself—after all, we want all the movies we see to be good. But there was a hint of desperation in the statement, the “I’ve sat through some unsavory films in this cinematic universe” consensus, that permeated the audience. And isn’t it...

Throwback Thursday: How Would a Close Encounter Affect You?

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. Forty years ago today, Roy Neary entered a spacecraft as a kind of interplanetary diplomat. He hasn’t been heard from since. He experienced close encounters of the first, second, and third kinds. A close encounter of the first kind is when you have a visual sighting of an unidentified...

“Ha-Ha, I Made You Say Cock!” and Other Things That Try to Be Funny in Allen, Son of Hellcock

In an interview with CBR.com, writer Gabe Kopolwitz said that he drew a lot of inspiration for Allen, Son of Hellcock from years of reading “a lot of old Heavy Metal.” Yeeahhh. That’s possibly one of the reasons this comic book utterly fails the Bechdel Test . . . among other things. The story of Allen, Son of Hellcock follows a hapless do-nothing who has been paralyzed by his famous father’s reputation. His father’s ghost follows him around, alternately...

Artemis Is Lighthearted Sci-Fi Entertainment from the Author of The Martian

In 2014, Andy Weir’s self-published book The Martian was picked up by a major publisher. Just a year and a half later, it was a major motion picture starring Matt Damon that went on to gross over $630 million. Given that history, it’s not too surprising that Fox bought the film rights to Weir’s newest book, Artemis, months before it was even published. The new novel tells the story of Jasmine “Jazz” Bashara, a 20-something petty criminal born and...

Permanent Is Too Much Like a Bad Hair Day

One of the 120 films at the Twin Cities Film Festival this past month, Permanent seemed to be a small, quirky coming of age story. I was skeptical about it initially—I couldn’t find anything about it on social media or much of an Internet presence at all. The film is set in 1983 in a small town in Virginia. New to the area, 13-year-old Aurelie (Kira McLean) begs her parents, Jim (Rainn Wilson) and Jeanne Dixon (Patricia Arquette) to let...

The Marriage of Figaro Is a Modern Story of Class Struggle, Dressed in Wigs

Overdressing, cross-dressing, undressing, and a healthy dose of social critique are just a few of the delights offered by the Minnesota Opera’s production of classic opera The Marriage of Figaro. Figaro, our charismatic hero and the personal valet to Count Almaviva, just wants his wedding day to go smoothly. However, his capable fiancée, Susanna, senses trouble afoot. Their boss wants to claim his droit du seigneur: the master’s right to sleep with a servant on her wedding night. To make things...

BPM Looks Back on the AIDS Protests of the 1990s

BPM takes place in the 1990s with a real issue of the era but feels strangely relevant today. The French film—which is showing at Minneapolis’s St. Anthony Main Theatre through November 16, 2017—concerns the Paris-based chapter of the AIDS activist group ACT UP and their fight for a level of awareness of the disease seemingly ignored by the public and by health organizations. Teachers would rather not discuss safe-sex options, and a health company would decide not make public...
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