I watched Murphy Brown a lot as a kid. Long before Dan Quayle clutched his pearls. Raging Candice Bergen in 2018 DC may not be in demand, but I'm curious about how Murphy Brown 2: Electric Trumpaloo turn out. https://t.co/xoAhQPDGu2
A review of the first two episodes of The Alienist. Screener provided by Turner Broadcasting for review purposes.
The Alienist is TNT’s new alluring mystery set in gloomy 1896 New York. Though it’s interesting to piece the mystery together week by week, TNT’s historical drama, based on Caleb Carr’s novel, would be a future binge-watcher’s favorite. Alienist has lots of atmosphere, doesn’t spare us the cruelty of the Gilded Age, and has main characters who fill the needed personality trait checkboxes but may break out of being two-dimensional in later episodes.
Sometimes The Alienist gets bogged into familiar serial killer mystery stuff, but it’s a show I’ll find a way to watch to the end. I want to know how this version of New York City functions. I want to get to know the city’s inhabitants. How deep down the strange rabbit hole will our sleuths (played solidly by Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning) go? Where’s our memetic badass version of Teddy Roosevelt? Continue reading “TNT’s Alienist Swoops Us Into Gilded Age New York”
The filmmakers provided a screener for review. This review avoids mentioning major spoilers.
The horror-suspense film The Atoning, directed by Michael Williams, gives a distorted view of an American family. The first act of the movie show this family, mother Vera, father Ray, and son Sam going through the motions inside of their home. Witnessing routine after routine is odd enough until the family sees strange visions of other people. Later, the movie shows who has to do some actual atoning, including confronting some coal-black demons, and why. Continue reading “The Atoning Review”
Unlike his profession as a musician, Daryl Davis’ methods of fighting racism isn’t always a crowd pleaser. Accidental Courtesy, the documentary featuring Davis, covers his befriending some Ku Klux Klan members and the impact of his actions. It’s a fascinating watch for how Davis thinks outside the volatile box of race relations.
As a younger (millennial) Black man, I have some mild ambivalence to Davis’ work. He has had success in turning some of his hood-and-robe-wearing friends away from the Ku Klux Klan and its sociopathic hate. For that, I am grateful that Davis illustrating face-to-face social interaction can make a difference. However, it’s a one-man movement about crossing the aisle meaning it’s slower kind of change, doesn’t end the Klan, and can send mixed signals. Some of the tensest moments of Accidental Courtesy is when Davis talks those who don’t approve of his methods, such as a representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center and a meeting with two younger Black protesters in Baltimore. Also, Courtesy throws in footage of Donald Trump in a seemingly last-minute attempt of relevance. Davis remains hopeful while living on the brink of the Trump presidency, but how Davis deals with the alt-right would require an update a few years down the line.
Accidental Courtesy is sometimes hard to watch, but I find Davis’ effort a net positive for improving race relations. It has shown me, someone who practically lives online, how we, in general, should value getting to know each other in the flesh. Americans should be exposed to more films showing the fight against racism in action.
From an advance screener copy provided by the filmmakers.
Middle school provided some of the worst moments of my childhood. Kids were reaching peak immaturity before high school came along when we all had to make important decisions about launching our adult lives. Cents, written and directed by Christopher Boone, captures the atmosphere where kids only think they have things figured out. While Cents is free of profanity and explicit stuff, there’s plenty of bad behavior.
Math whiz Sammy Baca (Julia Flores) concocts a major tweak to her school’s penny drive program. She convinces the students operating the drive to tell one other person a day to give a penny, that other person gets another to give a penny, and so on. Sam didn’t think up a pyramid scheme out of the goodness of her heart; her taking a cut of the proceeds beats selling gum on school grounds. Penny by penny, Sammy’s saves up for a brand new toy. Sammy’s intelligent, but only at the end of the movie she shows empathy, contrition, and even a bit of wisdom.
These girls aren’t criminal masterminds, so complications arise in executing the plan and egos are bruised. Because I had trouble keeping up with names, I made names for the other members of the group: ex-BFF, Mean Queen Selena Gomez lookalike, and MQSG’s lackey. The young ladies do fine portraying basic character types, but cartoonish MQSG acts as though she’s on The Suite Life of iCarly or whatever. Continue reading “Cents Movie Review”
Over 15 years ago, ABC’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire was THE TV event of late summer. It pushed the boundaries of what game shows were (Million dollar top prize! Dark and moody lighting!) and its popularity sparked an explosive end to a humdrum decade in the quizzer genre.
Millionaire went from a worldwide phenomenon helmed by Chris Tarrant, Regis Philbin, and others to… something far from its glorious late-90s, early 2000s heyday. Here in the U.S., it’s limping along with its fourth syndicated weekday host and a third major format tweak (i.e. “back to basics”).
Tim “Loogaroo” Connolly documents his thoughts:
Without question, WWTBAM was one of my all-time favorite shows. It captivated my attention from the word go, and I was among the throngs of people calling the show’s toll-free number every opportunity I got, hoping to get the call that would give me the opportunity at a big win. I even constructed a fansite for the show, doing my best to chronicle the exploits of each contestant before the constant waves of new contestants got to be overwhelming.
Dusty Rhodes was the man who could draw working black and white people to his battles in the squared circle. He influenced Ric Flair and mentored NXT stars such as Sami Zayn and Enzo Amore. Writer Chauncey Devega discusses Dusty’s lasting impact:
Dusty Rhodes was a legend in the ring and a preacher on the microphone. What’s more, he was also a Black icon