It could have been a crash grab. It could have been a shameless piece of marketing designed to sell kids toys. And while The LEGO Movie is sure to drive kids to ask Mom and Dad for LEGO sets, it is not just a very expensive commercial. The LEGO Movie is, in fact, a highly entertaining, very fun and unexpectedly touching movie that kids and adults can enjoy equally. It might even skew more towards the adults, actually, as they’re better equipped to pick up on the nostalgic and pop culture references littered throughout the movie. Basically The LEGO Movie is Pixar at its best, except Pixar didn’t make it. Continue reading
Look ma, the movie preview is on time!
A Fantastic Fear of Everything
Simon Pegg stars as a crime novelist whose research on serial killers has turned him into a paranoid wreck. This is exactly the kind of movie that benefits from the on-demand platform. It looks good, but maybe not good enough for a trip to the theater. But from the comfort of your couch? Perfectly fine option for home viewing, and one you probably won’t regret.
After two decent episodes that featured momentary delights, if not all-engrossing plots like seasons before, Sherlock ends on one of its strongest episodes ever. Objectively, “His Last Vow” ranks behind only “The Reichenbach Fall”, but personally I’d put it ahead of “Fall” simply because “Fall” kind of hurts to watch and “Vow” doesn’t, which makes it a little more re-watchable, but that’s just me and my angst-avoidance policy. Still, “Vow” is a tremendous episode that features the best acting yet from Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as a satisfying arc for Amanda Abbington as Mary Watson, and Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen (brother of Mads) turns in a brilliantly creepy performance as the villain, Charles Magnussen. Overall, it’s a stellar episode to close out Sherlock’s third season.
Through the first two seasons of Sherlock, the one episode people consistently cited as the “worst”—and I use that term very loosely, as there’s no such thing as a bad episode of Sherlock—was season two’s “The Hound of Baskerville”. That was the one episode that in no way tied back to Moriarty, and so it ended up having a kind of inconsequential feel. It feels a bit like a placeholder, like a kind of thematic intermission. Well, with Moriarty gone, so far season three has a similar time-killing feel to it. It’s not that the episodes aren’t good—they are very good. It’s just that they don’t feel important and without the looming threat of a Big Bad, they lack the gravitas of the previous seasons of Sherlock.
It’s been nearly two years since we watched Sherlock Holmes jump off a hospital roof in London, and in that time we have hashed and rehashed what just happened and how Sherlock could have survived. In the end, it was the simplest possible explanation, a matter of perfect timing, flawless execution and depending on Moriarty to clean up his own loose ends. “It’s a bit disappointing,” Anderson says to Sherlock. “Everybody’s a critic,” Sherlock returns. You get the sense this exchange is show co-creators and writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss tipping their hats to the audience who has built this event up for two years, a way of acknowledging that their version of events has likely been outstripped by the imaginations of their fans. I, for one, was not disappointed. I would have hated it if they’d come with the kind of Mission: Impossible scenario Anderson dreams up. What they went with stretches credulity, but it does work.
2013 was a great year in film. It was a “dart year”, meaning that if you threw a dart, you would hit a movie deserving of recognition and praise. It’s the kind of year where there are no real snubs, simply because there was an abundance of good work, not only from actors and directors, but writers, cinematographers, editors, composers, stylists, and engineers—everyone was firing on all cylinders last year. That said, there will definitely be regrets about the 2014 Oscars within five years. Not all of these movies are going to hold up—in fact, I can already pick four on the Best Picture list that won’t hold up at all: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street.
I’ve gone back and forth on how to tackle the debate that has arisen in the wake of the Girls panel last Friday at the Winter TCAs. In case you missed it, The Wrap’s Tim Molloy asked Dunham why she was naked so much on her show, Girls. Or, more specifically, this is what he said:
“I don’t get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you particularly. I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you say no one complains about the nudity on Game of Thrones, but I get why they’re doing it. They’re doing it to be salacious. To titillate people. And your character is often naked at random times for no reason.”