Monthly Archives: July 2017

Atomic Blonde

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There’s a lot that goes right in Atomic Blonde. Charlize Theron stars as an MI-6 agent that goes undercover in late 80s wall-coming-down Berlin in order to find who murdered another agent and recover a secret list he had. James McAvoy is one of her contacts, though has spent a little too much time in the city. Chaos follows Theron’s Lorraine as she weaves through the city, leaving bodies and other plot points in her wake. Conversely, there’s a lot that goes wrong in Atomic Blonde.

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Hamilton

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It can be difficult to keep expectations in check when you’re faced with a continuous cycle of THE GREATEST THING EVER, whether it be film, tv, or stage. It’s commonplace to constantly speak in hyperbole, so much that it can be exhausting trying to figure out where the truth, or more accurately in this case, where subjective opinion really lies. Hamilton won a boatload of Tony’s, a Grammy, a Pulitzer. You’re lucky if the ticket price doesn’t include a comma. People are losing their shit over this show and I can confidently conclude the for me it is both a masterpiece and overrated.

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Dear Evan Hansen

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Not enough Broadway productions have taken advantage of technology or even tried to evolve beyond the trappings of the medium from a hundred years ago. This is one of the reasons I connected so instantly to RENT (probably my favorite theater show, although it works best if you see it when you’re a young starving creative). Since that show only Avenue Q and American Idiot, that I can recall, really pushed forward the opportunity of visual storytelling on the stage. And now, and even more so, you can Dear Evan Hansen to that list.

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Heisenberg

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I was excited to see Heisenberg at the Mark Taper Forum for two reasons, namely Mary Louise Parker, but also because of Denis Arndt, an actor I’m sure I’m the only one who remembers from his season 5 stint on L.A. Law (one of my favorite seasons of any TV show ever). He wasn’t a regular, but he did get engaged to lead Grace Van Owen (Susan Dey, her third of four would be husbands). He also spent some time on two other David Kelley shows, Picket Fences and the Practice. Always enjoyed him. And Parker has always been a favorite, from West Wing and Weeds, but going all the way back to the Client, which I thought was a great movie, at the time.

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Hashtag Celebrating

I strolled by the bar three times before I could make my way inside. I didn’t want to be alone. I don’t do alone very well, at least not and especially in public social situations, but I had to go in. My entire trip was built around going inside. I’ve been to nearly 60 countries, been hit by a car twice, there were things to be afraid of in this world, but a bar hosting a screenplay competition where I’m a finalist is not one of them. Still, I was impressed I only passed by it three times. I expected five.

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Girls Trip

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Okay, the only reason I made it to this one was because my house was having a forced power outage overnight and I needed to kill a couple hours before sleeping, and this was the movie that was showing when I needed it. That and Spider-Man, which I’ll be honest, I did debate on seeing a fourth time. Another movie for which I’m clearly not the target audience, but one I laughed at a bit more than the Little Hours. It’s funny, and in a direct comparison with Rough Night, a recent movie with which it shares a lot of parallels, it’s easily the victor. If only that were enough to make it great.

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The Little Hours

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Sometimes I see a movie I don’t vibe with and I have to just concede it wasn’t made for me. The Little Hours is that movie. Based on one story from a 14th century collection, it is a movie with some comedic greats (Aubrey Plaza, Dave Franco, Alison Brie, Kate Micucci, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Fred Armisen, Nick Offerman, even Paul Reiser for christsakes) doing some really interesting things that ultimately don’t amount to a whole lot.

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Summertime

Summertime is awesome. Summer in LA even more so. Summer in LA with no job is pretty damn near perfect. My sabbatical has been going on for almost a month, but only in the past week or so has it finally hit me. Between visiting family and the holiday, nothing has really felt normal, but now I have a new normal, which consists, mostly, of sitting in front of a blank screen. This is amazing and maddening.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

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One of the things that can tank a super-hero movie fast, is having a sullen and morose hero. I don’t know anyone who wants to imagine themselves in those footsteps. It’s one of the reasons the DC Universe had trouble finding its footing until Wonder Woman. There was no joy there. But in Marvel and Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, joy is baked right in.

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The Beguiled

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Sofia Coppola’s Civil War era battle of the sexes drama is a master class lesson in mood. Sun bursts through overgrown trees, winds waft through tattered curtains, and seemingly inconsequential items like buttons, lace fringe, can help to create drama. The Beguiled is a really fascinating movie.

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