Archives for January 2014
Reign Report: "Sacrifice"
I think among its thousand plot threads, Reign is finally beginning to work out a bit of what’s missing, and what exactly about the show will work, long-term, to make things a success. The entirety of that strategy is “Catherine.” And it’s strategy they are committed to. Their side plots – the handmaidens stepping up to do something after what feels like weeks of doing nothing except avoid being poisoned 75% of the time – are fine, but this is a show that has no problem stabbing Nostradamus at the… Read more »
Reign Report: "King and Country"
Welcome back to the Reign Report, with what has to be the most on-the-nose episode title yet! In this episode, the show confounded my modest expectations that Mary and Bash would be on the run for an episode, running up against curious innkeepers, pretending to be married, and then discovering in the true storytelling tradition that this hotel room only has one bed. I mean, the episode still had all that, but it happened in the first five minutes; then it was back to court. I’d say it was a… Read more »
Ten Things You Should Know About I, Frankenstein
Every year, in darkest winter, the cinemas are largely filled with leftover awards contenders and a studio’s awkward also-rans that got bumped until there was just no space left. But amid those disparate offerings lurks B-movie gold: the January Gem, which can occasionally come out in February depending on how many technothrillers a movie studio has to burn off first. That’s the kind of laid-back attitude we want in a January Gem. Last year, the amazingly bad Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters gifted us with Missing Children posters on medieval… Read more »
Invisible Women, Earth Girls, and Sherlock
I wrote about some things! (I’m resisting the urge to use this picture for every reaction shot I ever need. You’re welcome.) For Philadelphia Weekly, I reviewed The Invisible Woman, a historical drama that seems on the surface to be about Charles Dickens’ affair with young Nelly Ternan, but is actually about Nelly’s search for identity in a world of women who are in various stages of well-adorned captivity. It’s a quietly surprising movie and an insightful period piece. I appreciate that director Ralph Fiennes did not let actor Ralph… Read more »
Sleepy Hollow's Come and Gone
Last night, in the season finale of the show no one ever believed would be the cheeseball wonder that it is, everyone and everything Abbie and Ichabod love in Sleepy Hollow was in the balance. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, FOREGROUND. It was a two-hour cheesefest that included zombie George Washington (you heard me) who rose from the dead just to make a map of Purgatory other people could use later and then I guess just re-died like a normal guy, and then involved someone else who rose from… Read more »
Red Carpet Rundown: SAG Awards 2014
Ah, the SAG Awards, where people momentarily stop pretending they’re here for anyone but the actors! Hilariously, that takes less acting than normal for them. Life is complicated. This year’s SAGs also got the memo about No Necklaces, which saved it from an awkward social situation in which the SAGs show up at a garden party and the Golden Globes and the Oscars suddenly pretend they have eye ache from the sun and disappear inside without even saying hello. This time, there’s no look of the night because it would… Read more »

Recent Work

TV Recaps: The Handmaid's Tale, Season 1

TV Recaps: Harlots, Season 1

TV Recaps: Elementary, Season 5

TV Recaps: Reign, Season 4

Film: “Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai?”: Bollywood’s Scandalous Question, and The Hardest-Working Scene in Movies, Oscilloscope

Book Review: YAWN: Adventures in Boredom, NPR.org

Book Review: The Radium Girls, NPR.org

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