Hidden Figures Favors Drama Over Impact Jan11

Hidden Figures Favors Drama Over Impact

Overview: Three black women employed by NASA in the early 1960s solve mathematical equations essential to the success of the space program’s manned missions. 20thCentury Fox; 2016; Rated PG; 127 minutes. Women in History: In the early 1960s, a team of black women worked for NASA as mathematicians and engineers to help the U.S. beat the Soviets in the race to space – and none of us knew about them. Hidden Figures shines the spotlight on three real-life women: Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), a brilliant mathematician who graduated high school at 14, college at 18, and taught math before becoming the most skilled mathematician in...

Jackie Is All Towering Performance Dec21

Jackie Is All Toweri...

Overview: In the week after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, his wife, Jackie, is tasked with making impossible decisions to preserve his legacy while grieving publicly and privately. Fox Searchlight Pictures; 2016; Rated R; 100 minutes. “A man may die, nations may rise and fall,...

THE LION: An Interview with Benjamin Scheuer

THE LION begins without introduction. This one-man musical is simply staged – Benjamin Scheuer, his suit, and six guitars—each characters in their own right—tell the autobiographical, coming-of-age story of now thirty-something Scheuer’s relationship with his father, first love, family discord, and devastating medical diagnosis. The musical is written and performed by Scheuer; he’s charming, witty, and poised, and, most of all, generous with his story. He’s a brilliant lyricist, the kind who doesn’t waste a word. Music, the thing that binds him to his father, is his  tool for forgiveness, redemption, and clarity, and in listening to his...

Allied is a Narrowly Focused World War II Drama Nov28

Allied is a Narrowly...

Overview: A Canadian intelligence officer and a French resistance fighter pose as a married couple to assassinate a Nazi ambassador in Casablanca in 1942. They start a new life in London but are soon forced to confront realities of the war. Paramount Pictures; 2016; Rated R; 124 minutes. Come...

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Meanders Aimlessly Nov22

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Meanders Aimlessly...

Overview: After a brutal battle in Iraq, Billy Lynn and his fellow soldiers are hailed as heroes and brought home for a victory tour, but through flashbacks it’s revealed that the realities of the war in Iraq and Americans’ perceptions are vastly different. TriStar Pictures; 2016; Rated R; 110 minutes. Comedy, Tragedy: In the second to last scene, where the (not) Dallas Cowboys cheerleader is saying goodbye to Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn), it finally occurred to me that Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk might have been a black comedy. But I’m not exactly beating myself up over not getting this one. Up until that point, there had only been one...

Is It Still Scary: Return to Oz

From 1995 to 1996, my sister subjected my family to a daily viewing of The Wizard of Oz. Daily. As in she convinced each of my recently divorced parents that she’d be less traumatized by our broken family if she got to eat Ramen Noodles for dinner every night, sitting in front of the TV, watching her rapidly deteriorating VHS copy of the beloved 1939 classic. Maybe in hopes of expanding our movie collection or perhaps in a desperate fit of, “I can’t fucking watch The Wizard of Oz one more time,” my dad introduced us to Return to Oz, the 1985 sequel-ish to the (set on permanent repeat in the Maxwell household) classic musical. He had a...

Bad Moms and the Fiction of Motherhood Aug26

Bad Moms and the Fiction of Motherhood

As I broach the subject of parenthood – well, as I continue to be badgered by others about when (not if) I’m going to have children – I’m trying to wrap my mind around how I’m going to do that, how I’m going to do it all. It occurs to me that maybe I don’t have to do it all, but it also occurs to me that I don’t see a mom not doing it all. I want a wildly successful career, a home in a rather expensive city, and a happy, engaged marriage—all things that will require effort and time on my part. I also want me time and time to binge watch every TV show I find mildly interesting, if I’m being honest. Just kidding. I don’t even have time for...

Fuller House is Nostalgic Regurgitation Mar02

Fuller House is Nostalgic Regurgitation

Let’s clear a couple things up right off the bat: With very little (almost no) coercion, I agreed to review this with an open mind, because I used to be a die-hard Full House fan. To my first point, if I’m totally honest, I wasn’t fighting my fellow AE writers off of this assignment, and I wasn’t particularly eager to devote six and a half hours of my life to Fuller House, if you can imagine. I did sign up hoping to find some bright spots in the obviously questionable reboot and to throw out a not-completely scathing article into the sea of brutal Fuller House reviews. And about that “die-hard” fan part....

What Cinema Taught Me About Being British Feb03

What Cinema Taught M...

I always fancied myself a British woman—the kind who was born in the wrong country, of course. But alas (do Brits say “alas”?), I was born in the good ole U.S. of A. Though, if I am more well suited as a brash American, I surely should have at least married a British man. But as my husband so...

Joy Sees Lawrence Fighting Russell’s Missteps Jan12

Joy Sees Lawrence Fi...

Overview: A semi-biographical drama about entrepreneur Joy Mangano’s invention of the Miracle Mop in the early ‘90s. Fox 2000 Pictures; PG-13; 2015; 124 minutes. Oh, David O. Russell: Jennifer Lawrence stars as our titular character in her third collaboration with Director David O. Russell,...

10 Great Christmas Movies Dec24

10 Great Christmas Movies

It’s Christmas Eve, and if you haven’t managed to get in the Christmas spirit yet, there’s still time! And I know no better way to shake the Scrooge and bring on the Buddy the Elf than a Christmas movie marathon. As for those of you born with that unshakable Christmas craze, you already know the value of a good holiday flick, so crank it up a notch with a re-watch of one of the picks below and be sure to weigh in with your favorite Christmas movie in the comments section below. While there are dozens of Christmas films to choose from and even more Christmas-ish movies at your disposal, here is the definitive, all-time best...

The Danish Girl Moves On Autopilot Dec24

The Danish Girl Move...

Overview: The Danish Girl is loosely based on the lives of artists Gerda and Einar Wegener, a married couple navigating Einar’s transition to become a woman (Lili Elbe) through one of the first known sexual reassignment surgeries in the early 1920s. Focus Features; 2015; Rated R; 119 minutes....

Toy Story: 20 Years Later

I was the perfect child. My parents will tell you so. Emphatically, even. Why they went on to have a second child is a mystery my family – and this world – may never resolve. But one fateful November morning two and a half decades ago, I lost my only child status to a very round, undeniably adorable baby sister. My parents had made the tragic mistake of replacing me with a chubby, bald, wide eyed baby, and I simply couldn’t compete*. It unleashed the start of the great Maxwell sibling rivalry—for the following 16 years. In 1995, Toy Story debuted, and I was lucky enough to be seeing the revolutionary film in theaters. I sat firmly in the...

Where Are All the Female Movie Critics?

Since clueless adults only seem to ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I got that answer down and down fast. Veterinarian, duh. It’s the obligatory career desire of every young girl, and I was going to be no exception. Quickly, though, that answer morphed into trauma surgeon, mostly fueled by my favorite childhood program, Trauma: Life in the ER, a show I insisted watching while eating dinner much to my parents’ disgust. Not to spoil the ending, but in keeping with my childhood passions, naturally I chose to be an English teacher. But somewhere in between my fixation on all things surgery and...

Minions: Lots of Cute with Little Heart Jul13

Minions: Lots of Cut...

Overview: The henchmen from Despicable Me get their own movie. Universal Pictures; 2015; Rated PG; 91 minutes. Meh-nions: The final scene in Minions scored one of those worth-the-price-of-admission, total theater laughs. And while I can only speak for myself, I’m pretty sure a moderately...

Netflix Hidden Gem #48: Last Night

Last Night (2010) Director: Massy Tadjedin Genre: Drama; Gaumont Synopsis: After seeing her husband’s stunning, but never-before-mentioned co-worker, Laura (Eva Mendes), Joanna (Keira Knightley) suspects Michael (Sam Worthington) has a reason to keep the woman a secret. After accusations fly, the two swiftly make up, that is before Michael leaves on an overnight business trip, which Laura will be attending as well. While Joanna grapples with the events of the night before, she runs into an old love she never quite got over. Overview:  Last Night works much like a stage play, with a restraint and subtlety too few films manage to master. The...

5 Dinosaurs Scarier Than Anything In Jurassic Park Jun11

5 Dinosaurs Scarier Than Anything In Jurassic Park

God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs. Woman makes list of dinosaurs scarier than anything seen in Jurassic Park. As we all eagerly await what is sure to be best film of all time (JURASSIC WORLD!), I’m here to talk about the second best part of the Jurassic Park franchise. (If you don’t immediately recognize the god that is Jeff Goldblum is the best part, you can’t be helped.) The dinosaurs are clearly a bit of a draw. A few iconic scenes have seared some of the coolest dinosaurs into our minds, and while the three current JP films showcase some of our...

Weekly Clickables: 6/2/2015

Happy rabbit, rabbit day, all. I hope everyone enjoyed the last of May. It’s June! Which means my summer blockbuster countdown is closer than ever. (12 days until Jurassic World! Not that you didn’t already know.) To kick off the week, we’ve got a few things for you:   Ever wonder what the Mad Max: Fury Road trailer redone in grindhouse ’80s style would look like? Wonder no more. The Playback Collective via the A.V. Club has you covered. Yeah, it’s as cool as it sounds. It isn’t exactly a new premise that machines and robots will be sucking up all of our jobs, leaving us, well,...

Nicholas Sparks & the Tale of the Recycled Romantic Melodramas Apr15

Nicholas Sparks & the Tale of the Recycled Ro...

With the release of Nicholas Sparks’ 17th published masterpiece (and 10th film), The Longest Ride, it seems an appropriate time to pull over and ask ourselves how we keep allowing this to fucking happen. I may not be the leading authority on Mr. Sparks’ catalog; I’ve read two of his 17 books, and I’ve seen five of his 10 movies. And that…that is a lot more than I thought. I still haven’t seen The Godfather, but I’ve seen half of Nicholas Sparks’ films? Nothing seems right at the moment. If you care anything about Nicholas Sparks (and by the aforementioned numbers, I’m going to need to do some soul searching on this one), you won’t call his...

Three Night Stand Feb24

Three Night Stand

Overview: Attempting to reconnect, a married couple goes on a weekend ski trip only to find out that the husband’s ex, a woman he still pines for, owns the lodge. 2013; PNW Pictures; Not Rated; 86 minutes. What Story?: Taking your wife to the exact ski lodge you spent many romantic weekends...

7 Movies to Love on Valentine’s Day Feb13

7 Movies to Love on Valentine’s Day

If I’m completely honest, romantic dramas and comedies aren’t exactly my area of expertise. This is due, in part, to my opinion that the romantic comedy genre has all but disappeared, only to be replaced by lazy, underwhelming, and often insulting rom-com look alikes. My disdain for where the genre stands has had its perks; I was promptly asked to write for Audiences Everywhere after publicly proclaiming Nicholas Sparks has been shitting all over the film industry for nearly two decades. (This either makes me the best person to write this Valentine’s Day list or the worst. I’ll leave that one up to you.) But despite my...

The Boy Next Door Jan26

The Boy Next Door

Overview: Jennifer Lopez – playing someone who’s not supposed to be Jennifer Lopez – has a one night stand with her 19-year-old-but-looks-30-years-old next door neighbor and it somehow threatens to ruin her entire life. She also tries to convince audiences that she reads books....

The Culture High Jan21

The Culture High

Overview: With marijuana legalization debates sweeping the country, this documentary takes aim at the pot prohibition shedding light on those who suffer and those who stand to gain from the ongoing criminalization of the substance. 2014; Phase 4 Films; Unrated; 120 minutes. “Getting All...

Into the Woods Dec29

Into the Woods

Overview: A childless baker and his wife must acquire specific objects from the woods in order for the witch to break the spell upon them. Disney; 2014; Rated PG; 124 minutes. For the Tolerance of the Hollywood Musical Adaptation: Into the Woods is a mostly enjoyable film adaptation of a good...

The Longest Week Sep11

The Longest Week

Overview: Three rich white people run around New York City complaining incessantly. 2014. YRF Entertainment. Rated PG-13. 86 minutes. Wes, Is That You?: I once had a writing teacher who ran around the classroom chirping, “There’s a fine line between inspiration and theft!” I imagine The...