Happy Birthday, Paul Lieberstein, AKA “Toby”! Feb22

Happy Birthday, Paul Lieberstein, AKA “Toby”!

While the American version of The Office was filled with lovable oddballs (as was the British one, I’m sure, but I can’t with Gervais), for some reason, it was always Paul Lieberstein’s Toby that resonated with me. Toby radiated awkward sincerity in every interaction with his co-workers and the earnestness with which he approached his thankless job—which admittedly he was not terrific at, but look what he was working with—was laudable. His performance is endearing without being treacly, and somehow sad sack despite the likelihood he’s probably one of the most high-functioning people at the Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin. So today we’re...

Technical Proficiency & Emotional Agency In John Wick Feb16

Technical Proficiency & Emotional Agency In J...

I reviewed John Wick back when it was released in 2014 and gave it a positive review. Several years on, my love has only grown for the genre-specific action flick. I’d go as far as calling John Wick a near perfect movie. Among the many elements executed as precisely and efficiently as John Wick executes headshots, John Wick is peppered with world building better implemented than most major franchises. It’s added flavor, both unique and essential to the stylings of this underworld of assassins. Visually while not only appealing with uses of color and production design, the world of Wick is coordinated with a thorough code. While the...

How I Met Your Mother: The Imperfect Love Story Feb14

How I Met Your Mother: The Imperfect Love Story

It’s been about three years since showrunners Craig Thomas and Carter Bays treated viewers to the finale of their nearly decade-long sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. The series, which focuses on Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) recounting to his children the many events that led up to his first encounter with their mother, grew in popularity as Ted’s fictional journey to meet “the One” grew ever more lonely and desperate. The following the series brought in could be attributed to audiences’ attachment to Ted’s story (possibly due to the similar popularity of heartwarming rom-coms of the 2000s), or to the series’ biggest star, Barney Stinson (Neil...

Evolving Evils & Identities In Resident Evil Feb09

Evolving Evils & Identities In Resident Evil

Back in 2002, post-Matrix black leather and slo-mo aesthetics were the defining traits of the next wannabe blockbusters. One of these, Resident Evil was a relatively tame video game adaptation, borrowing ideas more so than plot (something that has never been a strong suit for the series in any iteration): A group of soldiers enter a facility run by the Umbrella corporation called The Hive. It’s a simple premise that grows in scale with each entry, propelling itself through ever-evolving scenarios. Marco Beltrami and Marilyn Manson’s score influences the techno-horror vibe writer Paul W.S. Anderson is going for. Resident Evil is a...

Remembering Sir John Hurt, Sci-Fi Royalty Feb07

Remembering Sir John Hurt, Sci-Fi Royalty

Sir John Hurt will always be acting royalty. He sits in that pantheon of British actors who could be in any movie and just class the place up no matter the quality of the material. The acting world is a less classy place with him gone, but specifically the sci-fi genre will feel the loss the most. It wasn’t until he died that I realised how pivotal and important Hurt had been for science fiction movies. I knew about Alien and obviously that he was in Doctor Who, but after he died and I started looking at his filmography I saw the extent at which he was involved in science fiction over his six decade spanning career, and how...

Still Looking Out For Us: Shyamalan’s Split & Mental Illness Feb06

Still Looking Out For Us: Shyamalan’s Split ...

I knew what we were in for the moment I saw the first trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s new film Split. Critics have long had it out for Shyamalan. Before the release of The Visit in 2015, I wrote about how the cultural consensus has consistently and willfully misunderstood him as an auteur. The Visit ended up opening to the sort of widespread acclaim that had evaded his work for over a decade. But when I saw Split’s trailer, I was sure it was about to come crashing down again, buckling under the weight of (perhaps not unfair) thinkpieces about the stigmatization of mental illness. In Split, James McAvoy plays a man named Kevin with...

10 Times Dave Chappelle Was Right About Everything Feb01

10 Times Dave Chappelle Was Right About Everything

When Dave Chappelle walked away from Chappelle’s Show after just three seasons, leaving a fifty million dollar deal on the table, he created a narrative. Prior to his abrupt two-week getaway to South Africa, Chappelle was more than just the man of the moment, his show was more than just the most popular on Comedy Central, arguably the most popular of all time and inarguably its most important. Chappelle was the mediator of an unprecedented cultural conversation about race, inequality, and deeply-sown institutional injustice. Every week, Chappelle and his troupe managed to sit an interracial audience in numbers that were outstanding...

10 Directors We Would Love To See Take Over The Batman Jan31

10 Directors We Would Love To See Take Over The Ba...

With yesterday’s unfortunate news that Ben Affleck will no longer sit in the director’s chair for The Batman, the search is on for a new filmmaker to take over WB’s biggest property. While the loss of Affleck is a definite disappointment, there are far too many talented directors out there for fans to fall into the trap of doom and gloom for the still novel DCEU. The trick will be finding a director who can bring a distinguishable style and visual flair to the film, while still working within the interlocked set-up of a cinematic universe. Directors David Fincher and Darren Aronofksy have been names that fans have tossed around for nearly...

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a Very Funny Drama Jan31

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a Very Funny Dra...

It’s not often that you get a second chance to see something you love adapted for the screen. Usually you get one shot, and if it’s bad then that’s it. You’re left with a novel or series of novels you love and a movie you dislike. Unless, that is, the source material you like is Spider-Man comics, in which case it seems as though you get unlimited attempts. With A Series of Unfortunate Events, it seemed as though the 2004 movie was the only filmed version we would get of Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket’s fantastic series of books. There are things to like about the movie. The cast is great and it looks correct but there are changes and tweaks...

Watching Barry In Trump’s America Jan11

Watching Barry In Trump’s America

In director Vikram Gandhi’s new film Barry, American citizens who have been waking up in fear every morning are offered the hope of a communal solution. Some context that you already know: A man with no prior political experience has been elected to become the Leader of the Free World, despite losing the popular vote. Donald J. Trump, a notorious philanderer, real estate developer, and reality television star, will unseat current president Barack Obama in fewer than two weeks. After eight years of social progress and liberal civility, the very worst monsters have emerged from the closet of American history. Bigotry, sexism, and racism have...

The Near-Brilliant Anti-Art Depravity of We Are the Flesh Jan11

The Near-Brilliant Anti-Art Depravity of We Are th...

“There is no such thing as love,” the sister (María Evioli) explains to her brother (Diego Gamalie) as she stands over his face, dripping menstrual blood onto his lips, “Only demonstrations of love.” This disturbing sequence is one of a handful in Emiliano Rocha Minter’s shocking new film in which a depraved conceit is paired with dialogue that admits the conceit’s thematic purpose. There is no sly and layered symbolism or disorienting obfuscation here. In this sense, Rocha Minter’s film is less like those of Pier Paolo Passolini, Lars von Trier, or Gaspar Noé (shock cinema royalty against whose...

Who Is You: Moonlight, Hell or High Water, and America’s Identity Crisis Jan03

Who Is You: Moonlight, Hell or High Water, and Ame...

The two best dick measuring contests in 2016 film, one figurative and one literal, occur in movies that are almost diametrically opposed in genre aesthetic. In the center of David Mackenzie’s neo-Western Hell or High Water, outlaw Tanner Howard (Ben Foster) takes a break from righteous bank robbing to indulge in casino poker, and, because he feels he must, he verbally provokes the meanest mug at the table. His opponent in the hand is a muscular Comanche. “Lords of the plain,” Tanner says. “Lords of nothing now,” the Native American corrects him. Neither gambler folds. They play out to the river card, as men do, and then stand to bump uneven...

2016’s Movie Report Card: Grading the Year in Film Dec31

2016’s Movie R...

Commencement Address The practical thing to do here, I guess, for the sake of building a brand, would be to start this post the same way I started last year’s. That is, I should start by saying, “We survived 2016.” But last year, that simple statement felt like an empty...

2016: The Year in Women Dec30

2016: The Year in Women

2016 has been—well, not our favorite year for intense reflection. But as the year comes to a close, we at Audiences Everywhere want to celebrate the women who made 2016 one worth remembering fondly. From the brilliant writers and directors to the incredible actresses and comediennes to the beloved fictional characters, this year was lucky enough to see the most talented women in the industry creating some of this year’s best content. The Multi-Hyphenate: Kelly Fremon Craig – Edge of Seventeen Kelly Fremon Craig had earned writer’s credits before—with 2008’s Streak and 2009’s Post Grad—but 2016 provided our first glimpse at her multi-tasking...

The 20 Best Movies of 2016 Chosen by Audiences Everywhere Dec29

The 20 Best Movies of 2016 Chosen by Audiences Eve...

It’s that time of year: those last few calendar days where our team risks complete dissolution to select and rank the best films from the past 365 days. We have fought, bartered, and bargained our way through a passionate cycle of disagreement and forgiveness, calculated quality with an equation so complex that it might be the subject of the Hidden Figures sequel, and, finally, we are ready to present to you our selections for the twenty best movies of 2016. … 20. Hail, Caesar! Hail Caesar! has a plot that makes you want to watch the movie even before you know its by the Coen brothers. A big time Old Hollywood star is kidnapped...

Star of the Year: Mahershala Ali Dec29

Star of the Year: Mahershala Ali

There are no such thing as small parts, only small actors. Whether or not there’s absolute veracity to that statement, no one lends credence to the notion more than Mahershala Ali. I first noticed Mahershala Ali in Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines. The role, Kofi Kancam, was small. And as the new boyfriend to Eva Mendes’ Romina Gutierrez, his presence placed him in direct contention with Ryan Gosling’s Luke Glanton, the character we’re supposed to root for in a measured sort of way. Kofi could have easily been a throwaway character, an interloper to the damaged romance between Romina and Luke. Yet Mahershala refused to play the...

7 Best Movie Posters of 2016 Dec29

7 Best Movie Posters...

Dare I say that this year gave me hope, that both studio and indie movie posters are getting better. Of course there were a few duds and a couple of underwhelming examples, but we may be on an upward trend when it comes to rediscovering the artistry of movie marketing. Here are the seven best...

7 Best Movie Trailers of 2016 Dec29

7 Best Movie Trailers of 2016

It’s been a great year for movies, and next year promises to be equally great, if not more so. To celebrate we’re taking a look at the seven best movie trailers of 2016. These are the ads to displayed artistry in their marketing, clever musical selections, editing, style, and ultimately and made us excited for the films they showcased. Here are our picks! Alien: Covenant – Official Trailer (20th Century Fox) While it doesn’t deliver the same electricity as the all-time great trailer for Prometheus, the trailer for Alien: Covenant goes for more of a horror atmosphere than an overt science-fiction one. In many ways, this is...

The 15 Best TV Shows of 2016 Dec28

The 15 Best TV Shows of 2016

Many consider this a golden age of television. We tend to agree. While some might think that cinema is having something of an identity crisis (and that might be true, but some tend to always think that), TV seems to be having an identity carnival. The introduction of streaming channels and devices has opened up so many creative avenues for television programming, which is no longer stifled by the old cable model. To celebrate the television accomplishments of 2016, we have chosen what we think are the best fifteen programs of the year, along with their best episodes. … American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson On paper, this...

The Best Documentaries of 2016 Dec28

The Best Documentaries of 2016

A lot happened this year. Cultural shifts, global tragedies, history-shaping elections in major industrial nations. All of this at a time in which the Western World was just starting to get a handle on some of its intricately sewn flaws and historical missteps. One could argue that this year elevated the necessity for good, quality documentary filmmaking higher than it has ever been. Luckily, the call has already been answered by the year’s documentary filmmakers. 2016 proved to be a watermark year for documentaries, and compiling a list of the ten best was no easy task, but we managed. Below, you can read our picks of the best...

The Best Horror of 2016 Dec28

The Best Horror of 2016

Horror is at a new high, with good new releases, both indie and studio, being released at an unprecedented rate. For the first time in a long while, we are getting delightfully frightening films faster than we can keep track of individually. Luckily for us, two of our top horror afficianados, Richard Newby and Becky Belzile, have kept track of 2016 for us. Below, you’ll find their notes kept from the 2016 horror entries, starting with the ten best horror films of the year. … 2016’s Best Horror Films  10. Ouija Origin of Evil With two entries on our top 10 horror of 2016 list, Mike Flanagan is the horror director of the...

The 10 Best Comedies of 2016 Dec28

The 10 Best Comedies of 2016

On of the bigger surprises of 2016 is how incredible the year has been for comedy in film. This is always a hit or miss genre. For every great comedy per year, there is usually more than a few bad ones to match. 2016, however, was a refreshing change. Comedy of all kinds, whether it be a sequel or a remake or an original property, has dominated ever since January. These films have been animated and live-action, they’ve action comedies, rom-coms, and farces. The great comedies of have been so varied and interesting that we had trouble narrowing it down to just a select few for this list. Thus, through careful analysis of how much they...

The Best Movie Heroes and Villains of 2016 Dec27

The Best Movie Heroes and Villains of 2016

2016 has been a year lacking in real-life heroes and offering too many villains. Luckily, our cinematic fantasy realm has supplemented our supply of the first group and pit them against some creative additions to the second group. Our staff has collected the best of both for you to relive the good v. evil battle that played out in 2016’s theaters. Heroes Jillian Holtzman It must be wonderful to be in a comedy movie and get/improvise all of the best lines. Kate McKinnon’s ghostbuster, Dr. Jillian Holtzmann is a scene-stealer in the classical sense. Every time she spoke, I laughed; every time she was on screen, I was smiling. The...

The Best Comics We Read in 2016 Dec27

The Best Comics We Read in 2016

When we’re not seeing comic-adaptations on the big screen, we’re delving into the pages of what will (hopefully) be some of of the biggest cinematic tales of the future. These are the comics, both new and long-running, that push the narrative boundaries and the artistic capabilities of one our most exciting storytelling mediums. From a cannibalistic FDA agent, an infamous dark lord looking to prove himself, a pair of gay superheroes with a lust for violence equal only to their love for each other, a caped crusader on the road trip of his life, and superstar gods challenging the notions of stardom, these are the best comics we...

Richard Newby’s Top 10 Films of 2016 Dec26

Richard Newby’s Top 10 Films of 2016

If you follow me on social media or read my writing then you probably know my tastes in film, and as such, my Top 10 shouldn’t come as a surprise. What is surprising, or at least interesting, is that in putting this list together I realized that each of these films encompass who I was this year. These are stories of grief, of hope, of trying to find sense in a currently nonsensical world, and each ultimately stories that display a commitment to life, as messy as it may sometimes be. Of all the top 10 lists I’ve made, I’m not sure I’ve managed to get one that so completely defined who I am as a film lover and as a person until this year....