MasterChugs Theater: End Scene

This is my last column at SeriouslyGuys, with tomorrow being my last day at our site. It’s been absolutely, one hundred percent, a blast writing for the site. That said, one thing tends to stick in my head. A long time ago, I wrote a review of a bad but oh so good movie, The Crippled Masters; however, I was given a piece of feedback stating that I had really phoned it in.

So, rather than do one last review, for my final column, we’re gonna phone it all in.

Hopefully, I’m not too late to save Bell Atlantic. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: End Scene

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief’

In a relatively short time, director Alex Gibney has become quite the talented documentarian. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief will not be changing that opinion anytime soon. The director’s adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s 2013 book on the religion’s bizarre history is fairly routine in terms of its allegations, but with such incredible material, that’s more than enough. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief’

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Furious 7/Furious Seven’

You might notice that there appear to be two different names for this movie. There’s a reason for that. See, at the ticket counters and at IMDB, the movie is listed as Furious 7; however, upon the title appearing in the movie, it read Furious Seven.

If this is an issue for you, stop while you’re ahead. Those are my only words of help for you. This is going to be a slightly different review. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Furious 7/Furious Seven’

MasterChugs Theater: ‘It Follows’

Until recently, terror was becoming terrible. We suffered years of the Paranormal Activity franchise making the same convoluted film over and over. We endured genre catastrophes like Dracula Untold and I, Frankenstein trying to create horror superheroes.

But ominous cinema, that which slowly unveils its secrets, creating nightmare scenarios that do more than scare, they disturb, is here. David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows is now here to keep you up at night and make you look behind your shoulder. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘It Follows’

MasterChugs Theater: ‘John Wick’

It’s the tried-and-true formula of one last job/heist/assignment. A longtime bad guy leaves the life of crime in pursuit of peace and quiet, but naturally gets dragged back to his old haunts and habits to settle a final score. But John Wick breathes exhilarating life into this tired premise, thanks to some dazzling action choreography, stylish visuals and–most importantly–a vintage anti-hero performance from Keanu Reeves. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘John Wick’

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Dear White People’

Dear White People is the name of Justin Simien’s first feature film. Without any hyperbole, this might be one of the best debuts in filmmaking: knowing but not snarky, self-aware but not solipsistic, open to influence and confident in its own originality. It’s a clever campus comedy that juggles a handful of hot potatoes — race, sex, privilege, power — with elegant agility and only an occasional fumble. You want to see this movie, and you will want to talk about it afterward, even if the conversation feels a little awkward. If it doesn’t, you’re doing it wrong. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Dear White People’

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Whiplash’

Call it Rocky with snare drums. Call it Full Metal Hi-Hat. Call it Fame with a beat.

But whatever you do, don’t call director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash bad. Because in a year without Birdman, this is your best picture of the year, without a single doubt.

That said, coming up second in that regard isn’t exactly something to be ashamed of. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Whiplash’

MasterChugs Theater: Oscar 2015 Recap

Okay, let me start off first by apologizing: I never wrote a pre-Oscars piece for 2015. No predictions were made by me. In my defense:

  1. I was part of the people that kept getting snow dumped on me every week for two weeks (and it’s still happening).
  2. Being able to get giant amounts of sleep because you’re exhausted from shoveling snow and you’ve actually got a day off is a unique and wonderful experience.
  3. I forgot the actual date.

People, all I’ve got to offer is lo siento. That said, I did watch the Oscars. Let’s talk about them, shall we? Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: Oscar 2015 Recap

MasterChugs Theater: ‘The Trip to Italy’

When The Trip debuted in 2010, it was a surprisingly endearing and authoritative hit, given the premise—two hours of watching British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon drive around eating food and doing impressions of Michael Caine. But the poster hints at the movie’s subtle profundity: Coogan gazing gloomily at the camera while Brydon laughs at the heavens, the pair looking for all the world like the inseparable Greek masks for comedy and tragedy. Coogan was the unhappy, deeply lonely Hollywood success story, while Brydon was the quietly contented family man. At the conclusion of their road trip around the finer eating establishments of northern England, Coogan returned to an empty high-rise apartment with glittering views of London, while Brydon went home to a more modest brick house and the embrace of his wife and child.

The Trip to Italy has no such conclusion, even as it reconstitutes the premise of the first film as best it can, giving Brydon and Coogan the same cushy assignment for the Observer: an all-expenses-paid driving tour of six destinations that are both visually and gastronomically jaw-dropping. Only this time, the distinctions between the two characters—exaggerated versions of their real-life selves—have blurred. Brydon, tired of the affability of his public persona, drinks and carouses on the beach with a blonde expat while Coogan, still melancholy but newly sober, reads Byron in bed and tries to Skype with his son. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘The Trip to Italy’