Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, August 18, 2022 — Houston, TX

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​Netflix tries feature films with ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’

(10/25/17 5:03am)

For half a decade, Netflix has released original television shows to enormous acclaim from both audiences and critics alike. Recently, the company began to branch out into movies, an enterprise struggling to match previous successes. On Oct. 13, it released its newest film: “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).” Created by acclaimed director and writer Noah Baumbach, the movie is easily one of Netflix’s best films to date.

"Kingsman: The Golden Circle" lacks predecessor's charm

(10/10/17 4:56pm)

Two and half years ago, the spy comedy “Kingsman: The Secret Service” took audiences by surprise with its likeable characters, satirical tone and thrilling action sequences. Director and writer Matthew Vaughn returns with “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” a more ambitious venture than its successful predecessor. Unfortunately, “The Golden Circle” is a massive disappointment, lacking any of the excitement or charm that made the first film so enjoyable.

Stale Writing Plagues 'The Defenders'

(09/10/17 8:39pm)

Since the launch of “Daredevil” two and a half years ago, fans have been anticipating Marvel’s new series “The Defenders,” which brings together superheroes Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones). In the interim, these characters went on their own adventures in their own shows, each varying greatly in tone and quality. When they all come together in “The Defenders,” does the team meet expectations? Unfortunately, it doesn’t exactly live up to the hype.

Despite failed funding experiment, ‘Logan Lucky’ shines

(08/23/17 4:48pm)

For nearly three decades, Steven Soderbergh has been one of the most prolific filmmakers on the planet. He directed 25 feature films from 1989 to 2013, and has been exceedingly diverse in the genres and styles that he tackles. In 2013, Soderbergh announced his retirement from movie making, speaking in an interview with New York Magazine about “how badly directors are treated” and claiming that he doesn’t “think movies matter as much anymore, culturally.” However, that didn’t slow him down. In the next few years, Soderbergh directed “Behind the Candelabra,” HBO’s biopic on entertainer Liberace, as well as all 20 episodes of the underwatched but critically acclaimed Cinemax medical drama “The Knick.”

‘Legion’ refreshes the superhero genre

(03/30/17 12:04am)

In the recent glut of comic book entertainment to be released on both the big and small screens in the last decade, new material is hard-pressed to stand out and make a cultural impact. Audiences have seen these types of stories so much that they have become desensitized to what once awed them. Though FX’s legion involves mutants and is part of the X-Men Universe, the series sidesteps this problem altogether by crafting the most different, trippy comic book property to date. Its first season has been thought-provoking, entirely original and absolutely must-watch.

“Get Out” proves smart social satire can be thrilling

(03/08/17 6:45pm)

  It is a common trope in horror films for a dumb African-American character to first one to die. The very existence of “Get Out,” the new horror/thriller written and directed by Jordan Peele of “Key and Peele” fame, merits praise for breaking the stereotypical mold and critiquing casual liberal racism. The fact that it is also one of the most intelligent, well-crafted films of the genre in years truly deserves to be witnessed and celebrated.

'Santa Clarita Diet' remixes genre tropes

(02/22/17 11:00pm)

From “The Walking Dead” to “World War Z,” zombies have infested the cultural landscape in a big bad way in the last decade. While it’s an interesting premise in a vacuum, its over-exposure often makes new zombie fiction unintriguing or dull. With the first season of its new show “Santa Clarita Diet,” Netflix has sidestepped this dilemma without a hitch. Putting new twists on both traditional zombie stories and family sitcoms, the show crafts a story of immensely likeable characters in remarkably absurd situations, all to entertaining effect.

'A Series of Unfortunate Events' remakes original magic

(02/15/17 11:18pm)

Based on the acclaimed children’s book series and following the derided movie adaptation of the same name, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” returns to the screen in an eight-episode first season on Netflix. Covering the first four novels with two episodes dedicated to each book, the show’s initial season succeeds as a faithful adaptation of its source material. However, inconsistent casting and humor keep the series from reaching its full potential.

Arrival: A Blockbuster With Meaning

(12/01/16 4:56pm)

 If you’ve been to the movies recently, you probably saw a big-budget fantasy/sci-fi adventure, a family-oriented animation or a cheap horror film. Mostly, these movies provide surface-level entertainment and escapism without challenging their audiences. With some exceptions like “Mad Max: Fury Road” or “Zootopia,” big studio movies have ditched intelligence in favor of the lowest-common denominator.

‘Into the Inferno’ tackles human fascination with fire

(11/15/16 5:01pm)

Werner Herzog is one of the most daring filmmakers of all time. From dragging a steamboat across a mountain to forging shooting permits to hypnotizing his actors, Herzog will seemingly do almost anything for the sake of his art. In his newest documentary Into the Inferno, which was recently released on Netflix, the now 74-year-old director demonstrates that he has not lost any of the ambition or nerve that made him famous.

"Atlanta" is a punchy slice of life

(11/10/16 9:14pm)

 Donald Glover is without question one of the most talented men in show business. A writer, stand-up comedian, rapper who goes under the nom du guerre Childish Gambino) and actor, Glover succeeds in whatever area of the entertainment industry he dabbles in. For his next and most ambitious project to date, Glover created the FX television show “Atlanta,” which he stars in, writes, directs and produces to fantastic effect. “Atlanta”’s first season proves the series to be one of the most surreal, atmospheric, real-to-life comedy shows to air on television in a long time, a new stand-out in our current Golden Age of TV.

Troubling context mars Birth of a Nation

(10/26/16 7:54pm)

After my preview screening for “The Birth of a Nation,” a viewer remarked that it portrayed an event that “you don’t learn about in history class.” It’s true; many accounts of important African-Americans are sadly ignored in American history, and Nat Turner leading a slave rebellion in Virginia in 1831 is certainly one of them. Though it’s a story everyone should see, this portrayal of the rebellion is complicated by the sexual assault controversy that surrounds both its content and its maker.

Luke Cage Stumbles Over Dialogue and Plot in First Season

(10/18/16 2:58am)

As the newest installment in Netflix’s series of Marvel superhero television shows, “Luke Cage” stands out as the first film or television show to center around a black superhero. The premiere season succeeds in not shying away from the show”s blackness and creates an authentic tone all its own, a rarity due to the homogeneous nature of most superhero properties. Nevertheless, the show does fall flat in the execution of its story, starting off strong but falling into mediocrity in the season’s second half.