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Sunday, June 16, 2024 — Houston, TX

Jay Collura

A&E 4/16/24 10:41pm

Review: “Problemista” combines surreal comedy and poised satire

It’s a shame that I didn’t know about Julio Torres’ work before “Problemista” popped up on my radar. The Salvadoran comedy writer is a collaborator with many of the current best voices in comedy — he is a co-showrunner for the HBO show “Los Espookys” alongside Fred Armisen and was a writer on SNL from 2016 to 2019. “Problemista,” however, sees Torres taking center stage as he directs, writes and stars. The inherent gamble of this immense level of authorship ultimately pays off, as Torres has created an intensely reflective coming-of-age story filtered through a surreal, kaleidoscopic sense of humor — a unique combination and subsequent balance that will leave you wishing you knew about Torres’s work sooner.

A&E 4/16/24 10:40pm

Record stores that turn the tables

Record Store Day, a celebration of independently owned record stores, happens April 20 — but knowing where to celebrate can be challenging. Whether you are just discovering records via one of the 9,000 Taylor Swift vinyl variants, are addicted to flipping through the bins or infuriated by the fact that I referred to an LP as a “vinyl” earlier in this sentence, here are some local, independent record stores you should check out.

A&E 3/5/24 10:23pm

A&E predicts the 2024 Academy Awards

It’s March already, meaning it is time to examine the Academy Awards, an event sure to be full of awkward moments, baffling losses and confounding decisions, once again hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for some reason. However, the 96th Academy Awards Ceremony has something special going for it — this past year was an excellent one for film. It will be difficult in many categories for the Academy to make a bad choice, though there certainly are some categories the Thresher A&E section feels strongly about. Here are our picks for who will win at the 96th Annual Oscars and who actually deserves it.

A&E 2/27/24 10:46pm

Review: ‘The Taste of Things’ explores the culinary world

In recent years, food has become increasingly commodified and diminished, at least in on-screen depictions. The allure of perfectly curated dishes on TikTok and other social media apps has desensitized us to the simple pleasures of good food — when everything looks picture perfect, nothing feels particularly special. 

A&E 2/13/24 10:42pm

Review: ‘Argylle’ feels absolutely soulless

What I am about to tell you may compromise my credibility as a film critic: Despite the fact that I saw the trailer over a dozen times, and that the film was relentlessly made fun of online prior to release, I was actually looking forward to “Argylle.” 

A&E 1/23/24 10:00pm

Review: “American Fiction” presents a refreshing blend of satire and drama

If you’ve been watching movies these few years, you’ve probably seen Jeffrey Wright. He was Commissioner Gordon in “The Batman,” reprised his role alongside Daniel Craig in “No Time To Die” and played smaller characters in two Wes Anderson movies. Across all these performances, he has been consistently excellent but always limited. Fortunately, “American Fiction” finally allows Wright to take center stage — an opportunity that he capitalizes on, providing a thoughtful and hilarious lead in first-time director Cord Jefferson’s dramedy.

A&E 1/9/24 11:30pm

A&E’s best music of 2023

From record-breaking tours to smaller indie albums, 2023 was a year filled with great music. While chart-topping hits created a smaller impact than usual in the year’s musical landscape, many iconic and beloved artists released albums. The Thresher’s A&E writers recap ten of this year’s best album releases.

A&E 1/9/24 11:29pm

​​A&E’s best movies of 2023

Full stop, 2023 was the best year for film since the pandemic. From “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” breaking box office records, to the deluge of awards contenders that came out in the last months of the year, there was seemingly always something playing in theaters worth watching. The Thresher’s A&E writers recap ten of this year’s best film releases.

A&E 1/9/24 11:26pm

Review: ‘The Boy and the Heron’ takes animation to new heights

Perhaps the biggest flaw with “The Boy and the Heron” is its title, or at least, the title presented to Western audiences. The name inspires an image of the drab, hackneyed animated parable, an image that stands opposite to the sheer visual spectacle and thematic scope found within the film.