Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, December 08, 2022 — Houston, TX

Jay Collura


A&E 11/29/22 11:41pm

Review: ‘Glass Onion’ sharpens and heightens the original’s subversive whodunnit formula

The original “Knives Out” is one of the few mid-budget movies in recent years to become a household name, and for good reason. It’s an engaging whodunnit with a cast of intriguing characters, smart subversions of the mystery formula, and sharp political commentary. “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” does all of this again, opting to use the success of the original to go big. The quaint house from the first film has been exchanged for an island, the mystery on display is much more audacious and striking and writer/director Rian Johnson’s commentary on wealth’s role in our society has been amplified and brought to center stage. However, the decision to heighten and expand the scope of the film in no way lessened my experience — “Glass Onion” is consistently hilarious and captivating, trading out some of the quaint mannerisms of the first film in favor of more bombastic moments.


A&E 11/29/22 11:31pm

Three Films to Look Out for from the Houston Cinema Arts Festival

The Houston Cinema Arts Festival wrapped up two weeks ago on Nov. 16, and I was fortunate enough to see a great set of films throughout the week. The festival highlighted both local and global cinema, featured films of nearly every genre and placed the spotlight on diverse perspectives and underrepresented filmmakers. Here are three of my favorite movies I saw during the festival and that you should look out for when they release in theaters or elsewhere.


A&E 11/15/22 11:20pm

Houston film festival highlights local trailblazers

The Houston Cinema Arts Festival, now running in theaters from Nov. 10 to 17, is a celebration of both the global and local film communities, highlighting trailblazing documentaries, outsider narratives and innovative short films. In a film landscape typically defined to most people by the various megaplexes scattered around the city, the festival is bringing a necessarily diverse set of voices and perspectives into the spotlight.


A&E 11/9/22 12:57am

Review: ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ perfectly balances comedy and drama

As “The Banshees of Inisherin” begins, the audience is introduced to Inisherin, an island off the coast of Ireland divided into corners for farming by cobblestone walls. For Pádraic Súilleabháin (Colin Farrell), the repetitive cycle of working and then going to the pub is sufficient, as his happy-go-lucky attitude and welcoming demeanor immediately establish. This cycle is interrupted, however, when Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) announces that he will no longer talk to Pádraic, despite the fact they have been best friends for years. This seemingly small decision to break off a relationship ripples across the island, forcing both Pádraic and Colm to reconcile with abandonment and reevaluate who they really are.


A&E 11/2/22 12:37am

Review: Style overpowers substance in ‘Wendell and Wild’

Thirteen years after the critically acclaimed film “Coraline,” stop-motion animation virtuoso Henry Selick released a new feature, “Wendell and Wild,” on Netflix last Friday. Just as “The Nightmare Before Christmas” paired Selick with Tim Burton, this new film is built upon a partnership: this time with Jordan Peele. “Wendell and Wild” is certainly more whimsical than most of Peele’s recent horror films, but his passion for the genre seeps into every aspect of the film. 


A&E 10/25/22 9:58pm

Review: Cate Blanchett stuns in ‘Tár’

The opening act of “Tár” features one of the most technically impressive shots of the year: a ten-minute, unbroken conversation in which Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) lectures a group of students about the relationship between art and artist in the world of classical music. As both the shot and conversation continue, Lydia’s snappy retorts and oppressive assertions reveal a darker, pretentious nature previously unseen. It becomes clear from this moment that “Tár” is much more than a movie about a composer and her music. Instead, the film is a masterful depiction of an artist’s ego and the consequences she faces for abusing it.


A&E 10/4/22 11:49pm

Review: Freddie Gibbs showcases his versatility on his big-label debut ‘$oul $old $eperately’

After signing with Warner Music, Freddie Gibbs released his first album in two years last Friday, “$oul $old $eperately.” Gibbs has been a mainstay of hardcore and boom bap hip-hop over the last decade, acclaimed for his collaborative projects with legendary producers The Alchemist and Madlib. His work with the former landed him his first Grammy Award nomination with “Alfredo” in 2020, and the albums produced by the latter (“Piñata” and “Bandana”) are certainly some of the best hip-hop albums of the 2010s. 


A&E 9/21/22 12:21am

Review: ‘See How They Run’ is a fun, quirky ode to the whodunnit

The prospect of writing a whodunnit is undeniably challenging – as Adrien Brody’s character says in “See How They Run,” “Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” Audiences have been accustomed to solving the mystery due to both the formula’s consistency and the Internet’s role in facilitating fan theories, creating a generation of filmgoers looking out for every detail. However, despite this challenge, the whodunnit genre is seemingly making a comeback: 2019’s “Knives Out” was a major success with a sequel coming out later this year, and “See How They Run” debuted in theaters to positive reception this past Friday. “See How They Run” forges its own identity by simultaneously taking a comedic approach to the whodunnit through parody  and creating a loving tribute to the mystery subgenre.


A&E 9/13/22 11:35pm

Review: ‘Pinocchio’ continues Disney’s live-action cold streak

It seems that Disney has officially become inescapable, especially in the world of film. From Star Wars to Marvel to Pixar, Disney has their stamp on movies of every genre, seemingly designed to appeal to every person. Yet despite this rapid expansion, Disney has recently been unable to capture the magic found in the works that put them on the map in the first place. Released on Disney+ last Thursday, “Pinocchio” epitomizes the lack of creativity seen in recent Disney productions, remaking the original film without any of the style or substance that gave the original its staying power.


A&E 9/6/22 11:00pm

Review: Kenny Beats exhibits his producing prowess on ‘Louie’

Kenny Beats is one of the best producers working in hip-hop today. The producer’s status as a go-to collaborator for many of the genre’s innovators (with Vince Staples, Denzel Curry and Rico Nasty, to name a few) is certainly enough to prove this lofty endorsement. With “Louie,” Kenny proves that his success is not a result of his clients’ star power but rather because of his ability to converge seemingly conflicting sounds and confidently use authentic instrumentation.