Television

Stark Contrast: Episode 3 “High Sparrow”

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“High Sparrow” picks up where “The House of Black and White” left off, giving us a much better look at The Faceless Men. This episode indicates we’re nearing the second-half spike that we usually see in Game of Thrones as Jon, Tyrion and Sansa’s storylines all leap forward at a healthy pace. Josh and I comment on the irony of […]

Interview

Charles Agbaje, Co-Creator of Spider Stories

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There is limitless potential in fantasy. It exists in the realm of the imagination where constraints mean nothing. Sometimes it offers commentary on real world phenomena, while other times it simply explores ideas too outlandish for the confines of grounded drama. Yet despite this freedom, modern fantasy storytelling has barely scratched the surface of what’s possible. Can you think of any stories in […]

Op-Ed

Søren and Josh’s Oscarcast 2015

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2015 was a year of meager expectations when it came to the Oscars. While controversy surrounded the nomination process, we generally knew who’d take home the major awards. No one gasped in amazement when Birdman took Best Cinematography, or when Patricia Arquette was named Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood. Yet sometimes there is intrigue to be found […]

Op-Ed

Movie Fail Tweets the 2015 Academy Awards

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Keep it locked here for the Movie Fail live Twitter coverage of the 87th Academy Awards ceremony! The full list of 2015 Oscar nominees can be found here. The one and only Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting. The festivities begin at 7 pm EST on ABC (or online). Tweets by @MovieFailBlog We want to hear […]

Interview

Tomm Moore, Writer/Director of Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells

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There is a certain magic to animation that allows filmmakers to bring our imagination to life. Even live action films depend on these techniques through CGI and other means to help us visualize fantastical versions of our own reality. This outlook drives Tomm Moore, one of the filmmakers behind The Secret of Kells (2009) and Song of the Sea (2014). After starting […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 18

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In what may be the last Ember Island Airwaves podcast ever, Josh and I take some time to look back on The Legend of Korra as a series. We discuss Korra’s arc from a more brazen and hot-tempered to a more peaceful and diplomatic Avatar. That journey starts in Book One: Air amidst Korra’s conflict with Amon and […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 17

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It seems like just yesterday scenes from the first episode of The Legend of Korra leaked all over Tumblr. Fast forward a couple of years and Korrasami is canon, Hiroshi Sato is a martyr and Zhu Li and Varrick have officially declared their mutual affection. Needless to say, things have changed a bit since we were “Welcome(d) to Republic […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 16

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Wow – now that was an episode! Both Josh and I loved “Kuvira’s Gambit,” an easy highlight of both Book 4 and the rest of The Legend of Korra. Kuvira continues to build herself up (literally!) as a truly intimidating opponent for the Avatar and her allies. She arrives on the front steps of Republic City with an army […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 15

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The Legend of Korra maintains momentum with an exciting Beifong-centric episode. “Operation Beifong” doesn’t waste much time getting Bolin, Lin, Opal and Toph together as they seek to rescue Suyin from Kuvira’s clutches. Along the way, they find Zhu Li, whose allegiance to Kuvira may not be as firm as the show would have you believe. Meanwhile, […]

Movie Review

Dear White People

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I have a paradoxical love for Dear White People. On one hand, I wish writer/director Justin Simien had tackled such serious subject matter further along in his carer. On the other, I wonder if a more established director would have taken so many risks. A world post-Spike Lee – a man more concerned with strangely esoteric commentary and Korean […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 14

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“Beyond the Wilds” marks a return to the main plot of Book 4: Balance after last week’s tangential clip show. Korra continues to work through her traumatic past with Zaheer. Meanwhile, the spirit vines in Republic City react violently to Kuvira’s assault on the swamp and the banyan grove tree. Josh and I begin our conversation speculating […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 13

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Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino deliver a clip episode this week in the form of “Remembrances.” Next to nothing happens with regard to plot and we’re left reminiscing about the good and bad in The Legend of Korra. Nevertheless, the showrunners and their crew do what they can to make the episode fun and […]

Movie Review

Interstellar with Nate and Søren

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Nate’s Review Interstellar surprised me. I walked into the theater expecting to see a bombastic space exploration flick. I did not expect the film to bring me to tears, but it did. The plot is centered on the final frontier, but Christopher Nolan’s latest is more than that. There’s a soul beneath the science-fiction spectacle. […]

Movie Review

Birdman with Josh and Søren

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Josh’s Review Birdman comes close to greatness. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s execution of the long take is so successful it almost makes me forget about everything else in the film. I love how it moves from supposed fantasy to supposed reality without cuts, removing the objectivity that comes with a shot change. Watching fantasy elements shift into reality within a […]

Interview

Fabrizio Federico, Director of Pregnant

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Fabrizio Federico is a young independent director from the UK with a penchant for off-the-wall micro budget filmmaking. He made his first feature film, entitled Black Biscuit, after getting deported from America. That movie promised to represent “The Future of Cinema” and bore with it the “Pink8″ manifesto, a sort of spiritual successor to Lars Von Trier’s Dogme 95 avant-garde […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 12

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After a brief hiatus last week, Ember Island Airwaves is back with an all new episode covering the latest in The Legend of Korra. This week, Josh and I discuss both “The Battle of Zaofu” and “Reunion.” These episodes function as filler to some degree with Bolin and Varrick taking center stage. Concurrently, the Avatar […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 11

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The Legend of Korra is back with the deeply plot-driven episode, “Enemy at the Gates.” Kuvira has arrived at Zaofu with her army and Korra is back in the picture as Suyin tries to decide how she’s going to deal with the incursion. Meanwhile, Bolin and Varrick discover Kuvira may skew more evil than they’d anticipated […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 10

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The Legend of Korra continues to impress with Book 4: Balance. Following last week’s major political bent, “The Calling” took a more personal approach to the story. Jinora, Meelo and Ikki head off in search of Korra and their presence lends a distinctly Avatar: The Last Airbender tone to the show. We also finally see a resolution to the Phantom […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 9

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This week’s episode of The Legend of Korra puts the focus on Prince Wu, the heir apparent to the throne of the Earth Kingdom. As leaders of the four nations gather to watch Kuvira relinquish power, Korra trains with Toph in the swamp. Things quickly go awry as Kuvira – perhaps unsurprisingly – doesn’t play by the rules. […]

Movie Review

Kill the Messenger

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Curiosity killed the cat, and all of the good journalists along with it. I was just a kid when Gary Webb broke news on the Contra-cocaine scandal. I don’t remember it. My recollection of the 90s reeks of the Clinton fiasco and not much else. As we learn in the epilogue of Kill the Messenger, the government fully […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 8

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Book 4 of The Legend of Korra continues to impress with its second episode, “Korra Alone.” After missing the Avatar almost entirely last week, this episode catches us up on her goings-on since the showdown with the Red Lotus. Josh and I begin our conversation talking about Avatar: The Last Airbender, and speculate whether Zuko is as […]

Interview

Bryan Horch, Director of Spooners

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First, a bit of trivia. Former Movie Fail contributor Michael Capodiferro is also a director and writer. Following graduation from the dramatic writing program at Hampshire College, he was hired as an assistant director and producer for the upcoming webseries, Spooners.  Spooners: The Webseries is directed by Bryan Horch and is based on his award-winning short of the same name. Horch […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 7

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The Legend of Korra returns for its fourth and final season. The premiere, titled “After All These Years,” takes place long after the finale of Book 3: Change. Republic City is in the midst of a revamp, new power player Kuvira looks to be shaking things up and Team Avatar is scattered around the world. Yet one question […]

Movie Review

Gone Girl

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Please note that this review contains some vague and minor spoilers. Gone Girl is well-acted. Gone Girl is well-shot. Gone Girl is well-directed, well-edited and well-written. I hated Gone Girl.

Movie Review

Bashir’s Vision

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It’s tough to think of a better documentary topic than “the Blind Boxer.” I’m not overly familiar with the sport, but I imagine it has to be something of a novel concept even to the most diehard fans. However, by the last scene in Bashir’s Vision, I began to wonder if the topic is a bit too rich – so much […]

Movie Review

The Drop

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The thing about liquid is that it always takes the form of its container. Thin, round, tall, squat – it doesn’t matter. The same could be said of Hardy. In Locke, he affects a peculiar, nasally UK accent and gruff persona. As a spy in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, he is a sharp, twitchy stud whose emotions rule his behavior. […]

Movie Review

Magic in the Moonlight

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Amidst his sardonic ramblings, protagonist Stanley proudly exclaims, “When the heart rules the head, disaster follows.” What an apt description of Magic in the Moonlight. Woody Allen’s latest is a study in inauthenticity. Stanley (Colin Firth) is a white man whose job it is to convince audiences he is an Asian mystic. In his spare time, he travels […]

Op-Ed

Why CGI In Guardians of the Galaxy Works

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There are many reasons to love Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s funny, it’s smart and it’s one hell of an action-packed ride. The film was a risk; unlike Captain America or Batman, almost no one knew who the these characters were before the film came out. Making a successful blockbuster out of a no-name property was no small feat. […]

Movie Review

A Most Wanted Man

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Murky water sloshes quietly against a stone wall. The scene is peaceful with nothing but the quite ebb and flow of the river to break the silence. Suddenly, a disturbance: the water starts to rise and fall, angrily smashing against the stones. But no matter how hard it pushes, the wall stands unmoved. The opening shot of A Most […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 6

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Well, here we are. Perhaps the best season of The Legend of Korra to date has come to its inevitable conclusion. Josh and I were spectacularly wrong about most of our predictions, but the finale generated some fascinating speculation about Book 4. Will Korra ever be able to access her past lives again? Has Suyin finally esablished her allegiance to the […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 5

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In this week’s installment of Ember Island Airwaves, Josh and I discuss the incredibly draining experience of watching “The Ultimatum.” We explore classism and how the protagonist/antagonist relationships in The Legend of Korra directly contrast with those in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Josh and I then speculate about the fate of Tenzin and the other airbenders as well as […]

Movie Review

Calvary

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Everything is a portrait in Calvary. Each shot feels designed to stand on its own. Cinematographer Larry Smith often fills his frames with the thoughtful faces of characters staring at something just out of view. At first glance, their countenances seem mysteriously unadulterated. But these shots take on new meaning in context. As we learn about their […]

Movie Review

Boyhood

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Two children stare through the window as their parents argue just outside. The yelling is muffled and indistinct; vague words phase in and out of earshot as adult voices rise and fall. This whole scene is an exercise in good filmmaking. Innocent faces watch curiously as their parents exchange heated emotion. The window blocks out the argument but allows the kids to see their […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 4

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It’s been awhile since our last episode of Ember Island Airwaves. In the interim, I had the chance to interview the fantastic Stephen Stanton (the voice of Old Wan and the Air Lion Turtle in “Beginnings, Part 2″). In addition, some major news about The Legend of Korra was dropped at San Diego Comic Con. Last week saw the birth […]

Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy

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For the first few moments of Guardians of the Galaxy, I worried. I saw elements of tropes rearing their head instantly. I sighed at a roguish hero whose existence screamed traits of other classic movie characters. I cringed at a villain whose antics veered well into the theatrical. I gaped as names of planets, new alien […]

Op-Ed

Looking Back: The Dark Knight

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Six years ago today, one of the most critically acclaimed movies of all time hit theaters. The Dark Knight won over 100 awards when it was released, including academy awards for both sound editing and the late Heath Ledger’s performance. It has remained in the public consciousness since 2008 and is regularly hailed as one of the best […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 3

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  Having left Republic City, The Legend of Korra has seized an opportunity to flesh out its characters, its world, and its story. The world of Avatar has always been predicated on its unique bending systems and the cultural evolution thereof. The show has built on this by taking daring and paradigm-shifting new turns in the latest season, […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 2

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The world of Avatar is remarkable not only for its entertainment value, but for its remarkable maturity. Avatar: The Last Airbender deals with themes of death, destiny, and classism, all of which have been brought forward into and magnified in The Legend of Korra. These thematic ideas tie into structural similarities to anime and separate this franchise from its Western counterparts. Josh […]

Television

Ember Island Airwaves: Episode 1

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With Season 4 of Game of Thrones all wrapped up, Josh and I have turned our attention to an old favorite: The Legend of Korra. Korra is a sequel series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, a show that deservedly won numerous awards (including a Primetime Emmy) during its 2005-2008 run. As a follow-up to that legacy, The Legend of Korra has likewise met with mostly positive reviews […]

Movie Review

Obvious Child

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I tried stand-up comedy once. I wasn’t very good at it. But as any successful comic will tell you, this is how everyone’s first, second, and hundredth attempts at stand-up go. Some have even gone so far as to call stand-up one of the world’s hardest professions. Still, the whole process terrified me. After that first […]

Movie Review

The Rover

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Eric is a bearded powder keg. He is more force than character, his short fuse adding tension to every encounter. Will his shouting end in an explosion of violence, or will he just walk away? We are never sure. A scowling road warrior takes off in a bloody quest to reclaim what’s his. We’ve seen this before; Mad Max […]

News

Spielberg’s The BFG Gets Release Date

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A press release from the official Roald Dahl website states that Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of The BFG will hit theaters on July 1, 2016. The film will be produced by DreamWorks and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film has yet to be cast. The BFG features a girl named Sophie – reportedly based on Dahl’s own […]