Past & Present Colliding in ‘The Haunting of Hill House’

“You know it’s funny, Nellie was always trying to get all of us together in one place,” Shirley says the night before her little sister’s funeral.

It’s the blunt and bitter truth, isn’t it? As families we get together for birthdays, for weddings and anniversaries. We reunite for funerals, too. Cruelly. Painfully. Celebratory milestones have a way of bringing disparate people together, as does heartrending tragedy. Continue reading

‘Extraction’ Review – A Fun and Forgettable Netflix Actioner

At one point in Extraction, Chris Hemsworth presses a dude’s face into an upturned rake. Hemsworth should’ve capitalized on the moment like the most glorious of all character introductions, stating coolly: “Rake. The name’s Tyler… Rake.” Extraction is the kind of B-movie actioner tailor-made for our current stay-at-home viewing impulses, and a particular kind of Marvel-actor brand slowly carving out a genre space in Netflix’s domain. Some of us might crave something with a little more substance, but in the listless routine of our quarantine days, a quick adrenaline fix can go a long way. Continue reading

Dave Chappelle’s ‘Sticks & Stones’ Won’t Break Bones, Or Any New Ground Either

Few comedians are as enduring or headline-worthy as Dave Chappelle. Many can nab themselves TV or movie deals thus prolonging their shelf-life i.e. Kevin Hart, Kumail Nanjiani, Michelle Wolf, Bo Burnham. But the return to the mic isn’t always seamless i.e. Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Daniel Tosh (and, depending on who you ask, Ricky Gervais). Dave Chappelle is the rare comedian who came back with a renewed comic lens and a welcome socio-political incisiveness that made his return such a sigh of relief. But if his last two standups Age of Spin and Equanimity suggested a pseudo-renaissance, then Sticks & Stones is an unfortunate stumbling block that otherwise slows the breakneck pace of his resurgence. Continue reading

On ‘Arrested Development’ and Family

I could sure use a Forget-Me-Now, though I suppose that might be the easy way around this.

Arrested Development’s latest (half) season is due to roll out on Netflix tomorrow. The cast has done the usual promoting – including Jeffrey Tambor – but it all came to a screeching halt with a fateful sitdown with The New York Times. Such articles are meant to be the high point of a media’s promotion tour. Instead, it was a Shakespearean (or rather, Bluth-ian) fall of disastrous proportions. Try as hard as they might, Netflix found out the hard way that there is no escaping the elephant in the room.  Continue reading

‘Daredevil’ Season 2 Review: “One Batch, Two Batch”

Daredevil-temporada-2Vigilante justice is a double-edged sword. How can one bring justice to others when it requires breaking the law themselves? Such is what continually plagues Matt Murdock as he suits up as an attorney by day, and Daredevil by night. But the more foreboding question is where do you draw the line? As Matt put it so eloquently in season 1, “Sometimes the difference between good and evil is a sharp line.” How many laws can you break until you become the very criminal you’re trying to stop? Who is to stop you then?  Continue reading