[Televisual Broadcast Review] Baskets Season One

Overview:

UnknownHaving followed the career of Zach Galifianakis for a long time, I’ve always been sort of surprised that he became a superstar. As both a standup and actor, his style has always been so uncompromisingly odd and niche – even in his breakthrough Hangover role – that he never seemed like someone who would achieve significant mainstream success.

But he did. In fact, his star power became so big that when Baskets, the FX comedy series he created with Louis C.K. and Jonathan Krisel, debuted in January, it became the highest-rated cable premier in two years. And yet, when presented with this particular bit of audacious weirdness from Galifianakis, a good chunk of the show’s initial audience seemed turned off and by season’s end, viewership had dipped by almost 50 percent.

And that substantial loss of audience, dear readers, is a pity, because those people tuned out one of the best and most strangely endearing shows to hit the airwaves in some time.

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[Movie Review] Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Moonrise Kingdom is classic Wes Anderson. Every film that Wes Anderson has ever directed has been classic Wes Anderson, and it’s this feeling of excessive self-awareness that prevents his latest film from exceeding the hype that has surrounded it since its release. Anderson takes a pretty common human experience (in this case, young love), peppers it with a cast of unique characters played by recognizable actors in a bygone romanticized era, and mixes in equal parts classical and surreal to the plot to make some sort of Wes Anderson buffet that tastes exactly like the buffet he’s been serving us for over a decade. Everything still tastes good, maybe just okay these days. It’s filling enough, but there’s an emptiness that persists not so long after that makes you wonder why you keep coming back when there might be more exciting options available.

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[Movie Review] Ted (2012)

Ted is the relatively simple tale of boy and toy, seen through the sometimes perverse, but often hilarious eyes of Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad). MacFarlane, who directs and provides the voice of the title character (a teddy bear brought to life through a young boy’s Christmas wish), gives us a comedy that stands out not only because it’s MacFarlane’s first live action directed feature, but because it also ironically takes what would seem to be the plot of a G-rated movie and converts it into R-rated glory packed with MacFarlane’s signature brand of pop culture laden crude humor. Ted is exactly what you’d expect– funny and simple– but with a surprising ability to blend its fantastical premise with some genuine emotion.

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[Movie Review] Shame (2011)

Usually when a film gets tagged with the dreaded NC-17 rating it’s largely swept under the rug by the mass movie going public, only to be seen by those who go out of their way to seek it out. Whatever the subject matter that is contained within the film that warranted the severe MPAA restriction is usually enough to keep all but the most ardent cinephiles from taking the time to seek it out. Shame is a 2011 film that did receive that rating, but for mature filmgoers it packs a simple concept into one of the most remarkably moving packages in recent memory.

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[Movie Review] Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

I find I’m generally only an interesting reviewer when I’m either writing about things I hate or things I love which simultaneously provide me with a platform to tell the people in my life to fuck themselves. The film Martha Marcy May Marlene, which was recently released on DVD, falls into neither of those categories.

It does, however, prove to be a well acted, well made psychological thriller that has maintained a steady presence in my mind in the days following my viewing. And while I can hardly guarantee this editorial will be worth your time, this movie most certainly is.

Plot outline:

After escaping from a cult, Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) makes a panicked phone call to her estranged sister (Sarah Paulson) who allows her to stay with her and her husband (Hugh Dancy). Things inevitably become strained when the mentally damaged Martha, who struggles to differentiate between her past and present life, is unable to shake the anguish she sustained while under the spell of the cult, whose members may or may not be after her.

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[Movie Review] My Week With Marilyn (2011)

My Week with Marilyn is a 2011 film based on the true story that transpired in the summer of 1956 on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, a film that brought together two titans of show business—the highly acclaimed thespian Sir Laurence Olivier and Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe—with fresh Oxford graduate Colin Clark playing the bridge that connected the two famed actors both on and off the set.

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[Absurdly Delayed Editorial Rebuttal] Away We Go (2009)

All the way back on Oct. 7, 2009, Everyview contributor Andrew Majors penned a positive review for the independent dramady film Away We Go, giving it a 7.75/10.

At the time, I hadn’t seen the film, so naturally I had no problem allowing him to express his mostly positive opinion. Tragically, I did eventually have the misfortune of watching this movie, which I found to be an appalling piece of arrogant dreck that Mr. Majors rated 7.75 points too high.

And while I would never force one of our contributors to alter his opinion to match mine, I couldn’t in good conscious give off the impression that his views formed an overall consensus at the Everyview HQ (which isn’t so much an office as it is a house/daycare center in a sketchy part of Terre Haute, IN). Because of that, and the sad fact that I literally don’t have anything current to write about, here is my ridiculously out-of-date recount of one of the most torturous film-viewing experiences I will ever encounter.

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[Movie Review] The Descendants (2011)

George Clooney is the safest bet in Hollywood these days. If you take a drive to the movie theater, or adjust your Netflix queue or visit a Redbox unit, odds are that if you take a chance on a Clooney flick you won’t be disappointed. He has become a home run hitter not only as an actor, but as a director and producer as well, and he has shown a keen eye for choosing scripts that provide him with the opportunity to make meaningful movies that hold some type of social significance, and The Descendants is no different.

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[Film Review] A Serbian Film (2011)

There’s an old adage about scary movies that says what you don’t see is more frightening than what you do because nothing can duplicate the horror one envisions in his or her own mind. I couldn’t help but think about this theory as I watched A Serbian Film, a movie which peeked my interest based on several reviews and online forums which declared it to be “the most controversial film of all time.”

Though much of what I’d read regarding the movie repulsed me, I am, if anything, curious about films of this extreme nature even when I expect to be mortified by them. And while this movie certainly doesn’t lack in the way of shock value, much of the research I’d done prior to my viewing created mental images that made me much more uncomfortable than anything that came out of this predictable, boring and flat-out bad movie.

A Serbian Film

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