Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ 7.14 – ‘The Other Side’

The Other Side was an episode of The Walking Dead that needed to happen. I guess you could view it as maintenance or upkeep. That doesn’t mean we have to like it. The “Rosita/Sasha going rogue” has been set up for some time and it was nice to finally see some forward momentum with the characters. The conversations that were had between Rosita and Sasha were fantastically written and acted pitch perfect. It’s just a shame that these scenes took place inside a nonsensical story arch.

The show lays out their reasoning for going rogue, but it doesn’t make their plan any less stupid. The only thing that Rick and the gang have going for them right now in the fight against The Saviors is the element of surprise. Two fighters from Alexandria popping things off inside The Saviors Compound is the exact opposite of a surprise. Jesus’ half-ass plea to get them to stay made me even more annoyed. It’s as if the writers saw these plot holes and felt having one minor character be a voice of concern would be enough. Let’s hope these shenanigans get wrapped up next week and Sasha doesn’t die in vain.

Quick Thoughts:

  • The Walking Dead is a show that usually forgets about dead characters fast. That’s clearly not a problem anymore.
  • I was holding out hope the Eugene was just playing along until he found an opportune moment to strike, but I guess he really is just a giant piece of shit.
  • Of course, this is The Walking Dead so he will redeem himself as some point because the fans like him. I’m betting it will be saving someone’s life at the last second.

The post Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ 7.14 – ‘The Other Side’ appeared first on ScreeningClub | Insight Into the Media You Love.

by Christopher Moore
This post first appeared on on

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Review: ‘Logan’

Logan is a great movie. It is a perfect sendoff to the character of Wolverine as well as the actor who has played him for almost two decades. Sadly, this movie also serves as a cold reminder of all the great films we could have had in this universe if they cared as much about them as they seemed to have with Logan.

I’m certainly not a big X-Men fan, even in the comics. I can confidently say that there are two good X-Men movies, X-Men: First Class and now Logan. Part of why both of those movies work is due to them not caring about the twisted and broken story lines set up in the previous movies. This film barely touches upon anything from the earlier films, including those from Wolverine’s own trilogy. Imagine how much better this movie would have been if they didn’t have to make you forget about everything in the past to let you enjoy it. I want to live in a world where all those previous films give weight and importance to the last time we see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine on screen. Instead we must live in this period of cognitive dissonance about all those shitty movies that this actor was in playing this same role.

It’s probably telling that as soon as Logan branches out of its bare-bones story and adds in more characters the movie starts to feel a little strained. If it wanted to, Logan could act as a jumping off point for a whole other series of films. I hope to god it doesn’t. Let the legend of Logan rest in peace.

The post Review: ‘Logan’ appeared first on ScreeningClub | Insight Into the Media You Love.

by Christopher Moore
This post first appeared on on

Monday, March 13, 2017

Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ 7.13 – ‘Bury Me Here’

Let me just start off with saying that I loved this episode. It is rare that we get an episode that pushes the story forward in a huge way that isn’t a season finale. Bury Me Here didn’t even leave off on an annoying cliff-hanger. It was a satisfying episode arc from beginning to end that also has massive implications on the overall story of the show.

It was a given that at some point The Kingdom would join up with our heroes in Alexandria, it was just a matter of when. More than that, this episode tied up all of the potential loose ends in The Kingdom’s plot that could have fallen to the wayside once the real fighting started. Even better it tied them up in a way that was positive for the overall story of the show.

Someone had to die from The Kingdom to start this war and Richard’s plan was a good one… if it worked. Killing Benjamin instead allowed so many other actions to be set in motion. Morgan realizes killing can be a brutal necessity at times, Carol knows the truth about who the saviors killed and The Kingdom has a martyr to rally around against The Saviors. Plus a lot of potentially interesting but ultimately useless characters are now dead and don’t have to soak up screen time.


Quick Thoughts:

  • I find it funny how everyone forgets how ridiculous Morgan’s story to get back with the group was. He had to get so lucky in the Terminus arc to find his way to Rick.
  • But the reason why nobody cares is because Lennie James does such a good job portraying the conflicted nature of that character that you just want him to be around.
  • King Ezekiel is a good dude, I like how not every group we meet are bloodthirsty psychopaths.
  • I don’t think the melon stuff at the beginning of the episode hit the mark like they thoughts it was going to.

The post Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ 7.13 – ‘Bury Me Here’ appeared first on ScreeningClub | Insight Into the Media You Love.

by Christopher Moore
This post first appeared on on

Friday, March 10, 2017

Review: ‘Kong: Skull Island’

There are two obvious comparisons to draw from Jordan Vogt-Robert’s Kong: Skull Island, the latest reimagining of the monster movie icon, and that’s Gareth Edward’s Godzilla (2014) and Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005). The former film being the first of likely many entries in an expanded Marvel-esque universe of which Skull Island now occupies, the latter being the other most recent remake of the 1933 classic original. Having now just seen Skull Island, I must admit to having difficulty sitting through it without reminding myself of the two aforementioned films and how vastly superior they are to this one. Those were films with a distinct creative and artistic vision, with a strong devotion to celebrating the genre and legacy of films that inspired them, and that were big and loud and destructive, yes, but had more to say about their featured star and the nature of the world they inhabit. Whether the comparison between Skull Island and those films is fair or not, it’s impossible to avoid; in lieu of that distinct vision is little more than camp and empty spectacle.

Which isn’t to say that there isn’t plenty of fun to be had here. Unlike Godzilla, the beast himself occupies the screen for what felt like 50% of the movie’s runtime, a decision made likely in response to the hefty criticism waged against Godzilla’s peculiar lack of lizard giant. I’ve always been partial to the “Spielberg school” of suspense and build-up when it comes to the introduction of these breathing arbiters of chaos and destruction, but King Kong is without question the most interesting component of this film, and that he’s in a lot of it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The action is rampant and mostly engaging, and once the cast actually arrives on Skull Island a dull moment is rarely to be had. The cast of supporting players – chief among them Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and John C. Reilly – do exactly what’s expected of them and are a welcomed presence throughout much of the hysterics. Save for maybe Reilly, there isn’t an actual character any actor attempts to play, but their natural charisma and screen-presence is enough to carry their scenes through some really bland dialogue.

Speaking of nothing characters, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the lifeless cardboard cutouts of human beings “leads” Tom Hiddleston and Oscar-winner Brie Larson halfheartedly attempt to play. That they’re beautiful, beloved movie-stars should’ve been enough to sell them as interesting people at the very least, but the combination of a limited relevance to the story, unconvincing chemistry, and zero worthwhile motive or backstory can’t even amount to that. It’s the lack of work put into developing an interesting story or fresh insight into the world of Kong where Skull Island falls short of being little more than an average creature-feature, which is disappointing considering how many iterations of the iconic primate we’ve now seen. Much like the film itself, King Kong is cool to look at and fun to watch destroy things, but there’s little more to grasp beyond that; in an era in which other, better versions of this character and his adjacent foes exist, that isn’t good enough.

Rating: **1/2 out of five

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly

Runtime: 118 minutes

The post Review: ‘Kong: Skull Island’ appeared first on ScreeningClub | Insight Into the Media You Love.

by Michael Lang
This post first appeared on on

Monday, March 6, 2017

Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ 7.12 – ‘Say Yes’

Welcome back to my weekly review of The Walking Dead! I took a week off due to the horrific ending of The Academy Awards which took place at the same time as The Walking Dead last week. If you want to know more about how we here at Screening Club feel about that whole fiasco go listen to our weekly podcast!

Let’s just say last week was a good episode to miss because it was as filler as filler gets. Guys, we know Negan is a bad dude that also has layers. We get that. Eugene is the least interesting person to have an episode centered around and aside from him pledging his allegiance (supposedly) to the Saviors the episode didn’t deliver much in terms of story progression.

Last night’s episode Say Yes was as much of a bottle episode as you can get on this show. Rick and Michonne scavenging for guns. It’s a TV show so of course they find them, but the battle they have with the walkers to get them was surprisingly well shot and fun to see. It is great how the show can reflect on how much these characters have grown by just showing you a certain fighting style or a tone of voice. Their plan was never said verbally but the cinematography and camera movement conveyed that info to the viewer well.

Of course, it wouldn’t be The Walking Dead without some out of place crappy CGI. One of the most popular shows in television history doesn’t have it in the budget to get an actual deer on set. A tiger interacting with humans I get, but a DEER!?

Say Yes proved your able to have fun while at the same time reflecting on the darker aspects of this show. I’m able to believe the arc that Rick has taken this season more because of the time he’s had to reflect on his decisions. Even if that reflection comes in the form of wanting to kill more walkers. Only four more episodes this season. Do you guys think the war will start somewhere in those four eps?

The post Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ 7.12 – ‘Say Yes’ appeared first on ScreeningClub | Insight Into the Media You Love.

by Christopher Moore
This post first appeared on on

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Review: ‘Get Out’

What Get Out may lack in surface-level originality it surpasses in striking command of tone and point-of-view. We’ve seen the “creepy strangers aren’t who they first seem” horror trope countless times before, but rarely has a film conveyed it as tensely and purposefully as we see here. This is a bold, cunning, satirical, very funny and very scary debut feature film by writer/director Jordan Peele, a timely, thought-provoking subversion of genre and expectation that projects all the confidence and craft of a far more seasoned filmmaker.

The film’s mission statement is obvious from its opening scene in which we’re first introduced to Atlanta’s own LaKeith Stanfield, tremendous as always, wandering the streets of an upscale suburb. Sporting “urban” attire and a general aura of displacement, it’s clear, even before the tension ratchets up (both to himself and the audience), that he doesn’t belong. Whether you agree or disagree with Peele’s politics or world-view, there’s no denying the hypersensitive nature of topics as taboo as race and class; that each is explored as personally and specifically here through the prism of horror-satire, at this high of a level, is wickedly impressive.

Actors and screen-partners Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams bring so much to their respective roles; Kaluuya the good-natured skeptic and Williams the head-in-the-clouds liberal rich girl each do their part in both subverting and reinforcing the “type” they’re asked to play. Other key performances from Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, and Stephen Root each contribute so much to the tense, eerie atmosphere present in every scene, and LilRel Howry’s equally outstanding as the film’s lone overtly comedic character.

But the true star here is Peele, who’s comprised a film that’s both beautifully photographed and decisively prescient, with each side amounting to a captivating, provocative overall experience. I mentioned earlier that the film’s surface-level originality may be lacking, but that’s only if you’re unwilling to see past the outward mechanics of its plot. This is a densely layered thrill-ride full of numerous scenes worthy of in-depth analysis and discussion, and one that’ll be occupying the space in my brain for some time.

Rating: **** 1/2 out of five

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Stephen Root, LilRel Howry

Runtime: 103 minutes

The post Review: ‘Get Out’ appeared first on ScreeningClub | Insight Into the Media You Love.

by Michael Lang
This post first appeared on on