Cultural backdrop aside, El Chicano isn’t much more than a shoddy imitation Batman

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“Two clichés make us laugh. A hundred clichés move us. For we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, and celebrating a reunion.” Umberto Eco wrote that about Casablanca, positing that its synthesis of myriad archetypes, combined with the audience’s ingrained understanding of them, elevated the film…

The moment Aretha Franklin steps on stage, Amazing Grace enters the concert film pantheon

A

The first time you see Aretha Franklin in Amazing Grace, she’s walking down the aisle of the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church, bathed in shadows, preparing to be received by her band, the Southern California Community choir, an enraptured audience, and God. It’s a fitting introduction to a living legend who, after…

Hard truths and old fears arise on the second-to-last episode of You're The Worst 

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“No one wants to hear these things. If you insist on sharing them, you’ll just push everyone away,” Gretchen’s mother, Vanessa, (Rebecca Tilney), condescendingly tells her daughter after being confronted about her parental neglect. She expresses Gretchen’s single worst fear: no one will ever fully accept her because…

Revelations, murder, and Paul F. Tompkins star in You're The Worst's final Sunday Funday

A

Sunday Funday has always been a bit of a misnomer. The holiday’s eponymous song might promise raucous celebration before the workweek begins, but the day’s activities and binge drinking belie the customary growth moments that historically occur. After all, Sunday Funday is the day when Jimmy told Gretchen not to leave…

Noir gunplay aside, The Wedding Guest is another scenic travelogue from the director of The Trip

B-

While Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip series exists to show off Steve Coogan’s and Rob Brydon’s improvisational skills and dueling impressions, it’s also an excuse to capture the lush romance of different European countries. Increasingly, the director makes travelogues, even when he’s chasing other interests; regional…

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