Ja’mie: Private School Girl (Episode 2)

Tonight’s episode of Ja’mie: Private School Girl has to shoulder the burden of being a second episode, moving the plot along while ensuring viewers who missed the pilot won’t miss any key details. It does a decent job, but it’s a step down from the premiere, spending a lot of its time laying out what…

Toy Story (1995)

Some films are just impossible to evaluate with any kind of objectivity. For me, Toy Story is one of those movies; when that Randy Newman theme kicks in I’m transported back to my youth in a nostalgic rush. Even when trying to view the film with a critical eye, it holds up pretty damn well.…

Homeland – “The Yoga Play” (Season 3, Episode 5)

Ridiculous twist aside, last week’s episode of Homeland at least gave the series an opportunity to return to what it clearly loves best: high-stakes spy shit (even if it as at the expense of realistic consequences for its protagonists). Unfortunately that opportunity was squandered in an episode that’s compromised my already waning faith in the…

Martyrs (2008)

Martyrs is a unique horror movie. It dabbles in the tropes and traditions of the torture-porn genre (to adopt a misleading descriptor), but inverts the tone and structure. Instead of establishing characters and gradually accumulating dread, it opens in media res with a pre-pubescent girl fleeing in terror from unexplained imprisonment. Instead of giving the…

Days of Heaven (1978)

Days of Heaven is an immense, impressive picture. Only Terrence Malick’s second full-length, the plot would seem to lend itself to the easy naturalism of his debut, Badlands. A young woman named Abby (Brooke Adams), her boyfriend Bill (Richard Gere) and his sister Linda (Linda Manz) travel to a Texan farm to work on the…

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “Girl in the Flower Dress” (Season 1, Episode 5)

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been demonstrating a gentle incline over the last four episodes, progressing step-by-step from “okay” to “good.” Unfortunately, “Girl in the Flower Dress” warrants an underwhelming shrug of one’s shoulders. The early scenes are promising, with Renshu Tseng (later known as “Scorch”) and Raina (the girl in the flower dress) demonstrating more…