Throwback Thursday: ‘Pirate Latitudes’ (2009) isn’t Crichton’s richest novel, but it’s an adventurous way to learn about 17th century pirating (Book review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe flashback: All 13 episodes of ‘Daredevil’ Season 3 (2018), ranked (TV review)

There’s something to be said about keeping good villains around, and “Daredevil” Season 3 (October 2018, Netflix) is a case in point. Although Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) was the Big Bad of Season 1, he again fits that bill here, in 13 episodes that explore how one ingenious sociopath can take control of the very systems – the FBI, the justice department – that should theoretically protect society from him.

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‘Angel & Faith’ flashback: Season 9, Issues 21-25 (2013) (Comic book reviews)

“Angel & Faith” Season 9 comes to an epic conclusion that’s not quite as great as the end of “Buffy” Season 9, but still pretty darn good, especially with the way it charts a new course for Giles. In the end, the best thing about Season 9 in the Buffyverse is that it was split into two monthly titles, rather than one 40-issue run.

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Mamet Monday: ‘Things Change’ (1988) is an understated rendition of what could’ve been a wild and fun Mamet plot (Movie review)

In our Mamet Monday series, we’re looking at the catalog of filmmaker David Mamet.

With his directorial follow-up to his noteworthy debut “House of Games,” David Mamet takes a step back with “Things Change” (1988). It does have twists that made me sit up and take notice in the final moments. But it’s short on memorable Mamet-speak, and it doesn’t illustrate the contrast between sweet-natured shoe-shiner Gino (Don Ameche) and low-on-the-totem-pole gangster Jerry (Joe Mantegna) as crisply as I would’ve liked.

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‘Buffy’ flashback: ‘Wicked Willow III: Broken Sunrise’ (2004) (Book review)

I thought the alternate-reality “Wicked Willow” trilogy was starting to get good with its second book, “Shattered Twilight,” but it comes crashing down again with “Broken Sunrise” (September 2004). In my reviews, I’ve somewhat facetiously said author Yvonne Navarro is exploring what would happen if Willow was evil for a longer time period, and unfortunately, that – and Willow being even more evil, but for no apparent reason – is what it comes down to.

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Throwback Thursday: Before she was Captain Marvel, Brie Larson grabbed attention in the much smaller-scale ‘Room’ (2015) (Movie review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Before she was Captain Marvel, Brie Larson grabbed attention in the much smaller-scale ‘Room’ (2015) (Movie review)”

Peter Farrelly’s ‘Green Book’ a sweet story of friendship against backdrop of mid-century American racism (Movie review)

Writer-director Peter Farrelly smooths out the excesses of his filmmaking traits for the surprisingly mainstream and easy-to-like “Green Book” (2018), now back in theaters and also available for home viewing. It’s not as funny as his best films like “Dumb and Dumber” and not as high-concept as the likes of “Stuck on You” and “Shallow Hal.” It’s possibly a crass grab at mainstream and critical acceptance, but it’s hard to quibble with the finished product.

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Strong performances, action, ’90s nostalgia outweigh ‘Captain Marvel’s’ head-scratching mythology (Movie review)

It’s been a cliché for more than four decades now that spectacle can’t overcome a bad screenplay, but it’s still remarkable how many films can nail everything except communicating to a viewer what the heck is going on. With “Captain Marvel,” the fun and technically amazing 21st Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, I can’t discount that I may have spaced out on important details, but I do suspect I was spending too much time trying to figure out the nature of Carol Danvers’ (Brie Larson) superpowers rather than kicking back for the ride.

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‘Angel & Faith’ flashback: Season 9, Issues 11-20 (2012-13) (Comic book reviews)

The second batch of 10 issues in “Angel & Faith” Season 9 starts with a slight midseason dip in quality. It’s nice to catch up with Connor and Gunn, but distracting for readers of the IDW “Angel” comics who know a different continuity. The last five issues of this batch are gold, though: first the most Ripper-esque Giles story to date, and then a pitch-perfect Faith-and-Spike comedic romp. Here are my reviews of Issues 11-20:

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Mamet Monday: ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ (1992) a searing yet funny look at cutthroat white-collar workers (Movie review)

In our Mamet Monday series, we’re looking at the catalog of filmmaker David Mamet.

“Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992) has an absurdly stacked roster of talent – all men, because only men work at this particular real-estate office, which I suppose was common at the time – and all in service of a searing yet hilarious portrayal of the games these salesmen play to get ahead. Written by David Mamet (from his play) and directed by James Foley, the film features a Jack Lemmon portrayal so iconic that an entire “Simpsons” character, Gil Gunderson, is based on him.

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