First episode impressions: ‘Westworld’ Season 3 (TV review)


love the fact that there are still some weekly shows on TV (as opposed to all-in-one seasonal drops), but “Westworld” (Sundays, HBO) is not the ideal show for this format. Then again, even when binged, it’s hard to keep all the characters and their goals straight. Still, after a Season 2 that I found tough to get through, I decided to give Season 3 a chance. And the season premiere, “Parce Domine,” is one of the best episodes of the series to date.

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‘The Prestige’ review

“The Prestige” – Like “V for Vendetta,” this wide release surprisingly allows viewers to use their brains while being entertained. During the progressive age of Thomas Edison, two rival magicians (Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) engage in an obsessive and often dirty game of one-upmanship. We’re given the inside scoop on a lot of the tricks, yet the film never loses its magic.

– John Hansen, Brainerd Dispatch, Dec. 28, 2006

‘Memento’ review

“Memento” — Guy Pearce delivers an award-worthy performance in this low-budget film about a man with short term memory loss trying to solve his wife’s murder. The film runs in reverse and serves up a great shock ending (or is that beginning?). B+

—John Hansen, NDSU Spectrum, Aug. 31, 2001

Catching up with ‘Westworld’ Season 1 (TV review)


hen I got a few months of free HBO with my new Dish Network subscription, the first show I programmed into my DVR was “Westworld,” which launched with a 10-episode season in 2016 (and will return next year). Evan Rachel Wood (“Once and Again”) and the universally great reviews from critics and fans (9.0 on IMDB) drew me in, the entertainment value kept me there, and the non-cliched way it delves into the oldest sci-fi theme (“What defines humanity?”) has me still thinking about it.

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‘Interstellar’ blends science and spirituality in the tradition of ‘2001’ and ‘Contact’ (Movie review)

“Interstellar” follows in the footsteps of “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) and “Contact” (1997) in the way it blends hard science and spirituality. Actually, the point of the film is almost identical to those two forbearers, penned by hard-science legends Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Sagan respectively: As we move further along the scientific path, we may find that some things transcend science, or that answers can be found through a melding of science and spirituality, or that science proves aspects of spirituality to be accurate.

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