Counting Down My Most Highly Anticipated (Un)Summer Movies
The position I try to maintain in terms of art and pop culture is that I like what’s good. By that I mean, I try my best to avoid any prejudice related to popularity (or lack thereof) and to quell my natural predispositions about genre. So when summer movie season hits, I psyche myself up for limbs flying, cars accelerating, hulked out superheroes, holes in the space-time continuum, and big, crazy laughs. But I can’t totally erase my inherent preferences, especially with regard to genre. And while I’ll be front and center this weekend to see Tony Stark do his thing, I must admit, summer movies aren’t really my jam, by nature. I’ll take Almost Famous over The Avengers and The Descendants over The Dark Knight.
Now I’m not knocking big summer movies at all. The point of this piece is to say that for those of us who enjoy soul searching, coming of age, and character based stories, summer movies aren’t the only films hitting theaters this summer. As a matter of fact, the lineup for non-summer movie, summer movies looks stellar. What follows is my top five most anticipated non-summer movies coming to theaters this summer. (And their trailers & release dates.)
Mad Men Review: Covert Operations, Arena Rock & Let’s Talk About Sex
“The more things change, the more they stay the same” –French Proverb via Snake Plissken
Change in Mad Men is usually a lot like change in “the real world”: S
even strangers. At once, blatantly obvious and inching so sluggishly it’s nearly impossible to detect. Like top 40 stations circa 1991 though, the wind of change is extraordinarily prominent in Sunday’s episode where many of the stories hold a microscope to these small increments.
It’s not as if the first three episodes of this season have been bad, far from it, they’ve been very solid hours of Game of Thrones; however, it is hard to deny that they’ve mostly consisted of some very entertaining table-setting. This episode was not that. “And Now His Watch Is Ended” is the finest episode of the show this season and the fact that it has more forward momentum than the first three episodes has no small role to play in that. Game of Thrones is always going to require vast amounts of exposition and set-up for plots that won’t play out for a long time to come, and the show has handled all that admirably, but it’s when it can dive headfirst into the meat of a storyline that it thrives the most.
Mad Men: Death, Rebirth, Doorways & Dante – the Season Six Premiere
Prelude to a Recap
Mad Men may or may not be one of the greatest, most meaningful stories ever told (at least on television); I’m a fan, no question, but I’m not ready to stake a position one way or the other on the superlative of superlatives. There are two related claims, though, about which I have little doubt: Mad Men believes that it is indeed these brilliant things, and it does its damnedest to convince me of it as well.
Another Sunday brings another very solid Game of Thrones episode, though not one overflowing with story momentum. Spending much of its time checking in on those stories that didn’t fit into the first hour of the season,“Dark Wings, Dark Words” could have been a second hour of last week’s premiere*. And while this episode did not include many surprises, it was well-executed and seemed supportive of the longer-term narrative goals.
*If you missed my review of last week’s GoT premiere, check it out here!
Full Spoilers Ahead
Reminiscent of our last national election cycle, The Walking Dead’s third season took a seemingly interminable amount of time and millions of dollars to take us to the exact spot we were 16 episodes ago. Although the show did make admirable moves in its third season, it was hard to not feel horribly let down by the “resolution” provided this week in the season finale ‘Welcome to the Tombs’. The potential Glen Mazzara showed early in the season has been slowly undone by poor thematic decisions. Nothing exemplified this more in this final episode than the listless walk of Woodbury’s tired huddled broken masses into the dank confines of the prison. The Walking Dead presents fans and critics with a quandary, it is the most watched show on cable television by a wide margin, and yet it seems as though no one is thrilled or even satisfied with its content.
Celebrating the Moments when ‘meh’ Makes Magic
Here at Popzilla, we discuss a lot of television shows that are amazing all-around and some that aren’t. Sometimes, those shows that are bad, average or just pretty good (as with our first video example) drop individual episodes or moments that transcend those reputations and find magic. We will update this post periodically when more come up. Leave comments below if you can think of any!
FULL SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THIS EPISODE:
After what I’m fairly sure was (roughly) three-thousand years, Game of Thrones finally returned Sunday night. The fantasy Goliath has more than a few expectations to live up to this year, as the book it was based on, “A Storm of Swords”, seems to be widely regarded as one of the best novels in George RR Martin’s ongoing, epic series. So it is no surprise that fans are expecting nothing short of a classic season of television. How does the season premiere fare under such heavy expectations? Well it is certainly quality TV, even if it was missing some of that “whiz-bang” excitement some were expecting after such a long wait.
FULL SPOILERS AHEAD:
After finishing off the first half of season seven in fine fashion with “The Angels Take Manhattan” and following that up with a ho-hum Christmas special, Doctor Who is finally back. Picking up where the Christmas special left off, we find the Doctor moping about in a monastery trying to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding Clara and her final words to him. It’s a fun place to start, and it kicks off an engaging episode.