Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 6/14/19

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CREDIT: Cara Howe/Comedy Central

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
The Dead Don’t Die (Moderate Theatrically)

TV
-2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards (June 17 on MTV)
Whose Line is it Anyway? Season 15 Premiere (June 17 on The CW) – The improv games will never end!
Alternatino with Arturo Castro Series Premiere (June 18 on Comedy Central)
The Detour Season 4 Premiere (June 18 on TBS)
Drunk History Season 6 Midseason Premiere (June 18 on Comedy Central)
-AFI Life Achievement Award: Denzel Washington (June 20 on TNT)
Holey Moley Series Premiere (June 20 on ABC) – So many Fun & Games.
Family Food Fight Series Premiere (June 20 on ABC)

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This Is a Movie Review: Fences

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Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose Maxson in Fences from Paramount Pictures. Directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson.

Every baseball stadium’s fence is unique. Some of them are harder to breach than others. I suppose we all put up different sorts of fences of varying difficulties in our own lives. Some of them are covered in ivy, sometimes we crash into them, sometimes we stand on top of them. If we break through them, no matter how we do it, and regardless of whether or not it is a good idea, it is usually at least somewhat painful.

Does it feel a little obtuse that this whole review is an extended baseball metaphor? Well that is pretty much the only way that garbageman/former Negro Leagues player Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) talks, and it is indeed maddening.

I give Fences 78 out of 100 … well, Fences.

This Is a Movie Review: The Magnificent Seven

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magnificent-seven-2016-cast

If you’re looking for some sustenance from the new Magnificent Seven beyond good ol’ horse-riding, pistol-wielding fun, then you’ll probably find it in the motivation of the villains and the diversity of the title crew. Ruthless industrialist Bartholomew Bogue is high on the drug of capitalism; indeed Peter Sarsgaard plays him like he’s perpetually intoxicated. Taking a last stand against him is a team that includes a black warrant officer (Denzel Washington), an Asian cowboy assassin (Byung-hun Lee), a Comanche warrior (Martin Sensmeier), a Mexican outlaw (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and some other nuts (Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio).

The Magnificent Seven does not explicitly underscore the angle of a melting pot of heroes defending decent hardworking Americans from a rapacious white man. But if you are sensitive to that theme, it’s hard to miss. This film hardly attempts to be the definitive voice on the subject, though it is nice enough that it is there to chew on. Instead, it focuses on what it does best, which is “a fun time at the movies.” As it rouses itself to the climax of the final siege and defense, it demonstrates crisply edited classic Western-style action, the consistent movie-star appeal of Denzel, and some kooky performances from Sarsgaard and an unstoppable D’Onofrio.

I give The Magnificent Seven 7 Horses Out of 10 Explosions.