Author: Jacob Hampton

The Leftovers is unlike anything else on TV

t will probably be a few years before The Leftovers finally reaches the number of screens it deserves through word of mouth. The tragically under-watched drama is currently airing its third and final season on HBO, and many frequent television viewers still haven’t heard of it. Despite heavy promotion leading up to each of its season premieres, it simply hasn’t had the rampant success that the premium cable network’s other dramas, Game of Thrones and Westworld, have found early in their runs. The show is difficult to describe, but it’s essentially an exploration of the ways people are still...

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Raw continues a golden age of horror

Raw’s reputation precedes it. The horrific tale of a young woman’s reckless transformation from vegetarian to cannibal has been sensationalized by reports of audience members fainting and vomiting in its early screenings. There’s no question that the film’s violence demands a tough stomach, though worse things have been seen on The Walking Dead. These headlines about Raw are concerning, though, because they reduce the movie to gross-out B-horror. Raw’s potency extends far beyond its shock value. It’s a horror movie at heart, but it doubles as a fascinating drama that asks provocative questions about the carnivorous part of human...

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Logan gives Wolverine a proper sendoff

It’s been an uneven ride for 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise over the past 17 years. With wild variation in timeline continuity and casting consistency, the films have both risen to thrilling heights and sunken into silly mediocrity throughout their run. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has been a significant player from the beginning, and the actor has decided to retire his portrayal of the character by embarking on one final adventure in Logan. Taking its title from the character’s adopted alias, it’s the third solo movie for Wolverine. It feels like an apology for the incompetence of the two preceding films, as well as a celebration of his life. After years of immortality, Logan can feel that something is wrong with him. He’s beginning to show significant signs of aging, and his ability to instantly heal his wounds is fading. When he’s not working as a chauffeur in Texas, he cares for an unwell Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in a hideout across the Mexican border with the help of a budding mutant called Caliban (Stephen Merchant). Logan wants nothing more than to live out the rest of his days peacefully, so he’s far from pleased when a woman named Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez) contacts him about escorting an 11-year-old girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) to North Dakota. After some pleading from Charles, and some interference from a company trying to...

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The Lego Batman Movie is just as funny as the original

With 2014’s The Lego Movie, Warner Animation Group laid a clever foundation for virtually limitless spinoff opportunities. The first to arrive is The Lego Batman Movie, and it’s an important indication of the quality of the many Lego movies to come. It would have been easy to make one quality movie as a starting point, only to ride the wave of success by putting loads of cheap spin-offs into theaters to make an easy cash-grab. Fortunately, it seems that Warner plans to keep making these movies special. The Lego Batman Movie is consistently funny and occasionally hysterical, carrying on...

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M. Night Shyamalan continues his comeback with Split

For almost two decades, M. Night Shyamalan has been one of the most unpredictable filmmakers in Hollywood. The writer-director-producer is known for thrillers with mind-blowing twists, but he’s also notorious for having an inconsistent career. After The Sixth Sense was met with global success and an Oscar nomination for Best Picture in 1999, Shyamalan faced a slow decline in the reception of his subsequent films from audiences and critics alike. He earned back some of the buzz and trust that moviegoers previously invested in him with 2015’s The Visit, an indulgently fun tale of creepy grandparents. Split is another...

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