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The brilliance of the pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead may be that it set the bar for the series so low that the second episode couldn’t help but feel like a massive improvement. Just by virtue of the fact that So Close, Yet So Far Away was 30 minutes shorter, it was tighter and less bloated. Were there problems with then episode? Is this a Walking Dead TV show? Of course there were. But at least this episode managed the minimal task of holding my attention for the duration of its run-time.
After summer months filled with a Disneyland vacation, directing for my developing theatre company, and transitioning into a new job, I finally found a weekend that was not already spoken for in one way or another. So I decided to try to catch up with a couple of the movies that had so far slipped past me this year. Despite seeing the mildly disappointing Avengers sequel, the Pixar smash Inside Out, the fantastically creepy Ex Machina, the lighthearted Marvel world builder Ant-Man, and the Ian McKellan vehicle Mr Holmes (McKellan is wonderful in it, by the way), I was still left feeling way behind overall. As I perused the lists of films that were still playing on the big screen locally I found that getting anywhere close to up to date was going to be a daunting task indeed. Running out and taking in a couple of popcorn flicks on a lazy Saturday was not even going to come close to doing the trick.
What formed in my mind instead was a scheme that would both allow me to “x” out plenty of empty boxes on my movies checklist and make the endeavor into an event in and of itself.
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Ally Sheedy rose to fame as part of the Brat Pack in the 1980’s. In the middle of the decade, she starred in two of the most iconic coming-of-age movies of the decade. Like a lot of her fellow Brat Packers, Sheedy’s movie career cooled off quickly as the decade came to an end. In the 90’s, Sheedy seemed to disappear.
What the hell happened?
The premiere episode of the spin-off series, Fear the Walking Dead, was titled Pilot. Autopilot would have been more appropriate. Zing! The parent series, The Walking Dead, does one thing really well: zombie gore. For five years, the creative genius behind the series’ practical effects have found new and creative ways to give audiences goose-flesh. Where The Walking Dead tends to fall down a lot are areas like plot, pacing and character development. The pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead demonstrate what happens when the creators of The Walking Dead dedicate an hour and a half of television to all of their many weaknesses while barely teasing their strengths.
“You’re now about to witness the strength of street knowledge”
When I heard that a movie about the seminal rap group NWA was on the way I felt a combination of excitement and unease. Excitement because I’d been a fan of the group since the early 90’s and knew there was cinematic potential in their story. Unease because many musical bio-pics tend to be uneven and formulaic. The two most recent ones, the Clint Eastwood directed Four Seasons tribute Jersey Boys and the James Brown bio-pic Get On Up both fell into that category. Even the better ones (Walk The Line) have their flaws.
Edward Furlong’s first movie was a critically acclaimed box office smash. He was thirteen years old when he became famous overnight for playing a boy who was destined for greatness. At the time, it seemed like great things might have been in Furlong’s future as well. But almost immediately, Furlong went down a dark path of addiction, legal problems and charges of domestic abuse. This once promising young actor is now considered to be a cautionary tale.
What the hell happened?
Bryan Singer’s twisty crime drama, The Usual Suspects, was released 20 years ago today! To celebrate, we’re looking at some totally awesome facts you need to know about The Usual Suspects.