Only Murders in the Building
The surprise, sustained hit Only Murders in the Building brands itself as a comedy-mystery on Hulu. But, as season three hits the streaming service, with another murder for the Arconian trio of Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short), and Mabel (Selena Gomez) to solve, something becomes apparent. The series isn’t going for big laughs. Instead, it provides warmth, small chuckles, and genial goodness between the triumvirate. The show remains about found family, intergenerational friendships, and murder mysteries. It’s perhaps best described as a cozy mystery, a murder show with a heart of gold, an oxymoron of concepts. Continue Reading →
Walt Disney Animation Studios: Short Circuit Experimental Films
This year's first program of Chicago Critics Film Festival shorts focus on the dark side of family, community & living with mental illness.
The films in the first program of shorts at this year’s Chicago Critics Film Festival all concern those mythic American values of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And they do this in both content and form. Though these films never exceed twenty minutes, they are unbounded examples of the human imagination.
We open on the “happy family” of Nicole Daddona and Adam Wilder’s deliciously unsettling The Mundanes. This surreal nostalgic PSA about the ideal American family is a delightful work of surreal suspense. What begins as a richly designed comment on the facelessness of the perfect family in the white nostalgic imagination soon amps up into an amusing work of comedy horror. Unspeakable delights feed the happiness of the Happy Family. You can bet ambrosia salad won’t be the most unappetizing thing on this 50s-inspired tablescape. The Mundanes serves up a sensational visual style and keen directorial perspective on a silver platter with a healthy helping of disturbing social commentary on the side. Continue Reading →
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
Thanks to all the pre-release press with show creator and head writer Jessica Gao, viewers already know what She-Hulk: Attorney At Law won’t be: a courtroom dramedy. Unfortunately, after the first episode, “A Normal Amount of Rage,” it isn’t clear what kind of show it will be either. Continue Reading →
Much of the pre-release publicity about Moon Knight focused on the heightened brutality of the new MCU on Disney+ series. In doing so, all involved failed to mention how much stranger it would be than the average MCU streamer. Continue Reading →
For about five years, beginning in the late aughts and ending in the early teens, a favorite plot component emerged. Increasingly, the bad guy was getting captured about halfway through, and then it turning out it was. His. Plan. All. Along! Some, like The Dark Knight and Skyfall, used it to great effect. Others…less so. Continue Reading →