Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale (2007) ★★★★ (out of 5)

This 90 minute finale for the brilliant sitcom “Extras” represents a dramatic shift in tone from the series, becoming caustic and gleefully showing the dark sides of fame and its impact on one’s social circle. It’s occasionally punishing and downright masochistic, but it’s the logical conclusion following the events of Season 2 and features some…

Grace and Frankie (Season 3) (2017) ★★★★ (out of 5)

The best season of this unique sitcom so far, Season 3 of “Grace and Frankie” manages to capture and expand upon the warmth and bond established between the disparate titular characters, while also moving away from some of the awkward, forced silliness of the previous seasons. The writing seems to have matured along with the…

The Weeknd – Starboy (2016) ★★★★ (out of 5)

From the opening title track, it’s clear we’re in for an interesting, lush ride with The Weeknd’s second studio album. Across the album’s 18 tracks and with the help of various collaborators (most notably Daft Punk and Kendrick Lamar), The Weeknd stretches his vocals and sound further than before and occasionally enters retro-dance territory on…

Christina Perri – Lovestrong (2011) ★★★ (out of 5)

Halfway through Christina Perri’s debut album “Lovestrong,” it occurred to me that, while the music is strong and melodic there was something precluding me from truly enjoying it. At first I thought it may be the forced, often strained lyrics, which strive for bluntness but instead just sound awkward, but it eventually occurred to me…

USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage (2016) ★★ (out of 5)

It’s almost inconceivable that a filmed version of the USS Indianapolis, which was bombed by the Japanese during WWII and left its crew stranded in shark-infested waters for days before rescue, would be so dull and downright cheap-looking, but somehow this Mario Van Peebles-directed dreck achieves it. With “Sharknado”-style CGI sharks, limited character development, and…

King Cobra (2016) ★★★ (out of 5)

It’s a shame that this well-acted indie ends up often playing like a television movie, since at its heart it’s a gritty, violent tale of exploitation and greed in the gay pornography industry, which is an interesting, unique setting for a crime thriller. Unfortunately the screenplay is often riddled with cliches and the editing leaves…

Extras (Season 2) (2007) ★★★ (out of 5)

Although this second season of the brilliant British original series by Ricky Gervais feels like a direct continuation of the first, there just seems to be something missing from the get go. Perhaps it’s because Andy, the extra-turned-sitcom-star hilariously played by Gervais himself, has become a whiny, perpetually glum malcontent since the first season, making…

Puppet Master 3: Toulon’s Revenge (1991) ★★★ (out of 5)

The strongest of the “Puppet Master” movies thus far, this prequel manages to survive being transplanted from modern times into Nazi-occupied Berlin of the 1940s, typically a recipe for a disgraceful re-imagining of the horrors of Nazi Germany. Instead, director David DeCoteau surprisingly manages to craft an engaging little yarn about love and revenge that…