Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991)

Madonna has been a pop culture phenomenon for so long that it’s often easy to take her for granted, but revisiting this revolutionary behind-the-scenes documentary, following the Queen of Pop on her record-breaking 1990 Blond Ambition Tour is a reminder of how ahead of her time she’s always been. The movie itself is compelling, edited…

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

Superior in every which way to the underwhelming 2014 original, this prequel recalls 2016’s “Lights Out,” itself a genuinely terrifying and surprisingly effective genre entry. With shock effects that push the story forward, well-written and acted characters that the audience can actually care about, as well as effective, inventive direction result in a bona-fide horror…

The Golden Girls (Season 2) (1986-87)

Just as good (if not even better) than the groundbreaking first season, Season 2 of “The Golden Girls” has some of the show’s best episodes, like “End of the Curse,” “Ladies of the Evening” and “Isn’t it Romantic,” which all manage to elicit great laughs from the heartwarming material. All four lead actresses are at…

Paranormal Witness (Season 5) (2016)

As a huge fan of SyFy’s surprisingly terrifying and criminally underrated horror show, it pains me to say that Season 5 continues a downwards trajectory I first noticed in Season 4, with increasingly silly and ineffectual shock scares replacing the chilling slow-build suspense of the previous seasons. The season finale is particularly egregious, supplanting the…

Roseanne (Season 5) (1992-93)

The fifth season of Roseanne Arnold’s groundbreaking sitcom is where Roseanne the television star started to take over “Roseanne” the television show. While the lines between Arnold’s tabloid-friendly public life and her professional life had always been blurred, they started to blend together more during this season, at the detriment of the show. Nevertheless, the…

Florence and the Machine – Lungs (2009)

The debut album of the English indie rock powerhouse is just as strong as its reputation suggests, with seven excellent consecutive songs announcing the arrival of a major talent. Although the second half finds itself in the shadow of the preceding mini-masterpieces, there’s no denying that what Florence and the Machine managed to accomplish with…

Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale (2007)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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…