Atomic Blonde (2017)

Every bit as entertaining and glossy as it seems, Charlize Theron’s debut as a spy is basically a well-done, visually striking and entertaining version of 2010’s “Salt.” Theron is a terrific lead here, playing with a nudge and a wink but without missing a damn beat during the action set-pieces, which are exciting and surprisingly…

Seed of Chucky (2004)

A rare miss for the “Child’s Play” series, this fourth sequel definitely makes an effort to be unique and entertaining, but there’s too much going on at once and not much of it particularly interesting. As a comedic team, Brad Dourif and Jennifer Tilly are as good here as they were in 1998’s “Bride of…

Bride of Chucky (1998)

Resurrected for the post-“Scream” meta phase of late-90s horror, the 80s slasher franchise arrives fully rejuvenated, thanks in large part to the unexpected but entirely welcome arrival of Jennifer Tilly. The ultra-likable actress seems to be having the time of her life in the titular world, while returning series star Brad Dourif switches his pitch…

Veep (Season 1) (2012)

A hilarious, provocative and viciously incisive dissection of the inner workings of the Washington political set and the rampant insecurities and petty power struggles that both drive and occasionally sink it, HBO’s “Veep” is like a political version of NBC’s “The Office.” It’s got a noticeable lack of likable characters, but each performer tackles their…

Jim Gaffigan – Cinco (2017)

I can’t quite put my finger on it but there seems to be something missing from Jim Gaffigan’s latest special. The affable comic goes over much of his go-to topics, from his homelife to his love of food to his own low energy, but there’s something dispassionate this time around. Maybe it’s that his material…

Child’s Play 3 (1991)

Although released shortly after 1990’s “Child’s Play 2,” this second sequel to the original smash has a different feel than its predecessors, which works in favor of the narrative as it’s set many years following the events of the first sequel. Here we find a teenaged Andy (this time played by Justin Whalin instead of…

Family Guy (Season 10) (2011-12)

It’s only fair to admit that, after watching several seasons of Seth MacFarlane’s go-for-broke, nothing-off-limits sitcom, all the seasons (other than the original three) are starting to blend together. My opinion of the show’s revival remains the same, which is that it’s a mixed bag, with more hits than misses. The show does its best…

Jain – Zanaka (2015)

The French / African singer’s debut album is unlike anything you’ve heard before. From the opening songs of “Come” to “Mr. Johnson” to the addictive “Makeba,” Jain has crafted a debut album not at all dissimilar to Nelly Furtado’s 2000 debut “Whoa Nelly.” It’s a thrilling blend of many genres primarily organized around African tribal…

Nelly Furtado – Whoa, Nelly! (2000)

After a series of eclectic studio albums that go anywhere from distinctive (2003’s Folklore”) to mainstream (2006’s “Loose”), it’s peculiar to return to Nelly Furtado’s debut album. Here, Furtado is clearly relishing the opportunity to record a studio album and has a variety of inspiration to draw upon, all of twhich are featured here: Hip-hop,…

Lorde – Melodrama (2017)

I hate to say it but I was disappointed by Lorde’s follow-up to 2013’s “Pure Heroine.” The then-seventeen-year-old New Zealander delivered an arresting debut album with the aforementioned work, which captures the thoughts of a precocious, preternaturally mature teenager with a clear focus. Here however, the transition from adolescence to womanhood is the theme, and…

3001: The Final Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke (1997)

Although Arthur C. Clarke’s final entry in the Odyssey series starts off incredibly strong – with genuinely suprising plot points and a disorienting but fascinating updating of technology – it doesn’t take long for it to slowly deflate and end on a whimper. Very little of the awe and inspiration that defined the classic original…

Perfume Genius – Too Bright (2014)

A strange, hypnotic combination of lush melodies and surreal atmosphere, this glorious album by Perfume Genius is as unique as the compelling performer himself. It’s like putting the aggressive, defiant flamboyance of Jobriath, the tragic pining of Antony and the Johnsons and the surrealistic, emotion-driven music of This Mortal Coil into a blender, and the…