Friday, June 14, 2019

Witney Seibold Reviews 'Toy Story 4'

It was nine years ago when “Toy Story 3” seemingly closed out its series on a perfect note: Woody the cowboy, Buzz the spaceman, and all his toybox compatriots were handed – in a wistful scene that evokes tears just in the recollection – from the hands of Andy, their now college-aged owner, into the waiting arms of an enthused toddler named Molly. Kids grow up. It was time to put away childish things. And, once again, Pixar, with rare universal access to it, opened up the pipeline directly into our collective hearts.

As such, the announcement of a late-in-the-game follow-up to “Toy Story 3” elicited rage from my blackened soul. 

The Two-Shot: The 15:17 to Paris and The Best Years of Our Lives!

Clint Eastwood cast real-life heroes in "The 15:17 to Paris," a biographical film about the American friends who seemed fated to save the day when a terrorist strikes aboard a train in Europe. And yet critics balked, the mainstream audiences didn't go for it, and generally speaking - when it comes to the movie at least - most people didn't seem to care.

So why is "The 15:17 to Paris" the perfect double feature with "The Best Years of Our Lives," a 1946 drama made by and for real-life veterans, about the trials and tribulations that befell soldiers after they returned home from war? One film made no impression, while the other was a box office blockbuster that won the Academy Award for Best Picture. 

Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold explore what makes one film work and another fall flat in the latest episode of THE TWO-SHOT!

Give it a listen!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Shaft' (2019)

Shaft is back, and so is Shaft, and so is Shaft! Richard Roundtree and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their title roles in Tim Story's "Shaft," which adds a new generation to the family, played by Jessie T. Usher. They unite and overcome their differences to solve a murder and uncover a conspiracy in the latest reboot of the iconic franchise.

In his review of "Shaft" (2019) at IGN, William Bibbiani laments the transformation of the franchise into a comedy featuring "jokes that would have been outdated and ignorant decades ago," as well an unsettling streak of homophobia.

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Shaft" for IGN

Top Photo: Warner Bros.

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Men in Black: International'

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reunite in "Men in Black: International," a globetrotting sci-fi adventure from director F. Gary Gray ("The Fate of the Furious"). A spin-off of the hit comedy series starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, "Men in Black: International" tells the story of two mismatched agents who get embroiled in an intergalactic conspiracy. Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani and Rafe Spall co-star.

In his review of "Men in Black: International" at The Wrap, William Bibbiani says the film proves "Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth are two of the most likable movie stars in the galaxy," but laments the "highly conventional screenplay" which boasts "no new ideas."

Top Photo: Sony Pictures

Monday, June 10, 2019

Canceled Too Soon #150: 'The Lone Gunmen' (2001)

It's time to bring CHRIS CARTER MONTH to an appropriately abrupt conclusion with THE LONE GUNMEN, one of the most notorious one-season wonders in TV history. The comic relief sidekicks from "The X-Files" got their own TV series, with decent ratings and critical acclaim, with conspiracy-driven storylines that accurately predicted tech companies spying on consumers and - in the show's shocking pilot - the 9/11 attacks.

"The Lone Gunmen" is a show with a huge cult following, and that's why we saved it for a special occasion! Film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold dive into the show that only lasted one short season, before getting an unexpected and disappointing conclusion on "The X-Files." 

Was this show the classic everyone makes it out to be? Was "The Lone Gunmen" really... CANCELED TOO SOON?

Give it a listen and find out!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Critically Acclaimed #82: Dark Phoenix, The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Our Favorite Food Movies!

Most movies don't really care what the characters are eating, but some movies make our mouths water! In the latest episode of CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, film critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold take a look at their favorite "food movies," the films that turn our daily need for sustenance into dramatic inspiration, telling funny, romantic and even frightening stories about what we devour to stay alive.

Also this week, Bibbs and Witney review the new releases "Dark Phoenix," "The Secret Life of Pets 2," "Late Night" and "Funan!"

Give it a listen!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

William Bibbiani Reviews 'The Secret Life of Pets 2'

The secret life of pets gets a lot less secret with "The Secret Life of Pets 2," the sequel to the original animated blockbuster about adorable critters with personalities and adventures that would surprise the heck out of their owners. The sequel stars Patton Oswalt (taking over for Louis C.K.), Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey and Harrison Ford as critters with adventures like trips to the farm, losing an important chew toy, and rescuing a white tiger from an abusive circus.

In his review of "The Secret Life of Pets 2" at IGN, William Bibbiani calls the film "a mediocre retread of the original, with a few good gags but very little reason to exist, aside from temporarily distracting children and putting their parents to sleep."

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "The Secret Life of Pets 2" at IGN

Top Photo: Universal Pictures