Kiernan Shipka

Emma Roberts American Horror Story

High school is rough for everyone, but things get a little more complicated when your prestigious all-girl prep school is severely isolated across a frozen landscape and your parents mysteriously fail to pick you up for winter break. No calls or anything. Such is the case for Rose and Kat, the unfortunate teens at the center of Osgood Perkins‘ upcoming film, February. Described as a coming-of-age horror thriller, the film follows Rose and Kat along with a third young woman named Joan — identified as “beautiful and haunted,” always a great yearbook superlative — who starts a journey to come save them. But as she gets closer, Kat starts experiencing terrifying visions, and Rose is only able to silently watch as she becomes possessed by a sinister, unseen energy. Emma Roberts and Kiernan Shipka have just signed on to star in the film, but it’s not clear which two of the trio they’ll be playing. Since their casting was listed together, it seems most likely that they’re playing Rose and Kat, the unhappiest prep schoolers with the most negligent parents and school officials in history. Who leaves a couple students unattended at a giant spooky school without checking to see when their parents are retrieving them first? That’s ground for a solid lawsuit.

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Flowers

If you are at all familiar with V.C. Andrews’ Dollanganger stories, you know that the author’s wildly popular five-book series are basically readily consumable insanity. Andrews’ sensibilities ran towards the “Gothic” and the “family saga,” and that’s never been clearer than in her wackadoo Dollanganger series, which doesn’t require reading for people to have familiarity with it. Let’s put it this way – do you remember a creepy film from your childhood in which Kristy Swanson and her siblings were locked in an attic by their evil grandmother and weak-willed mother and she eventually banged her brother in said attic? Yup, you’ve got familiarity with Flowers in the Attic, which means you’ve got familiarity with Andrews and the Dollangangers and now you quite keenly realize just what type of “family saga” Andrews liked to write about. Despite her prolific and bestselling writing career, only two Andrews books have ever been brought to the big screen – Flowers in the Attic came first with the 1987 Swanson-starring outing that also featured Louise Fletcher and Victoria Tennant, with the lesser-known Rain following in 2006. Flowers in the Attic is basically a curiousity – the attic incest film – but it’s a prime example of the taboo smut Andrews liked to peddle to the masses. It probably should have spawned at least a pair of sequels, considering the depth of material that Andrews wrote, but it’s instead a wacky footnote in film adaptation history. Until now! Flowers in the Attic is now on […]

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mad men header

This week’s Mad Men is called “Favors.” Which thematically, makes a lot of sense, as Bob does a favor for Pete via Manolo the male nurse, Peggy asks a late night favor of Stan, Don does a huge solid for Sylvia and the list goes on. But so much more happens. Being Mad Men, these favors are not exactly selfless ones. Though this episode in particular, written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner and directed by Jennifer Getzinger, did a lot to propel the show toward its season finale in two weeks. While there were a few drawbacks, it was a very dynamic Mad Men installment, boasting two brilliant standout scenes, amazing performances, and some show-changing events that up the stakes for the finale.

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Channel Guide - Large

Watching an award show is the closest I’ll ever come to experiencing the kind of thrill that sports fans feel when they’re watching the Super Bowl or the World Series. When Peter Dinklage won his Emmy last year, I cheered audibly as if that award had some kind of impact on my life. It’s a strange reaction to have but you watch these shows and these actors every week, you buy the DVDs, you grow attached, and you want to see this thing or person that you adore honored. It’s fandom and we’re helpless to resist its hold on us. The 64th annual Primetime Emmy nominations were announced Thursday morning and there really weren’t any surprises or huge controversies both because many of these actors and shows are nominated every year (30 Rock, Modern Family, Mad Men, Jim Parsons, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin) and also because most of the nominees are deserving of the recognition (Breaking Bad, Homeland, Downton Abbey, Boardwalk Empire, Bryan Cranston). As usual, the snubs, omissions, the inability of the members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to acknowledge something that isn’t widely celebrated by critics—whatever you want to call it—were the most interesting parts of yesterday morning’s announcement.

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Culture Warrior

Television’s manufacturing of nostalgia often reduces the past to its most obvious series of events. Whether in revisiting popular culture on VH1’s I Love the ‘70s or in TV movies ranging from The ‘60s to The Kennedys, “the past” rarely adds up to anything more than what we already know about it. The past, then, becomes reduced to a series of iconic historical events that are imbued with the hindsight-benefit of the present rather than portrayed in a way that provides any sense of convincing every-dayness. AMC’s Mad Men has largely avoided this trap. Where NBC’s The ‘60s framed the entire decide as a monolithic event whose every singular moment one nuclear family was improbably involved in, Mad Men integrates personal storylines into major events in a way that gives them a believable microscopic intimacy which make them feel like artifacts of the present: the Kennedy/Nixon election occurs in the background during a raucous and promiscuous office party in Season 1, Don Draper’s (John Hamm) marriage dissolves as the Cuban missile crisis escalates in Season 2, and Roger Sterling’s (John Slattery) daughter’s wedding is forebodingly scheduled on November 22, 1963 in Season 3. But these are the events we have come to expect and anticipate Mad Men to touch upon as its timeline moves forward. What the show is particularly adept at doing – and what separates its from traditional and redundant encapsulations of our culture’s most-revisited decade – is its use of smaller moments. Examine the news landscape each […]

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published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C
published: 11.18.2014
B+
published: 11.14.2014
B+


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