Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2 [PG-13] 
Comedy, Music
May 15, 2015 - Universal
Directed by Elizabeth Banks

Grade: C+
Up-Graded from C.

Par: Individual lead characters’ storylines: Becca’s (Anna Kendrick) internship; Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) finding love; Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) freshman to leader arc.

+1: Underground a cappella competitions.

+1: Commentators John and Gail (John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks).

-1: Character development of non-featured team-members.

Par: Franchise installment.

Mad Max, Ver.2, No. 1

Mad Max, Fury Road [R] 
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
May 15, 2015 - Warner Bros.
Directed by George Miller

Grade: A-
Up-graded from B

+1: Cast, including Charlize Theron (as Imperator Furiosa).

+1: Car stunts in the desert.

Par: Vision of a post-apocalyptic future.

Par: Simple politics of a water-based economy.

+1: Franchise installment as a reboot.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Hobbit 3

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies [PG-13] 
Adventure, Fantasy
December 17, 2014 - Warner Bros.
Directed by Peter Jackson

Grade C-
Down-graded from C

-1: Stuff for Bilbo (Martin Freeman) to do.

+1: Smaug.

-1: Five battling C.G.I. armies.

Par: Cast.

Par: Franchise installment as the last in the series.

The Hunger Games 3.1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - part 1
[PG-13] - Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
November 21, 2014 - Lionsgate
Directed by Francis Lawrence

Grade: C
Down-graded from C

Par: Cast.

+1: Character development (Katniss).

+1: “The Hanging Tree” ballad.

-1: Pace.

-1: Franchise installment as the first half of the last part.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tulle Fabric Portraits by Benjamin Shine

Reported April 20th, 2015 by Benjamin Starr on

By pleating and pressing tulle - the same type of fabric used in a ballerina’s dress - Benjamin Shine plays with the fabric’s intrinsic translucent and opaque qualities as it is layered ever thicker. As if this wasn’t challenging enough, he goes one step further by using only one uncut piece of fabric for an entire portrait.

[Benjamin Shine’s site]