Adam Selvidge's Website Blog

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“The New York Times Presents” Framing Britney Spears

Directed by Samantha Stark. With Britney Spears, Liz Day, Felicia Culotta, Hayley Hill. Her rise was a global phenomenon. Her downfall was a cruel national sport. People close to Britney Spears and lawyers tied to her conservatorship now reassess her career as she battles her father in court over who should control her life. A story designed to do nothing other than make you feel bad about laughing at a millionaire’s mental breakdown and physical assault on a photographer’s car. I’m sure that one day we’ll find out more on the specifics of what’s going on behind closed doors in...

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Jabberwocky

Directed by Terry Gilliam. With Michael Palin, Harry H. Corbett, John Le Mesurier, Warren Mitchell. A young peasant, with no interest in adventure or fortune, is mistaken as the kingdom’s only hope when a horrible monster threatens the countryside. If you were to say “golly this looks an off brand Monty Python and the Holy Grail” you’d only be half wrong, as Michael Palin was actually in BOTH of the films. Jabberwocky could actually serve as a less funny, but more gritty sequel to “Holy Grail” and while I wish I could suggest it, I honestly can’t. The version I...

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Real Steel

Directed by Shawn Levy. With Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo, Anthony Mackie. In the near future, robot boxing is a top sport. A struggling ex-boxer feels he’s found a champion in a discarded robot. I can’t even remember what service I streamed this on, maybe Netflix? Regardless, it’s a fun story of a washed up boxer that’s moved into the world of rock ’em / sock ’em robot boxing, but not doing a very good job at it, losing his hat in nearly every match he enters. Turns out that he’s not just bad at robot boxing, but he’s...

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Mage Against the Machine

Harry Potter meets The Terminator. I trimmed off the rest of the description, there were spoilers in it that would make you regret reading the description of the book! The synopsis of “harry potter meets the terminator” is the best description I could possibly suggest. There’s legitimately 3 or 4 chapters of world building that made me wonder which world being described was going to to be the real one, with some obvious hints which it was going to be. When that resolution actually game through though…I was shocked about how deeply I felt it worked and how crazy it...

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Freaky

Directed by Christopher Landon. With Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, Celeste O’Connor, Misha Osherovich. After swapping bodies with a deranged serial killer, a young girl in high school discovers she has less than 24 hours before the change becomes permanent. Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton do a delightfully horrifying body swap slasher that starts with bloody murderous action, keeps the gore going, then ends exactly how you’d think it would. I enjoyed the ride though, so that’s definitely no knock against the film. Buy On Amazon!

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Into the Night

Created by Jason George. With Pauline Etienne, Laurent Capelluto, Mehmet Kurtulus, Babetida Sadjo. Stay out of the light! The trailer gave me strong Langoliers vibes, though we quickly find out the source of horror that everyone’s running from and it’s thankfully nothing to do with time travel. I’ve been avoiding the show because it looked like it was going to be a subtitled mess that like most subtitled movies would required 100% of your attention at all times, but they made the curious choice to redub everyone in the series, even the characters that originally spoke English. It’s high drama,...

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Axiom’s End

“By the fall of 2007, one well-timed leak revealing that the U.S. government might have engaged in first contact has sent the country into turmoil, and it is all Cora Sabino can do to avoid the whole mess. The force driving this controversy is Cora’s whistleblower father, and even though she hasn’t spoken to him in years, his celebrity has caught the attention of the press, the Internet, the paparazzi, and the government-and redirected it to her. She neither knows nor cares whether her father’s leaks are a hoax, and wants nothing to do with him-until she learns just how...

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Finding ‘Ohana

Directed by Jude Weng. With Kelly Hu, Ke Huy Quan, Lindsay Watson, Owen Vaccaro. A summer in rural O‘ahu takes an exciting turn for two Brooklyn-raised siblings when a journal pointing to long-lost treasure sets them on an epic adventure with new friends, and leads them to reconnect with their Hawaiian heritage. It’s the Gooneys, but in Hawai’i, with beautiful scenery, a heartfelt story, and a satisfying conclusion, even if it is a bit too spiritual for my tastes. Buy On Amazon!

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News of the World

Directed by Paul Greengrass. With Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel, Tom Astor, Travis Johnson. A Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home. A great movie right up till the ending which I was not happy with. I can see how they got to where they went with the story, but I felt gross about the decisions that were made. Buy On Amazon!

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