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Showing posts with the label Chris Zylka

Ghosted Trailer Starring Chris Evans & Ana de Armas

TV Review: The Leftovers "The Prodigal Son Returns"

TV Review: The Leftovers "The Prodigal Son Returns" By: Brandon Wolfe From the start, ‘ The Leftovers ’ has struggled with trying to figure out just what it wants to be. Though the series was sold on a humdinger of a premise – 2% of the world’s population vanishes inexplicably into thin air – the meat of the show has dealt with the small town of Mapleton and its mopey, grief-riddled denizens. That tug-of-war between that tantalizingly fantastic high concept and the low-stakes misery of its characters, with the misery handily winning out, has led to an inert, relentlessly unenjoyable viewing experience. The series could just as easily be about the aftermath of a mass shooting or a pipeline explosion to the same effect. It’s a series about sadness and loss, and little else. Its faux-profundity and all-thumbs approach to symbolism do little to assist with the fact that ‘The Leftovers’ is a vehicle running on the wispiest of fumes. In the immediate aftermath of Patti’s sp

TV Review: #TheLeftovers “The Garveys at Their Best”

TV Review: The Leftovers “The Garveys at Their Best” By: Brandon Wolfe Initially, and not a little bit jarringly, “ The Garveys at Their Best ” seems to present us with exactly what its title promises. When we open, on Kevin going for a run, sneaking a smoke from a pack he’s surreptitiously hidden under a mailbox before heading home, nothing seems terribly out of the ordinary. What throws us off is what we find when Kevin arrives home: Laurie, dressed in regular, non-white clothes and speaking. With actual words coming out of her mouth. She even has a pleasant demeanor and is warm to both Kevin and a bubbly, singing Jill as they all shuffle off to their daily routines. For this is a flashback episode to the final days before the Departure changed everything for all of these people. We also peek in on Nora’s previous life to find an encouraging husband and a pair of adorable children. Everyone’s so happy. It’s weird. The kicker of “The Garveys at Their Best” is how it appears a

TV Review: The Leftovers “Cairo”

TV Review: The Leftovers “Cairo” By: Brandon Wolfe It would appear that Kevin Garvey is a bit more messed up in the head than we quite realized. While we had previously been made aware of gaps in his memory, resulting in those lost shirts and the appearance of that irate dog tied to his front porch, we see this week that Kevin’s lost time appears to be more dangerous than anyone thought. Awoken by Dean the dog-shooting mystery man (whose appearances often seem to coincide with Kevin’s forgotten escapades), Kevin finds himself in the middle of the woods. When he asks Dean how he got there, a confused and somewhat hurt Dean fills him in: the two of them kidnapped Patti, the silently snide leader of the Guilty Remnant, the night before, roughed her up and tied her to a chair in a cabin Kevin that visited as a child. Dean wants to know what happens next, but a stunned Kevin is still trying to process what happened before. Kevin implores Patti that he is sorry for what he has don

TV Review: The Leftovers “Solace For Tired Feet”

TV Review: The Leftovers “Solace For Tired Feet” By: Brandon Wolfe Man, is this a hard show to watch. Not in the sense that it’s depressing or challenging, qualities that could make its difficulty to endure commendable in a way (and qualities that the show clearly aspires toward), but in its inertia and frustrating lack of focus. As I’ve stated time and again, ‘The Leftovers’ has a core premise that could make for a fantastic television series, but this is not that series. This series is a flummoxing mass of uncooked dough, a collection of murky, half-formed ideas that aren’t as tantalizing as its creators believe they are. It is, in short, very much a Damon Lindelof show, and I mean that in the worst way. There really isn’t a good way to mean that, but I want it to be clear that of all the possible ways it could be meant, I mean the very worst one. After last week’s surprisingly solid outing, which centered its focus around Nora Durst, who has quickly emerged as the most intere

TV Review: The Leftovers “Gladys”

TV Review: The Leftovers “Gladys” By: Brandon Wolfe For a series so often awash in inertia, “Gladys” opens with a visceral gutpunch. A pair of Guilty Remnant members stop at a gas station so one of the women can use the restroom. The older woman waiting outside, whom we will later learn is the eponymous Gladys, is grabbed by a pair of masked assailants, who take her out to the woods nearby, affix her to a tree with masking tape and proceed to stone her to death with large rocks, blood profusely gushing from the woman’s head. The GR does not speak, but with the life draining out of her, Gladys breaks this vow in order to plead for her life. This falls on deaf ears, as the men chuck the last rock at her head, delivering a fatal blow. This is an ugly scene, unnecessarily so. While the GR have been such a frustrating force, both to the characters within the show and to us out in the viewing audience, seeing this helpless older woman bludgeoned to death is very difficult to watch. I have

TV Review: The Leftovers “B.J. and the A.C.” By: Brandon Wolfe

TV Review: The Leftovers “B.J. and the A.C.” By: Brandon Wolfe It might be time to call it with ‘The Leftovers’. After four installments, the HBO show is still struggling to locate its pulse. The premise at the core of the series remains spooky and promising, but the series itself is fumbling to tell stories that build off that premise in any meaningful or compelling way. With its cast of stiffs, lifeless narrative and hokey symbolism, ‘The Leftovers’ is so deep in the ground right now that it’s hard to imagine it pulling itself out. Kevin is imploring Guilty Remnant lieutenant Patti (Ann Dowd) to avoid crashing a Christmas dance at the local high school, but as with all interactions with the GR, it’s literally like talking to a brick wall, if the brick wall chain-smoked and made smarmy faces. But soon Kevin’s attention is focused on something much more pressing: the baby Jesus doll from the town’s nativity scene has been swiped and Kevin has been tasked with locating it, m

TV Review: The Leftovers “Two Boats and a Helicopter”

TV Review: The Leftovers “Two Boats and a Helicopter” By: Brandon Wolfe With “ Two Boats and a Helicopter ”, ‘The Leftovers’ moves into the weekly-spotlight motif that served Damon Lindelof so well on ‘Lost’. Where the first two episodes cast a wide net to set up the entire world and cast, this entry fixates solely on Matt Jamison ( Christopher Eccleston ), the tormented reverend whom we’ve only met in passing thus far. Matt has a very specific reaction to the Departure. He is hell-bent on proving to the public that this wasn’t the Rapture, as many believe, since he’s keen to point out that many of those who were taken on October 14th were demonstrably bad people. Matt publishes a newsletter where he documents the crimes and sordid deeds of the departed, a practice that only stirs up ill will in people, and occasionally results in Matt taking a beating from the angry relatives of those whose sins he exposes. We also learn that Matt’s wife was critically injured on that fateful day

TV Review: The Leftovers “Penguin One, Us Zero”

TV Review: The Leftovers “Penguin One, Us Zero” By: Brandon Wolfe The pilot episode of ‘ The Leftovers ’ proved to be an exceptionally divisive one. While some were instantly taken with its enigmatic debut, many others found it confoundingly vague. I fell somewhere in the middle, enticed by the eeriness of its post-Rapture (or is it?) world, yet recognizing that many blank spots still needed to be filled in. The second episode finds me shifting my position nearer to the frustrated portion of the viewing audience. As ‘The Leftovers’ begins to color in its world, which in itself is interesting on a conceptual level, the feeling starting to spring up is that maybe the handful of characters designated for us to follow is simply not interesting enough to match it. Take Liv Tyler’s Meg Abbott, for instance. Last week, she was stalked by the Guilty Remnant cult and, without explanation, had opted to join up with them by episode’s end. This week, she is put through an orientation t

TV Review: The Leftovers "Pilot"

TV Review: The Leftovers "Pilot" By: Brandon Wolfe On a day like any other, October 14, 2% of the world’s population vanishes into thin air. It appears to be an event akin to the Rapture, except those who were taken appear to have been done so indiscriminately. Three years later, the world is still reeling from the event. Neither the religious nor the science communities can quite explain what happened or why. As people continue to attempt to come to grips with their losses, a couple of mysterious cults have popped up, including the GR (Guilty Remnant), a silent, chain-smoking group dressed all in white whose motives are unclear, but who seem intent on reminding the rest of the world of the futility of mourning. This is the grabber of a premise that drives HBO’s ‘ The Leftovers ’ from ‘ Lost ’ creator Damon Lindelof, based on the novel by Tom Perotta (who is also onboard as producer and co-writer). The pilot episode of ‘ The Leftovers ’ introduces a multitude of ch

Damon Lindelof's HBO Show "The Leftovers" Trailer

Damon Lindelof's HBO drama The Leftovers has its first full-length trailer. Bits and pieces have been doled out about the series via atmospheric teasers, but the latest footage -- debuting before Sunday's Game of Thrones -- offers a more complete look at the postapocalyptic series. Based on the Tom Perrotta novel, The Leftovers begins three years after 2 percent of the Earth's population disappears without explanation (aka the Rapture ) and focuses on the people who didn't make the cut, living in a changed world. Watch the trailer after the Jump... "It's time again for the world to mourn the departed," the trailer opens as the remaining inhabitants on Earth have settled into a lazy haze years later, with many trying to accept that they will never return. The town of Mapleton even holds a parade in remembrance of the event and unveils a new statue in its honor. "We still wonder where they went and why," becomes the town's dilemm