A real Martian reviews “The Martian”


Above: not a Martian

I mean, where do I even begin? You all have been pretty nosy this week, what with the finding water last Monday. And NASA releasing all those pictures! I mean some solitude would be nice, really. Just because you all like looking your house up on Google Earth doesn’t mean you get to involve other planets in your sick voyeurism. We didn’t ask to be number one at the box office this weekend. We are a species which values privacy, and if you can’t give us that, at the very least, accuracy please.

First of all, Matt Damon is not a Martian. He just isn’t. Being on Mars does not make you a Martian any more than visiting China makes you Chinese. And if you want to call Mars a, “hostile environment”, maybe stop trying to sell planetary colonization efforts to the public (cough cough NASA/SpaceX/MarsOne). No one is making you come. No one is making you stay.

That said, the performances were pretty good. I would listen to Jessica Chastain tell me to do anything. Donald Glover and Kristen Wiig actually killed the high budget drama. Although, I’m not entirely sure I count this as a drama. Matt Damon did say the words, “I’m going to have to science the shit out of this”, so let’s take the category of drama with a grain of salt. Who wrote this thing? He also talks to his plants a lot.

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“Sisterhood of the Night” brings spooky social critique to Ivy Film Festival


I know enough about movies to say that this was a really important scene.

There’s nothing like attending a film festival to remind you that you know absolutely nothing about cinema. That was the first thought I had as I took my seat for the Ivy Film Festival’s screening of “Sisterhood of the Night.”

It turned out to be an incredible film, my cinematic ignorance notwithstanding. The premise is that of a modern-day Salem witch trial that grips a sleepy suburban town. A group of girls form a secretive cult called The Sisterhood of the Night, and allegations soon surface that the girls are sexually abusing their recruits. But the girls won’t say anything, because they’ve taken a vow of silence.

The scandal balloons as parents and the local media become involved and misinterpret everything. As it turns out, the Sisterhood’s intent is entirely harmless: The girls are just sharing their secrets and insecurities with each other in a world that doesn’t listen to teenage girls.

The film is beautiful and spooky, with lots of ethereal nighttime scenes of the girls running around through the darkness. The film plays off clichéd high school drama in way that’s both funny and self-aware. The characters are lovable, and the quiet suburban setting gives the whole film a slightly dystopian feel.

All in all I really liked it, but I don’t know shit about movies, so take that with a grain of salt.

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IFF Presents: “The End of the Tour,” a surprisingly successful David Foster Wallace dramedy


The prospect of Jason Segel playing David Foster Wallace was, to put it nicely, daunting. Male college students and literary buffs—the two most vocal cohorts of Wallace fans—did not hesitate to express their chagrin that the stoner comedy fan favorite would be playing the enigmatic and genius Infinite Jest writer. Wallace’s family objected to the movie being made.

Fast forward two years: The End of the Tour premiered at Sundance on January 23 and is yet to be screened elsewhere, making the film an impressive grab on IFF’s part. The first of this week’s IFF screenings showed in the Martinos Auditorium in Granoff last night. The film is slated for a limited release in July. Boasting direction by James Ponsoldt, coming off of his critically acclaimed The Spectacular Now, and with its fair share of controversy, The End of the Tour was, if nothing else, tantalizing.

The good news is that Segel soars above expectations, delivering a surprisingly nuanced performance that brings Wallace’s words to life. And what words they are. The End of the Tour is an adaptation of David Lipsky’s 2010 book Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, the true account of Lipsky’s time shadowing Wallace during the last four days of the Infinite Jest book tour.

Playwright Donald Margulies’ screenplay maintains much of the book’s insight. Part hyper-intellectual buddy comedy chock-full of snappy dialogue and witty retorts with its fair share of laughs, part genuinely moving rumination on how writers grasp for meaning through their work, the screenplay is truly driven forward by Wallace’s words.

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Ben Stiller announces “Zoolander 2” and it’s really, really ridiculously good-looking

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are back at it. The two announced the arrival of Zoolander 2 by walking in the Valentino runway show as a part of Paris Fashion Week. These two really, really ridiculously good-looking men [Ed. really?] have been mulling over a Zoolander 2 for several years now, but the Valentino show this morning marked the official announcement.

On the runway, Ben Stiller rocked a Night Butterflies brocade suit with overcoat and black Creeper shoes, while Owen Wilson wore a Silk Continent print Pajama suit with Double Cashmere overcoat and Black sneakers. The normally subdued audience of Paris Fashion Week went wild as the two strutted down the runway and exchanged a hateful glare. As they strutted back, Stiller ripped Vine star Jerome Jarre’s phone out of his hand and took a Snapchat video. The whole exchange can be seen in the live Snapchat story “Fashion in Paris.”

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Drunk/Sober/High: Fifty Shades of Grey

fifty shades of bear

*SPOILER ALERT: Fifty Shades of Grey pretty much sucks, no matter how intoxicated you are*

Also, this is our first ever virtual Drunk/Sober/High. The writers saw the movies in separate locations (due to the long weekend), but still, of course, remained faithful to their respective substance (or lack thereof). 

Before the show

D: I sort of failed at pre-gaming for this film, so my friend and I took a ¾ full handle of vodka into the movie theater. Somehow, despite sitting in the front row, we did not get booted out of the theater. We also didn’t boot. The latter might be more surprising.

S: I can’t believe I’m actually at a movie theater on Valentine’s Day waiting to watch Fifty Shades. Is this real life? I look around and the theater’s pretty empty; I get there about 15 minutes early, thinking that it’ll be packed because the hype was so real, but there are probably less than 20 people there, most of whom are couples who, I’d guess, have been married for at least ten years. I’m suddenly extremely paranoid–what if parents that I know show up? What if they’re already here? What if they see me? What if I see them? I glance down the aisle and notice one couple my age sitting a few rows up and I ask myself the following question: in what world would anyone ever see this movie as a date?

H: Upon arriving to the mall, we made a bee line to the food court, snuck Chinese Food combo dinners under our coats, and found our seats in the way back of the theater. I saw quite a few other Brown students there, and I tried calling their names to get their attention but apparently I was only whispering. We smoked again in the theater; we realized we had great neighbors when we heard, “get it girl” after my friend stifled a cough.

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Black History Month Film Series presents: Selma


In honor of Black History Month, the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice and the Providence Public Library are hosting film series featuring a number of movies, including the Academy Award-nominated Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay. The film will be showing tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at the Providence Public Library (150 Empire Street).

Selma tells the story of a key moment in the civil rights movement, the march from Selma to Montgomery, and chronicles Martin Luther King Jr.’s (played by Oscar-snubbed David Oyelowo) campaign to get the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed.

The event is free and open to the public.

Image via.