Tag Archives: Ellen Burstyn

Wiener-Dog (2016) Movie Review

Todd Solondz has made a career out of putting on display the awkwardness of normal existence and the oddities that threaten to make it less normal (or overbearingly so). But the real question is: Can he do the same thing with a dog as a protagonist? One sad, slow tracking shot over a trail of dog diarrhea later, and we have our answer.


Wiener-Dog is told in an episodic fashion as the eponymous animal travels from Continue reading Wiener-Dog (2016) Movie Review

House of Cards S04E03 Recap & Review

Caution: Spoilers from House of Cards season four, episode three ahead.

The third episode of the new season of House of Cards shows the continued efforts of Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) to salvage his struggling presidential campaign. Returning to his hometown of Gaffney, South Carolina, he speaks in a church. The scene is great, cross-cutting between the speech itself and Underwood preparing for the speech. The lighting contrast and his mumbling recitation show the reality of his feelings for the people that he is claiming to be working for, that they are merely votes that he desperately needs.


On the other end of the political totem pole, Lucas Goodwin (Sebastian Arcelus), aka John Carlyle, is working on parole, cleaning cars. In order to secure a car, he engages in sexual favors with a co-worker. He uses this to Continue reading House of Cards S04E03 Recap & Review

House of Cards S04E02 Recap & Review

Caution: Spoilers for House of Cards season four, episode two ahead.

Episode two of House of Cards season four opens on a conversation between Claire Underwood’s mother Elizabeth (Ellen Burstyn) and a group of her perhaps monetarily influential friends. She encourages endorsement of Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) for president so that her daughter may begin her own political rise once Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is out of the oval office.


The episode re-introduces Russian President Viktor Petrov (Lars Mikkelsen), where a man fleeing Russia seeks asylum in the U.S., fearing for his life when an attempt to unseat Petrov goes south. To President Underwood, this appears like Continue reading House of Cards S04E02 Recap & Review

House of Cards S04E01 Recap & Review

Caution: Spoilers for House of Cards season four, episode one (and perhaps any previous episode of the show) ahead.

Season four of House of Cards opens on a strange yet perversely poetic image: former Washington Herald senior journalist Lucas Goodwin (Sebastian Arcelus) glibly reciting erotica so his prison cellmate can get off on the bunk below him. Goodwin was previously framed by hacker Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) and Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) loyalist Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) in order to prevent further suspicion over the death of Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) at Underwood’s hands.


The reason for Goodwin’s lewd helping hand becomes clear later on, when it is revealed that he Continue reading House of Cards S04E01 Recap & Review