Saturday Night Live Highlights: Kit Harrington Watches the Thrones on a Mostly Enjoyable SNL

Hey, have you heard that Game of Thrones is coming to its end pretty soon? It’s pretty impossible to avoid the April 14th return (for six long episodes, anyway) of the HBO series that made labyrinthe fantasy storytelling cool by firmly rooting it in heinous body violence and frontal nudity. Everything from beer to Oreos is shilling Thrones these days, so it stands to reason that Saturday Night Live would likewise get in on the fun. In that spirit, series breakout and general know-nothing Jon Sn … Kit Harington hosted in a decent enough showing, one that kept the overall GoT references to a palatable minimum, with only the opening monologue and a single effective pre-taped sketch about HBO’s desperation to spin the show off into as many things as possible. Also, the monologue segment was mostly in the trademark SNL business of getting pops for other surprise famous people, but c’mon. Who’s ever going to get upset about seeing Samwell Tarly? [embedded content] So, Uh, About All That Joe Biden Stuff… [embedded content] I’ve written about this a lot in my share of this site’s SNL coverage, but ever since everything went tilt and Donald Trump became the goddamn President of the United States, the show has found itself at […]

SXSW Film Review: Stuber Thrives as an Action Movie, Not So Much as a Comedy

(Editor’s note: The following review concerns a work-in-progress cut of Stuber at SXSW 2019. As such, a final grade will be held until the film’s release this summer.) The Pitch: Hardened Los Angeles detective Vic (Dave Bautista) is supposed to be at home recovering from a recent LASIK procedure. But when Tejo (Iko Uwais), the drug lord who killed his partner six months earlier, is reported to be back in town, he disobeys doctor’s orders in an attempt to seek revenge. Because Vic is barely able to see, he ends up enlisting the help of a pushover Uber driver named Stu (a.k.a. Stuber, played by Kumail Nanjiani), to be his eyes, navigator, and reluctant sidekick. The tension between the unlikely crime-fighting team threatens to explode as the danger increases, and the two men begin offering unwanted advice about each other’s personal lives. Four Stars for Action: Taking a page from so many R-rated buddy-cop films of the ’80s and ’90s, Stuber refuses to pull its punches when it comes to the violence. The knockout opening sequence contains all the bullet dodging, spurting blood, and crushed bones you could ever want from two onscreen powerhouses like Bautista and Uwais. There’s an artistry in the […]