The caper comedy Ocean's 8 is more knock-off than spin-off

A belated spin-off of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s caper comedies (minus the earlier films’ wit, chemistry, and style), Ocean’s 8 could learn a thing or two about brevity and craft: It belabors the basic plot points Ocean’s 11 dispatched with a single cut or smirk, the result a hacky imitation of the series’ glitzy…

Sandra Bullock makes some glamorous new friends in the Ocean's 8 trailer

As promised by yesterday’s trailer for the trailer, this morning Warner Bros. released the first official trailer for the upcoming all-female (well, mostly female—hi, James Corden) heist flick Ocean’s 8. The trailer opens with Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) at her parole hearing, saying that, if given another chance at…

Luc Besson’s space romp Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is fun if you can stand the dumb

Whatever one may think of Luc Besson’s futuristic space opera Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, the idea of spending a cool $225 million so that Rihanna can mount a stripper pole and recite some lines from the poet Paul Verlaine’s “A Poor Young Shepherd” to an audience of one (in full high-tech space suit,…

Meme becomes reality as Netflix orders Lupita Nyong’o and Rihanna’s con artist movie

Here’s some surprising news for 2017: It turns out that good things actually can happen, but only if everybody involved is really cool and talented. Today’s good thing is that Netflix has actually picked up some kind of con artist movie starring Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o, with Selma’s Ava DuVernay directing and …

Here is quantifiable proof that pop lyrics are getting more repetitive

Thanks in large part to the influence of R&B, electronic music, and hip-hop, pop music of the past decade or so has been wildly experimental, artistically rich stuff. Many of the best artists have blurred these genres to the point where they’re unrecognizable, like, say, Rihanna, whose Anti was one of last year’s most…

Get acquainted with Valerian’s city of a thousand planets in the latest trailer

The latest trailer for Luc Besson’s Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets—which The A.V. Club had a chance to see in 3D in New York earlier this week—gives a broad look at of the universe the director built, and outlines the mission for the heroes. Alpha, the titular city, is a “paradise” where species live in…

Bates Motel smartly delivers its most surprising twist yet

“It’s hard to be lonely.” Truer words have never been spoken by Norman Bates. But as he explains to Marion Crane, the dangerous part of that loneliness is the little private trap you can build for yourself in an effort to avoid the isolation. “Once you care about someone, it rules you,” he says, and while it might be…

Rihanna arrives and Bates Motel, at long last, begins its version of Psycho

“Sometimes I see mother when she’s not really there. Sometimes I become her.” These words are a simple statement of fact about the lead character of Bates Motel, but coming from Norman Bates, they’re a revelation. Not since his time in treatment at Pineview last season has Norman been so confronted by the truth of his…

Rihanna takes a shower in this teaser for Bates Motel’s final season

With only one season left, Bates Motel is just going for it in its latest teasers: Norma Bates’ taxidermied corpse, Norman Bates more unhinged than ever, and Rihanna—playing future murder victim Marion Crane—checking in for a very famous shower. And yet, it’s a testament to Vera Farmiga’s wonderfully deranged…

Luc Besson mixes trippy and sexy in first Valerian trailer

The trailer for Luc Besson’s Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is here and it’s a trippy voyage, scored to The Beatles’ “Because.” It’s got a lot of what you’d expect from a Besson movie. Cara Delevingne’s Laureline is a kickass heroine often clothed in skimpy garments. There are a bunch of flying vehicles à…