“Moving like the lit fuse that blazes brilliantly across the opening credits of both the original Mission: Impossible television series and its first big-screen adaptation, Fallout turns out to be a breathlessly exciting action spectacular: the blockbuster spy thriller as sustained endorphin rush. Escalation is the film’s nuclear energy source. It’s there, of course, in the downright lunatic stunts performed by Cruise, again defying good sense and his own advancing years to top his previous feats of reckless self-endangerment. But it’s also crucial to the perpetual motion machine of a story, to the way writer-director Christopher McQuarrie keeps raising the stakes, dropping new obstacles, bringing these weary espionage specialists ever closer to the event horizon implied by the title.”
Read the rest of our review here.
Parker Posey, You’re On An Airplane
“Early in the actor’s career, Parker Posey once spazzed out so much during an audition that the casting director asked her agent if she was on drugs. ‘I wasn’t,’ Posey recounts in her memoir, ‘but just had a lot of energy and was excited to be there.’ As it was in person, so it goes on the page. In You’re On An Airplane, the Christopher Guest regular and Dazed And Confused scene-stealer recounts her life, both personal and professional, in a freewheeling style that can feel dizzying. She starts with one story, walks away from it or dives into an aside, before picking up the narrative thread and putting a button on the whole thing. It’s enjoyable in the way getting drunk can be: You don’t feel entirely tethered, but you’re having a good time.”
Read the rest of our review here.
“When Mega Man X finally arrived in the States in January of 1994, it marked a delayed transition into the 16-bit generation that was just as confident as anything Nintendo had managed with its own classic series in the preceding years, sporting gorgeous new graphics, one of the best soundtracks of its era, and platforming action that took ample advantage of the added horsepower available on its new home.”
Read the rest of our thoughts on Mega Man X here.
Head Over Heels, “Give Kia Stevens An Emmy”
“Harmony Cox is joined by TV fanatic Meryl Williams to recap season two of GLOW for their Head Over Heels podcast. This time around, the pair covers episodes three and four of the show, first lightheartedly exploring the phenomenon of ridiculous ’80s public service announcements and then addressing the inherent problems that come with wrestling stereotypes. Cox provides a history lesson for anyone new to the genre about real-life wrestler Kia Stevens, who plays Tammé ‘Welfare Queen,’ offering a real look at the ways in which racism has affected her career and the industry as a whole.”
Read about the rest of the week’s best podcasts here.
“What keeps Outcast crackling with tension and energy is the profound sense of dread generated by its exorcism premise and the abandon with which it throws itself into its horror. Outcast is actually scary, something very difficult to find even among shows based on traditional horror tropes. (Can you remember the last time The Walking Dead was scary?) TV horror often struggles for a few recurring reasons, often blending with other genres to create new hybridized forms. In part, there’s the built-in necessity of the commercial break that historically drained the potential for frights; while many shows simply adapted to the format, a home at Cinemax ensures that’s not a problem. Outcast can take its time, and build tension and dread without worrying it will be punctuated with an ad for tires.”
Read about why you should be watching Outcast here.