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Tag: Snap Judgment (1-10 of 276)

Lifetime's Gina Gershon 'House of Versace' movie: Let's talk about it

Did you watch House of Versace tonight on Lifetime? Do you feel like you spent the last two hours huffing peroxide fumes and saying “It’s hot! It’s sexy! It’s worrrrking!” to your cat while you made him tiny bias cut dresses out of tinfoil? No? ME NEITHER.

But let’s discuss it anyway. Some real-time thoughts:

1. I do not envy Gina Gershon having to fill Maya Rudolph’s lace-front from the old Donatella sketches on SNL (which are annoyingly hard to find online, except for this). Maya basically played her as a sozzled blond honey badger from hell who ate cocaine for breakfast, Capri Slims for lunch, and go-go boys for dinner, and she was perfection.

2. Oh wait! Gina is not so bad. The wig looks good, very Victoria Gotti with a little extra VO5. And I like the whole Harvey-Fierstein-goes-to-Roma rasp she’s working. More menthols! Also, Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars, Just Shoot Me) nails Gianni, looks-wise.

3. These runway shows and photo shoots are kind of janky. Lifetime, I know setpieces are expensive but this is House of Versace, not House of Vinyl Markdowns. READ FULL STORY

The 4 emotional stages of watching 'The Purge'

On Friday night, I stepped into a crowded theater to watch The Purge, and I was both impressed and bewildered by what I saw. The film, which has a killer premise about a single night during which all crime (including murder) is legal, definitely got my audience riled up, eliciting six separate moments of spontaneous applause… followed by nervous laughter.

In fact, watching the film — which starts off like The Hunger Games, then transforms into Panic Room, then morphs again into Taken — sends you on an emotional roller coaster as you try to grapple with the twisted plot. My ride felt something like this (SPOILERS abound from this point):

The Purge begins with eerie radio broadcasts and television segments breathlessly previewing the evening’s coming purge, when citizens can go “hunting” for people they hate as a way of purging themselves of their hatred. The whole tradition is presented with an unsettling amount of excited anticipation and patriotic reverence — a creepy mentality that the annual purge truly improves American society. READ FULL STORY

Beyonce's 'Life Is But A Dream' on HBO: Who run the world? Beyonce.

Like any good reverie, there are plenty of different ways to interpret Life Is But A Dream, the fascinating and rudderless new HBO documentary that aired tonight about Beyoncé that just so happens to be directed by Beyoncé, starring Beyoncé, with special promotional consideration provided by Beyoncé, made possible by contributions from Viewers Like Beyoncé.

On one hand, the movie could be exactly what it says it is: a verité video-quilt stitched from snippets of the private life of America’s current First Performer. Here she is as a kid in cowboy boots running around her Texas yard; now she’s the megastar slithering onstage in a metallic leotard to accept Billboard’s Millennium Award; now she’s in sweats whispering to the camera about a miscarriage that she calls “the saddest thing I’ve ever been through.” All of this, by the way, was recorded on the fly by the swarms of cameras that apparently surround Beyoncé at all times, supplemented by TV footage and straight-up, first-person vlog entries so raw and immediate that she barely had time to slap on some eyeliner and light foundation before grabbing her laptop.

'Bioshock Infinite' snap judgment: Taking to the skies, and taking on religion and race

The Game: One of the most highly anticipated games of 2013, BioShock Infinite hopes to do for airships and American Exceptionalism what 2007’s BioShock did for underwater cities and Ayn Rand-ian Objectivism. Which is: Make them really, really cool. The game (for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, and now due for release on March 26, 2013) is set in 1912, roughly 50 years before the events of BioShock — though I should add that it’s unclear whether these games are even set in the same basic universe. We follow ex-Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, as he infiltrates the massive, dazzling floating city of Columbia in order to find and rescue a mysterious woman named Elizabeth, who seems to be at the heart of both the city’s overriding mythology, and its ongoing civil war. The city was founded by a self-styled prophet named Father Comstock, whose loyal followers, keen on keeping Columbia a pure place of worship, are at odds with the violent insurgents known as the Vox Populi. Booker quickly discovers his simple rescue mission is anything but.

What We Played: At a special press preview event on Thursday, I got a good 90 minutes with the game, from the very opening sequence up to right before Booker first finds Elizabeth. READ FULL STORY

Snap Judgment: We touched Microsoft's Surface tablet!

The words “Apple” and “iPad” were never spoken during Microsoft’s unveiling yesterday of the company’s new tablet device, the Surface, but they haunted just about every facet of the presentation. First, there was the unusual, Apple-like secrecy surrounding the event — reporters were given just a few days notice that a “major announcement” would be taking place in Los Angeles, and only informed of the specific location just six hours before it was set to begin. (I overheard one reporter from San Francisco saying that he was only able to make a hotel reservation after he’d landed in L.A. that morning, because he wasn’t sure where in the sprawling city he’d have to be.)

When the Surface was finally revealed, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and a few other executives tripped over themselves fetishizing the tablet’s design, repeatedly emphasizing words like “seamless,” and “elegant,” and “perfect.” And much time was spent obsessing over the cutting-edge engineering that allowed for “vapor magnesium” casings that were both unfathomably thin and impressively rigid.

It was plainly obvious that Microsoft was gunning not only for Apple’s hefty market share, but also its zeitgeist-seizing mojo. The one question on all our minds, however, was whether any of us would get to actually use the Microsoft Surface.  READ FULL STORY

E3 Snap Judgment: Ellen Page stars in the fascinating 'Beyond: Two Souls'


The Game: Videogame designer David Cage is either a visionary artist or a huckster philosopher. Either way, his follow-up to 2010’s Heavy Rain promises to be a unique cinematic adventure. Beyond follows a young girl named Jodie Holmes and a mysterious supernatural being named Aiden (pronounced like the first two syllable of “identity”) who follows her everywhere. According to Cage, the game will cover 15 years of Jodie’s life, from her adolescence through her 20s. Oh, and here’s a twist: Jodie is played by Juno star Ellen Page in what promises to be a showcase for performance-capture technology. (Available for the PS3, no release date pending) READ FULL STORY

E3 Snap Judgment: 'The Last of Us'

The Game: A survival adventure tale that follows two survivors — a man named Joel and a teenage girl named Ellie — through a post-apocalyptic America populated by dangerous plant people and even-more-dangerous regular people. The Last of Us is a darker evolutionary step for Uncharted, and it instantly became one of the most anticipated trailers at E3 after a thrilling trailer played at the Video Game Awards. (Available for the PS3, Release Date TBD) READ FULL STORY

E3 Snap Judgment: 'Watch Dogs' could be the future of the videogame industry


The Game: Ubisoft closed their press conference on Monday with an eye-popping first look at a game whose entire existence had been kept secret for two years. Here’s what we know about Watch Dogs: It’s an open-world game set in Chicago, where you can control anything and everything connected to the information grid: Cell phones, security cameras, traffic lights, you name it. You also have access to everyone’s Personal Data, meaning you can tell everything about someone just by looking at them, from their salary to their occupation to whether or not they’re a smoker. So if you’re the kind of person who worries about identity theft, this game is your worst nightmare. (No release date has been announced and the game is not slated for any console, leading to some theories that Watch Dogs will actually be a next-generation title.) READ FULL STORY

E3 Snap Judgment: 'Project P-100' is the Wii U's secret weapon


The Game: Project P-100 is actually just the working title for an utterly curious (and curiously unheralded) Wii U title. Described by developer Platinum Games as a “Mass Hero Action Game,” Project P-100 lets you control a group of heroes who work together to protect humanity from attacking monsters. It plays a little bit like Pikmin crossed with the Neo-Geo semi-classic King of the Monsters. (No release date announced yet, although Nintendo claims it will hit stores within a few months of the Wii U.) READ FULL STORY

E3 Snap Judgment: 'Zombi U' does not live up to the hopeful hype


The Game: You can pinpoint the exact moment when Zombi U became one of the biggest titles at E3. It came halfway through Ubisoft’s press conference on Monday, when host Aisha Tyler said, “This next Wii U exclusive is an M-rated survival horror first-person shooter that drops you right into the middle of a zombie apocalypse.” M-rated? Shooter? Zombie? On a Nintendo console? Even before the eye-popping trailer, Zombi U was already the great shining hope for anyone who wanted the new console to be more hardcore (and less cutesy) than the Wii. Also, who doesn’t love zombies? (No official release date, but Nintendo claims it will hit stores within a couple months of the Wii U launch.) READ FULL STORY

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