The Strain - I'm a sucker for Guillermo del Toro. Yes, he's made some mistakes recently (Pacific Rim), but he has such an amazing imagination and a unique way of story-telling, so I'm more than willing to give him a pass. I started watching The Strain, thinking it had del Toro backing it, was airing on FX (a network that is doing great things), and Corey Stoll. Well, three episodes in, I may have made a mistake. It's fun and sort of campy, but not particularly smart and suffering from some bad writing, along with very bad wigs. This is the same network that airs The Americans and they have the best wigs in the biz!
About Alex - Did we need a Big Chill for millennials? Maybe not, but that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable. After the attempted suicide of one of their own, a group of college friends reunite. They drink, they dance, they tip-toe around the reason they're all there. The actors are from all of your current favorite sitcoms (think Aubrey Plaza, Max Greenfield, Jane Levy, etc) and do a wonderful job with their material. While I had a few problems with the plot and some of the consequent details, the concept of late-twentysomethings not really knowing what they're doing in life and feeling lost in the world is spot on. There are some smart and topical jokes about social media and what all that "liking" and commenting really means in terms of true friendship. And we all like a happy ending, don't we?
Veronica Mars - The movie, not the tv series. I watched that in full a couple years ago and loved every minute of it, even though it suffers from the "characters all go to the same local college" trope that so many shows seem to have. Now, it's ten years later, Veronica is a soon-to-be bigshot lawyer in New York City, is back dating Piz, and has left Neptune far behind. Until, of course, Logan Echolls is accused of murdering his pop-star girlfriend. Some things never change. As a fan of the show, I really enjoyed the movie. Kristen Bell didn't miss a beat in her old role and all our favorite Neptune characters were back in action. As for the mystery of the dead girlfriend, everything is wrapped up a little too neatly (but then again, wasn't it always?), while potentially leaving room for more from Veronica. You won't find me complaining.
You're Next - Is it weird that my go-to is a bad horror movie? I find them oddly comforting. This is coming from the same girl who read too many Stephen King books before the age of ten, so it probably makes sense psychologically. Anyway, this movie was one of the good bad ones! It starts off like we've seen so many times before: a family is gathered at their large, secluded home when suddenly, they are under attack by unknown killers. The one thing the killers didn't count on however, was the girlfriend of one of the sons, who is not at all what she seems. The big twist wasn't particularly surprising, but the movie is well-written and smartly relies on its unlikely heroine. There's gore galore, but to its credit, You're Next stays away from all that torture porn grossness. It's a fun ride.