Lily (Anna Taylor-Joy) is in a bad place.  She’s in trouble with her posh boarding school, and stuck at home between semesters with her well-meaning but uninvolved mother and douchebag-extraordinaire stepfather, Mark (Paul Sparks).  He and Lily live together in hostile tension, both affecting a façade of chilly politeness that barely conceals their mutual hatred for one another.  Meanwhile, the mother of Lily’s middle school classmate Amanda pays her to tutor her daughter, itself a transparent excuse to provide Amanda with some social contact.  Amanda has become an outcast after brutally killing her family’s crippled horse, which in her mind was an act of mercy. Continue reading

Black Panther


The best movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and now, Black Panther) all have a few things in common.  For one, they’re essentially standalone, requiring nothing from their audience other than a willingness to have fun.  Their other shared element is the introduction of a new world to their viewers.  For Iron Man, that was the then-new and exciting MCU itself; Guardians of the Galaxy created a colorful, pulpy version of outer space; and now, Black Panther gives us Wakanda, a fictional African country that plays at third-world poverty but boasts a technologically advanced society hidden from all other nations. Continue reading