‘Elvis & Nixon’ is an actor’s showpiece for Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey to collide in the most bizarre power summit in pop culture history
Although the Underwoods in all their conniving glory is one of the main appeals to House of Cards, season three presents a slow but forceful tear between Frank and Claire that drove the plot into new territory. With Frank resorting to old but now ineffectual methods of coercion by putting his foot down until he gets his way, he finds himself weakened under Claire’s unwavering high heel. Restless and tired of her husband’s ways and her seemingly permanent position at his side, she ends the season with an exciting and unexpected decision to leave him. In spite of the fact that Frank and Claire seem to be an unbreakable duo hellbent on complete power, there are several moments throughout the latter half of season three that seem to suggest Claire’s desires to surpass her husband’s position or at least break apart from the illusion that they are a single organism, such as in multiple scenes where she is sitting alone at the presidential desk.
There’s nothing more depressing than a lazy comedy, and Horrible Bosses 2 suffers from a terminal case of laziness. Instead of gleefully diving into its richly-black premise, it settles for obvious sight gags and uninspired improvisations. A talented comedic cast is wasted on material that aims for mediocrity and hits the target over and over again. There simply aren’t enough laughs here to justify this film’s existence.
House of Cards premiered last year to tremendous buzz, the highly-anticipated, prestige-soaked first original program from Netflix. Viewers embraced the series and no one was surprised to see it rack up nomination after nomination, both for the Golden Globes and Emmys. After the initial furor died down however, many critics were left cold by the show’s self-satisfaction and paint-by-numbers approach, the strong individual performances let down by predictable plotting and under-developed characterization. Fortunately season two of House of Cards, while still flawed, greatly improves on many of the first season’s biggest problem areas and this self-awareness bodes well for the already-commissioned season three.