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Silver Screen: Confidence Man: The Hugh DeNeal Story Is Stranger than Fiction
Silver Screen: 127 Hours ****
Silver Screen: 21 Jump Street ***
Silver Screen: A Good Day to Die Hard *
Silver Screen: A Million Ways to Die in the West *1/2
Silver Screen: A Most Wanted Man ***1/2
Silver Screen: A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas ***
Silver Screen: A Walk Among the Tombstones ***
Silver Screen: A Walk in the Woods ***
Silver Screen: About Last Night ***1/2
Silver Screen: Admission ***1/2
Silver Screen: After Earth *
Silver Screen: All Is Lost ****
Silver Screen: American Hustle ****1/2
Silver Screen: American Reunion **1/2
Silver Screen: American Sniper ***1/2
Silver Screen: American Ultra **1/2
Silver Screen: Annabelle ***1/2
Silver Screen: Ant-Man ***1/2
Silver Screen: Argo **1/2
Silver Screen: As Above, so Below ***1/2
Silver Screen: August: Osage County ****
Silver Screen: Bad Teacher ***
Silver Screen: Bad Words **
Silver Screen: Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice *
Silver Screen: Battle: Los Angeles **
Silver Screen: Battleship *
Silver Screen: Beautiful Creatures *1/2
Silver Screen: Before Midnight ****1/2
Silver Screen: Begin Again ***1/2
Silver Screen: Bernie ****
Silver Screen: Big Eyes ***
Silver Screen: Big Hero Six ***
Silver Screen: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) ***1/2
Silver Screen: Black Mass ****
Silver Screen: Black Swan ****
Silver Screen: Blended **1/2
Silver Screen: Blue Jasmine ****1/2
Silver Screen: Blue Valentine ****
Silver Screen: Boyhood ****1/2
Silver Screen: Brave ***
Silver Screen: Breaking Dawn Part I *1/2
Silver Screen: Brick Mansions **
Silver Screen: Bridesmaids ****
Silver Screen: Bridge of Spies ***
Silver Screen: Broken City ***
Silver Screen: Bully **
Silver Screen: Captain America **
Silver Screen: Captain America: Civil War ****
Silver Screen: Captain America: The Winter Soldier ***1/2
Silver Screen: Captain Phillips ****
Silver Screen: Carrie **
Silver Screen: Cars II *1/2
Silver Screen: Case Thirty-nine *
Silver Screen: Cedar Rapids ****
Silver Screen: Chappie *
Silver Screen: Chappie *
Silver Screen: Charlie Saint Cloud **
Silver Screen: Chef ****
Silver Screen: Chernobyl Diaries *
Silver Screen: Child Forty-four *1/2
Silver Screen: Chronicle ****
Silver Screen: Cloud Atlas ***
Silver Screen: Contagion ****1/2
Silver Screen: Contraband *
Silver Screen: Cowboys & Aliens ***
Silver Screen: Crazy, Stupid, Love **
Silver Screen: Creed ****1/2
Silver Screen: Criminal **1/2
Silver Screen: Crimson Peak ****1/2
Silver Screen: Dallas Buyers Club ****
Silver Screen: Dark Shadows *1/2
Silver Screen: Dark Skies **1/2
Silver Screen: David Wong’s John Dies at the End: A Local Author Sees His Novel Hit the Big Screen
Silver Screen: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ****1/2
Silver Screen: Dead Man Down 1/2*
Silver Screen: Deadpool ***1/2
Silver Screen: Deliver Us from Evil *
Silver Screen: Delivery Man ***
Silver Screen: Despicable Me **1/2
Silver Screen: Despicable Me II ***1/2
Silver Screen: Devil ***
Silver Screen: Dinner for Schmucks *1/2
Silver Screen: Director Rusty Nails Presents... Dead On: The Life and Cinema of George A. Romero
Silver Screen: Divergent *1/2
Silver Screen: Django Unchained ****1/2
Silver Screen: Don Jon *
Silver Screen: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark **
Silver Screen: Dope ****
Silver Screen: Dracula Untold **1/2
Silver Screen: Draft Day *
Silver Screen: Dream House *1/2
Silver Screen: Dredd 3D *1/2
Silver Screen: Drive ****1/2
Silver Screen: Drive Angry 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Due Date ***1/2
Silver Screen: Dumb and Dumber To ***
Silver Screen: Easy A ***1/2
Silver Screen: Eat Pray Love ***
Silver Screen: Edge of Tomorrow ****
Silver Screen: Elysium **
Silver Screen: End of Watch ****
Silver Screen: Ender’s Game ***
Silver Screen: Entourage *
Silver Screen: Escape Plan ***
Silver Screen: Everest ***1/2
Silver Screen: Evil Dead ***
Silver Screen: Ex Machina ***1/2
Silver Screen: Exodus: Gods and Kings *1/2
Silver Screen: Fantastic Four 1/2*
Silver Screen: Fast and Furious VI **
Silver Screen: Fast Five **1/2
Silver Screen: Faster **1/2
Silver Screen: Fifty Shades of Grey 1/2*
Silver Screen: Fifty/Fifty ****
Silver Screen: Final Destination V **
Silver Screen: Flight ****
Silver Screen: Focus *
Silver Screen: Forty-two ***1/2
Silver Screen: Foxcatcher ***1/2
Silver Screen: Frances Ha ****1/2
Silver Screen: Friends with Benefits **
Silver Screen: Fright Night ***
Silver Screen: Fruitvale Station ****
Silver Screen: Furious Seven ****
Silver Screen: Fury ***
Silver Screen: G.I. Joe: Retaliation *
Silver Screen: Gangster Squad *1/2
Silver Screen: Get Hard *
Silver Screen: Get Him to the Greek ***
Silver Screen: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 1/2*
Silver Screen: Godzilla **1/2
Silver Screen: Going the Distance ***
Silver Screen: Gone **1/2
Silver Screen: Gone Girl ****1/2
Silver Screen: Gravity ****1/2
Silver Screen: Gravity ****1/2
Silver Screen: Green Lantern *1/2
Silver Screen: Grown Ups *
Silver Screen: Grown Ups II zero stars
Silver Screen: Guardians of the Galaxy ***1/2
Silver Screen: Hail, Caesar! ****
Silver Screen: Hall Pass *1/2
Silver Screen: Hanna ****
Silver Screen: Hardcore Henry *
Silver Screen: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II ****
Silver Screen: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I ***
Silver Screen: Haywire ***1/2
Silver Screen: Her ***1/2
Silver Screen: Hereafter *
Silver Screen: Hit and Run ***
Silver Screen: Homefront *1/2
Silver Screen: Hope Springs ***1/2
Silver Screen: Horrible Bosses **1/2
Silver Screen: Horrible Bosses II **1/2
Silver Screen: Hot Pursuit *
Silver Screen: Hot Tub Time Machine II 1/2*
Silver Screen: House at the End of the Street *
Silver Screen: How Do You Know ***
Silver Screen: How to Train Your Dragon II ***
Silver Screen: I Am Number Four *
Silver Screen: I Saw the Light *
Silver Screen: Identity Thief ***
Silver Screen: In the Heart of the Sea **1/2
Silver Screen: In Time **1/2
Silver Screen: Inception ****1/2
Silver Screen: Inside Llewyn Davis *****
Silver Screen: Inside Out ****1/2
Silver Screen: Insidious ***1/2
Silver Screen: Insidious: Chapter Two ***
Silver Screen: Insurgent 1/2*
Silver Screen: Interstellar ****
Silver Screen: Iron Man III **1/2
Silver Screen: It Follows ***1/2
Silver Screen: J. Edgar **
Silver Screen: Jack and Jill 1/2*
Silver Screen: Jack Reacher ***
Silver Screen: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit ***
Silver Screen: Jackass 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa *1/2
Silver Screen: Jeff, Who Lives at Home ***1/2
Silver Screen: Jersey Boys **1/2
Silver Screen: Jobs **
Silver Screen: John Wick ***
Silver Screen: Jonah Hex *
Silver Screen: Josh Hyde’s Postcards and Love Letters
Silver Screen: Joy ***
Silver Screen: Jupiter Ascending 1/2*
Silver Screen: Jurassic World *1/2
Silver Screen: Just Go with It *
Silver Screen: Keanu ***1/2
Silver Screen: Kick-Ass II zero stars
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Killing Them Softly **1/2
Silver Screen: Kingsman: The Secret Service **
Silver Screen: Knight and Day *1/2
Silver Screen: Krampus **1/2
Silver Screen: Kung Fu Panda II ***
Silver Screen: Larry Crowne *1/2
Silver Screen: Lawless ****
Silver Screen: Let Me In ***
Silver Screen: Let’s Be Cops ***1/2
Silver Screen: Life as We Know It *1/2
Silver Screen: Life of Pi **1/2
Silver Screen: Limitless ***
Silver Screen: Lincoln ****
Silver Screen: Lockout **
Silver Screen: Lone Survivor ***
Silver Screen: Looper ****
Silver Screen: Love and Mercy ****
Silver Screen: Love and Other Drugs *1/2
Silver Screen: Lucy ***
Silver Screen: Machete **
Silver Screen: Machete Kills **1/2
Silver Screen: Mad Max: Fury Road ****1/2
Silver Screen: Magic in the Moonlight **
Silver Screen: Mama **1/2
Silver Screen: Man of Steel *
Silver Screen: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials *1/2
Silver Screen: Megamind ***1/2
Silver Screen: Men in Black III *1/2
Silver Screen: Midnight in Paris ****
Silver Screen: Miles Ahead ****
Silver Screen: Million Dollar Arm **1/2
Silver Screen: Minions **
Silver Screen: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation ****
Silver Screen: Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol ****
Silver Screen: Money Monster *1/2
Silver Screen: Moneyball ***1/2
Silver Screen: Monsters University ***
Silver Screen: Moonrise Kingdom ****1/2
Silver Screen: Movie Forty-three zero stars
Silver Screen: My Soul to Take 3D 1/2*
Silver Screen: Nebraska ****1/2
Silver Screen: Need for Speed *
Silver Screen: Neighbors ***1/2
Silver Screen: New Year’s Eve *
Silver Screen: Nightcrawler ****
Silver Screen: No Escape *
Silver Screen: No Good Deed *
Silver Screen: No Strings Attached ***
Silver Screen: Noah 1/2*
Silver Screen: Non-Stop ***1/2
Silver Screen: Now You See Me 1/2*
Silver Screen: Oblivion ***1/2
Silver Screen: Oculus ***1/2
Silver Screen: Olympus Has Fallen zero stars
Silver Screen: One Day **
Silver Screen: Ouija *
Silver Screen: Our Idiot Brother ***
Silver Screen: Out of the Furnace *
Silver Screen: Oz the Great and Powerful **
Silver Screen: Pacific Rim ****
Silver Screen: Pain and Gain ***
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity II ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity III ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity IV *
Silver Screen: ParaNorman ***1/2
Silver Screen: Parker ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paul ***1/2
Silver Screen: Pawn Sacrifice ***
Silver Screen: Piranha 3D ***1/2
Silver Screen: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides *1/2
Silver Screen: Playing for Keeps 1/2*
Silver Screen: Poltergeist 1/2*
Silver Screen: Predators ***
Silver Screen: Premium Rush ***
Silver Screen: Priest 1/2*
Silver Screen: Prisoners ****
Silver Screen: Project Almanac **
Silver Screen: Project X 1/2*
Silver Screen: Prometheus ***1/2
Silver Screen: Real Steel *
Silver Screen: Red ***
Silver Screen: Red Dawn *
Silver Screen: Red Tails **
Silver Screen: Resident Evil: Retribution *
Silver Screen: Riddick ***
Silver Screen: Ride Along **1/2
Silver Screen: Ride Along **1/2
Silver Screen: Rise of the Planet of the Apes ****
Silver Screen: RoboCop ***
Silver Screen: Run All Night ***1/2
Silver Screen: Runner Runner *1/2
Silver Screen: Rush ****
Silver Screen: Sabotage **
Silver Screen: Safe ***
Silver Screen: Safe Haven *1/2
Silver Screen: Safe House ***
Silver Screen: Saint Vincent ***
Silver Screen: Salt ***
Silver Screen: San Andreas **1/2
Silver Screen: Savages ***1/2
Silver Screen: Saw VII 3D Zero Stars
Silver Screen: Scott Pilgrim versus the World ***1/2
Silver Screen: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse *
Silver Screen: Scream IV *
Silver Screen: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World **1/2
Silver Screen: Self/less **
Silver Screen: Selma ****1/2
Silver Screen: Seven Psychopaths ***1/2
Silver Screen: Sex and the City II 1/2*
Silver Screen: Sex Tape *
Silver Screen: Shaft and Coffy: Novotny Lawrence Discusses the Blaxploitation Movement
Silver Screen: Shark Night 3D 1/2* -- Apollo 18 **
Silver Screen: Sicario ***1/2
Silver Screen: Side Effects ****1/2
Silver Screen: Silent House **1/2
Silver Screen: Silver Linings Playbook ***1/2
Silver Screen: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 1/2*
Silver Screen: Sinister ***1/2
Silver Screen: Sinister II 1/2*
Silver Screen: Skyfall ****
Silver Screen: Skyline *
Silver Screen: Snitch ***
Silver Screen: Snow White and the Huntsman **1/2
Silver Screen: Soldiers Speak Out: Carbondale Oscar Winner Barb Trent’s Latest Film
Silver Screen: Something Borrowed *
Silver Screen: Source Code ****1/2
Silver Screen: Southpaw *1/2
Silver Screen: Spectre ***1/2
Silver Screen: Splice ****
Silver Screen: Spotlight ****1/2
Silver Screen: Spy ****
Silver Screen: Star Trek into Darkness ****
Silver Screen: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ***
Silver Screen: Steve Jobs ***1/2
Silver Screen: Straight Outta Compton ****
Silver Screen: Straw Dogs *1/2
Silver Screen: Straw Dogs *1/2
Silver Screen: Super Eight ****
Silver Screen: Taken II **
Silver Screen: Taken III **
Silver Screen: Takers *1/2
Silver Screen: Tammy **1/2
Silver Screen: Ted ***1/2
Silver Screen: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles *
Silver Screen: Ten Cloverfield Lane **1/2
Silver Screen: Terminator: Genisys *1/2
Silver Screen: That Awkward Moment 1/2*
Silver Screen: That's My Boy *
Silver Screen: The A-Team **1/2
Silver Screen: The Academy Honors... The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale
Silver Screen: The Adjustment Bureau *1/2
Silver Screen: The Amazing Spider-Man **1/2
Silver Screen: The Amazing Spider-Man II ***1/2
Silver Screen: The American ****
Silver Screen: The Artist ****
Silver Screen: The Audubon Trilogy: Fugitive Narratives and the Drama of the Natural World
Silver Screen: The Avengers ***
Silver Screen: The Avengers ****
Silver Screen: The Big Muddy Film Festival
Silver Screen: The Big Short ****
Silver Screen: The Big Wedding *
Silver Screen: The Big Year *1/2
Silver Screen: The Book Thief **
Silver Screen: The Boss ***
Silver Screen: The Bourne Legacy ***
Silver Screen: The Boxtrolls ****
Silver Screen: The Boy ***
Silver Screen: The Boys and Girls Club Night at the Oscars
Silver Screen: The Butler ****
Silver Screen: The Call **1/2
Silver Screen: The Campaign ***
Silver Screen: The Company You Keep *1/2
Silver Screen: The Conjuring ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Counselor ****
Silver Screen: The D Train **1/2
Silver Screen: The Dark Knight Rises ***
Silver Screen: The Debt ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Descendants ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Dictator ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Dilemma *1/2
Silver Screen: The Drop ****1/2
Silver Screen: The DUFF ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Equalizer **
Silver Screen: The Expendables **1/2
Silver Screen: The Expendables II *1/2
Silver Screen: The Fault in Our Stars ****
Silver Screen: The Fifth Estate 1/2*
Silver Screen: The Fighter ****
Silver Screen: The Finest Hours ***
Silver Screen: The Five-Year Engagement ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Gift
Silver Screen: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo *
Silver Screen: The Giver ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Grand Budapest Hotel ****
Silver Screen: The Great Gatsby ****
Silver Screen: The Green Hornet **1/2
Silver Screen: The Green Inferno **1/2
Silver Screen: The Guilt Trip ***
Silver Screen: The Gunman **1/2
Silver Screen: The Hangover Part II **1/2
Silver Screen: The Hangover Part III *1/2
Silver Screen: The Hateful Eight ****
Silver Screen: The Heat **1/2
Silver Screen: The Host 1/2*
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games ***
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I ***
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II *1/2
Silver Screen: The Ides of March ****
Silver Screen: The Imitation Game ****
Silver Screen: The Intern **1/2
Silver Screen: The Internship **1/2
Silver Screen: The Interview ****
Silver Screen: The Judge *1/2
Silver Screen: The Karate Kid ***
Silver Screen: The Karate Kid ***
Silver Screen: The King's Speech ****
Silver Screen: The Last Airbender *
Silver Screen: The Last Exorcism ***
Silver Screen: The Last Stand ***
Silver Screen: The Lego Movie ***
Silver Screen: The Lincoln Lawyer ***
Silver Screen: The Lone Ranger ***
Silver Screen: The Longest Ride **1/2
Silver Screen: The Lucky One *1/2
Silver Screen: The Man with the Iron Fists **1/2
Silver Screen: The Martian ****
Silver Screen: The Master ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Maze Runner ***
Silver Screen: The Mechanic **1/2
Silver Screen: The Monuments Men ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Next Three Days ***
Silver Screen: The Nice Guys ****
Silver Screen: The Night Before ***
Silver Screen: The November Man **
Silver Screen: The Other Guys ***
Silver Screen: The Overnight ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Peanuts Movie ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Perks of Being a Wallflower ****
Silver Screen: The Place Beyond the Pines ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Possession *
Silver Screen: The Purge *
Silver Screen: The Purge: Anarchy **1/2
Silver Screen: The Pyramid **1/2
Silver Screen: The Quiet Ones *
Silver Screen: The Raid II ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Raven *
Silver Screen: The Revenant **
Silver Screen: The Rite *
Silver Screen: The Roommate *1/2
Silver Screen: The Rover **
Silver Screen: The Rum Diary ***
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It’s called X-Men: Apocalypse, but don’t get your hopes up— this isn’t the last one. Apoca
Bryan Miller
Video Comentary
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It’s called X-Men: Apocalypse, but don’t get your hopes up— this isn’t the last one.

Apocalypse is the name of the new villain, played by an almost entirely unrecognizable Oscar Isaac. He looks like a goth Mister Freeze, or a White Walker in a space suit, or a pissed-off Smurf king, depending on your nerdy frame of reference.

He’s an ancient being last seen ruling Egypt before a group of usurpers dropped a pyramid on top of him. He wakes up in the 1980s, a few years after the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, to cause trouble for Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his school of superpowered students.

One trilogy and now three prequels in, the X-Men franchise has become temporally complicated and overstuffed. In that way it’s both frustrating and an accurate representation of the source material, which is notable for its confounding overlap of alternate timelines and vast web of interrelated characters.

It’s tough to imagine this or the previous installment as a jumping-on point for new viewers. At this juncture, either you’ve seen the other movies, or you’re out. (When Nicholas Hoult’s character, Dr. Henry McCoy, suddenly and inexplicably turns into a furry blue monster man, he shrugs it off by saying “I forgot my meds,” and that’s that. Just try to follow along.)

So is it worth getting into?

Director Bryan Singer helped incite the superhero-movie boom with the first X-Men, then followed it up with a terrific sequel. Singer has a facility for outsized setpieces and the ability to project the illusion of gravity into an otherwise weightless swirl of digital effects. For awhile he was able to marry big-screen blockbusting with more intimate allegories and character-driven scenes.

But two movies into Singer’s return to the franchise and he seems to have lost his touch with those smaller moments, or at least doesn’t have time to squeeze them in between big action sequences. Halfway through Apocalypse, a group of Xavier’s pupils decides to take new student Kurt, also known as Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), on his first outing to a shopping mall. The trouble being that Kurt is a demonic-looking being with blue skin, three fingers, and a pointed devil tail. The kids zip off in a stolen car for some teenage downtime, and return to find their school demolished. Singer doesn’t bother with the antics at the mall, though. He keeps the character stuff offscreen to focus on the school’s umpteenth invasion. It’s lost opportunities like these that leave the movie devoid of the personality that lent texture to its predecessors.

An impressive ensemble does their best to inject some humanity into the proceedings. Returning stars McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, and Evan Peters are joined by newcomers Tye Sheridan (Mud) and Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner. Yet they’re stifled again and again by the script, which either consigns them to spouting exposition or pushes them toward dramatic high notes without any buildup as it lurches from one big moment to the next.

The only one who seems to have much fun here is Peters as the speedster Quicksilver, whose hyper-acceleration renders him slightly bored by the pace of normal life. He nabs the movie’s best sequence, in which he blithely darts between debris fragments of an exploding mansion to save his fellow X-Men in super-slow motion, all while listening to Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” It’s a blatant retread of the “Time in a Bottle” sequence from Days of Future Past, but who cares? The series could rip itself off ad nauseam as long as it maintained this level of exuberance.

Quicksilver’s sprinting and Nightcrawler’s nifty teleportation into puffs of blue smoke— last seen way back in X2— pave the way for some clever choreography and awe-inspiring visuals. Alas, most of the X-Men’s powers are conveyed entirely by computer-inserted laser light shows while the actors either furrow their brows really hard or make strained faces while they extend their open palms. Without much of the banter and character interactions that fleshed out both the heroes and villains in the early movies, the actors are too often asked to stand still and look serious while they hold their hands over their heads— excitement to be added in post-production.

And it doesn’t help that Apocalypse, while presumably the most powerful threat the X-Men have faced, is laughably stiff. Isaac isn’t able to convey much through the vocal filters and thick makeup. (Diversity alert: There are three blue X-Men characters, but still just one black one.) Apocalypse’s powers are all-encompassing and ill-defined, his dialogue nothing but dastardly proclamations, and his motivations are so simplistic as to be utterly disinteresting.

Yet again Fassbender, as Magneto, is tasked with providing the moral gray area. He’s the series’ most interesting character by far, but there’s only so many times he can waffle between fighting for humanity or against it that he becomes a wishy-washy flip-flopper who’s only really bad when the plot requires it.

That said, if you’re not burned out on superhero movies, or the increasingly repetitive X-Men iteration of them, the movie boasts a few fantastic setpieces: Peters’ running rescue, a harrowing nuclear-missile launch, a louder-than-usual climax, and a nifty cameo from a favorite castmember of yore. Singer can still deliver the big beats, but he seems a bit weary of juggling the increasingly overpopulated cast and uninspired to make this movie distinct from the others.

 

Follow Bryan Miller on Twitter@bmillerComedy.