Monday - March 25, 2019
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Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

 

I’m Right Behind Me

March 24th, 2019

Like all right-thinking people, I’m a gigantic fan of Key & Peele. If you’re reading this, the odds are that you are too. It’s possible, though, that maybe you aren’t familiar with their stuff. If so, that’s okay! I try to be mindful that not everyone comes to the same material at the same time.* Good art has a way of coming to people when they’re ready for it. Created by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, their sketch comedy show ran on Comedy Central from 2012 to 2015. Beyond getting truly goofy, Key and Peele genuinely had something to say, and they made their points with wit... Read More

Higher, Further, Faster

March 10th, 2019

Representation matters. It’s just as important to see some facsimile of yourself at age seven as it is at age 77. It’s a way of shaping your identity, a way of telling the world that you matter. Done right, representation can show you a higher path and provide you with a way to be better. As a kid, my morals were shaped more powerfully and acutely by comics than they ever were by church.* Spider-Man taught me doing the right thing can suck. It can be lonely and painful, but it’s no less the right thing to do. Superman taught me that consideration for others makes the world not only a better... Read More

Any Neighborhood

February 24th, 2019

Decisions have consequences. Sometimes they’re gigantic. Can you imagine if President Obama had hesitated and decided not to send in Seal Team Six to kill Osama bin Laden? If General Eisenhower had opted not to postpone the invasion of Normandy due to poor weather conditions? Most of the time, our decisions don’t feel monumental. However, like small streams feeding into a river that runs to the sea, they build upon each other. Take a moment to consider the decisions you’ve made in the last year. Think about where you were versus where you are now. It might not feel like it, but you’ve likely... Read More

Manic Pixie Cyborg Girl

February 17th, 2019

As much as we love to bellyache about Hollywood failing to come up with new ideas, there are two irrefutable facts we have to contend with. The first is that, frequently, when something blazingly original is released theatrically, audiences shun it. Speed Racer was a failure. Cloud Atlas was a failure. Mortal Engines was a failure. The second fact? As long as there have been movies, there have been adaptations. It’s hardly a new phenomenon. George De Maurier’s 1895 novel Trilby, which I’m sure you all have read, was adapted into a silent film way back in 1915. This kind of thing has been... Read More

Everything Is (Slightly Less) Awesome

February 10th, 2019

It’s very difficult to be surprised by movies these days. You’ve seen trailers released by major studios that seem to leech most of the drama out of the film they’re promoting. If you go to certain corners of the internet, you can piece together marketing materials, leaked screenplays, and footage and basically get the gist of a film before it’s even playing theatrically. That sucks, so I cherish those moments, particularly in studio blockbusters, when I get blindsided. One of my favorites from 2018 was the last 30 minutes of Avengers: Infinity War. If you haven’t gotten around to seeing... Read More

Moby Dick + Wild Things + The Matrix = WTF

February 3rd, 2019
anne hathaway serenity

One of the most valuable things in life is honesty; particularly, the honesty of someone calling out your bad ideas. When someone cares about you on a personal or professional level, they’ll do their level best to pull you back from the brink. I cannot emphasize how important that is, but let me explain with my own idiotic example. I do screenwriting on the side. Years ago, I was batting about script ideas with my writing partners. As we kicked around ideas, I was struck by the Bad Idea Fairy. “Guys, guys, so there were gold reserves in the sub-basements of the Twin Towers. What if, in the... Read More

A Million Shattered Pieces

January 20th, 2019

Movies aren’t for everyone, though people think they are. A bunch of years ago, my wife and I caught the very good film Adaptation in the theaters. If it’s been a minute since you’ve seen or thought about it, Adaptation is about a lonely screenwriter struggling to adapt a book about an orchid thief. It’s got strong performances by Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, and a great deal to say about the creative process. Joining us in our cinematic excursion was an Unnamed Member Of Our Extended Family. He’s a great guy, but the film tastes of the aforementioned UMOOEF, as he will be known going... Read More

The Angler – Local Movie Reviewer Gives Opinions on Vice

December 30th, 2018

There are a lot of people extremely angry at Adam McKay’s new film Vice. It’s not surprising, considering the film a) is about some of the most well-known people in recent history and b) is political. If you’re reading this, you probably have an opinion about Vice-President Richard Cheney, whether you think he was a tough government operator who did what was necessary, or you think he was a major player in Hell’s demonic hierarchy. The political aspects make things even trickier. We’ve talked before about how at this moment in history, virtually everything is polarized. One of the problems... Read More

Swimming Upstream – Local Movie Reviewer Splashes with Aquaman

December 23rd, 2018

Poor Aquaman. Ask any kid, any comic aficionado, any pop culture enthusiast who their favorite superhero is. Batman will come up a lot, Spider-Man and Wolverine will certainly get mentioned, even Black Panther and The Flash will get some love*. But the King of Atlantis? Eh…not so much. Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger created the character for DC Comics way back in 1941, and he languished in obscurity until the era of Saturday morning cartoons in the 1960s. From that point on, Aquaman became a joke. You could tell people all day long that he was immensely powerful, due to an ability to withstand... Read More

The Road Better Off Not Taken

December 16th, 2018

As much as I love Unforgiven, In the Line of Fire, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and Dirty Harry, I think my favorite Clint Eastwood film is Escape from Alcatraz. As bank robber Frank Morris, you can see him plotting a way off the famed prison from the very first scenes of the film. Eastwood’s Morris is taciturn, intelligent, and does not suffer fools gladly.* Clint Eastwood casts a long shadow. He’s been in the entertainment industry since 1955, and he has 72 acting credits and 40 directorial credits. At age 88, he keeps at it, releasing a film or two every few years. He’s made some... Read More