Tuesday - September 17, 2019
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Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

 

Tonight’s Word is Inevitability

September 15th, 2019

There’s a threshold that everyone crosses between childhood and adulthood. For some people, stepping across that threshold is akin to getting a boost of rocket fuel. I’ve known people who met and exceeded all expectations. They excelled at prestigious universities and entered lucrative professions. One even spent time working in the White House.* Aided by family, friends, and a considerable amount of luck, the path through their threshold likely shone brightly. For most people, that threshold is covered in fog. You look across it and catch shadowy glimpses of possibilities. Years spent grappling... Read More

Can’t Sleep, Clown Will Eat Me

September 8th, 2019

Back in the day, liking horror was viewed as nothing to be proud of. It was a genre that was grimy, unseemly, positively dripping with bad thoughts and worse intentions. If you were into the scary stuff, why, it must mean you’re some kind of dangerous freak! Speaking from experience, telling someone during the first date that one of your favorite movies is The Exorcist is an excellent way to ensure there’s no second date. Then Stephen King came along, and it’s possible that he, moreso than anyone else in the last 40 years, dragged horror kicking and screaming into the mainstream. As of now,... Read More

An American Fable

September 1st, 2019

To say that Shia LaBeouf has had an unpredictable career would be an understatement. Consider that, at ten years old, he attempted to launch a stand-up comedy career. From there, he became a Disney Channel wunderkind, and younger audiences were the first ones to witness his talent. I can hear between guffaws, many of you saying, “Talent?! Pshaw! He was in the godawful Transformers movies! He was in the only terrible Indiana Jones film! He went crazy in public! Maybe lay off sniffing glue before you write your reviews, okay?” With the exception of the sniffing glue thing, all of that is true. Strip... Read More

Let the Games Begin

August 25th, 2019

Everyone should spend a little time working in either the food industry, retail, or customer service. More than any other profession, you’ll witness some of the best and worst aspects of human behavior. When your job is to serve food or handle phone calls, you’ll see moments of towering generosity, unimaginable pettiness, and everything in between. I’ve been there. I spent over ten years trapped in a cubicle, armed with nothing more than a phone, a disinterested managerial team, and a substandard personal computer. My job was to be an abuse sponge, soaking up invective from people who really... Read More

A Good Lie

August 11th, 2019

One of the most prominent sections of the American Cancer Society’s website is the Treatment and Support page. There, you’ll find a host of useful information regarding the feelings both patients and caregivers experience during and after treatment. Understandably, fear, depression, and anxiety are all cited as normal responses. What is a “normal” response to a cancer diagnosis in a loved one? To make things even trickier, what if the diagnosis is terminal? That’s a tough one. If you’re the patient, how are you supposed to come to terms with your mortality, say your good-byes, and face... Read More

The Middle Lane

August 4th, 2019

You know what my problem with romantic comedies has often been? They’re neither romantic enough nor comedic enough. Is the base problem simply that I’m a straight white guy, someone who gets his cinematic pleasures from seeing people shot in the face repeatedly? Do I simply need to accept that rom-coms are made by and for women, and shut my stupid face? Well…no, I wouldn’t put it quite like that. Remember the old cliché of a straight couple fighting over which movie to watch? The female half wins, naturally having chosen a rom-com, and as she sighs heartily at the onscreen shenanigans,... Read More

A Hollywood Fairy Tale

July 28th, 2019

When Quentin Tarantino’s debut feature Reservoir Dogs was released in 1992, the American film industry was in crisis. Cracks were appearing in the star system. Mainstream films were flopping at the box office. Audiences wanted something, anything new, and Hollywood didn’t know what to give them. For a moment, there was a window for Tarantino to pass through. Along with independent filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh, Paul Thomas Anderson and others, he irrevocably changed movies and culture. But 1992 was a long time ago. Sure, Tarantino was a big swinging dick—still is to a degree. He’s one... Read More

Punch with Your Foot

July 21st, 2019

We live in a misogynistic culture; no big surprise there. But where is toxic masculinity birthed from? Along with antiquated customs and some creepy religious dogma, media can be a big driver in how us guys view ourselves and conduct ourselves. Men are supposed to be assertive—just look at Harrison Ford! Men don’t cry, just look at Clint Eastwood!* That’s the bad news, but the good news is that we also seem to be in a period of flux. Among other concepts, long-held assumptions about gender identity are changing. How do we know that? One way is by looking at how movies portray masculinity... Read More

Skräck

July 14th, 2019

Like comedy, horror is all about provoking a reaction. It’s the setup and the punchline, only horror traffics in chills rather than chortles. If a skilled filmmaker causes a viewer to react the way they want, that means the director knows their job. If the same filmmaker can play an audience like a violin, you know you have a major talent on your hands. That’s why I love seeing horror movies with a crowd. It’s the wide variety of reactions. Some people yelp, others shrink down in their seats with hands covering eyes, and still others mask their fear with bravado. Some horror movies, like... Read More

Does Whatever A Sequel Can

July 7th, 2019

This review will thoroughly spoil Avengers: Endgame. Proceed at your own risk.  Stan Lee used to talk about “the illusion of change.” It was a concept they used at Marvel Comics, and I imagine it’s still in use today. If you’re a comic book writer for one of the major publishers, you have a very fine line to walk. You need to make it seem as if the life of your character is changing, but have them remain essentially the same. For example, Peter Parker starts off as a geeky high school kid. He has trouble dating. He never has quite enough money to do much of anything. While big-time superheroes... Read More