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Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

 

Straight A’s, Zero F’s

June 2nd, 2019

In our own ways, we all have power. From petitions, to marches, to your own creativity, everyone has the power to push the needle in a positive direction. Film has a power that’s mighty, and one of my favorite things is championing a film, getting absolutely blissed-out, and transforming into a cinematic evangelist. The right film can open eyes, change a life, and make the unbearable a little easier to bear. But what if you had the power to prevent a great film from becoming a train wreck? Office Space and Clue are some of the most beloved comedies ever made. They were also disasters at the box... Read More

We Need to Talk About Kal-El

May 26th, 2019

As a human being, I have the ability to hold two completely contradictory ideas in my noggin at the same time. The first idea is that I love superheroes. They’re part of a genre that’s remarkably malleable, and with a bit of creativity, you can tell virtually any kind of story with them. The second idea is that, if superheroes truly existed, they would be terrifying. Let’s talk about Batman, for example. In movies, comics, and other media, he’s a relentless crusader. A protector of the innocent. He’s a hero—one of the good guys. One of his defining attributes is that he always knows... Read More

A Man of Focus

May 19th, 2019
John wick and daisy

Let’s begin with something that’s indisputable. On April 1, 2009, Alfonso Hernandez and Michael Edmonds thought it would be funny to shoot a dog dead. Why? All cruelty has ever needed to flourish is an opportunity. In this case, Hernandez and Edmonds saw a yellow Labrador puppy outside a home. They shot the dog with a .357 Magnum pistol, then stood over her body, laughing. In addition to being evil, this was a seriously dumb move. The puppy’s name was Dasy. Her guardian was Marcus Luttrell, a SEAL team member awarded the Navy Cross for heroism in combat while serving in Afghanistan. He was... Read More

Detective Deadpool

May 12th, 2019

In order to understand Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, you need to understand a couple of startling facts. First, let’s explain what Pokémon actually is. Created in 1995, this Japanese franchise concerns itself with a world overflowing with what are known a   s pocket monsters. Folks known as trainers must capture different species of Pokémon, which are weird critters that have fantastic powers. From there, they do battle with other trainers to become a champion.* You probably know this, but Pokémon is massive. 807 distinct species of the titular beastie have been created so far, and they appear... Read More

When Everything Works

May 5th, 2019
long shot

I don’t know if you guys knew this, but Hollywood is kind of shallow. If you’re a woman, regardless of your talent, intelligence, or drive, an awful lot of people are going to base their first and last impressions of you on your looks and body type. How many wildly talented women never got their shot because they didn’t wear a size zero? Take Charlize Theron for example. Impossibly attractive, she was first noticed in 1996’s 2 Days in the Valley.* For several years, she appeared in a string of forgettable films. She took a risk in 2003 playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. The... Read More

The End Is The Beginning

April 28th, 2019

“A thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.” That quote comes from the under-loved Avengers: Age of Ultron. Upon its 2015 release, we were 11 films deep and there were two schools of thought about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a sprawling epic of interconnectivity. Eager nerds like myself were excited. Comic book creators and imagination machines like Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and Steve Ditko used these characters, perhaps unwittingly, as a kind of modern mythology. There were lessons of tolerance, justice, decency. You could take something of real value away from the adventures of a bunch of... Read More

Hell No

April 21st, 2019

Some characters lend themselves to endless interpretations. Batman is one of them. Let’s say you’re planning to make a Batman movie, and by some miracle, you don’t have to attach it to an expanded universe or follow up on threads from a previous installment. Warner Brothers gives you a $90 million budget and sends you on your merry way. What kind of film should you make? Lucky you, because you have options! Just a few of them might be:   A goofy comedy that’s tonally similar to the 1966 Batman television series A horror movie where Batman is trapped within Arkham Asylum A procedural... Read More

The Cat Came Back

April 14th, 2019

Zana died early in the morning. She was an Abyssinian, a breed of cat known for their small bodies and hilariously large ears. Our family has had mostly good luck with long-lived pets, and Zana was no exception. She made it to 17 years old, and even in the last years of her life when she committed to being a cranky old lady, she would still frequently clamber into my lap and purr softly as I petted her. The morning she passed, she was in bed with my wife and me. It was early when she started meowing, loudly and urgently. I remember picking her up and taking her into the bathroom, then laying her... Read More

My Name Is

April 7th, 2019

Director Zack Snyder has thoughts. During a charity event screening of his films Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, he was asked about the depiction of Batman. Specifically, the depiction that the Caped Crusader was awfully, well…homicidal. During the film, Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight straight-up mows down crooks with cunningly hidden machine guns in the Batmobile and decimates goons in a brutal warehouse battle. It’s all a bit much. Snyder responded with the immortal quote, “Someone says to me: Batman killed a guy. I’m like, ‘F**k, really? Wake the... Read More

The Flap of a Hummingbird’s Wing

March 31st, 2019

Roger Ebert once wrote, “…for me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. It lets you understand a little bit more about different hopes, aspirations, dreams, and fears.” That quote is something I keep returning to throughout the years since empathy allows us to drop into the lives of people that aren’t necessarily likable, yet we can still find a connection with them. Empathizing with Captain America is easy. Empathizing with Hannibal Lecter, or Travis Bickle, or Annie Wilkes? That’s a little bit harder, and it requires some work on the part of the viewer. I know, the... Read More