Sunday - August 25, 2019
Community Hubsite By ONDigitalCities.com

Articles Written By TimBrennan

 

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

I Am The Bad Script, Goo Goo G’Joob

June 30th, 2019

What do The Beatles mean? It’s a difficult question, one that I’m ill-equipped to answer. What we know for sure is that they cast a shadow that touches virtually every aspect of human life. Think of the music they made as the first domino in a vast and sprawling design. From pop to indie to rock to hip hop to punk and beyond, the DNA of the Fab Four winds through virtually all of it. Their reach stretches far beyond music. Their 1964 concert film/documentary/comedy A Hard Day’s Night is both massively influential and enormously entertaining in terms of film. They were pioneers in the development... Read More

They Stuck the Landing

June 23rd, 2019

It fascinates me how people respond to art in general, and movies in particular. If I had a beer with you right now, the odds are good we’d eventually talk movies. I’d pick your brain about them and try to get a handle on what you like, what you dislike, and why. One person views Forrest Gump as a sweet-natured fable, while a second person thinks of it as anti-liberal propaganda. That’s fine, as most films occupy some kind of a middle ground. What about the classics? What about the few films that stand among the elite? And what about the people who hate those classics? That’s why I adore... Read More

New Team, New Place, Same Flashy Thing

June 16th, 2019

Let’s say you get the idea stuck in your craw that you wanted to write or direct a summer blockbuster. To do that, you’ll want to study the best of the best. What you don’t want is something stupid, cynical, or pandering. Look, I get it. For many of us, the summer movie season is a nightmare. We’re ritually bludgeoned with special effects, broad humor, and cloying animation. Ask the average filmgoer, and they might tell you that summer movies aren’t even intended to be good. They exist to move a franchise forward or sell toys. The average filmgoer might even think that an entertaining... Read More

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me

June 9th, 2019

Hearing the right song at the right moment can be life-changing. It can put the love of your life into hyper-focus, pull you back from the abyss, and give you the confidence to stand up to someone twice your size. The right song can feel like it was written just for you, yet millions of people can relate to it. Those kinds of songs are not easy to create, much less perform in a way that feels heartfelt. Elton John has been in the business of creating precisely those kinds of songs for decades. Fine, maybe his stuff isn’t necessarily for you, but whether you like his music or not is almost irrelevant.... Read More