Monday - April 22, 2019
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Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

 

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

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

Wannabe

March 17th, 2019

Do you know what drives me absolutely batty? When a movie doesn’t know what it wants to be. You’d think that would be reasonably easy to work out, right? Perhaps not, but let’s perform a thought experiment from a couple of angles. Imagine you’re a screenwriter. A major studio hires you to pen the latest installment of their box-office dominating franchise. To do that, you need to figure out genre and tone. With genre, are you making a superhero movie? An action flick? A comedy? Science fiction? If you want to blend the genres, great. The Cabin in the Woods is ultimately a horror movie that... 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

Maybe Not So Much With the New Friend

March 3rd, 2019

Big film genres stick around. As long as movies are a device for long-form storytelling, we’ll always have earnest dramas, goofy comedies, and movies where a guy walks away from an explosion without looking at it. But smaller sub-genres come and go, and we seem to be entering a resurgence of the Yuppies in Peril film. If it’s been a minute since you’ve seen one of these flicks; no worries—I’m here to help. Originally, Yuppies in Peril movies focused on a young, white, and affluent person, couple or family being psychologically and physically assaulted. For example, disc jockey Clint Eastwood... 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