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Spies and psychics (double movie review)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Odd Thomas A double review is a review of two movies united only by the fact that I watched them around the same time.  That’s what this is. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a classic cold-war era spy story based on the novel by John Le Carre.  It’s meditative and […]

Ice, Magic, and Studly dudes: Frozen and Thor 2 double review

It’s been a while since I posted one of these double reviews, but I got a chance to see a couple movies over the holiday break, so I thought I’d give it a go. Frozen tells the story of two sisters who are princesses, one is cursed with ice powers that she cannot control, the […]

My daddy would never tell me anything that wasn’t so, would you, Daddy?

The annual Miracle on 34th Street post We had a mini-Thanksgiving dinner last night because my mother is visiting, so it feels like it’s a bit later in the month than it actually is.  To follow it up, we watched the best Christmas movie ever made — A Miracle on 34th Street. We also made […]

Let’s boo boo! A few thoughts on The World’s End

The World’s End Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright have written their third movie together, the end of what they’ve dubbed the Cornetto trilogy (Cornetto being the British equivalent of the American Drumstick ice cream treat).  It tells the story of Gary King, a burnout whose best moments came and went in high school, trying to […]

Humans, Robots, and the Future: Oblivion and Pacific Rim

I saw two science fiction films in the last month: Oblivion and Pacific Rim.  Both films explore humankind on the brink of extinction, but where one focuses on a single person and his experience uncovering those dangers, the other has giant robots punching giant squiddy monsters. Oblivion follows the harrowing adventures of a technician and […]

If I were in charge: how I would adapt World War Z

Okay, I can’t resist a post comparing the film with the book.  First, once this movie had Brad Pitt attached and became a massive feature, it was never going to be a faithful rendition of Brooks’ book.  Below I’ll imagine what a faithful rendition might be like.  But first, a few observations about how they […]

Zombies on the run. No Blood. Fun for the whole family.

No need to compare or discuss the minimal overlap between the book and the film.  Best just consider this as its own thing.  See The Oatmeal for the best, most concise discussion of this conversion thus far.**  See Scott Kenemore’s blog for a great review and discussion of the film and its narrative. World War […]

Robots, Pointy Ears, and Tiny, Tiny Leaf Soldiers

Memorial Day weekend was busy for us, not only because we were doing a significant retro-fit of our basement following the great Forest Park rainstorm of early May, but also because we saw three movies in the theater that weekend.  Here’s my triple review of Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Epic There […]

April music: Brian Setzer, They Might Be Giants, HelloGoodbye

emusic Brian Setzer Orchestra, The Ultimate Collection [Live] – a fine collection of nostalgic big-band swing music.  It’s good, but there’s nothing here that stands out for me, perhaps because it’s too nostalgic.  I am very fond of his rendition of “Summertime Blues,” though. They Might Be Giants, Nanobots – TMBG are very good at […]

Overt symbolism and doppelganger daddies

In watching Jumanji with my kids last week, I realized (belatedly) that Jonathan Hyde plays both Sam Parrish and the creepy man hunter Van Pelt.  This got me thinking about a similar move made by the creators of the recent live-action Peter Pan film, to have Jason Isaacs play both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook. In […]

Board games and cavemen

Over the weekend, I saw two movies with my kids, one an old favorite, the other a new film in theatre.  Here, then, is my double review of Jumanji and The Croods. In case you haven’t seen the films, here’s a brief summary.  Jumanji tells the story of a magical board game that releases violent […]

Evil Dead (2013) – Rants, Delights, and Picking nits

Having written my review of Evil Dead yesterday, today is the rants, delights, and nit picking session.  Needless to say, Spoilers ahoy! I will hand it to Alvarez and Sayagues that they didn’t fall into the stereotypes as deeply as one might expect.  This isn’t Cabin in the Woods.  But leave it to the hipster […]

Evil Dead (2013)

What happens when five young folks go to a cabin in the woods for some good old fashioned junkie detox? Nothin’ good.  Especially if they find a book full of ancient, horrible spells and drawings or something.  And then they read from it. (I also like the idea that at some other cabin there are […]

Game Hard (OR: Die Change)

A Good Day to Die Hard (GDDH) follows the adventures of John MacClaine as he tries to get his son out of some gangster-related trouble in Russia.  The film makes knowing winks toward the other films in the series, mostly along the lines of “I’m too old for this shit.”  There is one moment where […]

No (my answer to Slate’s question: Did Veronica Mars Ruin Kickstarter?)

These things come in waves.  This serves as a follow up to my essay from last week about the economics of copying and David Lowry. Sam Adams crafted this piece on Slate a couple days ago.  Here’s a key paragraph: But is it the dawning of a new day or the end of an era? […]