Category: Film

Stop Watching Movies Alone

Staring at a screen. Sitting in a dark room alone. Stuffing your face. This is the experience (for many people) of watching movies and TV alone. Contrast that with gathering together with your family to watch a beloved movie. Your dad is belly-laughing. Your mom is asking unnecessary questions about the plot. Your brother is […]

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It’s a Joy To Endure Misery In Company

Suffering alone is one of the worst human experiences. Suffering in fellowship is probably one of the best. Tonight I watched the movie Master and Commander for he first time, amending a serious gap in my movie-watching resume. And I can say that I’ve seen no better illustration in film of the fellowship of sailors. […]

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The Appeal of Steampunk

Steampunk, n. a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology. Tonight I finished a rewatch of the early 00’s Disney film Treasure Planet, a retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island which replaces the high seas with outer space and combines Victorian culture and […]

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Why Don’t Theatre-Goers Clap At the End of Movies?

Say what you will about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – it’s still a Star Wars movie, and the last of a saga. So how is it that the audience at my showing just got up *immediately* and walked away when the credits started rolling? First of all, it’s a shame that they missed […]

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SPOILERS: 10 Things “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Did Very Right

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Seriously, stop. I loved watching this movie. Maybe in an hour, maybe in a day, maybe in a month one of the cynics and critics will rationally convince me to dislike it. All I know is I enjoyed it. Before […]

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“The Parent Trap” Could Have Been Written By Shakespeare

Just rewatched this film (on Disney+) with my brother. It’s probably one of the best comedies produced in the 1990s, but it’s timeless in a way that makes me think even Shakespeare could have staged it. If you haven’t seen it, The Parent Trap begins as the story of two twins – raised separately by […]

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The Burden of Small Chances

Tonight I rewatched an old war movie classic with my Dad: 1976’s Midway, starring Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, and a who’s who of 60s and 70s stars, with a score (very much like the same year’s Star Wars) by John Williams. Sometimes war movies are blunt, explosive affairs. This one had violence, but it was […]

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Jojo Rabbit: A Choice Between Authentic and False Community

“You’re not a Nazi, Jojo. You’re a ten year-old kid who likes dressing up in a funny uniform and wants to be part of a club.” – Jojo Rabbit You know it’s a good movie when you clap spontaneously, laugh like a maniac, and feel your heart torn to shreds in the same two-hour stretch. […]

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Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown Finale: A Look Back on the Song of Ice and Fire

*SPOILER ALERT FOR GAME OF THRONES, OBVIOUSLY. Don’t listen to this if you haven’t watched the show!* The Night King is dead. Cersei is defeated. The new tyrant Daenerys has been stopped. And our boy Jon and his boy Tormund and their good boy Ghost have ridden off into the sunset of the true North. […]

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Sometimes Art Needs to Celebrate Itself

Last night I went to see the delightful new movie Mary Poppins Returns. As one of the few heathens who have not seen the original Mary Poppins, my opinion is understandably suspect – but I really liked it. In this movie I saw the best work of great actors, Disney animators, choreographers, songwriters, scriptwriters, stuntpeople, set designers, costume designers. […]

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“He Lives In You”: Ancestors, Character, and Immortality

My grandfather has become a stronger presence in my life since he passed away last year. It’s not just that I reminisce more (I do) or look back at pictures or keepsakes (I do that, too). I find myself striving to be as optimistic, good-natured, generous, manly, and dependable as he was. I feel the weight and […]

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A Moving Image of Body Image: Why “The Man and His Wife” Should Be On Your 2018 Watchlist

When’s the last time a short film punched you in the gut in a happy, beautiful sort of way? Enter “The Man and His Wife,” a silent film written and directed by my friend Levi Adkins*. The story (kept to a perfect, waste-free 19 minutes) follows a young man and a woman on the brink […]

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“I Am Not Those Men”: Distinctive Character and Morality in “Kingdom of Heaven”

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains major spoilers for the ending of Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven.  One of my favorite scenes in all of film comes from Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven.  The Christian lord Balian has organized a (so far) successful defense of Crusader-held Jerusalem against the much larger Muslim forces of Saladin. But he knows […]

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11 Thoughts After Finishing “Man in the High Castle” Season 3

WARNING: Major spoilers for Seasons 1, 2, and 3 in this post. I just finished watching the third season of Amazon’s amazing alternative history/sci-fi drama The Man in the High Castle, which is loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name. In this world, the Nazis and the Japanese Empire defeated the […]

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Review: “Strictly Ballroom” Isn’t Strictly What You’d Expect from a Dancing Movie

Baz Luhrman’s 1992 film Strictly Ballroom delivers everything you should expect from a good performing arts movie, but it’s far from the niche, overly serious stories made just for dancers. It’s hilarious and odd and heartwarming and still manages to be artsy enough to appeal to the highbrow filmgoers out there. The male protagonist Scott Harrison […]

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Review: “Eighth Grade” Speaks to the Awkward Middle Schooler In All of Us

Remember when you were 13? Remember being shy and awkward about everything (shawkward, if you will)? Remember parties with the cool kids where you felt totally out of place? Bo Burnham does. And he brings all those memories flooding back to you in his film Eighth Grade, which is in theaters now. I saw it tonight with […]

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All the Historical Drama TV Shows You Need to Watch (If You Like Old Things)

I don’t always watch television, but when I do, I gravitate toward shows that dive into characters and events based upon real times and people in history. These are some of my favorite series: Victoria – Victoria is the story of a young queen thrust into power – and how she navigates the challenges of love, family, […]

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10 Reasons You Still Need To See “Solo: A Star Wars Story”

I finally saw Solo: A Star Wars Story tonight, and what I got was a galloping romp of a space western. I loved it. Reviewers and journalists are rubbing salt in Solo‘s wounds  for performing poorly at the box office. But if there are fatal faults to Solo, they aren’t in the movie itself. Here are ten reasons you […]

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Creative Constraints at Work in “The Lion King”

If the Lion King was made today, it would probably be much worse. When Disney created this film (which I recently rewatched for the first time in years) in the early 1990s, it didn’t have the plentiful, powerful CGI available to modern filmmakers. Artists assembled the scenes from traditional drawings and used systems like CAPs to […]

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“Avengers: Infinity War” Is A Cosmic Battle of Individualism vs. Collectivism (SPOILERS)

WARNING: this post contains spoilers. “Whoever destroys a soul [of Israel], it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life of Israel, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.” – The Talmud One of the oldest wars in history is the conflict between the ideas of collectivism and individualism. Collectivists have always been […]

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“Cobra Kai” Is a Masterful Symphony of TV Tropes

I have on ongoing love affair with 80s culture, so unsurprisingly I’m a fan of the new Karate Kid sequel series Cobra Kai. This new series picks up decades after the first Karate Kid movie, with antagonist kid Johnny now taking the role of protagonist. Karate comes back into the picture as both Johnny and […]

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