Victim and Violator


If an origin story is done well, it often gives us the opportunity to consider a familiar tale in a new light. The risk, however, is in the possibility of "corrupting" that story for legions of its most die-hard fans. Not surprisingly, this was never a danger for me with Disney's Maleficent, an origin story of the Sleeping Beauty villain that I found simultaneously boring and intriguing. … [Read more...]

Notes on ‘Godzilla’

The highlight of any Godzilla film.

For a good full review of the film, see Andrew O’Heir on Salon.com1.) Sometimes whether or not you like a movie may have to do with whether you were set up to like it, like if you’re part of the demographic the movie is pitched to. Sometimes, it just takes a good word from a critic. This is how I came to like Godzilla. Andrew O’Heir’s review set me up to be patient with the narrative the filmmakers wanted to unspool in this film. So I was prepared when three quarters of the film was about a n … [Read more...]

One of the Best Yet


After a disappointing experience with Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past set the summer blockbuster ship aright. With a strong script, a surprise performance, and great special effects, it's one of the strongest (if not the strongest) entries in the series. … [Read more...]

Risking Change


Disney's no stranger to inspirational sports films (Miracle, Invincible, and The Rookie, to name a few). Their latest, Million Dollar Arm, while inspirational, feels different. Maybe it's because it's more intimate, about individuals rather than team. Or maybe it's because it's a sports film that really isn't about sports at all. … [Read more...]

Riding in Cars with Men and an Alien


Between Saturday and Monday, I watched (unintentionally) three film that all centered on lead characters driving in or being stuck in their SUV/truck/van. To varying degrees, the characters are restricted to these vehicles. Thematically they're completely different, but aesthetically, they represent some really strong filmmaking and storytelling. … [Read more...]

Standing Up for the Least of These…To An Extent


The latest installment of the Spider-Man series reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, continues to carve out space for the web-slinging superhero in the Marvel film cosmos. With three villains in the latest film and rumors of work on an upcoming film about the Sinister Six, it's clear that, like the Avengers, these super-heroes and villains are here to stay. … [Read more...]

The Apotheosis of Grunge: the Nirvana Exhibit at Seattle’s Experience Music Project


In Seattle this past weekend, I had the opportunity to take in the Experience Music Project’s Nirvana exhibit. The show at Microsoft founder Paul Allen’s personal rock-n-roll hall of fame draws connections between the iconic grunge band and the blossoming of the Seattle sound in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It marks the 25th anniversary of Nirvana’s first album and the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death.At one particular moment in the exhibit I was struck by a spark of a memory while st … [Read more...]

Pitch Your Way to $1M


I've seen Disney's upcoming baseball film, Million Dollar Arm, twice now and will write more on it's spiritual/religious themes closer to the release date. For now, I thought I'd share the latest news around the film. Check out details on Disney's/Subway's $1M pitching competition after the jump. … [Read more...]