Most dystopian novels explain what went wrong right away and settle into a narrative of life in the aftermath. Jeff VanderMeer refuses to share this information in his novel, Annihilation, the first of his Southern Reach Triology. The next two will be published in May (Authority) and September (Acceptance). With Annihilation, VanderMeer creates one of the more haunting stories I've read in quite some time. … [Read more...]

From a Freebie to a (Potential) Blockbuster


The only thing more unbelievable (read: awesome!) than the plot of Andy Weir's novel, The Martian, is the story behind it's success. Weir initially gave the book away for free on his website, until friends and fans encouraged him to make it available in the Kindle bookstore. He uploaded it and charged 99 cents, the cheapest possible. In three months, it sold 35,000 copies in three months and rose to the top of Amazon's sci-fi best-seller list. A publisher purchased the rights, and shortly … [Read more...]

NOAH: The Beautiful and the Haunting


NOTE: This review contains detailed spoilers, many of which you've no doubt already heard. If this bothers you, you know what to do.Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel's Noah, which releases in theaters this weekend, is the most beautiful religious film ever made. It's also, despite all the unfounded controversy, one of the most biblical of biblical epics ever made. Like Cecil B. DeMille and Charlton Heston did with Moses, Aronofsky and Russell Crowe will certainly influence interpretations of … [Read more...]

Mediating Faith: A Review


Few writers have made me think in new ways about the technological, hyper-connected world in which we live like Clint Schnekloth in his new book Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-media Era. … [Read more...]

A Puzzling Dystopia


In defense of this review, I haven't read the books.The latest installment of what is increasingly becoming its own genre, YA (young adult) fiction adaptations, Divergent suffers from a lack of an effective villain against which the heroine fights. It is also hampered by a world plagued by narrative gaps. … [Read more...]

The New Amazing Spiderman 2 Trailer is Here!

Check out the final official trailer for The Amazing Spiderman 2 releasing on May 2. With Chronicle's Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn/Green Goblin, Jamie Foxx as Electro, and Paul Giamatti as The Rhino, this is one of the more promising entries in the franchise. On top of a strong cast, the narrative seems to be built around more mystery and intrigue than previous installments. Should be fun. … [Read more...]

SXSW 2014: Part 2


The second half of my first SXSW experience was marked by two productive meetings for my new job at Aspiration Media. I finished off the festival with a flurry of movie-going, seeing films that stretched from the absurd to the sublime.  … [Read more...]

SXSW Film: The First Half


It’s my first time to SXSW, so I quickly learned what a fool I was for planning on seeing so many films in one week, what with all the parties and meetings that emerge from those parties. On top of that, seeing each movie requires standing in line for at least an hour. As a result, I'm still seeing around two movies a day.  … [Read more...]