Binge-worthy television is all the rage. Series like Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and Breaking Bad are turning viewers into eager and awestruck couch potatoes.
And it’s easy to see why—production, storytelling, and acting are firing on all cylinders; characters are given room to develop; plots twist and turn surprisingly.
In terms of overall quality and entertainment value, television is giving box office juggernauts, like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a run for their money. I mean they don’t call this the Golden Age of Television for nothing!
But modern television is more than just entertainment escapism; it’s a cultural currency.
We theorize, and we spoil. We “talk it out” with friends. We scour the internet for clues. We troll. We read magazine articles. We watch. We re-watch.
It’s a legendary story, but it’s not true: When Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) confesses her love for Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Empire Strikes Back, the scripted reply was, “Just remember that, because I’ll be back.” Feeling that the line lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, Ford changed it.
“I love you.”
It’s humorous, poignant, and a spot-on character-driven interaction. It’s often cited as the best actor-improvised line in movie history, but, here’s the thing, it wasn’t improvised.Read more…
Yep. You read that title correctly. Here’s another goddamn article about Star Wars!
Star Wars celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and the ubiquity of George Lucas’s groundbreaking creation is enough to choke a rancor. Every time you get online, there’s a slew of clickbait promising spoilers, beat-by-beat breakdowns of the latest trailer, and advertisements for the newest doodad with Star Wars stamped on the box.
It takes a near-herculean effort to slog through the crap and remember what it is that makes Star Wars SO FUCKING GOOD. Read more…
“Before I show you the results of my trifling experiments, I would like to drink to our partnership. Do you like gin? It is my only weakness. To a new world of gods and monsters.” —Dr. Pretorius, Bride of Frankenstein
The best Westerns don’t have happy endings. Movies like Unforgiven, High Noon, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid end on the lowest of low notes. Our heroes save the day, but they make tremendous personal sacrifices (most often their lives) in order to do so.
Of course, as far as endings go, there’s none better than John Ford’s The Searchers. Ethan Edwards, a haggard and out-of-place Civil War veteran (John Wayne), rescues his abducted niece (Natalie Wood) and returns her safely home. In one of cinemas most famous and bittersweet scenes, Edwards turns around, forgotten by his family, and walks off into the desert silhouetted by a doorway. It’s a near-perfect ending. The doorway is a threshold between the outlaw West and civilization; a metaphor for the character’s internal struggle to find his place in the modern world. Read more…
On the surface, James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse may seem like science fiction escapism, but there’s so much more. It’s the very best of modern juggernauts like Game Of Thrones and Star Wars with a dash of The Walking Dead and All The President’s Men. It’s fun, action-packed, full of political intrigue, hard science, and sometimes it’s really freaking scary.
Pure and simple, The Expanse is epic space opera done right.
Stories Of Your Life and Others is a collection of eight science fiction short stories by Ted Chiang. “Story of Your Life,” the fourth short story in this collection, was adapted into the 2016 film Arrival.
While the US is seemingly tearing itself apart through narrow-minded interpretation and megalomaniacal levels of self interest, it’s invigorating to see a movie that explores the way in which we communicate with each other. Through a step-by-step deconstruction of language, context, and meaning, Arrival reminds us that we’re all just one small piece in a very large puzzle that’s still being put together. Read more…
Move over Michael Meyers, there’s some new kids in town.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you may have missed that we’re in the midst of a horror movie renaissance, and there are some soon-to-be-classics just waiting to be watched. Butter up some popcorn, turn the lights down low, and get ready to make this Halloween a frightening treat that you won’t soon forget.
Here’s a look at five newish horror movies that are guaranteed to set your spine atingle. Read more…
It’s FINALLY here! Red Letter Media returns with a dizzying analysis of fandom, corporate greed, and the magic of forgetfulness. In other words, they’re critiquing the blockbuster of blockbusters, The Force Awakens.
If you’re not familiar with Red Letter Media I wrote an introductory piece about them a few weeks ago. I’d suggest watching The Phantom Menace review before delving into this video, but if you’ve already seen that, it’s time to sit back, cook up some Pizza Rolls, and listen to the monotone brilliance of Mr. Plinkett.
From House of Cards to Orange Is the New Black, Netflix produces many of the best television series currently running. Since Netflix isn’t bound by the same restrictions of cable television, they have the freedom to explore more mature subject matter that often carries a heavy dose of sex, violence, and Shakespearean heft. In an age where any form of entertainment is just a click away, Netflix is churning out high quality content that’s guaranteed to create the buzz and hysteria needed to attract new members. Read more…