Category Archives: Blogger Original

Top Ten: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

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Inside Llewyn Davis makes you feel, without feeling.

This movie makes me feel like I’ve just spent an hour crying, but without making me shed a tear. It carves out a giant hole in my emotional psyche, leaving an empty void of feeling, and making me spend the rest of my day in a vulnerable, more emotionally worn state. But I don’t cry when I watch it. I don’t “feel sad,” necessarily. I feel the aftermath of feeling sad. That weird state of mind that you enter after you’ve cried, and the problem isn’t solved but you’re through the crying part? That’s what this movie does.

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Journey takes ‘Game of the Year’ at DICE awards | Joystiq

Journey takes ‘Game of the Year’ at DICE awards | Joystiq.

Truly one of the most deserving games to ever win Game of the Year. It’s one of the few video games I’ve given a formal review for, and it’s one of the two video games that has actually managed to make me cry. I am very happy to see it win.

Review: "Zero Dark Thirty"

Zero Dark Thirty avoided becoming a “we got him!” movie by instead becoming a “SHE got him!” movie. But that doesn’t make it a good, or a bad, movie.
In fact, Zero Dark Thirty isn’t really either. It’s not a bad movie by any means – it’s very well made, features perfectly fine performances from almost all of its cast, and is exceptionally well written – but it’s not a particularly good movie, either. It exists in some strange, indefinable place in between.

"The Bakersfield Expedition" – The Offensive Nature of The Big Bang Theory

A terrible show

I’m a vocal opponent of CBS’ hit show The Big Bang Theory, despite having mildly enjoyed the show in its first two seasons. Since, the show has trended toward an absolute vitriol toward the geek community and their interests, displaying little respect for their main characters and constantly berating and insulting them. As a member of that community – and a very unashamed, and at times, even proud, member – the show is offensive.

But, earlier this evening, The Big Bang Theory aired what is beyond a doubt the most offensive and insulting episode they’ve ever aired – and that, constant reader, is saying quite a lot.

I do not watch the show any longer, but I was tipped off by the A.V. Club’s uncharacteristically negative review (they tend to give the show a pass for its offense to geek culture and give it high marks; this episode received a D). There was a line in their review, quoted directly from the show, that angered me more than anything I have ever seen the show say.

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Review: "Looper"

Hello folks. It’s been a while since I’ve done a movie review here, and the short answer to why that is would be that I haven’t had much to say about movies for a while. Every movie was either precisely what I expected, everything I wanted, or just disappointing. Nothing particularly thought provoking or surprising, and thus I didn’t see a need to spew out short reviews that outline more or less what everybody else already expected. But here’s a film that needs discussion. Here’s a film that finally gave me something different to think about and to discuss.
Looper blipped onto my radar quite early in its development, as both Rian Johnson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (unabashed man crush) were attached to the project. As production hummed along and we got bits and pieces of information, it continued to intrigue me. What a clever premise for a time travel movie – one way ticket travel ending in death for the traveler by way of hired gun. Time travel is always given a glamorous treatment in films; here’s one of the more realistic and original uses ever imagined.

Farewell to 2012

2012 was the best year of my life. I’d say “so far”, but I honestly do not believe that any future year can possibly compete with this killer year. It is THE gold standard that all future years of my life will aspire to achieve – and, barring the year that I win an Oscar (because that’s definitely happening), will probably be the only year to reach such a high mark.

Ending such an auspicious year is no easy task. I started my day by traveling to visit friends, with whom I have spent much of the year, despite our attendance of different colleges no less than five hours away from each other. We had a great time playing Cards Against Humanity, as always, because we are terrible people. It was then suggested that we journey to the beach and play trivia one last time before returning to college.

There’s a restaurant (a Mellow Mushroom; pizzeria and bar, very good food) that holds trivia contests for gift cards every Monday. We’ve played there for many, many Mondays, though we have never won. We regularly ranked 4th, just out of the prize range, always failing on the various 80s pop culture categories. At a point we had stopped being particularly competitive, and just played for the fun and the good food we ate as we played. So tonight, we continued playing as we usually do, with out inside joke of a team name (“SPRINGBRAKE”) getting some right and getting some wrong. Heading into the final question, we had 62 out of a possible 75 points, and were ranked 6th out of some 30 teams. Not bad for a bunch of college freshman with no knowledge of 80s pop culture since none of us were alive to experience it.

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I Sense A Disturbance In The Force

I’m one of those weird people who keeps lists of my favorite things. But I’m even weirder in that I keep lists of my favorite things of various types, various time intervals, and other seemingly arbitrary criteria. But as weird as that is, I can safely say that my lists don’t often change. I established my top ten films some four years ago, when all the films currently on it had been released, and it had not budged a bit since it had been established.

Until today, that is.

I saw Moonrise Kingdom a few months ago, and Ryan and I named it one of the best films of the year so far in our mid-year review. And while at the time I was certain that it was my favorite film of the year so far and, in fact, my favorite film in quite a few years, I did not consider it one of my favorites of all time – yet.

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A Batman Proposal

Let’s talk about the inevitable Batman reboot.

Don’t act affronted or horrified at the mere suggestion; I’m not the first to talk about it, and in fact there are many signs to indicate that wheels are already turning over at Warner Brothers and DC. So get it out of your system, and slowly come to grips with this: Nolan and Batman are two amazing things that are very unlikely to ever coincide again.

Now, on to business. Since it’s inevitable, it’s in our best interest to make it the best it can possibly be – and it can be really, really good. I know that Nolan’s stamp on the franchise has been indelible, and that all attempts after will be seen as attempts to live up to what Nolan did with the character of Batman – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If I were in charge of the new Batman movie (which I currently am not – but if any WB or DC executives are reading this, please let me write and direct. I can promise you much moneys and critical love), here is how I would do it, and why it would stand well outside of Nolan’s untouchably awesome trilogy.

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Review: "The Dark Knight Rises"

The Dark Knight Legend – the three films collectively – is many things. It’s the best superhero film series ever, in part because it functions well even outside the narrow confines of the superhero genre. It’s one of the best modern film series period. It’s one of the largest and sure to be one of the most enduring pop cultural phenomenons in history. But it’s also a statement, one that Christopher Nolan has made very well. That statement is “Batman” – more so than even the comic series that the films are based upon, these films capture the core essence of one of pop culture’s greatest icons. The Dark Knight Rises is the exclamation mark at the end of that statement.

This review will be entirely free of spoilers, out of respect to those who, not being the obsessive rabid fan that I am, did NOT see the film at midnight. I will be posting a second, spoiler-laden discussion of the film sometime later for those who would like to see that. In the meantime, let’s talk about the film.

Let’s get this out of the way right now: The Dark Knight Rises is not better than The Dark Knight. Where The Dark Knight has the benefit of being a self-contained tale, The Dark Knight Rises has to juggle the task of bringing the Batman legend to a satisfying close. And while it does that in spectacular fashion and in a way that should leave nobody disappointed in the proceedings, it feels very much like part of a series. It’s not necessarily a fault with the film that it depends so heavily on its predecessors, but because of that it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Nolan’s exceptional second entry into the franchise.

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Year In Review: Summer 2012

Like last year’s Best of Film in 2011, this post rounds up the best movies of the year so far, and has been written in cooperation with special guest Ryan Brown. Since it’s only July, we have elected not to rank movies sequentially, but simply to list our favorites of the year so far, while also spotlighting a few rising stars and filmmakers. Enjoy.


It’s summer, ladies and gents, and that means two things: heat, and movies. We’ve had a pretty successful summer at the movies, with box office records broken left and right, more surprises than disappointments, and the promise of more to come – as of posting, we’re five days away from what is sure to be a smash hit and one of the biggest and best movies of the year, The Dark Knight Rises. So before Mr. Nolan comes and shakes everything up, we are happy to present our picks for the best films of the year, so far (in alphanumeric order!).

(This is a long post, so I’m hiding it behind the jump for your scrolling through archives pleasure.)

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