Friday, April 20, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review: The Death of Stalin

I wrote a review of Armando Iannucci's black comedy The Death of Stalin.

It's up over at Unplugg'd. Click on the link below...

Review: The Death of Stalin

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Pass On What You Have Learned - Thoughts on Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

I wrote about the the themes of teaching, the danger of idolartry, and learning the right lessons from the past in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

It's up over at Unplugg'd. Click on the link below...

Pass On What You Have Learned - Thoughts on Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Annihilation: Review, Analysis, Thoughts & Musings



Annihilation is exactly the kind of intellectual science-fiction/horror film I love. By turns poignant, beautiful, mesmerizing, terrifying, wondrous (sometimes simultaneously), Alex Garland's follow up to Ex Machina is a tremendous achievement.

WARNING! - SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT

In 2015, longtime novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland (The Beach, Sunshine, 28 Days Later, Dredd) made his (official) directing debut with Ex Machina, a coldly intimate story about an inventor who contrives to put one of his creations to the Turing Test.

Ex Machina (which I liked quite a lot) was like a filmed stage play, due to the low budget and intellectual bent of the material. At the same time, Garland seemed constrained on both an emotional and imaginative level, and so the end result was tense and heady, but frankly a bit sterile.

Intellectual and sterile (to varying degrees) are characteristics of Garland's previous works, and Annihilation is no different. However, in this case, I think the larger canvas of the story and budget has loosened Garland on a visual and emotional level.

I loved Annihilation. Which makes the behind-the-scenes drama between producers Scott Rudin & David Ellison, as well as Paramount's handling of the film's theatrical release all the more tragic.

More below the jump...


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Speculating on the Future of Alien




The recent deal between Disney and 21st Century Fox involves the acquisition of all of Fox's film library. Specifically, the subject of my interest is the Alien franchise and what I'd do with it if I were Disney.

Author's Notes: Most of what follows is conjecture on my part, unless otherwise supported with external links. Also, the Predator franchise is beyond the scope of this post.

Last we saw, the colony ship Covenant was bound for Origae 6, piloted by Peter Weyland's mad android son David. To be clear, I'm not here to argue the merits and debits of Alien: Covenant (but you can click here for my thoughts).

Comments like this one, attributed to Fox Executive Fred Baron (in this article) are what matter in the context of this post:

"(Alien: Covenant) got great reviews and was everything we set out for it to be, it just didn't hit the note at the box office. It will be a profitable film for the studio but whether there's another one (is uncertain)."

What is plainly evident is that the film was nowhere near the hit that 20th Century Fox and/or Ridley Scott expected, and certainly not close to what was needed to rubber stamp another installment. The future is even cloudier, with 21st Century Fox recently agreeing to sell its entire film library to Disney.

So, where shall we go from here? More below the jump:


Thursday, January 11, 2018

When the Chargers Left San Diego

So, one year ago, the Spanos family made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles after over half a century in San Diego.

The pain has dulled, but not disappeared. With that in mind, I'm writing up a short post which will include all of the thoughts and feelings I had a year ago.

Links and embedded content are below the jump.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 In Movies

This year, I saw 51 movies which were new releases and/or movies I watched for the first time. Generally, I felt like the movies I saw in 2017 were pretty good.  On my scale of 0-100, 2017's releases averaged 67.35.

That being said, I don't think any of the movies I saw which were released in 2017 qualify as a masterpiece. I'll get to the movie I saw this year which I do think qualifies shortly.

Let's get to it. And no - there's no spoilers here.