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The Last Jedi takes the franchise in a challenging new direction

The two most recent entries in the Star Wars franchise weren’t exactly ground-breaking in the way that the original trilogy was, or even the prequels – say what you will, but they were hardly conventional as compared with the original three.  If both The Force Awakens and Rogue One “filled in the edges” of the Star Wars universe, the same cannot be said about The … Continue reading The Last Jedi takes the franchise in a challenging new direction

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How better character development could improve Star Wars: The Force Awakens

For the record, it is much easier to act as an amateur script doctor than it is to write something original (as my paltry screenwriting efforts to date prove).  It is also much easier to suggest improvements to a finished film than earlier in its development or production.  In other words, this is more of an exercise for me than any reflection on how good … Continue reading How better character development could improve Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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How a unifying theme would have elevated Wonder Woman from a good superhero movie to a great one

For the record, it is much easier to act as an amateur script doctor than it is to write something original (as my paltry screenwriting efforts to date prove).  It is also much easier to suggest improvements to a finished film than earlier in its development or production.  In other words, this is more of an exercise for me than any reflection on how good … Continue reading How a unifying theme would have elevated Wonder Woman from a good superhero movie to a great one

modern dc comics movie month

How embracing its characters’ point of view could have improved Suicide Squad

For the record, it is much easier to act as an amateur script doctor than it is to write something original (as my paltry screenwriting efforts to date prove).  It is also much easier to suggest improvements to a finished film than earlier in its development or production.  In other words, this is more of an exercise for me than any reflection on how good … Continue reading How embracing its characters’ point of view could have improved Suicide Squad

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Batman V Superman is a confusing, violent mess

Man of Steel was better than I expected, and I was hoping that – despite its dismal critical reputation – Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice would be more misunderstood than terrible. Boy, was I wrong. Batman V Superman is a hyper-violent, confusing mess that unpacked so much more than it could even begin to put back together. [SPOILER ALERT] First and foremost, it’s unclear … Continue reading Batman V Superman is a confusing, violent mess

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Why Steven King is wrong about The Shining‘s representation of alcoholism

Among his many reasons for disliking Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Stephen King said that one of its major failings was to represent Jack’s – and, by extension, King’s – battle with alcoholism the way he intended.  While it’s true that Kubrick’s Jack is very different from King’s, that doesn’t mean Kubrick’s The Shining is less about alcoholism.  Although I’ve see the movie several times, I’d … Continue reading Why Steven King is wrong about The Shining‘s representation of alcoholism

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The Shining is still the gold standard for horror

Famously, Steven King hated Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining.  There are a lot of reasons for that, some of which I’ll discuss later, but one comment of his stands out is “Kubrick set out to make a horror picture with no apparent understanding of the genre.”  Maybe that’s true, as The Shining doesn’t look much like the horror films of the 50s that King … Continue reading The Shining is still the gold standard for horror