I Was Nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award (a long time ago)

So over eight (!) months ago, Lindsay Acland nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award.  Lindsay was one of my first followers and my first commenter, and her interest in what I was writing gave me huge boost of confidence as my blog was just starting. In other words, I am a total jerk for taking this long to respond. Hopefully my previous post explained … Continue reading I Was Nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award (a long time ago)

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is still fun 25 years later

alex winters keanu reeves bill and teds excellent adventure

When I was kid, we had a birthday tradition specific to a family that liked to watch movies: the birthday boy (or girl) got to pick the movie that night. My wife and I reintroduced this tradition – at least for me – after we got married. In the past years we’ve watched classics like Aliens, films I wanted to give another chance like Temple of Doom (still didn’t like it, by the way), and some that I wanted to see again as an adult like E.T. This year’s film, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, is none of those. I’d call it a guilty pleasure, but after watching it again I now consider it just a pleasure.
Continue reading Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is still fun 25 years later”

By not deciding what kind of Star Wars film it wants to be, Rogue One stumbles

rogue one

When The Force Awakens came out last year, a lot of people complained about how derivative it was of A New Hope. While I didn’t think the film was perfect, that wasn’t one of my complaints. So my anticipation for Rogue One, which is not only a “stand alone” story but also one that, in the words of its own director Gareth Edwards, represents a shift from the tone of the rest of the series, was pretty high.  Finally, a Star Wars prequel/sequel that could stand on its own. Rogue One makes a good effort, and it really succeeds on the visual front. But in almost every other way, I found it inferior to The Force Awakens.

Continue reading “By not deciding what kind of Star Wars film it wants to be, Rogue One stumbles”

Hell or High Water has a message and it’s not afraid to let you know

hell or high water

I’d been looking forward to Hell or High Water hitting iTunes since it came out – it got great reviews, and my in-laws actually went to the theater to see it. (These are the same in-laws who laughed their way through The Witch, though, so I’m not sure how well our tastes align these days.) Hell or High Water doesn’t disappoint in that it’s a solid crime drama. If anything, it’s a little too solid.

Continue reading “Hell or High Water has a message and it’s not afraid to let you know”

Hitchcock makes a great popcorn flick with North by Northwest

cary grant roger thornhill eva marie saint eve kendall north by northwest

Due to a very long story, my family spent the last few weeks in a series of short term rentals. One of them had possibly the most eclectic collection of DVDs I’ve seen in a while. No-brainers like Finding Nemo and The Hunger Games sat next to Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book (which sadly we never made it to).

So I’ll go ahead and cop to this embarrassing mistake – the original post referred to Verhoeven’s film as Little Black Book.  Thanks to Nuwan Sen for the very diplomatic correction in the comments below.

But the owners had a large Hitchcock collection and thus my wife and I finally got a chance to see one of his most celebrated films: North by Northwest. Having seen a fair amount of Hitchcock, I was a little surprised to find this one pretty light hearted, albeit still impeccably made.

Continue reading “Hitchcock makes a great popcorn flick with North by Northwest

Frozen probably deserves a place among the Disney renaissance classics

frozen anna kristen bell

As mentioned before, in my teenage years I thought about being an animator. This dream, unlikely as it was, was largely a byproduct of the so-called Disney renaissance, the string of animated hits from The Little Mermaid to The Lion King that marked the studio’s return to prominence after some lean years. I stuck with it long after the renaissance had faded, finally giving up after seeing Tarzan. That long sabbatical (and the fact that my daughter was far too young for the juggernaut that is Frozen until now) allowed me to approach this with more objectivity. And what struck me the most about Frozen is how much it has in common with its more distinguished predecessors.

Continue reading Frozen probably deserves a place among the Disney renaissance classics”