Why do I binge watch seven seasons of a tv show, but can’t force myself to watch a two-hour movie?

This post started as a note in my journal: one of those things that starts crawling out from your head while you're in the shower, like a worm on the sidewalk in the rain. I meant to write it before the Oscars, because that makes it seem topical rather than tangential. But alas. Every year, Husband … Continue reading Why do I binge watch seven seasons of a tv show, but can’t force myself to watch a two-hour movie?

Random Train of Thought Departing from The Grand Budapest Hotel

When The Grand Budapest Hotel opened last weekend, Husband and I missed it. It was only playing in one theatre and it sold out. (Get your shit together, Vancouver.) One week on, even with a wider release, we barely squeezed into the theatre. Casting glances around to our fellow movie-goers, I realized that the stereotype … Continue reading Random Train of Thought Departing from The Grand Budapest Hotel

Is the Development Still Arrested After all These Years?

It's been how many years now since Arrested Development went off the air? Oh jeez, I've lost count. I do know it started about eight or nine years ago, and that's when I started watching. I've also lost track of how many people I've introduced it to, of course then needing to watch it along with them. This … Continue reading Is the Development Still Arrested After all These Years?

Am I the only one who doesn’t like Downton Abbey?

For such a critically acclaimed show, Downton Abbey is pretty crap. What are the problems with it? Those frequently cited include: contrived, formulaic, elitist, and cloying. But others? I think the fact that it is so highly rated is what makes this almost unbearable. Were this show just considered so-so, I'd be fine with it. … Continue reading Am I the only one who doesn’t like Downton Abbey?

Are television shows the new novel?

I once heard someone describe Mad Men as the television equivalent of the "Great American Novel." The "Great American Novel," as a descriptor, carries with it sense of formality and scope. By definition, it is... well, defining. What does it mean, then, when something like Mad Men has a far more expansive impact on the cultural landscape … Continue reading Are television shows the new novel?

My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two

(Originally published at Press Plus 1) (SPOILER-FREE, BUT YOU WILL PROBABLY HATE ME ANYWAY) I've lamented before, often at great length, about the inherent difficulties that lie in attempting to review something so beloved as Harry Potter. That difficulty is only compounded when taking into account the fact that this is indeed the last film … Continue reading My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two

This has Always Bothered Me About Beauty and the Beast

These following are snippets of a conversation yesterday with Dr. Roommate, regarding the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast: Me: I'd be like, "Yay, I don't have to serve you anymore! You know why? Because I'm a f*****g candlestick because of you, you stupid d*****bag!" Then I'd waddle into town and haunt people. Dr. Roommate: We … Continue reading This has Always Bothered Me About Beauty and the Beast

My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

Originally published at Press Plus 1 WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS It’s difficult to offer a review of a Harry Potter movie without first providing a preface stating one’s biases. Are you a Harry Potter fan? If you aren't, why are you going to bother seeing (the first part of) the last instalment now? Why are … Continue reading My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

My Top Ten Background Movies

It's nice. It really helps me balance my day. It's a distraction from whatever tedium you're trying to work through. You can tell yourself: "I'm going to plug in Braveheart and work/study/clean throughout the whole thing." Bam. Two VHS cassette tapes later and you've spent a good three hours getting shit done. So what characterizes a good background film?

The Decade in Film: Crime, Crimefighters, Crime, and More Crimefighters

The Bourne Effect The spy for the 21st century was not James Bond, but Jason Bourne. The grittiness, global perspective, and moral quandaries of the Bourne triology (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum) instantly rendered James Bond moot. In following with the general post-9/11 trends, the Bourne films did not present … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Crime, Crimefighters, Crime, and More Crimefighters

The Decade in Film: True Stories and Those Based on Them

The Biopic as Classic Narrative The biopic has always been a Hollywood staple, and has traditionally been treated as a sweeping epic: one whole life’s story. Over the years, what was once a glorification, or even blatant excuse for hero-worship, produced warts-and-all critiques. As the last decade began, we were still watching our most beloved … Continue reading The Decade in Film: True Stories and Those Based on Them

The Decade in Film: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Art has always lit the way for the great march forward. Hollywood, purveyor of popular art and entertainment, has always had to tread a careful line between progressive art and conservative entertainment. You need to push enough boundaries to stay relevant but be familiar enough not to alienate your audience. It is not surprising then, … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

The Decade in Film: The Epic and Science Fiction

Death of the Epic The arrival of The Lord of the Rings arguably killed the epic. Virtually every traditional fantasy film – pumped out at a consistent rate in an attempt to duplicate The Lord of the Rings success – since has flopped. Think merely of other (mostly children’s) book adaptations, such as Eragon, Beowulf … Continue reading The Decade in Film: The Epic and Science Fiction

The Decade in Film: Introduction

Throughout the great interwebs are a million articles on the best films and best television shows of the decade. As arbitrary and meaningless as it is to divide human history into ten year periods, each decade’s zeitgeist doesn’t magically change over night as December 31st becomes January 1st. Attitudes and values evolve over time, and … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Introduction

My Top Ten Antiheroes

Ever since Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost, there's always been a certain je ne sais quoi about a well-wrought antihero. Whether cheeky rogue or bloodthirsty tyrant, an antihero is a welcome deviation from the white-hatted norm. At once both appalling and subversive, a good bad guy / bad good guy always proves a more interesting character than the morally unambiguous square-jawed hero. Here we count down the top ten!

My Top Ten Animated Films

I watched The Triplets of Belleville for the first time a week or so ago, and, as expected, I was blown away. "That makes the top ten," I instantly thought, which led me to consider what my top ten animated films actually would be. This list is skewed towards animated films as best enjoyed by the grown-up audience, that me, a twenty-something, can enjoy without needed to pry out that Freudian inner child. With that said, maybe I am rather childlike to begin with, as I love a good poop joke.

Film Fonts Dos and Don’ts

If you're going through the pain and torture of creating a film, it's not that much more difficult to dedicate a little extra effort to the credits. Simply inserting whatever font in Final Cut works is really just half-assing it. Let's be honest. So, yes, I can be a bit of a typography geek, but there really are some basic typographical rules that one should adhere to. Typography is an art, but one of those subtle arts that has been dragged kicking and screaming into the contemporary, post-modern era where it has a chance to sink or swim. While even an eight-year-old could pick Arial out of a line-up, there's enough evidence to suggest that apparently there really is a knack to using typography effectively. Take note. Learn it, love it. And never use Comic Sans. Ever.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

You know those moments in films - where random guts and/or water hit the camera lens - they are there to shock you. They shake you out of your seat! They add to the realism of the film! They highlight the tragedy and/or humanity of a life lost by an explosive device and/or hand-made prison shank! They bring the experience of exploding death right into your living room! They can break the fourth wall.

The Good, the Bad, and Daniel Day-Lewis

my latest cinematic exploits In my never-ending quest to work for free, I caught two press screenings for Press+1: Whiteout and The Informant! One was fantastic and the other was terrible. I'll leave you to guess which is which. It's been nice. Seeing films. I haven't seen anything else since, rented, theatrical or library-loan or … Continue reading The Good, the Bad, and Daniel Day-Lewis

Uber-epic-osity: John Hughes-style plans for a comedy-rich hypothetical wedding

This month has been quite the maelstrom of epicness. Well, not in regards to my life, but in regards to those around me. Of the people I know, more have come out of this month married than divorced, so that's always nice. In addition to the newly crowned Darcie Adkins, nee Vaillant, Caitlyn LePard, one of my dearest … Continue reading Uber-epic-osity: John Hughes-style plans for a comedy-rich hypothetical wedding

Oh dear, have I really started watching BSG?

I did. I caved. After however many years of just saying no, I finally started watching Battlestar Galactica. (like with Lost, I also blame Jason for this twelve step-worthy practice.) I am currently still in the middle of the first episode/mini-series, even after two false starts. So far, decent enough. (I am told that it gets … Continue reading Oh dear, have I really started watching BSG?

“I hate metaferences that break the verisimilitude of a film” or, “What I didn’t like about last night’s episode of Lost.”

So last night's episode of Lost was pretty good. It prominently featured Desmond, so that's an automatic win. What I didn't like was the scene where a couple of red shirts get blown up and random guts and/or water hit the camera lens. UUUUGGGH. I actually said outloud, despite the fact that I was alone: … Continue reading “I hate metaferences that break the verisimilitude of a film” or, “What I didn’t like about last night’s episode of Lost.”