Category: Reviews

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Film Review: Man of Steel

Superman is arguably the American superhero: an immigrant from another land (in this case, another planet), raised in a small town by honest people with a strong value system, eventually grows up, moves to the big city, and makes a difference while succeeding in his career and never forgetting where he came from.

So, to tell the story of Superman, you need a big movie. And with Man of Steel, we certainly got that.

It’s just… maybe there’s such a thing as too big.

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Film Review: Monsters University

This review contains spoilers for Monsters, Inc.

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I’ve seen Monsters, Inc. exactly once. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite Pixar film — that honor lies with The Incredibles, but, with the exception of what I felt was somewhat overly-action-oriented storytelling in the climax, I did like MI.

Now, twelve years later, I have a six-year-old daughter who’s just the right age to be seeing Monsters University. So I did what any parent who doesn’t want to be trapped in the house on a Friday night and doesn’t want to pay a babysitter should do: take my kid to the movies and end up spending…

…well, actually, probably more money than my babysitter would’ve charged.

Her rates are very reasonable.

Anyway, Monsters University.

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Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

In this age of smartphones, tablets, personal electronic devices, and connected TV, it’s nice to see children reading a book or two every now and then. Maybe the book is on an electronic device, but at least it’s a book, right?

My daughter is six. She’s very bright. I determined that she was old enough for me to read her one of my very favorite books growing up, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. We finally finished it last week.

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Fan Film Review: Star Trek Continues Episode 1, “Pilgrim of Eternity”

Despite the furor over the reboot universe and the sci-fi landscape’s love for the later iterations of Star Trek, there’s still something about The Original Series that keeps bringing people back. And one way they come back is with fan films.

One such venture is Star Trek Continues, produced by Farragut Films and DracoGen Strategic Investments. It aims to pick up, in their words, “right where the original left off” with their first episode, “Pilgrim of Eternity”.

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Film Review: The Raven

Ask people to name the first Edgar Allan Poe reference off the top of their heads and they’ll probably quoth The Raven and say “nevermore”. Poe was a well-known American poet and writer, but it’s still not known exactly what caused his death in 1849 at age 40.

The film The Raven attempts to explain that. Whether it succeeds or not depends upon just how much of your disbelief you’re willing to suspend.

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Film Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

So, as if you didn’t know, I’m a huge Star Trek fan. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I was going to see Star Trek Into Darkness on opening weekend. Since my birthday was the same weekend as the opening, it was like J.J. Abrams himself gave me a present.

It’s really difficult to write a non-spoilery review of the film, but I’m going to try. There will be minor ones, but I won’t reveal any major plot points. Still, if you’re concerned about spoilers, don’t read this review until you’ve seen the film.

Oh, and — go see the film. It’s good.

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TV Review: “Going Postal”

This review contains spoilers for much of the Discworld series prior to Going Postal.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger Discworld fan than me in my neighborhood. Probably in my zip code. Maybe in my county. So when I found Going Postal on Netflix, my head asplode. Because there was another live-action Pratchett miniseries for me to watch.

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Film Review: The Phantom Tollbooth

I’m sure many readers remember the kids’ novel The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. I read it several dozen times, including in fifth grade when we had to do it for class (even though I’d read it before at least twice). It’s a great book, and I’ll be writing a review of it after my daughter and I finish reading it aloud.

However, there was also a filmed version released in 1969 from MGM. I went looking for it recently so that I could show it to my daughter when we finished the book, but it wasn’t on Netflix. I found a copy, though, and watched it. Just for nostalgia’s sake.

And it held up.

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Movie Review: Safety Not Guaranteed

The problem with working in the media is that I know writers who work for a weekly or bi-weekly magazine — even lead writers — can’t afford a Cadillac Escalade. Jeff, one of the main characters of Safety Not Guaranteed drives an Escalade. That kind of pulled me out of the movie a little.

But other than that, I enjoyed Safety Not Guaranteed, which is a little film about time travel. Supposedly.

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Film Review: The Croods

Did you know that cavemen can do parkour? That they hunt to the tune of “Tusk” by Fleetwood Mac as performed by the USC Trojans Marching Band? That there’s always one person in the family who’s curious and seeks new things even though the rest of the family buys into the whole “new is bad” thing?

If you’d seen The Croods, you’d know these things. And other things too.