Category Archives: Film analysis

Forgotten Masterpieces #4: The Candidate (1972)

 With the GOP primaries at this point closely resembling some implausible spoof of the most ridiculous preconceptions about American politics, satirists are challenged more than ever to find new ways of topping an increasingly ridiculous reality. Stephen Colbert’s straight-faced skewering … Continue reading

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2011: the year in surprises

It’s the time of year when critics, bloggers, and pretty much everyone else with a computing device and an opinion feels obliged to put together a list of the top films/albums/TV shows of the year, alongside Oscar predictions and other … Continue reading

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Forgotten Masterpieces #3: Black Christmas (1974)

“I’m not so big on Christmas,” is what I usually tell people around this time of year. But perhaps it would be more accurate to communicate that I have a distaste for the obscene kitsch that accompanies the year’s biggest … Continue reading

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What Do You Think, Max von Sydow?

The holiday season is traditionally that time of year when Hollywood rolls out its most unabashedly sentimental doses of awards-season corn pone, and this year is clearly no exception. Leading the pack is Stephen Daldry’s forthcoming adaptation of Jonathan Safran … Continue reading

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One-dimensional Tintin

Having more or less forced myself to go to the movie theater this morning to take in what should have been the blockbuster event of the year, I now feel compelled to reflect a little on the experience. For a … Continue reading

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The Dude goes to Istanbul

I’m off to Constantinople for the next few days to give a paper on the two film adaptations of Charles Portis’s novel True Grit, the first of which somehow made the novel seem less literary, while the more recent Coen … Continue reading

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The Dark Knight: Why So Confusing?

Over at PressPlay, the great Jim Emerson took the time to analyze in detail the famously spectacular -and notoriously bewildering- big action scene in The Dark Knight that shows with great precision what is wrong with Christopher Nolan as an action … Continue reading

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Contagion in the 21st Century

Contagion is the dominant horror of the 21st century, an era marked by epidemics of terror, war, and economic crisis. Just as atomic anxiety infused Cold War-era pop culture, fear of contagion dominates recent pop culture in the form of … Continue reading

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Forgotten Masterpieces #2: Popeye (1980)

In this day and age of ubiquitous big-budget comic book movies, we are used to seeing iconic comic book and cartoon characters with global recognizability and appeal featured in big-budget Hollywood adaptations. Many articles and studies (including my own book!) … Continue reading

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Rise of the Return of the Battle of the Planet of the Apes

Sure, it’s easy enough to make fun of this franchise’s latest prequel/reboot and its unwieldy title: originally discussed as the more elegant (and more sensible) Rise of the Apes, one assumes that 20th Century Fox at some point insisted that the … Continue reading

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