Linda Holmes Discovers The Joy Of Bad Science Fiction Movies

One of NPR’s pop culture reviewers got the cinematic equivalent of nachos with extra cheese sauce the other day. It’s fun and tasty even though you know it’s not good for you. The reviewer seems like she has only just discovered the joy of Bad Cinema, but now she’s hooked. In particular she seems amazed that they got “Actual Actor John Heard” to pummel a foam rubber shark with a barstool. The way that works, of course, is that the Actual […]

Kathryn Bigelow Trolls Zero Dark Thirty Critics

Kathryn Bigelow’s op-ed in the L.A. Times rebutting criticisms of her film is about more than Zero Dark Thirty. The piece also demonstrates a tendency that’s only all to frequent when it comes to the upper echelons of cultural and political discourse. Bigelow manufactures accusations in order to easily rebuff them, ignoring the best critiques of Zero…

What (New) Documentaries Should People Watch?

I haven’t watched one in a while, and though I lean towards the political type, or those documentaries which depict the worst kinds of social injustice, I’m willing to take a spin outside my wheel house this time. So I thought I’d put a call out for great documentaries I and everyone else around these parts…

The Amazing Spider-Man: Getting Lost Along the Road Already Traveled

Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man has the undeserved misfortune of coming second. Rebooted only 10 years after Sam Raimi first brought the web slinger to the big screen, The Amazing Spider-Man suffers from been there/done that fatigue. Not only have we seen three Spider-Man movies in the last decade, but  nearly every other A-list comic book superhero has…

Nostalgia and film

As a brief follow up to my post on upper-middle-class families in modern television and film, I’d like to respond to this comment by Sam MacDonald: Yes. If we could only go back to my childhood, when there were accurate, realistic portrayals of the American middle class, such as the Jeffersons, Silver Spoons, Dallas, Dynasty,…

Normalizing the Upper-Middle-Class in Movies and Television

Alyssa Rosenberg worries that the introduction of characters like Ashton Kutcher’s Walden Schmidt – the replacement for Charlie Sheen’s character on Two and a Half Men – could ‘normalize’ the very wealthy: The thing that’s annoying about having a very rich character (it doesn’t sound from this description like Kutcher’s character will have lost his…

Tits! Swords! Edginess!

(Editor’s note: Erik’s praise for “Game of Thrones” drew me out of semi-retirement. Bear with me) One of the problems with easing constraints on a creative medium is that creators are inevitably tempted to prove their boundary-pushing bona fides. Cable television has been widely hailed as this decade’s dominant cultural force, but I can think…