A Note From your Author: Hello! Sorry it’s been forever since I wrote anything. Between grad school and the ever present job hunt, I’ve been busy. I’ve tried a few times, but nothing ever stuck. Until. Well…this.
I have no idea how to begin writing this review. I’ll start by saying that I very rarely “binge” watch anything on Netflix. I like to savor most of the TV Shows I watch on the service. I’ll put on an episode of Chef’s Table while cooking or watch some old anime I’ve never seen for an hour before bed. There are, however exceptions to every rule. Bojack Horseman, for example. I binged through entire seasons of that show when they first debuted. Another example is the impeccable comedy, American Vandal, which I watched completely in one sitting, twice. Given those two prior properties, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that I watched all 5 plus hours of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness in one sitting. It’s the most surreal, and bizarre true crime series I’ve ever come across and I really want to talk about it.
Continue reading “Quarantined Review – Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness”
Museums are often celebrated for creating a sense of time and place but it’s rare that we use them to recreate a moment of time with more specificity. Last year, I wrote about the Discovery of Tut, an entire exhibit built around the moment that Howard Carter muttered the words “I see wonderful things.” This year, the Portland Art Museum has recreated a much longer moment, but one nonetheless singular. The place is Paris, at the dawn of the twentieth century and the moment is the Exposition Universelle, an eight month long celebration of the past century, the future and most importantly, the city herself.
Continue reading “Paris 1900: City of Entertainment – A Review”
Well, it’s that time of year again. Between May 24th and June 9th, the city of Portland, Oregon celebrated the annual Portland Rose Festival. Many folks observed the celebration by watching the famously floral Rose Parade, the second largest in the country. Others indulged in concerts, and other events through the two weeks. Come June 5th, some may even partake in Portland’s very own Fleet Week, touring US Coast Guard and Canadian Naval vessels in town for the Festival. Still others, myself included, traveled to the Rose Festival Carnival on the waterfront. Because in my opinion the only proper way to celebrate something with the word “Carnival” in the title is to eat some deliciously unhealthy fair food. The fried Oreos were purely for research, I swear. Yet with all of these festivities this and every year, a relative newcomer to the city, like myself might begin to ask the question: why Roses?
Continue reading “So, Portland, Why Roses?”
Author’s Note: I didn’t mean for both of my first two comic book pieces to cover the work of Tom King, but here we are I suppose…
Event comics are tricky things. In one regard, they’re the primordial soup of the modern superhero film. For instance, while most of Avengers: Endgame was an original story, it drew heavily from Kurt Busiek’s 1998 Avengers Forever. On the other hand, in a medium as played out and prone to repetition as the modern superhero comic, how do you keep the audience engaged? For that matter, what’s left to say?
Continue reading “Heroes in Crisis – The Act of Talking”
Boy, I sure am writing a lot about superhero movies aren’t I….
Harley Granville-Barker once succinctly summarized Romeo and Juliet as “a tragedy of youth, as youth sees it.” It’s important to remember that even in its time, Shakespeare’s version of Romeo and Juliet was not an original work. It was an adaptation of a poem called The Tragical Historye of Romeus and Iuliet by Arthur Brooke. What’s more, there’s enough evidence to suggest that even Brooke’s version was an adaptation of a story that had been around since at least the Roman Empire. There’s even a similar story in Dante’s Inferno. But Shakespeare’s adaptation changed a key aspect of the play. In previous versions of the story, the “tragedy” of the two lovers was their needless deaths. If they’d only listened to their parents and respected the feud between their houses, they’d still be alive. It was a morality tale, about the dangers of lust and how it played fickle hell on those it afflicted. Shakespeare didn’t see it that way, instead focusing on the triviality of the Capulet and Montague feud, and elevating the longings of his two protagonists to the center stage. By changing the perspective, Shakespeare captured the sympathies of the audience and created one of the greatest love stories ever written. So what does this have to do with a 2019 DC Comics superhero movie?
Continue reading “Shazam, Verisimilitude and Perspective”
Author’s Note: Sorry I haven’t uploaded in a while, things have been hectic on my end. Also, this article will contain spoilers for a film that’s still in theaters. You have been warned.
Continue reading “How Captain Marvel Tells an Anti-War Story with the Air Force’s Money.”
Captain Marvel is the newest film to become part of the cinematic juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It opened with a resoundingly successful 155 million dollars premiere weekend. This would make it the biggest opening for a female fronted movie ever and the sixth largest premiere weekend for a film of all time. Critically, the movie has been praised for being pretty good with the worst reviews being that it’s just another predicable Marvel movie. That said, I think I liked it a bit more than most critics, both because I’m a sucker for the MCU and because I got a kick out of the movie’s Cold War spy trappings. I also noticed something pretty big that I haven’t seen being talked about elsewhere. Namely, I think the writers of Captain Marvel snuck a fairly radical idea into the movie with the inherent approval of the US Air Force.. Curious to know more? Read on for my explanation.
I first heard about Fyre Festival when it started to trend on social media in May of 2017. To those people in the know, this was the second time that the music festival had gone viral on Twitter and Instagram, and unlike the first time it was not a good thing. Like so many other people, I got a kick out of the schadenfreude of laughing at a bunch of rich kids stuck in the Bahamas at a music festival that had seemingly melted into chaos before it had even begun. It was cathartic to point and laugh at a bunch of vapid Influencers as they suffered for the sin of wanting to attend a music festival. In the aftermath, I might’ve even read about the festival’s promoters being sued by disenfranchised guests for false advertising. I was pretty much certain that I would never think about Fyre Festival again. Right now, I’m really happy to be proven wrong…
Continue reading “Movie Review – Fyre: The Greatest Festival that Never Happened”
Author’s Note: Still not sure what to call this but the first one sure got a few views!
Continue reading “I’m Thinking of a Job Part 2”
Last time, as we ended, our core group of heroes (Durwin, Adran, Stars on Black Velvet and Matty) had just helped to defeat a troll in the Yawning Portal Tavern. Their heroics had caught the eye of Volo Geddarm, world famous writer and traveler. Volo has a favor to ask of his new favorite quartet. It seems that his friend, Floon Blagmaar went missing after the pair were out drinking the other night. Volo is fretting because while Floon can handle himself, the duo were drinking in a bad part of town. Given the constant news about violence in the streets, Volo fears for his friend’s life.
Hooray! Huzzah! Finally! It’s done! The year that has felt like a decade, 2018, has finally come to a close. It’s been a rough one for a lot of people and I’m not gonna lie, I’m in that particular crowd. This year hasn’t exactly been my favorite one. But it wasn’t all bad. I took the great step and started publishing my writing. It’s not a lot, but…it’s something. And in terms of the media we consume, 2018 might go down as an all time great one. The year threw books, movies, TV Shows and games at us with the force of a cannon. What’s more, a lot of it was good.
Continue reading “Looking Back – The Best of 2018”
Amazon created a reboot of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series and despite some misgivings, I enjoyed the entire series. Disney put out Avengers: Infinity War, an…excessive movie to be sure. But it was also an incredibly audacious film that was confidant enough to end on a deliberately tragic note. But what was the best? What reaches the highest limits in 2018? Well, I have some opinions on the matter. I want to reiterate, the following are my opinions. I’m very much aware that these individual properties weren’t the best in their particular category but they were my favorite:
“But it worked out all right for you, didn’t it? It always does. If you were dice, you’d always roll sixes. Gods help the little people who are around when a big destiny is alive in the world, bending every poor bugger around itself… “
Continue reading “Book Review: Fire and Blood by George RR Martin”
– Terry Pratchett (by way of Samuel Vimes)