Archive for March, 2012


I read a lot of zombie books. That will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, nor will the info that I tend to enjoy more of them than I don’t. But even still, I’ll be the first to admit that the genre tends to be pretty repetitive, with most authors just doing their tired spin on the same cliches that Romero popularized years ago. Of the numerous zombie books I have read, only a handful really stick out. The Reapers Are the Angels immediately jumps to the forefront of that list.

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As I watched 21 Jump Street, the new comedic take on the cult-classic FOX show about undercover cops posing as high-school students, one critical thought kept floating through my head:

“Does this mean I have to like Channing Tatum now?”

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In all the speculation about why Disney’s John Carter failed at the box-office (poor marketing, limited mainstream appeal, lack of big stars), one potential explanation has remained curiously unmentioned – perhaps most folks just thought the story had already been told well enough in The Asylum’s 2009 adaptation, Princess of Mars.

Ha, I’m just fucking with you. Nobody thinks that.

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John Carter, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic series of sci-novels, arrives encumbered by 100 years of anticipation and unavoidable (though perhaps unfair and unnecessary) talk about its gigantic budget, piss-poor marketing and lack of mainstream appeal. I can’t remember any film in recent memory that has been more under a microscope than this one, and I certainly have my own opinions about how Disney has handled the film and its chances of actually launching a franchise as a result. But that’s a discussion for another day. For now, the question is simply how does John Carter fare as a movie, and I’m happy to report that, despite some undeniable flaws, the film works amazingly well more often than not, and rightfully earns its spot in the pantheon of enjoyable sci-fi adventures.

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Watching Hugo, I could definitely see why Martin Scorsese wanted to make this movie. I could also see why, if anyone but Martin Scorsese had made it, it might not have ended up as good as it is. I mean, no offense to the lovers of Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but there are a few wonky issues with the storytelling here that came right up to edge of bothering me, but were always immediately forgiven thanks to Scorsese’s fantastic visual sense, a slew of excellent performances, and an “ode to loving cinema” message that I could definitely get behind.

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