1920's Faust (movie review)

1920’s Faust (movie review)

Wow. It’s rare to come upon a movie that is such a masterful tour-de-force. Faust fires on all cylinders, creating a work that’s innovative, artful, and complete. Faust’s first few minutes are composed almost entirely of complex special-effects shots, showing angels and demons riding through the air. This in a film made in 1926. We then see a conversation between an angel and a demon, a bet that any mortal can be […]

Go Goa Gone (Movie Review)

Go Goa Gone (Movie Review)

It’s as though Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. watched the first Hangover movie, looked at each other, and said, “You know what that needed? More zombies.” I watched Go Goa Gone on my flight back from Japan, so I was in a loopy mood, so my apologies if this review is overly charitable. Go Goa Gone tells the story of a few brain-dead young Indian men who excitedly decide to crash an ultra-hip party on an island […]

Sherlock with Naked Women and Werewolves: Review of Strippers vs. Werewolves

Sherlock with Naked Women and Werewolves: Review of Strippers vs. Werewolves

Every so often, I feel a need for a dumb, fun movie. I want a movie that will entertain with flair, not necessarily with spectacle but at least with energy. It’s almost always dumb. Strippers vs. Werewolves isn’t dumb. It begins with a very cheap shot of a strip joint exploding in a ball of flame. It then cuts to a long shot of a man entering another strip joint, and as he passes […]

The Complete Short Stories of H.G. Wells

The Complete Short Stories of H.G. Wells

There’s much to recommend curation. If you’re not familiar with H.G. Wells, by the way, he wrote The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, and The Invisible Man, amongst other classic SF novels. He also wrote dozens of short stories in his life (Wikipedia maintains a list). His last short story was published over 50 years after the first. His skills undoubtedly improved over time, which highlights the central problem of this […]

Claude Lorrain's "Harbour Scene at Sunset"

Reading News From Nowhere

Like many great books, William Morris’s News From Nowhere left me with several conflicting feelings. In a sense, it’s a science fiction novel. The author awakes in a future several hundred years distant from his own time in the 1800’s. He discovers a gentle society of friendly, calm people who go about their daily lives in peace and comfort. Each pursues his or her interests in trade for daily bread. […]

The Independent Sixth Reader

(Review. Elocution. We suck at this. Perhaps it’s time.) I discovered this book in a dusty used bookstore off a major highway. The place was crammed with thousands and thousands of used books in every imaginable category, and deep in the back recesses of the store lay the gold mine: a whole case of books each over 100 years old. I picked out The Independent Sixth Reader, an instructional book published in 1868. It’s the last book in a series […]

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

The Surprising, Incredible Burt Wonderstone (review)

This movie genuinely surprised me. Besides the characters and story, this is a movie about stage magic. Its writers did a wise thing: they wrote a movie that’s primarily about a failing magician getting back into his game. It is secondarily a comedy. This brings with it certain drawbacks. But let me get to that in a minute. The film starts with two nerdy kids who […]

Suspense! (review)

Daniel Solis is a brilliant game designer. He built one of my favorite RPGs, Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, a free-wheeling story-telling game of young wuxia pilgrims flying around a fantasy world, getting into trouble and helping others. Its primary mechanic is Go stones. He recently began demoing a new game called Suspense!, a […]

The Power and the Glory (book review)

The Power and the Glory (book review)

The Power and the Glory is a difficult novel. It’s easy to read. Greene writes florid, powerful prose that pulled me into memorable situations. His characters are complex and multi-dimensional (meaning they often have multiple opposing beliefs and values). This is about people caught in difficult, desperate situations. People who have made mistakes, and pay for them. People who are people. They’re not trying to be […]

Pacific Rim poster

Pacific Rim (review)

I’m trying to write out my thoughts on Pacific Rim without simply restating Sam Keeper’s information-dense article “The Visual Intelligence of Pacific Rim” at Storming the Ivory Tower. So maybe you want to check that out. Worse, I’m about to make many over-generalizations about things about which I know more than the average American, but I’m far from an expert in. I saw Pacific Rim. (That’s not the generalization.) Friends […]

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