Category Archives: Art

Melancholia or Treat

I just finished watching the film Melancholia. I’ve never seen anything that captures genuine depression quite so perfectly. Perhaps it wasn’t the best choice for Halloween, but that’s neither here nor there. Summarized: a previously unknown celestial body crosses the orbit of our planet and makes people feel very existential.

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Two For One Reviews: Taken and The Happening

Two movies released in 2008 with plots heavily focused on revenge are the subject of this review. M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening and the Morel/Besson collaboration Taken. One was described as “racist” by the UK’s Daily Telegraph, and the other as a “woeful clunker” by The Wall Street Journal. Ouch on both counts. “How could a movie about a suicide-inducing airborne toxin be racist?” you might ask. Read on.

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The Bad Kind of Pandemic

My wife and I recently saw Contagion. At times this film was a bit spooky, as any realistic depiction of population-destroying virus should be. Brooding electronic music paired with a montage of empty streets and uncollected garbage gave me a sense of what the world would look like if the fragility of civilization were tested. Each scene is a vignette of the increasingly dire situation each character faces, and the consistent tempo makes the struggle palpable. Nobility wins the day, however, as sacrifices are made and lives are saved.

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The Rumors of the Death of Sci-Fi…

I’ve been reading a lot of science fiction literature lately. Like many geeks, I’ve spent years enjoying it in small doses in movies and on TV, but going right to the source of the genre, so to speak, has been an enlightening experience. I’ve been very surprised at how much of the material in Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” has been (flatteringly) ‘adapted’ over and over again for the last 25 years. And a read of Joe Haldeman’s “The Forever War”, a Vietnam-era classic, makes one feel as though war is the same no matter what year it is. But the age of originality in science fiction isn’t over.

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