“Just because there’s no war, it doesn’t mean we have peace.” X-Men: Apocalypse

In the past decade and a half (plus), there have been a lot of X-Men movies – some kick-out-the-jams great (X2, Days of Future Past, The Wolvervine), some as tired as a day-old doughnut (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Last Stand), and a couple inventively transcendent (First Class, Deadpool). If nothing else, the fact that one intellectual […]

Shiny pop metaphor for how much harm we do ourselves through inaction and anxiety … X-Men: Days of Future Past

How many Oscar winners and nominees does it take to put together a successful comic book adaptation? Apparently, a boatload. The per capita of Academy Awards/nominations among the cast in X-Men: Days of Future Past is astounding: Ian McKellen, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Ellen Page, Michael Fassbender … not to mention […]

“You’re always sorry. And there’s always a speech. But we no longer care.” Dark Phoenix (and another thought or two on Hugh Jackman’s The Man. The Music. The Show. in Detroit)

Perhaps Dark Phoenix was a creative casualty of corporate wrangling via the finalized Disney/Fox combination that brought the previously Fox-licensed X-Men characters fully back into the Mouse House’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perhaps the X-Men movies should have called it a day (no pun intended) with the far superior Days of Future Past. (Don’t get me […]

“I have nothing to prove to you.” Captain Marvel

Marvel Studios’ latest offering Captain Marvel is a welcome addition to the cinematic superhero pantheon. The film is more quietly groundbreaking than, say, Wonder Woman or Black Panther because Oscar winner Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers simply belongs at the table, without apology or explanation. Perhaps we’ve turned a corner … at least where these movies […]

“Perfect. We’ll make a killer of you yet.” The Favourite and Vice

“Beware the quiet man.” – proverb that opens the film Vice Oh, this special and lovely historical moment we are currently surviving, with volatile, temperamental, ill-informed leadership surrounded by hangers-on who benefit more from chaos than peace. You’d think we’d learn from the mistakes of our forebears. Hell, you’d think we’d learn from the mistakes […]

“But first they must catch you.” The Darkest Minds (film review) and Barn Theatre’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.” ― Richard Adams, Watership Down When even […]

“Family is not an ‘f’-word.” Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story

Ah, summer. The time we all look forward to all year long … until it’s actually here. We get to be outside. We get to do back-breaking yard-work. We get to enjoy the sun. We get to sweat through our dress clothes every day at work. We get to escape our troubles watching one blockbuster […]

“In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build walls.” Marvel’s Black Panther

Wow. I think we are truly in a Golden Age of superhero cinema, wherein technology and talent and investment have converged to create engaging spectacles that not only sell a sh*t-ton of action figures but, y’know, have something to say. Wonder Woman. Logan. Captain America: Winter Soldier. Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thor: Ragnarok. Deadpool. And, now, arguably […]

“I always know who you are. It’s just sometimes I don’t recognize you.” Logan

Logan, the latest entry in the now ten (!) film X-Men movie canon from 20th Century Fox, really, really, really wants to be seen as serious cinema. Any time Johnny Cash’s now-cliched bluegrass cover of Nine Inch Nails’ tortured soul anthem “Hurt” is used in a flick’s trailer, you know you are in art school-aspirational territory. […]

“We look at those that are shattered and different as less than. What if they are MORE than?” Split, Sing, and Lion (yeah, you read that correctly)

Why are we here? What makes life worth living? Where is our place in this (increasingly strange) world? Maybe I’m just going through some kind of existential mid-life crisis. (Hey, who’d like to produce this 44-year-old singing all of his favorite ill-suited pop songs – Lady Gaga, Tori Amos, Madonna, Bjork – as an expression […]