And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Chronicle (2012)

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Titanic (1997)

Titanic (1953)

Red Tails (2012)
Nice outfits.

Nice outfits.

Confession time, everyone. Time to let you all know that, despite barely mentioned it, I’ve spent the last seven years of my life dreading the release of Red Tails. This dramatization of the Tuskegee Airman story – the story of an all-black unit of fighter pilots trained to fly and fight for their country at the eponymous air field in central Alabama –  is one of the many, many, many passion projects George Lucas shelved back in the 90s so he could focus on making…well…you know…those movies.

But unlike every other reformed Lucasfilm fan in existence, my dread came with its own personal baggage. You see, this

(Left to right) William A. Campbell, Willie Ashley, Langston Caldwell, Herbert Clark, George Boiling, Charles B. Hall, Graham Mitchell, Herbert Carter, Louis Purnell, Graham Smith, Allen G. Lane, Spann Watson, Faythe McGinnis, James T. Wiley, and Irwin Lawrence. (Courtesy Herbert E. Carter)

(Left to right) William A. Campbell, Willie Ashley, Langston Caldwell, Herbert Clark, George Boiling, Charles B. Hall, Graham Mitchell, Herbert Carter, Louis Purnell, Graham Smith, Allen G. Lane, Spann Watson, Faythe McGinnis, James T. Wiley, and Irwin Lawrence. (Courtesy Herbert E. Carter)

is a picture of my grandfather, Herbert E. Carter (eighth from the left, front and center), with his graduating class at Tuskegee Army Air Field in July, 1942. Thanks to racist foot-dragging within the War Department, it took ten months for his squadron to reach French Morocco. As the commanding officer of the Army Air Forces, General Hap Arnold, explained at the time, “Negro pilots cannot be used in our present Air Corps units since this would result in Negro officers serving over white enlisted men creating an impossible social situation.” Continue reading



X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Oh crap. I put in a Twilight movie by mistake.

Oh crap. I put in a Twilight movie by mistake.

Doc Psy’s Journal: May 26, 2006. Shitty movie in theaters this morning. Finger pints of meddling executives all over the remains. This entertainment industry is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. Its corporate boardrooms are blood-stained abattoirs where good ideas go to die, tortured by bean counters and business school graduates even more cynical than I am. If that’s possible.

The hatred I feel now’s been a long time coming. For two movies, I watched as fanboys and -girls the world over sang the praises of X-Men. They jumped for joy when X2 managed to avoid outright sucking. And then it happened. Bryan Singer jumped ship to do Superman Returns. Wouldn’t you? Yes, you would. You would abandon the franchise you’d spent half a decade building for the chance to do Superman. I don’t blame Singer for taking the opportunity to make that film. I blame him for the crappy film he eventually made . The rest of the blame is fitted for the shoulders of 20th Century Fox, the movie company that can’t pass a shark without jumping it. Continue reading



Elektra (2005)
Nice job covering up where the stab wound's supposed to be.

Nice job covering up where the stab wound’s supposed to be, guys.

At least one of you has already called me out for seeming to lavish all my attention on the masculine side of superhero film. Thank you, you’re right, and I mean no disrespect to all the super-powered ladies who’ve done so much to enhance my life, and the lives of most Good Nerds, throughout the years. The long, lonely years…Honestly, it’s just that their films suck. Off the top of my head, I can think of exactly one kinda-sorta-good superhero film that focused around a female protagonist. And trust me: you’ve never heard of it. If you can guess what I’m thinking of, I’ll mail you a cookie.

That can’t be it though, right? There’s got to be another one out there somewhere. And since March is National Women’s History Month in the United States, I’ve got all the excuse I need to get in touch with superherodom’s feminine side. Continue reading



X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
The cost of DADT climbes higher every day.

The cost of DADT climbs higher every day.

I’ve never liked Wolverine for the same reason I’ve don’t like most antiheroes: most of the time, he’s an asshole. Originally created by Len Wein so Bruce Banner could have someone to punch, Wolverine went to to be (arguably) the most popular and certainly the most recognizable asshole in the X-Men’s roster…for better or worse. Without him, odds are the X-Men books wouldn’t be nearly as popular as they are, and their three-and-counting films almost certainly wouldn’t exist.

That’s why the X-Men trilogy’s attempts to soften and humanize Wolverine always felt forced to me…a little too…disingenuous. True, apart from the occasional Odious Comic Relief piece, Logan’s softer side only surfaced when he was protecting The Children or trying to get into Jean Gray’s black leather pants. Both were noble goals that nevertheless annoyed me, bored me, and pulled the whole trilogy down into their gravity well. I spent three movies wondering just who this Hugh Jackman character was and why the films were trying so hard to convince me he was Wolverine? He was too damn nice, and his accent has a bad habit of shifting southwards. So for nine years I told Hollywood, “Quit pussyfooting around and give Wolverine his own film.”

I hate it when they listen to me. Continue reading