And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


The Avengers (2012)


The Island (2005)
Parts: The Lens Flare Horror

Parts: The Lens Flare Horror

I expected to hate The Island. But 2005 was a real bi-polar year. We all learned what it meant to miss New Orleans, but look on the bright side: Batman came back to unexpectedly-viable life, I was enjoying all the benefits of dating a Reed College student, and Michael Bay directed a film that doesn’t totally suck. It’s not good…but it fits in with the general tone of this site a whole hell of a lot better than, say, The Rock. I’m a Sci-Fi geek through and through. Gave up making apologies for that sometime in the early-90s, around the time Star Trek started rocking my world.

As such, I could care less about frat boy circle jerks, like the Bad Boys duology or Pearl Harbor. This film faced longer odds then a sailor on the U.S.S. Arizona on December 7, 1941. And yet it…kinda…sorta…beat them. Continue reading



The Spirit (2008)
See? Isn't it pretty?

See? Isn’t it pretty? Doesn’t that distract from how empty it all is?

You know what’s really hard? Trying to tell when Frank Miller’s kidding. Does he take us all for suckers? Is his latter-day career just an extended practical joke? Or – like all good artists stewing in their own pretensions – does he take himself and his work 100%, no-holds-barred seriously? Honestly, Frank…why so serious?

The Spirit is one of those movies that got lost in the shadow of that other superhero flick from the summer of 2008. And that’s really too bad. Sooner or later, someone’s going to “rediscover” it and label it a cult classic. We’ve got to be prepared for that, and prepare to fight against it, because this movie is everything hateful and wrong about modern superhero stories. Continue reading



Iron Man 2 (2010)
Rhode Island Red

Tony, sporting the Rhode Island Red

Given that Iron Man 2‘s already a Designated Hit of the Year, nothing I can say will make the least bit of impact on the film’s bottom line. I find that rather freeing, because I don’t have to pretend the film is some amazing stand-out example of its genre. It’s not bad, but it’s still a fuzzy-headed rehash of tropes that should be familiar to anyone who’s watched a superhero sequel. The Villain Hypertrophy, the mawkish sentiment, the origin of A Sidekick, the Hero striving against his Fate, trying to shore up his Legacy against Death’s inevitable encroachment while simultaneously learning how to play well with others – it’s all here. And it’s all so mind-numbingly safe I had to slap myself with a Netflix envelope just to recall why I was here. Continue reading