Read “The Snyder Cut’s homage to Jack Kirby’s ‘Fourth World’ mythos” on Medium

After a long hiatus, I’m bringing back my Medium movie blog. Join me each week as I try to keep up with HBO Max / Warner Bros. releases!

This week I spoke with literary scholar David Ting about the inspiration for “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” which draws heavily from Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” stories. You can find the article here.

Thanks for reading!

Listen to “THX 1138 and the Career of George Lucas” episode on the Film at Fifty podcast

50 years ago this week, the film career of George Lucas began with the visually dazzling sci-fi film THX-1138. Brian Rowe was generous enough to invite me back on his podcast to discuss THX-1138 and the influential career of George Lucas. I do also go out on a limb and suggest that The Phantom Menace is better than its reputation suggests? Maybe??

The podcast is available on the Film at Fifty podcast channel on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening!

Listen to “Mank and the Career of David Fincher” on the “Film at Fifty” podcast

This past week I had the privilege of discussing the new Netflix film, “Mank,” and the career of director David Fincher on the “Film at Fifty” podcast. “Mank” is the story of Herman Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman), the screenwriter of “Citizen Kane,” based on a script written by Jack Fincher, David Fincher’s late father.

This episode, a Patreon exclusive, is available on the Film at Fifty Patreon page and on YouTube (for free).

Thanks for listening!

“Film at Fifty” Podcast Episode: “I Never Sang for My Father”

I want to thank Brian Rowe for inviting me as a guest on his new cinema history podcast, “Film at Fifty,” which spotlights films which came out fifty years ago on the day.

This week we discussed “I Never Sang for My Father,” an obscure, Oscar-nominated Gene Hackman movie about death and aging (as well as the career of Gene Hackman). So, if that sounds fun for your virtual commute, we’ve got you covered.

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, and basically anywhere you get your podcasts.

Read “The Rise of Skywalker’s Story Problem” on Medium

Two years ago, I wrote The Last Jedi had a ‘snark problem,’ a critique that resonated with more than 10k readers and was featured as an audio story (!).

Well, this time The Rise of Skywalker has a ‘story problem’—a cavalier attitude toward storytelling that renders the movie into a series of cheap workarounds which discount the intelligence of its audience and bely its creators’ indifference to their own work, showcasing a greater problem in popular entertainment more generally.

Read my latest Star Wars review on Medium (spoiler alert). Thanks for reading!

Read: “Misinformation Cinema” on Medium

At last week’s “Writers for Migrant Justice” event in Reno, I presented an essay I’d been thinking about writing for a long time, explaining why Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) is an irresponsible film. Since I watched that film for the first time, the news has made the film more relevant as an example of the spread of misinformation through fiction.

I’ve since adapted that text for Medium. In this post, I explain the danger of stories that purport to be about real issues but indulge in problematic fantasies.

 Thanks for reading!

(Photo by Rachel Lynette French on Unsplash)

Read “Seven sci-fi models for the Space Force” on Medium

On August 9, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the U.S. will proceed with President Trump’s plan to create the United States Space Force, the sixth branch of the U.S. military. As you might guess, the announcement was met with controversy.

It’s a good thing that we have so many sci-fi stories that have considered the possibility of the militarization of space. In this blog post, I look at seven sci-fi stories with different takes on what a real-life Space Force might entail.

Read the story here. 

 

 

 

 

Two ‘Solo’–themed posts now on Medium

In honor of the theatrical release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, I’ve posted two relevant blog posts on Medium.

The first is “Other ‘Star Wars’ stories yet to be told,” a humor article detailing speculative treatments of other potential Star Wars spinoff films.

The second is my review of Solo: A Star Wars Story: “With ‘Solo,’ Star Wars rediscovers its offbeat sense of humor.” In this post, I explain how Solo follows a Star Wars tradition of placing tropes from the cultural zeitgeist through the warped mirror of the Star Wars universe.

As always, thanks for reading!

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Featured photo by Mohdammed Ali on Unsplash.