A few weeks ago I posted a strongly-worded critique of American intellectual magazines for what I see as their tendency to publish simplistic, moralistic reviews of European philosophy. I complained that these reviewers tend naively to take liberal politics as grounded in some sort of empirical secular understanding of human […]
I don’t want to be a Mumford & Sons apologist. Truly, I don’t. I want to be the cool kid who’s all like, “Yah, I used to listen to them. Like three years ago.” That’s more my style.
And then I could say, truthfully, that it’s actually my wife who really loves them. Who, […]
I think Andrew Sullivan has some reading to do. I say this mostly in jest – I hope he doesn’t spend his blog hiatus reading these books. But short of an essay that responds to Sullivan’s understanding of Jesus, history, and liberal democracy, I thought I would offer up […]
In reading various reviews and reflections on Robert Bellah’s latest tome, Religion and Human Evolution, I was reminded of some thoughts I had written down about Peter Rollins’ work. I have tried to cobble something coherent together here which conveys my general criticism, which is basically historical in nature. One reflection on Bellah at […]
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I was an early adopter of Facebook, or, I should say The Facebook. In 2004 I was a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, just a handful of subway stops along the Red Line from Harvard, where Mark Zuckerberg, the site’s […]
Writing a review is a very subtle art form. You never know how difficult it is until you try and write one. It is not simply a statement of this is what I think about this thing. There is a structure and a flow to it, a progression of thought and form that is difficult to do well (and indeed I know I’m still trying to figure it out). The typical movie review, as I’ve seemed to notice, follows the following pattern: the writer’s main thesis and overarching summary judgment on the film, a summary of the plot, what works in the film, what doesn’t, and finally whether or not to recommend the film to others. Why do I bring this up?
In the past week, I’ve seen Inception three times.
That much should imply my “summary judgment” on the matter (more on that later). I suppose now is the place for me to restate the plot. But I won’t. If you must know it before seeing the film, plenty of adequate summaries exist online for your consumption. I will tell you, though, that it’s one of the most complicated plots I’ve ever seen in a major motion picture, and to summarize it would be both unnecessary and potentially harmful to your enjoyment of the film. But don’t worry, as reviewer Kenneth Turan of NPR writes:
I was really happy when the family behind me got up and left about 15 minutes into ‘Kick-Ass.’ I noticed them just as I took my seat and I was distracted by their presence the whole time they were there. Didn’t they know what was going to happen in this movie? Hadn’t they at least read a review before they decided to bring their 10-year-old to an R-rated movie?
I did know, and for this reason I decided to go see ‘Kick-Ass’ alone on Saturday afternoon. Have you ever wanted to see a movie really bad but didn’t want to be held responsible for what your friends or family thought of it afterward? That was the situation I found myself in with ‘Kick-Ass.’
Most critics found themselves conflicted over ‘Kick-Ass’ too. That’s because ‘Kick-Ass’ is ultimately a movie of paradoxes. It’s about kids, but it’s not for kids. It’s funny, but it’s not really a comedy. It’s cartoonish, and yet its very premise asks what would happen if someone decided to be a superhero in real life.
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