Look Back, Look Here, Look There: A Triple Movie Review

2015 A.D. beckons, but I must say, this year, I do not feel ready for it. What am I missing? Haven’t a clue actually. Besides the obvious difference in not being with my family at the moment, I have no annual traditions. I don’t watch the ball drop in NYC. I don’t drink or kiss or sing to begin the new year. I’m not insane enough to venture to The Strip for fireworks and drunken tourists. (For one, I’ll never find my car again.)

So what have I done instead? Watched movies, naturally. Three of them today, in fact – one for the past, one for the future, and one for the present. They’re not at all “New Year’s Eve” related, in the way some films are created for Christmas or Valentine’s Day. I just felt that for any new year tidings, one tends to look to the future – resolutions and the like – seeking to the change the past, while also enjoying the here and now. It’s a difficult balance any normal day of the year, to be sure.

Now if you want to ignore the first two paragraphs, just think of this as a triple feature! Ta-da!

My choices were as follows: Past: Sense and Sensibility; Future: Elysium; Present: The Theory of Everything (this could qualify as past, if you want to see it that way, but since Hawking is still alive. . .)

Read, enjoy, and have a Happy New Year, all you villains (both always and sometimes). Cheers!!! Continue reading Look Back, Look Here, Look There: A Triple Movie Review

Music Wednesday(?): Introducing Shimomura Yoko!

Shimomura Yoko is one of the greatest composers alive/ever will live. Hyperbole? PFFFT. She’s created music for Legend of Mana, Kingdom Hearts, and is currently finishing up the soundtracks for both Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV. Here are some of my favorite tunes of hers as an appetizer–I intend to write a “composer spotlight” for her in the very near future!

Continue reading Music Wednesday(?): Introducing Shimomura Yoko!

From Ceres to Europa: A “Space Sunday” Year in Review

Ah December, it’s a time for holidays and for the past to be remembered. As we look forward to the New Year, we also tend to look back at all that was achieved and learned in the past 12 months. I’m no exception to that tendency, and today I’m going to have a look back at some of my favorite stories in space from this year. I’ll narrow it down to just my top three.

Continue reading From Ceres to Europa: A “Space Sunday” Year in Review

Into the Woods (2014) Review: “One Midnight Gone!”

One midnight gone on the release date of director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha) take on Stephen Sondheim’s 1986 musical Into The Woods folks! What’s my verdict after seeing it tonight?

Go see it yourself! Most definitely!

A baker and his wife make a deal with an acerbic witch to collect four items from the woods in order to lift their curse and have a baby. Along the way, their storyline intertwines with those of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk. What awaits them at the end is hardly the ever after most people know. Continue reading Into the Woods (2014) Review: “One Midnight Gone!”

‘Tis the Season

The Christmas season spawns a plethora of holiday movie-goers, but for those who either lack funds or simply prefer vegging on the couch, there are several movies on cable TV one can count on to be aired. Some may have outlived their welcome, true, but I can’t deny the nostalgia that accompanies them. Memories of my childhood–that’s what they are. Watching them again as an adult sparks . . . interesting — if not downright disenchanting — opinions; however, I can easily bury those thoughts with hot chocolate and sweets that have no nutritional value.

So, in honor of the cold nights indoors watching movie reruns while the countdown to unwrapping presents ticks in the back of my mind, here’s a miraculously brief list of my favorite Christmas films. FYI, it’s not ranked so don’t twist your britches into candy canes or anything. Continue reading ‘Tis the Season

Modern Classics: Kyoto Animation’s “Hyouka”

What makes something a “classic”?

Whether it be film, book, video game, or TV show, every form of media has what is referred to as a classic. Filmophiles will look to Metropolis (1927), for example, as a classic of the science fiction genre.  Book lovers might consider The Lord of the Rings (1954) a masterpiece of literature, while video game and television classics may be The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991) and Twin Peaks (1990) respectively.

What is it that all of these so-called “classics” have in common? Is it their decades-old age? Or is it their lasting appeal–they’re ability to perfect, to innovate, and to influence? Classics are seen, read, and played by many, and are known of by even more.

But does a particular movie, book, game or TV show become a classic as it ages, or is it born one? Some may claim that yes, its enduring popularity after many years is what determines whether or not something is a “classic.” But there are some that say that because it is a classic, it remains popular despite the passage of time. In other words, is its lasting appeal the cause or the effect?

It’s an unresolved debate, even now, but it’s a debate that makes classics classic, after all. For so long as we’re still talking about them, the high pedestals on which we put them remain deserved.

Continue reading Modern Classics: Kyoto Animation’s “Hyouka”

Orphan Black Spotlight: Welcome to Clone Club

I sat down one night to start a series I bought on Black Friday, thinking blithely to myself, “I’ll just watch the pilot, throw up a brief review, and call it good.” Three episodes later, I’m sitting on my couch at 3 am wondering how in the world I could persuade my thumb to hit the off button. Damn it, BBC America, how do you do this to me??

Orphan Black (2013–) is a heart-stopping spiral down the rabbit hole, except that instead of disappearing cats, you get doppelgangers. Some of them want to figure out the conspiracy just as much as you do; some are just out for your blood.  Continue reading Orphan Black Spotlight: Welcome to Clone Club