Watching The Shining In the Time of Trump

This evening, thanks to TCM and Lincoln Square Cinemas, I caught The Shining on the big screen for the first time. Though I’ve seen the picture dozens of times over the years, seeing it in a theater gave me a new appreciation for the impact of the steadicam, and just how frightening Jack Nicholson can be… Continue reading Watching The Shining In the Time of Trump

An American Dream or How Picking the Wrong Point of View Can Blow Your Story

Last night, I attended a preview of Seattle Opera’s An American Dream, which aims to tell the story of World War II’s Japanese-American internment in opera form. The music was strong, shot through with hints of Bartok, Stravinsky, and Debussy. The cast was uniformly good. Sadly, because of the librettist’s poor storytelling decisions, An American Dream isn’t the… Continue reading An American Dream or How Picking the Wrong Point of View Can Blow Your Story

Doing A Pixar Exercise For Star Trek The Motion Picture

Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like? I wouldn’t say I dislike ST:TMP exactly. The movie came out when I was eight, and I do remember that I fell asleep watching it at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. I watched it several times… Continue reading Doing A Pixar Exercise For Star Trek The Motion Picture

New Review of Dismantle the Sun

As longtime readers of this blog know, I try to avoid reading published reviews, whether positive, negative, or indifferent. There are several reasons for this. The reason currently in the lead is that I’m working on a the first draft of a new book. A reviewer’s voice in my ear, particularly about a book I finished writing four years ago, is just… Continue reading New Review of Dismantle the Sun

Good and Bad Reasons To Give the Side-Eye To Fifty Shades Of Grey

I love bad movies and can watch them all day, but only professional obligation could persuade me to read a terrible book. Accordingly, since no one’s offered to cross my palm with a silver in exchange for the effort, I’ve never read Fifty Shades of Grey. What I’ve heard about it suggests that it’s a sophomoric treatment… Continue reading Good and Bad Reasons To Give the Side-Eye To Fifty Shades Of Grey

Wherein I Take The Piss Out of Footloose

Over at the MMIP Riffs channel, a channel to which all goodhearted people should subscribe, I spend a few minutes picking on 1984’s camp-fest, Footloose. Because on the day a torture report is released and our minds are on cops shooting the unarmed…I’m sorry, I forgot what I was talking about. Oh, right, here’s the… Continue reading Wherein I Take The Piss Out of Footloose

From MMIP Riffs: 3 Ridiculous Things About The Omen Series

3 Ridiculous Things About (Movie or Movie Series X) is going to be a regular feature of the MMIP Riffs Youtube channel. Here’s the first episode, in honor of Halloween, in which I examine the flaws in the slightly overrated, but still a hoot, 1976 horror flick The Omen and its two never overrated and much less… Continue reading From MMIP Riffs: 3 Ridiculous Things About The Omen Series