“And these kinds of head fake learning are absolutely important. And you should keep your eye out for them because they’re everywhere.” Randy Pausch, “The Last Lecture“ I’m not a big zombie movie fan. In fact, to be honest, and I don’t really care for the genre. It might have to do with the fact that they are a subset, or, at least, a close … Continue reading Get Out: Head Fakes, Zombies, and Big Macs in Paris
Some time ago, I heard a quotation from Marshall McLuhan that I instantly recognized as true–and quite insightful: “Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know the first thing about either.” As an educator, I know what he’s getting at. We’re more likely to learn, when we’re having fun, either in the formal setting of a school, ambling through nature, … Continue reading The Big Short: Edmund Burke and the Sublime in our Stars, our Stripes, and Our Stocks
The films of Joel and Ethan Coen are always a treat to watch. One reason I love them so much is that they are simultaneously an homage to a genre, a parody, and a rightful addition to that genre, as well. Take, for instance, Miller’s Crossing (1991), one of their early films, which portrays a prohibition era fight between two crime bosses, Leo (Albert Finney) … Continue reading Shrek: It’s like a Coen brothers film but without the ruthlessly dark depiction of life and humanity–also Smash Mouth
Warning: Spoilers!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!! Everybody who’s heard of acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino knows about his signature style. Let’s play a game of word association. When I say Tarantino, what comes to mind? I bet violence comes to mind. Practically all of his films include flamboyant portrayals of fight scenes, murders, stabbings, shootings, and people doing disturbing things with other people’s ears, to name … Continue reading Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Metadrama, Spaghetti Westerns, and don’t forget about the flamethrower.
Warning: Spoilers!!!!!! I remember watching the film, Oceans 12 (2004). I don’t mean to say I remember the plot, because I don’t except for the laser dance guy scene. (Btw, the laser dance guy scene is just as cool as it ever was. It’s basically the one redeeming part of the film.) But what I do remember is being disappointed after watching the film. I … Continue reading Zombieland, Double Tap: It’s basically Oceans 12, but actually good this time.
Warning: Spoilers! The genre of teen films, which I call teen angst, has slowly evolved over time. There’s classics like American Graffiti (1973), Grease (1978), and The Last Picture Show (1971), but there’s a way in which these films look at teenagers more than looking out from amongst them. Many of these films depict teen life, sometimes with great nuance, but there’s no sense that the … Continue reading What’s New is Old is New Again: The DUFF and Teen Angst Film
Warning: Spoilers!!!!! ****************************** Some films are cotton candy, others oatmeal, and sometimes they’re somewhere in-between, like a bowl of Wheaties but with strawberries and sugar mixed in, or a salad with just a . . . bit . . . too much salad dressing. Other films are basically a Snickers bar, and you’re not you until you’ve had that really ridiculous stupid film. Other films … Continue reading Fugu Fish, G.K. Chesterton, and Yesterday, the film that almost was what it wasn’t