“Tenet” (2020): Nolan’s Palindrome (Review)

★★★ Entropic inversion and square symmetry. I promised to keep this review short, since Tenet did all the talking and far too much of it. So you may not need more from me than just a concept-illustrating phrase. While the Sator Square is referenced throughout, do not confuse it as the theme of the film. […]

The Case for a “Meaner” President

Donald Trump would be a better president if he was meaner. Not louder; not CAPS-LOCK obsessed; not frivolous. “Meaner” in this context means what it would mean if we were to say that Abraham Lincoln was mean to the Confederacy. Or if we were to say that Harry Truman was mean to Japan. What those […]

Act Like You’re Better Than the Cancellation Mobs

I once saw a lone cape buffalo in Africa hold off a small pride of lions for the better part of half an hour. They had managed to separate him from the rest of his herd, and I was so sure they had him. But those puny, lazy, pack-hunting amateurs didn’t know what hit them. […]

“Dragged Across Concrete” (2019): Within the Inhumane

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in March, 2019. ★★★★ You know what movies could benefit from more of these days? Violence. Not the kind where human beings are made of water balloons and discharge blood like fire hoses – the kind that’s disturbing, unnerving, difficult to witness and decidedly […]

“Saving Private Ryan” (1998): “Terrible Arithmetic”

“Dear Madam, I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement . . . that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the […]

“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984): A Sung Masterpiece (Review)

This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in May 2019 for the 35th Anniversary of this film’s original release. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a masterpiece. It is a glorious fun-house roller coaster made by disturbed geniuses in perfect harmony with each other. Their goal – anything goes. That opening […]

“Patton” (1970): All Glory Is Fleeting

“For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. […]

The Cinematic Constructions of Steven Spielberg: Disagreement with Film

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in May, 2018. The following article is subjective, deeply personal, and politically charged in ways that are sure to upset at least one person. If for no other reason than because I will begin my celebration of Steven Spielberg by first talking about a […]

The Cinematic Constructions of Christopher Nolan: Part II – Mind Games

This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in March 2018, as the second of three parts. Part I can be found here. In Part I we talked big picture construction – heroic virtue established by resistance to nihilism, representations of fear, and the condition of the Joker. For Part II, we’re going small. […]

“Onward” (2020): Pixar’s Fake Gamer Moment (Review)

★★ Two years ago, I saw Ready Player One. My feelings for that film went beyond professional appreciation. It touched a nerve the way no movie had in probably at least a decade before it. What I liked most about it was how true it felt to the experience of having a deep personal connection […]