Category archives for Films & Video Games

The Christmas Ethos of “Iron Man Three”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in June, 2016. Iron Man Three is my favorite film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes – that one. It’s the rare threequel that’s better than both predecessors on merit, action, character, and closure all in one. It’s one of the best in the […]

“Frozen II” (2019): Letting Conflict Go

There are a total of eight songs in the narration of Frozen II. Exactly one of them actually tells a story. That’s the pithy version of why it pales in comparison to the first. Think about how many songs in the original Frozen told the story. “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” “Love is […]

The Cinematic Constructions of Christopher Nolan: Part I – Heroism

This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in March 2018, as the first of three parts. Welcome to a new feature called “Cinematic Constructions.” My aim with it is to explore shared or contrasted themes, patterns, and characters in an auteur’s filmography. We tend to notice the director sometimes as often as we […]

The Human Struggle: The Emotional Brilliance of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in November 2017. Spider-Man is a duality. From one radioactive spider bite, an awkward, gangly wallflower of a science geek teenager suddenly acquired bullet-time reflexes, herculean strength, acrobatic agility, and a sixth sense. All that, as opposed to, say, cancer. Do you remember how […]

The Academy Awards (2019): Oscars So Trite II

Welcome to the second annual “Oscars So Trite” feature. Another evening of sanctimony and cliché. How wonderful and extraordinary for the Academy to engage in the courageous act of patting itself on the back for another year of simply existing, making an occasional good movie or two. A red carpet ceremony with a who’s who […]

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” – The Six Hour Problem

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in December, 2018. Sometimes obsessing over the issue of time will destroy your movie faster than time being a plot hole. Star Wars: The Last Jedi has this problem. Movies do funny things to our brains, specifically with our conception of time. One of […]

The Academy Awards (2018): Oscars So Trite

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in January, 2019. “The Oscars are coming!” That used to be exciting. Now it sounds like something a new Paul Revere should be saying while out of breath and on his way to a dumb rally. Yes, the Sun has once again made its […]

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – Anthropomorphizing a Galaxy Far, Far Away

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in January, 2016. Dr. Manhattan: “Don’t you see the futility of asking me to save a world that I no longer have any stake in?.” Silk Spectre II: “Jon, don’t be ridiculous! Earth’s too important to hinge on one relationship!” Dr. Manhattan: “Not to […]

“Star Wars” vs. “Rogue One” – Canons of Construction

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in December, 2016. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story contradicts the Original Star Wars. Not the trilogy; just the original 1977 movie. This article is a nerdy litigator’s exercise in construction, but stick with it. This ain’t CinemaSins. It’s fun. I assume two things: […]

The “Star Wars” Prequels: The Most Interesting Bad Movies Ever Made

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in December, 2015 shortly before the theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. The individual discussed, whom I refer to as “Karol” is my friend Paul Vollmer, whose opinions and statements I have shared on this blog before, albeit on […]

V’s Top 5 Movie Pairs in 2019

2019 was a busy year. As a result, I’m behind on just about everything unrelated to work. Still – I went to the movies and saw a lot of them. So here’s a ranked list of movies I liked, would watch again, and highly recommend if they’re of interest to you. However, as is usually […]

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014): Time in a Bottle (Review)

What does it mean to be in the future of your race? We know plenty of stories about people with special abilities struggling with the responsibility of being heroes, but few of them, perhaps with the ironic exception of Planet of the Apes have ever dealt with the political and emotional fallout of humankind being […]

“Million Dollar Arm” (2014): I Hate Cricket Too (Review)

Million Dollar Arm is an okay movie that suffers from a lack of cohesion and structure in its narrative. None of the problems break the film, but midway through, I couldn’t help but think that the director had fallen asleep at the wheel. And I feel bad that I’m going to spend most of this […]

Vivek’s 2014 Academy Awards Predictions

Tonight’s Academy Award celebration is going to be the most important ceremony since 2004 when The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King swept the Oscars and tied Titanic and Ben Hur for the most awards ever. I know people say that every year, but it’s especially poignant for Movie Season 2013 because by most objective criteria, […]

The Mid-Credits Teaser in THOR: THE DARK WORLD

I’m not going to spoil anything major in Thor: The Dark World in this. But if you literally don’t want to know anything, stop reading now and go see the movie (and the credits teases…both of them). Here’s what you saw. Sif and Volstagg took the Aether (the mcguffin from the movie) and gave it […]

Thor: The Dark World – Good Movie, Great Sequel

Thor: The Dark World is very much the Thor film that you wanted to see the first time. It has the sense of grand galactic scope and other-worldliness that Thor was sorely lacking. Most of the things you were hoping to see more of in the original, you’ll get in spades here, but you won’t get the feeling […]

BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS – a review

It’s fun. The Shock Gloves are a great new addition to combat gameplay, as is the Remote Caw for stealth. I’m also a big fan of the more advanced enemies that not only are capable of countering your attacks, but can themselves throw a double or triple attack at you that you have to counter […]

GRANITE STATE: Reflections on the Science of “Breaking Bad”‘s Change

Some people are undoubtedly going to call Granite State a filler episode, a boring uneventful juxtaposing chapter before what is most likely going to be one of the most teeth-gnashing series finales in television history. I disagree. This episode is two things: a buildup, and a reflection. In the first episode, Walter White explained his […]

FURIOUS SIX: Lessons on Elevating a Stale Franchise

I was chatting with a buddy about the franchise as of late, and it inspired me to write a little note about it. Quick clarification: This is not a review, even if it’s going to sound like one. In my last post, I mentioned that all in all, this summer’s blockbuster season has been, while […]

Ben Affleck Is Our New Batman

We still don’t have an actual title for the movie yet, but the anticipated sequel to the highly controversial “Man of Steel” now has its Batman. Personally I’m not all that thrilled with the idea, but you could do a whole lot worse, and my skepticism has more to do with my opposition to the […]

Game of Thrones: Some Extra Information

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not contain any spoilers for the actual show Game of Thrones. In case you hadn’t heard, George R.R. Martin, the author of the widely acclaimed A Song of Ice and Fire book series that has been adapted into the world famous HBO series Game of Thrones has announced that he […]

I reviewed “Pacific Rim”!!!

I’m still debating as to whether or not I want to update more frequently with smaller things like this that end up being links to the other site I write for. My instincts tell me that it can only help me ratings-wise, but I’ve always been a quality over quantity kind of guy. Either way, […]

Game of Thrones: Gilbert & Sullivan

I am the very model of a dragon king Targaryen. I’ve studied all the families from Mallister Jon Arryn. I’ve mastered all the magics from the fire to the facelessness, And yet I’m not so sure about that shadow-casting red priestess. I ride on dragons, reign down fire, and roar like a barbarian. I am […]

Advance Non-Spoiler Notice Regarding Tonight’s Episode of Game of Thrones

Attention all fellow enthusiasts of HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. If you do not have HBO and will be watching tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones some other way (a friend’s HBO-GO, internet stream, torrents, etc.) – in other words, if you will be watching the show […]