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 […]

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. Part II can be found here. 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 […]

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 […]

“Game of Thrones” (2010 – 2019): A Game Lost (Review)

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in May 2019. The Core of Ice and Fire What is Game of Thrones? You can describe it in hundreds of ways. The term itself invites worlds of thought and myriads of emotion. It’s Tolkien for adults, The Sopranos with dragons and undead, allegorical […]

“Game of Thrones” – The Arya Arc

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on the Cinematic Katzenjammer in May 2019. Game of Thrones is a show about ice zombies – except for when it isn’t. When it isn’t ripping off The Walking Dead, World War Z, Resident Evil, and other things undead-related, it’s a show about the living – their honor […]

“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 […]