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Film Analysis [Non-Reviews]

This category contains 32 posts

In Praise of the Sports Documentary Series, or Why I Hate Most Documentaries

In case readers haven’t noticed, I no longer review feature-length documentaries on this site. I may reference a well known documentary filmmaker from time to time (e.g. Werner Herzog, Ken Burns, etc.) or cite particular documentary filmmaking styles (e.g. cinema verite, direct cinema, observational or “fly-on-the-wall” visual approaches, etc.) as they relate to popular narrative … Continue reading

How to Hate (or Love) Movies without Really Trying: Types of Film-Viewing Biases

As both a celebration of my 500th(!) post on this website and as a reaction to numerous criticisms of the widespread “movie-review format,” today I shall analyze what I perceive are the major types of biases that corrupt viewers’ interpretation and enjoyment of films. I published my 500th essay last month, yet never found the … Continue reading

‘The Rise of Skywalker’ (2019): Review and A ‘Star Wars’ Retrospective Analysis

Directed by: J. J. Abrams || Produced by: Kathleen Kennedy, J. J. Abrams, Michelle Rejwan Screenplay by: J. J. Abrams, Chris Terrio || Starring: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian … Continue reading

More Filmmaking Pet-Peeves…

Several years ago, I wrote about recurring problems in mainstream filmmaking that are a constant source of irritation for cinephiles like me. This burgeoning “series” of blog essays is thematically related to my Things You Like That I Don’t (TYLTID) posts, in a way, an expansive yet not exhaustive list of cinematic annoyances that reduce … Continue reading

Love, ‘LOST’ (2004-2010) and ‘Penny Dreadful’ (2014-2016), or Why I Don’t Watch Many Television Shows

Upon finishing John Logan’s Penny Dreadful last winter after a long viewing hiatus (Season 1 was gifted to me by a brief love interest back in the summer of 2015), I anticipated writing another one of my few television series reviews on this site. I geared myself for discussing the series’ expert direction, unique Gothic-horror … Continue reading

The Not-So-Magical Theatrical Experience

Time Code = 14:52-18:48 Sooner or later, cinephiles debate with themselves or general moviegoers the merits of seeing films on the big-screen, also known as “the theatrical experience.” These discussions may be more or less frequent depending on the quality of local theatre chains (e.g. Alamo Drafthouse), the quantity of peers’ streaming subscriptions, people’s general … Continue reading

The Devil on Your Shoulder, Last Part: Like My Father Before Me

My contemplation on the nature of Jungian shadows, shoulder angels, and facing the temptations of our worst instincts ends with the original Hollywood blockbuster incarnation of negativity: The Return of the Jedi’s (1983) Emperor Palpatine. Arguably the most popular and parodied symbol of evil, authoritarianism, and general villainy in modern pop culture, Ian McDiarmid’s cruel, … Continue reading

The Devil on Your Shoulder, Part II: Let Fear Find You Again

Another series of films that deal with obvious, yet not on-the-nose representations of Jungian shadows or shoulder angels are Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight (2005, 2008, 2012) franchise. In the broadest terms, the trilogy could be interpreted as a thematic analysis of fear, how it can evolve from an enemy to an ally. Batman Begins¬†introduces this … Continue reading

The Devil on Your Shoulder, Part I: You’re Not a Mistake

“These boys come in here, this is how they survive. They gotta fight for life — kill or be killed. People die in there! Your Daddy died in the ring…” American writer William Faulkner is credited as saying, “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.” I first stumbled … Continue reading

To Defend or Not to Defend The Matrix Sequels?

One of the more divisive, underwhelming followups to a landmark Hollywood trendsetter was the 2003 two-part sequel to the original Matrix (1999). The first Matrix remains one of the defining science-fiction action films of new millennium cinema, holding up to this day as a thinking-man’s high-concept, big-budget genre film, and arguably the most original mainstream … Continue reading