Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back From The Holiday (and Illness)

I had absolutely every intention of maintaining this fine blog during the Christmas break, but damn if I wasn’t knocked on my ass pretty quickly. Nothing takes the wind out of your sails quite like fever, lots of head and chest congestion and constant and steady hacking.

But I’m back and the world (or so I tell myself) needs that special Chris Brennaman brand of pop culture commentary. So what’d I miss?


All I can say about this is that I wish him a speedy and full recovery. Not only is he a legendary comics writer, but the man is beyond a class act. Sending nothing but positive thoughts to him and his family.


I was fighting this one. I really was. When the reviews started to come in that Jackson may have overclocked his translation, I was certain it was just the haters doing their usual hateful thing. But as I say in the movie theater, I spent the better part of the first two hours fighting the growing feeling that the move just felt… padded. Make no mistake, Peter Jackson brings it, but he may have brought too much. Scenes start too soon, end too late and the whimsical nature of the source material gives way to a darkening tone that’s trying really, really hard to be the perfect prequel to The Lord of the Rings. Yes, The Hobbit is something of a prequel, but to me it’s first and foremost a tale written for children about a wizard, some dwarves and a Halfling going on a magical adventure to slay a dragon. Here’s hoping parts 2 and 3 don’t feel so drawn out.


Look, at this point when it comes to Quentin Tarantino, you should know what to expect from one of his movies, especially his work over the last decade. And if you’re a fan, which you ought to be, then this movie just kills. Not quite as brilliant as Inglorious Basterds, but close, Django Unchained is a beautiful genre mash-up that actually manages to create a new one, The Southern. All parties involved do some outstanding work, but for me, the real beauty was seeing Leonardo DiCaprio take a turn as a charmingly vile and reprehensible villain. The movie has caught flak for using a certain racial slur, and it seems a lot of the criticism stems from the movie not being a message movie yet still using said term. All I can say about that is that as a dye-in-the-wool liberal, each use of the word felt earned, and the majority black audience I saw the flick with didn’t seem bothered. In fact, most were quoting and rehashing choice moments from the flick on their way out of the theater.


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