Monthly Archives: June 2014

Review: Chef

ChefChef, Jon Favreau‘s return to the smaller films which initially made his career, is a (insert complimentary food pun here). It’s been 13 years since he last wrote and directed something (Made (2001)) and his return to full on creative control is a little bit miss but mostly a lot of hit. Continue reading

Categories: Films, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Worst Things Written About Transformers: Age Of Extinction

 

The Worst Things Written About Transformers: Age Of Extinction

The Worst Things Written About Transformers: Age Of Extinction.

I think this is a little bit disingenuous. Yes, it’s a funny article but I’m trying to figure out the point of it. Almost all of the reviewers here are name critics working for big time publications. You can’t tell me ANY of them went into this movie thinking they were going to get Death of a (car) Salesman. They’d all seen the last three films in the franchise and knew what they were getting themselves into. Continue reading

Categories: Art, Cinema | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

They mocked her “science fantasy.” Then she wrote Empire Strikes Back.

 

They mocked her “science fantasy.” Then she wrote Empire Strikes Back..

Categories: Cinema, Science Fiction | Leave a comment

When did “money” become a bad word?

photoActually, it’s not even about money. We all like money. We can all appreciate money. Hell, we all want money. No, the issue recently isn’t about money itself, it’s about getting paid. It’s about how we get the money that’s coming into question. I first thought of this when I saw Sean Penn‘s adaptation of Jon Krakauer‘s Into the Wild. In the film (and book, but I hadn’t read the book then), there’s a scene where Chris McCandless decides to burn all the money he has because it’s not “honest” money. He didn’t earn it himself, it was given to him and so he didn’t feel entitled to it. Now, he understood the need for money, he gets various jobs along the way, but that was honest money, necessary money, so it was okay. Continue reading

Categories: Art, On Writing, Personal | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Shambling Towards Hiroshima

Shambling Towards Hiroshima
Shambling Towards Hiroshima by James K. Morrow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I admit it, here, now and of my own free will, I love monster movies. I love the good ones and the bad ones and I most certainly love the classics. Evidently, so does James K. Morrow. This book is a love letter to the monster films of the Hollywood of the 30s and 40s, the ones starring Karloff and Lugosi, Lorre and Chaney. And Syms J. Thorley.

Who?

 

Continue reading

Categories: Books, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

14 Brilliant Pieces of Literature You Can Read in the Time it Takes to Eat Lunch – PolicyMic

14 Brilliant Pieces of Literature You Can Read in the Time it Takes to Eat Lunch – PolicyMic.

Often attributed to Hemingway, the quintessential shortest story ever is “For sale, baby shoes. Never worn.” 6 words and you get a complete tale. The shortest horror story ever, attributed to Fredric Brown, is “The last man on earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock at the door.” For a few years, several friends of mine (in particular Gregory Crosby and Troy Darling) wrote 13 word horror stories around the time of Halloween.

All of this is to say that a piece of literature doesn’t have to be long in order to be brilliant – as pointed out by the recent article PolicyMic. In it they list “14 Brilliant Pieces of Literature” which are all short enough to be read after you polish off a sandwich but before you have to get back to whatever it is you’re meant to be doing. More importantly, they provide links on where to find them for free.

So here ya go, lunch time reading for the next three work weeks (You can take that last Friday off, you deserve it).

Then come back and tell me what you think. Any you particularly liked? Any you didn’t?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Categories: Art, Books, Reviews | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors

This is a great list of quotes.

It’s interesting to me that because most everyone learns to write at some point in their lives, just to exist in society, they all think they can be “writers.” Telling a story with words is a completely different skill set than just being able to convey a simple message but most people don’t see it that way. they figure that since they can string words together for an 8th grade English class (Thank you, Mrs. Mullally) that they can write a book or even a short story, and a good one at that, right out of the gate.

Writing is work. Like all work sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easier, but it always takes effort to get good at it and these quotes just point that out.

21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors

Categories: On Writing, Personal | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

No Extroverts on Mars, Please

 

No Extroverts on Mars, Please.

Bell said that usually extroverts are good on teams because their tendency to speak up and engage with others makes planning easier. She added that because extroverts are outgoing, they know more about their teammates — their strengths and weaknesses. That helps team coordination.

However, the unique properties of long-haul, confined missions add new elements to that usual dynamic.”

Basically, if you talk to much, in a small space, people are gonna wanna kill you. And since I’ve gotten yelled at for talking to people in an elevator, this may just be the end of my dreams of interstellar travel.

Categories: Adventure, Personal, Travel | Tags: , | 2 Comments

An Apple a Day

An Apple a Day

photo credit: Auksė Vabalaitė

On Final Exam day, one of the first students finished came up with their finished exam, handed it to me and then cheekily gave me an apple. It was cute. Then another student handed in their exam… and an apple. Then a third. Eventually, about 150 students all handed in their exams and an apple.

And when the exam was over (first session – there were two) they ave me a t-shirt. I’m wearing it in the picture. It’s the best exam question I’ve ever written (and the answer is on the back).

I do love what I do…

Categories: Personal | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

On Film Reviews

critic-RatatouilleOver the last few days, I’ve been migrating old film reviews from the site they were originally on (and where they still reside) onto this here blog. I’m in the process, over the course of the next few months or so, of trying to get all my online writing in one place and this seemed like a good place to start. But the point is that while I was doing this, I had the chance to revisit about 70 or so reviews from april 2007-april 2008. It was interesting. There were films which I really loved which even this short amount of history has proven ultimately forgettable while other films I didn’t care for have become fondly remembered.  Continue reading

Categories: Art, Personal, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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