Evie Let Your Hair Hang Down*

(Warning: SPOILERS!) First, let’s get the criticism out of the way.  The Mummy Returns is not as good as The Mummy.  It’s repetitive, contains far too much CGI (something that would later overwhelm and derail writer-director Stephen Sommers’ career in Van Helsing), and the plot hinges on absurdities that not even genre films can easily accommodate (even I wince when … Read More

Rant: the high cost of low quality

The new "Django," "unchained" from originality.

Last night, the wife and I saw Skyfall. I’ve seen every James Bond movie in a real movie theater since Live and Let Die, so my streak continues. I thought Skyfall was an adequate spy thriller and action film, but not much of a James Bond movie. Perhaps, given how this one ends, the next one will be more of … Read More

The Dickens, I Say

The first edition of Dickens' masterpiece

The most famous Christmas story, besides the Biblical one, is without a doubt A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens distilled the holiday spirit down to its essence with his tale of the miserly Scrooge who reforms his ways just in time for Christmas dinner. I love reading the actual story at Christmas, and watching my favorite* film version: [media url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbaa-T5wSE8″] Yet … Read More

Five Great Movies About Writers

Anders Danielsen Lie (l) and Espen Klouman-Høiner in Reprise.

Writers aren’t that exciting to be around when we’re working. What we do–staring into space, muttering to ourselves, typing then backspacing and typing some more–isn’t exactly dynamic. It might be why there are so few good movies about writers actually writing. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of good movies with writer characters in them; that’s fairly common. But … Read More

George Lucas and Elvis: Echoes from 1977


Thirty-five years ago, two things that fundamental changed my life happened in the same summer. In May, Star Wars was released. In August, Elvis Presley died. The arrival of Star Wars turned the thing that everyone in my small town mocked, that had gotten me teased and beaten up, into the hippest thing in the world. Spaceships, aliens and robots … Read More

Io9, Battlestar Galactica, and the American Idol culture

“Born Originals, how comes it to pass that we die Copies?”–“Conjectures on Original Composition” by Edward Young, 1759 *** I’ll tell you up front, this is a rant. I try not to do them often, and usually delete them after I write them. If you’re reading this one, it means I’m still fuming even after an acceptable cooling-off period. Io9, … Read More