Don Jon – Losing it

Explicit Language Warning!

Yeah, that’s my second warning in as many weeks, isn’t it? Of course, you only know that if you’re still here after last week, right? Are you still here? I promise, this time out, not to say anything that will offend the sensibilities of my left-wing readers. Oh, except this observation: Miley Cyrus is a lot prettier when she’s trying to look like Michele Bachman than she is the rest of the time these days. There. That’s done. You’re safe now. On with the show. Which may offend the sensibilities of everyone not offended last week.

don-jon-posterJoseph Gordon-Levitt is an actor I admire a lot, ever since I first saw him play David Collins in Dan Curtis’s 1991 primetime remake of Dark Shadows.  He’s one of the most talented performers of his generation, taking on roles that are sometimes provocative, sometimes downright bizarre, but, even when he’s doing a comedy like 3rd Rock from the Sun or a blockbuster like The Dark Knight Rises, never pedestrian.

Recently, he broadened his career horizons by making his debut as a writer-director with Don Jon, a film in which he also starred. This film is laugh-out-loud funny, insightful and daring. I recommend it wholeheartedly… but… It may make you uncomfortable. It is very, very explicit. The opening line, narrated by Gordon-Levitt as Don Jon, contains the f-word and describes the state of his genitalia. It gets more explicit from there. So be warned. It made a lot of viewers in the theater where I saw it uncomfortable, even as they enjoyed it. Continue reading

Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt? – Making the most of Social Media

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 7.04.01 PMSo, in case you didn’t know, I’m a huge admirer of Ayn Rand. (And a few of you who did not know may have just defriended, unfollowed and generally banned my name from being spoken in your presence. I’m prepared to live with that.) Agree or disagree with her views, I don’t think you can claim that anyone in popular discourse (and certainly no other bestselling novelist) has quite so clearly presented the argument against collectivist thought as Ms. Rand. That’s why so many people dislike her work so intensely.

But I grew up being told that joining the herd, or letting others control you, is a bad thing. The herd mentality provided the motive force behind movements like Nazism and Soviet Communism. When I was growing up, everyone around me accepted that those philosophies were wrong. They were the philosophies of people who wanted to harm us. As I grew and developed my own personal moral philosophy, I concluded it was both sensible and moral to resist any attempt by others to make me conform to their ideals of what made a good person, or to make me live to serve their ends. When I discovered Ayn Rand’s powerful arguments, which supported what I believed, I became a fan. I especially loved Atlas Shrugged.

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Review – The Tarzan Collection (Well, the last half, anyway)

TarzanCollThis DVD collection include six movies: Tarzan the Ape Man, Tarzan and His Mate, Tarzan Escapes, Tarzan Finds a Son, Tarzan’s Secret Treasure and Tarzan’s New York Adventure. These comprise all of the MGM Tarzan films, filmed between 1932 and 1942, which starred Olympic Gold Medalist Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan and Maureen O’Sullivan as Jane Parker. (Ms. Parker was an Englishwoman, unlike her namesake from the books, Jane Porter, who was a Balmer gal, the daughter of a Hopkins professor, as I recall.)

I’ve had this sitting on my shelf for a while, and had only watched the first three films. I stopped short of Tarzan Finds a Son some months (probably years) back. I suck at time sense. My kids tell me all the time. Or are they my grandkids? Hmm… Continue reading

Reflection: Your Superman Is Too Small

IMG_1916My wife has a flag in our yard during the warm months. It features the Peanuts gang, dancing their little, undersized legs off, and it’s emblazoned, “Dance like no one is watching.” Many of us are nervous about dancing in front of others. I know I am. I can’t. I have no rhythm. I have no grace. My best dance moves, I was once told by a dear friend, resemble those of a geriatric drag queen.

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Review – Man of Steel

MOSThis is going to be a controversial review, I think. This film has already been noted to have divided comics fans. We seem to either love it or hate it. And, sadly, we also seem to be directing a good deal of hate at those who don’t agree with our opinions. That’s too bad.

And yet this movie represents some trends in modern entertainment and storytelling which I think need to be identified and discussed, so I’m going to share my opinion no matter how much it pisses off those who disagree. If you disagree with me, I’m sorry. But I’m not going to hide or deny my opinions simply because you don’t like them.

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Review: Star Trek – Into Darkness by Alan Dean Foster


Not the book cover, but Alice Eve reads the audio, and she’s prettier than the book cover!

This is only peripherally a review of Star Trek: Into Darkness the film. I’m going to talk about the film, yes, but more immediately I’m going to talk about the novelization of it, written by Alan Dean Foster, and the reading of it by Alice Eve. I saw the film first, and then listened to this reading via Audible, so it’s my more recent experience of the story.

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