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The Pat Healy Of American Politics

Sometimes, when Romney is trying so hard to convince an audience that he agrees with them (on what? who cares? Romney doesn’t), he comes off like the Matt Dillon character in There’s Something About Mary , when Dillon is trying to explain how much he likes the mentally handicapped. . . . . Continue Reading »

Carl’s Rock Songbook #63: ALMOST FAMOUS, Pt. 5

Having written one , two , three , four ALMOST FAMOUS-driven posts and now this one, I obviously do think it is an excellent film. Its one weakness is a certain complacency, underlined by its ending. I don’t have a problem with happy endings per se, but the one it provides really is too easy. . . . . Continue Reading »

What Are the Best Films on Communism?

I’m currently working on an introduction to a book I’m co-editing on one of the greatest films about communism, The Lives of Others , and I’m wondering what other films there are that portray life under communist oppression that our readers know about. There don’t seem to be . . . . Continue Reading »

The Hobbesian Games

The Hunger Games is a dystopia about a country named Panem, in which one city, the Capitol, rules twelve other districts.  Due to the districts’ rebellion, the Capitol has instituted the Hunger Games: each district submits two children to a contest where they fight to the death.  . . . . Continue Reading »

Films About Something

Thomas Hibbs has updated his book Shows About Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture in light of films and TV shows of the last decade like Christopher Nolan’s movies and AMC’s Mad Men. He says Nihilism has been the reigning philosophy in Hollywood since the 1960’s.  By Nihilism, . . . . Continue Reading »


While the Ryan people were announcing that he wasn’t running for President (sigh), I was out watching FRIGHTNIGHT.  Very enjoyable vampire movie that does a smart job of incorporating some of the anxieties of the Great Recession.  That is tougher to do than it sounds.  The . . . . Continue Reading »

X-Men on “My Place in this World”

The latest in the series, X-Men: First Class covers the same thematic material as its predecessors.  The importance of TOLERANCE is stressed, but not in the classical sense of putting up with objectionable practices, nor Jerry Seinfield’s non-judgementalism (“Not that there is . . . . Continue Reading »

Waiting To Be Superman

One of the standard interpretations of the Superman mythology goes something like this: Clark Kent is a seeming weakling who is despised by the girl he wants.  She is mean to him, but he wants her just the same.  He doesn’t just want a relationship with her, he also wants her . . . . Continue Reading »

The Last Station

 Over the weekend, courtesy of my friends at Netflicks, the wife and I watched what may be the most under appreciated film in quite some time, The Last Station. Beautifully filmed while adhering closely to period costume, architecture, and environment (1910 Russia) the drama examines both . . . . Continue Reading »

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