Mar 14

Frozen vs. Watchmen

It seemed obvious to me that the character of Queen Elsa from Disney’s excellent Frozen had glimpses of similarity to Dr. Manhattan from Snyder’s excellent The Watchmen. Both had nearly infinite power, which detached them from their humanity and fellow humans. Each secluded themselves far away in a self-made palace as a way of both escaping and saving the people close to them. Both had trouble containing their power.

That said, I don’t think I remember Dr. Manhattan ever breaking out into song.

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Aug 12

Prometheus vs. Avatar

The planet Pandora has nothing — and I mean nothing — on the little moon SC-223. This place scared the (R-rated expletives) out of me; it was unnerving, frightening, dreadful, in all the ways that Pandora was not.

I’m referring to the hostile alien environments from the movies Avatar and Prometheus.  Both have certain distinct built-in audiences. The former requires that one be a fan of action-packed, light-on-originality, effects-heavy, exhilarating sci-fi.  The latter requires that one prefer their sci-fi with a cold, clinical, and nightmarish pessimism.  I happen to be a member of both audiences; I can see the value of each, but I don’t blame you for not appreciating one or the other.  Avatar asks that you just have fun with your 3D goggles and not worry too much about borrowed storylines from a dozen other sources.  Prometheus asks you to witness something you’ve truly never seen before, while borrowing a lot from the horror end of the genre spectrum.

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May 08

Art docs: prodigies and outsiders

There’s something extremely fascinating about those rare individuals who function on a higher plane, however dysfunctional or detached from the rest of society. The art world, as any other, knows its prodigies and outsiders alike. Here a few good documentaries that cover a wide range of such people.

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Jan 08

Protagonist vs. Fast, Cheap & Out of Control

I suppose the comparison was inevitable, if not obvious. The new documentary Protagonist by Jessica Yu finds a good template in Errol Morris’ opus Fast, Cheap & Out of Control.

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Sep 05

Decuple Word Reviews

Here are a series of reviews I started as a bit of a challenge. The idea was to write the entire review in ten (hence, “decuple”) words or less. I considered the movie title to count as only one word. Oh, and sometimes I had to get clever with hyphenated words to keep the word count down as well. Much harder that it seems.
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Oct 04

The Grudge vs. Ju-on

It’s been a long time since a movie scene made me honestly cringe under my collar out of anxiety.
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Oct 04

Matrix City: A Photographic Comparison of The Matrix and Dark City

Leave it to comic books and American noir to spark an international dialog.

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Oct 02

The Ring vs. Feardotcom

Both are arty, but differ in delivery: vague impressionism versus creepy surrealism.
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Aug 02

Enigma vs. A Beautiful Mind

The difference between these films is like the difference between mere artistic license and historical revisionism: pageantry and fraud.
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May 02

The Matrix vs. Dark City

Where Dark City is visual escapism, The Matrix is testosterone brain candy!
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