183 – The First Half of 2014

Ahh July 2nd – the day that cuts the year perfectly in twain (except for leap years. Ugh. Leap years are so pretentious). People talk a lot about how quickly time moves as you get older. Most of you have probably been guilty of such a fallacy, but I don’t blame you. We are all susceptible to the idea that discrete units of time, such as minutes or hours, begin to feel relatively shorter as the total amount of time we personally experience gets longer. My endeavor to write something every day has helped keep the actual length of 365 days (or 183 days at this point) in perspective. Looking back on them, these last 183 days feel like 183 days, and I don’t think you can ask for more than that from the abstract concept that we call “time.”

Continue reading

154 – Unnamed High School Graduation 2014

let's give these silhouettes a hand

let’s give these silhouettes a hand

Close your eyes. Well, actually, that may not be the most productive way to start a review. Keep your eyes focused on these words, but metaphysically close them. Think back – years, maybe – to when you were 17 or 18. A senior in high school. The world was your oyster, or so you thought. Your last year of school was a joke, or at least you treated it like one. And it all led up to the biggest event in your still-short life: high school graduation. What a time. For a group of students at the high school where I work, today was that day. And it was quite a circumstance, with just enough pomp.

Continue reading

127 – The Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #1

amazing spider-man 2014 1

A little over a year ago Peter Parker died. It was a very sad day, but after 700 issues of Amazing Spider-Man, one of his rogues finally got the better of the titular hero. Doctor Otto “Octopus” Octavius found a way to switch bodies with the wall-crawler, inhabiting Peter’s form before killing off his own ailing shell with Peter’s mind inside. Thus began a new era of web-slinging, as Doc Ock became a hero himself, hoping to prove he could be a superior Spider-Man in a book appropriately dubbed Superior Spider-Man. But now – just in time for the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Peter has triumphantly returned to his own assemblage of skin, muscle, and bones. Let’s hope this effort is more successful than that of his cinematic counterpart.

Continue reading

058 – Fantastic Four (2014) #1

20140227-233903.jpg

Family. Whether it is the one you are born into (a la Arrested Development) or the one you create (see: the Fast and Furious franchise), it is forever. You can try to extricate yourself from your family, but it won’t work; you’ll always get sucked back in. The Fantastic Four are the first family of comics, and Marvel Comics is never going to let you emancipate yourself.

Continue reading

053 – Life Itself (2014)

life itself

It is 2:20 am as I begin writing this review. I have no doubt the time will play a part in how short this review is, but the main reason this will be an abbreviated entry into my personal canon is because I have no place trying to write eloquently about the man who so expertly did what I stumble aimlessly through on this blog. Life Itself is a documentary about Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, and it is the best movie I’ve seen in 2014 (sorry The Lego Movie).

Continue reading

052 – New Warriors (2014) #1

new warriors 1

Comics began as (and are still considered by many to be) a kid’s medium. In the United States there is a level of stigma that comes with reading comics. I’ve experienced it, even at the high school where I work; students will try to make fun of me for it, until they realize I feel no shame about being a comics reader. That kind of comfort comes with knowing you’re supporting a quality product. I’m always interested to see if a new “kid-friendly” book, like Marvel’s New Warriors, lives up to that classification.

Continue reading

050 – True Detective, “The Secret Fate of All Life”

true detective the secret fate of all life

“Every episode of True Detective is better than the previous one.” This is something that I have been saying since the show premiered, but it is only now starting to get to the point where a “better” episode also means a “good” episode.

Continue reading

049 – The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

the tonight show with jimmy fallon

It was only several years back that Conan O’Brien took over hosting The Tonight Show from Jay Leno, in a move that – while not long lasting – did leave quite a mark on the late night landscape. Everyone who cares already knows about what happened next, so suffice to say that we find ourselves in a similar situation now, only this time Jay is handing the reins to Mr. James Fallon.

Continue reading

048 – Endless Love (2014)

endless love

The remake is a common animal in the wilds of today’s film landscape (see: yesterday’s RoboCop review). A remake of an adaptation is a little more rare. I have neither read the book Endless Love is based on, nor have I seen the original movie. The only reason I saw it today is because I was bored this morning and it is shorter than Winter’s Tale. Well now I wish I had seen the one with the flying horse; at least that one looks ridiculous enough to be entertaining.

Continue reading