Community – A Welcome Distraction

I’ve started writing a regular monthly feature over at Reads & Reels!  I know, right??  I’m super excited about it too.  In it, I’ll be talking about something – be it a book, comic, movie, TV show, album, whatever – that has captivated my attention over the last month and proven a welcome distraction from everything else (re: boring adult stuff) that fills up my life.  For my first piece, I’ve written about the work of brilliant postmodern art that was NBC’s CommunityI am SUPER EXCITED to be writing for Reads & Reels (and pleased with the piece too) so you should totally click here and check it out!

F.N.V. – Songs and Love Stories

A few years ago, Rob – of My Side Of The Laundry Room – began a series called “F.N.V.,” taking it’s name and inspiration from NBC’s Friday Night Videos (1983-2002).  Anyway, I liked it so I totally stole it from him.  Kalie liked it and she stole it too, proving far more prolific with her sharing of music videos and stories than I ever am.  But I was driving around the other day and I heard a song.  It sparked a memory of love gone by…or, more accurately, of an attempt at love gone by.  I started thinking this could be a fun premise for a new piece in this series, to walk through some pivotal romantic experiences from my past – some sincerely sweet, most catastrophically awkward – and pair them with the songs that embody those memories. Continue reading

The Rise Of Skywalker – Excitement and Ambiguity in the Disney Era of Star Wars

I really wasn’t planning on writing something about The Rise Of Skywalker so quickly.  In fact, I had a totally different Star Wars-related post planned for this weekend.  But sometimes a movie hits and I, inexplicably, find myself with something to say right away.  The Rise Of Skywalker was one of those films.  The first trilogy of the Disney Canon has come to a close and the journey Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren began in 2015’s The Force Awakens has ended.  It left me with lots of thoughts, feelings, and questions.  So let’s talk about it, huh?

Note, there will be spoilers but that section of the post will be clearly marked.  If you don’t want to know anything at all before you see it, stop reading now.  But if you’re fine with overall-type comments, I’ll speak generally first and then give a clear warning before any plot spoilers happen.  Ready?  Ready. Continue reading

The Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Problem of Fat Shaming

In a recent post about the first teaser trailer for Black Widow, I discussed my excitement for the film while pointing out the criticism Marvel received almost as soon as the trailer premiered for fat shaming again.  In addition to all the (fair and deserving) praise Avengers: Endgame received, it also received some (fair and deserving) criticism for fat shaming in their presentation of Thor.  The trailer for Black Widow does the same with the character of Red Guardian.  A comment left on that post led to the idea for this one.  While putting together my reply, I decided it warranted its own post.  I write often of the intersection of comic books and social justice issues on this site so it’s not just natural but important I address this because fat shaming, or weightism, is a justice issue.  It’s also one, sadly, many people in our culture don’t understand or, worse, don’t even acknowledge as an issue at all.  Thankfully that’s starting to change and now seems like an opportune time to add my voice to that chorus. Continue reading

Ghostbusters: Afterlife – A Trailer, A Mixed Bag of Emotions…

Obviously I’ve been eagerly awaiting the trailer for writer/director Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife to drop.  The original Ghostbusters (1984) is my all-time favorite movie.  I not only watched it all the time as a kid but I still watch it all the time as an adult.  It’s consistently been bringing joy to my life, and I’ve consistently watched it multiple times every year, for over thirty years!  I don’t have that relationship with any other film – not Avengers, not (500) Days of Summer, not any of the Star Wars movies.  Also, I enjoy Ghostbusters even more as an adult because now I get all the jokes!  So not only do I love this movie but it keeps getting better for me.  Of course then, when I heard Reitman was making “a direct sequel” to his father’s iconic 1984 film, I was intrigued.  So much could go right!  But so much could go wrong too.  Now the trailer’s here and I’m feeling…lots of things. Continue reading

Reylo’s Role in Rendemption – A The Rise of Skywalker Reflection

With The Rise of Skywalker just weeks away, speculation is rampant.  Will Rey turn to the Dark Side?  How the heck could the Emperor have survived the destruction of the second Death Star?  How much of the film do Rey, Finn, and Poe really get to be together?  How will Leia’s character be handled with Carrie Fisher gone?  What role will Luke’s Force ghost play?  Will Anakin return in some form?!?  Of all the questions vexing Star Wars fans, perhaps none are so divisive nor as heatedly debated as the issues of Reylo and Rendemption.  Given the prevalence and the passion for and against each, I wanted to explore them more closely. Continue reading

Patch Lane – A Sincerely Creepy and Tonally Unique Thriller

I’ve done a few of these blog tours before, but only the graphic novel ones.  So I was excited to throw my hat in the ring for an actual novel.  As a result, part of the wonderfully blissful free time that filled my Thanksgiving break (there is nothing better than having nothing to grade!) was devoted to S.F. Barkley’s first full length novel, Patch Lane.  Let me just say, to be clear, I guard my free time zealously.  So it means something when I say Patch Lane was absolutely worthy of being part of my vacation fun! Continue reading