Monday, June 30, 2014

On My Vacation

So I went from my buddy's to my brother's, so I'm moving up in the world. Instead of having access to 250 games on Steam, I have access to 575+ movies on DVD, VHS, and even Betamax (and no, I'm not exaggerating). So, I'm here to get my nostalgia on. We've riffed Matrix films, had a Phillip Seymor Hoffman tribute, and laughed endlessly at Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation with Matthew McConaughey with a robot leg. And we watched Election. Matthew Broderick has the best mental breakdowns. But I'm trying to blog from my phone, and frankly, I t. But I won't have desktop access until Wednesday, and forget about being a Starbucks writer. I might have no pride, dignity, shame, or standards, but... wait that's a damn good argument. Peace!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

On Far Cry 3

So, I've been stranded with no car and no ride at my friend's house for several days now. While he was at work he foist upon me Far Cry 3. It's been a killer vacation.

Since I'm a little past due, I figured I'd just share some of my thoughts on the game after a few hours of playing. 

The graphics are fan-f***ing-tastic


The writing is shite. The player character is moderately inconsistent and goes along with the things people order him to do with alarming compliancy.

Yes, random wise-black-man. I will trust everything you say without question.
& lastly, the gameplay is meh. There were many moments I was hampered by torturously aggravating controls.  

I cannot accurately describe my hatred of climbing these
damn things.

For a game touted as highly as it was, I was really disappointed. After a fairly engaging opening, the game lapsed into downright silliness as far as the story was concerned, and I found myself increasingly frustrated by the gameplay mechanics over the nine hours that I played.

That said, there is something to be said about the game that did keep me playing past simple stubbornness. 

I don't know what it was, but something kept me from chucking the game and never looking back, and normally I'd try to pin down exactly what that something is. Maybe over the next few days I'll get more chances to sit down and give it a shot. I'd be more comfortable articulating my various issues after a more lengthy playthrough.

Monday, June 23, 2014

On How to Train Your Dragon 2

In the spring of 2010, I was but a wee High School Senior, ready to graduate and take on the world. Being the poor bastard that I was, my best friend and I couldn't afford our Senior Prom. We improvised: we cooked dinner, took our girls to the park, danced in the desert, and then went to a movie. The movie we saw? How to Train Your Dragon, and it was fantastic. I especially fell in love with it once I noticed, during the course of the movie, that everyone was staring at me. When I asked what they were looking at my best friend smiled smugly and said, "We're staring at you ... Hiccup." 

I guffawed. "I'm not Hiccup!" at which point Hiccup got smacked in the face by a tree and I shut up. 

I was forever after Hiccup.

So when I came back into Vegas for summer break, a certain group of friends wrangled me into seeing a certain movie. 

Most Idiotic Review
" ... this was not a sequel that anybody needed, outside of the accountants. And there's another already planned." 
— Stephen Whitty, (New Jersey Local News)

I feel a little remiss to attack a local news source, but lesbi-honest, this movie, not exactly racking up negative reviews, and rightly so. In his article, (titled 'The sequel that fell to earth') he concludes with a flat out falsehood. Of any franchises getting sequels, Dragon is perhaps one of the few that inherently excited me in and of itself. X-Men was only exciting because Brian Singer was returning to direct. Godzilla was a character that's always been a part of my family. The Marvel films are seriously hit-or-miss. But Dragon never worried me, and if the response on my facebook alone has been any indication, Mr. Whitty is sorely detached from this film's target demographic ... which, judging from the aforementioned response, are living beings with a pulse. 

Most Accurate Review

"The pressures to make a giant four-quadrant monstrosity must be enormous, and yet, like his unflappable hero Hiccup, How to Train Your Dragon 2 writer-director Dean DeBlois has prevailed, serving up DreamWorks Animation’s strongest sequel yet — one that breathes fresh fire into the franchise, instead of merely rehashing the original. Braver than Brave, more fun than Frozen, and more emotionally satisfying than so many of its live-action counterparts, Dragon delivers."
— Peter Debruge (Variety) 

This was also hard to choose, as there's no shortage of praise for this film, but I think Mr. Debruge really hits the nail on the head, if only for his reference to both a Disney movie and a Pixar movie (which are still technically two different things) that I agree, Dragon is better than both.

The plot of the film picks up five years after the original left off, and our lovable vikings have changed with the times. Obviously this requires a new threat, and the film deals us Drago, a man who really does just want, "to watch the world burn," and like another, honestly more likable madman, he too has his own set of scars. 

The thing that pleasantly surprised me about this sequel is that it really does feel like a continuation more than a retread. This is a brand new story, and in many ways, a darker, richer, and more emotional one. The catharsis on this movie was brutal. They took all the love you'd developed over the course of the first film and used it to strangle you to near unconsciousness ... but in a nice way. 

The comparisons to Empire Strikes Back? Well justified for this second installment. 

Something was done in this film that I can honestly say I, at least, have never seen in an animated film before. The characters have aged. Hiccup and company went from being snot-nosed 15 year olds to snot-nosed 20 year olds (seriously, we never grow out of having snot in our noses. It's a biological thing). It adds a bit of that Harry Potter flair that grounds a pretty fantastical story in some pretty real territory. 

As I mentioned previously, this really does feel like the next stage in a journey, and part of what I found so impressive is, it's still securely Hiccup and Toothless' story, and frankly, I wasn't sure when the sequel was announced where else they could take the characters. On top of that though, unlike other mega-trilogies (Pirates of the Caribbean comes to mind) they didn't hold anything back. 

Dragon 2 is securely a standalone film with its own definite beginning, middle, and end. The story is open for more, but it's not ending on a damnable cliffhanger. 

Like it's predecessor, Dragon plays into ideas of family and responsibility pretty heavily, and that's where a lot of the emotional resonance comes into action. It doesn't avert or distract from it's own themes, nor does it brow-beat the audience with a particular message. It allows the themes to be carried by the characters first and foremost. Honestly, if someone ever asks me for an example of solid story-structure, this'll be on the top of my list. 

It's been years since I regretted not seeing a movie in 3D, seriously, but after seeing Dragon? I can only say that I'm pretty sure the ticket for IMAX 3D would have been worth it. I haven't said that since ... hell, probably the first one. 

The Dragon scenes are spectacular. I was happily bouncing in my seat one moment and then wringing my hands the next. The film works hard to balance its darker tone with the same sense of awe and wonder from the first film, and to my money, they succeeded. This film had some of the best visuals I've ever seen in a film. It really is a stand-apart feature. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

On Iron Man 3

Okay, I was going to save this for tomorrow's Throwback Thursday, but I'm scheduled to escape the temperamental weather of Utah for the sanctuary of Vegas' oven tomorrow, so I might not be able to be online. What I was planning to talk about today were the released trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy, until I realized, having not grown up with these comics and characters, the review would amount to, "Looks cool. Hope it doesn't suck." To me it seems like Marvel is starting to get a grip on their own films, even if they're sending directors running scared left and right. Captain America: Winter Soldier I really enjoyed and Thor: The Dark World was ... serviceable and entirely forgettable. 

But Iron Man 3?

I didn't honestly think that Iron Man 2 could be topped for being schlock, but this movie is really trying.

So what prompted this? I stepped into my living room and my roommates had popped in the BluRay and I  decided to give it a second chance (the next time this scenario played out, they were watching Dark Knight Rises and I fled the room snarking), and at first I was surprised. I'd walked around for months calling the movie a train wreck of poo, and for a while, I thought I had judged the film too harshly. I was enjoying the hell out of the start. 
Theeeeeeeeeen the third act kicked in. 

Man this movie fell apart hard. I could literally feel the film's gears shift and explode into shrapnel that dug through my eyes and attacked my brain. Say what you will about Iron Man 2 (it's cutting room roadkill?), but at least it's consistent in its stupidity. 

So, I wasn't overly bothered by the villainous Killian. I love Guy Pearce, I thought he was doing well, it seemed to be an interesting rivalry as opposed to Sam Rockwell's bumbling character in the previous film ... and then it turned into the most generic cliched revenge story. It overtook the international terrorist storyline in a half-assed way, and offered up a complete slap in the face to the few Iron Man comic fans out there.

It's as if millions of fans suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced

I don't mean insult to Iron Man fans, but think of this, the reveal about Mandarin was fun and actually well executed, in the context of the movie, but with knowledge of the comics, I was pissed on comic book fans' behalf. Why? If Dark Knight had revealed Batman's numero uno villain, the Joker, to be an actor hired to pretend to be a crazy homicidal clown, there'd have been riots in the streets. I think it shows an extreme lack of respect for the fans who originally gave you your start. 

I will never question Wolverine's regenerating stubble again.
Moving on, the Extremis component of the film. What the hell happened? In the comics it was -- and in the movie it was -- ugggh. Again, I'm not opposed to alterations to the source material in the transition to the big screen, but once the alteration becomes nearly unrecognizable, just change the f***ing name to something else. If you're not going to adapt the concept in any meaningful fashion, just go all the way and make it your own. I was also pissed that the Extremis Virus was so poorly developed a part of the film. It allows regenerative qualities. And as a fan I was thinking, 'Oh! Like Wolverine?' to which the film responds, 'No. It's not just rapid healing.' 'So it's like Ang Lee's Hulk?' 'Well no, since there's no gamma rays, and no big guy.' 'So ... is it like in the Amazing Spider-Man?' 'Nope, no source animal DNA to overtake the human DNA.'

So what is it?

Hell if we know but it allows you to breath fire and explode!

Did we ever explain this? No? Ah, f***it.
... Are you sure this isn't a Thor movie? 

Totally plausible science.
It's not necessarily an asinine idea, but as far as I remembered there's no explanation of how or why this occurs beyond, "Some people have an explosive reaction to the virus." This is not science fiction, it's pure fantasy, and I always respected Iron Man for living closer to the former than the latter. Once you buy Arc Reactor technology, it's not hard to accept the rest of the events in Iron Man 1 or the Avengers .... No comment on Iron Man 2. 

I really hated what they did with Tony. I don't hate what they tried to do. I just hate what they actually did. They try to explain that he's having panic attacks because of the 15 seconds of the Avengers he spent beyond the dark portal and the battle in New York. This doesn't add up for me. Tony makes it through a terrorist capture, and the betrayal of his oldest friends in the first film, nearly dies in the second from blood poisoning, and spends most of the Avengers around purported interdimensional Gods--none of which phased him. What the hell happened? So the idea behind it? Moving Tony into a new area, a new vulnerable place? I applaud the effort ... but I'll give them a 2 for biffing the landing. 

We do birthday parties too.

This might have been a poor decision.
The last major thing I'll bag on is this, the House Party Protocol. Now I know it's stupid for Tony to spend most of the movie worrying about his 'Prodigal Son' armor, which wasn't even combat ready, when he had a dozen plus suits waiting in his blown up house (also, Tony makes some really bone-head moves in this movies). That's not my major problem. My problem is that in this movie, the Iron Man suits seem to be made from tissue paper. What the hell happened? 

Dark Knight Rises? No, never heard of it
Kevin Smith influenced this scene.
Okay, time for another list. I'll just stick specifically to the Avengers, since I watched it most recently. In that movie his armor stands up to a toe-to-toe battle with Thor, God of Thunder, and even though my money was on the beef-cake, he was holding his own damn well. Later? He gets caught in one of four turbines that keep a Aircraft Carrier flying, and the damn thing still works (albeit damaged). And lets face it, during the final fight, he puts his suit through hell, case in point, the Jonah scene. It is shown over 3 films that his suits can take a beating. Until there are twelve suits on the screen. It's not a perfect metaphor, but it reminds me of Storm-Trooper syndrome. The more there is of something, the less effective it immediately becomes. The Series final of Buffy the Vampire Slayer suffered from this, but at least Whedon had the decency to make that happen in the name of his thematic message of women's power. Jeesh!

And the ending just seemed a bit cheap to me since anyone who's stumbled around the internet recently knows he'll be back for the next Avengers film, and chances are he'll even be in a suit! 

They're actually talking about where to grab food after.
So what did I like about the movie? The film had some good fun dialogue, especially closer to the beginning, and this time, the strength of character wasn't only reserved for Mr. Downy. I felt like the secondary characters had a lot more strength than in the previous installment, and a certain buddy-cop aspect seemed to underpin the fist half the film, even with the kid, who I personally liked. The action scenes were good, even if I didn't understand half of them, and the idea to see what Tony could do without his suits was a good one I think.

Alas, the reason the movie pisses me off so badly is that it had so much potential and started out so strong that I got really invested, so when it started to fall into bad and lazy writing traps, I felt more betrayed than I might have, if the movie had inured me to its stupidity right from the getgo. 

I totally forgive this whole storyline for ... some reason

Monday, June 16, 2014

On The Last Dark, book four of the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever

I first read Donaldson when I was twelve. Looking back on this fact, I can't actually believe that I read those books when I was so young. They're heavy, intense, beautifully crafted books. So, when the Last Dark, the final book in the series, came out last October, I was hesitant to read it. Whereas the rest of my generation was weeping over the Harry Potter final, I was still gnashing my teeth over Covenant, Linden, and the Land.

I've lived with these books for ten years. I went through junior high, high school, and most of college with them as constant companions. It's a bit of a big deal to me that a series that meant so much to me for such a long time comes to a close. 

It's been a day since then, and my emotional balance has returned somewhat, but not quite. Here are a few of my non-spoilery thoughts.

Suffering. That's the first word to come to mind. The sheer amount of pain and anguish foisted upon these characters is astounding and gutwrenching, but not without redemption. It's not just for the sake of violence and torment, but it really ... really ... really drives home the idea that this is the last battle. There's nothing that follows this. Either they win, or everything dies, so the entire book is full of moments that left me cheering. "Do something Foul doesn't expect."

They do, over and over again through the book, to the point I felt tired and exhausted by the weight of the struggle, by the impossibility of it all. It made all the little victories so much sweeter, like Treasure Berries. 

The characters are as extravagant as ever, and if the world ever were in real danger, there'd be no group I'd trust more to save it. They go above and beyond, as they always have, giants, Haruchai, Forestals, Rhanyhyn. The whole gang is here for the final round (minus the regular folk of the Land, who've been rather absent for many a story, if memory serves). 

But what I love is we still see new sides of these characters. Covenant, Linden, and Jeremiah all face their fears, one way or the other, and even the Haruchia and Giants are confronted with possibilities they've managed to avoid for nine freakin' books so far. Power to Donaldson for finding new ways to challenge the characters.

I will say this, and I find it odd, considering the length. I found the ending short. 

Here me out, seeing as the book is nearly 592 pages, you'd think it was long enough, but I specifically mean the resolution seemed ... almost unearned. The redemption of the earth takes place at the very tail-end of the tale, and honestly, considering how in-depth the attention to detail was throughout ALL of these books, there wasn't the equivalence we had with the end of book two as Linden heals the Land. So I loved the ending ... I just felt like it was rushed. The execution threw me, if nothing else. 

Still, the only complaint I have is that the ending, though well conceived, was less well executed, the ride alone was worth it. It's been a good long while since I fell that into a book.

Friday, June 13, 2014

On Dream Theater's Dream Theater

Whenever I hear from someone that they listen to everything, I laugh. With 11 siblings ranging from the ages of 22 to ... somewhere in their mid 30s, and 10 nieces and nephews ranging from newborn to graduated from high school ... I HAVE HEARD EVERYTHING. Whether I like it or not, it is very hard to surprise me when it comes to music. I have actually heard Satanic Metal Folk Polka, and I am not making that up.

And while the mood may take my ADD and I might get the urge to fly all over the map, there are certain brands of music that always brighten my day. Alice Cooper and Poets of the Fall are two of these. Creedence Clearwater Revival is one of the best bands of all time (seriously don't believe me? Randomly pick from their discography and tell me the majority of their songs weren't classic hits). But I'm here to talk briefly about Dream Theater.

The first time I heard these guys was in 1998 when they released Metropolis: Scenes From a Memory and I fell in love. It was the first time I encountered Progressive Rock/Metal, and 22 albums of King Crimson later I ... still like AC/DC, which according to my brother makes me a freak of nature, but that's not the point.

Prog Rock has become a pretty large part of my music library (not just because the average song is 10 minutes long), because there is real talent involved. While the rest of the music world is drifting off into corporate synthesis, Prog Rock is still a small isolated corner of "F*** YOU WE ROCK."

Now, over the years, I grew less and less interested in what Dream Theater had to offer. They had started so strongly, and broken the mold for themselves time and again, that ... sooner or later it felt like they had built a box around themselves. Also, I was never a fan of their drummer Portnoy. Out of the whole group, I felt like the guy was a tool. He was talented and probably pretty likable, but something about that blue goatee just got to me.

So when he was replaced I was super excited, (and I could dedicate an entire blog post to my belief that they should have picked Marco Minnemann) it was finally a chance for the band to go in a new direction! Breath new life into the band!

The next album was pure Dream Theater, and I mean that in the unexciting way. THEN THIS ALBUM CAME OUT. They let Mike Mangini write on this album, and while it's not strictly a new direction, there is an epicness to the sound and scope of the album that had me sit through all 1:08 several times. 

If you are a fan of this band, it is a lot of fun and carries with it the weight of albums like Octavarium and In the Presence of Enemies. It's good to be surprised again. 

~ Godzello

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On Expendables 3 Trailer

Okay, so, I spent the weekend marathoning Nostalgia Critic reviews. It was fun but not overly helpful in exposing me to new stuff to write about. When I started this blog, one of my first (lengthy) posts was about the trailer for the Avengers, which leaves me wondering, "How did I know so much about a film I had never seen?"

But I think I'll fall back on that model with a movie trailer that actually got me oddly excited. I haven't kept it much a secret that I've a tender soft spot for the Expendables films. Despite growing up a decade too late, my Mom's bad parenting skills assured me that I was never without ... well, the cast of the Expendables. I was actually more familiar with the old faces than any of the new in either film, and in keeping with that, the trailer for the Expendables 3 is no exception. 

So what do we actually have? Not much. The movie, as always, is riding on nostalgia for these actors who, short of movie magic, are barely threatening and have been since the turn of the century fourteen years ago. We get a slam-bang montage of the actors set to appear (and it's a hellova lineup) set to classic rock.

Will the movie stand-up? I'd like to think so. I mean, it's really not a hard formula and these are the guys who built the formula. They're the original parts of the equation! I have a modicum of faith that Stalone and Co. can turn out another example of bad but lovingly crafted 80s explosions. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

On Community

Once every couple years I stumble blindly and haphazardly into a new sitcom. It happens one of two ways, I either fall into it before it hits super-big (How I Met Your Mother, season 1), or I find it while digging through Netflix (like Spaced). 
This leads me to a show that I avoided at first (have you ever had a friend who hypes stuff up to the point where you don't want to acknowledge it, even if he might be right? This friend nerdgasmed over two particular franchises that I tried to ignore, 1) was Doctor Who, and 2) Community.

After a second friend (I HAVE FRIENDS, DAMMIT!) sat me down during a 6 hour Stand Up Comedy marathon involving Chris Titus, Robin Williams, and Hal Sparks, and she made me watch Donald Glover. I vaguely made the connection at the time, but didn't pursue it in any meaningful way. Honestly, even though it's only been a week, I can't remember what prompted me to watch the first episode of Community. We'll chalk it up to chaos theory.

And like many people before me (but not enough to make the show as sensational a hit as HIMYM) I fell in love with the misadventures of a pack of Community College misfits who are both recognizable and completely unique. I think this has to do with the strength of the casting. Unlike most sitcoms I've seen, they buckled down and really dedicated some heavy-weight talent to each character, so while they start off as stereotypes (as blatantly pointed out in the opening scene) they are portrayed by talented enough actors to run the gamut of absurdity. 

This, I feel is what separates the show from most sitcoms I've watched. While the show promotes Jeff

Winger as the main character, it really does operate as a powerful ensemble. Winger might be the red ranger of the group, but even Chevy Chase's cantankerous Pierce is in many ways, irreplaceable. The show takes great strides to never marginalize any of its cast without ramifications (see again, Pierce). And for all the surrealism surrounding the hi-jinks the characters get into, they retain surprisingly human relationships with one another. It helps ground the show's more offbeat elements. 

Community breaks apart the medium in a way I haven't seen done before (at least not that I can think of right off the top of my head) and is, as much as I hate the word, Meta. It deconstructs movies and shows with complete confidence and even a bit of swagger.

One of the main highlights of the show, whether it was originally intended or just happened that way, the best friendship between Troy and Abed ranks up there among bromances with Turk & JD, Bill and Ted, Ros and Gill, and/or Calvin and Hobbes, but there is something fresh and fun about their interactions. Also, I have to take a moment to appreciate the sheer existence of Abed, a character so amazing that for two days this week I actually talked like him. I'm an acting major and I can't always control it. I may have locked myself away in my room for the duration of my mimicry.

One last thing that sets the show apart from most sitcoms is, 3 seasons down and other than sporatic sexual flings, the characters don't fall into the inevitable trap of relationships. If anything (speaking as a former Community College student) the lack of heartfelt romantic relationships minus the hormone fueled bang in the janitor's closet is pretty much how I remember my time there, and it adds a level of tension to the characters relationships you don't get elsewhere, when the characters will-they-won't-they gets dull and the audience loses interest once they do. 

Which leads me to my next point, much like Spaced captured British culture in a totally sincere way, I would contest that Community is the quintessential American sitcom. It celebrates its heritage in a variety of homages that, I'm still constantly surprised the show could pull off, shifting from Western, to Star Wars, to Noir, to Procedural Cop Show, with uncanny ease. It's actually really impressive. 

Alas though, I'd argue due to production issues and several cast members leaving the show to pursue, you know, their lives, the show was cancelled, BUT in this day and age, there is still (according to Wikipedia) hope of a renewal of the show.

~ Godzello

Thursday, June 5, 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY: On Roller Coaster Tycoon

So originally I wanted to rib on Iron Man 3 for my first Throwback Thursday post. Then last night, while digging through old CDs, I came across a copy of the original Roller Coaster Tycoon, and in a fit of I-Don't-Want-To-Go-To-Bed-Before-3AM I fired up the old girl, dusted the polish, and spent a good ten minutes trying to remember the interface. Also, I might have stolen said CD from my best friend, the Jew. I feel I should apologize. 

Alas I enjoyed the game too much to feel sorry. 

This game dominated my childhood. Before the age of 9, I'm pretty sure it was the only game I owned other than a 3D version of Clue and a copy of the Mummy that wouldn't play on my Dad's computer in the basement. Mine was a video-game-free childhood, filled with romping adventures in the backyard and books way too advanced for my age, like Tolkien, Donaldson, and that one time I tried to read Bertrand Russel. I gave up because I couldn't keep track of all the Greek Philosopher's names. But that? That's not important. I'm here to rave about a video game that overpowers all other memories.

Funnily enough, I finished Forest Frontiers in a single sitting, which, while not hard, I remember being a hellova lot more difficult as a single-digit-aged munchkin. When I was growing up, all I cared about was building the coolest, topsy-turviest most badass-omest roller-coaster in the ever of all time.

Now? I was concerned with the effectiveness of my maintenance staff. I had mapped out where each handy-man would go, and his specific duties to ensure the most efficient running of my first park in over a decade. Apparently, I grew up. 

There is no god.

~ Godzello

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

On The Unbelievers, Hitch, (and a touch of atheism)

So, since starting this blog, I've tried to steer clear of some of my more ... conversationally volatile personality traits--it just never seemed like a proper place to throw down the gauntlet. I just want to talk about pop culture.

But, here it is, formally, I'm an atheist, and a pretty combative 'militant' one at that, and what that means is my soulmate is a Jew, obviously. 

So recently, there's been a lot of growing hype about the documentary The Unbelievers, and while I agreed the majority of it, and I appreciated what it was trying to do ... I didn't really like it all that much. There was a strong focus on Krauss and Dawkins, which is great (I've read Dawkins, but I haven't gotten around to Krauss). I guess I just didn't really know what the show was going for. It didn't seem like it was trying to humanize the guests, or to show their day-to-day. Most of the clips used are already free on Youtube, and honesty, I far prefered the simplicity of the Four Horsemen discussion with Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett. At least there I knew quite simply what the idea behind it was.

Honestly, I decided to use this as a springboard to mention Hitch, a documentary made singlehandedly by Kristoffer Hellesmark. This is the author's note to the video ...

"I was looking for a documentary about The Hitch to watch but I could never find one. I waited and waited. Finally I figured: 'Why don't I just make one?'. That was the inspiration for this project. I did not make it to gain financially as I do not own most of the footage used. I simply wanted to in my own small way, further the legacy of Christopher Hitchens."

It's really engaging, following the life of journalist Christopher Hitchens as told through a combination of his lectures, debates, and interviews, and it really is quite moving, driven entirely by the impact of Christopher Hitchens' own words.

'The Hitch'- Christopher Hitchens documentary

Monday, June 2, 2014

On 'Calvin and Hobbes' and 'Dear Mr. Watterson'

Not quite hitting the heavy stuff or the blockbusters, but this one is near and dear to my heart. I don't actually recall a time before Calvin and Hobbes. I'm pretty sure my father had the books on the shelf from the get-go and was just waiting for me to catch up. Although, I'm pretty sure my first Calvin and Hobbes collection was, There's Treasure Everywhere. 

So when I first saw the trailer for Dear Mr. Watterson I got very excited. I'm always interested in documentaries and seeing as Calvin and Hobbes had such a lasting impact on me, I was curious to see how it effected others. 

I personally was not disappointed. In the spirit of keeping things brief, I'll refrain from regaling you with tails of my wild party days as a six year old, but I will say that they had a profound and lasting effect. It was great fun seeing Watterson's more public peers discuss amidst interviews his effect on the profession as a whole, and to learn more about what was happening behind the scenes. 

If you have Netflix and a loving nostalgia for Watterson's immortal classic, definitely worth checking out.

Like right now.


Then, afterward, go exploring. 

~ Godzello