Tag Archives: comedy

Great Scott! The Entire Back to the Future Trilogy Is One Big Chiasmus

I’ve discovered that some films follow a chiasmus formula in the way their stories are set up. What is a chiasmus? It’s an ancient writing structure in which ideas are listed in one order and then repeated in the opposite … Continue reading

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10 Amazing ’80s Directors Who Lost Their Mojo in the ’90s

It’s not always easy for directors to make the transition from one decade to the next. For every Steven Spielberg there are several Francis Ford Coppolas. Filmgoers’ expectations change, technology improves, and the industry moves in a new direction. If … Continue reading

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Pleasant Surprises: High School Musical 2

I’m fascinated by High School Musical 2, not because it’s a particularly deep movie but because I absolutely love it. By all rights, I should hate it. It’s a TV movie that bridges the gap between two utterly forgettable (if … Continue reading

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Bad Movies with Great Music: Explorers

What were the makers of Explorers thinking? Few movies have such lofty aspirations and yet such disastrous outcomes as this one. Explorers feels sort of like E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial or Super 8 except without the compelling stories of those films. … Continue reading

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Pleasant Surprises: Ernest Goes to Camp

Ernest Goes to Camp perfectly captures childhood in a way I’ve never seen another film pull off. I loved this movie as a kid because it spoke to me on a very personal level. That might sound strange because it’s … Continue reading

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Every Mel Brooks Movie Follows the Same Formula

Mel Brooks was really good at telling one kind of story. In fact he was so good at it that he just kept telling it throughout his career. The Producers served as a template for every other movie Brooks wrote … Continue reading

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1990: The Year of Failed Film Franchises

As far as I can tell, 1990 had more series-destroying sequels than any year before or since. And most of these sequels to popular films didn’t exactly go out on a high note, like, say, Return of the King. Most … Continue reading

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