My Brother, the Nintendo Expert

If you’ve followed this website for the past few years, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I’m one of nine children, and I grew up in a city in Washington State that’s right next door to Redmond. My oldest brother, the one I compared to Will Smith in his level of coolness, recently did an interview with the Ghetto Gamer in which he shares some of his experiences from the 1990s working as a video-game columnist for a newspaper, attending press events at Nintendo of America headquarters in Redmond, and working at Nintendo Power. It’s a really interesting read. I was lucky enough to tag along for a few of those events at NOA, and I remember them fondly. I’d like to share a few memories from my childhood about what it was like to be connected to such an amazing family. Continue reading

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Independence Day Paradoxically Appeals to Disparate Worldviews

With the Fourth of July just a few days away, I’d like to share an uplifting observation about the 1996 film Independence Day. Today’s riots and feelings of animosity between people who disagree on political issues make me want to hearken back to a time when political rivalries weren’t a reason to abandon friends or provoke intense hatred. I don’t know if I’d call Independence Day a guilty pleasure, but it certainly is an enjoyable throwback that invites us to see the best in each other. In fact, it paradoxically contains messages everyone can get behind.

I’d like to share a few of them and then offer the film’s most hopeful message at the end. Continue reading

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A Word of Caution About Censoring Old Films

There are times when I can only stand in awe of someone else’s achievement, knowing that I could not have done better than they did. I experienced this feeling a few days ago when I came across a video from a YouTuber known as The Critical Drinker. His videos are usually filled with clever insults, witty repartee, and profanity-laced diatribes aimed at films and filmmakers. In this video, however, he takes a far more sober look at the state of the film industry, prompted primarily by the recent censorship of the classic film Gone with the Wind. Even his customary “That’s all I’ve got for today; go away now” sign-off is toned down to elicit a feeling of sadness more than rambunctiousness. Gone are his usual jokes, replaced by a heartfelt plea to preserve the freedom that makes films worth making and watching. Continue reading

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Swallowing My Pride

Humility is not an easy quality to achieve or maintain. I was bullied a lot as a child, and it hardened me to the point that I thought I was uniquely deserving of sympathy and that other people were responsible for my misery. I didn’t understand the power I could have had to control my feelings. That is until I was forced to come face to face with my own shortcomings at the age of 20. Continue reading

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6 Actors with Appropriate Names for the Alien Series

I’m always finding unusual ways of looking at movies that often (and arguably probably should) go unnoticed. But I just can’t help myself, and you get to be the lucky recipients of my musings. This time, I noticed that at least six actors and actresses in the first two films in the Alien series have surprisingly appropriate names for the roles they play. I hope you enjoy my explanations of how they fit. Continue reading

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A Fan Helped Me Fix My Spider-Man Cinematic Chiasmus

What is Cinematic Chiasmus? You sure you want to know? This type of storytelling is not for the faint of heart. If somebody told you I was perfect at spotting examples of chiasmus in film, that I never make a mistake, somebody lied. But let me assure you, this, like any other example of chiasmus, will change the way you look at the 2002 film Spider-Man.

I have to admit I was wrong about this film, and I couldn’t be happier about it. A reader of mine named Riley sent me a message through the contact form on this website, informing me that I had given up too quickly while looking for the chiasmus in Spider-Man. I thought there were two missing parts (K and L) that prevented it from working, so I decided to stop looking any further. But he showed me that they weren’t missing after all.

I’ve never done this before where I’ve had a chance to look back at my previous work and critique it to see where I could make improvements. I found quite a few other points where the first and second halves of this film match up perfectly. This entire process has been educational and fun. I am pleased to present the results of my work to demonstrate what a deep treasure Spider-Man truly is.

It’s been far too long since I offered a new Cinematic Chiasmus, so (as I promised last week) let’s get back in the swing of things with a breakdown of the spectacular symmetry of the original Spider-Man! Continue reading

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Getting Back in the Swing of Things

It has been nearly three years since I published my last Cinematic Chiasmus, and that is far too big of a gap. I’m pleased to announce that I have a new one currently in the works. These types of articles take a long time to do, and I wasn’t able to finish it in time for this week’s deadline. But next week I will get back in the swing of things by debuting a spectacular example of Cinematic Chiasmus. I have a fan of mine to thank for this particular one because they gave me the inspiration to return to a film I had given up on years ago.

I can’t wait to share a new way of looking at this already-great film. See you next week!

This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.

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10 Heartwarming ‘You Are Not Alone’ Movie Scenes

I love movies that not only have happy endings but also reward their heroes’ lonely travails by inspiring others to rise up and support them. Here are 10 “you are not alone” scenes that will inspire you not to give up when the going gets tough. Continue reading

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Trying to Remember Movie Characters’ Names

I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. There are some movies I absolutely love, and I’d like to see how many character names I can remember from them without looking them up. These are just all off the top of my head. I’m not sure if I’ll have some deep point to make by doing this, but I’ll try to explain how I managed to remember the names in these 12 films. Continue reading

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What Happens When We Fail to Heed Sir Thomas More’s Warning

Five years ago, I offered 10 timely lessons from A Man for All Seasons (1966), and I’m sure many of us recently observed a high-profile example of what happens when #1 on that list is violated. We’ll get to that shortly. Continue reading

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