My Favorite Moment in Speed Isn’t What You’d Expect

My favorite moment in the film Speed is one that I don’t think would stand out to most people. But when you notice it, you might just realize how powerful it is. It’s not the scene where Jack Traven chases down a bus rigged to explode if it goes below 50 miles per hour. Nor is it when he’s barreling down the streets of Los Angeles, when he tries to defuse the bomb underneath the bus, or even when he has to jump the bus across a gap in the freeway. It actually comes right before the famous bus-jump scene, and it’s a quiet moment, not a long, complicated action sequence. Continue reading

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Social Distancing in The Silence of the Lambs

I had fun spotlighting some of the absurdities of modern life against the backdrop of Young Frankenstein. And I’m happy to say that that’s not the only film that has some cathartically funny lessons we can learn to help us deal with a pandemic. We’ll enter the realm of macabre humor as we talk about The Silence of the Lambs as though it took place during the current pandemic, exploring four examples of social distancing found in it. Continue reading

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This Is What I Aspire to Do with Movies

I went a little overboard with my verbosity in the last few weeks, so I will be brief this time to balance it out a bit. There are many people I admire and respect, and Bill Whittle is one of them. He is a YouTuber who is able to consistently convey profound messages of hope in a way I can only dream of doing. And what’s more, he offers concrete actions we can take to turn hope into a reality. Continue reading

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Escape to Witch Mountain Is More Than Just Escapist Entertainment

I’d like to draw some interesting comparisons to Escape to Witch Mountain. I only recall watching it once as a child, but just about everything about it was burned into my memory so vividly that I always considered it a personal favorite, even though I didn’t feel the need to rewatch it as an adult until recently. When I did, I was flooded with childhood memories. The bully. The feeling of homesickness and abandonment (even though that was just a fear of mine, never a reality). The inability to express one’s thoughts and feelings verbally. The longing for something indescribable. It’s all there.

I don’t mean to say that Escape to Witch Mountain is perfect, but it is a wonderful exploration of childhood fears and yearnings. It’s about a couple of orphans who want to find a place where they belong. I will liken it to things of a spiritual nature as a way to illustrate them in an artful manner. Continue reading

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An Important Change in the Way I’ll Talk About Movies

I take criticism seriously. By listening to people, especially when they have something to say that feels painful at first, I find many opportunities to grow and be better. I recently received some feedback to an article I wrote that gave me just such an opportunity, and because of it I am going to change the way I interpret movies in the future. Continue reading

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I Wonder When I Will Be Canceled

With all that’s going on in the world, I feel the need to take a detour from my usual topics and discuss something of supreme importance. As a simple man who doesn’t go with the flow and instead pushes against the cultural current of loosening moral standards, lazy work ethics, and celebrations of degeneracy, I wonder when my number will be up. I wonder when the people in power above me will get around to silencing and destroying me. Not that I think I’m dangerous or even important enough to warrant such attention. And that’s the point. Continue reading

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The Symmetry of the Alien Trilogy

Last week I published an article showing that Alien and Alien3 mirror each other quite well. For the sake of completeness, I now present the chiasmus of the entire Alien Trilogy, including Aliens in the middle. I had previously published my Aliens chiasmus several years ago, but Max Collins found that the first and third films in the series bookend that film’s symmetry. So I have simply put my work and Max’s together to create the following beautiful story structure. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Alien and Alien3 Mirror Each Other

I didn’t come up with this Cinematic Chiasmus. It is the brainchild of Max Collins, who emailed me about it back in October 2020. He said he was inspired by my Aliens Cinematic Chiasmus article to see for himself whether or not its predecessor and follow-up fall into that category as well. And they certainly do.

It took me a while to finally turn this into an article with his permission, so I’m grateful for his patience. The amazing thing about this isn’t just that a fan came up with this breakdown of these two films, but that they turn the first three Alien films into one big chiasmus! Alien, Aliens, and Alien3 join the ranks of the Back to the Future Trilogy, the Dark Knight Trilogy, and the Sam Raimi Spider-Man Trilogy as being three films that create beautiful symmetry.

Aliens was one of the first films I discovered to be a chiasmus, and back then I wasn’t bold enough to think in terms of trilogies. It’s gratifying to learn that, even though I was too timid to connect the dots of the films surrounding it, someone else picked up where I left off and completed the task I didn’t even know could be done. Continue reading

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Social Distancing in Young Frankenstein

Remember when social distancing was the stuff of comedy, not intended to be real-life drama? Just take this scene near the start of 1974’s Young Frankenstein. In it, Dr. Frankenstein is bidding a tender farewell to his love, but she keeps making excuses for him not to touch any part of her body. As a result, he can’t hold her in any meaningful way. It gets to the point of absurdity when he is finally forced to simply rub elbows with her before departing. He can’t even throw her a kiss without her jumping out of its way. Oh no, not the dreaded thrown kiss! Continue reading

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Asking a Simple Question: Does It Make Any Sense?

Have you ever seen a lie so big and audacious that is repeated so many times, you actually started to believe it? It seems impossible that anyone would be so brazen as to lie to your face to get you and everyone else to doubt what you can clearly see with your own eyes. But there it is. You know (or at least strongly believe) that something is wrong, but you can’t prove it and you can’t escape the pull of public pressure. To illustrate what I’m talking about, I’ll draw a comparison to a pivotal scene in the 1983 film WarGames. Continue reading

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