Indiana Jones and the Victims of Their Own Success

Last December, I talked about Final Destination being a rarity among film franchises for ending on a high note. Now it’s time to talk about its antithesis. Continue reading

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10 Things I Appreciate About Airport 1975

I like Airport. There hadn’t been anything quite like it until it came out in 1970, and it won the Best Picture Academy Award, kickstarting the disaster-movie craze for the rest of the decade. I have a soft spot for big spectacles like The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno. But I had never watched any of the sequels to Airport until recently.

I watched Airport 1975 expecting to be underwhelmed. Which I was, in many ways. It falls short of the original by failing to be about anything more than landing a badly damaged airplane. The original has all kinds of plotlines interweaving a group of interesting characters. The second lacks any kind of nuance or deeper meaning. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to like about it. Here are 10 things I appreciate about Airport 1975. Continue reading

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Is Caleb Hammer Actually Helping People?

A few months ago, I discovered a YouTuber named Caleb Hammer. He’s kind of like Dave Ramsey, showcasing mostly young people’s dire financial situations and striving to help them reach prosperity. While Ramsey has a proven track record stretching back about three decades, Caleb is more of an unknown quantity.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt as I watched his unorthodox method of berating people over their poor spending habits and lack of discipline. Ramsey does the same thing, after all. 

However, I started to wonder if there’s some fundamental flaw in Caleb’s approach. He puts together nice budgets for people, but I don’t know if the people he’s talking to are being helped to change according to what he sets up for them. Let’s examine why that is and what Caleb should do differently to be more of a benefit to people drowning in debt. Continue reading

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Why Data Is the Best Star Trek: The Next Generation Character

I remember years ago on Reddit visiting the Star Trek subreddit and finding a post entitled, “I just finished watching TNG for the first time. Who is your favorite character, and why is it Data?” That made me laugh. It’s funny because it’s true. The ensemble characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation are each defined by a single trait. Picard is aloof, Riker is strong, Worf is noble, Geordi is tenacious, Crusher is incisive, Deanna is empathic, and Data? He’s different. Data is relatable.

He’s an android who wants to understand human emotions and perhaps even experience them one day. Unfortunately, he lacks the capacity to feel anything, so he has to watch his crewmates suffer, celebrate, and struggle with no common frame of reference with which to understand them. For some reason, this makes him remarkably likable and interesting.

When we first meet Data, he’s childlike and curious, sometimes even arrogant and annoying. But something interesting happens over the course of the show’s seven seasons. He becomes more in tune with people’s emotions, and he fights back against his own limitations.

Episodes like “The Most Toys,” “Brothers,” and even “A Matter of Perspective” give him ample opportunities for growth. I’d like to share parts of them as a means of explaining why I agree that Data is the best one of the main characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Continue reading

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Nine Months Later, Life Isn’t What I Expected

On August 3, 2022, I paid off my mortgage and began a new era of my life. I wanted to throw a big mortgage-burning party and invite all my friends and neighbors to join in on the fun. But I quickly realized that it would take a little while to save up enough to do that. So I made it my goal to have enough saved up by the end of April 2023 to throw a proper party.

And then life happened. Continue reading

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Who You Gonna Call a Perfect Chiasmus? Ghostbusters!

As I mentioned last week, this Cinematic Chiasmus is not my own. A reader of mine named Jay not only suggested it, but he mapped it out for me. All I had to do was write the descriptions. I’m happy to do it because Ghostbusters is one of my favorite movies. And I have a secret to share at the end of this article that probably no one will believe. But I promise it’s true!

So stay tuned as we discover the astonishingly symmetrical nature of the original Ghostbusters. Continue reading

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Four Extraordinary Cinematic Chiasmus Articles Coming Soon

If I say that something is unprecedented too many times, that word will lose its impact. And yet I’ve felt the need to say that six of the last eight Cinematic Chiasmus articles I’ve written, starting with Tron and ending with Pride and Prejudice (1995), have been absolutely unprecedented because of either how they came to be or how epic in scope they were.

Despite all that, let me tell you that what I’m about to share is truly unprecedented. You see, when a brilliant reader of mine recommended Tron, Escape from New York, Dreamscape, Akira, and Conan the Barbarian as potential examples of Cinematic Chiasmus, he did so without knowing for sure that they would fit into that category. He just had a feeling, and he suggested that I take a look to see if they were symmetrical in nature. And it turned out all of them were.

I still haven’t gotten to his final (so far) suggestion of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. But that’s on the docket.

Those five articles were all incredible to write. And now I am about to have a totally new experience. A “long time listener, first time caller,” as he put it, recently sent me a series of messages through the Contact Form on this website. They were absolutely stunning.

A man named Jay sent me four film titles with fully fleshed-out chiasma! You know how I always start each Cinematic Chiasmus article with a summary from A to Z, or whatever number sequence, of the events in the film to show how everything connects? That is what he did for me. There’s no guesswork about whether or not the four films he sent work. They all do. Now all I have to do is write the rest of the copy in the articles.

I’m going to try to write all of those articles in quick succession. We’ll see how quickly I can write them since he’s already done the legwork of discovering the chiasmus in each one. This will be a remarkable series of Cinematic Chiasmus articles unlike any other I’ve done in the past. Why? Because I truly didn’t write them. Someone else came up with their frameworks, and I’m just filling in the details.

Stay tuned for those in the near future, hopefully starting next week if all goes as planned.

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

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Clever Foreshadowing in The Dark Knight

I love the dialogue in The Dark Knight. It’s punchy, full of memorable lines, and has plenty of excellent callbacks to Batman Begins and earlier lines within the film itself. “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” “You wanna know how I got these scars?” “I make my own luck.” “I’m a dog chasing cars.” “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

There’s one line of dialogue that cleverly foreshadows the ultimate fate of a mob boss named Sal Maroni. I hadn’t really noticed it until recently. Perhaps you already saw its significance long ago, but it was really cool for me to finally see, so I’d like to share it with you. Continue reading

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We All Need a Pat on the Back Sometimes

I’d like to share a little story from when I was a new father. My first son was just over a year old when my daughter was born. It was hard having two young babies so close to each other. Little did I know that a third baby would be coming just a year and a half later.

Having those first two children helped to inspire me to start this website. In fact, I started it just two months after my daughter was born. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you suddenly have almost no free time and you can’t even get a good night’s sleep anymore. Continue reading

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Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Is About Bigger Things Than I Remembered

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was the first movie I ever saw in a theater. I somehow got invited to another kid’s birthday party, and I was delighted to go. None of my brothers or sisters had seen it yet, so I was going to be the first. I was just a small child when I saw it, and I had never experienced such a big-screen adventure. Of course, being a child, I didn’t pick up on all the subtle nuances the film had to offer.

As a grownup, I just revisited it with my own children, and I found myself absolutely loving every second of the film. I even appreciated all of the big subjects the film delves into.

I’d like to share what I saw on my most-recent viewing of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids to explain why I love this movie. Continue reading

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