How Did Scaramanga Escape from James Bond?

There are two things that I absolutely love: movies and puns. And today I get to combine them to humorous results. Get ready for a Man with the Golden Gun pun. Continue reading

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My Favorite Episode of Batman: The Animated Series

Batman The Animated Series I Am the NightBatman: The Animated Series is often held up as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, cartoon shows ever made. I was the perfect age to enjoy this show as a kid, and I find myself enjoying it on a whole new level as a grownup. But even as a kid I knew I was watching something special when I saw a particular episode entitled “I Am the Night.” It deals with heavy topics like depression, mortality, futility, suffering, and revenge.

It’s my favorite episode because it manages to package all of these into an exciting and cathartic 22-minute story. It explores Batman’s relationship with Commissioner Gordon in a way I’ve never seen it explored anywhere else. And it delves into an avenue of Batman’s psyche that usually goes unaddressed. It’s a brave episode that is light on laughs and packed with pathos. In my opinion, it is the best episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Continue reading

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The Muppet Movie Is an ‘Isn’t It Funny That’ Comedy

There are many kinds of comedies. Slapstick, romantic, dark, road trip, parody, satire. You might think that 1979’s The Muppet Movie is a road trip comedy because at first glance it seems to be all about Kermit the Frog traveling across the country to hit the bigtime in Hollywood. But that’s not exactly true.

The movie is one big wink at the audience. Its framing device shows us that everyone in it knows that it’s a movie. It begins on a studio lot where the Muppets are eagerly awaiting the first screening of The Muppet Movie. We already know that they succeeded in their adventure, and what we’re watching is simply a dramatic recreation of the events that already took place.

When Kermit’s nephew asks if the events in the film accurately depict how the Muppets first came together, Kermit responds, “Well, it’s sort of approximately how it happened.” He’s letting us know that he’s in on the joke. And that joke is that this is an “isn’t it funny that” comedy. You can identify almost any joke in the movie with those words. Continue reading

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The Power in The Touch of the Master’s Hand

Few films have the power to bring me to tears. 1987’s The Touch of the Master’s Hand is one of them – and it’s only 18 minutes long!

There is something majestic and beautiful about this film that makes me fall in love with it from the opening sequence. I saw it a number of times as a child, but I didn’t understand its significance until I saw it again as a teenager. Like everyone, I imagine, I experienced many heartaches in childhood and young adulthood. It was a struggle to keep going some days. If you ever reach a low point in your life where you wonder “why bother?” this is the film for you. Continue reading

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The Most Important Question in Atlas Shrugged

“Who is John Galt?” is the first line uttered in Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged. It sums up much of the book’s theme as it is a cry of despair in the face of some unknown force at work in the world stopping its motor. But just as every shadow must have an opposing light, there is another question that provides hope in the face of despair. You see, “Who is John Galt?” may be the most famous question in Atlas Shrugged, but it is not its most important question.

There are so many thought-provoking questions the book asks more than once. “Who am I to know?” “By what right?” “What are we going to do?” “What do you want of me?” “What can you do when you have to deal with people?” All of these contribute to the overall theme of the book of man’s eternal struggle for self-fulfillment, but they don’t get to the heart of the matter. There is only one question that does that.

That question is “What for?”

“What for?” is sometimes cried out in despair by a character as the verbal equivalent of throwing their hands up in the air in futility. But it is also often asked as an honest question. After all, understanding the motive behind someone’s request can help us to decide whether or not it is worth our while to engage in the activity they are proposing.

I propose that we understand the use of “What for?” in Atlas Shrugged because it is such a prominent part of the book and yet it is hiding in plain sight. It provides answers to mysteries that characters grapple with and even give their lives to understand. So it’s worth our while to seek the answers behind this question. Continue reading

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A Change and a Promise

I’ve said it before, but I started the Deja Reviewer website in 2011 purely as an outlet for my creativity. I wanted a way to share my ideas with the world, so creating and maintaining this site has been just as fun for me as it has been for everyone who enjoys my work.

Seven years and more than 400 articles later, I’m finally making a significant change. Continue reading

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A Quiet Place Is a Celebration of Fatherhood and Motherhood

Every day good fathers and mothers quietly go about their lives loving their children and raising them to be happy, productive people. Being a good parent doesn’t earn people accolades or give them fame because it is to be expected. It’s not extraordinary for parents to love their children. For this reason, it’s easy to forget what an important part fathers and mothers play in the success of their families, communities, and societies.

A Quiet Place is a celebration of fatherhood and motherhood.A Quiet Place took me by surprise by shining a light on this seemingly forgotten and unnoticed aspect of everyday life. It portrays a strong father and a loving mother who are willing to do anything for each other and their children and to even sacrifice their lives, if necessary. Let’s talk about the many ways that A Quiet Place manages to show how seemingly mundane moments are actually quite meaningful. Continue reading

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