London Screenwriters’ Festival Spotlights the RoboCop Chiasmus

Two years ago, Netflix made a video based on my Back to the Future Trilogy chiasmus article and called it the Lockard Theory. I was honored, of course, that they took note of my analysis. I loved helping others to see what a richer storytelling experience those films become once they notice all the intricacies of how the plot unfolds. But I wasn’t the genius who actually wrote the scripts for those films. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale did that. Continue reading

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My ‘Pay It Forward’ Moment

Pay It Forward is one of those movies (like Defending Your Life and Flatliners) that have a great concept, but they fail to deliver on their potential. At the heart of Pay It Forward is an idealistic message of hope that if one person helps three people and encourages them to return the favor by helping three other people, the entire world would change for the better, and many burdens would be lifted. Continue reading

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Movie Matchups: Avengers: Infinity War vs. Star Wars: A New Hope

I’ve heard Avengers: Infinity War described as the Empire Strikes Back of the Marvel Cinematic Universe because of its dark tone and somber ending. But I would argue that people who say that are a little off the mark. Avengers: Infinity War is the original 1977 Star Wars film if Darth Vader had won. Here’s my evidence to back up that claim. Continue reading

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Fun with Movie Titles: Tag

Tag is a fun movie title, but it feels incomplete, doesn’t it? No one just yells “Tag!” when they’re playing that game. To complete Tag’s title, all we have to do is put two more movie titles right after it, like so. Continue reading

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James Cameron Villain Deaths Ranked

I love almost all of James Cameron’s films. He does a great job of building up interesting characters, and that includes villains. Pretty much all of his villains are memorable, and most of them have impressive deaths. I’ve decided to rank the demise of James Cameron’s villains to see which one is the best.

I’m only going to include main villains on this list. No side villains or anything like that. Also, you won’t find Piranha II: The Spawning or Titanic on here. I don’t consider Piranha II a true James Cameron film because he had so little control over the production. And Cal Hockley dies off screen in Titanic. On with the list! Continue reading

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My Oddly Specific Love of Little Big League

1993 and 1994 were special years for me. In 1993, there were two great baseball films aimed at kids: The Sandlot and Rookie of the Year. And the next year there were two more such films I remember fondly: Angels in the Outfield and Little Big League. I know that all of these films have their flaws, but I love them all because it felt like they were made just for me, especially Little Big League. You see, I was a kid back then when those films came out. I’m sure there have been other baseball movies aimed squarely at kids, such as The Bad News Bears and its remake. But I can’t recall any other consecutive years that saw multiple films in that genre make their debut. And few other baseball films have left such a big impression on me.

Which brings me to Little Big League. It tells the story of a 12-year-old boy named Billy Heywood who inherits the Minnesota Twins after his grandpa dies. He later becomes general manager and earns the respect of the team’s players and fans. I watched this movie over and over as a kid. There was just something very appealing about it to me, and when I look back on it I can’t help but feel an oddly specific love for it.

Let’s step up to the plate and figure out what it is about this film that appeals to me when I don’t know if it would appeal to anyone else in quite the same way. Continue reading

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What Should John Murdoch Do at the End of Dark City?

Much has been said about 1998’s Dark City. Other people have analyzed its similarities to 1999’s The Matrix, fawned over its rich marriage of murder mystery and science fiction, and explored its deeper meaning and symbolism. But there’s one aspect of the film that I’ve never heard discussed, and that’s what happens after the end credits roll.

At the end of Dark City, John Murdoch has been endowed with Godlike powers.Spoiler alert to anyone who hasn’t seen this amazing film before. At the end of the film, the main character (John Murdoch) learns that the city he is living in was actually created by aliens, known only as the Strangers, who are experimenting on the human inhabitants in search of the secret to the human soul, which they hope will preserve their dying alien race. No one is who they think they are. They have all been implanted with false memories and lives, and they have no hope of ever finding their true home because every memory of Earth was taken from them. John receives Godlike powers over the machines that the Strangers use to control the city, and he uses those powers to defeat the Strangers and restructure the city to his liking. He lines the outside of the city with water to create the Shell Beach that has been one of the few bright spots in his fake memories, and then he proceeds to meet up with the woman who was his wife in a former life, but who now has no memory of him.

Bad guys defeated. Good guy gets the girl. Happy ending, right? Well, everyone in the city is still stranded who knows how many light-years from Earth with no clue how to get back there or even what it’s called. There are a lot of questions I have about what John Murdoch should do at the end of Dark City. Let’s go through them. Continue reading

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