A Joke from Top Secret! (1984) Becomes Reality

Some jokes are meant to be so absurd that they are impossible to take seriously, even though they are dealing with a serious subject. Take, for example, a brilliant scene in 1984’s Top Secret! An American pop singer goes to communist East Germany during the Cold War and participates in a state-sanctioned ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, the government official at the podium and all of the citizens in the crowd sing the East German National Anthem. It starts out just fine, but by the end it’s clear that this is just a farce. Continue reading

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Fantastic Four Is the Crucible of the MCU

A crucible has three main definitions:

1. A ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures.

2. A place or occasion of severe test or trial.

3. A place or situation in which different elements interact to produce something new.

I submit to you that the Fantastic Four movies figuratively adhere to all three definitions, serving as the crucible of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). All of the dross burns away until something new emerges on the other end. Continue reading

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This Is What Most Sequels Feel Like

I love Groundhog Day because it offers something new every time I watch it. And on my most recent visitation, I noticed something really cool about the snowman-building scene. Continue reading

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How The Boss Baby Won Me Over

Everything about The Boss Baby appeared to be designed to repel me. By the time the movie hit the 17-minute mark, I was just about ready to shut it off because I thought I knew exactly where it was going and why I was going to hate it.

But then something strange happened. By the 42-minute mark, the movie had completely turned around and won me over. I was suddenly invested in the characters and enjoying the story. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was excited to find out what would happen. It was a weird experience to go from intensely disliking a film to thoroughly enjoying it within such a short timeframe, and I’d like to take you on that emotional rollercoaster of a journey.

I can see why some people are perplexed by the fact that The Boss Baby was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Academy Award. I admit it isn’t in the same league as How to Train Your DragonKung Fu Panda 2, or other beloved films that have been nominated for that particular Oscar. But even though the film isn’t perfect, it works a kind of magic on me that makes me respect it in a way that movies that are perfect the whole way through do not.

Here’s how The Boss Baby won me over. Continue reading

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Timeless Childhood Lessons from the ’90s

I am a product of the ‘80s and ‘90s, so I absolutely love much of the children’s entertainment that came from those beloved decades. What I particularly enjoyed from those years was the subtle way that TV stations snuck important life lessons into fun formats. And there is no better example of this than the “Totally Kids Detective Agency” on Fox.

This was my introduction to John Walsh before I saw him on America’s Most Wanted, I believe. He came across as a trustworthy authority figure, and I took his words seriously, even though now I see that he was obviously having a bit of fun while appearing in some of these. Check out nearly two dozen of these cute segments. They’re all nice and simple, and some of them even have a little twist at the end. Continue reading

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My First Time Growing Facial Hair

On December 8, 2017, I accepted a challenge from a few of my friends to grow a mustache. One of my friends said that he would only grow a mustache if I did, and so I thought that he was nervous about doing it and he just needed a little push to go ahead and do what he already wanted to do. Unfortunately, I totally misread the signs. He actually didn’t want to grow a mustache at all, and he was hoping that pinning it on me would guarantee that he would never be forced to grow one because I had never had any notable facial hair before in my life.

Lo and behold, he and I (along with a few other friends) painted ourselves into a corner and started growing our ‘staches for the next month. To mark the occasion, I decided to take pictures of myself at the same time every single day from December 8, 2017 to January 10, 2018.

My mustache turned out really well, if I do say so myself. Here are the before-and-after photos so you can see the transformation for yourself. Continue reading

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Why I Don’t Use Profanity

Whether you have followed this website for years or you have simply read through a few of my articles, you may have noticed something odd. In fact, you can look me up on my various social media profiles and you’ll find that there is something missing in all of them: swear words. I don’t swear in my interactions or writings. Foul language tends to be the norm in most places online and off, but I prefer to keep it clean no matter where I am.

I realize that this might seem like a contradiction for a film reviewer. After all, I talk about all sorts of movies, from G-rated Disney films to R-rated action films. I’m not oblivious to the fact that a lot of the films I discuss contain their fair share of foul language. But when I watch films like RoboCop, Die Hard, Predator, Lethal Weapon, and Aliens, I focus on their other aspects. There are more important things to me than speaking crassly. I’d like to explain why I don’t use foul language in real life and on the Internet because I think it will offer a key to my character and make my position on the matter clear. Continue reading

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