Midway (2019): A Surprisingly Solid Film

I’ve previously discussed Midway (1976) as an example of a well done Battle Epic.  However, some people may not be aware that there is a more recent version.  Midway (2019) covers the events of the exact same battle with updated cinematography.  Many fans of war movies decided to ignore it upon seeing the trailers due to its superficial resemblance to Pearl Harbor (2001).  Upon seeing the film, I would say that skipping it is a mistake.

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Black Widow: Right Movie at the Wrong Time

When Black Widow (2021) came out only a few months ago, it was met by mixed reviews.  As someone who has watched every other MCU movie, I felt obligated to watch it at some point but the negative reviews didn’t enthuse me.  So, I didn’t go out of my way to see it but added it to my “to watch” list.  I just got around to watching it and now I regret waiting so long.  It is a good movie and I suspect the negativity of it isn’t the fault of the movie but an aspect of a broader studio issue.

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Shang-Chi: A Showcase of the Difference Between the Action and Martial Arts Genres

From a cinephile standpoint, it is pretty easy to regard the past decade’s deluge of Superhero movies as simply the latest trend in the Action Genre.  People who are not fond of this genre of movies will often complain of how sick they are of all of the superheroes.  However, those that are fond of the Action Genre have been able to recognize how the various Superhero movies have been hitting the various subgenres to Action.

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World War Z: An Oddly Prophetic Take on Epidemiology

I’m still not sure why I never got around to reading World War Z by Max Brooks.  I had read his previous book The Zombie Survival Guide which is set in the same world and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  However, despite my love of the horror genre, it took me until now to get around to reading the more famous of Max Brooks’ zombie books. I recently finally got around to it and find myself being all the more horrified by it in the context of current events.

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Star Wars: A Fandom Divided Against Itself

There is a saying: “No one hates Star Wars more than Star Wars fans.”  I have found that sentiment to be unarguably correct but I have spoken to many people who find themselves confused by this.  Detractors exist in all fandoms but I have yet to see a fandom as passionately divided as Star Wars can get.  I believe the answer is buried in the core of what made Star Wars work in the first place.

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Mulan: A Dreadful Misunderstanding of Music and Soldiers

Mulan (2020) is a movie with a lot of problems.  Many people have covered the various aspects of the movie that didn’t work and some have even covered why the music doesn’t work.  However, there was one comment from the director that doesn’t get enough attention.  In my mind, it speaks to a disrespectful misunderstanding of both military and musical tradition and it also shows an ignorance of cinematic history that is baffling in the director of a big-budget film.

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Worm: A Deconstruction of Superheroes

Worm is technically not a book. It was released as a series of blog posts in a similar style to the old newspaper serials. The author (J. C. McCrae) refers to the story as a “Web Serial” in reflection of this format. However, at 1.68 million words it stands as a longer story than most book series and the author clearly put the same level of careful quality into the story that you see behind many more traditionally published stories. A dark take on the superhero genre, it isn’t a story for everyone but, for the right audience, it is a must-read.

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The (Not So) Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is what I regard as the worst book I have ever had the displeasure of reading in it’s entirety. Normally, this would be a feat I would allow to go unremarked, except for one thing. The novel is commonly listed as one of the great classics. Many people regard it as one of the best books ever written and I have been met with incredulity when I say I was not fond of it. So, I feel compelled to more closely examine why I think the book does not work.

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