Television Show Review: Stranger Things 2

Stranger Things 2

Stranger Things: Season 2 created by the Duffer Brothers (Netflix, 21 Laps Entertainment, Monkey Massacre) Starring Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Joe Keery, Noah Schnaap, Joe Chrest, Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery, Sean Astin, and Paul Reiser. Social Commentary One tried and true social cue, at least in my playbook is the “What-are-you-watching” question. I️ pull such a question when I️ want to know more about someone new. Or, I️ even ask the question in deeply held relationships because I️ want some good recommendations for what to watch next. Recently, during a current-viewing-habits discussion, Ozark came up. As I️ often mention at during Ozark discussions, I️ reference… Read More →

Film Review: Arrival

Arrival

Arrival written by Eric Heisserer, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment, FilmNation Entertainment, Lava Bear Films, PG-13, 116 min) Starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, and Michael Stuhlbarg. On Love and Loss Better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. We speak this platitude in times of grief as a way of consolation for the saddest of these. In times long past (or auld lang syne given the holiday season), we may find some truth in these words. In retrospect, difficult times can help form us into the strong and bold individuals with a rich inner life. But surely, we never choose suffering. Nevertheless, it’s a product of our experience, the equal and… Read More →

Film Review: Under the Skin

Under The Skin

Under the Skin written by Walter Campbell and Jonathan Glazer, directed by Jonathan Glazer (Film4, British Film Institute, Silver Reel, R, 108 min) Starring Scarlett Johansson. In Appreciation of Art Jonathan Glazer cut Under the Skin from a different cloth. To approach this film as you would any standard movie from Hollywood is to miss the point categorically. Therefore, this review needs to pivot in order to capture this piece of art well. So let’s get plot out of the way. We won’t need much more than a paragraph as Under the Skin intentionally withholding in its plot; it’s not the point of the movie. A Broad Sketch As a broadest sketch, Under the Skin reveals an alien female life… Read More →

Book Review: Embassytown

Embassytown by China Miéville (New York: Del Rey, 2011. 345 pp) China Miéville is the author of several notable novels, including King Rat, Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council, and Un Lun Dun. He describes his own work as “weird fiction.” He teaches creative writing at Warwick University, and is active in the Socialist Workers Party in his home country of England. In the Mood for Weird For some reason, I was in the mood for some China Miéville. Having previously read an earlier novel, Kraken, I wanted to take a stab at a well known, mind-bending science fiction thriller. Miéville’s Embassytown has three parts two it: a political thriller, a civil war tale, and a commentary on the use of language. The latter is what interested me the… Read More →