Television Show Review: Altered Carbon: Season 1

Altered Carbon Season 1

Altered Carbon: Season 1 created by Laeta Kalogridis (Netflix, Mythology Entertainment, Skydance Television) Starring Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy, Martha Higareda, Chris Conner, Dichen Lachman, Ato Essandoh, Kristin Lehman, Trieu Tran, Hiro Kanagawa, and Waleed Zuaiter. Let’s Begin Some Thought Experiments Every thought experiment in philosophy begins with a hypothetical. What if we all exist as brains in a vat? What if orange doesn’t exist? What if we never die? Fun, right? If we were brains in a vat, might life feel exactly the same, if images still project scene by scene on our consciousness? How can we know for sure? Better yet, would it even matter? Some philosophers suggest if we have no epistemological foundation for denying it, how could… Read More →

Book Review: The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles: A Novel by Karen Thompson Walker (New York: Random House, 2012. 278 pp) Karen Thompson Walker was born in San Diego, California. She studied English and creative writing at UCLA and earned her MFA from Columbia University. While writing The Age of Miracles, Walker worked as a book editor for Simon & Schuster. Walker earned the 2011 Sirenland Fellowship and the Bomb Magazine fiction prize. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband. The Age of Youth Those early teens years are a trying time. Your leash extends and your parents no longer peer over your shoulder. Physiological and sociological changes force confrontation of new circumstances daily. It’s a time of identity. Friends come and go and… Read More →

Film Review: Her

Her by Spike Jonze

Her written and directed by Spike Jonze (Annapurna Pictures, Warner Bros., R, 126 min) Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde. Newspaper Trains There’s a photo that’s been making the social media rounds. It shows a black-and-white image of a commuter train with passengers reading newspapers. The inference of the image being: times haven’t changed human nature much. The only difference between then and now is the medium of information. Now our eyes are glued to the iPhone. This image struck me because it made me think deeper about the relationship between technology and human interaction. No matter what innovations occur, we all have the same desire and anger, the same hopes and fears. If… Read More →

Film Review: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild directed by Benh Zeitlin, written by Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin (Journeyman Pictures, Cinereach, Court 13 Pictures, and Fox Searchlight Pictures, PG-13, 93 minutes) Starring Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry. Tunnel Vision Sometimes, pain provides tunnel vision. Nothing else matters, whatever the circumstances. Like a burrowing mole, a sufferer wants nothing more than solitude. When trauma occurs, how do you face it? Do you ignore it? Do you subconsciously let it dictate your life, leading you to avoid facing pain face-on? Exceedingly metaphorical, Beasts of the Southern Wild provides a wildly stylistic account of suffering. Hushpuppy and Wink Beasts of the Southern Wild portrays a fantastical story of a daughter, Hushpuppy (impressively played by then… Read More →

Film Review: Total Recall

Total Recall written by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback, directed by Len Wiseman (Total Recall, Original Film, and Rekall Productions, R, 118 minutes) Starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bokeem Woodbine and Bryan Cranston. Before and After In this film, unlike its predecessor, Earth is uninhabitable except for two areas: The United Federation of Britain and the Colony (Australia). Workers from the Colony travel to the Federation to provide cheap labor. Douglas Quaid’s (Colin Farrell) job is to tighten screws on robots that could probably do it themselves. They travel there through “the fall”, which is more or less a big giant tunnel through the middle of the earth. The trip includes a full-on gravity reversal. I’ve always felt that we live in an age where no new stories are being told in cinema…. Read More →

Book Group: The Revisionists

The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen (New York: Mulholland Books, 2011. 448 pp) Born in Rhode Island, Thomas Mullen graduated from Oberlin College. His first novel, The Last Town on Earth received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction, Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune best book of the year. Mullen currently resides in Atlanta with his wife and two sons. The Plot In The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen, Zed is an agent from the future. He is sent back in time to Washington D.C. to make sure the world’s problems continue in order that the future he lives in is preserved. It is his goal to make sure that every catastrophe… Read More →