Destroy All Monsters: BOYHOOD And The Experience Of Now

"In Boyhood we’re always ‘here now,’ with no moody dissolves or title cards to dog-ear the pages of the book. Thiths is boyhood, and this, I think, is the point."

In which I contemplate being, time, filmmaking, and being in the moment, by way of Richard Linklater’s masterpiece Boyhood. Read more

ST:TNG:6x03: Man of the People


“I don’t know who that woman was, but she was definitely not his mother.”

This flatly ridiculous episode casts Deanna in a bizarre reimagining of The Picture of Dorian Gray, in which Deanna herself is the picture. (In case you miss any of the obviousness, the alien race that delivers Ambassador Alcar to the Enterprise is called the Dorians.) “Man of the People” is proof of two things: one, Deanna really, really shouldn’t ever date; and two, perhaps directly related to one, the Next Gen writing staff really can’t write for Deanna.

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8:49 a.m. The air cooled significantly overnight and I woke to a morning grey and placid. Last night I killed a monstrous spider who had made the verandah his home and was systematically coating it in thick, stringy webs; webs so thick they pulled against you, and made their crinkling noise, and snapped in your hand like birthday ribbons. I doused the spider – fat, arrogant, bottle-brown – in RAID and watched him scurry away before tearing down all his cathedrals. This morning, I climbed the steps to the cottage to find the verandah overrun – by mayflies, mosquitoes, and all other things. The king of the spiders was dead. A new king had set up shop on the tent house, as I found when I emerged, entombing the door in his traps, and shrinkwrapping the rest in arch after arch of his finest filigree. I haven’t found him yet.

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Mamo #366: The Godfather, Part IV: Don of the Planet of the Apes

What’s up, Mamo listeners? This week we talk Apes, Marvel, Thor, Avengers, home video, money, and Hellboy 3. So, basically, what we always talk about.

Destroy All Monsters: Darkness Before The DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

"I don’t think blockbusters are particularly fun anymore. This summer, certainly not. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes augurs a more brittle world, where the power balance of intelligent life on Earth isn’t upside-down, but parallel: two distinct societies, human and ape, living uneasily side by side (for the time being)."

In which photorealism, doomsaying, and the innate violence of man all make for a gloomier summer in Planet of the Apes, Part 8. Read more

Something I worked up last week when Team Sam & Gabe hit the road with some gifts for our honouree kids. The part where we were stuffed into the car and drowning in balloons was my favourite. I love my job!

You can make a direct donation to Make A Wish Canada in support of Team Sam & Gabe right here.

ST:TNG:6x02: Realm of Fear


“There’s a nerve cluster just behind the carotid artery. It stimulates the part of the brain that releases natural endorphins.”

It’s back to business as usual on the Enterprise, which brings us the  annual Barclay episode (though, I realize, there was no annual episode last year; and there’s two this year, actually). Having previously featured in two of Next Gen’s best episodes (“Hollow Pursuits” and “The Nth Degree”), poor Mr. Barclay has now been reduced to a functional caricature. Need a neurotic Enterprise crewmember to have neurotic problems related to something that other people are just fine with? Barclay’s your guy.

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Watched: The batshit insanity of Hemlock Grove, Season 1


OK, so define a “good” show. I know, I know, we don’t truck with that kind of talk around here. But even in the annals of subjectivity and whimsical pleasures and not needing movies to be good, Hemlock Grove is a bad fucking show. Like, really bad. Like super awful holy-shit-was-this-written-by-12-year-olds bad.

And yet. And yet.

I guess I don’t need TV shows to be good, either. Hemlock Grove's first season really does feel like it was written in crayon on the back of an 8th-grader's paper bag lunch, and is so slapdash in its execution that if you told me a bunch of film students made it on a weekend in Thunder Bay with whatever they had lying around, I'd believe you. (There is a key wig in the last three episodes that looks, without hyperbole, like it was bought at Shoppers Drug Mart four days after Hallowe'en.)

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The Terror of Titles


Everything begins with a title, or at least, it does for me; while I certainly can draft something without a title in place, it never feels right, like climbing through the kitchen window when I’ve locked my keys in the house. Sometimes the practice gets away from me. I’ve thought up some hum-dinger titles for Destroy All Monsters over the past year and have discovered (usually about exactly an hour past too-late on the night before the column is due) that there’s no “there” there, when I’ve gone to try and write the thing. (And this, probably, after a week or two of thinking to myself, “don’t worry about the column, I’ve got the column,” thanks to my too-clever title.)

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Destroy All Monsters: HARRY POTTER Between This World And The Next

“‘IT ALL ENDS,’ proclaimed the posters for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II, exaggerating reports of its franchise’s demise. Never again will any marketing dare suggest that its property belongs to a finite universe.”

In which I consider Harry Potter’s mega-franchise and why stories need endings. Read more