I recently posted something on my Facebook to the effect that there are three classes of Disney movies: genuine classics, genuinely bad, and those that Disney keeps trying to tell us are classics but are actually a little boring. Some people were indignant that I classified both The Aristocats and Robin Hood in the final category. To those offended, I’m sorry. To clear up all confusion I thought it only fair that I rank all 53 Disney movies. This will make sure all future arguments are taken care of.
I have heard the story of Noah’s ark since I was a very young child, but it was only as an adult that I realized it’s a story about the end of the world. One family was given a reprieve, and even they are forced to watch all the world drown. But for such a dark story, it is almost never treated that way. Most kids grow up viewing Noah as something of a zookeeper, and I swear every illustration I’ve ever seen of him makes him look like Santa. Darren Aronofsky saw something in the story at a young age that made it his lifelong dream to film it, and after the success of Black Swan he was finally able to make it happen. It’s not the story of Noah I grew up with, but it’s definitely the one I needed to see at this point in my life.
So a couple weeks back I wrote about a project that I’ve been pursuing with some buddies of mine. That project has been struck by lighting and is now shambling aimlessly through cyberspace. May I proudly present…The Takedown Notice.
This weekend I joined my friend Dale Maxfield for two movie showings and video reviews on his blog. One of the movies we discussed was the new Christian movie, God’s Not Dead. You can check out the conversation we had on Dale’s website, but to save you the trouble of clicking, I really didn’t like it. I thought it was trite, contrived, and undermined its Christians-versus-atheists debate by making the atheist as unsympathetic and incapable as possible. As a Christian, I thought it was generally pretty terrible, and I said as much in my review with Dale. But from a Christian perspective the final quality of the film is often more complicated than that. Continue reading
I resisted the Kickstarter craze in boardgaming for a long time, both participating in and writing about it. There are several reasons for this, both philosophical and practical. On the practical end, I have plenty of games already and I have no business adding to that. There are just too many new games flooding Kickstarter for all but the most dedicated fans, and I frankly feel like I can barely keep up with the more traditional releases. In a more abstract sense, I’m rather ambivalent about the effect that Kickstarter has had on the hobby. On one hand it’s theoretically possible to get something outside the box and fresh. But in practice I think it usually results in “with a twist” games, where you have a game that has worker placement, but with a twist. There’s nothing inherently wrong with “with a twist” games, but they aren’t going to set the world on fire. Continue reading
When you write a lot of reviews, you tend to view everything with a critic’s eye. I’ve enjoyed writing reviews since I was in college, though it’s only in the last couple years where I feel like they’ve been anything beyond middling. This tendency is a good way to start a conversation, but not a very good way to not look like a jerk in social situations. I resisted the social convention not to crap all over something someone else likes for a long time. It must be clear that this was not something I did to pick on anyone else’s taste in movies, music, or games. It was simply my opinion, and I assumed that was understood. Continue reading
Maybe I’d be more comfortable if I wasn’t wearing a suit…
I discovered that I don’t really like writing.
Okay, that’s not true. I do like writing. I like sitting down to the keyboard and hammering something out, posting it, and maybe responding to a few comments. But what I discovered is that’s about as far as my love goes. Continue reading