Monday, March 28, 2016

Batman Fallen

Has The World's Most Popular Superhero Become Obsolete?


Let's get this first out of the way: "Batman v. Superman" isn't as bad as you've heard.

I mean, everything you've heard about it is true. But you might find yourself enjoying it, moderately, in parts, like I did, after you've thrown out the convoluted plot like a gnarled wad of Christmas lights.

Director Zack Snyder's nihilistic tone has earned him legions of enemies eager to feast at his corpse--but at least that's something for the moviegoer to hold onto, a distinction from Hollywood blandness. It leaves a sour aftertaste, though. No more so than with what appears to be the titular character, Batman.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Case for "Revenge of the Sith"

If you're not with me, then you're my enemy!

That paraphrased George W. Bush quote, inserted towards the end of "Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith," could sum up the feelings most Warsians have on the prequels as a whole. Having decided that those seven-some hours of cinema were most definitely not with them or their love of Star Wars, they've declared them to be a mortal enemy.

But, as Obi-Wan retorts, only the Sith deal in absolutes. And as we are not Sith, it is time we abandon wholesale judgement of the entire trilogy without nuance. It was, on the whole, a lifeless and frustrating saga. But it did have its moments and qualities--no more so than its final entry, "Revenge of the Sith."

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Why Can't I Get Excited About the New Star Wars Movie?

We're mere hours away from the premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the first movie in that franchise in 10 years and the first time an entry has been directed by someone other than George Lucas since "Return of the Jedi" premiered in 1983. Star Wars fans are more excited than they've been in nearly 15 years about the possibilities of a new entry in the series.

Honestly, to me, it's just another Wednesday.

As I've seem my nerd friends on Twitter geek out over TV spot after TV spot, or Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher's adorable press circuit interviews, all I can feel is...a bit of indifference.

How could this be? How come I can't summon barely anything more than a "meh" for one of the biggest cinematic events of this millennium? It's honestly a surprise to me. I want to explore a bit.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Calories

By Alex M. Parker

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Oscar Predictions

Best Picture:
BOYHOOD

Best Director:
LINKLATER

Best Actor:
KEATON

Best Actress:
MOORE

Best Supporting Actor:
SIMMONS

Best Supporting Actress:
ARQUETTE

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Oscar Picks

You know the annoying guy in your NCAA office pool who just picks the top seeds all the way down? That's me this year. About the only thing I was conflicted on was the Best Directing Oscar, and for that I couldn't help but go with the consensus. Otherwise, seems that there will be very few upsets.

As the night goes on, keep an eye on the Best Production Design and Best Editing Oscars, those'll be a key indicator of how things are swinging. (Though, as my picks show, a "12 Years" loss in those categories isn't necessarily a sign it's going to lose the top prize.)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Gimmicks Will Not Save Us

It's 11:55 p.m. on Thursday, October 17.

Negotiations over raising the debt ceiling ran awry. House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama are no closer to a deal that they were weeks earlier.

Default is upon us. What can Obama do?

There must be a Plan B. Otherwise, I -- and a lot of people in Washington -- wouldn't be able to sleep at night. The consequences of the United States defaulting on its obligations are simply too terrible to contemplate. Even though it's in his interest to deny it, Obama surely has a way to disregard Congressional action and keep the bonds flowing.

The thing is, it might not matter. Any technique available to Obama on October 18 has flaws -- and will bring uncertainty to the global markets which could conceivably be almost as destructive as a default itself.

People invest in U.S. bonds because they're seen as being the safest investment on the planet. And, despite our recent troubles -- including the first downgrade in our credit ranking, from S&P -- people still do.

But if Obama is forced by an obstinate Congress to disregard the debt ceiling, that certainty will be gone. And not in a general, "What is the fate of the Republic" kinda way -- quite literally, people won't be sure if the bonds they're buying are good or not. They won't be sure what they're buying.

Tell me that won't send shock waves through the global bond markets, and through extension the entire world economy.

There's no loophole. No out. The Constitution clearly and unambiguously gives Congress control over federal spending, taxing and borrowing -- and offers no guidance about what is supposed to happen if one of those responsibilities conflicts with the other two.

Like it or not, the only option--really, the only option--is for Congress and Obama to work this out.