Latest Blog Posts

by Bill Gibron

22 Aug 2014

Success in one medium doesn’t guarantee success in another. Great actors often struggle when they try to be musicians, while gifted artists aren’t quiet as aesthetically pleasing when attempting to perform. There’s even inner-format faults as well. An award winning TV scribe usually can translate their talent to the big screen.

They are the rarities, however. Typically, greatness in one place doesn’t translate across. Such is the case with Mad Men‘s Matthew Weiner’s so-called “comedy” Are You Here. Instead of showing the same sharp sensibility that made said AMC hit, we get a decidedly lifeless laugher.

by Bill Gibron

19 Aug 2014

It seems like the best of all worlds: getting to travel, professionally, staying at some of the most scenic and inviting destinations along the Italian Riviera. Better still, you get to sample gourmet cuisine every step of the way, from entrees rich in Mediterranean tradition to piles of freshly caught and prepared seafood. The weather is magnificent, the populace beyond friendly, and the views awe-inspiring.

The only problem? You’re saddled with someone as a traveling companion whose a rival at best, a friend in frustrating terms only, and since you’re pushing 50, that so-called “midlife crisis” has turned into nothing more than mere angry aging.

by Bill Gibron

18 Aug 2014

Splatter is often the sad step-child of horror. When done correctly, or within context, it’s beloved if bloody. Very bloody. It can even be used to bring a bit of humor into your otherwise aggressive arterial spray (isn’t that right, Sam Raimi and Lloyd Kaufman?). Septic Man falls into the former category, taking a surprisingly serious tone over something that should be salacious and scatological.

Indeed, the movie revolves around a sanitation worker who gets trapped in a toxic underground sewer and suddenly transforms into a hideous combination of feces and filth. There’s also a subtext of possible pandemic, maybe-imaginary creatures, good vs. evil, hero vs. villain, and perhaps the most idealized view of virulence ever put on film.

by Bill Gibron

15 Aug 2014

By now it should be abundantly clear that Sylvester Stallone “gets” action. He understands the dynamic involved in a major league blowout stunt spectacle. He’s a wizard when it comes to staging, acts each carefully choreographed beat with the necessary amount of machismo and, when given the opportunity (and the MPAA rating) is not shy to showcase enough splatter to make a million gorehounds happy.

Granted, for this third installment in the exceedingly goofy Expendables franchise, Sly isn’t sitting behind the lens. His handpicked protégé, in this case, Red Hill director Patrick Hughes, is, however, and the results constantly remind the viewer of the iconic ‘80s b-pictures that made the cast nostalgia laced currency. While not fully invested in the direct to video past, there’s enough low rent ridiculousness here to make even the most cynical action fan smile.

by Bill Gibron

8 Aug 2014

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros.

There’s always something unsettling about a disaster film. It’s not the notion of nature (or man) creating chaos, and thus calamity, for all the members of our unsuspecting society. It’s not the death, though that’s a horrific given. It’s not even the idea that what we are seeing could be the extinction of the entire human race.

No, the really nasty bit is the concept of survival, the “what if?” after the planet freezes, the tidal wave hits, or the nuclear holocaust ends. As they often say, those who are killed will be the lucky ones. Those left behind face the nightmare of rebuilding and reconsideration, recognizing that, while they made it, many, many more did not.

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

READ the article