Columns > DVDs

Wednesday, February 24 2010

Ghost Hunters: Paranormal Pop Culture for Normal People

Amongst the familiar mythologies in all of reality television, Ghost Hunters ranks in the top 10. Love the show or loathe it, it is popular culture and has earned a spot in the reality TV pantheon.


Monday, February 22 2010

Chéri: Out of the Boudoir

Frears and Hampton puts the viewer into Chéri in a very real and sensual manner, paying homage to Collette's luxuriant corporeal details.


Thursday, February 18 2010

I Love You, Buddy Man

If the gift industry can create Valentine's Day, why can't the Rockist found Buddy Day? Prepare yourself for a weekend of 'Buddy Movies' and brotherhood.


Wednesday, February 17 2010

Pop Gluttony

I am choosy about what I eat, but continue to chow down on an unfettered pop culture diet as the last great excess that won’t kill me.


Sunday, February 14 2010

The Simpsons, ‘Radio Bart’ Part 2: ‘Ace in the Hole’ and Jessica McCllure

'Radio Bart' may not offer any solutions, but it manages to compress an extraordinary amount of media history, compassion, manipulation and cynicism into a sharp, quick and funny 20-minutes or so.


Thursday, February 4 2010

Orson Welles: A Man of a Certain Ego

“The chief proof of a man’s real greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness. It argues... a power of comparison and of appreciation which is in itself proof of nobility.”


Wednesday, January 27 2010

The Ice Storm: America Out in the Cold

Ang Lee captures the '70s on film the way Rick Moody captures the era in the book The Ice Storm. It's the midst of the sexual revolution, the Watergate scandal is erupting, and the country's social consciousness is changing.


A Little Human Magic in Recent DVDs

Either by coincidence or because I just happened to watch these all on a cold day when I needed a little warmth, the magic of the human condition emerged as a trend in these new DVD releases.


Thursday, January 21 2010

Designing Consent

Industrial design aspires to the commanding heights of consumer society, building its policy prescriptions and dogmatic assumptions about what makes us happy directly into the objects available to us.


Tuesday, January 19 2010

Silent Revelations

Kino and Flicker Alley are the labels duking it out for silent supremacy, and the spectator is the winner.


Monday, January 18 2010

Unfulfilled Desires, Fulfilled Nightmares

As the new millennium accelerates we witness our world consumed by an international economic crisis fueled by unrestricted consumption and greed. Hence, the relevance of Stephen King's 'Needful Things'.


Wednesday, January 6 2010

The Matrix: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

If the first act of The Matrix calls to mind eXistenZ, with Pikel licking Allegra’s bio-port and sucking gristle and skin from a gun, its third act is as antiseptic as a bad Star Trek rerun.


Sunday, December 6 2009

Philip K. Dick’s Defense of Video Games

Philip K. Dick’s fiction is a defense of the validity of video games because despite the fact that they are not real, his stories argue that there is still something valid in the artificial.


Wednesday, December 2 2009

Little Women: Brilliant Book, Flawed Film

A scene shows Ryder blissfully tying up the manuscript and putting a rose under the string. That's rather like what Armstrong and the screenwriters did to the film: tied it up neatly with a pretty flower.


Tuesday, December 1 2009

Looking Back at the Avant Garde

These two new DVDs help us take a look back at forward thinkers, and although no one will like all these films equally, the whole is an experience not only edifying but, at its most radical, even pleasurable.


Monday, November 23 2009

Squanto: The Ultimate Guide

Even anglers like myself yearn for guides with fishing IQs as rich as Squanto's, a Patuxet Native American who taught the Pilgrims how to fish.


Sunday, November 8 2009

PopShots: The Lighter Side of Swine Flu

Researchers have largely ignored the pop cultural value of the H1N1 virus: hours on the couch catching up on DVD.


Monday, November 2 2009

The Ghostbusters Twinkie Defense

More surprising than the still-impressive special effects and the jokes that hold up to modern scrutiny is the fact that there are moments throughout Ghostbusters that are legitimately scary.


Tuesday, October 27 2009

A Ghost Story of Dubious Origins

No matter the vercity of the tale, The Haunting in Connecticut has just enough creep quotient to keep me engaged, especially since I grew up a few miles from the house.


Wednesday, October 7 2009

New Kids on the Block: Hangin’ Tough, Refusing to Let Go

In 1989, I loathed the New Kids on the Block with a passion and intensity that only junior high-aged children can bring to their study of popular culture, yet when Hangin’ Tough Live hit DVD, I had to see it.


//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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