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Film

'Mortal Engines' Grinds Down the Post-apocalyptic Genre

Christian Rivers' directorial debut, Mortal Engines, is that lump of coal in your holiday movie stocking.

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Reviews

Middle-Earth Eye Candy: 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'

This film explores the bonds of friendship and the commonality among all races, and provides raging battles and daring escapes, as well as quiet fireside moments that reveal a character’s thoughts.

Film

"The Road Goes Ever On and On" for New Zealand's Cinematic Tourism

Red Carpet Tours bridges the worlds of filmmaking and fandom while ensuring that visitors to New Zealand find far more than Middle-earth landmarks.

Film

The Last Witch Hunt: The Legacy of the West Memphis Three

Teenage outcasts often feel like the world is against them; in 1994, three adolescents in West Memphis, Arkansas, experienced proof that it actually was. Now, despite being freed after 18 years of wrongful imprisonment, the battle of the West Memphis Three is not concluded.

Books

The Complete Tolkien Companion by J.E.A. Tyler

Tyler's effort improves with a pleasant prose style and--despite his belated disclaimer for this third A-to-Z version of his guidebook--an underlying tone that relates Tolkien's vision as shrouded both in antiquity and a faint if evanescent presence barely traceable down to our own Earth.

Film

The Beauty and the Horror: Peter Jackson’s King Kong - Part 2

Jackson's film is as unwieldy and difficult as it is gripping and moving, expanding upon the exotic spectacle of the original while simultaneously steering the tale into the realm of tragic lament.

Film

The Beauty and the Horror: Peter Jackson’s King Kong - Part 1

This film is keenly aware of the myriad meanings embedded in its cinematic myth and sets about re-contextualizing and commenting upon the implied politics while offering extravagant thrills and tragic, classic romance.

Film

Money, Sex, and Power: Contemporary Adaptations in John Guillermin's 'King Kong'

The 1976 King Kong updates this modern myth’s meanings for a vastly different social, economic, and cultural milieu, but it does so with a leaden obviousness that undermines its conclusions.

Film

From Spectacle to Elegy: The Cinematic Myth of King Kong

Like many of the Hollywood blockbusters that followed in its footsteps, King Kong was a barometer for its troubled times, a clear crystallization of many lurking social anxieties in Depression-era America.

Reviews

Great Entrance, Unca Scrooge: Warren Spector Finds Richness in DuckTales

It's not so much that Warren Spector, the visionary behind Epic Mickey and the legendary Deus Ex, conforms to the genius of DuckTales' generic conventions--it's that he evolves them.

Film

Who Are the Next Horror Movie Maestros?

Perhaps it's too soon in the career arc to write off some of these wannabes as less than meaningful maestros. As we wait, however, the void continues to grow...and grow...

Film

Cracking the Spine: The Lovely Bones

The author's 'heaven' is a concrete and unexpected place with"lumbering women throwing shot put and javelin"; whereas the filmmaker's interpretation changes 'heaven' to something like a garish, 3-D Hallmark card.

Film

King Kong (2005)

Jackson's film makes Ann's admiration for Kong an earnest distraction from her eventual, proper coupledom with Jack (who, even with Brody's Men's Health coverboy abs, can't compete with the potent spectacle of Kong).

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

No in-betweeners in this reductive view of the world: characters and choices are good or evil.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

It's useful to remember that, offscreen, both good and bad tend to be tricksy.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

What is potentially most urgent about 'The Fellowship of the Ring' is how it reflects the tenor of our time.

Todd R. Ramlow

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