Wednesday, January 23, 2019

10 Years of Bitter Posts - All of my posts for Film School Rejects

When I started writing my blog, I never even considered the possibility that it might lead to writing for other outlets. I certainly hoped it would boost the profile of my writing, but I had no ambitions of making a career out of it.

It was Scott Beggs who invited me to write something for Film School Rejects, and if I'm being honest, my first inclination was to politely decline. Then, what usually happens happened - I started getting ideas. To my delight, Scott liked my idea - a weird take exploring how one might apply the nitpicking of the modern STAR TREK films to WRATH OF KHAN, which is generally acknowledged as one of the stronger TREK movies. It was fun to kind of poke the bear of fandom.

So every now and then when I had a more pop-culture-y idea that seemed like it would stir up a reaction with FSR's reader base, I'd pitch it. At the time, my blog audience was pretty decent, but FSR seemed to have a wider reach and it was fun having my stuff read by people less familiar to me.

I've gone back and linked to ALL of my Film School Rejects posts, along with some reflections on each one. The posts in bold are some of my favorite ones, and also some of the more unique ones.

If The Internet Had Existed When ‘Wrath of Khan’ Hit Theaters - My first FSR piece remains my favorite, particularly for the reaction it stirred up. Alas, the original comments section was the casualty of at least two server moves for the site, but it was GLORIOUS to see half the comments on this piece come from anti-JJ TREK fans who used this to attack the new films while the other half of the commenters kept trying to explain, "You don't get it! YOU are what this article is mocking and you're doing it right now!"

Why The World Needs ‘Superman Returns’ - I am the internet's official defender of SUPERMAN RETURNS. I loved it when it came out, I felt it deserved a sequel then and will still argue that the only post-Nolan DC film that can hold a candle to it is WONDER WOMAN. I love this movie, and this piece explains why. I also tell you why most arguments against it aren't intellectually honest.

The Biggest Challenges Facing a ‘Wonder Woman’ Movie - This is a fun one to look back on now that we actually have a WW film. I think that Patty Jenkins deftly navigated every minefield I foresaw here, which is quite the feat because I KNOW other filmmakers would have faltered.

Must There Be a Wonder Woman Movie? - Do we "need" a WONDER WOMAN movie, I asked? Is it about a love for the character or is all this chatter coming from the perspective that she's just so big as a licensing icon that it's her time. After having seen and heard of some takes that were all wrong, I started to wonder if no WW movie was better than a bad WW movie.

The Long, Troubled Future History of ‘Back to the Future Part IV’ - Another early favorite, where I imagined the future production path of BACK TO THE FUTURE PART IV.

Why Isn’t There a Solo Black Widow Movie? I make the case that CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER created the moment where it was inexplicable that we hadn't seen evidence of a Black Widow solo film, while defending that her supporting role in THE WINTER SOLDIER shouldn't be treated like a demotion.

Badly Written Spin-offs (Not Gender) Killed Female Superhero Movies - The lie has persisted for decades that no one wants to see female superhero movies. I reexamined SUPERGIRL, CATWOMAN and ELEKTRA to see if that reputation is warrented and if those films should be our baseline.

Bombs Away: Enjoying ‘Batman & Robin’ on Its Own Campy Terms - What if, hear me out, what if BATMAN & ROBIN wasn't as bad as we've all claimed for 20 years?

5 Modern Gems Released During the Dumping Ground That is the Last Half of August

When The Smartest Version of Freddy Krueger Invaded Our World - I stan for the under-rated WES CRAVEN'S NEW NIGHTMARE.

Spare Us Your 90-Minute Video Takedown of The Force Awakens - I hate Red Letter Media's overblown takedowns of the Star Wars films almost as much as the critical culture it spawned. This was my appeal for sanity ahead of THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Why I Wrote a Book About The Unheralded Genius in Michael Bay’s Films - The origins of my Michael Bay book, revealed!

Mark Hamill’s Comic Book: The Movie Shows That Luke Skywalker is One of Us - I reviewed Mark Hamill's directorial debut.

A Look Ahead to What The Next 15 Years Holds for the Lights Out Franchise - using prior horror franchises as a guide, I prognosticate what's in store for LIGHTS OUT.

6 Films That Are Waiting for Their Legacy Sequels - What other franchises are ready for THE FORCE AWAKENS treatment?

An Appreciation of That Thing You Do on its 20th Anniversary  - I celebrate one of my favorite films by looking at the Extended Cut as a teaching tool for how strategic editing can shift the entire feeling of a film.

Reclaiming The Fun Side of Batman - Adam West and Burt Ward return to the roles that made them iconic and I celebrate the need for Batman to get a little silly now and then.

Gilmore Girls “Final Four Words” Leave the Most Important Conversation Unsaid - I give high marks to the GILMORE GIRLS revival on Netflix.

How The Flash and Supergirl became my wife’s gateway drug to superhero fandom - Learn how the biggest fight my wife and I ever had was about if the time-travel in season one of THE FLASH made sense.

The Known Unknowns of Star Wars - The Star Wars franchise has an entire galaxy to play with and the first announced spinoffs were all built around familiar characters. I talk a little bit about why that is disappointing

7 Films That Could Be Headlined by Creepy Dead CGI Actors - ROGUE ONE's Peter Cushing resurrection inspired this piece.

The Passengers Dilemma - if you've seen PASSENGERS, you know the end of the film has the two main characters stranded on a spaceship that will take 89 years to reach their destination, but only one working hibernation pod. They decide that each can't condemn the other to lonliness so they live together. Here, I work out the math that has them splitting time in the pod and time awake so that they could both live to reach the destination, albeit at an advanced age.

A Brutally Honest Razzie Ballot - One of my all-time favorite posts, inspired by THR's "Brutally Honest Oscar Ballots," I imagine a Razzie voter doing the same for their ballot.

The Films of Frank Capra III, Ranked - A slightly tongue-in-cheek piece ranking the films of First Assistant Director Frank Capra III.

Why Are We Compelled to Rank Movies in a Series with Each New Release? - Film culture sites love to rank every new Marvel movie, Tarantino movie, or anything else in a series when the latest one comes out. But does it really mean anything?

An Aggregated Oral History of 2009 Films Ruined By the Last WGA Strike - Compiling quotes from the makers of TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, QUANTUM OF SOLICE, G.I. JOE, STAR TREK, and WOLVERINE, I give a sense of how the 2007-08 WGA strike really screwed up the films of 2009.

Ten Years Later, THE HOAX is Even More Timely In The Trump Era - a salute to one of my favorite underrated films, THE HOAX. Richard Gere plays Clifford Irving, a failing writer who fakes a biography of Howard Hughes after claiming to have been personally selected by the recluse. As one lie piles upon another, Clifford keeps building the con into an unstable house of cards. If you liked CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME, this 2007 film will probably scratch a similar itch for you.

Consider With Reservations: The Stars of Quantity Over Quality Cinema - I look at the direct-to-video output of such reliable talents in that area like John Cusack, Bruce Willis, Pierce Brosnan and Nicolas Cage.

How Movies Like 'King Ralph' Condition Audiences to Give Ill-Prepared Leaders a Chance - I blame Trump on one of his closest filmic counterparts - King Ralph

'Justice League' and the Fetishizing of Longer Cuts - Is longer actually better when it comes to films? This is a contemplation of how rarer, less-polished cuts can take on a myth of their own.

News from Earth-2: The Never-Seen Zack Snyder Cut of 'Batman v Superman' - one of the trippier posts I've written, wherein I posit that Joss Whedon had been brought in to save BvS instead of JUSTICE LEAGUE and that only now are we seeing "The Snyder Cut" of BvS. This article catalogues the differences between the Whedon Cut and the Snyder Cut.

The Morality of Erasing Content Made By Sexual Predators - As MeToo continues, what do we do when men we're now supposed to hate were responsible for art that was incredibly popular?

In Defense of Luke Skywalker - I make it clear where I stand on THE LAST JEDI as I debate the claims that it presents an implausible version of Luke Skywalker

An Ode to the Past and Future Films of Dawson Leery - on the 20th anniversary of Dawson's Creek - I went through Dawson Leery's filmography and tried to figure out if his movies would have been any good.

In the Aftermath of Tragedy, Generation Rey is Showing Why It's Their Time to Lead - As the Parkland survivors became gun advocates, I drew a parallel between them fixing what the Columbine generation couldn't and Rey fixing the sins of Luke Skywalker.

If You Want To Make a Superman Show, Make a Superman Show! - I took a look at how KRYPTON appeared to bend over backwards to introduce Superman elements in a show that takes place pre-Superman and decried prequels that want to have it both ways. I might have been a little hasty in this because KRYPTON was generally pretty deft in how it mined the mythos.

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