Semper Gumby: HBO’s Generation Kill

The HBO miniseries Generation Kill comes from David Simon and Ed Burns, the masterminds behind the superlative series The Wire. Simon himself is a former journalist, the state thereof being a primary preoccupation of the fifth season of the The Wire. So it makes sense that he would be drawn to a war story seen […]

An Act of Journalism: Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir

Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir could easily be filed away under any or all of the following genres: documentary, autobiography, memoir, journalism, and nonfiction. If there’s one thing all of these have in common, it’s that none make for natural cartoons. The exception that proves the rule is Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, which began life as […]

Repent Later: Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven

Ridley Scott’s video introduction to the Director’s Cut of Kingdom of Heaven claims it is more than a merely extended version of the film. The Director’s Cut represents his intentions, and is “the best version” of the film. The most significant restoration he singles out is a subplot involving Princess Sibylla’s son. This version is […]

David vs. Goliath in Paul Haggis’ In the Valley of Elah

In the Valley of Elah is a dark story about the psychological damage of war, certainly not a recipe for an entertaining night at the movies. This blogger will cop to finding it difficult to work up the enthusiasm to sit down for a movie on such a troubling topic, fearing the resultant depression (despite […]

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