Archive for Commentary

Written By: Dan Geer


Every year since 2015, we’ve been getting a new Star Wars film thanks to Disney, and there are no signs of the franchise slowing down. This year marks the return of beloved characters from The Force Awakens entering into what appears to be very dark territory in Star Wars: The Last Jedi – the next episode of the sequel trilogy.

How should we walk into this film? What should we expect? We know that The Force Awakens echoed various beats from A New Hope (albeit while still delivering an incredible new story at the same time, despite what some may say). Will The Last Jedi do something similar with The Last Jedi and echo The Empire Strikes Back? Will all our questions be answered? Will characters do what we expect, or perhaps go down a path that we did not see coming, or do not want, for that matter? Will it finally be confirmed that Snoke is really Jar Jar Binks?

We all desire the film to succeed. It is almost impossible to not have expectations. But let’s just get a few pointers out of the way prior to walking into this film, before we totally ruin our perceptions of it walking out. We want to actually like the movie, don’t we? Read on…

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Written By: Dan Geer

X-Files Season 10

Let’s just get this out of the way before I proceed with this article, because I do not want to come off as being overly critical

loved the latest 6-episode season of The X-Files. I really enjoyed both the mythology as well as the standalone “monster of the week” episodes. It both reintroduced the mystery back into the mythology that we all thought we understood for over a decade since the original series ended back in 2002, and the standalone episodes gave us great stories we never had in previous seasons. Of course, Darin Morgan’s “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” episode was probably the highlight of the season. Simply fantastic!

However, as tradition has it, Season 10 concluded on a cliffhanger like all previous seasons of The X-Files did. It left us with a ton of unanswered questions. The season was too short to really flesh it all out. It only makes sense that Season 11 now has a big responsibility to fulfill in answering, or at least clarifying how the “new” conspiracy ties in with the old.

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Written By: Dan Geer


Ever since the untimely and unfortunate passing of actress Carrie Fisher last December, fans of the Star Wars saga have wondered how this will affect the sequel trilogy and the role of General Leia for Star Wars: Episode IX (she already completed filming for Star Wars: The Last Jedi before she passed).

To be honest, fans are a bit worried. It’s probably not the most appropriate feeling to immediately have after the death of a human being, but it is understandable. The writers and director Colin Trevorrow really have a conundrum on their hands.

It really comes down to this for everyone: Should they write the character out of the story, or should they recast? This is quite a loaded question, but one that I think has a pretty clear answer.

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Written By: Dan Geer

Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens

In the last couple of decades, it has become increasingly apparent that there has been a paradigm shift in terms of how audiences watch and enjoy movies. While film criticism has been around for as long as I can remember, it seems as if your average modern-day cinephiles have become more critical than ever, and as a result have enjoyed films much less in the last couple of decades than they did in the decades prior. What went wrong?

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Source: Matty Granger Facebook | The Huffington Post | Posted By: Dan Geer


So it has been a few weeks since J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters and broke just about every box office record known to mankind. Reviews have been very positive overall. However, the pendulum has started to sway the other way a little bit, with some reviews even pointing out supposed plot holes or flaws in the film. One such article from The Huffington Post, titled “40 Unforgivable Plot Holes in Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” attempts to lay out extensively just how flawed the film allegedly is, and many people have re-posted this article time and time again, commenting on how they actually agree with the article.

I was going to write a rebuttal on this, but a man by the name of Matty Granger (The Granger Brothers) beat me to the punch and posted one himself, addressing (in “colorful” language, mind you) each and every point laid out by The Huffington Post’s . The article not only easily refutes these “plot holes” for the most part, but also agrees very much with the reason was started in the first place, which is to get people to think twice when it comes to film. To quote Granger, “…sadly all it takes is a bold, contrarian statement to convince people who aren’t interested in doing research for themselves that something wildly incorrect is truth.”

Click here for the Huffington Post article, then read Granger’s amusing rebuttal here. When you’re done, read below for a few more points that I personally address about the film that aren’t brought up in either article, but have been also debated at length in various fanboy circles. Just my lengthy attempt to help people enjoy the film as much as I do (possible spoilers ahead)…

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Source: iTunes Trailers | Posted By: Dan Geer

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The trailer to end all other trailers is here.

Today, Black Friday, we get our first glimpse of official footage from J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Episode VII of the Star Wars Saga). Until now, we knew next to nothing about this film when compared with any of the other sequels/prequels in the Star Wars Saga. Today, that all changes.

It’s best if I say no more, so just head on over to iTunes Trailers to watch 88 seconds of footage from the most anticipated movie since The Phantom Menace, then head back to this article for my initial reaction to the trailer.

Update: Trailer also embedded below in HD, along with my initial reaction.

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Written By: Brandon Engel


The United States of America has proved itself excellent at quite a few things, but one expertise that this fine nation has taken from a rude practice into a precise science is the concept of marketing and the upcoming holiday season is the perfect evidence of said mastery. The day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday as it is colloquially known, is the official beginning of the Christmas/Holiday season and while the ideal of the holiday season involves good cheer, charity, and thankfulness, those qualities generally fade away amidst the maelstrom of bargain hunters prepared to draw blood for their favorite brands. Yet, despite the fact that the holiday season may or may not have been hijacked by consumerism, it has never faltered as a good reason to spend some quality time with one’s family. While most of the country may look at this upcoming season through White Christmas-inspired rose-colored glasses, there is a still a minority of those rebellious tradition-breakers who seek to celebrate the holidays in their own way and in that vein of thought, here’s a list of some of the best movies to watch on Black Friday for those with a slightly darker disposition.

Spoiler alert: There is no Santa Claus.

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Written By: Brandon Engel

John Carpenter - Halloween 2

John Carpenter is a popular American film director best known for horror and science fiction movies. In a career that has spanned more than four decades, Carpenter has amassed a large body of work. He is not simply a director of horror films, but a successful filmmaker who has both written and directed action and science fiction films as well as horror. His best known and appreciated films include Halloween, The Thing, Escape From New York, Starman and They Live, starring professional wrestler Roddy Piper.

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Source: Peter Jackson Facebook | LA Times | Posted By: Dan Geer


A few months ago director Peter Jackson screened footage from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at CinemaCon in the actual frame rate the film was shot in, which is 48 fps. For those of you not in the know, for the last 80 years or so, films have been shot at 24 fps (frames per second). At 48, things like motion blur seem to be non-existent and footage appears to be more “real” than ever before, according to those who have filmed at this frame rate, such as Jackson.

San Diego Comic-Con is happening as I write this, and yesterday Jackson commented to the LA Times that he would not be screening The Hobbit footage there at 48 fps this time around, because of all the negative responses last time around from various news outlets and bloggers who claimed that the footage looked like video, sort of like what soap operas or sporting events look like in HD. They essentially claimed the footage almost looked fake. Jackson says that, by screening the footage at 24 fps at the Con, people will report more on the film’s content, performances, etc., and not be distracted by things they may find not so appealing, such as 48 fps.

After his comments to the LA Times were made public yesterday, some bloggers made the accusation that Jackson is trying to cover up how “bad” the footage looks at 48 fps, as if Jackson got cold feet. However, the acclaimed film director has released a more detailed response via his Facebook page addressing in full his decision to screen the footage at 24 fps. Read on to see what he had to say!

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Posted By: Dan Geer


One of the most iconic and well-renowned films in cinematic history is director F.W. Murnau’s classic 1922 German Expressionist film, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens. While most people today probably haven’t even seen the film, images of actor Max Schreck’s portrayal of the vampire are still engrained in pop culture today. Many people I have talked to still think he is the scariest looking vampire ever put on film.

Since my wife is from Germany, she and I often make it over there to visit family and friends. So, as a fan of Nosferatu, I decided that our next trip should include a visit to Lübeck, Germany, where the film’s fictional town of “Wisborg” was brought to life. More specifically, I wanted to visit the “Salzspeicher” (salt storehouses), which are the buildings that were used to portray the vampire’s home in the film. They are still in existence today, although they are no longer used to store salt. Rather, they have since been converted to a clothing boutique, primarily consisting of women’s apparel (believe it or not). Hit the jump for more on this historic filming location for the film, as well as some of the photos I took while we were there.

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