Category Archives: Uncategorized

Winter’s Bone (2010) Movie Review

I’m tempted to call Winter’s Bone a film without romance, but that wouldn’t quite be accurate. It is true that the film’s plot has little to do with relationships. There is no whimsy, little joy. The world of Winter’s Bone is stark, cold, and bleak. There is love, though–the deep love of family ties.

10 Reasons Journalism Makes You a Better Writer

Inspired by this lovely post, I reflected on one of institutions that has most influenced my writing for the better.

I am speaking, of course, of journalism.

While I wouldn’t quite call myself a journalist by profession, I must admit my education and career would seem to point in that direction. I created my first mock newspaper in an elementary school program, joined the newspaper class in middle school, was on staff at my high school’s newspaper, and reported for my university’s newspaper, news television station, and news radio. Along the way, I engaged in freelance reporting and criticism, leaning more and more to the latter as time went on.

Eventually, I found my niche in arts and entertainment criticism. However, the lessons I have learned from different facets of journalism have deeply affected my writing.

1. K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid.)

2. Answer the W’s first.

3. Deadlines are deadly.

4. Opinions are not facts.  The diff b/t subjectivity and objectivity.

5. Always dig deeper.

6. The right word can make a difference. (But if you’re stuck, any word will do.)

7. Know your audience. [Or, think outside the box?]

8. Details make the story.

Whether its a brief finance report or a lengthy human interest feature, every piece you write depends on details.

9. Never be afraid to ask for help.

10. Don’t be afraid to voice unpopular opinions.

Weeds “Fingers Only Meat Banquet” S7 E5 Review + Recap

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

This is the Weeds we used to know and love. The past few seasons have been spotty, and this season’s first few episodes have been touch-and-go, but “Fingers Only Meat Banquet” is a bona fide classic in the making.

This episode flawlessly integrates all of the main cast, weaving together the sometimes disparate storylines into a cohesive whole. Doug (Kevin Nealon) has troubles at his office, where Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) now works. Nancy and her attorney (Martin Short) fly to California, with Silas (Hunter Parrish) in tow, for a custody hearing. Shane (Alexander Gould) pays for the tickets with his student loan money.

There’s more than just those plot arcs, though. This episode is stuffed with different character narratives, as well as opportunities for growth and future problems. The last scene is a great kicker too–a huge payoff for loyal fans.

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A Fish Called Wanda (1988) Movie Review

A Fish Called Wanda is a rollicking, madcap crime comedy that is only slightly dated in tone and 80’s soundtrack.

The London setting provides an interesting cultural backdrop for the movie’s main characters–two Americans and two Brits. Jamie Lee Curtis plays a femme fatale who falls for her mark, an unhappy barrister played by comedy giant* John Cleese. Both Curtis and Cleese are excellent in their roles, as is Michael Palin (who plays a stuttering, animal-loving criminal). However, the standout scene stealer in this film is Kevin Kline, as the dimwitted, jealous, and very dangerous Otto.

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The Big Bang Theory “The Wildebeest Implementation” S4 E22 Review + Recap

This episode of The Big Bang Theory tried to squeeze too much story into too little time. However, “The Wildebeest Implementation” did utilize many of the recurring characters well.

The greatest fault with this episode is that it teases what so many of us critics and audience members have wanted: for Raj (Kunal Nayyar) to stop with the “can’t talk to women” bit. I understand that The Big Bang Theory has great ratings and doesn’t need to change its standard formula. However, high ratings can only last so long, if the show doesn’t rejuvenate itself every so often. The easiest “fix” for the show would be to clear up Raj’s speech issue and thus allow the character to interact normally with the rest of the cast.

Raj aside, the episode focused on one of my least favorite aspects of TBBT: the Will They Or Won’t They relationship between Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki).

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Osama Bin Laden Is Dead.

Here’s a link to the full transcript of President Obama’s speech earlier tonight.

9/11 was a tragedy. In the ten years since that fateful day, countless men and women have died for a variety of reasons related to that incident. However you lean politically, today is a momentous day. President Obama spoke, and the nation is still reacting an hour later. Crowds have gathered at the White House, at Times Square, at Ground Zero. Emotions run high when history happens.

History is happening, now.