I'm bored with super heroes and comic book adaptations. No matter what the colors of their suit are, they all all want the same thing and all have the same tired, righteous morals. But everybody wants a hero, so these films have and will continue to have a great success at the box office. Enter Warren Ellis, British author, comic book writer, bona fide visual artist, literary troll and forefather of the RED characters, a motley crew of retired, elderly CIA agents with attitude. His creation also found success on the big screen because 1) They are incredibly well-written (Ellis is a creative and talented storyteller) and 2) The only thing people want more than a hero is to not grow old and die. It's also probably why I enjoyed RED 2 as much as its predecessor. Retired people have never felt more alive.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
In the now defunct era of video rental stores, a friend of mine had this rule of thumb: ''Never rent a comedy if the cover background is white. It's going to rip off an already mediocre comedy.'' After putting my friend's rule to the test, I found out it was usually accurate. Same thing could be said about the DVD covers with several faces floating on a dark cover. They're usually cheap, John Grisham-inspired judiciary thrillers. Stupid (yet accurate) rules of thumb may explain why I ignored THE GIFT for 13 long, freakin' years. Its bland and uninspired packaging is in no way a reflection of this beautiful southern gothic tale. Don't let father time win against this hidden gem. It is good enough to deserve immortality.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Order MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN here
That's when it comes, the urge to shout in the church, the nursery, the crowded movie house. It's an itch at first. Inconsequential. But that itch is soon a torrent behind a straining dam. Noah's flood. That itch is my whole life. Here it comes now. Cover your ears. Build an ark.
''Eat me!'' I scream.
Literature is unfortunately not safe from commodification of culture. ''Money makes the world go 'round'' they say, so nothing is. Capitalist society is one big giant sausage machine that transforms original ideas into mediocre, mass produced objects that eventually become drained of all their meaning. That's why artists are important. Real, genuine artists like Jonathan Lethem. His deconstruction of traditional detective novel MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN might not win any awards for tension, but it is and will remain a testament to how original and dynamic detective fiction can be, when it is fueled by new ideas.