Fantastic Beasts’ Looming Problem

Between the years of 1998 and 2011, the Harry Potter books and movies formed an absolute cultural powerhouse. It started with the release of the first book, and ended with the release of the last movie. But, as we are waiting for the third movie in the prequel spinoff series, Fantastic Beasts, faith in the franchise is at… Continue reading Fantastic Beasts’ Looming Problem

The Peril of Prequels

With the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts series, I’ve been thinking about what makes a prequel story good or bad. Prequels seem inevitable for movie franchises – Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and now Harry Potter – and none of them seem exceedingly good. It’s astonishing just how lazily all of these prequels attempt to… Continue reading The Peril of Prequels

Blogging Search Terms; or, My Greatest Hits

WordPress has a fascinating statistics feature for content creators, where you can sometimes see what people searched to find your blog. I say “sometimes” because often results will come up under “Unknown Search Terms.” But otherwise, the Search Terms section gives some insight into how Google finds your blog. And the results for my blog… Continue reading Blogging Search Terms; or, My Greatest Hits

PBS’ Great American Read: A Question Necessary to Ask But Impossible to Answer

How do we define “the best” anything? Should we only call something “the best” if it is everyone’s favorite? Or is it the best if scholars and experts say it is? There’s a classic rock station in the New York area that I really love – Q1043 – that has an annual countdown the week… Continue reading PBS’ Great American Read: A Question Necessary to Ask But Impossible to Answer

Great Scenes in Bad/Mediocre/Okay Movies

The real heartbreak in a mediocre movie, or a bad movie, or a just okay movie, is seeing the potential that was wasted. Even in the most disappointing movies, there’s usually one thing that you can point at and say, “Wow, this really worked.” So here, I’ve selected a few movies that I think are… Continue reading Great Scenes in Bad/Mediocre/Okay Movies

In Defense of “Roll Credits” Moments

A debate that’s gradually been unfolding over the past few years in the film-criticism section of YouTube is the value of CinemaSins. a YouTube channel best known for their “Everything Wrong With _____” videos in which they go frame by frame through movies, nitpicking everything from continuity errors to acting/directorial decisions and everything in between.… Continue reading In Defense of “Roll Credits” Moments

Spooky versus Scary: Prisoner of Azkaban as a Horror Film (Kind of)

Halloween is upon us, meaning that everyone is socially obligated to consume horror media. Horror, more than any other genre, forces the audience to tap into their emotion. The ultimate goal of many horror is to make the viewer feel the same dread and fear that the characters do. My issue is that movies in… Continue reading Spooky versus Scary: Prisoner of Azkaban as a Horror Film (Kind of)