Teeth (2008) — Consent and Bodily Autonomy

A version of this blog post was originally published on March 22, 2017 for Birth.Movies.Death. This revised version has been reprinted here with permission. At this very moment Matt Gaetz, a Florida Congressman, is being investigated for having sex with a 17-year-old girl and possible sex trafficking. He bragged to his colleagues about women he'd … Continue reading Teeth (2008) — Consent and Bodily Autonomy

Sex and Androgyny in ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘Dark Shadows’

A version of this blog post was originally published in Birth.Movies.Death's print magazine in September 2016. This revised version has been reprinted here with permission. Of the 19 theatrical movies Tim Burton has directed, to date, there is little in the way of onscreen sex. There’s gentle kisses, mournful yearning, androgyny and asexuality. His movies … Continue reading Sex and Androgyny in ‘Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘Dark Shadows’

Alternate Reality Reviews: Superman Lives (1998)

With Zack Snyder’s upcoming Justice League trilogy capper, Final Crisis, being anticipated with bated breath by both fans and casual moviegoers alike, I thought I’d take this opportunity to look back at the black sheep of Warner Bros.’ DC movies: 1998’s Superman Lives. The movie was dismissed at the time as the bloated, confused product … Continue reading Alternate Reality Reviews: Superman Lives (1998)

Waxwork and Hellraiser III — The Silly Sadism of Anthony Hickox

Anthony Hickox is a writer/director who has had varying degrees of theatrical success over the years — punctuated by the occasional direct-to-video Dolph Lundgren release. His most high-profile work and biggest claim to fame is Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992). That movie, and the entire franchise, is (in)famous for many things, but most especially … Continue reading Waxwork and Hellraiser III — The Silly Sadism of Anthony Hickox

Can Men and Women Be Friends? Only Christopher Nolan Knows!

No, no, no, no, I never said that.... Yes, that's right, they can't be friends. Unless both of them are involved with other people then they can. This is an amendment to the earlier rule, if the two people are in relationships, the pressure of possibility of involvement is lifted.... That doesn't work either because … Continue reading Can Men and Women Be Friends? Only Christopher Nolan Knows!

“Search Your Memories”: Droids and Identity in The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

What is the significance of the subplot in Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) that sees C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), the obnoxious yet lovable protocol and etiquette droid, get his memory erased in order to translate the writing on a Sith dagger? The obvious answer is the heroes need to struggle to achieve … Continue reading “Search Your Memories”: Droids and Identity in The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Copycat (1995) — “Murderinos,” Copaganda and Reverse-Fridging

There's an unexpected moment late in the second act of the detective thriller Copycat (1995). Detective and all-around nice guy Reuben Goetz (Dermot Mulroney) lets a criminal suspect out of handcuffs and offers him a donut. The Asian man, who doesn't appear to speak English, pulls a gun and takes Goetz hostage. Goetz's partner, M.J. … Continue reading Copycat (1995) — “Murderinos,” Copaganda and Reverse-Fridging

“Jesus loves you, everyone else thinks you’re an asshole”: Neo-Noir and Homosocial Relationships in The Exorcist III

Film noir is, of course, a kind of Hollywood crime drama, popular between roughly 1940 and 1955. "The film of darkness and the night, of shadows and mean streets, of losers, grifters and bottom-feeders," explained Roger Ebert in 1995. Ebert said then that "noir is undergoing an explosive rebirth of popularity" and cites everything from … Continue reading “Jesus loves you, everyone else thinks you’re an asshole”: Neo-Noir and Homosocial Relationships in The Exorcist III

Nick Spencer’s Captain America, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and the Fetishization of Black Pain

Nick Spencer's run on Captain America was, to put it mildly, controversial. When Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 was released on May 25, 2016, it did what so much hyped-up pop culture claims to do: it broke the Internet. The series saw Rogers back in fighting form, restored to his youth after a few years … Continue reading Nick Spencer’s Captain America, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and the Fetishization of Black Pain

Back to the Future, Car Culture and Masculinity

Cars are important in the Back to the Future trilogy. That may seem like an obvious statement, considering how the movies are intrinsically tied up with a retrofitted DMC DeLorean car. But what's not so obvious is how cars represent expectations of masculinity, in terms of financial success and virility. According to "Asian American Auto/Biographies: … Continue reading Back to the Future, Car Culture and Masculinity