Monday - April 22, 2024

Articles Written By TimBrennan


I Hate Anklebiters

April 22nd, 2024

I’m not sure I can fully explain to you how I feel about violence in movies, but I’ll try, beginning with an anecdote. Years ago, a very good film called Mad Max: Fury Road was released. Like all right-thinking people, I loved it. Brilliantly shot and edited, intelligently written, skillfully acted, all in service of a film that’s perfect for what it is. Around that time, I reconnected with an old friend, whom I’ll call Todd. I suggested we catch Fury Road, then kick around our opinions. Off we went to the theater in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, to have our faces melted off by the mighty... Read More

Home of the Brave

April 15th, 2024

There’s a photo I remember seeing not too long ago. It was taken in Irpin, one of the suburbs of the Ukrainian city of Kyiv. The first thing I noticed was a Ukrainian soldier staring downwards, a look of numb shock on his face. What he’s looking at is a dead family. A mother and her children. They had been hit in a mortar attack, and as far as anyone could tell, the mortar was fired by Russian forces who were intentionally targeting civilians.  The photographer was Lynsey Addario. Consider that she was in an active war zone. She likely wore a helmet and a kevlar vest. That offered her a degree... Read More

Haruman’s Fist

April 8th, 2024

For decades in movies, we had people punching, kicking, shooting, stabbing, exploding, and otherwise dismembering legions of bad guys. The 1970s gave us Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, and Charles Bronson. The 1980s gave us Arnold Schzwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis. The 1990s gave us Wesley Snipes, Will Smith, and Jean-Claude Van Damme. The 2000s gave us Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and Jason Statham. Action movies were very much a thing! I say “were,” because in the tail end of the 2000s, it seems that in large part superhero movies replaced action movies. That’s not to... Read More

Two Minutes

April 1st, 2024

I carry regret like a stone around my neck. Time and experience have taught me how to manage it, and for the most part, that stone is nothing more than a pebble. Once in a while it becomes a boulder, one that stops all forward momentum and drags me down. But that’s the nature of regret, isn’t it? A fixation on the past that prevents us from engaging with the future.  A good chunk of my regret is the obvious stuff. Do I obsess over acting like an absolute jackass during my sophomore year of college, or that moment of awkwardness at my high school reunion? Hell, yes, and I replay those memories... Read More

I Ain’t Afraid of No Legacy Sequel

March 25th, 2024

What’s a Ghostbusters movie supposed to look like? Some people are purists, and the only scenario they can imagine is the further adventures of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. Spend a little time online checking on Ghostbusters fandom, which I don’t recommend, and you’ll hear variations of “I just want to see the originals back doing what they do best – busting ghosts!” There’s a problem with that, considering that Ramis is no longer confined to this plane of existence, while Murray, Aykroyd, and Hudson are too old to credibly be running around with proton... Read More

Infernal Technical Difficulties

March 18th, 2024

We still have talk shows, and we still have late night talk shows, but not the way they used to be. Bill Maher still trots out his weaponized snark to gab about politics and get mad at the youths. Jimmy Kimmel trots out his weaponized snark to trigger Donald Trump, as does Stephen Colbert.  But perhaps the strangest of all is Jimmy Fallon. If you’re not of a prehistoric age like I am, you might be wondering why that is. Fallon has popular celebrities on his show, plays games with them, never asks awkward questions or makes things weird. His show is literally a safe space, so what’s weird about... Read More

The Worm Has Turned

March 11th, 2024

A combination of a journalism assignment at the Oregon Dunes and the recreational usage of psilocybin mushrooms led Frank Herbert to write “Dune,” a sprawling, five book saga. Beloved by many, they featured intergalactic warfare, giant worm-related destruction, and trenchant criticism of politics and religion. On the one hand, you’d expect that as a lifelong genre dweeb and sci-fi nerd, I would have been into these books. On the other hand, those are some seriously long-ass books. I put off reading them, and if you know anything about me, I have some god tier procrastination skills. Years... Read More

Jacked Up

March 4th, 2024

There are two kinds of crime movies that I’m an absolute sucker for. The first are the ones about professionals. With movies like The Town, Thief, and The Driver, we’re introduced to crooks who live and work by a code. They consider the situations they’re walking into, the kinds of people they’re likely to deal with, and frequently have plans within plans. More importantly, they operate on a base level of competency. If you need someone to successfully rob a bank, crack a safe, or successfully evade the police, they can do it. The second kind of movie hews closer to reality. Most criminals... Read More

The Passion of the Props

February 26th, 2024

Years ago, I had the opportunity to buy an Alien. By that I mean a xenomorph, one of the double jawed critters that have joyfully romped with Sigourney Weaver through multiple movies. In those movies, we’re led to believe there are a metric ton of them, so many that if you were to throw an M41A pulse rifle, you’d hit one. But next time you watch Aliens and marvel at Weaver, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton and others being terrorized by hordes of fiendish thingies, bear in mind that there were only twelve of them. Those twelve were cunningly shot by James Cameron to create the illusion of an unstoppable... Read More

Reality’s Mess

February 19th, 2024

These days, it’s hard to be nuanced. The United States is profoundly polarized, and we’re constantly encouraged to to self-sort, to live, work, and socialize with other like minded people. Why? It’s easier. We say we want unity, but that really means we just want people to think and agree with our positions. It’s still the early days of 2024, but we are in an election year, which means the polarization will only get worse. So how are you supposed to get past polarization? First, I think you don’t automatically assume the worst motives of others. It’s true there are people out there... Read More