Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Feminism, and feminist backlash, in 80's films: Part 1: Dirty Dancing

Summer means a lot of different things to me.   Hot days, sandals, beaches, watermelon – and Dirty Dancing. 

Released in 1987, Dirty Dancing caused a sensation, becoming a huge hit, spawning two soundtrack albums, and unsuccessful series on CBS,  and a worldwide concert tour  It launched the careers of Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze from erstwhile supporting players into the mainstream and lead roles.  Nowadays, it’s settled into an object of campy nostalgia for the many who wore out VHS tapes of it in their youth, and it’s become the sort of a summertime staple of networks like WE and Lifetime.  Fondness for the movie continues – you can buy teeshirts for it, and watch its recently spawned (and  too-late) sequel  or the Broadway musical it inspired.

There’s something very amusing about a movie like Dirty Dancing ending up a fluffy nostalgia piece that’s considered an inconsequential romantic movie.  Here’s the movie’s biggest secret:  it’s a socially radical film that embraces feminism and sisterhood, makes a strong case for abortion rights and artistic freedom, and shows a woman’s first happy sexual affair to be consequence-free in the way of romantic heartbreak and the moral weight of STDs, cheating, and pregnancy.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Runes of Love: Ash and the Army of Darkness and the Resurrection of Dynamite’s AOD brand

If you’ve been an Army of Darkness fan for any length of time, you’ve probably seen them.  Maybe you’ve read one, rejected it with a roll of your eyes, and moved on to another title.  But it’s been around for over ten years, and after an embattled history it’s finally gotten good again: Dynamite’s Army of Darkness series.

Plagued by creator disapproval and suffering multiple changeovers and reboots, Dynamite finally went for it and gave the series a complete makeover, hiring Steve Niles, headwriter of the Walking Dead, to write for it.

And it is amazing.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Grating Game: Ash vs Hack/Slash: A Review

WARNING: The following contains SPOILERS.

Dynamite Comics recently published a title that adds onto the Army of Darkness mythos with panache, humor and well-written violence, that improves upon the characters’ relationships and creates rip-roaring adventures for Ash that does justice to his source canon.

That title is Ash and the Army of Darkness.   But today, we’re talking about Army of Darkness vs Hack/Slash.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

But What About the Pineapple? : Psych vs How I Met Your Mother for Series Finale Supremacy

Recently, two beloved series with cult followings signed off for good.  One of the finales came to be praised as one of the best conclusions of all time – and the other reviled as one of the worst.  So let’s stack them up for comparison’s sake; put them in a fight to the death, using five questions to determine how memorable and satisfying the show’s ending is, and whether it adds to or detracts from the series as a whole.  Is the How I Met Your Mother Finale so awful?  Did Psych bobble a bit during its victory lap?  Let’s find out!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Wanna Hire Me?

So, the hole in my roof (and ceiling gah) isn't going away anytime soon.  While I continue to look for meatspace work, I thought I'd open the floor for commissions.

I'm offering $.30 a word, max 400 words.  This may be anything from a story to an article or assignment.   There's obviously Limits to what I can or might write, but if there's ever been anything you'd like me to write for you, now's the time to ask!  Please contact me here to discuss.

Thanks guys!