All posts filed under: Reviews

Review of Sia’s “Electric Heart” (Music Video, 2015)

  Perhaps the greatest thing since kettle cooked potato chips, Sia’s video “Elastic Heart” is an instant classic steeped in interpretive dance and full use of miming, set to a song that is both hypnotizing and exotic in it’s looped beat of an schizophrenic like chant. It starts off with a traditional showdown reminiscent of a Western. Our hero is a 14-year-old girl squaring off against a very chiseled and buff Shia LaBeouf. Questions arise early. Why are these two birds trapped in a cage? Why are they so dirty and stripped down to nothing but underwear? Why are they fighting? Using the song’s lyrics as a guide, we can interpret the cage as representative of the restrictions placed around one’s heart. These two lovers are at quarrel over dominance. The beef seems to be menacing, looking to control the girl who is equally intimidating in her exaggerated facial expressions. Is she the antagonist, egging him on, or merely showboating for survival? The dance begins like a duel, both partners circling each other as a …

Review of My Friend Dahmer (Comic Book, 2012)

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf My rating: 5 of 5 stars My Friend Dahmer is that rare comic, coming in the form of what I truly would describe as the emphatic narrative, worthy of camparissons to Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” and the equally haunting “Kalifornia”. Brooding and engrossing in it’s long take on the famous cannibal, this is a truly harrowing portrait of a would be mass murderer. Dahmer’s mother has a turret’s like syndrome; his father is absent. He lives a solitary life disecting dead rodents and making fun of people’s handicaps. He also has a friend. His name is Derf Backderf… Backderf seems content to zero in on the minutae of Dahmer’s life but avoids the pitfalls of actually trying to pinpoint the cause of Dahmer’s disease. Is he a product of narcissm and bullying or a lonely child bored with the world around him? There seems to be no easy way of finding out, other than to see who Dahmer was as a teenager, getting drunk with his high school pals while …

Salvage the Bones (Book Review)

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward My rating: 3 of 5 stars Sometimes it can be difficult to read such a precious book and maintain the facade of being a film critic at the same time. Something delicate can be hard to break, and for me, I felt guilt while reading this lovely minor novel from the MFA Grad Jesmyn Ward. I make a dinstinction here, because as the back of the cover assures me, Mrs. Ward is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s MFA program, which seems to take all precedent of her little bio, never mind the fact that she has published another novel before this one. Why such the great lengths to impress with a title when her works should suffice? Their is a current in the writing realm today, which is that one cannot be published unless one pursues a higher education, as if the only road to success and fame runs through the university. Never mind that Hemingway travelled to Italy to serve as a Paramedic during the great …

George Washington’s Rules to Live By: How to Sit, Stand, Smile, and Be Cool! A Good Manners Guide From the Father of Our Country

George Washington’s Rules to Live By: How to Sit, Stand, Smile, and Be Cool! A Good Manners Guide From the Father of Our Country by George Washington My rating: 4 of 5 stars Some of my favorite rules are ones meant to guide children as they make their way through life. While some of these tips to behave may seem outdated, there is much to cherish and learn from. Written with both wit and grace, every rule is followed by a snippet about how it applied to George Washington’s life, serving not only as an amusing commentary but as well a history lesson one of the first founding fathers of our great country. Adorable and cute, this concise book is a must have for every little lady and gentleman looking to make an impression on the world around them. I know I won’t be picking at my teeth without a toothpick soon! A hearty 4 stars and a toast to those who mind others. May we all learn a little respect! View all my reviews

Y: The Last Man, Vol 1: Unmanned

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan My rating: 3 of 5 stars Perhaps my expectations were doomed to failure. Perhaps I’m just no fun. Whatever the case may be, the truth is I found myself a little disappointed with a comic book that has garnered so much hype. Hailed by many as one of the greatest comic book series out there, I came to this first volume with high expectations, perhaps because I just can’t resist following the penguins off the cliff. None other than the somewhat similar disappointing novel “The Stand” by Stephen King, Y: The Last Man details an apocalyptic setting, here presented in the form of every male member of every animal species dying in an instant that is never quite explained. The hook is that one male human and his one male monkey are the sole survivors of the extinction, and find themselves now in the hands of the dreaded women who are now left helpless, because as the statistics in an info dump tell us …

Review of Golem Legend: Origins and Implications (Non-Fiction, 1985)

A very concise and simple book explaining the historical origins of the Jewish legend of the Golem. Two main messages Byron creates are thus as follows: 1) Thru language we are able to express our creation 2) There is a danger in creating life when we attempt to play God The first point is a reflection of a Jewish thought that Biblically speaking, we are all (as in human beings) created in God’s image, therefore we all have the capabilities of unlocking the power of God thru our expression, just as God was able to create with his Word. Thus, historically, the notion of creating a Golem is rooted in man’s ability to create thru language life tho what constitutes life is up to debate. The very notion of a soul is defined by man’s ability to communicate, or so Byron argues, and his point is that all humans start out as Golem’s and never achieve personhood until we are able to fully express the spirit, or as he states, breath of God that was …

Review of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (Novel, 2012)

Set to the backdrop of Nazi occupation of Europe and the exploding popularity of pulp trash, an art form we now celebrate as the holy comic book, is the tale of a lonely Jewish son estranged from his family and looking to make amends here in his new home of America. His name is Joe Kavalier and he’s escaped the Holocaust, traveling from Prague in a coffin containing a Golem of Jewish lore, barely slipping by the Third Reich while his parents and beloved brother behind. And that’s just the first 40 pages. Written like a daring comic from the nostalgic period dubbed the Golden Age, Joe is a Jew with a talent for magic and drawing. Trained under the tutelage of master magician Bernard Kornblum, Joe has a knack for escaping from impossible situations. As a fellow admirer of his ultimate hero Houdini, Joe treats his art exactly like his does his trade. On the whim of his cousin Sammy Clay, a fellow artist and writer, Joe helps create the fictional comic book superhero …