Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2023

Consumed With Hate: Atonement

🪖 We're So Sorry, Uncle Albert... The Crime:  Atonement The Guilty Party: Joe Wright, but mostly Ian McEwan Overview: A gorgeous and tragic period drama ends with a soul-crushing rug pull. Why I Hate It... Content warning for sexual assault, and oh by the way I need to spoil the ending in order to discuss it. Atonement  is a 2007 period film directed by Joe Wright based on a 2001 novel of the same name by Ian McEwan. It's a moody period piece that balances stories of lost love with jealousy, tragedy, and guilt into a gorgeous tableau. Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey creates painterly vistas that juxtapose the bleak horror of war against small moments of beauty. It received rave reviews for its texture and nuance--and it's acting, which included a star-making turn from a then 13-year-old Saoirse Ronan. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It was one of the most highly-regarded films of its year. And oh my god, I hated it so much! The movie foll

Fixing "The Last Airbender"

🛠️ I Will Try To Fix You... A few weeks ago I posted about how terrible M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender  was. Something that I didn't really have space for in the post was that the movie is more than anything else a failure of adaptation. Don't get me wrong, it's still badly shot, badly edited, badly acted, badly designed, etc. But at the heart of it all is a terrible script and fixing that would at least be a first step towards getting a competent director to turn it into a film that's at least  mediocre. So let's talk about the challenges of that adaptation. The first issue is one of scope. Season one of Avatar: The Last Airbender  is roughly seven hours of television. Now, a lot of it is very episodic and can be condensed down into montage so you can focus on the fundamental story, but the story is big and there's a lot of ground to cover. We need to introduce our principle trio, the relevant backstory, as well as introduce our primary villain f

Consumed With Hate: The Missionary Position

⛪ Tie Your Mother Down... The Crime:  The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice The Guilty Party: Christopher Hitchens Overview: A world-class iconoclast directs his ire at one of the most revered then-living religious figures on the planet and delivers an overly catty disorganized rant. Why I Hate It... Let's get this out of the way right at the top: I'm not here to defend Mother Teresa. That is not what's happening here. Even a cursory glance at the criticism section of her wikipedia page will let you know that this woman was highly problematic. If someone wants to take her down a peg by highlighting her decades of misappropriating funds, denying care to the needy because she thought suffering would be good for their souls, and converting them  without their consent , I'm here for it. I was eager and excited to read this book. Here's the thing, though. If you're going to aim your pen at such a beloved and iconic figure, you need to have a

Consumed With Hate: King of New York

🐵 If I Can Make It There... The Crime:  King of New York The Guilty Party: Richard Garfield Overview: IELLO Games follows up their hugely successful Kaiju king-of-the-hill dice game with a sequel that seems to not understand any of the appeal of its predecessor. Why I Hate It... King of Tokyo is a family-weight press-your-luck dice game designed by Richard Garfield and published by IELLO. It arrived early in the post- Catan  board game renaissance and caught enough attention to be considered a staple of a tabletop gamer's collection. It was featured on Wil Wheaton's TableTop YouTube series for Geek and Sundry. It showed up in listicles talking about the new games you should be playing instead of Yahtzee and Monopoly . I've written about it before.  It has fun mechanics, it plays quickly, it's easy to learn, it has charming art design, and it offers a great tactile experience. It's very swingy because it's a dice game and--as any gamer can tell you--dice hate

AMC's Tiered Pricing Is An Affront To Humanity & Other Bad Takes

🍿 There'll Be No More Tears In Heaven... Yesterday AMC Theaters announced that it was going to introduce tiered pricing based on seating for their movie showings that took place after 4 P.M. Most tickets would remain the same price, but the front row would be reduced and some of the more sought after seats in the middle would be raised. The average ticket price would go down, but negligibly. Now, as someone with a degree in Economics, I think this makes a lot of sense. AMC already does some price discrimination with show times and their Stubs memberships, and now that theaters have mostly embraced assigned seating, something like this was going to come down the pike sooner or later. Because the simple fact is that some seats are more valuable than others--as any concert goer can attest. So, from an economic perspective, this is a smart move for the theater and one that doesn't hurt movie-goers. The internet, however, lost its collective shit. Arguments vary. One I frequently h

Consumed With Hate: The Last Airbender

⬇️  Bend Me, Break Me, Any Way You Need Me... The Crime:  The Last Airbender The Guilty Party: M. Night Shyamalan Overview: A beloved animated children's show is frankensteined to life as a joyless, ugly, incomprehensible wreck. Why I Hate It... In January of 2007, Nickelodeon announced that they would be releasing a live-action adaptation of their beloved fantasy-adventure martial-art series,  Avatar: The Last Airbender . It was to be a trilogy of films, and those movies would be written, directed, and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, a director best known for slow-burn thrillers who had never directed fantasy, martial arts, adventure, or children's movies, and whose previous three movies has been kinda bad ( Signs ), watchably bad ( The Village ), and badly unwatchable ( Lady in the Water ). Oddly, entrusting one of their flagship properties to Shyamalan is not the worst decision that went into this film. The Last Airbender  is a fantastic watch if you're a lover of terrib