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Exposition and Emotion in Interstellar

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by Daniel Stidham

My first impressions upon leaving Interstellar were not gushingly positive. I almost tweeted about how full I felt from being spoon-fed by Chris Nolan for 3 hours, though I held off my quipping in order to give myself time to think about the film. Without giving anything away, I found a major third-act revelation in his new science fiction opus to be frustratingly over-explained. Something that ought to feel like a major discovery, a heavy realization about the very nature of time and space, quickly spills forth from two characters ill-equipped to diagnose or apply it. Before we have a chance to let it sink in, they are already using it to tie plot threads together and push the story forward to its resolution. The result is, ahem, a lack of gravity (I’m sorry). A feeling of weightlessness, if you will (I wouldn’t if I were you). It’s a sense that Nolan is interested in big ideas, but only as long as they provide “whoa” moments to audiences. READ FULL ARTICLE

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25 Great Community Episodes: A Memorial

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We got the news on Friday that Community was done. NBC decided not to renew that weird sitcom it’s been airing before Parks and Rec, the one with the rabid cult fan base and low ratings (though, it should be noted, not much lower than Parks). Over the past year or two as I went through the older seasons on DVD and watched the new ones on TV or on Hulu, the show has come to eclipse even 30 Rock and Arrested Development to take its place as my favorite TV comedy. In some ways it’s like the show was made for me. It was a colorful, creative show that pushed and sometimes destroyed the boundaries of what could be done in a half hour network slot. It made it okay to use movies and TV as ways of expressing yourself and connecting with the people around you. The Abed character was something special that I think really spoke to people. I hope that if I should die suddenly this week my friends will stage it to look like a suicide brought on by the sudden unjust cancellation of Community. READ FULL ARTICLE

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Can we talk about movie trailers for a minute? I’ve been lucky enough to see a couple of PG-rated movies in the theater lately, a fact I tend to forget until I’m treated to a barrage of trailers for family-friendly CG-fests like Free Birds, Mr. Peabody, and The Nut Job. I generally don’t mind this as they’re harmless enough. There has always been disposable crap marketed at kids just like there is to adults and I’m sure as a child some of it amused me; and of course, some movies with children as a key demographic are genuinely great. There is a reason I bought tickets to The Lego Movie and Frozen, which is how I even came to be aware Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue in the first place. It’s also how I spent two of the most baffling minutes of my life viewing the debacle that is the trailer. READ MORE