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Tuesday
Aug192014

Particle Fever

Dear Alan Friedman, Science Outreach Consultant, 

I don’t want to jinx anything, but it looks like science is actually cool again. Chris Hadfield helped the world fall back in love with outer space. Neil deGrasse Tyson amassed an army of followers by popularizing astrophysics. Even Bill Nye is enjoying a late-career resurgence as an outspoken activist (maybe Dancing with the Stars actually can be a force for good in the universe). What all these bright minds have in common is that, like you, they’ve found ways of making abstract theories and mind-numbing realities exciting to the general public. Particle Fever banks on that premise. And it works. The actual physics went way over my head, but the storytelling hit me right in the heart.

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Monday
Aug182014

The Expendables 3

Dear Nicolas Cage, (Declined),

Yeah, I know—you didn’t even appear in The Expendables 3. But your refusal to participate in the popular geriatric action franchise says something significant about the nature of these films. It’s not that you’re too good for them. But perhaps that you’re too complicated. 

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Sunday
Aug172014

Lawrence & Holloman

Dear Guy Roland, Production Designer,

This may sound slightly perverse, but I believe that some things are just better when they’re dark: coffee, chocolate, and comedy. There is something particularly hilarious about the violent dismantling of another human being. It’s something that makes you laugh in spite of that tiny voice in your head that says, “You shouldn’t be laughing at this…”

And yet. 

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Friday
Aug152014

Sabotage

Dear Arnold Schwarzenegger, Actor,

There’s a very simple binary way to judge your latest post-Gubernatorial comeback flick, Sabotage. And it only takes about ten seconds:

  1. The opening shot of the film is perfectly representative of why it doesn’t work. 
  2. The second shot perfectly represents why it should have worked. 

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Wednesday
Aug132014

Hercules

Dear Peter Berg, Executive Producer,

As a director, you’ve adapted screenplays from books, actual events, and even from a beloved board game. As executive producer of Hercules, you must have been excited to bring such an epic character to the screen. The legend of Hercules is entrenched in history through song, art,  and literature. In pop culture, he has graced the large and small screen for over eighty years. Strange, then, that with this abundance of backstory – and dude-bro Brett Ratner at the helm –you offer up such a flaccid and forgettable version of the mythological hero.

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