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James Tarr

The Greatest Action Movie Hero You’ve Never Heard Of

In the 1980s and ‘90s, action movies, and action comedies, were the hot genre.  They were what audiences wanted to see, and so everybody was making them—every studio, and every actor.  Hell, even Whoopi Goldberg made three action comedies—Jumping Jack Flash, Burglar,...

Peacemaker’s Covert Conservatism

Personally I’m boycotting John Cena, because how loudly and publicly he sucked communist China’s hammer and sickle, but professionally I watched the first season of Peacemaker, currently streaming on HBO. And I found it fascinating. Under all the sex, violence,...

Dave Chappelle is The Mandalorian

Okay, now that I’ve snagged your attention with the clickbait headline, hear me out, as I haven’t lost my mind. Everyone is saying that The Mandalorian is amazing, awesome, wonderful.  And it is very good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not as good as everyone is saying...

The Movie Was Better Than The Book

With the release date and running time of Denis Villeneuve’s version of Dune finally announced, along with the official trailer being released, I have been thinking about the book and movie together.  In the case of Dune, the only question is whether anybody, ever,...

The Death of the American Film Critic

It was in the 1980s that the American movie culture exploded in size.  Theaters went from one screen to two to twenty, and the number of films being released every year dramatically increased to keep those screens filled.  Those multi-plexes—some of them located in...

The Problems with Writing “Smart”

After once again struggling, and failing, to make it through more than two episodes of Blindspot, I am reminded that it often takes quite a bit of work to “write smart”, and smart writing is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to network TV.  Blindspot is...