The Orville: “Home” (2019)

The Orville:
“Can There Be Star Trek Without Star Trek?” Seth MacFarlane’s new show on FOX, The Orville did not get off to a great start. Its pilot was wretched. Directed by the overrated Jon Favreau, “Old Wounds” (September 10, 2017) opens with Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) discovering his wife, Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) in bed with a blue ...

Ready Player One (2018)

Ready Player One (2018)
“So shines a good deed in a weary world” By returning the industry to its mad quest for blockbuster-level profits, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975) and George Lucas’ Star Wars (1977) killed an academically beloved period of American cinema, the Hollywood Renaissance, a set of ambitious, modernist, politically critical films ranging from The Graduate and Easy ...

Rogue One (2016)

Rogue One (2016)
“Physical Media from Long, Long Ago” The development of digital media from its analog forebears is one of the most important stories of the development of our current, high technology world. My students look at me funny when I pull out a DVD instead of looking up a clip on YouTube. However, in the world ...

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
“At what point is it no longer Star Wars?” The six Star Wars films produced and/or directed by George Lucas developed into one of the most beloved mythological expressions of human civilization of the modern era. I thought about this quite a bit as I sat relatively indifferent to J.J. Abrams very good new film, ...