Posts Tagged ‘reviews’


There’s really no colon there, huh?  So it’s not like, “Into Darkness is a Story of Star Trek,” it’s like, “darkness is where my trek through the stars is taking me.”  Okay, man, sure.

I just watched this movie, and it made me think of this article I read about how snack companies hired a bunch of snack food engineers to manufacture the perfect snack, one that provided maximum oral stimulation and minimal nutritional satisfaction so that people would constantly munch on it without thinking, and how the perfect expression of that snack food was Cheetos.

That’s what this movie, this movie is Cheetos.



I saw Oblivion the other day, and will now write about it. This isn’t strictly a review, and it isn’t strictly dramaturgery, but I will review it a little bit, and I will also do dramaturgery on it, so stick around if you like either of those things.

SPOILERS FOLLOW. Serious spoilers, don’t read ahead if you want to be a little surprised.


Yesterday, I saw “Future Fest”, which is a Luna Theater production of short “science fiction plays”, themed around time travel (I guess, kind of?), which whole thing is part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. I haven’t been doing a lot of reviews of theater lately, for a lot of reasons, but I saw these plays and because they are plays performed in a theater, and because Luna Theater is selling tickets to them, and because it is a part of a cultural even that I, as a Philadelphian, am ostensibly meant to be interested in (“The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts”, which, I don’t know if that’s a festival of international arts? Or is the festival itself international? Whatever. The point is, it’s not a couple skits some cats were doing in their backyard just for the heck of it), I have decided to write about this.

We need to talk about these plays, guys.


This is a very long essay, and it probably constitutes the end of my interest in NBC’s SMASH. I know that most of you will be happy to hear that.

The second season of Smash begins with Karen Cartwright (Katherine McPhee), dressed as Marilyn Monroe, onstage and singing a song called “Cut, Print… Moving On.” Like all the songs on Smash, it is utterly devoid of context; like all the songs on Smash, it seems impossible that there’s any way to combine it with any of the other songs to form something even resembling a comprehensible musical. All pretense that the in-story show, Bombshell, is really a play that people might actually want to watch is abandoned. The song could have easily been called “Here Is the Beginning of the Second Season, We Have a New Creative Team, We Noticed It Too; Aren’t We All Very Clever?”


Man, you guys.  I wasn’t even going to write about this, until Charlie Jane Anders posted up this article from The Wrap, which is about how The Hunger Games and The Avengers are doing so well that there’s no money left for Battleship, and it contains a quote from Universal’s domestic distribution chief Nikki Rocco in which she says:

In my heart of hearts I feel ‘Battleship’ would have fared much better if in its third week ‘Avengers’ wasn’t doing $55 million.

This is basically the same thing as saying, “I believe that if pizza weren’t so successful as a food product, more people would be lining up to buy my turd sandwich,” in that yes, duh.  Of course people would rather see The Avengers nine times than see Battleship.  I would rather watch The Avengers nine times, and I hate watching anything twice.  I would rather watch no other movies for the rest of my life, and watch The Avengers every single day until the Four Horseman annihilate the world at the front of a wave of radioactive space sludge than watch Battleship.

Because Battleship is a turd sandwich.


I’ve got to admit, I don’t know whether those Wilma Theater cats are really happy with the theater that they’ve got. It’s a great big cavernous space, with, I don’t know, three hundred seats or something like that. It can’t be mixed around the way a traditional black box can, though it doesn’t have that weird grandeur that proscenium spaces sometimes have. I don’t know, do you think they like it? Was this is the idea when they built the new theater? “Let’s do a bunch of plays in a space where we can’t rearrange the spacial arrangement between play and audience.”

“Let’s do a Sam Shepard play!”

[Read the rest at the SOE blog]

[A review from first-time TQP contributor Dave Braak, who is not the same person as regular braak, who is me. — braak]

I just finished reading Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. As with many stories, some parts were good, and some parts were not so good. I would like to talk about what it was about, and what I think it should have been about; about what it focused on, and what would have made for a more compelling focus. There are some SPOILERS AHEAD, and if you would rather read the book yourself, and would prefer it not to be SPOILED, please do not continue.

I mean, I liked it.  It was nice, I had a good time, there were some funny jokes and everything.  And it was definitely full of characters that I like to see, and it was nice to see them again, sometimes they said funny things.  Also, there were celebrity cameos, like when Dave Grohl played for the evil Muppet band, and James Carville was answering the phone at the telethon.  It’s funny, because those aren’t situations that you’d expect to see Dave Grohl or James Carville in!

But once the immediate flush of recognition had worn off, some days later, I…I’ve actually been (and believe me when I say that it is deeply painful for me to write this) kind of getting the feeling that this movie just…wasn’t very good.


Maybe you’ve heard of this crazy lady who responded very poorly to a review of her book.  Maybe you haven’t.  If you haven’t, here’s the upshot:  some people are crazy and respond poorly to negative reviews. 


I know, right?


My name is Ryan Crutchfield and I am a system architect and application programmer with a master’s degree in archaeology that I never get to use. I am a regular contributor at and my twitter stream (@rc6750) will more than likely bore you to tears.

I am a huge fan of robots. I have built my own robots, have robot-themed artwork hanging on my walls, and even celebrated the recent 90th anniversary of the creation of the word (by drinking alone in my apartment). With some exceptions, I enjoy most literature and movies involving robots. For example, despite the ABSOLUTE RIDICULOUSNESS of this movie, I am still excited (and embarrassed) to see it. So when I was recently perusing the Sci-Fi section of the local used book store it was with great excitement that I came across The Robot Brains by Sydney J. Bounds published in 1967. The cover features a giant robot with claws, clearly chasing a terrified human across a barren landscape. The text above the title ominously declares, “Monster brains dominate the Earth and destroy man’s only hope for survival”. HELL YES. I thought I was about to be treated to some late 60’s robot apocalypse fiction.

I could not have been more wrong.

I am not sure what the statute of limitations is on spoilers, but I am about to drop some 44-year-old spoilers, so consider this your warning.