Pop Culture Reviews
In between producing my first feature length documentary and creating content for The Artist in American History podcast series I like to look at new and old films, music, art, and literature. In these reviews and retrospectives, I look at the themes and ideas from a variety of perspectives. I cannot tell you if a given pop culture artefact is good. But I can give you an insight into the way that I relate to that piece, and the value, or lack thereof, that I find in it.
Do the Right Thing – Reassessing Spike Lee’s 1989 film in a post-Ferguson World.
Chappie – Neill Blomkamp deals with big questions about today’s world by imagining the world of tomorrow.
The Interview – Seth Rogen’s comedy scores a few laughs but it’s the film’s broader impact on world politics that gives it true worth.
Unfrozen – Gender and the Evolution of the Disney ‘Princess’ (From The Artist in American History).
Endless Monotony – Pink Floyd’s disappointing swansong.
Robcop (remake) – A tedious remake that asks some interesting questions.
Tracy Chapman – A look back at one of the 1980s most powerful protest records.
E.T. (Atari 2600) – The first of two reviews that look back at the very birth of the videogame. This oft-derided title is often ranked as one of the worst videogames ever made, but there is something about it that makes it infuriatingly endearing.
Custer’s Revenge (Atari 2600) – The second look back to the early, pioneering days of videogames examines one of the most racist and sexist titles produced during that entire period.
Transformers: Age of Extinction – The latest Transformers movie is an essay on, as it puts it, ‘textbook machismo.
The Beach Boys: SMiLE – Inside one of the most legendary lost albums in the history of the music industry (from The Artist in American History)