Understanding Slash Through Torchwood

I’ve never been a fan of slash or yaoi. I found reading about slash and its practitioners fascinating when I was studying fandom for my masters’ degree, but the material itself never did anything for me. I also keep trying yaoi (I seem to be one of the few general reviewers willing to cover it), but I don’t have an emotional connection to the stories or much personal interest in the genre. I was very much looking forward to the […]

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Sky High

An adorable movie with appealing characters and entertaining visuals. Sky High is the story of how Will Stronghold learns what heroism means. His parents, Jetstream and the Commander, are the preeminent heroes of their city. They expect great things from him, but as he enters high school, he’s the only kid who hasn’t yet gotten superpowers. He has to come to terms with the idea that he may never get any, an appropriate metaphor for the uncertainties of adolescence. His […]

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Teen Titans Season 2

I liked the first season of Teen Titans well enough that I rushed into the second. That was probably a mistake. The first episode, “How Long Is Forever?”, pits the Titans against a time-traveling thief, resulting in a surprisingly elegiac and overall depressing entry about losing friends and the ravages of time. Cyborg is particularly damaged, tethered to the tower due to his technology becoming obsolete. Beast Boy is fat, bald, and caged in a circus. Raven is utterly alone. […]

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Teen Titans Season 1

I was drawn to Teen Titans because the the characters are so well-done, whether it’s Starfire’s alien optimism, Raven’s quiet darkness, or Cyborg’s stubborn strength. Beast Boy’s the most teen to my eyes, with his goofy screwups serving as metaphor for gawky adolescence. In the first episode, Robin’s voice is not quite right for me, but by episode two, it has either altered or I’ve adjusted to it. The first episode, “Divide and Conquer”, is an interesting choice for an […]

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The Lake House

I very much enjoyed watching The Lake House. The premise is intriguing — two people fall in love while living in the same house in different years through their unexplained ability to send notes to each other — and the execution is lovely, with plenty of impressive visuals to get lost in. The house is as impressive as it needs to be for a title character, a glass box on a lake near Chicago, pretending to be open but surprisingly […]

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Eureka

I really like Eureka. It’s about a town full of geniuses, where someone rather like Tony Stark (Ed Quinn, playing “Nathan Stark”) runs a secret government research lab. His ex-wife is the top administrative official (Salli Richardson), and she’s attracted to the new sheriff in town (Colin Ferguson), a well-meaning but not-too-smart former US marshal. One of the best parts of the show is the way it plays opposite to prevailing TV stereotypes. The smartest guy in town (Joe Morton), […]

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V for Vendetta

I didn’t see this film on the big screen, and as I watch it begin now on the new DVD, I think maybe I should have. The portentous introduction, I suspect, would have played better in a dark theater than a living room with distractions abounding. It quickly became irrelevant, though, as I got lost in the movie. This two-DVD set (review copy provided) has the trailer a 15-minute making-of with artist David Lloyd, producer Joel Silver, director James McTeigue, […]

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Voices of a Distant Star

In the near future, an interstellar war separates two teens in love in Voices of a Distant Star. This short anime, while competently created (apparently by one guy on his home computer) appeals not because of the visuals — the character designs are familiar and uninspired, and the cross-cutting choppy — but because of the mood. I describe the two as “in love” because it’s the closest I can get to describing them (and “lovers” sounds silly, because it’s not […]

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