I recently finished reading the first 13 volumes of Yotsuba&! And I’m hard-pressed to think of a series that has brought me so many laughs and so much joy. It’s a rare delight, an appropriate for all ages book with enough charm and gags to make each page a delightful, breezy read. It’s not deep, heady, challenging, or serious, but I’d also be hard-pressed to put a lot of more serious and important works above the simple delights of Yotsuba&!. Continue reading Yotsuba&!
Wreck-It Ralph broke a lot of the rules of the traditional Disney structure: a story from the viewpoint of a supposed villain, a Disney princess not looking for true love, and a celebration of contemporary culture instead of a yearning back to a bygone historical period. Ralph Breaks the Internet continues these trends and presenting an entirely different worldview than most Disney films. Continue reading Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
Silence is one of the go-to tricks of many a horror film. It’s a classic way to lead up to a jump scare or build suspense. It naturally draws the viewer in, puts them on edge, because there’s something unnerving about silence in a world where we’ve become so used to the noise. Continue reading A Quiet Place (2018)
If you distilled horror to its core idea, it would be the idea of fear. And while fear is a core concept of the genre, one could argue that even more than fear it is a genre about trauma. The best horror stories often come with traumatic pasts attached; whether it be the story told around the campfire of the boy who drowned in Crystal Lake or what horrible event casted a shadow over the haunted mansion. The Boy is intriguing in that it deals with the trauma of the past but positions itself as a story where the line between what is true and what is “pub talk” isn’t always clear. Continue reading The Boy (2016)
Dontnod’s Life is Strange is a rare delight in video games: one built around a cast of relatable characters that come across as human and strong as the best stories in any medium. While the medium lacks the realism and nuance of a human performance, it’s a reminder of how far games have strived when a video game story can be as bold, moving and gripping as primetime TV or award-winning movies. Continue reading Life is Strange