Tag: reviews

Critiques answer the question, “Is it art?” Reviews answer, “Is it good?”

“It’s Just That…”

THERE’S A THING — WELL, LET’S call it a verbal placeholder-prefix — used by writers of audiovisual entertainments when they want a character to segue away from or into an awkward conversation. My friends, meet: “It’s just that…” You’ve heard…

First Graf: On the Road

HAVING FIRST (AND LAST) READ this shortly before a 1985-6 cross-country hitchhiking-and-bus-adventure, I’d forgotten how good it was until beginning to read it aloud to The Partner recently. A rollicking, crying-out-for-emulation 1957 work, what strikes me about it now is…

Why I Love: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

IT’S THE EPISODE-BY-EPISODE CONTINUITY. It’s the attention to detail (even in the direction). It’s the character development. (It’s also the characters.) It’s the insiders-feeling treatment of religious faith. It’s the strong female roles (mostly). It’s the sometimes-complicated political schemes. It’s…

Why I Love: Star Wars

IT’S THE BLUE INTERTITLE PROCLAIMING “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” It’s the concept of the Force: nakedly nondual, essentially Taoist, but not preachy about it. It’s the costumes. It’s the sets (even the CGI ones,…

Tortured Gastronome

EVERY TIME ANTHONY BOURDAIN MAKES a reference on one of his TV shows to hanging himself in a shower stall, Ann and I swap meaningful looks. After all, that’s exactly how the 61-year-old chef, traveler, writer and raconteur ended up…

First Graf: Ulysses

THERE’S NOT MUCH ELSE TO say about James Joyce’s magnum opus (although some would apply that descriptor to Finnegans Wake) that hasn’t been said, and by greater and more erudite scholars than this reporter: takes place over 24 hours in…