by D.W. Lundberg

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Disney/Pixar's Inside Out tells the story of 11- year-old Riley Andersen, uprooted from her home in Minnesota and carted off to San Francisco, where her father just landed a new job. On the cusp of adolescence, Riley is completely unprepared for the mental and emotional turmoil the move is about to cause herself and her family; her parents, likewise, can't understand why their little girl, once so bright and open and the light of their lives, suddenly turns so irritable and distant. Ultimately, Riley is able to reconcile her feelings and make up with Mom and Dad (SPOILER), and they live in perfect harmony together forever after. All this, of course, is just the springboard for the really interesting stuff, in which we learn that Riley's emotions are sentient beings operating a giant control room inside her head. There's Joy, green-yellow and eternally optimistic; Anger, who's always on the verge of blowing his red brick top; Fear, a bug-eyed purple nebbish; Disgust, who can barely hide the look of disdain on her face; and Sadness, mopey and morose and blue. So far, Joy has been Riley's dominant personality trait, until circumstances force Sadness to challenge that position, and when both Joy and Sadness are ejected from headquarters and plunged deeper into the recesses of Riley's brain, it's up to Anger, Fear, and Disgust to keep up appearances - with often disastrous results.

Suffice it to say Inside Out is unlike anything Pixar has ever attempted before - eye-popping and funny and heartfelt, yes, but clearly conceived as a metaphor for the way our emotions sometimes get the better of us... and how our children learn to cope with those emotions during their formative years, much to the chagrin of their parents. It's an idea rife with dramatic possibilities, which director Pete Docter (Up) and co-screenwriters Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley are consistently able to mine for comedy and visual gold. (I haven't even begun to describe Riley's "Personality Islands," or the color-coded translucent orbs in which her memories are "stored" and then carted off to Long Term Memory when she sleeps, or Bing Bong, or the stopovers in Imagination Land or - my personal favorite - Abstract Thought, where the characters are rendered as cubist shapes that would make Picasso proud.)

Friday, November 6, 2015


One of the most derided entries in the James Bond canon, Die Another Day opened in November of 2002 to coincide with 007's 40-year cinematic anniversary. It was Pierce Brosnan's fourth and final outing as the inimitable superspy, and the first Bond film to embrace the use of CGI for its action scenes (which was a major source of said derision). Yet despite the misgivings of critics and Bond fans alike, Die Another Day managed to gross $432 million worldwide - the highest-grossing franchise entry up to that point (unadjusted for inflation). The plot, for the uninitiated, centers around a failed mission in North Korea during which Bond is captured and held prisoner for 14 months. Once released, Bond finds he's been disavowed by MI6 and that his 00 status has been rescinded... but never one to shrink from a challenge (ahem), decides to go "rogue" in order to clear his name and discover the identity of the agent who betrayed him. Along the way, Bond makes friends with a bikini-clad sidekick, engages his enemy in a “winner takes all” sporting match, drives around in his patented Aston Martin with built-in patented ejector seat, hangs off cliffs, has his cover blown by facial recognition software, and disarms a solar-powered superweapon (not in that order).

If any of that sounds at all familiar to you, congratulations: you've seen enough James Bond in your lifetime to know that Die Another Day cribs from the best (and some of the not-so-best) of them. (And those are: Bond going rogue = Licence To Kill; betrayed by fellow agent = GoldenEye; bikini sidekick = Dr. No; sporting match + ejector seat = Goldfinger; cliff-hanging = For Your Eyes Only; facial recognition = A View To A Kill; solar superweapon = The Man With The Golden Gun.) But is this a case of pure laziness on the filmmakers' part, or simply par for the course at this point? Like any good soup or stew, we expect our Bond films to be stuffed with all the familiar ingredients - a sprinkle of outlandish gadgetry here, a dollop of double entendres there, three cups of vehicular mayhem over there. And while I admit having a soft spot for the film itself (I like the devil-may-care, adrenaline-pumping pace of the thing, despite the ridiculousness of the plot), I'll also be the first to admit that Die Another Day, more than The World Is Not Enough before it, plays more like a Greatest Hits assemblage of previous Bond adventures than an actual movie.

The franchise's 40th Anniversary might have more to do with this than we initially suspected. The makers of Die Another Day had two simple requirements: one, make the movie accessible to The Fast And The Furious set, and two, include enough homages to Bond's cinema past while trying to appeal to the The Fast And The Furious set. As such, 007's 20th big-screen endeavor is not only loaded with crash-zooms and extreme sports sequences but also references to every (official) Bond film ever made. Some of these are subtle - others, not so much. Then again, James Bond has never been one for subtlety.

Friday, October 30, 2015


Well, it's Halloween again, folks! That time when we fire up our cauldrons and our jack-o'-lanterns, and line the grocery stores for our Kit Kats and costumes for the kiddos, all in anticipation of everyone's second favorite holiday of the year (or, as we like to call it in the Lundberg home, The Night We Stock Up On Enough Stinking Candy To Last Us Through Easter At Least). It is also the time for movies about ghouls, ghosts, and goblins to flood our cinematic consciousness, and in keeping with tradition here at FTWW, I wanted to do something fun for you guys as a countdown to the big night.

This year, though, I wanted to make it a bit more personal, so instead of offering up a generic list of Horror titles guaranteed to worm their way into everyone's torture chamber at night, I've decided to share 31 (31 - get it?) of the biggest frights of my entire movie-going experience - specific moments from specific films, in order of intensity, which managed to scare the ever-living bejeebus out of me since I first fell in love with movies as a kid.

Monday, August 31, 2015


If I pride myself on anything here at FTWW, it's that I'm constantly trying to go against the grain of what every other blog on the 'net is doing. By this I mean no disrespect. There are plenty of quality ways to spend your time online, especially if you're as movie-hungry as I am. Movie trivia sites. Aggregate movie review sites. Sites which cover every aspect of the history of film, or scoops and spoilers about every upcoming film. Yet ever since the beginning, it's been my mission statement of sorts to fly in the face of all that - because why bother giving you something you can literally experience thousands of places elsewhere? And so from this idea came regular columns such as Franchise Face-Offs or MacGuffin With Egg or Details You Probably Never Noticed, the purpose of which is not to preach, or sound smarter than the average person off the street, but to open your eyes to the many ways we look at films - the little things that make them work (or not work), and maybe make us view them in a whole new light.

Which is why it's been just a tad disheartening while researching these AWSPOAFMs to find that many other sites have kinda/sorta covered the same idea already. Popsugar's done it. Den of Geek has done it. Heck, even has done it (their Alec Baldwin/Millard Fillmore connection is an especially nice touch). And in those moments when I've thought to myself, Why bother then?, I am reminded of the simple fact that there is no longer anything new under the sun, this idea of the Celebrity Lookalike included. It's something that's obviously crossed the minds of many a blogger or casual TV watcher/movie goer (even yourself) on many an occasion. That's part of the fun, isn't it? Because it isn't the subject itself you're tackling, but how you go about it that makes all the difference.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


If Ant-Man and Terminator Genisys have taught us anything this summer, it's that there's still plenty of life left in our older generation of actors yet. And I don't mean that in the metaphorical, gee-I-never-knew-they-still-had-it-in-them sprightly performance kind of way. After all, Michael Douglas is merely a supporting player in Marvel's latest bid for superhero supremacy, and spends most of his time standing on the sidelines, spouting exposition. Schwarzenegger, too, plays more of an expository machine than killing machine this time out, trying to make sense of so many fractured timelines and cracking jokes about being "old but not obsolete" (though box office pundits might beg to differ on that last one). The problem is, most of our marquee movie stars of yesteryear simply can't compete with the Vin Diesels and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnsons of today - Douglas, for all his vim and vigor, turns 71 this September, while Schwarzenegger celebrated his 68th birthday on July 30 - so they've been "promoted" to mentor roles or crotchety figures of fun in order to stay relevant. For one brief shining moment in both Ant-Man and Terminator Genisys, however, we're reminded of their past glories (and unwithered faces) with the help of some revolutionary CG effects, and the results, for a change, are breathtaking. Never before has a digital face-lift looked so good.

Granted, CGI hasn't always had the best track record for replicating human flesh on screen. Skin tones tend to look plastic, and contrary to popular belief, human beings do not move with the dexterity of stop-motion animated figures, with rubbery, elongated limbs. And yet filmmakers insist on pushing the technology to its absolute limits, regardless of necessity or common sense. Close-ups of faces, in particular, are especially unforgiving, since we're practically invited to get a cold, hard look at the imperfections of the process. Like this computer-generated visage of actor Bruce Lee, resurrected for a Johnnie Walker whiskey commercial that aired on Chinese television in 2013:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


When we last saw him in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, depending on which screening you were (un)lucky enough to attend, Mr. Wade Winston Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) - aka Deadpool, aka Weapon X - was lying amongst the rubble of Three Mile Island, having literally lost his head in a battle with a certain adamantium-clawed superhero. Of course, not even a good decapitation can keep a good Deadpool down, which is why our final fleeting glimpse of the Merc With A Mouth came as a shock to absolutely no one: As his clearly not-dead hand crawled toward his clearly not-dead severed head, his eyes fluttered open, and his lips offered a pre-emptive "Shhhh...", in a bit of fourth-wall breaking that was perfectly in keeping with the comic books. X-Men Origins didn't get a lot of things right, but that was certainly one of them, and fans have spent the last six years anxiously awaiting the promise of that shot - a Deadpool solo spin-off movie, or at the very least, a follow-up film in which Deadpool played anything other a superfluous side character.

Which, come February 12, 2016, is exactly what we're gonna get. Directed by former VFX artist Tim Miller, and starring Reynolds, Ed Skrein, and Morena Baccarin, Deadpool: The Movie finally sprung to life following a two-minute sizzle reel that leaked to the Internet in July 2012. This bootleg test footage (also directed by Miller), in which a fully-costumed, heavily-CGI'd Deadpool slices, dices, and sarcasms his way through a car-load of hapless henchmen, really seemed to get the character's trademark snark down pat, and wowed 20th Century Fox executives enough to greenlight a feature film. Production then began on March 23, 2015, and ended on May 29; in between, Mr. Reynolds, always the cad, Tweeted a number of memorable reveals about the shoot (most of them NSFW), in an epic attempt to assure fans that the property was in good hands. And then, on July 11, all fears about the movie were finally laid to rest, when an exclusive trailer debuted to cheering crowds at the San Diego Comic-Con. It will be everything Deadpool devotees have come to expect from the character: quippy, profane, gratuitously violent, and a kick in the pants to all other comic book movies that came before it.

Friday, May 15, 2015


On Wednesday, CBS released the extended trailer for their upcoming Supergirl series (set to debut this November), to general acclaim from fanboys and network nitpickers alike. Developed by Greg Berlanti (whose production company also oversees The Flash and Arrow for The CW) and Ali Adler (ABC'S No Ordinary Family), Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El, Superman's Kryptonian cousin, who, "after 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be." In short, it's your typical superhero origin story, on a TV budget, with all the comic book existentialism and witty romantic comedy banter we've come to expect from our modern-day pop entertainments.

For her part, Benoist captures the cheerfulness and naivete of the character quite well, thank you very much, especially during the action scenes - check out her obvious glee, for example, at 4:35, when she discovers she's bulletproof. (Speaking of Glee: Benoist and her Flash counterpart, Grant Gustin, are both veterans of Fox's musical melodrama.) The writing, too, takes obvious delight poking at gender stereotypes ("What do you think is so bad about 'girl'? I'm a girl, and your boss, and powerful, and rich, and hot, and smart. So if you perceive 'Supergirl' as anything less than excellent, isn't the real problem... you?"), and, of course, includes its share of Easter Eggs.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Last week, we spoke a bit about the current state of advertising in Hollywood - specifically, how film distributors have figured out a way to tease the trailers for upcoming films, of all things, only to fall prey to Internet hackers and piracy. What we didn't talk about, though the topic certainly merits some discussion, is how these trailers seem to be advertising for films you may have already seen on the big screen. And I'm not just talking about sequels repeating the vices and virtues of their respective originals, as is so often the case. I'm talking about specific shots or sequences lifted from previous blockbusters. They just might be too subtle for anyone to notice them.

There's Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron, of course, which just opened to $191 million in the U.S. (and crossed the $631-million mark at the box office worldwide). But while you can expect the sequel to the Third Most Successful Film Of All Time to continue many of the MCU's long-standing traditions - sequel baiting, mystical doodads, killing off major characters only to bring them back in future installments - there's a moment, approximately 1:30 into the third and final trailer for Age Of Ultron, that should be instantly familiar to fans of The Matrix Reloaded:

Monday, April 27, 2015


Could someone please tell me when trailer-worship became an actual thing? By "trailer," of course, I mean "a short promotional film composed of clips showing highlights of a movie due for release in the near future," as defines it, and by "worship" I mean "people completely losing their s#@% over two minutes of random footage for a movie that probably hasn't even finished shooting yet." Most unsettling is the fact that you no longer need to venture down to your local theater to view these trailers in all their big-screen glory, as was the case in my day. Now, you can download the latest trailers onto your computer, or access them on YouTube or some attention-seeking celebrity's Facebook or Twitter feed, to your heart's content.

As if that weren't enough, we have now reached a point where studios have started releasing trailers for their trailers - 30-60-second teasers for full-length previews soon to debut on TV or the web. I first noticed this during the build-up to Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), when Paramount rolled out this minute-long teaser on December 6th, 2012:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


As the Disney live-action remake/cartoon nostalgia train rolls on (this morning, Sir Ian McKellan posted this report from the Beauty And The Beast table read), I thought we'd take a gander at the effects these films have had in our current pop culture climate.

Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland (2010) came first, of course - a (some would say) drastic re-conceptualizing of the animated Disney classic, with Johnny Depp as a bug-eyed Mad Hatter and Helena Bonham Carter suffering from the most horrifying case of elephantiasis ever captured on film. Next, Universal took a crack at the fairest one of them all with Snow White & The Huntsman (2012), starring Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart. Then in 2014, Disney earned themselves a mint by casting Angelina Jolie in Maleficent, a faux-feminist retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the POV of the villain. And while I didn't much care for Maleficent ("This is an ugly, embittered film on many levels," I wrote here, and I stick by that - just not for the reasons you'd expect), I did pick up on a strange sort of trend that popped up at the end of all three films - namely, the desire to turn beloved Disney princess-types into pant-wearing warriors.

Friday, April 3, 2015


Our continuing series of blog posts in which we take a look at odd movie coincidences – scenes, jokes, dialogue, even specific camera shots shared between two (or more) seemingly unrelated films. Anyone who's sat through a particular scene in a movie and thought, "Gee, haven't I seen someone so this somewhere before?" will know exactly what I’m talking about.

One of the most underrated animated films of the last twenty years, Brad Bird's The Iron Giant (1999) tells the gentle story of a nine-year-old boy who befriends a sentient robot from outer space. It was based on a children's book, The Iron Man, written by Ted Hughes and published in 1968 (then later adapted as a rock musical by The Who's Pete Townshend). The movie was adored by critics but largely (some would say criminally) ignored by audiences, thanks to a half-hearted marketing push by Warner Bros, who apparently couldn't make heads or tails of it. Since then, it's grown in stature not just as a classic of animation but as a classic American film - as much for its rich 50s period setting as its wicked sense of humor, showcased already by Bird during his stint on The Simpsons (1989-1998) and again during The Incredibles (2004) and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011).

Monday, March 30, 2015


First things first: Big Hero 6, Disney's 54th Animated Classic, is a charming, heartwarming, often exhilarating adventure that also happens to teach a valuable lesson about grief - how we cope with it, what we do with it, and how we channel that grief into something destructive or used for the greater good. (The screenplay, believe it or not, even incorporates Kübler-Ross's five stages of grief to some degree.) Having watched it at home for the 60th or 70th time (my five-year-old is obsessed with it), I can safely say that the fun and impact of the movie haven't lessened a bit since our first initial viewing - a sign of a quality film if there ever was one. What's also clear, and I'm surprised most reviews failed to focus on it, is that Big Hero 6 is very much a Comic Book Movie in the Marvel mold, with cuddlier characters and a CG bubble gum sheen to rank with Disney's finest.

"What's this?" you ask. "Big Hero 6 is based on a comic book?" "Why, yes," I reply, but one so obscure you're forgiven if you've never heard of it. Created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau (who own and operate Man of Action Entertainment, a writers' collective responsible for cartoons such as Ben 10 and Generator Rex), Big Hero 6 first appeared in a three-issue Marvel mini-series in September of 1998. They were a group of highly-intelligent super-beings, sanctioned by the Japanese government to protect the country from enemy attack. The team's initial roster included Silver Samurai/Kenuichio Harada (whose name should have extra resonance for X-Men fans), Sunfire/Shiro Yoshida, GoGo Tomago/Leiko Tanaka, Honey Lemon/Aiko Miyazaki, and Hiro Takachiho and his monster guardian, Baymax. (Future team members included Ebon Samurai, Fredzilla, and Wasabi-No-Ginger.) Needless to say, their comic book incarnations differ greatly from the characters in the film.

Friday, March 20, 2015


So here we are, back for another round of celebrity doppelgangers. Believe it or not, I'd just barely finished up our previous post on the subject when I immediately thought of 15-20 more AWSPOAFMs who could have just as easily made the cut. But that's all for the greater good, I guess, since I was hoping to expand this into a regular column anyway.

As expected, the reaction was a typical one, with enough Facebook friends submitting their own ideas for future brother/sister/parent pair-ups to last us an additional post or two. Also as promised, I will be taking those suggestions and including them here, one per post, in addition to some of my own. As always, your recommendations are welcome, either below or on FTWW's Facebook page. Let's keep this game going for as long as we can!

Friday, March 13, 2015


A couple of months ago, a friend messaged me on Facebook, asking me for a recommendation on which film he should see on the big screen for the weekend. Browsing the showtimes for local theaters, I told him to avoid Taken 3 at all costs (the big release for that Friday, and, let's face it, a ripoff of The Fugitive, with bigger explosions and less logic) and heartily recommended The Imitation Game instead, starting Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. "Oh, yeah," my friend wrote back, "[that] reminded me of A Beautiful Mind a little. I'm sure it's very different, but the decrypting idea was similar."

Immediately I jumped to the new movie's defense. "Except the encryption stuff in The Imitation Game actually happened," I snapped, and instantly regretted it. First of all, who was I to say that the film shouldn't remind him of A Beautiful Mind? Both are period pieces. They're both shot in the same drab monochromatic browns. Both feature eccentric actors at the height of their star power. And yes, if you watch the trailers for both, they each seem to center around code-breaking and high-stakes government intrigue. But the simpler truth is that Biopics have always been known for futzing the truth when it comes to their larger-than-life historical subjects. What makes The Imitation Game any different? Though the film doesn't shy away from the fact that Alan Turing was homosexual, the events leading up to his arrest for "gross indecency" in 1952 Britain (among other things) differ greatly from how they're presented on-screen. Details about the codebreakers' work ethic have been glossed over, characters have been left out completely or invented for dramatic purposes, and it's even suggested that Turing suffered from Asperger Syndrome (he didn't) to make his actions seem more heroic. And yet we're meant to accept all this as gospel truth!

Friday, February 27, 2015


UPDATE: Via this report from, MGM and 20th Century Fox have moved up the release date for Poltergeist to May 22, 2015. The article that follows remains unaltered from its original post.

Excuse me for sounding a little churlish, but the newly-released trailer for 20th Century Fox's Poltergeist remake has my stomach in knots, and I don't mean in a good way. The film, which opens July 24th, has been touted as "a revisionist take" on Tobe Hooper's 1982 horror classic, with "modern" updates including cell phones and flat-screen TVs. Which is fine, I guess - I mean, this is Hollywood, after all, where people aren't truly happy unless they're busy ripping off someone else's work or exploiting the latest adventures of the world's greatest superheroes. And this is hardly the first time Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures label has tried rejiggering a modern classic, with remakes of The Grudge and The Evil Dead burning up theater screens in 2004 and 2013, respectively. My question, though: what's the point in remaking something if you don't have anything new to bring to the table? Why reproduce the same thrills and chills if you can't be bothered to give a fresh spin on old material?

Despite the change in cast (Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt make fine replacements for Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams from the original movie), the new Poltergeist looks to be a rehash of the same exact plot - close-knit family moves into suburban home and is immediately beset by supernatural forces. Again, this is nothing new. Remakes have been a part of our cinematic diet since the days of the earliest films, when Cecil B. DeMille remade his 1914 silent The Squaw Man in 1918 and again in 1931. (Trivia bit: DeMille also directed a silent version of The Ten Commandments in 1923, then later reused some of the same props and sets for his 1956 remake.) True, the marketing gurus behind Poltergeist 2015 could be deliberately trying to goad us into seeing the new movie by plumbing our nostalgia for the previous one. And yes, the final film as released could be entirely different from what the trailer lets on. But the fact that so many elements come directly from Hooper's version suggests a paucity of imagination on the filmmakers' part.

Friday, February 20, 2015


UPDATE: Well, it seems Cracked was absolutely right. In a move that should surprise absolutely no one in retrospect, Oscar bestowed Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore with Best Actor/Actress honors at last night's 87th Annual Academy Awards, for playing disease-ridden screen characters and/or historical figures. Moore's win is especially grating, not because she didn't deserve it, but because she's already given at least a half dozen worthwhile performances, and since this year she happened to play a Columbia University professor suffering from Alzheimer's, the Academy finally decided to give her her due. (Like Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady, Moore was awarded for a film people respected but didn't particularly enjoy.)

As for the rest, I guess I really shouldn't be too upset that Birdman took home top honors for Best Picture, Director and Original Screenplay. It is, after all, a terrific entertaiment, with stellar performances and knockout cinematography. But its meta-tale of artists under pressure is as old as Fellini's , and the illusion that it's all shot in one long, uninterrupted camera take has been pulled off before, in Sokurov's Russian Ark and Hitchcock's Rope. I'm convinced more than ever that every film today is a copy of something else, and that the only thing "original" about them is the way their stories are told.

So why didn't Boyhood win the Oscar for Best Picture? As far as I'm concerned, it was the only film released last year that broke ground in any way, this 12-year odyssey, shot with the same actors, of a boy growing up and the "moments" that make up his life. The movie may seem uneventful to the average viewer, but then again that isn't the point. (The point is: What do you do with the moments that make up your life? Do the curve balls steer you in the right direction or hold you back?) Boyhood was a labor of love for its director and actors and everyone else involved, and no other film aimed higher or accomplished more by saying so little. And that will be cherished and remembered decades from now while everything else fades into oblivion.

As for the show itself, we were attending a family function so I really didn't get to see much of it. But I managed to stick around long enough to hear host Neil Patrick Harris say of the Oscars, "Or, as I like to call them, the Dependent Spirit Awards." That pretty much summed it all up for me.

A (relatively) short one today, since you've no doubt already formed an opinion of what the Academy Awards do or do not mean to you at this point. To sum up the blog's annual stance on the subject, the Oscars a) are really nothing more than a glorified high school popularity contest, b) pride themselves on celebrating that old "independent spirit," c) sometimes rally around a unified theme, d) try to seem "edgy" and "of the moment" only to revel in time-worn clichés in the end, and e) celebrate everything that's mediocre about American film. And yet, without fail, something will compel me to tune in, at least for a bit, to see if all the tried-and-true traditions still hold. If you can resist the temptation to check out even a part of the telecast for yourself (and, let's be honest, who couldn't use a little Neil Patrick Harris fix every now and then?), then congratulations, you're a better person than I am.

Friday, February 13, 2015


There are good movies and there are bad movies. There are bad movies with pieces you admire and good movies with scenes you'd be happy to do without. And it's hard to tell which is worse. I vote the former, because any stinker that seems to get so much wrong from the outset is only that much more frustrating when you catch glimpses of its greatness - those moments, however fleeting, where its makers have an absolute grasp of their material. It's scenes like these which we'll highlight for the purposes of this series.

I apologize if I've been harping on Sony Pictures' rebooted Amazing Spider-Man series a little too much as of late. I don't mean to sound like some disgruntled fanboy, unhappy with even the slightest attempt at "modernizing" everyone's favorite web-slinging superhero for the silver screen. Watching them mishandle the property so spectacularly for so long, however (I'm talking about 2007's woebegotten Spider-Man 3 and onward), it's only natural that the reboot became the proverbial punching bag among comic book-to-movie franchises, especially in lieu of Marvel Studios' continued dominance at the box office. (Which is what makes Sony's recent decision to "loan" Spider-Man out to Marvel such an exciting prospect - if you're going to reboot the character, you might as well give it to people who know what they're doing.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Finding The Wrong Words celebrates an important milestone today: 5 years up and running! Hard to believe when I started this blogging adventure on February 3, 2010, that we'd still be going strong all this time later. Thanks to everyone who's given their unwavering support over the last half decade. I appreciate your comments and your readership more than I can possibly express. Now let's keep it going for another five years and beyond!

Friday, January 16, 2015


New year, new feature here at Finding The Wrong Words...

Have you ever looked at a particular actor and thought, "Why, he/she is the spitting image of this other actor/actress I love so much! This can't be a coincidence. If I didn't know better, I'd say they were separated at birth!" And the idea fascinates you so much that you're compelled to check the IMDb, only to find that the two actors are not, in fact, related in any way?

How can this be? More importantly, why hasn't anyone had the bright idea to cast these folks as family members in a movie before? This is especially distressing once you realize that Hollywood has a long and tortured history of casting people who obviously have no business being siblings. Kurt Russell and William Baldwin in Backdraft, for example (wouldn't it have been simpler to hire, I don't know, Alec Baldwin as Billy's older brother?). Or Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves, cast as (half) brothers in Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing (yeah, right). The eclectic ensemble of 2003's Cheaper By The Dozen are clearly the product of an extramarital affair or two, with blonde, brunette and redheaded children all running around under the same roof. And can anyone point out the family resemblance between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in Twins? (Okay, so that last one's a joke).