Special Article Index

Crash Course Articles

Crash Course articles are collections of short reviews centered around a common theme, often the work of a single director or films with a common theme of films from a particular area, which I have heretofore neglected for one reason or another and want to brush up on.


With the “Closure” series I take a look at certain filmmakers who’ve had long careers that I’m already quite familiar with and then try to watch the last few movies of theirs that I hadn’t heretofore seen in the name of completing my journey into their work and providing closure on that journey… or at least getting to the point where I’m caught up on their work.

Finding Pixar- A Skeptic’s Journey

I spent the entirety of the 2000s avoiding the films of the Pixar Animation Studio for a variety of reasons, but in 2011 I decided to finally give in and give these movies a chance and chronicle my experiences doing so through a series of lengthy articles deconstructing the films and putting them to the tests to see if they lived up to their lofty reputations.

The Journey Continues: Further Skeptical Inquiries into Family Cinema

After I finished my Pixar series I felt like I still had unfinished business.  While I had a pretty good idea of what that studio was all about but I didn’t really know the family cinema context in which it thrived.  I decided to look into the rest of the critically acclaimed family films of that era and to examine movies in pairings that are either linked by common creators or common themes.

Disneyology 101

Having decided that I had a fairly good grasp on the family movies of today, the next logical step seemed to be to go deeper into the history of American family movies and the obvious starting point for that was the Disney Animation Studios.  As such I decided to look through every one of the core feature length Disney animated movies in sets of five spanning the entire history of the studio.

Disneyology 201

After I watched all of Disney’s main animated features in Disneyology 101 there were still some gaps in my knowledge of the studio’s history that needed to be filled.  For this examination deeper into the canon I opted to look at some of their live action films from over the years as well as some of their live action/animation hybrids and some other odds and ends.

Skeptic Vs. Generation X Nostalgia

After spending my formative years of listening to the Gen Xers who were in control of the film discourse at the time blather on and on about the films of their 1980s childhood like they were some of the best movies of all time I decided to put some of the movies of that time I hadn’t seen to the test.  I concocted this over-elaborate scheme to structure the whole thing like a boxing match with rounds and give each round a score, might have been kind of a silly motif in retrospect.

Round 1: The Goonies (1985)
Round 2: The Last Starfighter (1984)
Round 3: The Dark Crystal (1982)
Round 4: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
Round 5: Labyrinth (1986)
Round 6: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Round 7: Short Circuit (1986)
Round 8: Pretty in Pink (1986)
Round 9: WarGames (1983)
Round 10: The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
Round 11: A Christmas Story (1983)
Round 12: Hook (1991)