Oval Office Thunderdome: An Instant Disqualifier

When it was reported that EgyptAir flight 804 disappeared from radar on its flight from Paris to Cairo, I’m sure that many people made an immediate assumption that the crash was the result of terrorism. I know I did. Even without proof, the first place my mind went was the insidious realm of doubt and fear that Islamic terrorism has fostered. But it’s unwise to let a first impression like that guide opinions and beliefs, and more unwise — stupid, even — to let it guide policy, were a person in the position to do so. Continue reading “Oval Office Thunderdome: An Instant Disqualifier”

The Empty Balcony: High-Rise

High-Rise, director Ben Wheatley’s and screenwriter Amy Jump’s adaption of the novel by J.G. Ballard, sure looks good. The photography is a slick imitation of cinema from the 1960s and ’70s. Cinematographer Laurie Rose muted the palette somewhat. It’s not the type of desaturation made popular for a short time by Saving Private Ryan, but more resembles natural color decay. The blues have been turned down, making the overall color temperature quite warm. Whether this was a stylistic choice only, I cannot say, but a great deal of the mood of this film is established by the way it was shot. It flirts with clinical precision, but falls short, mostly because it’s easy on the eyes. So, like I wrote, High-Rise looks good, but I had a hard time figuring out what was happening on screen. Eventually, I had to set any frustrations aside and just go along for the ride. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: High-Rise”

The Empty Balcony: Terminator Genisys

Fair warning. This trailer is packed full of spoilers.

It’s incredible how little redundancy is built into Skynet. Not long after Terminator Genisys opens, we see the mythical John Connor leading an assault on Skynet’s time travel facilities. Connor, played by Jason Clarke, has ordered the bulk of his forces to attack Skynet itself, farther north, much to the consternation of Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), who hasn’t been let in on the Terminator series canon at this point. As the battle rages at the time machine, all of Skynet’s killer robots go inactive, signaling that Skynet has been destroyed, and only the war in the past remains undecided. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Terminator Genisys”

Tidying Up

Hey, what the hell happened to Missile Test? It’s still here. I’m just doing a transition from Movable Type to WordPress. All the junk you Loyal Seven love so much will be back soon.

The Fourth Annual Empty Balcony Awards for Movies I Saw From Last Year

The Oscars were a couple of weeks ago, which means it is past time to indulge myself, to conflate this lovely little website with the likes of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and release my own film awards. Why not? It’s no more absurd for websites with readership as small as mine to issue awards than it is for Hollywood to hand out little statues to itself. But the Empty Balcony Awards arose out of no desire to pat myself on the back. Rather, it was because, three years ago, I noticed that I had not seen one of the films that had been nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards. I could not offer an opinion one way or the other on the winners and losers. But I could get an article on Missile Test out of my ignorance, and so the Empty Balcony Awards for Movies I Saw From Last Year was born. The only criteria for a film to be eligible for one of my awards is that it was released in the previous calendar year, and that I have actually seen it. Continue reading “The Fourth Annual Empty Balcony Awards for Movies I Saw From Last Year”

Oval Office Thunderdome: What a Bunch of Cowards

There was yet another Republican presidential debate last night. These debates are finally human-sized, the number of candidates having been whittled down to just four. Joining the frontrunner, Donald Trump, on stage were Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, and Governor Ted Kasich. Continue reading “Oval Office Thunderdome: What a Bunch of Cowards”

Oval Office Thunderdome: SOOOOPAAAHHHHHHH TOOOOOSSSDAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

It’s here! The biggest day of the primary season (only to be superseded, possibly, by a chaotic GOP convention in July — I may have to visit the old family in Ohio for that one).

Each party has 11 states up for grabs tonight, with a big chunk of delegates to boot. There won’t be much in the way of surprises tonight, but I’m going to live blog it anyway, because it gives me an excuse to watch Republican pundits go through the five stages of grief on live television. Continue reading “Oval Office Thunderdome: SOOOOPAAAHHHHHHH TOOOOOSSSDAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!”

Cocksuckers Ball: Elections Have Consequences

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Antonin Scalia is dead. When the San Antonio Express-News broke the story of Scalia’s death this past Saturday, it was met with a certain amount of macabre glee only by those on the left who could afford to be seen celebrating. That is, those whose greatest contributions to the debate are tweets or comments on reddit. Most policymakers and pundits praised Scalia’s intellect and keen legal mind, while expressing sympathy for his family. It was an appropriate and typical set of reactions from the politicians who represent liberal America. Continue reading “Cocksuckers Ball: Elections Have Consequences”

October Horrorshow: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

What a clumsy title. H20. Does it relate to water? Not at all. That’s a zero on the end, not the letter ‘O’. H20, then, is the shortened version of what this movie should have been called — Halloween: 20 Years Later — only shoved right in the middle of the title. Beware films that can’t even get their titles right. As it turns out, though, this flick is redemption for a franchise that had been foundering for the entire 1980s and ’90s. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later”