Eric D. Snider

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Archive for June, 2008

How religious is ‘WALL-E’?

Monday, June 30th, 2008

(This post contains minor “WALL-E” spoilers.)

Many of you saw “WALL-E” over the weekend, and no doubt some of you noticed biblical themes in it. You can’t name a main character “Eve” without invoking the Garden of Eden, of course; nobody could miss that. But what about all the humans living on a ship and waiting for an envoy to return with a plant as proof that it was safe to go home? Did that remind anyone of Noah’s Ark and the dove?

In my review, I mentioned that there were biblical allusions along with the cinematic references like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and Buster Keaton. (I didn’t mention it, but writer/director Andrew Stanton is a Christian, and he discusses how that influences his work in this interview.) My review prompted a Methodist minister to write to me:

I have read 7 reviews so far all by the “top” critics, and while they are all excellent writers, they all, until you, have missed the biblical narratives so skillfully woven into the story. Thanks for having the guts to mention it.

Continue reading…

Thirst-quenching new ‘Snide Remarks’ perfect for a summer day

Monday, June 30th, 2008

I’m back from my travels, and “Snide Remarks” is back with me. (I took it along as a sidekick.) This week’s edition, “A Good Sense of Rumor,” pertains to celebrities, and in particular the mocking of them.

Speaking of celebs, you might be interested in this post I wrote for Cinematical during the CineVegas Film Festival, in which Britney Spears and I attended the same party. OMG is right!

This week’s “Snide Remarks,” including the audio version, is here.
The audio version (i.e., the podcast) is also here.
Subscribe to the podcast’s feed with this URL.

It’s so hot my sweat is sweati…

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

It’s so hot my sweat is sweating.

Friday movie roundup – June 27

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Whoa! Technical difficulties last night at headquarters. The server went down at the worst possible time — Thursday night when I’m posting reviews and sending out “In the Dark” — and prevented me from getting a lot of things done. But here we are now! We are OK. We have each other, and that’s the important thing.

Unsurprisingly, Pixar has knocked another one out of the park with “WALL-E,” an animated sci-fi love story that raises the bar yet again in terms of technical excellence and storytelling technique. I dare say it’s brilliant, easily the best movie I’ve seen so far this year. My review is at

Then there’s “Wanted,” starring Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy as assassins. My review of this will be posted shortly is at Cinematical.

In limited release: “Stuck,” a horror-comedy about a woman who hits a homeless man with her car, then drives home with him still alive and embedded in the windshield; and “Expired,” an abrasive comedy from Sundance 2007 about two parking-enforcement officers in love.

Sign up for the “In the Dark” e-zine here.
Listen to this week’s podcast version here.
Subscribe to the podcast’s feed with this URL.

Eric’s Bad Movies: Kazaam (1996)

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Well, I guess this was inevitable. Today’s edition of “Eric’s Bad Movies” at features “Kazaam,” a movie that for some reason Shaquille O’Neal is the star of. I know! It doesn’t make sense to me, either.

I think next week’s movie, if you’re in a guessing mood, will be one that many people liked — it grossed over $200 million worldwide when it was released in the 1990s — but is terrible nonetheless.

A funny Mormon Princess blog

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

I’m not a sociologist or historian, and the only subject I know anything about is movies, so take this with a grain of salt. But it seems to me that this blog, Seriously So Blessed, is hilarious. It’s a near-perfect satire of a certain subculture of Mormon life in the Provo/SLC area: the 20-year-old life-long-Provo girls who marry newly returned missionaries and write blogs about their fabulous lives. If you’ve never been a Mormon living in Provo you might not fully appreciate the nuances of the character, so you’ll have to take my word for it that it’s funny.

Note: The blog has an irritating music player that begins playing irritating music the moment the page loads. So be ready for that. It’s irritating.

WALL-E: possibly the best movi…

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

WALL-E: possibly the best movie I’ve seen this year.

When the status quo is threatened

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Earlier this year there was a film called “Teeth,” which you might remember hearing about even if you didn’t see it. It’s a horror comedy about a teenage girl who discovers she has teeth in her lady parts, and they act as a defense mechanism against unwanted intruders. In other words, when someone tries to rape her, he gets his wang bitten off. Eventually she learns to use this as a weapon against unsavory men.

The concept was upsetting to some men, as evidenced by comments they posted on my review. Some samples:

So, if someone made a movie where women’s breasts were cut off, would that be hailed as an artistic success? Of course not. I’m willing to bet that all of the men in the film are bad in some way, in order to justify what she’s doing. Geez… just another movie for angry and sadistic women to enjoy, and if we don’t agree in every detail then we’re sexists.

find me one positive male in this movie and then tell me it’s not sexist. And by the way, woman can rape too. The analogy would be perfectly apt if the movie was about a penis that shot acid into women’s vaginas. But no. It’s violence against men — horrific violence, for that matter — so it’s funny.

It seems that this is an example of how extreme violence towards men is somehow acceptable in the media, a film basically that centres around men having their penis’s bitten off, i’ve yet to see a film where the hero of the movie tears wombs out with his barbed penis and then justifies it with sexual political rhetoric!

Continue reading…

8-year-old niece is watching H…

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

8-year-old niece is watching Hannah Montana on Disney Channel. Why do so many things beloved by American youth make me want to kill myself?

Friday movie roundup – June 20

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Two big-budget comedies open today, and early word on both of them has been unpromising. Both are doing poorly on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment. And yet I liked them both — one a lot, and one a little (but enough to lukewarmly recommend it). What can I say?

“Get Smart” is the one I liked a lot, and I’m not entirely alone in that, though I am in the minority. It screened last weekend as a special CineVegas event, and I reviewed it for Cinematical‘s film festival coverage.

The other one is Mike Myers’ “The Love Guru,” which I’m one of only a very few critics to give a “recommended” grade to. I was torn between C-plus and B-minus — the dividing line between recommended and not — and I eventually settled on B-minus because my overall feelings were more favorable than not. But it’s not exactly a glowing recommendation.

I was in Las Vegas when it screened, and the local screening was being handled by Allied Advertising, my relationship with which I have recently chronicled. Normally, my plan would be to check with the local publicist to get invited to the screening, but I already knew the Denver and Seattle offices of Allied were against me, and I didn’t want to test whether the Phoenix office had gotten the memo, too. So I just went to the screening and bummed a spare pass off one of the civilians in line, easy as that. Just in case you were wondering.

Oh, and my review of “The Happening” is up now, too. It’s not good.

The “In the Dark” podcast will return next week, when I’m back in Portland.

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