David Gordon Green has moved from art-house to stoner comedies to horror

You’d be forgiven for furrowing your brow at David Gordon Green, perhaps best known for directing the 2008 stoner comedy Pineapple Express, directing a new Halloween sequel. But, if you’re familiar with the 43-year old’s work, this is just the latest pivot in a career filled with them. He’s impossible to pin down,…

Lost's pilot is a masterclass in writing for syndication and binge-watching

No matter your thoughts on how ABC’s Lost evolved over the years (or its bizarre vision of “heaven”), nearly everyone can agree that its pilot is a pretty perfect piece of television. Not only does it introduce a rich, freaky mystery laden with possibility, but it compellingly introduces a core ensemble of no less…

Minor tweaks by Irvin Kershner helped transform Darth Vader into an icon

There might be no more iconic character in pop culture than Darth Vader, whose sloping, passionless mask you’ll see on the heads of children and adults every Halloween. What’s wild is that, as Nerdwriter points out in his latest video essay, Vader is barely in the original Star Wars trilogy. Of that trilogy’s 6 and a…

Here’s a detailed look at Quentin Tarantino's obsessive film fandom

It’s no secret that Quentin Tarantino loves movies. In fact, “overenthusiastic film nerd” is pretty much his whole brand. And the YouTube channel Now You See It explores that fact in an 18-minute video essay about Tarantino’s genre-hopping oeuvre. Made up entirely of film clips and pre-existing interviews, the video…

The crucial difference between The Dark Knight and Tim Burton's Batman is the Joker

It’s been 10 years since Christopher Nolan unleashed The Dark Knight, which has more or less been praised as the best Batman movie, if not the best superhero movie of all time. Heath Ledger’s Joker is often cited as the film’s masterstroke, and has earned further praise for the way Ledger and Nolan successfully created…

New cosmic brain argument: Actually, Ant-Man is the most powerful Avenger

Ant-Man’s been a curious character in the Marvel universe, having been built as a lighter, more comic character due to the films’ whimsical tones, Paul Rudd’s doofy performance, and, well, being called Ant-Man. Yet the films found the character venturing into situations foreign to any other Avenger—that whole…

Some of Nathan For You's best moments came when its star broke character

Comedy Central’s Nathan For You is one of the best series on TV, but articulating that to the uninitiated is tough. On its surface, the show, which finds lonely “business consultant” Nathan Fielder conjuring up elaborate marketing stunts for small businesses, can feel callous and cruel, as if he’s punking them or…

This history of video game advertisements proves that video games are hard to advertise

Video game commercials are a strange, squirming beast. Where ads for TV shows and films are dependent on conveying the general story and selling the star power of its cast, video games have a harder sell. Games are about selling the world and flaunting its gameplay, but even that’s not enough. Game commercials have…

Here's a noble attempt to scientifically prove that The Office is funnier than Friends

Do you mourn the laugh track? Sure, it still exists on duds like The Big Bang Theory and Kevin Can Wait, but the majority of TV comedies have rendered the laugh track as dead as the people who, once upon a time, produced that very laughter. Well, YouTuber Drew Gooden most surely does not mourn the laugh track, which,…

The Last Jedi answered a bunch of extremely nerdy questions about Star Wars' space combat

Just as The Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy inquired as to Itchy and Scratchy’s “magic xylophone,” so too have Star Wars fans sought to investigate the inconsistencies in the series’ space combat. Why must the Capital ships come so close to each other during combat? Why can TIE fighters fly through shields? How can a…

Hey, now seems like a fine time to remember what happened in the first season of Westworld

Westworld released its first full trailer during the Super Bowl last night, and it pretty much confirms what we all knew: Robots be killin’. Of course, HBO’s hit series is much, much more complicated than its hook, which centers around a robot uprising at a Western “theme park” for rich people. And if you’re having…

Liar Liar finally gets the serious, scholarly criticism it deserves

Filmmaker, actor, and seasoned movie buff Kentucker Audley has consistently amused us with his satirical video essays, the likes of which include a celebration of the “cutting edge” use of close-ups in Powder and Pleasantville’s “excellent themes.” What makes his latest video essay on the 1997 Jim Carrey comedy Liar…