Archives For December 29, 2011

This week I’m introducing a new feature on the blog. Embarrassingly, I’m not as involved in the blogging community. I aim to rectify this. And so I am starting a weekly post with links to ┬ásome of the best blog posts I read each week.

However, for this first post I’ll make things a bit more introductory by instead sharing links to some of the blogs I’ve gotten to know, rather than simply individual posts. There are a ton of bloggers on the web. Too many. But these are some of the ones I visit most frequently and who offer some of the best writing and more insightful comments. So continue on to check out the list. Click to read more

“They sure don’t make ’em like they used to.”

That’s the thought that was running through my head after I saw War Horse for the first time. It took a few minutes before I realized the irony of that notion. War Horse is a brand new film, yet it feels so old-fashioned that my immediate reaction was to think of it alongside old John Ford and Frank Borzage movies. I’m not the only one to have picked up on this. It’s been mentioned in almost every review of the film out there. What I found more curious was the reaction of people to the sentimental and melodramatic aspects of the film.

The most common complaints about War Horse relate to its sap and sentimentality. What’s weird to me is that many of these complaints seem to take for granted the idea that sentimentality is a bad quality in a film. How did this become the case? Why is it a bad thing to be sentimental, or sweeping, or even sappy? The way many critics and film lovers talk, you’d think that for sentimentality to be acceptable it has to be couched in raw reality or ambiguity or even an ironic wit and cynicism. It doesn’t make sense to me that films like Casablanca and It’s a Wonderful Life can be called masterpieces, but War Horse can be taken to task for its sweep and romance. Click to read more