California Literary Review

Profile of Dan Fields


Dan Fields is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Film. He has written for the California Literary Review since 2010.

He is also co-founder and animator for Fields Point Pictures, and the frontman of Houston-based folk band Polecat Rodeo.

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Articles written for the California Literary Review:

  • Trailer Watch: Les Misérables
    Posted on 30 May 2012 in Best Books, Books, France, Historical Fiction, Literary Themes, Movies, Movies & TV, Music, Theatre

    This is, in showbiz terms, the textbook definition of “a big deal.” After all this anticipation, it will almost certainly become the definitive film version of the show, for good or ill. And so it must be done right the first time. We are a long way from Spider-Man now.

  • Movie Review: Chernobyl Diaries
    Posted on 26 May 2012 in Movies, Movies & TV

    What it is, though, is a robust specimen of a very particular kind of movie. It is a midnight movie. It is a drive-in flick. It is a B-movie in the most favorable sense. It was made to be seen in as crowded and rowdy and theater as possible. It aspires to nothing more clever or edifying than exactly that.

  • Trailer Watch: The Expendables 2
    Posted on 04 May 2012 in Movies, Movies & TV, Thrillers

    Whatever you felt about the The Expendables, you are meant to feel ten times over about the sequel. That is about the most substantial analysis this trailer can stand.

  • Movie Review: The Pirates! Band of Misfits
    Posted on 28 Apr 2012 in Movies, Movies & TV

    Meanwhile, the West Indies are buzzing with the imminent Pirate Of The Year Awards. The most fearsome captains are caught up in furious last-minute plundering for a shot at the coveted prize. The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is one such contender, but his lovable antics and luxuriant beard are beginning to pale against his modest record of villainy. To distinguish himself from his flamboyant rivals, he must lead his loyal crew of knuckleheads into an adventure like none other. Who could imagine that a chance encounter with Charles Darwin, sailing homeward on the Beagle, would provide the opportunity?

  • Blu-Ray/DVD Review: The Wicker Tree
    Posted on 24 Apr 2012 in Best Movies, Death, Great Britain, Horror, Movies, Movies & TV, Mystery, Mythology, Religion, Satire, Thrillers

    The rites themselves have changed in practice if not in spirit, and the movie rekindles enough of its ancestor’s spirit that it’s hard to imagine a better result. What more were all the naysayers expecting?

  • Movie Review: Chimpanzee
    Posted on 21 Apr 2012 in Movies, Movies & TV, Nature

    In the mist-shrouded Ivory Coast jungle, all appears green and beautiful. The leafy trees shelter and sustain countless forms of life. We join a group of chimpanzees, in a serene moment, as they welcome a newly born male named Oscar into their midst. Oscar is going to learn a lot about the world in a hurry, and our job is to laugh, sigh, and gasp at his every discovery.

  • Movie Review: The Cabin in the Woods
    Posted on 14 Apr 2012 in Movies, Movies & TV

    Most of us have seen the horrific fate of teens in the wilderness played out countless times. From getting to know the characters on the road, to the creepy “last chance” gas station, to the first sexual encounter and subsequent slaughter and so on, your average horror fan can tap a foot in time to these plot points. What, then, are we to make of a slasher film which begins with two scientists (Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford) trading jaded, mundane banter as they suit up to oversee the massacre from a high-tech underground bunker?

  • I Say! Hammer Plans A Woman In Black Sequel?
    Posted on 05 Apr 2012 in Books, Great Britain, Horror, Movies, Movies & TV, Mystery, Thrillers

    The Hammer Studio has announced a sequel, but what are we to expect in revisiting the tidily packaged horror of The Woman In Black?

  • Blu-Ray Review – Battle Royale: The Complete Collection
    Posted on 26 Mar 2012 in Best Books, Best Movies, Books, Graphic Novels, Horror, Japan, Movies, Movies & TV, Psychology, Satire, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Sociology, Thrillers

    Quentin Tarantino proclaims ”My favorite movie of the last 20 years! I wish I had made this movie.” That is as perfect an endorsement as a film distributor could hope to have, especially when selling a film like Battle Royale to a hungry cult audience.

  • Movie Review: Casa de mi Padre
    Posted on 17 Mar 2012 in Movies, Movies & TV

    The makers of Casa de Mi Padre have meticulously assembled the elements of a crummy telenovela, including blatant product placement, stilted dialogue, poor continuity, back-projected driving scenes, illogical character shifts, mannequin extras, animal puppets, and shoddy sets sandwiched between stock footage of sunny Mexican valleys.

  • Movie Review: Silent House
    Posted on 10 Mar 2012 in Movies, Movies & TV

    As far as Silent House goes in the remake department, those responsible have managed to pull the original film apart gently, sand off some rough corners, grease a few rusty plot twists, and present the humble horror tale in a more palatable form. Writer and co-director Laura Lau apparently realized that while La Casa Muda had several important scares worth preserving, the audience might appreciate a little more to digest.

  • Movie Review: Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
    Posted on 03 Mar 2012 in Movies, Movies & TV

    The smooth contours of the prevailing animation style sap so much from the jagged, surreal landscapes of Seuss’s imagination that it would barely be recognizable if not for the distinctive scruff of the Truffula trees. In addition, the script’s occasional throwaway quotes from the original rhyming narrative do nothing to cover the script’s complete lack of wit and heart. Either write the script at least ninety percent in Seuss verse — for crying out loud, it’s already written for you! — or just forget it.

  • Yes Academy, We Do Need To Talk About Kevin
    Posted on 09 Feb 2012 in Best Movies, Books, Crime Fiction, Horror, Movies, Movies & TV, Psychology, Sociology, Thrillers

    This film will upset you. This film will follow you home and haunt you. This film takes courage to face. You will not forget We Need To Talk About Kevin.

  • Movie Review: The Woman in Black
    Posted on 04 Feb 2012 in Movies, Movies & TV

    And what better place for sustained periods of quiet dread than an abandoned child’s nursery, truly the most powerful asset of a Victorian horror story. In between these extremes of suspense and shock are several surprisingly vivid moments of horror, as the curse manifests itself well outside the bounds of the haunted house.

  • Oscars 2012: Slighted Soundtracks And Fantasy Scores
    Posted on 30 Jan 2012 in Best Movies, Movies, Movies & TV, Music

    Acting, directing, and writing awards are the most popular targets for discussion, but there were more very creative folks left off the roll this year. Two aggressively original outsiders are out in the rain, peeping in at the Best Original Score category without so much as an acknowledgment.

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