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California Literary ReviewOctober 2010 | California Literary Review California Literary Review

Archive for October, 2010

Movie Review: Saw 3D

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Dan
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Fields

October 30th, 2010

People who have survived horrific ordeals at the hands of others do not invariably gain a helpful perspective on life. Ennobling sociopaths and torturers does not help the world one bit, and we should be able to appreciate life without having to pry out our own skulls with a chisel.

The Weekly Listicle: “On This Very Night…” Spooky Tales for Halloween

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Dan
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Fields

October 28th, 2010

It’s almost Halloween, folks! Aren’t we supposed to be having fun? Rather than dwell further on the shortcomings of modern horror, we salute the spirit of the campfire tale, the ghost story, and the urban legend in this nostalgic look at great horror stories in film and television. Join me – Dan Fields – and my fellow campers Julia Rhodes and William Bibbiani, as we pass the flashlight and torch a few marshmallows.

Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 2

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Dan
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Fields

October 23rd, 2010

“Badly acted exposition,” check. “Obnoxious characters,” check. “Inability to create believable tension,” check indeed. It captures the tone and spirit of the original, all right. At least there must be some good scares. Well, yes, there are… like, three or four. If you are willing to wait around for them.

Video Game Review: Vanquish

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Adam Robert
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Thomas

October 22nd, 2010

Events turn to the melodramatic when evil wetsuit-wearing Russians take over America’s 51st state, the mega space station Providence, with an army of robots and then shoot a microwave death-beam at San Francisco.

The Weekly Listicle: The Most Disturbing Movies We’ve Seen!

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Julia
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Rhodes

October 21st, 2010

Here at The Fourth Wall, we’re spending the month of October catering to your every scary movie need. With only one Weekly Listicle left to go before All Hallows Eve, William Bibbiani and I (Julia Rhodes!) are tackling the most disturbing, most gut-wrenching, most f*%$ed up movies we’ve ever seen. We won’t force you to […]

Book Review: Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

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Ed
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Voves

October 18th, 2010

Pasternak ranges the individualism of Zhivago against the heartless society that is being erected by the Bolsheviks on the grave of Tsarist Russia. Where Zhivago questions his every deed from the standpoint of conscience, left-wing leaders like Lara’s husband, Pasha Antipov, who styles himself as Strelnikov or “Shooter,” kill without blinking or thinking.

Book Review: Gauntlgrym: Neverwinter, Book 1 by R. A. Salvatore

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Ryan
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Van Cleave

October 18th, 2010

One thing is clear: Salvatore is moving Drizzt ahead toward a new point in his life. He’s darker, more brooding, and full of a latent rage that threatens to explode at any time. This isn’t the same paladin-like Drizzt of previous books–he’s been damaged. Badly.

Movie Review: Red

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Julia
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Rhodes

October 16th, 2010

Dame Helen Mirren is most renowned for her roles as stuffy British matrons (and the Queen of England). In Red, she gets to show off how beautifully she’s aged and shoot big guns (life’s not fair for us mortals).

The Weekly Listicle: Scary Movies For The Whole Family!

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William
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Bibbiani

October 14th, 2010

The Weekly Listicle presents Scary Movies For The Whole Family. Not kids movies with Halloween themes, and not the kinds of movies that will traumatize your kids for life and keep you up all night as they suffer through sugar withdrawals and nightmares, but great Halloween movies that kids can enjoy without feeling pandered to. Trust me, parents… They’ll thank you for it later.

Movie Time Nostalga, Part 3: Raising the Stakes with Raising Arizona

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Dan
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Fields

October 13th, 2010

My appreciation of Raising Arizona is as much sentimental as aesthetic. But don’t be fooled. It is a great, great piece of work.

In Defense of The Social Network: Movie demonizes sexism, doesn’t glamorize it.

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Julia
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Rhodes

October 13th, 2010

Fiction vs. reality: Eisenberg and Zuckerberg. First things first: I’m in the business of paying close attention to roles of women in film and TV, both behind and in front of the camera. I also really enjoyed The Social Network, David Fincher’s biopic of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. Critics in the blogosphere claim the movie […]

Video Game Review: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

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Adam Robert
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Thomas

October 12th, 2010

The game just keeps going and going, yet it never feels padded or in need of an editor. Well into the final portions, new locations, puzzles, and monsters keep rearing their hideous visages at you, and nothing gets dull (except perhaps for the climbing again).

Movie Review: Secretariat

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William
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Bibbiani

October 8th, 2010

It’s a cheery film, brought to life with pomp and circumstance by Randall Wallace in what is easily his best outing as a director. Everyone is good in it, and even the great John Malkovich turns in a fine “eccentric supporting character” performance without ever feeling like he’d rather be doing something more substantial. As family films go, Secretariat is one of the best bets of the year… but when viewed any other way it’s merely decent.

Book Review: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

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Ed
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Voves

October 8th, 2010

Nevertheless, it is a considerable shock to read indictments of Washington in the letters of Patriot leaders such John Adams, Dr. Benjamin Rush and even Thomas Jefferson. Though some of these remarks were valid criticisms of specific decisions on the part of Washington, the reality of his wartime situation stands in marked contrast to the adulation later heaped upon him. As Abraham Lincoln would experience during the Civil War, Washington was frequently distrusted and damned during his lifetime, often by political colleagues and fellow officers who should have known better.

The Weekly Listicle: Stepchildren Of The Horror Masters

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Dan
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Fields

October 7th, 2010

Today we take a different look at the master horror directors. Each of these moviemakers has made an iconic footprint on the history of scary cinema, whether with a well-worn franchise or in a single terrifying stroke. In many cases, the great success of such a film overshadows a director’s lesser works. Some are forgotten with good reason, but others are worth reviving now and again. Join William Bibbiani, Julia Rhodes, and myself (Dan Fields) as we discuss the neglected offspring of the great names in horror.

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