Movie review: “Heathers” (1988)


“I can’t believe this is my life…I’m going to have send my SAT scores to San Quentin instead of Stanford!”

Sandwiched in between its predecessor’s grit and flamboyance and the waist deep, affected irony to come, the decade of the 1980s is often stereotyped as a particularly naïve and superficial time. People forget that it had teeth. Consider Michael Lehmann’s Heathers, a sort of poisoned pill response to the earnest ubiquity (and presumed complexity) of John Hughes’ by then shopworn cinematic high school milieu, snuck into the decade just under the wire, like a pipe bomb stashed away in a forgotten basement. The old military aphorism states that “history is written by the victors”, which is an uneasy notion for Lehmann and screenwriter Daniel Waters, who immediately set out to upend and disprove it. Continue reading “Movie review: “Heathers” (1988)”

Steelers Thoughts #7 (1/14/15): Off-brand Aftermarket Parts Bonanza!


Also known as the NFL offseason. Yes, I know meaningful games (and the Pro Bowl) are still left to be played, and I plan to at least pay lip service to this weekend’s impending conference championships and the gridiron scraps what precursed them, but let’s be real. This is a Steelers column, intended (mostly?) for Steelers fans, and for the Steelers, the offseason has already started in earnest. Because I intend for this to be my final published word on the team until well into NFL Draft run up, if not after the Draft itself, I’ll look to cover a lot here, very likely too much. My apologies in advance. Continue reading “Steelers Thoughts #7 (1/14/15): Off-brand Aftermarket Parts Bonanza!”

Movie review: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” (2014)

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“Farewell, Master Burglar. Go back to your books, and your armchair…plant your trees, watch them grow. If more people valued home above gold, this world would be a merrier place…”

The enduring popularity (and usefulness) of those gargantuan “Extended Editions” of director Peter Jackson’s celebrated Lord of the Rings adaptations – which graft between thirty and fifty minutes of exposition, exploration, and effects onto epic films that already pushed (and punished) the three hour mark theatrically – isn’t difficult to surmise. LOTR is an existential, near-apocalyptic, struggle, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth is a dense, fairly miraculous setting for a film, full to bursting with hidden treasures and wonders to behold, populated by many distinct races, each with its own obscure motives and ancient grudges to nurse, facing half a dozen or more delicious varieties of increasingly hearty evil, from giant spiders and undead bounty hunters, to treacherous sorcerers and impossibly vast armies of genetically-enhanced butchers, to the wellspring embodiment of darkness itself, to the heartrending corruption of the mortal soul. Continue reading “Movie review: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” (2014)”

My Top 20 Albums of 2014 + supplemental lists



The (now officially) annual list of the prior year’s top 20 albums is, and will continue to be, a post that holds extra significance for me. After all, spending the better part of two months researching and writing the 2013 edition, only to find no acceptable place to post it, was the impetus for me to launch this blog in the first place. That was the best snap decision I’ve made in quite some time. Even though I fudged some of the housekeeping around it, for all intents and purposes that 2013 edition was the original centerpiece and first post ever for this blog, darkadaptedeye, 8000+ words long and self-indulgent to a fault. That was exactly one year and, now, seventy posts ago. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2014 + supplemental lists”