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    >My new video "A HARD DAY'S KNIGHT," in which I don chain mail to find glory, donuts and spare change for my quest. BIGGER SCREEN ON YOU TUBE

    CLASSIC BOOK trailer! [bigger screen on YouTube]

    more videos here


    Batman vs. Superman Smackdown!

    In this 3-parter in The Boston Globe, I give you (almost) everything you wanted to know about Batman and Superman, in advance the new “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" movie, including: 1) a look at the new movie in the context of previous Batman and Superman films (and if Affleck is up to the task of being the Caped Crusader); 2) an overview of “Batman and Superman at the movies” and 3) a Batman/Superman fact sheet.



    Why I'm against online comment forums

    Why am I against online comment forums? Increasingly, I see ad hominem attacks, “you’re a loser” name-calling, and Donald Trump-style playground insults --- all of which have come to pass for grown-up debate in America. Read the rest over on WBUR's Cognoscenti.


    Product placement in the National Parks

    It’s been said by more than Ken Burns that the national parks are America’s best idea. In “National Parks Adventure,” opening at the Museum of Science’s Mugar Omni Theater on Friday, narrator Robert Redford makes the same claim. But after this hokey and commercialized IMAX road trip, you’ll be thinking the best idea might have been to stay at home. Read the rest of my Boston Globe review.


    Geek out in the Galapagos

    Sometimes, we watch a documentary to be sucker-punched by its investigative uppercut. Other times, it’s to be awed by nerdy info and eye-candy. The IMAX science museum/aquarium movie “Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland" may not be subtle or particularly brilliant. But this science-y doc sates that second desire just fine. Read the rest of my review of “Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland" for the Boston Globe.


    What is it like to run the ‪‎Iditarod?

    What it's like to run the Iditarod? In my story “1 woman, 16 dogs, and 1,000 miles of snow” for the Boston Globe, I interview Debbie Clarke Moderow about her dogsledding quest to finish the 1,000 mile race --- and write a book about it, called “Fast Into the Night: A Woman, Her Dogs, and Their Journey North on the Iditarod Trail."



    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and the state of the mash-up movie


    How to make a mash-up: Into a cauldron, toss some historical or fictional character, dusty novel, or ancient fairy tale. The more staid or stale or out of fashion, the better. Then, stir in creatures or villains from some different genre: zombies, witches, dinosaurs, even Nazis. Pour this mixture into a script, and bake for about 120 minutes at 75 million dollars, give or take a few million. Serve with a reliable dressing — blood and gore, perhaps — that most focus groups will find to their tastes. Prepared correctly, your Hollywood masterpiece will serve the masses.

    On Friday, the mash-up rises again with “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” The movie version of Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 novel of the same name retells Jane Austen’s 1813 tale of manners, morality, social standing, and romance, but sets it in a reimagined Regency Era beset by the undead.

    Will this new concoction, equal parts Austen and zombie pandemic, deliver a much-needed shot in the arm or another box office blow to the genre? Read the rest of my story over at the Boston Globe


    My first foray into online teaching

    I'm taking the plunge into online teaching! Introducing my first workshop for 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center Online Writing Program -- "Absent Fathers, Controlling Mothers, Treacherous Exes and Other Interpersonal Dysfunction: Writing the Publishable Relationship Essay," running April 18 to April 22. Join this class and write essays together during this intensive and supportive week. More info here.



    Let's get virtual... virtual ...

    In which I try out a virtual reality exercise bike, become a pegasus, lasso some bandits, and come in second as a dog driving a Formula One racing car. Plus, I burn some calories. My story for the Boston Globe.


    Star Wars preview on Wisconsin Public Radio


    Star Wars -- Shakespeare Mashup: A Review of Ian Doescher’s ‘William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge’

    In “The Empire Strikes Back,” Yoda admonishes his apprentice, Luke Skywalker, saying, “Wars not make one great.” Later, in “Return of the Jedi,” he quips, “When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not.”

    In case you didn’t catch on, Yoda inverts his syntax. In other words, Yoda practically speaks Shakespearean.

    And in Ian Doescher’s best-selling “Star Wars” / Shakespeare mash-ups, so does every character in George Lucas’s science-fictional universe of Wookiees, droids and the Force.

    Read the rest of my review of Ian Doescher’s ‘William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge’ for the New York Times.

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