Author: Gary Angel

  • Godzilla Minus One

    I’m not a Godzilla fan though I’ll admit to a soft-spot for Blue Oyster Cult’s Godzilla. So I came to GMO with mixed expectations. The reviews were sterling. The franchise not so much. And when all was said and done and Tokyo was saved, I leaned toward the reviews. The best parts of Godzilla Minus…

  • Bob Marley: One Love

    When it comes to Bob Marley, I’m of that typical class of loose fan who know next to nothing about someone except their most famous work. From that perspective, One Love will both reward and frustrate you. Kingsley Ben-Adir (impossibly handsome and showing none of the real-world mileage of Marley) is damn good: charismatic, funny,…

  • Remembering Lives: Blueberry Bushes and Guava Pastries

    Remembering Lives: Blueberry Bushes and Guava Pastries

    We tend to memorialize two kinds of lives: big public lives and the lives that are closest to us. Both make perfect sense. Most big lives matter a little bit to a lot of people. The people we know matter a lot, but only to us. No one would think it wrong to memorialize the…

  • The Blue Angels

    Can a documentary that is exactly what you expected ever be good? The Blue Angels is here to answer that question – at least if you love spectacular flying and wildly gung-ho fliers. All that’s missing is the Top Gun Anthem and Take My Breath Away. But hey, you do get “The Blue Angel Creed”…

  • Damn It! Politeness is a Virtue

    Damn It! Politeness is a Virtue

    Nobody seems to give a damn about politeness. Until, that is, they are treated rudely, ignored, made to feel ignorant or displaced, or pushed aside in a queue. Then, suddenly, we see all too clearly how much we appreciate polite society. Those moments do not translate into the world of ideas, where “polite society” is a…

  • American Fiction

    It would be hard to imagine a more convincing send-up of modern leftist attitudes on race than American Fiction. Every moment of the plot that focuses on My Pafology (or Fuck as it comes to be called) is laugh out loud funny and spot on. Cutting without being cruel and only occasionally a bit broad,…

  • Is Love a Virtue?

    Is Love a Virtue?

    Virtue theories are the only strand of modern ethical thinking that makes much sense in light of cognitive science. Utilitarian calculus becomes a funhouse of infinite regress in a world where experience changes both who we are and what we value. It didn’t take cognitive science to cast doubt on Kant’s strange metaphysics of freedom…

  • Apocalypse Now (Redux)

    “Saigon. Shit. I’m only still in Saigon.” There was a time when I knew almost every line of dialogue in Apocalypse Now but it’s been a few years since I last watched it. The director’s cut currently on Max is NOT the best version. It’s larded down with two extended scenes that were mercifully cut…

  • How to Think…About the Gaza Protests

    How to Think…About the Gaza Protests

    In the aftermath of the Hamas attack on Israel, I wrote a “How to think…” piece about the conflict there. It was not hopeful, but it was prescient: For now, Israel will go into Gaza and attempt to destroy Hamas. They’ll do this because they must. Israeli’s will expect retribution, and no country with sufficient…

  • Utopia: Its the People You’re With

    Utopia: Its the People You’re With

    People are the essence of what makes a community and it’s hard to imagine anything could be more important. If we don’t like the people, we won’t like the community. If we do, we will. It really is that simple. But deciding what kind of people you’d want in your utopia turns out to be…