Game: Donkey Kong Country Returns

One of the troubles with technological art forms is that the technology sometimes forces the shape of the art.  Alfred Hitchcock used to complain about this in the movies, even though he was always one of…

The Minds of Conservatives & Liberals

Here’s a wisely skeptical article over at PsychCentral’s Therapy Soup about yet another one of those studies showing that liberals’ brains are different than those of conservatives. According to what is known about the functions of…

Film: “Hereafter”

Great director (Clint Eastwood), attractive cast (led by Matt Damon), talented screenwriter (Peter Morgan), interesting subject (uh, death) – and none of it works.  That’s showbiz. I hate to blame the screenwriter for anything because I know…

Me on Beowulf

As I’ve mentioned here before, the essay collection Thrillers:  100 Must Reads has been nominated for an Edgar by the Mystery Writers of America.  The awards will be given later this month.  The book contains my…

Breitbart in Context

A peculiar cultural moment occurred at my house this past Christmas season. I was chatting with my friend Andrew Breitbart when his phone rang. As the conservative web-meister took the call, I occupied my time by…

DVD: Faster

Hey, maybe I missed something about this – I mean, it got absolutely hammered by the critics, but I liked it!  Good, mindless entertainment, fast, violent, smart, and exceptionally well directed. Dwayne Johnson, who used to…

Why Writers Drink

Much as I enjoy my glass of single malt, I’m not one of those writers who feels there’s a link between creativity and alcoholism.  Rather I would say that, done well, writing keeps certain wounds and…

The Battle for Los Angeles

Crowds flocked to the new apocalyptic alien invasion funfest Battle:  Los Angeles probably for the same reason a lot of critics hated it:  it pays high tribute to the US Marines and, symbolically at least, their…

The Trouble with NPR

As everyone knows by now, independent journalist James O’Keefe has done another of his jaw-dropping gonzo videos, this one nailing National Public Radio executives courting actors pretending to be potential donors from a Muslim Brotherhood front…

Video Game: Castlevania, Lord of Shadows

I’ve never liked this franchise much.  I’ve usually found it laughably melodramatic and repetitive.    Plus it’s stuck with that ridiculous title, a holdover from its pixilated origins back in the 80′s. But this latest entry,…