The ‘Lego Ninjago’ Movie and Relying on Broad Themes to Save You From Nonsense

Every time I start one of the Lego Movie films, I experience a sense of bewilderment that what I’m about to watch actually exists. Of all the various merchandise brands that could be movie series – I’m waiting for you, Nerf: The Movie – Lego is somehow gracing the big screen nearly once a year. They do it, like […]

The 2012 Chevy Impala Rental Car: A Companion in Dark Times

Lest you’re staring, confused and – after checking the year – wondering if you’ve entered some sort of internet time warp, let me disabuse you of that notion: This is a simple, short recounting of about a rental car, something which I may do from time to time (as travel is, as breathing is to […]

Bradbury’s Final Victim and the Earned Twist

Back again with another random walk through Ray Bradbury’s early short fiction, because that’s what happens during rainy Wisconsin summers: we pull out Golden Age stories and imagine ourselves into interplanetary peril. Final Victim is a longer story, spending more time developing cross sections between a bunch of characters, from the morally dubious but untouchable lawman Jim […]

The Challenge of Relative Fun

Every day starts with an onslaught of choices, tasks, and, in my house, attacks from clawed felines. There’s the standard issue stuff – making breakfast, ingesting as much caffeine as possible, staring at the ceiling and wishing for just one more hour of sleep. And then there’s the interesting bits, what actually gets done not by necessity […]

Harry Potter and the Continual Quest

Most board games are one-and-done affairs – you might replay them, but the starting ‘board state’ is going to be the same every time. Monopoly always starts with everyone as middle-class, vagrant pieces. Risk has people’s armies scattered across the globe like some terrifying tornado swept up whole countries and flung them about at unknowable […]