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A Fantasy of Responsibility: The Goblin Emperor

The Goblin Emperor begins where a number of fantasy and quest sagas end.  After many years suffering the abuse of his disgraced cousin, eighteen-year old Maia is crowned Emperor of Elfland.  He's brought to the royal court, given valets, outfitted in ...

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[SPOILERS] Only Lovers Left Alive is About the Love of Lost Things

Hipsters use culture as currency. They are cool because they knew about x first, were reading y before it was adapted into an HBO series, or are wearing and making z because people were wearing and making it way back when they really, truly knew how ...

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[SPOILERS] Lego Movie Plays and Loses with “Chosen One” Trope

Probably the best feature of The Lego Movie is its meta humor. A shockingly good feature-length toy commercial, the film actually promotes creativity and doesn’t shy away from lampooning the sillier incarnations of its product. The plot trajectory is familiar, with an ...

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The Sleep of Reason: Horror and False Power Systems

In putting together a recent graphic novel anthology of horror stories called The Sleep of Reason: An Anthology of Horror, C. Spike Trotman banned would-be writers and artists from submitting work about vampires, zombies, and traditional monsters. Her reasons, according to ...

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“You’re Trapped in the Class System, Jeeves!”

P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) wrote some of the most consistently hilarious short stories and novels of the early 20th century. His most well known creation is Jeeves, the omniscient valet and sometimes-butler. A while back, the character was well known online ...

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Conformity and Unlikely Changes of Heart: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Both How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Christmas Carol begin with the same premise: an unliked outcast, with no real friends, despises the love and charity that the holiday season represents. Due to his anger over Christmas, the outcast ...

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[SPOILERS] Character Arc and Trauma: Aang, Zuko, and Korra

The main characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender are defined not just by loss, but large, soul-destroying personal traumas. Aang, the main character, may be pretty giddy about bending all four elements, but he has to deal with waking up ...

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ParaNorman: Funeral Pyre of the Vanities

Paranorman is an aesthetic tour-de-force of a film. It’s beautifully constructed, its character designs memorable and unique, and its stop-motion animation dangerously flawless. The visuals for the supernatural film are a confection. Which is why I hate how horribly flat ...

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Elysium vs. The Mortal Instruments: A Female Main Character Doesn’t Make Your Movie Twilight

Since its publication in 2005, we as a community, a culture, and, in some places, a rite of passage, have come to the conclusion that Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight is a heavily flawed work.  The book and its movie are uneven, ...

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Welcome to Night Vale: A World of Extras

Probably one of the biggest critiques of Man of Steel this summer is one, chilling question: what happens to the humans in Metropolis when Zod attacks? It’s implied there are folks trapped beneath buildings as Superman fights his arch-nemesis, ...