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New Escapist Column! On “The Mummy”, the Most Maligned of Movie Monsters…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist on Friday. With Halloween approaching, the column is going to take a little bit of a detour into some spooky stuff, and I’m very excited.

I’m thrilled that I got to write this piece about the Mummy, which remains one of the most interesting of the classic movie monsters because it seems to exist at odds with the rest of the classic fiends. There are plenty of classic Dracula and Frankenstein films, the Wolfman and the Invisible Man have been handled well over the years, but the Mummy always seems like the odd creature out of every wave of classic creature feature films. So I was thrilled to do a bit of a deep dive into it to look at how – and why – that is.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Non-Review Review: People Like Us

People Like Us has an endearingly earnest premise and a solid enough cast, but it’s let down by clumsy writing and somewhat awkward direction. People Like Us is never sure whether it’s only getting started or nearing an emotional resolution, to the point where it seems like there’s a string of false endings in this under-two-hour feature. Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks make for two endearing leads, but they find themselves struggling against an overly melodramatic script and direction that never seems to entirely trust the cast.

A close shave…

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When it Hits the Fan: What Do Creators Owe Fans?

Fans are a very dangerous group to court – although I suppose that’s implied, what with the word being an abbreviation of “fanatic”. Sure, they’ll follow a particular project with zeal and enthusiasm that most producers could only dream of, and (perhaps) prove an invaluable marketing tool in this era of the viral campaign – at the very least, they are more likely to invest a lot more money in your product than a regular consumer. However, that investment comes with a downside – one that I wonder how much creators ultimately end up resenting. To call it “demand” perhaps understates the matter – after all, plenty of non-fanatic movie fans wait for the big blockbusters of the year – but there tends to be a note of what is best described as “possessiveness” or “entitlement” that comes with a large invested fan group. And is that necessarily a good thing? Do these fans feel that these creators “owe” them something for their extended loyalty? Is it fair to demand that from any producer or writer or director?

Heated fan disagreements sometimes get out of hand...

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