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Table of contents

Knight & Day 1

On love of action & beautiful actors

Tom Cruise is some kind of spy, or secret agent. His designs are unclear, but it gradually emerges he is in control of a highly volatile situation. As people start violently dying, a plane crashes, & a highway chase smashes about a dozen cars, we struggle to […]

Toy Story 3

The pleasant half-truth

This story seems made to showcase the deus ex machina. The happy end is desperately deserved. But common sense knows it is impossible. – The good guys help the bad guy, who is nevertheless bad, & would destroy them. It does not matter that the bad is only bad because of […]

The Karate Kid

The way of the warrior

The innocent ‘80s karate kid is now the kung-fu black kid. He repeatedly gets beaten savagely. One generation later, youths are comparatively sentimental, but more brutal.

Behold Jackie Chan. The first generation of famous martial artists is dead; the second is less promising, if more professional; – the old […]

The A-Team 3

Men & law

Hannibal loves it when a plan comes together. The warrior’s pleasure in contemplating his warlike deeds requires success & survival; it shows that victory delivers peace & that is part of his claim to justice. The art of war requires taming beasts which would otherwise grow wild & savage. – The […]

The A-Team 2

In defense of action movies

Let’s take a second look at our story to learn why we should pay attention. This is an action movie & action movies are movies in which one or more heroes save us as a city or country from those enemies or those catastrophes which are beyond our unaided […]

The A-Team 1

Some notes on warlike men

We begin with four men who will show us the great pleasures of war & their apparent divine sanction. These warriors emerge alive from disasters they encounter or provoke, therefore the prospect of their deaths offers us a glimpse of the shape of immortals. Their courage & their survival […]

Killers

On Love as a pastime

Our romantic hero is the young Ashton Kutcher, celebrated for adolescent comedies. He has apparently indulged in calisthenics to look statuesque, which means to cause girls to sigh, women to heave. – However, romantic heroes must be suspected of dying or killing for love, or else love has no […]

Prince of Persia 2

Some notes on the virtue of body & spirit

This story teaches that power should be exercised rather by one man alone than by an aristocratic clan. The woman is Fortune & helps only the one who manhandles her. Personalized fortune, however, is dangerous, because it teaches what men desire who desire glory.

The […]

Prince of Persia 1

Some notes on the education of princes

Our protagonist is a young orphan living in the streets. He learnt necessity from youth & his virtues do not seem to have hardened him to his fellowmen. He steals with justice, for his own benefit & for others’. When the laws try to destroy him, he […]