February 25, 2014


Seeing the British Musuem’s Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibit in 2013 was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.  That might sound over the top, but even beyond my fascination with ancient Rome and my more general history nerd impulses, there was something incredibly profound in glimpsing a world that has been dead for almost 2,000 years, and one that was so remarkably preserved.  Beyond the stunning sculptures and paintings of the nobles you had amusing graffiti, a funny comic strip of a bar brawl painted on a wall, and stick-figure gladiators drawn on a frescoed wall by some children.  It’s alien and strange but familiar, and the biggest takeaway from the exhibit for me was the seemingly trite but actually quite profound feeling that humanity shares certain basic things in common and, despite millennia of world-changing events, there’s a familiar connective tissue that binds us.  The charmingly banal things stay the same, it turns out, and that’s a humbling thought.   Read the rest of this entry »

Junkfish: Piranha 3D

August 23, 2010

After all the hype, the derision, the debate, the increasing sales, the pitiful cash-ins, and the recent fall-off in interest (if box office is anything to go by, anyway), 3D finally comes into its own with Piranha 3D.  James Cameron and other somewhat credible directors might see it as the future of film-making, and there is every chance that someone will come along and do something interesting with it, but at this moment, through the blood-soaked vessel that is Piranha 3D, it reveals its strength to be in pure, unmitigated schlock.  It’s a gimmick, nothing more, and should only be used (if, indeed, at all) in the service of puerile, tongue-in-cheek affairs.  And this film is so tongue-in-cheek it explodes violently through the skin, not unlike the titular aquatic beasts. Read the rest of this entry »