0. Looking Back in order to Move Forward One of the more interesting developments in superhero comics has been the growing popularity of comics that take familiar characters and transplant them into unfamiliar historical contexts. Though this type of postmodern speculative exercise has been around in one form or another since the Silver Age, the […]
There are top-rated crime shows every season these days, with something illegal to appeal to anybody somewhere on the airwaves. Whether it’s the tone, the characters or the narrative, the diverse range of crime storytelling hits chords with all kinds of viewing markets. It’s our contention that some of these chords must intertwine, and make […]
I walked away from watching The Rum Diary with feelings as dichotomous as the two halves of the film. The first half is what the film appears to be in the trailers, while the second is a fairly serious take on corruption and the censorship of news by those who control what is printed. Neither part […]
You’d think it would be easy to wrap up a crime TV series. Punish the bad guys, save the day and solve the mystery. The audience can turn off the set with their belief in an ordered universe confirmed. Easy as it may seem, plenty of crime shows flip out and faceplant when it’s time […]
I did not go into this newest version of The Three Musketeers with high expectations. In point of fact, I expected the film to be kind of bad. I find myself forced to confess a reluctant admiration for just how bad it turned out to be. What I expected was a historically inaccurate melodrama, with […]
Um…yeah. So, the thought came to me that it might be appropriate to have a section of the site devoted to the “gangsta” movies that began in the early nineties with flicks like Boyz N The Hood. Then I sat down to type it out.
I’m a natural skeptic. Not an unusual or profound thing for my generation, but that’s what I am. In growing older, I find my tastes funneling down into increasingly ordered grooves from which I rarely stray. So when somebody comes along with a lot of high-falutin’, amalgamative concepts, especially within the concept of network television […]
Back in my days teaching English in Japan, I raised the topic of murders and why they were so frequently extreme in Japan. One student actually said in reply, “It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality.” Kind of grimly funny, and a nice attempt at busting out some natural speech, but the thing is, I […]
In crime TV, there’s another major push underway from NBC, Prime Suspect, that is bringing A-list talent to bear in an effort to seize some of those sweet, sweet CBS crime junky ratings. In Prime Suspect, Maria Bello, seen in such edgy theater releases as A History of Violence, plays a tough NYPD cop that […]
‘There are myriad reasons why people become artists—creative drive, fame/notoriety, money. Actually, that’s about it. But one reason not discussed all that often is simple boredom. The non-creative life can be a real drag, working a regular job, marrying a regular spouse in order to birth regular kids. Artistic endeavors, especially in this modern western […]
This week we seek to answer that most pressing of questions: Which is the better sci-fi/fantasy pet? Spot from Star Trek: The Next Generation, or Oy from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series?
It’s a role of intense emotional shifts frequently conveyed internally. It’s a portrayal of severe emotional and psychological damage created with such subtlety and intelligence it’s hard to imagine any healthy twenty-two year old pulling it off, let alone one related to seemingly vapid child star/fashion designer twins. Yet, here we are. I have a […]
Despite his most recent snag with the law, Tom Sizemore has turned over a new leaf, one not grown from the coca plant. His guest role this season on CBS’s Hawaii Five-O as straight-laced IAB cop, Captain Vince Fryer, fits nicely with Sizemore’s new-found path of cleanliness and sobriety. We here at Criminal Complex truly hope this […]
The Mortician is almost impossible to classify. I saw it described as “post-apocalyptic,” but it’s not really SF; a fair number of people in line with me for the screening thought it was horror because the main character is a mortician, but it’s not horror; technically I guess it’s a drama, but it’s not what […]
You’ve got a dirty mind. Chances are, anyway, if you’re reading this. You are a fan of the crime genre, after all. You like reading about people getting jailed, shooting guns, robbing, murdering or suffering their comeuppance. There’s no shame in that. We’re here to tell you that we know how to put that dirty […]
Speaking simply in terms of narrative possibility, Batman is the writer’s best friend. A skillful wordsmith armed with this brooding pulp titan could spin an infinite number of genre-spliced yarns and never would the plot-well run dry.
I had the bad timing to become a console RPG fan at the dawn of the 1990s. This was originally due to a promotional gimmick run by Nintendo Power magazine in which they gave away a free copy of the game Dragon Warrior to new subscribers. My friends were bored to tears by it, but […]
The tale this time is a mystical Manichean parable of an alternate America, and it’s a story that uses severe simplification to highlight our governing myths. (Let me pause here first to say that an inn with a library full of many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore seems to me the perfect […]
Snowblind Studios recently came to NYC to show off The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, with a fully playable level in tow. This is obviously the latest title in what’s become a huge gaming franchise, and if it feels like they’ve done all they can with it, you may be right. We’ve […]
96 Minutes is a festival gem. With the films screening in competition, you never really walk in sure of what you’ll get; like Forest Gump’s box of chocolate, sometimes the film’s a truffle and other times it’s a coconut macaroon (and you hate coconut). I went into 96 Minutes almost blind—I read the blurb but […]
The Thing (2011) both exceeded my expectations and proved a massive disappointment, and while that statement may seem paradoxical it is nonetheless true.
In a story entitled “The Human Chair,” an anonymous, physically repulsive furniture maker builds a large, beautiful chair that he can climb in and out of to enjoy the sensuous delights of having woman of all physical types sit on him. When the chair—with him inside it, of course—is moved to a luxurious hotel, he […]
Sam “Ace” Rothstein is the number one gambler in the country. He is so good at betting on sporting events that by merely betting on a team, he increases the odds for that team on a national scale. A talent like this is not inherent; Ace may be something of a natural at gambling, but […]
A special edition of Badass of the Week by Ben Thompson “Show me the puny mortal who does not tremble at the name of Doctor Doom!” I’ve always held a soft spot in my heart for comic books characters who go out there with no inherent super-powers and roll the dice in toe-to-toe combat against […]
Normally I prefer to write my reviews immediately after watching an episode. That way it’s still fresh in my mind. I couldn’t do that with Breaking Bad’s fourth season finale, “Face Off.” If I had, I’m sure I would only be able to talk about one thing and one thing only, the death of Gus […]