Strain(ge) Magic

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As you can tell from my infrequent posting, I haven’t had a lot of time to watch TV or movies over the last few months. It has been an enormously busy summer that has included trips to Toronto, Washington DC, Baltimore (for 4 hours), and Cincinnati, as well as a new venture. This is in addition to greatly increased hours at my job and continued freelance work for movies.com (I had LOTS of fun doing 1984 marketing tie-ins to 2014 summer movies with John Gholson). That said, I have had time to fall head over heels in love with Guillermo del Toro’s jaunt into the world of television- The Strain. Continue reading


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The 1984 Blog-a-Thon: Top Secret!

1984_blogathonBlog-a-thons are fun events. They offer you the opportunity to do one of two things. Either you can take a beloved film and champion it, or you can use it as a chance to discover something new and exciting. For the Forgotten Films 1984 Blog-a-Thon, I opted for the latter. There are gobs of amazing films from 1984, a year that’s near and dear to my inner-8 year old’s movie-watching heart. But somehow, one classic comedy had escaped me all this time- Top Secret!. Continue reading

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Seven Reasons to Go to the Drive-In

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As I mentioned the other day, I’ve teamed up with Steve Habrat of Anti-Film School to preach the gospel of the drive-in theater. It’s a social media campaign designed to educate folks about the drive-in. You can find more about it on Twitter via #driveinsummer. Throughout the week, I’ll be posting some articles singing the praises of the format. 

Drive-in week continues. Today, I’d like to give you several great reasons why you should go to the drive-in.  Continue reading

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Drive-In Week: Vintage Photos of Drive-In Theaters

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As I mentioned the other day, I’ve teamed up with Steve Habrat of Anti-Film School to preach the gospel of the drive-in theater. It’s a social media campaign designed to educate folks about the drive-in. You can find more about it on Twitter via #driveinsummer. Throughout the week, I’ll be posting some articles singing the praises of the format. 

One of the deepest charms of the drive-in experience is the nostalgia. When you’re sitting in a drive-in, let’s say watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in your Prius, you’re taking part in an experience that someone else had in 1968 sitting in a VW Beetle watching the original Planet of the Apes. It’s evocative of a time gone past- the eras in which your parents, and your parents’ parents saw their own versions of a summer movie smash. You’re parked in the same spot, enjoying the same atmosphere, as a family of four from 1950. There’s a lot to be said for that. In honor of that nostalgia, here are some vintage photos of drive-ins. Continue reading

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Drive-In Week: Where Can You See a Drive-In Movie?

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I have a treat this week. I’ve teamed up with Steve Habrat of Anti-Film School to preach the gospel of the drive-in theater. It’s a social media campaign designed to educate folks about the drive-in. You can find more about it on Twitter via #driveinsummer. Throughout the week, I’ll be posting some articles singing the praises of the format. It’s a completely unique way to see a movie. There’s nothing else like it when it comes to taking in cinema. Today, we’ll start by pointing you in the right direction. If you want to see a movie at a drive-in, what are your options? I’ve put together a Google map to help.

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Revolution in the Blink of an Eye: The St. Louis Cardinals Since 1995

The other day, I posted a graph that illustrated just how much of an organizational shift has happened for the St. Louis Cardinals in the last seven years. Today, I’ve expounded on that a little bit further. Rather than focusing on how the players were acquired, I’ve created scatterplots for each Cardinals squad since 1995. Listed in each scatterplot is each player’s individual WAR (wins above replacement), plotted along with their age. Each chart by itself is relatively benign. But if you see them all together at once, the organization’s shift towards youth and homegrown talent in the last few years becomes apparent. First, an animated .gif to show the shift. Continue reading

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Graph: St. Louis Cardinals: WAR by Acquisition Type (1995-2013)

While working on a separate project, I recently compiled a lot of data about my beloved St. Louis Cardinals and the value provided to their roster by individual players. My other project focuses on the Cardinals in the Walt Jocketty and John Mozeliak eras, the two General Managers that have helmed player procurement since 1995. Collecting that data allowed me to create today’s graph, which illustrates how much value was provided to the organization each season by players acquired via three primary means- draft, trade, and free agency. To show value, I’ve used Baseball Reference’s WAR statistic- Wins Above Replacement, explained here. Basically, a player’s WAR is the number of wins he provides to his team over and beyond what a readily available replacement player could be expected to provide. Continue reading

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