Author archives: David Corbett

  • Looking for Dr. Strangelove

  • Consider the following. the Soviet ambassador has just informed the American president and his advisors that their inadvertent attack on his country will trigger a worldwide nuclear holocaust due to the irrevocable effects of a Communist Doomsday Machine: a series of buried nuclear devices controlled by computer and scattered around the world, each jacketed with a deadly radioactive contaminant known as “Cobalt-Thorium G.” One of the president’s advisors, a former Nazi—Peter Sellers reportedl[...]
  • The Baffling Concatenation of the Real

  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences seemed particularly smitten with the concept of based on real events this past award season. Of the nine nominees for Best Picture, six owed their loglines to the real world, and a seventh (Gravity) owed much of its artistic raison d’être to its rigorous depiction of conditions in outer space. (Several films not nominated, most notably Lone Survivor, practically genuflected, as many war films do, before the harsh realities of our dangerous world.) [...]
  • From Odysseus to Walter White

  • In the final episode of Breaking Bad, Walter White finds himself trapped in a snow-bound car while police hunt for him just outside. Hoping to escape arrest, he prays to whatever God he thinks might listen: “Just let me get home… Just let me get home…” With these words, mild-mannered Walt—A.K.A. the meth lord Heisenberg—reaches back in thematic time, echoing the same sentiment the Greek hero Odysseus embraced in his famous ten-year journey from the ruins of Troy to his palace in Ithaca. But W[...]