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Thursday, September 30, 2021
Friday, September 24, 2021
PHIL ON FILM: "Dear Evan Hansen"
Friday, September 17, 2021
Book Report: "Grant"
Grant by Ron Chernow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I wish Ron Chernow had enough time and energy to write biographies of every significant historical figure. With a storyteller's flair and a historian's conscience, he sifts through mountains of research and conflicting narratives to suss out the closest thing imaginable to the true story.
His gift is one of empathy. He inhabits and takes in the world in the way that he imagines his subjects might have, probing the records and media accounts to synthesize the feelings and inner mental workings of the time.
In the same superb way he deconstructed Lincoln, Washington and Hamilton, he takes on the stoic icon Grant, transforming him from a poker-faced general and president into a man teeming with insecurities and inner demons. Chernow takes a hard look at his alcoholism, which Grant shielded with intense ferocity.
Orchestrating the myriad forces that Grant navigated as he floated to the upper echelons of Guilded Age celebrity, Chernow explores the complicated relationships Grant had with the likes of Sherman, Twain and Garfield, making the giants of history seem as familiar as drinking buddies.
Throughout the exquisite prose, Grant emerges as a figure of tender ambition, deep care of his family, as well as humanity as a whole, and his careful stewardship of the legacy he built. It wouldn't surprise me if Grant -- for all his flaws and gullability -- was Chernow's favorite subject of all to date.
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Thursday, September 16, 2021
PHIL ON FILM: "Lady of the Manor"
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
"NBA 2K22" Review
PHIL ON FILM: Movies Leaving Netflix in October 2021
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Wednesday, September 08, 2021
PHIL ON FILM: "The Voyeurs"
Monday, September 06, 2021
"DariusBurst: Another Chronicle EX+" Review
Side-scrolling space shooters were made for the Switch, and Taito has been crafting some of the best in the bunch for decades.
While "DariusBurst: Another Chronicle EX+" may not add much to the recipe, the bones of what have long made games of this ilk so addictive remains in place.
The goal is to replicate a credit-chomping arcade experience, and "DariusBurst" accomplishes that to a harrowing degree. The difficulty level ramps up quickly then continues to pour on the pain, challenging you to hone your skillset as you power through the bullet hell.
The array of power-ups and upgrades is satisfying, injecting momentum-shifting jolts into the flow of the game that can jolt you out of certain death.
The feeling of constantly skating by in a mix of luck and skill is intoxicating, challenging you to overcome your near-misses and celebrate your fleeting successes.
While there may not be much new in the offing for series veterans, there is plenty to enjoy for even the most devoted fans. The 1980s and 90s continue to live on on the Switch.
Publisher provided review code.