Michelle D. Sinclair Archive

Spider-Man: Homecoming

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July 21, 2017 Michelle D. Sinclair

Spider-Man: Homecoming Review by Michelle Sinclair How many times can you sit through a reboot of the same superhero story and still be entertained, even moved? I had thought I was at my limit for Spider-Man movies, but after a little taste of Tom Holland’s joyous teenage web crawler in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, I knew I’d want to see what he could do in his own movie. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Holland—and the filmmakers around him–don’t disappoint. Peter Parker wants to stop big crimes and be a part of the Avengers so badly and yet Robert Downey Jr’s Tony […]

Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War

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June 23, 2017 Michelle D. Sinclair

It sometimes seems that there’s never an end to the horrifying things humanity will do to one another. Stories like the ones told in Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War offer an antidote to the toxicity, proving ordinary people have done—and we hope will continue to do—extraordinary things in defiance of hate. Periodically, they returned home to children who were growing up without them. In this Ken Burns documentary (released last fall and recently made available on Netflix), Tom Hanks and Marina Goldman narrate the voices of an American Unitarian minister and his wife who left their small children behind […]

13 Reasons Why

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May 19, 2017 Michelle D. Sinclair

The most talked about TV show on Netflix over the last few weeks has been 13 Reasons Why, the 13-episode series adapted from Jay Asher’s young adult novel of the same name. If you’ve missed the buzz, the show is about a teenage girl’s suicide, as well as the tapes she leaves behind to pinpoint the people and actions that led to her death. The tale plays out a bit like a murder mystery where you know the ending—Hannah Baker’s suicide—but don’t know how she got there. Most of the talk has centered around the effects watching the show might […]

The Lego Batman Movie

March 17, 2017 Michelle D. Sinclair

As a family comedy, The Lego Batman Movie excels, but as a parody, this film is virtually unparalleled. Its playful pokes at the explosion of superhero movies during the last 15 years proves that yes, you can make a blisteringly funny parody without falling back on sex gags and gross-out humor—and you can actually tell a better story in the process. It pillories everything from the format of dark superhero movies to comics, cartoons, old TV shows, and hero-archnemesis relationships. Three years have passed since Batman helped saved the universe in The Lego Movie, and he’s just as busy as ever […]

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo

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February 17, 2017 Michelle D. Sinclair

By Michelle Sinclair Longtime readers of Media Matters might remember my love of Korean dramas (self-contained 16-24 episode TV shows), and a recent series was so much fun I wanted to revisit the topic. Don’t be turned away by the silly-sounding title. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo is a delight from beginning to end, subverting clichés and mining comedy from some of the most relatable parts of growing up. The title is a play on a piece of Korean culture, applying the word “fairy” to a female star of any stripe. For example, the South Korean women’s figure skating champion Kim […]

The Crown

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January 20, 2017 Michelle D. Sinclair

To be perfectly honest, The Crown had me at “an inside look at the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II.” I’m such an Anglophile and history buff that this show could have been a shoddily produced back-lot project and I probably would have watched. I’m saying all of this so you’ll take this review with about a heart attack’s worth of sodium. One also has to wonder what the Queen herself thinks about all this. Series creator Peter Morgan told Variety this past July that the royal family has had no involvement in the project. Luckily for me, The Crown is […]

Stranger Things

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December 23, 2016 Michelle D. Sinclair

Twenty minutes into the first episode of Stranger Things, a sense of deja vu, or at the very least, nostalgia will come over people of my generation. No cell phones, primitive computers, and kids riding bicycles like grown-ups use cars? We must be in the realm of the 1980s, or at least the version that used to inhabit the big screen. That impression is intentional, since writer/directors/brothers Matt and Ross Duffer crafted the series as an homage to Spielberg films and other classics in that era of storytelling–particularly E.T. or even The Goonies. Those adventures still took time to explore […]

How We Accidentally Stopped Having a Television

October 7, 2016 Michelle D. Sinclair

Editor’s note: Michelle Sinclair is the daughter of columnist Melodie Davis and writes occasionally for Another Way. She works in the advertising department of a major daily newspaper. She and her husband have two small sons. For some, September is a month for checking out the bevy of new TV shows rolling on air. My family is barely aware of what’s on TV, let alone what’s new. For now, it’s lovely having no background noise or commercials to worry about. Our house is loud enough! My husband and I never set out to be a TV-free household. In fact, one […]

The School for Good and Evil trilogy (audiobook)

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September 23, 2016 Michelle D. Sinclair

As much as I enjoy young adult fiction, I’ve been burned by widely popular novels before (Veronica Roth’s Divergent series was a notable disappointment). When I discovered my favorite audiobook narrator, Polly Lee, had performed Soman Chainani’s bestselling trilogy, The School for Good and Evil, I embarked on the series with deep reservations. Could the world-building and characters make me believe in the story? Or would there be a fatal flaw in the presentation that would be too distracting to transport me away? What is the nature of Good? What makes a person Evil? How does True Love fit into […]

His Brother’s Helper

August 26, 2016 Michelle D. Sinclair

Editor’s note: Michelle Sinclair is the daughter of columnist Melodie Davis and has returned to write occasionally for Another Way after a six-month hiatus after the birth of her second son. She works in the advertising department of a major daily newspaper. The call came at noon; so unexpected I had to turn away from my work computer just to process the daycare provider’s words. Six-month-old baby Henry had spent his entire first morning at daycare refusing to drink his milk. Henry the chunky monkey, Henry the armful, Henry the roly-poly, eat-every-two-hours-and-twice-at-night baby—going on hunger strike? I was flummoxed. I […]