Michelle D. Sinclair Archive

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 […]

Hell or High Water

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August 26, 2016 Michelle D. Sinclair

Classic Westerns have a look about them: beaten landscapes, dusty shirts, and a hardness in peoples’ eyes that says they’ve seen the worst and don’t expect anything to get better. Hell or High Water doesn’t have to work too hard to apply those hallmarks to its modern-day setting. In fact, the New West looks worse than the old one, a place where hope grew despite itself before succumbing to the relentless pressures of oxidation and a downturned economy. Still, hard times makes good fodder for storytelling, and this tale is a whopper. Where does the line between doing the right […]

Ghostbusters (2016)

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July 22, 2016 Michelle D. Sinclair

The 2016 remake of Ghostbusters hit theaters last weekend with more than 30 years of ectoplasm dripping off its back. First of all, the very idea of remaking Ghostbusters strikes my generation as heresy. It’s as ridiculous as remaking Back to the Future or Raiders of the Lost Ark. Then you have the brouhaha over putting four women in the packs and jumpsuits, and it’s easy to forget there might be an actual movie under all the nasty Internet comments. A little silly, a little scary, and a whole lot of humor that somehow manages to be old school and […]

Love and Friendship

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June 17, 2016 Michelle D. Sinclair

By Michelle Sinclair Love and Friendship holds a singular achievement among Jane Austen film adaptations: it is laugh-out-loud funny. Unlike most Austen movies, there’s nothing remotely romantic about the script or story, but neither did romance have much place in marriage during Austen’s day. In college, I remember trying to read Lady Susan, the short novella on which the film is based, but I didn’t get very far because the format (written entirely in letters) means the reader’s knowledge is entirely based on what characters say is true, rather than showing their actual behavior. The film adaptation is a colorful improvement […]

No Longer an Only

January 8, 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, and she and her husband are parents of one son. No longer being an only child isn’t a bad thing, right? My husband and I aren’t ruining our son’s life by giving him a little brother, are we? Maybe he will be horribly jealous the way I was when my sister Tanya arrived on the scene about two weeks after my second birthday. These are the (somewhat facetious) questions I ponder now […]

Macbeth

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December 18, 2015 Michelle D. Sinclair

Double, double, toil and trouble. The new adaptation of Macbeth is a horrifying reminder why Shakespeare still has the power to affect audiences four hundred years after his death. Most everyone knows the play is the tragic story of Lord and Lady Macbeth’s ambition, but the enthralling gambit in director Justin Kurzel’s effort is to paint ambition as the food they eat when grief has taken every other reason to go on. Some moments felt too gut-wrenching to bear. That’s the way the play was written, with madness and desolation at the heart of the tale of a man who […]

The Martian

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November 20, 2015 Michelle D. Sinclair

The Martian came out more than a month and a half ago, but there’s a very good reason it’s still in theaters, with many available showtimes. Director Ridley Scott’s latest space effort is based on a 2011 novel by Andy Weir, and it has nothing to do with nightmare aliens or cryptic plotlines. Instead, this rare non–R rated adventure film deals with one man’s Robinson Crusoe–esque sojourn on Earth’s closest neighbor, a place humanity may visit in the not so distant future. After all, it is public goodwill that ultimately drives our reach for the stars. When a sudden storm […]

99 Homes and Beasts of No Nation

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October 23, 2015 Michelle D. Sinclair

Movie intensity has ratcheted tighter in recent weeks as Oscar time approaches. Since Hollywood leans heavily on franchising and remakes to make bank, we’re lucky there are still incentives to make movies that balance the bombast, films with no chance of winding up on novelty T-shirts. Two recent releases—99 Homes and Beasts of No Nation—are classic award-season fodder, though Homes is a quiet film and will probably not get much attention come February. However, both topics (the recent foreclosure crisis and child soldiering in Africa) are the kind of thing we grow numb to in the news, and sometimes it […]