Michelle D. Sinclair Archive

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 […]

The Much-Maligned Mother-in-Law

September 18, 2015 Michelle D. Sinclair

(Editor’s Note: Michelle Sinclair is the daughter of columnist Melodie Davis; she is married and works in Washington, D.C. She and her husband have a toddler son.) Three weeks of just you, your mother-in-law, and a toddler. Sound doable? Grandchildren really can be the great equalizer. There’s something connective about seeing your mother-in-law love your child too—even at 3 a.m., when the toddler has woken upset for the fourth time that night. My husband’s work took him away for part of this summer, and since I’m pregnant with our second child, I had the good fortune to have my retired […]

A Walk in the Woods

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September 18, 2015 Michelle D. Sinclair

Perhaps it’s because baby boomers like to reshape every age demographic they enter, but there seem to be more and more movies featuring the 60+ set. Broadening Hollywood’s standards of who can carry a compelling story and make money at it can only be a good thing. A Walk in the Woods is the latest entry into that category, a “road trip” type film starring actors whose heydays coincided with the Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan years. Even if some parts of this based-on-a-true-story film were rearranged, fictionalized or altered completely, this is a movie, not a documentary, and the […]

Shaun the Sheep Movie

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August 21, 2015 Michelle D. Sinclair

Stop-motion animation has a long history as a medium for film. Once the primary method for movie monsters to careen across the silver screen, the technique has been kept alive by Aardman Animations—the British animation studio known for their television and movie franchise Wallace & Gromit. Just when the sheep seem to have mastered a cloak-and-dagger escape, someone “baas” and nearly gives the game away. Tradition or practicality (or both) dictates that their characters speak only in grunts and unrecognizable words, but with tone of voice, gestures, and images, they broadcast their emotions and intentions with clarity. Shaun the Sheep […]

Spy

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July 17, 2015 Michelle D. Sinclair

Another season, another spy-themed comedy, another opportunity to watch Hollywood exploit Melissa McCarthy’s weight and willingness to go to any lengths to portray the anti-leading lady. Those were my thoughts heading into Spy, the latest movie by McCarthy and director Paul Feig. In some ways, I was not far off the mark, but to my surprise I also enjoyed the movie. If only I could recommend it without reservations. Melissa McCarthy has powered a renaissance of female-driven comedies in Hollywood (is it a renaissance if it was never really there to begin with?) and for that alone, I ought to […]