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My friend Rabbi Ethan Linden has written a wonderful article on his blog about HBO’s recently-concluded Game of Thrones mini-series (which I LOVED) and some broader thoughts about the fantasy and sci-fi genres.  Here’s an excerpt:

People love to make fun of the superhero comic book genre, the fantasy genre, and the science fiction genre, both in movies and in books.  This is unfortunate, because all three of these types of fiction provide some the most fertile ground for the creation of words that, though different from our own in important ways, nonetheless allow us to reflect on the realities of our customs, cultures and institutions.  For some reason, these three genres are often considered to be “nerdy” or “dorky” and the typical mainstream reviewed will often make a snide remark about the intended audience for these types of fictions before launching into a review of the actual material in front of them.  (Take a look at this New York Times review of the TV series for a prime example.)  That these genres are taken seriously is a shame, because great fantasy, science fiction and superhero stories can be among the best ways we have of thinking deeply about who we are.

You can read the rest of Rabbi Linden’s terrific post here.

This is a superlative article, over at Hitfix.com, listing 25 Movie Sequels That Hollywood Should Have Made.  The list is spot-on, with excellent choices both common (Serenity) and obscure (Devil With a Blue Dress).  Warning: reading this will make you a little sad that sequels to these films do not exist, while X-Men Origins: Wolverine does.

Check out this great new trailer for the adaptation of John Le Carre’s novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.  Looks phenomenal.

Speaking of trailers, Steven Spielberg has finally released a new film, his first since Munich in 2005!  (What’s that, you say?  He directed an Indiana Jones film in 2008?  No, no, you’re wrong, there’s no way Mr. Spielberg could have had anything to do with that train-wreck.)  Anyways, take a look at the trailer for War Horse.

Cars 2 didn’t really interest me, but I’m looking forward to the next Pixar film:  Brave.

Here’s a look at the latest Mission Impossible film: Ghost Protocol.  None of the first three Mission Impossible films have been as great as I’ve wanted them to be, but I’ve enjoyed them all, so I’d be excited for this fourth installment even if it wasn’t Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant)’s live-action directorial debut.

Here at last is our first teaser trailer for John Carter (Of Mars).  Is it possible this is going to be good?  I’m not sure, but a small part of me is starting to hope…  (I’m still pissed at the shortened version of the title, though.)

Martin Scorsese has made a 3-D children’s adventure film? After watching this trailer for Hugo, I’m in!  (But, again, why shorten a great title — The Invention of Hugo Cabret — to the far more boring Hugo?)

Our final trailer of the day is this look at Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.  So far the trailer makes this sequel seem of a piece with the first installment (which I really enjoyed), so that’s good.  I think it’s all going to come down to how well Jared Leto does as Professor Moriarty.  If he’s able to create a formidable adversary for Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes, then we could really have something here.  We’ll see!

Huzzah!  Peter Jackson has released a new video diary from The Hobbit! And speaking of Peter Jackson, this is a great piece by Devin Faraci at badassdigest.com on the miracle that was the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films.

Do you remember that crazy Christmas, a decade ago, that saw the release of the first Lord of the Rings film AND the first Harry Potter film?  Nordling from AICN does, and his look back at the Harry Potter series is a great read.

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