The Shape of My Name March 4, 2015 The Shape of My Name Nino Cipri How far can you travel to claim yourself? The Hell of It February 25, 2015 The Hell of It Peter Orullian What will he wager? Schrödinger’s Gun February 18, 2015 Schrödinger’s Gun Ray Wood Maybe in some other timeline it would have gone smooth. Acrobatic Duality February 11, 2015 Acrobatic Duality Tamara Vardomskaya The two of her are perfectly synchronized.
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March 4, 2015
Writing Women Characters as Human Beings
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March 2, 2015
A Ranking of 1980s Fantasy That Would Please Crom Himself!
Leah Schnelbach
February 27, 2015
Goodbye, Mr. Nimoy — What Spock Meant to One Geeky 12-Year-Old Girl
Emily Asher-Perrin
February 26, 2015
Introducing the Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch
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February 23, 2015
Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed
Ilana C. Myer
Showing posts by: mike sargent click to see mike sargent's profile
Nov 9 2009 11:03am

Interview with Astro Boy director David Bowers

David Bowers began his career in animation as an in-between artist* on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. He went on to be an animator and storyboard artist for varied projects ranging from Count Duckula and Danger Mouse to The Road To El Dorado and Ferngully: The Last Rainforest. He moved up in the ranks to supervising animator and storyboard supervisor on films like Chicken Run and Balto. He directed his first animated feature in 2006, the much underrated Flushed Away, which featured voice performances from Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet and Ian McKellan, to name a few. Bowers is no stranger to the field and process of animation and clearly used to working with top talent; his latest film is Astro Boy.

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Sep 30 2009 9:19am

Last minute Zombieland ticket giveaway

Ruben Fleischer’s hilarious new film Zombieland starring Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg opens nationwide on October 2. But Sony Pictures is once again offering readers 20 pairs of first-come first-served passes for tonight, September 30, 2009 @ 9PM!

Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has made a habit of running from what scares him. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) doesn't have fears. If he did, he'd kick their ever-living ass. In a world overrun by zombies, these two are perfectly evolved survivors. But now, they're about to stare down the most terrifying prospect of all: each other.

Here is the trailer:

The screening is TONIGHT at 9pm at the AMC Empire (42nd street & 8th avenue) in New York City. It is, again, FIRST-COME FIRST-SERVE so you will need to get there early—at least an hour if not more—if you want to get in to the film.

If you would like to go, you have to pick them up from us at our Flatiron offices during normal business hours today. E-mail Torie Atkinson (torie dot atkinson at tor dot com) for details. And for those who pick up tickets we have special Zombieland giveaways (Zombieland t-shirts, hats, hand sanitizers!) while supplies last.

Mike Sargent is a nationally quoted film critic for WBAI-FM in NYC. His late night radio show Web site is: If Mike gets bit by a zombie and lives he hopes someone will shoot him before he turns.

Sep 24 2009 3:59pm

Interview with Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer

Though I am not allowed to give a full review yet I can safely say to you that Zombieland freakin’ rocks! This Zom-com is directed by Washington, D.C. native Ruben Fleischer and is about a post-apocalyptic zombie world starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin.  Fleischer began his career as an assistant to Miguel Arteta on Chuck & Buck and The Good Girl. From there he spent two years making a slew of low-budget music videos, short films, and other experiments and in his own words put himself embarrassingly deep into credit card debt. Eventually he got signed to a production company where he was able to direct commercials and bigger budget music videos. Ruben got his big break when he met Rob & Big Black, with whom he created and developed Rob & Big, which became a hit reality television show on MTV for three successful seasons. Zombieland is Rubens’ first feature film.

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Sep 23 2009 2:38pm

Zombieland ticket giveaway

Just in case you thought was cool, it’s not, it’s even cooler! Ruben Fleischer’s great new film Zombieland, starring Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg, opens nationwide on October 2. But Sony Pictures is offering readers eight pairs of tickets to a special preview screening this Thursday!

Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has made a habit of running from what scares him. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) doesn't have fears. If he did, he'd kick their ever-living ass. In a world overrun by zombies, these two are perfectly evolved survivors. But now, they're about to stare down the most terrifying prospect of all: each other.

[See the trailer and learn how to get tickets beneath the fold.]

Sep 22 2009 5:48pm

Paranormal Activity midnight screening

 Paramount Pictures will debut the Slamdance and Telluride Film Festival favorite Paranormal Activity at a midnight screening on Thursday, September 24. Paramount is offering readers five pairs of tickets to that special preview screening in New York City.

After a young, middle-class couple moves into what seems like a typical suburban “starter” tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be demonic, but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.

Just leave a comment on this post (once—duplicates won’t count) and we will randomly select the 5 lucky people. You have until 11:00pm EST today Tuesday, September 22th 5pm EST Wednesday, September 23rd [deadline extended!] to comment. Because the screening is in New York City, you must be able to physically make it to the screening.

Additionally we have 25 pairs of first-come first-served pairs of passes. Those names will also be chosen at random from your comments.

Screening is in NYC on Thursday, September 24th
@ midnight at the Landmark Sunshine Theater
143 E. Houston Street

The lucky people’s names will be on the guest list. (You get to pass by the line!)

The first-come first-served folks will be notified where to pick up their passes during business hours on Thursday 9/24.

[See the trailer and learn more about the screening below the fold.]

Sep 17 2009 2:21pm

Interview with District 9 Composer Clinton Shorter

To me, District 9 was one of the best and most original science fiction films to come along in a very long time. In a field crowded with noisy blockbusters and painfully bad remakes of classic SF films, District 9 was a welcome breath of fresh air. Its frenetic pacing and documentary sensibility underscore the urgency of a scenario that is all too believable.

District 9 poses many provocative questions. What if aliens did land here and had no way to get home? And if they were not able to scare or dominate us with their power, how would we respond? What aspects of humanity would be gained or lost in those who deal with them? What if a country and culture had a history rife with social and civil injustices? Would those who were former victims become like their oppressors? Would the former oppressors continue to oppress the new “others?”

These are all incredibly interesting themes, and like the best of what I deem to be true SF, they are integral to the story itself. The genre allows us to examine and comment on the human condition and to ponder our place in the universe.

The music for District 9 is equally provocative and interesting. I had the opportunity to interview the composer, Clinton Shorter, a few days before the film’s release and ask him how he tackled this project.

[Read the interview below the fold!]

Sep 10 2009 9:33am

Interview with 9 producer Tim Burton

For me, Tim Burton has always been more of a visual stylist than a master storyteller. His films always have a great look and feel to them, but some clearly work better than others—Charlie & The Chocolate Factory vs. Sleepy Hollow, Nightmare Before Christmas vs. Planet Of The Apes. Artistically, however, he is remarkable as a purveyor of visual sumptuousness and freaky visions of the macabre. As a producer, Burton’s track record is better, and 9, Shane Acker’s expansion of his Academy Award-nominated animated short of the same name, is an excellent example—weird, creepy, beautiful to look at, and like the best of Burton’s work, hauntingly original.

I had the opportunity to chat with Tim about 9—about why he chose to produce it and what it represents to him, what he, as an artist-producer, can bring to the table in support of other artist-filmmakers with like sensibilities.

[Read the interview below!]

Sep 8 2009 3:14pm

Last minute 9 screening tickets giveaway

I had a chance to see 9 and to talk with Tim Burton about the movie (more on that later) and I thought it was pretty terrific. Focus Features is offering readers five pairs of tickets to tonight’s preview screening and a beautiful full-color “making of” book.

Just leave a comment on this post (once—duplicates won't count) and the first five commenters will receive the tickets. If you are one of the lucky winners, e-mail Torie Atkinson (torie dot atkinson at tor dot com) with your full name to claim the prize.

Because the screening is in New York City, you must be able to physically make it to the screening in NYC.

Screening is tonight, Tuesday, September 8th
13th & B’way

Winners names will be on the guest list. (You get to pass by the line! But you must arrive by 8:45 PM.)

Sep 8 2009 3:00pm

An introduction

Hello, my name is Mike Sargent. I am (among many other things) a film critic, an entertainment journalist, and a huge science fiction fan. I am going to be a film and TV critic for for the foreseeable future. I will endeavor to give scintillating coverage on what’s out there, what’s coming out, and as often as I can offer the lucky among you (who live in NYC) free passes to see some of these movies. I have a number of other thoughts on film criticism. I will let them serve as an introduction to me, and what I intend to do (with my posts on film, television and DVDs) here on

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