Archive for the ‘Steven D’arcangelo’ Category


Summer came to a close this past Labor Day weekend, and with it so too did the summer movie season. Emerging at the top in both box office intake and critical acclaim is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The motion picture soundtrack is also faring well. The “Awesome Mix” of cheesy ‘70s and ‘80s pop […]

SEQUEL-TITLE-ITIS part 1: The epidemic of giving bad titles to good (and not-so-good) sequels. defines Sequelitis as, “A medical condition propagated by a combination of commercial success and creative ineptitude.” This epidemic has plagued Hollywood for nearly a century, starting with The Fall of a Nation (1916), the forgotten follow-up to D.W. Griffith’s popular The Birth of a Nation (1915). This inspired sequels in every genre, from historical […]

COFFEEHOUSE SCREENWRITING 102: Caffeinated Writing on a Budget

If you’re looking for how to make passive characters active or how to cram writing in between day jobs and kids, then you’re in the wrong place.  For help with that, I recommend a great book with a title similar to this article — The Coffee Break Screenwriter by Pilar Alessandra. This article isn’t about how […]

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 (Summer Hiatus Review)

It’s been two weeks since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired its season 1 finale. Two weeks since Coulson and the gang last grappled with the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ward’s betrayal, and various super-powered shenanigans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fortunately the series was renewed for a second season. Unfortunately that season doesn’t begin for three full months. […]

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 22: Beginning of the End (season finale review)

As is the norm with Joss Whedon shows, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started slow and ended big. And we’re only talking about the season finale, not the series finale. If you hung on during the lackluster early episodes, then your reward is here. Having said that, this isn’t the best episode. Beginning of the End is […]

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep 21: Ragtag (T.V. review)

I always aim for these reviews to be around 600 to 800 words long, but they more than frequently end up being over 1,000. There’s so much packed into the average episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that it’s hard to critique it all without straining Microsoft Word’s Word Count tool. Take this week’s episode, for […]

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 20: Nothing Personal (T.V. review — redacted)

Due to recent “game changing” events within the global peace-keeping organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D., this week’s regularly scheduled review has been deemed “blasphemous propaganda” by the Supreme Hydra and replaced with Hydra’s own unbiased critique.  Enjoy. Tweet

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep 19: The Only Light in the Darkness (T.V. review)

Question: Can subtext exist without text? Question: Is The Only Light in the Darkness a Springsteen album or an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode? Important questions.  Let’s see what the answers are. Tweet

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 18: Providence (T.V. review)

After some incredibly tense twists and turns in recent episodes of Agents of Hydra S.H.I.E.L.D., it’s nice to have a lighter tone reappear with this week’s adventure.  I’m not talking about the juvenile antics of Skye and Fitz-Simmons that alienated viewers (myself included) in early episodes.  Thankfully the spy kids have grown up.  The lighter […]

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep 17: Turn, Turn, Turn (T.V. review)

T.V. network marketing tosses around the term “game changer” as if it’s a rag doll.  “Tune in to this week’s exciting ______ .   It’s a game changer!” “Don’t miss tonight’s game changing episode of _____ !!”  “After the final game changing moments of the new _______ , nothing will ever.  Be the same.  Again!!!” Seldom […]

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 16: End of The Beginning (T.V. review)

After featuring ancillary agents Blake, Garrett, Sitwell and Victoria Hand in solo episodes, we now have their Avengers-like team-up in the latest installment of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  The quartet joins Coulson & Co. in stopping the Clairvoyant once and for all, a goal complicated by the presence of Mike Peterson, A.K.A. Deathlok the Demolisher, which […]

COFFEEHOUSE SCREENWRITING 101: An Intro to Caffeinated Writing Culture

I spend a lot of time in coffee shops, yet I don’t like coffee.  I didn’t used to like coffee anyway. Until I spent a lot of time in coffee shops.  Does that sound jittery?  Blame caffeine because I’m typing these words in a coffee shop. As a freelance writer determined, like the vast majority […]

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep 15: Yes Men (T.V. review)

The name of this week’s episode, Yes Men, is thankfully not a reference to the underwhelming Jim Carrey film of nearly the same name (Yes Man).  Nor is it a Jeopardy answer, as in: ALEX TREBEK: “What fanboys call the confidantes who read George Lucas’ Star Wars prequel scripts, knew they were bad, and did […]

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 14: T.A.H.I.T.I. (T.V. review — redacted)

  For the sake of national security, this week’s critique of the new S.H.I.E.L.D. episode has had certain information-sensitive passages redacted by agent Maria Hill, under orders from Director Fury himself. Should you choose to read any further, all knowledge of your involvement will be disavowed.  Should you choose not to read further, all enjoyment […]


Marvel’s The Avengers, which assembled heroes established in previous solo films, earned $1.51 billion worldwide.  It’s the third highest grossing film of all time.  Ever since its massive success, Hollywood has gone cray cray for the shared universe concept.  World-building has been replaced by universe-building in hopes of riding the trend all the way to […]

SNOWPIERCER 1: THE ESCAPE — Titan Comics (Graphic Novel Review)

New in stores (both tangible and virtual) is Titan Comics’ English translation of the French graphic novel that inspired the upcoming film directed by a South Korean.  Got all that?  I’m talking about Snowpiercer 1: The Escape.  Is it worth reading before or after seeing the movie?  Or not at all.  Let’s find out. First […]

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 13: T.R.A.C.K.S. (T.V. review — redacted)

What follows is a classified document critical of this week’s new S.H.I.E.L.D. episode.  For reasons of national security, several information-sensitive passages have been redacted at the request of Director Fury. Rumors that this was a cover-up perpetrated by the reviewer in order to “get out of” having to write a full, cohesive review cannot be […]


You don’t need Schoolhouse Rock to know that 3 is a magic number. It’s in our sciences with Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion and Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics.  It’s in our religion (some of our religion) with the 3 Wise Men and the Holy Trinity.  Three trimesters of pregnancy could yield triplets that all […]

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 12: Seeds (T.V. review)

Nothing makes one feel like it’s wintertime in Los Angeles quite like unseasonably hot weather.  Today it’s a record-breaking 89 degrees in the Valley where it should be 60-something this time of year.  Unlike my snowbound relatives back east who think I’m rubbing it in every time they ask what the temperature is out here, […]

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep. 11: The Magical Place (T.V. review)

The Magical Place is the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. mid-season premiere that picks up where the mid-season finale left off. (Remember when television shows just had one premiere and one finale per season?) The “finale” ended on a cliffhanger with Agent Coulson getting himself kidnapped by Project Centipede.  Now the mission is to rescue him and […]

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