Matthew Kresal was born and raised in North Alabama though he never developed a Southern accent. His essays have been featured in numerous books and his first piece of fiction was published in the anthology Blood, Sweat, And Fears in 2016.
JFK, The Warren Commission, & 'A Cruel and Shocking Act'
In the more than a half-century since the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, questions have been raised time and again about it. How many shots? Who was involved? Did alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald act alone or was he even involved at all? The Warren Commission, set up in the aftermath of the assassination and whose report was issued to the public in 1964, was meant to answer those questions once and for all. Instead, it would merely add gasoline to the fire of conspiracy claims. How and why that came to be is covered in this volume from journalist Philip Shenon who explores (as the book is sub-titled) “the secret history of the Kennedy assassination.”
Truth, Lies, & Action In The 'Green Zone'
With the team up of star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass having proven successful with The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, it perhaps isn't surprising that the two would team-up again so soon after what was initially seen as the final film in the Bourne franchise. What the pair made was a film that dealt with many of the same themes of distrust and questionable US government motives. The difference? This one was set firmly in the recent past in the immediate aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. That film was Green Zone and the results were compelling.
SyFy, UFOs, and 'Official Denial'
The late 1980s and early 1990s saw a rash of film and TV projects based off of the alien abduction phenomenon. These included adaptations of two non-fiction books based on the phenomenon by Whitely Strieber (Communion starring Christopher Walken) and Budd Hopkins (Intruders). In 1993, the fledgling Sci-Fi Channel (now known, of course, as SyFy) also produced a TV movie on the phenomenon as their first original movie. Titled Official Denial, the result is an interesting if at times an under-served piece of work.
Review - 'Ruled Britannia'
In 1588, Britain faced the threat of invasion by the Spanish Armada, sent by Catholic King Phillip II against the Protestant Elizabeth I. History records that the Armada failed of course and Britain went more than two centuries before facing the threat of invasion once more. Yet what if the Armada had succeeded and the nation had been occupied by the forces of Catholic Spain? Harry Turtledove, proclaimed as the master of the alternate history genre, imagined just such a scenario with his 2002 novel Ruled Britannia.
Review—'Doctor Who: The War To End All Wars'
Across seven years from 2007 to 2014, UK based company Big Finish Productions produced a most remarkable series of Doctor Who audio dramas. Created to utilize characters and elements from the first four Doctors eras at the time, the Companion Chronicles range did exactly that. More than that, it went a long way to putting underused companions to better use, resulting in some remarkable stories. Coming in as the last story recorded for the range (though the third to last from being released), The War To End All Wars is a prime example of the range and what it was capable of.
'Doctor Who': 12 For Twelve
Peter Capaldi's time on the BBC's Doctor Who has ended. This past Christmas he regenerated into Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor who will be making her debut this October per announcements made at the BBC Worldwide Showcase in February. While we wait for her debut, now seems an opportune moment to look back over the highlights of Capaldi's time in the TARDIS. A top twelve for the Twelfth Doctor as it were...(Be warned though: There might be spoilers.)
Review - 'The Martian Invasion Of Earth'
For over a year now, UK based audio drama company Big Finish has been producing a series of audio dramas based on the works of H.G. Wells. Along the way, they've given us a Stirling final performance from the late Sir John Hurt as The Invisible Man and even managed to turn Wells' vague future history The Shape Of Things To Come into a gripping tale. All that, however, has merely been a prologue to their adaptation of arguably Wells' best-known work: The War Of The Worlds.
Review: Batman - Gotham By Gaslight
“What if?” stories have always been popular with the chance to re-imagine events or people in a different light. Comics, in particular, have made much use of the idea with DC dedicating an entire range to it known as Elseworlds which put its character such as Batman and Superman into new settings in the past or turned the characters fundamentally on their head. It's not surprising then that the most recent DC Universe animated movie would take the very first Elseworlds tale which takes the Dark Knight into steampunk territory as he takes on Jack The Ripper. It's safe to say that expectations were high for this particular animated movie but does it live up to them?