Movies (and Other Things)

Twelve: Grand Central. Oct. 2019. 256p. Arturo Torres ISBN 9781538730195. $25. FILM
Would Fight Club’s Tyler Durden be fun to hang out with? Would Titanic be a better movie if it starred the Rock? Which action movie kills are the best? Serrano (Basketball and Other Things) explores these thought experiments in a surreal tour of modern movies, deftly moving from gangster films to romantic comedies to high school movies. His absurd scenarios are hilarious yet thought-provoking jumping-off points for a deeper discussion about movies and their impact. Serrano is as exuberant about Michael B. Jordan as he is about Diane Keaton, and his affecting reflections on watching Selena as a Mexican American are as impressive as his skillful insertions of unexpectedly fitting basketball allusions. Torres’s vivid artwork echoes Serrano’s offbeat musings.
VERDICT Serrano knows how to craft a think piece, and his perspective is illuminating. With essays on Get Out, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Booksmart, this is also a timely read to be enjoyed by film buffs and general audiences alike.
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