2016, Year of the Lacklustre Blockbuster

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Batman v Superman was a two and a half hour Linkin Park video. The Jungle Book wasted its impeccable cast with CGI tunnel vision. X Men: Apocalypse combined too many promising ingredients and just came out flavourless, murky and morbid. Through the fog of gender politics, Ghostbusters emerged as a solid B, but nothing to […]

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Beauty is Pain, Bro

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Humphrey Bogart is a pretty leathery guy. He’s possibly the most iconic male figure of the golden age of cinema. He’s stylish, he’s magnetic, and his face resembles a crumpled map of Italy. He looks like he’s seen some shit. Bogie is a good example of the fact that in the good old days, the […]

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Guilt, Pleasure and The Bachelor

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For 20 seasons, The Bachelor has been nailing the holy trinity of reality TV: competition, consumerism and voyeurism. The reality powerhouse lets us peer in at a private social ritual, that of dating. The final pairings that the show produces don’t last (with a few exceptions); the ‘fairy-tale romance’ clearly doesn’t endure. And yet the […]

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Speak For Yourself

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From The Godfather to Good Will Hunting, from Hitchcock to Michael Bay, white men continue to be over-represented both on and off camera. I won’t bury you in stats because you have Google, but trust me, they are depressing. So when we see non-white or non-male characters, it’s encouraging. Oh look, we say, there’s a […]

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Making a Murderer, Anonymous and Trial by Social Media

The online audience is a powerful entity. We are now fairly accustomed to getting what we want. Companies ask for our input in creating the products we would like to see. We can customise our own t-shirts and mugs. We made a Veronica Mars movie happen, we revived Arrested Development, we bought a chunk of […]

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Twilight as a Necessary Evil: The Curious Case of Melissa Rosenberg

Melissa Rosenberg’s portfolio is more than a little confusing. One of the most successful female writers in Hollywood, she’s the woman at the helm of Jessica Jones, the feminist, noirish, boundary-pushing Netflix series that nobody thought Marvel was capable of. Rosenberg was a staff writer on The O.C (Season One, when it was briefly good) […]

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"It's Not Real Music": Rap, Rock and the New Racism

image source: bet.com/news/music We’ve all seen them. The youtube commenters lurking in the threads below every Led Zeppelin classic, every Nirvana lyric vid, bemoaning the state of modern pop. “This is REAL MUSIC”, they declare, because they have a real thing for capslock. “This generation’s music SUCKS”, they say with great critical acumen. Even Dave […]

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Done to Death: The Real Reason We’re Addicted to Apocalypse Movies

We sure do like seeing pretty people suffer. Hollywood has delivered us the apocalypse in a dazzling array of colours and flavours in the last decade, from teenage dystopias to political zombies to global warming. This (http://www.hopesandfears.com/hopes/future/technology/213487-how-technology-spawned-your-favorite-superhero-origins) is a nifty wee article about the way that superheroes are a direct response to the technology of […]

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Sex, Cyborgs and Sci-Fi

Fair warning: the following ramble contains very mild spoilers for several movies (Metropolis, The Machine, Ex Machina, Under the Skin, Beyond the Black Rainbow, Blade Runner). If you are a rigorous anti-spoiler fascist, you can go now. For the record, I would recommend pretty much all of the movies mentioned, especially to people who enjoy […]

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