Opinion 

The Genie Is Out: The Alternative Disney Renaissance

To borrow a phrase popularised Natalie Imbruglia, I’m torn. The latter stages of this decade have become an all-consuming tsunami of pop-culture defining cinema that, for many reasons, I’m struggling to appreciate the further the wave crests. Hollywood studio Disney, for so long the paragon of family entertainment and now one of the world’s leading corporate behemoths, is responsible for my despair; not for its size or omnipresent presence within our society, but for what appears to be a streak of capitalist cannibalism overtaking it. And to again borrow from…

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Opinion 

Cruise Control: The Last Star Standing?

I was speaking to some friends recently about film (because that’s what I do), and one of them lamented the lack of A-list Hollywood superstars in modern Hollywood. Not celebrities, but legitimate, A-grade stars whose name above the title is a virtual lock for box-office success. You could probably name a slew of actors and actresses whose appeal generates plenty of online and water-cooler buzz when they’re slated to star in an upcoming film, but when you throw most of modern Hollywood up against the stars of previous generations, we…

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Opinion 

Apex Predators: Time To Appreciate Horror

What is it about the horror genre that serious film award shows hate? A horror film – be it monster, slasher or splatter film – has never won the Best Picture Academy Award in its near-century existence. The Silence of The Lambs was a notable scary movie that won big at the Oscars, scooping Best Picture, Director, Writing and two Acting gongs, but that film falls moreso into the psychological thriller genre and is not a true horror movie. Some have come close: Get Out, for example, received a Best…

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Opinion 

A Matter of Representation: Casting For Performance

Over the last few years, Hollywood has seen a gradual shift in public perception to the casting of its films, whether it be all-female casts, to leading roles going to minority actors – people of colour, people of Asian descent, lesbian and transgender performers – and to a certain extent this is both agreeably “about time” and, in some cases, an overreaction to a situation people need to be careful of. A recent case erupted on Twitter this week regarding the casting of Stranger Things‘ Charlie Heaton in a BBC…

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Opinion 

Disarmed: Gunn Gone From The Galaxy

James Gunn is no longer directing the third Guardians Of The Galaxy film. A month after being summarily fired by Disney, owners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe under which James Gunn’s titular Guardians came to pop-culture fame, James Gunn’s career behind the helm of the spacefaring comic book films has officially come to an end. A report from Variety indicates that Gunn was invited to a meeting with Disney studio head honcho Alan Horn to discuss the director’s possible return, only to be told that this would not be happening.…

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Opinion 

Monster Moneymakers: 2018’s Blockbuster Year at The Movies

Never before has a calendar year yielded such phenomenal box office return for Hollywood. 2018’s return on investment, primarily driven by current behemoth industry titan Disney, is something to behold. The major draw for your cash is the American summer season of releases, from April through to the beginning of August, although this year the one aberrant standout has been Marvel’s Black Panther, which came along back in February. Gathering nearly $1.5 billion worldwide before leaping out of cinemas, Black Panther’s historic domestic and global run set the stage for…

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Opinion 

Hideous Toxicity: Modern Fandom’s Slithering Underbelly

The internet has been a force for great good in the world. As with anything created by humans, however, it has also become a significant force for evil, most obviously due to its relative ability to afford some folks to remain anonymous whilst plying the attention of their cruel and sadistic personas. Never has this been more noticeable than a recent elevation in tensions across multiple geek fandoms, particularly the core fanbase of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars property. It’s an understatement to suggest that Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, the second…

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Opinion 

Spoiled For Choice: The Quest For Clicks

One of the big problems in modern cinema isn’t so much the behaviour of patrons, the overpriced candy bar selection or inadequate screening technology, although those things are an issue many cinema chains need to deal with. No, perhaps the biggest problem with film culture – especially online – is the constant fight by studios and marketing against spoilers. Case in point: the release this week of Marvel’s latest superhero blockbuster, Avengers: Infinity War, came with a plea from the studio for reviewers and initial audiences not to reveal the…

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Opinion 

I Can’t Do That Dave: Celebrating Kubrick’s 2001 – 50 Years Young

It’s almost a cliche in film circles to consider Stanley Kubrick’s space-set sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey a masterpiece. The word is bandied about a lot these days, even moreso with product and content that’s almost the antithesis of the word, and yet for 50 years the film has captured the imagination and confounded the unprepared in equal measure, resulting in more debate, dissection and critique than almost any other film I’m aware of.

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Opinion 

Critical Thinking: The Business Of Film Review

I am not, nor will I ever likely be, a professional film critic. I doubt you’ll see my name on the aggregation sites or listed in catchy grabs on film posters, and frankly that’s probably as okay with me as it might be for you. For a tick over a decade, however, I’ve been writing film reviews in a semi-serious manner on this blog here, which has morphed and changed throughout the period to become my escape from daily routine into an outlet for my thoughts on the films I…

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