Ant-Man: A refreshingly charming affair

As Marvel methodically scrape the barrel in terms of their increasingly formulaic output, Alex Francis finds a tiny spec of something fresh in amongst the other rotten apples. This is Ant-Man.Ant-Man review cartoon 1

I’ve grown rather cynical of the Marvel films. They just don’t say anything. Each time, the heroes are only motivated out of obligation to save the world and I couldn’t even tell you what the villains’ motivations are. Robot computer man Ultron seemed to be going through some accelerated teenage angst – not very becoming for a super-intelligent machine.

So it wasn’t with very high hopes that I walked into the cinema and surreptitiously upgraded myself to a gallery seat. But Ant-Man was a pleasant surprise: it at least presents its hero as an underdog fighting vested interests, a refreshing change from the tools-of-the-state that are the Avengers. Continue reading


Terminator Genisys: You can’t hug digital children with nuclear arms

A friend of mine said “You know the theory that infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters will eventually write Shakespeare? Well pretty early on in that process they must have written the absolute shitshow that is Terminator: Genisys.” I can’t top that for Ebert-esque snarkery, so if all you need to know is if the film is any “good”, you have your answer courtesy of Aisha Brady. I do, inevitably, have something rather more long-winded about just why this movie sucks though.

This is the film’s one joke. It is played for laughs a good 5 times.

For a film primarily set in the future, this is a historically and thematically regressive film, to the extent you feel as though your very DNA is devolving throughout its two-lighter running time. This film is not so much a futuristic cyborg as it is a single-celled biological accident, flailing haphazardly about in the primordial soup of backwater cinema. In the end, when it is superseded with ease by better made, smarter films, it will only be remembered – if at all – as one of evolution’s cataclysmic mistakes. Continue reading

A cinema worth fighting for: Let’s build a Norwich Radical Film Festival

So our film, Witches and Bitches has been shortlisted at the annual Small Axe Radical Film Festival at Tolpuddle this weekend, meaning for a second year in a row, Hollywood Hegemony will be represented at their screenings. That’s the good news. The bad news, is that for a second year in a row, I will be unable to attend thanks to work commitments. Now I know what you’re all thinking, “poor Jack, he must be devastated, we should probably buy him presents to cheer him up,” but the truth is you needn’t bother… well, maybe you can bother with the presents – but don’t worry about me. You see I feel it’s where I’m supposed to be.

Who doesn't love being crushed by the machine?

Who doesn’t love being crushed by the machine?

Sure, making films is good for a laugh – but really, serving people over-priced coffee and renewing their car insurance is my passion. My calling. Nothing gets me going in the morning like the smell of weak macchiato and the intoxicating click of a thousand computer-mice applying no claims discount to the thankless swinish multitude. No really… really… Continue reading

The Ordinary can be Extraordinary: A Belated Review of Minions

Let’s be frank. Despite gorgeous mixed-style animations, an inspired best-of-the-60s soundtrack, and ingenious slapstick set-pieces that would make Jack Sparrow drool; Minions is not a great film. It’s not even the strongest film in its franchise – that would be Despicable Me which, as an international Super villain adopts three orphans, takes the trope of a cold-hearted careerist warming to the initially dubious joys of parenthood to a new extreme. But while the infamous Gru and his trio of adorable orphan girls might be armed with a genuinely heart-warming story arc, their celebrity pales in comparison to the gang of “balding, jaundiced children” who accomplice their travails. The masters have been totally eclipsed by the rising star of their own servants.

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Ubinam Gentium Sumus? Jurassic World and the Post-Modern Capitalist Cinematic

Essay Benj Beauchamp

O di immortales, ubinam gentium sumus? Quam rem publicam habemus? In qua urbe vivimus?

This is not a review of the latest of the Spielberg franchise film, Jurassic World, but rather a spiel based on the representation of the film through its promotional materials, notably the video trailers, and a examination of how the film reflects the socio-economic and media environment in which it has been produced. Furthermore, the synopsis offered by the trailer may also be more indicative of how the producers and promoters of the film would want it to be seen: highlighting which key components offer the most effective synthesis of the contents of the film that would encourage a potential audience to engage with it at their financial expensive over other content.

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