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Take 2 on Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Take 2, a collective of two American cinema lovers, first surfaced on Hollywood Hegemony to deliver a film-by-film analysis of the Oscar Shorts nominees earlier this year. Now, Amy Peterson and Diana Nakelski are back with Volume 2 of their movie review segment. 

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Rating:  Close, but no ciggy

Let’s start off by establishing that the movie is worth seeing.  Especially if you are a die-hard Chris Pratt fan, or in any way a fan of muscles in tight T-shirts.  The characters blossom a bit more in this sequel, and the relationship dynamics are maintained solidly.  However, that’s where some of the problem with the writing begins.  The character’s are fairly predictable–Rocket steals some shit he shouldn’t, Drax takes everything quite literally, Gamora is angry for no reason, and Groot is a stage-hog—with one deviation: Peter Quill now has daddy issues instead of mommy issues. Continue reading

‘Take Two’ review: 2017 Oscar Nominated Shorts

Oscar short films often get overlooked amidst the hype of Best Picture etc, so for your consideration, in the first of what hopefully will become a regular segment, Amy Peterson and Diana Nakelski – known collectively as Take 2 – bring us a blow-by-blow account of the shorts at the Academy Awards this year.

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Diana:  I have never understood why short films do not get much exposure in the US.  Short film-makers have 2 to 30 minutes to tell a story that is poignant and memorable.  It requires a high attention to detail, focus, and personal sacrifice to pull this off.  Often, these storytellers are young, visionary filmmakers working outside the scope of a major production company.  The resulting work can sometimes be raw, and simultaneously refreshing.  Continue reading

Twas the night before Christmas…

IT’S JUST ONE HOUR UNTIL THE DAY ITSELF. We at Hollywood Hegemony hope that your stockings are crammed with goodies. But if it’s coal then at least you’ll have this Christmas gem to wake up to; our very own ‘analysis’ of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. So, merry Christmas to all, and to all a good nightmare.

Black Mass: A Hot Mess

It’s been a poor year for gangster cinema – Cell Magazine‘s Laurence Langan writes for Hollywood Hegemony on why Johnny Depp’s latest vehicle, Black Mass, does little to buck that trend.

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You’re in the pub. Everyone’s talking. Politics, T.V or general gossip, it doesn’t matter. You’re having a good old gab. You jump in to the conversation with a flourish, monologuing passionately about the way the world is. Cement solid points and clever informed witticisms flow forth. Then, as you go on, you sort of lose track of what you’re saying. First you’re generalising. Now you’re quoting something out of context.  Then you’re just plain making something up. Soon, you trail off and mutter a sort of open ended, vacuous moral and quickly pretend you need to go and use the facilities. Exit stage left.

This kind of social awkwardness is what watching Black Mass is a bit like. A muddled, pointless ramble with zero self-awareness.  Continue reading

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

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.

Continue reading

The dialectics between fist and face: An examination of wrestling and ideology

After editor Jack Brindelli’s Bray Wyatt article published in the Norwich Radical, writers seem to have treated it as a “want some, come get some” open challenge in the pages of Hollywood Hegemony. The most recent, and extensive of these, comes two days before an “Elimination Chamber” pay-per-view – in which individuals inescapably collide amidst an “evil structure” of steel – places ideology, wrestling, and academia in a frantic cage of pain, and forces them to face one-another. In the article that follows, Charlie Giggle makes what can only be described as a landmark contribution to the academic side of the WWE-culture-debate, not equalled since Barthes himself. 

JAHN CEENAH! I WILL FORCE YOU TO CONSIDER THE IDEOLOGICAL RAMIFICATIONS OF WRESTLING.

JAHN CEENAH! I WILL FORCE YOU TO CONSIDER THE IDEOLOGICAL RAMIFICATIONS OF WRESTLING.

The relationship between academia and professional wrestling is not complicated. There isn’t one. There have been brief forays (MIT courses, passing mentions of Brecht on documentaries trying to excuse their subject matter in the overture, or whatever the starting bit is referred to) but the lack of communication between people wanting to take it seriously has lead to three depressingly solipsistic basic themes of analysis, and all of them represent propaganda about the subject at large in their own right more so than actual descriptions of what is happening when we watch a wrestling show. I understand that I am not doing anything astonishingly radical in accusing academia of disappearing up it’s own backside, but I’m also suggesting something more like a bizarre good cop/bad cop routine wherein the officers have argued so hard-headedly that they’ve lost track of the criminal and he’s already escaped through an air vent. Continue reading