Undead Rebirth: “Train to Busan” & “The Girl with All the Gifts” belatedly reviewed

There is something truly apocalyptic in the air. A fearful isolationist politics grips the UK as it seeks to quarantine itself from dangerous of Outsiders, while in the United States, a walking punchline has become President as American liberals have found to their cost that you can’t just laugh a Nazi off the ballot. The Right across Europe is on the rise, with neo-fascists projected to fair well in polls in France, Germany and the Netherlands, my new home. Never in my lifetime (I was born at the end of 1990, so the Cold War was literally ending) has the end of days felt so near – and in a strange way so welcome. With 2017 playing out like a cadaverous Reaganite tribute act, if there were hypothetically a zombie pandemic tomorrow, what would my interests be in preventing it? It’s the perfect time for a rebirth of a genre which had stagnated badly over the past two years.

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I find your lack of plot disturbing: A belated review of Rogue One

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Stormtroopers holidaying in Anaheim, CA.

It could be said that Rogue One was one of the most disappointing releases of 2016. I won’t be saying that though, because I wasn’t stupid enough to be roped in by the hype – it was never going to be anything but a sad piece of fan-fellatio; a blend of bright colours and loud noises that did the barest-fucking-minimum in adding to the Star Wars story, while maximising box office performance.  To be honest, I wasn’t going to even bother with this – I missed most of 2016 doing my film festival, and was going to do a catch-up post – but it turns out in my absence most of you have developed the most repulsive of diseases; brand loyalty. It’s like you spent too much on plastic Stormtrooper gear to admit to yourselves this was a bad mis-step. Continue reading

More things in Heaven and Earth: A belated review of ‘Whistle and I will come to you’

Traditionally, ghosts are usually the anonymised remnants of souls who perished unjustly – who return, damaged and riled by the experience, to extol revenge from the living. They are the people who die in pain, misery and poverty, having been hounded to their graves – even in the modern day – by elites who see nothing monstrous in that – only normality. Elites who overthrow their own reason by refusing to acknowledge those forces inside themselves which they simply cannot understand – and who subsequently cannot foresee a backlash to their actions. And that’s why ghost stories like Whistle and I’ll Come to You are ever so essential ingredients to Christmas tradition – as a warning to those ‘more fortunate’.

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“There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy…”

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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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Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

Has teenage angst paid off well, or is it bored and old? Adam Hofmeister takes a look at a very different and very powerful documentary.

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I was only four years old when Kurt Cobain ended his life, but it wasn’t until I was fifteen that I discovered the music of Nirvana. During a time in which my depression and anxiety were just beginning to take over my life, Cobain’s music provided a voice to channel those demons away from myself. His music took away some of the pain, and opened me up to a wider world of sound. Continue reading

The Myth of Scarcity: A Belated Review of Interstellar

In a world where millions live in fuel poverty, food prices are booming, and water is considered a commodity instead of a necessity, it can often prove hard to really face the big problem. Of course, those issues all seem big when they’re the ones you face immediately. And the supposed laws of supply and demand (they aren’t laws, they’re constructs) suggest the reason the things every human being requires to live in peace and dignity have become so expensive is scarcity. Ruling class thought can’t see the woods for the trees – and, as Christopher Nolan’s latest effort shows, multi-million Hollywood has come to reflect that in recent years.

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine...

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine…

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