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

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

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

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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Finishing the fight: We Are Many (2015)

One of the most infuriating myths peddled as received wisdom by arm-chair Nick Robinsons across the nation is that protests never change anything. The second most infuriating un-truth they then point to, to justify this is pessimism clothed as realism, is the historic Stop the War march of 2003. Because the war in Iraq still happened, and Britain still took part in it. So there you go, over a million ordinary people rallied to defend the unseen lives of millions in Iraq, and it was pointless. Might as well buy shares in BAE systems and put your feet up.

War, huh, what is it good for?

War, huh, what is it good for?

We Are Many (2015), Amir Amirani’s moving tribute to the unquantifiable millions who marched on February 15th is perhaps the most compelling antithesis to that hackneyed lie. Continue reading

Night of the Loving Dead

Forget the thinly veiled misogyny of 50 Shades of Grey, this Valentine’s there’s only one film you need sink your teeth into. So rather than the usual sugary sweet gunk that clogs up our screens this time of year, cuddle up with your loved ones – although not too close – and cower in silence to the ignored genius of Bruce McDonald and Tony Burgess’ Pontypool. 

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