Author: Jack Godwin

Bojack Horseman: The Anti-Sitcom

There’s been a lot of talk over the last several years of television being in a golden age. As with most artistic periods, there isn’t a clear consensus on where it began nor what kicked it all off. While The Sopranos gave us long-form storytelling that managed to be episodic while gradually deepening our understanding of its characters and what they tell us about ourselves and the world we live in, it’s hard to say that all television was purely escapist beforehand when The Twilight Zone was taking audiences to strange new places in 1959 and Star Trek looked forward...

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Manhunter 30 Years Later

One of the biggest injustices of pop culture is that Michael Mann’s Manhunter has been lost in the shadow of the (admittedly brilliant) Silence of the Lambs, as well as the film’s 2002 remake Red Dragon. While I can understand people choosing Silence as their favourite of the series, for me Manhunter stands tall as the best these adaptations have to offer. It was the late ’80s when the VHS became the dominant videotape format and prices fell to a point where they were affordable. We begin with this home video aesthetic, something that was low quality to see in a movie...

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Jason Bourne Is Proficient But Inessential

Overview: When Nikki Parsons (Julia Stiles) steals black ops files from the CIA, she brings Jason Bourne out of hiding to help uncover the truth. Along the way Bourne comes up against Head of the CIA’s Cyber Division Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), as well as an assassin (Vincent Cassel) with a personal score to settle. Universal Pictures; 2016; Rated PG-13; 123 minutes. Old Hat: An interrogation takes place while evading government agents in a crowded place; a CIA agent suspects that her target may be innocent; an assassin builds a personal rivalry with the hero; an old white man deceives and manipulates in the...

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Evolution Is Elegantly Disturbing

Overview: The only residents of an isolated coastal town are women and young boys. After Nicholas sees a dead body on the seabed one day, he begins to question his surroundings and the legitimacy of the women looking after them. Alchemy; 2016; Not Rated; 81 minutes. Growing Pains: A rural island where single women raise boys, with no adult men even alluded to. The women are recognisable as individuals just about, yet look uncannily similar. All are pale with their hair tightly tied back, wearing dull beige dresses, their faces looking like variations on Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’. They...

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Why The Last of Us Movie Needs to Happen

Video game movies are almost universally poorly-received. The critics don’t like them, they don’t resonate with general audiences, and they frequently have too little confidence in the source material to satisfy the fans. This was a similar place the superhero movie was in at the turn of the century. While films like Warcraft have their defenders, a lot of studios and moviegoers aren’t sold on the concept of a video game movie in the same way they are with superheroes -a genre that only grew to its current status after its success was proven in a number of different ways. Superman and...

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The State of Comic Book Movie Continuity

There’s been much of talk of “superhero fatigue” recently. As far as I see it, the superhero film is the popular idea of the moment, and while some people are bored of it, most seem to be okay with it. Either way, it’s undeniable that we see more superheroes on the big screen with every passing year. The success of Marvel Studios’ Cinematic Universe has boosted the confidence studios have in their properties, and we’re getting films based on comic books that didn’t even sell that well in the first place. But as these franchises live on past their sequels, prequels,...

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Book To Box Office: Ben Wheatley/Amy Jump’s High Rise

J.G. Ballard’s novel High Rise has struggled to find its way to the big screen since its release in 1975. Producer Jeremy Thomas tried to get an adaptation going for years, with Nicolas Roeg set to direct at one point. David Cronenberg may have been a good choice, seeing as he adapted Ballard’s Crash in 1996 and has shown in his films similar themes and ideas to the author. It may have been too familiar, as Cronenberg’s Shivers also explored an outbreak of violence and hedonism in an apartment building, a film that oddly enough was released the same year as Ballard’s book....

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Twin Peaks Revival Unveils An Insane Cast List

The full cast list for Twin Peaks’ return in 2017 is here, and it’s ridiculous. Here are all 217 of them: Wow. There are so many interesting names on there, from unexpected returning cast members (Ray Wise! David Duchovony!) to other Lynch favourites (Laura Dern! Rebekah Del Rio!), but it’s the new additions that are really surprising. First off we have confirmations of rumoured stars in Naomi Watts, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Amanda Seyfried, and Robert Knepper. Then – Michael Cera. Michael Cera? This actor keeps turning up in new forms and getting away with it, so I’m very interested...

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Daredevil Season 2 Is A Huge Improvement

Overview: Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), blind lawyer-by-day and vigilante-by-night, crosses paths with Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), better known as The Punisher. While Daredevil tries to operate within the boundaries of the law, his opponent puts criminals down for good. His world is further complicated by the arrival of Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung), an old flame with dubious morals and a dark secret. 2016; ABC Studios/Marvel Television; TV-MA; 13 Episodes. A Change of Pace: Season one of Daredevil was brutal and occasionally brilliant, setting up the world of Matt Murdock, lawyer-by-day and vigilante-by-night, and a darker side to the Marvel Cinematic...

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The Look of Silence’s Adi Rukun Makes His First Public Statement

In 2013, Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing stunned audiences, exploring the modern relevance of the 1965 Indonesian genocide by talking directly to the perpetrators – men who are still in positions of power. The Look of Silence followed up on the subject by turning to a more local setting – and to Adi Rukun. Before he was born, Rukun’s brother was horrifically murdered during the Communist Purge of 1965. Fifty years later, he confronted the men responsible to find some kind of understanding, and maybe even forgiveness, for their actions. He was not only the centre of the documentary, but its driving force, insisting...

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Taxi Driver On Its 40th Anniversary

When we talk about films that have reached “classic” status, it’s easy to forget that they weren’t always a sure thing. Taxi Driver was a product of a particular time in U.S. history, and it was Paul Schrader’s script with Martin Scorsese at the helm that tapped into the cultural climate and brought it to the screen. Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) is an outsider, a loner, disgusted with the world he sees around him. He is also a veteran of the Vietnam War, and has returned from his experiences of combat with a disturbed mind and an incomplete journey. There...

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New Green Room Teaser Drops

Some of us were lucky enough to see Green Room in 2015 (you can read Ryan’s review here), but in a world where this film exists, we’re all lucky. This teaser trailer is perfect – it shows very little, but you know what you’re getting into. Blue Ruin proved that director Jeremy Saulnier is extraordinary at exploring the physical and emotional toll of violence, and that same ruthless detail is one of the many things that elevates Green Room above its simple premise. The other key element, as you can hear from the teaser, is Patrick Stewart. He is one of the most...

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New Twin Peaks Teaser Reveals Everything and Nothing

We get our first glimpse at the revival of Twin Peaks in the latest footage from Showtime, and it…doesn’t tell us much. For the uninitiated, I’m sure it looks like a pretty empty way to keep the hype machine running as the long-awaited third season of the series gets delayed again and again. For fans like me, however, it’s exciting as hell. All the initial announcement teaser gave us was an old clip, a an image, and a vague release date, but seeing that familiar font was enough to blow my mind. This time around we get some shots of the...

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High-Rise Trailer Asks You To Move In

Now this is how you craft a great trailer. The first look at Ben Wheatley’s upcoming film sets the scene and general tone, while letting in glimpses of the madness that is to come. Having recently had the opportunity to see the film, I can safely say that there are no spoilers in this teaser. High-Rise is based on the 1975 novel by J.G. Ballard, and stars Tom Hiddleston as a new tenant in a luxury high-rise that has been segregated according to class. The ensuing tension between the poor, the middle class and the rich leads to absolute chaos. It...

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High-Rise Defies All Expectations

Overview: Dr. Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston) moves in to the luxury high-rise tower block, an isolated community cut off from the rest of society. Laing finds himself torn between the upper-class world of the building’s architect (Jeremy Irons) and the revolt of documentary filmmaker Richard Wilder (Luke Evans); his urgent desire to climb the social ladder conflicting with his humanity. As class tension rises and the higher floors begin to consolidate resources, the building fragments into violent groups. Magnet Releasing; 2015; Not Rated; 112 Minutes. High Stakes: J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel has seen many attempts at adaptation over the years....

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