It was at college when I was first introduced to the concept of semiotics. As a student, this largely consisted of analysing movie posters, and their attendant meanings.
This came to mind after seeing the teaser poster for the latest Will Smith movie, Focus. It was a shot of Smith, but of the back of his head. This is something of a rarity in Hollywood promotion. While there was no doubt of the identity of the poster’s subject, I found it a very curious choice. A choice that my restless mind felt compelled to try and decode. (more…)
4 out of 5 *****
For those not familiar with the work of Ava DuVernay, one of the features of her movies is her ability to scrutinise the quotidian. She has always been superb at shining a spotlight on the little things, the intimate moments which so often go unnoticed, but in aggregate, are the ones that make a life. (more…)
With Doctor Who ending 2014 with the damp squib of its Christmas Special, we now begin to wind up the rumour mill for the 9th series of the show. As of yet, the lede is that Jenna Coleman remains as Peter Capaldi’s travelling companion, but what I’m more interested in is who will the make up the writing staff that supports the showrunner, Steven Moffat. (more…)
This post will contain spoilers for Doctor Who series 8.
With Series 8 of Doctor Who now drawn to a close, and no return of Peter Capaldi’s Time Lord until Christmas Day, now seems an opportune time to review the last three months of adventures with Gallifrey’s most infamous citizen. (more…)
This post will contain spoilers for the episode, Flatline. Some of the links also contain spoilers to earlier episodes of Doctor Who.
Last week’s episode, Flatline maintains the strong standard of much of this series (after a pretty ropey start). While written by Jamie Mathieson, it had a discernible aroma of a Steven Moffat story, with the villains (“The Boneless”) turning the most everyday areas of life into sites of peril. No longer could one stand near a wall, or even stand on a floor, without risking death. The Boneless come in the recent tradition of monsters such as the Vashta Nerada and of course, the Weeping Angels. (more…)
CONTENT NOTE: This review will contain minor spoilers, and some of the embedded links are NSFW
It’s been somewhat disconcerting to be one of those Doctor Who-naysayers over the past year. The middling quality of Matt Smith’s final (half)-series appeared to continue into the early episodes of Peter Capaldi’s tenure as The Doctor. I seem to be in the minority, but I’ve been disappointed by the show since its return last month. (more…)
CONTENT NOTE: This review will contain instances of transphobia, sexual assault and spoilers – although I’m not sure if you can “spoil” an autobiography.
In The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, there’s a line which says, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” It’s something I find a maddening aspect of much of the media, however, the “legend” – albeit likely incorrect – that Janet Mock was the woman who brought down Piers Morgan is a legend I’m happy to co-sign. (more…)
The following post is from Lindsey. K (@lindseykal28 on Twitter). This has also been posted on her blog.
3 1/2 out of 5 *****
CONTENT NOTE: This review contains talk of sexual assault.
The story of Sleeping Beauty has come a long way from the Middle Ages. Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie is its newest incarnation. Disney take the”Wicked“ route in re-imagining the deliciously bad Maleficent as a misunderstood woman, with warranted reasons for doing what she does. No longer is she an evil witch that delivers a murderous curse for the crime of being snubbed. Sleeping Beauty was my favorite animated movie as a little girl, and I went to the theater mainly out of childhood nostalgia. I did not expect such feminist themes from a children’s movie, and was pleasantly surprised, if not a little shocked. (more…)
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Sam Reid, Tom Felton, Miranda Richardson, Matthew Goode, Sarah Gadon, James Norton
3 out of 5 *****
If I asked 20 people to name me a superhero movie, I’d expect to get a high degree of variance in the answers. The same if I asked 20 people to name a gangster film. But if I asked for a movie about slavery? I don’t think it’s much of a stretch that the majority response – especially at the moment – would be 12 Years a Slave. As much as I hold Steve McQueen’s film in high regard, I confess I worried that it would be (through no fault of McQueen) forever perceived as the film about slavery, reducing centuries of horrific violence and oppression to a 134 minute story. (more…)