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Review - Black Widow (and then Wandavision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and Loki too, why not?)

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Black Widow is the hotly awaited solo film of Black Widow, a character who has been dead for over two years now. I bring this up at the start because it helps foreground the weird place the MCU finds itself in currently. After the pandemic shuttered most cinemas and film sets for the majority of 2020, studios have been working with a mix of productions finished during COVID (more on them in a bit) and productions that have been sitting on a shelf gathering dust. Black Widow is the latter, originally supposed to be released in the spring of 2020, now here in the summer of 2021. It feels exactly like it's been on a shelf somewhere, and that colours so many of my thoughts towards it. This feels like the exact wrong time for a movie about Black Widow, a step back while the TV branch of the MCU is attempting (again, more on that later) to push this universe forward. Paramount among the reasons this feels like a film that was meant to come out years ago is that it's set in between Ca

On Leaving Greendale - Finishing Community for the Second Time

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Last year, when we all went into lockdown, I did what most of us did: I reverted to a younger version of myself. Living in my childhood bedroom again, I became my thirteen year old self. All I did between daily walks and weekly video calls was play video games and watch Community . To this day, Community is still my favourite show, but I discovered it when I was thirteen and I hadn't rewatched the whole show in full since the season 6 finale. So yeah, I had very little to do with my days and I thought that a comfort watch of my favourite show was appropriate. Most of us did similar, avert thy judgement. The question you're probably asking is why this is relevant a year later. In fairness, a great question. In my rewatch, I failed to finish the show, leaving it hanging on the final three episodes. For an entire year, I have left those episodes untouched and as a sort of closure, I wanted to finally watch those episodes. In the UK, we're coming out of lockdown next week, endi

Fast and Furious - Stupendously Sincere Stupidity

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This week marks the release of F9 , the ninth film in the Fast and Furious  franchise. This week also marks the week where I get back the final results to my English and Film Studies degree. Quite frankly, what better way is there to mark both momentous occasions than to celebrate the improbable miracle that is the Fast and Furious  franchise. It's come a long way, sometimes a quarter mile at a time, sometimes a nuclear submarine at a time, but it has remained a series of total fascination to me. So using my knowledge and smarts, I want to analyse why Fast and Furious  is so good, even to someone who has spent four years being told the good films look like the polar opposite of this. Pop open that bottle of Corona, chill with your family and join me as we go from the streets of L.A. to... well, that would be a spoiler, wouldn't it? As any piece about the Fast and Furious franchise is obliged to say early on, this was originally a grounded franchise. The Fast and The Furious is

Do You Feel Like A Hero Yet? - The Last of Us and Violence in Context

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Warning : this post is going to contain spoilers for both games in the Last of Us franchise, as well as discussions of some terrible acts of violence. I'm not going to use screenshots of any of these events, but if you don't want the games spoiled or don't want to read descriptions of graphic violence, I recommend you don't read on. This month marks the one year anniversary of The Last of Us Part 2 . The launch was, to put it mildly, messy. The game was beset by delays, was being hyped up to absurd degrees by rabid fans and then suffered some really brutal leaks. These leaks revealed many crucial and controversial details of the narrative of the game and made it pretty much impossible to have even a slightly nuanced conversation about what the story was doing. Out of context, these narrative beats infuriated fans, but a year on I want to look at them in context. Both of the full length The Last of Us games (I am ignoring the DLC game Left Behind as it isn't entirely

Twin Peaks is a Masterpiece I Struggle to Recommend

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After four months, I finally finished my rewatch of Twin Peaks in its entirity. It is an absolutely fascinating show and has slowed morphed into one of my favourites, but it's also intensely hard to recommend to anyone who isn't already a fan of David Lynch, the co-creator and director of much of Twin Peaks . So, that's kind of what today is, it's a three pronged Twin Peaks attack. I'm going to talk about the various forms Twin Peaks has taken over the years, what makes those forms so hard to recommend to people, but also why I love them so much. I know the title makes it sound like this show isn't going to be for you but hopefully, if you read on dear reader, you may realise that a trip to Twin Peaks is exactly what you need. Twin Peaks  (1990-1991) - The Trailblazer We begin, as the end credits song for Bojack Horseman do, back in the nineties. Beloved director of weird shit David Lynch and TV veteran and writer of Hill Street Blues Mark Frost team up to creat

The Desolate Campuses of a Pandemic World

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I have been playing The Last of Us recently, enjoying my newfound freedom from academia by finally indulging in some longer story-based video games. There are problems I'm having with it which I think I'll end up getting into in a longer post in the future, but there's also a lot I'm loving about it. Chief among those points of adoration is the world that the game builds. For those who don't know, The Last of Us takes place twenty years after a huge pandemic event rocks the world and turns many people into what are effectively zombies, leaving only a few survivors to band together and roam the now empty world. Having finished the game just a few days ago, there was one sequence that really stood out to me in a game that has a fair few great sequences. Without delving into too many plot specifics, our lead characters Joel and Ellie arrive at the University of Eastern Colorado on horseback, expecting to find survivors but finding a completely abandoned landscape. It s

Oscars 2021 - Final Predictions

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Oscar season is here, slightly delayed in happening because of the whole pandemic thing that we still live in, slightly delayed in me writing about because I have 10,000 words due in the next 7 days! Anyway, Oscars! Because of my aforementioned busyness I'm not covering as many categories as I did last year  but we're going to at least cover the five biggest hitters. We're talking actors in lead and supporting roles and we're talking the best film. I've done my best to see as many of these as I can but time has a habit of getting away from me so I can't promise I'll have seen them all. Still, in this weirdest of weird years, we'll be trying to do the same as every year, predicting who will win as well as getting a couple of opinions in there about who deserves to win. Let's get into it right away, before I waste any more time working out how to write this intro! Best Supporting Actor Will Win: Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah Should Win