Writer, confessed geek and pop culture enthusiast, loves film, TV and video games. Blogged and written for various websites on all the above.
Elle (2016) - Review
Dutch provocateur Paul Verhoeven has long been a film-maker I admire; I first saw Robocop (1987) at about 10 years old, having previously only seen family/children's fare, and it kick-started my true love affair with movies. It's outrageous violence and bitingly satirical humour, combined with a surprising humanism in dealing with Murphy's fate, made an unmistakable impression on me. 30 years after Robocop's release and I'm blown away by the maturity and evolution of Verhoeven's style in his latest film, the intoxicating Elle. The black humour is still there, but it's punchlines are now people and their behaviours, not society; the violence is still intense, but more considered and impactful, and a damn sight less gory. Stronger than ever though is the humanism; Verhoeven appears a man that believes in the importance of freewill, of agency, in our lives. You're only truly alive when you own all of your decisions and their consequences.
Twin Peaks 2017
Twitter went into meltdown again last week when the first images from Twin Peaks new season emerged, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. The promotional machine is now kicking into full gear, ahead of its May return to TV; for fans of the original series, there will doubtfully be any more significant TV moment this year. But those who weren't around during its '90's peak (pun intended) or haven't yet watched are likely wondering what all the fuss is about. So here's everything you need to know...
Review: Logan (2017)
Fox has made two previous attempts at a Wolverine solo outing, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Wolverine (2013), and neither were quite up to par. The first suffered from an overstuffed script, some poor special effects, a mangled sense of continuity and no real direction to the plot; the overall thrown together feel makes it reek of cash-in. When announcements were made of a second outing for Logan, hope was initially high; indie talent Darren Aronofsky was set to direct an R-Rated take on the Frank Miller stories based in Japan. A lengthy overseas production schedule turned him off though and James Mangold took his place, crafting a more cohesive and entertaining effort than the first. The deliberate, character driven beginning gives way to an action filled middle, let down by a silly and bloated final battle. Both movies were box office successes but critics were less pleased, dismayed at the lack of emotional involvement and characterisation, and reliance on special effects and noise.
Fire Walk With Me: The Dark Heart of Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is a TV show famous for many things; Special Agent Cooper and his love of black coffee and cherry pie, eccentric towns people including a lady who carries and communicates with a wooden log, a love of visual non sequiturs and jazz, and being a melding of almost every popular drama genre and it's conventions. Possibly it's most discussed features are its supernatural elements, most frightfully embodied by the demonic entity Killer BOB. Said to be from a alternate dimension of evil known as The Black Lodge, BOB possesses human souls and inhabits their bodies to commit acts of rape and murder, seemingly feeding off the pain, fear and sorrow he creates. It's said that BOB has possessed local lawyer Leland Palmer, and while under his control, had Leland commit the multiple acts of murder; in one scene BOB takes full control, even speaking as himself through Leland. This is backed up by MIKE, another spirit who possesses travelling shoe salesman Philip Gerard, who seems to confirm their status as demons that inhabit people. While the presentation of these elements is visually surreal and oblique, and multiple spiritual and logical suppositions are discussed within the show, the commonly accepted interpretation of BOB is a literal one; he may not be from our plane of existence, but he does exist.