Monthly Archives: October 2013

Film Review – Ender’s Game

Critics and audiences have not particularly taken to Ender’s Game, but I found it an entertaining, intelligent and much underrated piece of work. Adapted and directed by Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) from a futuristic Orson Scott Card novel I’ve not read, … Continue reading

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Open to interpretation?

When does ambiguity work in a story? Well, the answer to that question can be interpreted a number of different ways… Joking aside, there are some who really cannot stand ambiguity in any story. Everything must be tied up in … Continue reading

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Film Review – Captain Phillips

Realistic, gripping, traumatic… These are just three adjectives that spring to mind when describing Captain Phillips, the latest from director Paul Greengrass. Another adjective would be brilliant. Greengrass has become something of a master at gritty, intense, nail-chewing drama; whether … Continue reading

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Formulas and when to break them

Last week I wrote in this blog about sticking to genre formulas in stories, and how that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I explored the principle of giving readers what they want, but not necessarily the way they expect it; … Continue reading

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What’s so bad about a formulaic story?

It’s a criticism leveled all the time at writers of genre fiction: the story was formulaic. But is it so bad to know what to expect from a certain kind of story? People sometimes confuse “formulaic” with “predictable”. Predictability is … Continue reading

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Film Review – Prisoners

Director Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners is a dark, sombre thriller covering similar territory to Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone in that it deals with themes of child abduction, guilt and penance. Although it lacks the nuance and subtlety of those … Continue reading

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Film Review – Blue Jasmine

A stunning, career-best turn from Cate Blanchett forms the centre of Woody Allen’s superb new film Blue Jasmine – a bittersweet, melancholy work that rates as his best since Everyone says I love you. Although it clearly belongs to Allen’s … Continue reading

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