Monthly Archives: May 2019

Film Review – Godzilla: King of the Monsters

It would be easy to dismiss Godzilla: King of the Monsters, direct sequel to Gareth Edwards’s not-bad 2014 reboot. With a cast of ludicrous, illogically motivated characters you deeply, deeply don’t care about, running about in an overlong, chaotic, visually … Continue reading

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Film Review – Booksmart

Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart has been hailed by critics as funny, foul-mouthed, and feminist, and on the whole I agree. Pitched as a female version of Superbad (itself a throwback to the likes of Revenge of the Nerds) this is actually … Continue reading

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Film Review – Rocketman

Director Dexter Fletcher and star Taron Egerton could well wind up with Oscar nominations next year, for their outstanding contributions to Elton John musical biopic Rocketman. Unlike the recent Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, making this a proper musical with … Continue reading

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Never Surrender to the Professionally Offended: A Rallying Cry for Authors

History tells us that rising dictatorial regimes first silence and eventually criminalise journalists, authors, and other writers that dare to question the status quo or otherwise express and explore difficult, painful, or controversial truths or themes in their writing. Today, … Continue reading

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The Tangent Tree Series 2 Episode 5: Remakes and Rumours of Remakes

In this week’s podcast from The Tangent Tree, Sam and I discuss remakes. Are they always soulless commercial ventures devoid of artistic merit? Or are there sometimes valid reasons for remaking films? As ever, listen here, or on iTunes, Spotify, … Continue reading

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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

The original John Wick was a lean, nasty, compelling genre piece; an old fashioned, unpretentious revenge movie. Budgets got much bigger in the sequel, but the overall film was less effective. However with John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (Latin … Continue reading

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Rereading Robert McKee’s Story

I’ve recently re-read Robert McKee’s excellent Story, for my money, the best how-to on screenplay writing. Although specifically about writing for the cinema, most of the principles in Story apply to all storytelling, including writing novels. McKee clearly and concisely … Continue reading

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The Tangent Tree Series 2 Episode 4: Let’s Talk About Politics

In this week’s podcast from The Tangent Tree, Sam and I discuss political drama in film and television. Inevitably, the subject turns to real life politics… but if you’re looking for polarising bile of the kind typically seen on social … Continue reading

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Why Spoiler Awareness is always important – even with older films, books, plays, and television programmes

Is it ever OK to spoil a book, play, TV series, or film? There has been a lot of discussion online about this lately, with the release of Avengers Endgame, and the final series of Game of Thrones. Firstly and … Continue reading

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Film Review – Long Shot

Romantic comedies all too often contain neither romance nor comedy. In the case of Long Shot, there is a modicum of both, and a pair of winning performances from Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen. However, enjoyment is also dependent on … Continue reading

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