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Showing posts from March, 2018

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 5, Episode 3 Review

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While Agents of SHIELD isn't a perfect show, its writing is often pretty strong, if a little too formulaic at times, with "A Life Spent" (confusingly numbered as Series 5 Episode 2 in the UK) feeling incredibly so. Not only did the episode feature an underdog cage fight (which I feel like I've seen so many of in Supergirl, Angel, Altered Carbon and to an extent with Thor: Ragnarok that I'm just fed up with them for the time being), but also a big "believe in yourself" storyline between Simmons and one-off Inhuman character Abby. It's by no means a bad story-line, but the frequently corny dialogue only serves to add this cliched narrative arc which ends as predictably as possible. Part of me hoped for a really down-beat ending with the champion straight-up murdering Abby in the arena, but its clear that was too dark for the SHIELD writers. Their final "twist" reveal that Abby was in fact sold felt a bit weak too, given that she'd made …

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 5, Episodes 1 & 2 Review

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"Orientation - Parts 1 and 2" mark the feature-length return of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD to UK television screens - in the long-standing tradition of awkward US to UK delays (the season made its debut on ABC back in December). In providing us the full two-part season five opener as one though, E4 has made the smart move, allowing us fans the chance to get to grips with the new story-lines before the season takes us into new and uncharted territory.

Because, ultimately, that's all this two-part episode has to offer: set-up. Subsequent episodes I'm sure will pay-off most if not all of these dangling plot-threads (this season's finale has been written as a series finale), but for now its difficult not to find "Orientation" a little lackluster, at least in terms of plot and character development. The fact that they needed the full 80-odd minutes to establish the new story-line for season five would be worrying for some shows, but most often waste a co…

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) - Teaser Trailer Reaction

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It was difficult not to feel a sense of trepidation going into the second of J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts series. The first film divided opinion, with many feeling that it was merely a cash-cow designed to milk the Harry Potter franchise dry (which isn't exactly un-true per say), whilst others found it to be a fresh, enjoyable addition to the Wizarding World canon - I myself was among the latter. Regardless of the subjective quality of the first film, Warner Bros, David Yates and J.K. Rowling intend to steady their course in the first trailer for the sequel, The Crime of Jo- I mean, Grindelwald.

Aside from the elephant in the room (covered in make-up with a strange voice, because somehow he's managed to make his inconsistency in weirdos bizarrely consistent), Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald looks like an interesting follow-up to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Not only are we introduced to a much younger, Jude Law Dumbledore here (whose youth bring…

The Shape of Water (2018) - Written Review

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Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water has had an interesting response leading up to its (tediously late) UK release. The whole concept of "the movie where Sally Hawkins gets with a fish man"
seems completely ridiculous when you consider that this is a big awards contender (and winner). Its very easy to lose sight of what del Toro was actually trying to create with The Shape of Water because of these (debatable) over-simplifications. There's been a huge amount said about the film's content, and approach to the romantic story-line between the two leads (and what it means in the broader context of monster movies and Beauty and the Beast-esque stories), that I feel like many won't be able to just watch The Shape of Water for what it is.

Set in 1960's Cold War-era America, the film very much tackles its themes of prejudice straight-on, telling the story from the perspective of Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute cleaner at a top-secret government facility; its al…