• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

New Escapist Column! On the Quiet Revolution of Disney’s Modern Princess Movies…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of Encanto this weekend, it seemed like a good opportunity to talk about the animated “princess” movies being produced by Disney.

Disney has always been associated with these movies, dating back to the breakout success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. However, the company has also long had a complicated relationship to them, and in particular the way in which they are perceived as movies aimed at young girls. However, the past decade has seen the studio clever and consistently reinventing this archetypal “fairy tale” sort of story for the twenty-first century, to the point that it’s arguably that the run of movies from Tangled onwards has been the most consistent of the studio’s output.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On Letting Ridley Scott Be a Grumpy Old Man…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of House of Gucci, Ridley Scott has had a chance to talk about the financial failure of The Last Duel, blaming “millennian” audiences.

Scott’s comments have generated considerable online outrage, fueling more than a few clickbaity headlines designed to stoke anger. It’s a familiar process, which is why so many interviews seem to consist of asking really great directors what they think about superhero movies so that the outlet might be able to go viral with a spicy headline. In truth, Scott’s a filmmaker who has been working for well over half a decade. He’s an 84-year-old man who made two movies in the middle of the pandemic – one of which is actively good, and both are at least interesting. Maybe he can be a grumpy old man.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Video! On the Reverence for the Irreverent “Ghostbusters”…

So, it’s been a fun road for the video companion series to In the Frame at The Escapist, but all good things must come to an end. It looks like this will be the last episode of the series, at least for a little while. It’s been a pleasure.

That said, it’s a hell of a topic to go out on, as we discuss the strange reverential cult that has developed around Ghostbusters, with the wry and ironic eighties comedy increasingly treated as something of a holy text for a certain generation of fans. It’s a very strange illustration of how nostalgia warps and distorts the very things that it claims to remember.

New Escapist Column! On “Ghostbusters”, and How Irreverence Became a Source of Reverence…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife this weekend, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look back at the original Ghostbusters.

The original Ghostbusters was a wry and cynical movie about three academics who find themselves forced to work in the public sector, and so start a business busting ghosts in a run-down and decaying New York City. The film was very self-aware and very glib, essentially built around the idea that three men who would be con artists in any other situation were able to come out on top in eighties America. However, in the years since, Ghostbusters has become an institution. What was once irreverent is now venerated, without any of the self-awareness that made the first film so compelling.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Video! “Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a Lifeless Franchise Resurrection”

I’m thrilled to be launching movie reviews on The Escapist. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be joining a set of contributors in adding these reviews to the channel. For the moment, I’m honoured to contribute a three-minute film review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which will release in theatres next weekend.

New Escapist Column! On “The Lord of the Rings” as a Blockbuster for the Post-Ironic Age…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the twentieth anniversary of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings fast approaching, it seemed like a good opportunity to place the films in the context of their times.

Obviously, every work reflects the time in which it is produced – it speaks to a variety of factors (consciously or unconsciously) acting on the creative talent as it evolves into its final form. However, audiences also can’t help but engage with a work in the context of the time in which it is released. Peter Jackson shot most of his Lord of the Rings trilogy before 9/11, even if The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings was released in theatres three months after the attack. Still, it’s not to feel like the films’ earnestness and sincerity resonated with an audience looking for meaning in seemingly chaotic and arbitrary time.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Podcast! Podcast 616 – “Eternals”

Podcast 616 is a podcast looking at the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I was thrilled to be invited to join Dan Owen for a discussion of Chloé Zhao’s Eternals, which is a movie I enjoyed considerably more than most.

It’s a fun and broad discussion, which delves into questions around auteurship within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the paradox of superheroes, the question of power, and the challenges in adapting concepts like the Deviants for the big screen. It was really fun to roll up my sleeves and delve into this discussion with Dan, which allowed me to chat about everything from my blind spots with certain characters to the way in which the plot and themes of Eternals feels true to the spirit – if not necessarily the art – of Jack Kirby.

You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

New Escapist Column! On “The Wrath of Khan” and “The Voyage Home”, and the Soul of “Star Trek” in “First Contact”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. Given that this month marks the 35th anniversary of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: First Contact, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at their relationship within the Star Trek franchise – and how they connect to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

For many Star Trek fans, The Wrath of Khan remains the most beloved and most brilliant entire in the franchise’s cinematic canon. However, it’s notable that The Voyage Home was a much more populist hit, resonating with general audiences. For a decade following the release of The Voyage Home, it provided a template for the franchise for a decade. However, with the release of First Contact, the balance of power shifted. Suddenly, the franchise found itself caught in the gravity of The Wrath of Khan, which exerted a powerful gravity on the franchise’s direction and development.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On the Coolness of Boba Fett…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the recent trailer for the upcoming Book of Boba Fett, it seemed like a good opportunity to reflect on the character of Boba Fett.

Boba Fett is an interesting character, in large part because there has always been a huge dissonance between how cool he looks and how cool he acts. This is the more compelling facet of the character, the dissonance between the characters as a cool action figure and his general uselessness within the larger narrative of the saga. George Lucas seemed to play with this idea very pointedly and purposefully, and it’s a nuance that many subsequent takes on the character have tended to ignore or overlook.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Video! On the Myth of a Grim and Gritty Batman…

So, as I have mentioned before, I am launching a new video series as a companion piece to In the Frame at The Escapist. The video will typically launch with every second Monday’s article, and be released on the magazine’s YouTube channel the following week. This is kinda cool, because we’re helping relaunch the magazine’s film content – so if you can throw a subscription our way, it would mean a lot.

With the release of the latest trailer for The Batman, it seemed like a good time to delve into a recurring debate among Batman fans, the argument over whether portrayals of the character are too dark and gritty. It’s a strange argument, given that the only solo Batman movie in the past decade has been The LEGO Batman Movie, so it’s worth unpacking.