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325. Child’s Play (#—)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn, Darren Mooney and Charlene Lydon, this week joined by special guest Bren Murphy, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every second Saturday at 6pm GMT, with the occasional bonus episode between them.

This week, Tom Holland’s Child’s Play.

Young Andy Barclay just wants one thing for his birthday: a Good Guy Doll. However, the coveted toy is outside his mother’s price range. Luckily, fate brings a discount doll into her hands, but things quickly become complicated. Andy finds himself at the centre of a series of mysterious deaths and is convinced that his beloved companion has taken on a life of his own, inheriting the spirit of the serial killer Charles Lee Ray, better known as “Chucky.”

At time of recording, it was not ranked on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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335. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 (#135)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, this week joined by special guests Graham Day and Luke Dunne, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every second Saturday at 6pm GMT, with the occasional bonus episode between them.

This week, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3.

A shocking and unprovoked attack on the community of Knowhere leaves Rocket fighting for his life. His old friends, the Guardians of the Galaxy, embark on a mission to save his life. In doing so, they find themselves journeying back into a past that he has never discussed and heading into conflict with a mysterious figure known as the High Evolutionary.

At time of recording, it was ranked 135th on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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334. John Wick: Chapter 4 (#181)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every second Saturday at 6pm GMT, with the occasional bonus episode between them.

This time, Chad Stahelski’s John Wick: Chapter 4.

Still exiled and alone, John Wick wanders through the global criminal underworld. As his friends fall around him and the knives of the High Table close in around him, the assassin finds himself contemplating an uncomfortable question. What does he actually want? What can he actually accomplish?

At time of recording, it was ranked 181st on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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New Podcast! The TARDIS Crew – “Torchwood – Children of Earth (Part 2)”

I was thrilled to be invited to join the great Ben and Baz Greenland for an episode of their podcast, The TARDIS Crew.

This is the second half of the episode covering Torchwood: Children of Earth, and it’s fun to get to discuss the five-episode miniseries as the culmination of Russell T. Davies’ work on both Torchwood and Doctor Who. We discuss the metaphor at the heart of the show, the queer-coding of the central narrative, and the way in which it effectively completes Jack’s arc of transforming the character into an even more dysfunctional version of the Doctor.

You can listen directly to the episode below or by clicking here.

New Escapist Column! On the Trump Era Paranoia of “Star Trek: Picard”…

I am doing weekly reviews of Star Trek: Picard at The Escapist. They’ll be dropping every Thursday morning while the show is on, looking at the third season as the show progresses. This week, the season’s fifth episode.

The third season of Picard is fascinating, in large part because it’s so narratively and thematically empty. So much of the show is given over to empty nostalgia, that there’s little sense of what this story is supposed to be about, beyond a loose assemblage of familiar clichés into a recognisable pattern. There’s none of the urgency of the immigration and xenophobia metaphors that informed the first two seasons, as clumsy as those were. Instead, Picard falls back on a set of unfortunate science-fiction clichés that speak to the worst impulses of the current moment, a paranoia that feels tied to the worst of the American zeitgeist.

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

New Podcast! The TARDIS Crew – “Torchwood – Children of Earth (Part 1)”

I was thrilled to be invited to join the great Ben and Baz Greenland for an episode of their podcast, The TARDIS Crew.

The guys are doing a retrospective deep dive on Russell T. Davies’ last tenure overseeing the Doctor Who franchise, and asked if I’d like to talk about any of his specific work on the show. I was delighted to get the chance to talk about Torchwood: Children of Earth, which stands out as not only the best that Torchwood has ever been, but belongs in the conversation as one of the best pieces of Doctor Who ever made. It’s a fun and freeform discussion, that we split into two parts for ease of listening.

You can listen directly to the episode below or by clicking here.

New Escapist Column! On the “John Wick” Movies as a Love Letter to Stuntwork…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the upcoming release of John Wick: Chapter 4, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look back at the action franchise.

In modern Hollywood, the John Wick movies stand out from a lot of their competitors by embracing a very practical and material philosophy, leaning heavily on in-camera effects for maximum impact. However, the films are more than just a showcase for stuntwork as one of the industry’s most undervalued artforms. They are also an argument for stunt work as an artform unto itself, particularly in the way that they emphasis the importance of action as a means of storytelling and the way in which they frequently place their stunts in the context of more broadly-accepted forms of artistic expression.

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

New Escapist Video! “Shazam! Fury of the Gods Proves that Lightning Doesn’t Always Strike Twice”

I’m thrilled to be launching movie and television 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 five-minute film review of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which was released in cinemas this weekend.

280. Apocalypse Now (#53)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, this week with special guests Alex Towers and Brian Lloyd, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every second Saturday at 6pm GMT, with the occasional bonus episode between them.

This time, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.

In the midst of the Vietnam War, Benjamin Willard is given a special assignment. He is tasked with taking a patrol boat up the Nung River in pursuit of Colonel Walter Kurtz. Kurtz has apparently gone completely rogue, no longer responding to directives from command. Willard is instructed to terminate Kurtz’s command, by any means necessary. However, as Willard journeys deeper into the country, he finds himself drifting further and further from reality, embracing some sort of primal insanity.

At time of recording, it was ranked 53rd on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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New Escapist Column! On the Colonial Fears of “Shazam!”

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of Shazam! Fury of the Gods this weekend, it seemed as good a time as any to take a look at the superhero sequel.

One of the interesting things about Fury of the Gods is the way in which it seems like it is in conversation with the earlier films in the DCEU, lifting several cues directly from films like Man of Steel, Wonder Woman, Batman v. Superman and Zack Snyder’s Justice League. In particular, it’s a film in which the existential threat is inherently nostalgic, the fear of an imagined past intruding into the modern world and overwriting it.

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