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New Escapist Column! On the Eternal Battle Between Good and Evil in “Masters of the Universe”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of Masters of the Universe: Revelation on Netflix this weekend, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the larger franchise.

The He-Man franchise originated as a toy line from Mattel, obviously taking its cues from a host of contemporary pop culture like Conan the Barbarian and Star Wars. However, the franchise’s origins as a toy rather than a book or a feature film led to an interesting tensions. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is a classic epic fantasy about the battle between good and evil, but it is a story without a predetermined origin or ending. Good may win individual battles against evil, but it will never triumph completely. As a result, He-Man presents the struggle of good against evil as eternal and unwinnable, but worth fighting.

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

Non-Review Review: Conan the Barbarian (1982)

The 1982 Conan the Barbarian is one of what might be described as the “pop culture epics” of the eighties, a decidedly cheesy and campy take on an epic mythology – like Masters of the Universe or Flash Gordon. To be fair, John Milius’ adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s pulp hero holds up considerably better than most similar efforts to get an epic pulp product to screen. It’s still more than a little campy and cheesy, and more than a little dated. It still takes itself, perhaps, a little too seriously. However, it’s also a more thoughtful and considerate film than most give it credit for, and exceptionally nuanced in its portrayal of themes and ideas that most critics and pundits casually dismiss.

Steeling himself…

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Commiserations! And Something to Perk Us Up!

We had the pleasure of attending the Blog Awards Ireland in the Osprey hotel over the weekend. We made the final five in the Best Pop Culture category. We didn’t win, losing out to a deserving A Year of Festivals in Ireland. There’s always next year. A massive thanks to the organisers as staff for all the hard work.

In other news, to help cheer us up, here’s Conan the Barbarian! The Musical.

I have no idea what the link is, but it made me smile. Also, “and hear the lamentations of their women” needs to be used in more chorus lines.