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100. Inception (#14)

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 Saturday at 6pm GMT, with the occasional bonus episode thrown in.

This time, Christopher Nolan’s Inception.

Dom Cobb is one of the best extractors in the world, an artist who sneaks into people’s dreams and steals their secrets. However, after one botched job, Cobb is approached by a mysterious industrialist with an ambitious proposal: inception. If Cobb can plant an idea in his chief rival’s head, Cobb can finally go home to his long lost family.

At time of recording, it was ranked the 14th best movie of all-time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Doctor Who: Last Christmas (Review)

There’s a horror movie called Alien? That’s really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you.

Last Christmas is perhaps the most Moffat-esque Christmas Special of the Moffat era.

As such, it is an episode that will inevitably provoke a strong reaction, playing as it does to the writer’s strengths and interests in Doctor Who. As a show, Doctor Who has a long history of crashing genres into one another. One of the most endearing aspects of the show is the way that it can be a completely different show from week to week. One week, it is a western; the next, it is a horror film. One episode is a period adventure; another is a science-fiction comedy. Doctor Who is a show about a mad man in a box who crashes into random stories.

doctorwho-lastchristmas4

Last Christmas is quite overt about this. When Shona wakes up towards the end of the episode, we are treated to a glimpse of her “to do” list for Christmas Day, which happens to feature a variety of clear influences on the episode. Strangely, she plans to open her Christmas Day binge with a double-bill of Alien and The Thing From Another World, before taking a breather and returning for Miracle on 34th Street – you really do need a bit of space before properly digesting the truly heavy stuff. (She’s also marathoning the Hugo-winning Game of Thrones.)

Last Christmas is a story that is incredibly (and almost cheekily) aware of its own fictionality. As with so much of Moffat’s Doctor Who, it is a story about stories. And dreams, which are really the same thing. “Time travel is always possible in dreams,” the Doctor observes, to borrow a quote from The Name of the Doctor. Dreams and stories.

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The X-Files – Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space” (Review)

This November (and a little of December), we’re taking a trip back in time to review the third season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of Space: Above and Beyond.

Then there are those who care not about extraterrestrials, searching for meaning in other human beings. Rare or lucky are those who find it. For although we may not be alone in the universe, in our own separate ways, on this planet, we are all alone.

– Darin Morgan takes his bow

It came from beyond the stars...

It came from beyond the stars…

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Absolute Sandman: Volume IV

It’s over. Wow. It has been a long haul, but an impressive and richly rewarding one. Having read the entire collection again over the space of about a month, I have even more appreciation for the wonder of Neil Gaiman’s writing. The volume is pretty much perfect, featuring (in my opinion) the most consistently brilliant artwork of the four volumes and a fitting conclusion to a saga that has run for 1,500 pages already. It’s hard enough to write a fitting conclusion to a two-hour movie or a novella. How does Gaiman manage to tie up everything so ridiculously well?

An empty throne? Foreshadowing, you say?

An empty throne? Foreshadowing, you say?

Warning: This review contains spoilers (as any review of the collection will). They’re minor, they’ve been foreshadowed throughout the collection and pretty much made explicit at the climax of the Volume 3. Still, consider yourself appropriately warned.

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Absolute Sandman: Volume II

I finished the second Absolutevolume last night at about 1am. It’s a little disappointing to think I’m already halfway through the epic, but that’s life. I can always read it again. And – for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on – I think that the second collection might be my favourite of the four. I don’t know what makes it slightly better and more compelling than the other three, but I can hazard some guesses.

Dream at the Helm...

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Absolute Sandman: Volume I

I’m supposed to say that Sandman is a comic for people who don’t like comics. It’s not. It’s a comic for people who like stories.

Neil Gaiman created a series that ran for the bones of a decade following the resurrection and revival of Morpheus, the King of Dreams. DC Comics cleverly repackaged the entire collection as four slipcase Absolute Editions. I own all four and have read them cover-to-cover once (and occasionally going back and revisiting particular threads from time-to-time). I’ve decided to re-read the entire collection again from the very beginning. So, how does the first volume hold up?

"Mister Sandman, bring me a dream..."

"Mister Sandman, bring me a dream..."

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