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New Podcast! The Escapist Movie Podcast – “Does Army of the Dead Bite Off More Than It Can Chew?”

The Escapist have launched a movie podcast, and I was thrilled to join Jack Packard and Lee Murkey for the eighteenth episode of the year, to discuss Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead and the perennial debate over movie lengths.

You can listen to back episodes of the podcast here, click the link below or even listen directly.

New Escapist Video! On the Tenets of “TENET”…

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 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.

This week, given that TENET is now available to stream in the United States and around the world, it seemed like a good time to take a look at Christopher Nolan’s latest. In particular, a look how the themes of TENET resonate with other films in Nolan’s filmography, from Memento to The Prestige to Inception to Interstellar.

New Escapist Column! On The Underappreciated Appeal of “Superman: The Animated Series”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist yesterday evening. With the release of Superman: The Animated Series in high-definition on HBO Max in March, it seemed like an opportunity to take a look back at the underappreciated entry in the DC Animated Universe.

Superman: The Animated Series tends to get overshadowed in discussions of the DCAU by the two shows either side of it, by the earlier Batman: The Animated Series and by the two later Justice League series. However, Superman: The Animated Series is an interesting bridge between the two, eschewing the “villain of the week” structure of Batman: The Animated Series to instead focus on long-form storytelling that developed character and built the world in ways that would pay off in the later spin-offs. It remains one of the best takes on the Man of Steel.

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

New Escapist Column! On “Jupiter’s Legacy” and the Netflix Bloat…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist yesterday evening. With the release of the first season volume of Jupiter’s Legacy on Netflix, it seemed like an opportunity to talk about the weirdness of the Netflix bloat.

The first season of Jupiter’s Legacy is eight episodes long, but covers about as much narrative real estate as the first two issues of Mark Millar and Frank Quitely’s comic book. The season doesn’t even get to what is effectively the big inciting incident for the bulk of the comic book, instead stretching certain plot points and certain threads past breaking points. It’s not that Netflix departs or deviates from the source material; it’s often quite faithful in quoting from the comic. It’s that the show can’t seem to even get started.

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

New Escapist Column! On “Invincible” as a Celebration of Superhero Storytelling…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist yesterday evening. With the end of the first season of Invincible, it seemed like a nice opportunity to take a look at what makes the animated superhero show so interesting.

A lot of the discussion of Invincible has focused on the violence of the show, with many commentators arguing that Invincible is a deconstruction of classic superhero tropes. However, what’s striking about Invincible is what this violence conceals. At its core, Invincible is a surprisingly earnest and conventional superhero story, executed with a minimum of ironic detachment and self-aware distance. It is not a deconstruction of the tropes of superhero storytelling, but an earnest celebration of them.

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

New Escapist Video! On “Master and Commander: Far Side of the World” as a Study of Man, Nature and Human Nature…

So, as I have mentioned before, I am doing some film critic work at The Escapist. Part of that includes long-form video criticism, such as this piece which is now available to watch at the Escapist YouTube Channel, looking at Peter Weir’s underrated maritime masterpiece, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

New Escapist Video! “Mortal Kombat – Review in 3 Minutes”

I’m thrilled to be launching 3-Minute Reviews on Escapist Movies. 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 the new Mortal Kombat movie that is now available in cinemas and on HBO Max.

New Escapist Column! On the Negative Space in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. As The Falcon and the Winter Soldier winds down its season, it seemed like a good opportunity to consider the show’s approach to the question: “What does Captain America stand for?”

It has been a turbulent few years for American identity, and it makes sense that a television about a character carrying the mantle of “Captain America” should have to figure out what that title means. The biggest issue with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is that it defines the concept of “Captain America” in negative terms. The series is more preoccupied with what Captain America isn’t than what he actually and actively is.

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

New Escapist Video! On the Appealing Meaninglessness of “Godzilla vs. Kong”…

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 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 channel – so if you can throw a subscription our way, it would mean a lot.

This week, following the release of Godzilla vs. Kong, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the film’s appealing meaninglessness, particularly in an era that seems so over-signified with meaning.

New Escapist Column! On the Unknowable Monstrosity at the Heart of “Shin Godzilla”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of Godzilla vs. Kong, it seemed like a good time to take a look back at Japan’s iconic reptilian monster. In particular, the way in which Godzilla evolved from an embodiment of monstrous uncertainty to protector of the planet. In this context, Shin Godzilla is a fascinating piece of work. Building on co-director Hideaki Anno’s work on earlier projects like Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Neon Genesis Evangelion, the monster at the centre of Shin Godzilla is hauntingly unknowable, a grotesque intrusion of something almost beyond human comprehension into the material world. The film is all the more effective for that. You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.