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New Escapist Column! On “The Witcher: Blood Origin”, “The Rings of Power”, and the Limits of Fidelity…

I published a new piece at The Escapist this week. With the recent release of The Witcher: Blood Origin on Netflix and the ongoing arguments about the perceived “faithfulness” around The Rings of Power, it seemed like a good time to explore how the quality of a work relates to its alleged faithfulness.

To put it simply, quality and fidelity are completely different metrics. It is entirely possible for a fiathful adaptation of source material to be terrible, for example the shot-for-shot remake of Psycho. It’s also possible for an adaptation that has nothing to do with even the tone and genre of the original property, such as 21 Jump Street, to be brilliant. Ultimately, The Witcher: Blood Origin and The Rings of Power are adaptations that fail on their own measure.

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

New Escapist Column! On How Film Culture Became Online Culture…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the publication of the once-in-a-decade Sight & Sound poll last week, it seemed like a good opportunity to dig into the results and consider what they say about modern film culture.

The list has provoked some response online for being too modern and too recent, including films like Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Get Out, Moonlight and Parasite. However, it’s part of a rich tradition of updating and modernising the cinematic canon. The most interesting aspect of the list is the way in which it demonstrates how film culture is online, how so many of the films to appear and climb on the list did so by becoming more readily and available, and by being embraced by an internet-literate generation of film critics.

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

New Escapist Video! “Morbius Was Bad, Black Adam is Worse”

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 five-minute film review of Black Adam, which is in cinemas now.

 

308. feardotcom (-#67)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, with special guest Diamanda Hagan, 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.

This time, William Malone’s feardotcom.

Detective Mike Reilly has spent the past few years in pursuit of the online serial killer who goes by the name of “the Doctor”, a murderer who streams his crimes on the internet for all to watch. Reassigned after failure to show any results, Reilly finds himself investigating a seemingly unrelated case of contagion that is spreading through New York City. However, Reilly soon discovers that the two cases are more closely linked than he could have imagined.

At time of recording, it was ranked 67th on the list of the worst movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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New Escapist Video! On What the Cancellation of “Batgirl” Means for the Future of Streaming…

We’re thrilled to be launching a fortnightly video companion piece to In the Frame at The Escapist. The video will typically launch every second Monday, and be released on the magazine’s YouTube channel. And the video will be completely separate from the written content. 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, we took a look at the recent cancellation of Batgirl, following the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery Media. There has been a lot of noise and shouting about the decision from various angry corners of the internet, but what does it actually mean? And what does that cancellation mean in the context of the larger streaming landscape, which has become an incredibly volatile space within the last six months?

New Escapist Video! “Prey is Worthy of the Predator Brand”

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 Prey, which is streaming on Hulu from tomorrow.

New Escapist Video! “Jurassic World: Dominion is Bad… Very Bad”

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 Jurassic World Dominion, which is in theatres now.

288. 365 Dni: Ten Dzień (365 Days: This Day) (-#47)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guests Grace Duffy and Billie Jean Doheny, The 250 is a weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released Saturdays at 6pm GMT.

So this week, Barbara Bialowas and Tomasz Mandes’ 365 Dni: Ten Dzień.

Having survived the attempt on her life at the end of the previous film, Laura is to be wed to local mafia boss Massimo. However, the couple soon find their relationship tested, particularly with the arrival of a sexy gardener named Nacho. Laura flees Massimo into Nacho’s waiting hands, but quickly discovers that there is a far more sinister game at foot, and that not all of the players have revealed themselves.

At time of recording, it was ranked 47th on the list of the worst movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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New Escapist Column! On “Turning Red”, and Cinema as an Empathy Machine…

I published a new piece at The Escapist this evening. One of the big controversies this past week has concerned the critical reception to Turning Red.

The response to the film has been overwhelmingly positive, but there was one prominent review that argued that the film was “less universal” than previous Pixar films. It is interesting to unpack that idea, to wonder what it is exactly that makes Turning Red less universal and also to interrogate the power of cinema as a medium to generate empathy. In doing so, film has the power to take something very specific and render it universal.

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

270. Ratsasan (Raatchasan) (#250)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The 250 is a weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released Saturdays at 6pm GMT.

So this week, Ramkumar’s Ratsasan.

Arun Kumar aspires to be a director. He has the perfect serial killer script, but nobody will make it. Resigned to this reality, Arun accepts a job in the police force, working with his brother-in-law. However, it isn’t too long before Arun discovers that his unique insight into serial killers might help to catch a monster currently targetting teenager girls. It will take all of Arun’s wits and courage to earn his happy ending.

At time of recording, it was ranked 250th on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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