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New Escapist Column! On How “The Heirs of the Dragon” Places House of the Dragon in Daenerys’ Shadow…

I am doing weekly reviews of House of the Dragon at The Escapist. They’ll be dropping every Sunday evening while the show is on, looking at the Game of Thrones prequel as it progresses from one episode to the next.

Part of what is so interesting about the first episode, The Heirs of the Dragon, is the way in which the show immediately positions itself in the shadow of Daenerys Targaryen, perhaps the biggest breakout character from Game of Thrones. The first three scenes of The Heirs of the Dragon place the show firmly in the context of Daenerys, fixating upon the idea of what it means to be a Targaryen Queen of Westeros. It is a bold move from the show, and a strong statement of purpose, one that immediately establishes House of the Dragon as a series in conversation with Game of Thrones.

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

 

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 Column! On How “Peacemaker” Turns Its Weaknesses Into Strengths…

I published a new piece at The Escapist last week. We’re doing a series of recaps and reviews of James Gunn’s Peacemaker, which is streaming weekly on HBO Max. The fifth episode of the show released last week, and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the series.

Understandably, given that the show is built around a piece of established intellectual property and superheroes, much of the discussion around Peacemaker had focused on creator James Gunn’s earlier work on films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 and The Suicide Squad. However, with its (relatively) lower budget and scrappier aesthetic, Peacemaker arguably hews closers to Gunn’s earliest films as director, movies like Slither and Super. Enjoying incredible creative freedom and lack of ocersight, Gunn is reconnecting with the aesthetic of his earliest work.

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

New Escapist Video! “Space Jam: A New Legacy – Review”

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 Space Jam: A New Legacy, which is releasing theatrically and on HBO Max this weekend.

Non-Review Review: Space Jam – A New Legacy

Space Jam: A New Legacy is content to be content.

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New Escapist Column! On the Legacy of “Game of Thrones”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the tenth (or “iron”) anniversary of Game of Thrones coming up, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the show’s enduring legacy – in particular, the disconnect between the internet’s narrative of that legacy and the reality of it. To listen to the internet, Game of Thrones ended in such a way as to erase its cultural footprint and any residual cultural goodwill towards it. It’s not uncommon to hear people talk, at length, about how nobody talks about Game of Thrones anymore. However, there’s a fascinating dissonance here, because Game of Thrones appears to be thriving by any quantifiable measure. You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Video! On “Kong: Skull Island” as a Metaphor for War…

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 the 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.

Given that Godzilla vs. Kong is going straight to HBO Max, we thought it might be looking back at Kong: Skull Island. In particular, what made the movie such a delight in contrast to Godzilla and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Indeed, part of the genius of Skull Island is the way in which it positions its monster as a metaphor similar to that of the Japanese Godzilla, but from a distinctly American perspective.

New Podcast! The Escapist Movie Podcast – “Is HBO Max Going to Change Cinema As We Know It?”

The Escapist have launched a movie podcast, and I was thrilled to join Jack Packard and Maggie Iken for the fifteenth episode. Obviously, the big news is the fallout from the announcement that Warner Brothers would be sending all of its films next year to HBO Max, but we also dig into two horror movies – the recent Freaky and the seasonal Krampus.

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

 

New Escapist Column! On How “The Snyder Cut” Went From Impossibility to Inevitability…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine this evening. The big news this past week has been that Zack Snyder has been given $30m to finish his cut of Justice League.

This is quite a complicated matter. There’s a lot of discussion and debate around it, about what this means for the future of Hollywood. However, the news about the release of The Snyder Cut is down to a number of unique factors aligning in completely unpredictable ways, meaning that a project like this one went from being the last thing that Warners would want to being exactly what they needed. In the course of a few months, the Snyder Cut morphed from seeming impossibility to inevitability. That is an incredible turnaround.

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