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Non-Review Review: Mars Attacks!

I have a genuine affection for Mars Attacks! It’s certainly not Tim Burton’s best work, but it’s also miles above some of his more disappointing output. It feels like an affectionate homage to Ed Wood, putting together the kind of movie that the old B-movie director would have approved of, except with the judgement to play it as a comedy rather than entirely straight (although Wood’s filmography is typically “so bad it’s good“, one could scarcely accuse the director of being in on the joke), and made with a more significant budget. Seen in that light, it’s hard to resist the movie’s (admittedly uneven) charms.

The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, they say...

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Non-Review Review: The Ghost

The Guardian once made a point that what distinguishes British writers from their American counterparts is that they simply refuse to ascribe to simplicity would could be blamed on malice:

The conspiracy theory has become an off-the-peg solution for ­writing about politics in ­Britain – to the detriment of writing, politics and Britain. If The Wire had been made here, its hero McNulty would have discovered that Baltimore’s problems were not the result of a shortsighted political culture, or the weakness of ­human ­nature, but were the fault of one property ­developer in a polo-neck.

It’s an astute observation, rendering The Ghost a very British reflection on the most turbulent legacy of a recent Prime Minister.

How will Lang keep his spirits up?

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