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New Escapist Column! On Overthinking “Jackass”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of Jackass Forever this weekend, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the cultural phenomenon.

It’s possible to look at Jackass as the intersection of three overlapping traditions in entertainment, particularly American entertainment: the freak show, the silent comedy and early reality television. There’s a fascinating and heady cocktail at play in this, and Jackass exists as a curious modern hybrid. There is sense of evolution here. There’s perhaps something to admire in the way that the cast of Jackass retain control of their narrative.

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

New Escapist Video! “Jackass Forever is Review-Proof… and Still Funny”

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 Jackass Forever, which is in theatres now.

The X-Files – Lord of the Flies (Review)

This December, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the ninth season of The X-Files.

Lord of the Flies is an interesting episode, but not a good one.

After 4-D worked so hard to offer a glimpse of what The X-Files could or should look like in December 2001, Lord of the Flies feels like a step backwards. It is a regression, and not just because it awkwardly transitions Scully back into the role of lead character or because it returns to the comedy stylings largely eschewed by the eighth season. Lord of the Flies feels like a script that could have been written for the show in its third or fourth seasons, returning to the well-tapped reservoir of teen angst that has sustained quite a few episodes at this point.

Flies by...

Flies by…

Only a handful of elements serve to mark Lord of the Flies as a piece twenty-first century television. While Scully gets to play action hero at the climax, Mulder is gone; Doggett and Reyes do a lot of the generic detective work across the hour, even if little of their personalities gets to shine through. More than that, Aaron Paul and Jane Lynch pop up in supporting roles that nod towards the various futures of network television. In particular, Paul appears in a home-made stunt show called “Dumb Ass”, an obvious (and shallow) parody of Jackass.

However, Lord of the Flies is not particularly interested in any of these newer elements. The script very clearly wants to hark backwards, towards a past that is no longer easily accessible.

Somewhere, Scully is jealous...

Somewhere, Scully is jealous…

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Win! Tickets to Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa with ClickOnline Movie Nights!

Thanks to the lovely folds over at ClickOnline Movie Nights, we have a pair of tickets to give away to a preview screening of Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa next Monday night (21st October) in Rathmines. To be in for a chance to win, just fill out the form below.


The guys at ClickOnline have been doing a bunch of these screenings – their last one was a screening of the horror film of the summer, The Conjuring – so head on over to their site to sign up to be kept up to date.