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New Podcast! The Escapist Movie Podcast – “Was Mortal Kombat a Video Game Movie Klassic?”

The Escapist have launched a movie podcast, and I was thrilled to join Jack Packard and KC Nwosu for the seventh episode of the year. We talk about the various permutations of Mortal Kombat and the Netflix movie Space Sweepers.

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

New Escapist Column! On the Appeal of Paul W.S. Anderson’s “Mortal Kombat”…

I published a new column at The Escapist yesterday. With the new trailer for the rebooted Mortal Kombat, it felt like the perfect opportunity to take a look back at Paul W.S. Anderson’s 1995 original.

Recent years have seen a reassessment of Anderson as a director, frequently celebrating his understanding of the field in which he operates. Anderson’s Mortal Kombat is unapologetic pulp, and pitches itself perfectly at that level. Anderson understands that the key to faithfully adapting Mortal Kombat is not fidelity to continuity, but instead an appreciation of what audience and players actually love about the series. It exists in marked contrast to the version that Mortal Kombat suggested by the new trailer.

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

New Podcast! The Escapist Movie Podcast – “Why Ruin a Cap on a Perfectly Good Tenure?”

The Escapist have launched a movie podcast, and I was thrilled to join Jack Packard and Will Cruz for the third episode of the year. We talked about the announced Wonka prequel film from Warner Bros., the rumours that Chris Evans might return to the Captain America role, and the difference in watching in a pandemic.

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

Iron Fist – Immortal Emerges From Cave (Review)

Immortal Emerges From Cave might just be the best episode of the first season of Iron Fist.

Of course, Immortal Emerges From Cave is not a good episode of television. It is bedevilled by all the other issues with Iron Fist, from inconsistent characterisation to dead-end subplots to pacing issues. It even adds a few new problems of its own, especially with a ham-fisted and ill-judged attempt to bring the character of Bride of Nine Spiders into live action. Immortal Emerges From Cave is unlikely to make much of an impression, and it certainly doesn’t rank with the other best episodes of the Marvel Netflix series.

“Three men enter! One man (or two men) leave!”

At the same time, Immortal Emerges From Cave is the episode of Iron Fist that perhaps comes closest to fulfilling its own ambition. Immortal Emerges From Cave is a relatively self-contained narrative in the middle of the season, in which Danny finds himself forced to compete in a tournament against the Hand in order to save an innocent life. It is a hokey premise, but one that leads to a series of fairly middling set pieces in which Danny Rand works his way through various “levels” in pursuit of his goal.

Immortal Emerges From Cave feels very much like some forgotten z-list direct-to-video martial arts film from the nineties, a pulpy and absurd excuse to string together a collection of fight scenes. The result is not spectacular by any measure, but it is far more entertaining than the meandering story being told around it. Immortal Emerges From Cave might not succeed on general terms, or even on its own terms, but it at least has a strong sense of its own identity. That is enough to put it ahead of the rest of the season.

Glowing reviews.

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