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296. Jaws: The Revenge (Jaws ’87) – Shark Week 2022 (-#27)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn, Darren Mooney and Emma Kiely, and this time with special guest Jason Coyle, 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.

This week, we’re doing something a bit unusual. To line up with Shark Week, we are covering the Jaws franchise. So today, rounding out the week with Joseph Sergeant’s Jaws: The Revenge.

Following the death of her son Sean in a freak shark attack, Ellen Brody becomes convinced that her family has become a supernatural magnet for sharks. Her surviving son Michael convinces Ellen to travel to the Bahamas, where she meets a mysterious sea plane pilot named Hoagie. As a relationship begins to blossom between Ellen and Hoagie, Ellen discovers that perhaps there are some secrets that can’t be escaped.

At time of recording, it was ranked 27th on the lists of either the worst movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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New Escapist Video! On How “Star Trek” Gave Up on the Future…

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.

With the end of the second season of Star Trek: Picard and the launch of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the larger Star Trek franchise, which has become increasingly backwards-looking in recent decades. While a lot of fans will place the blame on the franchise’s more recent output, the truth is that this nostalgic impulse took root much earlier than many fas will acknowledge.

New Escapist Column! On “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” and Old Trek Tropes…

I published a new piece at The Escapist yesterday. We’re doing a series of recaps and reviews of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which is streaming weekly on Paramount+. The premiere released this week, and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the series.

Strange New Worlds is very much a blast from the franchise’s past, essentially serving as a spin-off series from the original and unaired pilot The Cage. That feels somewhat appropriate, given that Strange New Worlds has little interest beyond nostalgically chasing the feeling of old Star Trek, trying to recapture the vague memory of the older franchise. The result is an episode that offers a shallow but efficient riff on classic stories like Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, and which ends with the suggestion that the key to world peace is that we should all become Star Trek fans.

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

New Podcast! Make It So – Season 2, Episode 8 (“Mercy”)

I am recapping Star Trek: Picard for The Escapist, and so was thrilled to join the wonderful Kurt North on Make It So: A Star Trek Universe Podcast to discuss the eighth episode of the second season, Mercy.

I have somewhat complicated feelings about Picard. There are parts of it that I love, and parts of it that I am a bit more skeptical about. One of the joys of coming into the podcast to discuss the episode was getting the chance to talk about the season as a whole, given how its various arcs were set up and how they paid off. It seems particularly opportune, given that Mercy is a somewhat stronger episode than those surrounding it.

Anyway, it was a huge honour to be invited on, and I hope you enjoy. You can listen to the episode here, or click the link below.

Doctor Who: Legend of the Sea Devils (Review)

“Sea Devil!”

“Land Parasite!”

Well, to be fair, Legend of the Sea Devils is at least a worthy sequel to Warriors of the Deep.

The Sea Devil you know.

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274. Modern Times (#40)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guest Dean Buckley, 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, Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times.

A factory worker suffers a psychotic breakdown on the assembly line, and loses his job. Upon recovery, he very quickly finds himself swept up in a series of misadventures that reflect the rapidly changing balance between human labour and industrialisation. Is there still room for the lovable tramp in a society so dramatically reinventing itself?

At time of recording, it was ranked 40th on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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New Escapist Column! On the “The Book of Boba Fett”, “Now Way Home” and Nostalgia For Things That We Hate…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the most recent episode of The Book of Boba Fett leaning heard into nostalgia for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, and with Spider-Man: No Way Home bringing back Andrew Garfield from the Amazing Spider-Man movies, I tackled a question that has been bothering me for a while: why are fans nostalgic for things they hate?

Of course, there are fans out there who love The Phantom Menace and The Amazing Spider-Man movies, and more power to them. However, there is something interesting in how these nostalgic properties couch their nostalgia for these objects, layering it with distance and approaching it often indirectly – evoking not so much the object itself, but the faint fandom memory of the object. In many cases, it feels like such nostalgia is driven more by a sense of ownership and obligation than by any meaningful affection or appreciation.

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

New Escapist Column! On How “Peacemaker” Juxtaposes Eighties Nostalgia and Modern Masculinity…

I published a new piece at The Escapist this evening. We’re hopefully doing a series of recaps and reviews of James Gunn’s Peacemaker, which is streaming weekly on HBO Max. The first three episodes of the show released today, and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the series.

Gunn’s filmography is saturated with an affectionate nostalgia for the eighties. It comes to the fore in Peacemaker, down to the casting of John Cena. Cena is a lead actor in the style of classic eighties “hard body” action heroes like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, that nostalgia does not exist purely for its own sake. Peacemaker is a show engaged with modern masculinity, in particular deconstructing the sort of eighties masculinity embodied by its central character. Peacemaker is a story about whether its lead character can change and evolve, emerging from a cocoon as he investigates “Project: Butterfly.”

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

New Escapist Video! “The Matrix Resurrections Is a Winning Franchise Revival – 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 The Matrix Resurrections, which is in cinemas and on HBO Max now.

New Escapist Column! On How Hollywood Learned the Wrong Lessons from “The Force Awakens”…

I published a new column at The Escapist this evening. With the recent releases of Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of SkywalkerGhostbusters: Afterlife and Spider-Man: No Way Home, it seemed like a good opportunity to reflect on the strange and distorted legacy of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

The Force Awakens was a massively successful and popular film. It broke domestic box office records. It also provided a new model for revitalising existing franchises, bringing together members of the older generation with younger leads to hand the torch from one generation to the next. However, Hollywood took many of the wrong lessons from The Force Awakens, and came to prioritise the resurrection of older characters over the development of these younger generations.

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