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New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2018) #45!

It’s time for the latest Scannain podcast! Apologies this time, as I have a bit of a throaty cough on it. I try to keep it under control.

This week, I join Jay Coyle, Luke Dunne from Film in Dublin, Grace Duffy and Scannain editor-in-chief Niall Murphy to discuss the week in film news. As usual, we talk about the top ten, the new releases, and what we watched this week. Jay made one last effort to get his mileage out of Filmstruck, and proved himself “down with the kids” by watching Cam and Searching. Luke delved into gay and exploitation cinema, with a healthy helping of Suspiria. Grace watched a pair of surfing documentaries on Netflix. Niall reopens old wounds with Batman vs. Superman and introduced his son to the original Wreck-It Ralph.

In film news, this week marked the passing of a number of industry legends, including Nicholas Roeg and Bernardo Bertolucci. We also discuss the five Irish films premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, along with the new Arc Cinema opening in Navan. Because Niall is here, we also have some interesting facts about the composition of the top ten.

The top ten:

  1. Planeta Singli 2
  2. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
  3. The Girl in the Spider’s Web
  4. Nativity Rocks!
  5. Widows
  6. Robin Hood
  7. A Star is Born
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody
  9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  10. The Grinch

New releases:

  • Three Identical Strangers
  • The Possession of Hannah Grace
  • Disobedience
  • Anna And The Apocalypse
  • Wreck-It Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Creed II

You can download the episode here, or listen to it below.

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Doctor Who: Robot of Sherwood (Review)

Shortly, I shall be the most powerful man in the realm. King in all but name, for Nottingham is not enough.

It isn’t?

After this, Derby.

Right.

Then Lincoln. And after Lincoln…

Worksop?

The world!

– the Sheriff outlines his plot to Clara

Robot of Sherwood is a functional piece of television, with a wonderful closing scene capping a very light forty-five minutes. Mark Gatiss is a writer who tends to trade on nostalgia, and who clearly holds a great deal of affection for the past. As such, Robot of Sherwood provides a fairly effective and straightforward counterpoint to the heavy moral questions of Deep Breath and Into the Dalek. Is the Doctor a hero? It doesn’t matter, because his story is that of a hero.

There is a sense that perhaps Gatiss is being a little bit too glib here, to the point where Robot of Sherwood almost plays defensively – a justification of the writer’s tendency to rose-tinted nostalgia and a rejection of critical approaches towards history or story. Nevertheless, Robot of Sherwood does pretty much what it sets out to do. It provides Peter Capaldi with a suitably light script and a chance to flex his comedic muscles, while providing a suitably fairy-tale-ish pseudo-historical.

Legendary outlaw...

Legendary outlaw…

This season is introducing a new lead actor, a risky proposition for any show. As a result, the first half of the season tends to play it rather safe. Robot of Sherwood is the only episode in the first half of the season not to credit Steven Moffat as writer or co-writer; however, it is still written by an established Doctor Who veteran. After all, Mark Gatiss wrote The Unquiet Dead, the first episode of the relaunched series not written by Russell T. Davies. He also wrote Victory of the Daleks, the first story of the Moffat era not written by Moffat himself.

Indeed, the season returns to the classic “home”/“future”/“historical” opening triptych structure that defined the Davies era; it is the first time that this structure has been seen since Matt Smith’s opening season. (For Davies, “home” was twenty-first century London; for Moffat, it is the Paternoster Gang.) Robot of Sherwood is the show’s first proper “celebrity historical” since Vincent and the Doctor in that same opening season. “Safe” is very much the name of the game for this stretch of the season. Robot of Sherwood is very safe.

"You'll ruin the paint work!"

“You’ll ruin the paint work!”

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Perfect ’10? Summer So Far…

Am I the only person hugely disappointed with the summer so far this year? I mean, the summer isn’t traditionally where you find the best movies of the year, at least no more or less than any other time of year, but I’m not looking for great movies, just good ones. just solidly entertaining ones. At the most basic level, I’d settle for just an excuse to go to the cinema on a Friday night (although I’m sure my better half is glad of the weak string of movies – it really frees up our schedule). What the hell is wrong here?

Leo's looking for good movies too...

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Robbin’ the Hood: Give The People What They Want…

I’ve been thinking (dangerous, I know). Specifically about Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. I’m going to be honest with you, I was more than a little surprised at the way the film was put together. The film is, to borrow from the parlance of the times, an “origin” story. It’s about Robin, but before he was Robin. There is a single robbery over the entire course of the film, and it doesn’t really amount to much – it’s hardly the stuff of infamy. Instead, Robin is off doing battle with the French in a very manly, water-logged fashion. I tried to judge the film on its own merits (and I think my review is fair), but I’ve found myself thinking over the same question a lot since I saw it: Aren’t a lot of people going to be disappointed that there’s essentially little-to-none of the conventional tropes of a Robin Hood movie present?

Bringing the Hurt...

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Non-Review Review: Robin Hood

The second of the blockbusters arrives, celebrating the true arrival of summer. Chosen to open Cannes and featuring a return of the powerhouse pairing of maestro Ridley Scott and love-‘im-or-hate-‘im matinee icon Russell Crowe in a historic setting brimming with action potential and historic appeal, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of pressure on the iconic outlaw, Robin Hood. So does he carry it off as confidently as he carries off that bow-and-arrow?

Boy in da Hood...

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