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New Escapist Column! On “The Batman” and the Obsession with a Grim and Gritty Caped Crusader…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist yesterday evening. The latest trailer for The Batman has reopened a familair debate within fandom around a sensitive topic: the question of a grim and gritty Batman.

Certain fans react strongly against takes on comic book characters that do not match their own particular tastes. In particular, there’s a tendency to react strongly to interpretations of the Caped Crusader that emphasise the character as grounded and pulpy, to act as if these takes exist at the expense of others. In reality, there is a rich variety of takes on the Dark Knight in popular culture, of various shapes and sizes. There is a Batman for all seasons, and often these arguments feel less about trying to argue for more diverse takes on classic characters and instead about arguing that there is only one right take.

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

New Escapist Column! On “Dune” and What It Means to Be Human…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of Dune, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the new film.

Dune is an epic science-fiction story. It is a classic of the genre. One of the reasons that it has held up for so any decades is because its themes remain universal. Dune is essentially a story about what it means to be human. In particular, it interrogates that question through a postcolonial lens. The default logic of these sorts of narratives asks the oppressed to assert their dignity and humanity. (Even Denis Villeneuve’s last film, Blade Runner 2049, is about a synthetic human proving his humanity.) In contrast, Dune inverts this by directing challenging the humanity of those who would indulge in colonialism and imperialism.

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

New Escapist Video! “The Last Duel Proves Ridley Scott Is Still Sharp – 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 Last Duel, which released theatrically worldwide last weekend.

New Escapist Video! “Halloween Kills is a Bloody (and Ambitious) Mess – 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 Halloween Kills, which released theatrically and on Peacock this weekend.

New Escapist Column! On “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” as a Romantic Comedy…

I published a new column at The Escapist today. With Venom: Let There Be Carnage releasing in Irish cinemas this weekend, it seemed like as good an opportunity as any to take a look at the film.

Like its predecessor, Let There Be Carnage isn’t really a functional superhero movie, at least in the sense that modern audiences understand the genre. It’s lumpy, it’s irrational, it’s more interested in immediate thrills than world building. However, despite this, Let There Be Carnage is a surprisingly effective romantic comedy. It’s built around many of the same conventions and adheres to many of the same beats, telling a heart-warming story of an alien symbiote and its parasite.

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

New Escapist Video! “A Marvelous Escape” – What If – “… Ultron Won & The Watcher Broke His Oath?”

With a slew of Marvel Studios productions coming to Disney+ over the next six months, The Escapist has launched a weekly show discussing these series

This week, I join KC Nwosu and Amy Campbell to talk about the last two episodes of What If…?, streaming on Disney+.

New Escapist Video! On “Venom” as a Superhero Throwback…

So, as I have mentioned before, I am launching a new video series as a companion piece to In the Frame at The Escapist. The video will typically launch with every second Monday’s article, and be released on the magazine’s YouTube channel the following week. 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 release of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look back at Venom. It’s a bad movie, but an endlessly fascinating one. More than that, it feels like a conscious throwback to an older style of superhero movie, one that predates the modern blockbuster template.

New Escapist Video! “No Time to Die is Too Haunted By Its Past”

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 review of No Time to Die, which is in British and Irish theatres now, but will be released in America next week.

New Escapist Column! On “Venom” as a Superhero Throwback…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the pending release of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look back at Venom.

Venom is not a good movie. It is a mess of a movie. It is chaotic, random, unstructured, nonsensical. However, it is interesting. What is particularly interesting about Venom is the way in which it feels like something of a throwback to an era of a different kind of superhero movie. Venom recalls the superhero movies from the turn-of-the-millennium, films that played faster and looser with their established characters without worrying about fidelity or faithfulness. There’s something interesting in looking at Venom as a superhero movie out of time.

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

New Escapist Column! On Russell T. Davies’ Return to “Doctor Who”…

I published a new column at The Escapist yesterday. With the seismic news that Russell T. Davies would be returning as showrunner of Doctor Who, it seemed worth taking a look at what he might bring.

Davies is, to put it simply, one of the best dramatists working on British television. He is also one of the single most important creative personnel in the history of Doctor Who. While Barry Letts did briefly return as an executive producer, his return is unprecedented. While nobody knows exactly what happened behind the scenes, it seems safe to suggest that his return is a pretty big deal. So the question remains: can Davies save Doctor Who again?

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