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New Escapist Video! On the Appealing Meaninglessness of “Godzilla vs. Kong”…

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 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 channel – so if you can throw a subscription our way, it would mean a lot.

This week, following the release of Godzilla vs. Kong, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the film’s appealing meaninglessness, particularly in an era that seems so over-signified with meaning.

New Escapist Video! On How “Promising Young Woman” Gazes Back…

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 the Monday 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 channel – so if you can throw a subscription our way, it would mean a lot.

This is a video that I’m particularly proud of, and intimidated by. Promising Young Woman was one of my favourite films of last year, so I was thrilled to get the chance to properly dig into it. I take a look at the way in which the film plays with audience expectations, and its understanding of the way in which it knows the audience will look at it.

New Escapist Video! On Paralleling “The Expanse” with “Game of Thrones”…

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 the Monday 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 channel – so if you can throw a subscription our way, it would mean a lot.

This week, with the penultimate season of The Expanse winding down and with the frequent comparisons to Game of Thrones, I took a look at what the two shows have in common – and where they differ from one another.

New Escapist Column! On How “Promising Young Woman” Gazes Back…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. Because Promising Young Woman is garnering some awards attention, I figured it was worth a look.

Promising Young Woman is a remarkably well-constructed film. It’s a film that is very actively engaged with the idea of watching and looking – what characters choose to see, and what they choose to ignore. However, the film is also very much aware of how audiences will see the film. It is cleverly constructed in such a way as to play with the audience’s gaze, and to challenge the way that they look at the film – the way the viewer looks at its actors, its characters, and the kind of story that it is telling. It stares its audience right in the eye, and it never blinks.

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

New Escapist Video! On How Christopher Nolan Became the Internet’s Villain…

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 the Monday 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 channel – so if you can throw a subscription our way, it would mean a lot.

There’s been an interesting shift in the past decade. Christopher Nolan was once a filmmaker who was generally well-liked by the internet, but in recent years has been increasingly vilified. This transition is interesting, in large part because of what it says about larger trends in pop culture and how audiences approach pop culture.

New Escapist Column! “Kong: Skull Island” and the Monster in All Human Hearts…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the announcement that all Warner Brothers films are going to HBO Max, I thought I’d take a look at one of the films related to that move, in particular Godzilla vs. Kong and one of the films leading into it, Kong: Skull Island.

Skull Island is easily the best of the films leading into Godzilla vs. Kong. It is appreciably stronger than either Godzilla or Godzilla: King of the Monsters. A large part of that is down to the fact that it actually has themes, using its central monster to construct an exploration of the idea of warfare. Indeed, one of the more interesting aspects of Skull Island is the way that it implicitly positions King Kong in parallel with Godzilla, turning the giant monkey into a metaphor for the American experience of warfare in the twentieth century.

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

New Escapist Video! “The Mandalorian – Chapter 13: The Jedi”

I’m thrilled to be launching 3-Minute Reviews on Escapist Movies. 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’ll be doing weekly reviews of The Mandalorian.

The review of the fifth episode of the second season, The Jedi, is available below.

New Escapist Video! On the Terrible “Terminator” Metaphor at the Heart of “Hillbilly Elegy”…

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 the Monday 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 channel – so if you can throw a subscription our way, it would mean a lot.

With that in mind, here is last week’s episode. With the release of the dead-on-arrival Oscar contender Hillbilly Elegy, a lot of very talented writers have examined and interrogated its exploration of rural white poverty in America. However, very few have directly engaged with the movie’s truly terrible Terminator analogy.

New Escapist Column! On How “Return of the Jedi” Reduced “Star Wars” to Formula…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special releasing tomorrow, I thought it was worth taking a look back at Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.

In particular, the way in which Return of the Jedi sets an outer limit on what Star Wars can be. After the previous film in the series pushed the franchise outwards, the third film in the original trilogy folds the series back in on itself and sets a clear boundary on what Star Wars is and what Star Wars will forever be. It is a creative choice that has arguably hindered the franchise in the years since, restricting its capacity to push beyond that template and embrace new ideas and new concepts.

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

New Escapist Video! On “The Mandalorian” and “Star Wars'” Fallen World…

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 the Monday 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 channel – so if you can throw a subscription our way, it would mean a lot.

With that in mind, here is last week’s episode. To mark the season premiere of The Mandalorian, we took a look at the series’ exploration of a fallen world. In particular, the trope of the last survivors of a fallen world wandering through the ruins has become a common trope in contemporary mass media science-fiction like the third season of Star Trek: Discovery or the new series Raised by Wolves. So we thought it might be interesting to look at the trope, and how it differs from the conventional portrayal of the Star Wars universe.