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The X-Files – Deep Throat (Review)

Deep Throat was filmed in August 1993, more than a year after the production of The Pilot in March 1993. In a way, Deep Throat feels like the first proper episode of the show’s first season, even carrying the production number 1×01. It cements a lot of the themes and ideas suggested in The Pilot, more firmly establishing arcs and characters. Indeed, The Pilot ended with a glimpse at the massive government conspiracy surrounding encounters with alien life forms, but Deep Throat serves to demonstrate just how deep that conspiracy goes.

The episode builds on countless ideas and conspiracy theories, delving into the popular suggestion that the United States military has been reverse-engineering alien technology for its own purposes. This suggests that Mulder isn’t just dealing with modern interactions between aliens and humanity, he’s digging into something that is rooted far deeper. As the eponymous informant teases him at the end of the episode, “Mr. Mulder, they’ve been here for a very long time.”

The truth is up there...

The truth is up there…

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Doctor Who: And the Silurians (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

And the Silurians originally aired in 1970.

Doctor Who and the Silurians always struck me as a very strange episode title. I know that some of the spin-off media, like the books, have a habit of titles like “Doctor Who and the [title]”, but it really feels strange to have an episode title like that. Perhaps it’s because it seems to suggest the character’s name is actually “Doctor Who”, or perhaps it’s my internal OCD flying out of whack, finding it very strange that there’s only one televised episode to use that particular naming convention. Still, all of this debate about naming conventions aside, there’s no denying that The Siluriansstands as one of the highlights of Pertwee’s era, a fitting instalment in a superb first season that proved there was more to science-fiction than strange monsters each and every week.

The Doctor attempts to take the matter in hand...

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Captain America: The New Deal (Review/Retrospective)

Oh, God — How could this happen here?

– Steve Rogers, Captain America #1

It seemed inevitable that Captain America would have to respond to September 11th. After all, the terrorist atrocities were an attack on the American way of life, and the iconic superhero was perhaps the hero best equipped to explore the scars left by the still-recent attacks upon the American psyche, much as his Secret Empire plot allowed him to respond to the Watergate Scandal. Unfortunately, John Ney Rieber’s work on the character is – while well-intentioned – clumsy, awkward, groan-inducing and cliché-ridden. Even the fantastic artwork of John Cassaday cannot salvage the run from its own tired and trite pseudo-philosophical ramblings.

Subtle.

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Non-Review Review: Sleeper

Sleeper is an enjoyable Woody Allen film, coming from relatively early in the director’s career. He had yet to direct either Annie Hall or Manhattan, arguably his two most popular works, but was coming off a string of well-regarded movies. Sleeper is an affectionate look at many of the science-fiction movies that Hollywood was producing in the late sixties and early seventies, to the point that Allen himself actually sat down with Isaac Asimov to make sure the science-fiction elements of the script were kosher. However, Sleeper is remarkably fluid, allowing room within that framework for Allen to really explore any and all ideas that might possibly have occurred to him. The result is, to borrow a quote from the poster, a highly enjoyable and almost whimsical “nostalgic look at the future.”

Robot in disguise…

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Kurt Busiek’s Avengers – Avengers Assemble! Vol. 3 (Review/Retrospective)

April (and a little bit of May) are “Avengers month” at the m0vie blog. In anticipation of Joss Whedon’s superhero epic, we’ll have a variety of articles and reviews published looking at various aspects of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

Read our review of The Avengers here.

And so we reach the end of George Perez’s tenure as artist on Kurt Busiek’s Avengers run. Many would claim that the book would never really recover from the loss of the artist, though Busiek would produce over twenty subsequent issues and arguably the climax of his entire run in The Kang Dynasty. I am, to be honest, not quite so sure that this represents a turning point for the series, but I do confess that Perez would be sorely missed as the series moved through a rake of guest artists in the months that would follow. (In fact, I’ll confess to being quite fond of Busiek’s final year or two on the title.

An Avengers Assembly...

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Non-Review Review: Three Days of the Condor

Reflecting the political climate of the time, the seventies produced any number of high-quality conspiracy thrillers. I think what helps Three Days of the Condor stand above most of the rest is a great leading performance from Robert Redford at the height of his charisma, confident direction from Sydney Pollack and a rather clever central premise that feels interesting in its own right, rather than just a vehicle to create a palpable sense of paranoia.

Branching out...

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Captain America 101: An Introduction to the Star-Spangled Avenger…

I did a post a little while back that was intended to serve as an introduction to the world of the Green Lantern, what with the movie coming out this year. The post proved so popular that I thought I’d take perhaps put a similar post together on Captain America. The first trailer for Captain America: The First Avenger premiered at the Super Bowl yesterday, so it seems to be the perfect time for a bit of an introduction to the star-spangled superhero. Check out the 30-second spot below.

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