Quentin Tarantino is indulgent. It's nothing new. What is more surprising is that his indulgences in OUATIH are a mixed bag, thematically slapdash despite their occasional brilliance. This is an atypical film from QT. Rather than an extended and multifaceted plot threading itself over time, we see the meandering stories of Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), … Continue reading Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood
If Endgame was an enormous banquet of a film, a gluttonous self-indulgence just about earned by a franchise that is increasingly dominating the planet, Marvel seems to have positioned Far From Home as a wafer thin mint to finish the lot off. But so soon after the release (and obviously-motivated re-release) of the generation-spanning Avengers … Continue reading Spiderman: Far From Home
I get it. I get the draw of it all. The challenge that feels insurmountable, before rearranging itself into beatable patterns over time, all funnelling into the dramatic catharsis of victory. Soulsborne games (is that moniker still current, given the latest entry?) demand precision, dedication and care, and reward players with drips of mythic story … Continue reading I’ve given up on Sekiro, and I’m not sorry
With all the inevitability of a purple half-giant snapping his fingers, the Avengers saga rumbles to a close, the world's box offices crumbling before it.
Are DC finally beginning to figure it out? If they can't have the world-beating, all-conquering cinematic mega franchise that Marvel have built, could they at least have a few films that aren't absolutely hideous? The closest conclusion available is now a hard "maybe". Zachary Levy is the titular Shazam, the title itself referring to the … Continue reading Shazam!
I may, eventually, get a tattoo marking the importance of another author’s work on my body. I may find another set of chronicles that I can’t stop myself reading annually, regardless of the outrageous commitment of time they demand. I may discover another written universe comparable in its inexplicability and allure. But for now, Gene … Continue reading Terminus Est: Gene Wolfe, 1931-2019
With a near-perfectly pitched level of difficulty, Celeste is an enjoyable, simply-told parable of self-belief and perseverance. Its emotional insight has been overstated, but it is nonetheless a compelling package. Players take control of Madeline, a young woman seeking to climb the mysterious Celeste Mountain. It doesn't take long to realise that she's seeking a … Continue reading Celeste
With Avengers Infinity War and Endgame undeniable in the force of their cultural dominance, the risk of alternate Marvel entries falling into the cracks is real. Ant-Man and The Wasp was a casualty last year, and Captain Marvel is another unfortunate. Sandwiched between titanic film releases, the culminations of years of setup and creeping development, … Continue reading Captain Marvel
2018 was a good year for games. Red Dead Redemption II, oddly reluctantly and despite its overlong story, offered extended periods of exploratory calm that offered glimpses of gaming's true potential. Hollow Knight's Switch port paired a sublime game with the perfect platform, and offered a superlative sense of discovery and risk. Spider-Man wonderfully perfected its … Continue reading God of War – 2018’s Game of the Year
Lacking some of the cynicism of other franchise-launchers, Mortal Engines is nonetheless an limited adaptation of the first of Philip Reeve's excellent YA novels. Now looking certain for commercial doom, it's a creditable maiden voyage in intentions but not execution. Reeve's setting is the film's primary strength, a nuclear post-apocalypse in which surviving cities have been … Continue reading Mortal Engines