PODCAST: Joker [Electric Shadows]

In episode 70 of The Electric Shadows Podcast, Robs Daniel and Wallis set their laughing gear to discussing Todd Phillips’ Joker.

A controversial film being hailed as a masterpiece, the two Robs are baffled as to why.

They both talk about why the film left them unimpressed and non-plussed, from the slavish homage to Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy to Joaquin Phoenix’s mannered performance.…

PODCAST: Justice League [Electric Shadows]

In episode 33 of The Electric Shadows Podcast, myself and Rob Daniel take a look at Justice League. And, you know what? We find stuff to like in there!

Sure, it’s a mess and clearly the work of two different people.…

Logan: an elegiac, sincere, and bloody end to an era

SPOILER-FREE

“You should take a moment, feel it.”

We’ve come a long way since a fresh-faced, devil-haired Wolverine first popped his claws in an Alberta biker’s bar back in the original X-Men.

Now, seventeen years and nine films later, Hugh Jackman is heading down south of the border for Logan; a farewell letter to the role that took him from a London production of Oklahoma!

X-Men: Apocalypse blows through quickly and entertainingly enough

 

In the hinterland between the extreme competency of Marvel and the trainwreck-clusterfuck that is the DC Cinematic Universe there lies the X-Men.

With its respectable (but by no means perfect) batting average and increasingly dysfunctional relationship with continuity, the franchise is a fairly unique position with regards to superhero movies.…

Deadpool is one half fourth-wall-breaking fun, one half totally run-of-the-mill superhero movie


Okay, let’s do this.

Hard-bitten cop “Dirty” Harry Callahan must save San Francisco from a killer who’s bumping off resident celebrities. No, wait, sorry: that’s The Dead Pool. Deadpool is the latest addition to FOX’s Not-Quite Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s their Guardians of the Galaxy with the weirdness factor ramped up to eleven.

More coming-of-age dramas should take a page from Diary of a Teenage Girl

 

Is there any story more immediately relatable than the coming-of-age?

After all, we’ve all grown up; all felt, to one extent or another, the confusion of feeling yourself changing, of becoming someone new. While Boyhood, for instance, documents the scope and detail of twelve whole years of maturation, Diary of a Teenage Girl focuses on the awakening of its protagonist’s sexuality over the course of a few key months.…

Usually a one-star rating feels punitive, but in the case of Fantastic 4 its cautionary, even a little sad.

 

If Bryan Singer’s X-Men uses being a mutant as a metaphor for being gay then Josh Trank’s gritty Fantastic Four reboot would seem analogous to being a moody teen.

Its central quarter is certainly a moody bunch: dweeby genius Reed Richards (Miles Teller), whose parents don’t understand him; Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), a would-be hard-case from a bad home; Johnny Storm (Michael B.…

Ant-Man is disposable, throwaway fun, but it might make you think twice next time you step on a bug

 

Marketed as this year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man isn’t as quirky or out-there as its intergalactic predecessor — no Blue Swede on the soundtrack here.

In the unlikely hero department we have Paul Rudd, unsurprisingly immensely likeable as Scott Lang, a scrappy ex con who favors a wry smile over wisecracking and is trying to get his life back on track.…

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For shows a franchise that should have stayed buried

 

Hollywood is usually pretty quick off the bat on commissioning sequels – often a picture’s barely made it into cinemas before a follow-up’s been green-lit – but every now and then they leave us twiddling our thumbs.

It’s been nine years since Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s hyper-visual, hyper-violent Sin City made its way onto our screens, long enough that even the most ardent fan had given up hope of a second installment.…

X-Men: Days Of Future Past is like a dog chasing its tail – fun but circuitous

 

It’s been fourteen years since the X-Men franchise first graced our cinema screens.

That’s roughly the length of time it took Star Trek to go from The Motion Picture to Generations, the film when we finally bade farewell to William Shatner’s Captain James T.…