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The Unsettled Interview The Unsettled Interview

It’d been at least sixteen or seventeen years since I last watched 1994's Interview with the Vampire. I used to watch it over and over again in high school, in the late 90s. Nowadays if I feel like watching a Neil Jordan movie I’m more likely to watch The Butcher Boy, the movie he made three years after Interview with…

New Doctor, New Desert New Doctor, New Desert

Doctor Who is now more authentically African than Black Panther: exteriors for to-day’s new episode, “Ghost Monument”, were shot in South Africa, surpassing Black Panther, which was shot in South Korea and the United States. It certainly beats a quarry and helps give this second episode of the new Doctor Who season…

Autumnal Ambiguity   Autumnal Ambiguity  

One of the points where I knew 2017's Super Dark Times was working excellently was when I realised I was hoping to find out one of the teenage boys really was a murderer. That it would, in a strange way, be relief to find out. I knew the movie was good before this, though, because of how sharply it built its sense of…

Cowboys and Teddy Bears Cowboys and Teddy Bears

Indulging in some self-parody, Cowboy Bebop introduces a one-off rival for Spike named Andy, a flamboyant bounty hunter who wears the traditionally recognised accoutrements of a cowboy. Faye wryly remarks on how similar the two men actually are but the really interesting thing about this episode is in how different…

"Should be Fine" "Should be Fine"

So here it is at last, the new Doctor Who, with the Thirteenth Doctor taking the series into uncharted territory. Let naysayers say what they will, I, for one, applaud the creators of the series for setting the première in Sheffield!

Houses of Autumn Houses of Autumn

Yesterday I read the new Sirenia Digest which features a very autumnal new Caitlin R. Kiernan story, “Untitled 41". It very appropriately uses the above John Everett Millais image as its cover, the story being filled with descriptions of autumn leaves.

Feng Shui in the Void Feng Shui in the Void

Mystic interior decorators may face their toughest challenge in the post-post-modern future solar system depicted in Cowboy Bebop. But fortunately this is a place bound together by the influence of feng shui.

The Bloody Clown of Now The Bloody Clown of Now

After several episodes where elements from the past reappear to save or enlighten the characters on Cowboy Bebop, a personification of the post modern future appears and attacks Spike. The show’s effective experiment in horror is another way to portray its fundamental thematic conflict.

Chibnall's Doctor Chibnall's Doctor

I’ve written about Doctor Who every Saturday for several years now. It’s the day the show traditionally airs, after all, so it seemed appropriate. But I guess that changes next week (or technically the week after next) when the show moves to Sunday. A big part of the pitch this season is that everything’s…

That Old Drawn Magic That Old Drawn Magic

As you might’ve guessed from yesterday’s entry, the anime bug has bitten me again. I’ve been getting up earlier and I find, in addition to coffee, nothing gives me quite the necessary kick in the morning like the peppy opening theme of a new anime series. So here are a few other 2018 shows I’ve been watching lately:

No Need for Umbrellas No Need for Umbrellas

There’s a sweet, enjoyable new anime series this year called After the Rain (恋は雨上がりのように) about a teenage waitress who has a crush on her 45 year-old boss. The animation and design are average but pretty enough and the story wisely avoids operatics. It contents itself with what turns out to be a pleasant, mild story…

Life in Old Ships Yet Life in Old Ships Yet

After five episodes focusing on other crew members, Cowboy Bebop gets back to an episode built more around Spike that also the reveals more about his ship, the Swordfish. Some exciting and amusing space battles take place and once again an artefact from Earth’s past plays a major role.

Getting the Doctor's Leadworth Getting the Doctor's Leadworth

I really can’t say I’d mind ending up in the supposedly boring village featured in the 2010 Doctor Who episode “Amy’s Choice”. Filmed in a village called Skenfrith in Wales, plenty of beautiful location shots sell the place marvellously, albeit under the fictional name of Upper Leadworth. Watching it again, I was…

The Re-connexion of Faye The Re-connexion of Faye

An episode of Cowboy Bebop where many would say very little actually happens—no action sequences, murders, bounties, or scores settled—turns out to be one of the more crucial episodes of the series. The loop is finally closed between the past and the present with the former reasserting itself, making it clear that,…

To Film a Predator To Film a Predator

For all its problems, 2018's The Predator actually has some ideas to chew on, ideas that are surprisingly against the grain. Badly put together action sequences nerfed by poor cgi aren’t improved by a completely forgettable performance from Boyd Holbrook. But the supporting cast, particularly Thomas Jane,…

Caesar in Dreams Caesar in Dreams

All arguments between advocates for republics and enforcers of tyranny may be moot if all is controlled by capricious supernatural elements. The best part of Stuart Burge’s 1970 adaptation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is its sense of the dreamlike and the fantastic, the very palpable influence the stars really do…

Don't Cross the Lumberjack Don't Cross the Lumberjack

When it comes to revenge fantasies, it pays to go big. 2018's Mandy casts Nicolas Cage as its bloody avenger, putting him in a handsomely realised fantasy version of north American wilderness populated by psychotic biker orcs on LSD, vigilante lumberjacks, a dangerous Christian cult, and at least one tiger. The…

False Illumination False Illumination

I remember seeing a lot of people wearing Rose Tyler’s outfit from “The Idiot’s Lantern” at Comic Con. A Tenth Doctor Doctor Who episode written by Mark Gatiss, it’d be hard to understand why young women would choose a costume that could really be a generic 50s outfit if you haven’t seen the episode or were generally…

Edward the Indestructible Edward the Indestructible

Whatever the world or solar system comes to, folks still gotta eat. This is a chronic problem for the characters on Cowboy Bebop but for one member of the crew its questionable how truly crucial it is.

Be Kind to the Bears, Doves, and Fish Be Kind to the Bears, Doves, and Fish

Few trees can sing, fewer still can ring, so you can appreciate 1957's The Singing Ringing Tree (Das singende, klingende Bäumchen) is pretty extraordinary. It’s a lovely, strange, not entirely well written fantasy film.

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