One of the biggest injustices of pop culture is that Michael Mann’s Manhunter has been lost in the shadow of the (admittedly brilliant) Silence of the Lambs, as well as the film’s 2002 remake Red Dragon. While I can understand people choosing Silence as their favourite of the series, for me Manhunter stands tall as the best these adaptations have to offer.
Sean Fallon has an excellent podcast called From First To Last, where he talks to people about the first and last episodes of their favourite shows. Back in May I starred on the show to talk about Twin Peaks with him, and I recently recorded another episode with him for the movie special. Every 10th episode Sean will change the focus from television to film.
I chose the Rocky series, so we both get to talk about the series in general, why Rocky himself is my favourite character in film, and our personal experience watching all seven. We couldn’t decide whether Rocky Balboa or Creed count as the “last” in the series, so our conversation is far more focused on both of those films, as well as the original Rocky.
As part of Audience Everywhere’s celebration of Alfred Hitchcock’s birthday, I wrote a piece on five of the director’s films that don’t get as much attention as they deserve. These aren’t necessarily the most obscure of his filmography, but ones that should be considered among the greats.
The following is an article I wrote about Bojack Horseman last summer after season 2 was released. It was meant to be published somewhere but that kind of fell through, and ended up sitting in my Articles folder for a year. I thought I’d post it here, as with the release of the third season it’s not as pertinent to be hosted anywhere else. I will likely be writing another article on the show in the next few weeks.
Bojack Horseman returned for its second season this year on Netflix, and came back in a big way. The first season was fairly hit-and-miss, only really coming into its own when it engaged with the sad reality of Bojack’s life. The combination of tragedy and comedy, depression and animal puns, was never truly reconciled – until now. Season two does a lot of things right: the treatment of its female characters, its satire of Hollywood, its excellent depiction of bipolar disorder – but what elevates it on a moment-to-moment level is how it handles the tension between its dramatic and comic elements. Too many shows, adult-targeted cartoons especially, tend to land twenty minutes of comedy before one character sums up what they’ve learnt from the events. There are some exceptions – Community follows this structure before deconstructing and poking fun at the trope, while It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia often uses this climactic moment to show that the lesson learned is pointless, or avoided entirely. Emotional stakes tend to reach their peak by the episode’s end here too, but Bojack isn’t scared of injecting pathos into the otherwise ridiculous, or ending a devastating scene with irreverent humour.
When Nikki Parsons (Julia Stiles) steals black ops files from the CIA, she brings Jason Bourne out of hiding to help uncover the truth. Along the way Bourne comes up against Head of the CIA’s Cyber Division Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), as well as an assassin (Vincent Cassel) with a personal score to settle.