Death Note Review

There are plenty of people out there who can more authoritatively and comprehensively address the issue of whitewashing in this adaptation of a uniquely Japanese story. But as a fan of both the manga and the anime on which this film is based, I believe that Death Note offers the chance to explore elements of modern America rarely touched on.

In this context, to deal with the smirking certainty of a teenager who remotely doles out vengeance by his own distorted moral code is to get into the mindset of the internet’s own ugly habits of anonymous trolling, abuse, and doxxing. Continue reading →

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Attack on Titan Season 2 Review

I feel like it’s worth pointing out two things up front: I am not a huge anime fan, and I am fully up to date with the still-running manga this show is adapting. The medium is one that has given me a few shows I really love, but I am often put off by certain attributes that come up time and time again.

The manga, which has left plenty of material for the show to bring to the small screen by this point, has left me in the position where I know pretty much exactly what is going to happen each episode. Continue reading →

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 Review

Ayesha, High Priestess of The Sovereign sits on an opulent throne, boasting of the perfect evolutionary state reached by her species. The Sovereign are covered in gold, from their clothing and skin all the way down to their eyes.

In sharp contrast to the supercilious society and their conceited leader stands the Guardians of the Galaxy, a damaged group of misfits barely keeping it together. It’s one thing to create an ensemble as engaging as this, but it’s another to know where to place them.

Lucky for us, James Gunn knows exactly what he’s doing. Continue reading →

Bits and Pieces #2

“If I Fight You Fight”: Rocky on his 40th Anniversary

When I was growing up, I knew about Rocky. That’s to say – I knew of Rocky. I’d seen the poster, I knew that Sylvester Stallone was a movie star, I knew that at some point he shouted “Adrian!” Like most that haven’t sat down and watched any of the Rocky series, I felt like I already knew the story – and in a way, I did. It is a fairly straightforward underdog story in a lot of ways, which makes it hard to convince non-believers of its worth. The language that Rocky himself uses is simplistic, but the melodrama of the series’ middle casts a shadow over what is otherwise a nuanced, delicate character study.

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Bojack Horseman: The Anti-Sitcom

There’s been a lot of talk over the last several years of television being in a golden age. As with most artistic periods, there isn’t a clear consensus on where it began nor what kicked it all off. While The Sopranos gave us long-form storytelling that managed to be episodic while gradually deepening our understanding of its characters and what they tell us about ourselves and the world we live in, it’s hard to say that all television was purely escapist beforehand when The Twilight Zone was taking audiences to strange new places in 1959 and Star Trek looked forward to a progressive future in ‘66. But one thing that has by its very essence remains consistent and unaltered by an increasingly self-reflexive medium is the sitcom. That brings us to Bojack Horseman, which is itself part of a new surge of adult-orientated animation in the U.S and Netflix-exclusive content.

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Manhunter 30th Anniversary Retrospective

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.

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