Miss Sloane: Full Review

“Lobbying is about foresight. About anticipating your opponent’s moves and devising counter measures. The winner plots one step ahead of the opposition. And plays her trump card just after they play theirs.” – Elizabeth Sloane, Miss Sloane. Contemporary politics has never been an entity more cinematic that during this golden age of TV. Rolling news coverage of world events and the media involvement in them are shaping the way we understand the ever-altering political sphere, bringing it closer

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived:The Stories in Our Genes, review.

As the title suggests, this is a book about humanity, specifically; what is it that our genetic makeup tells us about who we are and where we come from? In the years following the completion of the human genome project in 2003, the relatively new discipline of genomics has revolutionised our understanding of human history, helped us understand more about the makeup of diseases and cancers, and allowed unprecedented insight into our humble origins on Earth, simultaneously re-writing and reaffirming preexisting theories and terminologies used in evolutionary discourse. Within these pages, Dr Adam Rutherford sets out to use this understanding to educate readers on the story of...

The Emoji Movie trailer is here, for better or worse…

“But your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should” – Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park. The Emoji Movie official trailer was released yesterday in the UK. Now, prior to watching it, there were only two things we really knew about this almost guaranteed summer blockbuster: A) It’s a film directed by Anthony Leondis (the mind behind Lilo & Stitch 2:Stitch has a Glitch, and Igor) and B) Patrick Stewart plays the sh*t Emoji. It’s safe t

G4 Film Review: Mean Dreams – 4/10 (Some Spoilers)

Having premiered last year at Cannes (and yet to see a UK release), Mean Dreams follows the escape attempt of two teenagers, Casey and Jonas, from their respectively abusive and neglectful households. On the run from Casey’s violent father, a local police sheriff into some shady dealings involving murder, drug money and alcoholism, this at times sweet coming of age story smacks at once of True Romance and Garden State, sound like an awkward mix? It kind of is. Following in the wake of more thou

Jackie (2016) – A Review.

Jackie, from Chilean director Pablo Larrain and starring Natalie Portman as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, has found itself nominated for three academy awards at this year’s Oscar celebration. In the running for Best Lead Actress, Costume Design and Original Score, it could well see Portman secure her second academy win for a leading role, building on the huge success of the superb thriller Black Swan in 2010. While not universally dazzling critics in quite the same manner as La La Land or Moon

Hannibal: Silence of the Lambs mini-series talk.

We bear some potentially good tidings for fannibals everywhere, following news that the rights to Silence of the Lambs are due to revert ownership back to Martha De Laurentiis in 2017. In light of this, creator Bryan Fuller has expressed his wished to continue with the universe of Dr. Lector, possibly setting straight some of the more divisive elements that saw the curtains fall on the project, or possibly picking it up from an entirely new point in time. Hannibal ran for three wonderfully esot

The Arrest and Release of Barrett Brown: Whitewashing and Misdirection inside the Surveillance Machine.

November 29th 2016, a day of marked importance for members of the online and media communities as the release date of Barrett Brown from federal custody. Detained since 2012, the case surrounding Brown and his contemporaries is one that’s received notable coverage worldwide, garnering huge support from prominent proponents of free speech, freedom of the press and those who stand against mass illegal state surveillance. However, following convoluted data dumps from whistleblowers like Snowden or

The Big Score (Oscar Edition): Mica Levi / ‘Jackie’ OST Review

Gearing up to the 89th Academy Awards ceremony we examine the work of Mica Levi, one of nominations (we hope) for Best Original Score for her second big screen composition work, Jackie. The Pablo Larrain biopic drama, starring Natalie Portman as the wife of deceased John F. Kennedy in the days and weeks following his assassination, boasts an entirely original score from the young mind behind the Under The Skin soundtrack. More commonly known by her stage name Micachu, Levi has had about as muc

News: Microsoft Confirms Scalebound Cancelled

Earlier today, rumours were confirmed that the eagerly awaited Scalebound release from Platinum has been cancelled. A spokesperson from Microsoft commented that: “After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for Scalebound. We’re working hard to deliver an amazing lineup of games to our fans this year, including Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves and other great experiences.” No Comment was made on the relationship of future de

Rogue One: A Star Wars story, definitely.

“We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope!” Rogue One, the bold and gritty new addition to the Star Wars canon, hit UK cinemas on Thursday, telling the story of the rebel alliance clambering to find the plans for the secret new “planet killer” super weapon, currently under construction by the Empire. The film takes place directly prior to the events of A New Hope, as a group of rag-tag criminals and assassins find themselves odd bedfellows aligned against the greatest destructive threat

Westworld Episode 5: Contrapasso recap.

Meditating on the revelations and reveries contained within the latest episode of HBO’s new flagship show, “Contrapasso” is probably one of the more meaningful in terms of plot progression so far, if even just in implied subtext. What this means in Jonathan Nolan land is that we can be pretty sure now that the show isn’t taking a linear narrative structure and that in true Nolan brother circa Memento (2000) style, what we’re watching is a series of very cleverly edited directorial decisions, which some people on the internet have guessed are still being tinkered with. Either way, time is the key to pretty much understanding the narrative fragments of Westworld with any degree of prescience, and perhaps most obviously in Contrapasso during the first and last scenes featuring Dolores.

The Official Trailer for Wonder Woman has landed.

We’ve finally been given our first peak at the eagerly anticipated Wonder Woman release, and not to sound too gushing given the state of this year’s big budget DC features, but it looks like it could be a return to form for the franchise. At the very least a solid, action driven narrative capable of setting the groundwork for a new era of DC comic films. I think we can all agree that the less said about BvS or Suicide Squad the better. DC just have not been churning out quality material of late, and that’s a problem born of formulaic scripting, lack of innovative cinematography and frankly unreasonable stakes being set on a regular basis. In short, there’s only so many times you can really get invested in the total and utter annihilation of earth when you know that the outcome, whatever the cost, is a forgone conclusion. With that in mind however, it’s still pretty difficult not to get excited about the Wonder Woman standalone film dropping next summer (June 9th).

The Sting Of The Wild: A Review.

The Sting of the Wild, a review. Some may be familiar with the work of entomologist Justin O. Schmidt and the 'Schmidt sting pain index', ranking the pain inflicted by seventy eight species of ant, wasp and bee from 1-4 and popularised in recent years in a range of articles online and in print. In 'The Sting of the Wild', the author invites readers to examine in more depth the lifestyles and behaviors of some of these infamous stinging Hymenoptera; discussing how stingers evolved from ovipositors, the chemistry and uses of their venoms, and their defensive and offensive implementations in the natural world. The text's preface sets out to 'share a love of the natural world and beauty in all forms of life', doing so in an informal but informed way, and drawing upon the fascinating activities of these wonderful creatures without sparing any of the skin tingling details (phobics beware). Approaching predation and pain with a good-humoured naturalists curiosity, Schmidt provides a colourful layman's introduction to the sweat bee, bullet ant, cicada killer, and tarantula hawk, among others. In carefully paced chapters that can be picked up individually or read cover to cover, he intersperses personal anecdotes from years of study with in-depth objective analysis of each species, compiling field data and historical notes regarding stings and the creatures that wield them. An enjoyable and accessible read, 'The Sting of the Wild' also features the Schmidt sting index for the first time in it's entirety, itself reading more like a wine connoisseur describing layered aromas than a practical study of some of the most potent venoms on earth. Well researched and featuring seven pages of companion photographs, this is a charming little work contained within a striking yellow jacket.

SAG-AFTRA union voice actors to strike Friday 21st October over pay disputes.

SAG-AFTRA (an amalgamation of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) have threatened strike action this Friday in response to a standstill in negotiations regarding, among other things, the back-end bonuses of voice actors in successful video game franchises. The union, which represents over 150,000 voice personalities across multiple platforms, announced earlier this month that an overwhelming 96.55% of it’s membership voted in favor of strike action following over a year of negotiations with big name game companies such as EA, Insomniac Games, Activision, Disney, Formosa and Warner Bros., with the necessary votes to carry the motion being 75%...

The Big Score – Jed Kurzel

If you haven’t seen Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth yet, then do. Sometimes Shakespeare adaptations can seem a little thin on the ground, or like they don’t do the original texts justice. There have been so many attempts over the years, from the big budget Olivier classics to those we’d all rather not speak of (an early Angelina Jolie film Love Is All There Is – 1996, being a particularly noteworthy cringefest from start to finish). Macbeth (2015) however stands up as not just one of the best films of its year, but one of the finer screen productions in recent memory, not least because of it’s haunting (so to speak) score, courtesy of Jed Kurzel, Justin’s younger brother...

Westworld Season 1 Episode 2 Recap. ‘Chestnut’.

Originally expected to be included in an elongated pilot, much of Westworld 1.2 ‘Chestnut’, is an expansion of the premises built on in ‘The Original’. With heavy literary and theological connotations throughout, the show is already proving to be one to baffle its audiences episodically, never revealing too much, always leaving us desperate for more. For a show that loves its Shakespearean quotes, we should probably first ask; What’s in a name? Well, in the case of Dolores Abernathy, arguably Westworld’s central character, possibly quite a lot. The name comes from the Latin ‘Dolor’ meaning pain, Dolores itself meaning ‘Mary of sorrows’, Mary being the biblical mother in the new testament. I.e – mother of sorrows. It’s a sentiment quite at odds with the facade she displays after being re-set every night, in that “some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray, I choose to see the…” but what is it that our guileful heroine chooses to see, exactly? How much is she allowed to see, how much of real life is indeed choice of any kind? … reigning it in for a second, we know that the show loves to steep itself in the ideology of creation, as this is literally the premise after all, but another similarity to the name Dolores is especially interesting. It is the name of the Greek spirit Dolos, a master of deception and cunning, a trickster spirit. There’s been enough foreshadowing so far to know that her blankly perplexed and curious smile hides a lot more than she’s letting on...

Swiss Army Man (2016): A Review

Try to imagine; you’re approaching the C.E.O of a financing/production company as two relatively unheard of companion directors. Your asking for money to make a film with the following synopsis: Paul Dano, stranded on a desert island and on the brink of suicide, befriends the rotting corpse of Daniel Radcliffe who washes gently up nearby. After some unsuccessful CPR resulting in the built up intestinal gasses inside the cadaver being released to the point of over excess, the resulting flatulence of Radcliffe’s body propels Dano across the ocean on his way home. At this point the two embark on a bromantic search for happiness utilising the multipurpose, discoloured body of Radcliffe and his special powers in order to overcome the various obstacles of surviving the wilderness, along the way learning valuable life lessons and discovering the true meaning of friendship...

Mr. Robot_2.0 Episode 6: eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes Review

While season two has taken some odd turns thus far (we’re still waiting on the promised CGI episode), spending a lot of time inside the mind of a spiraling Elliot, possible the strangest offering so far has been the introduction to episode six; m4ster-s1ave.aes. It’s the era of meta-referencing for TV, where it really pays to be a buff. We live in an age now where like books written for literature students, television is now made for people who really like television. Long running productions ha

Mr. Robot_2.0_eps2.2_init1.asec Review

… and the word of the week is – characterisation! Something 2.0 has shown us no end of over the past fortnight especially. Whereas other blockbuster shows of recent memory have approached their run-time in a much more episodic manner, Mr. Robot has used it’s second season to take a figurative back step, and one that ultimately may push it into becoming one of the more memorable contemporary shows of the moment. The reason this is important if we’re talking about longevity is that for a show that
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