(UN)POPULAR CULTURE

The home of writer & author A. J. BLACK

Last Blood, ostensibly the final chapter of the Rambo saga, serves as a fitting portrait of America’s dark, lumbering national psyche. In a film which starts predictable and just keeps getting more so, Last Blood gives us a growling, jaded old warrior in John Rambo. Having survived Vietnam (twice), Afghanistan and Burma’s killing fields, this …

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Forty years since it first revolutionised both science-fiction and horror cinema, what is left to discover about Ridley Scott’s Alien? Memory: The Origins of Alien gamely attempts to celebrate the anniversary of this seminal picture by digging deep into the genesis behind the creatives responsible. Less so Scott, whose directorial vision and process in developing …

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a film about the power of narrative, hence why much of the action takes place on a key night in 1968. Just after Halloween, always a night popular with horror films as a setting, in 1968 saw election night of the next President of the United States, …

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The so-called Conjuring Cinematic Universe confidently takes another key inspiration from Marvel’s all-dominant equivalent with Annabelle Comes Home by cementing the existence of the ‘horror movie superhero’. Or, in this case, superheroes in the form of Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 previously, …

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You know when people say “don’t watch this one unless you’ve seen the last one”? Well, that statement may just peak with Spider-Man: Far From Home, particularly when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The ‘one’ in particular isn’t even the previous solo Spider-Man film, 2017’s Homecoming, because the MCU has changed the game …

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Dark Phoenix is not quite the coda to the X-Men franchise that you might have expected going in. For quite some time now, general feeling among a large swathe of the movie going audience invested in comic book cinema has been the belief that Dark Phoenix would be a significant let down. Despite the critical …

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If the release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters has taught us anything, it’s that the expectations of audiences and critics are a fair distance apart. This is no great revelation. For every serious reviewer of cinema, you will find two casual cinema-goers pop up to remind them “it’s only a movie”. This is completely …

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