(UN)POPULAR CULTURE

The home of writer & author A. J. BLACK

From 2012 onwards, before developing this blog, I wrote a multitude of reviews on the website Letterboxd. In this irregular series called From the Vault, I’m going to haul these earlier reviews out of mothballs and re-purpose them here. This one, timed as Sam Mendes’ 1917 arrives in cinemas, is from March 23rd, 2014… For …

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As we close out 2019, it’s time to put together a few Top 10 lists based on my key entertainment passions – film, TV and film scores. I’m taking a little swerve with this final list to look ahead and think about what films we have coming up in 2020, and why I’m excited about …

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As we close out 2019, it’s time to put together a few Top 10 lists based on my key entertainment passions – film, TV and film scores. I’ve gone back and forth on decade lists but I suspect I’m just going to keep to 2019 releases on the blog, and maybe do something more with …

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Until the BBC, in league with HBO, decided to tackle Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, it remained one of the greatest, unfilmed epic adventure stories in modern literature. There was, granted, an attempt in 2007 with The Golden Compass, directed by Chris Weitz, but despite starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and a host of …

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What is there left to say about James Bond 007? The world’s most legendary spy has been written about for almost sixty years since Ian Fleming’s 1950’s/60’s novels exploded onto the cinema screen in 1962’s Dr. No, analysing every facet of the character’s escapades, his place in the wider scope of history, through to the …

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If Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation confirms anything, it’s that the Tom Cruise-fronted franchise has spent almost two decades trying to work its way back to Brian De Palma and back to the roots of where the series began. In some of my previous pieces on the earlier films in the Mission Impossible franchise, one fact …

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Nostalgia seems to be a double edged sword right now in Hollywood. What on the surface appears to be a comforting guaranteed winner in terms of audience satisfaction and cinematic box office is becoming something of a poisoned creative chalice. The lacklustre critical (if not box-office) responses to pictures such as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom …

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