(UN)POPULAR CULTURE

The home of writer & author A. J. BLACK

If you listen to my podcast The X-Cast regularly, you’ll have heard the name Carl Sweeney. Having cut his podcasting teeth on my X-Files show, Carl last year broke out to develop The Movie Palace, a podcast which looks every week at a brand new film from Classic Hollywood. This week, it was my turn …

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With X-Men: Dark Phoenix on the horizon, a film predicted to signal the end of the original iteration of the X-Men franchise, I’ve decided to go back and revisit this highly influential collection of comic-book movies. We continue with Matthew Vaughn’s 2011’s prequel, X-Men: First Class… As prequels go, X-Men: First Class is a pretty …

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Occasionally I am fortunate to be offered review material from various film, TV, book or comic PR companies, and will be taking a look at releases that interest me, whether based on writers, director or content. This one is from Eureka Entertainment, 1967’s The Night of the Generals… You might be surprised to learn that …

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Over the course of 2019 and into 2020, in the run up to the 25th James Bond movie, I am going to be deep diving into every Bond film in depth, revisiting one of my favourite franchises. We start at the beginning with 1962’s Dr. No… It struck me watching Dr. No just how much …

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The first season of Alias, the show that put superstar producer-director JJ Abrams on the map, has aged remarkably well. Airing in 2001, a matter of weeks in the wake of the traumatic September 11th attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, Alias had the unenviable task of providing overblown, B-movie, pulp escapism to …

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When you think about it, Alias gives away the final twist at the end of Almost Thirty Years by virtue of its title alone. Season 1’s climactic episode is probably best remembered by critics and fans for those final couple of minutes, in which Sydney Bristow is confronted with a twist on the truth that …

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Remember the time that backstory was just that? Backstory. Many of the most successful TV shows and movies are specifically built on a sense of their own mythology and world building. Game of Thrones has a series of vast novels to draw on which detail an incredibly complicated social and political eco-system, for example. Backstory, …

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