(UN)POPULAR CULTURE

The home of writer & author A. J. BLACK

Welcome to September! Because there’s not enough useless information floating around on the internet, I thought I would update readers of this blog as to what I’ve watched/read over the previous month, each month, in the form of TV, movies and books. Some of this I will have reviewed on the blog but others I’ve just …

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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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There is a different aura around Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. There is the sense of a film maker continuing to season, to look back, not just at his own legacy but that of cinema itself in the last half century. The title almost says it all. Not just a …

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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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The first part of The Box established that nothing would ever be the same for Alias once this story was over. The second part cements this one hundred percent in stone. In discussing part one of The Box, one of the major aspects that becomes clear watching this two-part story is how heavily indebted everything …

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If The Confession was the point of no return, The Box is the tale which catapults Alias into what is, barring one or two exceptions, a season and a half of dynamic, top drawer storytelling. Alias was a high concept TV series from the outset. The ‘high concept’ in Hollywood vernacular defines an idea which …

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Mission Impossible III may not be the strongest outing in the franchise, but it may be the most human. Surprisingly, this works as both a strength and to the film’s detriment in the eyes of many. For everyone who considers Mission Impossible II the weakest episode of the saga, which you can find my thoughts …

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