(UN)POPULAR CULTURE

The home of writer & author A. J. BLACK

Caution: here be spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, so I suggest only reading once you have seen the film. Upon leaving a screening of The Force Awakens in 2015, you would be forgiven for having one question on your mind: who exactly *is* Rey? Our new heroine for the revived, sequel era …

Continue reading

CAUTION: contains some major spoilers so only read on if you’ve seen the film. If you were looking for the perfect film to put a capstone on the 2010’s, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker arguably would be it. Even with the blockbuster heavyweight of Avengers: Endgame concluding the first ten years of …

Continue reading

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 is from December 20th, 2017, as we close in on Star Wars Episode IX: …

Continue reading

Talking about the second season of Star Trek: Discovery this year has been a difficult experience in places. Not just because the recently concluded fourteen-episode run wasn’t a particularly good season of television—more on that here—but also thanks to the way some of the online Star Trek fandom have responded to criticism. It hasn’t been …

Continue reading

Until this weekend, Star Wars: Episode IX was in serious danger of having its thunder well and truly stolen by the twin pop-culture giants on the immediate horizon – Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones’ final season. As if sensing a disturbance in the Force, Disney—who bear in mind own Marvel so control two of …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

Just to clarify, starting a title with Anon is not me trying to go all highbrow and Shakespearian on all of you. It does of course refer to a new picture being released next Friday, starring Clive Owen & Amanda Seyfried, written and directed by Andrew Niccol, which is being promoted with a curious affectation: …

Continue reading