These days, Disney is seemingly building its reputation on live-action remakes, animated sequels and basically by slowly conquering the world. I’ve already spoken about my upset over the studios newfound hesitance to release anything animated and original, and how this has actually ended production on promising projects such as the Jack and the Beanstalk adaptation Gigantic. And for a moment, I feared that Pixar was following in a similar path, with the studio only producing The Incredibles 2 in 2018 alone – a shame considering that before then they produced one of the best movies of 2017, Coco.
When it comes to picking an author that I can call truly inspirational, and by extension, a true favourite, only one name ever seems to come to my mind. And her name is Angela Carter.
Born in 1940 (supposedly while the Dunkirk evacuations were taking place), Angela Olive Stalker would one day grow up to become one of Britain’s most significant and prolific writers. In her unfortunately short life time, Angela would go on to write nine superb novels, four collections of short stories, a smattering of literary essays, television screenplays, a handful of poems, radio plays, pages upon pages of journalistic articles and even the script for a never realised opera. In only fifty-one years on this planet, Angela Carter was able to leave her mark upon the heavily patriarchal face of the literary world, pulling it, kicking and screaming into the modern age.
Well, it has been almost forty years and it has finally happened, we are finally getting more of the Dark Crystal universe. And I am ready!
My love for the original dark fantasy classic stems from childhood, when I first purchased the DVD on a whim from Borders (remember them?). I didn’t know what to expect, even as a child, and yet I was blown-away by what I saw. To this day the film’s artistry and beauty captures my imagination, and the ending always brings me to tears.
The end of last year saw the release of a movie that defied expectations. The film was a small film based around the ups and downs of an iconic British performer, who struggled in life with depression, drugs and alcohol, this film was called Bohemian Rhapsody. The film of course went on to be a roaring success, becoming one of the highest grossing films of the year and even bagging a few Academy awards in the process. But that doesn’t mean the film didn’t have its own ups and downs behind the camera. In the earliest stages of its development, a little-known British actor/director named Dexter Fletcher was chosen to head the project, with Fletcher himself viewing the film as his creative baby. However, Fletcher soon found himself booted from the project, with infamous Hollywood director, Bryan Singer being brought in instead. Of course Singer is a controversial figure in any conversation, and although he did direct portions of the final product, it was Fletcher who actually completed the principal filming, basically saving the film from combusting.
There has always been something engaging about Disney’s Aladdin, the third picture to be directed by Disney duo, Musker and Clements, the film did something that no Disney film had really done before – it took a non-western culture and made it into animated magic. Although now there may be some issue taken with that statement, seeing as Disney’s relationship with race and culture is definitely a turbulent one, Aladdin still remains one of the studio’s best.
The Twilight Zone is, without a single doubt, one of the most iconic and ground-breaking television shows to ever hit the air. The anthology show before anthology shows were really a thing – the show would present a different unnerving and suspenseful story with each episode. Beginning in 1959, the show would last for five successful years, and in that time the show gifted us with some of the most infamous moments in television. Not only that, but it also boasted a talented writing staff, comprised of now legendary science fiction authors. Such as Richard Matheson, who you may recognise as the genius who crafted the harrowing, post-apocalyptic world of I Am Legend.
Since its final episode, the show has gone on to see several reboots, a film series and a whole slew of parodies and cinematic homages. Even if you are not a fan of the show, you cannot deny that it is a show that has left its mark upon the face of the planet – be that a good thing or a bad thing.
Not too long ago, I wrote a short review summarising the plot and characters of Netflix’s new She-Ra reboot. In that review I praised the show’s first season, happily inviting the arrival of season 2. And it seems I didn’t have to wait too long, as the second season only dropped on the streaming service at the end of last month – allowing me to return fully to the colourful world of Etheria.
In my lifetime I have seen the endings of some pretty ground-breaking media franchises from Harry Potter to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But I doubt I will see an ending that will match the hype and expectation given to that of Game of Thrones. The show that singlehandedly pulled Fantasy media back into the mainstream. The show that has broken almost every television record. The show that helped push geek culture from its resting place in the shadows. The show that…kind of let everyone down.
Ten years ago, the very notion of a cinematic universe was laughable. Another huge gambit made by Hollywood to make a quick buck. But, above all sense and reason, Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios were able to pull it off. Inadvertently creating the most lucrative and ground-breaking cinematic franchise of the 21st Century. And now with twenty-two releases to its name, as well as a handful of Oscar nominations, it would seem that the MCU has reached its climax. And yet, in some ways, Avengers: Endgame feels more like a beginning than any of the previous Marvel instalments.