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Everything Old is New Again: How Detective Pikachu Draws From The Rich Lore of the Pokémon Universe

By Fionn Keeley

Detective Pikachu (or more properly, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu) is something of a milestone for the Pokémon franchise. It’s the first live-action adaptation to ever hit the big screen, and is almost certainly set to become a jumping-off point for several more such films. Adapting a setting as sprawling as that of Pokémon for live-action cinema is a difficult task, but Detective Pikachu succeeds quite nicely, managing to establish its own world while comfortably dodging the infamous Video Game Movie Curse. Along the way, it manages to fit in a whole bunch of call-backs to iconic – and sometimes not-so-iconic – elements of Pokémon history. How many is “a whole bunch”, you ask? Enough that it’s pretty much impossible to catch ‘em all, so we’re just going to focus on a few of the more plot-relevant ones here.

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Review: Avengers Endgame

By Mark Laherty

This review will contain mild spoilers, especially for the first hour of the film. This is because I can’t talk about a film if I leave out every important part.

Nowadays, most reviews of superhero movies begin with some preamble about the genre’s global domination, Avengers fatigue, and the regrettable state of the American film industry, especially where Disney is involved. All that stuff is true and especially difficult to ignore in this parade of IPs, but let’s be fair and try to think about Endgame in a what-is-this-trying-to-do kind of way.

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Review: Us (2019)

By Mark Laherty

Holy shit!

A great film mostly sustained by a string of rock-solid action sequences that make up the second act. Comparisons to Get Out are tempting, unfair, but unavoidable. After all, the biggest reason that lots of people are interested in this film is that this is Jordan Peele’s second stint as a director where the first was an excellent satire of racism released, with almost supernaturally good timing, in the interim between election day and Trump’s swearing-in. Get Out heralded the arrival of a new dark age of the West. Everyone wanted to see what Peele did next. So, what did he do next? Is it about race?

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The 12 Angry Martians Who Dumped Me

By Barry Neenan

For all my blustering about pop culture, I’m actually pretty bad at watching movies. Because of my watching habits, I’m not really one to just sit down and watch random-ass films I haven’t already researched. I’m more of a Watch The Same Movie Three Times kind of guy, god help me. So it’s always a welcome change of pace when I get to switch things up – like when I’m trapped on trans-Atlantic flights.

On my recent trip to see my girlfriend, I ended up watching three films. Here are quick thoughts on all three.

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Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

By Mark Laherty

Content Warning: due to some ill-advised script decisions, this review includes a brief discussion of date rape. [Ed: wait WHAT]

The continuing exploits of Harry Potter with or without Harry himself – ham-fistedly branded a Wizarding World – has divided opinion. Has it jumped the shark? Is J.K. Rowling problematic? Is Daniel Radcliffe Chinese? The debate goes on and on and on.

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Review? Mission. Impossible; Fallout!

By Mark Laherty

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the confusingly punctuated sixth – yes, sixth – instalment in the long-running and well-regarded Mission: Impossible series and the second to be directed by Christopher McQuarrie. This movie is the first to present itself in the franchise as a straight sequel, which makes it a less-than-ideal jumping-on point. This is unfortunate for me because – cards on the table – I hadn’t seen a Mission: Impossible movie before this one. Just a slightly embarrassing pop-culture blind spot there. Take this review as the point of view of a newcomer.

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