Why Queenie Goldstein Is The Best Bit of ‘Fantastic Beasts’

Beyond Newt Scamander and Percival Graves, a slightly more humble witch steals the show in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Still being a prominent member of the main cast means that she doesn’t go unnoticed, but amongst the rest of the action, Queenie Goldstein’s excellence as a character can get overlooked.

On the surface, Queenie (Alison Sudol) is an angelic woman, warm and welcoming, with a particular talent for reading minds. When we get to look past that, though, there’s far more intrigue to her character. With a bucketload of emotional intuitiveness enhanced by both her brilliant legilimency and sorrowful past, there’s no doubt that these aspects of Queenie will become even more of a crucial addition to the Harry Potter universe in future sequels.

Read More

What’s Up With All The Porn In ‘Black Mirror’?

There’s a lot of sex in Black Mirror, which probably shouldn’t be that surprising considering that as a society, we seem to be obsessed with the act of mushing things together. But, it’s also because technology and sex are very closely linked. Thanks to modern creations like the internet, we can now watch two (or more) people we don’t know get it on in the comfort of our own homes. It’s actually really weird when you think about it, which is probably why we don’t really tend to think about it.

In true Black Mirror style, we’re being forced to consider something we’d prefer to ignore. All throughout this series, there’s some sort of reference to porn, whether it be the blatantly obvious one in “Fifteen Million Merits” or the mentally scarring one in “Shut Up and Dance.” Without seeming condescending or overly preachy, it highlights the problems with porn, giving us something to reflect upon next time we open up the spank bank — which we probably won’t do, but should at least try.

Read More

How is Retributive Justice Explored in ‘Black Mirror’?

It’s no secret that Black Mirror is all about highlighting the sombre, more disturbing aspects of our society. This satirical series, written by everyone’s favourite cynic Charlie Brooker, touches upon themes that we might prefer to ignore; but Black Mirror makes them impossible to ignore, waving them in our faces and leading us to having an existential crisis by the end of each episode. The whole beauty of the show is how similar the scenarios that play out are to real life, making us as an audience fearful of the future of the technological age we live in.

Read More

The Evolution of Bridget Jones: Is ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ All About Sexual Empowerment?

At 43-years-old, even Bridget expected to be settled down and married by now. But, despite the (what we thought was) pretty conclusive ending of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, she’s still single – though this time she refuses to listen to sad songs alone with glass of wine on the evening of her birthday. Now she dances alone to fun energetic songs with a glass of wine on the evening of her birthday. I know which one I’d rather be doing.

With all of her old friends settled down and married by this point in the series, Bridget seems to be slightly more distant from them now; this led me to posing this question: is it really that bad to be over 40 and still single?

Read More

What Could The Marvel Cinematic Universe Teach Us About Mental Health Issues?

The release of Captain America: Civil War carried on the sobering tone that seems to be prominent in recent MCU films. In the past the stories have often touched upon serious topics, but this darker approach to filmmaking seems to be more obvious of late, arguably starting with Iron Man 3 and staying with most films in Phase Two of the MCU, and well into Phase Three. We’ve seen themes of loss, identity, war, internet privacy and politics threaded throughout these Marvel films, but one slightly less noticed subject that appears to be cropping up more frequently is that of mental health.

Read More

Katana: Why We Need More of Her in the DCEU

Since the release of Suicide Squad a couple of weeks back, we’ve seen some pretty… mixed reviews of the new DC movie. From the infamously low Rotten Tomatoes rating to the petition calling for the website to be shut down as a result of that, it’s clear that the film’s been a controversial addition to the DCEU.

No matter what your views on the movie are, it’s undeniable that Suicide Squad introduced us to a plethora of characters into the DCEU that can be explored further.

Read More

Snake it off: How the ‘The Cursed Child’ Gives a Balanced View of Slytherin

Warning: This post contains spoilers for ‘The Cursed Child’.

I wasn’t surprised when Albus wasn’t sorted into Gryffindor – this is a twist we probably all saw coming, because it would be pretty boring if all three of Harry and Ginny Potter’s children ended up in the house everyone is familiar with by now. We’ve spent (almost) seven years in the Gryffindor common room, so Rowling, Thorne and Tiffany obviously saw the opportunity to change things around and venture into a new house in Hogwarts.

Read More

Intergalactic, Planetary, Planetary, Intergalactic: did Star Trek 3 go beyond expectations?

To answer the question bluntly: no, not really. Is that a bad thing? Not at all. In a time when everything is getting very, very political, Star Trek Beyond is a nice little 2-hour escape from all of that. Whilst perhaps not as gripping as the preceding two films, it’s still a fun, easy-to-follow story, with the added bonus of  couple more great actors being introduced into the franchise (Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella) . There are points in which the story does drag on and feel a little bit aimless, but all is rectified by a really great battle scene choreographed to the music of the Beastie Boys. Would I recommend going to see this film? Sure, go for it.

Read More

Of White Supremacists and Corrupt Prison Guards: a look at OITNB’s social commentary

By now we know that Orange is the New Black loves to give its viewers a social commentary. It’s not exactly a shock either that a lot of that social commentary focuses upon racial tensions, making Litchfield Prison a little microcosm for the events happening in America right now, drawing its audience’s attention to problems they might not even be aware of. Kohan and her team of writers do a great job at humanising the characters in the show, making us realise that they’re far more than just prisoners; we sympathise with them, we love them, we hate them, but we all look at the way they’re treated, whether it be by guards or by each other and think, “wow, that’s pretty fucked up”. What we need to do now is consider how these story lines apply to real life, and what the writers are implying about these problems. (Warning: major spoilers ahead.)

Read More

The Fault in Our Clones: a few thoughts on Orphan Black’s penultimate season

First thing’s first: that season finale is probably going to stop me from sleeping for the next month or so. I can’t cope with all those cliffhangers. I’m half mad at Manson and Fawcett for doing this to us, but also half impressed that they and their team of (super) writers have been able to pull off another fantastic season for this brilliant, brilliant show. By now I’d somewhat expect some sort of falter in the quality of the writing (being the pessimistic little shit I am), but still the story has stayed fluent and beautifully paced, and taken us right back to the tale’s origins, and have thankfully not left Beth’s character in a dusty box in the attic – she’s brought back into the limelight, and with her she’s brought another addition to the clone club (M.K.), who I’m (almost) starting to love. Additionally, we’ve got another tasty slice of character development on Felix’s side of things, and Rachel’s back at her antagonistic ways once again. Any major criticisms? They really need to cut Cosima some slack. (Warning: major spoilers ahead.)

Read More