thecraggus
thecraggus
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Movie & TV reviews and pop culture nonsense.
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thecraggus · 38 days ago
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WandaVision Episode 2 Review

#WandaVision Episode 2 will leave you bewitched, bothered and bewildered - in all the best ways. #Review

Where the first episode found its inspiration in the early fifties sitcom setting, “WandaVision” episode two leaps forward a decade and takes a decidedly ‘Bewitch’-ing approach, right down to the animated – and yes, Easter-Egg packed – opening titles.

Hoping to better engage with their friends and neighbours, Wanda (Elizabeth Olson) and Vision (Paul Bettany) volunteer to perform a magic act in…


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thecraggus · 39 days ago
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WandaVision Episode 1 Review

Superheroes take on fifties domestic bliss with hilarious - and sinister - consequences. #WandaVision Episode 1 #Review

Filmed before a live studio audience, the first episode of “WandaVision” seems purposefully – and mischievously – designed to catch its audience completely off-guard. A monochromatic (for the most part) homage to “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, its twee 1950s suburban setting, replete with all the trappings of a single-camera sitcom, is literally and figuratively a universe away from the cosmic…


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thecraggus · 40 days ago
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Songbird (2020) Review

In capturing the experiential tedium of a prolonged COVID lockdown, Songbird (2020) is a metatextual triumph. #Review

“Songbird”, arriving on the small screens with an undue haste which, in turn, deserves its absence from the shuttered cinemas it mocks, is so blandly mediocre it would barely merit comment at all were it not for the insidious irresponsibility which underpins this tawdry Michael Bay production.

By the year 2024, the COVID-19 virus has mutated into COVID-23 and the world is in its fourth pandemic…


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thecraggus · 157 days ago
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Star Trek Discovery S3E13 - That Hope Is You, Part 2 Review

That ‘Nope’ is me, reacting to #StarTrekDiscovery S3E13 - That Hope Is You, Part 2 #Review

*SPOILERS*

If the episode title “That Hope Is You, Part 2” doesn’t tell you that this third season finale of “Star Trek: Discovery” is going to be an excerise in Burnham-style vanity, it doesn’t take long for the episode itself to show you. The recap, though, spends most of its time reminding us of the Su’Kal storyline that was all but sidelined last week as the series focussed on setting up…


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thecraggus · 308 days ago
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Oh, Ramona! (2019) Review

Oh, Ramona! (2019) wants to be the Scott Pilgrim of incel sex fantasies. #Review

Sometimes when you’re rooting around in the depths of Netflix, like it’s some kind of televisual T K Maxx, you come across something so vulgar and garish that you can’t help but try it on. Such is “Oh, Ramona!” a Romanian coming-of-age comedy directed by Cristina Jacob and based on the novel “Suck It, Ramona!” by Andrei Ciobanu.

Andrei stands on the cusp of manhood and navigating the final years…


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thecraggus · 331 days ago
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Loop (2020) Short Film Review

Pixar’s SparkShort Loop (2020) handles autism with understanding and uplifting positivity. #Review

Pixar’s SparkShorts programme – where Pixar’s employees are given six months and limited budgets to develop animated short films – has delivered many wins but animations to date but perhaps none quite as astonishing and moving as “Loop”, an animated short about the intersection of the inner world of a non-verbal autistic 13-year-old girl and an outside world that struggles to understand…


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thecraggus · 334 days ago
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Soul (2020) Review

Big swing Pixar is the best Pixar. #Soul (2020) #Review

It’s a matter of personal cinematic irony that I first watched “Soul”, Pixar’s paean to mindfulness and being fully in the moment, in the post-Christmas Dinner tryptophan-infused haze of contentment. I may even have dozed off for a few minutes here or there. All of which should not be taken as a reflection on this latest animated offering, a cosmic philosophical meditation masquerading as a…


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thecraggus · 356 days ago
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Superintelligence (2020) Review

Superintelligence (2020) isn’t as dumb as you might expect. #Review

For a shameless Tesla commercial masquerading as a movie featuring James Corden as a civilisation-threatening super-powerful A.I., “Superintelligence” isn’t anywhere near as bad as you may be expecting. Starring Melissa McCarthy and Bobby Cannavale, it’s a cinematic curiosity which seems almost deliberately designed to be cross-compatible with any genre you might want to apply to it. Director Ben…


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thecraggus · 359 days ago
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Come Away (2020) Review

Come Away (2020) fails to find truth in its fantasies so runs short on genuine magic. #Review

Owing a little more, perhaps, to C S Lewis than J M Barrie or Lewis Carroll, “Come Away” may be rich in production values and period flourishes but whatever great expectations you may have are soon dashed by this muddled faux Dickensian fantasia.

The story introduces us to the Littleton family, parents Rose (Angelina Jolie) – from a well to do family – and Jack (David Oyelowo), a former street…


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thecraggus · a year ago
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Doctor Who: Revolution Of The Daleks Review

This revolution should not have been televised. #DoctorWho: #RevolutionOfTheDaleks #Review

*SPOILERS*

I can’t be alone, surely, in wondering where the ‘Revolution’ was in “Revolution Of The Daleks”? In the end, there was very little about this perfunctory seasonal feature-length special that was revolutionary – or, indeed, special.

With the Doctor locked away in space prison, Yaz, Graham and Ryan have been trying to get on with their lives – well, Ryan and Graham have. Yaz has been…


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thecraggus · a year ago
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Star Trek Discovery S3E12 - There Is A Tide… Review

It may be a new year but it’s the same old problems for #StarTrekDiscovery S3E12 - There Is A Tide… #Review

*SPOILERS*

“There Is A Tide…” brings “Star Trek” back to Shakespeare country, with a title borrowed from a passage in “Julius Caesar” – one which has been raided for titles before, not least of all by Agatha Christie.

It’s actually a good thematic basis for this episode which deals with some surprising turns of events and looks at two rival empires who find themselves at very different ends of…


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thecraggus · a year ago
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Star Trek Discovery S3E11 - Su'Kal Review

Su'Kal is a lump of coal in the #StarTrekDiscovery stocking this Chrismtas. S3E11 #Review

*SPOILERS*

“Su’Kal” picks up where “Terra Firma Part II” left us: at Georgiou’s entirely undeserved and hagiographic memorial service. It’s fitting, I suppose, that it’s all based on Burnham withholding crucial information from her friends and shipmates once again.

It’s been a longstanding observation that one of the dramatic weaknesses of “Star Trek” is that it’s always focussed on Starfleet’s…


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thecraggus · 2 years ago
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Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Review

It’s fitting that #WonderWoman 1984 (2020) arrives in cinemas and home streaming in December because it’s both joyful and triumphant. #Review

There’s something fitting about Gal Gadot’s second solo outing finally making its debut during the festive season (theatrically or otherwise) because the opening of “Wonder Woman 1984” is both joyful and triumphant. We start with a flashback to Paradise Island where young Diana (Lily Aspell – who absolutely needs her own spin-off prequel movie/ series) is preparing to compete in the annual…


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thecraggus · 2 years ago
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The Blue Lagoon (1980) 40th Anniversary Review

A furtive legend of the playground gossip, twee survivalist romance The Blue Lagoon (1980) celebrates its 40th Anniversary #Review

Turning 40 is probably something which seemed a far-off fantasy to the two children marooned on a South Pacific island in 1980’s “The Blue Lagoon” and yet that’s where the film now finds itself. Seemingly all but forgotten in terms of pop culture now, “Grease” director Randall Kleiser’s adaptation of Henry De Vere Stacpoole’s 1908 novel – the third movie version – was huge in the 1980s and almost…


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thecraggus · 2 years ago
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Star Trek Discovery S3E10 - Terra Firma Part 2 Review

#StarTrek finally has a #Christmas episode as Georgiou is haunted by the ghosts of series past and series yet to come. #StarTrekDiscovery S3E10 Terra Firma Part 2 #Review

*SPOILERS*

I mean, when you think of “Star Trek”, you think of torture porn, right? It’s the purest expression of the Roddenberian vision to embrace the cartoonishly superficial trappings of fascism for shits and giggles, right? “Terra Firma Part 2” picks up where the previous episode left off, with Georgiou and the audience trapped in the nightmarish subversion of everything “Star Trek” stands…


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thecraggus · 2 years ago
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Nielsen Ratings: Santa Who? (2000) Review

#NielsenRatings: Santa Who? (2000) #Review

Given his famously snow-white hair and twinkly-eyed charm, it’s a wonder that Leslie Nielsen didn’t play Santa Clause more often. In a sixty-year career spanning over one hundred films and one thousand, five hundred episodes of television in which he portrayed more than 220 characters, his Santa tally amounts to a total of twice. Of the two, “Santa Who?” – part of “The Wonderful World Of Disney”…


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thecraggus · 2 years ago
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Star Trek Discovery S3E09 - Terra Firma Part 1 Review

“Let’s hug Hitler” says #StarTrekDiscovery S3E09 - Terra Firma Part 1 #Review

*SPOILERS*

The disjointed recap at the start of “Terra Firma Part 1” serves to illustrate just how many plates “Star Trek: Discovery” has spinning at the moment. The very first scene tells us that the writers aren’t going to focus on any of the plates that matter long-term. Instead, the platter it’s spinning up this week could probably best be described as ‘Sympathy For The Devil”.

It’s a…


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thecraggus · 3 years ago
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Nielsen Ratings: Mr Magoo (1998) Review

#NielsenRatings: Mr Magoo (1998) #Review

Picture the scene – it’s the mid-1990s and adapting cartoons is all the rage for some reason. Disney studios turns its attention to multi-Oscar winning cartoon character Mr J Quincy Magoo, an elderly, wealthy and extremely near-sighted retiree who constantly gets into scrapes thanks to his refusal to acknowledge his near-sightedness. He’s a character very much of his time – and by of his time I…


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thecraggus · 3 years ago
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The Christmas Chronicles (2018) Review

Here’s my surprisingly thirsty #Review of cinematic Christmas cocktail The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

So cheesy and corny it’s almost the movie equivalent of cinema nachos, “The Christmas Chronicles” is a good old-fashioned magical Christmas fable, the kind it feels like they don’t make any more. Luckily, it has Kurt Russell to add some jalapeno heat to proceedings.

When Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy (Judah Lewis) catch sight of Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) they seize their chance and manage to stow…


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thecraggus · 3 years ago
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The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special (2020) Review

I find the lack of Bea Arthur disturbing… The Lego #StarWars Holiday Special (2020) #Review

As someone who has endured the original “Star Wars Holiday Special” (on a VHS bootleg no less), I won’t deny I was at least wary of embracing another celebration of Life Day, albeit an ironic Lego one. It says something about the state the franchise was left in by “The Rise Of Skywalker” that it needs small rectangular plastic bricks to smooth off the rough edges left by haphazard…


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