If there is such a thing as a TV comedown episode, it’s The Coup.
Not in the sense that The Coup is a bad episode of television. It’s a perfectly serviceable, mechanical Alias episode, even if it probably would fall fairly low in a ranking of what has been a strong first season. The Coup is a comedown in the fact that after a two-parter like The Box, where exactly do you go next? Almost akin to the difficult second episode, the one that has to clean up the narrative mess from the pilot, The Coup struggles to function in any way beyond that of an epilogue to a much stronger piece of television.
For a film about a historical event which looks ahead to a future where we move past partisan politics into a world of discovery, First Man has turned out to be surprisingly political and controversial.
Perhaps this was inevitable. Very little that emerges, culturally, from the American sphere right now isn’t loaded with some level of subtext, be it a coded sideswipe at the alt-right or pointed rejection of the liberal left. Everything has to be ‘relevant’. You almost want First Man to run and hide from such analysis.
If you listen to my podcast The X-Cast regularly, you’ll have heard the name Carl Sweeney.
Having cut his podcasting teeth on my X-Files show, Carl this year has broken out to develop The Movie Palace, a podcast which looks every week at a brand new film from Classic Hollywood. This week, it was my turn to guest for the first time, discussing my choice – Charles Laughton’s one and only film as director, 1955’s The Night of the Hunter.
This was a great discussion, and the film was incredibly fun to watch again with one eye on the research. If you’re a classic film buff, you’ll enjoy this, and you’ll definitely dig Carl’s top drawer show. I’ll be back on it again in December all going to plan talking about a film we tease at the end of this…
Ahoy there, dear readers! Today, I have something of a special announcement.
You may or may not be aware that I dabble in the art of podcasting and today, on International Podcast Day no less, I thought I would reveal my big podcast plan for 2019. In short, I’m starting a network.
It’s called WE MADE THIS and you can find out more by checking out this link: https://wemadethispodnetwork.wordpress.com
That’s a very basic website template before 2019 when hopefully something a bit more impressive will go online, as indeed will the main domain name, but I implore you to bookmark this site ready for much more content in the next few months.
You may ask yourself, as action revenge thriller Peppermint is released in the UK with a limited release, why Jennifer Garner never became the Next Big Thing.
Pierre Morel’s thriller—from a director who has, as of yet, failed to capture the same iconic formula he developed with Liam Neeson in Taken—sees Garner play Riley North, a mother on a quest for revenge against the cartel who murdered her family. This certainly is not Alias: The Movie (we already got that after all with Mission Impossible 3) but it does see a return for Garner to the kind of picture she assidiously seemed to avoid since her breakout role in JJ Abrams’ underrated ‘spy-fi’ series Alias at the turn of the Noughties. With the odd exception, Garner has never capitalised on the renown of her role as super spy Sydney Bristow.
How do you solve a problem like Jack Ryan? This appears to be a question Hollywood has been asking itself for over two decades. Tom Clancy’s most famous creation—the lowly, bookish CIA analyst who over the course of around a dozen modern espionage novels becomes President of the United States—has assiduously avoided successful attempts at long-term adaptation. Amazon’s new take on the character, starring John Krasinski, is the fifth attempt in a long line of varying tries to make Jack Ryan a cinematic icon.
The most well-known incarnation still remains, arguably, the two pictures Harrison Ford portrayed him in – 1992’s Patriot Games and 1994’s Clear and Present Danger, both from Australian director Philip Noyce – and it is perhaps one of the most unfortunate roads not taken that Ford didn’t continue in the role and build to Ryan’s Presidential years. While Clancy was still writing books featuring the character, Ryan then went away for a while, cinematically. Ford wasn’t, of course, the first incarnation of the character.