Based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale has now come to our screens in the UK – Sundays at 9pm on Channel 4, you’re welcome – and so far it’s been a really intriguing watch.
The central conceit of the show is that humanity has all but decimated the US as we know it, and this has resulted in a “plague of infertility” among the women of the country. Under the rule of their new uber-religious, totalitarian government, those few women who are fertile become Handmaids to the rich and powerful in the militant society, whose only purpose is to provide children for the man and wife the Handmaid is assigned to. This is where we find our heroine, Offred (whose name literally means Of-Fred, the property of Fred, the Commander).
With a mass beating, secret scrabble, and quite possibly the most uncomfortable sex scenes you will ever watch, The Handmaid’s Tale lands us right in the middle of a poignant, ‘what if,’ dystopia.
Continue reading “The Handmaid’s Tale – Anyone for a cheeky Scrabble?”
Last night I took a trip back to high school to see their latest play, not led by the drama department (all hail the mighty Richards), but by an ex-student, James Allen. Having been involved with the drama department back in the day, it was fantastic to see how the other familiar faces have grown, and to now watch from an outsider’s perspective was exciting, if a little unnerving.
**SPOILER FREE POST**
The play, Until Then, which was written and directed by James Allen (who also composed the music), tells the story of two couples as they go through life together. Abi Simpkin and Will Griffiths are a perfect match as Philip and Jill, and Lucas Walsh and Pip Hyde complement each other beautifully as Mitchell and Vic. The performance features a minimal set, seamless technical operation from Mark McLean, and a poignant score. It was funny and touching, and I loved it.
Continue reading “Until Then – The promise of the future”
Legion is a show with a tantalising premise: David Haller is confronted with a reality check when he is informed that the voices he’s heard in his head his whole life are in fact, not a symptom of schizophrenia, but the inner voices of those around him. He is a telepath.
And though it’s based on a Marvel comic, it’s not like your regular I’m-an-all-powerful-mutant-discovering-my-powers-and-saving-the-world story, the FX production handles things very differently. It’s intelligent, sometimes understated, and (fittingly) completely insane. And I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s a story of uncovering David’s power, but also the true form of them. David discovers this for himself, along with the team helping him out, and let’s just say things aren’t quite as they at first seem.
Legion is set in the same universe as the familiar X-Men stories, but it seems to fit into a place where mutants are perhaps only just being discovered by the people in high places – the government’s ‘Division 3’ are the antagonistic organisation of the show, and they are researching mutants. There are no direct crossovers that I could find between Legion and X-Men, but I’m sure there will be some somewhere.
Continue reading “Legion – Not your average superhero story”
Bonjour, bonjour! BONJOUR! It feels like we’ve been waiting for Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast (Condon:2017) for FOREVER, and it’s finally heeeere! (Cue the party poppers and champagne corks. And throw in a firework or two if you feel like it.) After the success of the live action remake of Cinderella (Branagh:2015) a couple of years ago, which I thought was just magical, I waited with baited breath in the darkened cinema to see possibly my all-time favourite Disney film burst into new life.
**SPOILER FREE POST**
It was beautiful. The visuals were stunning, the story was touching (which we knew already), the new arrangements of the music were gorgeous. The choreographed sequences were enchanting, and the design of the whole production was magical … Have I thrown enough compliments at it yet? I promise there is more to say though.
Continue reading “Beauty and the Beast – Something there that wasn’t there before”
Yesterday, the latest film in the mighty Star Wars franchise was released, entitled Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Edwards:2016). Prior to its release, we knew next to nothing about it, other than it’s placement in the series between Episode III and Episode IV. From that, and some tasty trailer snippets, we gather it focuses on the rebels and the formation of the Death Star. But that was pretty much all we had.
**SPOILER FREE POST**
It turns out, the story revolves around Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), who is sent out on a mission by the rebels, to capture the plans for the Empire’s ‘planet killer’ – the Death Star. Though what she signed up for and what she ends up with, are not exactly the same thing.
Continue reading “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – I’ve got a good feeling about this”
Today, I finished the latest book on my shelf: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. And maybe you haven’t heard of it, but I needed to write something about it. Anything. Because hell does this book deserve it.
**SPOILER FREE POST**
Ari and Dante are a pair of teenage boys, living in El Paso. They are opposing forces. Ari loses himself to thoughts of his imprisoned brother, while Dante loses himself to poetry. Ari isn’t the best at communicating, while Dante is skilled with words. Ari is filled with insecurity where Dante is filled with self-confidence. But during the summer that they meet, their lives are intertwined on a journey of growth and friendship. A journey of discovering the truths of the world.
And doesn’t that sound like the most terrifying journey of all to a teenager?
Continue reading “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Poetic and poignant”
Alright so now that you’ve had a few days to get out and see the long-anticipated addition to J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Yates:2016), I think it’s safe for me to say my piece. And if you haven’t seen it yet, get yourself out to a cinema and watch it. Please. I’ve already had time to see it twice, what have you been doing?
Rowling’s wondrous world transports us back to New York in the 1920s, where one Newt Scamander arrives, armed with his precious case. A case filled with magical creatures. But how can you keep all those creatures in a case, I hear you ask? The answer is, you can’t, even with a little bit of magic, as Newt finds out when they begin to escape. Chaos ensues as Newt and co. try to round up all of his creatures before something happens to them, or anyone else.
Yeah, we know all that from the trailer, can we talk about the film now? Well, it would be my pleasure…
Continue reading “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Step back into the magic”