Welcome to a new, and probably very sporadic, series. Recently two of my housemates, Luke and Guy, and I started a ‘tradition’ where we each pick a film that we want to show the other two, then sit down and watch them all back to back. While it’s not the most original tradition it’s been thoroughly enjoyable on the couple of times we’ve done it, and I thought I’d give our latest set of three a write up, along with some comments from Luke and Guy. I’m going to try and do this without spoilers but there may be small plot details I give away. Without further ado, let’s get into our first film. Continue reading “Mini Movie Marathon 1: “I, Daniel Blake”, “Sweeney Todd” and “Lost in Translation””
After months of nervously waiting to hear about which shows would be renewed and which would be canned by their networks, fans’ hearts were broken when it was announced that popular sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine would not be renewed by Fox, and that the currently-airing fifth season would be its last. A mass outpouring of support immediately followed from fans across every platform of social media, with the hashtags #RenewB99 and #SaveB99 immediately gaining enormous traction.
To some the news is perhaps a tad unsurprising – Fox has never been the most reliable with its shows, especially those with big fanbases but only decent TV ratings. Fans of the 2002 space western extravaganza Firefly are still furious about the network’s actions, where the opening episodes were aired out of order and the show was cancelled after just one season. Other casualties of Fox’s harshness have been Futurama (despite the network also airing The Simpsons, both created by Matt Groening) and Arrested Development, which had to fight tooth and nail to even get its third season, at which point it was promptly cancelled. There have been rumblings about Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s fate for quite a while now, stretching back to the fourth season when there was uncertainty as to whether the show would get a fifth. Thankfully that time it was renewed and the writers have been able to prepare for this situation – while the season five finale ‘Jake and Amy’ is not intended to be a series-ender, creator Mike Schur (Parks and Recreation, The Good Place) has previously stated that it could serve as one if need be. The fifth season has also packed in its content, tackling even more of the tough issues that it has never shied away from.
Spoilers from this point
Personally, I’m pretty devastated by this news. As a UK viewer I’m pretty much stuck with the catalogue of episodes on Netflix, meaning that I’ve not yet been able to watch much of season five. Readers who know me will know how much I go on about Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago’s romance, but in reality the show is far more than that. It’s a genuinely progressive, thought-provoking show, not afraid to tackle difficult topics like police brutality, the US prison system, and racial profiling. Rosa Diaz’s coming out as bisexual in this latest season is a particular highlight, well-written and treated with the respect it deserves in a thoroughly heartwarming and emotional moment. The show also manages to subvert your expectations of sitcoms throughout – Peralta, for example, could have so easily been an arrogant jock lead, but instead he’s developed from season one up until now into an intelligent detective who adores and supports everyone around him. Equally Santiago could have been written as a killjoy who’s only focused on work, but instead she’s ambitious and focused while still being a key member of the squad, having fun and joking around like the rest of them. I particularly love the development of Boyle and Diaz’s relationship – Boyle starts season one being in love with Diaz, and a lot of sitcoms would have resulted in her giving him a chance despite her initial disinterest. But instead, Diaz tells Boyle she’s not interested, and he (eventually gets over it), no longer bothering her and instead they become extremely close friends. It’s such a rare development that the show’s writers deserve full credit for, showing how much of a shame it is that it will no longer be on Fox.
However, as the show itself constantly reminds you, all is not lost, and there are reasons to be positive about the show’s future. The previously mentioned Arrested Development and Futurama both went on to get more seasons – the former on Netflix (where its fifth season is being released later this month) and the latter on Comedy Central. Early signs suggest that Brooklyn Nine-Nine may also receive a lifeline from another network, with many willing to take a chance on the show. Rumours suggest that multiple sources are interested, with TBS and NBC (who aired Parks and Rec and currently show The Good Place) being named along with streaming giants Hulu and Netflix. Fingers crossed that we get more of this wonderful wholesome sitcom in the very near future.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch is another in the long list of excellent/frustrating Mario Kart games. This is probably a list that no-one asked for but hey, I’ve been playing it a lot with my housemates lately and we briefly discussed our favourite items, so here it is in official blog post form! (I will try not to make this stupidly long but strap in, we have twenty-two items to get through…)
The Feather will not be included in this list since it is a Battle-mode-only item and I did not know it existed.
This is the bane of anyone who’s leading in Mario Kart. There’s someone behind you who will definitely get a red shell from their box, so you need something to defend yourself, but there is the almost entirely useless coin. By far the least satisfying item.
The Greatest Showman is a whirlwind of excitement, music, and colour all rolled into one two-and-a-half hour experience. Since having seen it a couple of weeks ago I’ve been pretty much constantly listening to the soundtrack, replacing my usual combination of my one enormous playlist and the other musicals’ soundtracks I listen to. And after so much time of hearing Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya and many more belting out hit after hit, I got thinking about which songs were my favourites. This, obviously, translated into a blog post in traditional list form! So sit back and enjoy as I run through every song in the film and get excited about how good they are.
Note: This list will not include the two ‘reprisals’ included on the soundtrack, but will include a mention of them in the posts for the main songs.
Readers, it probably won’t surprise you too much to learn that I adore the Nintendo series Animal Crossing. While I can hardly claim to be a veteran, since I’ve only played the DS versions of Wild World and New Leaf, these two games alone have been enough to develop a certain fondness for the series which can really only be described as ‘Peacefully Coexisting With Animals: The Video Game”. However, I just can’t bring myself to love the new mobile release of Pocket Camp as much as so many other people do, and I’ll try to explain exactly why this is.
The recent Catalan referendum has seen incredible amounts of political intrigue for months now, which has only been intensified after the result, with the vast majority of those who voted wanting to secede from Spain and form their own independent nation. It’s an incredibly complex situation spanning politics, economics and the whole of society.
But on this blog, we’re going to examine an aspect that doesn’t really matter at all. Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has said that he would retire from the Spanish team if his teammates and fans did not want him there, which brings up a mildly interesting point on the possibility of him playing for Catalonia, along with various other Spanish players and internationals. But how good would a Catalonia side really be? Would they be capable of winning an international tournament? Let’s examine the potential players and find out!
Canabalt is an infinite runner game which I first came across years ago on one of those flash game websites that used to take up all my time (Miniclip? NotDoppler? Kongregate?) and was adapted for release on Steam in 2015, currently available for £1.99.