On Friday night I finished Ready Player One and I’m not going to sugar coat it guys, I hated it.  Well, to be fair, whilst I was reading it I thought it was enjoyable, albeit very irritating.  But by the time I got to the end I just hated it.  (important disclaimer: apologies if you loved it and I can fully understand why people would.  In fact, it’s been written in such a way that you probably feel it was written for you.  But it wasn’t.  It was written for one specific narcissist – Ernest Cline, the author)

The basic gist is this: In a dystopian 2044, the population of the world spend most of their time immersed in a virtual world called Oasis.  The creator of Oasis (a man obsessed by the 1980’s) dies and sets in motion an elaborate Easter Egg hunt involving the locating of keys and unlocking of gates, with the winner claiming the dead man’s fortune and control of this VR world.  

Obviously, spoilers abound from here on out, although, there is so little actual story in this book that it’s hard to really spoil it.

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It may have passed you by, but a new Star Wars film came out last year.  Wonderful times.  And it is a great deal of fun, I saw it three times.  But what you may have missed is that it contains some of the greatest incidents of trope busting modern blockbusters have seen.

Female led films are starting to become more prevalent these days, due in no small part to the Young Adult adaptations of Hunger Games and Divergent, but there are still some big realms to crack and one of those is Star Wars.  The original trilogy has Princess Leia as the lead female and she is great.  She is a leader, she fights, she gives Han Solo loads of shit and is generally awesome.  Outside of her however the decent roles for women are very slim, this video is a great example of how poorly served they were.  But old George had an excellent chance to redress this with his prequels.  It all started off quite well, in The Phantom Menace Padme runs around being involved a lot and shooting a few things.  But as the films play out she has less and less to do, finishing up in Sith basically being a blubbering baby making mess.  A character who is so defined by a man that when he turns evil she gives up the will to live, despite having just had two babies.  Absolutely disgusting.  Star Wars films then died a death for a while, which was no bad thing.

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Oldboy (2013)

Posted: September 22, 2015 in films
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Oldboy is Spike Lee’s 2013 remake of the outstanding Chan-wook Park Korean film of the same name. It’s the story of a man kidnapped on his daughters birthday and locked up for no apparent reason, then released 20 years later and left to discover who was responsible and more importantly why. Well, that’s what the original was about; this version decides it wants to be a race against time to save Joe’s daughter, with a side order of who, what and why.


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Tatiana Maslany is a 29-year-old Canadian actress and the star of Orphan Black. She is also brilliant. But despite her brilliance she was overlooked for an Emmy nomination for the shows’ first two seasons, thankfully that has now been rectified. Her lack of nominations was not a complete shock as sci-fi and fantasy programmes normally get a tough time from big awards ceremonies, although this year Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke all have a supporting nod for Game of Thrones. The X-Files was fairly successful and Quantum Leap had a few acting winners, but it is rare for genre shows to deliver a win outside of the technical categories or even be nominated for Writing or Direction. Galactica, one of the best shows to grace our screens in the last decade, failed to receive a single actor or top prize nomination. I think the problem arises from the main award being called ‘Best Drama’, as people still turn their nose up at genre shows. In fact Lost, a rare sci-fi show that appealed to the mainstream masses, was the first genre programme to win the Best Drama award in 2005. But I digress; we are here to talk about Maslany.

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Season 2 Hair Syndrome

Posted: September 7, 2015 in TV
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There is a phenomenon in TV shows that you are probably aware of, even if you don’t realise it. It’s called ‘Season 2 Hair Syndrome’ and goes as thus: show has first season, does well, comes back for a second season, one (although often more) of the female characters in it suddenly has drastically different hair. Now, this is not always limited to season 1-2 (for Sub-Commander T’Pol in Star Trek Enterprise it didn’t happen until season 4!) but it is here where we most commonly find it. On the surface you may think this is perfectly harmless, ‘women change their hair all the time’ you cry, which they do. But they normally don’t do so annually.

Simmons in Season 1 of AoS

Simmons in Season 1 of Shield

Simmons in Season 2 of Shield.

Simmons in Season 2 of Shield.

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Secret Wars is upon us! Again. It’s this years big Marvel event, a time normally treated with a mix of excitement and dread as I haven’t properly enjoyed one since Civil War. Siege. Secret Invasion, Fear Itself and Infinity were all ok, Original Sin was a big disappointment, Age of Ultron was a mess in places and I hated AvX. Marvel events normally suffer from one or more of these key problems: character over crowding, too many issues, too much of the story being in tie-in books and, occasionally, too big a variety of writers/artists. Secret Wars is 8 issues (promising) and is solely written by Jonathon Hickman and drawn by Esad Ribic. There are an enormous number of either tie in books or classic Marvel storylines being revisited, but due to the nature of the main story and Battleworld itself these tie-ins seem self-contained so far, which is another plus. With the discontinuing of most of their main books, for once Marvel isn’t forcing the majority of their characters to either tread water or be in two places at once during an event. This leaves Hickman free to tell the core story unhindered and makes it much easier for the reader.

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August 4th will see the software developer Rare release a Replay collection to celebrate their 30th anniversary. The Leicestershire based company were founded in 1985 and initially produced games for the ZX Spectrum before becoming a second party developer for Nintendo. This anniversary collection will include 30 games from the company’s entire history, starting with the Spectrum game Jet-Pac and ending with 2008’s Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise. Now, the thought of paying money for a collection of games that are either 30 years old or ‘kids’ games may not appeal to everyone, but think again. Regardless of platform Rare always made games that were unique and fun. They produced violent shooters, action/adventure titles, platformers, racing games and fighters, therefore catering to most tastes. Some of their strongest work came in their N64 years and this period produced three reasons why you should be excited about this upcoming collection:

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