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Reviews

Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 09:21 by BenCTurnbull

Another promising project, another let down. Spoilers to come

Story

We meet out royal family on a technologically-shielded moon city, Attilan, and learn that they have been there for quite some time, after having fled from tensions on earth. The story then quickly proceeds to tear the protagonists apart and leave them scattered on earth to start their individual journeys. Meanwhile, Maximus, the rebel brother of king Black Bolt, is left to manipulate their home into his own.

The following 6 episodes are spent with our family forming bonds and enduring struggles of their own on earth including being lost in the wilderness, arrest, and experimentation. Through interaction with secondary characters, we learn of some of the backstory to the Inhumans and bit-by-bit they...

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Monday, October 30, 2017 - 12:31 by BenCTurnbull

Building up to the next instalment of the MCU, I couldn’t help but have a few worries. Yes, Marvel make great movies but, also yes, they have a few reoccurring troubles which I wasn’t sure if this film would avoid or not. Rather than posting the concerns, I thought I’d review the film considering them. I’ve linked to the full details of those concerns in an appendix/footnotes style. A few very minor spoilers ahead but let’s get on with it.

Worry 1: the plot with be fragment and/or chaotic (1)

We are introduced to a Ragnarok storyline with a thoroughly well embedded Planet Hulk subplot. The two are weaved together nicely and Hulk’s story does not feel gratuitous in the slightest. The story itself gives us some idea of what Thor and Banner have been up to for 2 years as...

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Monday, October 30, 2017 - 09:20 by BenCTurnbull

My second ever con fell on my birthday weekend and as such a group of 6 of us took to Glasgow for some time away to nerd-up and chill-out. This time I decided to give cosplay a go and spent the summer on and off planning and building myself a reasonable Adrian Toombes (“Vulture”; Spiderman: homecoming) costume. It’s not the most amazing but given that it was my first go at this I am quite proud. The con itself was another exciting demonstration of the vast array of nerdery and the cosplay lived up to this. From casual dressers to occupational cosplayers and from niche subcultures through to Marvel and WWE we had it all. Particularly well represented were Deadpools, Spidermans, Harley Quinns, and Ricks. But enough of that, what about the strengths and weaknesses of the con as a whole?...

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Sunday, October 29, 2017 - 14:24 by BenCTurnbull

This film caught my eye upon first viewing the trailer. Having enjoyed biopics/semi-biographical films such as Creation (Charles Darwin), Finding Neverland (J M Barrie), and Black Mass (Whitey Bulger), the idea of a human story behind one of the most beloved childhood stories seemed a sure bet. What I experienced did not let down and whilst it was not perfect it was a warming, enjoyable, and emotionally engaging story.

We meet A. A. Milne post-world war one, despondent with the way people are acting as if nothing happened and sure of humanity repeating their mistakes. Through the struggles of family and the world, we experience the journeys of both Milne and his son Christopher which ultimately leads to the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories. The principle characters are...

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 19:59 by BenCTurnbull

Set in the world of Godzilla (2014) but way earlier during the cold war, an unmapped island is discovered and a team set up to investigate it. Before long, they are accosted by giant gorilla and settle in to discover that the island is full of gigantic versions of animals, a peaceful human tribe, and ruled by Kong himself. Now…I wasn’t excited by this film (nor interested at all) as I’ve never been a fan of monster movies and the first in this universe quite frankly sucked (Broderik’s Godzilla is perhaps the exception). But a raving review from a trusted friend, a reasonable trailer, and a cast consisting of half of the Marvel universe persuaded me to give it a go. I was not only not disappointed but actually impressed with what followed, for reasons I’ll outline below.

Overall...

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Monday, August 21, 2017 - 15:51 by BenCTurnbull

It’s fair to say that I was excited for The Defenders. The Netflix MCU branch has been strong throughout (bar Iron Fist, comments about which you can see in my review) and the potential in a get-together was high. Much as Avengers Assemble brought together the feed from five films into one of the best superhero movies ever, Defenders was poised to do the same with five shows feeding into a more gritty and aggressive cousin of the film epic. What we were handed did not live up to that hype nor potential. It wasn’t overall bad but just suffered in several ways in which it shouldn’t have. It wasn’t the meh of Iron Fist but it didn’t capture what it was set up to do. But let’s stop being mean, what did the show do well?

Its first strength was not starting us off with an assembled...

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Saturday, June 3, 2017 - 13:34 by BenCTurnbull

Despite a promising trailer, and the excitement which followed, I still approached Wonder Woman with tepid caution. Following on from the fragmented blandness of Man of Steel, the ‘two films badly cut into one’ of Dawn of Justice, and an altogether fun but with poor plot choice and horrific CGI Suicide Squad, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I half thought that we’d be treated to an awfully Snyderised rendition of Captain America and be left with no hope for DC’s movie universe. I could not have been more wrong in my suspicions for what I experienced was nothing short of one of the best superhero movies in the last few years (and those of you that know me know how much I love Logan and Civil War).

Its plot is absolutely on point. The entire film, though set in the past, is...

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 09:53 by BenCTurnbull

Hero Conventions’ Edinburgh Comic Con was a first for me on two grounds. Firstly, it was my first ever con (or simply anything like it) and, secondly, it was my first time going anywhere with a press pass. I was both excited and nervous as well as slightly unsure what to expect on either account. One of the biggest things which struck me was the shear inclusivity of it all. There are certain stereotypes about gender which are totally smashed by the diversity of the attendees and that was utterly wonderful to see (though, I suppose a little saddening that I found that note-worthy!). Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience which has sparked my interest in conventions and as such I’m hoping to go to many more in the future! But enough about me, let’s talk about EdiCon.

...

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 09:41 by BenCTurnbull

Walking in to the theatre I was filled with both excitement an apprehension. As a child of the (American) Power Rangers revolution I was unsure what they could have done to update this cheesy mixture of spandex-laden teenagers doing an unnecessary quantity of backflips. Turns out they can remove both the spandex as well as the backflips in place of awesome space suits and actual fighting. I was pleasantly surprised by what turned out to be a genuinely good film with some great updates to bring it in line with modern superheroes (the trailer, let’s be honest, is a better Fantastic Four film than any of the “Fantastic” 3 which have happened). It also provided more substance than the original by creating backstory amongst not only the characters but also in relation to true events on...

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Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 13:19 by BenCTurnbull

I find myself, once again, short of words when it comes to describing Iron Fist as a show but unlike before it is not for good reasons. We are introduced to a homeless Danny Rand as he attempts to return to western society and reintegrate into his family’s company whilst convincing the world that he’s not actually dead. We then learn that in the 15 years since his supposed death he has been training to be the ‘Iron Fist’: a warrior of martial arts who is able to focus his chi and enhance his hand as a weapon. He has returned to use his strengths for good and then things happen. But that’s precisely where Iron Fist falls short as a show: things just happen. It’s not that the show is bad but that it’s also not particularly good either. It lingers in the fuzzy zone which leaves you a feel...

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