Final Space dropped this year and it grew on me like a beautifully animated fungus.
For those not familiar with the show, IMDB describes it as:
“An astronaut named Gary and his planet-destroying sidekick called Mooncake embark on serialized journeys through space in order to unlock the mystery of where the universe actually ends and if it actually does exist.”
I describe it as Invader Zim meets Star Wars with a dash of found-family and a nice helping of pathological sincerity. It’s great. Which of course means I’m now going to critically rip it to pieces. It’s how I show my love.
Here are some lessons — good and bad — that we should all take from Final Space.
SPOILERS AHOY! (Also very slight spoilers for The Haunting of Hill House)Read More
Spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok ahead! I also allude to scenes and sequences from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and both Guardians of the Galaxy movies just FYI.
I saw Thor: Ragnarok in cinemas when I was having a particularly rough time and for a brief, shining moment the world was good again. My pain was forgotten, my depression cured, flowers bloomed beneath my feet as I left the cinema and bunnies stood poised to break into song.
Taika Waititi is the sort of storyteller I would step over a body to have a beer with. As someone who’s been steadily falling out of love with the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last few years, Thor: Ragnarok was like a shot of adrenalin. It was funny, it was heartfelt, and it broke so many rules but in the best of ways.
Here’s my rundown of what writers can learn from Thor: Ragnarok.Read More
Spoilers for The Shape of Water ahead!
The Shape of Water is out in cinemas and I’ve never been more creatively in love with Guillermo del Toro. This isn’t a surprise, honestly. Del Toro’s previous movies are some of my absolute favourites and I have a long-standing obsession with all things fairytale, both as a reader and a writer. So I entered the cinema with high hopes and left with actual, literal tears of happiness on my face.
But while I could spend 1000 words waxing poetic about The Shape of Water in general, I instead want to spend 1000 words waxing poetic about what The Shape of Water can teach writers. Because, my dudes, this movie is a finely-crafted masterclass of storytelling.
Here, in no particular order, are the main writing lessons I took away from The Shape of Water.Read More
CONTAINS SPOILERS: Read at your own risk if you haven’t seen The Last Jedi.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi just hit cinemas and, in some ways, has rebounded off the screen to sprawl sadly on the popcorn-strewn floor. As of my writing this there’s a disparity of just under 40% between the critic and audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes making it a divisive movie to say the least.
A few of those half and one star reviews no doubt belong to the same fans that were offended by the idea of a black stormtrooper and female lead in The Force Awakens because The Last Jedi is probably the most diverse Star Wars movie to date.
Women are everywhere – wielding the force, sacrificing themselves for the cause, and just… well… existing. X-wing pilots, admirals, tech runners, control room operators. It was legit lovely to see.
But for every review screaming PC Culture Gone Mad there are some very solid, very relevant arguments against The Last Jedi having earned it’s 93% critic review score.Read More
This’ll contain spoilers, y’all.
So first off, I really enjoyed the ambiguity of the show as a whole in terms of unreliable narration etc etc but there were just SO VERY MANY storytelling flubs I’m surprised I didn’t end the season rocking in a corner. The most frustrating part for me was it has all the makings of a really tight, interesting story but feels like it was rushed off the line after the second draft.
So here you go, have my draft notes.Read More