Author: James Ruzicka

M3gan (2023): Plastic Fantastic

There must be something good in the coffee on board American Airlines, because I watched three films on one of their flights this week and they all seemed pretty great. I’d previously skipped M3gan on its theatrical release because I assumed from the name that it must be a sequel to movies called something like […]

Joker (2019): Crimelord or Edgelord?

I have come late to this film but it seems to my eye more or less as zeitgeisty now as it was on its release in 2019. Joaquim Phoenix gives a highly committed performance as the unemployed clown and aspiring stand up Arthur Fleck who, having been let down by life, psychiatrically ill, his medical […]

Bonus Features

This week on the pod we’re talking about the Werner Herzog picture Grizzly Man. It’s an amazing collage of interviews, archive material and found footage, but interestingly there is a bonus feature on the DVD about the making of the film’s soundtrack which probably sheds as much light on one of the primary themes of […]

Ratatouille (2007): The Epicureans

Many years ago we enjoyed a wonderful week’s holiday in Paris, and, yes, we did go to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre and the Fondation le Corbusier, but largely we spent our time eating. Every night we visited a different restaurant, with the exception of a place almost opposite the hotel called ‘Les Epicureans’, […]

Mission: Impossible 2 (2000): Beachball Bingo

The Cruise-a-thon continues, with Mission Impossible 2, the John Woo-directed CinemaScope-explosion of action-idiocy. I remember liking this film quite a lot when it first came out, but I spent the first half of this rewatch inwardly sneering at the ludicrousness of the story and the ridiculous, over the top melodrama of every scene. And then […]

The One Scene Movie: Mission: Impossible (1996)

Welcome back to the Tom Cruise Cinema Club. I recently returned with the whole family to watch the Brian de Palma-helmed, curiously punctuated Mission: Impossible for the first time since seeing it on its theatrical release, and found a few surprises. One: the internet. Wow, it’s easy to forget how recently the internet became omnipresent. […]

Oh Dear: Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

Okay. That’s it. I might just have to give up watching films from the 1980s. It’s a shame, but they’re just too damn weird. I’d never seen 1987’s Adventures in Babysitting before this week. It’s the directing debut of Chris Columbus, and it’s true that the basic shape of the film is good. Elizabeth Shue […]

ChatGPT: what now for writers?

Imagine asking Isaac Asimov or Arthur C Clarke sixty years ago what their most optimistic vision of humankind’s future might look like. Perhaps they would have suggested a utopia where robots and computers do all the menial jobs leaving humans to concentrate on pursuits like art and writing. Cleverly we seem to be working on […]