Bright movie review, and critics vs. film viewers

I said I was going to try and get better at keeping this blog updated with my latest work. So here is my first vlog of 2018, looking at Netflix's big budget urban fantasy film, Bright, starring Will Smith, directed by David Ayer and written by Max Landis. I also briefly look at two recent incidents where critical opinion clashed violently with that of ordinary cinemagoers and home viewers.
You can watch my video review below. Alternatively, if you're not a vlogging fan or can't watch the clip for whatever reason, you can read my script notes beneath the video as a rough written review.

Happy New Year and I wish you all the best with your personal projects for 2018.

Looking back a little bit, we ended December with an interesting situation in entertainment. Two cases in the past few weeks where movie critics and the public have been at strong odds with each other Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is a helluva lot more divisive than I expected, with…

Annual birthday blog post: 2018 thoughts edition

Apologies for this blog looking so deserted. Just a friendly reminder that I do a lot of my pop culture commentary and reviews for Critical Hit these days, in addition to the movie feature every month in Gamecca Magazine. Occasionally, I also contribute to IGN Africa.

That said, I promise to become better about linking to my work here (expect a huge catch-up post soon), but don’t forget I highlight my latest work almost daily on my Facebook page, which I recommend you Like. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel, which I’ve committed to updating more frequently this year.

Speaking of 2018, here we are a week and a bit into January. I always struggle mood-wise this time of year. Having a birthday in early January makes you extra contemplative about yourself, your achievements and your place in the world.

So, to look back…

2017 highlights
I managed to attend all the major geeky cons and expos in South Africa (Cape Town’s FanCon, Durban's ICON by the Sea, and Johannesburg’s ICO…

Reviews and Writing Recap: March to May edition

It's been a while since the last one of these posts, collecting all my creative output. In that time I've created a Facebook page, as well as put a lot more effort into my YouTube channel. These are alternate ways to stay on top of my writing and other work, so please Like/Follows and Subscribe if you're interested in keeping up to date.

Anyway, here's the latest collection of my reviews, articles and stories, etc. and where to find them.

Written movie reviews:

Wonder Woman second opinion - A comic fan's reflection [Critical Hit]
Baywatch - More like Borewatch, amirite? [Critical Hit]
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge - About as fresh as Tortuga tavern stew [Critical Hit]
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge - Second opinion [Geek Node]
Beauty and the Beast - Ultra-faithful, for better or worse [Geek Node]

Feature articles and opinion:

The Mini Me Memorables experience
"Female superhero movies are the worst!" [Critical Hit]
Riverdale: The …

Wonder Woman and Lara Croft: A character comparison

Because it's Wonder Woman day, or weekend, or hopefully forever, I had to invest my pent-up (p)fangirl enthusiasm into something. The result was this video, delving into the characters of Wonder Woman and Lara Croft, and how they compare as two substantially different heroines:

If you don't want to watch me ramble on, here's the video script to read instead:

Lara Croft and Wonder Woman are both icons. One is the First lady of video games (literally) and the other the first female costumed superhero. Being icons they’ve had to bear a lot of representational burden over the years.

What was interesting to me to discover was, especially among cosplayers, the number of Tomb Raider fans who are also Wonder Woman fans. Why are people drawn to these two characters in particular - who I see as being quite different?

I’ve given this a lot of thought. There’s my ongoing fan fiction Living Legend, on and Archive of Our Own. It’s a Wonder Woman-Tomb Raider crossover sto…

Peak Adulting! Rise of the Tomb Raider reenacted with LEGO

Just a little fun for today, following yesterday's post on making a custom LEGO minifigure through Mini Me Memorables. Well, after my little Lara Croft arrived, I did what most adults do: I used it as an excuse to haul out my childhood LEGO (the Knights and Castles stuff of course, because that was always the best!).

More specifically, I reenacted the third act of Rise of the Tomb Raider, because the Deathless Ones were far more challenging (and therefore satisfying) opponents than the military goons employed by Trinity.

The Mini Me Memorables experience

This post is result of a trade exchange between Mini Me Memorables and myself. Specifically, I was invited to create my own Mini Me in exchange for a review/feature based on the experience.

When it comes to buying geeky gifts, there’s no shortage of options these days. But is there really anything better than LEGO? It doesn’t matter how old you are – assembling and posing it always brings on the nostalgic warm fuzzies of childhood play.

Online retailer Mini Me Memorables takes the experience further by allowing you to create your own customised LEGO minifigure from their huge inventory of original, out the box parts. With the ability to add your own unique message, these are great as personalised birthday presents, quirky corporate gifts; even wedding cake toppers.

Most people seem to make a “mini me” of themselves or the gift recipient. Myself, I decided to make a LEGO Lara Croft (what a surprise!) for some desktop inspiration.

What quickly became apparent to me is that you want to…

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 - My 5-point video review

As much as my heart belongs to the written word, one thing I learned painfully last month was that vlogging is the future. Or, it's the current future flavour - with PR companies increasingly reaching out to fresh-faced YouTubers over the conventional media to promote their properties. For better or worse, video is colourful, exciting and incredibly easy/passive to consume.

So I'm dabbling in the medium again.

My differentiator is that I'm not a conventional "genki" vlogger. I'm older, I'm more introverted, but I offer considered opinion and commentary in a compact form. My videos should rarely cross the 5-minute mark because ain't nobody got time for that. Also, my work is fully scripted, so if you don't want to look at my consternated mug, you can just read the transcript, which I will also make available online.

To start, here's my low-tech 5-point review of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2:

Hi again.

I’m back with my low-tech, short, 5-poi…