you may have missed the boat on: JOURNEYQUEST

A web series fantasy tale, with its tongue nestled nicely in its cheek, about a group of misfit adventurers on a quest to find a mystical sword. Riddled with fantastic (no pun intended…) characters – such as the hapless wizard, the droll elf, the apathetic paladin and the moronic brave knight (who is “far too brave to grant mercy”) – and endless witticisms, we follow a young enthusiastic Bard who is recording the epic story with journalistic prowess.

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Another year another round of Oscars. Unlike other years, the nominations weren’t the worst this time around, so Elizabeth and I decided to get on our horses high and judge them in almost staccato bursts of critiquism. Agree or disagree? Film talk times are fun times.

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Red Dwarf X

Creator of Wild Horse and self confessed “target audience member” Rowan Roff leaves the despair squid behind and just goes with it in his discussion of the long awaited Red Dwarf X.

After Roger Federer’s disappointing loss to Andy Murray in this year’s Australian Open, many critics have begun saying his glory days are behind him. He’s too old. He doesn’t have the hunger anymore. He’ll never return to world #1 and he’ll never win another “Grand Slam” tournament. But if Roger is still playing quality tennis and still making a living doing something he loves, why would he stop playing? Oh wait, this is a Red Dwarf review.

The Red Dwarf series is now in its tenth season. It’s been almost 25 years since the show first aired and over 13 years since the last proper season aired. Red Dwarf X maintains the usual setting of being 3 million years in the future on the Red Dwarf mining ship where Vending Machine Service Technician Dave Lister is joined by his usual gang of misfits: The hologram of his immediate superior Arnold Rimmer, the fabulous-feline creature known only as Cat, and a rescued service mechanoid Kryten. (Sadly, the on-board computer Holly is absent completely and, not-so-sadly, so is female crew member Kristine Kochanski).

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In America for a period just over a decade a series of devilish prank calls were made to grocery stores and fast food restaurants where the caller manipulated workers into varying levels of sexual humiliation, under the guise of an authority figure – managers or police usually. The hoax came to an end in 2004 with arguably the most serious of the cases wherein a young female McDonald’s worker was accused of theft, detained in the office, strip searched and eventually sexually assaulted, all entirely by the power of manipulation and the manager complying without question to the requests of the “police man” on the phone. Compliance is based on this situation, and it is a subtle, powerful, beautiful and utterly uncomfortable and compelling film.

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Gangster Squad PosterIt’s 1949 in Los Angeles and while the young men have finally come home, the war is not over. Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is a Jewish boxer who has risen up the ranks of the mob, and has his sights set on taking over all of California. Sadistic and brutal, and with the manner of someone who has taken one too many hits to the head, he doesn’t care how many policeman he has to bribe or rivals he needs to murder to get what he wants. With Cohen’s money and influence trickling through politicians and the police force like blood down a gutter, what seems like the only six honest men left in LA band together to form a vigilante group to bring him down: the Gangster Squad.

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