Never Get Tired: the BTMI Story

Bomb the Music Industry

“An inescapably vital part of the Bomb The Music Industry! story lies in its ethics. These are substantially inspired by Fugazi and Ian Mackaye’s uncompromising efforts to create music and play for audiences in a framework detached from the exploitative commercial practices of the music industry…”

Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens still

It’s a sad truism of writing today that the less something needs writing about, the more writing there will be on it. Major pop-cultural events like the release of a new Star Wars film are relentlessly covered, from pre-release promotional puffery to post-release criticism. The reason for this is as simple as could be: people want to read about things they care about, even if what they end up reading tells them nothing new or of substance. And so this writing is produced: publications and websites want readers because readers mean revenue, and even non-commercial writers want readers because readers are often their primary means of validation. For all such parties, it feels good to feel part of a conversation.

With that in mind, here’s a short review of the new Star Wars film!

“I will kill them all!”: Thoughts on Attack on Titan

A titan's leering face

“It is, essentially, about a fear of being consumed. The series’ creative teams are well aware of this and spare little opportunity to viscerally represent the horrifying sight of people being eaten or to cut away at just the right moment to let the viewer’s appalled imagination do the work. The fear of being consumed is of course a natural one – for all human beings’ complex society and technology we are still ultimately meat and bone – and realising it via monsters who look much like large, sexless versions of ourselves is just the icing on the loathsome cake.”

Elysium & Snowpiercer: exploding heads vs. rail sociology

Snowpiercer hatchetmen

Elysium is bad science fiction on just about every level, and a pretty poor film to boot. Snowpiercer, by contrast, is a fascinating study of human social psychology in a high-stress environment.

This Is the End: a petty apocalypse

This Is the End feat

A shower of narcissistic celebutards and vain Hollywood types gather for a party that happens to coincide with the Rapture and the subsequent end of the world? How could this go wrong?

Alien Uprising (film, 2012)

Alien Uprising feat

A British film about alien invasion? We’ve seen a few of those recently. Into the fray comes this mixed effort from director Dominic Burns.

Shellshock Rock: a humanistic record of the ’78/79 Belfast punk scene

Shellshock Rock is a punk rock documentary with an interesting history and provenance. Shot between 1978 and 1979, it’s a surprisingly affectionate record of the Belfast punk scene of the time. Now, it’s tricky for me to talk about this era with any degree of authenticity as I wasn’t born until ’82, but everything I’ve read […]

Lunopolis (2010)

I was sent a t-shirt along with my review copy of Lunopolis upon which were printed the words “There are people on the moon. They are from the future. And they run our government.” This is a remarkably concise précis of the plot of this oddball film, and further a useful indicator of its serious style. It’s a […]

Pontypool (2009)

Well, here’s something I’ve been meaning to write for about five months. The film Pontypool is pretty old news now: I originally heard about it in early 2010 due to its appearance on a ‘Best Horror of 2009’ list, and its original theatrical release was almost two years ago. Question of timeliness aside, I think Pontypool […]

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows – Part One (2010)

Title’s a bit of a mouthful, huh? But then, the Harry Potter series is nothing if not occasionally clumsy. I suspect that the Potter series may be the longest-running consecutive series of films, with 8 titles (including the unreleased follow-up to this entry) spread between 2001 and 2011. This excludes James Bond as the films are […]