Review: Black Mirror Season 4 Episode 3 “Crocodile”

The purpose of ‘Black Mirror’, at least from my perspective, is to captivate with possibility, particularly the technological, then showcase consequence, horror, and the enveloping nature of how opportunity can develop into a prison. For this to work, the ending, twist or resolution must elicit a strong emotional punch, to send the message to the … Continue reading Review: Black Mirror Season 4 Episode 3 “Crocodile”

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Review: Black Mirror Season 4 Episode 1 “USS Callister”

The science fiction genre is arguably cinema’s most allegorical, allowing for humanity as a whole to be represented and discussed. ‘Black Mirror’ taps into that, giving representation to a character in a science fiction video game, who believes he is undermined and belittled in real life. Yet, the show then uproots that idea with an … Continue reading Review: Black Mirror Season 4 Episode 1 “USS Callister”

Review: The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 4 “Some Guy”

Ezekiel’s journey here is admittedly a heart-breaking one, that benefits from Khary Payton’s performance. Yet, it also relies heavily upon tried and clichéd emotional beats, that set-up the predictable nature of the episode from the get-go. This forced sense of sympathy therefore often feels stale, bland and superficial. The ideas being presented, especially regarding Ezekiel’s … Continue reading Review: The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 4 “Some Guy”

Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 9 “Chapter Nine: The Gate”

Similarly to the ending of Season 1, I have major issues with how the show constructed this cliff-hanger and how it views its audience. The ending is extremely derivative, predictable and ultimately not even exciting, as the face-less villain, while threatening in concept and in regard to its scope, seems to meander in the background. … Continue reading Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 9 “Chapter Nine: The Gate”

Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 8 “Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer”

The Duffer Brothers provide exceptional direction throughout this episode, masterfully matching and fitting sequences together to sustain momentum and the horrific confrontation within the science facility. The characters all come together organically, and while Billy’s story and abuse seem awkwardly irrelevant, the heightened sense of dread is rarely displaced, as the writers continue their onslaught … Continue reading Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 8 “Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer”

Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 5 “Chapter Five: Dig Dug”

The sense of dread, division and escalating tensions is well woven into this episode through a strong directorial push from Andrew Stanton. However, while Stanton does his best to interweave sequences, the story feels disjointed, especially as the central gang splits on their own pathways. This would be fine if each narrative had a true … Continue reading Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 5 “Chapter Five: Dig Dug”

Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 4 “Chapter Four: Will The Wise”

Creating a slow-burn, creeping, and eventually traumatising tone is fine if the writers are able to selectively balance set-up with catharsis. Unfortunately, 'Stranger Things' is yet to get the mixture just right, again relying heavily upon teases upon teases with few answers being presented. Extending out a mystery over a season is not a bad … Continue reading Review: Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 4 “Chapter Four: Will The Wise”