Red Dead Redemption 2 and the emotional joy of video games

  THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE RED DEAD REDEMPTION VIDEO GAME.  Video games have come in for a bad rap over the years. This almost always simmers down to a lack of understanding: people who don’t play finding the attraction confusing and therefore rubbishing its existence. An exercise dripping with insecurity. In its earlier years especially, gaming was demonised for allegedly instigating real-life violence in players who committed grievous acts on-screen, fully ignoring the millions of us who didn’t … Read More

Black Mirror – Series 3 | Upload us all to the cloud

During the week leading up to Halloween we can expect a collection of film and TV outlets to clamour for our attention. It’s officially the most deliberately horrifying month of the year, yet the most frightening thing you can watch this week is undoubtedly the third series of Black Mirror. As if Charlie Brooker’s enviable way of packaging up how we live and communicate through a worst-case-scenario lens wasn’t already brilliant, on Netflix everything’s that little bit bigger, bolder, sharper. There … Read More

The Magnificent Seven & Making a Case for Remakes

If social media has taught us anything, it’s that hell hath no fury like the rage typed in reaction to a movie remake announcement. Apparently nothing shakes us to our core more than a new spin on something we know and love, despite it having no impact on the existence or the brilliance of the original. When you crave something that avoids nostalgia, in can be tedious to get a repeat of what’s been done before. Between adaptations from page-to-screen … Read More

5 YouTube Channels to Chill Out With

Contrary to the overwhelmingly true advice that we shouldn’t look at glowing screens at night, I have for several years enjoyed watching YouTube before bed. Though, I will often knock the brightness down and set the colours to Night Shift if I’m using my phone over my XBox One. I’m quite particular about who I watch before sleep and anyone too shouty or overstimulating has to wait for the morning. That’s not to say that the channels I choose to … Read More

Hell or High Water | Film

If the Western is to be a permanent fixture in American cinema, how does it evolve? It can, of course, keep looking back to a time when land was fiercely scrambled for. But what of life in the contemporary westerly United States? With all the flourishing head rushes of climbing on a horse and driving flags into the ground long gone, there are new stories to be told on that same terrain. You can watch Hell or High Water like … Read More

Truly, Madly, Guilty – Liane Moriarty | Books

When it comes to her characters, Liane Moriarty is a sneaky writer. In Truly, Madly, Guilty, the latest addition to her growing library of novels, her stars are so ordinary you almost don’t notice them becoming fixtures in your life. Ordinary isn’t to be confused with bland, though. They all have enough neuroses, drama and humour to keep them sparking, it’s just that their suburban worries and spats are so recognisable that they become people you feel you know almost … Read More

Noma: My Perfect Storm | Documentary

Few of us will have the funds or the free time to travel the world visiting the restaurants officially touted the best, though it’s certainly a nice dream. Despite swinging a personal pendulum between despising pretension in food and admiring the dedication it takes to care intensely about the placement of each micro-herb leaf, Copenhagen’s Noma always ticked a lot of boxes for me. In the new documentary Noma: My Perfect Storm, my inclination to applaud more than scoff is fully … Read More

Stranger Things, video tapes and the fluttering nature of nostalgia

Every generation has a way of accessing their childhood entertainment that ends up being wholly redundant. Technology drags us forward at breakneck speed, yet those moments in time carry such satisfyingly plump nostalgic weight, they stay important to us long after their method of delivery turns naff. VCRs have been flung into local council skips for years. Last week, the very final unit was manufactured. For those of us whose childhoods bled between the late 70s and the 1980s, the video … Read More

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