Life is Strange (Spoiler-Free Review) – they’ve just got so many feelings

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Life is Strange – the decision based graphic adventure game from Square Enix – slipped past my gaze during its ten-month 2015 release. It’s a video game so engrossing and evocative I wish I’d paid it more attention when its name was first floating around social media. I also wish I’d written it. Having only now completed all five episodes over the space of a few weeks, I’m still feeling its emotional impact several days after closing the book on … Read More

Preacher – Rogen & Goldberg hit the bullseye

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Vertigo’s Preacher comic book series, first published over a six year period from 1995, has two shining lights: it’s effortlessly cool to the point of privately painting yourself into the panels, and it’s unceasingly compelling. As a more recent reader, the discipline needed in putting one book down and not diving head-first into the next in the interest of making it last wasn’t always summoned. The agony of reading Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s clever melding of words and artwork … Read More

Why we should let teachers keep their regional accents

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According to a report by linguistics expert Dr Alex Baratta at the University of Manchester, student teachers from the North of England feel pressured into relinquishing their regional accents for one more clipped. Mentors have suggested to some during training that their original accents weren’t clear enough to be understood by pupils, some have been ridiculed for their accents and were made to feel inferior, while in one case a participant reported that an interviewer contemplated stopping an interview due … Read More

Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising – Bare Torsos and Ninja Feminism

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Much is written about comedy’s power to deliver important messages and instigate debate while wrapped in a duvet of laughs so cosy we’re relaxed into discussing contentious issues. Almost like swallowing an opioid before receiving bad news, it chills us out. Chris Rock’s monologue on diversity at the 2016 Oscars, for instance, packed an applause-worthy punch while still making most of the audience smile along with him as he ripped their collective industry apart. The weight of balance between fun and … Read More

April 2016 Comics – Hits and Misses

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Most Promising New Series – Poe Dameron (Marvel) When I heard that your boyfriend, Poe Dameron, was getting his own comic series I was giddy with anticipation. I’m yet to find anyone whose heart doesn’t thump for Oscar Isaac in his orange flight suit, exuding rebellious-for-a-good-cause spirit. But what really set my anticipation sensors tingling was the news that Marvel were placing the series in the hands of Charles Soule and Phil Noto. Charles Soule is currently one of their … Read More

Captain America: Civil War – A Stylish Start to Phase Three – No Spoilers

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You can usually spot a confident person simply by the way they carry themselves. There’s an admirable, breezy, yet quiet contentment that exudes from knowing and liking exactly who you are. Captain America: Civil War is the film-based embodiment of just that. It oozes warranted self-esteem. In a genre sometimes crowded by Marvel Studios’ own schedule of releases, Civil War puts to bed any low rumblings that they might be on the wane. It is absolutely their most well-rounded film … Read More

Beyoncé’s Lemonade – equal parts empowerment and vulnerability

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When Beyoncé unexpectedly released her self-titled album in December of 2013, it exploded into a fireball of new-found and unapologetic ownership of her sexuality. Without any indication that it was coming nor any pre-emptive promotion, there it was: the rebirth of an ailing link between cinematography and music in the form of the Visual Album, told with the tale of sexual awakening destined to empower other women into instigating their own and spawning seemingly eternal pop culture catchphrases. This past … Read More

BOOKS: Rush Oh! – a tender, funny novel in tribute to real Australian history

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Even I with my love of Australia, a powerful draw to the coast and an insatiable desire to hop inside pockets of social history, wondered how hard-going a novel Rush Oh! would be. As a premise, a 1908 whaling community facing tough times had something of a bleakness to it. As it turns out, it very successfully achieves the opposite. It’s about as easy-going a read as you could imagine and in the best way. There’s a line of fizzing excitement … Read More

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