Dream State – From Manchester 2019 to the Future

Today I travelled up to Manchester to watch a band perform. It’s a journey I’ve made several times over the last few years, coming to see bands that I loved since childhood. This time though, it wasn’t for some punk-rock or pop-rock band from my youth, but rather a newer band that  released their first single  in 2015 and stepped into the limelight with their 2017 track ‘White Lies’. Their first full album, Primrose Path, was released only last week. That band is Dream State, and they are one to watch.

Dream State

It’s hard to really sum up the performance I witnessed from them. More than any band I’ve seen before, there was a connection with the crowd that felt somehow unreal, like they were true to their name and emerged that darkened room into a state of dreaming where everything was just that bit more… human. Continue reading

Why The Hobbit Movies Failed

As a long time fan of The Lord of the Rings movies and a reader of all things Tolkien, I was very excited about the announcement that The Hobbit was being adapted to the big screen. Then it was turned into a trilogy and I was skeptical but had faith in the brilliant cast and the vision of Peter Jackson. Over their release schedule I saw each of the movies several times with different groups of friends and family yet always came out of the cinema feeling slightly baffled.

The movies were unbelievably… meh. Not good, not bad, just kind of… boring. All of the elements were there: A great source material, talented actors, stunning visuals and a skilled director with experience making great movies from similar books, so why did The Hobbit trilogy fail to interest me? Continue reading

Gurren Lagann Discussion Corner: #1 What makes it special?

This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. Very little in my life has ever inspired me, yet some stupid, over-the-top cartoon has somehow become the foundation of much of my mental wellbeing. It’s crazy to think about really but I know that I am not alone in my passion for the show. As such I intend to write out a series of discussions, each one analysing a different element of what I feel sets Gurren Lagann above most other shows. I invite you to come along with me and to leave your thought, stories and comments.

So for this first post I want to talk in broad terms about why I believe this show is able to affect people so strongly. I will be discussing spoilers so if you haven’t seen it then I wholeheartedly recommend that you watch it. There are 27 episodes but I say give it until the end of episode 8 before you write it off if you are not convinced before then.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Counterpoint to the idea that Rey is a Mary-Sue.

(Contains Spoilers)

Since the announcement of Star Wars Episode VII some people have been decrying the movie as a piece of social justice propaganda. The two lead characters are a woman and a black man, Heaven forbid.

The movie came out to receive a generally positive reception but one argument that I continue to see is that the character of Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, is a Mary-Sue. Mary-Sue is a character trope that shows an idealized fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through unrealistic abilities, a woman who is good at everything and everyone important likes.

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