Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


A review of “Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw”

August 11th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Since the first film in 2001, the “Fast & Furious” series has become Universal’s biggest franchise, currently ranking as the tenth-highest-grossing film series of all time with a combined take of over $5 billion. Now I am not in the demographic at which these films is aimed, but this is the second time that I […]

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UK becomes a nation of streamers… but traditional broadcast TV leads the way on UK content.

August 9th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

UAround half of all UK homes now subscribe to TV streaming services, according to a major Ofcom report revealing rapid shifts in the nation’s viewing habits. Ofcom’s Media Nations report, a comprehensive study of major trends in UK television, radio and audio, published recently finds: The number of UK households signed up to the most […]

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A review of the novel “China Dream” by Ma Jian

August 5th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Ma Jian was born in the Chinese city of Qingdao in 1953, the same year as Xi Jinping who is now President of China without term limits. Both men were caught up in the horrific events of Mao’s Cultural Revolution which killed anything up to three miliion and ruined the lives of many millions more. […]

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A review of the new version of “The Lion King”

July 28th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I’ve never seen the original 1994 animated movie musical – my son was too old and I didn’t have grandchildren then. But I decided to catch this 2019 remake even though the granddaughters were away on holiday. Clearly the main reason for a new version is the advance in technology and it has to be […]

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What is the most successful film of all time?

July 24th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

There are so many ways to judge this. Usually, because movies are essentially a business, the key criterion is money – but even here we have a choice between tickets sales in cash to tickets sales adjusted for inflation. This week, it was announced that in cash terms “Avengers: Endgame” has just overtaken “Avatar”. You […]

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A review of the new documentary film “Apollo 11”

July 16th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I was 21 and a student union leader when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon and I kept the student union building open all night so that we could witness this historic occasion live – even though they were hazy pictures on a small screen. So I thoroughly enjoyed the […]

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A review of the new movie “Spider-Man: Far From Home”

July 14th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

This is the second film dedicated to the third representation of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and we have the same director (Jon Watts) and the same leading actor (Tom Holland) as well as a host of other returning stars including Spidey’s Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and teenage love interest MJ (Zendaya). It […]

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What’s in a name? Depends whether you’re called Craig and Gemma or Jaxon and Aria.

July 9th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

“It could be curtains for Craig. One of the most popular boys’ names of the postwar era is facing oblivion if current trends continue, as the speed with which parents tire of old names and rally around new ones appears to be accelerating. Lee, Ross and Shaun are on their way out too, according to […]

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A review of the award-winning novel “Normal People” by Sally Rooney

July 4th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I recently read “Ordinary People” by Diana Evans and now I have consumed “Normal People”, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize, the second novel by Irish writer Sally Rooney. Of course, in a sense, nobody is ordinary or normal, but both these works deal with people who are living quotidian lives with which one […]

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A review of the Beatles-themed movie “Yesterday”

July 3rd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Over the years, British writer Richard Curtis has scripted some wonderful romantic comedies: “Four Weddings And A Funeral”, “Notting Hill”, and “Love Actually”. And British director Danny Boyle has given us such work as “Trainspotting” and “Slumdog Millionaire”. So a pairing of the two in “Yesterday” promises much. Certainly Himesh Patel as pub singer Jack […]

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