Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


A review of the new movie “The Equalizer 2”

August 18th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

In his long and distinguished career of almost 50 films, 63 year old Denzel Washington has never made a sequel – until now. Like Liam Neeson with “Taken”, he has found a money-spinning action role in later life and he’s going to run with it. Between the two “Equalizer” movies, Washington has turned director in […]

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Word of the day: Pastafarianism

August 17th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Pastafarianism (a portmanteau of pasta and Rastafarianism) is a social movement that promotes a light-hearted view of religion and opposes the teaching of intelligent design and creationism in public schools. According to adherents, Pastafarianism is a “real, legitimate religion, as much as any other”. The word is in the news today because the Dutch council […]

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A review of the new film “The Escape”

August 16th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

How many women are unfulfilled by marriage and motherhood and wish to escape? Many more than we would dare to imagine, I suspect. This British film – actually written and directed by a man (Dominic Savage) – tells the story of one such tormented soul who is such a supporting character to her husband and […]

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Are you a middle child? If so, it’s your day.

August 12th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

As you probably know, the Americans have a day for almost everything and today they celebrate National Middle Child Day. Two thoughts occur to me. First, it is widely thought that birth order influences personality and this idea is discussed on the Day’s web site. But I’m not sure how much scientific evidence there is for […]

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A review of the new independent film “Apostasy”

August 10th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The title refers to the renunciation of a faith and in this case we are concerned with the Christian denomination of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. As adherents of The Truth, they do not accept blood transfusion, they do not associate with former members who have been disfellowshipped, and they believe that the destruction of the present world […]

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Word of the day: arctophile

August 9th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

It means: someone who has a fondness for teddy bears, usually a collector of them. I saw the word in reference to the new film about Christopher Robin, the friend of Winnie The Pooh.

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A review of the movie “Ant-Man And The Wasp”

August 8th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

After the mega movie that was “Avengers: Infinity War” – a canvas the size of the universe, a team of super-heroes the size of a small army, and a villain the size of Thanos – the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes miniature with this movie – most of the action in San Franscisco, only two super-heroes, […]

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A review of the summer blockbuster “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”

August 3rd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

For Tom Cruise (now 56) as Ethan Hunt, this is his sixth impossible mission in 22 years while, for writer and director Christopher McQuarrie, this is his second successive contribution to the franchise which previously has always had a new director for each episode. But Cruise and McQuarrie have worked on nine movies together over […]

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A review of “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”

July 31st, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the original “Mamma Mia!” movie, so I was delighted at the notion of another outing for Abba’s wonderful music. Like “The Godfather 2”, this is both a prequel (back to Donna’s graduation) and a sequel (forward to a grand re-opening of Donna’s island hotel) and director […]

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A review of the novel “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid

July 29th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I was impressed by “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”, Hamid’s early novel which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2007, and so I was attracted to “Exit West”, another of his novels which was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2017. It tells the story of two refugees, the Islamic adherent Saeed and the […]

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