What Could The Marvel Cinematic Universe Teach Us About Mental Health Issues?

The release of Captain America: Civil War carried on the sobering tone that seems to be prominent in recent MCU films. In the past the stories have often touched upon serious topics, but this darker approach to filmmaking seems to be more obvious of late, arguably starting with Iron Man 3 and staying with most films in Phase Two of the MCU, and well into Phase Three. We’ve seen themes of loss, identity, war, internet privacy and politics threaded throughout these Marvel films, but one slightly less noticed subject that appears to be cropping up more frequently is that of mental health.

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Katana: Why We Need More of Her in the DCEU

Since the release of Suicide Squad a couple of weeks back, we’ve seen some pretty… mixed reviews of the new DC movie. From the infamously low Rotten Tomatoes rating to the petition calling for the website to be shut down as a result of that, it’s clear that the film’s been a controversial addition to the DCEU.

No matter what your views on the movie are, it’s undeniable that Suicide Squad introduced us to a plethora of characters into the DCEU that can be explored further.

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Snake it off: How the ‘The Cursed Child’ Gives a Balanced View of Slytherin

Warning: This post contains spoilers for ‘The Cursed Child’.

I wasn’t surprised when Albus wasn’t sorted into Gryffindor – this is a twist we probably all saw coming, because it would be pretty boring if all three of Harry and Ginny Potter’s children ended up in the house everyone is familiar with by now. We’ve spent (almost) seven years in the Gryffindor common room, so Rowling, Thorne and Tiffany obviously saw the opportunity to change things around and venture into a new house in Hogwarts.

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Intergalactic, Planetary, Planetary, Intergalactic: did Star Trek 3 go beyond expectations?

To answer the question bluntly: no, not really. Is that a bad thing? Not at all. In a time when everything is getting very, very political, Star Trek Beyond is a nice little 2-hour escape from all of that. Whilst perhaps not as gripping as the preceding two films, it’s still a fun, easy-to-follow story, with the added bonus of  couple more great actors being introduced into the franchise (Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella) . There are points in which the story does drag on and feel a little bit aimless, but all is rectified by a really great battle scene choreographed to the music of the Beastie Boys. Would I recommend going to see this film? Sure, go for it.

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Of White Supremacists and Corrupt Prison Guards: a look at OITNB’s social commentary

By now we know that Orange is the New Black loves to give its viewers a social commentary. It’s not exactly a shock either that a lot of that social commentary focuses upon racial tensions, making Litchfield Prison a little microcosm for the events happening in America right now, drawing its audience’s attention to problems they might not even be aware of. Kohan and her team of writers do a great job at humanising the characters in the show, making us realise that they’re far more than just prisoners; we sympathise with them, we love them, we hate them, but we all look at the way they’re treated, whether it be by guards or by each other and think, “wow, that’s pretty fucked up”. What we need to do now is consider how these story lines apply to real life, and what the writers are implying about these problems. (Warning: major spoilers ahead.)

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The Fault in Our Clones: a few thoughts on Orphan Black’s penultimate season

First thing’s first: that season finale is probably going to stop me from sleeping for the next month or so. I can’t cope with all those cliffhangers. I’m half mad at Manson and Fawcett for doing this to us, but also half impressed that they and their team of (super) writers have been able to pull off another fantastic season for this brilliant, brilliant show. By now I’d somewhat expect some sort of falter in the quality of the writing (being the pessimistic little shit I am), but still the story has stayed fluent and beautifully paced, and taken us right back to the tale’s origins, and have thankfully not left Beth’s character in a dusty box in the attic – she’s brought back into the limelight, and with her she’s brought another addition to the clone club (M.K.), who I’m (almost) starting to love. Additionally, we’ve got another tasty slice of character development on Felix’s side of things, and Rachel’s back at her antagonistic ways once again. Any major criticisms? They really need to cut Cosima some slack. (Warning: major spoilers ahead.)

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80’s X-Men: was number 8 really that great?

So I’ve had a a week to thoroughly think over what I thought of X-Men: Apocalypse now, and after having a scan over a few reviews here and there, my opinion on is pretty well-formed by now. To get to the point, I liked it – but, to be honest, I’m bound to like it. I’ve grown up watching the X-Men films, so I definitely have a soft spot for the franchise, and in order for me to give a poor review on one of the films it would have to be truly shit. And I’m quite glad to say that this one wasn’t shit; there were many great moments of character development and emotion, and although there were too many supporting characters within the film, I enjoyed seeing the new editions/return of familiar faces. This isn’t to say that there weren’t aspects of poor quality within the film. There were definitely certain lines that seemed forced and unnatural amongst the action, put in there for the purpose of dramatic effect that just sort of caused me to cringe internally. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the villain, either – reviews highlight how one-sided he is, and how he is purely just ‘a bad guy’; there’s not much to him, and he’s kind of overshadowed by Magneto, a beautifully complex villain(?) with so much background and explanation to his actions. (Warning: spoilers ahead.) Read More