Thor: Branagh and Bardolarty

So, we’re about nine years into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with sixteen films under their belts. We’re about five years in from the Hollywood-shattering movie that was The Avengers. This will be the first year that three MCU films will be released in the same year. With Thor Ragnarok coming out later this year, and being directed by one of my favourite contemporary directors, I thought I’d look back at the first Thor film and uncover the thinking behind the film; how it works to its own goals and to the wider goals of the MCU.

The first Thor film was notably directed by Kenneth Branagh, which might seem like an odd choice. The dude known for mostly doing Shakespearean films decides to do a superhero film about Norse Gods. On the surface of it, it doesn’t make sense. However, there is method to Marvel’s madness.


The Last Human

They say she lives in the Undercity. They say it reminds her of home. She is the last human. I went looking for her. It is not an easy path. Not many people travel to the Undercity anymore, just plunderers and scavengers. Not company I often associate with. An old friend, Nate, heard I was looking for a way into the Undercity. He took me to a bar on the street level. I rarely visited the lower levels. My work was in an office building. My home was in another skyscraper. All my friends lived in the high rises of the Overcity.

Nate introduced me to a man. The man was bald and in his mid-fifties, well, that was the face he wore at least. None of us aged anymore; we’re all made of synthetic parts. The only thing connecting us to our human heritage being our consciousness, though philosophers still debate whether the consciousness our bodies inherited was the same that belonged to our historic humanity.


Gender Bending – Why Does It Matter?

[Author’s Note: Because of the readily available information on film, Hollywood, and demographics of America, most statistics given are relevant to that scope. However, that doesn’t undermine the central point, if anything it makes it stronger with the monolithic nature of American culture in the current world landscape.]

So, the somewhat recent Doctor Who recasting sparked a wildfire of debate about gender bending traditionally masculine characters. Now, look, in my original draft of this piece I was very unfair towards those who were against the decision. I want this article to be more even handed, because I get how it can seem. If you focus on what is being taken away, it can seem unfair. Like Dudley Dursley bemoaning that he has one less present than last year, rather than focusing on the increased size of some of the presents. You know.


The Wild Hunt


Woden appeared before me as I slept. The haggard form of the All-father stood near eight feet. The glimmering wings of his helmet almost touched the ceiling of my longhouse. In one hand, he held a spear. In the other, he held a shield. Woden looked upon me with his one remaining eye. I began to realise that I was floating above my bed. Woden lay his shield and spear along the wall of my longhouse and removed his glimmering helmet from his head and held it outward.

The Hunt needs a leader.


Why I Fell Out of Love with Doctor Who

[Author’s Note: Major spoilers for seasons one through eight of the revived series of Doctor Who.]

[Author’s Note: This piece was written before the announcement of the new Doctor was made. Will the change in casting be enough to bring me back? Maybe. Depends on the writing. First step would probably be to hire more women writers.]

Okay, so we’re doing this. So let’s set up some context for this. I used to watch Doctor Who, which you could probably surmise from the title. I’m no mega-fan. I jumped in on season three of the revived series, watched the back catalogue and started watching contemporaneously around the time of the season four specials.

Similarly to Game of Thrones, I fell out of love with the series. The difference being that I stopped watching Game of Thrones following what I considered, and what is widely considered, to be the worst season. I stopped watching Doctor Who following season eight, whereas I believe that season seven is the worst season across the series.

Now, I laid out a lot of hate against the showrunners in my last article of this type. I could certainly do that in this article but I will restrain myself, despite the showrunner being, in my mind, more egregiously full of contempt for his audience. Oh boy, already I’m on the attack.


The Man in the High Castle Has Some Interesting Things to Say About America

[Author’s note: Article will contain spoilers for Season 1 of The Man in the High Castle]

Ok, so recently I’ve been bingeing The Man in the High Castle, a show that details an alternate history wherein the Nazis won World War 2 and kerb stomped half of America into becoming a part of the Third Reich. In the series, we see that the Nazis controls from the east coast of America to the Rocky Mountains. Japan controls from the west coast to the Rocky Mountains, with the space in between being a neutral buffer zone. The show concerns the ongoing intrigue and power wrangling between the Nazis, the Japanese, and the Resistance.


Big Cats

Geelong Advertiser, August 23rd, 2017: Reports of infamous roaming big cats in You Yangs

Reports have cropped up again of big cats prowling the local area. Over the past twenty years, there have been numerous individuals claiming that they have seen the mysterious black cats. The individual, Nathan Hawthorne, claims he was climbing the You Yangs when across the valley on another cliffside he spotted the creature. His description, that of a cat roughly the size of a German Shepherd, match that of other similar reports across the state. So far, no substantial evidence has surfaced confirming the existence of this big cats.


Officer Whitcombe didn’t know what she expected. She had parked off Big Rock Road and was waiting for the ‘expert’. In the distance, she could see a red Ford Focus. It looked to be about ten years old. She fully expected the car to be a family, heading out to the You Yangs with their kids. She had often been taken hiking against her will in these hills as a child. As the Ford Focus came closer she spotted the two men sitting in the car. Her suspicions that one of these two might be the experts were soon confirmed when the car pulled up beside her.