Review-Freaky

It’s weird that as I type this, I realise there has never been a terrible body swap film. There have been some that are better than others, sure. But even the ones that fall a little flat are entertaining. This is in the latter camp.
Directed by Christopher Landon (“Happy Death Day”) ‘Freaky’ is a low-budget high-concept supernatural slasher, that tells the tale of Seventeen-year-old Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton) who spends her days trying to survive high school and the cruel actions of the popular crowd. She’s “Hollywood ugly”. But when she becomes the latest target of the Butcher, the town’s infamous serial killer, her senior year becomes the least of her worries. When the Butcher’s mystical dagger causes him and Millie to magically switch bodies, the frightened teen learns she has just 24 hours to get her identity back before she looks like a middle-aged maniac forever.

Written by Michael Kennedy, the script is incredibly formulaic. Kennedy pays so much homage to the predecessors, that it often falls into the trappings that bogged those down.

There is some laugh out loud moments of comedy, watching Vaughn swivel his hips like a cheerleader, whilst flirting with Millie’s crush (Uriah Shelton), is funny. For about 15 minutes. Whilst the entire cast bring energy to these roles, they can’t stop the premise running out of steam.

The main problem is that Millie is so ill-defined as a character. She’s the school mascot, so she’s a loser. But she still looks Kathryn Newton. At one point, a sneering football player calls her a “but-her-face” implying she’s ugly. Her friends are also written to be just as paper-thin, there’s the black one and the gay one. “You’re black and I’m gay! We are so dead!” Josh (Misha Osherovich) shouts at one point. That’s about all the character they’re given.

I guess it could be argued that Kennedy was in fact writing a pastiche of tired old Hollywood cliche’s, that by making the characters so paper-thin, they would come full circle and actually be the most well-defined characters in cinematic history. But, I doubt it.

Episode 250: Guess the Doctor Who episode, based on the negative review part III

On episode 250, Martyn once again challenges Sam and Chris to guess what episode of Doctor Who he is talking about, based on negative fan reviews he found online.

An unedited video version of this is available on YouTube.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

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Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

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Review-Greenland

If you’re in the mood for a distraction from COVID-19, or 2021. Then perhaps a world-ending disaster movie is just what you need.
I’ll admit, I laughed when I first saw the trailer. I remember the day well. I’d gone to see Tenet with my fiancée, and my best friend. This trailer came on and the three of us erupted with laughter. It looked awful. It looked like a paint-by-numbers, generic Gerard Butler disaster movie. This is a disaster movie, but one that may surprise you. It certainly surprised me, now. It’s not a great film. But it is far better than the trailers made it look.



John Garrity (Gerard Butler) is a Scottish structural engineer living in Atlanta, Georgia with his estranged wife, Allison (Morena Baccarin), and their diabetic son, Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd). He returns home from work to reconcile with his family and prepare to host a party with their neighbours to watch the passing of a recently-discovered interstellar comet, named Clarke.
Whilst at a trip to the supermarket, he receives a Presidential alert inviting him and his family to be evacuated to Greenland. He returns home, gets his family and they head to the airbase. However, on arrival, they discover Nathan’s diabetes excludes him from being allowed on the plane. After some confusion, the family get separated and we follow them each, as they head to Allison’s father’s house. Then try to make their own way to Greenland.

The story ditches the normal end of the world cliches and instead, plays around with themes of human survival. This slightly different take can make for some immersive and uncomfortable viewing. The family encounter people who are terrible, people who are opportunistic and, people who will go above and beyond to help. This leads to a very realistic feel to proceedings, which oddly reflect the very early stages of the Covid outbreak. You know, when you couldn’t buy toilet paper?

Morena Baccarin and Gerard Butler have some wonderful chemistry, they feel authentic as a troubled couple, doing what they need to save their son.

As I said earlier on, the trailer is slightly misleading. Some might find this a slow-burn. Perhaps the fact we’ve all just experienced a global crisis, which has shown the best and worst of humanity, made me project more on to this film that I would have otherwise. However, I was pleasantly surprised and found it to be a more nuanced take on the genre.

Greenland is available on Prime Video from 5th of February.

Episode 249: It’s a sin

Martyn is joined by producer, writer, director Guy Lambert to discuss Russell T Davies’ new drama ‘It’s a sin’.

The duo discusses episodes 1-5, so there are spoilers.

It’s a sin follows a group of friends, all in their late teens and early twenties, who move to London in 1981 and have their lives turned upside down by HIV/AIDS, spanning a decade until 1991.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

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Episode 248: Sophie Aldred Interview (2021)

Martyn is joined by Sophie Aldred, they talk about the paperback release of her Doctor Who book ‘At Childhood’s End’.

Past, present and future collide as the Thirteenth Doctor meets classic Doctor Who companion Ace – in the first epic novel from the woman who played her, Sophie Aldred.

Once, a girl called Ace travelled the universe with the Doctor – until, in the wake of a terrible tragedy they parted company. Decades later, she is known as Dorothy McShane, the reclusive millionaire philanthropist who heads global organisation A Charitable Earth.

And Dorothy is haunted by terrible nightmares, vivid dreams that begin just as scores of young runaways are vanishing from the dark alleyways of London. Could the disappearances be linked to sightings of sinister creatures lurking in the city shadows? Why has an alien satellite entered a secret orbit around the Moon?

Investigating the satellite with Ryan, Graham and Yaz, the Doctor is thrown together with Ace once more. Together they must unravel a malevolent plot that will cost thousands of lives. But can the Doctor atone for her past incarnation’s behaviour – and how much must Ace sacrifice to win victory not only for herself but for the Earth?

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

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Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

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Episode 247: Guess the Doctor Who episode based on the terrible review part II

Martyn and Sam are joined by Bristol-based comedian, James O’Donoghue.

Martyn challenges them to guess the episode of Doctor Who he’s talking about, based on the terrible one-star fan reviews he found online.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

We also have a Smartlink.

Check out our Youtube.

Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

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Episode 246: Hollywood Rumours

Martyn and Gerrod discuss Hollywood rumours, from Lisa Bonet and Mickey Rourke actually having sex in Angel Heart to Elvis Presley still being alive.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

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Check out our Youtube.

Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

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Review-Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1

The DC multiverse has been blown wide open, following the shocking events in ‘Death metal #7’. A new and exciting future begins in Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1.

Due to extenuating circumstances Clark Kent has left Earth and has in-trusted its protection to his son, Jon Kent. Who is far too young for such responsibility, Jon feels the best way to protect Metropolis is to seal it up in a bottle and lock it away. Earning him the ire of its citizens, the military, and Supergirl.

In the bottled city heroes like The Guardian and Shiloh Norman (Mister Miracle) protect it from within, all whilst trying to find a way to break out of their new prison.

The first issue is really interesting because we’re just dropped into the events. Metropolis has been bottled for six months and is on the brink of collapse. The story is fresh, with very vibrant art from Cully Hamner. This feels very different from anything I’ve read before, which I wasn’t expecting. We’re given a fantastic exploration of the bottled city, six months in. The city is full of hate, rage, anger and fear. Reading this through the lens of this past year certainly adds to its impact. There’s always a sense the city could explode, at any moment.

Writer Sean Lewis has crafted a compelling story, with a young Superman completely out of his depth. Jon is no longer the happy-go-lucky kid we once knew, he’s older, jaded and cynical. He’s been given a huge responsibility and it’s absolutely crushing him. Lewis explores the mistakes a human with the powers of a God can make.

Episode 245: Revolution of The Daleks

Martyn, Chris and Sam talk about the recent news that Jodie Whittaker is leaving Doctor Who, who they’d like to take over the role and, the recent New Years Day special ‘Revolution of the Daleks’.

End theme is taken from DWPoop.

Check out Chris’ adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts. We also have a Smartlink.

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Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

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Episode 244: James Swallow interview

In the first episode of 2021, Martyn is joined by author James Swallow, they discuss James’ new book Star Trek Picard: The dark veil. They also talk about the Marc Dane series of books, working on Star Trek Voyager and what inspires James to write.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

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Check out our Youtube.

Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

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