Chadwick Boseman . . .

Woke up to the devastating news that Chadwick Boseman has passed away. And just when I thought the year couldn’t get any worse.

There’s nothing I can say that’ll come close to the expressions of admiration and loss from the people that actually knew him.

Chadwick Aaron Boseman (November 29 1976 – August 28 2020)

All I know is that while he was he was undergoing treatment for colon cancer, his talent, humour and dedication brought life to one of the most iconic characters in comics. That in itself is a testament to his dedication.

Rest in peace, Mr Boseman.

Binge treat: The Umbrella Academy (season 2)

Season one was great, but the second run of this off-beat superhero caper turned out to be my binge choice for the summer.

Picking up straight after their temporal escape from the first season’s destruction of planet Earth (pretty much their fault), our barely competent crew of metahuman misfits land in the sixties, where they have to contend with the awakening the civil rights movement, same-sex relationships, an organisation of assassins tasked with maintaining the integrity of the timeline, the assassination of Kennedy, and a nuclear holocaust that is six days away (again, mostly their fault).

The little fella with blood on his face is in his late fifties, and the guy on the far right is actually dead …

With so much to pack into ten episodes, it cracks along, but amazingly, doesn’t feel rushed. There’s plenty of time and space to delve into Black oppression, attitudes to homosexuality, love, sacrifice and being willing to do anything for your family … even when you despise them.

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Netflix (again!): Extraction

Another popular movie running on Netflix. This is a fairly-run-of-the-mill ‘killer seeks redemption kind of a story starring Chris Hemsworth (y’know … the Mighty Thor) as a mercenary trying to save the kidnapped son of a drug lord.

Image search fail: I had to wade through some pretty gruesome tooth extraction pictures before finding this.

There’s nothing here that really sets it apart from other movies with morally ambiguous action heroes, but I did like it: the film has heart, as well as some of the most devastating action sequences I’ve ever seen (yes, even better The Old Guard from a few days back). Hemsworth manages to deliver a surprisingly sophisticated air of hard-bitten vulnerability, and his young charge (ably played by Rudhraksh Jaiswal) convincingly takes apart the soldier’s emotional armour and finds the makings of a hero inside. Pretty good stuff, actually.

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