The Batman

I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy this (then why did you see it, dummy!) because whoever is in charge of grinding DC’s finest heroes from comic books into movies hasn’t quite managed to hit the Marvel Studios level of grandeur and entertainment. Yup, they take themselves far too seriously.

The Batman should be different though; it’s meant to be taken far too seriously. In that regard, they hit the mark: the film is somber (bordering on the gothic), shot mostly at night or in the dark. (Can no one living in the Wayne Mansion remember where the light switches are?)

The writers don’t bother spending an hour or so on Batman’s origin; they assume everyone knows it, and quite rightly so. If you don’t (for some reason) then there are plenty of hints along the way. Besides which, the movie already weighs in at 3 hours – any longer would’ve stretched the attention span of the most ardent Dark Knight fan.

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Roar

Sorry, yet another review of something on a pay stream, but just like Severance, this weird little gem is well worth the money – from what I’ve seen so far anyway.

Roar is a series of eight films, based on the story collection of the same name by Ceclia Ahern.
Each story touches upon issues such as gender, race, illness – pretty much a metaphor for modern living, which probably explains why the whole series is heavy on metaphors.

I haven’t gone through the whole series yet, but so far, so good:

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Severance

If you haven’t seen Severance yet, then you should. The first season (running on Apple TV+) has just finished, and the whole thing has been absolutely bonkers.

I mean, from the strangely disturbing opening credits, you know you’re in for something seriously weird.

The premise is deceptively simple; Severance tells the story of a small group of individuals who, in order to work for the dystopian Lumon Corporation, have agreed to be ‘severed’. What does this mean? Okay hang the hell on … The employees have a chip inserted into their brains which prevents them accessing their home life memories while they’re at work, and their work memories when they’re back at home.

Ideal for Lumon: the staff have no idea what they do for a living when they’re not at work, and when they are at work, they’re not distracted by problems at home. Sounds almost too simple to run a whole TV series around, but the genius of it hits you when you realise that what you have is two separate people living in the same body, and as your memories are part of who you are, then these people can become completely different over time. And as far as the ‘Innie’ (the person actually at work) is concerned, their whole existence is in the office. They get in the elevator to go home, but they don’t go home: as far as they can tell, the elevator doors open and they’re still in the office. That’s when it hits you how inhuman it is; people are being exploited with no escape, and when their ‘outie’ leave the company, they simple cease to exist … or did they ever exist in the first place?

As I said, it is bonkers, a dark comedy, thriller and dystopian science fiction all rolled into one. The script is witty and sardonic, the acting is brilliant; it’s worth seeing for the sheer novelty, and for Patricia Arquette’s mad portrayal of the department boss.

Yeah, it’s on AppleTV+, but it’s worth taking out the sub for the month to binge it.