Connect with us

Entertainment

Is the Criticism of Best Picture Front-Runner ‘Nomadland’ Valid?

Published

on

Many people are criticising Chloé Zhao’s Oscar front-runner Nomadland because it doesn’t go out of its way to criticise Amazon’s repugnant work conditions and the way Amazon treats its employees. First of all, I’d like to say what should go without saying: Amazon’s notorious mistreatment of its employees is abhorrent. The criticism that Nomadland needed to address this, though, baffles me. Especially because the people who are criticising Nomadland for merely featuring Amazon are completely ignoring the fact that films also nominated at the Oscars that these same people are praising, like One Night in Miami, Borat 2, and Sound of Metal, are literally made by Amazon. We seem to have lost the idea that a film can just exist as a piece of art. A film is not a documentary (not this kind of film at least), it’s not an article, it’s not an exposé, it’s a piece of art, and it should be crafted like that, not like an article or a non-fiction book that has the time and ability to address every issue it grazes past. A film doesn’t need to say or do anything. Film is an art form, a medium through which many people happen to express an opinion or a criticism of something, but it absolutely is not necessary. Although having said that, people are behaving as though Nomadland is just a vapid 2-hour film that has nothing to say other than be a character study. Nomadland does in fact have a powerful message in it.

Linda May and Fern, from Nomadland, while working at Amazon

In Nomadland, Fern, played by Oscar winning actress, Frances McDormand, spends only a number of weeks working for Amazon and it’s only a few minutes for the audience, it’s one of the many jobs we see her do, the film would be thrown off-kilt if it took five or ten minutes out of its runtime to address these issues. The film as a whole is a commentary on the failures of a capitalist society and how a fixed economy hung many out to dry and forced them into the nomadic life. No-one in the film chose to be a nomad, they had a happy domestic life until it fell apart due to an unstable economy that left those at the bottom to be eaten. These people are happy, yes, but they didn’t choose to be there, they’re making the best out of a bad situation. We see Fern’s sister and brother-in-law, have a happy life in a nice home in a nice neighbourhood, which is a stark contrast to Fern’s van which is constantly on the move. We see Fern and her fellow nomads struggling to survive. Fern even says that she needs to work because the benefits from the government aren’t enough. That is what the film is about, that is what the film is criticising. The very existence of this film is a scathing indictment of capitalism, the mere existence of people who are forced out of their homes and to live in vans or trailers is the criticism people are looking for. 

People claim that Nomadland ‘missed an opportunity’ by not criticising Amazon because they could’ve done it when Fern is working there, or Linda May or Swankie, but just because they could doesn’t mean they should. As I’ve said, film is art, and it doesn’t need to because the film is not a documentary or an op-ed on Amazon’s working conditions, the film is a piece of art. And Amazon is only in the film briefly and it would ruin the tempo to take some time to address that when it isn’t necessary because that isn’t what the film is about. The film is about Fern and her grief over her husband and her adapting to this new walk of life into which she has been thrust, not that Amazon doesn’t treat its workers well. Just because Amazon’s ethics and business practices have been in question very publicly lately doesn’t meant that Nomadland needed to address it. Nomadland is a poetic character study, not a non-fiction piece of journalism, that’s what the book is. Jessica Bruder’s book on which the film is based does take time to criticise and tell stories of people who worked at Amazon under these horrendous conditions. The book is a non-fiction journalistic masterpiece (I recommend it to everyone), but the film is not, and should not be, a film about Amazon’s malpractice because it would take time away from Fern and her story.

Complaining that Nomadland doesn’t deal with the way Amazon treats its workers is like complaining that David Fincher’s Mank doesn’t deal with racism or homophobia that was so rampant in Hollywood at the time. Mank takes place during an era rife with racism and homophobia and in an industry rife with racism and homophobia and yet we see none of it. And no-one complained that it didn’t touch upon it, because the film isn’t about that, Mank is about Herman ‘Mank’ Mankiewicz. And Mank is entirely about that era of Hollywood, Amazon only features in about three minutes of Nomadland‘s 1-hour 50-minute runtime, it’s a fleeting moment, we see Fern in many other jobs. It’s about Fern, about her life falling apart both personally and financially. We see her using a bucket as a toilet a few feet away from where she sleeps, right next to where she cooks and eats, and a few feet away from where she sits all day as she drives to find another place to stay because she has no permanent home. How can people see these scenes of Fern and not see that this is the criticism they want, Nomadland criticises capitalism and, by association, does in fact criticise Amazon; all these nomads lost their jobs because of huge corporations.

Overall, while I do not agree with this criticism, it is not without merit. As I’ve said, Amazon’s working conditions are detestable and is something that does need to have a light shone on and be discussed. So, I do understand people’s desire to see more of that in media, I just disagree that Nomadland is the place to do it. Criticising it because it doesn’t explicitly condemn Amazon despite the film as a whole being about the failures of a capitalist society and that older people especially are casualties of capitalism, seems tedious rather than heartfelt to me. There is a deep message and criticism within this film, it’s presented in a visually beautiful way so it’s easy to miss but the criticism people are craving to see is sewn into every frame of Nomadland.

FILM RATING
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Entertainment

‘Return To Monkey Island’ – the beloved franchise is back!

Published

on

Devolver Digital / Lucasfilm Games

It’s been 13 years since the last Monkey Island instalment was released in 2009. Going back even further, it’s 32 years since the original game ‘The Secret Of Monkey Island’ was released on the Amiga in 1990. Created by game designers Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, it helped launch the point and click genre of adventure games onto a global scale, and introduced young and old gamers to a fun, family-friendly interactive adventure to capture the imagination.

You take control of a young wannabe pirate, Guybrush Threepwood, who arrives on a small island in the Caribbean with aspirations of becoming a – well – a real pirate! A whole host of colourful characters await him on his journey, including the Ghost Pirate LeChuck and Governor Elaine Marley. When the Governor is kidnapped by LeChuck who terrorises the entire Caribbean with his un-dead crew, it falls to you to help Guybrush assemble a crew, get a ship, set sail for the fabled Monkey Island, save Elaine and defeat LeChuck!

‘The Secret Of Monkey Island’ (1990)

This was followed by a hugely successful sequel in 1991; ‘The Secret Of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge’ that expanded and improved on everything we had seen before. Years later in 1997 and under new management after Gilbert and his team parted ways, the third entry – ‘The Curse Of Monkey Island’ – helped introduce new blood to the franchise. New styles of graphics, interactive heads-up display and a full voice cast brought the series to life like never before.

In 2000, the fourth entry – ‘Escape From Monkey Island’ – was released that divided fans and critics. The heart was there, but the inclusion of 3D graphics and removal of the familiar mouse controls for PC was a big shift that didn’t win everyone over. It would be in 2009 when Telltale Games developed an episodic entry called ‘Tales Of Monkey Island’, returning some familiar point and click elements, the full voice cast and a very imaginative fantastical story.

2009 also signalled the revival of both original games with new special editions being released for PC and console. This breathed new life into the classics, bringing the established voice cast to record dialogue, new composition of the score and improved graphics and HUD. It also allowed players to switch between classic and special editions whilst playing for a truly immersive experience of old and new.

‘The Secret Of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge’ Special Edition (2009)

 And then…all was quiet.

Fans cried out for more Monkey Island, but when Disney acquired LucasFilm Games in 2012 and the entire back catalogue of George Lucas, it seemed the adventures were well and truly over. However, in 2021 when Disney brought Lucasfilm Games back, a glimmer of hope was sparked. And then on April 1st 2022, Ron Gilbert announced the development of a brand new Monkey Island game. Being this was April Fool’s Day and Gilbert was known for his tongue-in-cheek jokes, there was a huge pinch of salt taken with the announcement. But just three days later, Devolver Development released the teaser trailer for ‘Return To Monkey Island’

 After two years of secret conversations with Disney and the old team including Gilbert, Grossman, original composer Clint Bajakian and voice actor Dominic Armato, a new story had been written for the 5th entry into the series. Described as both a direct continuation from LeChuck’s Revenge but with new elements that honour the previous games not under Gilbert’s design, it seems this is the game fans have been waiting years for.

A striking difference noted by many was the art style. While hardcore fans longed for a return to the classic pixel design of the original games, something of a nostalgic comfort blanket, artist Rex Crowle (of ‘Tearaway’ fame) brought the look into 2022 and then some. Taking a 2D style but with a cartoonish, almost paperfolded style, this entry looks nothing but unique and unlike anything that has come before. In order to keep the game fresh and appealing to new gamers and old, Gilbert couldn’t simply harken back to a game design that kept the series in the 90s. He had to take new, bold risks to be innovative and fresh. This looks just that.

‘Return To Monkey Island’ (2022)

With Gilbert and the team releasing mini teasers each Monday in a self-proclaimed Monkey Island Monday, critics and fans worldwide have lapped up everything the game has offered. It holds nods and winks the franchise as a whole (especially the originals) whilst giving us glimpses of new characters, islands and puzzles. The HUD retains the point and click charm but in a modern way. And with a full voice cast back to bring new and old characters to life, it seems this is the perfect time to hoist the main sails and set sail once more as we return to Monkey Island…

‘Return To Monkey Island’ will be available on PC via Steam, macOS and Nintendo Switch from Monday 19th September 2022.

FILM RATING
Continue Reading

Entertainment

Manchester Comic Con Returns! With A Star Studded Lineup And More

Published

on

By

With the summer Movie, Comic Book & TV season in full swing with the likes of Stranger Things: Season 4 & Obi-Wan Kenobi currently airing to their respective streaming services and Jurassic World: Dominion amongst other anticipated projects on the horizon, There’s certainly a lot to look forward too over the coming months, And one of those is the return of Monopoly Event’s Manchester Comic Con, the event which promises to bring all the love of Pop Culture & More into one place! Here’s just a small sneak peak at what you can expect below…

Manchester Comic Con General Information Provided By Monopoly Events

The next Comic Con Manchester in the summer of 2022 promises to be an event to remember for comic, tv, and film culture fans across the globe as we bring you a phenomenal guest line-up including Star Trek‘ and Heroes legend Zachary Quinto, Teen Wolf stars Tyler Posey, Holland Roden, Shelley Hennig, Dylan Sprayberry, and Linden Ashby, Superman and Lois stars Tyler Hoechlin, Elizabeth Tulloch, Jordan Elsass, and Alex Garfin, the LEGENDS that are Lee Majors and Lindsay Wagner. Lesley Ann Brandt, D.B. Woodside, and Aimee Garcia from Lucifer, The Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs, Cobra Kai stars Martin Kove, Jesse Kove, Ron Thomas, and Tony O’Dell, Little Mermaid voice actor Jodi Benson, Supernatural‘s Emily Swallow, Bai Ling from The Crow, Police Academy‘s Lance Kinsey, and the sweetest of all reunions as we welcome Peter Ostrum, Paris Themmen, Julie Dawn Cole, Michael Bollner and Rusty Goffe from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!

A guest line-up that already is truly unimaginable – and as always – it’s all by the fans for the fans.

Let us not forget our epic Traders Hall as well! Where you could buy everything from a dancing Gizmo plushie to a Baywatch lifebuoy! Finally, our league of loyal cosplayers were all in attendance with their amazing costumes and make up ready and willing to get in a selfie or 100!

The Star Studded Guest Line-up Provided By Monopoly Events

This is sure to be the pop culture event of the summer & one both you & I surely wont want to miss. Am I right?

To buy your tickets and find out more information, head over to the official Manchester Comic Con site before it returns to the BEC Centre, July 30-31.

FILM RATING
Continue Reading

Entertainment

PARAMOUNT+ Reveals UK Launch Date, Pricing, Distribution Partners & More

Published

on

Paramount+, the global streaming service from Paramount Global, will launch in the UK and Ireland on 22 June 2022. After countless months of waiting It was announced by the company reporting their first-quarter earnings call on 3 of May, during which Paramount’s President and CEO, Bob Bakish, outlines global expansion plans for the streaming service. 

The ongoing momentum of Paramount+ will also see the service launch in South Korea in June, with further launches planned in Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria in the second half of the year. Additionally, in 2023, Paramount+ will launch in India in partnership with Viacom 18, as part of a recently announced agreement, and is poised to participate in this fast-growing market. 

“Paramount is known for its leading portfolio of premium entertainment brands and a robust content engine that fuels our rapidly expanding streaming service, Paramount+. This year will be monumental for our streaming strategy as we accelerate our global ambitions, rapidly expanding Paramount+ in Europe beginning with the UK, Italy, Germany, France and more by the end of this year and debut in Asia with South Korea in June, followed by India in 2023,” said Raffaele Annecchino, President and CEO, International Networks, Studios and Streaming, Paramount Global.  “With an already expansive global footprint and a strong, long-term market-by-market strategy, we are well-poised to continue our positive momentum.” 

Maria Kyriacou, President, Australia, Canada, Israel and UK, Paramount, said, “The addition of Paramount+ to our strong portfolio of free-to-air, pay-TV and streaming services will broaden the range of choice available to our audiences in the UK and Ireland. Paramount+ will be a one-stop destination for Paramount’s biggest brands, where fans of all ages can find exclusive original premium content, global hits, and discover a world of favourites from Paramount’s vast catalogue.” 

PRICING AND DISTRIBUTION

In the UK, Paramount+ will be available online at

https://www.paramountplus.com/

and on mobile and a wide range of connected TV devices via the Paramount+ app, via broad direct-to-consumer distribution through Apple, Amazon, Google, Roku® and Samsung, with more platforms to be announced in the coming months. Users will be able to sign up to the service for £6.99 per month/£69.90 per annum in the UK, after a free seven-day trial*.   

Paramount+ will launch on Sky platforms in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria in 2022 as part of a new multi-year distribution agreement that also includes the extended carriage of Paramount’s leading portfolio of pay TV channels. Sky Cinema subscribers will get the bonus of Paramount+ included at no extra cost. 

ROBUST CONTENT SLATE

Paramount+ will launch in the UK with a broad content slate of more than 8,000 hours of content for the whole family, spanning new and exclusive Paramount+ originals, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from Paramount’s world-renowned brands and production studios, including SHOWTIME®, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.  

In addition, Paramount+ is home to some of the world’s most beloved franchises in the world. Audiences in the UK will have access to the Star Trek universe; and the library and new seasons of Taylor Sheridan’s critically acclaimed Yellowstone series. South Park and the MTV Shores 

will also be available, and kids and families franchises, this include SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Rugrats plus new originals based on Nickelodeon’s most beloved characters such as Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years.   

PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINALS

Some of the most anticipated Paramount+ and SHOWTIME® originals from the US, UK and other international markets will be available in the UK and Ireland when the service launches, including HALO, 1883, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, The Offer, Mayor of Kingstown, Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, The First Lady, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Queen of the Universe and Jerry & Marge Go Large. 

These will join premium international scripted Paramount+ originals produced by VIS – the international studio division of Paramount Global – in association with independent production companies in the UK and around the world. Previously announced original UK dramas heading to Paramount+ include Sexy Beast, A Gentleman in Moscow, Flatshare, The Burning Girls, The Ex-Wife and The Blue. 

Scripted originals from around the world include

Los Enviados (The Envoys) (Mexico) and Cecilia (Mexico) – both of which have been renewed for a second season; Simon Beckett’s Chemistry of Death (Germany); The Signal (France); Bosé (Spain); Fallaci (Italy); At Midnight (Mexico); and more.   

Hours of original factual titles from the UK production community will also be available, including Haunted, The Box, Rise of the Tech Titans, MH370: The Lost Flight, Chalet Girls, LA Hairdressers, Fashion House, Pervert: Catching the Strip Search Caller and Girl Taken. 

KIDS AND FAMILY

Thousands of hours of Kids and Family content on the service will include Paramount+ Original series Fairly Odd Parents: Fairly Odder, iCarly S1 & S2, the reimagined Rumble and Big Nate. They will join original TV movies, including Honour Society, Promposal, Little Wing, Snow Day, Nicole From Last Night and Blue’s Big City Adventure. 

BLOCKBUSTER MOVIES

Paramount+ will offer unlimited access to blockbuster movies with new releases like

Scream 5, time-proven classics such as Grease and Star Trek, and family-friendly selections like PAW Patrol: The Movie, Clifford The Big Red Dog and more. 

EXCLUSIVE PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Also coming to the UK service this year are Paramount+ exclusives The Thing About Pam and Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons. They join other exclusive titles including South Park: Post Covid and South Park: Post Covid: The Return to Covid, as well as Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, The First Lady and The Man Who Fell to Earth.  


Paramount+ is a global digital subscription video streaming service from Paramount that features a mountain of premium entertainment for audiences of all ages. Internationally, the streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including SHOWTIME®, BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel™, in addition to a robust offering of premier local content. The service is currently live in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Nordics, and Australia.   

FILM RATING
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Popular Now

Advertisement
Advertisement

TRENDING NOW

Trending

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x