Edinburgh Cinema

Edinburgh’s cinemas have their own, different feel. When I visit them, I’ll be writing about both the film and the place, giving you the organic experience. Film critics on the big scale can’t really cater for this, so I hope my reviews bring something extra in this respect.

05.01.12 Passengers

05.01.12 Passengers

05/01/17, Passengers

I enjoy films that present moral dilemmas; no matter how good or bad the film is, you leave the cinema with a 'what-would-I-have-done' contemplation. Batman Dark Knight involves one such point of reflection, a test set up by The Joker to play two ships of passengers against one another with exploding devices and a whole lot of mutual mistrust. Yet a moral relatable one appears in Passengers, a luxuriant sci-fi currently still showing at Cineworld, starring two of Hollywood's most bankable and attractive action stars, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. With the film at the end of its run, I will call 'SPOILER ALERT' and reveal it involves a technical hitch on a glorious spaceship that awakens a single individual 90 years from the intended destination while everyone else remains in hibernation.

There are certain tropes with this kind of scenario, a dystopian loneliness of a single person left on their own. First comes the pleasure of indulging yourself, then comes the boredom and then the loneliness really kicks in. The flirtation with madness appears, and the contemplating of suicide. What rescues Pratt's character is the sleeping form of a beautiful woman; he checks her video log and sees she's funny and likeable and down-to-earth, someone he could fall in love with. Someone who could save him from the horrific accident to which he's condemned, and she doesn't need to know it was him who awoke her. What would you do?

The film itself has been panned by the critics, harshly, I think. The first half is 'on the money', and the introduction of Laurence Fishburne two-thirds of the way through brings a nicely timed dynamic. Yes, the very end is mawkish. It tries to wrap things up with an ending as perfect as possible, and it doesn't quite make sense; life rarely ends in 'happy endings' if it ends at all. But I enjoyed this film and recommend it, and for anyone who watches it, I leave you this question: what would you have done?

16.01.17 Underworld: Blood Wars
21.12.16 Star Wars: Rogue One


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Friday, 25 September 2020

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

July 01, 2020

Silenced by The Scotsman

​ On 11 June, The Scotsman published a deeply hostile article against transgender rights and activism in an opinion piece about the JK Rowling furore by its deputy political editor Gina Davidson. After much distress, I wrote a counter article which The Scotsman quietly ignored, after they had offered to pass it on to their Comment Editor. I experie...
May 11, 2020

The Book of Queer Prophets, curated by Ruth Hunt

in Books

  The Book of Queer Prophets: 24 Writers on Sexuality and Religion The historically fraught relationship between Abrahamic religions and LGBT+ identities provides the backdrop to The Book of Queer Prophets , a collection of twenty-four meditations by public figures who identify as both religious and LGBT+. The book's curator, the for...
May 09, 2020

Queer/Transgender short film: Mesmeralda

Joshua Matteo's short film, Mesmeralda , merging horror with esoterica, is now out on youtube . As with his previous work Metanoia , we see youthful trans actors racing through the empty streets of a moonlit New York, haunted by symbols and stalked by a masked figure of violent intentions. Mesmeralda , as described by Matteo, is the companion ...
March 08, 2020

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare Summer, 2016: Gina's Big Bang, as transitioning begins A bureaucratic question in a sun-lit room. My medical practitioner asks me if I intend to have children. The question lingers, but the self-loathing is instant. No, I won't be having children. The practitioner nods. She moves on to the n...
November 10, 2019

General Election

General Election 12 December 2019 I spent the last election in an office, alone but for the company of a colleague. We watched the BBC's coverage while I drank wine, downbeat and expecting austerity and the absence of hope to triumph. Then we saw the exit poll and hung around, disbelieving at the sight of the kindled embers and lukewarm glow of a f...
October 05, 2019


October 05, 2019


Joker The trailer did its work, flashing images of anomie and fury perfectly pitched for these unstable times of precarious working conditions, grievance and institutional indifference. For these same reasons, Joker , directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as the protagonist, has attracted pre-release criticisms like few other recen...
September 29, 2019

Resisting Whiteness event 2019

Resisting Whiteness one-day event, Edinburgh Returning for the second consecutive year, Resisting Whiteness came yesterday to the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh, providing an intense and inspiring series of panels, as well as a wonderful spoken word section, and a final segment based around the documentary short Invisible by internationally-acclaim...
August 21, 2019

Hearty by Emma Frankland

Hearty by Emma Frankland Raw and dripping with punk aesthetic, this one-woman-show's one-woman emerges in ripped tights and a T-shirt that paraphrases loudly the words of anti-trans theorist Germaine Greer: Lop Your Dick Off. My first impression of Emma Frankland is edgily uncertain and in awe, her Lady-Gaga-looks combined with Heath Ledger's mesme...
August 21, 2019

Pronoun, Pass, & Amnesty International

Transgender drama: Pronoun To be clear at the outset, this was the production of a youth theatre group, not a highly resourced team of experienced, professional career actors – although some of the performances left a powerful impression, and the show as a whole achieved some remarkable moments. Pronoun , written by Evan Placey, follows the transit...