Entertainment in Hindsight: September 2017

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Things have changed since the last (and first) piece of this kind: we’re all here standing between Freshers’ Week and the equally fresh start of a brand new university year. Which means: a) everyone’s joining or coming back to their favourite entertainment magazine, and b) we get more #content, so naturally, we have entertainment picks for you to indulge into every month from now on! Let’s take a look at what September had to offer:

Culture

Back (Series 1, Episode 1) 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Channel 4

With the leads of the critically acclaimed Peep Show returning to the silver screen after quite an absence, this first episode is all about promise. There’s a brand new storyline, a similar yet somehow different dynamic between the duo, an intriguing premise, and a particularly interesting use of flashbacks illustrating the different ways in which people can remember the same events – Mitchell and Webb’s Back could have it all. We’ll see if it lives up to the hype it has created.

“Episode 1 builds a solid base, but it’s more exciting to consider how much room Back has to grow. It’s entirely possible that it could stagnate if it becomes overly episodic. However, if it maintains this momentum, Channel 4 certainly haven’t seen the back of Mitchell and Webb.” Josh Nicholson

See our full review here.

American Vandal (Season 1) 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Tyler Golden/Netflix

Starting from a controversial premise, Netflix’s new original is a top quality, binge-worthy satire that manages to simultaneously intrigue, amuse, and deceive its viewers. Featuring solid performances and unpredictable writing, American Vandal displays a believable representation of nowadays’ teen culture by pointing out many of its flaws and obsessions. With a second season planned, American Vandal‘s got us hooked.

American Vandal is not a parody, it’s a satire; it doesn’t make a mockery of our infatuation with the true-crime genre, it points out just how obsessed we are and retools it into a funnier, yet equally as enthralling version of it. It stands out as a truly unique show in and among all of the lazy sitcoms we must endure in 2017, with a second season expected, it’s only a matter of time until American Vandal becomes as popular as the very thing it seeks to satirise.” David Mitchell Baker

See our full review here.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Ubisoft

The land of video games once again brought around a game that is “shockingly fun to play”. Because of its seemingly weird crossover between everyone’s favourite plumber and Ubisoft’s absurd Rabbids, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was expected with understandable suspicion from Mario’s loyal fanbase. However, with a great blend of visuals, a compelling soundtrack, and quite a serious style, the game does not disappoint at all.

“If you’re looking for a deep RPG experience for the Nintendo Switch, Mario + Rabbids proves that these can come from the most unlikely places. I was among the fans worrying about Ubisoft’s take on the Mario series, but I’m extremely pleased to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong.” Josh Nicholson

See our full review here.

The Let Down: Alladin at the Prince Edward Theatre 🌟🌟🌟

Delfont Mackintosh Theatres

Although it featured good lyrics, some memorable numbers, and an enthralling performance from Trevor Dion Nicholas as the Genie, this staging of Alladin did not have the expected impact. The lead characters did not rise to the bar set by Nicholas, some of the key performances of the play felt flat, and the costumes and set design were overdone. All in all, not as good as it could have been.

“Aladdin has a lot of potential. But certain things need to be worked out for me. Jafar needs to have a more consistent characterisation that works against the play. Aladdin and Jasmine need to provide a more defying vocal. The whole thing needs a little bit more control and finesse. I would have given this two stars without Nicholas’ performance as the Genie. His performance alone deserves five-stars and a standing ovation. Overall, then, it gets three. But the rest of the cast best take note of Nicholas and take a leaf from whichever book he is reading.” Bruno Russell

See our full review here.


Records 

BROCKHAMPTON – SATURATION II 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Ashlan Grey

Self-branded boyband BROCKHAMPTON released their second album less than three months after their very successful debut (which we also liked quite a lot). The album exceeds the high expectations set by their first one with a style combining fresh and throwback hip-hop, and daring, powerful, even if dark lyrics. David Mitchell-Baker loves them, that’s no secret.

“[BROCKHAMPTON] do hype, they do emotion, they do calm, there is seemingly nothing they cannot do. Just like its predecessor, SATURATION II is a complete triumph and reinforces BROCKHAMPTON as a force to be reckoned within modern-day hip-hop.  SATURATION has a contender in the race for best hip-hop project of the year, and its name is SATURATION II.”  David Mitchell Baker

See our full review here.

Wolf Alice – Visions of A Life 🌟🌟🌟 (+ our infinite love)

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing and stripes

James Barker/ Xavier Voigt-Hill

We at The Edge love Wolf Alice. We’ve chatted with them, listened to their album early, and they are the cover stars of our beloved Freshers’ Issue. Their second album is complex, showing off the skills of the indie wonder: from politically aware to crazy and funky tunes, they can do it all. They can even mix different styles into one song. Have we said we love them beyond ratings?

“That Visions Of A Life is more experimental, and more varied than their debut is impressive. (…) Wolf Alice clearly love wearing different genre hats, regardless of fashion or function. That eccentricity, in all its mad scientist volatility, is on this sophomore record, and it’s an asset all on its own.” George Seabrook

See our full review here.

The Let Down: Taylor Swift – ‘…Ready For It?’ 🌟🌟

Taylor Swift/ Virgin EMI Records

It is common knowledge that Taylor Swift has turned her upcoming album Reputation into a revenge musical saga, and even if the first single had a 4-star impact, the second one didn’t get very much from us. This song mixes old and new Taylor to an incoherent result, reminding us that old Taylor is still the best Taylor.

“Taylor resurrects her former selves from the dead, meshing them with her new vibe to create an annoyingly incoherent song. ‘…Ready For It?’ twinkles with a 1989-esque sparkle for all twenty seconds of honey sweet chorus, dowsing us in nostalgia before viciously snatching it away again.” James Barker 

See our full review here.


Film

Mother! 🌟🌟🌟🌟 & 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Paramount Pictures

We got to review Mother! twice, and turns out we’re on the nice side of the controversy: we loved it (well, in the disturbing, mind-blowing kind of way)! Defying all expectations by being completely different from the usual thrillers/ horror films, Mother! felt more like a “surrealist assault piece”, with a lot of symbols that leave the mind clouded yet incredibly heavy: Darren Aronofsky’s film is memorable.

“Whilst many may say that this is no more than an Aronofsky self-indulgence project, there is no denying that the director has tapped into the mind of the audience to create an unsettling, yet brilliant, film that is sure to linger in your mind long after the credits roll.” Tom Wilmot

“As hurricanes destroy countries and the many continue to live on in a blissful ignorance, Mother!’s hellish deconstruction of humanity couldn’t feel more timely. Its imagery and overall mental violation remain long after viewing, provoking an inexplicable substance of worry.” Liam Beazley 

See our full reviews here, and here.

It  🌟🌟🌟🌟

Brooke Palmer/ Warner Bros

Unlike other Stephen King adaptations, this year’s It lived up to the hype, providing brilliant performances and a directorial vision that gave authenticity to a film that could have been another mainstream horror. The surprise came with the witty, sometimes even comic bits of the film which dispersed the tension present throughout and proved that not all horrors are based on jump scares.

It could so easily have fallen into the trap of writing bog standard teenager characters that match the stereotypes set by the wealth of high school films that have come before it, but they provide real heart to the film, something rarely seen in the horror genre. (…) It will go down as one of the best films of 2017 and reminds us that horror films can still be entertaining and imaginative, despite some more recent evidence to the contrary.” Jordan Brown

See our full review here.

The Let Down: Kingsman: The Golden Circle 🌟🌟🌟 

Twentieth Century Fox

The impact of the first Kingsman film which surprised with an incredible pace and well-rounded characters raised the stakes for The Golden Circle a bit too high. With an underdeveloped story, underused female characters, and a layer of satire that doesn’t flow well enough, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is still entertaining, but it should have been more developed to reach its predecessor.

“It’s not just the action sequences that operate with Looney Tunes logic: in this world, megalomaniac plots just happen, apparently, don’t think about it too much.” George Seabrook

See our full review here.


Live

Craig David at Mayflower Theatre (1st September) 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Insanity Records

After two years of great success, Southampton-born Craig David returned home for a gig that was very enjoyable, even if not perfect, allowing fans to rediscover the artist who represents their city.

“Ultimately, the “intimate” show that blossomed from this was laden with passion for his music, his city, and his people. (…) 16 years since doing this exact thing in his bedroom, David demonstrated that the has lost none of his flair, and the collective rediscovery of enthusiasm for what he does best made the whole evening feel like both a celebration and a beginning.” Xavier Voigt-Hill

See our full review here.

Alt-J at the O2 Academy, Bournemouth (6th September)🌟🌟🌟🌟

Gabriel Green

Our Live Editor Carly-May Kavanagh had an overall brilliant time at the Alt-J concert which dazzled (sometimes a bit too much) with its spectacular lights and impressed with its performances of their iconic songs.

“(…) the show really was a performance in terms of vocals and lighting, and the setlist seemed to be perfectly curated. With ‘Bloodflood’ and ‘Matilda‘ in the middle of the show and ending with ‘Fitzpleasure’ before going off stage, there really was not any need for them to wait for long as chants of an encore began before they had even disappeared. Closing with ‘Left Hand Free’ and ‘Breezeblocks’, perhaps the perfect encore songs, I doubt anyone left without knowing they had just witnessed one of the most spectacular live acts of the year.” Carly-May Kavanagh

See our full review here.

Bestival (11th–14th September)  1 🌟🌟🌟, 1🌟🌟🌟🌟 & 2 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Sebastian Barros

Carly-May loves a good 4-day-long gig, so she naturally had a brilliant time at this year’s Bestival, despite some mud and the not-really-ideal weather with memorable performances by The xx and Dizzee Rascal, the last ever gig of A Tribe Called Quest, great food, and all kinds of experiences that only festivals can offer.

“Bestival 2017 really was an experience. The weather absolutely could not be helped and ignoring that for a moment, the artists that were there were some of my absolute favourites. We found a lovely tea stall (big up Mr Tea’s); talked with people who were giving tea for a donation to CALM, a charity who raise money to help prevent male suicide; tie-dyed t-shirts for £5 in the Ambient Forest; saw an amazing drum band outside the castle and a fantastic brass band walking through the Ambient Forest; took photos with the LoveBot; and although we didn’t go inside #HappyKanye, we saw him every time we were walking to and from the press tent – what more could you want?!” Carly-May Kavanagh

See our reviews here, here, here, and here

We stand by our undying love for gigs – there’s no let down in September either!

 

Don’t forget to have a read of this month’s issue, and good luck in the new academic year! It’s gonna be a blast! 

 

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Editor of The Edge, procrastinator, and lover of dogs and words (in this order). Overflowing knowledge of all mainstream entertainment guaranteed, with bonus alternative picks included. Just don't let me touch a gaming console.

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Culture Editor, Pokémon Master, Time Lord and occasional History student. Just don't ask me anything about music.

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The Edge's Film Editor 2017-2018, David has an unabashed love for all things Dave Grohl, Jack Black and Lord of the Rings. A compulsive liar who shouldn't be trusted, David once beat legendary actor David Hasselhoff in a hot dog eating contest and is best friends with Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, they speak on the phone three times a week.

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Philosopher and Historian and major pop-fan. You can find me listening to most pop in the charts (Beyoncé and Sia are most certainly goddesses), as well as some modern jazz and classical and enjoing the occasional trip to the theatre. I'm also interested in the repurcussions of the representation of sex in modern-day media! And I might be a fan of the X Factor. Sorry, I can't help it...

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Fourth year Spanish & History student. You know what I like,because I've written about it. #MagicMikeXXLForever

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Editor of The Edge 2017-18. Culture Editor before that. Sporadic writer for the Wessex Scene, DJ on Surge, known photobomber of SUSUtv's videos. Bad habits include Netflix, not doing my work and drinking too much tea.

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Second year Film student. Twentieth year Film lover.

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Second year History student - Enjoys Film, TV and Video Games

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Third year PAIR student and live editor. Also the Wessex Scene's Head of Events. Fan of cats, gigs and a tea lover - find me rambling about politics and cats @_Carly_May on Twitter.

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Officially The Edge's Head of Relations. Unofficially responsible for encouraging people listen to Carly Rae Jepsen's 2015 magnum opus E•MO•TION. Also sometimes found doing the radio thing over at Surge Radio.

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