I Shall be Released

Browsing the internet yesterday, I noticed an article headlined thus: Marvel’s Dr. Strange has already released in the UK (and here in Ireland too, so I might catch it soon). NothingĀ  too strange (no pun intended, but gladly accepted) there, you might think. But that has already released… really bothers me. It shouldn’t, but it does. Why? Because every fibre of my pedantic being tells me that it should be:

Marvel’s Dr. Strange has already been released in the UK.

Let’s step back for a moment and look at the grammar behind that feeling. Continue reading


Lately, I’ve been watching the Marvel TV programme Luke Cage on Netflix, when I can find a spare moment. One thing that’s quite apparent early on is that it’s heavily indebted to, and deliberately homages, the blaxploitation genre of movies. In the 1970s, these films were cheaply-made, stylised (and stylish) films featuring African-American protagonists, usually fighting back against oppression from The Man, and looking quite cool while they did it.

This genre was a sub-genre of the exploitation film. In a way the exploitation film had been around since the birth of cinema: cheaply-made films with risque topics aimed at teenagers. What we now recognise as the archetypal exploitation film (cheap production values, questionable acting, sexy young people, violence, more sexy young people) came to prominence in the 70s. Continue reading