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after earth

Guilty Pleasures: After Earth

After Earth was almost universally derided as “the worst film of 2013” a vanity vehicle for Will Smith, or more precisely, his son Jaden, and a flat, empty spectacle, ploddingly directed by M. Night Shyamalan, thrown a bone by Smith after a string of self-created disappointments. Co-written by Gary Whitta, it seemingly follows computer game […]

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Guilty Pleasures: Hulk

What do you get when you combine Marvel’s monster from the id with an Oscar winning art house director? Crouching green giant, hidden subtext. Welcome to Hulk, this month’s SMASHING Guilty Pleasure! I’ve never really liked superhero crossover or team stories, until Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. Before this, the Hulk to me was a rage machine […]

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LXG

Guilty pleasures: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen is based on the comic book by Alan Moore (writer) and Kevin O’Neill (artist). Briefly, a team of literary heroes from well known works is assembled in a steampunk version of 1899 by “M”, head of Britain’s Secret Service. Their mission is to foil the dastardly machinations of The Fantom to provoke war among […]

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star cops collage

Guilty Pleasures: Star Cops

Back in 1987 BBC2 screened a small screen cousin of the “hard” sci-fi of Outland, Moon, and more recently, Gravity, that fiendishly married the police procedural with the then “anything’s possible” concept of high frontier exploration – Star Cops. The show was the brainchild of Blake’s 7 and Doctor Who scripting maestro, Chris Boucher. He’d […]

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Guilty Pleasures: Daredevil

  What do we want? JUSTICE!! Justice for Daredevil, the unfairly maligned runt of the movie superhero litter, and subject of this month’s Guilty Pleasures. Director / Writer Mark Steven Johnson complained of having to cut his dark avenger type movie to achieve a PG-13 rating imposed by the studio (it’s a 15 in the […]

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escape to athena moore

Guilty Pleasures: Escape To Athena

USOnly Live Twice Yes I know Roger Moore wasn’t in the James Bond film whose title I’m playing on here, but the bad joke fits the melting pot of moussaka that is Lew Grade’s Escape To Athena, a comedic WWII caper in the Greek islands, with a cavalcade of slumming B-list stars, clearly only in it […]

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Guilty Pleasures: Firefox

Clint Eastwood’s Cold War thriller Firefox (1982), based on the novel by Craig Thomas, has a bit of a rep as a plodding spy film, partially enlivened by some fancy model work dog fights in the third act. Rewatching it the other night, it struck me that the minutiae of the set-up, evasions and manoeuvres […]

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judge dredd glare

Guilty Pleasures: Judge Dredd

  Is Stallone’s take on the Mega-City cop drokking good, or just plain drek? On the matter of Guilty Pleasures, I AM THE LAW! Judge Dredd lingered in development hell from as far back as 1980 before it burst onto screens in 1995. Trying to get the tone of the character and his world right […]

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Battlestar galactica alex ross star wars

Guilty Pleasures: Battlestar Galactica (1978), Mormons From Outer Space

What the frack, Luke? Imitation is supposedly the sincerest form of flattery, but not according to Star Wars creator George Lucas. TV hit maker Glen A Larson’s re-jigged concept “Adam’s Ark“, reborn as Universal ABC’s Battlestar Galactica, faced multiple lawsuits from George Lucas and 20th Century Fox on the basis of copyright infringement.  To add insult […]

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star trek tmp poster

Guilty Pleasures: Star Trek The Motion Picture

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus deals with how the quest for God, or The Creator, can end up biting mankind in the ass. I thought I’d look at a Star Trek film that considers similar themes, with a more positive, humanistic, message. Not Star Trek V however, with its infamous “What does God need with a starship?” […]

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