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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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Moore of an Edge: For Your Eyes Only

In 1981 the producers of James Bond wanted to get back to basics. There can be no arguing that Moonraker, the previous Bond film had gone a bit too far by taking Bond to space and all, not to mention the fact that at 30 million dollars,Moonraker was double the budget of the film that preceded it. […]

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Mad Max Fury Road First Look

“My name is Max. My world is fire, and blood.” Attendees at last weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con were offered T-shirts bearing the bold legend “Comic-Con 2014 belongs to the mad.” They weren’t kidding. The teaser shown at the event went online last night, and the response has been ecstatic. I’m going straight out after this […]

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Gaugamela Nights: The Ballad Of Oliver Stone’s Alexander

  “Fortune favours the bold,” quoth Virgil in the opening titles to Oliver Stone’s epic, Alexander (2004).  It is meant to sum up the the reach of perhaps the greatest overachiever in any world, ancient or modern; conqueror, explorer, king, diplomat, demi-God. And one who fled to the end of the known world to escape the […]

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Guilty Pleasures: Enemy Mine

With this month’s Guilty Pleasures, you get two genres for the price of one. An SF version of John Boorman’s Hell In The Pacific, that then morphs into adventures in space babysitting. Human Davidge (Dennis Quaid), is left holding Drac erstwhile enemy “Jerry’s” (Louis Gossett Jnr) surprise offspring Zammis (Bumper Robinson). Throw in an appearance by “hey, […]

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Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam

It was first the idea of New York Mayor Ed Koch in 1981, six years after the official ending of the Vietnam War. A think tank was assembled to create a fitting memorial to Vietnam Veterans. The memorial was to be a glass-block structure etched with excerpts of letters sent to and from servicemen during the […]

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Unsung Heroes: The men Beneath The Alien Costume

Two images defined both the biomechanical and graceful look of the final stage in the life cycle of Ridley Scott’s Alien – HR Giger’s 1976 painting Necronom IV,and Leni Riefenstahl’s photograph of a two metre tall, rail thin, Nubian warrior. To achieve the look he wanted, Ridley reluctantly accepted he needed a man in a […]

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Inside Jaws – Filmumentary Preview

  Jamie Benning, creator of the Filmumentary feature-length documentary fan edit, is at it again. He’s following up 4 of my top movies with another of my favorite movies of all time, Jaws. Although the sequels had a steady decline into less-than-stellar territory, the original remains what I consider to be a perfect movie. I asked […]

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James Cameron : A Tribute

James Cameron applies his engineering background’s eye to the smallest details on every one of his films. Not for nothing have crews on his legendary shoots defiantly sported T-shirts emblazoned with legends such as “You can’t scare me, I work for James Cameron.” He demands a lot, from both crew and audience:  “If you’re gonna […]

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Why Coppola’s Dracula Sucked

There is a lot right with the Francis Ford Coppola version of Dracula. Unfortunately there is a lot wrong with it too. In fact, with the outstanding production design, brilliant old school film techniques, gothic soundtrack and wonderful lead actor, it is very hard to imagine how it turned out to be highly mediocre. And […]

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