• The Great Unmade? The Early Drafts of Star Wars, Part 2

    Following part one of my read-thru, with his second draft, dated January 1975, George Lucas began stripping down his massive manuscript of ideas and refocusing them into something much more budget conscious and achievable for the time. The Skywalker is a prophetic figure, a man who learned how to manipulate the spiritual fabric of reality […]

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  • Scene Is Believing: The Wicker Man

    “Don’t you see that killing me is not going to bring back your apples?” “People call The Wicker Man a horror movie,” Christopher Lee (Lord Summerisle) says, “but it isn’t really, it’s far more subtle and sophisticated than that. Horror is about decay; The Wicker Man is about an opposition of values, the struggle to achieve […]

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  • Staircases To Nowhere: Making Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining

    You may recall we previously brought you news of The Elstree Project, an oral history project designed to record, preserve and share the memories of people who have worked at the studios of Elstree and Borehamwood. Well, one of their interview docs, a 55 minute film on the making of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining has been […]

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  • Top 10 Things I want to see from Skyfall

        10. The gun barrel   While many among you may say, “Ah yes, but the gun barrel was in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace” I would counter that argument by saying, “No it wasn’t – sod off”. In Casino Royale it was barely there and in QoS it appears at the very end. The end?? […]

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  • David Croft: A Celebration

    There can be no doubt that for the majority of the 60s, 70s and 80s, David Croft was behind some of the best comedy that was ever shown on British TV. Some of the catchphrases injected into his work have become part of the common vernacular. You can’t say “are you free” to someone without the […]

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  • Scene Is Believing: Raiders Of The Lost Ark

      The Peruvian Temple set, stage 4, Elstree Studios “Throw me the whip.” “Throw me the Idol.” Ever since Goldfinger, the James Bond series has come up with a spectacular opening pre-credit sequence. Appropriately enough, since Steven Spielberg had professed a desire to George Lucas to direct a Bond film, Raiders Of The Lost Ark […]

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  • Sympathy For The Devil? Inglorious Basterds’ Hans Landa

    Hans Landa, the loquacious, charming, calculating nemesis of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds is the villain we can’t help admiring for his chutzpah. Ironic, for someone who’s nickname is “The Jew Hunter”. WARNING: This piece contains major spoilers Rarely can a film have depended so much on the successful casting of a supporting role. At one […]

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  • The Great Unmade? The Early Drafts of Star Wars, Part 1

    Discussion of the origins of Star Wars must begin with Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, the tale of a bearded General and a young Princess, both in the guise of peasants, trying to sneak across enemy lines while pursued by the clan who overthrew their kingdom, and having to work with a bumbling pair of […]

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  • Sorcerer: Friedkin’s Ballbreaker

    “What I did on Sorcerer makes Jaws look like a picnic!” Roy Scheider Jungle drums were sounding the call for William Friedkin’s blood in 1977. Critics judged Sorcerer, his loose remake of George Clouzot’s The Wages Of Fear, filmed in the wilds of the Dominican Republic, an act of hubris out of step with the […]

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  • Keep Moving 007

    Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt didn’t do so much running after all in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. But he’s not the only spy on the block who can show us a clean pair of heels. Daniel Craig as James Bond gives literal meaning to the phrase, “active duty.” And ignore that ageist crack from Silva (“Your […]

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What The Hey? Calm Down Dear, It’s Cannon’s Captain America!

In 1984, cigar chomping Cannon film tycoons Menaham Golam and Yorum Globus pony up a $225,000.00 five year deal with Marvel Comics for the rights to Spider-Man and Captain America. Cannon were renowned for their lavish advertising for many proposed films, one way of attracting investors before a single frame of film was committed. They […]

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Vive l’entente Bondiale!

Ou… une célébration de la contribution des acteurs français qui ont joué dans des films de James Bond. There’s always been a special deliciousness in the way French actors have delivered their lines in Bond films. Maybe it’s the actor, maybe it’s the accent. Either way, they’ve left an indelible mark. With Léa Seydoux set […]

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Unscene Is Believing: Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom

Temple Of Doom scriptwriters Bill Huyck, Gloria Katz, and director Steven Spielberg deliberated over several iterations for the sequence where Indy, Willie and Short Round escape a poisonous night out in Shanghai’s Club Obi-Wan onboard a small cargo plane. Two ideas that didn’t make the final cut were an elaborate Mousetrap – like gag, and an […]

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Bickle’s Got Talent? The King Of Comedy

      In this age of television wannabes and quick fix celebs, it is fitting to look back at The King Of Comedy, Martin Scorsese’s prescient examination of the modern age’s obsession with fame, and a film he himself acknowledges as a sequel of sorts to Taxi Driver, another classic misfit story. Both have […]

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The Top 10 Most Underrated Movies

I have a special place in my heart for the unnoticed under dog, and here, in my humble opinion, are the 10 best examples of under appreciated classics.   10. John Carter It’s easy to see why John Carter failed initially. The marketing department really screwed the pooch in handling such amazing material, on top […]

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Scoring The Chase: The Music Of Mad Max: Fury Road

One of the many amazing elements of Mad Max: Fury Road is the incredible score, a riot of “an insane rock opera” according to composer Junkie XL, AKA Tom Holkenborg. One that at times fuses with the immense drum / guitar rig that powers Immortan Joe’s Warboys on their chase after Max, Furiosa and the […]

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Rawhead Rex: A sort of tribute

Have you ever found anything under a stone? A bug? A woodlouse? What about a seven foot cross-eyed demon with a mullet? Rawhead Rex is a 1987 monster movie with a difference, it is rubbish. Based on a short story by Clive Barker which originally appeared in Volume 3 of his Books of Blood series. […]

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Crikey DM! David Jason’s Tribute To Cosgrove hall

The relaunched Danger Mouse cartoon has seemingly won over a new generation of fans, and allayed fears of those who fondly remember the adventures of Britain’s other greatest secret agent, voiced by David Jason, and his bumbling assistant, Penfold (Terry Scott). So this is as good a time as any to listen to David Jason’s radio […]

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Lee Marvin: A Personal Portrait, By John Boorman

Lee Marvin was a star in his own firmament, a mass of contradictions and sensitivities, hidden beneath a rousing, ribald, flinty carapace. A wounded veteran of the bloody Pacific campaign in WW.II, a boozer and brawler, a poet and prince. It’s fair to say there has never been another actor quite like him. One man […]

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Big Hero Dark Thirty

It’s been a while since we posted one of Jeff Yorkes’ Cinemashups, and here’s one of his more unusual ones – Disney’s Big Hero Six meets Zero Dark Thirty in Big Hero Dark Thirty! Dialogue from Kathryn Bigelow’s tense hunt for Osama Bin Laden thriller plays out over incongruous action from the endearing Baymax and […]

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