• Mission Impossible: Rogue Analysis

    In honour of Tom Cruise and writer / director Christopher McQuarrie’s latest instalment in the Mission Impossible series, Rogue Nation, here is a video analysis of the series to date, by Grantland’s Sean Witzke. Thanks to Larry Wright for the heads up. Originally posted 2015-08-02 11:49:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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  • American Sniper: Insha’Allah At The Gates

    War! What is it good for? A record breaking $105 million January opening weekend, that’s what. And a debate that rages on over whether director Clint Eastwood and screenwriter Jason Hall’s American Sniper is a Republican polemic of “God, America, Country“; or a “Coming Home“-redux, surprisingly according to  one-time “Hanoi-Jane” Fonda. When the truth becomes […]

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  • The Great Unmade? The Wind In The Willows

    In the 1990’s, director Steven Barron intended to create a live-action film version of Kenneth Grahame’s anthropomorphic English pastoral classic, The Wind In The Willows. He was beaten to it by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. Barron collaborated with artist Brendan McCarthy, famous for his work on landmark British weekly comic 2000AD  (they previously […]

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  • 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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  • I was wrong about Star Wars

    It was something I used to whisper, embarrassed, ashamed, feeling as if my opinion would see me cast out as a social leper – I don’t like Star Wars. Now, this might not sound like a big thing in the grand scheme of things, but I’m a nerd. Most of my friends are nerds. I […]

  • Derelict: Fusing Prometheus With Its “Alien DNA”

    Here’s an interesting exercise – Prometheus and Alien edited together, fusing Prometheus with, as Ridley Scott described the link between the two, its “Alien DNA”. As the editor Job Willins states: “Prometheus’ wasn’t exactly an Alien prequel, but this treats it as such by intercutting the events of Alien with Prometheus in a dual narrative […]

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  • The Great Unmade? Not Tonight, Josephine: Kubrick’s Napoleon

    Kubrick. Napoleon. Two outstanding generals in their own fields, a marriage of subject and auteur that director Stanley Kubrick believed would be “the greatest film (n)ever made.” But endless preparation, research and writing would, not for the last time, leave him behind the  competition. In Dino De Laurentiis’ rival picture, he met his own Waterloo. The idea of a […]

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  • The Property Of A Lady: Barbara Broccoli’s Bond legacy

    Barbara Broccoli grew up with one foot in James Bond’s world. Indeed, as a small girl, it was a few years before she even realised he wasn’t real. She told Liz Hoggard of The Evening Standard that her first memory was watching the filming of the Japanese tea making ceremony with Sean Connery in You […]

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  • Excalibur: John Boorman’s Once And Future Movie Myth

      John Boorman’s 1981 fantastical retelling of Mallory’s Le Mort D’ Arthur is, to quote Nicol Williamson’s Merlin in the film, “A dream to some. A nightmare to others!” What some see as an episodic and hammy sword and sorcery tale is a clever and satisfying retelling of a mythical truth, an abstract approach that shows us Arthur’s […]

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  • Toyetic: A Look Back at Batman & Robin

    With the massive commercial success of Batman Forever. Joel Schumacher was tasked with repeating the same feat with the sequel,  only this time he was told by Warner executives to make the next Batman film a bit more child friendly. The expression they invented to describe this task is enough to make you want to […]

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STAR TREK

Scene Is Believing: Star Trek (2009)

J J Abrams registers births, marriages and deaths The most emotionally satisfying and thrilling sequence in J J Abrams’ reboot of Gene Rodenberry’s “wagon train to the stars” must be the pre-title opener. Yet it barely (!) features any of the characters we know and love. What it does do is boldly set out the motivation […]

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If Adventure Has A Younger name…

Sean Patrick Flannery played Indiana Jones as a younger man in the two season TV show, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (the shows were re-edited for DVD release as The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones). When he won the part through auditions the first thing he had to do was to get a passport for […]

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Space Oddity: The Black Hole

  Now that Disney have bought Lucasfilm, will they plough ahead with their intended remake of Star Wars’ coat trailer, The Black Hole, or consign this imitators memory to the dustbin of history? The success of Star Wars took Hollywood by surprise in 1977, and suddenly science fiction films were hip again. Disney dusted off elements of 20,000 […]

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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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Unsung Heroes: Margaret Sixel And 480 Hours of Mad Max: Fury Road Footage

Hats off to Margaret Sixel, the South African born editor of Mad Max: Fury Road. Up to that point, George Miller’s long-term editing partner (and also his wife) had never edited an action film before. And now she’s turned in the adrenalin main-lining film with surprising characterisation and depth, all told on the move in […]

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Mazerunner: The Making Of The Shining

To celebrate the imminent 35 year anniversary of The Shining (which we’ll be covering at a very special event!) here is the behind the scenes making of documentary made by director Stanley Kubrick’s then 17 year old daughter Vivian. This was originally produced for the BBC’s arts programme Arena. Originally posted 2015-05-23 13:02:42. Republished by […]

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Documentary: Martin Scorsese Directs

Here’s a treat for you – Martin Scorsese Directs, an hour long film from 1990 by Joel Sucher and Steven Fischler, part of the PBS American Masters series. The in-depth look at the man and his career up to then features numerous contributions from Marty collaborators such as Joe Pesci, Roger Corman, Robert De Niro, […]

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The Double 0 Curio – A Tribute to Timothy Dalton as James Bond

When Casino Royale came out in 2008, critics and punters alike were head over heals for it. Quite rightly, it is a very good film (until the last twenty minutes) and had at last taken Bond away from the incredibly silly direction the Pierce Brosnan films were careering towards at breakneck speed. Daniel Craig was seen to […]

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Scene Of The Crime: Return Of The Jedi’s “Jedi Rocks”

Imagine Martin Scorsese  takes the head staggers and makes an anniversary redux of his crime classic, Mean Streets. Harvey Keitel’s Charlie looks up from his drink as De Niro’s Johnny Boy enters the hellishly red tinted bar in atmospheric slow-mo, only, instead of being accompanied by the amazing Jumpin’ Jack Flash, his debut is marked by Elton John’s uptempo I […]

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Scene Is Believing: Catch-22

That’s some catch, that Citizen-22 Catch-22 has become a well known byword  for an impossible quandary or situation. The brilliantly delicious lunacy of Joseph Heller’s novel almost impossible to describe to those who haven’t read it, howling at the absurdities therein. In 1969, director Mike Nichols rolled up his sleeves and gave a film adaptation his […]

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