• Pacino /De Niro “Dreamed Scenes”

    Heat was great, wasn’t it? Those two titans of American cinema, De Niro and Pacino batting back and forth against each other (let’s forget Righteous Kill though). Imagine if they’d acted together more often. Well, thanks to this tribute by Adrian Iffrig, they do, as well as meta-comment on their own performances (a crying De […]

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  • Entitled: The Terminator

    The opening titles to James Cameron’s The Terminator are preceded by a prologue with opening text that outlines the nucleus of what is at stake in the film ahead. Over a cold, blue grey desolate future battleground, sleek automated machines, in the air and, on the ground, grinding human skulls into the dust, sweep remorselessly […]

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  • Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice Score

    Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice is shaping up to be more than a dust-up on screen. Critics, fans and casual movie goers are drawing lines in the sand-box and throwing their toys out of the pram in on-line spats about whether it rocks, or makes them want to retch. It’s certainly the most divisive […]

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  • Composed – The Music Of Creed

    Creed is just as great as you’ve heard. A soulful expression of pride, belief and family. It chronicles the rise of young Adonis “Donny” Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), illegitimate son of legendary boxer Apollo Creed, as he quits his white collar job to seek out his father’s old friend and rival, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), […]

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  • Birdman Or (The Unexpected Vertigo Of One Seeming Take)

    With Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) director  Alejandro G. Iñárritu seeks to examine, in a comedic “Noises off” way, the psyche of what it is to “act” – within a free flowing, fluid, seeming one-shot take that also touches on themes of validation, parenthood, criticism, stunt celebrity casting, virtues of stage vs screen, […]

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  • Moments Lost In Time – Blade Runner’s Deleted And Alternate Scenes

    With Blade Runner The Final Cut released on the big screen, here in one place are the alternate takes and deleted scenes from the original film, including such scenes as Deckard visiting fellow Blade Runner Holden in hospital, and more screen time for Gaff and Bryant. To further mark the occasion, the BFI, who are […]

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  • The Top Ten 80’s Alien Movies

    The decade of the 1980’s was a time of paranoia and displacement. With most worrying about nuclear meltdown and radioactive death, it was no wonder we looked to the stars for escape. Here is a list of some of the best alien films from that era:   10. Alien Nation (1998) Los Angeles, 1991. Aliens […]

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  • Time Out: The Twilight Zone movie and the death of Vic Morrow

    When Steven Spielberg assembled his gang of hot directors to make a Twilight Zone movie in 1981, he had no idea that one of them would make the film live in infamy for years to come – and not in a good way. Spielberg wanted to make The Twilight Zone movie a love letter to the classic […]

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  • Silent Running: Vintage Making Of Documentary

    I’m a sucker for “making of “features, which are sadly becoming more of an afterthought on the latest film disc releases. Quite often they are chopped up into bite sized chunks, more often back-slapping talking heads with little insight, compared to the mammoth features of a few years ago. Of course there are exceptions, though […]

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  • Unsung Heroes: Gordon Willis, “Prince Of Darkness”

    Gordon Willis (now retired) was one of the leading cinematographers to emerge from Hollywood’s new wave of the 1970’s and shake up the old system. Belatedly recognised with a lifetime achievement Academy award in 2009, it is a crime that, out of the 11 Oscar nominations for The Godfather (of which three were won) his […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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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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