• Guilty Pleasures – Superman 3

    Superman 3 is not a film about Superman. It’s a film about Gus Gorman. Gus is the everyman antithesis of Superman: nobody knows him, nobody cares about him, he has no confidence or awareness of what he’s good at, he can’t control his impulses which keep him from having a job or a social life, […]

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  • Paradise Lost: A tribute to Empire of the Sun

    During the early 1980s Steven Spielberg’s body of work were mainly studies in innocence, with a deep desire contained within to remain just so. Then in the mid 1980s something happened. Spielberg was suddenly addressing loss and grief. From 1985 until 1989, he was clearly in a sad mood. In 1985 The Color Purple had […]

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  • Secession And Sensibility: Ang Lee’s Ride With The Devil

    Ang Lee’s Ride With The Devil, adapted by James Schamus from Daniel Woodrell’s American Civil War novel Woe To Live On, charts how naïve young men, divorced from a wider base cause (the Confederacy for which they nominally fight), emerge changed from conflict. Finding, one might say in the context of vexatious personalities of the […]

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  • Wish You Were Here – Revisiting Film Locations

    You’ve probably seen various blogs comparing stills of famous film locations to how they appear now, mundane without that movie magic glow. Herve Attia has gone one better, creating short videos on his Vimeo channel that not only compare, but have him revisit those locations in person, even inserting himself into the action occuring on those […]

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  • The Last Man – A Gavin Rothery Short Film

    Gavin Rothery, concept artist and VFX supervisor on Duncan Jones’ Moon, has completed his own short film, apocalyptic psychological actioner, The Last Man. A soldier without a war is just a man Gavin’s synopsis states: “The Last Man is a 20 minute apocalyptic science fiction short film inspired by cold war childhood nightmares about the […]

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  • Peeping Tom: The Cinema Of The Complicit

    Has ever a film had more of a 360 degree critical turnaround than Michael Powell’s 1960 psychodrama, Peeping Tom? Possibly Heaven’s Gate, although at least Powell wasn’t blamed for the perceived ruin of a whole studio. Dilys Powell of The Sunday Times described Peeping Tom as “essentially vicious”. It seemed the director was wilfully flaunting a daring approach, horror as complicit voyeurism, […]

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  • A Quantum Leap: Bond’s First Sequel

    “There’s something horribly efficient about you.” Camille’s words to James Bond could apply equally to the film Quantum Of Solace, a quantum leap of sorts for the Bond series – the first direct sequel, and a film some say suffered from hyper-kinetic editing and the bad timing of the writer’s strike. Praise was muted, but […]

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  • Short Film: To Lose Control

    Marty Stalker is a former Royal Marine turned film director. Liverpool born and now based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he has  previously directed short films, documentaries, music videos and several TV commercials for both UK and US television. To lose Control, his latest short film, is something of a personal project for the director – […]

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  • Welcome to the Machine – Alien 3

    Studio interference is not a new phenomenon. Studio suits have always thought they know better than the creative people they hire, which is like hiring a grandmother to suck some of your eggs, but then insisting you show her how it is done. They regard the idea of trusting a creative talent with their money […]

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  • First Glimpse of the Magic Hour: A Beginner’s Look at Malick’s Days of Heaven

    Amidst the great depression, a young man named Bill (Richard Gere) kills the foreman of his factory during an angry spat, and runs from Chicago with his young sister Linda (Linda Manz), and his lover Abby (Brooke Adams), also posing as a sister of his so as to allay the puritan suspicions of the time. […]

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Ken Adam: Designing 007

Draw a Venn diagram making up the formative influences on the James Bond series, and a sizeable slice would be taken up by legendary designer Ken Adam. German born Sir Ken Adam OBE and his Jewish family escaped the Nazis in 1934. He went on to rival James Bond for derring-do exploits in the RAF […]

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John’s VERY Mini Review of 2012 in Film

From the outset I should make it clear that as a Dad (and a lazy bastard) I didn’t get to the cinema as much as I would have liked this year. This list is purely based on the films I saw, not ALL the films that were out in 2012. Sorry about that. Anyway. Let us begin. […]

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Outland: In Space No-one Can Hear You Punch The Clock

Writer / director Peter Hyams’ Outland posits a hard science fiction environment of remote titanium ore mining outposts dotted throughout our solar system. In one such roughneck mining town, based on one of Jupiter’s moons, Io, new marshall William O’Neil (Sean Connery) uncovers an illegal supply of performance enhancing drugs distributed by the colony chief, Mark Sheppard […]

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John’s Top 10 Modern Movies

With Sight & Sound throwing a list together that seems to be causing more head scratching than a nit convention (their list seemed to contain nothing beyond the 1960s), here at Cinetropolis we decided to represent the subsequent years and give our own subjective lists. So without any further ado, here is my top 10 […]

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Reappreciation Society: Shutter island

This piece contains spoilers I believe director Martin Scorsese is sufficiently aware of his film’s supposed twist effect on audiences to pose a more intriguing question from its doomed protagonist – “Which would be worse? To live as a monster, or die as a good man?” US Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is really mental patient […]

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Welcome To Hill Valley – A Back To The Future Video Tribute

Below is a split screen comparison by Joel Bocko of Marty McFly’s deja vu experiences in the same locations of Hill Valley in the different time periods of the Back To The Future trilogy – 1955, 1985, 2015, and 1885. In the words of  our “life preserver” wearing strange teenage time-traveller, “This is heavy…”   […]

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Exclusive “Interview” with Harry Shearer

I’m heavily involved in the originaltrilogy.com forums, famous for spawning Jamie Benning and Adywan, among other things. There are usually very interesting discussions about the making of the original films going on there. I noticed a new thread about the voice dubbing done on A New Hope, one of which surprised me: The Death Star […]

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Oliver Stone’s Comandante

Unless you’ve been living in a catatonic state since the double-whammy of Brexit and Trump-ton, you’ll know that Fidel Castro, lifetime president of Cuba, has died at the age of 90 (and not by the hands of the CIA, who tried to do him in multiple times with increasingly bizarre methods). In 2002, film-maker Oliver […]

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Unsung Heroes: Gerald Home, Return Of The Jedi’s Man Beneath the Masks

This month’s Unsung Hero played not one, but two alien background characters in Return Of The Jedi, yet is probably even more well known to the general public for an iconic advertising role, which we’ll get to later. I’m talking about Gerald Home. Belfast born Gerald Home moved to Australia at age 16, later attending […]

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Unsung Heroes: Syd Mead, Visual Futurist

  Richard Taylor, the effects supervisor of Tron, had this to say about Syd Mead’s design work – “It reminds you of something you’ve never seen before.” Syd Mead started drawing at three, creating cars, his first design love, with interior detail. By High School, he could accurately draft human and animal form. Art enthusiasts […]

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