Why Ridley Scott doesn’t understand what made Alien great

Ridley Scott is a undoubtedly a master film maker. With such classics as Blade Runner, Gladiator and Thelma and Louise on his résumé, it’s impossible to argue otherwise. However whilst he is perhaps best known for re-inventing sci-fi with Alien (1979), I would argue he does not fully understand what makes that film great. Coming just twoContinue reading “Why Ridley Scott doesn’t understand what made Alien great”

Top 10 moments in The Walking Dead

Zombies have always been a thinking man’s monster. Whether it’s the social commentary of Romero’s Dead movies, or more recent offerings like  The Girl With All The Gifts, these shuffling ghouls are after your brain, in more ways than one. Riding high on the current wave of zombie culture is AMC’s The Walking Dead. Based on the comic books by RobertContinue reading “Top 10 moments in The Walking Dead”

Harry Potter and the Cash Cow

~Ex-Spoiler Patronus!~ What persuaded J.K. Rowling to re-open the Harry Potter universe? The skeptic in me would say the money. Everything was tied off neatly with Deathly Hallows and the whole saga adapted into a super successful 8-film franchise. And then lo: this year mini-book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them gets it’s big screen release, the firstContinue reading “Harry Potter and the Cash Cow”

Stranger Things: a mixtape of 80s covers

A word to the wise. Spoilers this way lie… Indiana. 1983. Cycling home one night local boy Will Byers disappears, leaving the cops searching and his mother distraught. But when Will’s friends discover “El”, a young girl in the woods with supernatural powers, they realise she may be the key to helping them find theirContinue reading “Stranger Things: a mixtape of 80s covers”

“Something attacked the city”: 9/11 and Cloverfield

Wes Craven famously said that horror films don’t create fear: they release it. Whilst this isn’t a view I wholly agree with, I do believe there is some truth to catharsis theory. To understand any culture, and what fears they are wrestling with, I reckon you look at their horror films and in particular their monsters. It’s no coincidence, forContinue reading ““Something attacked the city”: 9/11 and Cloverfield”

“The more you deny, the stronger I get”: Facing your fears with The Babadook

Spoilers ahoy! I’m not a big fan of supernatural horror movies. Although horror can be a great genre to explore ideas, I’m wary of anything which empowers fear in my life. Fear is, frankly, something I think we all need less of. And so for this reason I had avoided The Babadook until, that is, last week. A friendContinue reading ““The more you deny, the stronger I get”: Facing your fears with The Babadook”

“Revenge is in the creator’s hands”: the moral universe and The Revenant

  Spoilers this way lie Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. And this perhaps is none more true than in The Revenant, the new film from Alejandro González Iñárritu. Set in the icy wilderness of 1800s frontier America, the story follows Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his struggle to survive after being mauled byContinue reading ““Revenge is in the creator’s hands”: the moral universe and The Revenant”

“You’re going the wrong way!” Thankfulness in Planes, Trains and Automobiles

A few years ago a friend of ours invited us to our first Thanksgiving meal, and I immediately fell in love with it. I mean, any culture which takes sweet potato, adds marshmallows and maple syrup, and then has the chutzpah to serve this up as part of the main course is on an epic flavourContinue reading ““You’re going the wrong way!” Thankfulness in Planes, Trains and Automobiles”

“All these moments…” : A Life in Pictures with my Dad

Last week, aged 66 years and 2 days old, my father died peacefully in his sleep. He’d been fighting cancer for 2 years solid, and appeared to be doing well. Then, about 5 weeks ago, his condition suddenly worsened and the disease entered it’s final stages. The day he died my mum called me at workContinue reading ““All these moments…” : A Life in Pictures with my Dad”

“I gotta help Charles finish his movie” – The healing power of cinema in Super 8

To some people there’s nothing more yawnsome than films about films: they find them smug, solipsistic and self-congratulatory. But the reality is that cinema evokes a very romantic response from a large number of people, and I for one love films which celebrate the art form whilst simultaneously telling a ripping yarn. There are a number of filmsContinue reading ““I gotta help Charles finish his movie” – The healing power of cinema in Super 8″