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Another year and another Oscar ceremony goes by without having made the requisite changes to wrestle back the interest of the average movie fan. Thankfully a couple of the award decisions saved the ceremony from being one of the worst ever, but it was a close-run thing. 

There was a time when the Academy Awards were much revered, when Joe Public cared who the winners were, but that hasn’t been the case for some time. Over the past few years the curtain has been pulled back on Hollywood and the grubby, corrupt gears of the machine have been revealed. Take a look back over the winner’s speeches from various movie award ceremonies from the past twenty years and you’ll be shocked by just how many actors lauded Harvey Weinstein as a great guy and a credit to the industry.

I find it hard to believe that all of them had no idea what was going on. Some wer ... Read more »

Views: 421 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2020-02-11 | Comments (0)

The return of our ‘Films Films and Me’ feature and Derek T from New Hampshire takes us through the films that have made up some key movie watching moments. 

1. The First Film I Saw At The Cinema -
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982). I was four when it came out. I was enthralled. My mom likes to tell the story about how, at the end of the movie, I was in tears and she sat me in her lap. I told her "I'm not crying, I'm just pouting". I don't remember too much about the experience aside from this, but I do remember owning a pile of E.T. merchandise. I still have my vinyl covered E.T. plush and E.T. bubble-bath. The other films I remember seeing when I was in my early movie-going phase were The Care Bears Movie (1985), The NeverEnding Story (1984), Return of the Jedi (1983) and Gremlins (1984), so I ha ... Read more »

Views: 406 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2020-01-26 | Comments (0)

When it comes to Star Wars most fans would benefit from a reminder that the films are made primarily as adventure stories for children. What’s also forgotten is that when Star Wars (1977) arrived it had the space adventure sub-genre all to itself; there had been nothing like it before and nothing to compare it to.

Even so, George Lucas, Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand’s original trilogy was a lot better than it had any right to be. As such, expectations for further Star Wars outings were very high. Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker (2019) is thus a film 42 years in the making, the final word on the adventures of Luke, Leia, and Han.

The prequel trilogy, for all the hype surrounding it, never had to contend with these expectations. Being set before A New Hope the films didn’t have to handle the beloved original cas ... Read more »

Views: 438 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2019-12-21 | Comments (0)

Just as VHS gave way to DVD, so my DVD collection is being replaced with blu-ray. For financial reasons I’m being selective as to what films get the high-def upgrade , but there have been a lot of horror films on my blu-ray shopping list. Rather than send the unwanted DVDs off to one of those online sites that offers you peanuts for them, I’ve brought them in to work to sell for charity.

This week I put a “Halloween Special” sign next to them to try and cash in on the season. Seeing the long line of scary DVDs a colleague cautiously enquired about my love for such dubious looking movies as The Burning (1981) and Suspiria (1977). I mentioned my fondness for Halloween but couldn’t follow that up with an explanation as to where that love came from; so began a stagger back through the mist of my memory.

The roots we ... Read more »

Views: 434 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2019-10-27 | Comments (0)

Last month Avengers: Endgame (2019) was officially recognised as the highest grossing film of all time. Film fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, a cinematic oddity had been corrected; Avatar (2009) was no longer the biggest film in Hollywood history.

Arriving in December 2009, Avatar’s ten year reign at the top of the list was the result of fortuitous timing rather than quality filmmaking. As the first blockbuster to take advantage of ‘Real3D’ technology, Avatar was the new film you just had to see. My cinema visit its week of release will remain a memorable one; like a child I stared with open mouthed wonder at the flotsam of Pandora’s exotic fauna dancing in front of my eyes. All memories of red and blue tinted cardboard glasses were wiped away. True three-dimensional cinema was here an ... Read more »

Views: 462 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2019-10-16 | Comments (0)

Most film fans have a favourite actor, someone they can happily watch in any movie no matter how good or bad it is. Growing up mine was Arnold Schwarzenegger. There was nothing I wouldn’t watch that featured the Austrian Oak, from his early steps in to cinema, The Villain/Cactus Jack (1979), to his eighties megahits Commando (1985) and Predator (1987). Of all his films though there was one I rarely returned to, the film that launched him as a legitimate star, Conan the Barbarian (1982).

Access to movies growing up was limited. We didn’t have the funds to raid video shops so we had to hope that the television schedules were kind. Whenever a new Arnie film made it on to TV I’d set the video recorder and soon I’d amassed a full Schwarzenegger back catalogue. Conan the Barbarian was the one that gath ... Read more »

Views: 575 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2018-11-25 | Comments (0)

Fans of Halloween (1978) can be forgiven for being sceptical about new additions to their beloved franchise. After a reasonable follow-up, Halloween II (1981), it was all downhill, starting with a half decent but non-canonical third instalment, Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), through a middle run of films that grew ever more ridiculous, up to a pair of Rob Zombie remakes that were the blunt unlikeable antithesis of John Carpenter’s sharp original. Even the involvement of final girl Jamie Lee Curtis was no guarantee of quality as the underwhelming Halloween: H20 (1998) and the horrendous Halloween: Resurrection (2002) demonstrated.

When Lee Curtis announced in 2017 that she was returning to the franchise that launched her career, even she seemed nonplussed. Eschewing the usual pre-film promotional espousing, Lee Curtis was ... Read more »

Views: 814 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2018-10-23 | Comments (0)

A clean sweep of sunny bank holiday weekends was always too good to be true. So it was the final bank holiday weekend of 2018 saw a return to form, grey skies and torrential rain. For the movie fan it was a blessed release after months of summer weather; stuffy living rooms and sun blasted TV screens make movie watching a chore. You can’t see what’s going on in darker films and the warm weather calls you to the garden rather than the sofa. The perfect antidote to a rainy bank holiday Sunday then? An impromptu movie marathon, and for FilmsFilmsFilms sixteenth epic it was nine hours with Gotham’s Dark Knight.

By the end of the twentieth century Batman movies were anathema to comic book fans. As the nineties Batman films leaned ever more towards the camp of the sixties TV show, fans and critics became increasingly non-plussed with the big screen outings. B ... Read more »

Views: 791 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2018-08-27 | Comments (0)

There’s nothing Hollywood won’t take advantage of when it comes to turning a buck. Studio execs were paying attention when the #MeTo movement started and they keenly noted the reaction of the average cinema goer. Most of us were disgusted that females in the movie trade were being taken advantage of just because they wanted to further their career. And in turn we were keen to see Hollywood’s female contingent get a fair deal.

The studios were happy to oblige, at least on the face of it. Their direct response was to get more female faces up on the big screen. But rather than write some actual quality scripts for them, the quick and easy route was to remake movies that had all male ensemble casts, but this time with an all lady cast.

Despite the public’s positive reaction to #MeTo, Hollywood’s first ‘olive branch’ drew an avalanche of ir ... Read more »

Views: 660 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2018-07-03 | Comments (0)

As cinematic success stories go, there’s no arguing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Eighteen films old now, its run since 2nd May 2008 is unmatched. There’s only been one stumble to date, The Incredible Hulk (2008), but even that was a decade ago at the very start of the MCU masterplan. No other movie franchise can match the MCU’s achievements, its combo of sustained quality, number of films, and box office takings. It seems the only thing that can topple the MCU is the MCU itself, and as its nineteenth film Avengers: Infinity War (2018) shows there’s a danger that the Marvel movies are becoming their own worst enemy.


Infinity War is undoubtedly a stunning movie. There was a time when to include three or more comic-book characters in a film was to court disaster, Batman and Robin (1997), ... Read more »

Views: 665 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2018-04-28 | Comments (0)

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