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It’s quite easy to be down on modern cinema. Prices are expensive, blockbusters and popular fare clog up screens, and viewings are often blighted by talkers, noisy eaters, and mobile phone flashlight wielders. Every now and then though a very special movie comes alone that reminds you why you fell in love with cinema in the first place, why going to the movies is such a special thing.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2016) was more than just a film, it was a catalyst for a coming together of film fans spanning generations. Men spoke of the joy of once again being taken to visit a galaxy far, far away by their fathers, but this time having their own children with them for the adventure. Three generations of fans gripping boxes of popcorn as the Star Wars fanfare rattled surround speakers and that yellow opening crawl moved towards an invisible space horizon. Fortu ... Read more »

Views: 776 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2017-12-15 | Comments (0)

Discussion and debate about the best directors of all time usually covers the same ground; who has won the most Oscars, who has the most classics in their back catalogue, who has covered the most genres. Something that’s regularly missed is legacy. Sadly it’s the sort of thing that isn’t looked at until a great filmmaker passes away, and this week one of Hollywood’s most legacy rich directors departed for pastures new.

I say Hollywood director, George A. Romero was better nown for being a Pittsburgh director, and proud to be so. Born in The Bronx, New York City in 1940, Romero first supplanted himself to Pittsburgh aged 19 to study at Carnegie Mellon University. Graduating in 1960 his first forays behind the camera were for commercials and short films. Earning just enough to take the brave step in to film production, Romero gathered together a group of ni ... Read more »

Views: 950 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2017-07-19 | Comments (0)

When Ian Fleming tapped the keys on his typewriter to pen the first James Bond novel he wasn’t aiming to write a serious expose on the secret life of spies or a true life account of working for MI6. Casino Royale was meant to be a pulp thriller that entertained, exhilarated and thrilled. Of all the actors who wielded the Walther PPK on the big screen no one delivered on these qualities quite like Sir Roger Moore.

When debating who the best Bond is, I don’t find that many of my fellow film fans join me in plumping for Sir Roger. Sean Connery, the original and therefore the best. Pierce Brosnan, revived the role. Timothy Dalton, the darkest and closest to Bond as described in the book. George Lazenby, the maverick. Daniel Craig, the grittiest and most realistic. All true points, and always well made. But what a lot of them forget is that we’re dealing ... Read more »

Views: 981 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2017-05-24 | Comments (0)

Sometimes you look at the state of Hollywood and wonder why you bother; this week has seen a higher than average number of such moments, a week of long sighs and exasperated eye rolling.

At the Cannes Film Festival Bong Joo-ho’s Okja (2017) received boos as Netflix’s logo appeared at the start of the film ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-39972987), the largely French audience not happy that the distributor has chosen not to release the film in cinemas across the country.

Earlier in the week Jessica Chastain, running the press junket gamut to promote her new film Miss Sloane (2017), bemoaned the lack of female ensemble casts and close-minded critics (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-39843540). A few days later Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) t ... Read more »

Views: 814 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2017-05-21 | Comments (0)

If anyone is going to enjoy Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant it’ll be fellow director and screenwriter Vincent Ward. The centre piece of his wooden-monastery-planet set script for Alien 3 (1992) would have seen the xenomorph stalking a group of monks through a large wheat field. Whether an intentional compliment or not, the scene that pushes Scott's latest Alien instalment in to shit-yer-pants mode sees a newly born alien hunting the crew of the colonialisation ship Covenant through a wheat field. It’s one of the best moments in a film that also features a frustrating amount of chaff with its wheat.

The question dripping from every fan’s lips is whether Covenant is better than its predecessor Prometheus (2012). Scott’s return to the Alien franchise was a frustrating affair. Pitched as a preque ... Read more »

Views: 1129 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2017-05-14 | Comments (0)

What a media hoo-hah we saw in Hollywood this week. Eager for something to break up the depressing monotony of Trump’s early reign, news outlets pounced on the closing kerfuffle at LA’s Dolby Theatre Sunday night. The wrong film had been announced as the Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards. Movie fans shrugged; the same thing happens most years at the Oscars.

Warren Beatty delivered his best performance in years as a deer in the headlights, desperately looking for some support from his Bonnie and Clyde (1967) accomplice Faye Dunaway. Turning the Best Picture announcement envelope to Faye after an agonising few seconds of deliberating, Dunaway put us out of our misery with a ‘La La Land’ blurt. Thinking he’d dodged a bullet Warren clapped and handed over the statuette. But with the La La Land (2016) crew in full flow show producers ... Read more »

Views: 850 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2017-03-04 | Comments (0)

With the high prices and talking, mobile phone using, noisy eating patrons of Odeon and the like continuing to frustrate, the appeal of alternative movie venues continues to grow. Along with the large scale outfits such as Luna Cinema and Secret Cinema, regional events designed to attract the enthusiastic moviegoer are starting to flourish. One of the best of this new breed of film events is the Rochester Kino.

Specialising in dedicated screenings of cult classic films, and well ahead of the new trend for themed film events, Rochester Kino is now in its eighth year. Offering showings in London at Belgrave Square, South Kensington and Stepney Green, at its spiritual home of Rochester in Kent the Kino has recently moved to a new location, the Sun Pier Café. Located on the banks of the River Medway, the view from the Café takes advantage of the Historic Dockyard and Upnor Castle to the east, a ... Read more »

Views: 955 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2017-02-19 | Comments (0)

The journey from page to screen to stage has been a difficult one to date. Carrie (1976) received boos went it first hit Broadway in 1988 and eventually inspired the book Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops, the musical version of The Lord of the Rings received numerous nicknames in the press from Flawed of the Rings to Bored of the Rings, and Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark, possibly the worse name given to anything ever, drew the harshest reviews in the history of theatre.

It was a brave move then by J.K. “I’ll never write another Harry Potter book” Rowling to further her fictional world on the West End stage, with the assistance of playwright Jack Thorne. Our tickets were luckily nabbed early in 2015. Informed that I’d only have to wait until February to see it, enthusiasm was high; excitement tapered s ... Read more »

Views: 953 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2017-02-18 | Comments (0)

The wait is over. We finally know who died at the hands of The Walking Dead’s newest villain Jeffery Dean Morgan’s grandstanding Negan, and love it or hate it, it'll be a television event that's talked about for years to come.


In the television Hall of Fame there sits a handful of TV moments that changed the way televisual entertainment is considered, that caused debate, that sparked a charged reaction from the home audience. The 'black screen' finale of The Sopranos, the murder of J.R. in Dallas, the 'Red Wedding' in Game of Thrones, the final episode of M.A.S.H, the moving last scene in Blackadder Goes Forth. AMC can rest easy that The Walking Dead's place amongst these classics is now assured.

FilmsFilmsFilms’ previous art ... Read more »

Views: 1284 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2016-10-25 | Comments (0)

Bandwagons; whoever the main supplier in Southern California is they must be absolutely minted by now. On both sides of the Hollywood divide there’s enough rolling stock to give the most ardent train spotter the stiffs. One of the most laden carriages currently on the studio side is the comic book movie. But chasing it in the maximum occupancy stakes, on the critics side of things, is the DC bashing wagon which is now close to overflowing.

We previously mounted a tentative defence of Zack Snyder’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), albeit acknowledging the huge problems the film had. The critics gave the movie a proper kicking and for the most part it was justified. Following on from the battering that Green Lantern (2011) and Man of Steel (2013) received, and in comparison to the huge success Marvel are having DC’s movie ... Read more »

Views: 985 | Added by: Dave | Date: 2016-08-21 | Comments (0)

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