I’d buy that for a dollar

  Why RoboCop is the strange film companion to Wall Street  In the month that a RoboCop remake is released, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the original and why it still matters. Made in 1987, RoboCop was set in “near future” Detroit and was a sleeper hit that spawned two (pretty terrible) sequels. The original…

The Ottoman Empire Strikes Back

The strange case of Turkish Star Wars The sub-genre of mockbusters has been celebrated (albeit somewhat ironically) for years, with a brisk trade in VHS tapes and copied DVDs. Now, many of the “classics” of that genre are freely available on the internet, often with recently-added English subtitles. While the likes of Asylum studio in…

Chico & Rita: An illustrated love story

Animation aimed at adults is not a new thing. It has been around since way back in the 1920s, but recently the medium has thrown up a few notable gems. Persepolis won the grand prize at Cannes in 2007 for its autobiographical tale of the Iranian revolution, while the visually-stunning Israeli film Waltz with Bashir…

How trailers became spoilers

Film reviewers try not to give too much of the plot away and avoid spoilers, lest they find their inbox full of complaints from angry readers. The actors doing interviews are under strict instructions not to reveal too much, while anyone on a film message-board who fails to warn people in the title of a…

Who really votes for the Oscars?

The Academy Awards are voted for by the 5,783 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences [AMPAS], but the list of who those people are is not entirely public. And the process is obviously open for criticism. The Academy is made up of fifteen branches, including directors, those who produce visual effects,…

Negative impact

Why modern films are increasingly being revisited in black and white Film director Steven Soderbergh kept a list of every book he read, play he attended and film or TV series he watched for an entire year. The list was published a few months ago and was a fascinating look into the pop culture habits…

The return of intelligent sci-fi

Prior to the success of last year’s Inception, big science fiction films had mostly struggled at the box office, meaning there was a huge reluctance to commit budget to the genre. The exception was movies with plots aimed at 12-year-old boys, which involved lots of CGI action, explosions and a script that wouldn’t leave half…

The Endorsement: Ice Cold In Alex

It’s one of the greatest films about a bar, even though the bar itself only appears briefly at the end. The soul of the story, however, is a man’s journey to reach this place, across the desert towards Alexandria where he can sit down and have a cold beer – the titular ice cold in…

New perspectives on Ferris

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is 25 years old this month. But have we been misreading the lm’s message these past three decades? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released on June 11th, 1986, the day of Shia LaBeouf’s birth. Shia will be all over the cinema screens this month starring in Transformers 3. But we’ll be…

The man who would be Kane

Citizen Kane is 70 years old this month and is acknowledged as a masterpiece from actor/director Orson Welles. But, let’s not do what he did and forget screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. Orson Welles was a dictator — a loud, overbearing brilliant control freak and a genuine cinematic genius, but a dictator nonetheless. And he wasn’t…