The Indiana Jones Hypothesis

Is it true that in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones plays no real role in the outcome? This was posited by the character Amy in an episode of The Big Bang Theory. She claimed that: “Indiana Jones plays no role in the outcome of the story. If he weren’t in the film it would…

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…

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…