All posts by Grant Watson

Grant Watson is an Australian film critic and writer. He lives in Melbourne.

“Filigree, apogee, pedigree, perigee!” | Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

It is the year 1940. An apprentice witch-in-training attempts to master a spell that will enable her to animate soldiers’ uniforms and send an unstoppable magical army into Nazi Germany. Her quest to discover the correct words for the spell take her from rural England to London and back, with a side-trip to an animated ...

“The only winning move” | WarGames (1983)

Teenager David Lightman, obsessed with his new personal computer, uses it to hack into a telephone network and access pre-release videogames. He has made a mistake. He has not hacked into a videogames developer but rather into NORAD – North American Aerospace Defense Command. While David believes he is playing a war game a powerful ...

“It’s the end of the world.” | The Birds (1963)

It seems unlikely that there is a film director more widely known than Alfred Hitchcock. Through numerous iconic feature films – primarily thrillers – he managed to carve a permanent niche inside the pop culture landscape. Even people who have never seen one of his films are generally familiar with their most famous images and ...

“I shouldn’t have come” | It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)

  Sometimes you can’t go home again. In 1952 movie-goers around the world fell in love with Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen’s vibrant, toe-tapping musical Singin’ in the Rain. They embraced it with such enthusiasm that it remains one of the all-time great Hollywood productions today. Three years later Kelly and Donen reunited with Singin’ ...

“It’s tough to be a god” | The Road to El Dorado (2000)

In August 1994 the Walt Disney Company was responsible for the number one feature film in America (The Lion King), the number one CD in the Billboard charts (The Lion King’s soundtrack), the number one musical on Broadway (Beauty and the Beast) and the highest-rated comedy series on television (Home Improvement). All four achievements were ...

“It’s a science experiment” | Back to the Future Part III (1990)

In Back to the Future Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travelled back in time 30 years from 1985 to 1955, using a time machine invented by the eccentric scientist Emmett “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd). In Back to the Future Part II Doc took Marty 30 years into the future, before events forced them to return ...

“There’s something very familiar about all this” | Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Sequels are common in Hollywood. Good sequels are much rarer. Back to the Future Part II, released in November 1989, is arguably one of the most inventive and jaw-dropping sequels ever made. The noted astronomer and science communicator Carl Sagan once told its director that it was ‘the best movie ever made on the science ...