Tag: featured

“It comes from not growing up at all” | Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

A corrupt media tycoon (Jonathan Pryce) attempts to start a war to profit from the news coverage. Only two people seem placed to prevent the death of millions: a Chinese intelligence officer named Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), and British secret agent James Bond (Pierce Brosnan). In 1995 the film studio MGM/UA scored a massive commercial ...

“The greatest show time” | Perfect Blue (1997) and Paprika (2006)

‘It’s the greatest show time!’ announces a clown as he impossibly squeezes out of a tiny automobile. A circus ring seems like an incongruous place to begin a science fiction film, but before long we are following a middle-aged police officer from circus to corridor to train and beyond, without explanation or logical sense. We ...

“One step at a time. One punch at a time. One round at a time.” | Creed (2015)

Halfway through the 2015 drama Creed there is a scene of a boxing match. The two boxers tap gloves, the bell rings, and they begin to warily circle one another. They start to get in some hits, back and forth. Blood is drawn. Tempers rise. The bell rings, and the boxers go back to their ...

“Right here where we live” | Meet Me in St Louis (1944)

A Missouri family go about their day-to-day lives in the 12 months leading up to the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair. That is the one-sentence summary of Vincente Minnelli’s musical film Meet Me in St Louis. On a superficial level it seems too low-key to become crowd-pleasing blockbuster, yet upon its release in November 1944 ...

The Best Films of 2017

With 2017 having just passed into history, it strikes me as a particularly good year for cinema. Putting together a list of the year's 10 best narrative features is usually a fairly easy task for me, with a few obvious stand-outs and perhaps a little bit of uncertainly over the last few films on the ...

“It is not too late to undo this madness” | Masters of the Universe (1987)

In 2007 Paramount Pictures released Transformers, a glossy big-budget science fiction film based on a range of action figures. It was a massive commercial hit, grossing more than US$700 million theatrically and inspiring an entire franchise with four sequels to date and a total worldwide theatrical gross of US$4.4 billion. Transformers was, of course, not ...

“Have we got a vacation for you” | Westworld (1973)

Two men, Peter Martin and John Blane, travel to a high technology theme park named Delos. There they both book into Westworld, a reproduction of 1880s America partially populated by interactive robots. When a computer failure spreads like an infection through the park’s robots, they suddenly turn violently against the guests – and Peter and ...

“The world just as it is” | Agora (2009)

A woman looks to the skies in search of order. A student is torn between an infatuation with his teacher and his political ambitions. A slave struggles to admit his religious faith. These three interrelated lives form the core of Agora, a 2009 historical drama by Chilean writer/director Alejandro Amenábar. At the time of its ...

“Ripples in the water” | Alien³ (1992)

According to the diary of actor Ralph Brown, who played the role of Aaron in the film Alien³, there was a message carved into a wall at London’s Pinewood studios. It purported to list the six stages of film production, as follows: Wild enthusiasm Disillusionment Panic Search for the Guilty Punish the Innocent Reward the ...

“The past is a wilderness of horrors” | The Wolfman (2010)

‘I’m a big fan of horror movies as far back as I can remember,’ said actor Benicio Del Toro. ‘The Universal horror movies were the first films I knew the titles of [as well as] the names of the actors in those films.’[1] All the way back in 1931 Universal Pictures stumbled upon a commercial ...