SAW (2003) – Short Film of the Day

Would you like to play a game? It’s only taken me 15 years or so, but I have finally hacked my way through the SAW franchise. The reason? Morbid curiousity. So here is the ‘Short Film of the Day’, 2003’s SAW. Oh, and some thoughts on the franchise as a whole (excluding the new Chris… Read More

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (2020): Archetypes Not Stereotypes

Emerald Fennell won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for this, the screenplay itself was on the Black List a few years ago, and it struck me as odd as the script itself is one of the more conventional things about the film. **SPOILERS AHEAD**

Mulvey & The Contemporary Blockbuster

[This article is an edited version of an assignment originally written for my MSc.] Laura Mulvey’s 1975 essay, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, took issue with the patriarchal society which was being represented in film at the time. She argues that the male gaze “projects its fantasy onto the female figure, which is styled accordingly.” … Read More

JAWS: Beyond The Sea

[This article is an edited version of an assignment originally written for my MSc.] Arguably the first summer blockbuster, Jaws is an Ahab-like tale of a journey to kill a shark which has been terrorising the waters of Amity Island. The film, which starred Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw, grossed $470.7m worldwide in… Read More

BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW (2010) – A Psychic Burn

[This article was originally written as an assignment for my degree.] Panos Cosmatos’ 2010 debut, Beyond The Black Rainbow is a strong statement of intent. The film crosses the genre line between science-fiction horror and psycho-thriller, whilst simultaneously identifying as a piece of film from the plots period, 1983.

A Cosmatos Odyssey – The work of Panos Cosmatos

[This article was originally written as an assignment for my degree.] There is a danger in calling him ‘the son of George P. Cosmatos’. Because even though he worked on Tombstone as the second unit director (the residuals of which he used to finance his work), he holds no through line to the director of… Read More

February 2020.

Been extraordinarily busy over the last month with Uni work. My Dissertation on Michael Bay has turned into torture, one word, one explosion, one fucked-frame at a time. On top of that is the usual deadlines and life crap thrown my way. As such, I haven’t been to the cinema to see new releases as… Read More

Does It Ever Rain In A Michael Bay Movie? – 6 UNDERGROUND (2019)

This series focuses on the one and only Michael Bay. Attempting to deconstruct his filmography, one film at a time. The ideas explored here may or may not end up in my Dissertation about Michael Bay and Post-Cinema. And to answer the question: Does it ever rain in a Michael Bay movie? After TRANSFORMERS: THE… Read More

Does It Ever Rain In A Michael Bay Movie? – PAIN & GAIN (2013)

This series focuses on the one and only Michael Bay. Attempting to deconstruct his filmography, one film at a time. The ideas explored here may or may not end up in my Dissertation about Michael Bay and Post-Cinema. And to answer the question: Does it ever rain in a Michael Bay movie? After blowing up… Read More

Does It Ever Rain In A Michael Bay Movie? – TRANSFORMERS (2007)

This series focuses on the one and only Michael Bay. Attempting to deconstruct his filmography, one film at a time. The ideas explored here may or may not end up in my Dissertation about Michael Bay and Post-Cinema. And to answer the question: Does it ever rain in a Michael Bay movie? After THE ISLAND,… Read More

Does It Ever Rain In A Michael Bay Movie? – THE ISLAND (2005)

This series focuses on the one and only Michael Bay. Attempting to deconstruct his filmography, one film at a time. The ideas explored here may or may not end up in my Dissertation about Michael Bay and Post-Cinema. And to answer the question: Does it ever rain in a Michael Bay movie? After the unhinged… Read More

January 2020.

2020 has started. It is coming towards the end of January, and I feel like I need to verbalise some general thoughts about January 2020 releases  (or US December 2019 releases) that I have seen. Is that the introduction? Yeah… that’ll do.

Does It Ever Rain In A Michael Bay Movie? – BAD BOYS II (2003)

This series focuses on the one and only Michael Bay. Attempting to deconstruct his filmography, one film at a time. The ideas explored here may or may not end up in my Dissertation about Michael Bay and Post-Cinema. And to answer the question: Does it ever rain in a Michael Bay movie? “You ain’t seen… Read More

Does It Ever Rain In A Michael Bay Movie? – PEARL HARBOR (2001)

This series focuses on the one and only Michael Bay. Attempting to deconstruct his filmography, one film at a time. The ideas explored here may or may not end up in my Dissertation about Michael Bay and Post-Cinema. And to answer the question: Does it ever rain in a Michael Bay movie? In 1997 the… Read More

Does It Ever Rain In A Michael Bay Movie? – ARMAGEDDON (1998)

This series focuses on the one and only Michael Bay. Attempting to deconstruct his filmography, one film at a time. The ideas explored here may or may not end up in my Dissertation about Michael Bay and Post-Cinema. And to answer the question: Does it ever rain in THIS Michael Bay movie? After the heroics… Read More

EXORCIST(s)

Been working my way through the EXORCIST series, from the 1973 original through to the recent release of LEGION, the EXORCIST III re-edit from Shout Factory. As I got more and more into the series, I felt like I had to write something down. This is just my thoughts on the individual films, and then… Read More

Top 30 Films of 2019: 10 to 1

I tried getting this down to a Top 10, then 15, then 20, and have settled on 30. There were just too many movies that I wanted to write about and highlight. There are a few ‘cheats’ where two movies are conjoined as they are thematically similar and I feel they deserve to be together.… Read More

Top 30 Films of 2019: 20 to 11

I tried getting this down to a Top 10, then 15, then 20, and have settled on 30. There were just too many movies that I wanted to write about and highlight. There are a few ‘cheats’ where two movies are conjoined as they are thematically similar and I feel they deserve to be together.… Read More

Top 30 Films of 2019: 30 to 21

I tried getting this down to a Top 10, then 15, then 20, and have settled on 30. There were just too many movies that I wanted to write about and highlight. There are a few ‘cheats’ where two movies are conjoined as they are thematically similar and I feel they deserve to be together.… Read More

Top 20 Films of the Decade – 5 to 1

It is December 2019, I am looking forward to the new year. The hope that 2020 will bring a fresh start perhaps has added weight due to the events of the last decade. What my Top 20 of the Decade list will be, is a personal list. If you know me, some of these choices… Read More

Top 20 Scores/Soundtracks of the Decade

I debated doing this Top 20, but after listening to a friend of mine talk about this exact subject, I thought it’d be another good exercise. You know the drill, torturing myself over a Top 20, making sure each one is in its correct place. Stressing over what not to include, and what to exclude,… Read More

Top 20 Films of the Decade – 10 to 6

It is December 2019, I am looking forward to the new year. The hope that 2020 will bring a fresh start perhaps has added weight due to the events of the last decade. What my Top 20 of the Decade list will be, is a personal list. If you know me, some of these choices… Read More

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER – The Saga Ends.

Nine movies. The Skywalker Saga has reached its end. This is going to be as spoiler free as I can possibly go. After my mandatory rewatch I will do a spoiler review, purely because I think the film deserves it.

Top 20 Films of the Decade – 15 to 11

It is December 2019, I am looking forward to the new year. The hope that 2020 will bring a fresh start perhaps has added weight due to the events of the last decade. What my Top 20 of the Decade list will be, is a personal list. If you know me, some of these choices… Read More

Eleven Years After QUANTUM OF SOLACE

[This article was originally written as an assignment for my degree.] A writers strike hampered the ambitions of the sequel to 2006’s CASINO ROYALE. Critic and audience responses were, shall we say, on the negative side. And ever since it’s release in 2008, QUANTUM OF SOLACE is seen as this bastard child of the Daniel… Read More

Top 20 Films of the Decade – 20 to 16

It is December 2019, I am looking forward to the new year. The hope that 2020 will bring a fresh start perhaps has added weight due to the events of the last decade. What my Top 20 of the Decade list will be, is a personal list. If you know me, some of these choices… Read More

Does It Ever Rain In A Michael Bay Movie? – THE ROCK (1996)

This series focuses on the one and only Michael Bay. Attempting to deconstruct his filmography, one film at a time. The ideas explored here may or may not end up in my Dissertation about Michael Bay and Post-Cinema. And to answer the question: Does it ever rain in a Michael Bay movie? “Your “best”! Losers… Read More

Does It Ever Rain In A Michael Bay Movie? – BAD BOYS (1995)

This series focuses on the one and only Michael Bay. Attempting to deconstruct his filmography, one film at a time. The ideas explored here may or may not end up in my Dissertation about Michael Bay and Post-Cinema. And to answer the question: Does it ever rain in a Michael Bay movie? The Porsche drives… Read More

The Mask of SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

[This article was originally written as an assignment for my degree.] About 30 minutes into SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, there is is the obligatory Stan Lee cameo. But this time it is different. The film was released about a month after he passed, but somehow became the best cameo (although his conversation with Brodie in… Read More

A Polish Response To COLD WAR

[This article was originally written as an assignment for my degree.] What follows is a transcript of an interview I had with Renata Kozub, a Polish citizen living in the UK. This is her response to COLD WAR and my questions I had regarding the film and it’s themes.

Hunting the BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

[This article was originally written as an assignment for my degree.] When Hushpuppy confronts and stares down the Auroch’s during the films climax, it is then that I work out the intentions of writer/directer Benh Zeitlin. The Katrina and Climate Crisis metaphor, with a sprinkling of post-racial Obama era politics, would be a complete failure… Read More

Innocent SHOPLIFTERS

[This article was originally written as an assignment for my degree.] Before SHOPLIFTERS, my only exposure to the fringe of society life in Japan was TAMPOPO. What is interesting for me is that both films frame the theme of poverty around children (also it is worth noting that both films treat eroticise food in a… Read More

The Fools Who Dream of LA LA LAND

[This article was originally written as an assignment for my degree.] As Mia (Emma Stone) stands in front of the casting directors and they ask her to tell them a story, she recalls a story her Aunt told her. The story of her in Paris, jumping into the Seine, and getting ill because of it.… Read More

GEMINI MAN.

The script isn’t that great (David Benihoff really needs to hit a screenwriting class), the premise is fairly generic, and the star hasn’t had a big hit in years. However, this is a film that is pretty weird when you think about it, has some outstanding action setpieces, the cast are all in, and the… Read More

THE IRISHMAN.

Based upon the memoir, ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’ by Charles Brandt, Scorsese’s latest collaboration with De Niro is a fantastic piece of cinema. I’m not trying to sound surprised by this statement, but if I am being really honest I had a couple of doubts.

JOKER.

Angry men who don’t feel connected to society, people who want to lash out at the haves that seem to own everything around them, and give nothing back. Fantasies of living the happy life, at being connected to the real world. When the world gets crazier, the crazy start coming to the surface. And so,… Read More

BIRDMAN or (The Totally Expected Superhero Evaluation)

[This article was originally written as an assignment for my degree.] BATMAN & BIRDMAN. The star meanings of Keaton and Thompson are one and the same. Keaton was cast Burton’s BATMAN in the 80s. Best known at the time for being MR. MOM and the titular BEETLEJUICE (say it 3 times). The two BATMAN films… Read More

The MCU is Dead. Long Live the MCU.

[This article was originally written as an assignment for my degree.] The following post has Mild Spoilers for EVERY MARVEL MOVIE RELEASED. On the evening of Tuesday 28th October 2014 at the El Capitan theatre in Los Angeles, Kevin Feige stood in front of industry critics, analysts and Marvel fans and announced the upcoming slate… Read More

Oh, no, there goes Tokyo. Go, Go, GODZILLA

**THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS** —– 臨時ニュースを申し上げます 臨時ニュースを申し上げます ゴジラが銀座方面に向かっています 大至急避難してください 大至急避難してください —-

THE TERMINATOR – After the end

So, what is going on with the Terminator franchise? Terminator: Dark Fate had its first trailer released this week and I have many, many questions.

WONDERSTRUCK (2017) – A Review

[This is an altered version of a post originally featured on Hidden Remote] Based on Brian Selznick’s children’s book of the same name (who adapted his own story for the screenplay), Wonderstruck has two separate stories which are shot in their own individual ways. The sequences that take place in 1927 are shot in black… Read More

MUTE (2018) – A Review

[This is an altered version of a post originally featured on Hidden Remote] It is going to be hard for me to write this review without first touching on the obvious. Firstly, this isn’t as good as Moon. Secondly, Netflix needs to sort out a theatrical release model. Thirdly, Mute does not deserve any of… Read More

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (2017) – A Review

[This is an altered version of a post originally featured on Hidden Remote] An opening moment with Luke Skywalker sets the tone of the film. A closing shot that sets up what’s to come and what Star Wars means to people. Shots of striking beauty and composition. There are moments of sheer awe. There is… Read More

LOOPER (2012) – Closing The Loop

[This is an altered version of a post originally featured on Hidden Remote] Straight away Rian Johnson dumps us into the world of Looper. He trusts the audience with the information about Time Travel, the shift in time periods, and the faith in the timelines present.

THE BROTHERS BLOOM (2008) – The Playful Con

[This is an altered version of a post originally featured on Hidden Remote] From the opening shot, to hearing the narration, there is a sense of fun and lightheartedness to The Brothers Bloom. Rian Johnson’s tale of con-men starring Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz and Rinko Kikuchi.

BRICK (2005) – Teen-noir

[This is an altered version of a post originally featured on Hidden Remote] Nathan Johnson’s syncopated composition plays over the screen. A reaction shot of a dead girl lying in a stream. A sad face contemplates what has been witnessed. Brick starts as confidently as it goes on.

MIAMI VICE (2006) – Blue

I love Miami Vice. Michael Mann’s own reworking of his 80s TV show has a lot of detractors, but I will defend this film with my life.

There’s Hope in ARRIVAL

Humanity has a lot to answer for. From the worst that we have taken, to the wonders that we have given. It’s fair to say that ARRIVAL gives both sides of the coin a tough examination.

Star Wars has its ‘War’: ROGUE ONE review

This was gritty, downbeat, thumping, triumphant filmmaking. Gareth Edwards has brought a different aesthetic to the saga, away from the familiarity of Lucas and Abrams. Ever since MONSTERS, Edwards has brought scale to his films; GODZILLA benefitted from it and now STAR WARS.

NOVA SEED: Four years a Frame

My first viewing of 1981’s HEAVY METAL was at the probably too young age of 14. The music was gold to my ears having been brought up on Heavy Metal; the gore and bare-chested women were perfect for my teenage mind. As I have gotten older though, the reverence and love I have had leaned… Read More

Subversion of Genre Conventions in SCREAM & THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

[This post is a version of a piece of A-Level Coursework I did in 2012.] SCREAM (1996, Wes Craven) and THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2011, Drew Goddard) (CITW for short) are both horror films that are aware of the genre tropes. Both writer and directors of the films, Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson for… Read More

Wilderness be damned: HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE

This year is turning into a fantastic year for smaller films. First SWISS ARMY MAN, now this. WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS was a fantastic comedy, with a great take on the vampire genre. This, Taika Waititi’s follow up, promptly follows suit as a unique journey into the wilderness. The light-hearted drama/comedy of HUNT… Read More