7 items from 2016
Unfortunately, Guillermo Del Toro’s original Gothic romance Crimson Peak didn’t translate to box office gold, netting thirty one million at the domestic box office (it was budgeted at fifty-five million) and receiving criticism for a basic narrative failing to live up to the promise of inventive visuals. Still, one can appreciate Universal’s gambling on Del Toro’s vision and hope the property is considered lucrative enough to continue supporting unique visions from auteurs. Featuring a talented cast (despite the questionable casting of Jessica Chastain), Del Toro’s period suspense thriller collapses under close inspection, but is worth a glance as a piece of glossy strangeness.
Borrowing mercilessly from yellowed clichés of romantically inclined gothic literature, screenwriters Del Toro and Matthew Robins (whose last collaboration was the 1997 mutant insect thriller Mimic) plunder Edgar Allan Poe templates infused with the emotional melodrama oozing eternally from the pages of the »
- Nicholas Bell
Prior to the 1950s, British horror consisted mainly of Tod Slaughter melodramas and the occasional vehicle for Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi. A pair of truly notable films – Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1926) and Dead Of Night (1945) – broke the mould, but the genre met with disapproval from the UK censor, who banned Freaks and Island Of Lost Souls (both 1932) for decades.
The change came when Hammer released The Curse Of Frankenstein in 1957, which gave punters a home-grown monster movie with unprecedented levels of gore. The film played to packed houses and as Hammer’s success continued, rival studios sprung up and their output made it very clear that there was much more to British horror than watching Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing putter around a gothic castle.
From anthology films to zombie movies, there’s a certain consistency to horror pictures from the UK, an atmosphere and »
- Ian Watson
Is there actually a story reason why the Empire in Star Wars is obsessed with Death Stars? We take a look...
In 1977's Star Wars (akaA New Hope), the Empire have finished building their ultimate weapon, the Death Star. It's a very important part of the Star Wars universe, chiefly because without it the name 'Star Wars' doesn't make as much sense. The first Death Star was destroyed at the end of that film, due to the Rebel Alliance capitalising on a structural weakness. It was replaced by a second Death Star, which was destroyed at the end of 1983's Return Of The Jedi after the Rebel Alliance capitalised on a structural weakness.
In 2015's The Force Awakens (Aka Here Comes The New Hope, Same As The Old Hope »
With spoilers, we take a look at the latest rumours surrounding the villains in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story...
Nb: The following contains potential spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Scroll below our Jedi Squirrel at your peril.
From rank-and-file Stormtroopers to the imposing Darth Vader himself, villains have long been the engine that drives the Star Wars universe. Sure, Luke Han and now Finn and Rey might be the ones we root for, but it's the antagonists that give them something to fight against and, in many cases, provide the franchise with its most powerful imagery - it's no coincidence that the features of Darth Maul and Kylo Ren have been used to promote The Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens respectively.
With less than a year to go until the release of the first Star Wars spin-off, Rogue One, we've already provided »
Where do I get my Big Brother campaign pin and yard poster? Michael Radford's elaborate Orwell adaptation sticks closely to the original book, even after decades of deriviative dystopias have stolen its fire. John Hurt is excellent as Winston Smith, and Richard Burton is his inquisitor. Nineteen Eighty-Four Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1984 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 111 min. / Ship Date December 8, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, Cyril Cusack, Gregor Fisher, James Walker, Phyllis Logan. Cinematography Roger Deakins Production Designer Allan Cameron Art Direction Martin Hebert, Grant Hicks Film Editor Tom Priestley Original Music (2) Dominick Muldowney / Eurythmics Written by Jonathan Gems, Michael Radford from the novel by George Orwell Produced by Al Clark, Robert Devereux, Simon Perry, Marvin J. Rosenblum Directed by Michael Radford
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
George Orwell's pessimistic 1948 novel 1984 is probably the most important political book of the last century. »
- Glenn Erickson
We look at what we know so far about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - plus round up some of the juiciest rumours and bits of speculation...
Nb: The following contains potential spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and speculation about Rogue One.
Even the return of cinema's most charismatic fish can't quite match the anticipation surrounding this year's Star Wars spin-off, Rogue One. That's according to a much-shared survey which suggests that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the movie cinemagoers are most looking forward to in 2016 - beating Pixar sequel Finding Dory to second place and superhero face-off epic Batman V Superman into third.
That level of fervour isn't bad going, really, when you consider that: one, Rogue One isn't a full sequel to The Force Awakens, which is still cutting a swathe through multiplexes, and two, we don't really know a huge amount about it yet. »
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens now out in theatres and the general public embracing it with open arms, all eyes are on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to see what the next instalment in the beloved franchise can deliver.
We still don’t know a whole lot about the highly-anticipated spinoff, but that could all change very soon, as reports are surfacing that point to the first trailer for Gareth Edwards’ film arriving this Spring with Captain America: Civil War. While unconfirmed at this point, it certainly makes sense, as both movies belong to the House of Mouse, so a bit of cross-marketing could be a smart idea.
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If the trailer does indeed arrive with Cap’s next adventure, then you can expect it to debut online several days before, which means we could be getting our first bit of footage from »
- Mark Cassidy
7 items from 2016
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