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Say you’ve decided to introduce a friend who is familiar with Star Trek but who is not an uber-fan to the film franchise. You go to pop a DVD of, say, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan or Star Trek (the J.J. Abrams movie, since there’s nothing else to call it despite Lens Flares R’ Us), and everything is going fine…until you get to that scene.
Yes, you know what I’m talking about: that one scene (or perhaps it’s multiple scenes, if you’re foolhardy enough to screen Star Trek V: The Steaming Pile) that makes you yourself question why you’re a fan of the franchise. If you were alone, you’d probably fast-forward past it as you always do. But you can’t. It could be anything from bad acting to a particularly bad scene to a poor choice on the director’s part, »
- Tony Whitt
Welcome to The Last Sci-fi Blog, our biweekly column about all things science fiction in movies. Planet of the Apes is the greatest science fiction movie series of all time. This is as close to a fact as opinions about movie franchises get. Seriously. The math backs it up. But what about Star Wars, you ask? Okay. Well, there are six Star Wars movies, but only two of them (the 1977 original and The Empire Strikes Back) are universally beloved. That's a success rate of roughly 33%. Some of you will definitely go to bat for Star Trek, but of the 11 feature films, only a handful truly hold up: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country and 2011's reboot, Star Trek. That's also a 33% success rate, give or...
- Jacob S. Hall
Personally, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had the ‘Which sequel is better than its predecessor’ debate. We all know the scene: It’s late. You’ve just washed down The Bourne Ultimatum, or Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan, with a bottle of wine and a 12 inch pizza, and one of your number makes the statement. “That’s way better than the earlier ones!”
Cut to: several hours later, and your group will no doubt have concluded, after lengthy discussion, that the best sequels in the history of cinema are The Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather Part II, Aliens, The Dark Knight and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. What’s more, they’re absolutely right. Since the dawn of the internet, film fans have been declaring their lists of the absolute best sequels ever made, and almost without exception, those titles eventually float to the top. »
- Sarah Myles
At the end of my review of Maleficent I wrote: "Yes, movies such as this might be made for a young audience that will find something to enjoy in the magical CG flittering around, but once that audience grows up will they honestly turn to something like this for warm childhood memoriesc Dear God I hope not." It's a statement that has stuck with me since I wrote it. I was primarily thinking of how classic Disney animated films, such as Sleeping Beauty, hold up no matter how old you are. The more I thought about it, though, I began to wonder if I was simply being too precious when it comes to those classic animated movies and started to ask myself if there were any live action films I saw as a child, films that targeted kids and yet managed to appeal to adults then and maintain their value »
- Brad Brevet
Six years after their last attempt, Empire Magazine has conducted a poll of over 250,000 film fans to come up with a list of the 301 greatest movies ever made. It's the 1980 classic "The Empire Strikes Back" which took the top spot, beating out the 2008 winner "The Godfather" which slipped down to second place. The Top 50 of the list are:
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
2001: A Space Odyssey
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
- Garth Franklin
"The Americans" just concluded its second season in spectacular fashion. I interviewed producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields about season 2, and I have a review of the finale coming up just as soon as I want to punch you in the face if you say one more thing about nonviolent resistance... "Paige is your daughter, but she's not just yours. She belongs to the cause. And to the world. We all do." -Claudia A great season of television doesn't require a great finish. I had an issue or two with the conclusion of "Breaking Bad," but taken as a whole, those last eight episodes make up a unit for the time capsule. Similarly, the "True Detective" finale wasn't my favorite episode of that series, but I'm going to be parked at the front of the line to watch season 2. But when you have a great season of television that also ends great? »
- Alan Sepinwall
The Americans wouldn't have made it past its first season if we got the answers to all our burning questions right away: Will Paige and Henry find out Mom and Dad are about as American as apple sharlotka? Whose side is Nina actually on? Is Stan ever going to catch a break? Who killed Emmett and Leanne? And, no, sorry – none of those plot lines even come close to resolution in the penultimate episode of Season Two. But, all good showrunners need to throw their loyal fan base a bone every now and then, »
A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as I don't have a niece or a cousin... "One day, it's coming. You know it is." -Elizabeth After the emotional explosion that was "Martial Eagle," it feels like "The Americans" has eased back on Philip and Elizabeth's crisis of faith (in Mother Russia, not in the god they don't believe in) in favor of moving the season's big story arcs forward before next week's finale. But if Philip has mostly calmed down since his confrontation with Pastor Tim, Elizabeth's time with Jared only increases her own concerns about the risks this job creates for both them and their kids. The season has had so many moving pieces that it hasn't had a lot of time to deal with the mystery of who killed Emmett and Leanne. For a while, we thought it was Larrick, and maybe it will turn out to be true, »
- Alan Sepinwall
With Hugh Jackman currently negotiating to play Wolverine for a seventh and eighth time, Cinelinx takes a look at actors who’ve played the same role eight times or more. Who has played the same character most often? Come in and find out.
Hugh Jackman has already played Wolverine five times--x-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003) X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), and The Wolverine (2013)—as well as a cameo in X-Men:First Class (2011). Soon we’ll be seeing him fully clawed again on the big screen in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Recently, he told Collider that he might shoot Wolverine 3 and X-Men: Apocalypse “back-to-back”, which would make a total of eight times (9 times with the cameo) that he’ll portray the Canadian mutant.
You might be thinking “Wow! That’s amazing! I’ve never heard of anyone playing the same role so many times.” Well, for those who may not know it, »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
With Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla looming on the horizon but two weeks away, it’s no wonder that studios are scrambling to push out Blu-ray editions of any big monster movies they have – and believe me, there are a lot of them. In the last 2 weeks, I’ve watched 23 monster movies: 8 Toho Godzilla flicks, 8 Daiei Gamera flicks (more on those in another review), and 5 more recent, random direct-to-dvd monster movies. Oh, and Pacific Rim, because the other 21 whetted my appetite, and then Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla to make it so I wouldn’t want to see any more for another 5 years. Of those, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Toho Godzilla movies, produced through the 90s and early 00s, actually hold up in a way comparable to some of the classic Star Trek films post Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. You know there’s an inherent silliness to some of it, »
- Lex Walker
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial told the story of a young boy who discovers an extra-terrestrial — often referred to as a goblin before they find out its true origins — and forms a loving, brotherly relationship with it as he struggles with his parents’ recent separation. Between the amazing child acting in the film (more on that later), the wonders of an animatronic alien with facial expressions as real as mine or yours, and the tear-inspiring story, »
- Ariana Bacle
The series is said to blend "episodic murder mysteries with the on-going story of Freud’s tangled and provocative personal life." Big Light Productions ("Transporter: The Series") is also developing the project which has yet to be ordered by a network.
Source: THR »
- Garth Franklin
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, while it’s still in theaters
The Unknown Known: documentary interview with Bush-era insider Don Rumsfeld is like a horror movie with a calm sociopath at its center [at Amazon Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Great Expectations: a lively, vibrant retelling that feels very modern, with none of the stuffiness of a traditional costume drama [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Philomena: a cry-till-you-laugh-dramedy about seeking lost family and finding new purpose; Judi Dench and Steve Coogan are fantastic; seriously, though: bring Kleenex [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s in theaters
The Machine: the bleak chic of this Sf drama is intriguing, but the script that starts out smart and elegant soon slips into the shoddy and familiar [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
new to Prime
new to stream
Crouching Tiger, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Writer Greg Weisman is best known for creating Disney's epic 1990s series Gargoyles, but he's also worked on a ton of other projects over the course of his career. I've been a fan of his work since Gargoyles, and he recently published a book called Rain of the Ghosts that I think a lot of you would enjoy. He has also been working on the highly anticipated Star Wars Rebels animated series for Disney and Lucasfilm, which is sure to be a hit.
Weisman was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for us regarding Gargoyles, Rain of the Ghosts and Star Wars Rebels. He shares his thoughts on a Gargoyles feature film, goes into detail about his new book, talks about his excitement for Star Wars Rebels, and answers a few other general questions. Our exclusive interview is definitely an interesting read, so check it out below! »
- Joey Paur
If it's the fate of rebooted franchises to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, then let's just say that “Muppets Most Wanted” puts a fresher spin on “The Great Muppet Caper” than “Star Trek Into Darkness” did to “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” Even if the 21st century Muppet features don't quite reach the pinnacle established while Jim Henson was alive, “Muppets Most Wanted” is often as good as or even better than 2011's “The Muppets,” which wonderfully relaunched the cinematic shenanigans of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and all the felt-covered rest. This latest chapter picks up precisely. »
- Alonso Duralde
International Women's Day, Bristol & London
Bristol's Translation/Transmission takes International women's day at face value with a documentary survey of women's activism around the world. The scope is equally diverse, from a 1970s deconstruction of Rapunzel to poet Audre Lorde's Berlin years. Each screening is accompanied by discussions and/or introductions. Taking a different tack, April's Birds Eye View film festival launches with a BFI screening of doc Wonder Women! The Untold Story Of American Superheroines, a celebration of female super-empowerment taking in the likes of Xena, Riot Grrrl and, of course, Lynda Carter.
Watershed, Sun to 30 Mar; BFI Southbank, SE1, Sat
Blending his visual virtuosity with a mystifying Scottish sci-fi story, Glazer's latest movie is beguilingly strange and highly anticipated. But the questions just »
- Steve Rose
On Her Majesty's Secret Service might be the sixth instalment in Eon's James Bond series, but for a long time it had the feel of one of the franchise's rogue entries Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again. Two years after Sean Connery signed off his initial 007 run with You Only Live Twice, producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman undertook an exhaustive casting search with director Peter Hunt to find a replacement. They believed, rightly, that the role of James Bond was bigger than anyone who played him, and in 1968 George Lazenby - an Australian model with no prior acting experience - was unveiled as the new James Bond at the Dorchester Hotel.
Lazenby, of course, would only play Bond once and Ohmss's failure to set the box office alight meant »
In the lead-up to the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2, HitFix will be bringing you the lowdown on all 24 Oscar categories with multiple entries each day. Take a few notes and bone up on the competition as we give you the edge in your office Oscar pool! The season of Oscars Lowdown (née Oscar Guide) might as well begin with the biggest no-brainer category of the bunch, just to go ahead and get it out of the way. But it's worth pointing out that it's always unfortunate when there's an obvious winner in any category, particularly Best Visual Effects as it seems a number of times over the last few years — "Avatar," "Life of Pi," etc. — there has been a clear dominant player and all other nominees are just along for the ride. Still, this year's likely victor is a landmark every bit deserving of the trophy coming its way. »
- Kristopher Tapley
By Todd Garbarini
Scream Factory continues their winning streak of releasing horror film favorites with their double feature Blu-ray release of 1988’s Bad Dreams and 1982’s Visiting Hours. They originally released these films together on DVD in September 2011.
Bad Dreams opened on Friday, April 8, 1988 and is, in hindsight, eerily prescient of David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidian religious sect who met a horrific end when the FBI closed in on him and his compound ignited into a conflagration on April 19, 1993 in Waco, TX. Jim Jones and the Jonestown deaths in 1978 also come to mind. In this film, the late Richard Lynch plays a cult leader named Harris who convinces a group of people that love and unity are the only ways to live, and he shows that love by dousing them all in gasoline and lighting them on fire. Jennifer Rubin plays Cynthia, a confused and reluctant holdout »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Feature Ryan Lambie 20 Jan 2014 - 06:27
John Carpenter's The Thing was panned by reviewers in 1982. We take a look at the angry critical reaction and the later reassessment...
It's the summer of 1982, and director John Carpenter is on the cusp of releasing his latest movie, The Thing. For the 34-year-old filmmaker, the release marks the end of a major undertaking: the culmination of months of shooting on freezing cold sets and snowy British Columbia locations, not to mention the execution of complex and time-consuming practical effects scenes.
Carpenter was understandably proud of the results: after the independent such independent hits as Assault On Precinct 13, Halloween and Escape From New York, this was his first studio movie (for Universal) and also his most expensive to date, with a budget of around $15m. And while The Thing had appeared in cinemas before (in the guise of Howard Hawks and Christian Nyby's 1951 sci-fi shocker, »
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