Canon Will Eat Itself: Alien and Other Modern Icons

District 9 director Neil Blomkamp kicked up a fuss yesterday when it was reported that his upcoming Alien sequel would break continuity from the last two films of the franchise, Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection. Blomkamp has since stepped back from that assertion – “I’m not trying to undo Alien 3 or Alien: Resurrection, I just…

Oscars - Gravity

The 86th Academy Awards – Predictions and Thoughts

I’m not really that interested in getting too caught up in the Oscars fol-de-rol that consumes the critical community around this time of year. I read a lot about the Academy Awards because, well, it’s people getting passionate about film! People arguing emphatically about which film is better and the industry, about who will win…

Channing Tatum and Matt Bomer in Magic Mike

Magic Mike (2012)

Magic Mike is a weird movie. It’s essentially a musical, except instead of big Broadway numbers you have male strippers (Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer) cavorting on stage, routines with such meticulous choreography and high production values that they’re as fantastical as a town spontaneously breaking into song. Outside of these scenes, Steven Soderbergh…

Bernie (2012)

Bernie is an odd film; an odd story about an odd man. It tells the tale of Bernie Tiede (Jack Black), a funeral director unfailingly described as “nice.” The kind of man who looks you in the eye and listens to everything you say as though it’s the most important thing he’s ever heard. We…

Frailty (2001)

Frailty is the kind of film that poses challenging, ambiguous questions and then, unfortunately, answers them. Director Bill Paxton stars as the deeply religious working-class father of two young boys. He believes that God has delivered him a message: that he must destroy – not murder – “demons” in the local community. He enlists his…

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

When I picked up this “part-sequel part-remake” of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre second-hand from a video store for a couple dollars, I was fully expecting a very bad movie. And, hoo boy, it did not disappoint! This film actually warrants the description “so bad it’s good.” It loosely rips off the plot of the original,…

Killer Joe (2012)

Noirs are at their best when they reveal the darkness hiding beneath a thin veneer of civilisation, with ever-present shadows stretching across the screen. Killer Joe is a grimy neo-noir, but its characters wear their darkness on their sleeves without the façade of civility. Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch) discusses the murder of his mother with…