Looking back, VHS was rubbish wasn’t it? How did we endure all that tracking, endlessly turning the dials in a futile attempt to remove that unsightly snow from the top and bottom of our picture? And what good is a VHS copy of Basic Instinct if the screen shakes like an epileptic whenever you press pause? Even worse, while we paid good money to forever own VHS copies of our favourite films, the quality would inevitably deteriorate, and after a few short years a team of experts was required to determine exactly what the battered black rectangle previously contained.
[rating=2]Starring: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, James Cromwell, Bruce Greenwood, Alan Tudyk, Chi McBride and Shia LaBeouf
Director(s): Alex Proyas
Writer(s): Screenplay by Jeff Vintar and Akiva Goldsman, Story by Jeff Vintar, suggested by the novel by Isaac Asimov
To put it simply, Will Smith is back as the improbably named Detective Dell Spooner in this summer’s blockbuster, I, Robot. It’s Chicago, it’s 2035 and the robot as domestic appliance is everywhere. One CGI filled street shot sees countless C3PO-a-likes walking dogs, picking up children, doing the shopping. It’s a world where robot and human all live in peace and harmony.
With predictions that Fahrenheit 9/11 could play a role in the November elections, Michael Moore is back in the news. He’s received plenty of criticism already but it’s all been from his ideological opponents, always right-wing types who disagree with his politics. This allows Moore to counter their criticisms on a political or ideological level, and as a result he’s never really addressed on some of the deeper flaws in his filmmaking.
[rating=4]Starring: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Michelle Williams, Paul Benjamin, Raven Goodwin and Richard Kind
Director(s): Thomas McCarthy
Writer(s): Thomas McCarthy
In writer/director Thomas McCarthy’s debut feature, The Station Agent, Peter Dinklage stars as Fin, a train enthusiast who inherits an abandoned station house in Newfoundland, New Jersey. Craving the good old fashioned peace and quiet that only a permanent rural retreat brings, Fin embraces his new property with a peculiarly stoic brand of relish and looks forward to a life of solitude right next to the railway.
Requiem For A Dream is the 21st Century’s answer to The Exorcist. The latter was banned in Britain from 1973 to 1998. The British Board of Film Censorship saying “the problem with The Exorcist is not that it is a bad film, it is that it is a very good film. It’s one of the most powerful films ever made.” The opposite of the popular ‘so-bad it’s good’ phenomenon, The Exorcist was so good it was bad.
[rating=4]Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, Jon Polito, J.E. Freeman, Albert Finney
Director(s): Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Writer(s): Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
When Miller’s Crossing opened the New York Film Festival in 1990 it was going to be the film that would see the Coens hit the big time at last and simultaneously make Gabriel Byrne an international superstar. Somehow this didn’t happen, and I’m at a loss to explain why.