Cinema, as a medium, has undergone a remarkable evolution since its inception, with various genres adapting and transforming over time to capture the ever-changing tastes and sensibilities of audiences. One of the most dynamic and enduring is the action genre, having matured into a multifaceted cinematic realm that explores complex themes, character development, and innovative storytelling techniques. As visual entertainment, the action genre has continuously evolved, reflecting the shifting cultural, and societal dynamics involving thrills and violence on the screen. Within this evolution, certain individuals have left an indelible mark on specific genres, forever altering the trajectory of filmmaking. One such luminary is the iconic Jean-Paul Belmondo, whose charismatic presence and groundbreaking performances have left an enduring influence on the action genre, including stunt work, car chases, and martial arts in cinema.Continue reading “The Belmondo Effect”
It could sound like a clique stating my first ever science fiction read was Isaac Asimov back in the late ’70s, but this may have been unavoidable. This guy was an iconic American writer and professor who dominated the genre for half a century. He even boasted he was the “Best Science Writer” backed up by none other than Arthur C. Clarke. They actually had made an agreement with each other, negotiated as they shared a cab in New York, the so-called “Clarke–Asimov Treaty of Park Avenue”.
The treaty stipulated that Asimov would always proclaim Clarke as the greatest science fiction writer in the world, with himself as runner-up, and Clarke would similarly proclaim Asimov as the best science writer, with himself as runner-up.Continue reading “The Asimov Cosmos”
Of all the tropes, the ‘Last of a Kind’ concept is one of that rare theme, plot and character devices that has evolved into mythical existence with one perfect master stroke. Richard Matheson’s classic vampire novel towers over them all. ‘I Am Legend (1954)’ is an ingenious hybrid of two previous classics, such as Mary Shelley’s ‘The Last Man (1826)’ and Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula (1897)’. Vampirism and plague, a combination that captures the definitive pretext for a last man alive narrative, grounding the myth of the supernatural with the reality of pathogens.
Matheson also deploys another trope in the finale of the story, one that is more devastating in its social commentary. The vampires, the pandemic, and the last man on Earth are just the setup for the novella’s central message, and it’s the one element shunned by all the film adaptations to date.Continue reading “The Omega Legend”
All artists are influenced by the previous generation of artists. Westerns were part of John Carpenter’s cinematic diet growing up. John Ford, and Howard Hawks, these filmmakers were shaping cinema at the time, stamping out a movie language that would become the standard for anyone wishing the tell a story using cinema.
A fan of horror and science fiction movies such as The Thing from Another World and Forbidden Planet, John Carpenter defined another set of standards for a new generation of filmmakers. The modern horror genre is partly his offspring. Like his predecessors, Carpenter mastered the long game, building the tension until the big payoff.
Nowadays, it’s clear that motion pictures have devolved somewhat. Big-budget Hollywood blockbusters lack most of the qualities that gave movies from the past the greatness they deservedly earned. Nowadays, even B-grade movies are more pathetic than ever. Low-budget productions are missing the mark completely.
It’s as if the current batch of filmmakers has stopped learning from the best.Continue reading “The Carpenter”
Now that this sad shit-show of a saga is over, the only thing we have left, is the thought, ‘what if they did a decent sequel trilogy with a coherent story without the political rape that Disney inflicted upon this series?’. How hard was it to produce something that remotely resembles a Star Wars story?
Apart from the visuals, there are three fundamental flaws with Episodes 7, 8 and 9. The visual effects and art design are the trilogy’s best asset, but sometimes they do act against the films. The entire narrative seems to be built around these great visuals. And then, to make things unbearable, the cluttering of the SFX is overdone, almost to the point of ridiculousness.Continue reading “Star Wars: A Lost Hope”
Life imitates art.
It inevitably has to, because art starts off by imitating reality in an attempt to explain it in ways we humans can understand. We tell each other stories, to teach ourselves how to coexist in this strange existence, this universe. We learn from these tales all about what it means to be
The Halloween remake, or second remake, is, by all means, a very good return to the franchise. It does its job of capturing the feel, atmosphere and style of John Carpenter’s original. It doesn’t miss a beat, the dread and the scares are genuine, and the Shape is as menacing as ever. One decision the producers went for in this reboot, however, is the elimination of the events of Halloween 2, and pretty much everything that came later.
Michael Myers ceased being this paranormal, un-killable ‘Shape’.
A fascinating aspect of horror, in particular the slasher genre that the Halloween series ventured into, is which of the following possess the most frightening kind of horror; psychological evil or supernatural evil?Continue reading “Halloween: The Two Evils”
When Flash Gordon was ‘again’ resurrected back (thanks, Princess Aura for the first time) into pop culture by Seth MacFarlane in his film, Ted (2013), I was filled with bemusement and joy. Ever since that day, walking home from school and coming across the giant movie billboard, Mike Hodges’s Flash Gordon has remained doggedly on my top ten list of favourite movies.
For three decades I felt alone being a fan of this movie. Mention it at film school and people would look at me as if something was fundamentally wrong with my brain. I remember critics panning it at the time, much to my dismay. They were worried about cardboard characters and cardboard sets. Again, to my utter dismay.Continue reading “Flash Gordon Saves the Universe”
There’s nothing more bewilderingly mind-numbing than watching a science-fiction movie franchise get butchered and killed then brought to life again, re-butchered and murdered once again. It’s sad in a way because I really love this time-bending, robot monster, chase story. The potential, even without branching away from the hunter and the hunted plot device, is endless. Bewildered? With all this goodwill and talent, and money involved, how the hell could they get it so wrong? This is a major iconic brand. “The Terminator” is embedded in the brains of at least two or three generations of consumers. There is no shortage of creative talent nor money that prevent this story from working its magic, yet the IP owners have achieved nothing else but toss stools of shit at audiences across the globe. Sure, the movie industry wins, artists, technicians and executives got jobs, and the marketing machine scored, but tossing shit at the audience’s faces was still the end result.
Now the next time Skynet returns to threaten our future chances are audiences will be a little suspect before handing over money, or even waste time and bandwidth to illegally download it. Skynet will hopefully learn from past mistakes and deliver the killer blow they’ve been trying to throw since it first hatched up the plan to go back in time and kill John Conner.Continue reading “Terminator Reterminated”
No matter how much one attempts to enjoy a work of cinematic science fiction, one cannot help but feel robbed. This is what the makers of ‘Oblivion’ have done. They promised something fantastic and poured $120,000,000 into an intriguing concept, so intriguing that even with a marketing campaign featuring Tom Cruise looking bored…
I still felt compelled to watch this thing.Continue reading “Tech 62 repairs ‘Oblivion’”