FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965 Italy)

dollars 1This would have to be in the Top Ten Coolest Movies ever and it contains the most spine – tingling musical score in cinema history. (Kudos to Ennio Morricone) Sergio Leone was a popcorn director – a visual stylist who always entertained first and maybe provoked a thought or two second. However, his films were never intellectual so when he added more depth the results became uneven. “For a Few Dollars More” is his best film. [Read more…]

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977 United Kingdom)

james-bond_166583_topLewis Gilbert’s film provides direct allusion to David Lean’s epic movies, bringing back a Blofeld-type character as well. His name is Karl Stromberg, a shipping tycoon who despises every aspect of terrestrial civilization. Spy added vast new spectacle to the Bond epic, along with strong interplay and some interesting new characters. This was a major step up in the series’ production values at that time. The grand vision paid off, handsomely. [Read more…]

Robin Of Sherwood (1984 – 1986 Britain)

sheriff-and-baronThis unique television series has many excellent elements and ingredients to its credit. Indeed, more than 30 years after it was originally transmitted, it is still watched, and watched again, and has a huge global fan-following. This fact must indicate that the makers of this series undeniably got something right. [Read more…]

Jason And The Argonauts (1963 UK/USA)

ancient greeceI’m sure it takes some artistic license in retelling the myth, most notably how it’s rushed conclusion neglects to finish the whole story. But it manages to convey such strong suspension of disbelief I find myself not minding. A very-colourful idea-level-fantasy from the 1960s. This was a stop-motion animation project, and an unusually strong production at that. [Read more…]

The Old Curiosity Shop (Charles Dickens)

TheOldCuriosityShop-no-logoMost people will know the plot and perhaps even the fate of the main character(s) before starting. I won’t mention these here (and as ever be cautious about the introduction which may give details away). The serial process of writing for a magazine or newspaper shows through, I think, as the action is episodic and not particularly cleverly structured. [Read more…]

The Day After Tomorrow (2004 USA)

dayaftertomorrow Let’s be honest, you don’t watch an ‘end of the world’ movie for the tight plot, incredible script and Academy Award winning acting. You watch it for the special effects to run rampant and to turn your brain off. This one hits all the right spots for the viewer to enjoy some undemanding fun. You have to credit director Roland Emmerich for delivering the goods.
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The Bees (Laline Paull)

beesFlora 717, is a sanitation worker bee – the lowest class of the hive – with unusual strength and the ability to talk (usually reserved for the higher classes). Due to these differences, Flora experiences a number of jobs in the hive, allowing her to build up quite an understanding of how things work (and helping to keep the reader engaged). ‘The Bees’ is definitely aimed at adults, with gore, violence and adult themes popping up throughout the book; but the overall feel of the novel contradicts this. [Read more…]

The Land That Time Forgot (1975 UK/USA)

forgotEdgar Rice Burroughs surely had an amazing imagination. He is best remembered for authoring Tarzan, Barsoom and Pellucidar. The Land that Time Forgot is one of his lesser known works. Like most of his stories, this one has some really bizarre notions about science. This story features a lost land where evolution actually runs…er…backwards. [Read more…]

The Man In The High Castle (Philip K Dick)

bookThe alternate universe in which the Axis has won World War II just doesn’t feel right to its inhabitants. Could it be the prevailing Nazi ettiquette, the new social classification, or is it something altogether deeper? If you enjoy novels about World War II where the writer imagines different scenarios to those that actually took place, or indeed if you like “What ifs” about any historic event, then The Man in the High Castle may not disappoint you. [Read more…]

I Madman (1989 USA)

i-madman-scream-factoryA young woman, Virginia, is obsessed with reading bloody horror novels. She recently discovered the oeuvre of a bizarre but stylish writer named Malcolm Brand. His book “I, Madman” fascinates her, describing the acts of a horribly deformed doctor who kills people in order to make an actress fall in love with him. But fiction turns into reality when Virginia finds herself chased by the book’s eerie doctor. [Read more…]

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