Moonraker (1979 United Artists)

For children in the late 70s Roger Moore was The Man. Suave, sophisticated and debonair. We didn’t care that he was as old as the hills. If you could fashion a man out of a bottle of Old Spice–Rog would be that man. You could smell his classiness from your cinema seat. I don’t think anybody walked out of a Timothy Dalton Bond feeling like they could conquer the world, but with Roger we did. No matter how many actors play the role, he’s the one I remember with most affection. This was 007’s eleventh adventure on the big screen. This was big. Huge! Biggest budget yet. Biggest box office profit. But Moonraker is strangely unloved. “Too unlike the novels, too much like Star Wars, too silly…” say the naysayers. I disagree. [Read more…]

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971 Disney)

Three children evacuated from London end up being reluctantly taken in by an odd woman who lives on her own with a raggedy black cat. They don’t even make it to the end of the first night before they observe that their new guardian Miss Price is not just odd, she is an actual witch, trying to perfect a spell to help with the war effort. While the children make this discovery, Miss Price makes her own – the mail-order college she has been training with is going out of business before she has everything she needs. With the help of Paul’s knob (don’t ask) they set off to London to find the Professor – the start of a much bigger adventure. [Read more…]

Treasure Planet (2002 USA)

Disney’s attempt at “action/adventure”, and Treasure Planet was another of these more adult films for the impatient. So far Disney hasn’t done too bad in this genre, since we are now free of sitting through annoying songs and have more time to see the actual film. Treasure Planet was loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. However, this one takes place in a futuristic setting; the robots are replaced with small hover-craft, the large clippers and ships with unusual opened spaceships (which makes one wonder how the characters breathe in space), parrots with morphing creatures, and one-legged pirates with cyborgs. [Read more…]

Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)

harry potterBetter latent than never. OK, millions of children and tweens kiss these holy pages every night and morn, and it’s quite sweet. But, having read all of them and a load of actual literature, I am inclined to think this is poppycock. And what is all this nonsense about it being so original. Platform 9 and 3/4 ?! Has any one ever read Eva Ibbotson’s The Secret Of Platform 13? A secret platform on Kings Cross station that leads to a magical castle. Sound familiar? The plot lines are all pinched from folklore and superior children’s literature. [Read more…]

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979 USA)

star trekThe film follows a familiar, if unspectacular, singular line framework – regular battles must be conquered along the way to ending where they do. The individual misunderstandings crew members have with each other need to be resolved, but it is remarkable how by the time the final act arrives, the story is willing to abstain from conventional conclusion. [Read more…]

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