RIP Mr Spock

Monday, 2 March, 2015

Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock

Sad news this, the passing of Leonard Nimoy, or Mr Spock, of the popular “Star Trek” TV show and movie series, last Friday.

I’ve always been inspired by some of the show’s best known phrases, “to boldly go where no one has gone before”, even if I haven’t really gone anywhere at all, and “live long and prosper”. The galaxy is an emptier place without you Spock.

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Was Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack from “Titanic” a time traveller?

Monday, 2 March, 2015

Last week I linked to a theory that popular TV show character Homer Simpson has been in a coma for decades, this week comes an idea, by way of a fan, that Jack, who was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, in James Cameron’s 1997 epic Titanic, was a time traveller, on a mission to help Rose (Kate Winslet).

He mentions fishing at Lake Wissota – a man-made lake that was built in 1917, five years after the Titanic sank.

What can I say? You’ll never see the story the same way again…

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It’s all about shades of grey, even if we can’t see all of them

Friday, 27 February, 2015

Obligatory Fifty Shades of Grey mention, since everyone seems to talking about it… there might be a million shades of grey, or fifty come to that, but seemingly the human eye can only discern about thirty shades of grey:

Of course, that’s a rough estimate. Depending on the lighting conditions, surface texture, and background color, people may be able to distinguish a few more or a few less shades.

While fifty sounds like more fun, thirty is probably better than nothing…

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Films adapted from magazine articles

Thursday, 26 February, 2015

Argo, Ben Affleck’s 2012 film about the efforts of Tony Mendez, a CIA agent, to try and smuggle a group US embassy workers out Tehran during the 1979-1981 Iran hostage crisis, may be the best known film of recent times to be based on a magazine article, but it’s by no means the only one.

Saturday Night Fever, The Bling Ring, The Insider, and Coyote Ugly, are among a number of features based on magazine write-ups. And a question for bonus points, how faithful do you think these adaptations are?

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There’s the Oscars, then there’s the Oscars of everything else

Tuesday, 24 February, 2015

Perhaps the scope of the Oscars, or Academy Awards, ought to be expanded. We’re talking categories such as most kissing, most death, most time, most music, most running, most cast, most crew, among many other items.

While it is unlikely such awards will be incorporated into this year’s event, The Wall Street Journal has prepared a list of winners nonetheless.

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Some stand out example of film editing in films

Friday, 13 February, 2015

Psycho, JFK, Jaws, Lawrence of Arabia, Bonnie and Clyde, and Apocalypse Now, are among features that top a list of the seventy-five best edited films, as put together by the Motion Picture Editors Guild.

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What We Did on Our Holiday

Tuesday, 10 February, 2015

3 stars
What We Did on Our Holiday scene

Usually people tell their sometimes embellished holiday stories when they return home, but Londoners Abi (Rosamund Pike), and husband Doug (David Tennant), in a bid not to spoil the seventy-fifth birthday celebrations of Doug’s ailing father, Gordy (Billy Connolly), decide to fib about the state of their marriage, in What We Did on Our Holiday (trailer).

Their children, Lottie (Emilia Jones), Mickey (Bobby Smalldridge), and Jess (Harriet Turnbull), have strict instructions to act as if all is well on the holiday visit to the Scottish home of Gavin (Ben Miller), Doug’s tightly wound brother. As it happens though, Abi and Doug are not the only ones in the family concealing secrets.

“What We Did on Our Holiday” is jointly directed by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, but here it’s a case of too many cooks spoiling the saccharine sweet broth, as they unfurl every nearly gag in the book. Despite this, Connolly shines in his role as family patriarch, as do the youngest members of the cast, who serve up some of the film’s best lines.

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A guide to cinema etiquette from one hundred years ago

Thursday, 5 February, 2015

Vintage cinema etiquette poster

This century smartphones, and their owners who insist on texting – among other things – during features, are the scourge of film-goers , but one hundred years ago it seemed that women’s hats, or rather women who neglected to take off their hats after being seated, riled cinema patrons.

That’s if the above image, one of several that were displayed in the pre-show entertainment segment, back in the day, is anything to go by.

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The Hobbit reduced, greatly reduced

Wednesday, 4 February, 2015

If you found Peter Jackson’s three-part film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel, The Hobbit, too long, as I did, you may prefer this four hour version, as re-cut by someone known as TolkienEditor, instead.

My main goals in undertaking this edit were to re-centre the story on Bilbo, and to have the narrative move at a much brisker pace (though not so fast that the audience lost grasp of what was going on). Creating smooth transitions between scenes was of particular importance in this regard. I even reordered a few moments in the film to make it flow better. The toughest parts to edit were the barrel-ride and the fight on Ravenhill (since Legolas and Tauriel kept bursting in with their gymnastics routine).

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A trailer, but for what?

Tuesday, 27 January, 2015

What does this… trailer, that was cut together with excerpts from three hundred films, tell us about contemporary film production? Are movies, especially action titles, becoming increasingly homogeneous, or are trailers?

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