game of death action film

20 Great Action Heroes: Defending the indefensible (Part One)

I have a problem: an inescapable attraction to a breed of cinema that would seem to run counter to my self-proclaimed status as a cinephile. The beginnings of this problem are easy enough to trace – liberal parents with a penchant for Friday night TV screenings of American movies loaded with endless depictions of entertaining…

By James Curnow
buried plot twist

Twist in the tale: Movie plots with a difference

Most films, old or new, follow well-established formulas. Boy gets girl, hero wins against all odds, and we always triumph over the alien invaders. Natural disasters bring out the best in mankind, and those reliable comedians are guaranteed to leave us chuckling. Even the ‘anti-films’ of recent decades; anti-war, anti-homophobia, anti-racism, wear their colours on…

By Pete Johnson
A Clockwork Orange screen

A bit of background: Why the screen should be the star

Whenever I see a screen used properly in a movie, I want to jump up and down while doing the Macarena. OK, maybe that verges on the impossible. But it speaks to my love of this lowly, oft-used tool – which usually takes the form of a flat surface on which images are projected behind…

By Simon Hardy Butler
the lone ranger criticism

A Plea to the Film Critics of Tomorrow

It is time to stop whining about the death of film journalism and to start considering ways to resurrect it. Let us first make an assessment of where we stand today. The few coveted jobs in print media are inhabited by ambitious scribblers who are determined to keep their jobs, regardless of moral and aesthetic…

By Bill White
Grifters con artists

What a Scam: Ten great films about con artists

What is it about con artists in the movies that we like so much? We wouldn’t want to cross paths with these people in real life, but the cinema can’t seem to get enough of clever schemers who separate poor dumb schmucks from their money. The stakes can be small (the amounts of money in…

By Niall McArdle
lilo and stitch disney

Revisiting Lilo & Stitch: Disney and progressive cinema

Disney’s 2013 feature Frozen has done a magnificent job of stirring the pot. The film has been lauded as a one of the most progressive of the pantheon to date, which has in turn sparked a series of discussions concerning the progressiveness of Disney films as a whole. It is no secret that these childhood…

By Anthony Pilloud
Bad Words

Bad Words and Good Writing: A lesson in screenwriting

Bad Words is the kind of movie that gives critics trouble. It’s easy to write about the dregs – I could pound out 1,000 words on Need for Speed without breaking a sweat – and it’s easy to write about the good stuff. It’s the middle-of-the-road movie that is hardest to capture. But let’s give…

By Jonathan Eig