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Author: Josh Greally

Writer and filmmaker from Chesterfield. I have a masters in directing film and television and have written film reviews for several smaller sites in the past. Films are my life, but I also enjoy writing, reading, listening to music and debating.
Editorials

How The Grinch Was Made To Steal Christmas?

August 28, 2020
Making The Grinch [Source: adventuresofkap.wordpress.com]

How was Dr. Seuss’ cartoony Christmas classic translated into a realistic world? Today we’ll look at how the world of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) was created. Focusing on the realisation of Whoville’s snowflake world; the costumes/makeup of the Whos and the Grinch. But first, let’s look at the film’s inspiration.

The Original Designs

Dr. Seuss’ book drawings are very much aimed at children. Much of his scenery and objects are warped and lack straight lines. The people have weirdly long bodies, round chests, and stomachs; their faces being more prominent above their top lip. And the Grinch looks oddest. With fur covering his body. A figure-eight shaped head, large around his mouth and smaller near his eyes. And animalistic facial features such as whisker holes and an upper lip parting. How can you make something so cartoony work in live-action?

See Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations in this video [Source: Brightly Storytime YouTube]

Creating the Snowflake World

Director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer wanted the film to feel true to Seuss’ world, so the crew set to work accomplishing this goal.

Production designer Michael Corenblith and his team broke down some of Seuss’ reference points and worked them into the sets. Whoville was structured like a medieval village, the Christmas tree being the central hub. The town hall was modeled on Greek architecture, Farfingles department store on Parisian art nouveau and Moroccan and Islamic architecture elements were also included. Resulting in a world that looks timeless and very Seussian.

Props also needed to be considered. Prop master Emily Ferry and her team sourced items from antique shops and retrofitted them into new designs reminiscent of Seuss’ wavey retro style.

Then the film was given some finishing visual effects touches. This included filling out shots with computer-generated Whos and adding digital backgrounds and skies to fill in the world. But arguably the most important creation is the opening. Inspired by Horton Hears a Who the opening places the story within a single snowflake. We track through the snowflake until we see a full view of Mount Crumpit and Whoville. All of this was created digitally. This effort makes the Grinch’s world feel truly fantastical.

A Whoville shot with all of the special effects put in [Source: annotatedgilmoregirls.com]

Every Who down in Whoville

Producer Brian Grazer wanted the Whos to look otherworldly but predominantly human and “cute” to contrast the Grinch’s monstrosity. According to special makeup effects designer Rick Baker, the designs were difficult to perfect as some Seussian elements, particularly the focus on the nose, looked frightening. Eventually, they found the right design. Then they had to work on outfitting all the actors to look like Whos.

The production team made foam rubber pieces to apply to the actors which gave them prominent noses and a big gap between their lips and noses, with a faint edge that blended into their skin. Several Whos also received fake ears and brows to complete the otherworldly effect. Costume designer Rita Ryack also made creative costumes that allowed each Who to stand out. Lastly, the Whos were given dentures and inventive wig/hair designs that suited Seuss’ illustrations.

Applying the Who makeup [Source: Universal]

Giving the Grinch Life

For Rick Baker, the biggest challenges when creating the Grinch were finding a design that looked recognisably Grinchian and wouldn’t limit Jim Carrey’s facial expressions. To achieve the design, he made the makeup as thin as possible in certain areas to allow Carrey to move his face. The makeup took approximately two and a half hours to apply and one hour to remove.

Carrey also wore a spandex suit covered in green-dyed yak hair (the green colouring was inspired by the 1966 Chuck Jones cartoon) to give him that iconic look. Which must have been boiling under all those set lights. According to Carrey, Brian Grazer hired someone responsible for training CIA operatives on how to endure torture to get Jim to stay, the process was that taxing.

Jim Carrey having his Grinch makeup applied [Source: Universal]

Conclusion

Fortunately, the work paid off.  The film was the sixth highest-grossing movie of 2000. It won Rick Baker and Gail Rowell-Ryan an Oscar for Best Makeup and received nominations for Best Costume Design and Art Direction-Set Decoration. The film also made Jim Carrey’s Grinch and the live-action Whos iconic pop culture figures and has captured many imaginations for the past two decades.

Also Read: Who Did It Better?: How The Grinch Stole Christmas

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Editorials

Underrated Actors: Malcolm McDowell

August 18, 2020
Malcolm McDowell, one of the worlds most underrated actors [Source: ITV]

Today I want to spotlight one of the world’s most underappreciated actors, Malcolm McDowell. In this article, I’ll give a brief biography of McDowell before stating why I feel he is underrated. Lastly, I will recommend five great performances of his for you to watch.

Who Is Malcolm McDowell?

Born Malcolm John Taylor in Leeds, England in 1943, McDowell caught the acting bug in his school years. Later he joined a touring repertory theatre company before moving to London. There he landed work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, several television bit parts, and was meant to make his big-screen debut in Ken Loach’s Poor Cow but his scenes were deleted. Regardless, he received an impressive debut as the lead in Lindsay Anderson’s If…. a year later. Across his career, he has worked with many notable creatives in many different genres; over film, TV, videogames and theatre.

Why Is He Underrated?

McDowell is underrated because despite having a career spanning over five decades, with a vast catalogue of credits, most people only mention A Clockwork Orange when talking about him. And McDowell deserves appreciation for the great work he’s done outside of Kubrick’s masterpiece.

McDowell belongs to the old crowd of British screen actors like Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, who kept working even if the projects weren’t the best quality. And, like Cushing and Lee, McDowell never sleepwalks through a performance. Often being the lone bright spot in many films he appears in.

McDowell said he doesn’t think of himself as an artist, he just loves acting. In the age of prima donna actors, actors concerned about image over craft and method acting to a fault, it’s refreshing to see someone simply acting because he likes it. And the fact that someone so talented is willing to do so many different types of projects is honestly exciting. You never know what film you’ll get with McDowell, but you know he’ll be great.

Five Great Malcolm McDowell Performances

1. Alex DeLarge – A Clockwork Orange

The story of a psychotic teenage thug who loses his free will after a government experiment, A Clockwork Orange works so well because of McDowell’s performance. Not only does he make the Burgessian dialogue sound natural, but McDowell allows us to alternately feel frightened of and sympathetic for a truly despicable character, thanks to his charm and superb physical performance. There’s a reason this is considered McDowell’s best role.

Alex enjoying a nice cold glass in the Korova Milk Bar in A Clockwork Orange [Source: Looper]

2. Mick Travis – If…, O Lucky Man! and Britannia Hospital:

The only constant in Lindsay Anderson’s thematic trilogy was everyman Mick Travis. Travis helped audiences navigate Anderson’s surreal worlds. Whether he was a revolutionary, being chewed up, and spat out by arms dealers only to become a film star or being transformed into a Frankenstein’s monster, McDowell made you feel for him every step of the way.

Mick Travis looking ready to start a revolution in If…. [Source: Pinterest]

3. Caligula – Caligula

As Caligula, McDowell looks right at home, committing horrendous acts and losing himself in hedonistic abandon with childlike glee. But beneath the tyranny is an affection for those close to him that gives him a layer of depth rather than simply being a madman. McDowell is brilliant at giving even his most monstrous characters in humanity.

Malcolm McDowell as the third Roman Emperor Caligula [Source: Los Angeles Times]

4. Dr Samuel Loomis – Rob Zombie’s Halloween Duology:

Love or hate Rob Zombie’s Halloween films, McDowell is the perfect replacement for Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis. Through both films, McDowell makes the role his own. Bringing class and gravitas while offering a more emotional and flawed interpretation of the character. Even if the scripts don’t work, McDowell gives the role dignity and dimension.

McDowell would have made Donald Pleasence proud in Halloween (2007) [Source: Bloody Disgusting]

5. Thomas Pembridge – Mozart in the Jungle

In this series, McDowell plays the New York Symphony Orchestra’s stuffy ex-conductor. Initially antagonistic towards those around him, we soon realise his attitude comes from not accomplishing everything he wanted to in the spotlight. So, he tries to amend himself. McDowell’s perfect comedic timing, curmudgeonly attitude, and ability to weave between comedic and heartfelt make him an enjoyable presence in the Jungle.

Thomas may be cruel sometimes but he is one hell of a maestro in Mozart in the Jungle [Source: IMDb]

Even this barely scratches the surface of McDowell’s great roles. But hopefully, this article has encouraged you to check out and appreciate more of McDowell’s work. Be sure to tell me your favourite Malcolm McDowell roles below.

Also Read: The Anatomy of a Christopher Nolan Film

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Editorials

Five Upcoming 2020 Horror Releases

August 4, 2020
Upcoming 2020 Horror Films [Source: Empire]

At the start of the year, we had many upcoming horror releases to look forward to. But global events forced many cinematic releases to be delayed. However, with many cinemas making plans to reopen soon we’re seeing plans for a few upcoming horror films to have a cinematic release. In today’s article, we’ll be going through five horror movies that will be coming out before the end of 2020 (at the time of writing). We will be looking at the information we currently have about them and why you should be excited about them.

Antebellum (21st August)

With a cast headlined by Janelle Monáe, Antebellum looks at a modern author, Veronica, who becomes trapped in a reality-based around slavery. Will she be able to figure out what has happened to her and escape before it’s too late? Many modern horror films have dealt with issues of race (see Get Out & Us) and Antebellum looks to specifically address issues regarding past and present treatment of people of colour in potentially really interesting ways by having a plot based around a modern woman forced to feel the hardship of slavery. If handled right Antebellum could not only be scary but prove again that horror is fertile ground for thought-provoking examinations of real social issues.

Antebellum’s Final Trailer [Source: YouTube]

The New Mutants (28th August)

The New Mutants is a spinoff of the X-men series. Focusing on five teenagers with mutant powers imprisoned in a facility against their will. The new mutants must come to terms with their dark pasts and fight their way out of captivity. Initially set to release in early 2018, New Mutants’ release date has changed many times since then. With reshoots also taking place to make the film scarier. With it finally set to release in August many are curious to see the result of the long-delayed film. And while the film may not justify the wait, the idea of a superhero horror film with a talented cast that includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton; Alice Braga and directed by The Fault in our Stars‘ Josh Boone is just too intriguing to resist. Hopefully, the upcoming film will at least be an entertaining attempt to do something different.

The New Mutants’ 2020 Teaser Trailer [Source: YouTube]

Relic (5th October)

This Australian film is about a family that begins to have their home haunted in a way that feels like a manifestation of their grandmother’s dementia. Relic has received many good notices since its premiere at Sundance. Many reviews praised the performances of leads Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, and Robyn Nevin and the film’s slow-burning suspenseful nature. Reviews also compared the film to both Hereditary and The Babadook meaning that it could have a very divisive reception. But if the scares are built-up right, with suspense rather than shock in mind, and the characters are written and performed well, we could have another modern Aussie horror hit on our hands.

Relic’s Official Trailer [Source: YouTube]

Cordelia (23rd October)

Coming to us from TV and film director Adrian Shergold (director of Pierrepoint: The Last Hang Man); written by and starring Antonia Campbell-Hughes. Cordelia is a British horror film about the titular character who lives in a flat with her twin Caroline. Cordelia was once an up and coming actress but suffered a traumatic experience that changed her. She now seems to have recovered but when her sister and her boyfriend leave her, the trauma threatens to resurface. Boasting a cast that includes Michael Gambon and Johnny Flynn and a trailer rife with quietly unsettling imagery. Cordelia bears the hallmarks of being a potential spooky surprise.

The Official Trailer for Cordelia [Source: YouTube]

Saint Maud (23rd October)

The feature debut from Rose Glass follows Maud, a very religious nurse who becomes obsessed with saving her patient from damnation. With solid critical reviews, some disturbing trailers, and A24, which has produced some of the most disturbing horror films of the last decade, backing it, Saint Maud looks set to be another creepy home run for A24.

Saint Maud’s Official Trailer [Source: YouTube]

So while we may not be seeing the release of every big horror film we wanted in 2020, horror fans still have plenty of upcoming releases to look forward to. Let me know what horror films you’re looking forward to down below.

Also Read: The Best of Blumhouse

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Editorials

The Best of Blumhouse

July 21, 2020
Blumhouse Productions

Blumhouse has an incredibly varied history. Having produced three of the top twenty highest-grossing horror films of all time (Split, Halloween (2018) and Get Out), some well-regarded Oscar contenders and it’s responsible for giving several great modern directors their first directorial credit.

Today we’re going to look at what makes Blumhouse special by finding out more about their company ethos and history. And listing off the five best films that Blumhouse has produced.

About Blumhouse

Blumhouse Productions was founded in 2000 by Jason Blum. The studio’s goal is to produce high-quality micro-budget films. These projects can then be sold to wide audiences through big studio distribution. Its first big success was 2009s Paranormal Activity, which Paramount distributed. On a $15,000 budget, it made over $193 million worldwide, putting Blumhouse on the map. Blumhouse has since had many big studios distribute their movies. Such as Netflix, Warner Bros., and in 2014, they signed a 10 year deal with Universal. Which has helped many of their productions to gain more attention through Universal’s marketing.

Blumhouse is also a haven for creatives. As it allows the filmmakers creative freedom to make the projects they want to make, even if many aren’t well received. Consequently, they have attracted a wide range of established directors to work with them. Such as M. Night Shyamalan, James Wan, Spike Lee, and more. And as previously mentioned Blumhouse has been a starting platform for several acclaimed modern filmmakers. Like Jordan Peele, Leigh Whannell, and Joel Edgerton. But what are the best projects Blumhouse has had a hand in?

Blumhouse’s Top 5 Films

1. Whiplash

Andrew wants to be a well-respected drummer, but his teacher Fletcher believes that to achieve greatness you must be truly ruthless. With the borderline abuse Fletcher heaps on him, can Andrew achieve his dream and keep his sanity? Blumhouse not only helped Damien Chazelle to produce Whiplash but also produced the original Whiplash short film to attract investors. Allowing us to get my personal favorite Blumhouse film.

Whiplash [Source: Evening Standard]
Fletcher pushing Andrew to the limit in Whiplash [Source: Evening Standard]

2. Get Out

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut about a white woman, Rose, taking her black boyfriend, Chris, to meet her outwardly progressive, but secretly shady family was an immediate smash hit with critics and audiences. It also became one of the few horror films to be nominated for best picture and became the highest-grossing feature debut by a black director in history. Get Out is probably Blumhouse’s most significant contribution to modern horror.

Get Out [Source: Vox]
Chris can’t move in Get Out [Source: Vox]

3. BlacKkKlansman

BlacKkKlansman follows black police officer Ron Stallworth, who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan over the phone. With the help of white Jewish officer, Flip Zimmerman, he aims to prevent violence from the KKK. While a coproduction the film embodies the Blumhouse spirit of low budget passion projects with a message similar to other Blumhouse projects like The Purge. BlacKkKlansman is both incredibly entertaining and incendiary regarding its message. The fact that Blumhouse was willing to commit to something so outrageous shows why it has gained a lot of good faith from filmmakers.

Blackkklansman produced by Blumhouse [Source: The Economist]
Ron Stallworth and Patrice Dumas in BlacKkKlansman [Source: The Economist]

4. Split

Three girls are kidnapped by a man named Kevin. They discover that Kevin has twenty-three different personalities. And another personality, “The Beast”, will soon be manifesting itself, aiming to kill the girls. Can the girls make it out of their prison before it’s too late? Of M. Night Shyamalan’s Blumhouse films (the others being The Visit and Glass) this is undoubtedly the best. With two incredible performances from James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy, a story that keeps you hooked with fascinating characters; a good level of suspense, Split is a rewarding ride.

Split from Blumhouse [Source: The Jakarta Post]
One of Kevin’s other personalities, Patricia, looking intimidating in Split [Source: The Jakarta Post]

5. The Invisible Man (2020)

With Elisabeth Moss’ bravura performance, an intriguing story about a woman fleeing from her abusive scientist boyfriend only for him to use his scientific knowledge to wreak havoc on her life and sanity and beautiful direction that builds tension to almost unbearable levels simply by using negative space within a shot, The Invisible Man (2020) is a great showcase for what low budget horror is capable of.

Blumhouse's The Invisible Man [Source: Variety]
Elisabeth Moss giving an incredible performance in The Invisible Man (2020) [Source: Variety]

And so ends our foray into the best that Blumhouse has to offer. Have I missed any of your favourites? Be sure to tell me your Blumhouse recommendations in the comments.

Also Read: What Happens To Your Brain When You Watch A Horror Film

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Editorials

UK Drive-In Cinemas: Boom or Bust?

July 9, 2020
Drive-In Cinema [Source: Harpers Bazaar]

Drive-in cinemas. The American phenomenon where you can enjoy watching films on a big screen from the comfort of your car. It’s something that brings all the benefits of the communal experience without the annoyances of viewing films in a crowd of people. Well with the current pandemic worries drive-ins are seeing a resurgence in popularity. And the UK is looking to get in on the action.

So, today we’re going to look at the history of drive-ins, as well as some of the drive-in cinema events coming to the UK. And asking if UK drive-ins will take off as they have in the US?

History

Drive-In Theatre history began when Richard Hollingshead came up with an idea to accommodate his mother, who couldn’t fit into normal cinema seats. He had the idea of allowing people to view movies from the comfort of their cars. He set up a screen between some trees to project movies onto, with a radio behind the screen. And in 1933 he opened the first official drive-in cinema in Camden, New Jersey advertising it as affordable family entertainment.

Subsequently, drive-ins sprang up across the US in the 1950s and 60s. Culminating in 1958 when over 4000 drive-ins operated across the US. The numbers slowly declined in the 70s and 80s due to high land values and competition from television forcing many theatres to close. But since the 90s the number of theatres still open has remained steady. Recently new theatres have even begun to open. During this time drive-ins also gained access to new Hollywood releases. And with evolving technology drive-ins have received a great boost in projection and sound quality. A far cry from the grubby exploitation roadshows of old.

Similarly, Australia also enjoyed a history of drive-in success, with several big drive-in screens still operating today. The UK however never cracked the drive-in market. There were several attempts. In 2012 Route 66 opened, hoping to be a permanent fixture of the UK cinema scene, though it has since closed. And there are around 20 drive-in theatres currently operating in the UK. But compared to the US and Australia, UK drive-ins don’t have the same affection needed to keep business going. However, in the age of social-distancing, UK drive-ins may finally have their time to shine.

Enjoying a drive-in together [Source: Deseret News]

Coming Soon To A Destination Near You

Several pop-up drive-in events are coming to the UK over the next few weeks. Among them, The Luna Cinema and At the Drive-in, which will be screening films across several different UK areas (Including London, Oxford, the Midlands, Leeds, Manchester, and more) throughout the coming months.

Both are showing a wide variety of films. From modern Oscar contenders like Joker, and A Star is Born, to perennial favourites like Back to the Future, Grease and much more. Both allow you to order food and drink directly to your car. And both offer state of the art sound (broadcast to your car radio or a speaker which will be provided) and visual technology to ensure viewers get the best experience possible. But does this mean Drive-Ins will become a British mainstay?

Drive-Ins – Here To Stay?

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, many have wondered how the cinema industry will survive. With many movies now being released directly to on-demand, some argue that cinemas are a thing of the past. On top of that, according to some commentators, because the UK isn’t a car-based society like the US and Australia, the drive-in experience may not hold as much appeal for us. And in a time of economic uncertainty, many may not want to pay to see old films in a big car park.

But equally, there are many who crave the cinema experience, and the last few months have seen a renewed interest in supporting the arts and creative industries. And with 31.7 million cars in the UK, Drive-Ins are a good way for many to watch films in a way that is communal, supportive, and safe. Will it succeed? Only time will tell.

Are drive-in cinemas the future? [Source: Time Out]

What do you think? Are drive-ins the way forward? Will streaming ultimately win? Or are you waiting for regular cinemas to reopen? Let us know your thoughts.

Also Read: Amazon to Own Odeon Cinemas?

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Editorials

7 Great Claustrophobic Films

June 29, 2020
Top 7 Great Claustrophobic Films [Source: Taste of Cinema}

Over the past few weeks, we’ve all been feeling a bit claustrophobic with being trapped inside so much. But cinema has proven that even when restricted, creativity can shine through. So today I’m recommending 7 great claustrophobic films, all based in small or restricted settings, from different genres to show how greatness can flourish even with small canvases.

Drama: 12 Angry Men

A jury is tasked with judging if a teenager is guilty of murder. Initially many think he’s guilty but when Juror 8 (Henry Fonda) disagrees it turns into a riveting debate on the values of justice. 12 Angry Men continues to impress as more time passes. The topics of justice, human nature, and doubt remain universal. And as it largely takes place in one room on a hot summer day it makes you feel as frustrated as the characters. It’s currently ranked 5th on IMDb’s top 250 and has a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The leads of 12 Angry Men [Source: Slant Magazine]

Thriller: Rear Window

While confined to his apartment, wheelchair-bound photographer L. B. Jefferies (James Stewart) witnesses his neighbour possibly committing murder. But how is he going to prove it? Rear Window is today regarded as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s finest films. And it’s certainly impressive. As most of the action is shot inside Jeffries’ apartment, we as viewers are put in the same position as Jefferies. Unable to move too far and confined by circumstances beyond our control. It’s currently ranked 50th on IMDb’s top 250 and has a 99% approval rating on RT.

L. B. Jefferies’ apartment in Rear Window [Source: Spy Culture]

Action: The Raid

A group of police officers head to a high-rise to arrest a prominent crime lord. The officers are quickly ambushed, have their retreat cut-off, and many are killed by the high-rise’s residents. Can the remaining officers get to their target before the residents kill them? The Raid has been referred to as one of the best action movies of the past decade and the limited location of the high-rise works to its advantage. Keeping the story focused instead of meandering and making for some incredibly creative set-pieces. It holds a 7.6 IMDb score and an 86% RT approval rating.

Getting ready for a halway fight in The Raid [Source: Listal]

Biopic: 127 Hours

When Aron Ralston (James Franco) goes climbing in Utah’s Bluejohn Canyon he ends up falling and pinning his arm between a boulder and the wall. Can Aron survive in these dire circumstances? 127 Hours is difficult to watch. It’s based on a real-life incident and like previous entries, it does an amazing job putting you into the protagonist’s position by restricting the setting and Aron’s movement for most of the movie. So, when the climax comes, you’re left wondering if you could do what Aron did? 127 Hours was positively received by audiences and critics. Even being nominated for 2011s Best Picture Oscar.

Caught between a rock and a hard place in 127 Hours [Source: Empire Online]

Horror: The Thing (1982)

An Antarctic research station is invaded by an alien creature that assimilates and imitates other life forms. With communication lines cut and the cold wastes outside providing no hope of rescue how are the station’s researchers going to fight this creature? Especially when anyone they know could be the thing? Initially, critics reviled John Carpenter’s The Thing but it’s now considered a horror masterpiece. Thanks to its slow-building suspense and paranoia. Further amplified by the restricted nature of the research outpost setting. It’s ranked 164th in IMDB’s top 250 and has an 84% approval rating on RT.

Confined in the cold in The Thing (1982) [Source: 3 brothers film]

Surreal: The Exterminating Angel

When upper-class dinner guests are unable to leave their hosts living room for unexplained reasons, slowly all semblance of morality and etiquette between the guests crumbles, revealing only animals beneath. Exterminating Angel is a surreal black comedy that uses its humorous conceit of the guests being unable to leave a party to ridicule the bourgeoise. And while it’s certainly weirder than previous list entries you’re guaranteed to remember it. It was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival. And currently has an 8.1 rating on IMDb and a 92% on RT.

One hell of a party in The Exterminating Angel [Source: Slant Magazine]

Romance: Time & Again

Former lovers Isabelle (Brigit Forsyth) and Eleanor (Siân Phillips) meet up 60 years after their relationship ended in a nursing home. With the action largely confined to two rooms, this short allows us to feel the isolation of both the main characters who have both lost their partners. And the limited scope emphasizes the great performances which immediately invest us in the couple and leaves us eager to learn about their history and ultimately their future. Time & Again has an 8.5 rating on IMDb and has received awards at several film festivals.

The central couple in Time and Again [Source: DaxiTales Ltd]

So ends our list of great claustrophobic films. Proving that a limited setting can still engage, thrill, excite, inform, terrify, challenge, and move us. But did we miss any out? Then let us know your favorite limited location film in the comments.

Also Read: Five Thought-Provoking Documentaries To Watch On BirdBox

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Editorials

30 Years On: The Godfather Part 3

June 13, 2020
Godfather Part 3 [Source: New on Netflix USA]

The Godfather Parts 1 and 2 are considered two of the greatest films ever made. Part 3, however, is seen as the black sheep of the series. But with Godfather Part 3 turning 30 this year, it’s time to see if it has aged well or if it should have ended up like Jack Woltz’s horse?

Synopsis

Years after Part 2’s events Michael Corleone is divorced from his wife Kay and trying to turn over a new leaf. Suddenly in walks Vincent Mancini, son of Michael’s dead brother Sonny. Vincent is feuding with enforcer Joey Zasa so Michael takes him under his wing.

Michael is also working to legitimize the family, but Don Altobello warns the mafia wants involvement in Michaels’s new business venture. Michael attempts to pay the mob bosses off to keep them away. He narrowly avoids an assassination attempt and Vincent realizes Altobello and Zasa are working together. Meanwhile, Vincent begins dating Michael’s daughter Mary. Vincent assassinates Zasa enraging Michael, who tells him not to see his daughter anymore.

The Corleone’s head to Sicily and Vincent defects to Altobello to get information. He discovers Altobello has hired someone to kill Michael. Michael’s business deal is ratified, and he names Vincent as the new Don. With this new position, Vincent decides to swiftly destroy the family’s enemies but have the Corleone’s underestimated their opponents?

Godfather 3 Critical Reaction

As mentioned earlier the first two Godfather movies are seen as two of cinemas greatest films. Both won best picture Oscars. Both have iconic dialogue that’s now part of everyday conversation. They feature incredible performances from some of cinemas best actors (Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Robert De Niro, Sterling Hayden etc.). And both are beloved by the public and critics. They are the second and third best films of all time on IMDb and have a 98% and 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Conversely, Part 3 won no Oscars, currently sits at a 69% critical score on Rotten Tomatoes, and is rated 7.6 on IMDb. An incredible dip in perceived quality. But is that feeling justified?

The Godfather (Source: Films Leaving Netflix)
Iconic poster for The Godfather (Source: Films Leaving Netflix)

The Good

Part 3 does have positives. Firstly, Al Pacino is great as an older Michael Corleone. His cool, ruthless nature from the previous movies now replaced by world-weary wisdom and compromise making him feel like his father from Part 1. Returning players Diane Keaton and Talia Shire and new faces Andy Garcia, Eli Wallach, and Joe Mantegna are also fun in their roles.

The atmosphere is also top-notch. The golden tinged cinematography and excellent score help give a nostalgic and operatically tragic feeling to the film. 

And there are some genuinely good story moments. Particularly Michael coming to terms with his horrible past and mentoring Vincent to take over from him. Which gives this entry a great sense of finality. And set-pieces like Vincent’s apartment break-in, Joey Zasa’s murder, and the opera massacre are entertaining.

The Bad

However, Part 3 has a lot of problems. And a lot of them come from it living in the shadow of its predecessors. The plot is very convoluted, like the previous entries, but aside from Michael and Vincent, no one has a compelling motivation to invest us in the action. Compared to the multi-layered characters of previous entries, this film feels generic in comparison.

The first two movies were also effective because of their realistic presentation. The dialogue felt natural and the violence hit hard because it felt so mundane. Here the action is overblown and at points ridiculous (see the helicopter assassination scene). The dialogue also feels unrealistic, with people espousing their motivations rather than using conversations to infer character motivation. There’s also an air of desperation as the movie tries to make Michael sympathetic. The Michael that series fans know, who coldly ordered the murder of his brother and pushed Kay away, is a world removed from his characterisation here. Honestly if not for Pacino’s performance it would come across as a cynical attempt to make the character appeal to a broader audience.

Finally, Sofia Coppola’s performance as Mary is terrible. It’s not her fault, she was essentially forced into it after Winona Ryder was unavailable. But her inability to emote or sound convincing is a major hindrance to the film because she has such a prominent role.

Verdict

Godfather Part 3 isn’t without merit. There are some fun performances, solid atmosphere courtesy of good-looking cinematography; a great soundtrack, and some entertaining moments. But it’s overall incredibly disappointing. Most of the characters are dull, making the twisty narrative a chore. It also lacks subtlety, with the powerful realism of the first two films replaced by overblown clichés and it features an atrocious performance from Sofia Coppola. It isn’t awful but it’s a huge blemish on the Godfather name.

Also Read: Was It Really That Bad? Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

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Editorials

Scream 5: What We Know and Is Scream Still Relevant?

June 8, 2020
Scream 5 is coming soon [Source: Vulture}

When Scream was released in 1996 it seemed like a breath of fresh air as it mercilessly mocked the tropes of the slasher genre which dominated horror in the previous decade. It was followed by three sequels and a TV series that the original creators weren’t involved with.

Now with Scream 5 being announced, it seems like a good time to ask what will be coming from the new movie? What the franchise mainstays have been up to? As well as reflect on the series as a whole and ask if Scream’s return is good or bad?

Scream 5: What to expect

Currently, details about Scream 5 are thin. Apparently, the films plot, “will follow a woman returning to her hometown to try to find out who has been committing a series of vicious crimes.”

However Scream 5 will mark a huge departure for the franchise, as writer Kevin Williamson and director Wes Craven won’t be involved. Instead, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett who made the well-reviewed Ready or Not and the poorly received Devils Due will be directing. And Guy Busick (who wrote Ready or Not) and James Vanderbilt (whose credits include Zodiac and the Amazing Spiderman series) will be writing.

David Arquette is returning as Dewey Riley but it’s currently unknown if Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox will return as Sidney Prescott and Gail Weathers (Campbell is apparently in talks to appear, but this hasn’t yet been confirmed). Which could leave the series without two of its main stars.

Where are they now?

The cast of the original Scream movie in 1996 (Dimension Films)
The cast of the original Scream movie in 1996 (Dimension Films)

So, what have the series regulars been up to since Scream 4?

Series creator Kevin Williamson has created several original TV shows including The Following and Stalker. And has adapted several pre-existing properties for the small screen. Including continuing to write for Vampire Diaries; creating Time After Time and Tell Me a Story.

David Arquette remains a prolific actor, with starring and supporting roles in a variety of cult projects. Such as the film Bone Tomahawk and tv shows like Creepshow. Neve Campbell has continued with a steady workload. Starring in the likes of Skyscraper and lending supporting turns to the likes of House of Cards, while also focusing on raising her two children. And Courteney Cox has been very busy since Scream 4. She released her directorial debut Just Before I Go in 2014. She continued her starring role in Cougar Town until 2015. Produced several projects, through her production company Coquette Productions (including Cougar town, Just Before I Go and Celebrity Name Game) and solo (recently producing 9 months with Courteney Cox and the upcoming Last Chance U). And coupled with being an activist and a parent it would be understandable if Cox is too busy to return.

And Wes Craven sadly passed away in 2015. Scream 4 was his final directorial credit.

Can Scream maintain its power?

But is it possible for Scream to hold up in today’s world? Unfortunately, the series’ diminishing returns indicate that a new Scream won’t perform well.

The original Scream was a hit, making $173,046,663 worldwide. It also received critical and audience praise for its ridiculing of slasher tropes. Scream 2 focused on slasher sequel trappings, more elaborate death scenes, bigger body count etc. and while still a hit, it wasn’t as big as its predecessor, making $172,363,301. This entry received critical praise, but audiences were more lukewarm. Scream 3, the supposedly final entry (written by Ehren Kruger but still directed by Craven), which took broader shots at movie trilogies made $161,834,276 and was hated by audiences and critics. Scream 4, released 11 years later, parodied horror remakes while being more of a soft-reboot. With the surviving original cast members teaming up with younger leads. It was more well-received by audiences and critics than Scream 3 (Williamson returned as the writer) but only took $97,231,420. A series low.

Truthfully, Scream has done everything it can with its premise. It’s parodied slasher movies, their sequels, their supposed concluding chapters, and even the soft-reboot before its modern popularity with the likes of Halloween (2018). A full-on reboot with new leads is all that’s left. But by bringing Arquette’s Dewey back, Scream 5 doesn’t seem to be doing that. Also, full-fledged slasher films aren’t as prominent anymore. And with the likes of A24 and Blumhouse delivering horror films that play with conventions and audience expectations in a more effective and braver way (tackling race relations, religion, and more), a new Scream film wouldn’t offer much new. Lastly, it doesn’t seem respectful to continue on without Wes Craven. He was the man who directed every franchise entry. And without him, the franchise should be left in peace.

Conclusion

But those are just my thoughts. What do you think about the Scream 5 news? Please let me know.

Also Read: What Happens To Your Brain When Watching A Horror Film

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Editorials

Top 10 Films at the UK Box Office in 2020 (So Far)

May 22, 2020
The 2020 Box Office [Sources: Cineworld Cinemas,The Guardian; imdb]

With UK cinemas still closed we may as well run down 2020’s highest box office grossers so far. Today I’ll look at how much the highest earners took at the UK Box office (using Box Office Mojo and Google Money Converter). These numbers are rounded to the nearest hundred thousand and are correct at the time of writing (20/05/20)) and what critics; audiences thought of them.

10. Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (£9,400,000)

Cathy Yan’s DC Universe offering sees Harley Quinn teaming up with a group of female heroines to fight against the evil Black Mask.

Audience Thoughts: 78% – Rotten Tomatoes / 6.2 – IMDb

Critics Thoughts: “While watching Birds of Prey, it becomes clear that comic book movies are still going to dominate the box office for many years to come. If any of those could be as much fun…then we would be over the moon.

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey
Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey swoop into 10th place at the UK Box Office [Source: Empire]

9. Parasite (£12,000,000)

Bong Joon Ho’s Best Picture winner sees the poor Kim family scam their way into working for the rich Park family. But do the Kim’s deserve our sympathy and what secrets are the Park’s hiding?

Audience Thoughts: 90% – Rotten Tomatoes / 8.6 – IMDb

Critics Thoughts: “It’s dark, funny, clever, surprising, and I’m sure I could use almost every adjective in my lexicon.

Parasite
Best Picture Winner, Parasite smashes into 9th place [Source: Americamagazine.org]

8. The Gentlemen (£12,300,000)

Guy Ritchie’s latest gangster films focused on an American marijuana emperor trying to leave the business. But various factions conspire to extort him for all he’s worth.

Audience Thoughts: 84% – Rotten Tomatoes / 7.9 – IMDb

Critics Thoughts: “It is a coarse, convoluted, comical caper that exults in the joys of genre.”

The Gentlemen
The Gentlemen swan into 8th place [Source: Den of Geek]

7. Jumanji: The Next Level (£16,100,000)

The gang from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, along with new additions Danny Glover and Danny DeVito, return to Jumanji to face new challenges. 

Audience Thoughts: 87% – Rotten Tomatoes / 6.7 – IMDb

Critics Thoughts: “Jumanji’s next level is rather satisfying.

Jumanji
The Jumanji gang jump back into the UK Box Office [Source: Entertainment Weekly]

6. Dolittle (£16,700,000)

Robert Downey Jr. leads an all-star cast as the famous doctor who can talk to animals sets out to find a cure for an ailing young Queen Victoria.

Audience Thoughts: 76% – Rotten Tomatoes / 5.6 – IMDb

Critics Thoughts: “It really is horribly inert, and every time Downey opens his mouth to say something unintelligible, the film dies a bit more.

Robert Downey Jr as Dolittle
Despite a critical thrashing Dolittle soars into number 6 at the Box Office [Source: GamesRadar]

5. Bad Boys for Life (£17,000,000)

Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett must team up with a team of younger cops to take down the leaders of a violent drug cartel.

Audience Thoughts: 96% – Rotten Tomatoes / 6.7 – IMDb

Critics Thoughts: “Bad Boys for Life is … pure enjoyment and entertainment.

Bad Boys returns to the UK box office
The Bad Boys return in glorious fashion [Source: RogerEbert.com]

4. Sonic the Hedgehog (£19,100,000)

Sonic and his friend Tom race to San Francisco to find the rings to transport Sonic off-world before Dr. Robotnik catches them.

Audience Thoughts: 93% – Rotten Tomatoes / 6.6 – IMDb

Critics Thoughts: “The world contains many terrible video game movies. This isn’t one of them.

Sonic rushing into the box office top 10
Sega’s blue speedster rushes into the top 10 [Source: Hollywood Reporter]

3. Little Women (£19,400,000)

Greta Gerwig’s remake of the literary classic follows the March sisters as they experience career hardships, romance, tragedy, and triumph during and after the American Civil War.

Audience Thoughts: 92% – Rotten Tomatoes / 7.9 – IMDb

Critics Thoughts: “Though we can’t foretell whether time will be cruel or kind to Gerwig’s “Little Women,” it may just be the best film yet made by an American woman.”

Little Women stands tall at the box office
Greta Gerwig’s Little Women stands tall at number 3 [Source: Britannica]

2. Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (£20,100,000)

The Skywalker Saga concludes. Emperor Palpatine returns to threaten the galaxy. Rey and the remnants of the resistance must find a way to stop him. While contending with the rage of Kylo Ren.

Audience Thoughts: 86% – Rotten Tomatoes / 6.7 – IMDb

Critics Thoughts: “It doesn’t do anything new or even terribly distinctive, but maybe it didn’t have to. It just had to be good enough to stick the landing, and it does that.

Rise of Skywalker rises to number 2 at the uk box office
The Skywalker saga’s final swipe took the 2nd place in 2020 so far [Source: Deadline]

1. 1917 (£46,600,000)

Presented in a pseudo-continuous shot 1917 follows two soldiers tasked with physically delivering orders for a battalion to stand down before German forces kill them all.

Audience Thoughts: 88% – Rotten Tomatoes / 8.3 – IMDb

Critics Thoughts: “1917 will have you on the edge of your seat from the very first moment and will leave you breathless.

1917 is number 1 at the box office
1917 stands atop the box office [Source: Letterboxd]

This year’s top 10 collective taking may be comparatively low (over £188 million) but with a relatively diverse group of creative teams (including 2 solo female directors and a foreign-language film) and an interesting mix of tales (including three original properties not based on pre-existing work or part of larger franchises), 2020 is more interesting than 2019. Which was dominated by comic book adaptations, remakes, and sequels to popular franchises (mostly from Disney and their subsidiaries). Hopefully, the upcoming months will bare good tidings for UK cinemas.

Also Read: What Happens To Your Brain When Watching A Horror Film

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Editorials

The Best Performances of Tom Hardy

May 13, 2020
tom hardy [Source: Newsweek]

He has been compared with Brando and called one of the best actors of his generation, there’s pretty much no one like Tom Hardy. While best known for his tough-guy roles he has shown that he’s more than capable of taking on more intimate projects and pays a lot of attention to his craft. Frequently changing his voice and body and to suit his parts, and his natural charisma makes him compulsively watchable. And with his latest movie Capone coming out soon I am going to look back at Tom Hardy’s 5 best roles. And explain what makes these performances stand out from the rest of his work.

Stuart Clive Shorter – Stuart: A Life Backwards

Stuart provides a blueprint for what Tom Hardy would later do with many of his roles. Focusing on every aspect of his performance he reportedly losing nearly 30 pounds for the role; adopted a limp and a slurred voice to play the titular “homeless, sociopathic, junkie“. There’s something brutally honest about Hardy’s portrayal of Stuart. He doesn’t feel Hollywoodized, he feels like a real person. The script also requires Hardy to go to a lot of different places. This results in him being equal parts scary, charming, funny, and disturbing but Hardy pulls it off flawlessly. In lesser hands, Stuart could’ve simply been a one-note sympathy card. But Hardy makes Stuart into a complex, intriguing, and tragic character. For his efforts, Hardy received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor.

Tom Hardy in Stuart: A Life Backwards
Tom Hardy in Stuart: A Life Backwards [Source: Telegraph]

Eames – Inception

Despite working with many great directors throughout his career Christopher Nolan is the director that always gets the best out of Hardy. Unlike many of his other roles here Hardy retains his regular voice and isn’t the center of attention, playing as part of an ensemble cast but he still manages to make a great impression. As Eames, a conman recruited to impersonate people within a dream (essentially riffing on Hardy’s chameleon-like acting persona) Hardy is very fun, bouncing off the other members of the cast with his deadpan humor and effortless charm. This movie proved that Hardy wasn’t just an actor but a movie star too.

Eames in Inception
Eames in Inception [Source: IMDb]

Bane – The Dark Knight Rises

Hardy’s most iconic role is perhaps the best encapsulation of him as an actor. He’s more than willing to change his body for his craft (the hulking behemoth of Bane is a world away from Eames and Stuart physically). He likes to experiment with his accents to give his characters a different feel (here Bane has a calm, vaguely Irish/Scottish voice that effectively contrasts with his savage and intimidating actions). He pays incredible attention to his physical performance (despite having his face covered for almost the entire movie we’re always aware of what Bane is thinking and feeling because of Hardy’s great use of body and facial language). And no matter what he’s doing it’s always utterly captivating. The result is a villain unlike any other.

Bane in The Dark Knight Rises
Bane in The Dark Knight Rises [Source: Indian Express]

Ivan Locke – Locke

After the action extravaganza of The Dark Knight Rises Hardy made a return to more low-key dramas. Hardy plays Ivan who is journeying from Birmingham to London to solve a crisis, all the while dealing with calls from his friends, family, and co-workers about where he’s going. Locke is perhaps Hardy’s most impressive role. The entire film takes place in a car with only Tom on screen. Meaning he’s confined in a tight space, restricting his movement and he has to carry the entire movie with his performance. Thankfully he pulls it off with gusto. Though his welsh accent wavers his calm delivery works incredibly well to endear a somewhat unsympathetic character to the audience. And his physical performance says so much with so little. Only Tom Hardy could pull off something that daring.

Ivan, the titular character of Locke
Ivan, the titular character of Locke [Source: Tribeca Film Festival]

Ronnie/Reggie Kray – Legend

The best thing about Tom Hardy’s portrayal of the notorious twin gangsters is that you never spend any time thinking about the technical side of his performance. You’re completely invested in him. Both roles complement his skills and past triumphs. As Ronnie, Hardy is much more animalistic. An imposing, violent tough guy which clearly recalls his performances as Stuart Shorter, Bronson, and Bane. And as Reggie, we see the same effortlessly cool but dark-edged charisma he showed in Inception and The Drop. And once again Hardy adds a lot of humanity to these characters. Ronnie’s admission to being gay and Reggie’s love/hater relationship with his brother are incredibly effective. Not because of the lines he’s given but because of how he plays them. This is why whenever anyone talks about Legend they do so solely for Hardy’s performance.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray in Legend
Ronnie and Reggie Kray in Legend [Source: Movie TV Tech Geeks News]

Thus ends our list of Tom Hardy’s best performances. Did we miss any out? Please let us know what your favourite Tom Hardy role is and what you think of our selections.

Also Read: What Happens To Your Brain When Watching A Horror Movie?

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Editorials

5 More Movies That Don’t Need a Sequel, Reboot or Remake

April 23, 2020
the wild bunch is a classic movie that should not get a remake [Source: Furious Cinema]

Since I listed five movies that didn’t need a sequel, reboot or remake in 2018 a large number of properties have been resumed or updated. With continuations, do-overs and re-interpretations seemingly released/announced every week.

It’s understandable. Many of 2019s highest-grossing movies were remakes or sequels to popular films. And properties like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and 2019s remake of Little Women proved to be critically well-received. Showing that remakes, sequels, and reboots can excel when they want to. But there comes a time when you must put your foot down and say no to certain things. So today I’m going to list five more movies that shouldn’t be touched. Some of these continuations are already on the way, but hopefully, I can convince you why continuing with these properties is an awful idea.

1) Children’s Film: Disney’s Robin Hood

Disney has recently become notable for remaking many of its classic titles. Providing slight updates to their older animated film’s stories and showing off advancing special effects by reimagining them in a live-action style. But while the effects are impressive, and the updates understandable, the changes mostly serve to hamper the simple fairy-tale charm of the stories, and provide us with ugly visuals that pale in comparison to their animated counterparts. So the prospect of seeing Disney’s Robin Hood (a personal favorite of many) remade in this style doesn’t bode well. And in the past decade, we’ve already had two high profile Robin Hood movies that failed to justify their budgets at the box office. It seems audiences aren’t really interested in this material. Do yourselves a favor and stick to Disney’s original. Oo-de-lally what a good day you’ll have.

Foxy Robin Hood relaxing in a basket in Robin Hood
Foxy Robin Hood relaxing in a basket in Robin Hood (1973) [Source: Collider]

2) Horror Film: A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place works best as a self-contained experience. By the end of A Quiet Place, every plot thread was tied. We learned the monster’s weakness and our heroes were ready to take on the threat. That was the perfect ending for the story. Continuing the story seems pointless. The characters know the alien’s weakness and most horror sequels also make the mistake of overexposing their monster. Which diminishes how scary they are to audiences. And a sequel also ruins the unique charm of the first film’s gimmick of having the characters remain mostly silent. Either they stick with the gimmick and repeat it until it becomes boring. Or they abandon it and make the film like every other horror movie. This is one property that should have remained quiet.

John Krasinski should have shushed the possibility of a sequel
John Krasinski should have shushed the possibility of a sequel [Source: Dread Central]

3) Comedy Film: The Naked Gun

Reboots like Vacation and Ghostbusters have shown that reboots of comedy franchises beloved for their original casts don’t go over well with fans. Naked Gun is a franchise that shouldn’t be touched for this reason. Leslie Nielsen (the spoof movie king) was the star of the original franchise since Police Squad, the TV show that spawned the Naked Gun films. His unique deadpan delivery and timing elevated the Naked Gun into being one of the best parody series ever. So, rebooting the series without Nielsen in the lead not only goes against the series’ main selling point but also seems quite disrespectful. Don’t ever let me catch you guys trying to reboot this one.

Lt. Frank Drebin (Nielsen), Police Squad
Lt. Frank Drebin (Nielsen), Police Squad [Source: Netflix]

4) Western Film: The Wild Bunch

This just shouldn’t happen. Firstly, The Wild Bunch is regarded as one of the best westerns ever. Which already makes it impossible to think about how anyone could equal it. Secondly, the original is so synonymous with legendary director Sam Peckinpah and his filmmaking style that remaking it becomes akin to staining someone’s legacy. Finally, a large reason why The Wild Bunch worked was because of when it was made. Released in 1969 the film pushed the boundaries of cinematic violence and how it could be used to tell stories. Today a Wild Bunch remake would simply amount to another violent western; dilute the legacy of the original. So of course, Hollywood has already decided to try and do it. This project should have been shot down immediately.

William Holden shooting down suggestions of a Wild Bunch remake
William Holden shooting down suggestions of a Wild Bunch remake [Source: Britannica]

5) Martial Arts: The Raid

The Raid is one of the best action movies of the 2010s. Featuring incredible choreography, excellent cinematography, great writing and brilliant physical performances from the likes of Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian. The idea of remaking it for western audiences seems like an exercise in taking something unique and making it blander for mainstream appeal. And a direct remake is already pointless since the movie Dredd already took elements from the original Raid and made it into a thrilling sci-fi action film. Lightning hardly seems likely to strike twice. So, Hollywood please leave the Raid alone.

One of the best fight scenes of the decade in The Raid (2011) [Source: Rising Tsunday – WordPress.com]

Thus ends our list. Are there any movies or franchises you would hate to see remade, rebooted or sequeled to death? Tell us about them in the comments.

Also Read: 5 Films That Don’t Need A Sequel, Reboot or Remake

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Editorials

Share the Love in Lockdown

April 11, 2020
Watching Online with Friends during lockdown [Source: The Daily Dot]

Since the COVID-19 lockdown began, many film fans have been missing the communal experience of going to the cinema. There’s just something about watching a story unfold with other people that enhances the experience. Well, many have decided to find other ways of connecting with the outside world in order to enjoy watching the latest digital releases and old favourites. So today we’re going to look at the various ways you can beat the lockdown blues and enjoy the cinema experience while in self-isolation.

Interacting on Social Media and YouTube

Sometimes the best motivation to give something a watch is knowing that others will be watching the same thing. Well over the past few weeks various social media sites and platforms like YouTube have presented opportunities for you to give a film a watch and interact with the wider community.

Several big names have encouraged the world to check out certain titles on Twitter. Jared Leto started his own tweet along cinema club with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And director James Gunn recently joined in with a #QuarantineWatchParty of Guardians of the Galaxy. Meanwhile, on Facebook, groups like Celluloid Screams have used the Watch Party function to host their own movie marathons. Here the festival programmers provided intros for several horror films encouraging people to binge-watch all of them in a single day.

Also, platforms like YouTube have proven a great place for watch parties to be hosted. Actor Riz Ahmed recently hosted a live stream on the platform where he provided commentary on the film Four Lions along with the films other actors Kayvan Novak & Nigel Lindsay.

The appeal of these online events comes from knowing that you are watching these titles along with others. And that you are able to engage and interact with them. So keep an eye open for similar events coming up on these platforms. Or why not host your own?

Watching movies on the laptop
There are plenty of interaction opportunities just waiting for you online [Source Liveabout.com]

3rd Party Applications and Add Ons

There are also several applications and add ons you can use to interact with others while watching films. Video and voice chat applications like Skype, Messenger Video Call and Discord allow you to connect with friends and chat along together while watching something.

But there are also apps that allow simultaneous viewing of films with your friends. For example the Netflix Party application for Google Chrome. This app allows you and several friends to watch and text chat over the same show/movie on Netflix at the same time. However, it’s currently only available on Chrome. Other resources like Metastream also offer similar services. Finally, there are services like Kast. This application works on Windows and Mac; it allows you to connect with several other people and stream your computer screen to them. Allowing you all to sit back and watch a movie on your platform of choice.

These apps and add ons provide a great way to Netflix and chill with your friends while in lockdown.

Watch Netflix with friends by using some of the apps mentioned above [Source: Tech Viral]

Festivals

Finally, because many film festivals have had to cancel physical screenings, several festivals including the upcoming SXSW festival in America and Visions du Réel 2020 in Switzerland have opted to showcase their films and other content on the internet. Releasing films through subscription services or websites, hosting interviews and performing masterclasses online. Which when coupled with the social media and connective opportunities mentioned above will allow the public to remain in touch with film culture. So be sure to keep an eye out for more opportunities like this in the future.

Conclusion

With all these options provided by 3rd party companies and online platforms, we have ample opportunity to connect together and still enjoy a social media experience during the lockdown.

With many filmmakers and stars providing opportunities for socialization the community has a great opportunity to interact with each other as well as creatives in the industry. Allowing us to gain extra insight into films and perhaps giving us some inspiration to make something for ourselves. And while it may not be the same as the cinematic experience, these apps and events will help us stay in touch. As well as allowing us to continue experiencing great movie moments with others.

Also Read: The Most Important Cinema In The World (To Me)

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