Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Sony PlayStation)

It’s impossible to hurl too many superlatives at Castlevania: Symphony of the Night because it deserves each and every one of them. Is it the best PlayStation game ever made? Is it the best game of the 1990s? Is it the best game ever? These are legitimate questions that gamers and fans of the title have been asking themselves and others since its release in 1997 . . .

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Eliminators (1986)

For the most part, Eliminators is like Star Wars on an A-Team budget, but the comparisons don’t stop there.

Produced by low budget sci-fi maestro Charles Band, the movie is a savvy exercise in cultural marketing which taps into a plethora of 80s hits and features the kind of characters which probably would have resulted in a successful toy range were its financial aspirations just a tad higher . . .

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Revisiting . . .The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

We live in an age of instant gratification; the 21st century world waits for nothing.

If a sequel, tie in or teaser trailer isn’t released within a year of the original then you’ve missed the boat. Moviegoers had to wait three years before another visit to a galaxy far, far away with nothing in between but a bunch of plastic figures and your own imagination to continue the saga. But when the Empire recovered to rear its ugly head, it was well worth the wait and, just as A New Hope changed the cinematic landscape, The Empire Strikes Back changed the direction of sequel making…

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Revisiting . . . Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

“A long time ago . . . in a galaxy far, far away . . .”

For me, and many others, that ‘long time ago’ was a childhood defined by the exploits of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and their Guardians of the Galaxy style, dysfunctional group of androids, wookies, rapscallions and royalty. That single line also exemplifies the ‘Once Upon a Time’ introduction of many a fairy tale as our young farm boy, who dreams of joining the rebellion, suddenly finds himself rescuing the princess and defeating the evil wizard . . .

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Revisiting . . . Live and Let Die (1973)

At times, Live and Let Die is almost like an anti-blaxploitation movie.

Of course, it is very much a product of its time, and there is no serious slight intended, but watching it you are reminded of just how far society has come in regards to its representation of ethnic groups, so far that its often prejudiced content now comes across as laughable rather than offensive. Here, the movie’s superfly brothers are slick, drug-dealing criminals who occasionally dabble in voodoo, but classic Bond was always a franchise steeped in sweeping stereotypes, regardless of race of creed . . .

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On Deadly Ground (1994)

There is a story about Steven Seagal which may or may not shock you.

One day an executive walked into Seagal’s trailer and found the star weeping. ‘Oh, I’m reading this script,’ Seagal explained, his head shaking in disbelief. ‘It’s the most incredible script I’ve ever read.’

‘That’s fantastic,’ the executive said, ‘Who wrote it?’

‘I did,’ the star replied.

It is this kind of self-gratifying smugness that permeates Seagal’s directorial debut…

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Waterworld (1995)

Poor Kevin Reynolds.

After experiencing huge success with 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, he would be handed a budget of $175,000,000 to direct dystopian spectacular Waterworld, and although that sum may seem paltry by today’s standards, this was more than a quarter of a century ago, and at the time it constituted the world’s most expensive movie, a fact made so apparent in the mainstream media that the production was almost bound to fail, and in many quarters encouraged to…

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Revisiting . . . Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Despite a mixed critical reception for the culturally offensive ‘Temple of Doom’, audiences’ lapped up the experience of a third Indiana Jones movie.

After a brief hiatus to focus on more serious fare in the form of The Colour Purple, Empire of the Sun and Always, a third instalment was always going to be an irresistible draw for Spielberg, Lucas, Ford, and an audience hungry for more…

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Revisiting . . . Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

The beauty of coming up with a character who was originally conceived as James Bond without the gadgets is that you can treat him like Bond.

As long as you can come up with a situation, a new location, some new characters and a new dilemma within which to place your hero, then you have the grounding for a new film. There is no need to reference a previous film in order for the formula to be effective. That is clearly what Spielberg and Lucas had in mind with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom…

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