The Power of Nostalgia: Back to the Future Part II

Nostalgia is a very powerful emotion.

In recent times it has become a billion-dollar industry, but back in 1985 its use was rather less calculated, and when director Robert Zemeckis released Back to the Future that same year, his time-travelling ode to 1950’s culture was still something of a novelty.

Back to the Future Part 2 is a resourceful sequel, promising a futuristic landscape but delivering something altogether different. When Christopher Lloyd’s Dr Emmett Brown uttered his immortal, sequel-setting words during the conclusion of the first picture, we had already booked our ticket […]

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A Sequel in Earnest: Richard Donner’s Lethal Weapon 2

There are very few movies that deserved a sequel as much as Richard Donner’s Lethal Weapon; not because it was set up that way, but because of the potential of the movie’s narrative and the ever-burgeoning relationship of its characters.

Although sequels had long been established, it was the 1980’s that saw them grow into an essential component of the marketing beast. The 1970’s had witnessed the dawn of the numbered sequel, but those movies were few and far between, productions such as The French Connection II and The Godfather Part II hardly the products of premeditated money-spinning campaigns […]

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Money Train (1995)

Back in 1992, Ron Shelton’s low-key comedy-drama White Men Can’t Jump gave us more than just basketball.

The story of two racially opposed hustlers who would form an unlikely bond both on and off the courts, the movie proved a surprise hit thanks to a heartwarming screenplay and the magical onscreen chemistry of its lead players. The film was even a favourite of legendary director Stanley Kubrick, who was probably in need of a little cheer from time to time […]

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Blind Fury (1989)

Rutger Hauer is a very unique talent.

Not only did he dazzle with his famous ad-libbed monologue as the queerly sympathetic Roy Batty in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, he scared the living crap out of us as the psychotic John Ryder in The Hitcher. A few years later he starred in Blind Fury, the kind of tongue-in-cheek action extravaganza most associated with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he did a mighty fine job of it too, slipping into the role with the kind of consummate ease […]

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Suburban Monsters: The Double Standards of Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs

They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in my experience the opposite is true.

In reality people tend to fear the unfamiliar, and the more distant a person is the more they have to hide, at least in the minds of those who have been ignored. This is never truer than when a somewhat reclusive neighbour moves into an established community. Before long, suspicions begin to breed and spread, and every little detail becomes a reason for condemnation […]

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Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988)

You can’t keep the dead down for good.

In 1985, writer Dan O’Bannon put an interesting spin on the zombie genre with The Return of the Living Dead. Mixing humour with horror and adding a dash of punk to the film’s style and soundtrack, Return satirized the films of George A. Romero by insinuating that Night of the Living Dead was based on true events. It also proved to be a capable zombie picture in its own right […]

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