Kidnapped by K-Mart: Ruthless People and 1980s Amorality

A word of warning: if you haven’t already seen Ruthless People, then it’s best to go in cold, because it’s a deliciously, deviously plotted film, the kind that starts off with a great hook, gleefully allows itself to get tangled with all kinds of left-field threads and yet still manages to keep it all together.

The poster is clever (an enormous golden screw resembling an Academy Award) but ultimately gives nothing away. Of course, the trailer, in classic old-school fashion, gives almost everything away, so try to avoid that […]

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Shot to the Beat: House Party’s Rhythmic Revelry

The late 80s and early 90s saw an explosion of films that, at the time, were loosely referred to as urban or ‘Hood’ movies’.

It’s a crude term used to describe films that featured prominently black characters, usually set within a specific, limited geographical area or social setting that serves to define the significance of what is happening around them. Whether this be drug trafficking in New Jack City, gang or turf warfare in Menace II Society, the simmering racial tension surrounding Do the Right Thing or everyday life in the ghetto, portrayed so honestly, brutally and tragically in Boyz ‘N the Hood. Fuelled by the rising popularity of hip-hop and featuring […]

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All Hail His Dudeness: The Big Lebowski’s Blithe Ascension

There are hits, there are cultural phenomenons, and then there’s The Big Lebowski.

Some movies make such an impact on culture that they become monuments to a time and place. The most successful inspire sequels, prequels, reboots and a treasure trove of crappy merchandise that becomes recycled throughout the generations. The Big Lebowski did none of that, but it did inspire its own religion. Described as an An ancient philosophy that ‘preaches non-preachiness and practices as little as possible’, ‘Dudeism’, also known as The Church of the Latter-Day Dude, has more than 450,000 Dudeist Priests worldwide, and promotes itself as the world’s ‘slowest-growing religion’, a statement that is apt in more ways than one […]

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S*** happens, and who you gonna call? The Underrated Joys of Ghostbusters II

Ah, the good old cinematic staple that is the sequel.

We the viewer demand them, Hollywood the industry are more than happy to supply them. Yet more often than not, they rarely improve on or even equal the original. The usual candidates for follow-ups that are as good/better than the first are The Godfather Part II, Aliens, Lethal Weapon 2, Spider-Man 2, Batman Returns, etc. Then there are the ones that are notoriously inferior – Exorcist II, Howling II, Speed 2…the ones that often frequent Worst Films Ever lists […]

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