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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Ice Skating Uphill: A Blade Retrospective

Prior to Blade, Marvel’s track record in cinemas was impressively wretched. At a time when DC’s Superman and Batman were experiencing unprecedented levels of cinematic success, the characters of Marvel were getting lost in translation.

First up was George Lucas’ monumentally ill-judged mid-80s adaptation Howard the Duck, which tanked so hard at the box office that Lucas, who had bet on the film’s success to pay off outstanding debts he owed on Skywalker Ranch, was forced to sell his computer animation company to Apple buddy Steve Jobs […]

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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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Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Who is the Man in Black?

That was the question on most fan’s lips when the credits for Dominique Othenin-Girard’s Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers rolled. Not content with the body count aspirations of the movie’s predecessor, the director would make it his goal to avoid such trappings in spite of studio demands, aiming instead to “retain the structure of the original Halloween from Carpenter/Hill; a structure following the Hitchcock rules of suspense, not mixing the genres like the script they had given me.” Of course, that kind of filmmaking had not been seen in the genre for close to a decade, and with the likes of […]

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