Film Club Leaderboard: December Edition

As 2014 draws to a close, so too does Film Club. In the final review of the year, we picked apart Tim Burton’s first entry into the comic book genre with his take on Batman. Deemed a classic at the time of release, and for many years since, but Burton’s Batman is showing its age a little now and has surely been eclipsed by Christopher Nolan’s own take on the Dark Knight.

Below is the updated leaderboard for December, where you can find our thoughts on the previous entries, and what position Batman takes in the overall rankings.

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Film Club: Batman (1989)

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In this months edition of Film Club, Cathal, aka The Narrator, chose Tim Burton’s Batman as our film of the month. It was another interesting choice and one that didn’t go down as well with some as it did with others, while it also brought out inevitable comparisons to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films.

Keep reading for everyone’s thoughts on the original Batman.

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BiRDMAN, Review

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Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton & Emma Stone Synopsis: A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory Rating: 15 Runtime: 119 minutes Release date: 1 January 2015

When I initially heard about BiRDMAN, it had me intrigued. A film starring Michael Keaton where he portrays a down on his luck actor, who is mostly remembered for his time playing one of Hollywood’s first big superheroes is a tale that it so close to real life, I had to know exactly how Keaton would approach it and, more importantly, if the film could work as a satisfying whole. And for the most part, it does. BiRDMAN is a fast paced, witty and altogether real look at the life of an aging actor trying to re-establish himself and his career in the eyes of a modern audience. 

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10 DC Graphic Novels You Need To Read

With DC and Warner Bros. set to launch their own cinematic assault against Marvel in 2016 with the double-whammy of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the Suicide Squad film, now is a great time for those who are new to the world of superheroes to start reading the stories that inspired the films. With that in mind, here are 10 graphic novels that should be considered essential reading for any wannabe DC fan. 

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Poll: Who Should Direct Star Trek 3?

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News came recently that Roberto Orci had been relieved of his directorial duties on Star Trek 3. Reasons for his departure are currently unknown, but it is believed by some that Paramount Studios are unhappy with his ideas for the film. Since original director JJ Abrams left to direct a little known indie film called Star Wars, Star Trek 3 has been left in limbo somewhat. Recent speculation suggests that the studio are seeking Edgar Wright to direct the film, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

With Star Trek 3 due for release in 2016, to coincide with the franchise’s 50th anniversary, Paramount will be looking to hire someone quickly. With that in mind, here’s my handy little guide of six candidates for the directors chair.

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Bond 24 Name & Cast Announced, While Terminator Genisys Debuts A New Trailer

As you all undoubtedly know by now, it has been another busy day in movie land. With the official unveiling of the new James Bond film, and the first teaser trailer from Terminator Genisys both arriving, there has been various levels of excitement on social media today.

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DC Finally Casts The Suicide Squad

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Making the announcement late last night, or early this morning depending on your time zone, DC and Warner Bros. finally announced the lineup for the David Ayer directed Suicide Squad film. The lineup seems to consist largely of that which had been reported over the past few weeks, and does indeed confirm that Jared Leto will play the Joker.

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Genre Grandeur November Finale – Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Kieron Townend:

Here’s my review for this months Genre Grandeur season, Big Trouble in Little China.

Originally posted on :

For this month’s Genre Grandeur – 80’s action finale, here’s a review by Kieron of What About the Twinkie? of Big Trouble in Little China (1986).

This month, we had 7 reviews for Genre Grandeur and I also reviewed 6 movies for my companion series Genre Guesstimation. Unfortunately, this month I didn’t manage to uncover any new favorites in the Genre, but I will keep at it in the months to come.

A huge thanks to everyone who participated this month!

If you missed any of the reviews this month, here’s a recap:

Genre Grandeur
1. Commando (1985) – Tim
2. Project A (1983) – Kim
3. Die Hard (1988) – Justine
4. The Running Man (1987) -MovieRob
5. Red Dawn (1984) – MovieRob
6. Die Hard (1988) – MovieRob
7. Big Trouble in Little China (1986) – Kieron

Genre Guesstimation
1. First Blood (1982)
2. Gymkata (1985)
3. Escape…

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6 Horrible Bosses In Film

With Horrible Bosses 2 now in cinemas, it seemed as good a time as any to take a look at the real horrible bosses in film. Not just the ones played for laughs, but those real hard-ass bosses who make you wish you had never been born, let alone apply for the worthless job you’re in.

Take a look inside as I show you the worst horrible bosses in film. 

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Jurassic World Trailer Reaction

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As we all know, yesterday saw the release of the teaser trailer for Jurassic World starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. There were a lot of things to get excited about in the trailer, and with that in mind I thought I would post a detailed reaction to the teaser, letting you know just how I feel about one of 2015’s biggest releases.

Keep reading to view my analysis and first time reaction.

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Horrible Bosses 2, Review

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Director: Sean Anders Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day Synopsis: Dale, Kurt and Nick decide to start their own business but things don’t go as planned because of a slick investor, prompting the trio to pull off a harebrained and misguided kidnapping scheme Rating: 15 Runtime: 108 minutes

When Horrible Bosses made its way into cinemas back in 2011, no one expected the kind of success that would follow. The film made over $200 million internationally, and those are the type of numbers that simply do not get ignored in Hollywood. Simply put, a sequel was always likely. Fast forward to 2014 and we are now presented with Horrible Bosses 2. A film that exists solely because the first film made a lot of money, and the studio are hoping that this one will too, and they’d probably be right.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Casting Rumours

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With X-Men: Apocalypse due for release in 2016, some casting rumours have recently made their way online. Specifically these rumours are centering around the characters of Jean Grey and Scott Summers and which young actors could be taking up the roles previously held by Famke Janssen and James Marsden.

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Daniel Bruhl Joins Captain America: Civil War

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With Captain America: Civil War due for release in May 2016, speculation and hype have already started gathering around the much-anticipated release. With a cast list already consisting of Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Chadwick Boseman we can now add Daniel Bruhl to the list.

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Film Blog Picks of the Week

Kieron Townend:

Featured E-Magazine ran a nice little feature where he highlights his new favourite film blogs, and I just happen to be one of them. Happy reading.

Originally posted on :

Another Blog Pick Sunday is upon us and this week I’m featuring blogs that feature films, reviews or just general film interest. I have found quite a big, but will only be featuring 6 this week. If you have a film blog that you would like to nominate as a featured blog, just comment below. Enjoy this week’s picks!

Isaacs Picture Conclusions (IPC)

If you are into obscure movie reviews, this is the site for you.  I bet you have never seen Dead Snow?  Well, I have and they even feature the new Dead Snow 2 – Red vs Dead!  Now that’s obscure.  There is also some hilariously funny Sunday Comic Strip series called the IPC Sunday Funnies entitled “Threes Cumpany”.  There is much more . . .

Tranquil Dreams

Another great film blog that has more than film, but also some photo and writing mixed in. “To the new…

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The Call Up Heads To MCM Birmingham

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Film producers John Giwa-Amu (The Machine) and Matt Wilkinson from locally-filmed movie The Call Up will be attending this month’s MCM Birmingham Comic Con. Show visitors will get a taste of the upcoming sci-fi actioner, which has just started shooting in Birmingham and is the debut feature from award-winning commercials director Charles Barker.

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The Fantastic Four’s Dr. Doom To Be An Anti-Social Programmer?

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Details are currently few and far between on Josh Trank’s reboot of The Fantastic Four, but Toby Kebbell has recently revealed a little bit of information regarding his interpretation of the villainous Victor Von Doom, and it’s safe to say, it’s not what any of you were thinking.

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The Evil Dead Heads To Television, In Ash Vs. Evil Dead

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After the Evil Dead remake left cinemas in 2013, there were various online rumours speculating on the future of the series. One moment there was going to be a direct sequel, the next there was a sequel on the way to Army of Darkness and then there was both which would culminate in an Avengers style crossover of the two universes. Now though, we know exactly where the Evil Dead is going, straight to television.

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Film Club Leaderboard: November Edition

As another month passes, so too does another Film Club entry. After reviewing such classics as Star Wars and The Departed, November’s choice was a more middle of the road affair. As neither a classic, nor indeed an awful film at all, Taken allowed our members to leave their brains at the door and simply enjoy watching Liam Neeson kick a little ass.

Below is the updated Film Club leaderboard. Read on to find out where Taken sits among the previous entries.

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Film Club: Taken

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In this months Film Club, Luke from the Oracle of Film chose Taken as our film of the month. It was a popular choice in the end, and one that scored higher among our members than I previously thought it would. Below are Luke’s reasons for picking Taken, followed by each members review of the film.

“Wow, there is a lot of pressure picking a film for film club. The immediate impulse is to pick a classic, something we all love and can enjoy rewatching. However I really want to switch things up and go for a bad movie. I just cannot bring myself to do it. I don’t want to be the guy that makes you sit through a painful two hours of terrible movie making.

In the end, I went down the middle with Luc Besson’s Taken, starring Liam Neeson. It is a very divisive movie and it occurred to me I have no idea how any of my blogging family feel about it. So, some of you may be cheering; some of you may be rolling your eyes, but my choice is Taken. I hope you have your particular set of skills at the ready.”

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3 Actresses Who Could Play Captain Marvel

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Marvel Studios recently announced their plans for their cinematic universe right up until 2019. We can expect solo films for Captain America, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Thor. While team up films will include the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy 2Inhumans and The Avengers, but the one that really intrigues is Captain Marvel.

This will be the first time Marvel have made a female led superhero film, and will follow DC’s own Wonder Woman film which will be released in 2017. Captain Marvel will head to cinemas a full year after Wonder Woman, in 2018, but it is likely we will see the character cameo in another Marvel film, with an educated guess putting her in either Guardians of the Galaxy 2 or Avengers: Infinity War Part I. Online speculation is rife over who will play Captain Marvel, but now I will cast my eye over three potential actresses who would fit the role.

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The Babadook, Review

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Director: Jennifer Kent Starring: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall & Tim Purcell Synopsis: A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her. Rating: 15 Runtime: 93 minutes

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Very rarely do I ever feel threatened by a film in such a way as The Babadook. As one part psychological thriller and one part monster movie, The Babadook stays with you in a way that many recent horror films simply do not. It’s mix of tension and supernatural scares are haunting, with a story that will surely polarise audiences as to where the real threat is coming from.

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Halloween, Review

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Director: John Carpenter Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis & Tony Moran Synopsis: A psychotic murderer institutionalized since childhood for the murder of his sister, escapes and stalks a bookish adolescent girl and her friends while his doctor chases him through the streets. Rating: 18 Runtime: 91 minutes

Horror films don’t come much more iconic than John Carpenter’s Halloween. The film was made on a small budget, and was directed by a man who only had two full length features to his name at the time, while surely no one involved could have had any idea as to just how a big a hit Halloween would become. Halloween introduced audiences to The Shape, aka Michael Myers, brought Jamie Lee Curtis into the mainstream and also set about making a whole new set of rules that the horror genre is still abiding by today.

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The Cabin In The Woods, Review

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Director: Drew Goddard Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth & Anna Hutchison Synopsis: Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods. Rating: 15 Runtime: 95 minutes

I’ve had several discussions on the merits of The Cabin in the Woods, and how I believe it to be one of the best horror films, not just in recent years but possibly of all time. Mostly, I have these conversations with myself, because that way I can always win, but sometimes I do venture out of my comfort zone and try to talk to other human beings. And the one thing that I always struggle with when it comes to The Cabin in the Woods, is that I can’t really tell anyone anything about the film, which makes it an incredibly hard sell and somewhat awkward to review.

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Halloween Essentials

As a special treat for Halloween, myself, Zoe and Jade have all prepared our essential viewing selections for you to peruse. We have all picked three films that no Halloween night can do without, and that we find ourselves going back to each year without hestitaion. Check out our selections after the jump.

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Hansel & Gretel (Korean Version), Guest Review

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Hansel and Gretel (Henjel Gwa Geuretel in its original language), is a visually scrumptious retelling of the original tale from the Brothers Grimm. In spectacular fashion it brings to life all of the horror of the original tale in a refreshing new way to awaken a sense of dread and fear in the audience that is inherent to all horror films, but through a dark fantasy tale that is similar to films such as Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and The Devil’s Backbone (2001). It is very Del Toroesque in its tone, but certainly more horrifying as it builds suspense throughout its narrative so that its audience is constantly left guessing to which genre the film even falls into as it jumps between horror, fantasy, fairytale, and thriller.

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A Nightmare On Elm Street, Guest Review

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“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.

Three, four, better lock your door.

Five, six, grab your crucifix.

Seven, eight, gonna stay up late.

Nine, ten, never sleep again. “

So, anyone who knows me and my taste in movies , knows that there are basically 2 big no-no’s when recommending movies for me to watch. They are non-English Language movies and Horror movies. I’ve never liked horror movies and I can’t even explain where those feelings came from. Did I get scared once as a kid? or perhaps it’s just a genre that doesn’t speak to me? Dunno (and probably never truly will know). So, when Kieron asked me to review a horror movie for his Scarefest, I was a bit concerned as to what I’d decide to watch. I was truly at an impasse. But then I realized that one of the best things about being a part of this blogging community is that I knew that if I reached out to some of my fellow bloggers, perhaps they’d be able to give me some ideas for a scary movie to watch that I’ll (hopefully) enjoy.

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Trick R’ Treat, Guest Review

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You know, it took me years to get to this thing because I am not really an Anna Paquin fan (though I am thawing a little). A fellow blogger finally twisted my arm enough to at least just try it, and it pretty much instantly became an absolute favourite of mine! This is essential Halloween viewing for me every year, and I don’t think that there will be many horror fans that don’t like this one. Trick ‘r Treat is tremendously underrated, something that makes this an even better gem in my opinion, but undeniably one that deserves the praise it has garnered and to be shared.

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“Samhain, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, also known as Halloween. Pre-dating Christianity, the Celtic holiday was celebrated on the one night between autumn and winter when the barrier between the living and the dead was thinnest, and often involved rituals that included human sacrifice.”
– Rhonda

SYNOPSIS: Five interwoven stories that occur on the same block, on the same night. A couple finds what happens when they blow a jack o’ lantern out before midnight, a high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer, a college virgin might have met the right guy for her, a group of mean teens play a prank that they take too far, and a hermit is visited by a special trick or treater. – via IDMB

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Hatchet, Review

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Director: Adam Green Starring: Kane Hodder, Joel David Moore & Deon Richmond Synopsis: When a group of tourists on a New Orleans haunted swamp tour find themselves stranded in the wilderness, their evening of fun and spooks turns into a horrific nightmare. Rating: 18 Runtime: 85 minutes

Hatchet is a B-movie throwback to the type of horror films that were so popular in the 80’s. It contains a young cast, the type of which we have seen a million times before, and it also contains a freakishly strong antagonist who, of course, has been the victim of some terrible childhood event. Hatchet doesn’t attempt to do anything new with the genre, and instead plays it for laughs in its attempt to hark back to the genre’s perceived glory days. This is all well and good, but does that make the film any good?

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[.Rec], Guest Review

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[.REC]: THE REVIEW 

Director: Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza Cast: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yaman Serrano Plot: A television crew film a fire crew overnight for a documentary, praying for an interesting emergency in the night. They regret their wish.

[.REC] is one of those movies that I have been meaning to watch for ages now. I have heard nothing but good things about it from everyone that has braved this cult horror, but I haven’t made the time to go out and find this movie. Perhaps it is my lack of interest for the found footage genre. Perhaps I have just been too wimpy to actually brave the intense horror that [.REC] apparently held. However, for this Halloween, I decided it was now or never.

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The Exorcist, Review

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Director: William Friedkin Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Max Von Sydow & Linda Blair Synopsis: When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter” Rating: 18 Runtime: 122 minutes

The Exorcist is one of those films that is revered as a classic, and for anyone who has never seen it, the immediate question has to be, why? Well, up until recently I fell into the bracket of those who had never seen it. Sure, I was familiar with the film, and there were certain elements of it that have become so ingrained in pop culture that I was already aware of, but I had never got round to seeing the entire film. As Scarefest approached, I was determined to watch and review The Exorcist. In short, I’m glad I did.

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Stir Of Echoes, Review

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Director: David Koepp Starring: Kevin Bacon, Zachary David Cope & Kathryn Erbe Synopsis: After being hypnotized by his sister-in-law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl’s ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around her. Rating: 15 Runtime: 99 minutes

Stir of Echoes is based upon the Richard Matheson novel of the same name, and tells the story of one man’s attempt to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of a local girl, who he has recently started to have hallucinations about. Stir of Echoes was released around the same as The Sixth Sense, and while it was applauded by critics, it was something of a let down at the box office and struggled to surpass $21 million domestically. Despite the poor box office numbers, Stir of Echoes perhaps deserved better from audiences, even if it does appear more effective as a crime drama rather than a supernatural horror.

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Grave Encounters, Review

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Directors: Colin Minihan & Stuart Ortiz Starring: Ben Wilkinson, Sean Rogerson & Ashleigh Gryzko Synopsis: For their ghost hunting reality show, a production crew locks themselves inside an abandoned mental hospital that’s supposedly haunted – and it might prove to be all too true. Rating: NR Runtime: 92 minutes

“This place is about as haunted as a sock drawer.”

Grave Encounters is a film that I had no real expectations for whatsoever. I had seen it in the bargain bin of my local Asda, and it looked like a rip-off of more successful POV horror films such as Paranormal Activity and .Rec. It features a no name cast, and is directed by two people I had never heard of before. Thankfully, Grave Encounters is better than the sum of its parts, and despite a limited budget is an effective but somewhat one-dimensional horror.

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The Omen, Guest Review

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The Omen (1976) 

In my mind there are three different ways of telling a scary story effectively on-screen. Recent years have seen a growing emphasis on hardcore gore, in effort to disgust audiences and horrify them in visually disturbing ways. Of course, you also have the classic slow-burners which provide jump scares to thrill its audience and sustain a constant atmosphere of threat and suspense. The third style is to rely on the story itself being scary enough to leave the audience shaking in their seats without any need for added (and sometimes cheap) effects to make its mark. Richard Donner’s original classic The Omen belongs in the third category, relying only on its script to deliver its scares. With Gregory Peck commanding the screen and lending serious gravitas to the film, The Omen delivers brilliantly.

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Saw, Review

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Director: James Wan Starring: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell & Danny Glover Synopsis: With a dead body lying between them, two men wake up in the secure lair of a serial killer who’s been nicknamed “Jigsaw”. The men must follow various rules and objectives if they wish to survive and win the deadly game set for them. Rating: 18 Runtime: 103 minutes

“I’m having a blast! This is the most fun I’ve had without lubricant!”

Every once in a while, a film comes along that redefines its genre. After a slew of 90’s horror films that were either remakes of classics or generic teenage stalk and slash films, the horror genre needed a swift kick up the backside. When Saw hit cinemas in 2004, it did just that. Saw was a “game changer” and brought with it a host of sequels and copycat films and created a new term in horror, torture porn. Films like Hostel and I Spit on your Grave carried on the trend, but Saw was the first film in a long while to be so gruesome and, for its time,  was quite shocking.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Review

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Director: Jonathan Liebesman Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett & William Fichtner Synopsis: The city needs heroes. Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Rating: 12A Runtime: 101 minutes

Mysterious. Dangerous. Reptilious. You’ve never seen heroes like this.”

There is a scene late on in this reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles where our heroes discover they are effectively bulletproof. As the villainous foot clan attempt to take them down with machine guns, the Turtles simply deflect their bullets using their shells, even to the extent where one of them turns around and literally fires the bullets back in a scene of pure Hulk like rage. And it was here that I learnt that the film itself is bulletproof, in a critical sense anyway. It’s here that you discover that producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman don’t care what anybody thinks. All the “haters” and all the people who appreciate storytelling and characterisation don’t matter here, as the director and producer set about making a film targeted mostly at young people, with some fan service, for those of us old enough to remember the original films and cartoons, thrown in for good measure.

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Ranking The Spider-Man Films From Worst To Best

Not so long ago the Spider-Man films were considered some of the best the superhero genre had to offer. Now, not so much. With Marvel continually changing audiences perceptions on their own heroes and franchises, some superheroes are getting left behind. The Fantastic Four is about to rebooted, while the X-Men were also essentially rebooted this year, even DC have had to re-think their strategy after finding success with The Dark Knight trilogy and are now doing things the “Marvel way.” Perhaps it is no surprise then, that Spider-Man feels a little bit lacking in some regards these days. Due to different studios owning the rights to various characters, Spider-Man essentially exists on his own, but does he need a shared universe to succeed? Not necessarily. Spider-Man was once at the forefront of superhero films, and today I take a look back at the entire franchise, and rank each film in the series from worst to best.

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Film Club Leaderboard: October Edition

Film Club is now officially four months old, and I thought it was a good time to start a leaderboard ranking the films we have reviewed from best to worst. By now, the majority of you should be familiar with the set up behind Film Club, but for anyone that isn’t aware, here is the gist of it.

Each month, one of us picks a film, which we all then watch and review and give it a score out of ten. It’s a simple premise and has a similar feel to that of a book club. There are various rules we have to follow, but as long as there are no major spoilers in anyone’s review it’s a pretty laid back affair. We cover all sorts of films, but I do ask that whoever has chosen a film to give their reasons for doing so, as this makes things a little more personal.

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Film Club: Casino Royale (2006)

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Film Club is an idea that I have been toying with for a while now. Originally it was a feature I was going to do on my own where once a month I would try to dissect a film, whether it be a renowned classic or something more modern. After a while though, I thought this was a feature best suited to multiple reviews, from various perspectives. With that I emailed a few fellow bloggers who were more than willing to get on board with the idea and help me out, and Film Club was born.

This month, Zoe, from The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger, chose our film of the month. And chose, quite possibly, the most well received entry Film Club has laid its collective eyes on so far, in Casino Royale.

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A Dozen Summers

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A Dozen Summers is written and directed by Kenton Hall, and tells the story of two 12-year-old girls as they hijack a film in order to tell their own story. The film is being produced by Monkey Basket Films, and is a crowd sourced indie film that the creators hope will appeal to young, and not so young people alike.

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