Independence Day

My husband has been away on a training course for a few days and I’ve been left home alone. I always have such civilised plans – good food, classic films and reading serious books. It never works. I usually sit up until 2 in the morning eating Super Noodles and watching mindless blockbusters…

Con Air

There are some things that films need to be truly great – strong acting, meaningful narrative, subtle direction. Oh and explosions, big explosions. And a toy bunny in peril. Thankfully Con Air has all – or almost all – of these elements in abundance (or at least the elements that really matter anyway) …

The A-Team

They say that you always remember your first love. I know I certainly do. I was young and impressionable. Easily won over by a handsome man with bags of style. He was older, much older actually. A former soldier…

The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex

I’ve always enjoyed film criticism – even when I’ve not agreed with the critic. I grew up watching Barry Norman on the BBC’s iconic Film programme and tried to persuade my parents to get satellite TV when he moved to Sky. I’ve always bought movie magazines and flick straight to the review columns in newspapers….

The Top 10 Summer Blockbusters

Summer blockbusters

IIt’s summer and we all know what that means – long sunny days, plenty of fresh air and good clean outdoor pursuits. Oh yes, and hours of fun inside an air-conditioned cinema with popcorn, hot dogs and a rattling good summer blockbuster.

There are two main seasons for film releases. In order to qualify for Oscar consideration films must have a theatrical run in Los Angeles County between 1st January and 31st December. This generally means that studios release their worthy, serious films in November and December to keep them fresh in the minds of the Academy voters. If you take a look at the winter releases you can pretty much tell which movies will be the stars of the awards season in the spring but summer is the time for the big-budget, big-star name, big entertainment blockbusters to be released. Also known as the films that we actually pay to go and see….

I have some rules for what can be regarded as a true summer blockbuster. They’re pretty arbitrary, not everyone is going to agree….

It has to be an action film, no romances in my lists
It has to be a film I could watch over and over again – it can’t be a blockbuster if one viewing is enough
It’s not an animation (no matter how good it is)
The time of year matters – Die Hard is a brilliant, brilliant film but it’s set at Christmas, not summer
There has to be personality in there, no pointless sequels churned out just for filthy lucre.

Read more …

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Harry Potter Movies

A fitting finale to an epic series

It’s quarter to three in the morning and I’m just back from the one minute past midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two. I’m exhausted, but also on a bit of a high…

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Harry Potter Movies

Slow in places but there’s promise of greatness ahead

When it was announced that final film in the Harry Potter series would be split into two parts I was initially in two minds. The first thought was “Oh, they’ll be able to get more of the story in”…

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Harry Potter Movies

Rookie director’s amazing accomplishment

For the fifth film in the Harry Potter series we once again have another new director. The fourth man in charge thus far in the franchise and this time it feels just right.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Harry Potter Movies

A solid, if not outstanding, adaptation of the book

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire sees another new director take control of the Harry Potter franchise, this time the man at the top is acclaimed British film-maker Mike Newell…

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Harry Potter Movies

A change of director brings a spectacular change of tone

After the massively successful first two Harry Potter films director Chris Columbus, best known for his child-centred comedies handed over the reins to Alfonso Cuaron…