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307. The Grapes of Wrath (#232)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, with special guests Aoife Martin, Jason Coyle and Ronan Doyle, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every Saturday at 6pm GMT.

This time, John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath.

Released from prison after serving four years, Tom Joad returns to his family’s farm in Oklahoma to discover that it has been utterly changed by the Great Depression. He joins his family on a road trip westward, towards the new opportunities waiting for them in California. However, the Joads very quickly discover that their push westward may not deliver them to a promised land.

At time of recording, it was ranked 232nd on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Star Trek – Catspaw (Review)

The first Star Trek pilot, The Cage, was produced in 1964. To celebrate its fiftieth anniversary, this December we are reviewing the second season of the original Star Trek show. You can check out our first season reviews here. Check back daily for the latest review.

Catspaw was the first episode to enter production for that second season of Star Trek. However, it was not the first to air. Amok Time served as the season opener. Instead, Catspaw was produced as something of a rarity – a Star Trek holiday special. Produced in May, it was eventually broadcast during the last week of October. Given the subject matter and trappings of the episode, that seems highly appropriate.

We are, after all, looking at what amounts to a Star Trek Halloween Special.

Bones joins the cast...

Bones joins the cast…

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The X-Files – Born Again (Review)

Born Again is a very bland episode of The X-Files that really suffers from being broadcast this late in the season. Indeed, the first season of The X-Files seems almost obsessed with life after death and reincarnation – we’ve already had episodes like Shadows, Lazarus and even Young at Heart. We’re three episodes from the end of the season, and we’ll still find room for one more “vengeance from beyond the grave!” story before we close up shop. Born Again isn’t bad so much as it’s just bland.

I don’t hate Born Again. In fact, it’s the episode that I remember least from this first season – the only evidence I had that I had seen the episode before came from a vague creeping feeling of familiarity while I was watching it. Even now, as I sit down with my notes to type a review, I’m not sure I can tell you that much about it.

It's only a paper giraffe...

It’s only a paper giraffe…

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Non-Review Review: Le Capital

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

Thanks to Costa-Gavras, Le Capital looks amazing. It’s crisp, it’s vibrant and it’s beautiful. For a movie about financial corruption, it moves along relatively quickly and with a lot of visual flair. The problem with Le Capital, though, is that it’s really a very simplistic version of a story we’ve all seen countless times before. A person assumes a large amount of power, only for that power to have a potentially corrupting influence. Okay, Marc Tourneuil is already a successful executive when good fortune thrusts him into the role of CEO of one of France’s largest banks, and he’s certainly not naive when he negotiates his salary and bonus scheme, but Le Capital hints early on that there is some level of decency to Tourneuil before the wealth and influence start chipping away. As such, as the movie explores his corruption and the way that power erodes him, Le Capital feels like an engaging modern telling of a story that we’ve already heard quite frequently.

Byrne the bondholders...

Byrne the bondholders…

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Non-Review Review: Octopussy

This post is part of James Bond January, being organised by the wonderful Paragraph Films. I will have reviews of all twenty-two official Bond films going on-line over the next month, and a treat or two every once in a while.

Despite having quite possibly the most awkwardly unfortunate name in the history of the English language, the most enduring image from Octopussy is Roger Moore, flailing wildly and trying to be taken seriously, while dressed as a clown. Oddly appropriate, eh?

Moore, Moore, Mo- Too Much!

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Seeing it First Here, It’s Great!

I’m so used to watching American television and movies that I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like not to know what happens next. The era of the internet means that anything that has aired anywhere is up for discussion anywhere. Sure, you’ll have the odd spoiler notice, but most American web sites take that down once the episode has aired. If you want to participate in the discussion about the shows, you have to jump into the pool of information already circulating out there. So, when Torchwood did the unthinkable during its five-episode run this week (I won’t elaborate here, for any readers in countries still to receive the show), I was shocked.

I promise I won't reveal whose body this is...

I promise I won't reveal whose body this is...

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