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“You Shiver In Such An-tici-pation”: Upcoming Releases and the Waiting Game…

It’s a bit of a defunct popular witticism that the actual purpose of the internet is not to increase global communication or facilitate and encourage the development and spread of ideas, but exists solely for pornography. I don’t think that’s necessarily true (in fact, it only accounts for 1% of the internet). Instead, I’d argue that the internet exists primarily to provide spoilers, casting calls, plot summaries, set pictures and gossip around all the upcoming releases. In an era where even fictitious characters have facebook and twitter accounts, it sometimes feels like information overload, with constant updates about the status of a given project and director and cast.

All at sea?

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The Film Critic is Dead… Again…

We’re coming into summer blockbuster season. Hell, one might suggest that Kick-Ass has heralded the start of it. If it hasn’t, Clash of the Titans has. That’s if you don’t believe Alice in Wonderland kicked it all into high gear. Anyway, you know what that means – spectacle, lots of it. Some of it incredible, some of it… not so much. The masses flock to the cinema to while away the long summer evenings and movie theatres are filled with the laughter of children (which can be quite irritating to the patrons). It also means that, like the spring lambs, the beautiful cycle of the life and death of film criticism must begin anew. Critics will begin to lament their increasing irrelevance as poor movies make huge sums of money, journalists will light a funeral pyre and some filmmakers like Kevin Smith will gladly join the mob chanting ‘critics are dead’. This fine annual tradition will ebb and flow like the box office fortunes of many an undeserving behemoth. And at the end of it, the critics will still be here.

Why so grim?

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How Has New Media Affected Cinema?

The Internet has given everybody in America a voice. For some reason, everybody decides to use that voice to bitch about movies.

– Holden McNeill, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

There’s been a lot said about new media. Blogging and twitter and facebook and so on, this modern age of new media we live in. I took up blogging as a hobby fairly recently (just under a year), so I’m rather late to the party. There’s a whole host of stuff written about how social networking and the internet have drastically altered civilisation as we know it, so I thought I’d just ponder about cinema and the old, established media.

Where there's a Will, there's a way...

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Policing Product Placement…

Product placement. Sponsorship. Payola. Image branding. Advertising. Astroturfing. The use of media – old and new – to sell products to people – whether they know you’re selling it to them or not. It has always been a bit of a thorny issue – with laws popping up against the legendary, but ultimately unproven, “subliminal advertising” – the flashing of words and images between the stills of a movie so fast that the audience couldn’t actually see them (though some would claim that these images made a subconscious impression, it has been difficult to consistently reproduce – but it was still banned). The last few decades in particular have seen a flurry of rules and regulations attempting to regulate what you can sell to who and how. But is advertising that easy to regulate?

"The Mac - for the insufferable genius in all of us..."

"The Mac - for the insufferable genius in all of us..."

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Are Bloggers Critics?

Is any profession less secure than film criticism? Really. I mean, I was depressed about the box office success of Transformers 2 as well and was disappointed no one heeded you, but I didn’t begin to doubt my very profession. Similarly I was upset that G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was marketed around film critics, but I didn’t become openly petty about you guys not seeing the film for free. This time, it’s the fact that critics are being grouped with bloggers that has prompted a rather severe reaction from some quarters. Is there any point to be made?

The film critic on new media...

The film critic on new media...

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