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The Cautiously Conservative Cost of Film-Making In the Recession…

When it first became clear that we were in for a long recession, there was a lot of fear about what that would mean for cinema. With less money to go around, and the ever-present fear of financial disappoint, a lot of people speculated that it would lead to a serious downturn in the production and distribution of “indie” movies by the major studios, a concern validated by the closing of various speciality divisions within major studios. While it has undoubtedly gotten significantly harder to produce and sell independent film, one look at last year’s Best Picture nominees suggest that these little gems are doing relatively okay – with films as provocative as Black Swan, as alternative as The Kids Are All Right and as gritty as Winter’s Bone all making the cut. Still, if the indie apocalypse that was foretold hasn’t come to pass, I do have to wonder what the cinematic cost of the current economic climate might be.

Hollywood's taken the occasional slap on the wrist over the past few years...

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Non-Review Review: The Ring

The Ring is actually a surprisingly effective horror when measured on its own terms, as well as being perhaps the most successful American adaptation of a Japanese horror. I would make the case that the film isn’t a patch on the original Ringu, but it’s to director Gore Verbinski’s credit that he attempts to subtly distinguish his film from the one that inspired it, while remaining true to the spirit of that classic cult horror.

Watts going on here?

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Non-Review Review: Ringu

There are a handful of movies I will forever associate with a particular viewing experience – and some with the first time I had seen a given movie. I remember, for instance, seeing Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back for the first time with my father in the local cinema during its nineties re-release. When I think of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I recall the time I had to sit in the hall while the grown-ups watched it. Anytime I see The Shining, I think back to watching it in the wee hours of the morning with gran and granddad. The Japanese cult horror Ringu is something of a similar experience.

All's well that ends well...

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Non-Review Review: Rango

I quite enjoyed Gore Verbinski’s Rango, even though I was never quite sure what to make of it. While it isn’t quite as strong as the typical Pixar fare, the film compares rather well with some of Dreamworks’ better output over the last number of years.

A prickly customer...

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