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Showing posts from April, 2012

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - # 397: George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead

George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” is the zombie movie that started it all. Although it was made back in 1968, its influence can be seen in such films as “Shaun of the Dead,” “Resident Evil,” “28 Days Later,” and a few Simpsons and South Park Halloween specials. It set the blueprint for the zombie epidemic genre, even though that word is never once used in the movie. Critics were initially disgusted by the gory content, but eventually the American Library of Congress added it to the National Film Registry for being culturally significant. Politically its scenes of violence in rural America were seen as a backlash against the war in Vietnam. Also significant was the casting of actor Duane Jones as hero Ben, for in the 60s it was bold to cast a black man in the lead. His ulterior motives aside, Romero’s goal was to scare people, and decades later he still achieves that goal.
It would have been awesome to see this movie in theatres and see people scream at the sight of the firs…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #400: The Incredibles

Brad Bird’s “The Incredibles” is a blend of madcap superhero action, a solid family drama, and homage to the early Bond films. It is among the best of the films made by the geniuses at Pixar studio who have set the bar for animation in the last 15 years. Kids can enjoy the humour and colourful imagery, while adults of all ages can enjoy the smart story and action, which rivals some of the best action sequences of live-action summer movies.
This was a great film to watch during the holiday season back in 2004. It’s a perfect way to end the year as far as I am concerned. After spending my first college semester in Quebec City and preparing for my exams, it was time to kick back, relax, and watch a movie filled high-tech gadgets, giant robots, exotic locations, explosions, and funny quotes by Samuel L. Jackson playing a cool character called Frozone. What I didn’t expect was for the main character Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson) to suffer a mid-life crisis and risk ending his marriage. That’s …

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #401: Batman Returns

Tim Burton seems to have a strange relationship with Christmas. In 1993 he released “A Nightmare Before Christmas” his stop-motion animated opus in which Jack Skellington of Halloween Town takes over Christmas, scaring children everywhere. The year before he released “Batman Returns” his second foray in bringing the Dark Knight to the big screen. This time Batman (Michael Keaton) is fighting the maniacal Penguin (Danny DeVito), the whip-snapping Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), and the greedy Max Schreck (Christopher Walken). During their battles, children are kidnapped from their homes in the middle of the night, henchmen are burned alive, a character is pushed out of a window, and another one is electrocuted, leaving his face with a grotesque expression of pain. This funfest takes place, of course, during the Holiday season.
Despite the dark and gothic tone, the movie has achieved somewhat of a cult status, even taking advantage of the Christmas setting. The first time I saw it was in t…