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Showing posts from April, 2014

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #233: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) is somewhat of a black sheep in the Jones franchise. Instead of going after the always-reliable Nazis, here Indy goes after an extremist Hindu religious sect who is into human sacrifices, brain washing, and slavery. As to be expected, quite a few people in India took offense. Then there are the scenes of human sacrifices, which led to the creation of the PG-13 rating in the United States because believe it or not some kids don’t react too well to seeing a man get his heart ripped out of his chest. That being said, this second entry in the franchise is still worthy of admiration thanks to some incredible sequences, notably a mine cart chase and a standoff on a rickety bridge with crocodiles waiting below.
My parents introduced me to Indiana Jones at a young age and I had a problem with a particular scene in every movie in the first three movies, whether the face melting scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark or the poor choice of cup at t…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #347: All About Eve

If you make a movie that offers relevant and smart comments about celebrity culture then you are a good filmmaker. If your movie was made 64 years ago and it is still relevant today, then you are some kind of genius. Joseph L. Mankiewicz was definitely on to something when he wrote and directed All About Eve because even though it was released in1950 and deals with a fading theatre actress and an obsessive fan who may or may not be after her career, it may as well be about Hollywood today.
Lately I have realized that if I was to watch one film a week off Empire Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest movies of all time it might take me decades to get through the list. A lot of these movies are hard to find, however since I signed up on Netflix I now have access to quite a few of them. I would prefer it if watching them for the first them was more of an event, such as seeing them at a festival or something like that but you can’t force a moment. So for the next couple of weeks, instead of …

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #234: The Bourne Ultimatum

Whenever I despair at the thought of yet another PG-13 action films in which the characters can’t bleed too much, curse, or have gratuitous sex, I turn to the Bourne franchise. With its cloak and dagger plot, high-tech toys, extremely smart intelligence operatives, and beautifully choreographed action sequences, this is one of the best action franchises of the last decade. Throughout each film Jason Bourne has fought assassins with a pen, a magazine, and in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) he tops that off by using a hand towel to choke a guy. These aren’t R rated films, but there is still plenty going on from start to finish to keep any action hound happy.
Like many undercover agents Jason Bourne has travelled all over the world, and in an odd parallel as I watched his movies I was doing a lot of travelling myself. I saw the first film while living in South America, the second a year after moving back to Canada, and the third a year after starting my studies at the University of Sherbrooke…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #235: Battle Royale

Every now and then a movie comes along that challenges the limits of what violent content can be shown on the big screen. Somehow, many of these movies often come from Asia. Make of that what you will, but the fact is in the year 2000 the Japanese film Battle Royale went where no American movie would ever dare go. The concept of school children killing each other on an island is of course a demented satire, full of exaggerated violence and gallons of blood spilled by an arsenal of weapons, but for 11 years it was never released in the United States or Canada. Controversial? That was actually a selling point.
It took me a while to get to this movie, but I definitely heard about it for years. I first saw the trailer at a cinema while living in South America, but since I was around 13 years old at the time I was way too young to see it. Given the brief glimpses of violence of what I saw in the trailer I am not sure I wanted to anyway. By that time I was in college in Quebec City in 2004 t…