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Showing posts from May, 2014

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #345: Fatal Attraction

For some reason Michael Douglas has made a career out of portraying flawed men who go after the wrong woman. I don’t know if it says anything about his personal life, but he is very good at it and the best example of this is in Fatal Attraction (1987). A film known for Glenn Close’s psychopathic performance that would give many men second thoughts when considering committing adultery, it is also a hell of pot boiler with many thrills, key of which is the pot boiler moment featuring an unfortunate rabbit.
I first watched Adrian Lyne’s film last week in Lloydminster, Alta., on Netflix, but the ending was spoiled years ago while I was living in South America in 2002. This is what happens when a movie becomes part of pop culture: other movies talk about the good parts because they assume you have seen it already. That was the case with Bridget Jones’ Diary (mom’s choice that movie night), in which poor Bridget watched the end of Fatal Attraction wondering if that would be her fate as well.…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #232: Jurassic Park

I am often asked what’s my favourite movie. I usually answer with a well-regarded classic, such as Fargo, The Godfather, or The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. However in full honesty Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993) is probably the one movie that really affected me the most the first time I saw it, despite the fact that, let’s face it, it is not perfect. It makes no sense for an island full of dinosaurs to be nearly evacuated for the weekend, and the science is pretty questionable. Yet maybe because I was around six years old when I first saw it, that movie has left one big dinosaur paw-shaped print in my mind.
In this age of CGI and grand-scale summer movies it is easy to forget what an adrenaline-injection this movie was. Dinosaurs had been featured in movies before, but they mostly looked like giant puppets. Steven Spielberg and the effects wizards at Industrial Light & Magic in collaboration with animatronics by Stan Winston were the first guys who managed to convince you …

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #254: The Verdict

Paul Newman was one of the best actors of his time and Sydney Lumet one of the best directors ever so naturally the two of them working together is one of the greatest combinations imaginable. Based on a book adapted by David Mamet, The Verdict (1982) tells a fairly simple David and Goliath story of a washed-up lawyer fighting a case against a huge legal team. You could argue they don’t make movies like this anymore today, but in fact they are still being made every year. The difference is stories like this end up on the small screen where all the smart stories are made. Not so in the 1980s.
Sydney Lumet has made quite a few films on Empire magazine’s list of the 500 greatest movies ever made, notably his first feature 12 Angry Men. That one I had already seen when I watched The Verdict on Netflix a few weeks ago, so it felt a bit like a spiritual sequel. Whereas 12 Angry Men focused on what goes on in the jury room, this film focuses mostly on the lawyers, a little on the plaintiffs s…