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Top 10 scariest villains in children’s films October 27, 2011

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I set out to make a list of the most memorably frightening characters from children’s and family films and found that almost everyone came from the decade when I was a child myself. I guess that is unsurprising. But I do wonder whether villains today really are as visually and emotionally terrifying as they were during my formative years in the eighties. The films on this list all appeared on television for the first time, and then were consequently repeated in the following years, during the late 1980s and early 1990s. All of which I would have seen before my tenth birthday. [See my top 10 here]

Also check out the Houdini Magic Ticket blogathon.

Houdini Magic Ticket blogathon

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…Last Action Hero. Houdini’s Magic Ticket. What if you had the power to enter the world of your favourite movie? Join in here.

Ten films to restore your faith in journalism September 18, 2011

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It’s a pretty rough time for journalism, as the phone hacking scandal rumbles on, so why not look for some escapism in this list? We’re looking for escapism (so no documentaries) and films where the reporter is the hero (so nothing like Shattered Glass, about a reporter who made up his sources, or The Sweet Smell of Success, in which Burt Lancaster plays a crooked columnist.)

Julia Kukiewicz takes a look at ten films where the journalist is king. From Grant Hezlov’s The Men Who Stare At Goats based on investigative journalist Jon Ronson’s experiences to the infamous Watergate scandal and the work of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in All The President’s Men. [See the list at Top 10 Films]

Attack The Block September 17, 2011

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Joe Cornish’s Attack The Block is released on Monday. I’ve reviewed it here. What did you think of the alien invasion horror-comedy?

The Human Centipede 2 might be banned…but the original film is still out there August 31, 2011

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The Human Centipede 2 has been banned in the UK. Not sure what sort of power the BBFC thinks it has censoring cinema these days with the internet and the importation of DVDs/Blu-rays but still the fact remains it is illegal to show the film in Britain. So, to find out what all the fuss was about, I decided to check out the first film. Here is my review of The Human Centipede.

Top 10 films to have driven men, women and children to murder August 17, 2011

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A debate has raged for many years about violence in the media having an adverse influence on society, leading in some cases to very disturbing crimes. The debate was writ large in 1993 after the murder of James Bulger in Liverpool, England. The two killers, both just ten years of age, had allegedly watched Child’s Play 3 and then re-enacted scenes from the film in the abduction, torture and killing of their two-year-old victim. It marked a period of hysteria that harked back to the UK’s Video Recordings Act of 1984 when the “Video Nasty” – a term coined a couple of years earlier by Mary Whitehouse for films deemed unsuitable for audience consumption – welcomed a host of films into its seedy underbelly that were consequently banned in the country. [Click here to read the top 10]

What are your thoughts on cinema violence influencing people to commit crime? Do you think films can be blamed for instigating crime? Head on over to the “ten films that drove people to commit murder” and air your views.

Top 10 Quietly Important Films August 11, 2011

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We all know a “great” movie when we see one: the films that are perpetually in the American Movie Classics canon; the films that were preserved (or nearly destroyed) by the contentious Ted Turner; the films whose unquestioned greatness and praises are constantly sung by the American Film Institute and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who refuse to let us forget that “The Godfather” is indeed a damn fine movie; the films, and scenes, that have seen countless parodies, spoofs, satires, and homages throughout the years. The films that esteemed critics, scholars, filmmakers, and movie buffs all agree are great. Welles, Spielberg, Scorsese, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Fellini, Bunuel, Bergman. [Click here for the full article]

10 films to see before attending film school June 19, 2011

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Anyone who has been to university will know of the reading list. But those studying film also have to make their way through a list of recommended viewing - films of historical importance. The following ten films display the medium at its more impressive and innovative. These films and their filmmakers progressed the medium, influenced the future of cinema across the world, and left a mark that will forever stand the test of time. See the top 10 here. What films do you believe have been the most influential or that should be seen by anyone wishing to study cinema?

Top 10 Dustin Hoffman Performances June 16, 2011

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Dustin Hoffman is one of the most versatile and talented actors of his generation. Alongside other Hollywood greats who came of age in the 1970s (Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Dreyfuss, Sissy Spacek, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Shelley Duvall, Cybill Shepard, Harrison Ford, et al), Hoffman is part of a revolutionary group of performers who flourished during the American new wave. Actors were pushed further, characters were more diverse, the challenge was heightened.Hoffman grasped his opportunities. He has the ability to adapt to a number of different roles singling him as one of the most talented actors Hollywood has ever seen. He rose to fame playing the naïve Benjamin Braddock in Mike Nichols’ The Graduate and followed this with an Academy Award-nominated performance in John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy. The characters couldn’t be further apart – one, a rich, young university graduate with ideals yet to be shattered by time in the real world; the other a crippled, older, world-weary con man. [Read on to see my top 10 Dustin Hoffman Performances]

The best Eddie Murphy characters May 10, 2011

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Eddie Murphy might now only be good for mouthing the words of an animated donkey but for years he gave us some of Hollywood’s best comedy characters. The Brooklyn-born actor performed stand-up at the same comedy club where Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg frequented before helping revitalise Saturday Night Live during its 1980s slump. He made his big screen debut alongside Nick Nolte in Walter Hill’s 48 Hrs and followed it with a string a successful films including Beverly Hills Cop, Trading Places and Coming To America. See my Top 10 Eddie Murphy characters here.

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