Could Japanese Godzilla beat American Godzilla? And how big is the Starship Enterprise? At last, some answers...
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Wednesday 13 May 2009
Friday 08 May 2009
There are any number of reasons why the SS Titanic ended its maiden voyage imbedded in the ocean floor in the early hours of 15 April 1912 – poor visibility, a negligent captain, a big hunk of ice. To this list the film-maker James Cameron adds one more contributing factor to lessen the burden of responsibility on that iceberg: a pair of bored officers distracted from their vigil at the warning bell by the sight of a couple canoodling on the deck. This is actually one of the more plausible details in the thoroughly loopy Titanic, if only because it obeys the cardinal rule of the disaster movie, which decrees that any and all catastrophes shall occur in exact correlation to the effrontery of the characters involved. You play with fire and you get burnt. Or drowned. The voyeuristic sailors aren't to blame for the corpses littering the ocean. It's the fault of those young lovers – Rose (Kate Winslet), who is poised to marry into obscene wealth but chooses instead to desert her fiance in favour of Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), a scruffy ragamuffin from the Wrong Side of the Tracks. The naivety of the characterisation is almost charming.
Sunday 08 March 2009
In the summer of 1998, a film was released called Deep Impact which boasted the tagline: "Oceans rise. Cities fall. Hope survives." After sitting through its two-hour running time, I decided a more appropriate tagline would be: "Summers come. Movies suck. Hope survives." It is one of the strange paradoxes of the blockbuster season that, no matter how disappointed we are, we always look forward to the following summer with giddy enthusiasm. Some day, we think, Hollywood will get it right.
Sunday 31 August 2008
Doomsday isn't so much a film as a tribute to all the director's favourite 1980s science-fiction action movies. There wouldn't be much left over if you edited out all the pinchings from 'The Terminator', 'Aliens, Escape from New York' and the 'Mad Max' franchise – and it even gets back to the Eighties by having Fine Young Cannibals and Frankie Goes to Hollywood on the soundtrack. If you were feeling generous you'd call it a parody, which might excuse the wooden acting, naff dialogue and logic-free plotting, but you'll definitely laugh at it more than you'll laugh with it.
Friday 22 August 2008
Famous movie lines are often a hair's breadth away from staggering banality. In The Terminator, the James Cameron sci-fi movie that made a star out of him and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the line "I'll be back" is a case in point.
Wednesday 18 June 2008
Stan Winston was a master make-up and special-effects artist, responsible for some of the most memorable characters in fantasy cinema, notably the liquid metal cyborg assassin of Terminator 2, the enormous dinosaurs of Jurassic Park and the 14-foot alien queen of Aliens. He also created the high-tech armoured suits worn by Robert Downey Jnr in the recent hit Iron Man.
Tuesday 02 January 2007
What had threatened to turn into an embarrassing start to the new year for Rafael Benitez evolved instead as a satisfyingly emphatic victory for the Liverpool manager over an opponent with whom he has developed something of a fixation.
Monday 06 November 2006
This record defeat was hard for the England camp to take as it was, but the disallowing of Jamie Noon's fifth-minute try really stuck in the England craw.
Thursday 12 October 2006
It may sound like an impertinent question: does your loo paper really need to be quite so bright and fluffy? But it's serious, according to the green pressure group WWF, which says that too much virgin fibre from the world's forests is being used in lavatory tissue, when recycled fibre would be just as good.
Monday 09 October 2006
Anna Politkovskaya's intelligent bespectacled face stared back from a small portrait pinned up outside her Moscow apartment block yesterday. Russia's most famous and controversial crusading investigative journalist was dead, cut down by two shots from a hitman's pistol.
Wednesday 25 August 1999
Monday 16 August 1999
Sunday 16 May 1999
Thursday 25 February 1999
Friday 05 February 1999
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
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- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27