Category Features

2017 – A Hot Summer for Movies?

Summer movies. They promise so much, yet so many times deliver so little. Terminator: Genisys, Jason Bourne, Suicide Squad anyone?

But, eternal optimist Rich Phippen takes an idiosyncratic, partially cautious look at films coming up over the summer period that may very well buck the trend and become warm weather hits.

MAY

Colossal (release: 19th May)


If you want to put your money on the sleeper hit of 2017, look no further than this monster movie with a twist. Gloria (Hathaway) has lost her job and boyfriend, and moved back to her hometown in upstate New York to lick her wounds. But when she gets there, and turns on the TV, she discovers a giant monster is wrecking Seoul in South Korea...

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Shell-Praiser: A Defense of Ghost in the Shell

SPIRITED REIMAGINING

(Spoiler warning: key plot points from Ghost in the Shell 2017 revealed in this feature)

Mired in whitewashing accusations since 2015 when Scarlett Johansson was announced in the lead. Subject of sustained online fan fury. Mediocre US box office Paramount Studios acknowledged was partly due to this controversy.

Is now a good time to admit I’m a fan of this incarnation of Ghost in the Shell? A reason for this being because of how it addresses its own casting and the surrounding debate? Please give me time to outline the case for the defence.

From Masamune Shirow’s 1989 manga, to Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime, its 2004 sequel Innocence, the Solid State Society and Arise spin-offs, Ghost in the Shell is constantly evolving and reworking its themes.

Themes of identity flu...

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Electric Shadows Oscars 2017 Blog-along

01.31 – Welcome to the first Electric Shadows Oscars blog-along.  A stream of consciousness over the next 4hrs+ at the spectacle of Hollywood’s biggest night.  Currently Justin Timberlake is singing a selection of songs and celebs are looking awkward (see: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman).  Interesting start… should have been The Lonely Island doing Humble or Incredible Thoughts.

01.36 – First political joke.  Jimmy Kimmell says we are being watched by hundreds of countries that now hate us. Funny joke about Mel Gibson, “you’re looking great, I think the Scientology is working.”  Reference to Matt Damon passing up Manchester by the Sea to star in his “Chinese ponytail film” The Great Wall, a film which went on to lose $80m dollars.

Kimmell’s opening monologue genuinely funny...

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Moonlight dominates Online Film Critics Society Awards

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The powerful coming-of-age drama Moonlight dominated the 2016 Online Film Critics Society Awards, winning a total of four awards out of seven nominations.

The film beat out competition from La La Land, Arrival, Jackie and Manchester by the Sea amongst others to be named Best Picture. Barry Jenkins won Best Director and Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris won Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.

The Online Film Critics Society’s Governing Committee said, “We’d like to congratulate all involved with Moonlight for the power and humanity of this extraordinary film. Topical and relevant, it is a timely reminder of that which unites us being greater than that which divides us.”

la-la-land-posterDamien Chazelle’s La La Land, which tied with Moonlight for seven nominations, won ...

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2016 – Rewind And Re-View

2016. We’ll not dwell on what an awful year it was. Suffice to say there was a lot happening in the movie world, some of it bad, some of it rather wonderful. Here is Electric Shadows’ take on the year in film.

As is customary, we’ll begin with…


WORST FILM OF THE YEAR – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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OfAllTheFilmSites.com editor Rob Wallis and myself begun The Electric Shadows’ podcast this year. For said podcast we have spent approximately 12 hours watching or discussing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. “Visionary” director Zack Snyder’s superhero magnus stinkus is mean-spirited, miserable, ugly, incoherent and fundamentally misunderstands its two titular heroes...

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The Best Films of 2016

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Oh 2016, you terrible year. What general miserableness was foisted upon us these past 12 months. Providing a light in the gloom were movies released this year; a great selection from which it was difficult to draw a top 10. But, we managed it and proudly present what we regard as the year’s best releases.

Before we get to that list, firstly a shout-out to those films that skirted the Top 10 but which didn’t make it in.  Ironically, we couldn’t find room for Room, Green Room, or The Keeping RoomCaptain America: Civil War was the only summer blockbuster worth bothering with, but again didn’t make the grade. Elvis & Nixon, The Nice Guys, Bone Tomahawk, The Hateful Eight, Creed. We salute you, but there were still 10 movies we placed above them.

Here they are – in reverse order as is cus...

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Shiver & Scissor with Shudder at TIFF!

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Upcoming horror streaming service Shudder knows how to grab the attention and imagination of movie fans. How better to showcase a new way to watch fear films than by recruiting two of horror cinema’s most terrifying women as cheerleaders?

Shudder, launching in the UK and Ireland this autumn, boasts the frightfully good Sadako vs Kayako as one of its premiere titles. Ahead of the film’s screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, its stars received make-overs fit for Queens of Screams… you thought those lethally long locks looked after themselves?

Check out the pictures below to see Elly Namami (Sadako) and Runa Endo (Kayako) receiving some follicle TLC before adopting more familiar poses…

Photo By Sarjoun Faour

Sadako receiving a little of the back. But, surely more off the front is required?

Photo By Sarjoun Faour

Kayako c...

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Never Let Go Unleashed 3rd October!

never-let-go-dvd-coverHoward J Ford and his brother Jon have a rich history of scaring audiences. The Dead and The Dead 2: India both delivered imaginative, unusual takes on the zombie apolcaypse genre, travelling to places not typically seen overrun by undead hordes.

With Never Let Go, Howard goes solo for the first time (although brother Jon contributes aerial photography). But, this Taken with a female twist maintains the high levels of suspense for which the Ford boys are well known. A multi award-winning thriller, it stars Angela Dixon as a single mother forced into a desperate race against time to find her missing daughter in Morocco.

Brimming with surprises, kinetic action and a ferocious central performance from Dixon as the unstoppable mother with a particular set of skills, Never Let Go dives into the...

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Must-See Films at the 2016 BFI London Film Festival

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When writing preview features for the London Film Festival it’s difficult to resist the numbers. Those big numbers representing how many films will show over the 12 day festival, how many countries are featured, how many cinemas films are hosting films. And crucially, which numbers in the calendar you should be blocking out.

That last one’s easy – Wednesday 5th to Sunday 16th October.

But, there is one figure this year of paramount importance. 60.

In 2016 the BFI London Film Festival marks its 60th anniversary. Maintaining the original brief of being a “festival of festivals” the LFF continues to bring to the UK movies which have wowed audiences at other festivals that year.

The opening film way back in 1957 was Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Throne of Blood...

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Top 10 Films of FrightFest 2016

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FrightFest 2016 has been and gone, marking an impressive 17th consecutive year for the UK’s premiere horror film santa sangre.

With new headline sponsor The Horror Channel replacing Film4 and a move away from the heart of Leicester Square to London’s Shepherd’s Bush VUE cinema, could FrightFest retain its dark mojo?

Predictably the answer was yes. FrightFest’s four horseman of the apocalypse, Alan Jones, Paul McEvoy, Ian Rattray and Greg Day, plus the ever-growing FrightFest team, staged a five day extravaganza showcasing the best of fantasy cinema from around the globe. And the newest voices, three films in the Electric Shadows Top 10 are from debuting directors.

My Father Die was a solid opener, an accomplished calling card debut from Sean (son of Pierce) Brosnan, and although I c...

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