Review: Fair Game

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Starring: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Sam Shepherd Director: Doug Liman CIA agent Valerie Plame finds her identity made public in the press after her husband, Joe Wilson, writes an article criticizing the Bush Administration’s policy toward WMDs in Iraq and the basis for going to war. “When did the question move from ‘why are we going to war?’ to ‘who is this man’s wife?’.” Not to be confused with the dreadful 1995 ‘thriller’ starring Cindy Crawford, although you could be mistaken for doing so given the weak title (Karl Rove…

Cool Stuff: Ward Shelley’s History of Sci-Fi

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Here’s something for all you fellow geeks out there. Artist Ward Shelley has managed to incorporate three of my great loves (history, science fiction and surreal imagery) into one rather bizarre flowchart. Looking like a cross between an alien master-brain and a 40-a-day smoker’s lungs, Shelley’s diagram charts the path of science-fiction from its distant influences and origins right up to contemporary cinema and literature. You need at least an hour just to explore this impressive graphic, so God only knows how long it took Shelley to research and create…

Life Cycle: The Birth and Death of the Alien Saga

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When screenwriter Dan O’Bannon sat down to write the science-fiction monster movie he’d been itching to create since working on John Carpenter’s Dark Star, it’s fair to assume he had little inkling just how successful his idea would be. Entitled Star Beast, O’Bannon wanted to ‘pay homage’ to the space monster movies of the 50s. In his own words, “I didn’t steal Alien from anybody. I stole it from everybody!” There’s certainly no denying that the basic premise of Star Beast was far from original. Even with several rewrites from…

The Oscars: A Curmudgeon’s View

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Oscar season is upon us once more and the circus is well and truly in town. The blogs are buzzing, the free gifts and sweeteners are being sent and the usual pundits are all in a frenzy, trying to predict the outcome. Who will win Best Actor? Who will walk away with Best Director? What will Helena Bonham Carter be wearing? Who is going to fluff their lines? I know movie sites are supposed to get on the bus when it comes to these things, but I’m afraid I’ll be…

Review: Inside Job

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Narrated by: Matt Damon Director: Charles Ferguson “Why should a financial engineer be paid 100 times more than a real engineer? A real engineer builds bridges, a financial engineer builds dreams. And when those dreams turn out to be nightmares, other people pay for it.” With the whole world reeling from the effects of the financial crisis, Inside Job takes a look at where it all began and just who was responsible for a meltdown which has set the global economy back for decades to come. It’s probably safe to…