Alien Territory Part 5

Five parts is enough for any blog article, so let’s put this baby to bed. With nowhere to go except Earth (something only audiences expressed a desire to see) the Alien franchise now did what it always did – it shifted gear into an unexpected direction. For the fifth film, out went Sigourney Weaver and […]

Alien Territory Part 4

It should have died, but the studio cattle-prod had been charged and was now attempting to fire life back into a dead franchise. Ripley was definitively gone, but Sigourney Weaver was still up for the role, having moved from ingenue in tighty-whiteys to grieving mother to bald warrior-queen – how could she come back? Molten […]

Alien Territory Part 3

And so the drop ship roars into the problem zone of the third Alien film, in a tangled situation entirely created by Fox’s suits. The crowd-pleasing ‘Aliens’ had proven such a massive success that the franchise was now cursed with too-high expectations. You couldn’t go bigger, but could you scale it back? Our company had […]

Alien Territory Part 2

For many, director James Cameron destroyed the ‘Alien’ franchise. It was inevitable that a film as successful as ‘Alien’ would continue in a sequel, a series of comics, videogames and even toys. Cameron supposedly killed the golden goose by giving everyone exactly what they wanted to see; a full-throttle action film which did away with the […]

Alien Territory Part 1

In a month of dire warnings about Russian spies, Chinese viruses, American fascism, global heating (six months left to fix it, apparently, which means the planet is doomed before I can get tickets for the National Theatre again) watching say, ‘The Salisbury Poisonings’ or reading Cormac McCarthy seems like a little light entertainment. Meanwhile, scientists […]

Goodbye Piccadilly Tube, Farewell Odeon Leicester Square

Look on Metacritic or Apple Trailers right now and all you’ll find is a ragbag collection of B-movies elevated from direct-to-video. The only potential blockbuster being trailed is Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’, only because he’s insisting it goes into physical theatres come what may. For the first and only time in its history, cinema has effectively […]

‘Get In’ – When A Critic Needs to Be A Detective

During the Lockdown I’ve been catching up on films I’ve been meaning to see, and have been transported by trash and Palme D’Or winners alike. I’ll happily overlook a film’s technical inadequacies if there’s a germ of originality. Often there isn’t. Hollywood has too much at stake to upset its audiences, so I look for […]

12 Movies Even More Locked Down Than You

So you think you’re suffocating, need to get out of your home and get away? Others have it worse in the movies. Obviously ‘Saw’ and ‘The Evil Dead’ will make you feel positively liberated by comparison but there are plenty of other Lockdown movies to choose from, if you’d care to experience some schadenfreude. This […]

What Not To Watch During Lockdown

Everyone’s telling you about the streamers you should catch up with in lockdown, but what about the heavily hyped ones you should avoid? No, don’t thank me, I’m happy to share the three claustrophobic experiences below… How many times have you asked yourself, ‘I wonder what Alien would be like if it was remade underwater […]

Films With Surprise Endings

It’s not enough for the twists in mystery novels to be unguessable – after all, there’s a frisson that accompanies the feeling that you may be able to name the murderer – the solutions to mysteries need to feel natural and unforced. Left-field answers are fun, but organically arrived-at solutions are more satisfying. This rules […]