avalonenigma

avalonenigma

The Last Starfighter is an 80's movie, and a film that couldn't have been quite the same beast made at any other point during movie history.

One of the reasons 80's entertainment remains in many peoples thoughts isn't just that those who were so impressionable during those years are now of a "certain age" (though this is true) its also because so much of what makes modern entertainment what it is began in that decade.

The Last Starfighter is one of a scant handful of films that speaks directly to these influences.

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1984 was a good year for film, one of the best. Releases in '84 would include The Terminator, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Dune, The Karate Kid, The Last Starfighter, Neverending Story, Nightmare on Elm Street, Footloose, Police Academy, Romancing the Stone...

Beverly Hills Cop, Nausicca, Buckaroo Banzai, American Dreamer, Red Dawn, Missing In Action...

Well, you get the idea... There were lots of them...

And buried under this overwhelming cascade of often craptacular awesomeness were hidden a few little gems that took some years to get noticed, and Night of the Comet is one of them.

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The Dead House is a young-adult horror novel about two sister's Carly and Kaitie who are like day and night. One is outgoing and bright and the other is solitary and dark; and one can only be found in the daylight, while the other can only be seen under the light of the moon.

Carly and Kaitie, different as they are, love each other dearly; which is good, because Carly and Kaitie share everything, their dorm room, their friends, their food and their very body itself.

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When I saw Blade Runner for the first time, I was probably about fourteen or so, it had a profound effect on me. It was the first real science fiction film of my generation. It wasn't space fantasy like Star Wars, with barely disguised magic or a continuation of a long running franchise like Star Trek - both of which I loved. Blade Runner was an original piece of serious science fiction created purely for our age.

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The buzz surrounding Stake Land hit the shores of the UK long before the film found its way here, the film had began its circuit of the festivals and the word of mouth being produced made it a film high on my "must see" list of 2010.

Eventually I found it on blu-ray and eagerly devoured its 98 minute running time.

It didn't disappoint...

...well, too much as least...

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A short film shot in Worcester during April 2013. The editing was completed in October of the same year.

The film stars Dave Pitt and Chas Cheswick, the crew was kept to the absolute minimum with Rob Kemp on sound and Matt Johnson as camera assistant. The writer and director was Alan Preece.

Due to an actor dropping out the film was not quite finished as planned but hopefully the loss isn't too keenly felt in the finished product.

Simon Munn (of the Worcester Film Festival) was on set as an observer (but couldn't resist helping out at various points of the shooting). Simon was also used as a sound board throughout the editing and mixing process and a great deal of thanks goes out to him and Paul Hill for their support and advice in the making of Epiphany.

The Andrej Sapkowski book The Last Wish is twenty-five years old as I write this, and for various reasons too long to go into I’ve only recently read it. It did take about fifteen years for an English translation to be released, so I guess I have some excuse for that length of time but then it still took ten years for me to read the translation; what can I say? So many books… So little time…

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Jim Mickle and Nick Damici's Mulberry Street is a retake on the zombie siege seen in many films, but the location and characters are anything but common. So much effort is taken to build a believable world within the film that many of the characters seem as though they have dropped out of a documentary on the area, giving the film an authenticity that is more suited to a 70's social drama than a horror movie.

In fact the machinations of the film are so adept that it’s a little disappointing when the action starts, the creatures distracting from some very believable tragedy which we would like to see concluded.

In this Mulberry Street is a film of two halves and neither half is in any way bad, just of differing types rather than quality.

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Inspired by Army of Darkness to become a film maker Jim began working as a production assistant on a bunch of small films but it wasn't until he began working with the terminally cool Nick Damici that things began to fall together for him.

It makes you wonder what might have happened if they had never met.

But they did...

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Alan Ormsby isn't a name that comes to mind with most fans of horror, but perhaps it should. He's a man of many talents, boasting more than a passing ability with make-up effects, acting, writing and directing.

He even designed a toy in the mid seventies called Hugo: Man of a Thousand Faces that fetches good money on eBay.

But where I know him from is the 1972 movie Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things, the first film from Bob Clark who went on to great fame later with films like Porkys and Black Christmas.

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things is a weird film... and a lot of people simply don't like it very much... I was tempted to say "don't get" it, and this might be true, but it also implies that theres actually something TO "get"...

Which to be honest may not be true either.

The film might be as bad as they say...

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The Arrival is a 2016 science fiction film based on a 1998 short story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. It stars Amy Adams as linguist Louise Banks, Jeremy Renner as physicist Ian Donnelly, and Forest Whitaker as Colonal Weber and it follows the attempts to communicate with one of twelve alien vessels that have suddenly appeared dotted around the globe.

The movie garnered a huge amount of positive press and multiple nominations and enjoyed excellent reviews from across the board.

I've had a copy of the film on my "to watch" pile since its release on blu-ray and I finally got around to watching due to it sharing a director with the Blade Runner sequel that has just been released.

Mainly this was just to guage the directors style in an attempt to see whether I should brave the sequel in spite of Ryan Gosling being in it.

I hoped that the director would be so strong that I'd just HAVE to see Blade Runner 2.

Unfortunately if anything viewing The Arrival had the opposite effect.

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Star Trek without Kirk, or more specifically William Shatner has a hard time being completely asccepted as Trek and all other shows and movies have been a mixed bag.

Personally I like all the original series from 1966 through to 1995 and I even have a guilty affection for the mess that was Enterprise, but perhaps this was just because it was the last real Trek before Abrams killed the franchise for me.

Well, that was until Discovery turned up.

Star Trek Discovery is another prequel show that takes its cues from Abrams universe rather than Rodenberry's so its parentage is part Abrams universe and part Enterprise; so in my opinion at least we're already off to a pretty bad start .

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TV shows and Movies no longer manage to provoke the levels of anticipation they once did, and its unlikely they ever will as the internet has created such an on-demand approach to entertainment. It leaves to believe that the he speed of modern living leaves little opportunity to create the slow burn necessary for the hysteria that the release of films once did. Occasionally though a TV show or movie manages to challenge this assumption a little. Stranger Things is a Netflix show that that hasn't exactly caused the storm that shows once did, unless it was a storm in a teacup, but in fairness this is probably the best modern entertainment can muster in a world running at such a speed.

The in May 2015 Twilight Time released the film on Blu-ray; and I was one of the first on the pre-order list. Then Arrow Films released a UK edition almost a year later and I added this to my shelf too. Rollerball is 40 years old as I write this, the Arrow edition could just as easily been the 40th Anniversary Release of the film as the film could not have been presented any better. Its a film that I have lived with for thirty years, and I’ve never been without a copy in all that time. The joyous faces of the assembled crowd at Jonathan E’s TV special still strikes me with a dull horror and I still want to chant “Jonathan” as the credits roll.

Of all the reviews I've read concerning the film none seem to concern themselves with the film itself, preferring to talk about why the film has had so much negative criticm; as if these two things aren't linked by definition. With this review I'm going to concern myself with the film only. Thats the only thing thats really important. Ghostbusters 2016, or Ghostbusters - Answer the Call as the end credits call the film (and a title I prefer I have to say), has pretty big shoes to fill and considering peoples general dislike of remakes it seems unlikely that it'll fill them to most peoples satisfaction; so I pressed "play" with relatively low expectations. The first thing that struck me was saturation of colour in the film, the second thing that struck me was how odd that this was to be the first thing to notice. I've never began a film with the desire to turn down the colour... ever... and I'm a big fan of Dario Argento movies. With this one I was tempted.

Hysterical was one of a bunch of horror spoofs made in the early 1980's and to be fair to it not many of these films were actually any good. Some have gained a kind of cult status over the years and are remembered with great affection but taken on their own merits few if any of them could actually be considered to be good films. So Hysterical has good company... If you'll excuse the use of the word "good". The film revolves around an author who writes sordid novels but who is tired of the popularity of the work of which he is secretly ashamed. He decides to moves away and take on a new life in order to write The Great American novel... He finds himself taking up residence in a lighthouse on the edge of a small fishing town unaware that a woman's ghost inhabits it. The ghost raises the long dead body of her lover to wreck havoc on the town in revenge for her own death many years before.

The Highlander films, at least the first three of them, follow Connor MacLeod on his journey through immortality. The films emphasize the emotional connections he makes, rather than just the conflict, and this is one of the things that makes Highlander unique in the action film genre; especially those made in the 1980's. There's a much heavier use of romance than is typical in action movies, and the romance is handled rather more delicately than is common too. Emotional connection is one of Connor's biggest drives as a character and much of his behavior is motivated by his need for these connections. Usually action films are based on a far more basic reactionary process in regards of emotion, often the death of a loved one motivates the action in such a film but outside of this emotions are kept strictly under control. Highlander on the other hand behaves far more like a romantic film where we follow Connor as he moves from doomed relationship to doomed relationship before he finally find the one he will spend his life with. Well... At least in THAT movie...

My thought processes were something like this... If they can't even adhere to an actor the sufficiently portrays what we'd expect from a character called Major Motoko Kusanagi then what chance to the deeper aspects of the manga have? ...and I've steadfastly stuck to this thought throughout the making of the film right up to the point I hit "play" on my Blu-ray player. Now this isn't to say I didn't want to like the film, I really truly did because I WANT to like films, I want to spend a few hours enjoying them and the absolute last thing I want to do is waste those hours making myself annoyed or even angry by what I see. As I said to a friend I discussed this with, I want to keep my anticipation for the film reasonable, to give myself a greater chance of liking it when I saw it. This is exactly what I like to do. So anyway... I hit "play".

It's heartening is that distributors still remember these films and the love many still have for them, a few years ago Twilight Time released a 30th Anniversary Edition of Fright Night that suddenly appeared on my shelf... Really, I don't even remember ordering it. ...and I was overjoyed to see the film in high definition after all this time. The original DVD had not aged well and was one of those releases that never seemed to upscale very well and just turned into a blocky mess on a large screen TV. So the Blu-ray was a welcome addition. But then came the release from Eureka...

Though Dirty Dancing is often thought of as a chick-flick phenomenon (actually it’s normally said it’s "JUST a chick-flick phenomenon" as if this makes a difference) and its runaway success mainly attributed to Patrick Swayze's appeal there is more to it than that. I do like Patrick Swayze, but lets just say that his bare chested appeal is somewhat lost on me, my interest in him is more to do with who he portrays than whether he is shirtless or not. It may be tempting to believe that this film is the story of Frances "Baby" Houseman, the female lead played by Jennifer Grey, but she is an avatar for the audience through which we can experience an underground world considered unsavory in 1960's America. This isn't to say that Baby is a bad character, far from it, but rather that she is primarily the vehicle through which we understand the story and the other characters in it. In truth the film is actually just as much about Johnny Castle, Swayze's character, and his self destructive tendency to take responsibility when in reality he bears none.

The first thing I saw on Fright Night was the promotional poster. Back in the days of the video store the promotional poster was the key bit of merchandise to push a film, we had trailers on the beginning of rentals and occasionally there would be TV advertisements, but mainly it was the poster. Originally rentals were cheap and people could afford to pick up films for no other reason than they liked the cover or the blurb on the back of it intrigued them. As rental prices increased people were less likely to do this and this meant there were less and less obscure titles on the shelves. In my opinion this is one of the things that killed the rental market. But while it was going strong the poster was the key to a lot of renter’s interest.

It's ability to be read in multiple ways is what makes a movie like Dark Night of the Scarecrow shine just a little brighter than those films around it and allows a longevity than many of its contemporaries lack. And doing this on the constraints that TV would place on it makes it a minor miracle in the process. There's been other good TV movies that fit in the horror genre but Dark Night of the Scarecrow has to be one of the best that has aged remarkably well over the last thirty-five years. Its small town setting hardly puts its cast into the height of 1980's fashion and thankfully this doesn't age the film as much as many from the time... and though the movie was made for TV the production values are well placed. What we get with this film is a tightly written story that takes a few simple twists of a well trod formula and presents it with memorable characters and well conceived set pieces. When this is coupled with Frank De Felitta's understated direction and eye for a simple shot we end up with something that fits the TV format while being much larger at the same time.

Video may be dead, but the same problems that haunted it remain, as well as a few new ones collected on the way.

January 2010, the Video Recordings Act 2010 came into force, 26 years after they tried the first time.

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Created 9 months ago.

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I've been on YouTube since 2012 but only started making videos in 2016., speaking mainly about TV and movies with an emphasis on my own experiences in fandom; but I also enjoy books and comic books so these also take up a fair portion of my time.

In October 2017 I started a Bitchute account but it was only when a certian other video distribution service decided to shut up shop that I decided to start backing up my Youtube videos on Bitchute (we all know where YouTube is going !).