December sees the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh episode in the most widely-discussed and massively consumed movie saga ever told. How can it be possible, then, that Star Wars can have so many fans and still have a dark and mysterious past with which the layman is not familiar? The following projects are a mixture of little-seen Star Wars spin-offs, creative projects and plain old trashpiles, proving that even billion-dollar blockbusters like Star Wars have skeletons in their closets...
24 November 2015, 10:14pm
Skilfully adapted from Patricia Highsmith's lesbian romance novel The Price of Salt (published pseudonymously in 1952, when its subject was still taboo), Todd Haynes' Carol is an exquisitely realised and achingly moving love story that's certain to garner plenty of richly deserved awards attention.
24 November 2015, 6:19pm
Have we got a treat for you! An exclusive first look clip at comedy adventure Kung Fu Panda 3, which sees Po and his long-lost father arriving in a secret panda paradise!
18 November 2015, 12:36pm
We’ve seen the future, and it doesn’t look good. From The Hunger Games to The Terminator, whether it’s the rapid advances in angry artificial intelligence, apocalyptic climate change or World War 3, we’re busily sewing the seeds of our own destruction. Goddam us. Goddam us all to hell.
17 November 2015, 7:00pm
After Mockingjay – Part 1 turned out to be 125 minutes of dystopian dullness, the finale of the series has a lot to make up for. At this point, Peeta is still brainwashed, Katniss is still sad, and Liam Hemsworth is still hoping to get a decent role in a franchise he’s been attached to for over three years.
17 November 2015, 11:14am
“Your hand is staining my window.”
And with that simple reassertion of her authority, one of cinema’s most epic conflicts is underway; score one point for Nurse Ratched – in the starched white corner – against Randle Patrick McMurphy, the trickster bristling against The Man and her rules. It’s a battle that powered One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest through to a whopping five Oscars – a legendary Big Five clean sweep – and rages still today, 40 years to the week of its release.
12 November 2015, 11:45am
Tangerine is the US indie comedy breakout hit of 2015. But it’s also more than that. A lot more, in fact. Inspired, of all things, by a donut shop with which director and co-writer Sean S. Baker became obsessed, the film is a fast, frenetic ride through a notorious Hollywood neighbourhood in which two prostitutes pursue their respective dreams—while one prepares for a singing performance at a West Hollywood nightclub, the other hunts down the woman with whom her boyfriend and pimp has been having an affair.
The hype surrounding this independent feature is deserved. Ahead of its release in UK cinemas on Friday, 13 November, here are seven reasons why it’s worth your time and money.
10 November 2015, 3:16pm
There’s a lot of big talk about how tough it is to make a film. All the Hollywood stories say you’ve got to spend six months in the jungle, have a near-death experience and learn a foreign language. Rubbish, though, isn’t it? They all fit a formula and all you need to do is repeat it. The ‘genius movie’, for example, like Steve Jobs, out in cinemas this week: I could’ve made that, no bother. Here’s how.
9 November 2015, 10:33am
As a film critic, I’ve found myself writing about Saoirse Ronan a great deal over the years. And - once I’d mastered the spelling without checking google - it became a real pleasure. I firmly believe she’s one of the most talented actresses of her generation, and it seems that top-notch directors would agree. The young Irish girl’s big break came when the esteemed Joe Wright cast her in the 2007 hit Atonement. The role was a tricky one, calling for a versatile young performer who could subtly convey a range of emotions including jealousy, doubt, regret, fear and longing. She totally nailed it, and so began a career of very interesting choices. I don’t think I’ve seen a Saoirse Ronan film that didn’t have some merit - and most have a decidedly original slant. Her follow up to Atonement was Death Defying Acts, an underrated drama about Harry Houdini (Guy Pearce) on a tour of Britain.
4 November 2015, 12:15pm
A love story that, as its title suggests, is as much about places as people, Brooklyn boasts plenty of old-fashioned romance as it finds a young Irish woman torn between her green and pleasant homeland and the bright lights of the big city, alongside the two men who epitomise each location. By simultaneously focusing on its protagonist's capability and career prospects it transcends its 1950s setting, as it shows her to be the kind of ambitious, if unshowy trailblazer who broke free of the confines of the time to pave the way for modern women.