Category Archives: Movies

Judge Dredd (1995) vs. Dredd (2012)

As a long-time 2000 AD fan (I read it from Prog 1 and stayed with it for three or four years) I’ve been reading David Bishop and Karl Stock’s fascinating Thrill-Power Overload: 2000 AD — the first forty years [amazon.com, amazon.co.uk]. When I reached the section about the 1995 Judge Dredd film starring Sylvester “Rambo” Stallone, I was interested enough to watch it; and having seen that, I was interested to see the 2012 take starring Karl “Éomer” Urban.

So how do they measure up?

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Six films: Casablanca, Thor, Blade Runner, La La Land, Der UntergangPsycho

For one reason and another, I’ve been watching a lot of films recently. Here are the most recent half dozen, in the order I watched them, with brief comments on each. I have to say it’s been a good run: I really enjoyed all six.

Casablanca (1942)


A genuinely excellent film, though as always with all-time classics not quite as good as its reputation would lead you to think. Much hangs on the raw charisma of Humphrey Bogart (as Rick) and Ingrid Bergman (as Ilsa); Paul Henreid as Victor Laszlo radiates all the charisma of formica, but it doesn’t really matter because it’s kind of the point that Rick and Ilsa are magnetically attracted but she is bound to Victor.

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An in-depth critical analysis of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Don’t bother. It’s rubbish.

It’s like someone in late 1992 thought “What if we made a film like Wayne’s World, but with all the charm boiled out of it and the lead character made into an entitled jerk?”, then slipped through a time vortex back to 1986 and made it.

(Admittedly, a more parsimonious explanation would that someone in the early 1990s thought “What if we made a film like Ferris Bueller but with wit, charm and all-round good-nature?”, since that doesn’t involve time travel.)

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Watchmen (2009 movie), ultimate cut

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ self-contained twelve-issue comic Watchmen was released by DC Comics in 1986-1987, though it takes place in a completely separate fictional universe from their mainline characters. It’s been pretty universally praised since its release, but was considered “unfilmable” for a long time, having been so described both by its writer Alan Moore and by putative director Terry Gilliam.

So it proved through a long series of failed attempts to make a film version. But it was finally done in 2009, in a film directed by Zack Snyder and featuring a mostly unknown cast — an excellent decision to my mind. The last thing we needed was be constantly thinking “Oh, look, Johnny Depp” when we should be seeing The Comedian.

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Happy Accidents (2000)

I can’t remember what made me want to watch this Happy Accidents — I think I saw it mentioned in passing, in an intriguing way, in a review of something else, but I can’t now find that review on rogerebert.com, which would have been the obvious place for me to have found it. But I watched it tonight, and I am glad I did.

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Unfortunately, I can’t tell you anything about it. It would be basically impossible to write a review that didn’t contain spoilers.

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011 Movie)

A few months ago, I read John Le Carré’s classic spy novel  Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, A few days ago, I finished the lengthy process of watching the BBC’s 1979 TV mini-series based on the book. And the night before last, I watched the 2011 film adaptation.

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It’s very good.

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Brief thoughts on Doctor Strange

I’ve never found Doctor Strange a particularly interesting character, but I was keen to see the eponymous movie for the two obvious reasons — Benedict Cumberbatch and the film’s role as part of the MCU.

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I am glad I did. Continue reading