State of Cinema

Can you recall any picture in the last 3 years that was wildly popular that didn’t include things getting smashed or blown to bits?

Have you gone to a movie or rented one that featured clever or charming dialog, let’s say in the past 24 months?

It’s OK, I can wait for your answer . . .



Click for video

Surprise, I can think of one! La La Land which did – Worldwide: $439,020,154 (£424.7m)

That’s nothing compared to the Faster & the Even More Furious, OK, real title – The Fate of the Furious. Worldwide: $532,481,640 That’s just in the first (opening) weekend. It broke the previous record of $529m (£421.8m) taken in by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

That kind of money gets attention, which means the type of films I might find more interesting, or have longevity, are not likely to be made in the foreseeable future. That’s kind of shame, because the independent films are constantly trying to break into a market that is walled off from the public.

Why is the Fast & Furious franchise so popular?


BBC Entertainment & Arts

That’s a question which seems easy to answer, at least on the surface. Some may say it has universal appeal to young & old, because people like to see escape fantasies of things destroyed. The protagonists and antagonists are people over the top, escaping doom or creating disasters on a grand scale with seemingly little consequence.  Have you ever picked up a sledge-hammer to help demolish a car for charity? Imagine 100’s of times greater smash, with none of the work but all of the fun.

There are other reason(s), I believe which increase its appeal. The actors in the film, identify well with an audience. Paul Walker was one of those people who seemed universally liked. Actors, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Vin Diesel and Ludacris, all have large followings. Dwayne Johnson has starred in four of this franchise movies, and he’s brought new energy to it. Still, they’re not adverse to bringing in other major names, and stirring the pot.

Kurt Russel has been a big action adventure star for years. This time he even has a name that most of us can relate to…  Mr. Nobody.

The Fate of the Furious won’t be a movie I will pay to see, but the next film Kurt Russell will be in, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, is going to be at the top of my screening list. If I’m not there opening day, I will be soon thereafter. The last Guardians of the Galaxy anticipated their audience, adding humor to an imaginative story that grabbed a lot of eyes. This one looks to be every bit the right follow on, in one I’m least familiar as a published graphics novel.


Sexual Content Not New

Some people get a little indignant seeing the nipple(s) or the derrière of a woman on screen. Perhaps you may not have watched some early B&W movies. They had their ideas of what was acceptable in film, similar to what we might see today, although censorship soon started after a few of these early films.

Maureen O’Sullivan had a body double in the under water scenes. Co-starring as Jane in “Tarzan the Ape Man”, with Johnny Weissmuller (1932), became the first of 12 films in which he starred as the lead, loosely based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel.

It was a pre-code film, which garnered enough attention by 1934, to have the scenes, featured in the above link, to be removed. They were later restored for the DVD series.

Maureen O’Sullivan talks about the public reaction after doing a couple of these films. What caused a public furor then, would be a trivial problem today.

For entirely different reasons, I doubt a portrayal of an innocent pairing of two people could be presented in such a manner at this time. Women would be protesting this as a film filled with misogyny and brutish male dominance over women, or something quite close to that description.

A final tribute to a passing era of make believe. A time before comic book super heroes, space adventure, or kids with wands.

The many films of Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan. A brief vignette.



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Posted by on 23/03/2017 in Movies


We Love to Criticize

By now, even people who didn’t watch the Oscars, heard about the SNAFU during the last presentation. A mix up occurred when the announcement was made for best picture.
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Click on image to find out what happened

The reaction many are having is typical of other instances where we add our two cents, or criticize others when things don’t go perfect. In some ways, I believe we’re compensating for our own failings. It’s easier to point out the flaws in someone or something else, rather than ourselves.

Overall, I believe they handled the situation about as good as we could expect. Both actors were somewhat perplexed when looking at the envelope, however it appeared Faye Dunaway just wanted to get it over and practically yanked it out of the hands of Warren Beatty.

Her announcement started the clock on how long it would take before the error was noticed. Jimmy Kimmel had already sat down. He fully expected that was the end of the evening, then pandemonium broke momentarily when the PWC representative and the Academy stage manager came on stage to examine what they had read, knowing this was the wrong selection for best picture.

Given the circumstances, it’s not really all that earth shaking of a mistake. It will however, give us something to talk about until the Awards season begins again, next year.


Emma Stone received an Oscar for her role in La La Land

A far more serious concern, greater than this mix up, was when a bus load of “tourists” were brought into the theater and paraded in front of the attendees. This was done as a gag introduced by Jimmy Kimmel. Several of the actors posed and shook hands with these people. Here’s the security concern with what transpired. This is a quote from the Hollywood Reporter date March 1, 2017.

“Another more serious problem was the revelation that one of the “regular people” brought onstage from a bus tour of Hollywood monuments turned out to be a registered sex offender — Gary Alan Coe, who was released from prison just three days earlier after serving 20 years for felonies including attempted rape.”

OSCAR Awards 2017

· Moonlight

· Damien Chazelle – La La Land

· Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

· Emma Stone – La La Land

· Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

· Viola Davis – Fences

· Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan

· Moonlight – Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McRaney

· Zootopia

· The Salesman

· La La Land – Linus Sandgren

· O.J.: Made in America

· The White Helmets

· Piper

· Sing

· Jungle Book

· La La Land

· Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

· Suicide Squad

· Hacksaw Ridge – John Gilbert

· Hacksaw Ridge

· Arrival

· La La Land – Justin Hurwitz

· City of Stars – La La Land

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Posted by on 01/03/2017 in Academy Awards, Awards, Hollywood, Movies


Resistance is Futile

A young Bela Lugosi photo

Bela Lugosi – Dracula

The OSCARS may be the buzz that Hollywood would like us to focus on, but only momentarily. They really want us to take them seriously. There will be many brows furrowed, scoldings issued, and appeals made.

This means we’re likely going to hear more speeches on, Donald Trump outrage, immigration, civil rights, racismhuman created environmental changes (our shame – not theirs). We may be hoping to see which cinematography, musical score, writers, actors, graphics, scripts, receive awards, but rest assured, that’s not all they have planned for us.

In many ways, they’ve become an interest group concerned with moral causes and how they continue to portray themselves as super citizens.

comedy - dramaThere are changes in the making. I’m not talking about the continuing inflation of egos, rather many ‘stars’ are getting older, their expenses are going up while box office receipts are going down. Their demands for increased salaries may actually set them back.

=-=- Biggest World Wide Box Office Releases Not From Hollywood -=-=

The news for Hollywood, just like American manufacturing, it can be done elsewhere, and often for less cost with greater profits. China & Japan are having a good year for film making and box office revenue.

Joan Fontaine Cary Grant  Suspicion 1940

Joan Fontaine & Cary Grant

La La Land is a one of the movies nominated for awards, but the title and the ending suggests a bit more reality than many might immediately recognize about the traditional film industry.

A couple of last-minute notes… Greg P. Russell had his Oscar nomination rescinded on Saturday, for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

Bill Paxton has died from complications from heart surgery. He was 61.

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Posted by on 26/02/2017 in Academy Awards, Actors, Attitude, Awards, Box Office, Entertainment, Finance, Hollywood, Movies, Popular Culture


The Oscars Are Coming!

Oscar_statue_smlLet’s hope that’s all there is…

We know tonight is the night for Hollywood to go all in on celebrating…


The most anxious moments?

Will they get it right?

You decide as we have hours of congratulatory speeches, humor, music, dance, awards, and pontification.

  . . .  And the nominees are . . .

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Posted by on 26/02/2017 in Academy Awards, Awards, Choice, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies


New Film in the Works

Set in a world so dark even villains can be heroes . . 


Black Russian is a film set to begin in the summer of 2017

The latest film project announced by Chris Barfoot, Black Russian launched on February 18, 2017.

Incarcerated for fifteen years- Frank leaves prison to discover that his boss Marco is no longer cock of the walk. He must infiltrate the new Russian mob and steal the largest natural diamond in the world
‘The Black Russian’…

This is a stylish and gritty British crime thriller. It is a contemporary tale of love, deception, murder and retribution- set against a universe so dark- that ‘even villains can be heroes…’

East meets West… in this clash of the gangsters!

[Click on the image above to find out more]

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Posted by on 19/02/2017 in Action, Director, Entertainment, Movies, Plot


Film Expo South Event

comedy - dramaFILM EXPO SOUTH is back Friday 3rd February 2017 at the AGEAS Bowl, Southampton to collaborate, inspire excite, stimulate and engage the film making population yet again.

Over 45 Industry Speakers are joining us to CREATE, INSPIRE & ENGAGE, view our Speakers Timetable here

  • Over 30 Workshops, Demonstrations and Seminars
  • Special Effects, Sales & Distribution, Marketing, Crowdfunding Screenings with Directors Q&A’s, Pitching, VFX and much more…
  • Stage Showcase
  • Networking
  • The Pitch Factor Script Competition
  • Entertainment


Reduced cost offers – Expires 31st January:
Students – £20.00  (£25.00)    · ·    Professionals – £30.00  (£40.00)


Film Expo South – is an amazing networking event for film makers and emerging film talent, organised by Gillian Tully. More lights – more camera and loads of action – we’re back!!

Speakers for this event: [CLICK HERE}



The Ageas Bowl
West End
S030 3XH
United Kingdom


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Posted by on 27/01/2017 in Actors, Movies, Production, Technology



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