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Favourite Films Or: How I stopped worrying and admitted I don't like Citizen Kane!

Favourite Films Or: How I stopped worrying and admitted I don't like Citizen Kane!

What makes a favourite movie? Is a favourite film separate from that which you believe merits the accolade ‘greatest work of cinema’? It’s always kind of troubled me why <i>Citizen Kane</i> hasn’t rushed to the top of my list of most watched films. Why it hasn't engaged me beyond its technical and historical influence, largely passing me by like a landmark in a faraway land of which I took a photo and filed away with other long lost memories. Yet, we’re constantly told of its brilliance, topping the polls of every academic, middle-class hit-list of the world’s best cinema, from those that know better than everybody else. Who am I to disagree? The film itself has an influence on almost every single film I grew up watching, and therefore its importance in why I love cinema is undeniable. It’s a work of art; it’s a work of technical ingenuity, and it’s flawless in its execution but, dare I say it, I don’t particularly like it very much. So how do we come to our conclusions about our favourite movies?<center><img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/newblog3a1.jpg"></center>I’m sure mentioning the names <i>Citizen Kane</i> and <i>Aliens</i> in the same sentence and comparing their quality as cinematic endeavours, will lose me any credibility I had as a viable film critic, but this isn’t about which one is better than the other. This is about why I love <i>Aliens</i>, and why ultimately, it’s my favourite film. I’m not alone in finding two and half hours spent with James Cameron’s sci-fi adventure, the most enjoyable and fulfilling experience one can have with a moving image. On ymdb.com 1196 users voted it in their top 20 favourite movies, which is about 4.5% of the total share. That’s pretty good against <i>Kane</i>’s 1625 votes, and a 6.1% share. <i>Aliens</i> was voted 15th in the BBC’s poll of ‘100 Movies of the Millennium’, 14th in Empire and HMV’s similar poll; it’s currently lying 6th in Sci-fi Lists top 100 films; Village Voice film critic Justine Elias voted it in her top 10 films of the century; and it’s enjoying an 8.3/10 rating on imdb.com with a respectable 79th place in their top 250. But what point am I trying to prove beyond the fact I love the film?<img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/newblog3a3.jpg"align=left>It’s interesting how such polls churn out different number 1’s each time another is conducted. Channel 4’s continuous weekend, primetime-filling, clips shows, alternatively titled with the moniker Top 100, are testament to that fact. <i>The Empire Strikes Back</i> is apparently the greatest film ever made according to them, yet they make room for <i>Grease</i> as the best musical, <i>E.T</i> as the best family entertainment and best Tearjerker, <i>Saving Private Ryan</i> as the best war film, and <i>Monty Python’s Life of Brian</i> as the best comedy. But wait for it, while they are all the best of the best, the ‘Ultimate’ film is <i>Gone With The Wind</i>. Of course, that list was based on ticket sales, whilst the others were compiled from fan voting, but their legitimacy is fairly arbitrary. Everyone will disagree with them in some form or another, but it does raise the question of why we love our favourite movies and how do each of us come to our choices?I’ve gone to quite an extent in writing why I think <i>Aliens</i> is a great film on DVD Times (<a href="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=6146"target="_blank">HERE</a> and <a href="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=3634"target="_blank">HERE</a>) but I can completely understand someone else having a negative reaction to the film. I simply can’t put my finger on exactly why it is my favourite but perhaps, if I disregard my notion that it is an important work within the science-fiction genre, at its core it probably represents a reminder of the familiar and safe experience I had when I first viewed it. Psychologists have mused with the idea that familiarity breeds a more positive reaction to something than if it had no relative connotation to the person in question. It is a major facet of advertising and branding in that familiar brand names are more likely to be preferred over new ones. Maybe it could be extended to film, in that our favourites remind us of something within that makes us feel happy and safe? In evolutionary terms, what didn’t hurt us before won’t hurt us again, and through the basic logic of human habits we are more likely to return to the things we’ve done before. Does <i>Aliens</i> subliminally remind me of the first time I saw it as a seven year old, sitting on the couch with my mum, in the safe and harmonious surroundings of the family home? I remember I used to love turning off all the lights in the house and running around with my friend, pretending we were on the alien planet fighting the aliens with all the characters, so is it a warm reminder of the best parts of my childhood? Then again, does <i>Aliens</i> offer me an outlet for my suppressed nihilistic emotions, showing that I do indeed think guns are great and that everyone should have one? Do the male characters represent a machismo that I never had and thus I watch to imagine I am the hero, or as Freud would say, I have some issues with my father and the alien’s themselves offer me an extension of some twisted, sexual anguish? Again, I ask, what makes a favourite movie?Everyone’s got either one definitive favourite film or a small handful that vie for the prestigious title. Yet, the question isn’t what film or films they are, the question is why do they grab our attention and force us to go back, watching them time after time?

Remake, re-imagine, repeat: Recycling the Hollywood idea machine

Remake, re-imagine, repeat: Recycling the Hollywood idea machine

<img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog_hollysign1(blog_logo).jpg"align=right>It was only 1996 when Jeff Goldblum in <i>Independence Day</i> talked about strange outer space signals repeating themselves and recycling until there was no more. With controlled build-up, Goldblum’s David, showing a sort of stoic heroism said ‘Strange thing is, if my calculations are correct, the signal will be gone in seven hours. The signal reduces itself every time it recycles. Eventually it will disappear.’ It’s like a Yoga class – ‘breath in (and raise the tension: audience at the edge of their seats), and breath out (here’s comes the ‘gag’). ‘And then what?’ says curly haired chub Harvey Fierstein. ‘Checkmate’ replies Goldblum, as a bumbling Fierstein runs down a list of lives he has to save without the addition of his blood-sucking lawyer.Despite the clinical, tidy, manipulative filmmaking being a well-worn attribute of most flag-waving American blockbusters, it’s the metaphor in Goldblum’s analysis that’s more important here. Like David Naughton in John Landis’ <i>An American Werewolf In London</i> going on a murderous lycanthropic rampage every full moon - repeating his quest for human meat every time his Wilkinson Sword became as useful as a camp hairdresser on King Kong’s island - today's Hollywood and its total lack of originality is just repeating and recycling itself in any disguise it sees fit. From the remake and the re-imagining, to the book adaptation, the latest superhero craze and anything it can pimp off East Asian horror directors. Unlike Stephen King’s Pennywise returning to drag children into the sewers of Derry every thirty years (a book which was adapted into a television movie), Hollywood is repeating itself every thirty seconds. With the general consistency of Michael Palin’s stutter in <i>A Fish Called Wanda</i>, the Land of La is hitting us with the same movies over and over and over again.Yes Hollywood has been doing it for years – the literary adaptation is no new fangled idea of course – but at least there was still a sense of quality, of characterisation, of vitality. Take music for example - The Byrds ‘Tambourine Man’, Jimi Hendrix’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’, Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’ – they’re all cover versions of previous songs but in many ways improve upon the originals. In the movie business, Hollywood’s latest output reaches the sorts of heights Ronan Keating’s ‘Fairytale Of New York’ cover climbed - it's worth very little, it's purpose nothing more than musical rape. In any case, would anyone deny <i>The Big Sleep</i> any plaudits because it was originally a novel – no. Nowadays, the book, the novella, the comic, the graphic novel and probably kids’ pop-up’s are just a scapegoat for a lack of ideas. Where’s that spark of creative brilliance that will stop cinemagoers in their tracks? Let’s see more books based on movies because the movies themselves and the writers of those movies had the ideas in the first place. I don’t read any of the <i>Alien</i> comic books or novels but I rest easy knowing Ridley Scott gave us something unique and groundbreaking, and that it first appeared through an anamorphic Panavision lens on 35mm Kodak film.<img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog_scream501.jpg"align=left>Without dwelling on psychoanalytical introspection, I’m sure all elements of creativity are based on some form of past events shaping the creator’s ideas and therefore, recognising elements of other films within new works is going to occur, but today it’s a frigid reoccurrence and infuriatingly common. On the one hand we have Wes Craven’s <i>Scream</i>, which you’d be forgiven for thinking borrowed far too heavily from a whole host of films preceding it. But I’d argue that it merely draws attention to its roots - a homage to early slasher films - showing a whole new generation how fun it was to have a good scare at the cinema. Essentially, opening the door for the genre to blossom once again. Writer Kevin Williamson infused it with pop-culture references and used post-modern tactics to give life to a genre of films believed to be dead. Here Hollywood was recycling in principle, but at least some hearty breaths of fresh air were still prevailing. Then what finds its way to my desk but a review copy of <i>Bad News Bears</i>, a remake of the Walter Matthau fronted 1978 original, this time with Billy Bob Thornton in the lead role. Basically, it’s a like for like remake but what really disappoints (disregarding the worth in remaking it in the first place) is the fact the new version makes no attempt to improve upon the flaws of the 1978 film, merely duplicating the same things that were wrong in the first place. It’s like someone who can’t be bothered to write their school essay, going on the internet copying one that was originally graded an ‘F’, and handing it in thinking how clever they have been. 2005’s <i>Bad News Bears</i> stinks of laziness on the part of talented filmmaker Richard Linklater; jumping on the remake bandwagon to make a buck. Just because we’re recycling glass bottles to save the earth, doesn’t mean Hollywood’s idea machine has to follow suit.Watching the latest American re-imagining of a Japanese horror film, or seeing the teaser trailer for the ‘all new’ <i>When A Stranger Calls</i>, or sitting eagerly anticipating Indiana Jones 4, I’m continually reminded of my forgetful eighty-five year old grandmother. No, it isn’t because she was an extra in the Temple Of Doom, nor is she an expert of ancient Japanese mythology, (I’m not even talking about her penchant for talking to photographs on the wall and thinking Des Lynam is speaking directly to her and only her during afternoon <i>Countdown</i> - that’s a whole other story) she is simply someone who likes to tell a tale to whoever is listening. However, her trick is to tell the same story in exactly the same way to the same people even if they’ve heard it a thousand times before. I’ve grown tired of hearing about her first day at school, visiting Prince Rainier’s grave, and her infamous flight to the Costa Del Sol (‘I don’t like flying and I hate going to the toilet on a plane but on this occasion I just had to go. There I am with my knickers round my ankles, next thing I hear is the captain saying ‘seatbelts on, we’re coming in to land’’). It’s a sad day that Hollywood has turned my cinema-going experience into a constant reminder of Rich Tea biscuits, overdone perfume, false teeth, and my Grandma talking for England.<img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog_-_fred_jason1(1).jpg"align=left>I suppose the ideas themselves have had dollar signs hanging over them since <i>Jaws</i> and <i>Star Wars</i> in the late seventies, since the marketing of the film comes part and parcel with the promotion of the soundtrack and the theme tune, the computer game, the T-Shirts, the action figures and the cuddly toys. Steven Spielberg’s experiences on <i>Close Encounters Of The Third Kind</i> in 1977 led him to create Entertainment Merchandising Inc. whose sole purpose was to milk every last drop of money from anything but the films themselves – if they could market and sell ‘Close Encounters' Mash Potato’, they would. It’s so expensive to produce, distribute and exhibit films, the major’s aren’t willing to take any chances. If rekindling the kind of excitement the <i>Nightmare On Elm Street</i> films used to produce means creating the gimmick of <i>Freddy Versus Jason</i>, with the guaranteed fan base, the merchandise, and the immediate iconography, then it is what the studios will do. Not because it’s original – the story is just one long cliché structured on the well-worn generics of the slasher genre, but because it’s about as safe as business can get for the majors. You’ve just got to look at the numbers - <i>Jason X</i> in 2001 proved serial killer Jason Voorhees was finally dead with box office takings of $12.6 million having been made for $14 million. Yet, La La Land wasn’t going to let the ghost live in peace, forgetting about any new ideas just creating the tempting poster in their heads. You can see the boardroom as they cotton onto the idea: ‘Imagine an angry Freddy facing off against Jason…brilliant’. Repackage the film they’d made a hundred times before (well actually seven times for Freddy, ten times for Jason) and abracadabra you get $82.1 million in the U.S from a film which cost approximately $25 million. Does this mean Hollywood is simply giving us what we want? No, it means this is all Hollywood is giving us and as moviegoers we’ll take the best of what we can get.<center><img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog_terminator_v_freddy222.jpg"></center> <img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog_avp1(dr.1).jpg"align=right>That brings me to <i>Alien Versus Predator</i>, another film relying on the franchise and the gimmick to bring in the punters. Yet the film isn’t just an example of Hollywood trying to cash-in on a market that they know already exists, it’s a perfect showcase to see just how unoriginal their ideas have become, as the film is a dressed up, disguised retelling of Spielberg’s own <i>Jurassic Park</i>. Essentially, both films tell the story of a bunch of scientists going to an island in the middle of nowhere and becoming food for prehistoric animals. Both the major protagonists in the film are picked up by helicopter before they have chance to say no to the expedition, and both films gain their thrust based on a mysterious billionaire’s wayward imagination, sense of adventure and limitless funds. It’s surely only coincidence that both films introduce major characters at an archaeological dig and send them to a distant place that has been adapted into the natural habitat of predatory animals. Both follow the same pattern – introduce the characters to the situation, create the dilemma, get them attacked, some die but the remaining few get separated, hero saves the day. It's a basic narrative formulation you might argue but the conclusions are fairly identical. In both films the protagonists are assisted and saved by one of the antagonists: in <i>Alien Versus Predator</i> it’s on purpose, in <i>Jurassic Park</i> it’s inadvertent but nevertheless, it’s like watching the same movie again.In a similar sense, if you’ve seen <i>The 40 Year Old Virgin</i> then you’ve seen <i>Hitch</i> and vice-versa, both films having been released within six months of each other in 2005. And yet Spielberg doesn’t escape this trap either. His Sainthood amongst the Hollywood elite glossing over the fact he’s filmed Lex and Tim’s escape from the Velociraptors twice. Once in <i>Jurassic Park</i>, and again in 2005’s <i>War Of The Worlds</i> (dare I say it, another remake), substituting the dinosaurs for metallic tripod tentacles. Both scenes build the tension in the same way, each culminating in a character accidentally nudging something to the floor, enticing further inspection from the villains who would have otherwise left. You can change the characters, the location and the bad guy, but if Hollywood insists on just repackaging the same movies with gimmicky bells and whistles, it’ll find a lot of people turning to their DVD collections for old Hitchcock films, the original and best version of <i>King Kong</i> from 1933, and Hollywood’s Golden New Age during the seventies. They’ll be searching the web for French, Spanish, Mexican, British, Japanese, Indian, Australian, and all kinds of national cinema. The independents will find a new lease of life, especially in the home entertainment market.<center><img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog_predator122222.jpg"></center> <i>Lost In Translation</i> from 2003 seems to be a prime example. Sofia Coppola, working under daddy’s dollar (her father is of course Francis Ford Coppola who made <i>The Godfather</i> amongst many others) but independent of major studio influence, found her film did exceptionally well in cinemas ($44.5 million in the U.S from a $4 million budget) yet found a new lease of life on DVD. Word of mouth spread through magazines and the internet that here was something genuinely unique. Whilst the film was still showing at cinemas in the U.S, DVD sales reached over 1 million units prompting Focus Features Head of Distribution Jack Foley to proclaim: ‘the phenomenon of <i>Lost In Translation</i> succeeding in both mediums is unique and indicative of the incredible support for this special film’. Zach Braff did the same thing a year later with <i>Garden State</i> making ten times its budget at the box office but it wasn’t just American’s reaping the benefits of Hollywood’s stale ideas. French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, after his disappointing trip to Hollywood filming the terrible <i>Alien: Resurrection</i>, returned to his native land and independently produced <i>Amelie</i>, a delightful comedy that became one of the most successful French-language films in U.S box office history making over $33 million, whilst also making £4.3 million in the U.K. Yet <i>Amelie</i>’s fantastic journey would continue to prosper on DVD as the film was one of the most sort-after during the year, opening many people’s eyes to their first experience of French cinema. Likewise, after Hollywood remade <i>The Ring</i> with Naomi Watts in 2002, many avid film fans went in search of the original Japanese version on DVD, opening themselves up to the delights of Japanese and east Asian cinema.<center><img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog_garden_state0111.jpg"></center> Perhaps I’m wrong. We’re actually a generation that has been in hibernation for twenty years, missing every single movie made since 1980.The cold, calculated mystery of Hannibal Lector passed us by in 1991 with Jonathan Demme’s brilliant <i>Silence Of The Lambs</i>. Hollywood neglecting to realise why the film was so terrifying in its depiction of a monster whose plastic cage separated us and Clarice Starling from his ambiguous madness channelled through controlled, clinical aggression. Of course we missed the beat, and now we’re privy to the answers that seem to negate the purpose in the forthcoming <i>Young Hannibal: Behind The Mask</i>, set for release in 2006.We’ve the pleasure of such original concepts as the sequel which is basically a form of cinema that continues the story of the previous film (oh of course, we all already know that), so what has Hollywood got in store for us in 2006? Well, we can look forward to the vaguely titled <i>I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer</i>, <i>Scary Movie 4</i>, <i>Rambo 4</i>, <i>X-Men 3</i>, <i>Hollow Man 2</i>, and <i>Final Destination 3</i> to name but a few. We also have the esteemed pleasure to watch <i>Omen 666</i> on its release date of June 6th, 2006 – the film being a remake of the original Richard Donner directed 1976 version. At least the Hollywood idea machine is stretching itself to thoughtful release dates, it’s just it stinks of yet another gimmick.We can only hope the talents of comic Steve Martin come good in the remake of <i>The Pink Panther</i> after his wasted time on <i>Cheaper By The Dozen 2</i>. Even greats like him seem to have forgotten the creative pen – his superb writing for his own starring vehicles in 1991’s <i>L.A Story</i> and 1999’s <i>Bowfinger</i> are now just distant memories. Sylvester Stallone is putting some effort in – after the next Rambo sequel we can eagerly anticipate <i>Rocky Balboa</i>, another film to his Rocky franchise. There’s the tasty delights of <i>Black Christmas</i>, <i>When A Stranger Calls</i>, <i>Return To Sleepaway Camp</i>, <i>Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning</i>, <i>The Evil Dead</i>, and <i>The Hills Have Eyes</i> being given the 2006 make-over treatment. Also being remade are the classics <i>The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari</i>, <i>The Fly</i>, and <i>The Wicker Man</i>.You can ask the question why director Bryan Singer jumped ship from the X-Men franchise to <i>Superman Returns</i> but it doesn’t really matter since anything resembling the quality and the originality of his smash hit <i>The Usual Suspects</i> isn’t anywhere on the horizon. It’s little wonder what John Woo will do with his remake of <i>Masters Of The Universe</i>, you just have to look at <i>Mission: Impossible 2</i> or <i>Face Off</i> to get the general idea. And then you have to ask what the worth is in remaking the much heralded classic <i>The Wild Bunch</i> for a new audience. Are we missing the point of what cinema is about, or has the industry simply gone along with the times, changing like the cultures that have embraced it?<center><img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog_sequel_art_2.jpg"></center> At the end of the day is it a bad thing since we clearly like our fit of sequels and remakes – I certainly can’t deny I enjoyed Tim Burton’s version of <i>Charlie And The Chocolate Factory</i>, and <i>Scary Movie 3</i> was a great improvement over the terrible first sequel. Yet the ‘awe’ factor is diminished with this constant recycling of ideas. Peter Jackson had the best of intentions with his <i>King Kong</i> remake but the predictable Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) has little effect on audiences compared to what they felt when they first saw Kong in 1933. Personally, animatronics, stop-motion, models and costume work are so much more appealing than watching what amount to computer games being played for us by the director. In many respects, the lack of CGI in James Cameron’s <i>The Terminator</i> from 1984, is one of the reasons it’s a better film than its sequel. Like the films themselves, such CGI is just recycled computer code patched into whatever generic narrative and clichéd plot some Hollywood big-shot comes up with. Hollywood won’t disappear like the signal in <i>Independence Day</i> but like Jeff Goldblum says in the film, it’s reducing itself every time it recycles and in doing so big studio product is becoming less and less attractive.<hr>Artwork: 'The Terminator Versus Freddy Krueger' and 'Alien Versus Predator' created by Craig Mellor.

Bad News Bears Review

Bad News Bears Review

Billy Bob Thornton takes on Walter Matthau's role in Richard Linklater's 'Bad News Bears' remake. Daniel Stephens takes a look at the region 1 release.

DVD Times Favourite... Science-Fiction DVDs

DVD Times Favourite... Science-Fiction DVDs

Just in time for Christmas, DVD Times has some last minute gift ideas as we take a look at our favourite science-fiction on DVD. What, no Star Wars, E.T, Alien or Madmen of Mandaras! Alright then, what are your favourite films and TV programmes from the genre?

The League Of Gentlemen: Christmas Special Review

The League Of Gentlemen: Christmas Special Review

Christmas is almost upon us but there's still chance to buy-in those last minute gifts. Why not take a trip into the macabre world of The League Of Gentlemen - since its Christmas there's no better place to start than with this, arguably the best thing the comedy troupe have ever done.

Kicking and Screaming Review

Kicking and Screaming Review

Daniel Stephens reviews Will Ferrell's latest film to hit DVD in which the comic actor takes to the football pitch to coach his father's rival team.

Fever Pitch (2005) Review

Fever Pitch (2005) Review

Daniel Stephens gets the unfortunate task of checking out the Farrelly's latest film - <i>Fever Pitch</i>. This romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon has about as much life as Roy Munson's prosthetic hand.

Run down the aisle, trip and break your neck: The Curse of Kids in our Cinemas

Run down the aisle, trip and break your neck: The Curse of Kids in our Cinemas

Run down the aisle and back up again. Throw popcorn at your friend. Shout with a screeching unbroken voice and exit for half an hour, returning for the ‘best bit’: that’s our beloved children’s trip to the movie theatre, and I can’t stand it.<center><img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog01_pic01.jpg"></center> <img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog01_pic02.jpg" width="125"align=right> The council of Dubbo, Australia have got it right but they should have seen it coming, banning two children aged 11 and 12 from cinemas after they snuck into a theatre armed with a ‘spud gun’. They proceeded to shoot a potato through the screen causing upwards of $50, 000 in damages. A lack of cinema etiquette or a minority of immature juveniles? Does it matter, the point is still as plain to see as the object thrown at Heath Ledger during last nights screening of <i>The Brothers Grimm</i> - prognosis: unsure, but larger than a piece a popcorn. Children don’t have the attention span or the social maturity to sit quietly for two hours therefore the inevitable happens. I’ve seen who can run down the stairs, fall and hurt themselves the most; I’ve seen popcorn being thrown at the bald guy, and heard the never-ending chitter-chatter ‘why is this happening, who is he, and what is a parasitic copycat candy-making cad?’ <img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog01_pic03.jpg" width="125"align=left> Of course the curse has always been there but it wasn’t helped by the useless money-making scheme that introduced the 12A rating to our cinemas. So <i>Spiderman 2</i> was excluding a large amount of its target audience by failing to meet PG guidelines – good, at least I could watch a fantasy film that sought the (mature)inner-child within me in an atmosphere lacking those dastardly pre-teens! But no, in order to bring in more punters not just for the film but for the popcorn throwing contest, we had to endure 12A.Why not ban children from any PG and 12A film after 7pm? They should be doing their homework and drinking warm milk by that time anyway. In Philadelphia, a bill was proposed to prevent children under six entering a cinema with their parents after 7pm, which would, if breached, lead to a $50 fine. Why not force any minor’s to sit in the front rows? They shouldn’t be allowed to go to the back in any case since the stuff they’ll see there will no doubt breach the terms and conditions of even a R18 rated film. Yes little girl you’re gawking at a couple in the latter stages of what adults call: foreplay. <img src="http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/protectedimage.php?image=DanielStephens/blog01_pic04.jpg" width="200"align=right> It’s a problem that extends further than the cinema though. You’re trying to have a quiet romantic meal and you suddenly sense a young child just staring at you for no apparent reason, then of course a three-year old starts crying and won’t stop. However, if children were taught proper cinema etiquette from a young age, even restaurant troubles could be averted. They should teach it in schools – cinema is an important part of our culture, stop fucking ruining it.Artwork by: Craig Mellor Thanks to: J Clive Matthews, Athena D. Merritt, Georgie Keene.

The Longest Yard (2005) Review

The Longest Yard (2005) Review

Adam Sandler takes to the football field in the 2005 remake of <i>The Longest Yard</i>. Daniel Stephens takes a look at the region 1 DVD.

My Bloody Valentine Review

My Bloody Valentine Review

Daniel Stephens daringly returns to Valentine’s Bluff on the night Harry Warden starts hacking up horny teenagers in George Mihalka’s 1981 slasher flick <b>My Bloody Valentine</b>.

Silver Bullet Review

Silver Bullet Review

Director Daniel Attias brings Stephen King's novella <i>Cycle Of The Werewolf</i> to the screen in <b>Silver Bullet</b>. Daniel Stephens reviews the region 2 DVD.

April Fool's Day Review

April Fool's Day Review

An underrated slasher film, <i>April Fool's Day</i> is an inventive take on the conventions of the well-worn genre from director Fred Walton. Daniel Stephens reviews the region 1 DVD.

Tommy Boy (Holy Schnike Edition) Review

Tommy Boy (Holy Schnike Edition) Review

Daniel Stephens reviews the new special edition release of Chris Farley's best film <b>Tommy Boy</b> on region 1 DVD.

F/X 2 Review

F/X 2 Review

Bryan Brown has to use his movie-magic tricks again to evade those that want to kill him in this enjoyable action-sequel. Daniel Stephens takes a look at the region 2 MGM release.

F/X Murder By Illusion Review

F/X Murder By Illusion Review

Bryan Brown has to use his movie-magic tricks to evade those that want to kill him in this enjoyable 80s action-comedy. Daniel Stephens takes a look at the region 2 MGM release.

The Ring Two Review

The Ring Two Review

Samara's back in Hideo Nakata's U.S remake of <i>Ring 2</i> which sadly loses all the appealing aspects that made the first American remake so rewarding. Daniel Stephens reviews the region 2 DVD.

Wes Craven's Cursed Review

Wes Craven's Cursed Review

The eagerly awaited re-teaming of director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson hasn't produced what fans were so craving. Their well-publicised partnership now seems more a scam than a Scream, and <b>Cursed</b> is much more 'werewolf in Paris' than 'London'. Daniel Stephens takes a look at the region 2 DVD.

*batteries not included Review

*batteries not included Review

Clearly inspired by <b>E.T</b>, this enjoyable fantasy about little alien spacecraft that come to earth to help some people save their apartment block, is sweet and good-natured, with plenty of sugar on top. Daniel Stephens reviews the budget region 2 release.

Into The Night Review

Into The Night Review

John Landis' brilliant <b>Into The Night</b> starring Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Pfeiffer is one of the director's best films, exploring the inner-workings of modern day, pop-culture identity. Daniel Stephens reviews the region 1 edition.

I Wanna Hold Your Hand Review

I Wanna Hold Your Hand Review

Robert Zemeckis' directorial debut finally hits DVD - this little gem goes back to 1964 and The Beatles' appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, as a group of friends head to New York to meet their idols.