Friday, 31 July 2015

Reviews of my book on The Blair Witch Project

Last year I completed my first book/monograph on The Blair Witch Project. It is published by Auteur as part of their Devil's Advocates series on classic horror films. I have just started to notice some reviews of the book popping up online and thought I would share them here.

So far, the response has been very reassuring. I hope that you will consider buying a copy here and reading the book for yourselves!

Exquisite Terror Review
"A pleasurable read, the author’s style is clean and unfussy and, while his love for the film abounds, he’s careful to ensure arguments and assertions are well balanced throughout. This is not only another welcome instalment of the Devil’s Advocate series, but a fascinating insight into how a deceptively simple horror film with a minuscule budget and cast of unknowns, made such an overwhelming impact on the landscape of cinematic terror. Highly recommended."

Horror Channel Review
"The whole book is a very authoritative read and one that should be done in one setting just after re-watching the movie. Another “must buy” from the Devil’s Advocate range."

FrightFest Review
"From explaining it origins, through to its reception, the book concisely articulates the history and legacy of this movie into a neat format, which provides deserved reading for either people who have seen the film before, or will provide some fascinating insights to make Blair Witch virgins want to watch it."

Psychobabble Review

Friday, 17 July 2015

The Revenant Teaser Trailer Reveals Leo Still Not Winning That Oscar

Goddamit I just know that The Revenant isn't going to get Leonardo DiCaprio his long overdue Oscar. Doesn't matter how bloody epic the film looks, somebody in some plain old, possibly very boring biopic is going to come along and snatch it away from him.

To be fair, judging from this teaser, Leo's going to be doing a lot of screaming his lungs out and running and fighting for his life, but this doesn't even look like it's his film.

Firstly he's joined by Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Domnhall Gleeson so this could be just as much their time to shine as it is little old Leo's.

More importantly, from the look of this footage, this is another chance to see what director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki can come up with together after the wonderfully shot Birdman. You just know we're going to be immersed right in the middle of those stunningly harsh landscapes, as well as the bloodshed and chaos of all that fighting. If anyone is getting Oscars, it will be one of those two.

Even if it doesn't bag Leo Best Actor (and I pray that I'm wrong by the way), it's my most anticipated film of 2016, as I wrote here for The Daily Heckle. I think it looks absolutely brilliant, even if Leo does miss out AGAIN on taking home a golden baldie.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


I've been nominated for a Liebster Award by Heather at That Film Girl. Thank you very much to Heather and go check out That Film Girl if you are not already familiar with the site.

For the uninitiated, the Liebster award is bestowed upon bloggers by their fellow bloggers. When you are nominated, there are a few simple rules to follow in order to accept your award:

1. Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
2. Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the coveted award.
3. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
4. Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Give the nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post their nomination.

It's a great way to meet new bloggers and expand horizons within the blogosphere.

I've heard a rumour that I am literally the last blogger on the planet to receive this award, but I'm still going to nominate the following to have a go at it, in case they wish to. The catch is, I'm not going to tell them, so hopefully one day one of them may stumble across this post and if they haven't already had this award 17 times already, they might keep passing it along!

My nominees are:

1. And So It Begins
2. Cinematic Corner
3. Movies and songs 365
4. Time Well Spent

Here are the questions I have to answer from Heather:

1. What movie is responsible for making you a film buff?
Fight Club. I loved films before, but this fused my love of movies with my emerging interests in politics and sociology.
2. What's your favourite current TV show? 
Probably The Walking Dead. I feel like it's been getting better and better recently.
3. What's your favourite TV show that has ended? 
Breaking Bad. 
4. The last (new) good movie you saw? 
Pixar's Inside Out (for a second time). Absolutely love it. 
5. If you could live in any fictional land/country/universe, where would you pick? 
Hobbiton. Seems like they have everything sorted there.
6. Is there any actor/actress/directors that you'll see their movies, no matter what? 
David Fincher. He used to be my favourite director, but he's gotten far less interesting in recent years. I hope he gets back to making films like Seven, Fight Club and Panic Room.
7. What's your favourite animated film? 
Probably Toy Story or Inside Out. I was never a big Disney fan, but Pixar's films are brilliant.
8. Where's your favourite place to watch movies/TV? 
The Cannes Film Festival. Big screens, great audio and with a lot of people who all love film!
9. What's your favourite thing to snack on during a movie? 
Nothing. I wish no one ate at the movies. I do love Haribo cola bottles though.
10. How many movies do you own? 
Shitloads but I try not to buy them anymore, as I very rarely get a chance to re-watch anything anymore.
11. How and why did you become a blogger? 
I started this blog because I just realised that no one wants to talk about movies enough with me. Having a blog meant I could write about movies as much as I wanted and get it all off my chest. I also want to turn writing about movies into a career and am still desperately clinging to that dream!

Now for 11 random facts about me:

1. I was in a plane crash on the Thai island of Ko Samui in 2009.
2. I was featured on an episode of BBC3 TV show Freaky Eaters for being 'addicted to meat'.
3. I have written a book on The Blair Witch Project which you can buy here.
4. I'm about 6 months away from finishing my PhD in Film Studies.
5. I teach Film and Media for a living.
6. I have a dog called Buddy, who is my best buddy in the world.
7. I am in love with Costa Rica, after spending my honeymoon there, and would love to live there one day.
8. I've been lucky enough to go to the Cannes Film Festival twice for Tastic Film
9. I lived in Australia for 7 years in the 90s.
10. I used to play ice hockey when I was a kid.
11. I'm trying to run 40 half marathons before I'm 40. I'll have done 14 by the end of this year, so I'll have 26 more to do in 6 years.

Right enough about me. If the blogs nominated above manage to see their nomination, then here are the 11 questions I'd really like to see them answer:

1. If you could work on a film set, what would be your ideal role?
2. What is the best ending to a film ever?
3. If you could have one actor or actresses' career, whose would it be?
4. If you could be any film character, who would it be?
5. What is the ideal length for a film to be?
6. Are there particular things in films that make you cry?
7. Who is your favourite director?
8. What is your favourite film not in the English language?
9. What is your favourite film blog?
10. If there was one film you could destroy forevermore, what would it be?
11. Can a film change your life?

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Red Army Trailer Quote

This is too cool for words. I was just checking out the trailer for one on my favourite films of Cannes 2014, when my jaw dropped to discover that I had been quoted in the trailer.

I wish I could say that it was because of some of my dazzling wordplay, but it's actually because I managed to put two nice words together about the film.

My review of the ice hockey documentary Red Army is at Tastic Film here. I absolutely loved this film and it is a great honour to be mentioned in the trailer.

Here is the trailer in full:

It is not just a film about ice hockey either. It's a film about Russia, America, capitalism, communism, and the past, the present and the future of Russia. But most of all, it does have some of the most beautiful ice hockey playing you will ever see. Find it and watch it!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Suicide Squad - Comic-Con First Look Trailer

Can somebody make sure that Suicide Squad gets rated 18 please?

I haven't got anything against kids, but I'd just like to make sure the bad guys are reeeeally bad in this. No redemption. No corny Will Smith jokes. More Jared Leto hurting people really badly please.

He's got a tough job ahead, trying to get us all to forget about Heath Ledger as the Joker. If anyone can do it, I have faith that Leto might be our guy.

This trailer shows that Batman gets mixed up in the affairs of the Suicide Squad, which is a good sign, both for DC's world building and for the action stakes.

Most of all, I worry that Will Smith might be the key to wrecking this. The character looks cool, but I want to see less world saving, and more villains doing what they do best.

Has anyone who has read the comics got any inside information for me on this? Do all the bad guys turn good? I bloody hope not.