Epic win!

The Vikings

Stuff.tv’s latest big movie feature is the 50 best epic movies ever – a list so big, we had to split it over two weeks. I’m not going to list the bits I contributed – there are too many of them this time around – but I’m particularly chuffed that I managed to slip The Vikings in there, since it’s one of my mum’s favourites. And it has Kirk Douglas scaling a castle door by chucking axes at it and climing up them.

Vroom! 25 best racing movies

25 best racing movies

This week’s Stuff.tv movie list, which I drew up and contributed to, is all about racing movies – well, it is Le Mans this weekend, after all. Sadly I didn’t get to write about the 1971 Le Mans film for the feature, but that pic of Steve McQueen is too cool to not use.

So, this week’s movie-related verbiage includes…

  • Cars (2006)
  • Speed Racer (2008)
  • Speedway (1929)
  • Senna (2010)

Gentlemen, start your engines!

Vroom! 25 best racing movies

15 best prequel movies

Best prequels

Tying in with the release of Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s not-quite-a-prequel to Alien, this week’s Stuff.tv feature trawls through the much-maligned prequel genre in a bid to find the best examples. I wrote the whole thing this week, so you know who to blame.

Prequels are rather tricky to get right – the fact that the audience knows how the story will pan out can kill the dramatic tension, and if you try and add a surprise twist, more often than not it’ll end up retroactively ruining the original film.

And then there’s the Clone Wars Effect. Fans pick up on throwaway lines from films – like Obi-Wan Kenobi’s reference to the Clone Wars in the original Star Wars – and their imaginations run wild.

If the film-maker tries to realise those situations on film, they can never live up to the weight of expectation placed on them by the fans – no movie can be as good as the Clone Wars epic that a Star Wars fan has been playing and replaying in their head over and over again for 20-odd years. And on top of that, the backstory conjured up by those allusive references may not actually play out that well on screen, failing to adhere to the three-act-structure and established character beats as it does.

Still, some prequels manage to come up trumps – telling their own compelling story while meshing with the earlier/later film. Have a look at the feature and let me know what you think.

15 best prequel movies

Baby Steps in the East End Film Festival 2012

Baby Steps

I’m pleased to announce that my zombie short film, Baby Steps, will be appearing in the East End Film Festival 2012 as part of the Paranormal Activities strand. It’s showing at the Rio Cinema on July 7th (map below), with the programme kicking off at 23:30.

Tickets are priced £8.50 and can be bought here.