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  1. 15 years - ultra mega necro bump! I've just found out that Byker Grove ended with a completely bonkers final episode. I probably only ever watched the first 2-3 series, but never realised it had run on for so long, let alone finished with such an impressively deranged meta finale. I think maybe the writers had watched The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse. [Yes, I've read the Guardian's article on the best series finales - warning, spoilers!]
  2. I used to eat these as a kid on holiday in France. Going to stock up then cry myself to sleep in a mess of crumbs due to overwhelming nostalgia.
  3. I have to challenge you with another Bar-Kays monster:
  4. "You get a Vanguard class nuclear sub patrolling those waters and you are seriously patrolling those waters."
  5. If I remember correctly, there was some pretty heavy 'crucifixion' symbolism with Neo's death pose, obviously reinforced by the whole 'sacrifice himself for humanity' story telling. So he died like Jesus, but then Jesus was resurrected and...
  6. We watch Ghosts with our 11 year old. It has plenty of humour for kids and adults, you can spin off a conversation about history, the paranormal, death and relationships, and it has buckets of charm. I found the current series (3) a bit of a disappointment, but the first two are really good.
  7. I'm waiting for the inevitable fan-made edit that updates the Moon special effects with:
  8. Andromeda Strain is both a great book and a great film. They have this steady, scientific, procedural pace that might bore some people, but is wonderfully used to build tension and intrigue without resorting to mindless action. It's something you hardly see anymore, sadly. The film edges it for me purely because of the wonderful 1970s sci fi aesthetic.
  9. I hadn't heard of the original, but the subject matter is perfect for RATM, who wrap it up in some typically powerful funky scuziness. Edit: changed video to a complete version of the song.
  10. Bill Paxton Cinematic Universe, innit.
  11. Now all we need is an Atari ST Mini and we can relive the fractious computer wars of the 80s/90s.
  12. In hindsight, Nicholson's acting in The Shining is one of his 'Jack the lad' routines that pepper his later films (albeit one of his best and most suited), but up till that point his career was mostly filled with serious, sober performances so it was a relatively new experience for audiences at the time to watch him go off the rails (bar One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest). If you watch some off his earlier films like Chinatown, Five Easy Pieces or The Last Detail, it's a little disconcerting at first because you're constantly waiting for the fireworks to go off, or those eyebrows to shoot up and that grin to crack open. But they don't and instead you end up with some tough but understated acting brilliance.
  13. The Children's Film Foundation was brilliant - I seem to remember them showing on a Friday, so coming home from school to watch one was a great start to the weekend.
  14. Cape Fear (1991) This has recently been added to Netflix and even though I've seen it a few times, I popped it on again last night. I know a lot of people view this as lesser Scorsese - one of his 'films for the studio' that grants him license to do a passion project - but I think it's one of my favourites of his and one of my favourite De Niro performances. I've never really taken to his mob films: even though I appreciate the cinematic craft, I find it hard to love them. I just don't really like gangster films on the whole. But Cape Fear is a stylised, mega-tight two-hour fun thriller (if that's not an oxymoron), with great performances from everyone that's just on the right side of OTT, and it's one of those films that looks amazing without drawing too much attention to itself. Every now and then you'll notice the beautifully textured film grain or the use of colour/lighting or deep focus, complete with those more noticeable trademark Scorsese flourishes like speedy push-ins and flash cuts. And all those slightly OTT elements stack up to create this hyper-real atmosphere that's just insanely watchable. Having said all that, it was one the first 18 films I saw at the cinema while underage, so I have fond memories of the film linked to that night almost 30 years ago that may partly cloud my judgement. And of course, it's also got one of the greatest, most terrifying orchestral themes in all of cinema courtesy of Bernard Hermann and Elmer Bernstein:
  15. You may be on to something there...
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