Indiana Jones 5: Lessons from the Crystal Skull

Earlier this week, Deadline reported that Steven Spielberg wants to direct Disney’s reboot of Indiana Jones, with Parks and Recreation and Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt donning the legendary fedora. There’s no confirmation, but another Indy film is pretty much guaranteed. In December, Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted that the Mouse House intended to revisit the franchise at some point.

Bert Macklin and the Raiders of the Lost Park

With this news, I decided to go back and re-watch the last Indy instalment, the much-derided Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Continue reading

Thoughts on Her (2013) and Consciousness

For me, Her is the best film of 2013. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days. It was an engrossing, original piece of cinema that delivered an ingenious concept in an emotionally authentic way. It’s the very best kind of sci-fi—one where the premise serves the growth of the characters. Spike Jonze has rightly been honored by the WGA for the script, and by rights he should be getting an Oscar on March 2.

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Creatives at the Cinema: Walter Mitty, Llewyn Davis and Mr. Banks (Review/Essay)

During the farewell fortnight of 2013, I watched three films released during or immediately before the holiday season: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (dir: Ben Stiller), Inside Llewyn Davis (dirs: Joel and Ethan Coen) and Saving Mr Banks (dir: John Lee Hancock). In that order (which, incidentally, is also the ascending order of how highly I rate them). They’re distinct movies that take place in varied settings, but what unites them is that each tells a story about creative people and (perhaps more obviously with the latter two than Walter Mitty) sheds light on some aspect of creativity and living the life of one who creates. I’ll review each film in turn and talk a little about what each has to say about creativity. Mild to moderate spoilers present.

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Star Wars Saga: What’s The Best Viewing Order for First-Timers?

The circle is now complete. Well, in truth it has been for eight years, after 2005’s Revenge of the Sith provided the final remaining chapter to the six-part Star Wars saga. Of course, Disney’s announcement last autumn of its Lucasfilm purchase and its plans for new Star Wars films means that circle is about to get a whole lot bigger (make that two circles = ∞, as the Mouse House plans to make an apparently endless number of annual films). How the Arndt-penned, Abrams-helmed Episode VII will fit in remains to be seen, but it will undoubtedly introduce Star Wars to a new generation of moviegoers. Legions of young new fans—and older hermits who’ve inexplicably not seen these ubiquitous films—will approach the original six-parter (ideally before seeing the sequels) with fresh eyes. So the question becomes: in which order should Star Wars Episodes 1-6 be watched?

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