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Showing posts from September, 2012

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #373: WALL-E

I have seen plenty of “end-of-the-world” movies featuring various scenarios of destruction, but Pixar’s “WALL-E” (2008) is one of the few that truly scared me into thinking this could happen. The computer animated film features a small robot left to clean up the mess left by humanity centuries after they abandoned Earth on a spaceship that serves the same purpose as Noah’s ark. Only it was not a flood of water that wrecked the planet, but a mountain of trash that humanity mass-produced since the beginning of the Industrial Revolutions. Zombies don’t exist, aliens have yet to invade us, Global Warming may or may not boil us in the near future, but a massive pile of trash burying the planet? That’s happening right now.
Directed by Andrew Stanton, “WALL-E” was part of the great summer movie season of 2008, which featured the return of Indiana Jones, the Academy-Award winning performance of Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight,” and the rebirth of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. Younger audienc…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #374: Hot Fuzz

It seems to me that some of the best, or at least the most enthusiastic, filmmakers are film buffs themselves. Quentin Tarantino could tell you who did the lighting on every Western ever made and Martin Scorsese knows film preservation like Carl Sagan knows about outer space. British writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright know their zombie movies, hence the making of “Shaun of the Dead” in 2004. Since they also methodically watched action movie ever made, they teamed up again in 2007 for “Hot Fuzz,” which referenced everything from “Point Break” to “Bad Boys II.”
I saw this movie with the perfect crowd for a movie made by action movie fans: other movie fans. It was part of a double feature organized by the film club at the University of Sherbrooke, and of course the other film was “Shaun of the Dead.” I am pretty sure somebody cheered when Nick Frost opens a door to reveal a room full of DVDs. Lets face it, if you’re not a movie nerd, it doesn’t seems like a very good idea to spend your h…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - # 375: Four Weddings and a Funeral

A wedding is a situation ripe for comedy, something Richard Curtis obviously knew when he wrote “Four Weddings and a Funeral” which was directed by Mike Newell in 1994. It began a frequent collaboration between Curtis and the movie’s protagonist, Hugh Grant, who became a star in North America thanks to the movie’s success. Nowadays Grant’s character seems all too familiar as he has played similar bumbling romantics in many other comedies in the decade following the movie, but the first time around you can’t deny he is a perfect fit for Curtis’ writing.
The first time I watched this movie was during family movie night with my mom, my brother and I. Of course my mom picked that title since she was a fan of Grant. I was sold on my love of Rowan Atkinson (BlackAdder) who plays a priest who is clearly not ready for the job. I had never been to a wedding yet, so this was a bit like watching a movie set in Cuba: you’ve never been there, but you might someday. As it turns out, I did go there i…