Entertainment (2015)

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When Entertainment premiered at 2015’s Sundance Film Festival, the response it garnered was somewhat predictable.  Numerous walkouts peppered its first showing, indicative of its uncomfortable confrontation.  Certainly a test of patience, it’s a work that demands significant effort on the part of the audience.  However, this is a recurring feature of the creatives involved: director and writer Rick Alverson, star and writer Gregg Turkington and writer Tim Heidecker.  It’s easy to take against their approach, labelling it as pretentious and lazy.  The sad truth is, that would be all too often accurate of others.  …   [continue reading]

Blade Runner 2049 [TRAILER REACTIONS]

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I am absolutely the right person at Secret Cave to write this.  That’s something I believe both Bens would yield to, well aware of my lifelong love for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.  It’s been my favourite film since I was around sixteen years old.  Even before that it was ever-present in my upbringing.  A favourite of both my Dad and Brother, I knew its opening crawl well from a young age.  The very idea of a sequel to that masterpiece was frightening, but it’s now something I can’t deny or avoid.  …   [continue reading]

Rogue One Review: A Shallow “fix” for A New Hope

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***This article will contain spoilers for Rogue One***

“That was a really good film. The ending was great!”

As the bloke two rows in front finished the longest spiel of his life and got up to leave, I knew I was fucked.

Because I was always going to write this Rogue One review.

And I thought it was a bit shit.

It wasn’t irredeemable – it had some pretty shots, some almost believable CGI people, and even made me laugh once or twice. However, it failed at so many hurdles that, come the intermission (Louth cinema is old and cute, with a halfway break for ice cream), I knew my mind was made up.…   [continue reading]

Live-Tweeting Reactions to ‘Alien’ (1979)

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After several not-so friendly pokes in the ribs from Lee, I’ve caved and watched Alien.

I have no idea how I evaded it for so long, and it’s something I’m pretty ashamed about. However, I jumped at the chance to watch it as a way to write something a bit different for Secret Cave.

Scroll past my proper-writer analysis below to read the condensed, live-tweet version.

Shamefully late Alien first impressions

Unlike audiences at the time, or even the majority of normal people on Earth today, I’d been exposed to countless Alien imitators, but never the genuine article.…   [continue reading]

Alien

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Ridley Scott’s Alien is one of the most obvious science fiction classics ever committed to film.  Every single aspect of this masterpiece is tightly woven and meticulously constructed.  It’s probably that, along with its great tale, keeping it so richly alive over the years since its release.  Now drowning in accolade, it seems the critics most definitely do get things right from time to time.  It’s still the best film in the series that followed it too, itself a notable collection of flicks (even if it does devolve across its course).  …   [continue reading]

Donnie Darko

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Having recently enjoyed its 15th Anniversary, Donnie Darko is more than a good candidate for a Secret Cave write-up.  While it’s gotten a bit of a bad rep lately as a teen-angst movie with dark mystery enough to entice in the Emo crowd, what lies within is actually an intricate sci-fi jaunt of rich detail.  Despite its generally positive reviews and cult following, it’s still an extremely underrated movie – since most go along with its mystery without ever expecting to truly fathom its machinations.  The ending of Donnie Darko, for example, is not open to interpretation as many often claim.  …   [continue reading]

The Grim Soviet Magic of Vinni Pukh (Russian Winnie the Pooh)

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Note: when talking about the American version, I’m referring to the 1966 Disney film. When talking about the Russian Winnie the Pooh, I mean the 1977 adaptation of Milne’s book by Soyuzmultfilm. Both animations cover the same stories, chapters one and two of the book (the Russian version also covers chapter three).

Fyodor Khitruk — the director of Vinni Pukh — revered A.A. Milne’s original work. He compared it to the literature of Tolstoy, and said it’s always hard to approach something so well done and change it so it will resonate as well with a Russian audience as it did with an American one.…   [continue reading]

Candy Floss

While it’s true that the main thrust of my spotlights has been to help expose underrated material, there’s no denying that everything I’ve written about (so far) lies firmly in general public knowledge.  Along with the much-loved classics I like to unearth, I’ve also wanted to bring brand new and fresh productions to the fore.  It’s important for someone with a love of art and expression to keep at least one finger on the pulse, even while juggling the seemingly infinite essentials that legacy recommends.  The ever-beating pulse that keeps us steeped in up-to-date media deserves as much attention here, even if it’s tougher to draw blood from it in today’s climate.…   [continue reading]

The Wild Blue Yonder

Werner Herzog will always be remembered as one of Germany’s greatest directors, and creative forces in general.  A man with numerous classics to his name (such as Fitzcarraldo, Nosferatu the Vampyre or his impressive array of non-fiction documentaries), it’s easy to overlook some of his less lauded works.  Indeed, sometimes this is a fair reaction to pockets of such an immense body of material.  In the case of The Wild Blue Yonder however, we have a film truly deserving of brighter spotlight.

The concept is a captivating one from its inception, if at first – deliberately – alienating.  Beginning with an intense introduction from Brad Dourif in one of his strangest, and most tragically unsung, roles, we slip ethereally into his story of alien colonisation.  …   [continue reading]

Pi

Pi is a film that completely sums up a certain aesthetic to me.  Having a brother seven years my senior, I was introduced to a lot of popular culture at a young age that I otherwise might not have come into contact with.  A prime example of that, Pi is fully representative to me of the hazy University bedroom i’d visit at summer, and the beckoning walls of intriguing DVDs and CDs that enthralled me with each jaunt.  At that age I really believed the film’s strained mathematics, while utterly missing the philosophical depth within.  As I’ve gotten older, that dichotomy has switched – something I consider further proof of the movie’s brilliance.…   [continue reading]