Category Archives: Film
There has to be a spot on the colour wheel for psychopath blue. You know the shade. The limpid aquamarine eyes that freeze your blood the second you see them. “Hello,” they say. “You look like dinner.” The moment we meet Johnny Depp in Black Mass, playing gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, those ice blue eyes send chills down the spine. I’m pretty sure you can get those contacts online: Murderer #1313. You instantly know this guy’s a killer and he’s barely said two words.
Born: July 19, 1976 in Hammersmith, London, England, UK
“Worst thing about my profession? The press, obviously. Don’t write that, eh?”
Did You Know?
I have nine grandchildren that for the most part have accepted the fact that I’m not your average granny, but I still surprise and shock them. My nineteen year old grandson, Josh, is still wrapping his mind around the fact that there are sexual scenes in my books. This weekend, my daughter’s family and I headed over to the movie complex to watch the much awaited M. Night Shyamalan’s newest film, The Visit. Was the film scary? Read the rest of this entry
Being a teenager is so freaking crazy. Your body’s unrecognizable, your hormones go wild and you’ve got these outsize adult feelings coursing through a brain that feels like it’s been hotwired, feelings adults hardly know what to do with and they’ve got, what’s the word? Oh yeah, experience. Andrew Cividino’s Sleeping Giant (2015) captures the rush and confusion of adolescence perfectly. Set in a glorious Lake Superior summer, it follows the tumultuous relationship of three young teen boys frittering away not just the baking hot days but also their innocence. Boys being boys, that innocence is dubious at best, but when a girl comes between them, tense friendships unravel fast.
Baubles and energy. That’s what our modern lives revolve around. Our beautiful distractions and the juice that makes them go. Technology has revolutionized our lives a thousand times over in the past few centuries. It’s also given humanity a sense of indomitability, that this world of ours is a machine to be manipulated to our brilliant ends. Thing is, the world is big, and yet surprisingly fragile. We’re just inches away from pushing this planet irrevocably over an existential cliff. Of course, the planet itself won’t be gone. Just most of the things we recognize living on it. Us and the polar bears. All the cars and clothes and smart phones won’t make a whit of difference when there isn’t enough arable land to grow food for everybody. Think the Dark Ages with twisters and typhoons thrown in for good measure.
But that’s a future that hasn’t happened yet. This Changes Everything (2015) marks our momentous present, circuiting the globe to capture the intense environmental fights unfolding in places from Canada and the U.S. to Greece, India and China. Naomi Klein narrates the film based on her book and directed by her partner Avi Lewis. Klein has a knack for hot button issues, from burgeoning corporate advertising (No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies) to ethically appalling corporate exploitation (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism). She’d probably dislike the comment, but her brand is anti-globalization. Fortunately she brings a tone of wry observation along for what really is the most stridently urgent issue of our time. She herself remarks in the film’s opening that she’s always hated films about climate change. It’s a disarming start, but it calls quick attention to our own stifling inaction. It’s not that it’s too hard to care. The problem is just so numbingly big.
Space wants to kill you. Very badly. All those sci-fi movies with the aliens and the monsters and the demons from other dimensions, they’re fine, hell, some of them are pretty damn awesome. But they’re kind of overkill. When you come right down to it, plain old space will get the job done without any outside help. Another planet can end you in seconds with its own unbreathable air. Why complicate things with creatures when the natural environment is hostile enough? Sir Ridley Scott gets this entirely. While he’s made one of the best science fiction monster movies of all time, 1979’s gut-wrenching Alien, Scott thankfully sees no need to repeat himself. This time. (I’m looking at you, Prometheus (2012).) With Matt Damon starring as stranded astronaut Mark Watney, The Martian (2015) is an epic survival story of man against nature, however far away and unnatural.
Born: May 4, 1929 in Ixelles, Belgium
Died: January 20, 1993 in Tolochenaz, Switzerland
“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have another hand: the first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.“
Did You Know?
Was named #3 on The American Film Institute’s 50 Greatest Screen Legends.
I am a child of the 1970s, and like owning a vinyl copy of Frampton Comes Alive!, an Evel Knievel stunt set, and a Farrah Fawcett poster – being a fan of Planet of the Apes was mandatory. I love the Planet of the Apes, and so did everyone my age. Imagine the thrill for a comics geek like me when I found out about Planet of the Apes comic books. Now there’s a book from Sequart that examines those comics, meet me after the jump when I take a look at The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes.
“Ninety percent of everything is crud.” – Theodore Sturgeon
Hello, and welcome to “The Ten Percent,” a regular column here on Biff Bam Pop! where every other week Ensley F. Guffey and I look at the corollary of Sturgeon’s Law: the ten percent of everything is not crud. This “Ten Percent” column is dedicated to a man whose recent passing leaves a dark hole in the pop culture landscape; a man who used his strict Baptist upbringing and brief experience in the classroom to transform the modern horror film. Wes Craven passed away on August 30, 2015 but his legacy will echo for generations to come. Truly, he has earned his place among the Ten Percent.