Category: Film

Movies were always my first love but I’d been a technology reporter for almost a decade before I broke into entertainment in a serious way. I never imagined it at the beginning of my career, but tech actually gave me an edge as a movie and entertainment reporter.

I not only joined the throngs of other stringers going to junkets to interview great directors, actors and writers, my experience with computers, software and devices gave me a unique grasp of behind-the-scenes tools and skills.

I talked to puppeteers and engineers about the renaissance in animatronic robots. I tracked down and spoke to the writer/director of the first movie with completely CGI backgrounds (and have the distinction of being the first reporter he spoke to since the initial release, so burnt was he but its handling and so appreciative of my approach).

I’ve talked to editors about their lives and times, VFX animators about realistic worlds and stunt people about the field’s inherent dangers and how the industry occasionally lets them down.

And when publicists and gatekeepers have blocked me from the people or material I need, I’ve gone ahead and written the story from my own knowledge or gone straight to the source.

One other thing. As a longtime film reporter I’ve also been a critic for several publications, but you’ll only find a handful of examples of movie reviews on this site. The first reason is because there are literally hundreds of them going years back, and the second is because even if they were all here, I’d be doubling up. Since 2001 I’ve maintained filmism.net, which contains the reviews of every new movie I see and every old movie I’ve watched and includes all my professional reviews.

City of God

As the promotional material promised, first time director Fernando Meirelles’ City of God has everything movies are supposed to: guns, drugs, friendship, blood, sex, corruption and humour. It’s an even more special movie that delivers all these elements (and more) effortlessly. … Continue readingCity of God

Passion of the Christ

Nobody cares if you depict half naked women using their bodies to get ahead. Nobody minds much if you blow a gang of baddies away with an AK-47. Nobody even minds car chases or natural disasters with destruction of epic proportions. But portray religion and you’re asking for trouble. … Continue readingPassion of the Christ

Dude Awakening

The story felt authentic in its depiction of relationships. The characters have these subtle, quirky qualities that really hit home for anyone who has ever been in a relationship — which is pretty much everyone. … Continue readingDude Awakening

The Circle is Closed

C3PO, Darth Vader and Chewbacca lunchboxes, lollies, dolls, T-shirts, soft drink, TV Christmas specials, toys, spin-offs, books, novelty phones, pencil cases, stickers, board games, action figures and costumes is now marketing lore (and still the Holy Grail of movie marketing). … Continue readingThe Circle is Closed

One Hour Photo

If someone had told us any time throughout the eighties and nineties that Robin Williams could be a psychotic killer (like he was in Insomnia), we’d laugh like you’d told us the dorky English guy from Remington Steele would make a decent James Bond. … Continue readingOne Hour Photo

Spielberg’s Twin

The Steven Spielberg we know has been responsible for project after project that’s revolutionised not just the way we look at movies but the way movies are made. For the studio system, he reinvented Hollywood. Jaws was the Hollywood movie industry’s September 11 — it changed everything. … Continue readingSpielberg’s Twin

Directed By…

Picture the scene. A crescent of the Earth from space — silent, enormous, timeless. The blazing sun appears slowly from behind the disk, showering Earth with sudden light. A stately typographic element fades in; 2001. It’s all backed by the haunting strains of …Kylie Minogue’s Locomotion. … Continue readingDirected By…