Archive | May, 2010

Extra Lives: A History of Video Game Movies

28 May

No game controllers here: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will jump, slide, and swing into theaters today. Based off the adventure game franchise about an acrobatic prince wielding a magical time-traveling dagger, Prince of Persia is the latest in a long line of attempts by Hollywood to tap into a new market by adapting video games for the silver screen. But it’s been a rocky road so far, with most of the movies being panned by critics, audiences, and gamers alike.

Here’s a look back at video game movies through the ages, and how Prince of Persia might just break the mold (or fall into the same tired routine).

Super Mario Bros. (1994)

It’s not surprising that Mario and Luigi would be the first game heroes Hollywood would try to recreate. What’s also not surprising is how terrible the film is.

The Mario series of games basically exist in a plot-less void. There’s no real narrative to speak of. A monster has a princess. Here’s a level. Get to the end by jumping on stuff. Nope, she’s not here, wrong castle. Try another 7 times.

Super Mario Bros. (the movie) tried to solve that problem by shoehorning the Mario universe into Brooklyn, NY. Now Koopas, the turtle baddies of Mario’s worlds, became lizard-people descended from secret dinosaurs. They are ruled by Dennis Hopper and there’s an inter-dimensional portal and the princess is an archeologist and ah, just forget it.

As the first video game movie, Super Mario Bros. was a failure in almost every respect. Sadly things would not improve.

Thankfully, hairstyles would

Street Fighter (1994)

Released in the same year as Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter was based on the two player arcade game also called Street Fighter. This Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle managed to make a decent return at the box office, but received poor marks from reviewers as well as fans of the series. Even among Van Damme’s less than stellar filmography, Street Fighter doesn’t stand out.

Mortal Kombat (1995)

Based on… you get the idea. Mortal Kombat, like Street Fighter, was a fighting arcade game in which various supernatural brawlers fight in a tournament to determine the universe’s ultimate fighter.

Not that kind of Ultimate Fighter

The movie actually retained a lot of the barebones plotline, making it one of the few video game adaptations that are relatively faithful to the original story. Whereas Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter were derided by fans of the game, Mortal Kombat was generally praised. The dialogue is near unbearable, and the special effects aren’t much to speak of, but at the time Mortal Kombat was the most successful video game movie, successful enough to spawn an unneeded and uninteresting sequel Mortal Kombat: Annhilation

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

After the late 90’s disaster of a movie based on the simplistic flight simulator Wing Commander, it appeared that video game adaptations were destined to remain on the fringes of Hollywood. Then in 2001, Angelina Jolie gave the “genre” a breath of new life.

For the uninitiated, Tomb Raider was an action adventure game for the Playstation where players controlled an English treasure hunter/Indiana Jones clone named Lara Croft. The ridiculously well-endowed Croft was one of gaming’s first heroines and became famous (or infamous) for her two greatest assets.

I'm talking about the pistols

It was only a matter of time before a studio decided to exploit her fanbase by moving Croft’s adventures to the silver screen. That studio was Paramount Pictures. And who else could do justice to the gaming community’s biggest sex symbol but budding star Angelina Jolie?

The result, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, was ripped to pieces by critics. Loaded with unintentional camp, the film sadly tried to take the series too seriously, a normally fatal mistake. After all, how can you take a character at face value when she looks like a lamppost with two coconuts stapled to it?

Yet audiences were not fazed. Through sheer power of Jolie’s puffy-lipped super stardom, the film became the highest grossing video game adaptation of all time. A sequel with the subtitle in triplicate (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life) failed to catch lightning in a bottle. However, it did feature Jolie in a skintight silver wetsuit, which makes it better than many other  films on our timeline.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

Perhaps the best movie on the timeline is also the most niche. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a completely computer-generated film, and one of the first photo-realistic films built by computers not cameras. Penned and directed by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi the plot is not groundbreaking, but the special effects, especially those of the virtual actors, were spectacular for its time and still hold up pretty well even today.

Somehow The Spirits Within managed to avoid the dreaded “uncanny valley,” a term that describes when computer generated people or robots look like heartless zombies with no real emotions instead of actual living creatures.

The Spirits Within’s story actually packs some punch, though it is given a certain flair from the Japanese influences of the director. Characters are not just stereotypes but are given a bit of weight. Here is a case where a video game movie was made right, primarily because the creator of the game made the movie as well. The creators said during production that they had high hopes the inevitable success of this film would lead to a revolution in GCI moviemaking.

Yet the movie was a box office disaster, as the Eastern style and new CGI scared audiences away. The film ultimately couldn’t make enough money to justify the enormous production costs of making a realistic computer created film and the idea of completely computer generated actors was scrapped.

Yeah, that could never happen...

Resident Evil (2002)

If you only look at the numbers, Resident Evil and its subsequent sequels appear to be a successful video game movie franchise. I say appear to be, because anyone who has played the game and then watched the movies knows that Resident Evil: Extinction has about as much to do with the game series as I have to do with Dipsy the Teletubby.

Though the resemblance in uncanny

The game Resident Evil is about a group of elite cops who are trapped in a mansion as zombies attack. The game mixed terrible dialogue with graphic violence and every horror movie cliché in the book, yet still was an instant hit and spawned the survival-horror genre of games that exist through to this day. The series itself is still going strong too. The latest addition, Resident Evil 5, was released in 2009 and sold over 5.3 million copies worldwide.

Enter Sony Pictures Entertainment. Like so many studios before, Sony (who also create the Playstation series of game console) hoped to cash in by turning on of their greatest series into a film franchise.

They were moderately successful. The movie starred Milla Jovovich as Alice, one of the officers who were trapped as a released biological weapon sends the world to heck and back. The film borrowed plot points from the first three games in the series, which in turn were borrowed from numerous other horror films, so like so many other game adaptations, the plot is not the film’s strong point.

After the commercial success of Resident Evil, Sony quickly approved a sequel, Resident Evil: Apocalypse and subsequently went way off course. The second in the series took even greater liberties with the spirit of the original games, and by the third film (Extinction) the series had morphed into a doomsday action series with Jovovich as a super-human zombie-killing biologically-engineers superweapon.

With another installment due out in September, this series may not have hit rock bottom yet.

House of the Dead (2003)

Speaking of rock bottom, here’s the first film by Uwe Boll we’ve seen. Boll, a German director, is considered to be one of the least talented filmmakers of this generation. Basing most of his movies off of cheap video game licenses, Boll has the enviable ability to only select the worst parts of a series to focus on.

Take House of the Dead, Boll’s first foray into the morass of video game adaptations. The original game was a light-gun zombie-fest that can still be found in arcades and Chuck-E-Cheese’s across the globe. It was about government agents tasked with defeating evil creatures that have taken over a mansion.  Boll took that to mean “make the movie about a bunch of teenagers who get lost on the way to a rave party and get attacked by monsters.” That is the plot. I’m not kidding.

I never kid

The film was a disaster from start to finish. Follow it up with an equally terrible, unintentionally hilarious adaptation of horror game Alone in the Dark and Boll was cemented into place among the worst directors of all time.

Doom (2005)

Ah, Dwayne Johnson. I can fondly recall a time when you were simply The Rock. None of this wishy-washy first name basis stuff. You were the Rock and you were here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and you were all out of bubblegum.

Doom was from that simpler time, when wrestlers who became actors still used their stage-names to intimidate audiences into their seats. The original game launched in 1993 and is a landmark for game design. Set on the planet Mars, Doom had the player control a space marine as he blasted aliens and demons into oblivion. But more notably, the game was one of the first of an all new type of game genre: the first-person shooter. The ability to move in three dimensions from a first-person view was revolutionary and gave the flagging industry a kick in the pants. Doom is widely regarded by industry analysts and gamers alike to be one of the greatest and most influential video games of all time.

Cooooooooool

The same cannot be said for Doom the movie. Thoroughly average, the film was nothing but a way for The Rock to show off his massive muscles. The only contribution to modern cinema this film provided was a painful segment towards the end of the movie where the camera shifted to The Rock’s perspective as an intended homage to the game. It plays off as a hokey gimmick, which actually describes the movie in general.

BloodRayne (2005)

Another Uwe Boll classic and another crazy deviation from the actual game. The series is about a sexy female vampire who kills Nazis  during World War II. The movie is about an ancient race of vampires plotting to take over the world who can only be stopped by the rape baby of their evil king.

Don’t feel bad, I missed the connection too.

All in all, it’s just another failed adaptation of… hey, hold on a minute! Is that Sir Ben Kingsley?

It is!

Fear not, we’ll see more of him quite soon.

Silent Hill (2006)

Silent Hill was an atmospheric psychological horror game spawned by Sony after the success of the Resident Evil series. In it, various protagonists wander into a foggy town and must fight for survival as the world around them slowly becomes more disturbing and dangerous. The Silent Hill series skipped the laughable plots and dialogue of the Resident Evil series and focused more on deeply crafted stories based on the character’s past traumas.

The 2006 adaptation of the series attempted to tap into that reservoir, telling the story of a mother and her ill child who become lost in the town. Yet it tries too hard, focusing much of the movie on pointless backstory and dead-end flashbacks. The producers also played up the occult aspects of the series, which took a lot of the mystery out of the haunted town.

Oogah Boogah!

To explain precisely why the town is haunted takes the spook out of the spooky. It would have been far more effective to say the surreal town is simply cursed and not explain why. That method worked especially well for Alfred Hitchcock in his masterpiece The Birds. We are never told why our avian friends have suddenly turned against us, and that adds more drama and suspense to the story.

Despite some setbacks, Silent Hill still manages a few scares. That Silent Hill’s mediocrity is rewarded on this timeline should make it clear how terrible most of these films are.

Postal (2007)

While I could go into detail about how this is a (supposed) adaptation of the ultra violent and controversial series of the same name, I’ll just give you the last scene, as directed by our pal Uwe Boll:

George Bush and Osama Bin Laden skip through a flowered meadow. Bin Laden: “Georgie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” America gets nuked by China. Roll credits.

Moving on…

Hitman (2007)

Starring the here-emotionless Timothy Olyphant, Hitman was one of several films that tried to cash in on the Bourne series’ success. Like the Bourne trilogy, Hitman centers on a skilled assassin-spy who must travel the world to get the bad guys.

Unlike the Bourne trilogy, Hitman falls flat on its face. The amount of gratuitous violence is staggering, with fight scenes thrown in as if to placate the Roman mob. Olga Kurylenko’s character seems added in for no other reason than to have a scene in which she gets topless while trying to seduce the Hitman. She’s neither believable nor relevant, at some points recounting her life’s trauma and at others stripping for the ogling camera.

The plot steals the silliest parts of the game (a secret religious society trained him?) and throws away the best parts (the sneaking and stealth of a hired killer). The game rewarded you for being silent and efficient. The movie is anything but.

Max Payne (2008)

Olga Kurylenko must have some sort of magnetism to bad violent video game movies. Here she is again, a sexy scantily clad Russian in red, trying to seduce our hero, this time played by the here-emotionless Mark Wahlberg. Only this time, she gets killed by a flying imaginary demon on the way out.

Wait...run that by me again

It’s a shame that the adaptation of Max Payne, a game about a NYPD officer who seeks revenge for the murder of his family, could go so far off the rails. Like so many failed attempts before it, Max Payne the movie ignored the plot of the game series, which weaved and twisted through expertly told flashbacks, and instead ramped up the slow-mo action scenes and gun violence and threw in some other-worldly Valkyries for added measure.

Sure, it’s a little unfair to criticize the movie for focusing the bullet time moments, especially when they were what made the original game so unique. But we got enough of bullet time in the Matrix, and it was far better then. Enough of the crawling gun battles and give me a story I can sink my teeth into and characters I can actually believe are real.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

Unrelated to the first Street Fighter movie, this pseudo reboot follows the path of one of the characters Chun-Li as she battles evil. What little hope fans had that this gaming movie might break the mold were dashed when The Legend of Chun-Li hit theaters. A line at the end of the movie hinting at future spinoffs makes me weep.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010

And so we arrive at the latest in a cavalcade of failures and mediocrity. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the Prince and recently marketed up the wazzoo, will we see much better this time around? Who knows.

Ben Kingsley is here again as the final boss, and if this turns out anything like BloodRayne, I’d say run for the hills. The trailer also shows Gyllenhaal sporting his best English accent, reinforcing that great Hollywood truism that all foreign cultures regardless of time or space speak like Cockney tramps.

On the other hand, Prince of Persia is drawing from a critically acclaimed series with a rich story told across three installments, so there’s no lack of solid plotline to choose from. The film is also being produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer, who last took a minor theme park ride and turned it into a multi million film franchise that practically prints money. Based on that track record, I imagine if anyone can get a video game adaptation right, it would be this combination.

Thank God he uses his powers for good

So let’s take stock: There’s action. There’s a plot actually worthy of being explored. There’s award winning and nominated actors in lead roles. There’s a huge production budget backed by an industry giant.

Could this be the perfect storm that finally does justice to the gaming industry? Or will Prince of Persia’s time-traveling antics rewind us back to the failures of movies past?

We shall see.

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Movies With an Extra Hop in Their Step

25 May

"No, Mr. Bunny. I expect you to die."

Movie parodies are nothing new. Movies recapped in under a minute, also not groundbreaking material. But movie recaps acted out by Flash animated bunnies in 30 seconds or less? Now we’re getting somewhere.

I stumbled across Angry Alien Productions this past week. Created by Jennifer Shiman in 2004, the series has lampooned over 60 movies from Casablanca to The TerminatorThe Grudge to Jurassic Park. A few of the shorts can only be viewed on Starz.com, the series’ distributor, but most can be seen on Angry Alien’s main page.

If you’re looking for a place to start, the four listed above are pretty funny. And since they’re 30 seconds each, you really have no excuse not to watch them.

Return to “Metropolis”

24 May

"Metropolis," One of the greatest Sci-Fi films the world has ever seen.

The quote “must see movie of the year” is way too widely misused. Often, studio’s advertising campaign will use some critic’s words to drive audiences to their film.

Well, let me utilize this cliche: “Metropolis” is the must see movie event of the year.

A one week engagements and live accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra is one proper way to get people’s interests. Keep your over-priced 3-D ticket, the real show is never repeated; each performance offers something new. It’s like watching a film that has come alive.

Alive since 1927.

Yes, it’s a silent film, the cast and crew are long gone, and even the great studio that commissioned the work has been reduced to a mere TV production company. But, this is still a new film being released. Just last year, around a half an hour of never before seen footage was found in an archive in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Much like pre-production, the delicate film was put into one of the most delicate restoration efforts ever attempted. These 30 minutes have been erased from history, with even film historians considering this piece of work lost with the other 90% of all film made before the sound era (1929).

A poster that has become quite popular in its own artform.

What’s more exciting than watching something considered lost to time? Imagine rediscovering the Library of Alexandria or the Colossus of Rhodes. Like these ancient wonders, we won’t find the piece in its entirety, there is still over 30 minutes of footage unaccounted from Fritz Lang’s original cut of “Metropolis.” I still will walk into Coolidge Corner’s Art Deco theater with the awe and wonderwent of an explorer discovering Atlantis. It means that much to me.

So I hopefully have you sold on the historical aspects of “Metropolis,” but what about the actual movie you’re going to be paying good money to see. Well, if you share my 20-something age, it’s something you’ve never seen before, unless you like the classic movies before the days of computer animation. This entire city of the future is made of intricate models stylistically done in 1920’s art deco. That’s the German Expressionism style that was popular among German directors at the time. Artsy, with a plot of a driving struggle for survival-it’s Karl Marx’s history of class struggle placed in a cold future. The upper class and the lower class are divided not only by societal position, but they are literally segregated from each other. Eventually, the worlds collide with chaos, and only time will tell if the leaders of revolution and their oppressors will turn to peace rather than tearing each other to pieces. And there’s a love story of sorts and a cast that numbers over 20,000.

Watch the most expensive, epic movie of its time, the way it was meant to be seen.

Tickets are on sale now for the restored version of “Metropolis” playing for one week only at Coolidge Corner Theatre. The June 4th screening will feature a live orchestral accompaniment. For more information and ticketing, please visit their website.

"Metropolis" at its finest-or worst.


The Best of John Williams

14 May

Simply put, John Williams is a legend. He has won 21 Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, and five Oscars. His 45 Oscar Nominations trail only Walt Disney for the all time record. During his career he has penned the scores to over 80 movies, and created some of the most iconic themes in history in the process. He is without a doubt one of America’s most popular composers.

Williams, the Boston Pop’s conductor from 1980 to 1993, has celebrated the orchestra’s 125th anniversary with “Hooray for Hollywood,” a compilation of classic film tunes that has played at Symphony Hall in Boston this week. Tonight is their last performance, so I figured it might be fitting to write a little tribute of sorts to my favorite film composer.

I grew up with his music. John was there to guide me as I watched Macaulay Culkin trap the bad guys in Home Alone. He was there as I began an ongoing stint as a Star Wars fanboy, and he was there as I cheered Indiana Jones’ Nazi-killing expertise. To try to pick his greatest work is impossible, but I’m going to try anyway. In honor of the great Pops Composer Laureate’s return to Boston, here is a list of my ten favorite themes from Williams’ storied career.

10. “Main Title” from Superman

If you want to talk about fanfare, just listen the theme music to Superman. It’s “Truth, Justice and the American Way” through and through. Just a quick listen to William’s triumphant score makes you want to put on the red cape and pretend you can fly. Or is that just me? Either way, it’s patriotic bliss.

9. “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I grew up reading J.K. Rowling’s saga, but by the time the film adaptation premiered I had already grown old and cynical. I was already anticipating the worst, knowing that no one could ever do justice to old  ‘arry Pottah.Yet even before the action begins, ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ come chiming in, as if to prove to us that magic does exist. Call me a believer. The film may not have been the best, but Harry Potter’s theme music could not have been better.

8. “Somewhere in My Memory” from Home Alone

Alright, call me crazy (guilty as charged) but this theme scares the bejeezus out of me. At first listen, the main theme is a cheerful ode to the spirit of Christmas. But just a few seconds in it becomes something far more sinister. The once comforting tune switches to a music-box like jingle, one that’s about as cheerful as a demented clown is. Add in some high pitch squealing vibrato from the strings and you know that this Christmas dream is about to become a nightmare. Yet, thankfully, Williams is right there at the end to wake us up and give us some warm milk and cookies. The Christmas theme comes sweeping back, and all is well.

7. “Theme” from Schindler’s List

You see? This is what happens when Steven Spielberg and John Williams team up for a movie that isn’t for the family. Williams had a bit of challenge here. He had to craft a score to a movie about the Holocaust, that would be mournful yet would still be respectful and not fall into cliché. What he creates succeeds on practically all levels. The Schindler’s List theme is both heartbreaking and beautiful. Israeli virtuoso Itzhak Perlman provides the sobbing violin solo. It may not be as optimistic as some of the other entries, nor would you listen to it to cheer you up on a down day, but in terms of pure emotion, this theme takes the cake.

6. “Flying Theme” from E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

Coming in at number six is the family classic E.T. Just a few seconds of that strings melody and I guarantee you’ll want to outrun bad guys on your Schwinn. Here the wonder of the scene is perfectly captured; every time I hear the first section, I can hear Elliot’s triumphant “Ha-Ha!” as he cruises over the police blockade. The image of ET’s bike soaring across the moon has become iconic, but I hazard to say it was William’s work, not some alien’s powers, that really made that bike fly.

5. “Main Theme” from Star Wars

Yeah, I put Star Wars down at number five, but hear me out.  As a self-identifying Star Wars nerd, I loved those movies. I recall watching the Star Wars for the first time as a little kid in my living room. A bit of blue text fades onto a black screen: “A long time ago, in a galaxy far far-” BAM! Williams’ score comes in with a bang and literally knocks me off my feet. From that terrifying moment of revelation I was sold. Star Wars is more than just a pop phenomenon, it’s basically a cult. This is the soundtrack we worship to, and for good reason. Those brass sections are a blaring homage to the old Golden Age of Movies, and the catchy melody has stood the test of time. The Star Wars theme may not be the greatest Williams’ piece, but it’s certainly one of his most recognizable.

4. “Theme” from Jurassic Park

It takes a while to get started, but it’s worth the wait. Constantly imitated and always inimitable, Jurassic Park’s theme is grand in every sense, just like the dinosaurs who were given a new lease on life. Where the Star Wars theme has become synonymous with the movie through sheer force of popularity, it’s Jurassic Park that truly fits. That first shot of a towering brontosaurus was pure wonder. No one had pulled off special effects like those, and for a bunch of kids who adored dinosaurs, it was like a dream come true. And through it all, Williams has the perfect harmony.

3. “Theme” from Jaws

Two notes of absolute dread. His first collaboration with Spielberg (and Spielberg’s first studio hit) is arguably his most successful. No need to even describe it, Jaw’s simple theme inspired terror for generations of moviegoers. It was the perfect piece for a killer on the prowl, and has extended beyond that to represent pure unadulterated terror. Just hum the first two notes in the dark one night, and you’ll see what I mean. Both Spielberg and Williams were on the top of their game for this horror story of a shark gone rogue. So is this theme one of Williams’ greatest ever? ‘You betcha!’

2. “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)” from The Empire Strikes Back

I told you to hear me out. Star Wars is back with the coveted number two slot. Star Wars was great and all, but Lucas had a different idea for the second movie. The result is a far darker, much less optimistic sequel, and Williams steps up to the plate to make it a home run. The authoritative Imperial March is brilliance. The contant drums evoke the faceless Stormtroopers goose-stepping to crush the heroic rebels. Add in the overbearing horns and you can feel the evil flowing. More than just the go-to driving song for Darth Vader, the Imperial March is now used across the globe to represent the bad guys. Listen at your next sporting event or rally for Williams’ masterpiece. It’s a shame that the Imperial March is used so haphazardly, because it is, without a doubt, one of the greatest themes ever blasted onto the silver screen.

1. “The Raiders’ March” from Raiders of the Lost Ark

At number one is my favorite treasure hunter’s song of choice. I love Indiana Jones. I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t. He’s the hero we all can cheer for. Not this wishy-washy anti-hero “Dark Knight” nonsense from today’s gritty movies, Indy is totally ‘hero,’ a throwback to the adventure serials of old. And his theme follows suit…Actually, it’s even is more heroic than the character. It’s pure fun, cracking the whip and giving us a wink to come along for an adventure. The rolling music is more than just a soundtrack, it is Indiana Jones. More than that, it’s pure courage. There’s not a moment that goes by when I might think the Indy theme to myself for a bit of added inspiration. Final exam? Story to write? Going to work? Taxes due? No matter! The Raider’s Theme is always there to pick you up and dust you off. It’s the ultimate in pump up music. Indy’s theme is the cream of the crop. Just give a listen to any adventure theme since then. This is what they’re all trying and failing to be. It’s adventure incarnate. It’s straight courage. It’s heroic moments of bravery. It’s the greatest John Williams’ piece ever. And yes, it had to be snakes.

So there it is, the top 10 John Williams themes. Still, some great themes had to be left off the list, like the space age stride-swing of “Cantina Band” from Star Wars.  Or maybe a modern addition like Catch Me if You Can belongs on the list, or the five-note “Wild Signals” motif from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

What do you think?  Leave your favorite John Williams pieces in the comments section below.

“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

12 May

Welcome to Beyond the Backlot!

This will be a blog about the movies from two Boston University students. We hope to post on a regular basis about new films, the state of the industry, classic movies, film in Boston and much more.

Here’s a quick blurb from our two writers about what we’ll be writing about and how we got started in film.

From our first writer, Monica:

Hello kindred readers, I’m Monica Castillo, a senior at Boston University studying something other than film. I have always been in love with the movies, and my mother always used to take me as a child. She also taught me how to sneak into extra screenings (you know, more movie magic for your dollars).

I developed a deep love for the moving pictures during the latter half of high school. I blame Richard Attenborough’s stunningly well crafted Chaplin for spiking my interests in classic Hollywood. I intend to write mostly on old classics and some of those less-than-classics, plus a few articles concerning new Hollywood (once I get caught up of course), movie reviews and hopefully a few perspectives from the social science part of things.

And now our second writer, Paul:

Hey everyone, my name is Paul Squire. I’m also a senior at Boston University majoring in journalism at the College of Communications. I’ve always loved watching movies, but I only decided to pursue film criticism as a career recently, so I’m still catching myself up on the classics I so foolishly neglected. I’ll be writing more about modern Hollywood, current movies, and trends in the current industry.

Thanks for reading everyone! Hope to see you soon.