Star Wars Plot Summary [Spoilers] | December 17, 2015

Early in the movie we’re introduced to a young orphan eking out a living on a dust-bowl of a planet. This orphan comes in contact with a friendly and charismatic droid who has just escaped from a big battle with the forces of evil. The droid is carrying secret plans which need to be returned to the rebel base. The young orphan meets a wise guardian who was once a significant figure in the rebellion, along with a wise cracking foil and a wookie named Chewbacca. Together they attempt to return the friendly droid to it’s owners.

The orphan turns out to be talented pilot and starts showing an interest in the force. Later the orphan inherits a “lightsaber” that used to be owned by a young Jedi named “Skywalker”. Unfortunately the stormtroopers track them down to an exotic cantina inhabited by all kinds of strange creatures, and a shoot-out ensues. Our main protagonists escape on the Millennium Falcon, a ship which did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, and head towards the rebel base.

At the same time the female lead is captured by a masked enemy versed in the dark side of the force, and is taken to a giant weapon the size of a planet where she is tortured for information. The plant sized weapon destroys a number of planets before honing in on the rebel base.

Having experienced the destructive power of this weapon, our heroes go in search of the female lead. While our wise-cracking foil helps our female lead escape, the wise guardian attempts to shut off the field generators. In the process we marvel at the lack on safety barriers on battle station bridges and wonder about the general health and safety aspects of being a stormtrooper. Once the generators have been disabled, our wise guardian comes face to face with the masked enemy, while the other heroes look on helpless. The wise guardian is struck down by the evil lords lightsaber in a failed attempt to redeem his soul. Our heroes fight their way off the battle station and escape to the rebel base.

The brave pilots of the rebellion mount a raid on the planet sized battle station, flying their X-wings down canyons, fending off tie-fighters, while being shot at by cannons. It’s all very exciting. Our brave pilot manages to destroy the weapon seconds before it can destroy the last rebel base, but not before the evil lord manages to escape. Everybody celebrates.

Throughout this adventure, our young orphan has developed an impressive control over the force, which they presumably inherited from their mysterious parents. In order to learn about these powers, the orphan sets off to a distant planet to meet the last remaining Jedi and become a Jedi Knight themselves.

The End

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Generation Y-pay | September 11, 2009

After trying to convince us that we’re funding terrorism, equating us to petty thieves and calling us cheapskates, the UK film and TV industry have decided to take a more positive response. I’m surprised it’s taken them so long to realise people see the weakness in their arguments and that their actions may actually be having the reverse affect.

While the UK film and TV industry tries to convince us that every download equates to a lost sale, simple logic shows this not to be the case. People who download music and movies still buy CDs, they still rent DVDs and they still go to the cinema. Sometimes even more so. Downloading is just another content channel and one that is used for sampling new artists or consuming media that we probably wouldn’t have paid for anyway.

We know this to be true, which is why this talk of theft and terrorism rings hollow in our ears. Rather than creating support for the anti-piracy movement, it legitimises the act, marginalising and criminalising a whole generation. Turn on, download, drop-out.

The truth is, downloading hasn’t killed the creative industries any more than radio killed music or VHS killed cinema. However it has had a transformative effect, slashing profits and levelling the playing field. No longer in control of the distribution mechanism, big media are unable to palm off substandard work through marketing smoke and mirrors. In a world of almost instantaneous information, mediocrity has no place and the long tail is king. No wonder the TV and movie industry don’t like it. They actually have to put some effort in now.

Rather than hanging onto outdated business models, the film and TV industry are waking up to the new world order, with simultaneous movie releases and online services like the iPlayer and Hulu. However they need to go further. If you don’t want people to download the latest episode of Lost, don’t wait 6 months for it air in the UK, only for it to be consigned to a cable or satellite TV channel. The Internet generation wants to be in control of their viewing environment so they can time shift or place shift at will. Artificial boundaries like countries or TV channels mean nothing on the web. We don’t want to hear about the last episode of BSG on Twitter, only to wait 4 months to see it ourselves. For a generation bought up on instant gratification, we’d happily pay for the DVD or HD stream if only the option was there.

And therein lies the rub. People don’t go out of their way to pirate movies and TV programs; they’re not intrinsically bad people. They do it because often it’s quicker and easier than legitimate means. The quicker the film and TV industries recognise this and make it as easy to buy legal content as it is to download illegitimate content, the more likely they are to stem the flow.

I for one look forward to the day when I’m allowed to buy the content that I want to watch, in the format I want to watch it. Call me old fashioned, but that seems fair to me.

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Garth Marenghi's Darkplace Season 2 | December 26, 2008

OK, so that was a bit mean. If you’re a Garth Marenghi fan (and who wouldn’t be) there isn’t a season 2. At least not yet. However there would be if I had it my way. You see I’ve been re-visiting this classic TV comedy show over Christmas and it got me thinking about the possibilities for a second season.

As some of you know, Gath Marenghi’s Darkplace was a parody of bad 70’s and 80’s TV shows, complete with implausible story lines, bad acting and terrible special effects. Supposedly resurrected from the Channel 4 archives to fill a scheduling gap, the show mixed the “original” footage with cast interviews reminiscing about the good old days.

Sadly this show received a fairly lukewarm reception on it’s initial release, although it later went on to generate a cult following and clocked up a load of DVD sales. The writers of this show went on to pen the IT crowd, while other cast members went on to appear is series like the Mighty Boosh. Anyway, enough preamble. Here’s my idea for Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, USA.

Set in current day Hollywood, Garth Marenghi has sold the right for Darkplace to a US studio who are going to remake the classic British horror series for an American audience. Garth and his partner Dean Learner are bought in as plot advisors to help keep some of the original creativity. The pilot episode will feature them remaking one of their classic episodes, although later shows will obviously diverge from the original.

The new show will be modernised in every sense, with CSI style graphics, 24 style split screens, and plenty of meaningless technobabble to make the show feel smart and edgy. Some of the original UK cast will remain on the show, although they will have to adopt phoney US accents. On top of this there will be a whole new cast of American wannabes along with a load of cameo performances by famous US fans and stars from the original series.

The show would still be cut with interviews with the cast, but this time they would be discussing the making of the new show and how it differed to the old one. They’d also be talking about how their careers had changed in the last 30 years, some becoming a huge success and some disappearing into obscurity. So plenty of opportunity for character development.

So rather than being a parody of 70’s and 80’s TV shows as per the original, this second season would be a parody of modern TV making. You’d still have the overblown acting and heaps of slow motion. However instead of bad 80’s music and shaky cameras you’d have MTV style cut scenes to a rock or techno soundtrack. It would essentially become a piss take of all the modern remakes of old TV shows like Dr Who as well as an indictment on the excess and implausibility of modern television.

I’m not sure if I’ve done a good job at describing Darkplace USA, but I can picture it in my head and in there it’s pretty awesome. What do you think?

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Love Film | September 30, 2007

I used to be a big foreign movie fan, but on walking into a DVD shop on a Saturday evening, I’d always find myself being seduced by the Hollywood blockbusters. If I’m being honest, I’d give a cursory glance at the foreign language titles, but never seemed to be in the mood for something arty and challenging, preferring something mindlessly entertaining instead. I guess at the end of a hard weeks work, my brain just wanted a distraction. That and something that went well with beer and pizza.

I joined Love Film a few months ago, and since then, my viewing patterns have changed completely. Out went the Hollywood blockbusters, replaced instead by an eclectic and intelligent list of foreign titles and art house movies. Why the change, you may ask?

Well, when I’m in a video store, it seems my critical thinking abilities and reduced to the lowest common denominator of “what do I want to watch right now”. However. when looking through a list of movies from the comfort of my own home, my better judgement kicks in and I’m far more discerning. When not faced with the choice of watching something right now, I’m free to craft a list of “must see” movies that engage my brain and make me a better (or at least more well rounded) person.

So I thought I’d share some of my favourite movies from the last few months, in case you’re also a member of love film, or just happen to be in the market for a good movie recommendation. I’m not going to bother going into much detail here, so I hope a short, pithy review will suffice.


Tae Guk Gi - The Brotherhood of War

Fantastic yet traumatising story of two brothers torn apart by the Korean War. Expect to have post traumatic shock by the end of this movie.

United 93

Possibly the most realistically distressing portrayal of a hijack I’ve ever seen, made all the more terrifying by the fact that it’s based on true events.

The Wind That Shakes The Barley

The brutality of Irish occupation and how the fight for independence ripped communities and families apart.

Downfall

A fascinating look at the last delusional hours of Hitler’s life, through the eyes of a naive young secretary inside his Berlin bunker.

The Last King Of Scotland

Fictional account of a young Scottish doctor seduced by the charisma of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, only to find himself plunged into a world of paranoia and chaos.

OldBoy

Kidnaped and held hostage for 15 years, when our protagonist is finally released his attempt at revenge leads him to a dark and sinister conclusion.

R-Point

A team of Korean soldiers during the Vietnam are dispatched to the mysterious R-point to locate some missing colleagues, only to meet their own grisly end. Think Platoon crossed with the Blaire Witch Project.

The Holiday

Formulaic romance that, despite all my best intentions, I couldn’t help falling for.

Thank You For Smoking

It’s amazing how you start rooting for the charismatic anti-hero in this tobacco lobbying drama.

The Host

Big budget monster movie out of Korea. Good, clean and unbelievably silly fun.

The Black Book

Engrossing story about a young Jewish girl who joins the resistance in war torn Holland.

What interesting movies have you seen lately?

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Top 5 Films of 2004 | January 5, 2005

I found it quite easy coming up with my “Top 5 Films of 2004” list, because there really haven’t been many films that have stood out to me this year. Spiderman 2 was fun, and is possibly the best comic adaptation I’ve seen. I had high hopes form both Hero and House of Flying Daggers but neither lived up to my expectations. While they both looked stunning, the flow and narrative just didn’t capture my interest in the same way as Croaching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Even Farennheit 9/11 failed to impress, being far too crude and emotionally manipulating for my liking – The BBC’s The Power of Nightmares documentary doing the same job, much more intelligently.

So here is my top 5 list. What were your favourite movies of 2004?

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The Incredibles | November 23, 2004

So after seeing the Incredibles game at the London Mac Expo on Saturday, I was keen to go see the movie. It doesn’t officially open in the UK till next weekend, but luckily our local Cinema was running preview screenings so I managed to catch it Sunday afternoon.

The Incredibles

Now while I was aware that it was Pixar’s latest offering I didn’t know much about the film. Coming from the same stable as Toy Story, Monsters Inc and more recently Finding Nemo I was pretty sure it would be good. However The Incredibles turned out to be quite a different film to it’s predecessors.

Pixar’s previous outings such as Nemo were essentially kids movies. Sure they had the smart jokes that only the parents would get, but they were primarily aimed at a younger audience. These movies created a fairy tale world and filled it with cute and lovable characters much like the Disney movies of our childhood. However The Incredibles is aimed at a much older and more film savvy audience. Rather than being a kids movie , The Incredibles plays like an action comedy and in that sense is much closer to films like Raiders of the Lost Ark. The movie has it’s funny moments but it also has it’s kick-ass action moments. At points you almost forget you’re watching an animated feature and you could just as easily be watching the latest Spiderman or X-Men film. In fact The Incredibles is a movie that could just as easily have been made using real life actors instead of CGI ones.

So if you’re wanting to see a movie at the weekend I’d highly recommend The Incredibles. If you go expecting the next Shrek you may be disappointed, but if you go expecting to see a smart, intelligent and funny action movie, you should have a great time. In the meantime–if you don’t mind the somewhat flakey Tomb Raider style controlls–why not download the demo and help Mr Incredible kick some butt.

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AURUM3 Movies | September 28, 2004

With a preview of House of Flying Daggers, a feature on Infernal Affairs 1, 2 and 3 as well as info on the new Police Story movie, I think AURUM3 Movies is soon to become my favorite source of movie related news.

Logo for ARUM3 Movie site

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Favorite Movies | June 20, 2004

A very common question people ask is “what’s your favourite movie?”. Unfortunately I really don’t know how to answer this, as there isn’t a single movie that I’d class as my all time favourite. I guess at various point of my life I’ve had a favourite film, a movie that I’d happily watch over and over again. However at the moment I’d be hard pressed to single one out.

So here is a list of the top 10 films that, at one stage or another, I’d have classed as my favourite. They are in no particular order, and if you were to ask me on another day I’d probably come up with a completely different list.

And here are a few more that narrowly missed the top 10 list.

I know it’s a bit of an eclectic mix, but I guess that’s life for you. Feel free to discuss these movies or post up your faves.

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Mostly Harmless | January 13, 2004

Not being Harry Knowles my humble little blog isn't known for it's insider movie news. However my boss, Jamie Freeman just happens to have a famous brother (Tim from BBC's "The Office") who just happens to have (allegedly) been offered the part of Arthur Dent in the up coming movie adaptation of Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

Now along with The Lord of the Rings, Hitchhikers was one of my favourite books as a kid. The BBC TV series was entertaining, but I've long held out hope that they would make a movie version. Looks like they may finally be getting round to it.

The cast isn't fully set yet. Apart from Martin playing Arthur Dent, it looks likely that Bill Nighy will be playing Slartibartfast and Stephen Moore will be voicing Marvin, the Paranoid Android.

However this still leaves the parts of Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox yet to be announced. As the funding for this movie is coming from the US, it's my guess that they'll want a big American name in the movie so as to promote it state side. Jeremy suggested Jonny Depp could play Zaphod, and after seeing his performance in Pirates of the Caribbean I'd agree it would be good casting. However I personally can't see that happening.

If you know the books, who do you think would make a good Zaphod or Ford?

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Whale Rider | August 20, 2003

On the subject of whales and the antipodes, if you only see one whale based film from New Zealand this year, I'd highly recommend Whale Rider. Set in a small costal community in New Zealand, it's a lovely movie about family, tradition and the Maori culture. The acting is superb, the cinematography beautiful and the story enchanting. It's no wonder people have been throwing awards at this movie. Well worth the price of the ticket!

Oh, and despite the really poor nav, the website is rather nice too!

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24 | August 11, 2003

So tonight was the last episode of 24, and I can't believe I've been following this series for the last 6 months! While it was nowhere near as gripping as the first series, it's still been one of the best things on TV and I have absolutly no idea what I'll be doing with my Sunday evenings till the next series. I may have to buy the DVD's of season 1 and season 2 to tide me over till next year.

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City of God | August 3, 2003

Just got the movie - City of God - out on video and have to say it's a corker. A kick ass gangster movie from the slums of Rio.

The camera work is beautiful. The camera zooms and spins in a stylistically balletic manner, reminiscent of the camera work in Lock Stock.

Over the course of the movie you're confronted by so many characters it's hard to keep track. In fact the only reason you can keep track is because most of the characters end up getting killed in a surprisingly regular fashion. Don't think I've seen a movie with such a high body count in ages.

What's more amazing (scary) is the film is based on true events. No wonder Rio gets such a bad rap. You wouldn't want to meet Li'l Ze and his mates on a dark night.

It's definitely the kind of movie you should go and see at the Duke of York's if it's ever on again. Top quality movie.

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