And so, to kick off our new movie exclusive at iHartMovies, Monumental Movies, here is the very first film, which is from the year 1980. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, is arguably the most memorable movie out of the Star Wars saga, considered the best episode out of the six by many, and generally considered to be one of the most epic creations in the movie industry ever. Anyone and everyone, whether you’re a fan of Star Wars or not, knows about this movie, and the four most famous words ever to be uttered…” I am your father”, of course soon followed by the “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”, from a somewhat displeased Luke Skywalker…
The Empire Strikes Back, set after the events of A New Hope, in which Luke Skywalker destroys the dreaded Death Star, shows Luke and the gang fleeing to the Rebel base on the snowy planet of Hoth. On Hoth, Luke experiences an apparition of his dead mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who tells him to travel to the Dagobah system to meet legendary Jedi Master, Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz), from whom Luke will receive training in order to become a Jedi. Soon after this, Vader and the gang discover the rebel base on Hoth, ordering a full frontal attack on the rebels, in honour of the hundreds of Stormtroopers who lost their lives on the now obliterated Death Star. During the assault on the rebels, Han Solo ( Harrison Ford) and the gang manage to escape in the Millennium Falcon, and Luke manages a quick getaway, heading to Dagobah, to meet the green legend, Yoda.
During his time on Dagobah, Luke, although skeptical at first, soon learns the ways of The Force, being trained by Yoda, in the hope that he will bring down the one at the top of the Galactic Empire, Darth Sidious, a.k.a, The Emperor, and the depraved Sith Lord, Darth Vader. After numerous events occur, which I won’t go into as I’m sure all Star Wars fans are aware of them, an inevitable confrontation towards the end of the movie shows Vader and Luke in a brutal lightsaber duel amidst the narrow platforms of Cloud City, before we see Luke hanging on the edge of a platform, with nowhere to go, right before Vader saber-chops his hand off. Then the words that send chills down every Star Wars fan’s spine are uttered, “ I am your father”, before Luke goes berserk, right before jumping off the platform as an escape from this slightly awkward situation. Although the Rebel Alliance has received an insanely huge bitch-slap, the movie ends on a positive note, as always, showing Luke safe and sound, preparing for what will be an epic battle between the Rebels and the Galactic Empire, in ’The Return of The Jedi’.
The Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best episode out of the original three Star Wars movies, highlighting the main points of the storyline, along with the downfall of the Rebels, before the inevitable uprise. Creator, George Lucas, portrays Darth Vader, easily the best villain ever, in all in merciless glory, as he tears apart the Rebels, and rebuilds the devastated Empire. This movie is just a classic. It has the best subplots of all the episodes, easily some of the best scenes, and obviously, a brilliant script, and is pretty much the pinnacle of the epic Star Wars saga. If you haven’t watched this movie, it’s simple - Watch it.
Stay tuned, as next Saturday, the movie of 1981 will be revealed.
By Manpreet Singh
- ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Director Irvin Kershner Has Died (laist.com)
- The Empire Strikes Back: The film that introduced a generation to tragedy [30th Anniversary] (io9.com)
- Rating the Star Wars movies (gointothestory.com)
- Why Star Wars spoofs will never get old (thenextweb.com)
- Utterly Odd Assortment of Star Wars Props Offered Up for Auction (slashgear.com)
Skins, one of the most original teenage dramas when it first aired.
You had the likes of Tony, Cassie, Sid, and Michelle. Teenagers loved the sharp wit, the humour, and the drama of regular teenage problems in the storylines. It worked because you learnt about the characters – they all have flaws, their friendships had on-screen chemistry.
Then that cast ended (apart from Effy), and Series 3 emerged. Everyone’s expectations were high. What would the new characters be like?
Fortunately, the characters were really good; but unfortunately, some viewers didn’t like the new series at first. This could have been due to a number of reasons: they became too used to the original characters, they were not used to the new style of script, or possibly the hype and expectations made them want more than what they got.
Eventually, people warmed to Skins, it had guest celebrities, like Will Young; and people began to enjoy the characters’ mannerisms and sense of humour. Series 3 and 4 were criticised for being too deep, and not having enough fun involved. But I, personally, thought this worked in favour of the storyline.
You had Cook and Naomi, Effy And Freddy, Pandora and Thomas, JJ and the Twins, Emily and Katie - all of whom had deep, psychological, teenage problems. Cook’s was obvious, he was an abandoned child (not raised properly), so lost control. And Effy, became a partial schizophrenic. I think eventually the previous cast grew on people, and their audience started to understand the storylines.
Skins listened for series 5, which many people will heavily disagree with. They have tried to make it more fun, but the characters do not yet look comfortable on-screen. Especially the second episode of series 5, which was awful (no disrespect to any moshers reading this) but for some reason the stereotype for that episode didn’t suit how Skins works. It became disjointed, and uninteresting. Like listening to a character being deaf for 15 minutes is entertaining?
Things finally got going in the third episode however, but is it enough? I find that in the first and second episode, the show was trying to develop a storyline and character progression in a vacuum, and that, quite frankly, doesn’t work.
It needs to keep up with the same consistency as episode 3 from now, before it loses a majority of it’s viewing figures.
There will be no more Tony’s and Cook’s, or Cassies’ and Effy’s. But hopefully, it will manage to get itself out of this vacuum and produce something that they are truly capable of.
By Daniel Hart
- TV on DVD: “Skins, Volume 4″ (popdose.com)
- Skins series 5, E4 (independent.co.uk)
- Episode Review: SKINS (“Chris”) (mralphafreak.wordpress.com)
- ‘Skins’ Season 1, Episode 5 Recap (tvsquad.com)
- Original Skins Castmember Slams American Version! (perezhilton.com)
- Meet the new cast of teenage drama Skins (bbc.co.uk)
- Skins Review: “Cadie” (Episode 1.04) (pastemagazine.com)
‘Dead Space: Aftermath’, The Second Full-Length Animation, Reviewed by Guest Blogger, Jonathon WilsonPosted: February 16, 2011
Released: January 25, 2011
Running Time: 90 minutes
Usually in horror movies, or at the very least movies with strong themes of persistent danger and the ultimate goal of survival, one of the most entertaining aspects is trying to figure out who’s going to survive until the end. Dead Space: Aftermath, the second full-length animated movie in the ever-popular Dead Space universe, throws us a curveball right from the start by opening with the survivors of its disaster being rescued.
As marines board the deserted, carnage-strewn corridors of the USG O’Bannon, we’re introduced to the four mismatched individuals who will function as our principle characters: Nicholas Kuttner (Christopher Judge), head of security; Alejandro Borgas (Ricardo Chavira), an engineer; Isabella Cho (Gwendoline Yeo), a doctor; and Nolan Stross (Curt Cornelius), the ship’s chief science officer.
The group is quickly incapacitated and transported to the Marine battleship Braxus, which is on its way to the Sprawl – a huge space station built on Titan (one of the moons of Saturn) and also the setting for the recent Dead Space 2 videogame. It quickly becomes apparent that all is not what it seems, and a pair or interrogators are brought in to decipher the happenings aboard the O’Bannon before the Braxus reaches the Sprawl.
The majority of Aftermath takes place in the past, as each of the four main characters tell their story through flashback sequences. As a framing device this is hardly original, but here it works surprising well, allowing us to see radically different perspectives on the same event, while we witness first-hand the trauma these individuals have suffered and how their psyches have been affected. While the guy who constantly cries out for his dead daughter is a little bit of a cliché, in general I liked the four main characters and was interested to learn more about themselves and their stories.
Unlike Downfall, the first Dead Space movie experience, Aftermath doesn’t rely on a single, comic book-style of art and animation. Rather, the portions set aboard the Braxus are presented in an (admittedly crude) CG rendering, while each individual flashback plays out in a different artistic style. I was worried this format may come across as somewhat schizophrenic, but it actually worked out as one of the stronger elements of the film, providing a range of interesting aesthetics while adding a strong sense of separation between each character’s version of events.
While we’re comparing Aftermath to its predecessor, it’s also worth mentioning how the pacing is wildly different. In Downfall, the basic premise was introduced and vaguely explained in the first ten minutes, leaving the remaining hour to show the massacre aboard the Ishimura in as much detail as possible. Here, we have a much healthier balance of exposition and action, with the former being presented in a reasonably dynamic and interesting way, and the latter just as vivid and brutal, if not more so, than it was before. Once again, the most impressive element on display here is the art and visual design, which juxtaposes the grim, industrial feel of the O’Bannon with the almost surgically pristine, white-walled corridors of the Braxus. The movie looks great throughout, with the weakest elements (the off-key CG) being the least prominent.
I said in my review of Dead Space: Downfall that for fans of the videogames that movie was a must see, and that goes for Aftermath and then some. Overall, it’s a vast improvement over its feature-length predecessor and a credit to the Dead Space universe. Highly recommended.
By guest blogger, Jonathon Wilson:
- ‘Dead Space: Downfall’, Reviewed. A Post From Guest Blogger, Jonathon Wilson (moviehart.wordpress.com)
- New Clip from DEAD SPACE AFTERMATH – Kuttner Flashback (geektyrant.com)
- New Clip From DEAD SPACE AFTERMATH, available on DVD & Blu-ray January 25th (geektyrant.com)