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Cruisin’ for a PR bruisin’: Chopper Read film over before it begins

Cruisin’ for a PR bruisin’: Chopper Read film over before it begins

Luke Buckmaster October 10, 2012 2 Comments

The producer claims they had an agreement. The star, Chopper Read, calls bullshit. Both speak to me about the bizarre launch of new Australian film The Hurtin' Kind Part One: The Albanian.

Senses of Cinema: the electric energy of Dead End Drive-In (1986)

Senses of Cinema: the electric energy of Dead End Drive-In (1986)

Luke Buckmaster September 21, 2012

“The 1980s, forever recalled with a mixture of fondness and regret as that spandex-clad, white glove, tufted hair and jumpsuit riddled decade taste forgot, was as much a transitional period for special effects cinema as it was the fleeting fashion for which it is best remembered.” In the latest edition of Australian online film journal […]

Innocence of Muslims: the casting call from hell

Innocence of Muslims: the casting call from hell

Luke Buckmaster September 16, 2012 4 Comments

Imagine you’re a no-name actor keen to make it in the movie business. You live in California and respond to a generic casting call for an indie feature film called Desert Warrior. The casting call describes it as a “historical desert drama set in the Middle East” to be shot in LA at backlot locations […]

Boom or bust in Tinsletown? Or why the death of Hollywood has been greatly exaggerated

Boom or bust in Tinsletown? Or why the death of Hollywood has been greatly exaggerated

Luke Buckmaster September 15, 2012

Hollywood’s business model is in serious trouble, so the narrative goes. So why are big film studios making more money than ever? This week I wrote for Crikey News, discussing why the death of Hollywood has been greatly exaggerated. Head over here to read it.  

No half measures: vale action director Tony Scott

No half measures: vale action director Tony Scott

Luke Buckmaster August 20, 2012 3 Comments

Hollywood has been hit with a grim bolt from the blue, with news today that veteran action director Tony Scott, brother of Ridley, has reportedly committed suicide. He was 68. Scott’s last picture was 2011’s disastertainment pulse-pounder Unstoppable, a horror-on-rails epic in which the villain was a freight train that wouldn’t slow down. He was […]

Swirling meaning and conspiratorial film interpretation: walking the crazy carpet of Room 237

Swirling meaning and conspiratorial film interpretation: walking the crazy carpet of Room 237

Luke Buckmaster August 14, 2012 1 Comment

Did you know director Chris Columbus’ seemingly inane 1990 hit Home Alone is actually a sophisticated pre-9/11 send-up of American infatuation with national security? Ever stop to consider that the famous sewerage pipe escape scene in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) is both a visual and visceral commentary on the underlining rottenness of institutionalised “justice” and the […]

Guest post: hope for a new kind of film in Sydney’s Underground Cinema

Guest post: hope for a new kind of film in Sydney’s Underground Cinema

Luke Buckmaster August 10, 2012 1 Comment

Lloyd Bradford Syke is a Sydney-based theatre critic whose prolific and voluminous reviews can be found on Crikey’s theatre blog Curtain Call. As a long-time fan of Syke’s work, it is a pleasure to have him contribute this piece to Cinetology, an on-the-scene account of Undergound Cinema‘s first Sydney screening. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Underground […]

Will Peter Jackson make 27 Hobbit movies?

Will Peter Jackson make 27 Hobbit movies?

Luke Buckmaster July 31, 2012 7 Comments

Peter Jackson has confirmed, via his Facebook page, that his highly anticipated The Hobbit adaptation — originally a two-part project — will be split into a trilogy. This, of course, makes complete sense. Think about it: you make one movie per Lord of the Rings book, then take the last remaining — and shortest — […]

We don’t need no education: how cinematic classrooms have changed the curriculum

We don’t need no education: how cinematic classrooms have changed the curriculum

Luke Buckmaster July 24, 2012 3 Comments

Remember Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds (1995), clad in look-I’m-street leather, waxing philosophical to a classroom of inspiration-sapped punks, asking them to examine the hidden meanings in Bob Dylan’s Mr Tambourine Man? Remember how Robin Williams changed a classroom full of lives by doing something crazy and — gasp! — getting his students to stand […]

Setting a dark precedent: how does Hollywood deal with real-life tragedy?

Setting a dark precedent: how does Hollywood deal with real-life tragedy?

Luke Buckmaster July 23, 2012

One day Warner Bros. marketing teams are rolling out the red carpet, lining up celebrity interviews and ordering crates of champagne. The next, real blood has been shed. In today’s Crikey newsletter I wrote about how a dark new precedent has been set — and how Hollywood has handled real-life tragedy. Head over here to read it.

Cabin in the Woods stokes the fires of the Astor

Cabin in the Woods stokes the fires of the Astor

Luke Buckmaster July 11, 2012 1 Comment

The acoustics of the room are being pulverised by the hoots and squeals of hundreds of horror boffins and B-movie thrill seekers. We are watching Drew Goddard’s Cabin the Woods in a packed house — at Melbourne’s grandiose Astor Theatre, no less, where its 1150 seats rarely accommodate such a monster crowd — and it’s […]

Django Unchained and the ‘put Johnny Cash on your trailer’ trick

Django Unchained and the ‘put Johnny Cash on your trailer’ trick

Luke Buckmaster June 7, 2012 1 Comment

The long anticipated first trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s neo-western Django Unchained hit the net today, and it’s not bad at all: pulpy, bloody and dripping with style. The trailer deploys a technique that’s been getting a good run lately; let’s call it the ‘Johnny Cash on your trailer’ trick. What better way to pique interest […]

Prometheus classification controversy: rating drops from MA to M, doors open for the kids

Prometheus classification controversy: rating drops from MA to M, doors open for the kids

Luke Buckmaster June 6, 2012 4 Comments

In a surprise move announced this morning, Ridley Scott’s mega-budget sci-fi epic Prometheus has been downgraded from MA to M by the Australian Classification Review Board (ACRB). After being originally granted an MA rating, distributor 20th Century Fox submitted a request for the rating to be reassessed and a five member panel ruled in their […]

Dolphins, The Dark Knight Rises and what Warner Bros will do about Morgan Freeman

Dolphins, The Dark Knight Rises and what Warner Bros will do about Morgan Freeman

Luke Buckmaster May 17, 2012

A quick question, before we go further: why do you think Warner Bros’ wholesome 2011 family adventure Dolphin Tale — “the amazing true story of a brave dolphin and the compassionate strangers who banded together to save her life,” thank you official synopsis — generated disappointing results at the US box office? Your answer, if […]

Lashing out at critics: when film cast and crew go feral (with comment from Richard Wilkins)

Lashing out at critics: when film cast and crew go feral (with comment from Richard Wilkins)

Luke Buckmaster May 9, 2012 7 Comments

#Avengers fans, NY Times critic AO Scott needs a new job! Let’s help him find one! One he can ACTUALLY do! Those were the “them’s fightin’ words” shot down the barrel of the Twitterverse last week. They reverberated across the geekosphere with the force of a Hulk smash to the nads and spawned blog and […]

Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: coming to cinemas near you, in six different formats

Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: coming to cinemas near you, in six different formats

Luke Buckmaster April 30, 2012 9 Comments

2D in 24 frames per second. 2D in 48 frames per second. 3D in 24 frames per second. 3D in 48 frames per second. IMAX 3D in 24 frames per second. IMAX 3D in 48 frames per second. These are the six different formats — that’s right, six — Peter Jackson’s first adaptation of The […]

Checking back in to 1408 — and visiting John Cusack as a Hunter S. Thompson incarnation who never left the hotel

Checking back in to 1408 — and visiting John Cusack as a Hunter S. Thompson incarnation who never left the hotel

Luke Buckmaster April 28, 2012 2 Comments

Author, journalist, DIY bomb maker and gun loving liberal Hunter S. Thompon (aka the ‘Good Doctor’) was celebrated for many things, none more so than his brutally colourful pointy-edged prose, his lust for drugs and alcohol and his legendary ability to transform hotel rooms into sites that reportedly resembled zones of apocalyptic destruction. Like any […]