Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Malc Fixes 2013

As a companion to the main YouTube video, here is the audio - in podcast form - of Malc Fixes 2013.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Benjy's Retrospective of 2013

Benjy looks back on his cinematic year and then rambles on.

Click here to listen, or subscribe via iTunes (clicky at the top)

p.s. This was meant to happen in 2013 but didn't.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Season 3 Episode 4- Iron Man Three vs. Thor: The Dark World #SPOILERS

Malc & Benjy discuss the first two film in Marvel Studio's "Phase Two" - Iron Man Three and Thor: The Dark World.

This marks the first time Malc & Benjy have podcast about a film still currently on release (or, in the case of the US, not yet on release) so please be aware there is a huge SPOILER WARNING.

Monday, 12 August 2013

The Lone Ranger (2013) Review - *Mild Spoilers*

Is it possible to ever avoid racism (or its insidious cousin, positive discrimination) in a big budget, Hollywood studio film? This is not the overriding theme of The Lone Ranger, nor this review, but it is a question that we can't help but contemplate in the moments immediately after watching the film.

A less universally controversial topic - though more pertinent to a film blog - is this; is a critics opinion that important? In other words, was it the critical reaction to the Lone Ranger that sank it at the box office, or was it just not very good? Was it too expensive for what it was?
The Lone Ranger first rode in from the Texan wilderness in the early thirties as a radio serial, to compete with The Shadow, Buck Rogers and others. He was a Texas Ranger, he wore a mask to fight institutional corruption, and from episode 11 he had an 'Indian' sidekick (ostensibly so he had someone to talk to). He was an ace shot, a good brawler and a decidedly honest figure. He joined Superman and Batman as larger than life, pulp heroes emblazoned on American (and later our) culture. The William Tell Overture became synonymous with his adventures, like the Liberty Bell to Monty Python or Ride of the Valkyries to Apocalypse Now.
There followed several comics, novels, movies and - perhaps most famously - a t.v. series which gave fans a weekly cliffhanging adventure in THE medium of the 20th century.
80 years, and almost $250,000,000 later, Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski give us an updated take on the familiar legend.
Which takes me back to my second question - is it really only good enough to have taken back half of its production budget?
Obviously, a film's profitability has little to do with its quality (*ahTRANSFORMERSem*) but here it seems negative critical response is being blamed.
We begin in 1933 (the year of LR's creation) at the circus where an aged Tonto relates the tale of the Lone Ranger's origin to a young boy, a little like The Princess Bride meets A Man Named Horse.
Flashing back to the Wild West (Texas, looking suspiciously like western movie-Mecca Monument Valley, Utah), we meet train barons, outlaws, injuns, townsfolk and a young lawyer named John Reid. After the villain is busted from jail by his posse, John's square-jawed, two-fisted older brother, Texas ranger Dan Reid deputises little bro to help him find the outlaw, and the lawmen (7 of them) are unceremoniously gunned down. Little John survives, with the help of Johnny Depp's Tonto, who mentors the city-softened bookworm into the justice-meting, white horse-riding, silver bullet-shooting hero.

Suffice to say, this isn't a 90 minute adventure, whipping from one set piece to the next... and that is where the roblem lies. 

We get John's backstory - love of life marries brother, brother dies, quandary.
We get Tonto's backstory - prospectors trick him into revealing silver mine, slaughter family, guilt leads to revenge quest.
We even get more than enough characterisation on the villains!
It becomes so bogged down in myth-making that for huge swathes it seems to forget that it's supposed to be a pulp adventure. When it does start with horse chases and train-top fights, it's very entertaining and none of the performances are bad - it's just too long.

Armie Hammer is a good actor, a handsome leading man, and he gives good Clark and good Kal-El as both sides of the heroic personae. While he doesn't 'zing' like - say - Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man or Fassbender as Magneto, he is better than solid and I'm looking forward to following his career.
Tom Wilkinson is predictably excellent as the train baron puppet master and Ruth Wilson is sympathetic as Token Woman #1

William Fitchner is odd - he's a super actor and very convincing as the Black Hat, but I was constantly distracted by... something. Maybe it's the memory of his lovely blind scientist in Contact, in which case it's my fault, or maybe he just has no business having all that dirt on his face, but something was out.
HBC was less zany than usual, reminding the audience that a fabulous actress lies beneath the STD she's obviously caught from her husband (Thank God it wasn't HIM directing this!) although she and her leg are entirely superfluous.
Which brings us to the headline stealing Mr. Depp's turn as sidekick/actual main character Tonto of the Commanche (a change because Tonto's original tribe wasn't from Texas). Imagine if Keith Richards was born a Native American and instead of drugs and booze had gotten into paganism and spiritualism. This is the Jack Sparrow we would have gotten.
He is wise (though the script isn't), sarcastic, always in control and utterly overshadows John Reid as the hero. It reads a revisionistic history where Tonto is the brains and Reid is the face of the Lone Ranger, because the evil white man wouldn't accept an Indian hero (to be fair, yeah - that happened, BUT... to be continued)

Which brings me back to my first question. The stereotypical Tonto speaks in broken English, and supports LR. In the t.v. series, they started to redress the balance by having Tonto speak properly, contributing to the heroism and while he is still the sidekick, his Indian-ness neither relegates him to 'noble savage' nor does white guilt promote him to Spiritual Übermensch.
In this film, that's what they do - positive discrimination turns Tonto into a semi-Jedi warrior priest who has no flaws, and knows everything. Despite a really interesting section where it is implied guilt over his youthful mistake has driven him insane, he ends up being a blend of Han Solo and Obi-Wan, and this detracts from LR (Luke Skywalker in this analogy) which does damage the film.
Still on my first original question - produced by a white man, written by white men (the guys who wrote Pirates of the Caribbean and EVERYTHING ELSE EVER), directed by an American of (recent) European descent, the star is a white man playing a Commanche (though he claims he 'may have Indian ancestry')... If its so keen to promote the indigenous peoples, why are there none involved in the production? Why doesn't he play LR and have a Native American play Tonto? It's awfully hypocritical and distracts from the plot.
Let me stop for a second and back up. Do I dislike this film? Does it deserve to fail?
No. It doesn't. It's a lot of fun - not all the time, but enough to justify the ticket price. The setpieces tend to get too big, too complex, too CGI, but they're exciting and they're spectacular. Gore Verbinski KNOWS action, in a way that many modern film makers don't (Michael Bay? George Lucas? Even modern Spielberg!) and the final train bit is great. Of course, that could be because THAT music kicks in...
This film is better than most blockbusters. Certainly most modern blockbusters. It is worth your time and your money, and while it is not the next Pirates of the Caribbean (despite the same creative team) it MAY BE the next John Carter - an under-appreciated, solid piece of entertainment that DOES deserve more than an early death.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Season 3 Episide 3 - Van Helsing vs. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

After an over-long hiatus, Malc and Benjy rip into their respective Worst Films (coincidentally both starring Hugh Jackman), Van Helsing by Stephen Sommers and X-Men Origins: Wolverine by a bunch of twits.

We are now on Twitter (@malcandbenjy) so please go and follow us!

What could have been... *sigh*

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Malc & Benjy's World Events - Disney Buys Lucasfilm

Join Malc & Benjy as they discuss the recent purchase by Disney of Lucasfilm, studio behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
Do you agree with them, or are they speaking rot? Wade in, at churchofben@googlemail.com including the subject "When you wish upon a Death Star"

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Chaos Reigns

Things have gotten a little... Untidy on the M&B podcast feed, so iTunes is all out of order. I'll try and sort it if I can, but until then... Please bear with us.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Malc & Benjy's Avengers Special

Malc & Benjy discuss the recent Marvel film "The Avengers" (or, as it is known in the UK, Marvel Avengers Assemble, for God's Sake!)

Friday, 30 December 2011

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Season 3 Episide 2 - Singin in the Rain vs. South Park - Bigger, Longer and Uncut

Malc & Benjy discuss two extreme opposites of the Musical Cinema genre - Singin in the Rain and South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Season 3 Episode 1 - Thor vs. Captain America: The First Avenger

Malc & Benjy kick off their third season with a look back on two of the Geekiest films of 2011, Marvel Studios' brace of comic-book adaptations, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.
In summary: We're geeks = we like them.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Malc & Benjy's Feature Presentation #2 - Braveheart

Scot Malc and Englishman Benjy debate a landmark "Historical" Epic about the strife between England and Scotland... Braveheart! Can the pair survive? Actually, as it turns out, they can!

William Wallace wasn't going to let laryngitis get in the way of his motivational speech...

And, because we promised, here is the most Inspirational 2 minutes you'll ever see;
<iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/d6wRkzCW5qI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And some more Braveheart related madcap humour;
<iframe width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/tcoVxbutl8g?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Malc & Benjy's Box Set Easter Special - The Alien Tetralogy

In Pod, no-one can hear you Cast!
Malc & Benjy travel to LV-421 to deconstruct the most influential Sci-fi Horror franchise ever. This time, it's war.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Malc & Benjy's Box Set Easter Special - Teaser

Coming soon to Malc & Benjy's Double Bill - A beautiful reflection on fertility and rebirth in the movies.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Season 2 Episode 6 - Nineteen Eighty-Four vs. THX 1138

Big Brother is Watching You. We're the ones who watch back. Malc & Benjy go all totalitarian for this, the final episode of Season 2.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

My 2011 Oscar Predictions! - By Benjy

I'm leaving it pretty late this year, but here are my picks for the Oscars this year. By the time anyone reads this, they'll be over and done with, but that ain't gonna stop me!

So, here are my predictions - join me in a few days to see if I was right;

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King's Speech” - Gotta be the Firth. He was pipped to the post this year, so this year he'll Dench it. 
James Franco in “127 Hours”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter” - It should be Geoffrey Rush, but it feels like Bale's year.
John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” - Natalie Portman. She's pretty damned good in this... and she's pregnant.
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit” - I don't think Steinfeld will win, but she should. She's amazing. Melissa Leo (never heard of her) has some buzz behind her, and kudos to HBC for not gothing about all year and actually doing some acting.
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich - If you've seen it, you know why.

Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” 
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan - Too close to call, but I'm going for Potter because... well, it's always looked amazing.
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
“The King's Speech”
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
“True Grit”
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
“Inception” Wally Pfister - If there's any justice in the world, this film will win everything it's up for. True Grit and Black Swan are (in my humble opinion) contenders, but Inception did what the Matrix did - it changed the grammar of cinema.
“The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” Roger Deakins

Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres - Gotta be this film. Watching Rooster is his long johns, you genuinely believe that Jeff Bridges wore them for a straight year. How much the ming is a testament to the skill of Zophres.

“Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” David O. Russell
“The King's Speech” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” David Fincher - With neither Inception nor 127 Hours in the running, I've got to go for Fincher. Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac... all amazing. But to turn "The Facebook Movie" into a must see event is nothing short of miraculous.
“True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Documentary (Feature)
“Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz - The Only one I've seen, but bloody good.
“Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein - I like the idea of someone called 'Jed' winning an oscar.
“Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block
“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

Film Editing
“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” Pamela Martin
“The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” Jon Harris - Again, fairness doesn't seem to be a part of the Oscars, but this IS the Best Edited Film of the Year (Social Network is the closest contender, Black Swan a fairly distant third). Again, how to take a guy trapped in one place and make it that exciting is a mark of genius.
“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful” Mexico - Plain guess.
“Dogtooth” Greece
“In a Better World” Denmark
“Incendies” Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

“Barney's Version” Adrien Morot
“The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng - SAOIRSE RONAN'S FEET!!!
“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
“Inception” Hans Zimmer - Amazing. No regrets choosing this film. No regrets at all.
“The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman - I'm gonna go for this rather than A. R. Rahman, just because of the Toy Story Name. I think this will be another Dench.

Best Picture
“Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers - 10 Wonderful films, a really strong year for this category. I'll be happy whoever wins, but I really want either this or Inception. I'm going for 127 Hours because Inception wasn't nominated for the Editing gong.
“The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
“Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Short Film (Animated)
“Day &amp; Night” Teddy Newton - Because, Pixar. Come on! 
“The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession” Tanel Toom
“The Crush” Michael Creagh
“God of Love” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt - Guess work.
“Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Sound Editing
“Inception” Richard King - All strong contenders, but I think Inception uses sound in a much more integral way than the rest, and it works.
“Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger

Sound Mixing
“Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick - See above.
“The King's Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell
“Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb - Potter might pip it (the Multi-Potter scene is good) but Inception is both slick and imaginative. The Mirrors on the bridge, the folding city, the Sand-scrapers... it's breathtaking.
“Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle &amp; Simon Beaufoy - I'm gonna go with this given how impressively they take a very uncinematic concept and write a realt treatise to self-realization and facing ones own mortality. Plus, y'know, Danny Boyle is one of the greatest filmmakers around.
“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen &amp; Ethan Coen
“Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik &amp; Anne Rosellini

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy &amp; Eric Johnson;
Story by Keith Dorrington &amp; Paul Tamasy &amp; Eric Johnson
“Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan - Must be Inception. Must be, must be, must be.
“The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko &amp; Stuart Blumberg
“The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Season 2 Episode 5 - Chinatown vs. Brick

Malc & Benjy tackle two Neo-noir masterpieces, Chinatown and Brick, and discuss film endings.

Friday, 11 February 2011

This kid might just replace us...

This kid is awesome. If someone can pay him to do one of these a week, I think every other film podcaster could just retire (Maybe not really, but it is a seriously cute video - just ignore the preachy bit at the end.)

Thanks to http://superpunch.blogspot.com/2011/02/cute-kid-recounts-commando-in-ill.html

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

SPECIAL - Benjy's Retrospective of 2010

Due to my body being the latest battleground in the ongoing war against the Influenza bug, I have chosen - rather than wallowing in self pity - to record a Retrospective of last year.
I'd love to hear any comments from listeners, either emailed to churchofben@googlemail.com or comment on this blog post.
- Benjy

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Season 2 Episode 4 - Unforgiven vs. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Youth vs. Age, Money vs. Redemption, Violence vs. Intensity
Two films involving the legendary Clint Eastwood - one from the height of his acting career, one from the beginning of his heyday as a Director. Similarities and differences abound in equal measure - lets see what we can say about each.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Malc & Benjy's Box Set - BONUS Star Wars - The Legacy

Malc & Benjy provide a second Bonus Podcast on The Star Wars Trilogy - this time talking about everything except the films.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Malc & Benjy's Box Set - The Star Wars Holiday Special

Malc & Benjy open another box set.
This time, our Dynamic Duo tackle The Star Wars Trilogy (Proper, not prequel).

Retraction - Ian McDiarmid was the artistic director at the Almeida Theatre, not the one Benjy said.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Season 2 Episode 3 - Tron vs. The Matrix

This episode, Malc & Benjy explore Cyberspace with two computer-based tales of man vs. machine;
Tron (1982) and The Matrix (1999)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Season 2 Episode 2 - G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra vs. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Malc & Benjy tackle the modern big screen adaptations of two of the biggest toy franchises of the 80's.

To pilfer the tagline from another terrible franchise, "Whoever Wins, the Audience Loses"

"This is all your fault!"

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Malc & Benjy's Top Ten... CARS

Cars are awesome. They get you from A to B, they act as a status symbol and they can mean life or death when being chased by gangsters/monsters/cops/robots/aliens/[insert movie villain of your choice].
However, there are times - rare times, admittedly - when the humble automobile stretches out beyond the confines of the celluloid and grips your mind with the tenacity of a Great White Shark at Amity Island. Either through use, through design, through the way the damned thing is lit and shot, these vehicles imprint themselves on our mind and we... don't deny it... we drift off into our own fantasy world where we are driving that car.

Before we get to our favourites, we would like to explain the criteria that we set ourself;
To be included on the list, the vehicle must have four wheels and an engine.
It must not be alive or a regular car which has been possessed (Horror Cars may come later).
We are judging the car, not the film.
We're trying not to repeat ourselves in the list. (Though there are 3 police cars!)
I'm sure there are more rules, but we can't remember them.

So, without further ado - Malc & Benjy's Top Ten Movie Cars!

1) The DeLorean (Back to the Future Trilogy) - Because if you're going to travel through time, you might as well do it with some class.

2) The Batmobile (Batman, 1989) - This is the Batmobile that made the Batmobile cool - every one since this owes it a debt of gratitude.

3) The Interceptor (Mad Max) - Sleek, black, stylish - the best way to prowl the post-apocalyptic outback.

4) Bullitt's Car (Bullitt) - Because how could you possibly do a feature on cars and not include this?

5) Ecto-1 (Ghostbusters) - The look, the gadgets, the sound, the awesome stuff in the boot! This is the car that the child in all of us would have.

6) B.A.'s Van (The A-Team) - Rubbed out all to quickly in the movie, this iconic vehicle is both a workshop-on-wheels and a mobile gun platform. And who doesn't want a red swish on their vehicle?

7) The A.P.C. (Aliens) - Wouldn't you love this car in a traffic jam? Big, blocky in a way that only 80's military sci-fi can seem to manage and beweaponed. Also, consistantly shot from low angles just makes it look cooler.

8) The Detroit P.D. Cruiser (Robocop) - Bog standard, endlessly replaceable, and yet a beautiful car!

9) "The Classic" Oldsmobile (Any Sam Raimi film) - It's as much a milestone of cinema as it is a cool car. Destroyed and rebuilt more times than

10) Charlie Crokers Mini (The Italian Job, 1969) - Forget the new film, forget the new mini. This film put small cars on the map as objects of utter cool.

Honourable Mentions:

  • The Tumbler (Batman Begins) - A superb "Bat-tank" but not groundbreaking enough in style to warrant inclusion above Burton's Batmobile.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) - A timeless classic, but would you take one out for a spin around town?
  • Optimus Prime (Transformers) - Disqualified for not really being a vehicle, this guy would definitely be number one in a "Top Ten... ALIEN ROBOTS" list.
  • The Spinner (Blade Runner) - Doesn't count as a car, because it has no wheels, but Syd Mead's design and Jordan Cronenwerth's cinematography, every frame containing this car emblazons it on the history of cinema.
  • The Knight Bus (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) - Better than any real bus, even with the risk to life and limb.
  • The Harley (Terminator 2) - It all boils down to that slow-mo shot with Not-Arnie chasing down an articulated lorry. Amazing!
  • Herbie (Various) - Too twee. Probably an Autobot deserter.

Malc & Benjy's Emergency Broadcast

Due to the worst snow to hit Britain in 17 years, Malc & Benjy cannot offer you a full double bill - but would like to offer you this tidbit to tide you over in trying times.

I don't know why they called it Hoth. They should have called it Coldth!

Pic, courtesy of Avenaut

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Season 2 Episode 1 - Bram Stoker's Dracula vs. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula vs. Kenneth Brannagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein!!!

The two definitive Gothic Horror Stories receive the 90's treatment, and then - almost twenty years later - the Malc & Benjy treatment.

This is a GENUINE poster from a 70's b-movie - not  out twisted invention.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Malc & Benjy's Feature Presentation #1 - Ghostbusters

To celebrate Hallowe'en (this year, and for all time) Malc & Benjy decide to discuss the classic horror comedy Ghostbusters for their first Feature Presentation (Like the double bill and box set, but for just one film).


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Malc & Benjy's Box Set #1 - Back to the Future

In the first of our Occasional Specials, Malc & Benjy's Box Set #1, we take the entire Back to the Future Trilogy (on it's 25th Anniversary) and analyse is at 88mph.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Malc & Benjy's Box Set #1 - Teaser

Coming October 2010 - Malc & Benjy's Box Set #1

Comic courtesy of xkcd

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Episode 5 - Die Hard with a Vengeance vs. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Malc and Benjy discuss a pair of Surprising Third Installments; Die Hard with a Vengeance
and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Episode 6 - The Cable Guy vs. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Malc & Benjy discuss two highlights/lowlights of the career of Ben Stiller - his directorial effort The Cable Guy and his starring role in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Episode 4 - Pulp Fiction vs. Forrest Gump

Malc & Benjy discuss two of 1994's most accoladed films - Forrest Gump (Oscar for Best Picture) and Pulp Fiction (Palme D'Or)

Episode 3 - The Mummy (2009) vs. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Malc and Benjy talk about two films loosely inspired by the Indiana Jones Trilogy...

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Episode 2 - Robocop vs. Terminator

Who would win in a fight between Robocop and The Terminator?!

Malc & Benjy's Top Ten... TRILOGIES

Welcome to the first of Malc & Benjy’s Top Ten – our blog feature where we take the ten most personal entries in a specific category and analyse the crap out of them.

For our inaugural blog posting, we’ve chosen to look at Trilogies – partly because Trilogies are awesome, partly because our next Podcast involves Trilogies and partly because Empire Magazine just published a feature and we don’t necessarily agree.

So, without too much preamble, here are the OFFICIAL Top Ten Trilogies.

1) The Original Star Wars Trilogy

· This is without doubt the Greatest Film Trilogy. It’s the reason we love trilogies (as long as they not be Prequels). Before Star Wars, there were people who loved films and people who loved the number 3, but since The Return of the Jedi, these people are one. Even though the high point is Empire, anyone who denounces Jedi is clearly a Bear Racist as there is nothing wrong with the Ewoks. Seriously. Nothing! Gary Kurtz recently revealed how the trilogy was to end, and it was a much more mature, sombre tone with death and spiritual release, and Luke walking off into the sunset, but being truly honest if that had been the end, and we’d waited six years for it, we’d have been livid. The only way to end such a grandiose fantasy was with the happy Kodak moment we got.

2) The Indiana Jones Trilogy (Raiders to Crusade)

· To be A Man is to wish you were Indiana Jones. Even more so than Star Wars, Indiana Jones is the most pure fun you can have in the cinema, and this includes every single moving image recorded since – Toys, Pirates, Transforming Robots, and Dinosaurs be damned! The reason for this is probably because Lucas – an ideas man who can’t really write or direct – is in charge of Ideas whilst Spielberg – a man who can’t really come up with decent ideas (A.I.?) but can direct the socks off any other individual you care to name – is directing. Also, John Williams.

3) The Bourne Trilogy

· This is that rarest of things, a trilogy which only improves with each successive chapter, the Law of Diminishing returns being roundly met by Jason Bourne’s middle finger. This guy could probably whup Chuck Norris. While Star Wars and Indiana Jones are the definition of “Cinema”, Bourne actually has so few flaws as to be a near perfect series of action films.

4) The Lord of the Rings

· While of a consistently high quality, what really pushes LOTR into the upper echelons is its ambition. Let’s face it, nothing in this film was new – Gollum was the child of Jar-Jar, most of the design was from Ralph Bakshi or hippie calendars and the violence was a polished version of Meet the Feebles. What really stands out is the care, the beauty, the scale and the scope of this wondrous series of films. These films are second only to Star Wars for creating a living, breathing, fully realised world that you would actually want to live in.

5) Back to the Future

· Okay, let’s get one thing straight. If you altered the timeline so your parents never had kids you would cease to have even been. You would not slowly fade, body part by body part. However, the brilliance of Back to the Future can be seen no more clearly than when we ignore all paradoxes and actually start wishing George and Lorraine would kiss. If we could choose one historical period to go to, we may not have chosen the fifties – but we’re really glad that Robert Zemeckis did! Marty, Doc Brown and Biff would top their respective character lists (Top Bratty Teens, Top Mad Scientists and Top Jock Thugs) and there aren’t many trilogies that can say that.*

6) The Dollars Trilogy

· While The Bourne Trilogy are the best examples of films that get better as the series progresses, they are by no means the only ones. These Westerns, absolutely radical at the time for their depiction of violence and cynical tone, stand the test of time better than most other period films, let alone westerns, with characters, plot devices and camera work which even today influences countless film makers. There are two kinds of men in this world, my friend; those that like the Dollars trilogy and those that haven’t yet seen it.

7) The Alien Trilogy (1 – 3)

· This is one of the first examples of a sequel taking the first one, and then doing everything it didn’t to create a truly different kind of experience. Alien was a truly brilliant horror that could never be topped – wisely, James Cameron didn’t even try. Instead, he went and made a sci-fi actioner that is without peer. Sigourney Weaver is the action Heroine, never mind your Angelina Jolie tosh. She is beautiful without being glamorous, tough without being masculine and independent without being a bitch. Of all the trilogies in this list, this one has the weakest single link with Alien 3 – but it’s not all that bad, and the first two are so rippin’ it doesn’t really matter.

8) Toy Story

· It’s possible to view these films as films about toys. It’s possible to view them as metaphors for modern living – part one is about being the new guy in a job, part two is about being promoted beyond the position you loved and part three is about retirement and facing your own mortality. This is the genius of Pixar – a colourful happy film about toys made us depressed that one day we’re going to grow old and die.

9) Mad Max

· We don’t want to live in a Post-apocalyptic world where we’re forced to fight for our lives, scavenge for food and treat every resource as if our existence depended upon it. But if we did, we’d like to do it here. Plus, his car is bitchin’.

10) Nolan’s Batman Trilogy

· Because, come on. Y’know? Come on.

Honourable Mentions

These films missed out on the top ten because of a significant weak link (or two) in the series. Whilst all of these have at least one film that may have been excellent in its own right, we are doing a feature on trilogies. So get over it! (Kidding.)

The Terminator Trilogy (1-3)

Terminator 3 – T2 as remade by the Chuckle Brothers (Inflatable Boobs? Talk to the Hand? Punching a Car? What?!)

The Die Hard Trilogy (1 – Vengeance)

Die Hard 2: Die Harder! (At least 3 and 4 weren’t called Die Harderer and Die Hardest) It’s the opposite of the Alien films, where the sequel does just do the same as the original but not as good. Saved by a surprising part 3 – see the Podcast for details!

The Godfather Trilogy

Sometimes a brace is better than a hat trick.

The Evil Dead Trilogy

Evil Dead, for all its charm and the fact that it gave its key players a career, isn’t really that good which is why they remade it for Evil Dead 2.

Mission Impossible

F*ck you, John Woo. MI:2 doesn’t suck in its own right, but it sucks as a spy movie. It’s a subtle as Michael Bay taking a fart in a lift... then blowing it up in slo-mo as its hair wafts in the backdraft.

Hannibal Lecter

A legendary classic, bookended by two mediocre adaptations.

The Matrix Trilogy

We think we all live in the Matrix. We think that the rebels made The Matrix. We think that the success and popularity of the Matrix scared the Machines, and to send us back to sleep and ignore the world-defining knowledge that was within our grasp, made the Matrix Sequels. This is why they suck.

Pirates of the Caribbean

You’ve made a brilliant action adventure movie which has defied all expectation and is being hailed as the new Indiana Jones. What do you take as your template for the sequels? That’s right. The Matrix sequels. Top notch.

Superhero Movies

Malcolm was kicking off that there were no Superhero movies in the top ten (Batman doesn't count) so we decided to work out which is the top Superhero trilogies.

Whilst neither X-Men nor Spider-man get into the top ten (owing to dodgy third chapters), Malc and Benjy are utterly unified on the mini-list of “In what order of quality do these six films sit.” The undisputable (maybe) list is;

1) X2: X-Men United

2) Spider-Man

3) X-Men

4) Spider-Man 2

5) X-Men – The Last Stand

6) Spider-Man 3

On the basis that it contains the single best film (by a very narrow margin) and the rest are all kind of on a par with each other (i.e. 3 with 4 and 5 with 6) then we deem X-Men the greatest Superhero Movie Trilogy.

Episode 1 - Hulk vs. Hulk

Malc & Benjy debate the Noughties' two Hulk films.