War Of The Worlds

War Of The Worlds

With huge hype, an interstellar cast and a planet-sized special effects budget, War Of The Worlds has reigned and conquered our screens this summer. A few weeks after its initial release Deryck Swan takes a carefully considered look at Spielberg’s latest

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The Story Of Film

The Story Of Film

Mark Cousins’ Scene By Scene programmes explored filmmakers’ work by showing them clips from their movies. His new book uses a similar approach but uses a much broader canvas – the history of film itself. Review by Deryck Swan

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When the Last Sword is Drawn

When the Last Sword is Drawn

Chambara films – period stories set mainly during Japan’s feudal samurai past – are currently making something of a resurgence in Japan after a long spell in the doldrums. Deryck Swan reviews one of the latest contenders for the chambara crown

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Constantine

In Hollywood’s latest adaptation of a cult comic book, Keanu Reeves stars as the chain-smoking, devil-busting John Constantine, doomed to save the world or be condemned to damnation. Deryck Swan is less than impressed

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Vojna (War)

Vojna (War)

The continuing conflict in Chechnya is the setting for this powerful film from the director Alexsei Balabanov, but Deryck Swan finds the mix between gritty realism and high-octane action a little hard to swallow

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The films of Luc Besson

The films of Luc Besson

Along with Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Luc Besson is one of the select band of French filmmakers who have managed to find success on the global stage. Deryck Swan looks back at the career of one of French cinema’s finest exports

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A Cinema of Loneliness (3rd Edition)

A Cinema of Loneliness (3rd Edition)

Robert Kolker’s ‘A Cinema of Loneliness’ has become a seminal text in modern film studies, covering the work of key directors including Arthur Penn, Oliver Stone, Kubrick, Scorsese and Spielberg. Deryck Swan reviews the third edition

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I, Robot (DVD)

I, Robot (DVD)

This big-budget action film starring Will Smith bears little resemblance to the original stories by Isaac Asimov, which explored a world in which robots have become commonplace. Deryck Swan thinks they should have gone back to the books

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Pocket Essentials: Alfred Hitchcock

Pocket Essentials: Alfred Hitchcock

Ever since the Cahiers du Cinema first began championing Hitchcock as one of the great auteurs, the portly master of suspense has been a regular feature of every film studies syllabus. Deryck Swan reviews the latest book on Hitchcock’s work

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The Bourne Supremacy

The Bourne Supremacy

Jason Bourne is back in the second instalment of Robert Ludlum’s hugely successful spy trilogy, this time with British director Paul Greengrass behind the camera. Look out, 007 – there’s a new spy in town, says Deryck Swan

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The Cooler

The Cooler

The bright lights of Las Vegas have been the backdrop for many movies, but The Cooler is a casino film with a difference. Deryck Swan enjoys the tale of the unluckiest gambler ever to step up to a roulette wheel

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Seven (BFI Modern Classics)

Seven (BFI Modern Classics)

Perhaps the most startling serial killer film of the last decade received the full critical treatment in this 1999 book by Richard Dyer. Deryck Swan looks back at another top-notch instalment in the bfi’s Modern Classic series

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Masked and Anonymous

Masked and Anonymous

The debut film by director Larry Charles brings Bob Dylan back to our screens as a wandering folk hero, with a rollcall of big-name stars in tow. Deryck Swan wishes they’d all get lost – permanently

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Unforgiven (BFI Modern Classics)

Unforgiven (BFI Modern Classics)

With the western (briefly) back in fashion, the release of this recent volume in the BFI’s Modern Classic looks very timely. Deryck Swan enjoys a critical reappraisal of Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning Unforgiven

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The Passion Of The Christ

The Passion Of The Christ

Predictably enough, Mel Gibson’s new film about the life (and death) of Christ has caused a storm of controversy, with many critics questioning its hyper-violent style and historical accuracy. Deryck Swan thinks we should keep an open mind

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Open Range

Open Range

After the debacle of his last two efforts (the truly forgettable Waterworld and the equally unmemorable The Postman), for his latest film Kevin Costner has returned to the genre that one him a Best Director oscar – the western. Deryck Swan, for one, is glad

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Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn was unquestionably one of the great icons of 20th century cinema, but her films have received relatively little critical coverage. Deryck Swan reviews one of the first comprehensive studies, recently published by Pocket Essentials

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The Missing

The Missing

In the postmodern cinema world, the western is a hard genre to make work. Clint managed it with Unforgiven, Kevin Costner (arguably) did the same with Dances with Wolves, and now Ron Howard, has joined them. Deryck Swan applauds his effort

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School of Rock

School of Rock

Having already made one classic high school movie – the immortal Dazed & Confused – Richard Linklater has returned to the genre in the company of everyone’s favourite rotund comedy rocker, Jack Black. Deryck Swan salutes them both

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The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai

Hollywood has never been great at foreign history. Tom Cruise’s new film has been criticised for oversimplifying the story of the demise of the Japanese samurai, but Deryck Swan thinks it represents a new stage in the Cruiser’s career

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