• Movie Rants,  Old vs New

    Old vs New: Willy Wonka vs Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    When I was growing up in the 1970s, it seemed that three movies were replayed annually: The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Great Race (1965), and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). This was before pay-tv, streaming, digital channels, the internet, rentals, and, well, everything. We had four channels and that was it. Regardless of how often I’d seen these movies, I’d always tune in again, finding something magical in each. They all, in their own way, dealt with the fantastic, and two of them featured children as protagonists. As a kid, who didn’t want to believe in magic, wonder, and boundless possibilities? These are the sort of stories…

  • Movie Rants

    MovieRant: Bond, James … Bond?

    If the Bond franchise were released today, the first one would be great, the next would be okay, and by the third it’d probably be puttering. That’s the route of a lot of modern-day franchises: e.g. Transformers, the Bourne series, Lethal Weapon. By the third movie, most franchises are starting to look worn, and whenever there’s a fourth instalment, it’s usually positively comatose. That Bond survives is because it’s an institution. It’s fifty-years-old. We just accept that instalments will be released. What’s more, the Bonds have an existent fan-base who’ll sustain them. New fans are made (or at least new fans might trial the franchise) because it’s iconic and they…