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The Spinning Image Newsletter #8

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But you have found the eighth Spinning Image Newsletter! Another electronic mixture of odds and ends, and electronic is the key word here...

Computers, eh? Without them you wouldn't be able to access all that porn, er, I mean, information from all over the world - information you can scarcely do without! Imagine a day without the internet - you can't can you? It would be too horrible to contemplate.

And the reason for this? Computers are taking over the world! Read on, gentle reader, read on...

COMPETITION NEWS

This month our competition has a distinctly chop-suey flavour. We've got DVD copies of Binchunmoo and Shaolin Kung-Fu to give away. Entering couldn't be simpler than following this link! (sorry - this competition is now closed).

SITE NEWS

  • News Pages

    The homepage has updated film news with relevant links. Only the 10 most recent are displayed, but all news items are held in the archive for reference. Don't forget you can also send in your own news items via the Newsletter link.

  • Ratings

    There's a 10 star rating system on all reviews on the site. If you'd like to give a rating to a film you've seen then just scroll to the bottom of the review - select your score and click 'Rate Film' to see how your rating affects the films overall score.

  • Comments

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  • Login!

    To use any of the above features you must be a member (and you are aren't you?) and you must be logged in! Members also get told about competitions in advance... maybe we should make competitions a members only feature - what do you reckon?

DOES NOT COMPUTE - OR DOES IT?

Let's look at the evidence from the most reliable source: the movies. Films have been quick to spot any looming trends, and the computer revolution is no different. So now that we are living in the future, how can we expect to see computers invading our lives?

  • 2001 A Space Odyssey - Who's the most interesting character? It's HAL 9000, isn't it? He has the sense of humour, the good manners and the cunning to make sure you know who's boss. OK, his singing could use a little work, but we've given him the power over life and death - especially death!

  • Colossus The Forbin Project - Some problems are too big for our tiny human brains to contemplate, so we delegate supercomputers to work out the hard stuff. Big mistake! That's just the excuse they're looking for to take over the whole world! And here's the evidence! Do your own thinking and get rid of that pocket calculator just in case!

  • Demon Seed - Well, there's one thing computers can't do - rumpy-pumpy! But this film shows that even that most human of functions could be adopted by our silicon chip servants to create little computer people. Would you have sex with a computer? Of course you would. Wouldn't, that is. Wouldn't.

  • WarGames - You see, you put the supercomputer in charge of killing us puny humans and it's going to get to like the idea. Anything could set it off, from a Matthew Broderick to an Ally Sheedy. It might learn a lesson now, but what about next time? And there will be a next time!

  • Superman III - Computers need power to operate, and the bigger the computer, the more power it needs, until only Superman himself can find the "off" switch - and he's a fictional character! Plus it will invent laser beams and turn people into robots to do its bidding! This could only be days away...

  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day - A glimpse into the future for the unwary. Yes it will happen, computers will take over the world as we know it, start blowing us up with lasers and stuff, and the only way to stop it will be to travel back in time to make sure Clive Sinclair never lets that pocket calculator get out of hand....

  • The Matrix - The final insult. Now computers use us as a power source, even though we're not very economical - they're just doing it as a joke! And computers have a very repetitive, poorly evolved sense of humour, just like babies! Well boo to you technology! I'm going back to the abacus!

COMPUTER LOVE

But before I do, let's have a look at how computers are treated in the movies, as seen by the living, breathing denizens of the internet.


IS IT A GAME OR IS IT REAL?

Naturally, whenever a computer game is a big hit, the movie rights are sold - but what about those games of yesteryear that haven't been adapted for the big screen yet? Get your chequebooks out you producers, because here's a few ideas to match the huge box office returns of Super Mario Brothers, Streetfighter and Double Dragon!

  • Pong - Imagine the multiplexes across the world echoing to the sound of "Blip!" "Bloop!". Darren Aronofsky could direct it as a sequel to his hit film Pi.

  • Pacman - Robin Williams finds his ideal role here. Look, if he can dress up as a woman, he can dress up a yellow circle being chased by ghosts. Jumanji was just the same! Nearly.

  • Frogger - Philip Seymour Hoffman in a big green frog suit, battling to make it across a log-filled river and a busy road - the tension would be unbearable!

  • Donkey Kong - Before you remake King Kong, Mr Jackson, we say, "Hold on!" Consider an all-action "giant ape throwing barrels down ramps" adventure!

  • Manic Miner - Rhys Ifans as Miner Willy, leaping his way through caverns fraught with dangerous telephones, toilets, and er, whatever that was supposed to be. Brilliant.

  • Jet Set Willy - There has to be a sequel as Ifans returns to clear up after a wild party. The DVD version includes various POKEs to make things easier for him.

  • Knightlore - Bruce Campbell takes the lead as Sabreman, who has the unfortunate affliction of turning into a werewolf every couple of minutes as he tries to find a cure. In 3-D!

  • Out Run - Seann William Scott and Kate Hudson in the driver's seat (well, alternating in the driver's seat) of a red Ferrari for a Gumball Rally-style adventure along the highways.

  • Doom - Vin Deisel arrives festooned with weaponry to blow away all manner of zombies, beasts and guards. No plot needed, just an hour and a half of mindless violence.

What fantastic ideas! Any money men out there - get in touch! Any other suggestions? Let us know!

ARTICLES

As a member you can send your own articles for inclusion on the site. These can be on any cult movie related subject - although you might like to email me before embarking on a massive project which is then deemed unsuitable. On the whole though, if you think it might interest other readers it's good enough for us.


GUILTY PLEASURES

You know, those films the critics hated but you kind of like? Dare you admit to them? Mary Sibley dares...

  • The Avengers - A butchered storyline (courtesy of Warner Bros. and their listening to an audience of numbskulls), but where else can one catch a glimpse of Ralph Fiennes peeking out from a blue blankie with nary a thought of Shakespeare crossing his mind???? Lucious and highly desirable!!

  • Pros and Cons - A highly amusing "I was framed, but watch me play an idiot" film, delightfully rendered in laugh fashion by David Rasche, Tommy Davidson and Larry Miller. The story sideline of decorating one's prison cell should be a crime! No food for thought with this movie.

  • The Big Tease - Another Rasche film dealing with the World Hairdresser International Federation Competition and all the loonytoons who inhabit the hair styling business. Rasche as Stig, the flamboyant hairdresser is worth a month's salary for the hilarious accent and antics he betrays.

  • Ishtar - How great it is to see how the Mighty wet all over themselves with this stinker! It can only be hoped that Hoffman, Beatty, May and the rest of the cast sought new agents after this little fiasco! I rub my hands in glee and smile from ear to ear at this Titanic.

  • Death To Smoochy - anything that makes fun of Barney the Dinosaur is tops in my book.

  • Simone - Al Pacino... has finally winning an Oscar for a forgettable film made you lose all sense of reason? Talk about overacting, but being able, as the viewer to laugh oneself silly at what a great talent he USED to be just about says it all.

  • Snow Dogs - Calling Cuba Gooding, Jr. The plane has left with your Oscar!! Actor's Hell awaits!!

  • Collateral Damage - Arnold in all his consummate glory and monosyllabic glory. I guess marrying into the Kennedy clan does have its perks.

  • XXX - Van Diesel... need I say more? In the mold of Arnold, short on words and long on muscle. Kinda dumb, I like that in a man.

  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding - harmless fluff with a tendancy to grate on the nerves, but touching in its own special old Greek way.

    Some brave choices there... any other suggestions? Let us know...

POLLS

Well, the public have voted and 24% of people wanted to act in the first all-star porno movie, making this choice the winner. Unfortunately the stars of this porno would be Kathy Bates, Sandra Bernhard, Danny DeVito, D.J. Qualls, Michael Berryman and Miriam Margolyes.

But never mind, there's a new poll up and running, so go on and vote!


REST IN PEACE

Ice skater and actress Vera Hruba Ralston died in February aged 81. Nominated in the Golden Turkey Awards as one of the worst actresses of all time, she was the object of Republic head Herbert Yates' desire, and he put her in many movies, allegedly leading to Republic's demise. Her films included two John Wayne movies, Dakota and The Fighting Kentuckian, and The Lady and the Monster.

Greek actor Titos Vandis died aged 86 in February. His film appearances included Topkapi, The Exorcist, Smile, Oh God! and A Perfect Couple.

Daniel Taradash, who won an Oscar for adapting From Here to Eternity, died aged 90 in February. Other credits were Golden Boy, Rancho Notorious, Castle Keep and trash classic The Other Side of Midnight. He was also head of the Motion Picture Academy during the seventies.

Horst Buchholz was called the German James Dean when he started out, appearing in Tiger Bay, One Two Three and as one of The Magnificent Seven. In later years, he turned to TV, but also appeared in the Oscar-winning Life is Beautiful. He died aged 69 in March.

Actor and sixties pop singer Adam Faith appeared in Beat Girl, What a Whopper!, Stardust, Foxes and McVicar on film, and also starred in Budgie and Love Hurts on TV. He died aged 62 in March.

Dame Thora Hird was an actress of stage and screen who died aged 91 in March. Some of her films included Went the Day Well?, The Magic Box, The Quatermass Xperiment, The Entertainer, A Kind of Loving and The Nightcomers, but some of her best work was on TV, as in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads series.

Hong Kong film star Leslie Cheung appeared in A Better Tomorrow and its sequel, A Chinese Ghost Story and its sequel, Rouge, The Bride with White Hair and its sequel, Farewell My Concubine, Ashes of Time and Happy Together. He committed suicide aged 46 at the end of March.

Actor Michael Jeter appeared in Hair, Miller's Crossing, The Fisher King, Waterworld, Mouse Hunt, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Green Mile and Jurassic Park III. He died of AIDS aged 50 at the end of March.

B-movie star Anne Gwynne appeared in many low budget films, such as Black Friday, the serial Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, Weird Woman, House of Frankenstein, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome and Teenage Caveman. She died aged 84 in April.

Philip Yordan was an Oscar-winning screenwriter who died aged 88 in April. Among his works are Dillinger, Johnny Guitar, The Big Combo, The Harder They Fall, King of Kings and El Cid. He turned producer in the 1950s, with Day of the Triffids, Crack in the World and Battle of the Bulge to his credit. He also served as a front to blacklisted friends around this time.


NEW REVIEWS
Together
Iron Monkey
Wild Zero
The Trip
Ravenous
Surviving Desire
What's the Matter with Helen?
Marquis de Sade's Justine
The Thief of Bagdad
Frenzy
Last House on the Left
Signs
Wes Craven's New Nightmare
Auto Focus
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Sexy Beast
Evil Dead 2
25th Hour
One Hour Photo
The Boy with Green Hair
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
The Ring
Woodstock
I Bury The Living
Isle of the Dead
Cleopatra Jones
The X Files
Used Cars
Zardoz
Unfaithful
The Atomic Cafe
Session 9
All Quiet on the Western Front
Eugenie... The Story of Her Journey into Perversion
Alien 3
Mad Monster Party?
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Love Letters of a Portugese Nun


END PROGRAM

Well, that's all we have time for before we have to turn the computer off and back on again after it's crashed for the millionth time. They never mentioned that in science fiction cinema, did they? Did they?! You could have just turned HAL off and turned him back on again and everything would have been fine, giant monolith notwithstanding.

Anyway, until next time, contact us via the little box on the Spinning Image site.


 

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Last Updated: 1 November, 2004