BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

« Previous | Main | Next »

Lost and Found Department

Post categories:

Mark Kermode | 14:56 UK time, Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Somewhere, in the world's attics and sheds probably, are prints of some of the greatest films ever made and lost. So I asked you what films you would rather see in their place and a floodgate was opened, and you became more forthright than you have ever been on any subject since the beginning of this blog. And then you did something rather special...

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    I think that there is going to be one disappointed follower out there Mark. I refer of course to @Math_Still who has been bigging up Alien 3 for as long as I have been reading this blog, what a shame he wasn't the first to mention 'keeping' it in this thread about movies we would like to see lost in an attic!

  • Comment number 2.

    #2 - The Doc acknowledged my Star Wars comment at least (trust me, he said TPM isn't terrible)!

  • Comment number 3.

    Anyone else feel the dear Dr. K has skipped over a few of the more interesting debates within those 400 plus comments?

    But then he'd need to make a 30min video response to cover them!

  • Comment number 4.

    That's #1 - D'oh!

  • Comment number 5.

    All sarcasm aside, I thought this blog post was a really sweet response. Kudos to you for making sense of such a mess of a thread too, Dr. Kermode. It did kind of go all over the place, though I enjoyed following it.

    (P.S. I'm reading your book right now - it's pretty good.)

  • Comment number 6.

    I can't help but think this video blog would look better in 3D.
    *ducks*

  • Comment number 7.

    Funnily enough, on the upcoming Alien squodgeilogy bluray there's going to be another version of the Alien Cubed 'extended workprint' that originally featured on the last lot of DVD releases - this time with some additional ADR and tweakings.

  • Comment number 8.

    #7 - Here's hoping Fincher is finally persuaded to proffer his thoughts on its making.

    For me, Alien 3 is as bleak as Alien is scary and Aliens is exciting (dare I say that I prefer the theatrical cut of Aliens, which is minus the coincidences of the S.E.; the only survivor of Hadley's Hope is the daughter of the Queen's host, who makes for a suitable psuedo-daughter for the bereft-of-daughter Ripley).

    Plus, the protagonists are more vulnerable - no robot sentries here - and it's shorter!

  • Comment number 9.

    Another vote for Alien 3 from me too. I have the Quadrilogy and I found the production notes for that the most interesting (by far) than the other films. The re-cut version is a really interesting chin stroking affair that I think shows how much better this film was going to be. And, you know, the end result isn't all that bad really.
    If we're looking for a film ruined by the Hollywood industry then this is surely a great example. And I can't stand Alien Resurrection. It starts really well but then there's the "sex", the pregnancy and the birth... err no thanks Mr Jeunet please stick to excellent French films.

    And I disagree about burning books... or not saving films... there's one stary that I despise above just about everything else. The Da Vinci Code. If I had a time machine that would allow me to deal with that one in all it's forms then I'd use it (grandfather paradox be damned!).

  • Comment number 10.

    I think he was quote mining, Mark. You probably said, "It's not terrible. It's an abomination."

  • Comment number 11.

    #10 - "...it's really not as good as it should be - it's not terrible; there's a nifty Pod race...". That's off the top of my head - well, it was 11 years ago!

  • Comment number 12.

    Jaws is my number one film of all time. Jaws 2 is a criminally underrated sequel. I think that Jeannot Szwarc did a pretty good job, considering its predecessor is the best thing ever committed to celluloid.

    Jaws 3-D (theme park concept was a neat idea for a sequel, for the time) and Jaws: The Revenge are both emphatically dire but neither have affected my appreciation of Jaws and Jaws 2.

  • Comment number 13.

    I completely agree about Alien 3's deserved place in the Alien trilogy. Each film is about something. The first, a psychological horror. The second, a character-focused action film. The third was purely moral and philosophical in tone, with it being a prison full of highly dangerous criminals who have chosen to be celibate, and Ripley coming to terms with her destiny. It might have been nicer for Newt and Hicks to have survived, but ultimately the franchise was about Ripley and her relationship to the aliens. I think Alien 3 was a fitting end to the whole saga; I'm worried about Ridley Scott's prequel films because I don't see a reason for them.

  • Comment number 14.

    #12 - One can actually see the inner-workings of the mechanical shark at times in Jaws: The Revenge! And as for Mario Van Peebles' character's survival... WTF?!!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    I know it sounds like Heresy but I much prefer Alien 3 to the original Alien. I honestly can't put my finger on why but Alien wears thinner and thinner for me the more I watch it...

  • Comment number 16.

    #15 - Alien. A great film or a film with a great scene (yes, THAT one!)?

  • Comment number 17.

    I to think Alien 3 is definitely undervalued. It's a decent film but can't quite hold up against it's two excellent predecessors, suffering much like The Godfather Part 3 did on release. I think, visually, it's brilliant, and watching it makes you feel like you are taking a swan dive into the mind of H.G Giger at his most macabre . The gothic, run down set design feels exactly like a Alien film should and is a mile away from the camp, comic-bookesque Resurrection.
    I also think there was a scripting masterstroke when Charles Dance's Dr Clemens is killed off halfway through. He was being built up as a figure similar to Hicks in Aliens but is then cruelly disposed of without warning. It's moments of cold brutality like this that give Alien 3 it's edge.
    Sadly however there is also a lot wrong with Alien3. The CGI alien, obviously, looks terrible and the point of view camera that is employed when it is chasing it's victims is unnecessary, jarring fluff. Also the entire climax of trapping the alien in the tunnels of the lava pit doesn't really work cinematically, the structure too complex to really understand what is going on.
    However overall I consider it a very watchable film and proves, like Event Horizon and Star Wars, that the future is going to be populated by many veteran British actors is small parts, often coming to a rather unpleasant end.

  • Comment number 18.

    #17 - The only CGI in Alien 3 is that of the super-cooled alien's head cracking. There ARE some unfinished-feeling SFX shots in the film, though - hopefully these will be rectified for the Blu-ray release, maybe by Fincher's old employer ILM?

  • Comment number 19.

    @Amber i didn't mean to sound sarcastic, I was just disappointed for @Math_Still. It was good of Dr K to point out the positive rather than all the negative. As you pointed out the thread did get a bit out of hand! Glad you are enjoying Dr Ks book, it is a good read.

  • Comment number 20.

    Forgot to mention that the Alien movies are finally getting a bluray release later this year with a whole host of extras. Check it out.

  • Comment number 21.

    New T-Shirt for Dr. Kermode (and those who share his views on 3-D cinema):

    http://www.threadless.com/product/2386/Hollywood_Swindle#zoom

  • Comment number 22.

    I actually dislike Aliens, I find it very boring.

    Alien 3 however, in it's workprint version I think is the most interesting and best film in the series (series, I like Resurrection, kill me) it's a strange mixture of horror, film noir and science fiction to create a bleak gem of a film

  • Comment number 23.

    #12 - almost totally with on Jaws.

    Jaws is (for my money) the greatest film of all time. Jaws 2 is, I think, a rather fine sequel considering the shadow of the first film.

    Jaws 3 is a great idea, badly (very badly) executed. That said, one of the first films I ever saw at the Littlehampton Palledium in 1983 aged 9, I have a soft spot for it.

    Jaws : The Revenge is atrocious. Good cinematography is the only thing going for it.

    Alien 3 is flawed, but there are certainly far, far worse films out there.

    Films to lose? The Cell (2000) & Queen Of The Damned (2001) - unspeakably bad the pair of them.

    Film to save? The Last Action Hero - not perfect, sure, but a hell of a lot of fun!

  • Comment number 24.

    @Marge:

    Oh dear, I wasn't even thinking of you when I said that! Hope I didn't leave you in suspense.

    By the way, I finally got around to seeing Triangle and it was totes neat-o. :)

  • Comment number 25.

    The guy/gal that suggested dumping all of the Twilight films should have held those cards until the Breaking Dawn films come out. I actually thought the first three movies were on various levels of being pretty decent, but the final book was spoiled to me by my older sister (who is a huge fan) and I see some serious problems coming. There was one plot issue that I hope doesn't make it into the films as the idea of it is unbelievably offensive. Unless one is into condoning pedophilia, I guess, but that's all I'm saying about it.

    I wonder how familiar Dr. Kermode is with the books versus the films, the latter of which he seems to be right on top of. If that particular thing from Breaking Dawn makes it to the final cut, I seriously hope he's going to address it as it really takes down my opinion of the overall series several levels.

  • Comment number 26.

    I have to say I agree with Amber on the making of Breaking Dawn, so many chapaters in the book are graphic and just not right for the screen, especially the instance which she stated herself. I cant ever see how they will pull it off.

    Saying all that I have never been a fan of film adaptations of books especially Twilight and Harry Potter.

  • Comment number 27.

    Is there any chance that we will get Twilight fatigue like we now have Shrek fatigue?

    Vampire fatigue in general would also be welcome. Excepting, of course, films like Let the Right One In (a very special case).

  • Comment number 28.

    * Alien 3 Spoilers ahead *

    The problem with Alien 3 (for me) was not just that it killed off two characters without us seeing them (Hicks and Newt), but that we also knew for quite a decent portion of the film that the central character, Ripley, was going to die. Sure, we kept hoping she wouldn't ,but it was obvious that that was her fate.

    It is incredibly difficult to pull off a film where the central character is going to die, but to do it when it's the third film of a series, and each previous film had her winning against all odds ... that's an impossible task, IMO. Alien 3 alienated the majority (excuse the pun) of the audience who had expectations set based on the previous films, and so was doomed to (initial) failure.

    Alien 3 is a very good film, and over the years, I've come to enjoy it, but when I watched it for the first time, I was angry and disappointed at what I'd seen primarily because Ripley, even though she didn't allow the company to get their hands on the alien, seemed as if she had ultimately failed.

    (I also found the final scene of the new queen bursting out, her holding onto it, and the swan dive to be just too over the top.)

    At one point I did hope they'd treat Alien 3 as a hybernation dream sequence, but I actually think it would've made a far better ending had she been captured by the company, setting up the possibility of a much, much better Alien 4 that didn't involve cloning, pregnant aliens, and an acid-bleeding Ripley having an alien love-fest.

  • Comment number 29.

    Alien 3 is actually my favourite Alien film. Conversely the one I am supposed to love Aliens is my least favourite. Alien vs Terminator!! Cameron is an over-rated director and Aliens is too gung ho. It is the one I watch least and really fails to hold my attention.

    I love the directors cut of Alien 3 even better than the original, but everything about the film works for me, the location, the cast, the end was the perfect way to bring the saga to a close. Ripley could never have led a 'normal' life and in death took the last alien with her.

    I shuddered when I heard they were making Resurrection, but despite my negative feelings toward it I thought it was a cracking film.

    A truly excellent bunch of films only let down by James Cameron in my opinion.

  • Comment number 30.

    OK Dr K, you need a new angle on this.

    Rather than what films would we like to see 'lost in the attic' instead ask "if the great movie house was on fire what three movies would we rush in and save before any others?"

    I guess yours would still be The Exorcist followed by Brazil and Citizen Kane?
    http://www.top10films.co.uk/archives/1100

    Mine? Off the top of my head (and simply my personal choice)
    Chinatown
    The Wild Bunch
    Spartacus

    Obviously there are armfuls I'd then rush back to rescue too, ideally all of them; after all - good, bad or indifferent - they all form part of cinema's history - and the point made about book burning was well made.

  • Comment number 31.

    While I agree with the sentiment that Alien³ is a terribly underappreciated film, I take issue with the proclamation that Resurrection, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's absurdist take on the material, would be any lesser.
    In spite of Joss Whedon's laboured script, it actually presented a number of remarkable visual setpieces; such as the sea of alien limbs, heads and torsos. It felt more like a film in the tradition of the psycho-sexual terror which the original introduced, and less like a spectacular yet stupid blockbuster such as Aliens.
    It also provided Weaver with the opportunity to deconstruct a loved character to stripped-down essentials, an interesting idea in any context. Not to mention the inclusion of Winona Ryder as the second most pivotal member of the cast, and the initial ambition on Jeunet's part to make the main antagonist female as well, rendering Resurrection a slightly more subversive film than people are likely to accept.
    The overhanging theme of the whole film is maternity, in biological fact (The Alien Queen) bereavement (Weaver) and need (Ryder).
    None of the previous films in the series, not even the brilliantly realised original, had such a tangible thematic ambition.
    Did the actual film reach as far? Perhaps not. But the willingness to try is an effort I applaud.

    It also has the most wonderfully evocative soundtrack of any of the four films.
    The Main Title Theme in particular, has stuck with me ever since I first saw it.

  • Comment number 32.

    On second though, scratch the last part of my previous comment. Goldsmith's score for "Alien" are still the finest compositions in the franchise.

  • Comment number 33.

    I'd save the following 3 from the big movie-house fire;

    1. The Naked Gun - "they're treating him at Our Lady Of The Worthless Miracles"

    2. Die Hard - "lets go down to the coast, get together, have a few laughs"

    3. Kick Ass - (My new new favouritist film!) "as a wise man once said 'wait till they get a load of me'"

    I do wonder why film fans spend more time slating films they didn't like rather than "bigging up" films they loved. but what do I know, I'm just a postie with a happy disposition. big smiley face.

  • Comment number 34.

    I remember that star wars quote. It was locked away deep in the back of my mind.
    "The Phantom Menace is not terrible but as someone who understands being a huge fan of something you deserve so much more".
    Am I correct in thinking it was for a special radio one show that was focused on star wars and it's fanbase?
    The mayo/kermode podcasts should be finding out classic shows from the past. There's a couple of Terry Gilliam interviews I'd love to hear again and the very funny Cecile de Frances interview.

  • Comment number 35.

    Really interesting, and great to see that Alien3 is finally getting some support. It's always been one of my favourite movies and I have never been able to understand why it's always sidelined.

    Off the top of my grotesque head:

    Save: Alien3, Predator 2, Jaws 2, Lawn Dogs (why can't I find this on DVD???), Super Mario Brothers, Carefree (the Astaire/Rogers movie), I'm A Cyborg But That's OK, Virus, Brain Damage...

    Lose: Anything with Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston in it; anything to do with Alien/Predator since Alien3 came out; Oceans 11, 12, 13 or however many there are; Cloverfield; Legion; anything to do with Guy Ritchie; Terminator: Salvation, Judd Apatow, the Blade movies, Blood Gnome... those are just a few of the movies I like to constantly spit bile at.

    http://www.pablumbiolab.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 36.

    I quite liked "The Phantom Menace". However I'm interested in computer graphics and the like. I can appreciate some think they are God awful.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    PablumBiolab: By "Virus", I hope you don't mean the film with Jamie-Lee Curtis on the ship...cause that was terrible lol. And as for super mario bros - you must be joking!?

    Lose anything to do with Guy Ritchie! Dude..seriously!

    Terminator Salvation! At least that was watchable..what about the mistake that was Terminator 3 -that was a joke.

    I do agree with Legion, I wish I had that time back.

    In regards to Alien 3, its a diamond in the rough. Very Gritty, was one of my favourites growing up..

  • Comment number 39.

    jayfurneaux wrote: " Rather than what films would we like to see 'lost in the attic' instead ask "if the great movie house was on fire what three movies would we rush in and save before any others?""

    I think between us all we might be able to save a decent number of films, if we all picked uniquely.

    I would rescue Casablanca, Dr. Strangelove and Let the Right One In


  • Comment number 40.

    I would rescue Oldboy, The Rules Of Attraction and Mad Max 2 (Road Warrior).

  • Comment number 41.


    Ahhhh, only three!?

    -Blue Velvet (apparently my first choice for everything)
    -Do the Right Thing
    -Sunset Boulevard

    For the preservation vault.

    High-five to Captain Daddy Puppy for Kick-Ass.

  • Comment number 42.

    Amber said:

    By the way, I finally got around to seeing Triangle and it was totes neat-o. :)
    ---

    ...really? That film left confused and angry (and stupid for being confused and angry)lol.

    Melissa George was shooting her new film in my hometown earlier this year, which does look quite promising thou. "A lonely place to die" I believe its called, another straight to dvd gem no doubt ha.

  • Comment number 43.

    @awesomeatsportsdotcom: Yeah. The narrative was a little odd and it came pretty close to running its course by the end, but I enjoyed it. I only brought it up because Marge talked me into watching it a while back after I hated Christopher Smith's Severance. I'm hoping Black Death turns out to be really good.

    I also saw Melissa George in Betrayed last week which was, well, it was really bad. She does seem to be a pretty good actress, so hopefully A Lonely Place to Die turns out to be pretty decent.

  • Comment number 44.

    #34 - The Force is with you, Dominic!

  • Comment number 45.

    @ awesomeatsportsdotcom

    Re. Virus/Super Mario Bros

    I merely mean that I wouldn’t want either of those movies confined into the chasms of hell and that I regard both as being infinitely better than having to sit through yet another movie by McG. I cannot deny I have enjoyed watching both SMB and Virus on occasion- this experience would probably be enhanced by trying to watch BOTH at the same time. SMB is worth saving if only for Dennis Hopper’s bizarrely intense performance as Koopa and the bizarre romantic plea/threat that you ‘never forget the first time you’re kissed by a lizard.’ Also, I love the goombas and the repeated yells of ‘get those plumbers!’

    Virus is also surprisingly evil for a trashy b-movie and for me is worth saving because it’s a rollickingly silly and gory movie that’s fairly short and enjoyable in its own way. It doesn’t ask for anything from you (except the amount of time we’d probably dribble away on Facebook or vomiting into a toilet on a hairy night out) I also like the biomechanical victim who creeps semi-terrifyingly down the hallway only to ridiculously gasp, ‘Steve!’ and the conversation the humans have with the monster on a computer where the monster states: ‘YOU ARE VIRUS’ in capital letters. That’s one of my favourite intergalactic interspecies put downs ever!

    http://www.pablumbiolab.wordpress.com

    Movies to save from burning: Leaving Las Vegas, Top Hat, Sunset Blvd (if I could grab one more it might be Alien3)

  • Comment number 46.

    One of the dangerous elements of this litle task is that by asking the question of which titles would you consign to history, I have found myself wondering whether some of the films on my shortlist are really as bad as I remember. The only way to confirm this was to subject myself to the movies in question. Thus Higlander 2 claimed another 2 hours of my life!
    The comment Mark makes regarding bloggers distaste for sequels / prequels or remakes of treasured films can I feel simply be put down to the audiences love of original, fresh or well orchestrated movie making. Almost all attempts by the studios to re-capture this magic fail in essence due to the sequel not suprising us as effectively as the original. They have to follow the formula and story of their source in order to attract the same audience. It is immediately a copy, no matter how much you dress it up or throw more money and effects at it.
    Those sequels that have tried to avoid this have done so by changing the course of the story so drastically that it ends up perceived as its own film rather than a sequel. The mordern trend for sequels is to make them take a 'darker' turn. This has also become a tired formula for sequel making. So here's to the Star Trek sequel where a member of the Enterprise bites it mid way through resulting in the previously fractured crew uniting in their determination to take on the common enemy in a bittersweet battle against the odds....

  • Comment number 47.

    If I had to save three films from a house fire they would, without question be:

    1) Casablanca
    2) Pan's Labyrinth
    3) Wall-E

    .....and I might try and sneak in Black Dynamite because it's the best spoof since Airplane!. If you haven't seen it you must. It's about time Michael Jai White became a star.

  • Comment number 48.

    Let's mix things up a bit!
    It would seem the spectrum is a little broad (just a tad) but if you could save 3 films from a 3 different genres of you're choosing which would they be? I realised I may have just made things a little more convoluted than it was intended to be...but humour me (jst a little fun!)

    Eg. Genre: Musical - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
    Little Shop Of Horrors
    Sweeney Todd

  • Comment number 49.

    #16: I'd have to go for "a great film" in the true sense of the word. I think part of the problem is that Alien is suffering from a trope TV Tropes calls Seinfeld is Unfunny. Simply because it was novel and original for the time and has subsequently "influenced" (i.e. been blatantly ripped off by) so many SF-themed horror films ever since, what made it exciting and revolutionary at the time now looks a little ordinary and clichéd. Compare and contrast this with SF films only made a few years previous like Logan's Run, and you can see how modern it was then and still is.

    I would certainly say that it's difficult imagining many genre films having the deliberate patience of Alien's first act (30-40 minutes in before the first real scare?). Nowadays, there would probably be studio insistence on having an early fright scene, either through a dream sequence or during a James Bond-esque "pre-mission".

    Structurally, thematically, aurally, visually, dialogue and acting-wise, "Alien" doesn't put a foot wrong - something you could not say that about Alien 3 which, despite some nice ideas and a good atmosphere, contains some very clunky moments indeed.

    Which leads me to conclude that "Alien" deserves it's place amongst the greatest films of the last century!

  • Comment number 50.

    #31: I think you make a reasonable case for Alien 4, except you don't mention the atrocious ending.

    *SPOILER ALERT*

    The human/alien hybrid thing could have been an interesting idea but it just ended up looking ridiculous. The sight of the 'baby' alien being sucked through a hole in the ships fuselage, a moment presumably intended to be a harrowing and poignant, came across as ludicrous and funny. Frankly, I've seen more realistic endings in a typical Muppets film; given Jeunet's ouvre, it could be argued that this was intentional.

    Regardless, it's completely at odds with the tone of the rest of the film and the series, thus condemning the entire film to the dustbin of bad film sequels.

    *END OF SPOILER*

  • Comment number 51.

    43: I really rather liked Triangle - it was B-movie enough to satisfy the baser popcorn-thriller requirement, but intriguing enough for a bit of post-movie discussion (and checking of Wikipedia!) - the name of the ship (Aeoleus), references to Sisyphus, the taxi driver/ferryman etc, etc. I have a feeling it might pop up at cult movie screenings or Halloween all-nighters in the future.

    As for Melissa George - can a Kermode blog on her be too far away? To my mind, she's making a niche for herself as a sort of young-ish female Michael Ironside, Brian Cox or Miguel Ferrer; quietly making decent-to-good films without anyone really making too much fuss (compare and contrast with other slightly younger also-rans Christina Ricci and Thora Birch). Notably, she also features prominently in the US TV-series "In Treatment" and shows that she really has the acting chops, if ever called up for a major film.

    Not sure if you will be aware of this Amber, but most UK audiences of a certain age will probably be more familiar with her as "Angel" from aussie soap "Home and Away", which casts her current career trajectory in a different light; well, if it worked for Guy Pearce...

  • Comment number 52.

    Oh and... can't let the above post go without saying the immortal lines: "This is the girl..." ;-)

  • Comment number 53.

    I would most definitely save Things We Lost in the Fire. Then I would go back and get my cat. Then, if there's time, Anne of Green Gables.

  • Comment number 54.

    The three films I would save from the infinitely large great film house (though I think it's based in Hampstead and called the Maison du Cinéma):

    1. Martyrs.
    2. Bad Boys 2
    3. Purely Belter

    The first two would be to set the boundaries early. I chose Martyrs because it sets, perhaps, an upper limit on nihilistic, senseless moral provocation with the unvalid pretext of having a message, all established in the final ten minutes in a desperate attempt to justify all that had just passed. I picked Bad Boys (or any other from the Michael Bay back catalogue) because if that was only one of 3 films that people could watch, the entire world would become sick of mundane super-clichés and mainstream film-making could go on to be slightly more inventive.

    Purely Belter is quite a frivolous choice. I remember watching it and finding it hilarious, especially a scene when two kids pretend to be blind when trying to rob a book shop. I can't find it anywhere so if the looting of the great film house gives me the opportunity to watch it again, I'll take it.

    Honourable mentions to The Big Lebowski, Manhattan and Ed Wood on the off change that my first choices weren't in stock, though I doubt anyone would have taken them out.

  • Comment number 55.

    @9barr #47
    I just watched the trailer for Black Dynamite yesterday...it is genius!

    @Amber
    Kudos for finally getting round to watching Triangle...I think that if there was a discussion thread on this it would go on longer than Inception ;D Black Death is even better in my opinion, although beware the shaky-cam in the first 20 mins, it did my head in!

    Interesting discussion from everone on Alien 3. I do like it myself, it has a lot of good ideas, imagery and direction and a few flaws.
    What I don't understand is anyone saying that Alien 3 is better than Alien. Think about it, Alien was released in 1979 amongst the likes of Moonraker, The Black Hole, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. How amazing, how different, how shocking it must have been to see Alien at this time. A movie with naturalistic acting, that showed space travel to be ramshackle and run down, that shocked you to the core. No...Alien is an incredible piece of cinema that rightly deserves it's critical acclaim and still feels fresh and shocking to this day. Some of my favourite scenes in Alien centre around the characters just sitting and talking (ad-libbing). It has such a simple premise but is deftly written and executed to perfection.

    Hmmmm! Enough of that...Three films I would save...I will name three but know that I would wish to save many more. Can anyone guess what my first choice is going to be? :D

    1) Why Jaws of course...very like my description of Alien above, another movie that is perfectly scripted, cast, directed right down to the unbelievably simple but enormously effective score.

    2) All the President's Men...aaah what a great movie, made at the height of conspiracy movie fever in the 70s and still the best of them all. Perfectly acted with great script writing duties from the genius that is William Goldman and a true story to boot. I have seen this movie many times and it never fails to completely engross me. How many times have I switched on the TV late at night to find it is on and halfway through, yet within a minute of watching I cannot leave until the end...I know what's coming, but still I watch! Now that's the sign of a good movie.

    3)There are so many that I would like to pick; Bladerunner, Fargo, Stand By Me, Capricorn One...I could go on. But if I have to choose then it's going to be
    Planet of the Apes (the orginal with Chuck of course!)
    Another movie that I could watch endlessly and never get bored of. It has a timeless quality just like my other choices in that it could be shown to new audiences now and they would be blown away by it. In fact I showed it to my daughters a few months ago (got to teach them well don't you think?!) and they absolutely loved it. Unfortunately they are also Simpsons fans so they had a good idea of what was coming at the end! How magnificent is the hunt scene near the beginning? How shocking? How iconic is Chuck in the final scene? Great stuff :D

  • Comment number 56.

    london after midnight should be found
    the man from london should be lost

  • Comment number 57.

    Jaws 2 is not that bad. It had big shoes to fill (Jaws being one of the best films of all time IMO) and probably would be viewed as some camp, teenage, horror cult movie if in fact it had been the first movie in the franchise.
    Still not convinced about Alien3 but it does have its good points.
    As for the Star Wars prequels, and it has to be said Indy Jone/Chrystal Skull, if George Lucas never makes another movie again it will be too soon.I remember dragging myself to the first showing of Sith in Leicester Square Odeon with all the other Star Wars fanatics and at the end of the two hours or so, feeling empty and angry-realising I had just wasted six years of life which was ironic that as with the prequel series setting a different tone, I walked out of Jedi feeling a great sense of euphoria mixed with loss and sadness, as word was already about that this was going to be the last one-I wish now it had. Cast these terrible films away and throw out Lucas with them.

  • Comment number 58.

    @31 Rasmus Widengard

    Interesting take on Alien Resurrection and you hit the nail on the head with it being about maternity. However from watching AR a few times it’s quite clear that the entire film is subliminal right-wing propaganda warning against the dangers of lesbian parenting. Don’t believe me? Get a load of this:

    Due to freak scientific engineering and experimentation (and forecasting scientific breakthroughs like this http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1223617/No-men-OR-women-needed-artificial-sperm-eggs-created-time.html by over a decade) a bunch of scientist have been able to combine the DNA of two females (Ripley and The Queen Alien) to create a their own biological child (the human/alien hybrid). Naturally the DNA splicing process has terrible consequences. Firstly the physically hideous new born cannot accept that it has two mothers and no father, and therefore loves one (Ripley) but hates the other (The Queen Alien) who it ultimately destroys, trying to gain back some sort of normal family unit. However Ripley, as the sole surviving mother, rejects the abomination that she gave birth to, cannot love it because of its ungodly nature (as well as the fact that it’s got a nasty thirst for blood) and has to kill her child in the most hideously grotesque manner possible. She then takes Wynona Ryder’s Call under her wing as yet another surrogate child.

    The morals behind the film being this: Lesbian parenting is going to result in pain being inflicted on both the parents as well as the child so if a lesbian wants to have a child then they are much better off adopting (because Call is a android she is off an adopted species) and raising the child as a single parent. Conservative right wing propaganda? I think so!

  • Comment number 59.

    The first half of Alien 3 is really good. The point where it always loses me is at that turning point when a certain character is killed off and it turns into a long series of kill scenes focusing on a lot of indistinguishable throwaway characters that nobody cares about and go on far too long (no lectures please - I get what Fincher was going for, I just think it was handled poorly).

    Actually, the one I never cared much for was Aliens. I never saw Resurrection but I thought the third movie was at least half a good movie and that, minus the special effects, Aliens was a hammy and boring series of poorly-executed cliches. The crew members almost all grated my nerves and I actually cheered every time one was killed off. Especially Bill Paxton.

    The original Alien is an untouchable classic, however.

  • Comment number 60.

    A comment on the Alien debate.

    I think much depends on when and how you first saw it.

    When it first was first released in the cinema it really was a game changer (as have been many films now regarded as classics e.g. Jaws, The Godfather); a film that had to be seen.

    Alien was one that challenged and changed si-fi conventions existing at the time. (A woman turns out to be the hero! As well as for other reasons some have mentioned above.)

    If you saw it later on TV or DVD it didn't have the same power; the ideas, techniques and themes had (and have) embedded themselves so deeply in countless other movies it would have seemed somehow - familiar.

    Ridley Scott freely admits to borrowing shock techniques (and possibly the idea of the sole survivor being a woman) from movies like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre; then banned as a video nasty in the UK (though many cinema clubs showed it and it was available as an under-the-counter 'pirated' VHS tape; as were most of the 'banned' movies at that time.)

    Aliens was Cameron gold dust; rather than just re-hash the plot of the original as most remakes do (and as he cleverly did in T2) he realised what the aliens, and Ripley, were capable of (as did the audience) and multiplied it, ramped it up and delivered. Aliens has been described as the Roller-coaster compared with Alien's Ghost Train.

    Alien 3 & 4. Nowhere near as bad as, say, Terminator 3 & 4; but really just interesting experiments in throwing really imaginative directors at a franchise and then clashing with an unimaginative studio wanting mainstream success. Neither were by any means unwatchable or without interest, but they both lacked the visceral excitements of 1 and 2.

    Three to save from the burning house. OMG!

    Apocalypse Now
    James Whale's Frankenstein
    Godfather 2

    Can we play 'three to save' by genre sometime? Three best horror movies, that could be interesting...

  • Comment number 61.

    Films i would like to see lost...hmm
    how about....
    Howard the duck (lucas what WHERE YOU THINKING)
    Titanic
    pointless remakes...really not looking forward to the let the right one in remake.
    transformers 2
    battlefield earth
    any M. Night Shyamalan film after unbrakeable

  • Comment number 62.

    Ok, if we are talking crappy sequels then how about Godfather 3.

    But if we are talking top three films to be saved then......

    Jaws

    It's a wonderful life (I know it's corney but come on!)

    Ghostbusters.

  • Comment number 63.

    More to save
    The African Queen
    The Conversation
    Calamity Jane (yes...you read that right, Calamity Jane)

  • Comment number 64.

    The 3 films I would save:

    Blade Runner
    Pulp Fiction
    Alien

    #60: I'm not sure I agree that watching it on TV for the first time years later lessens its impact.

    In my case, I first "heard" Alien before I even saw it: my mother, step father, and a friend rented it on video and watched it one night after I'd gone to bed. The problem was, the volume was so loud, all I could hear was the alien's breathing, and a lot of screaming. Let me tell you, that stays with a kid! So, the first time I watched Alien a few years later was on video, and trust me: it didn't lose any of its impact, and as soon as I heard that breathing, it sent shivers down my spine. Even though I'd probably seen a bunch of other films that had duplicated those techniques, it's still a true original that looks as fresh today as it did back then.

  • Comment number 65.

    Dr Kermode, i don't believe for one second that you uttered the words "The Phantom Menace isn't terrible". On the light hearted subject of which films to erase from the memory of mankind forever,id go with M.Night Shyamalans Lady In The Water. I really do feel sorry for anyone who rents,buys or even just stumbles across this one on the telly. It's punishingly tedious and the director even casts himself as the saviour of humanity. Pans Labyrynth really put M.Night in his place. As Punch and Judy used to say, that's the way to do it.

  • Comment number 66.

    @AxlRhodes re:65.

    Yes, I would have to concur with that - "Lady in the Water" is irredeemably awful; it couldn't even be rescued by the presence of the great Paul Giamatti, which really says something! What should have been an enjoyable lightweight modern fantasy, collapsed under the weight of it's own self-importance, portentousness and pseudo-profundity.

    I wonder if he was influenced by del Toro at all? Pan's Labyrinth wasn't released at the time of course, but Devil's Backbone was a few years old at the time (and don't forget the Potter film of course). It's as if he was trying to create a modern fairy tale in the Del Toro style but just failed miserably - as you say, putting himself in the story as the saviour of humanity was a bit ill-advised.

    With the critical mauling of his latest "The Last Air-bender", can the end of Shyamalan's Hollywood career be too far away now?

  • Comment number 67.

    I would save Blue Velvet, Apocalypse Now and Phantasm 3.

  • Comment number 68.

    Maybe another future blog posting question (related to the above) could be:

    What film (or films), good or bad, perfectly captures the period in which it was made and should therefore be saved for posterity? Something that future generations, looking for something to evoke an era, could use as a cultural reference:

    2000s: Cloverfield - maybe a bit tenuous as it's basically a monster movie but everything about the film screams "ZEITGEIST", particularly the party scene at the beginning.
    1990s: Independence Day - Will Smith, Apple products when they were niche - kind of pre-internet, pre-millenial fears...
    1980s: Back to the Future - ironic given that most of the film is set in the 50s but I can't think of many images more evocative of the era than Marty McFly, standing in front of the guitar speaker.

  • Comment number 69.

    1960s - The Graduate - portrays the pressure and anxieties that come from a world where the youth are becoming distanced from their parents and where sex is now expected and indeed encouraged before marriage thanks to the pill.

    1970s - Last House on the Left - portrays the death of all the optimism of the 1960s. Inspired by the horrific footage of the Vietnam War, as well as exposing naivity in the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll generation.

    1980s - Brazil - portrays the insanity of bureaucracy in a world where rules and regulations are becoming a bigger and bigger part of society, where there's a massive stack of paperwork that sits between the powerless and the powerful.

    1990s - eXistenZ - absurdly post-modern and self-referencial which was big in the 90s, it also portrays the anxieties regarding the full swing of the computer age and new ideas about what reality actually is, which gets more and more complex with no sign of slowing down.

    2000s - Battle Royale - portrays anxieties and paranoia regarding the youth, which can be seen in the media with things like the moral panic about happy slapping.

    Of course, I was born in 1986 so I could well be way off with those first three, but whether or not I articulated it well I absolutely stand by eXistenZ and Battle Royale. :)

  • Comment number 70.

    #65 - He did.

  • Comment number 71.

    @ 68 Joel_Cooney.

    Excellent idea to nominate films that perfectly capture the zeitgeist and I agree with your nomination of Back to the Future.

    My question is about the interplay between tv and movies in representing the zeitgeist. In the 90's gangster movies were very impactful, e.g. Casino, Goodfellas, Heat. Movies dealing with the same themes in the 2000's, e.g. American Gangster, The Departed haven't had the same cultural impact or interest. I'd argue that the intervening factor is the tv show The Sopranos.

    As Peter Cook famously said (shamelessly stealing from wikiquotes: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Peter_Cook)

    "You know, I go to the theatre to be entertained... I don’t want to see plays about rape, sodomy and drug addiction... I can get all that at home."

    Why would anyone bestir themselves to go to the cinema to watch the likes of American Gangster when they can get all that at home watching the Sopranos, or indeed the DVD of American Gangster with all its extras?

    I'd argue that James Cameron understands that, in the current zeitgeist of filmmaking, bums on seats can only be guaranteed for spectacles like Avatar, the likes of which punters can't get at home.

    The current zeitgeist has meant that there have been more and more films attempting to give the punters what they can't get at home - circus like spectacle, e.g. Transformers, Terminator Salvation, Pirates all, Clash of the Titans, and in this effort most of them have failed miserably as films worth watching.

  • Comment number 72.

    I'd rather go see a Twilight movie than a crappy re-make like: Clash of the Titans etc


    At least there is something in those movies that resembles an idea!

  • Comment number 73.

    71: Yes, I agree with you on the whole "escape into fantasy" thing about the last 10-15 years of cinema. This makes it difficult to find modern films that encapsulate the contemporary culture directly. By way of example, from films released last year, which captures the time period more faithfully: Zac Efron vehicle "17 Again" or "Avatar"?

    For similar reasons, I'd say a film like "House Party" is probably more culturally relevant to capturing 1990 than, say, "Dances With Wolves" and thus higher up the list of 'saves' in our thought experiment.

    As for "The Sopranos" ruining gangster flicks, I think maybe a similar thing could have happened to police procedurals post-"The Wire" - certainly a big factor in me avoiding "Brooklyn's Finest" and even "Bad Lieutenant" a few months back.

  • Comment number 74.

    72: I for one am getting quite bored with the whole vampire lore - a lot of it just reeks of self-obsession and narcissism. "Oh woe is me - I'm gifted and special, yet shunned and despised! Forever sleep I crave..." yadda-yadda-yadda

    I know "Fight Club" comes in for a lot of stick on here (I'm looking at you, Mr. Antimode) but at least it gave the world:

    "You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the all-singing, all-dancing c**p of the world."

    I always try to keep that in mind when I start getting a bit self-concious :-)

  • Comment number 75.

    To jog the Doc's memory a bit, he signed off the TPM review / diatribe with "I hope you (the fans) enjoy The Phantom Menace, I really do. After all, it's for YOU."

    Remember, that was 11 years ago, so it's not strictly verbatim!

  • Comment number 76.

    I'd save

    The World According to Garp
    Alien and (s)
    Kidulthood

    I'd bin

    Iron Man 2 (a travesty after the joy of the first)
    Troy (not sure how they managed to make it so dull)
    Daredevil (too tedious to deserve rack space)

    As to the Twilight series, while I think they are an absolute abomination I can see the appeal to other demographics. I would however encourage those people to watch True Blood instead.

  • Comment number 77.

    Films to save

    The Thing
    Notorious (the hitchcok spy thriller)
    Airplane

    Films to bin

    The Da Vinci Code (the only time i've fallen asleep in a cinema, and it only took ten minutes to do that)
    Any Basil Rathbone era Sherlock Holmes film where he is brought back to fight the Nazi's (just NO! Leave it in the edwardian era as written).
    Natural Born Killers (just utter rubbish).

  • Comment number 78.

    #74 - I think that the next - and only - phase in the evolution of the on-screen vampire is that of nonchalance. I'm bored with the usual revelling and / or reluctance!

    To quote the late Dan O'Bannon (on not wanting a creature that simply ate the protagonists in his "Alien") "...I eat french fries, what's the big deal?".

  • Comment number 79.

    I would save

    Key Largo
    Some like it hot
    Blazing saddles
    V for Vendetta
    Lucky number Slevin
    The Thing
    Let the right one in
    Tell no one

    I would cut loose...

    Slumdog millionaire
    A Beautiful mind
    The Love Guru
    All of the Epic/scary/date spoof movies.

  • Comment number 80.

    @ Joel_Cooney


    I don't focus too much on that rather I find the Twilight movies quite light and enjoyable like a Disney movie.

    I don't read into it further than the: "A vampire and werewolf fancy the same chick... so let's have a vampire/werewolf scrap!"


    It's a big, dumb blockbuster that keeps you entertained and I can think of worse things being projected.


    Fight Club rules and it will get the cult following it deserves!

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    @MargeGunderson
    The Black Dynamite trailer is pure bad ass. If you liked that then check out the trailer for Blackstar Warrior it's geektastic!

  • Comment number 83.

    I for one think it's nice for once that young girls have a franchise to freak out over. A lot of people make fun of the mushy love triangle business or accuse it of being unhealthy, but I'm inclined to think that those people either have never been a teenage girl or they just forgot how important that stuff felt when they were sixteen because, whatever problems the books and films might have, that one thing they have very successfully is the experience of being a teenage girl.

    Teenagers are moody, they're self-centered and they aren't capable fully of grasping what it means to be in a relationship. Teenage girls are melodramatic and petty, and every small thing that happens to them may as well be the world ending. The identity confusion is dead on: everybody all thinks they're unique even while they're all trying to emulate one another. I mean, teenagers are all kind of dumb when you think about it.

    I don't mean any of that viciously. I have very fond and embarrassing memories of being a stupid teenager myself and the Twilight series definitely hearkens back to that age. As it is I just find the films harmless, but if I were still a tween I would undoubtedly have been eating this up with everybody else. Romance just isn't as interesting as it was when I was in high school. Everything was placed under the microscope there.

    The Expendables looks dumb though, because it's a boys movie and boys have cooties.

  • Comment number 84.

    Oh yeah, and add another fan for Black Dynamite. I love the little details it got right too, like the boom mike dropping in frame.

  • Comment number 85.

    @Joel_Cooney

    "The first rule of Fight Club is don't talk about Fight Club"

    An excellent rule which I intend to adhere to from now on and I invite others to do the same.

  • Comment number 86.

    #54 You might be interested to know Purely Belter is getting a DVD rerelease in September, I believe.

    I would save:

    The Man Who Would Be King - nowhere near enough people have seen this.

    Toy Story - It's possible that I'm still on a high from seeing the 3rd film (3 weeks ago!) but I still think it's a good shout. It's worth it just to keep Pixar, though I still adore the Jungle Book.

    O Brother Where Art Thou? - trumps the Big Lebowski, but only just. The strength of the soundtrack and the execution of the era swings it

  • Comment number 87.

    I'm kind of with Kermode and Amber regarding Twilight. I was working in a well known bookshop when the last book was released and it really is amazing how many girls bought it, or even, bought the first one then came back a few days later to buy the other three. I've never read them but yeah I agree that it's good for girls to have something to freak out over, Harry Potter may have had a broader audience and sold more books (although I've not checked) but I swear more girls read these books quicker and in a world of television and social networking sites that's pretty cool. Also on top of that, I've only seen the first one but my stance is 'pretty good for such a girly film'.

    All that said, I would LOVE to see a vampire film where the vampire shows absolutely no remorse.

  • Comment number 88.

    Amber #83 - spot on.
    Unfortunately some adults don't outgrow that stage; or want to hark back to it.

    I've resisted the Twilights so far as they seen to be aimed at the teen market - particularly teen girls; but I know exactly what your driving at (boys go through it too); just as I resist quite a lot of movies aimed at particular market segments that I don't fall into, unless they have compelling reasons to catch them.

    But everyone has films that catch their sweet-spot; depending on the age they see it, 'baggage', world-view, what you're going though at the time, previous movie back catalogue and the like.

    I think I'd find the Twilights' fairly predictable; one reason I've avoided them so far (maybe I'll catch them sometime on TV).
    I can't object to people finding them of objects of fascination though.
    I know many adore the Harry Potter books and movies; I've read and watched a few of these (I do understand why many people like them); but they don't quite hit my sweet-spot as well as, say, the Narnia books did several decades ago. And that's probably why I'm resistant to Twilight; it's not Narnia, but age and formative experiences. (And the Narnia films haven't been memorably great.)

    Expendables. Doesn't appear to say anything. Another big dumb action movie; the main attraction isn't the action but the cast; but do we care any more?
    I quite liked Rocky 6, avoided Rambo 4 - but all these movies harking back to past heydays (I'm talking about you Indiana Jones 4, Rambo 4 and the Star Wars prequels) are just pale cash-ins on better days.

    At least Jackie Chan does appear to be trying hard to reinvent himself with Shinjuku Incident and Karate Kid, and not revisit past glory days.
    I'd be more impressed with Stallone if he attempted a 'Wrester' sometime.

  • Comment number 89.

    @83: I get what you are saying re: Twilight. My comment wasn't necessarily aimed at that particular franchise per se but to the whole vampire oeuvre in general; it's kind of been done to death (sic). Did you ever see the micro-budget, lycanthropy-themed B-movie "Ginger Snaps"? I thought that covered some similar ground but in a much more effective way - in fact, the more recent "Teeth" had some merit in that regard as well.

    In terms of the level of 'harm' to the teenage audience, well, I agree that it's pretty negligible - in my office, the 'girls' devouring the novels haven't been teenagers for quite some time - but it has some slightly troubling messages for it's core audience who, as you say, are "eating this up". A colleague of mine sums this up quite nicely:

    "The original Dracula story, and most, if not all of those books, movies and so on that followed are based around lust....By avoiding the lust aspect, and reducing it to mumblings about love and wanting to be with him forever Bella is left in Twilight simply wanting death"

    This Wired article discusses it a bit more in-depth.

    p.s. the Expendables does look dumb! I can't help but feeling that it will either be ludicrous (ala "Crank") or just mindless (ala "Transformers 2") - as long as it's served up with a healthy portion of self-awareness, maybe it'll be worth a watch.

  • Comment number 90.

    @Antimode re: #85

    touché! :-) I am Jack's inflamed sense of rejection...

  • Comment number 91.

    @Joel:

    "The original Dracula story, and most, if not all of those books, movies and so on that followed are based around lust....By avoiding the lust aspect, and reducing it to mumblings about love and wanting to be with him forever Bella is left in Twilight simply wanting death"

    Oh come on now.

    First of all, Twilight is all about sex. It's all about lust and controlling your urges. That's actually one of the things I respect about the films: they're actually approaching the issue of sex and displaying feelings of sexual tension in a positive manner in a movie series targeted at teenagers in a way that isn't either a chaste hand-holding affair, a raunch-fest or an after school special. That's pretty unusual to see.

    Sitting down and thinking about this seriously, are any teen girls REALLY going to read this as encouraging them to kill themselves? That's a severe over-reaction if I've ever read one. It's about identity and true love. It's emotional metaphor. You might as well say that teenage girls shouldn't read Romeo and Juliet or Wuthering Heights.

    Ginger Snaps is a great film, but I think that sits a little closer to the confusions of puberty and menstruation than outright sex.

    The Expendables I only brought up to point out in a roundabout way - boys get their silly action shoot-em-ups and nobody says anything about it. Let girls have their silly soap romances. ;)

  • Comment number 92.

    The thing we should all be concerned about is: how do those average-sized children transform into wolves the size of small SUVs? Did the special effects budget get mixed up and lost in a wacky screwball scenario or was it all spent buying organic soy lattes and facial rubs for the cast and crew?

    How do the werewolves get their pants back after they transform? Do they carry around an extra pair with them just in case? Do they squirrel them away inside of trees around the forest just in case? How much do they spend a year on clothes?

  • Comment number 93.

    @PBuggy
    Awesome choice...The Man Who Would be King...would definitely be in my list of films to save!
    Sing Danny!

    "A glorious band, the chosen few,
    On whom the Spirit came,
    Twelve valiant saints; their hope they knew
    And mocked the cross and flame.
    They met the tyrant's brandished steel,
    The lion's gory mane;
    They bowed their necks the death to feel--
    Who follows in their train?"

  • Comment number 94.

    I think the reason we boy types react badly to Twilight is that it looks like a film we would like. I mean it's a vampire film, what's not to like? True the uber traditional Vampire films have an aspect of love and lust in them, but it is an aspect and not everything.

    What we got when sitting down to enjoy a nice Vampire film was a thinly veiled "Special girl tames wild and dangerous boy, turning him from cold blooded killer into a nice boy. All because she is so special and lovely".

    I did not go and see Love Actually expecting anything other than a romantic type film. No one went to see Tranformers expecting anything other than a Boys Toys film. Alot of us boys went to see Twilight expecting a Vampinre film :) we were wrong.

  • Comment number 95.

    Into my highly flammable shed would go Titanic. With Kate Winslet attached.

  • Comment number 96.

    Ah crikey i missed all this. Having seen the Richard Donner version of Superman II a couple of years ago, i would have no hesitation in throwing Richard Lester's version of Superman II well and truly away. And having read the trivia surrounding Superman - The Movie and Superman II, and the shafting of Richard Donner, even more so. In fact take Superman III and IV - The Quest for Peace. Thankfully Superman Returns forgets these two films ever took place.

  • Comment number 97.

    back@Amber_ re: 91

    It goes back to the old "video nasty" debate doesn't it? I'd be a hypocrite to say Twilight is harmful, whereas "Saw" isn't. Remember, I pre-fixed that quote with "[...] the level of 'harm' to the teenage audience...it's pretty negligible" - that's my get-out-of-jail card :-)

    As for the sexual themes in Twilight, well yes they are there but again in a slightly warped manner (perhaps chiming with the author's socially conservative views). Remind me of the principle reason why the two leads don't consummate the relationship? Oh, it's because Edward will lose control and kill Bella in the process. Really? Neurosis much? Then she hangs out with a werewolf who flat out admits that he could seriously mutilate her if he lost his temper. Why is she hanging out with these dangerous people exactly?

    Bear in mind as well that Bella makes it clear that, above all else, she wants to become a vamp because (paraphrasing) "she's never felt comfortable as herself". At the same time, she's afraid of getting married, which is akin to desperately wanting your arm amputated but baulking at getting a tattoo. Surely if the excuse for wanting death is to be with Edwardo, then marriage to him would be the least of your decisions. Take that away and you've basically got a girl who just wants to die.

    In no way do I actually think all of the above encourages girls or young women to commit suicide. Indeed as the book-store clerk above said, anything that encourages younger people of any gender to read is a good thing. And lastly, yes, I'm glad there's this exciting institution in pop culture aimed specifically at young women - I just kind of wish it had something better to say.

    The original point I wanted to make though was that the whole vampire thing is a bit done really. Enough with the fangs people!

  • Comment number 98.

    Isn't it possible that the people who like Twilight like it because it's an enjoyable film without ever actually considering any deeper meaning? I mean I really just think everyone is overanalysing it just like all those people who called 300 "proto-fascist" when really it was just really stupid violent muscly fun.

  • Comment number 99.

    Absolutely right about Alien 3. I have defended this movie for years! The theatrical cut is admittedly horrible, but the director's cut is just the most wonderful movie, which doesn't get the credit it deserves!

  • Comment number 100.

    @Joel:

    It's like, not death man. It's becoming a vampire. Then they're going to live happily ever after being vampires in sparkly sparkleness.

    I don't get why people get upset at the abstinence message. I know the woman who wrote the novels is a - gasp! - Mormon and everything and I do get annoyed at them for knocking on my door every Saturday at seven o'clock to give me those little pamphlets with the happy stock photo families on the front cover, but is there anything so terrible about working a message into a story about having one partner and abstaining if you're not committed? I'm not judging any lifestyles because live and let live, but I just don't see why that would be considered such a negative trait to have in a novel.

    "Remind me of the principle reason why the two leads don't consummate the relationship? Oh, it's because Edward will lose control and kill Bella in the process. Really? Neurosis much?"

    It's a book about vampires.

    It's not literally saying that if you have sex with your boyfriend he will kill you, just that leaping in without thinking can have negative consequences. It's delivered in an over the top metaphorical manner because it's a fictional novel about vampires and falling in love with vampires and vampires like to kill and eat people. What's a better alternative, Edward giving Bella herpes?

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.