Helen Cox is editor in chief of the blossoming film quarterly: New Empress Magazine. She's notorious for liking terrible films with Troll 2, Grease 2 and Mannequin on the Move amongst her favourites. In addition to editing and lecturing she also writes film columns for The Guardian, Lost in the Multiplex, Rough Cut Reviews and Flick Feast.
Helen Cox edits New Empress Magazine, and she’s got something to say.
Don’t know if you’d heard, but last week Ridley Scott released his first sci-fi film since the 1982 genre breakthrough: Blade Runner. You may also have heard that a lot of people came out after seeing this film feeling disappointed, disgruntled and confused. The probable problem? They believed the hype.
Do you freeze every time a foxy lady walks your way? Do you inevitably spill mustard / gravy / curry sauce down your front when you’re on a date? Never fear. Movie men have done far less winning things and still walked away with the girl of their dreams. Helen Cox, author of the soon-to-be released book True Love is like the Loch Ness Monster and Other Lessons I Learnt from Film advises one or more of the following ploys to secure some hot property this Valentine’s Day.
Helen Cox edits New Empress Magazine and she’s got something to say...
Anyone else remember a time when Orange adverts were actually funny? Back in 2003 some pretty ingenious marketing bod had the idea of partnering with cinemas to create a 2 for 1 evening even though mobile phones have nothing to do with cinema and have, in fact, made the cinematic experience decidedly worse. For an idea like that to succeed you need a way of making it look like something more than just a transparent promotional ploy: enter Brennan Brown (Mr Dresden) and Steve Furst (Dresden’s balding sidekick Elliot) - the fictional dimbo-dumbo Orange executives who lord over the Orange Film Board and have sworn an oath to promote the phone, the whole phone and nothing but the phone.
Helen Cox edits New Empress Magazine, and she’s got something to say...
A strange and frightening phenomenon is sweeping the British multiplex: picturegoers everywhere are being short changed when it comes to the quality of their tickets. Once over it was possible to go to the cinema, pay your £4 (we are talking a long time ago here) and be presented in return with a sturdy ticket stub that clearly marked the date, film and, often, the showing time. Now, in the standard multiplex cinema and even in some independent cinemas, your grossly inflated £8-12 gets you a slip of flimsy receipt paper printed in patchy ink that fades and decays after just a few weeks. On the surface this may seem something of a trivial issue but it is a little bit galling that the price of cinema tickets constantly rises (the British Film Institute reported that admissions were down 2.4% in 2010 but box office takings were up – thank you 3D) whilst the cinematic experience itself becomes increasingly substandard – even down to the smallest stubby detail.
If you’re going to be trained up as a Cimmerian warrior then there’s really nobody better than Ron Perlman (of Hellboy and Beauty and the Beast fame) to guide you. That’s the first lesson of Marcus Nispel’s remake of the 1982 kitsch classic Conan the Barbarian. Straight away you can tell who the young Conan is: he frowns into the camera a lot as if to foreshadow the quest of vengeance before him – either that or, like the rest of the audience, he’s finding it difficult to understand what the point of this film actually is. A little later in the film, when Jason Momoa takes over as the adult Conan you can tell it’s the same character because he also frowns a lot into the camera. That’s about as sophisticated as the character development in this film gets.