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Film Studies 101

Empire Magazine Mad Max: Fury Road cover


Empire’s cover feature wants your clothes, your boots and your undivided attention. Thirty years after he first clanked menacingly onto our screens as The Terminator, Arnie is back as a T-800 in Terminator Genisys, a fresh retooling of James Cameron's sci-fi actioner helmed by Alan 'Thor: The Dark World' Taylor. We headed to Hollywood to talk to Schwarzenegger, Taylor and producer/driving force David Ellison to deliver the most comprehensive analysis of the new Terminator this side of the Cyberdyne servers.

Like snakes and ladders, only without all the ladders, Game Of Thrones has built up a global fanbase braced to see their favourite characters sliced, diced, pulled apart by horses, flame-grilled or generally disembowelled. The fact that life expectancy in Westeros is slightly shorter than that yoghurt at the back of your fridge hasn’t dented its ever-swelling audience. Quite the opposite. So what explains George R.R. Martin's HBO phenomenon? For our Game Of Thrones special, we tracked down key cast and crew and went back to the very beginning of the story...

Last seen folking it up with Justin Timberlake as Inside Llewyn Davis’s sardonic Jean Berkeley ("ooobviously"), Carey Mulligan is back in Thomas Vinterberg’s take on Far From The Madding Crowd playing Wessex literary sex bomb, Bathsheba. Mulligan knows an intriguing, singular director when she sees one (see also: Lone Scherfig, Baz Luhrmann, Michael Mann, Nicolas Winding Refn, Oliver Stone), and as the 29 year-old explains in a wide-ranging and surprisingly sweary Empire Interview, she’s also pretty adept at sheep-dipping.

When your IMDb page boasts only five credits and two of them Daenerys Targaryen and Sarah Connor, it’s safe to say you're redefining the word 'meteoric'. You’d forgive Emilia Clarke’s head for spinning as she finds herself catapulted from home counties teenager to Comic-Con icon in five dizzing years. "Yep, I’ve been lucky," she tells us in Empire's interview. "I’m pinching myself. It’s uber-surreal." We get the full story straight from the Khaleesi's mouth. Bonus trivia: her nan likes to introduce herself as "Grandmother Of Dragons".

Like Emilia Clarke, her fellow Game Of Thrones-er and May issue profile subject, Kit Harington has come a long way in a short time. Oddly, his next project – Spooks: The Greater Good – is the first time he’s been able to shrug off period garb to enter a contemporary setting. He’s still in deadly peril throughout, mind you. Some things never change. "I’ve loved being in an archaic world," he tells us, "but one of the reasons for doing Spooks was to speak some dialogue that wasn’t epic." Just don’t mention that Spooks chip fryer...

A new generation of actors-turned-directors is emerging, spearheaded first by the likes of Angelina Jolie and Ben Affleck and now with Ryan Gosling (Frozen River) and Natalie Portman (A Tale Of Love And Darkness) following in their footsteps to skip round to the business end of the Arriflex. We've taken a snapshot of these big stars as they look to Orson Welles their way into the pantheon as what will be referred to here, and only here, as "diractors".

The home of such unmasterpieces as Stallone's Rocky-for-armwrestling, Over The Top, The Last American Virgin, Operation Thunderbolt and Breakin’, Cannon Films was for a brief but heady time in the 1980s an amped-up, real-life version of The Producers. The production house is the subject of a forthcoming documentary, Electric Boogaloo, and Empire tells the amazing tale of two Israeli cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who tried to take over the world, one shonky B-movie at a time.

Someone getting up your nose? Looking for something wittier and more acerbic than the generic "your mum" retort? Well, you’re in luck. We’ve used science to collate 23 of the smartest, funniest and most stinging put-downs in cinema and reassembled them into a library of handy insults ready for your next spot of light bickering. Bad Santa, Don Logan, In Bruges’ Harry Waters, Whiplash’s Fletcher... all the best are here. Okay, all the worst.

This month’s Slate is a cornucopia of filmic delights; a horn of cinematic plenty, if you will. Ultron himself, James Spader, kicks things off as The Face before really kicking things off in Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Swiftly on the case are 22.1 Things You Need To Know About Mr Holmes, in which Ian McKellen’s detective-in-his-dotage is laid bare, while there’s news on Alien 5, Poltergeist and next year’s early Oscar contenders, the return of Script Notes, a chat with Jon Stewart, and James Corden proving fatally out of touch with the price of milk.

Like Metallica only less deafening and not quite as famous, Empire’s off to Never-Neverland this month for a visit to the colourful set of Joe Wright’s Pan. What met us resembles a giant blend of J.M. Barrie, New Orleans' Mardi Gras, a big top and the world’s greatest pantomime, presided over by Hugh Jackman’s dastardly Blackbeard. From fantasy to psychological horror, we then flew to the Bulgarian set of Stonehearst Asylum to be greeted with the best in British character acting and from there to Woman In Gold at London's International Coffee Organisation. The latte was surprisingly terrible but Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds more than made up for it.

Getting the ball rolling is Keanu Reeves action-thriller John Wick, in which Keanu takes the death of his beloved canine very, very badly indeed. Empire’s crack reviewers also mull over the merits of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling’s first stabs at directing, The Water Diviner and Lost River respectively, as well as Alan Rickman’s period pulse-raiser A Little Chaos and Andrew Niccol’s drone drama Good Kill. And for fans of that Gallic godfather Eric Cantona, there’s a review of Mads Mikkelsen's Western The Salvation in which he takes the Roy Keane role as an enforcer called The Corsican.

Tesseracts and wormholes abound in this month’s at-home section as Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar arrives on our DVD shelves and starts pushing everything else onto the floor. Included is a viewing guide that pinpoints everything worth knowing about the sci-fi spectacle, including the fact that TARS now has its (his?) own travel mug. Not boasting a travel mug but sporting a battered valise and a big staff instead are a small bear and a big wizard in two of the month’s other big releases, Paddington and The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, while Beauty And The Beast, Mad Men and the game of Game Of Thrones also take a knee in the section.


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