THIS MONTH AT EMPIRE
RECENTLY I RECEIVED a wonderful, albeit slightly perturbed, voicemail message at Empire HQ from an 89-year-old gentleman with the stellar old-timey Hollywood star name of Gene Saint. Now Mr. Saint, bless him, was slightly aghast that not only had I nominated Back To The Future as my personal greatest movie ever in the August issue (truth be told, what I consider to be my ‘greatest movie ever’ would differ depending on what time of the day you asked me), but that I’d given Big Trouble In Little China a shout out too. What about revered classics such as The Good Earth, All Quiet On The Western Front and Battleship Potemkin, he rightly wondered? According to Mr. Saint, I was very much a sinner (sorry, I had to).
Here’s the thing: I’m well aware that neither film would ever be mistaken for anything approaching High Art, but as far as I’m concerned that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. I love a Bergman or Fellini film as much as the next cinephile, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have space in my movie lovin’ heart for a great popcorn flick (BTTF), a thoroughly enjoyable pulp B-movie (BTILC) or a so-bad-it’s-good piece of trash cinema (Oh, hi The Room!)
Taika Waititi, director of the brilliant Hunt For The Wilderpeople, is clearly a man after my own heart. In our feature on Thor: Ragnarok (p.36), Waititi expresses his love for cheesy ’80s cult sci-fi Flash Gordon, a movie that seems to have informed the hyper-coloured, free wheelin’ looseness of the next filmic outing for ol’ Goldilocks. Waititi wants you to have a ridiculously good time at the cinema, and he rightfully has no shame in making that happen with the aid of a Norse god, a green rage monster and, er, Jeff Goldblum. Consider me ON BOARD.
On page 84, we interview another master of making movie audiences have a ridiculously good time: Mr. James Cameron. From Terminator to Aliens and Titanic to Avatar, Cameron is the undisputed King Of Popcorn Cinema. Listen to the King talk about the upcoming Avatar sequels and the future of the Terminator franchise in our exclusive in-depth chat.
And as it’s our job to make sure you, dear Empire reader, are ridiculously entertained, we present even more delectable goodness in this ripe, robust issue: there’s our 26-page coverage from the pop culture mecca that is San Diego Comic-con on page 57; a look at God’s Own Country (p.44), a low-budget drama taking the festival circuit by storm and, last but not least, a scary clown thrown in for good measure (a visit to the set of Stephen King’s IT on p.50).
As for Mr. Saint and I (now that’s a great movie title), I reckon there’s a place for everyone and everything within the magical world of cinema. As The Room’s Tommy Wiseau once so sagely put it, “If a lot of people love each other, the world would be a better place to live.”
Here’s to the Saints and sinners,
JAMES JENNINGS EDITOR