Jul 22, 2009

The last book but one

While looking for reviews of my new book online, I accidentally turned up some reviews for my last book, Blockbuster, over at livingsocial.com. They come from real readers, not those pale, doughy creatures of the night known as critics. Thanks, guys.

Quote-leftAs I was a film major at uni this was just like a big film geek flashback that I really enjoyed!
Academic, insightful and witty! No cinematic diatribes here - a great background into the growth of the 'summer' blockbusters in Hollywood and how it has evolved/mutated over the years. Its all about the money!
A film geeks dream - with all the facts and figures on ET, Alien, Star Wars, Indiana, Arnie, Empire, Lord of The Rings - its all there- every biggie ever made!
There is some fantastic insider information collected from years of interviews with the who's who of the film industry. Useful for film buffs and academics alike (a rare mix!) it will inspire you to support the independent film industry and cinemas of the world.
There is some scary $$$$ being spent!

Quote-leftAn intelligently argued case, by someone who grew up with the first wave of blockbusters (and is pretty much the same age as me, as it happens - he comments on how great it was to be a teen when “Raiders” first opened and, like him, I remember coming out of the cinema and wanting to be an archaeologist!), that attempts to put right the myth that Spielberg and Lucas, between them, killed decent films in Hollywood. Apart from a few niggles (he used “Skywalking” as a source, but makes some elemental mistakes regarding “Star Wars”, which bugged me), this is a good book, encompassing a wide range of films and talking indepth with a lot of directors. Well worth a read.Quote-right

Quote-leftHilarously written ... A great read. It's taught me, that whenever I make a film, the characters better be adaptable to toys and other marrketing merchandise for it to make money! But seriously ... a must read for Spielberg and Lucas fans.Quote-right

Quote-leftIt's fast-paced, easy to get into, and a thoroughly engrossing story, charting the history of the modern-day blockbuster from Jaws through to Lord Of The Rings.Quote-right

Quote-leftI loved this book. It felt like vindication for all the critics and art movie fans about how what they like is better than everyone. Shone took me back to the joy of seeing Star Wars, Raiders, and Titanic in the theaters. Good stuff.Quote-right

Quote-leftA call to arms for the great blockbuster movies of the 70s and 80s to return and a swift rebuke to anyone who claims that only 'art' movies are any good. I really enjoyed the refreshing approach of this book.Quote-right

Quote-leftEnjoying the background to films of my childhood and which I still love. Looking forward to finally reading 'Easy Riders and Raging Bulls' to allow contrasts and comparisons to be made. Biskind is made to look very selective in the conclusions he draws. Only a quarter of the way in so can't make to much of a judgement...Having completed the book I would recommend it to others although obviously the story of blockbuster films has not yet reached a conclusion as this year's slate of summer films (heading over the $150 million mark, budget-wise) shows.Quote-right

"Shone manages his difficult task beautifully. In terms of critical analysis, I found his approach much more nuanced - and certainly better written - than Biskind’s "the barbarians have taken the castle" approach. He is eloquent and evocative in his description of the early blockbusters of Lucas and Spielberg, reminding you what was great about the blockbusters of the period. Yet he is equally convincing and entertaining as he charts the gradual debasement of the form those directors pioneered.... late in the book he admits that "the audiences who trot out of Spider-Man seem content enough, and doubtless one of them will one day write a book rubbishing this one, pointing out what a bunch of bores we first-generation blockbuster fans are, still banging on about Raiders of the Lost Ark after all these years." He may well be right, but he is sufficiently rigorous in his approach that whoever tries to do so will need to be thoughtful and convincing if they are to debunk this analysis." — Cinephobia

"If this was food, it would be a giant tub of fresh popcorn, covered in hot, molten butter, with an old-school choc top for dessert... Shone has the eye of a journalist and the discerning aficionado (one each); he treats us as he would wish to be treated. ... check this out. If you're a film fan and you want an alternate perspective on late-seventies, early-eighties moviemaking to Biskind's anti-blockbuster work "Easy Riders and Raging Bulls," then this is what you need." — Illiterarty.com

"It makes a pleasant change to come across a book on film that treats popular cinema as something to be celebrated. Even rarer for that book to treat its subject with intelligence... Shone articulates perceptions I’d not come across before, and which mark him out as a singularly astute commentator... an excellent book." — Youdothatvoodoo.com

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