Alien vs Predator (2004)

This is a hybrid of the Alien and Predator franchises from the 80s and 90s (Alien, 1979, spawned three sequels and Predator, 1987, one) which shows what happens when an expedition of scientists to the Antarctica who are seeking to uncover the remains of a buried ancient pyramid, which has been inhabited for centuries by aliens and another grotesque planetary race, are right in the thick of a long standing war between them.

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Airplane! (1980)

This was the movie that started a trend: the slapstick, nonsensical spoof of disaster movies of the 70s. Jim Abrahams, David and Jerry Zucker wrote and directed this landmark comedy treat in 1980 and more of the same came from their stables (1984’s Top Secret, which starred Val Kilmer, is one such film I remember well – but was somewhat disappointing compared to the standard of Airplane’s lunacy).

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The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005)

Prominent Hollywood directors George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, James Cameron, and maker of the Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavgirl in 3-D, Robert Rodriguez, have talked earlier this year about projecting 3-D films digitally using a new 2-D to 3-D conversion process. This might happen by the end of the decade. Certainly, it is needed, not only for the economics of the industry which competes with home entertainment. This latest 3-D effort is not going to make fans of the format, but it’s a pleasing enough movie to pass the time with.

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28 Days Later (2002)

It’s a variation on the theme of man’s inhumanity to man – which is why the future looks without hope, told with a mixture of solemnity, irony and occasional off-beat humour. Includes send-ups of symbols and vestiges of capitalism – like soft drink vending machines – in a deserted and lonely London.

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2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

With the western genre almost dead and buried a hybrid of its kind has resurfaced for contemporary, usually young, audiences in the guise of fast cars for trusted horses and street criminals for heroic outback outlaws. 2 Fast 2 Furious is Top Gun on wheels, an unrelenting and ferocious non-stop thrill-ster with several remarkably agile and technically proficient car-racing sequences. The story in this wish-fulfilment fantasy for wanna-be car enthusiasts plays second fiddle to the style as in Top Gun – it’s the stars and the need for speed that counts here.

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