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D. J. Parsons (London, UK)
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All The Boys Love Mandy Lane [DVD]
All The Boys Love Mandy Lane [DVD]
Dvd ~ Amber Heard
Price: 6.63

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best slasher film since Scream, 20 May 2009
Jonathan Levine has done something really spectacular here, making a fascinating hybrid of art and slasher film. Turning some clichés on their heads whilst leaving in others, this wears its slasher badge with pride and without irony. I can totally see why many people don't rate this, as the characters are (mostly) from stock and many of the scares are cheap. But so much here feels fresh and original. The stunning photography is a major coup and there's some fascinating plays with shutter speeds and experimentation with freeze frames and deliberately blurred shots which you'll either adore or find pretentious. Mandy Lane herself is an enigmatic and, appropriately, magnetic character, played with understatement by Amber Heard. The admittedly bonkers twists work precisely because of the way that motivations are kept deceptively shallow (yes, I do mean that). The stylised way the film is shot, mostly period music and lack of pop-culture references give the feature a 70's feel (despite a bizarre remark about the Gulf War) which works very well, and there's an interesting sexuality subtext that raises it further ahead of the likes of Friday the 13th and their ilk. Recommended.


Futurama - Season 4 [DVD]
Futurama - Season 4 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Billy West
Price: 12.70

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fourth, last, and best season of Futurama, 3 Jan 2004
This review is from: Futurama - Season 4 [DVD] (DVD)
Yet another example of a TV show ahead of its time, alongside Family Guy and Farscape this is a show cancelled before it fully reached its potential.
This, the fourth and last season of Futurama, contains some of the funniest and, yes, moving episodes of its run. Highlights are "The Sting", in which Leela feels responsible for the death of Fry by a mutant bee - but is everything is as it seems?, "Jurassic Bark" - a jolly tale about Fry's beloved dog from before he was frozen in time, which has a surprisingly moving and upsetting ending, and, of course, the finale, "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings". This episode contains everything that made this show great: laugh-out-loud humour, superb ideas, loving homages, great animation, a wonderful mix of characters we've all grown to love, and surprising heart-felt emotion without the overt sentimentality.
Futurama - we'll miss you. Here's hoping for a possible revival? After all, Farscape now has a planned mini-series ahead and Family Guy is heading for a brand new season on a new network by next year. If not, so long, it's been a blast...


Chain Reaction [1996] [DVD]
Chain Reaction [1996] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Keanu Reeves
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: 4.68

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rather good little film with exciting sequences, 15 Dec 2003
This review is from: Chain Reaction [1996] [DVD] (DVD)
Ah yes; yet another underrated Keanu Reeves film. This one comes from the director of "The Fugitive", and co-stars Morgan Freeman, and so has good credentials. Keanu acquits himself well and is both likeable and believable as a student machinist. His chemistry with Rachel Weisz (they're teaming up again for the forthcoming "Constantine") is also sweet and unforced.
But lets face it, this is the kind of movie in which you expect high-octane thrills, and in this the movie does not disappoint. There are stunning opening and closing sequences, and a superb chase sequence involving a bridge.
The DVD comes with one of those promotional 'featurettes' that aren't really worth bothering. On the plus side, the picture quality and soundtrack are both very decent. If you didn't catch this at the flicks or on TV, it's well worth a purchase.


This Desert Life
This Desert Life
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and understated at the same time..., 2 Jan 2001
This review is from: This Desert Life (Audio CD)
Great stuff, with some memorable and moving tracks that keep you melancholy all day! Colorblind is NOT the best song, so if you are buying it on the strength of that (like so many people), prepare to be ever-so-slightly blown away.
And to the reviewer who thought that he'd give it 1 star when he really loved it just so he could get attention, no that is NOT a clever thing to do because it damages the average customer review score and so could put people off!!
Anyway if you like this music, check out Counting Crows "Recovering the Satellites" and the two Third Eye Blind albums. SUPERB STUFF.


From Dusk Till  Dawn 2 - Texas Blood Money [DVD] [2000]
From Dusk Till Dawn 2 - Texas Blood Money [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Robert Patrick
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 2.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stylish but empty bag of tricks, 21 Dec 2000
This sequel is a very odd film to review. I really wanted to give it 2.5 stars, but since that wasn't possible, I thought it was fair to bump it up a tiny bit.
Ok, so good things first. As some other comments have pointed out (and some who hilariously disagree) the film benefits from some stylish direction. Although slightly over the top, (what is with the camera inside the vampires mouth, or the camera following the press-ups!?) this is the whole point of the film. After all, the idea of a sequel is to be pretty similar to the first film but with a few twists and plot developments, and the first film - you have to agree - was *really* over the top, almost camp at times.
Then there's the acting which is also gloriously over the top, and benefits from not having another ham-fisted but unfun performance from Mr Tarrantino.
But now the bummers. After a fairly good false start (although some may see it coming) the film slows in pace, and it's really at least half an hour before things pick up a little. Then there's the concentration on the rubber bats: they are simply not scary (like in the first film) and it's better when it's simply the vampires themselves doing the attacking.
Next is the not very subtle "Psycho" shower scene (with a strange hybrid of "The Birds" thrown in) which just makes you want to watch that instead. And finally of course, you just simply don't care for the despicable characters... at least in the first film there was the kidnapping of a family to (initially) empathise with, here there is no-one.
And while there is a quite sizeable showdown of gore and special effects, the budget constraints show up too much, and some of the deaths will be disappointing for die-hard horror fans.
All in all, it's deeply average. Missable but enjoyable, like popcorn, it's forgotten the moment its gone.


Fail Safe [DVD]
Fail Safe [DVD]
Dvd ~ Walter Cronkite

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning movie with a powerful message, 20 Dec 2000
This review is from: Fail Safe [DVD] (DVD)
This movie blew me away - it was filmed and screened live to an American audience (the cast only make a couple of minor mistakes), much like the ER episode a couple of years ago. And on the note of ER, this movie even includes two of the cast from the original line-up, George Clooney (who also produces) and the ever excellent Noah Wyle.
The movie takes place in four acts, the most of which only takes place in two different sets, but this only adds tension and claustrophobia to a powerful film. The excellent cast impresses and the direction by Stephen Frears ('High Fidelity', 'Mary Reily) is spot-on.
I bought this title completely blind based on it's intriguing 'blurb' and I have to say it's probably the best film I've bought this year. Filmed in perfect black and white, it is thrilling, tense, and above all moving.
Everyone involved in the making and production of this movie is to be commended.


Fun [VHS] [1995]
Fun [VHS] [1995]
VHS

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly complex and vividly real movie, 2 Dec 2000
This review is from: Fun [VHS] [1995] (VHS Tape)
This film is one of the most unusual, complex and brilliant I have ever seen. I won't go into the story (because that's in the synopsis on this page anyway), but I will say I heartily recommend it.
The performances from Alicia Witt and Renee Humphrey are astonishing - some of the best acting I have ever seen in my life. The unspeakable horror of what they 'did' to the old lady (which is only fleetingly shown) becomes all the more shocking when you come to realise how *likeable* both girls are, how they manage to challenge the therapist and writer's views on the crime they have committed.
Add to this superb direction and surprising wit and an impeccable script and you have one of the most original films you're likely to come across.
Buy this film now!!


Bridge Of Spies
Bridge Of Spies
Price: 5.99

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong debut from a group which still makes great songs, 7 May 2000
This review is from: Bridge Of Spies (Audio CD)
It's very difficult to believe that anyone could dislike this album; it is bold, brassy, moving, imaginative, intelligent, original and sublime.
If you were old enough to remember the 80s (and I'm sure everyone on this page is) then you'll probably already be familiar with at least a couple of the songs on this CD - five were released as singles and all made the top 25.
Probably the most remembered (and one of the standouts on this album) is the excellent 'China in Your Hand', which is a song written about Mary Shelley (author of 'Frankenstein'). It's a dazzlingly arranged and a brilliantly performed song. The lyrics are also very clever "It was a dream she had/On a scheme he had/Told on a foreign land" and "Don't push too far/You're dreams are china in your hand". It also contains one of the finest saxophone solos I think I have ever heard, and is a song that has featured on reportedly more than 250 compilations.
Another well-known and loved song on the album is the first track, 'Heart and Soul', which was famous for being the first Top 10 hit with a white female rapping (this sounds unlikely but works excellently). The song benefits from some great tracking and editing, which gives the song a layered and textured feel.
My personal favourite song is 'I Will Be With You', a powerful and emotional ballad which Carol Decker (the lead singer and the brains behind T'Pau) performs with emotion and sincerity and is all the better for it. It also has some great lyrics: "I never thought I'd see the day/When you and me - we'd be so far apart/And I'll miss you so much now/But I know there's no way/Back to yesterday" and, "I will be with you/You're here in my heart/But if you never come back again/We'll never be far apart".
These hits along with the other brilliant songs like the funky 'Sex Talk', the unusual and beautiful 'Bridge of Spies' and jazz-ballad 'Thank You For Goodbye', make this album a must-buy. I defy anyone to find a legitimate fault with this album.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 10, 2009 2:15 PM BST


One Man
One Man
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 11.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent album from Mark "Level 42" King, 13 Jan 2000
This review is from: One Man (Audio CD)
Level 42 were one of Britain's best (and underrated) rock/jazz/funk groups. Renowned for classics such as "Lessons in Love", "It's Over", "Take a Look" and "Something About You", their success was more than in part due to lead singer and bass-player Mark King.
After the split of Level 42 (whose last album was the brilliant "Forever Now"), Mark King has come back with his second debut album "One Man".
For those who will be expecting similar stuff to Level 42 songs, a lot of people may be disappointed, for this album is quite different. But this is really no bad thing, some of the songs on this album are superb (I disagree with Oliver below), particularly the first track "Bitter Moon", which contains some very memorable and catchy lyrics ('it's cold and it's crazy / bitter moon always betrays me'). Others like "Take My Hand", are more soulful and are better for the instrument arrangements then the lyrics.
All in all, this album has some excellent and thoughtful songs, a few 'chilling-out' songs and one bad song ("Pamela"), but the album is still definitely worth shelling out for. Mark King's voice is as distinct and classy as ever, his guitar playing equally great, and his talent for clever lyrics has not diminished. Highly recommended.


Unplugged
Unplugged
Price: 4.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alanis Morissette surpases herself - fantastic stuff, 26 Dec 1999
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)
This third (live) album is a collection of the best songs from "Jagged Little Pill" and "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie" plus three unreleased songs and "King of Pain" and "Uninvited" thrown in for a great value album.
Let's get one thing straight first - Alanis sounds fantastic live, and even though there's only three new songs, the live versions on this CD are so different you really are getting a brand new album. "You Oughta Know" is far more of a sad song, rather than an angry song as portrayed on "Jagged", and it's clear that the superb "That I Would Be Good" was made to be performed live.
Not only that, but the new tracks are fantastic too - "Princes Familiar" being the standout, and if you ever thought that Sting's "King of Pain" was a beautiful song, then Alanis Morissette's will leave you knocked for six.
All in all, this has to not only one of the best MTV Unplugged albums in the series, but also one of the best albums of the year, and well worth more than a couple of listens. Buy it to believe it.


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