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Reviews Written by
Mr. S. J. Robson "sleepytimegorillaboy" (Truro, Cornwall, UK)

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The Banishment [DVD]
The Banishment [DVD]
Dvd ~ Konstantin Lavronenko
Price: £18.78

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Credit where credit is due., 9 Jan. 2009
This review is from: The Banishment [DVD] (DVD)
This film is incredibly shot.

That could well be where my review should stop - because it truly is one of the most thought-over and well composed films I've ever seen.
Even if you were just to absorb the imagery without sound it would not take you long to bring about comparisons to Tarkovski and Kieslowski (among other greats). The camera sweeps though scenes in a beautifully choreographed manner in an attempt to deliver the surroundings to the viewer with as much depth as the story itself.

Sadly this is where it fails.
The story is little more than a guild, leading the camera through these beautiful shots and at no point did I feel the plot took presidence over the camerawork. Because of this the characters and their situation is very hard to relate to, which I think makes pinnacle scenes in the film fail on there impact.

It is a wonderful film that nearly captures the coldness of Tarkovski's "Stalker" but after the (slight) endurance cannot deliver to the extent of "The Sacrifice".

This film is another landmark in world cinema - I just don't believe the story does it any true justice.

Mongol: The Rise to Power of Genghis Khan [DVD] (2007)
Mongol: The Rise to Power of Genghis Khan [DVD] (2007)
Dvd ~ Tadanobu Asano
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.98

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly entertaining with a few major flaws, 26 Nov. 2008
I'm going to be a little more critical than the past few reviews.

Camerawork : Fantastic (particularly the opening shot). Wonderful framing and wide landscape shots. And the sets and costumes stay true to the intended time.
I am however sceptical of the cinematography as I feel a lot of the beauty in the shots has more to do with the land itself than the brilliance of the photography. This is by no means to the stunning standard of Baraka or Laurence of Arabia, both of which have the available scenery but still rely massively on the artistry of the photography.

Plot : Only Swiss cheese has this many holes in it! There seemed to be a number of scenes that just tailed off without explanation. One minute he's shackled and running through the wasteland the next he's free and building an army.
Another massive downer for me was the ending. It does appear that there will be a Mongol 2, which will save the ending of the first somewhat. But the problem I had was it's sudden jump ... one minute you're enduring 2 hours of epic fairytale then suddenly it's the end and a few captions are thrown at the screen explaining what went on to happen in the life of Khan. It leaves the viewer a little empty to say the least.

This is a mildly enjoyable film with a large number of plot holes. So if you're looking for an intelligent, well rounded piece of cinema then look elsewhere. But if you're after an epic romp with some rather nice little action sequences then this should satisfy.

Just as an extra: I read that the Mongolians hated this film. Apparently the language and accents are disturbingly terrible and even they have to watch it with subtitles to get whats going on!

Hatchet [DVD]
Hatchet [DVD]
Dvd ~ Joel David Moore
Price: £4.18

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been amazing ... I think!, 5 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Hatchet [DVD] (DVD)
This is a very odd film - it's sort of split into 2 areas:
1. Terrible teenie, Saved by the Bell style acting.
2. Brutal, cleverly choreographed violence.
The two really don't marry very well and it makes the viewer a little unsure as to how he/she should feel when a character, not dissimilar to Mr Wilson from the Dennis cartoons, gets his torso split from neck to belly with an axe and his head (+ spinal column) ripped out!

A side of me wants to recommend this film for it's rather awesome death scenes - but the functioning side of my brain wants to warn you about the terribly unrealistic and cheesey sitcom-style acting.

I guess its nothing more than a bit of fun, and if indeed it is an attempt at spoofing classic horrors of this ilk then all the humour is of a juvenile and barely chuckle-worthy nature (you know, the stuff the Americans pump out by the ton to empty kids minds).
This is by no means a great, or even good, horror movie.

Ballad Of A Soldier (Region 2) [1959] [DVD]
Ballad Of A Soldier (Region 2) [1959] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Vladimir Ivashov
Offered by babsbargains *** WORLDWIDE SHIPPING ***
Price: £39.99

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic representative of great film-making in the 50s, 2 Nov. 2008
I've literally just finished watching it and I must say I'm a little choked for words.

It's incredible to think that Hollywood was pumping out so many films at the time and so few of which truly shine from every perspective. Then along comes another great film from the East ticking every box:
> Strong realistic performances.
> Camera work of extraordinarily high standard for the time.
> Wonderful editing (notably the last time on the train).
> Excellent sound ... I agree with another review here that the sound in places was perhaps slightly off (I'm referring to the original Russian audio track, screw dubbings!) but to no disturbing degree. What I loved the most about the sound was the use of it. In places where Hollywood would have blasted out some soppy orchestral piece in this film they chose silence, or maybe some odd sort of (David) Lynch-style noise, adding a depth to the film that was rare in this era.

If you enjoy old films then this is about as good as it gets. A true landmark in world cinema.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 17, 2012 7:55 AM GMT

BFI 75 10 DVD Box Set - European Cinema (Limited to 500 copies - Exclusive to
BFI 75 10 DVD Box Set - European Cinema (Limited to 500 copies - Exclusive to
Dvd ~ Robert Bresson

33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Is this how you celebrate 75 years!!!, 22 Oct. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have to whole-heartedly agree with the review entitled "Budget price, budget content.,"

The box looks mighty nice in the picture above huh?
Well what you see is a thin paper-card black box, and you see that writing on the black box? Well when you unwrap your collection from it's plastic sealing you'll discover that is just a loosely attached piece of paper (it even flaps about on one side!).

On the one hand I'm getting a limited edition collection, plus I'm spending about £5 per disc at this price (which for BFI is a great saving!) ... but I'm a film lover, and a serious one, and everytime I take a slimline DVD case out of that tatty, flimsy black box a little piece of my soul dies and I mutter to myself "Why on earth did BFI discredit themselves with such a design?"

This has all the potential to be a great boxset with the films it boasts. But I don't feel the need to review the films here, instead I feel it more important to review that which you are actually paying for ... for me it was something special that when delivered transpired to be something of great crapness.

I am disappointed BFI and urge any serious film lover to wait till their 100th edition, maybe by then they'll take heed of these reviews!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 9, 2008 12:47 AM GMT

Festen (10th Year Anniversary Edition) [DVD] [1998]
Festen (10th Year Anniversary Edition) [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Ulrich Thomsen
Price: £7.99

23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd seen it 10 years ago ..., 22 Oct. 2008
... but really glad to have seen it at all!


As it states above; a 60 year old man is celebrating his birthday and throws a "Festen" where in which all his family and close friends are invited. But some very disturbing things have happened in the past ... or did they!?! ... and it's time for it to come out ... or is it?!?

Shot in a rather Lars von Trier "fly on wall" style, and acted brilliantly with a fantastically colourful collection of characters. This is a landmark in Danish film-making. The plot is thrown left, right and centre, while its cleverly devised sub-plots all slide perfectly in place providing a massively entertaining 100 minutes cherry'ed with an array of thoughts for the viewer of guilt, triumph, shame and perhaps a touch of humour.

It's the second Danish film I've seen this year that has left dumbstruck (the first being "After the Wedding" (a very different sort of film!)) and I can ensure anyone reading this: clicking the "Add to Basket" button will be amongst the best thing you've done for yourself all year (apart from that thing with your friend and a large tub of after eight icecream ... but this I can guarantee is legal!).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 4, 2010 6:35 PM BST

P2 [DVD]
P2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rachel Nichols

4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible in so many ways!!, 8 May 2008
This review is from: P2 [DVD] (DVD)
"High Tension" (or "Switchblade Romance" as it was badly titled on the English DVD) was a great balls to the wall horror. It had gore, a great ending and above all Tension!
This film (brought to us by the same director - Franck Khalfoun) is simply painful.
First and foremost the acting is lacking on a massive scale - In watching the film I imagined Jack Nicholson's performance in The Shining and wondered if a character like that in place of Wes Bentley could have saved the film ... When an actor is given the opportunity to play such a potentially awesome character it seems a shame for it to be wasted. But wasted it is! (he's the bad dude btw)

Then there's the plot: On Xmas a woman gets trapped in the underground car-park by the security guard, who basically fancies her and wants to spend Xmas with her.
She runs away for the whole film and kills him in the end.
That really is it ... honestly! Okay, he does kill a couple people (couple being two - hence the word "couple") but he seems to do it in the most predictable manner!

I strongly recommend that you don't watch this film - if you want a proper horror then: High Tension, [REC] and The Orphanage are all great.
But hey, if you like Diary of the Dead, Rod Stewart and truly believe that Ben Affleck can act then this is the film for you!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 22, 2010 12:53 AM GMT

Firecracker [DVD] [2005] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Firecracker [DVD] [2005] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tiring and embarrassingly painful, 22 Feb. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Mike Patton from the historical Faith No More is in this film. This is the sole reason I bought this film.

When it arrived I was excited to see all the reviews on the cover and all the awards it had won, statments like:
"One of the most visually stunning, emotionally heavy films of this decade" - ICON

Being a big David Lynch fan and having a love for European cinema (Lars von Tier, Kieslowski, Bergman, Malle, etc.) I am, I'd like to think, very open to new ideas and risky film making ... but this really does cross too many lines.

The filming itself is leaning toward the professional side of amateur, while the the colouration in editing is little more than that of a inexperienced student.

It's been a while since I watched it, so I'm sorry for my rather loose review, but I refuse to endure it again for the benefit of these few paragraphs. I do remember however that Mike Patton plays a few roles in the film, and one of which buggers his brother ... when this happens it seems as though it was simply thrown in for shock factor!

I truely don't know what else to say.

In a word: PAINFUL.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2014 12:37 PM GMT

I Am Kloot
I Am Kloot

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upsettingly Underrated, 8 July 2007
This review is from: I Am Kloot (Audio CD)
My Story:
My sound engineering teacher recommended them to me giving me a copy of this album. He insisted that the songs themselves were brilliantly constructed. I listened to the album once through and shelved the CD (I was probably more into a different genre at the time!).
I then went to the Hurricane Festival in Germany a few months later (2005 I think!) and they played there. The very moment I got back into Hamburg after the Festival I brought every I Am Kloot album I could find.
This Album:
I Am Kloot are a 3 piece band that incorperate 4 brilliant textures into their sound. The drummer has a wonderfully "snake-like" approach and weaves rather complex rhythms to the simplist of beats. The bass is quite heavy weighted and slow jazz stylely at times. But (apologise to the rest of the band!) the brilliance is in the vocals and guitar, the solo song "Proof" stands out on the album for it's ability to bring you back to reality with lyrics that all can relate to and confide in.
Among the 3 albums I think this is my favourite, as every tune is a winner.
These guys should be huge, but I'm so glad their not - 'cos their MINE!!

I don't like to compare bands but I do think that if you enjoy the work of Coldplay, Sufjan Stevens, Damien Rice, The Beatles, Rocky Votolato, etc

Oh, and they're one of the best lives I've ever seen (easily up there with Pearl Jam and The Wedding Present)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2008 12:37 PM GMT

Army Of Anyone [Us Import]
Army Of Anyone [Us Import]
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £15.95

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STP + Filter = Army Of Anyone, 12 Jun. 2007

Scott Weiland left Stone Temple Pilots and created some stupid little band with the left overs of Guns n Roses. The remainders of STP made friends with The Filter lead singer and discovered they could write music together.


With so many disappointments from the ex-grunge legends (I won't mention any names, they know who they are!) it's needless to say I was skeptical on this albums release. But 3 months after purchase I can honestly say this album delivers. It has no cheesey lyrics, the music is the STP we love, the drummer is a liitle more rock orientated than that of Eric K from STP and perhaps a little more "fancy" (which is great at times). This album boasts some great tunes, and the vocals compliment the music wonderfully (at times the vox are a little too quiet in the mix, but thats a matter of opinion).


If you love and miss STP as much as me then don't expect a replacement. These guys have a lot of similar sounds to STP but also a few new tricks up their sleeves with the aid of the new drummer and Filters singer. I still listen to and enjoy this album ... I recommend you to do the same.

The only thing stopping me from giving it 5-stars is that it ain't no "Tiny Music ..."

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