Profile for Albatross > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Albatross
Top Reviewer Ranking: 951
Helpful Votes: 2150

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Albatross "Never argue with idiots" (Suburbia)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Romper Stomper
Romper Stomper
Dvd
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Bleak and brutal, but worth watching, 2 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Romper Stomper (DVD)
It’s hard to imagine many times when you actually think to yourself, ‘Hey... I really fancy sitting down to watch a film about Nazi skinheads, beating up people they perceive as different.’ However, just because the subject matter is pretty distasteful, doesn’t mean that the film’s that bad.

Naturally, a lot of people claim that this film is ‘racist propaganda’ and refuse to watch it. However, after spending just over ninety minutes in the company of these ‘Hitler worshipping’ Aussie thugs, I can’t see that their lifestyle would come across as very appealing to anyone – even the very impressionable among the audience. You could hardly want to be like these guys.

The other thing ‘Romper Stomper’ is remembered for is Russell Crowe’s performance as the main skinhead character. He does play him well – scarily well. It’s amazing that he was able to build what became quite a diverse career on his angry, monotone performance here. Russell and his crew spend their days hunting down ‘non white’ residents who they’re convinced are bringing down the neighbourhood and taking it away from the ‘natural’ white race. And, when they’re not hitting other people, they’re also hitting each other while jumping up and down to ‘shouty’ type skinhead music, spouting the wonders of ‘bald-headed fighting men.’

Just like ‘Trainspotting’ was a film about undesirable junkies, this is a film about undesirable skinheads. Neither tells you to behave like those on screen, but both offer a world into a (thankfully) niche group of people and the way they live their lives. You certainly don’t have to like what to see to enjoy the film. Just be thankful you don’t have Russell and co living next door to you.


The Atticus Institute
The Atticus Institute
Dvd
Price: £0.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Apparently they still had ‘found footage’ back in the seventies, 2 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Atticus Institute (DVD)
‘The Atticus Institute’ is a documentary. Only it isn’t. It’s one of those films that is shot like one, yet scripted – I think they call them a ‘mockumentary.’ I’ve seen the genre before and they can be pretty entertaining; normally they’re quite funny and this one is supposed to be scary. It’s about the first ‘government sponsored’ institute which studies the paranormal. The story is about the facility’s first ‘genuine’ patient with paranormal abilities.

Therefore you get a load of ‘talking head’ interviews shoved in every few scenes. It’s set in the seventies, so all the scenes ‘recorded’ back then are nice and grainy, while the ‘interviews’ are supposed to be filmed with modern cameras, therefore being clearer in picture quality. Yes, both sorts are well-filmed. The overall effect is certainly one of watching a documentary on past times. Only the interviews totally take you out of what little scary mood has been created (and there’s not much of that to begin with). Whoever’s being interviewed basically tells you a bit about what happened back in the past and then we see what they’ve already said in grainy ‘stock’ footage.

So, everything that’s going to happen is first told to us by an interviewee. And you can probably guess what’s going to happen anyway. Once the institute gets its first ‘real’ person with psychic abilities then you know it’s going to go wrong for them. And it does. Only it doesn’t really crank up the mood to anything because it’s being told to us in retrospect and you sort of already know what’s happened because it’s all taken place already (that’s assuming you couldn’t guess what happened anyway).

And, what few scares are in here aren’t that scary. The lynchpin of any ‘found footage’ film is that it doesn’t have much of a budget. And it shows here. Basically, if you like horror films, there are better. And, if you like ‘found footage’ films then you’ll probably have seen better also.

Plus there’s a British actress who plays one of the doctors who completely overacts every time she’s interviewed. She wound me up.


Clash Of The Titans [DVD] [2010]
Clash Of The Titans [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Sam Worthington
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £2.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Well… it could have been so much worse, 27 April 2015
I’m one of those people who watched (and therefore loved!) the original ‘Clash of the Titans’ movies when I was a child back in the eighties. And, as any cynical adult, I was sceptical about a remake of one of my childhood favourites. The result – in my opinion – it could have been worse.

In case you never sat through the charming Harry Hamlin version, Clash of the Titans is one of those ‘sword and sorcery’ epics that’s a bit like Lord of the Rings, only with Gods added for good measure. Naturally an ‘updated version’ needs more than a few people in sandals and plastercine monsters and the remake does just that. There is a fair amount of computer-generated special effects, but they’re not the problem. One of the main complaints against the new version is that it was filmed in NON-3D and then converted into 3D in post-production, therefore creating a slightly blurred and grainy effect overall.

And there are some other problems with the finished product, but many of those are cosmetic. Take the lead actor’s (Sam Worthington) hair. It’s supposed to be ancient Greece and yet he’s the only man without long flowing hair – choosing instead for a crewcut. Then of course you have a largely British cast (or at least actors putting on ‘British’ accents) while Worthington’s natural Australian accent does tend to slip through occasionally. And maybe the most petty gripe I can think of is naming the Greek town Worthington’s trying to save after a popular British ‘catelogue store’ – it always amused me when they’re desperate to save ‘Argos.’

When it comes to the (all important) monsters, some of them are good and some do look a little too CGI-ish. The Kraken looked a bit much like the ‘Rancor’ from Return of the Jedi for my liking, but it’s Medusa who steals the show. She was a tough act to follow after her portrayal in the original and, even though she is now fully CGI, she’s actually pretty nasty! For some reason though the director felt the need to add too many lens flares (in my opinion) in all the scenes where the Gods were present in Olympus!

But, despite all its flaws, it’s actually not that bad. Yes, those of us who were brought up on the original will always prefer that version, but I imagine that there are plenty of kids (young boys I’m guessing) who will love watching Perseus slay one computer generated monster after the next. My main gripe was that I found Perseus’ ‘love interest’ a little wooden. Yes, I see the reason the film-makers shoe-horned in a woman to go on the adventure, but she just kind of delivered her lines like she was reading them from an autocue. I don’t know whether this is a fault with the director, not getting the best out of her, as I’ve seen Gemma Arterton in plenty of other films and she’s always turned in a better performance.

So, if you’re not too hung up on the original and you’re in a forgiving mood when it comes to remakes, you should enjoy this pretty harmless remake of a classic. The only thing I really couldn’t forgive was the scorn displayed from the on-screen characters when ‘Boo-boo’ the clockwork owl from the original made a cameo appearance!


Predestination
Predestination
Dvd
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected, 26 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Predestination (DVD)
I had never heard of ‘Predestination.’ I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing it never received a theatrical release in cinemas. Or, if it did, it was a ‘limited run’ and I didn’t notice. Therefore, baring this in mind and the fact that it didn’t have any ‘big name’ actors in it (apologises, Ethan Hawke), I kind of looked upon it as a B-movie that was released straight to DVD.

But, regardless of its origins, it’s actually pretty good. I have to confess that I wasn’t really watching it properly to begin with. I kind of had it on in the background while I did other things. I read the blurb regarding its plot and saw something about ‘time travelling agents’ and preventing future crimes and considered it a basic ‘bang bang’ action movie.

It isn’t. There’s actually very little action and you really do have to pay attention to get something out of it. It was because of that I started watching it again so I could actually know what’s going on. Obviously, with anything regarding time travel, there are always going to be people who pick holes in the story, so you’ll have to suspend your disbelief when it comes to the ‘temporal physics’ of it all.

Ethan Hawke plays the time travelling agent who prevents crimes before they happen. However, even with all the technology at his disposal, he’s still having trouble catching the ‘fizzle bomber’ before he strikes. At first it seemed that the story was going to be all about him, yet we meet a secondary character who sort of takes over the ‘meat’ of the tale.

The tale itself is a twisted one. Anything concerning time travel is going to have to deal with paradoxes and parallel universes and realities. And ‘Predestination’ seems to involve all of them. And, if you can follow it (or should I say prepared to follow it) you’ll definitely enjoy it. It’s not an action movie and it’s certainly not fast-paced. It’s more of a thriller/sci-fi drama that you will have to follow closely to make sure you don’t miss something. You’re only going to get to watch it the once before you know all the twists and turns of the tale, so watch it closely and enjoy the mystery surrounding the plot.


The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner
Dvd
Price: £0.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not great (so why did I enjoy it?), 26 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Maze Runner (DVD)
‘The Maze Runner.’ I would start by saying that it’s one of those ‘teen sci-fi romance’ films. Ever since ‘Twilight’ came along – where the basic premise is that you take a supernatural (or science fiction in some cases) event then add a teenage love story and you have a highly successful (and therefore profitable) franchise. I was going to say that, as when it started it certainly felt like one. Only it had an ‘all male’ cast (yeah, you could add a bit of romance to that, but you’d have to be one brave screen writer).

Anyway, ‘The Maze Runner’ is about a bunch of young lads, all of which have been captured and imprisoned in a field, surrounded by a maze. Why? We don’t know, but obviously we’ll find out. And, when a new guy arrives in a box (that’s how ‘new arrivals’ get there, apparently) he decides that they should do more than just farm, eat crops and get eaten by giant cyborg spiders. Did I mention those? There are a load of giant robot spiders living in the surrounding maze who have a tendency to eat the kids if they stray too far.

Okay, so it’s a reasonably simple premise – kids have to find a way out and work out why they were put there to begin with. However, it’s far from perfect. Its problems are simply that there are too many plot holes everywhere. Seriously... you just can’t actually allow your brain to think about anything for too long. Because, if you do, you’ll realise that most of it doesn’t make sense.

Then I realised why it felt like a ‘teen romance.’ A girl arrives in a box. Guess what... she falls for the main guy. But I still enjoyed it. Even though the maze (and everything in it) is heavily computer-generated, but I overlooked that.

I guess my brain was obviously tired and I wasn’t thinking about all the negative elements contained inside it. Then there’s the ending. Obviously I can’t go into that in too much detail without giving away things. My advice... the film is about an hour and fifty minutes long. After an hour and FORTY minutes, just turn it off – you don’t need the ending. It really is the worst bit.

So, if you have kids, they’ll probably enjoy it. The romance element isn’t too central, so I suppose it must be for younger boys than girls. Plus people like me who can allow themselves to dumb down enough to appreciate the action scenes and general atmosphere may get something out of it. As much as I know I should hate it, I just don’t. And I can’t really say why.


Airplane!
Airplane!
Dvd
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Just funny, 24 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Airplane! (DVD)
There are few films that stand up to the test of time and even fewer that are comedies. I’m glad to say that ‘Airplane’ is the exception to the rule. It’s one of those ‘spoof’ films which sacrifices story in favour of joke after joke after joke. Nowadays, similar humour is applied to spoof movies which lampoon one or two individual films. Back in 1980 when Airplane was made it was less fashionable to make fun of just one film, instead ‘disaster movies’ in general are the topic of ridicule. And, luckily, the plot is pretty simple – the titular airplane loses all its pilots (and many of the passengers) to a freak food poisoning accident (just don’t eat the fish!) and a former war pilot, with a questionable track record at the helm of flying machines, must step up to save the day.

You need to know that ‘Airplane’ is hardly ‘highbrow entertainment.’ It never was. It never will be. And, most importantly, it was never intended to be. The film is filled with ‘pratt-falls’ and dumb and silly jokes. If you’ve watched any of the ‘Naked Gun’ films, or those ‘Scary/Superhero/Disaster/Delete As Applicable’ Movies, then you’ll kind of know the drill by now. Only Airplane was basically ‘the original’ of this type of film, therefore it’s definitely the funniest!

Part of its appeal is the fact that the film-makers seemed to steer towards casting ‘non-comedic’ actors is as many of the lead roles as they could, meaning everyone plays their parts ‘straight’ and totally deadpan. Of course the main characters are great, but it’s Leslie Neilson who steals every scene in what was his first comic role on screen (but definitely not his last!).

Airplane isn’t the kind of movie you need to think about. You just need to be in the mood for something a bit silly (and sometimes irreverent!) to get enjoyment out of this. Even after over thirty-five years, it still outclasses all those other ‘spoof’ movies. It is truly the original… and best.

And don’t call me ‘Shirley!’


What We Did On Our Holiday
What We Did On Our Holiday
Dvd
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Feel good fun (if you’re in the mood), 23 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: What We Did On Our Holiday (DVD)
Aw, how sweet. I think I said that pretty much every two minutes during ‘What We Did On Our Holiday’s’ ninety minute runtime. Yes, it’s a ‘nice’ film. It deals with family drama where a young couple (ex Dr Who David Tennant and ex Bond girl Rosamund Pike) who are in the process of getting divorced, take their three children (all with various degrees of psychosis) on a family holiday to Scotland for cancer-stricken Grandad’s (Billy Connoly) birthday. During their stay many skeletons get uncovered and truths get dragged to the surface.

Yet, despite the ‘adult themes’ of death and relationships, it’s actually weighted towards the children, all of which are largely just going through the adult scenarios in their own childlike ways. Like I say – sweet.

Sometimes, when a film has children in prominent roles, they can make or break it. There’s nothing worse than a ‘wooden’ child actor doing his best to bleat his lines with absolutely zero emotion or understanding of what he’s going. At least here the kids’ performances come across as realistic, making the whole film watchable.

Plus, despite being ‘sweet’ you never feel that it’s ‘sickeningly sweet’ and too ‘nicey-wicey’ which it could stray into if it wasn’t careful.

Overall, the film is good enough, but you have to be in the mood for ‘sweet.’ If you’re looking for ‘dark and depressing’ this one is definitely not for you. It’s a nice, gentle movie which you can sort of have on in the background and still get what’s happening (and the jokes).

About the only thing I didn’t agree with was how sunny it appeared to be in Scotland. It wasn’t like that any time I’d been there (or maybe I just went on the wrong week!).


Gone Girl
Gone Girl
Dvd
Price: £0.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gone, but definitely not forgotten, 22 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gone Girl (DVD)
Wow, actually a thriller that’s pretty good. Yes, it’s fair to say that ‘Gone Girl’ is a really engrossing film. As with almost every film, it’s based on a book. And, as with most films based on a book, I haven’t read the book, so I haven’t got a clue how well the film relates to the source material. But then I don’t care. I just enjoyed the ride.

‘Gone Girl’ is one of those films where you don’t want to say too much about for fear of giving things away and spoiling it for people who haven’t seen it. Ben Affleck plays a (reasonably) decent husband whose well-to-do wife disappears. The media circus that follows then starts to reveal that the truth is far more complicated that it first seems (not to mention the obligatory police investigation). It’s fair to say that what follows is a film that twists and turns, so you only really get one chance to watch it and not know what’s coming.

Many people don’t really like Affleck when it comes to acting (even less now he’s due to don the Batsuit!), but I think most people will relate to him as he gets pursued and hounded (unfairly? You’ll have to wait and see!) by the media. Rosamund Pike plays his (gone!) wife with a flawless American accent. Again, you’ll have to see whether she’s found alive or dead. The story bounces around back and forth in time, making sure you’re just confused enough never to put too much together before the film’s ready to reveal what’s happening.

If I had one complaint it’s that the film is a little too long. Perhaps ten to fifteen minutes could have been edited out at around the three quarters mark, just to speed it up. But that’s a minor gripe. Basically, if you like your thrillers twisty and turny (and have a couple of hours to spare on a film that you really have to concentrate on) give this one a go.


Superman Returns - Single Disc [DVD] [2006]
Superman Returns - Single Disc [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Brandon Routh
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.72

3.0 out of 5 stars Not that bad, but not that good, 22 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Superman fans waited what seemed like a long time to see their lycra-clad hero back in action. Then they got this. In a world filled with reboots and remakes you have to give the film-makers credit for actually daring to make a sequel to the original Christopher Reeves quadrology. According to ‘Superman Returns’ the ‘Man of Steel’ went back to his home planet for five years and has only just got back. Of course now he looks slightly different (like Brandon Routh to be precise), but obviously acts exactly like Reeves and his portray of the character.

It certainly feels like part of the original set of films, but, for some reason, it just doesn’t work so well now. Perhaps cinema goers are more used to heroes who have a ‘darker’ background and general and outlook on life. Routh’s Superman is totally squeaky clean and people are probably just getting a little tired of the fact that he can change his clothes and put on a pair of glasses, therefore rendering him completely undetectable to everyone (including those who know him best). The Christopher Reeves movies were campy and you could kind of ignore things like that. I think people now desire a little more realism and it’s hard to take it all seriously.

Kevin Spacey adds some noteworthy prestige to the story, playing Superman’s arch nemesis Lex Luthor. However, despite being an actor as talented as Spacey, he’s not really given that much to do. He’s not that threatening and, seeing as he’s only a human, you know he has to get his hands on some of the mythical mineral from Superman’s homeworld, Kryptonite, in order to really threaten the titular hero. Luthor has a plan which revolves around creating a new land mass, which will basically destroy the continent of America in the process. He doesn’t really have an army, nor the means to defend his new homeland, making his whole plot a little ridiculous.

The special effects are okay and obviously they’ve been cranked up since the eighties – including the (seemingly mandatory) CGI effects for the set pieces.

I think the best part of the film is the music. It’s taken straight from the original films and when it starts to play, it does feel like you’re right back in the eighties. I guess this only applies to people of a certain age (like myself!) to get this one.

‘Superman Returns’ isn’t bad. It’s just about twenty years too late o be relevant. It kind of gets overshadowed by all the other – far superior – superhero movies currently on offer. I’m guessing it will probably be more forgiven by those of us who still like the originals and it will probably keep young boys happy on a Saturday afternoon. Otherwise, the modern generations will only really like ‘Superman’ through his newly-rebooted persona as ‘The Man of Steel.’


Constantine
Constantine
Dvd
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite ‘Hellblazer,’ but still quite good fun, 20 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Constantine (DVD)
In case you don’t know ‘Constantine’ is actually based on quite a famous cult comic called ‘Hellblazer,’ but had its name changed when ‘Hellboy’ came out the year before and the film-makers were concerned with non comic book fans getting the two confused. So, Step 1 of how to alienate your core fanbase is change the name! The fan boys were not amused. They were even less amused when other changes were made to the script and story in general. It was fair to say that ‘Constantine’ was off to a bad start.

But it’s certainly not that bad. Keanu Reeves plays the titular (John) ‘Constantine’ – a man who’s soul is damned to hell for all eternity, but hopes he can get out of the inevitable afterlife in hell by doing God’s work and sending as many Earth-dwelling demons back to their fiery origins. So it’s a kind of action/horror/demon/supernatural affair. It certainly has elements of all of those genres, just don’t go expecting much ‘horror’ in this horror movie.

Perhaps producers were aware that many people wouldn’t recognise the franchise from its comic-based roots and decided that one way to get bums on seats would be to make it pretty tame. Yes, if you’re really afraid of possessions and general monsters you may find this scary. It’s hardly a kids’ film, but its primary market is probably fully-grown men, many of which expect a little more gore and darkness from the big screen.

Keanu Reeves is hardly known for his acting, but he does his best and for whatever he lacks in dramatic ability, he makes up for by simply being Keanu Reeves. He’s instantly able to be rooted for and you don’t have to be a genius to recognise that he’s going to fall for Rachel Weiss’ character (sporting a not-so-great American accent).

So Keanu generally goes about the place, despatching one demon after another. If you squint at the screen you’ll probably help yourself fail to notice how much CGI is used with each baddie he slaughters.

Constantine isn’t a classic. It won’t be remembered in cinema’s history books. However, if you’re generally in the mood for a little monster-bashing (and not a die-hard fan of the comic books it’s based on) then put this on. You probably also check your phone a couple of times during the run-time and still known what’s going on.

It's probably worth more 3.5 stars, but I'm being generous and 'marking up.'


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20