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Reviews Written by
L. Andrews "jointhepartyuk" (Newport, South Wales)

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4.0 out of 5 stars A true gem of a movie, which the soundtrack more than compliments..., 12 Jun. 2006
This review is from: Kikujiro (Audio CD)
The main melody of Kikujiro is a truly beautiful piece of work. My favourite musical combination is strings and piano, and here it is put to use with great effect.

The main melody is often repeated throughout the tracks, but is played using a variety of instruments, from the soothing piano of 'Summer', through to the violin solo and then stacatto strings of 'River Side'.

The tracks are slightly repetitive, but the melodies are truly addictive to listen to, and, when coupled with the masterpiece of the film, provide for a beautiful listening/viewing experience.

Highly recommended!

The Young Master [DVD]
The Young Master [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jackie Chan

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EPIC JACKIE CHAN!!!!!!, 31 Mar. 2006
This review is from: The Young Master [DVD] (DVD)
Of all the Jackie Chan films I have had the pleasure of sitting through (with the exception of ISLAND OF FIRE - avoid like the plague!), this film has to be my favourite.
Playing out in the same vein as SNAKE IN THE EAGLE'S SHADOW and DRUNKEN MASTER, YOUNG MASTER takes everything that was good in those two movies and revamps it all into a masterpiece.
You can take a look at the Amazon summary for the storyline to this film. I'm just writing this to say that YOUNG MASTER is perfectly balanced with equal proportions of comedy and martial arts action, and the last fight scene, taking up an entire twenty minutes of film, is truly spectacular in its grace and brutality. Indeed, it has to be one of the most superbly choregraphed fight sequences I have ever seen committed to celluloid.
You are not a Jackie Chan fan until you have seen this movie. An essential purchase. Buy it now!

Jackie Chan (Box Set) [DVD]
Jackie Chan (Box Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kent Cheng

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding value for money, 15 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Jackie Chan (Box Set) [DVD] (DVD)
Three films. A fiver a film. Each film starring Jackie Chan. All of them good. What more could you ask for?
These Hong Kong Legends packages are superb. I also have in my collection, amongst others, the John Woo collection, the Michelle Yeoh collection and the Jet Li collection. Great DVDs at budget prices.
The boxset contains three films, plus an extra documentary DVD entitled HEROMAKERS, which gives us an inside look at the people who make the breathtaking action scenes happen, the stuntmen.
The three films are Jackie Chan gems. DRAGON LORD plays itself out in the same vein as SNAKE IN THE EAGLE'S SHADOW, DRUNKEN MASTER and THE YOUNG MASTER, films with riproaring fight sequences off-set by genuinely funny, almost slapstick, comedy. While being slightly uneven as far as the plot is concerned (it was originally intended to be a sequel to YOUNG MASTER, entitled YOUNG MASTER IN LOVE, but extra scenes were filmed - Jackie Chan was going through a break-up at the time, could this have had any influence on the change in the title?), it contains classic martial arts action and Jackie's trademark choreographed fight sequences.
HEART OF THE DRAGON didn't perform too well at the asian box office when it was released, and to diehard Jackie Chan fans it's easy to see why. In this film, directed by Samo Hung, Jackie fills the shoes of a far more emotional character, playing a man who has to cope with the emotional strains of living with his mentally retarded brother. Of course, you've got the obligatory action in the final sequence, when Jackie and some of his fellow policemen have to try and rescue Jackie's brother, who has been kidnapped by a gang who think that Samo has robbed them of some valuable jewels, but there is far less action than in a typical Jackie Chan movie.
However, I think this is a great movie. Some people call it the Chinese RAIN MAN, as it is a film that focuses a lot of its running time on the relationship between Jackie and his brother.
CRIME STORY (a film I've reviewed elsewhere on this site) is one of my favourite Jackie Chan films. Although I am a fan of comedy films (and Jackie Chan does it superbly!), I also like serious action thrillers, and CRIME STORY falls into this category. Don't expect a slapstick Jackie Chan action comedy here; the film is deadly serious, and plays out like such crime thrillers as HEAT or RANSOM. A marvellous action movie.
This bozset is an absolute bargain. Fans of asian cinema and Hong Kong Legends DVDs alike should have this boxset sitting on their shelf!

Bruce Lee 30th Anniversary Commemorative Box Set [DVD]
Bruce Lee 30th Anniversary Commemorative Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bruce Lee

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four classic movies in a beautifully presented box., 14 Mar. 2006
Hong Kong Legends truly are at the forefront of distributing asian action cinema. The packaging looks good, the menus are innovative, the sound and picture are top notch, and the extra features are valuable to any asian cinema fan. Whilst some DVDs may only contain a trailer and a simple ten minute interview with one of the stuntmen, on nearly every title there is an invaluable movie commentary from Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan. If you're as a big a fan of Asian cinema as I am, then these commentaries are a must on repeat viewings, as they allow western viewers to obtain so much more from their viewing experiences.
For example, did you know that the Japanese dojo master who Bruce Lee kicks through the air at the end of FIST OF FURY was stunt-doubled by non other than Jackie Chan? Well, I didn't at first, but now I do!
Anyways, enough of that. I won't go into story synopsis or technical specifics, as you can view all that in the Amazon summary. All I can say is that this collection is a must have for any Hong Kong cinema enthusiast, and looks great on the shelf. Coming back to the way Hong Kong Legends present their DVDs, it's always so frustrating when you buy a copy of one of their films, only to pay a visit to your local store months later only to find that they've given the film the 5 star treatment! Hong Kong Legends always do this! Then again, I'd be the first to complain if they stopped, so maybe I'd better shut my mouth ;-)
The only downside to buying this collection is that two disk additions of the other films in the boxset are now being released, but you won't get the special addition book or the extra disk of features. For me, this boxset is the lesser of two evils.
A marvelous looking DVD package with four classic movies. Buy this now!

Crime Story [DVD]
Crime Story [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jackie Chan
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: £14.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pounding action with absence of humour, 13 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Crime Story [DVD] (DVD)
CRIME STORY is one of my favourite Jackie Chan films. It's hard to say that it features some of the best action scenes from his career as each film is a delight in its own right (except for ISLAND OF FIRE - avoid like the plague! even Jackie himself hates it!), but it is a grippig film from start to finish.
Anyone who has been introduced to Jackie Chan through the likes of RUSH HOUR, SHANGHAI NOON or AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS will be postively/negatively (choose as suits your tastes) surpirsed by the lack of any humour in the film. Unlike his famous POLICE STORY movies, where the violence is offset by humourous slapstick moments, CRIME STORY presents itself as a hard-hitting crime thriller in the traditions of such films as HEAT & INFERNAL AFFAIRS, and for me this is very refreshing as I like my serious thrillers as much as I like my comedies (probably more so, in fact!)
CRIME STORY sees Jackie Chan playing a policeman who's duty it is to protect a businessman who thinks there are people out to kidnap him.
Of course, there are, and he does, in spectacular fashion, and it is Jackie's job to track him down.
Spectacular fight sequences ground in reality and a gripping storyline make this a must-see movie for any Jackier Chan fan!

Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD]
Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Klaus Kinski

28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent films, but technically flawed, 15 Jan. 2005
I was recommended this in HMV without having even heard of Herzog and Kinski (I've only been exploring foreign cinema for a year now), and I bought it on the spot, and as far as the films are concerned I have not been disappointed. Herzog seems to be a master of directing cinematic beauty, and these five films show it. Personally, I think Aguirre is the best film of the box. And kinski is without doubt one of the most fascinating actors that i've ever come across.
The packaging is fantastic (Anchor Bay are usually good at this), but the films are let down by its subtitling. Sometimes the actors are speaking and there is nothing on the screen to indicate what they are talking about, with the only alternative being to switch to English audio. Fitzcaraldo is by far the worst film for this, where at times a good twenty seconds of dialougue can be missed.
If you can put up with theEnglish audio track, and you're a fan of these movies, then this boxset is for you.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 13, 2008 12:24 AM BST

Cabin Fever [DVD] [2003]
Cabin Fever [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Jordan Ladd
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.26

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Extremely let down by this!, 4 Oct. 2004
This review is from: Cabin Fever [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
If you are a horror fan and you regularly scour the website for new horror movies, you couldn't really miss the publicity surrounding this film. The comment that mostly stuck in my mind was someone referring to CABIN FEVER as the next EVIL DEAD. Of course, this would wet my appetite enormously.
I missed the cinema release, and so eagerly awaited the DVD version. And what a letdown.
It's a real shame that the film turned out to be what it was, as on on the documentary included on the DVD director Eli Roth has a real, genuine passion for horror movies, something you don't often see in the movie industry any more. You could see that he knew what he was talking about when citing the numerous influences of his career (one being personal encounters with David Lynch no less), and completing the documentary you would expect one hell of a horror movie to be made.
Sadly this is not the case.
For me, the film had no atmosphere. there was nothing new (some will argue that this is not the point, that CABIN FEVER is a throwback to the horror of the late seventies and early eighties), the characters were cardboard, the story had no satisfying conclusion... even the premise was ropey. flesh-eating virus invades four people staying in a cabin in the woods and kills them off one by one. Where did this virus come from?
The movie would have been good ifthe virus had actually turned the teenagers into crazed zombies (at least then it would have been a GENUINE throwback to the horror of the sevnties and eighties), but cabin fever is quite simply an excuse for ropey gore and casual sex. Of course, gratuitous nudity is a requirement of ANY tribute to horrors of the aforementioned period, but the film itself has got to have something to hook old school horror fans other than this.
An what the hell was with that karate-kicking kid? Why did he do that? What did have to do with the movie?
I give the film three stars and not two because at least Eli Roth seems to know what he's talking about, and he loves teh same movies that I grew up loving. Hopefully he will stick with horror and make us a much needed movie to revive the present day horror industry.
Mind you that leg-shaving scene was pretty cool!

Battle Royale - Two Disc Special Tin Edition [2001] [DVD]
Battle Royale - Two Disc Special Tin Edition [2001] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tatsuya Fujiwara

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice release, but are all the additions necessary?, 1 Dec. 2002
BATTLE ROYALE is an excellent film in all respects. It's exciting, it's emotional, it's action-packed, it's funny, and it's shocking. So are many other films, but the power of this film in particular is the way in which it makes you think after your first viewing.
I think that BATTLE ROYALE would be far more disturbing for an audience of the same age range as the film's stars (my age group) rather than an older audience. I watched this film for the first time shortly before I finished the sixth form, and afte viewing the film I went into school for a few days looking at my classmates and deciding what I would do with each if I had been placed in a situation similar to that portrayed in the film.
Anyway, enough of that. I wont go into what the film's about, because that's in the Amazon summary. It's the two-disk edition Im reviewing, and to be honest it's not superb.
The actual packaging is the high point of the release. Although the DVD disks themselves don't look all that attractive, the film case and the metal box the film is presented in certainly does. Both the grey film case and the metal box have nothing on their covers except for the red BR symbol, with the words SPECIAL EDITION written underneath them. Inside the metal box, included with the DVD, is a BATTLE ROYALE film promotion card, a two-page star profile booklet, and a film still actually taken from the film used recording the movie. The still deiffers for each boxset (somepeople get really boring ones, like a scenery shot; I got a shot of the girl giving the tutorial on television which I was happy with).
The second disk is packed with extra features, some of which are rather repetitive but are a worthy watch. Again, I wont go into details of what they are as you can read them in the Amazon summary.
There are, in my opinion, excellent additions and not so excellent additions to the film. The title sequence has now become damn impressive, as we now see it in a revamped computer animation sequence. There are more computer-generated blood gushes from bullets, which looks really good. There are some more back stories for some of the characters. And there are two requiem seqences added after the end of the movie which are in my opinion completely unnecessary. I felt the movie could have ended perfectly after we fade to black after the boat, and a wanted poster of the two main characters appears on the screen, but instead there is an extra ten minutes or so of reasonably entertaining but totally unnecessary footage.
But all in all, it is more or less an essentail purchase for any fans of BATTLE ROYALE, even if for the stunning presentation of the packaging alone.

Pranks [DVD]
Pranks [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Snow
Offered by SAS MUSIC & DVDS
Price: £9.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what you'd expect from the Vipco horror label., 16 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Pranks [DVD] (DVD)
I currently get sent a Vipco horror film through the post every three weeks, and I make an effort to review every one of them as horror films are my main passion. Most of the Vipco films I've acquired are absolute rubbish, but I only buy them as they are the films that the government did not want us to watch in the eighties.
PRANKS is rubbish, pure and simple. There is a very loose plot that allows for the killing of various teenagers. That's it in a nutshell, pure and simple.
As for most cheap slasher films, the acting in PRANKS is pretty terrible. Also, for a Vipco label, the gore in the film is actually quite tame, and most hardcore horror fans won't even flinch when they see one of the teenagers get picked off.
Of course, the essential slasher movie to recommend is HALLOWEEN, but THE BURNING also makes excellent viewing, being one of the best films produced by the VIPCO label.
But give this turkey a miss.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 11, 2008 4:32 PM GMT

The Burning (Uncut) [DVD]
The Burning (Uncut) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brian Matthews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An above average slasher movie., 16 Nov. 2002
This review is from: The Burning (Uncut) [DVD] (DVD)
For a slasher film belonging to the Vipco horror label this film is actually very good. Of course, only fans of the genre will truly like it, as people who don't like these type of films will probably detest it.
THE BURNING has some notoriety as being one of the goriest slasher movies ever made, and it is easy to see why it has built this reputation in this new uncut version of the film. Tom Savini, the make-up artist best known for his work on the latter two of Romero's zombie trilogy (he also directed the 1990 remake), was responsible for the impressive gore effects, and they are indeed very gory.
The story is familiar: a group of kids play a prank on someone, it goes wrong, then the person comes back and takes his revenge. In THE BURNING, the sadistic caretaker of a summer camp is burnt practically beyond recognition in a prank gone wrong, and after five years of unsuccessful recovery in hospital, ventures out to exact his revenge on the teenage population of various summer camps.
Where this film rises above such trash as FRIDAY THE 13TH is its inclusion of some actual sub-plots. A teenager is constantly bullied, there are various relationships taking place, things like that. On taking a canoe trip the teenagers later find that their canoes have been taken, and have to deal with being stranded in the woods as well as being terrorised by a disfigured serial killer (whose face we get to see in all its gory detail at the end of the film).
The acting is good for a slasher flick, and there are some actors in the film that have gone on to make names for themselves today (look out for a young Holly Hunter; believe me, I couldn't spot her until I read the filmographies on the DVD).
While not a patch on HALLOWEEN, this is really an above average horror film, with its fair share of humour, shocks and gore. Definetly one of the few good Vipco horror films.

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