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BATMAN BEGINS (2 DVD) Deluxe Edition with 72 page comic
BATMAN BEGINS (2 DVD) Deluxe Edition with 72 page comic
Offered by OnlineMusicFilmsGames
Price: £13.83

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman Begins......Triumphantly, 3 Oct 2011
Christopher Nolan sows the seeds of Batman & watches it grow in a reboot that set the standard of all reboots we've seen in recent years.

We're introduced to Bruce Wayne as a young boy who for reasons that soon become obvious is terrified of bats. After witnessing his parents coldly murdered in a back alley, we see a disillusioned Bruce travelling the world, getting caught up in the world of criminality, until a mysterious mentor guides him to a mountain lair where he will be trained to fight by the 'League of Shadows', a secret ninja organisation hell-bent on destroying criminals & the cities who sire them. Thankfully, Bruce is not quite so genocidal in his ways in refusing the latter & returns to Gotham to fight crime, where he learns Wayne Enterprises is now a global conglomerate, with a particular department in military technology, including body armour, a terrain vehicle & several gadgets in tow.

Hence, Batman's origins are explained in full, the anguish, the pain, the fighting skills, the suit, the batmobile & the grapple gun. It takes about an hour for Batman to finally appear but this back story is an enthralling watch & builds up to one of the movie's most rewarding moments where Christopher Nolan got it right where so many TV & movie directors have got it wrong - finally the criminals are afraid of Batman, terrified in fact as they know something is there but they don't know what (What is more terrifying than that?) But Batman's enemies are inventive intelligent characters and it's not long before Bruce's past catches up with him.

Visually, this film is a stunning watch, Gotham city disturbingly portrayed as a city of darkness, decadence & decay with a criminal underworld controlling everything. The batsuit looks terrific, no longer with a big yellow bat symbol across its chest (or nipples either for that matter) while the batmobile is one of the most memorable vehicles in movie history & its chase scene is a cracker. Bale portrays a tortured Wayne with conviction with an excellent supporting cast in Michael Caine as Alfred with a subtle humour, Tom Wilkinson as a Crime Boss, Cillian Murphy as the cool yet demonic Scarecrow, Liam Neeson as Bruce's mentor (is there any role Neeson can't play?), Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon & Morgan Freeman as the gadget-letting Lucius Fox and Katie Holmes.....well, we'll forgive her this time.

This is a superb telling of the origins of the Batman character, full of brooding tension, a very apt musical score and an exciting finale. That reboots of the James Bond, Predator & Star Trek franchises followed in the aftermath of this film is a testament to how effective it is as an origin story.

The special features disc is also worth a watch (particularly as the DVD menu is controlled by navigating a virtual comic!) and contains plenty of interviews with cast & crew (Nolan's vision in creating this movie is of particular interest) and intriguing documentaries on the suit & batmobile amongst others. The packaging for this particular version could be considered to be for the die-hard fans only, but it has an undeniably cool holographic cover where Batman emerges from a colony of bats and also includes a 72 page comic book with some classic Batman stories including a re-print of the first ever Batman strip from 1939.

Considering the franchise was buried by Joel Schumacher's 'Batman & Robin' debacle, this shines as a truly excellent movie, with memorable packaging and well worth the inflated price over the single 1 disc edition.

Welcome back Batman.

Terminator Salvation [DVD] [2009]
Terminator Salvation [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Christian Bale
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.72

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Salvation Achieved, 6 Sep 2011
Finally & wisely dumping the time travel scenario, Salvation plunges us into the middle of Judgement Day with the machines and humanity at full scale war.

Christian Bale takes over the role of John Connor & he looks the part in playing the reluctant hero desperate for a big score in the war. That may come in the form of Marcus, (Sam Worthington) a former death row inmate who appears on the horizon with questionable motives & a mysterious past. They must find a way to co-exist in order to use a secret code to take Skynet down and ensure the survival of Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) while they're at it.

Right from the beginning, this movie's look is a joy to watch. Finally, we are in the middle of the burnt, smoke-filled landscapes destroyed by war that has been hinted at so many times in the previous instalments. The Terminators themselves are no longer pristine & shiny metallic wonders, but charred, damaged relentless automatons, clearly just as scarred by war. There a few new & inventive Terminators here too, such as the gigantic Harvester collecting humans for slavery and moto-terminators (motorcycles more or less) for high speed pursuits which will definitely add to the Terminator experience.

Of course, there are a few flaws, Connor's girlfriend's pregnancy is never even mentioned despite the highly visible bump, a lot of Marcus' origins remain unexplained (though to the optimist, that only adds to the mystery), Bale is unable to shake off his Batman rasp and a few scenes in the climatic battle look very borrowed from the end of T1 & a certain steel mill scene from T2 (I won't spoil it for you, but it's not difficult to spot the similarities).

As a fan, I might have preferred to see an instalment showing Connor's rise to leader of the Resistance, but that's just a personal perspective. This is a welcome new venture in the franchise, badly needed from the money-spinning filler material that was T3. Who knows if it was a series that needed saving after that, but `Salvation' is definitely achieved here.

Bring on T5.

The Crow - Salvation [DVD]
The Crow - Salvation [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kirsten Dunst

2.0 out of 5 stars The Crow is falling from its heights, 2 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Crow - Salvation [DVD] (DVD)
Oh dear. A sequel inferior to a sequel which was inferior to the original, this isn't looking good.

This time it's Alex (Eric Mabius) who is wrongly convicted of the murder of his girlfriend & is executed in the electric chair but not before discovering in his death throes that he was framed by corrupt cops. So, he is resurrected from the dead by the Crow in order to find those responsible.

Ergo, rather than a blood-lusted pursuit of known killers, this movie takes on a murder-mystery motif as Alex needs to discover who is behind the crime & deliver justice. To be fair, it's ballsy to take on this radically different approach, not to mention the very cool origin of Alex's Crow features - peeling badly burnt & corroded flesh from his face to reveal a Crow appearance underneath.

But the movie is let down by poor production & choice of cast. Released straight to Video/DVD but looks like it was meant for TV as it's cinematically naive, everything filmed in close quarters.

Alex's journey fails to draw you in, thanks to very poor acting all round by an oversized supporting cast, Kirsten Dunst does little to help, not to mention Mabius himself being a largely ineffective Crow - he looks good but comes off as curious, excitable & fails to emote at all - there is no sign of anger or vengeance in him even when killing off adversaries with gratuitous violence (stabbings, impalings, severed limbs etc)

This film is a big disappointment because it's actually a really good idea with very poor execution that only brought the franchise one step closer to its demise.

The Crow - City Of Angels [DVD] [1996]
The Crow - City Of Angels [DVD] [1996]
Dvd ~ Vincent Perez
Offered by Jasuli
Price: £9.45

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does Not Soar Like the First Crow, 1 Sep 2011
Many argue whether or not this film should be compared to the first movie, but for a concept as original as The Crow, it's impossible not to.

In this follow-up, Vincent Perez plays Ashe who along with his young son, accidently witnesses a murder on the street by a gang of thugs. To ensure there are no witnesses to the crime, they are then murdered by the gang & dumped in the river. A Crow resurrects Ashe from his watery grave to take his vengeance & leads him to Sarah (the child from the first movie who is now a young woman with psychic abilities and therefore knows of Ashe & his son's fate.) With her past experience with Eric Draven in the original, she paints Ashe up as the Crow & guides him through his quest.

Despite many of the film's flaws, Vincent Perez makes for an excellent crow character here; the brutality of his murder is amplified by his desperate pleas for mercy for his son & his absolute horror when he awakens from the dead & realises what has occurred. Where Brandon Lee dispatched the bad guys one by one with a satisfying coolness, this Crow brutally kills his victims with uncontrollable rage and it's refreshing to see such a justified anger in the character. And yet in one poignant scene, he weeps for his son showing the tender side of the man that once was. Perez carries all of this off in style & he is indeed the best aspect of the film.

However, there is little script development or subplot here as the Crow literally bounces from one killing to the next without regard for other characters, which is a pity as Mia Kirshner plays a mysterious Sarah whose character potential is left unexplored, while Richard Brooks completely overacts in the role of Judah, the big cheese this time. As for the gang, they're a bit goon-ish as opposed to the original but what the hell, Iggy Pop looks like he's having fun here.

The film is not terribly absorbing as it wraps itself up in Gothicism, masochism, sexual perversity & freakish spirituality but it over-emphasises on this environment & almost soils the film as a result.

Crow fans will love it but as a stand alone movie, well, it's a sequel vastly inferior to the original but then again, most sequels are.

The Crow : Special Edition [DVD] [1994]
The Crow : Special Edition [DVD] [1994]
Dvd ~ Brandon Lee
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £4.75

5.0 out of 5 stars This movie will NEVER die...., 1 Sep 2011
I grabbed this movie from my DVD shelf, blew the dust off it and watched it for the first time in years this week & I must say I enjoyed it as much as ever.

Infamous for the death of Brandon Lee during its production, we all know that, and what a tragic irony it is that Lee was killed on the set of a movie in which he plays a dead man. Bit like Christopher Reeve being best known for playing the invincible Superman & ending up a quadriplegic. Rest their souls.

Anyhoo, the power of this movie has not diminished in the slightest over the years, its best attribute is its gritty production, every scene is lit perfectly and it delves into the Goth without going overboard on it.

Lee puts in a riveting performance as the murdered Eric Draven who comes back from the dead with the aid of a mysterious crow, to take revenge against his killers who also raped & murdered his fiancé, of which the flashback scenes are a harrowing watch. Michael Wincott is top job as Top Dollar playing the bad guy Kingpin with aplomb while Ernie Hudson delivers a subtle humour to the script as Sergeant Albrecht.

Plenty of action with a knife-fight, a thrilling car chase, a massive gun fight and a fast paced ending. It's also got a great soundtrack (yes, I own that too) featuring The Cure & Nine Inch Nails amongst others and you'll see a couple of other bands featured on it performing live in the movie.

While I'm at it, may I also recommend the Original Graphic novel of the Crow by James O' Barr (which I also bought on Amazon, here's the link: The Crow: Original Graphic Novel: Novelisation) and when you read that book, you will realise how perfectly this movie captured its grittiness, brutality & above all else, the anger & emotion of the Crow.

A must for any collector.

Hulk [DVD] [2003]
Hulk [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Eric Bana
Offered by TwoRedSevens
Price: £3.74

3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but certainly not Incredible, 30 Aug 2011
This review is from: Hulk [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Damagingly light on humour, an over-complicated telling of how the Hulk came to be, needless & annoying split-screen scenes and about half an hour of too much viewing time all combine to make this one of the weaker installments of the Marvel Comicbook films.

Movies like these demand excitement but you are kept waiting for it, rather than keenly anticipating it. Add to that a lot of the CGI looks older than the film itself, particularly in a fight scene with mutated dogs and they quite frankly overdo the Hulk at times, appearing some 15 to 20 feet tall in some scenes. It is also difficult to relate to the characters as they are embedded in a script that takes itself far too seriously.

That 2008's 'The Incredible Hulk' was labelled a reboot is evidence in itself that this film failed to capture the imagination of the masses.

Ironically, you might forgive this movie's flaws & enjoy it when you are watching it in a good, easy-going mood.

Bad Santa [DVD] [2003] [2005]
Bad Santa [DVD] [2003] [2005]
Dvd ~ Billy Bob Thornton
Price: £5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas movie for adults only!, 29 Aug 2011
Billy Bob Thornton is on top of his game here as a foul-mouthed drunken crook who takes jobs as Santa during the Christmas season, only to carry out robberies of the stores he works in.

Tony Cox is in flying form as his diminutive sidekick, with the late Bernie Mac & John Ritter in support. Filled with foul language, sexual obscenities, a suicide attempt & general toilet humour, this isn't the movie for the kids on Christmas Day

It's one of those movies you will either find hilariously funny or disgustingly offensive.

You have been warned.

Hostel 1 & 2 Box Set[2005] [DVD] [2007]
Hostel 1 & 2 Box Set[2005] [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Jay Hernandez

2.0 out of 5 stars Uncut? Ha!, 29 Aug 2011
Mindless torture porn going on here as both these films are pretty identical in plot, the first following 3 young virile backpackers to a hostel in Slovakia where they are lured by slammin' hot (and rather amorous) babes to a nearby bunker, where they are sold to rich business men who torture their victims for pleasure in underground chambers.

Cue lots of blood, severed body parts & unceremonious murder. Not one to watch with your parents.

As for Hostel 2, it's pretty much the same again except with 3 women instead of men.

I think it's hilarious how people refer to this edition as 'UNCUT' when you consider the second film's ending.

*Spolier alert here* but if there are any lessons to be learned from Hostel 2, it is firstly, inadvisable to use that c word to a woman who's holding a certain part of your anatomy with a scissors and secondly, if you have lost your football in Slovakia, there is a somewhat unconventional alternative you can use for a kickabout.

If you like blood & guts, then this is the boxset for you because there's little else in it.

Somehow I doubt these movies did the Slovakian Board of Tourism any favours...

Midnight Sting [DVD] [1993]
Midnight Sting [DVD] [1993]
Dvd ~ James Woods
Price: £6.51

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Knockout!, 12 July 2011
This review is from: Midnight Sting [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
How this film remains in relative obscurity is completely beyond me. This is one of the most entertaining flicks you've never seen.

James Woods stars as con-man Gabriel Cain just released from prison and sets out to scam a boxing-obsessd redneck town called Diggstown. He does so by setting up a bet with the local Kingpin that his old boxing partner can beat any 10 of Diggstown's fighters in 1 day. And from there, the stakes go completely out of control, building up to a brilliantly scripted ending.

Louis Gossett Jr is astonishingly good as the ageing boxer and Oliver Platt provides strong support as their less-than-subtle accomplice. Heather Graham is always worth a look (if you know what I mean) and Bruce Dern plays the part of an evil redneck to absolute perfection.

Realists will moan that no boxer can take 10 men in one day, but this isn't about realism - this is about an absorbing plot with twists & turns galore. While not wanting to give too much away, some of these are hilarious - check out the 4th fight - and others are downright sinister - the aftermath of the 5th fight - not to mention Cain's little 'reminder' at the mid-tournament break and a tragic subplot of a brain-damaged former boxer whose fate was decided by sickening corruption.

Yet the script balances the humour & the sinister brilliantly, with sharp dialogue delivered with aplomb from Dern & Woods and there's no let-ups from any of the supporting cast. And I promise you, the ending of this movie is worth the admission price alone!

All in all, an excellent film.

Judge Dredd [DVD] [1995]
Judge Dredd [DVD] [1995]
Dvd ~ Sylvester Stallone

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dredd-ful, 17 Jun 2011
This review is from: Judge Dredd [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
Judge Dredd adapted from a mean, dark & underground comic book character from the future is thrust into this campy Hollywoodised nonsense.

Only the uniform & motorcycles look loyal to the comics, none of the dialogue or characters are believable but above all this film either ignores the atmospheric grit of the comic books or just portrays it badly.

Stallone overacts in the role to a campy extent, casting him as Dredd would be like casting Jim Carrey as The Crow. And what the hell is Rob Schneider doing here? Other than providing ineffective comic relief?

Let's hope one day that a director of someone like Christopher Nolan or Jon Favreau can make a Judge Dredd movie worthy of its origins, because fans of the Judge Dredd comics will be very disappointed with this film.

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