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patrick (Herefordshire)

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Jarhead 2: Field of Fire [DVD]
Jarhead 2: Field of Fire [DVD]
Dvd ~ Josh Kelly
Price: 7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not half bad!, 15 Sep 2014
I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Whilst it shamelessly promotes itself as 'Jarhead 2', it offers absolutely no similarities to the original Jarhead. This is a medium budget fast paced action movie as opposed to the Jake Gyllenhall high budget, slow burning 'effects of war on humanity' feature that you may or may not have seen.

With more and more war movies centered around the effects of war on human beings, it is refreshing to watch a war film with actual combat. Despite being a little far fetched and over the top, Field of Fire does offer some mindless entertainment, with acting no better or no worse than many of the bigger budget blockbusters.

Settings were a touch un-authentic, and it seems fairly clear that there wasn't a single scene that was filmed in the Middle East.

Worth a watch if your fed up of all these 'intelligent' war movies that bore you to sleep, however, don't expect an epiphany.

Mr Jones [DVD]
Mr Jones [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jon Foster
Offered by DVDEmporium
Price: 7.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been very good, 19 Aug 2014
This review is from: Mr Jones [DVD] (DVD)
I thought this was an excellent idea for a storyline, very unique and well thought out with some genuinely chilling moments. Unfortunately the director's choice to use hand-held camera style footage for the majority of the film ruined it completely.

In a sense, it's hard to imagine the film being done any other way, as it draws a lot of inspiration from the Blair Witch Project. However with the amount of terrible movies being released in this format, I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the restrictions of the 'found footage' genre.

The overall theme of the film is familiar: a couple of mildly irritating twenty-somethings venture into the woods to a remote cabin where something sinister lurks in the shadows etc; nothing we haven't seen before. The unique aspect of the film was the methods and motives of the villain. A former artist who has become twisted and full of hate, descending into madness, he retreats into the woods where he creates bizarre pieces of 'artwork' from bones and twigs, which he then proceeds to mail to people seemingly at random.

The young couple stumble across his twisted creations and what follows is a mixture of trippy encounters and boring interviews with members of New York's art community (I won't go into too much detail).

A frustrating and inconsistent film with a few highs and many lows, hindered by its lack of direction and absence of characters to sympathize with.

Metallica - Some Kind Of Monster
Metallica - Some Kind Of Monster
Offered by TwoRedSevens
Price: 26.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I still don't like their music!, 9 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent documentary which chronicles the complex and challenging relationships that exist between the members of metals most successful and famous group.

I loved every minute of this documentary, and despite not being a fan of these guy's music, it managed to hold my attention throughout.

So whether you are a fan of Metallica or not, if you appreciate good documentary making involving interesting subject matter, then this is certainly worth a watch.

The Seasoning House [DVD]
The Seasoning House [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rosie Day
Price: 6.66

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as i'd hoped, 9 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Seasoning House [DVD] (DVD)
Forced prostitution is a fairly uncomfortable and, one would imagine, difficult subject for a film-maker to tackle. The Seasoning House uses this subject matter to create a disturbing and unpleasant atmosphere which seems rather believable to the viewer (as believable as you can get with Sean Pertwee doing a Russian accent).

The problem with the Seasoning House is its restrictive budget. One has to believe that this film could have been so much more if the director had more spondooliks to spend.

The acting is excellent throughout. From the young mute girl who yearns to escape the clutches of an evil and violent pimp, to the cruel Russian soldiers looking for some sordid fun; everybody plays their part excellently. Sean Pertwee is his usual brilliant self, his character equal parts tantrum-throwing brat and terrifying mad man.

Another thing that I particularly appreciated about the film was the violence. This may sound a little twisted, but you have to admire a film-maker who doesn't shy away from using realistic violence and allows the blood to gush freely.

In summary, an interesting, unique and brutal film, let down by cheap looking settings and a slightly dragged out finish.

Bristle Ridge
Bristle Ridge

5.0 out of 5 stars Best country album I own, 3 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bristle Ridge (Audio CD)
Just a quick review here because i'm tired.

This album is awesome! The songs sound utterly timeless, as if they were written by bearded Appalacian folk 100 + years ago. Chuck Ragan sounds as raw and powerful as ever, and his gruff gravelly voice is the perfect contrast to Austin Lucas effortlessly authentic country bumpkin wail.

70-80% of the album is just pure class. There isn't a single weak track on offer, but some certainly stand out more than others. If you like bluegrass and country, but want something with a more contemporary rock n roll twist, give this a try. It will make your ridge bristle!

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (PS3)
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (PS3)
Price: 20.83

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 3 Feb 2014
For the longest time I wanted to delve into the assassins creed franchise, it always seemed like such an interesting and exciting idea to base a game series around. Problem was, I had such a long list of other games that I wanted to try first (I purchased my console much later than most). When I finally got around to buying one of the games, I chose AC 2 (bearing in mind this was just as the third AC was released, just to give you an idea of how behind I was!).

I tried so hard to enjoy AC 2, and whilst there were elements of the game that certainly impressed me (the combat was fun, the graphics were above average and it had a great storyline) I just could not get into it. I think this was partly due to me being a relatively inexperienced gamer, and partly due to the frustrating free-running mechanic which was far from perfected on that release.

I completed about 5 % of the game and found myself reluctantly trading it in.

I skipped AC 3 due to a very mixed response from critics and fellow gamers,and despite my temptation to give it a go, I eventually told my self not to bother. I would only end up frustrated and dissapointed again.

Then, what seemed like a very short time later, I started seeing adverts for yet another AC release; Black Flag.

This time the temptation was too great, and after reading much more positive reviews from my fellow Amazonians, I took the plunge!

And I must say, what an excellent game this is! Completely blew away the memories of my previous experience with the series and set itself as one of my all time favorite games after just a few hours of playing. It has everything a game needs; vast areas to explore, easy and brutal combat, innovative ideas and likable characters. It felt to me like an AC game with a much needed injection of Red Dead Redemption.

The world of Black Flag has so much to offer. You can spend hours sidetracked with assasinations, rescuing fellow pirates from excecution, hunting animals (which can be used to craft items- much in the spirit of Far Cry 3) and much more. I have so far clocked in about 15-20 hours of game time, and am only about 11% of the way through! Just goes to show how much longevity there is, and i'm sure its a game I will want to play through more than once!

If, like me, you have found yourself frustrated by previous entries from the franchise, or have been put off by negative reviews, I urge you to give the latest AC a go. It may surprise you!

The Purge [DVD] [2013]
The Purge [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Lena Headey
Price: 4.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly disturbing!, 26 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Purge [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I though the premise of 'The Purge' sounded very interesting, and just the kind of movie I would enjoy. After reading several average to poor reviews on various websites, I almost discounted it, and I must say . . . I'm very pleased I didn't.

Firstly, I must mention my surprise at the presence of Ethan Hawke! I had no idea at all that he was in it, and as soon as I saw his narrow, bird-like face enter the frame, I knew I made the right decision purchasing this movie.

Ethan's performance was (as expected) very good. Not outstanding or Oscar-worthy, but thorough and engaging non the less. Hawke is far from my favorite actor, probably not even in my top 10. . . however, I have never seen a film with him in it that I haven't enjoyed. From 'Alive' to 'Training Day' to last year's 'Sinister', there is always something likable of his characters and comforting about his presence.

As stated earlier, the premise is what drew me to this film. The idea was unique and very well executed. All of the actors did a great job at helping to convey a sense of chaos and despair. Lena Heady was great as the mother of the family who's home is invaded by sinister mask wearing murderers. Rhys Wakefield also deserves a special mention as the menacing psychopath who leads the assault on the innocent suburban family.

I can't be arsed to describe the plot in too much detail, that's what wikipedia is for. What I will say is that this film deserves to be seen by those who can appreciate it for what it is; a short, sharp burst of disturbing entertainment.

Zombie Creeping Flesh [DVD] [1982]
Zombie Creeping Flesh [DVD] [1982]
Dvd ~ Margit Evelyn Newton

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just plain awful!, 14 Dec 2013
Every now and again you will come across an old 80's horror that is so undeniably bad, you end up treasuring it proudly in your collection for the rest of your days. Zombie Creeping Flesh is one such film.

Awful actors, terrible dialogue and embarrassing dubbing makes for a truly appalling movie, yet a thoroughly entertaining experience.

The most bizarre and un-explainable thing about ZCF, was the amount of stock footage used. Every 5 minutes, there is a random clip of an animal, such as a bird flying or a lizard scurrying along the jungle floor, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the plot and no reason for being in the film. Inescusable in its laziness, yet this is a big part of what makes the film so unique!

One must admire a film-maker who fills up at least a third of the screen time with second hand footage of irrelevant crap, it really is a genius idea.

Similar (yet ten times worse) to films like Zombie flesheaters and Zombie Holocaust, this film will undoubtedly appeal to those who yearn for the days of the 80's Italian crap-fest.

Salo [DVD]
Salo [DVD]
Dvd ~ Pier Paolo Pasolini

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just shock value, 13 Dec 2013
This review is from: Salo [DVD] (DVD)
I first came across 'Salo' after a recommendation from one of my more twisted acquaintances, who insisted that this film was as sick and disturbing as you can get.

Along with a select group of chums at the time, I was utterly obsessed with finding and watching the most visually and emotionally challenging films available. We would sit around for hours watching exploitative classics like 'Men Behind the Sun', 'Irreversible' and 'Beggotten' (often poor quality downloads, as many of these films are still unavailable in the UK), and would fondly recite our favorite phrases from the movies in the weeks that followed!

Having been given a brief description of the film's plot, it sounded right up my dark alley, so I persevered through hours of frustrating buffering as the movie downloaded bit by bit on my laptop (the DVD was around 30 on Amazon at the time, and unavailable in HMV).

My first emotional response after finally seeing the movie in full was one of genuine disgust. I felt truly disturbed by what I had seen, and obsessed over it in my head for weeks after.

I had no interest in watching this film again, which was very unusual for me, as I thought nothing would have the ability to shock or upset me ever again. Then many many weeks later, I noticed the dvd of Salo had become available in HMV (for the shocking price of 18 may I add), so without even thinking about it, I picked up a copy and took it straight to the till. It remained in my collection, un-watched for several weeks more.

I really had no intention of watching the film again, I simply wanted to own it; to possess such a twisted piece of cinema in my collection gave me a strange sense of pride!

Then one lazy Sunday morning, as I listened to the birds chirp outside, and watched the trees sway in the gentle summer breeze, I felt the urge to watch something nasty and brutal and nightmare inducing.

I pulled out Salo.

Upon viewing the film a second time, I can honestly say it was like watching a completely different movie. I think I had played the disturbing scenes over and over in my mind so many times since my first viewing that I had mentally prepared myself for what was to come. And what an incredible film it is! Behind all the corophogia, rape and torture lies a genuinely moving film that had much effort put into it, by a film maker who was clearly passionate about what he did and very daring in the way he did it.

It really is a film of hidden layers, and offers a new experience each time it is watched. I urge those of you who refuse to watch this based on so much talk of it being 'smut' and 'artistically void' etc, to give it a chance. The set peices, the scenery, the actors, the dialougue; every aspect of the film is so memorable and unique.

A quick over-view of the plot:

Salo- a small town in Fascist Italy during World War 2. Four depraved aristocrats, some middle aged prostitutes and a handful of armed guards kidnap a selection of young teenage boys and girls from the surrounding villages. They take them to a mansion hidden deep in the hills, where their intentions soon become frighteningly clear. The children are subject to the most vile treatment that is imaginable. The film maintains a genuine mood of despair and dread throughout, and there are some scenes where you can really feel the sense of hopelessness that the young boys and girls must endure.

PLEASE NOTE- This film is not based on a true story (although it wouldn't surprise me if something like this did happen during the nazi era).

A real challenge of a film, Salo is worth the initial emotional disturbance and nausea that it instills, and demands to be seen by those who can appreciate it for what it is.

Britain's Wildest Places [DVD]
Britain's Wildest Places [DVD]
Offered by Not2day Media
Price: 3.95

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not at all what I was expecting, 7 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
From the title of this DVD, I was really expecting a documentary series which explores the remaining wild landscapes of the UK (of which there are very few) rather than a pure wildlife series focussing on just our native species. Its not that i'm un-interested in our wildlife, its just that I was hoping to see some of our remarkable countryside foccused on in more detail, rather than just the animals that inhabit it.

The 6 episodes on offer here are all very short, lasting little more than 20 minutes each. This doesn't allow the viewer to become truely engrossed in the information and visuals that are being put accross, because just as things start to get interesting. . . it's over!

The frustrating format with which the film-makers have chosen to create this series is its main downfall, and I really don't think enough time was spent on each species. The Scottish Wildcat for example (the most endangered animal in the UK) had little more than 5 minutes devoted to it.

After reading all this negativity and dissaproval, you may wonder why I chose to award the series three stars? Well, some of the episodes are not without their highlights. The episode focussing on Scottish wildlife (despite its pathetically short segment on the wildcat) contains some beautiful shots of the landscape in which its creatures thrive. Some of the shots of the Cairngorms and Glenmore forest were particularly stunning, and the clips of the stags during rutting season were a thrill to watch.

The episode on our native otters was definitely my favorite, and also the most informative. Its quite remarkable to see how some people have devoted so much of their lives to the study and conservation of one species, to ensure it has a better chance of survival in the future.

An interesting, if not slightly brief, insight into the current status of some of our less common species. Definitely worth a look for nature buffs.

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