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J. Hasell "film freak"
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Animal
Animal
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.70

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Debut and hopefully a taster of what's to come, 5 Nov 2010
This review is from: Animal (Audio CD)
Like many other reviewers, upon first listen I dismissed Kesha's 'Animal' as a couple of marvellous singles surrounded by reams and reams of filler. However, one of this album's greatest attributes is how, with repeated listens, the songs grow and blossom, and eventually knit into a surprisingly cohesive work. 'Animal' features some of the strongest and most inventive pop songs of the past year in 'Your Love Is My Drug', 'Take It Off', the inescapable 'Tik Tok' and its title track, but also leaves room for Kesha to develop her party monster with a heart persona to the fullest, employing a large bag of vocal tricks and massive choruses to achieve the effect. As a whole, the album is impossibly catchy and well made, with some incredibly noisy and innovative electronic production that would put many underground, 'cool' acts to shame. It's also what pop has failed to be for much of the last couple of years - truly escapist FUN. 'Animal' is genuinely modern pop music. Hats off to Kesha and her team - I can't wait for her new EP 'Cannibal'!


The Resurrectionist
The Resurrectionist
by James Bradley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Messy but good enough, 23 May 2009
This review is from: The Resurrectionist (Paperback)
In my opinion, many of the other reviews of this book that have been posted here seem surprisingly harsh. Whilst not being the fascinatingly insightful read I had hoped for upon picking it up, this novel is not quite entirely awful. But it is not a truly amazing work either.

As so many have posted the details and the plot of synopsis, I'll simply skip forward to what I think of the book. Whilst it's short, fractured style makes it initially a difficult book to get into, it rewards patience, and by the halfway mark I was excitedly looking for any opportunity to pick the book up and find out what happens next. The murky setting and grim subject matter, highlighted by instances of gratuitous and morbid violence, do not detract from the novel, but rather aid in creating a dark, visceral atmosphere, something which is also a result of filling a novel with such unlikeable characters.

However, the style of the novel makes it difficult to get a handle on who the characters truly are, and I found myself wishing at many points that greater pains had been taken in developing those who populate the story. The story and overall mood, whilst eventually enveloping, is strangely flat and oppressive, with nary a light note to punctuate the slow, gradual slide into darkness that the sparse, broken narrative provides. The ending is also a problem - though it may be unpredictable, the sudden jump from grimy London to the harsh Outback is too quick, and is so jarring that the novel suffers as a whole, although once the tone settles, it becomes as eery and disconcerting as what came before.

In conclusion, this is merely a good novel, missing many of the elements that could have made it great, but not entirely bereft of redeeming features. Also, for anyone with a light constitution who is drawn in by the Richard and Judy endorsement, be warned, for the material is often quite graphic.


Pretty Persuasion [DVD]
Pretty Persuasion [DVD]
Dvd ~ Evan Rachel Wood
Offered by FilmloverUK
Price: £3.55

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but not for everyone, 20 Nov 2007
This review is from: Pretty Persuasion [DVD] (DVD)
Despite the fact that this is an incredibly impressive film, with an amazing storyline and some fantastic acting, it is not hard to see why it did not appeal to a larger mainstream audience upon its initial release - Pretty Persuasion's sense of humour is as black as it's 'heroine's' soul. Balancing very black comedy on top of some controversial issues, such as sexual assault, teen sexuality and racial identity was always going to be a tricky feat, but both the director and the cast have managed ably, crafting a film that is not only highly watchable and enjoyable, but also has some genuinely new things to say about our media-driven society and its effect on younger generations, whilst pulling off a spectacular genre-mash two thirds of the way through when the film shifts from a comedy into a very clever psycho-drama, retaining some of the laughs but pushing the film into ever darker territories.

I don't want to spoil the film for anyone who reads this as a guide to whether the film is worth renting or buying, so i won't go into plot details. However, it is pertinent to note that the comedy is of such a dark quality that it borders on being genuinely offensive without resorting to crudeness (an incredibly impressive feat), and the moral ambiguity of many of the film's characters, in particular the lead, does not make the film easily palatable. However, Pretty Persuasion does have one absolutely massive ace up its sleeves which should have seen the film gain greater prominence - Evan Rachel Wood. The young actress turns in an absolutely incredible performance in the lead role of Kimberly Joyce, the likes of which will probably never be seen again in a 'teen' movie (although the film's 18 certificate and intelligent treatment of sex does cast doubt over whether this is part of the teen movie canon or simply a film about teenagers). Turning an utterly despicable character into someone so hypnotic, charismatic and likeable is a difficult task, and Wood carries it off with style in abundance. No amount of hyperbole can really do justice to the performance that she gives. Every year the Academy seem lost for women to nominate for their Best Actress award (Kiera Knightley?! WHAT!!!???) but if they looked only slightly further afield, not only would they chance upon a first-class actress but increase the chances of a small, independent film as good and thought-provoking as this gaining mainstream success. It wouldn't surprise me if Pretty Persuasion went on to become something of a cult classic in years to come, cementing Evan Rachel Wood's reputation as a great, and underrated, actress. Props must be given also to the rest of the cast, in particular James Woods' highly acidic performance as Kimberly's loving, doting, racist, drug-snorting father.

Dark, funny and daring, this film deserves to be seen!!!


The City of Lost Children (1995) [DVD]
The City of Lost Children (1995) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ron Perlman
Offered by actionrecords
Price: £8.00

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly wierd, 22 Jun 2007
The City Of Lost Children is definitely one of the best films I have ever seen, regardless of the fact that it is in French. It is absolutely gorgeous to look and wonder at, and the attention to detail paid to every single inch of the film's sets and production design shines through in every frame of the finished product. Also, the film's woozy and spectacularly odd plot compliments the bizzare and original visuals perfectly, allowing for the film's nightmarish qualities to truly come to life amongst its many twists and turns. A stunning film that is testament to the power of imagination in cinema.


Belleville Rendez-Vous [2003] [DVD]
Belleville Rendez-Vous [2003] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michèle Caucheteux

6 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A big fuss about nothing, 22 Jun 2007
This film has been trumpeted since it's release as an animated masterpiece. True, the animation is absolutely brilliant, technically and stylistically. The problem is that the film runs solely on its visuals and sounds, as there is very little dialogue, and as with all fireworks the visual charm wears off extremely quickly and the film quickly becomes irritating.

The benchmark of any good animated film is whether it can match a great story to a great set of visuals. This does not have much in the way of a story at all, and so everything after the stylish but quite grotesquely observed animation falls flat on its face. The humour is cruel and surprisingly xenophobic in some places - The city of Belleville looks a lot like New York, and is populated by incredibly overweight people and self-serving freaks who are all too willing to help others - and did nothing to endear the characters to me. I have no problem with foreign or visually driven films, but Belleville Rendezvous seems to wallow in its visuals to the point that it comes off as nothing more than a dissapointingly shallow and boring exercise in being "arty". Also the film is incredibly slow in parts, making it seem much longer than its slim 78 minute running time.

I really wanted to like this film, and looked forward to seeing it, but now that I have i can say that it is nothing to rave about. However, Bruno the dog is the saving grace of the film, as he is the only character with any sense of humanity invested in him. If you want foreign animation that is as entertaining as it is visually stunning, then watch something from the Studio Ghibli canon instead.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 27, 2008 10:38 AM GMT


The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen [DVD]
The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Neville
Offered by RevisionNet
Price: £4.33

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wierd, wonderful and just a little bit dark, 7 May 2007
I first saw this film about ten (or more) years ago after seeing it advertised as showing on tv. Enticed by the fact it looked like a kids film, I was only put off by the (very) late night showing time because it meant setting my video timer. I had only watched it once, and the memories of how strange and brilliant it was stuck in my head until I bought it a few weeks ago.

My memory had not failed me. Not only is it definitely dark enough to suggest that it shouldn't be watched by young children - beheadings! risque jokes! The terrifying winged creature of Death! - it is also a lot wierder than I remember as a child, and as such this film deserves high acclaim. In keeping with its inherent off-the-wall nature, this is one of the best fantasy films I have ever seen, one of those films that cherishes imagination and ideas over anything else. The special effects, for the most part, still look incredible today, which is amazing considering the film's age and the fact that newer films like the first lord of the rings are starting to look dated already. Whatever the film's intended audience, it sadly didn't reach them, and has instead become something of a lost gem for those who want something a little different. This is just a brilliant and highly imaginative film!


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