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Peter Willis "" (Leeds, UK)

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Inglourious Basterds [DVD] (2009)
Inglourious Basterds [DVD] (2009)
Dvd ~ Brad Pitt
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.39

4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie to be revisited a thousand times, 19 Aug. 2009
In Quentin Tarantino's world, it would be movies that defeated the Third Reich. Cinema's uber post-modernist director in his sixth feature film (counting Kill Bill as one movie for this purpose only) has gone beyond simply re-tooling scenes, thoughts, and ideas from past filmic works and has now moved to a larger playing ground altogether - he's remaking history. With Inglourious Basterds, he has remade World War II, and I loved him for it.

After Public Enemies, it's my second favourite movie of 2009 and one that I know I'm going to revisit a thousand times in the future, hell I've already seen it twice and may go back for a third helping soon. I totally love everything about this picture. The wonderful characters, the note perfect showman performances, the tone of the picture, the cinematic playfullness of Tarantino, the incredible music, the humour, the deception, the World War II iconography and playing ground that made all those 60's and 70's war pictures so incredibly rewarding.

Originally published by Matt Holmes at Obsessed With Film.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2011 3:32 PM BST

Two Lovers [DVD]
Two Lovers [DVD]
Dvd ~ Joaquin Phoenix
Price: £4.00

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little self indulgent, 19 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Two Lovers [DVD] (DVD)
As a character piece Two Lovers works well- the portraits of the three central figures, lead admittedly well by Phoenix as Leonard, are impeccably drawn, and the dynamic between the torn man and his two choices, one endorsed by his parents the other the complete opposite is the best part of the film. To his credit, Phoenix plays the tortured soul well- he has one of those faces that looks pathetic and vulnerable even when he is playing a tyrant (hence his success as Gladiator's tortured nemesis and as tortured Johnny Cash). From his first suicidal scene, Leonard's torment is captured well enough to be utterly believable and compelling, largely thanks to the way James Gray changes the pallet of the scene to reflect his main character's mood, but I'm with Mike Edwards when he says his psychological condition, though presented as morbid depression (hence the watery opening), is little more than bi-polarism (which is not to undermine the importance of that condition).

While the film wants us to believe Leonard's psychological torment, the context plays against the intention- Leonard's struggle is supposed to be internal and mental (why else would we be immediately confronted with the image of aborted suicide?), but the central premise of the film- the dilemma between the angel on one shoulder (Sandra) and the devil on the other (Michelle) undermines it somewhat. This is a film about a fork in the road, about the choice between a bad but liberating relationship or a wholesome, but probably stifling one, and Leonard's own psychological condition becomes an afterthought in the shadow of his romantic entanglement. If the film wanted to make a comment about psychological turmoil it may well have been better served to do it without the love triangle situation that shifts focus away.

The one problem i had with the central triumverate of characters was believing Gwyneth Paltrow as the anti-heroine: the bad choice of the two lovers. To be confronted with Paltrow playing a self-destructive, drug addled, emotional mess within the greater context of her career to date is a rather jarring experience. Though it is often the most atypical roles that sparkle in an actor's career, I found it uncomfortable having to wrestle the wholesome image of Paltrow as the Immaculate Innocent figure she usually plays out of my mind. Had she been the parentally-endorsed choice, Sandra, I may well have accepted it seamlessly, but as it is, seeing her in this new guise left a wierd and not particularly pleasant aftertaste.

But this film, like the post-release hype, is about one man alone. I've been harsh when it comes to Joaquin Phoenix in the past, but even I have to admit he plays his part in Two Lovers better than I could imagine anyone else could, serving up a believable portrait of a tortured man caught in a tumultuous romantic situation. He is the embodiment of James Gray's favoured emotionally charged pallet- I said Gray manipulates the pallet of his shots to reflect the emotional state of his leading character, perhaps it is more appropriate to include Phoenix as a facet of that pallet, so integral is he to the creation of an emotional framework for his scenes. As with We Own The Night (one of Phoenix's better performances in my opinion) Gray knows exactly how and when to use Phoenix's hyper-charged vulnerability to best effect, and while the actor attempts to make himself as impenetrably, destructively alienated as possible with his beardy stunt, Gray manages the seemingly impossible in painting his character's condition in such a way that we all believe.

Originally published by Simon Gallagher at Obsessed With Film.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 15, 2012 12:19 AM BST

Lesbian Vampire Killers [DVD] [2009]
Lesbian Vampire Killers [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ James Corden
Offered by streetsahead
Price: £2.99

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a pain in the neck, 18 Aug. 2009
More than any other, British comedy deals best in the shattering of dreams, and the corruption of comfort- Americans, on the other hand seem to prefer character-lead or relationship comedy. British comic-horror: like Severance, like Shaun of the Dead, and now like Lesbian Vampire Killers work (in their various levels of success) because they take the very essence of British normalcy and make it threatening. For Severance, the horror revolves around a team-building trip (the pinnacle of British endurance: it is after all an American phenomenon), for Shaun of the Dead the local pub becomes a potential tomb rather than a womb-like sanctuary and with Lesbian Vampire Killers, a lad's weekend goes tits up.

But that's about the only intellectual thing that can be said about the film- it's a standard issue British horror/comedy, neither adding to, nor saturating the sub-genre.

As a DVD release, Lesbian Vampire Killers is pretty standard issue. Extras-wise youre looking at a fairly dreary Making Of- including an unnecessary extra look at Corden's character Fletch, which smacks a bit of an over-zealous attempt to make a pretty ropey character into something of an ambitious (and unfounded) legend. Elsewhere there's the obligatory music video (overrated VV Brown warbling on about something or other) and the near-obligatory Webisodes, with additional on-set "hilarity".

Pro Evolution Soccer 2
Pro Evolution Soccer 2
Offered by CDandVinyl
Price: £2.50

120 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PES2, the best footie game money can buy, 24 July 2002
In recent years, FIFA has been the dominant force in terms of sales. The fact that it contains below average gameplay didn't seem to put people off, until now.
Last November the Pro Evolution series came to the PS2, and finally FIFA's dominance began to slip away. More and more people began to realise whtat they had been missing out on. Even now, 9 months on, PES remains in the top 20 charts. Of cause now there is a sequal coming, and it promises to be even better.
PS2er's who are lucky enough to have played the import of Winning Eleven 6 will know just how good PES2 is going to be. A few of the new features to note are:
- A brand new 3rd division in the popular Master League mode
- 8 new club teams (including Aston Villa, Celtic and Rangers)
- Over 50 National Teams including all of those from this years World Cup
- Much improved commentary over the appaling Chris James and Terry Butcher (most likely will be John Champion and Mark Lawrencen)
- Even smoother animations, with special "signature" moves for certain players (i.e. David Beckham dragging his left foot under his right when taking a free kick)
- Tweaked gameplay giving an extra feeling of control
- Ability to modify almost everything, including Kits, Flags and ALL Players names. You can also now create up to 10 custom teams
These new and improved features are more than enough to make PES2 a MUST purchase for all true football fans. But be warned, if you are new to the series, don't be put of by the seemingly comlicated play. All PES games must be played for at least a month before the pleasure comes. If you have never played before you will probably find that you won't win any matches for at least a couple of days, even on the easiest difficulty. But soon enough you will begin to master the realistic style of the game, and pass the ball to create chances instead of just racing down the field with one player and shooting (like you would in FIFA). Once you get the hang of the game, I guarantee you won't ever look back, and you won't stop playing PES2 until PES3 comes out.

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