Profile for Matthew J. Parker > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Matthew J. Parker
Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,368
Helpful Votes: 185

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Matthew J. Parker "the legend writes:" (Todmorden, United Kingdom)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Batman: The Complete TV Series - Limited Edition (Exclusive to [Blu-ray] [1966] [Region Free]
Batman: The Complete TV Series - Limited Edition (Exclusive to [Blu-ray] [1966] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Adam West
Price: 109.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic Batman TV series is out at last, 30 July 2014
Finally released after years of complications with rights issues, etc - here it is in full, the complete series of Batman from the late 1960s. This was the show that, along with Doctor Who, pretty much defined my youth and is a show i can watch over and over again and still love!

For me Adam West IS Batman, no matter how good Christian Bale, Michael Keaton et al have been. This Batman is a product of its time, is kitsch, campy, tongue in cheek and fun, but also doesn't seem out of place today. My earliest memories of the show are in the 1980s when they were shown on saturday and sunday mornings and they were the reason why i went out to buy a VHS recorder and let my poor old mum get up early on a sunday morning to record that weeks episode. The Bookworm was the fist episode I ever saw. I then wore out the recordings by watching them nearly every day. I acted out the bat fights with my friends at school (I was Egghead usually), I'd sing the 'vote for Pengy' song at lunch time, I dressed as the penguin in a gala procession, i'd mimic Jokers laugh, i'd watch any other programme or film that one of any of the other cast appeared in - even Burt Ward in Beach Babes from Beyond! Batman was my life, Adam West was my hero, what else do I need to say. I still do some of the old quotes when the opportunity arises - even though i'm nearly 40.

I understand that fans of the comics didn't like it and i can appreciate that, but you've now got your new versions of Batman (Dark Knight) to enjoy the darkness (i'm still a fan of those too). There's just so much to recommend here, the wobbly but colourful sets, the guests either as the villains or as the 'window' cameos......I mean, we get Vincent Price, Otto Preminger, Eli Wallach, Cliff Robertson, etc - all massive stars just obviously all on board to have a lot of fun, and they are great fun to watch for 20 odd minutes a go.

The price isn't too unreasonable for 120 episodes and if, like me, you've waited so long to see these released the price doesn't really come in to it. My one regret is that, by delaying for years, very few of the original stars survive, we could have still had some audio commentaries from some of the original villains if they'd done this a few few years ago. Not sure if any apart from Julie Newmar and John Astin are still living, even Adam West is in his mid 80s now.

The inclusion of the unbroadcast Batgirl pilot episode would have made a brilliant extra, but for the lists available the extras include:

-Hanging with Batman - A true slice of life in the words of Adam West.
-Holy Memorabilia Batman! - A journey into the most sought-after collectibles through the eyes of three extraordinary collectors.
-Batmania Born!: Building the World of Batman - Explore the art and design behind the fiction.
-Bats of the Round Table - A candid conversation with Adam West and his celebrity friends, chatting all things Bat '66.
-Inventing Batman in the words of Adam West (episode 1 &2) - A rare treat for the fans as Adam discusses his script notes on bringing Batman to life in the first and second episodes.
-Na Na Na Batman! - Hollywood favorite's stars and producers recount their favourite Batman memories.

Aside from my little niggles this is definitely the most exciting TV release in years, I cannot wait for it to come out at the end of the year, and if for some reason you've never seen it then this is the perfect chance to own an extraordinary piece of TV history.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 31, 2014 3:42 PM BST

Believe [DVD]
Believe [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brian Cox
Price: 11.25

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You'll enjoy this is you Believe!!, 25 July 2014
This review is from: Believe [DVD] (DVD)
Somewhere between Billy Elliott and The Selfish Giant, Believe tells the story of 'Georgie' who lives for football! Unfortunately, his dad has passed away, he doesn't get on with his mum, he's involved in petty crimes and is being forced to go to an upper class Grammar School. To enter a soccer competition with his mates he steals a wallet which he hopes will include about 20 he needs to get into the competition. As fate would have it the wallet belongs to one Matt Busby who becomes the team manager instead of handing the boys over to the police. Have you figured out what's going to happen yet?

The film is somewhat predictable but is boosted by a brilliant performance by Brian Cox as Matt Busby, set in 1984, about to celebrate his 75th birthday, and taking on this young team as he believes the reason he survived the plance crash is because his job on Earth was not yet finished. Generally the performances are good but Toby Stephens as the head of the grammar school is bordering on pantomime territory and falls into farce in the end, and the boys in the team, including the lead actor playing Georgie, certainly act as if they've just been picked off the streets because they play good football (it tells you in the credits what they are doing now).

A good 1984 soundtrack plays frequently (Dead or Alive, New Order, Smiths) and the look certainly feels like 30 years ago.

Worth a viewing but i was getting stalled of it by the end.

1914 [DVD]
1914 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steven Spencer
Price: 7.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Trades Description Act needs to be mentioned for this absolute con of a release, 21 July 2014
This review is from: 1914 [DVD] (DVD)
Not the worse movie in the world, but as other reviewers have commented on here, the major issue here is the fact that this dvd is an absolute con!

The movie was officially called '21 Brothers' but has been released (I think for the first time) as '1914' - no doubt to tie in with this being the 100th anniversary of World War 1. It features a picture on the cover that doesn't appear in the movie, features quotes like 'brilliant movie' but with no reference as to whom has said it, and some of the pictures on the back aren't from the movie at all.

The film is 'very' low budget. It's set in some trenches (where the actors are supposedly up to their knees in mud - they're not - it's bone dry!) and are about to face 'zero hour' - go over the top and take on the enemy. We start 90 minutes before the order is given, and fair play, this is the first time i've seen a movie made in one continual shot. The 'older' actors in the cast do quite well with predictable lines and they've obviously had a lot to learn, but the younger actors are completely shocking with no talent at all, quite often looking at the camera or fluffing the odd line. The way the film has been made you can imagine that one really wrong line would mean the film would have to start again.

It does look very much like it's filmed in someone's garden rather than some war zone, and the 'explosive' effects at the end are just extraordinarily bad as they disappear in a 'Gallipoli'-esque finale.

The 2 stars is very generous and is more for the fact that it dares to be a bit different and I can respect the older actors here for their efforts, however, the fact that it is an absolute joke of a release leaves a very sour taste in the mouth and the distributors should be ashamed.

Layover [DVD] [2007]
Layover [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ David Hasselhoff
Offered by rsdvd
Price: 1.04

3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasantly suprising and twist filled tale from the legend that is 'The Hoff', 12 July 2014
This review is from: Layover [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Watched on the basis that I had nothing else to watch tonight, but this is a massive surprise in the fact that it's actually quite good. It would actually spoil it to go into too much detail but the Hoff himself has trouble at home with his wife and on a regular flight for work he sits next to a man who also suspects his wife is having an affair. Upon landing a chance encounter with a young lady results in a steamy romp which comes back to haunt The Hoff as the lady is none other than the wife of the man on the plane. What follows is a cat and mouse game where we think that just maybe the man suspects what has happened - but there's so much more to it than just that.

The film is never less than enjoyable and for what seems like a made for TV movie has more twists and turns than an average Hollywood blockbuster and has a very surprising plotline. The acting is okay, although The Hoff is not known for being the best actor of this generation, but it's impossible not to like the guy.

I certainly recommend a viewing and you can pick this up for pennies, I expected to laugh through it at how bad it was but I was pleasantly surprised, and you like it even more if you want to see The Hoff in his 'pants'.

Boyhood [DVD]
Boyhood [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patricia Arquette

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars from boy to man - 12 years in 3 hours!, 11 July 2014
This review is from: Boyhood [DVD] (DVD)
A fascinating 'coming of age' drama that has had rave reviews from critics and currently has a very rare '100%' on rottentomatoes.

The film has been a long time in the making and focuses on Mason (newcomer Ellar Coltrane) and for every 15 minutes of film we spend a part of a year of his life - literally. This film is almost like time lapse photography, and has taken approx. 12 years to make, filming the story every summer since 2002. Coltrane grows from boy to man (sort of) and we see actors Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette (his separated parents) grow older and older as their lives show how adults go through changes over what can seem like a relatively short space of time.

The film deserves praise for daring to be different, and the reviews are justified, however, from an average cinemagoers view the film is quite long (nearly 3 hours), has very little storyline to speak of, and to be fair, Mason is just an annoying miserable emo-esque slacker kid for a fair chunk of time (most of the middle of the film. Anyone who has a child at home who, when you ask questions returns with the answer 'whatever', will know what I'm talking about.

It's fascinating as a way of showing a new style to film-making (although it's not too different if you've seen the documentary series 7-up, 28 up, etc) but I can't imagine it's one for repeat viewings.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 29, 2014 9:24 AM BST

Escape From Planet Earth [DVD]
Escape From Planet Earth [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matthew A. Ward
Price: 8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars standard animated fun, 11 July 2014
Escape from Planet Earth pretty much passed the radar on its initial release, and has been regarded fairly negatively by critics and audiences. However, it is actually a fairly satisfactory movie which is undemanding and has some good fun moments.

The story focuses on two alien brothers, one the computer nerd, the other a dashing hero who sets off to the nearest planet (called the Daark Planet but which we soon find is our Earth). Predictably he crashes in Area 51 and is picked up by a corrupt general who has kidnapped other aliens who have crashed there in the past. The nerdy brother sets off on the rescue mission.

The only real down side to the story is that it has all been done before, but the animation looks good, the characters are fun, and the voices including Brendan Fraser, Jessica Alba and William Shatner as the baddie sound like they're having a good time and not just doing it for the money.

It may not be one to watch frequently but young children should find it fun and it's not one that adults are going to want to switch off asap. Give it a go!

Handsome Harry [DVD]
Handsome Harry [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Buscemi
Price: 9.17

3.0 out of 5 stars Expect the unexpected with this dvd, 9 Jun 2014
This review is from: Handsome Harry [DVD] (DVD)
Ok, firstly, a quick review of the film. Harry (Jamey Sheridan) is one of five former navy employees who, 30 years later, seeks information and, later, forgiveness following a brutal attack on his best friend at the time. Each of the ex-friends share their guilt and stories with Harry before we find out the truth in an emotional twist. A good cast, well acted, and an interesting story.

The major league problem here is the shocking way that this film has been packaged to try and tie in with the Broadwalk Empire crowd. Firstly, Steve Buscemi, on the cover - fair enough, but apart from 2 minutes near the beginning you don't see him again, he's also the first named on the cover, but even more incredibly is his appearance on the back cover sporting a gun. In this film Buscemi is in hospital dying of cancer. They make it look like some gangster flick, even the 'Handsome Harry' logo is in the same style as Broadwalk. The film also states that it's an 18 certificate because of special features raising the cert from a 15. there are no special features. I'm sure somewhere you can sue for such false advertising and it leaves such a horrible taste in the mouth after seeing a film that's pretty good.

Shattered Spirits [DVD]
Shattered Spirits [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Sheen
Price: 9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A film for anyone struggling with addiction, 8 Jun 2014
This review is from: Shattered Spirits [DVD] (DVD)
Largely unknown in the UK, across the pond in the USA this movie used to be shown in schools and rehab centres to show the effects of alcohol or addiction on families. Filmed in 1986 and looking a bit dated, this is still a well written and staggeringly well acted piece that anyone who can't see what damage alcohol does to families needs to watch. Martin Sheen plays the father who, despite having a good home, good job and a supportive wife and children cannot kick his addiction, and refuses to admit it, even blaming his oldest son for most of his own problems. Rather than just having a Hollywood style ending where everything turns out alright, the film ends by focusing on the fact that finishing being an alcoholic is not something that can be done overnight. Sheen is amazing in the role. You can pick this movie up for pennies these days, you won't be disappointed.

Grace Of Monaco [DVD] [2014]
Grace Of Monaco [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Nicole Kidman
Price: 15.01

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Have the grace to at least see it before you slate it!, 6 Jun 2014
This review is from: Grace Of Monaco [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
It's difficult to know where to begin to review 'Grace of Monaco'. The critically derided biopic of the actress Grace Kelly currently has just a 3% rating on 'rottentomatoes' and is being compared to the equally slated 'Diana'. Personally I didn't find it to be just as bad as 'Diana' but there's still a lot at fault here.

The story basically revolves around Grace being coaxed back to Hollywood by Alfred Hitchcock after marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco a few years before, whilst at the same time Monaco is under threat of having to pay taxes or face the threat of bombing by France led by Charles DeGaulle. When you see the lifestyle on display here you cannot actually feel sorry for their predicament and feel that a bit of taxation would probably not be much of a loss.

The main faults of the film lay largely in the direction and the writing. Ill advised long lasting extreme close ups of Nicole Kidman's eyes and nose whilst she's talking are just irritating, and there's quite a lot of noticeable camera shake - though this seems to be a constant in may films today. Also, at no time do we feel that we are in 1961 instead of 2014, but that again my be because of the wealth on display. It's easy to see why the people of Monaco didn't look favourably on Grace because of this lavish lifestyle.

Cast wise all the principals are actually fine but they never go above that because of the overblown and melodramatic script they have to deliver, however one exception is Geraldine Somerville as Rainiers sister who is completely shocking throughout. It's good to spy the odd British character actor too like Robert Lindsay and Derek Jacobi.

Unlike Diana this film could well turn into a bit of a cult classic, thanks to characters like Hitchcock and the boo hissable Charles DeGaulle. His line 'I will send Monaco back to the dark ages' should have been finished off with manic laughter to round off the pantomine caricatures.

Proof that sometimes critics follow each other like sheep to end up destroying a film, Grace of Monaco deserves some recognition for what it is rather than what we are told to believe, though that still doesn't mean it's very good.

Postman Pat: The Movie [DVD]
Postman Pat: The Movie [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stephen Mangan
Price: 10.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pat drives into the 21st Century, 31 May 2014
This review is from: Postman Pat: The Movie [DVD] (DVD)
Quite why anyone thought the idea of a Postman Pat movie was a good one is anyone's guess, but here it is, away from the quiet little plasticine animated town of Greendale and into a 21st century computer generated one! To be fair this is not a bad film at all but it seems to struggle to exactly know what to do with itself.

Understandably 90 minutes of Pat delivering the post and helping kites be removed from trees isn't going to be blockbuster material, so we get two stories happening together in Pat singing in an X-Factor style competition (hosted by Simon Cowbell), and in another an employee of the 'Special Delivery Service' creating an army of Pat-bots to initially turn the village against our hero and later to takeover the world. There's too much depending on the singing competition and the joke wears very thin by the end, and the army of Pat-bots is surprisingly creepy for a show that's aimed at the CBeebies crowd (not to mention the Terminator -esque evil Jess-Bot).

The voices are different, perhaps so the film can be aimed at a bigger audience by using popular actors like Jim Broadbent and they all do fine with their parts but you do wish some of the old voices were there. There's a few good 'in jokes' that take the mickey out of the original series, a surprisingly touching montage of Pat meeting his wife, getting Jess as a present, etc, and the best bit of all is the Peter Gabriel 'Big Time' song that zips through the recurring stories with some very funny visual gags.

It's recommended viewing but certainly not essential, and as is the norm seemingly with ANY kids film these days, it ends in a big dance!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 12, 2014 8:29 PM BST

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4