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Basil Khamis (Dubai)

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War Of The Worlds (2 Disc Special Edition) [2005] [DVD]
War Of The Worlds (2 Disc Special Edition) [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Cruise
Offered by DGR Film
Price: £1.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Waterworld ver. 2.0, 6 May 2006
Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds was supposed to be the motion picture event of the year. I think not. The films' budget which is said to be in excess of $128,000,000 is money well spent on special effects & CGI (the earth cracking up bit seemed very realistic so was the plane crash scene at Cruises' ex-wife's house) but nevertheless the movie looks like its headed down the same path as Waterworld did 10 years ago, just as its predecessor it was hyped so much that living up to its billing shall become impossible.

Dakota Fanning & Tim Robbins performances were outstanding however despite their valiant attempt at rescuing the movie it is destined for austerity. H. G. Wells' classic tale of alien invasion as seen through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it, is a great novel however this movie did not do justice to the book, the 50's version seemed to be better explained, had a better plot & was fairly clear-cut.

The movie on principal was flawed. Like why didn't the "invaders" start their "blood sucking" exercise earlier on in the movie instead of blowing up all those people to smithereens & wasting that entire valuable food source? How come after the Electromagnetic pulse hit the city/country one guys' camcorder captured everything??? Here is a brief history on EMP. EMP is a high-intensity, short-duration burst of electromagnetic energy. Although the electric field created from an EMP lasts for only a short time, its effects can be devastating. Electrical systems connected to things that can conduct current like wires, antennas, and metal objects will suffer significant damage. EMP effects on electronics include interference of radio frequency links, irreparable damage to microcircuits, and even the disabling of satellites. So how come a seasoned sci-fi filmmaker like Spielberg not know that.

This was supposed to be a contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells' seminal novel, the film turned into a sci-fi adventure thriller with no meaning what-so-ever. Besides in true Hollywood / summer movie fashion; I expected Tom Cruise to save the world, revive any resistance to the aliens & salvage whatever was left of this planet, instead he is just an average Joe struggling to stay alive with the backdrop being the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind it.

Verdict: Not what you'd expect from Spielberg, nor what you'd expect from Cruise, however the special effects, graphics etc... is the only thing that meets what we've come to expect & anticipate in a Spielberg movie. I wouldn't recommend watching it unless of course you have absolutely nothing better to do. Absolutely Nothing.

Rating: 2 & ½ stars overall, out of that 2 stars go to the special effects.


Sideways [DVD]
Sideways [DVD]
Dvd ~ Paul Giamatti
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £2.75

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Basics . . ., 6 May 2006
This review is from: Sideways [DVD] (DVD)
I remember when there was a time we used to watch movies for entertainment, with good editing, good direction & excellent scripts; Alexander Payne did a good job with this movie & went back to the basics to create this masterpiece.

The only thing that equally harmed the movie yet made it a success was the hype. A funny thing with hype is that it raises the bar on the quality of the movie which makes it hard to live up to yet with all that publicity the movie has a better success rate. It's a no-win situation.

But overall Sideways does come out on top although it's not meant for all audiences (besides the R rating) you need to have gone through the ups & downs of life to experience what Paul Giamatti is going through & me being divorced know exactly how that feels (especially the Xanax phase).

Reading some of the earlier reviews, I've noticed reviewers branding Giamatti & Thomas Haden Church, as loosers! Well I don't know about Church but Giamatti is definitely not. There is a thin line between being human with feelings & a looser. People like Giamatti put a lot of emotion & feeling in what they do be it wine tasting, experiencing gourmet cooking or writing a novel so when something goes wrong it sort of eats away at their soul; its more like an amalgamation of midlife crisis, loss & low sense of worth. A deadly combination, whichever way you look at it.

There is no shortage of human emotion in this movie although I really thought Giamatti ought to have been nominated for an Oscar as opposed to Church; don't get me wrong I like Thomas Haden Church, I've been a fan of his ever since Wings & Ned & Stacy, he's good, versatile & overall quite believable but I think Giamatti takes the cake in this movie & a great choice for his role.

Verdict: Overall quite an enjoyable movie with some really witty dialogue not to mention the mini-plots within the main plot. It strikes a decent balance between good filmmaking & a modern-day romantic comedy.

Rating: 4 & ½ stars for a well written movie made with a lot of emotion & creditable performance.


Lara Croft Tomb Raider -- Special Collector's Edition [DVD] [2001]
Lara Croft Tomb Raider -- Special Collector's Edition [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Angelina Jolie
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.70

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Angelina Jolie was born to play Lara Croft . . ., 6 May 2006
From the first scene onwards you can't help but notice the dynamic resemblance between the perennial voluptuous, erotic & tantalizing cyber chic & Angelina Jolie; she was born to play that part. Lara Croft has for many years lived in the fantasy of many gamers but now with her embodiment as Angelina they have someone to relate to.

Most of the movie stayed true to the game unlike many game-to-movies flicks nothing was jeopardized maybe because the game was so perfect in its fictitious depiction of a fantasy world, not to mention no shortage of exotic locations as well as conspiracies, urban legends, myths & human paranoia.

This movie is the quintessential pop-corn flick, complete with dim-witted yet attitudinal villains, tense & exciting action scenes, futuristic gadgets & an inconsequential romantic interlude.

Verdict: thoroughly enjoyable. A great movie for Tomb Raider fans or moviegoers alike. Angelina Jolie is a virtual incarnation of the Cyber goddess. A Pop-corn flick galore.

Rating: 3 & ½ stars.


Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life [DVD] [2003]
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Angelina Jolie
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.72

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A more than Equal Sequel, 6 May 2006
One up on the last one. Unlike regular sequels where the second is worse than the first & the third is worse than the second etc... the Tomb Raider franchisees have gone against the tide.

Pandora's Box is an intriguing subject just like the illuminati were in the first film, like its predecessor the cradle of life has no shortage of exotic locations, myths & human paranoia, it's a shame they did not open the Box.

As I said in my previous review Angelina Jolie was born to play that part of Lara Croft. From the first scene onwards you can't help but mistake the voluptuous cyber chic for Jolie. Something else caught my eye that I never realized in the first part; her accent; she does a pretty damn good impression of a sophisticated Brit. Having lived in the U.K. myself I can tell the difference.

This movie does not disappoint at all in being a pop-corn flick. With all the pre-requisites of a big budget action/adventure movie, i.e. dim-witted yet attitudinal villains, death defying stunts, tense & exciting action scenes, futuristic gadgets & an insignificant romantic segment, this movie does not fail to entertain.

Verdict: scrupulously enjoyable. A great movie for Tomb Raider/Angelina Jolie fans. Jolie is the true living form of the Cyber divinity known as Lara Croft (even though her padded bra is quite obvious at times). The only disappointment is not being able to see inside Pandora's Box.

Rating: 4 stars for being better than the first.


The Fabulous Baker Boys [DVD]
The Fabulous Baker Boys [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeff Bridges
Offered by rightpricediscs
Price: £5.85

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smoldering hot Jeff, tantalizing Michelle..., 6 May 2006
They don't make movies like that anymore nor do they produces actors & actresses like Jeff Bridges & Michelle Pfeiffer.

The movie revolves around brothers Jack and Frank Baker (Jeff & Beau Bridges) who are cocktail lounge piano players whose career has hit a sour note. They need a little charm and sex appeal to liven up their act - what they get is Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer), a beautiful, but hard-talking, chain-smoking songstress. The ensuing combination takes a ride through emotions, human nature & the lives of people in showbiz.

All that aside who could forget Michelle Pfeiffer looking as tantalizing as ever, as she slides across that Piano top in that slinkiest of slinky red dresses. The pause button on the DVD player is about to get a real good work out.

Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Actress for Michelle Pfeiffer & Best Cinematography & Editing. Golden Globe win for Best Actress & Nomination for Best Original Score.

Verdict: utterly enjoyable. It's the spirited energy that radiates from the lead performances that keeps this movie fluid. Pfeiffer especially is a revelation - and here's a part where she can do what she loves most, sing and act concurrently. Jeff Bridges also gives some of his best performances to date as her improbable suitor - together, they surprisingly, smolder in several scenes.

Rating: 4 and a ½ stars mainly for the piano top dancing. Just kidding, for being a superb movie.


Dude, Where's My Country?
Dude, Where's My Country?
by Michael Moore
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative & an eye opener as well as a bit of Bush-bashing, 4 July 2005
Micheal Moores' latest offering was informative at some level but very repetitive. It's not one of the best literary works around but does get the message across.
His anger towards the bush administration is quite evident & at times even graphic, he does a wonderful job at Bush-bashing but then again how hard is that? I have to admit, he is bold for tackling a subject matter as controversial as that but then again he had good reason to.
Some parts of the book were exaggerated - well maybe for an unembellished effect - at times it seemed as if he was pushing the envelope as far as it could logically go; it did work for some parts & others were plain outright amplification.
He kept his paragraphs short and sweet, kept his sentences shorter and sweeter. He was more concise as opposed to cryptic. But I couldn't help but wonder - solely based on his writing technique - if he can have his work published so can I. It's a while before I realized the amount of research that had gone into it.
If you are like me -a person who watches the movie before reading the book- then you would find the book boring at times, especially with the many repetitions.
Overall the book is relatively appealing although I wouldn't go to the extent of saying it was gripping. The writing style, although it was easy to read; it did feel a tad amateurish, however the book was informative & an eye opener.
Three stars for the research & one more for the boldness & subject matter.


American Idiot
American Idiot
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.67

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Future of Rock Music is in safe hands..., 4 July 2005
This review is from: American Idiot (Audio CD)
They're all grown up now & their music reflects the same. This is definately one of their best albums since Dookie & Nimrod.

It might sound a tad commercial but it works. The influences on this album are quite a few but the punk music undertone is quite clearly the driving force.

Verdict: If you like Green Day then buy this album. If you don't like Green Day then you'll like them after you buy the album. American Idiot is one of those Albums that will be around for a while.

Rating: 4 stars for a praiseworthy album in a time when rock music is taking a hit.


Bride And Prejudice [2004] [DVD]
Bride And Prejudice [2004] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Aishwarya Rai
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Twist to a Classic Tale, 27 Jun 2005
This adaptation revolves around Mr & Mrs Bakshi & their daughters Lakhi (Lydia), Lalita (Lizzie), Jaya (Jane) & Maya (Mary). Think Pride & Prejudice; now think Bollywood. An Exceptional script with vibrant music! Voila! an instant hit.
The casting is exceptional; especially the brilliant Aishwarya Rai as Lalita -besides you know she's got something if Julia Roberts calls her "The Most Beautiful Woman In the World"- Martin Henderson is an appalling pick for the role of Darcy. His acting often leaves much to be desired, and he occasionally looks out of place in the movie. Him & Aishwarya don't quite share an on-screen chemistry; which is a shame, but it's not enough to ruin the movie.
In conclusion the movie is well written -of course it has to be; its Jane Austin's Classic- & well directed, most of the performances are impressive -except that of Henderson & the musical numbers add to the inspiration of the movie.
Overall its quite an enjoyable, colorful, lively and entertaining movie that has stayed true to the original story. And if Aishwarya Rai doesn't make it in Hollywood after this, then there's no justice in the world after all. I also can't wait to see her opposite Meryl Streep in her next big movie "Chaos", directed by "3 Men and a Little Lady" director Coline Serreau.


Casablanca [1942] [DVD]
Casablanca [1942] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Humphrey Bogart
Price: £5.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, a Standard, a Complete Movie..., 27 Jun 2005
This review is from: Casablanca [1942] [DVD] (DVD)
This classic and much-loved romantic melodrama is always found on top-ten lists of film lovers the world over, is a masterful tale of two men vying for the same woman's love in a chaotic love triangle. The story of political and romantic espionage is set against the backdrop of the wartime conflict between democracy and totalitarianism.
With a rich and smoky atmosphere, anti-Nazi propaganda, Max Steiner's superb musical score, suspense, unforgettable characters and memorable lines of dialogue (e.g., "Here's lookin' at you, kid," and the inaccurately-quoted "Play it again, Sam"), it is one of the most popular, magical (and flawless) films of all time - focused on the themes of lost love, honor and duty, self-sacrifice and romance within a chaotic world. Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam (1972) paid reverential homage to the film, as have the lesser films Cabo Blanco (1981) and Barb Wire (1996), and the animated Bugs Bunny short Carrotblanca (1995).
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