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Mitun (Edinburgh, Scotland)

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A Dangerous Man [DVD]
A Dangerous Man [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steven Seagal
Offered by Quality Media Supplies Ltd.
Price: 2.65

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Dangerous Headache, 9 July 2010
This review is from: A Dangerous Man [DVD] (DVD)
'A Dangerous Man' is an action film that was released Direct-to-DVD in 2009. On its release the movie was slammed by critics and viewers alike.

The movie tells the story of Shane Daniels (Steven Seagal) who is released from prison after being jailed for a crime he didn't commit. On his release circumstances get him involved with corrupt cops, the Russian Mafia and Chinese druglords.

The movie starts off with Mr Seagal mumbling away as he does skillfully nowadays. First ten to fifteen minutes were not that bad as I thought there was a story in store. Boy, was I wrong. The movie then does anything and everything that just doesn't make sense. Its like the makers made up the movie as they went along. There were pointless explosions everywhere, characters coming and going and dying left, right and centre. The movie was boring and illogical resulting in becoming a helluva drag.

All the actors perform poorly. Mr Seagal is the show stealer when it comes to producing a mumbling performance. One really minor positive thing I would say is, he does most of his action scenes. Also couldn't understand where Seagal disappeared at the end for a good few minutes and then suddenly reappeared for the climax. He was probably playing hide and seek with the makers.

Ther direction provided by Keoni Waxman is simply mince. He doesn't know what he's doing. On watching the movie, it's like each scene was directed by a different director or its been made up of different scenes from different movies.

This is Seagal and Waxman's second outing together after the not so bad 'The Keeper'. I thought they were heading in the right direction but it turns out they were lost.

'A Dangerous Man' will give you a headache. If you're still going to watch it, have a packet of painkillers handy. If not anything else, the sales of painkillers should go up.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 28, 2013 6:43 AM BST

The Girl Next Door [DVD]
The Girl Next Door [DVD]
Dvd ~ William Atherton
Price: 5.00

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartrending yet Powerful Cinema, 9 July 2010
This review is from: The Girl Next Door [DVD] (DVD)
'The Girl Next Door' is a horror/drama/love story that released in USA in 2007 and took three years to release in the UK via DVD. The movie is critically acclaimed, however has generally went unnoticed on both releases. The film is an adaptation of the 1989 novel of the same name written by Jack Ketchum. It's also loosely based on the true story of Sylvia Likens.

The movie is set in 1958 and tells the story of two young girls Meg Loughlin (Blythe Auffarth) and Susan Loughlin (Madeline Taylor) who after losing their parents in an accident, move in with their Aunt Ruth (Blanche Baker) and her three sons. They then experience brutal mistreatment within then household.

The movie is ninety minutes in duration and what a powerful ninety minutes it is. It starts slow introducing the main characters and seems as though it's going to be a nice coming of age drama. I was feeling good at this point but I was in for a shock as the story took a complete opposite and hellish turn. The story keeps you engaged throughout whilst playing around with the viewers emotions. I went through so much watching the movie. It was disturbing to the extent that I wanted to look away from the screen but at the same time I couldn't because I became that involved with the story and the chararcters. I felt like doing something for the sufferring characters but at the same time was really helpless. The movie progresses with the viewer glued to the screen and then ends effectively. In the end I was exhausted but straight away decided that this movie was an Oscar winner although it was ignored by the academy awards.

The movie touches on really sensitive issues like child abuse, violence against women and responsibilities of adults. On watching the movie, it's hard to beleive this happens or happened in real life. The film gets you thinking big time.

There is also an emotionally touching and moving love story between two of the lead characters, Meg Loughlin (Blythe Auffarth) and David Moran (Daniel Manche). This sticks in your mind alongwith the rest of the movie long after end credits have rolled.

Blanche Baker is just perfect as the sadistic aunt, I felt like killing her. Madeline Taylor is a gem. William Atherton (narrator/adult David Moran) is fine in a brief role. The show stealers in order are Blythe Auffarth and Daniel Manche who produce award winning performances. Auffarth in one word is 'SUPERB' as the lead actress. No one else could've portrayed the innocence and beauty, they way she did. Manche in the other hand does a great job and expresses his emotions effortlessly via his eyes. The rest of the cast are also flawless.

The direction provided by Gregory Wilson is excellent. The movie is excecuted in the best possible manner and the extraction of award winning performances from the actors makes this feature essential vewing.

The background music score by Ryan Shore is emotional and full of hope. It adds another dimension to the moving storyline.

It should be noted that there are a number of gut-wrenching scenes, which some viewers may find offensive. It's certainly not for the faint-hearted. I'm used to all kinds of movies and even I had to look away at times. Saying that, you need to watch this to understand fully and appreciate that this is based on true events. I think one of the main reasons it bothered me was because I knew this had sort of occurred in real life rather than just being made up.

'The Girl Next Door' is painful, controversial, shocking, disturbing and twisted but OUTSTANDING!

Bodyguards and Assassins [DVD] [2009]
Bodyguards and Assassins [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Teddy Chen
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: 4.14

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Dramatic Epic, 5 July 2010
'Bodyguards and Assassins' is a Hong Kong action-drama feature that released in 2009 to positive reviews and was a hit at the box-office.

The movie was one of the most anticipated Hong Kong features of 2009 as it was a big budget multi-starrer. It was nominated for a record 18 Hong Kong Film Awards, winning 8 awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Nicholas Tse), Best Action Choreography, Best Original Film Score, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Make Up Design.

The story concentrates on the events occurring in 1905 when Sun Wen (revolutionary) intends to come to Hong Kong to discuss his plans for revolution with his coleagues to overthrow the corrupt and falling Qing Dynasty (rulers of China). As a result, the dynasty sends a group of dangerous assassins to kill Sun Wen, initiating a battle of good versus evil.

The first three quarters of the movie is pure character development and a build of emotions, which helps the audience connect with the actors. The start is slow, but the engaging storyline highly compensates. The movie then has a fantastic final thirty minutes where we experience tension, excitement and emotions to the max with a hint of action.

All the actors in the movie perform brilliantly. The ones who stand out are Wang Xueqi (Li Yutang) who produces a mature performance, the underrated Wang Po-chieh (Li Chongguang), Nicholas Tse (A'si) who won all the accolades and the scary Hu Jun (Hu Jun) who seems like a true villain.

Now coming to my favourite actor in the movie, Donnie Yen, he steals the show, even though he only plays a supporting character. He doesn't fight much in the movie but when he does, it's the best one. Yen on this occassion mainly works on the emotions and nails it. His performance in the movie has been overlooked for some reason.

The main flaw in the movie is that there are too many actors and not enough time to accomodate them. As a result of this there are too many sub-plots, which eat into each other. The other thing that works against the movie is the misleading title, trailer and marketing campaign which suggests that the movie is an out-and-out actioner with Donnie Yen in the lead. This is not the case as Yen is only a supporting actor and the movie is mainly drama and not much action barring the climax.

The direction provided by Teddy Chen who won best director at the 29th Hong Kong Film Awards is worthy of an applause. He successfully managed to pull off a big budget movie with so many actors.

The background music score by Chan Kwong Wing and Peter Kam adds to the movies emotions.

All the action is saved for the end. It's well shot and exciting.

The movie starts slow, however if it's given some time and attention, you'll be blown away at the end.

'Bodyguards and Assassins' has moving drama that packs a punch.

Exam [DVD] [2010]
Exam [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Luke Mably
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: 9.96

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair Exam, 10 Jun 2010
This review is from: Exam [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
'Exam' is a British psychological suspense thriller that released theatrically in 2010. It premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2009 and was met with favourable reviews.

The movie tells the story of eight candidates who have reached the final stage of a selection process to join a mysterious organisation. The final stage consists of an exam where the candidates must answer one question within eighty minutes and at the same time obeying certain rules.

I agree it's interesting and exciting, which the film is at times. It starts off in an intriguing and stylish way and really gets you thinking. But the problem for me was the middle portions of the feature where the momentum nosedived due to a lack of progression and gripping moments. The movie does get back on track towards the end with a build up of tension and then climaxes with an unpredictable twist. The twist was good, however the end result was too easy for an exam that was made out to be a complex one.

The DVD cover indicates that the movie is going to be a violent and gory affair, which is not the case. The cover is what made me rent the DVD as it grabbed my attention.

All actors perform well but the show-stealer is John Lloyd Fillingham whose character is called Deaf.

The direction provided by Stuart Hazeldine is impressive as the suspense was fine. He could've worked on the middle portions of the movie to make it more exciting.

Though the movie is British, it has an American feel to it.

The background music score provided by Stephen Barton and Matthew Cracknell is perfect for the feature.

The 'Exam' is worth sitting but is passable (I failed).

Dirty [DVD] [2006]
Dirty [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Cuba Gooding Jr
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.73

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dirty & Chaotic, 8 Jun 2010
This review is from: Dirty [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
'Dirty' is a crime-drama that had a limited theatrical release in the USA and a Direct-to-DVD release in the UK. On its release the movie has been panned critically.

It's alleged that the movie is influenced by the Rampart scandal, which refers to widespread corruption in the CRASH (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) anti-gang unit of the Los Angeles Police Department in the late 1990's. The corruption was investigated, during which seventy Officers were implicated in misconduct.

The movie also unsuccessfully borrows from the gritty award-winning 'Training Day' starring Denzel Washington and the greatest Police drama TV series, 'The Shield'.

The movie shows the day in the life of two corrupt LAPD Cops, Salim Adel (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and Armando Sancho (Clifton Collins, Jr.) who are asked by their dirty superiors to do a drugs related illegal job, which will either make them rich or destroy them.

The movie had an interesting premise and starts perfectly promising exactly that. The movie doesn't waste any time and straight away makes its intentions known when it comes to the plot and the two main characters (Adel and Sancho). The movie then goes into a nosedive concentrating on a series of events consisting of so many irrelevant characters. As a result the movie forgets its main plot and becomes a confused fare without a purpose. There is also a heavy dosage of unpleasant foul language, pointless crudeness and jumpy camera-work, which gave me a headache. Another annoying thing is a number of flashback scenes that makes the film even more convoluted. The movie has a couple of not bad twists that are unable to save the feature though. The ending is poor as it gives no closure to the film.

Cuba who plays a negative character is just OVER THE TOP and irritating. Clifton who plays a Cop haunted by an incident but the one with a conscience tries hard but performs in a weak manner.

The direction provided by Chris Fisher combined with the editing is complicated. The production values are cheap.

Everyone associated with 'Dirty' need a training day in good fim making.

Wrong Turn at Tahoe [DVD]
Wrong Turn at Tahoe [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jr Cuba Gooding
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 3.14

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Right Performances Take a Wrong Turn, 30 May 2010
This review is from: Wrong Turn at Tahoe [DVD] (DVD)
'Wrong Turn at Tahoe' is a gangster revenge film that released Direct-to-DVD in 2009. On its release, the movie has went unnoticed.

The movie tells the story of Joshua (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who is the right-hand man of Vincent (Miguel Ferrer), a small time crime boss. After an incident, Joshua and Vincent get mixed up with a dreaded mob boss (Harvey Keitel) resulting in both parties seeking revenge.

The movie starts of a bit slow but the momentum increases as it progresses with action and violence. The movie has some interesting scenes, which are let down by the predictable and abrupt outcomes. The poor screenplay succeeds in killing of any tension and excitement. The climax is alright as it has an unexpected twist.

I rented this movie without knowing much about it and thought it would be surprisingly good as it starred Harvey Keitel and Cuba Gooding Jr. On watching it, I was mainly bored as the movie took a good hour before it started to concentrate on the main revenge plot. The makers tried too hard to make a competent movie but fail as this ends up being a mish mish of sub-plots.

The performances of all the actors are up to the mark but the premise does not do justice to them. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Miguel Ferrer are both quite good. Cuba's performance is a good one after a long time. Harvey Keitel is strictly average.

The direction provided by Quentin Tarantino wannabe, Franck Khalfoun is poor and directionless. He tries to borrow from films like 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'Pulp Fiction'. The production values are quite good for a Direct-to-DVD release.

'Wrong Turn at Tahoe' is a turn that you shouldn't take.

No Title Available

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captain Cage Cracker, 29 May 2010
'Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call: New Orleans' is a crime drama that released in 2009 to critical acclaim. It's a loose remake of 'Bad Lieutenant' that released in 1992 and starred Harvey Keitel. Unfortunately the movie struggled to get a wide release in the cinemas due to distributors not being interested for some reason. The movie ended up getting a limited release, which sadly resulted in poor box-office returns.

The movie centres around the life of a corrupt Police Lieutenant (Bad Lieutenant) Terrence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage) who is also a drug addict. The movie shows how he starts to get into trouble as he utilizes untoward methods whilst investigating a murder incident and at the same time struggles with his drug addiction.

Now, where do I start on this surprise gem of a movie, it's basically compulsive viewing. Before watching this, I had my doubts due to Cage's not so great previous efforts combined with his below par performances and the trailer of the movie, which didn't generate any kind of excitement. I guess my low expectations ended up making the movie more than likeable. The movie starts off in a dark setting as we get a taste of McDonagh's erratic behaviour and his corrupt world. It then progresses with a series of disjointed but unpredictable events, which don't make sense at the time as to what direction the movies heading in. During these events we witness a successful combination of humor, a love story, emotional drama and corruption. The movie then has a climax, which ties up all loose ends making sense of all the events in the movie. This is done in about sixty seconds, which I thought was short but sweet.

The movie works brilliantly as you don't know exactly what to expect and look forward to every scene. I was guessing all the way through as to how the movie was going to end and which characters were going to die or survive, exciting isn't it. In one word, the movie was GRIPPING. It mainly contains effective drama with a hint of action.

The flaws are the slow pace at times and the series of erratic events, which may test the patience of the audience. But as I said, the mess makes sense in the end. Just be patient and you'll be rewarded. Another flaw is a couple of scenes where the viewer is shown what McDonagh is experiencing mentally as a result of his drug use, it just got a bit weird for me.

The movie is a Nicolas Cage show from beginning to end as he's nearly in all the scenes. Cage performs superbly after a long time, this is an award winning performance. His charisma and bursts of energy sets the screen on fire. His portrayal of a corrupt, emotionally troubled, drug addict Officer with a sense of humor and a conscience is GREAT. Throughout the movie, you can't make your mind up on Cage's character, do you like him or hate him, is a good guy or a bad guy. This uncertainty is only caused by Cage's bravura performance. Without him the movie is pointless. For me, Cage is an anti-hero with attitude.

Eva Mendes (Frankie Donnenfeld) who plays the role of Cages love interest is first rate. Xzibit (Big Fate) is competent as a gang leader. Val Kilmer (Stevie Pruit) who plays McDonagh's partner doesn't get much screen time, when he does, the performance is poor. The rest of the cast perform well.

The direction provided by Werner Herzog is top notch. He manages to extract a flawless performance from Cage and keeps the audience interested. There are a few scenes in the movie that have been executed with finesse. Hope to see Herzog and Cage team up again, it'll be good for cinema.

The background music score by Mark Isham perfectly compliments the mood of the movie.

The movie succeeds due to a tight script, engrossing drama and an in-form Cage.

'Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call: New Orleans' is one helluva Cage show.

Armored [DVD] [2010]
Armored [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Columbus Short
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.72

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Breaking Armor, 28 May 2010
This review is from: Armored [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
'Armored' is a heist crime-thriller that released in 2009 to mediocre reviews and failed at the box-office.

The movie tells the story of a group of six security gurads who are employed to carry out high-security transport details in an armored vehicle. They then plan a heist to steal money, which they were supposed to safeguard and transport. As they do this things don't go as planned.

The movie starts of in an appetising and promising manner as the audience is introduced to the main characters in a stylish background. It then progresses at a fair pace but is let down by the clichéd and predictable situations. The movie is exciting on a couple of occasions, however not enough to leave a mark. The ending is no surprise either.

Matt Dillon (Mike Cochrane) is the show-stealer as a he produces a competent villainous performance. His presence does grab your attention. Laurence Fishburne (Baines) is sloppy. Skeet Ulrich (Dobbs) is surprisingly convincing. Jean Reno (Quinn) is wasted in the movie. Amaury Nolasco (Palmer) is average. Milo Ventimiglia (Officer Jake Eckehart) is below-average. Now, coming to the main actor, Columbus Short (Tyler "Ty" Hacket), he is totally miscast as the lead character. His acting is alright but he just doesn't have any screen presence or the ability to be a lead actor.

The direction provided by Antal Nimród is strictly formulatic without any surprises. He does a good job with the pace of the movie though.

It's a feature that is ideal to kill some time if you're looking for a straight forward movie with some action.

'Armored' is all style and no substance.

The Spy Next Door [DVD] [2010]
The Spy Next Door [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Jackie Chan
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 4.64

5 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chan Disappoints, 11 May 2010
'The Spy Next Door' is an American comedy with a hint of martial arts. The movie was a moderate success at the box-office, however was universally panned by critics.

The movie tells the story of Bob Ho (Jackie Chan), a secret CIA agent who decides to leave the job to settle down with his girlfriend, Gillian (Amber Valletta) who is also his next-door neighbor. In order to settle down, Bob must win over Giliian's unimpressed kids, Farren, Ian and Nora (Madeline Carroll, Will Shadley and Alina Foley) whilst fighting against his archenemy, Poldark (Magnús Örn Scheving).

The movie has a good pace and is light-hearted, however is clichéd, predictable and just not funny. It's simply an unsuccessful mish-mash of the mediocre 'Pacifier' starring Vin Diesel and the entertaining actioner, 'True Lies' starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie is not exciting and the comic moments are sadly out of date.

It's sad to see Jackie Chan taking a backwards step after the gripping 'Shinjuku Incident', which managed to change his image to serious. Chan performs poorly and looks uncomfortable, not your normal JC entertainer. The rest of the cast also perform badly.

The direction provided by Brian Levant is awful.

The movie is a clean pass-time for kids though.

'The Spy Next Door' for me was a silly affair.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2010 11:11 AM BST

From Paris With Love [DVD] [2010]
From Paris With Love [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ John Travolta
Price: 2.72

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Travolta is the Man, 7 May 2010
'From Paris with Love' is an action movie filmed in France. The movie released in 2010 to mixed reviews and was a box office failure.

The movie tells the story of James Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), a low level CIA operative who teams up with his new partner, special agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta). They both then attempt to hunt down terrorists.

The movie is basically 1 hour 28 minutes of mindless but impressive action with a light love story angle and a hint of humor. The movie is saved by a good twist in the latter half (perfect timing as I was losing interest) and the wisecracking John Travolta. The ending, although predictable, is alright.

Travolta is annoying at the start, but is amusing and you get used to him. Its his humorous one-liners that does the trick. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is fair and suits the role. The timing between Travolta and Meyers works. Kasia Smutniak who enacts the role of Reese's girlfriend performs very well.

The direction provided by Pierre Morel who directed the hit movie, 'Taken' is perfect for the premise.

On watching the trailer of the movie, I thought this was going to be disaster. Everything from Travolta's bald look to the title of the movie just seemed not right. I've now seen the movie, it's not great nor is it a disaster. The film's a run of the mill action feature, which passed my time. It's one of those ones you'll either like or hate.

The movie has a few quotes that were entertaining. In one scene Travolta explains his catchphrase, "Wax on and wax off" to Meyers. The quote is as follows:

Meyers: "Wax on and Wax off?"
Travolta: "Now that's code."

Meyers: "Code?"
Travolta: "When Wax is on, he's gonna take you off."

From Paris with love or hate, you decide.

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