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Cabin Fever [DVD] [2003]
Cabin Fever [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Jordan Ladd
Price: £1.99

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intentional or Not?, 30 Jun 2004
This review is from: Cabin Fever [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
An interesting film- regardless of whether you believe it's a satirical masterpiece or not. It holds your attention and I defy anyone to be bored.
The plot is simple enough - a group of teenies hire a cabin in the woods for a wild weekend that turns into a nightmare when one of them contracts a weird flesh-eating virus.
The characters willingness to forget all loyalties to love or friendship or decency in the name of self-preservation is refreshingly realistic.You feel no love for them and thus don't care when they meet their fate.
There's a great cast of odd quirky characters- the easy-going local deputy, the weed-smoking camper, they turn the table on the 'Deliverance' style 'Yokel=bad-guy' stereotype. In fact it's the visitors who're the 'bad-guys' in many respects.
It starts out serious enough, gets sillier, until the ending which is like a set of out-takes. There's no real structure to the plot but does it need one?
There's a lot of black humour and a few gruesome bits (don't eat lasagne whilst watching). It's a good laugh and not to be taken seriously.
There's echoes of other 'Horror Classics':
1/ Evil Dead - the cabin in the woods......
2/ The ending has echoes of 'The Night of the Living Dead'.
3/ H.P. Lovecraft's 'Colour out of Space' - the polluted water.
Personally I think it does use the conventions of the genre and subverts them to comic effect.
Whether you agree is up to you.

64 Zoo Lane [1999] [DVD]
64 Zoo Lane [1999] [DVD]
Dvd ~ 64 Zoo Lane

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "More, more!", 30 Jun 2004
This review is from: 64 Zoo Lane [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD with the first 8 episodes from this Childrens' TV gem is long overdue (they're now up to programme no.52). It's the brainchild of An Vrombaut and very successful it has been too!
Lucy is a little girl who lives next door to a Zoo. The animals take it in turns to tell her a bedtime story. The stories are on animals from all over the world.
The episodes are:
Nelson the Elephant
Joey the Kangaroo (my favorite)
Henrietta the Hairy Hippo
Zed the Zebra
Kevin the Crocodile
Snowbert the Polar Bear
Giggles and Tickles
Adam the Armadillo
The animation is bright and colourful with a distinctive style all it's own.
The stories exhibit a great charm, with subtle humour (for adults) and with simple honest themes of friendship, consideration and achievement for example.
The programme really grows on you.
You'll soon learn to have your favorites (mine is Joey: "Give him a chance! Give him a chance!"). My wife likes Kevin (a bit too wimpy for me).
My 2 year old is glued to the screen and shouts "More, more!" after each episode.
The theme tune too is very catchy - learn it by heart and hum it all day!

Boggy Creek 2: the Legend Continues [DVD]
Boggy Creek 2: the Legend Continues [DVD]
Price: £3.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Swampy Gem despite the score., 30 Jun 2004
This is a spin off from the slightly better Boggy Creek I, which was a docu-drama. This is straightforward fiction but still tries to act 'real'.
A group of scientists go into the wilds to search for a mythical 'beast man' but bite off more than they can chew.
It's a one-man tour-de-force from Charles B. Pierce who basically does everything on the film - he even has members of his family in other key roles.
It starts off as an interesting travelogue cum-wildlife programme but develops into a farce, despite the 'message' at the end (that we should all 'live and let live')
It's good to see the small-town backwater life that can't have been 'glammed-up' with such a small budget. In fact a lot of the 'actors' seem like they've been roped-in for the occasional one-liners.
From the initial 'mysterious dead deer in the road' to a rabid Alsatian dog attack you know you're in for a treat.
Made in 1985 it's great to see the perms and dodgy cut-off jeans making such a statement.
Having said all that there ARE some good bits of tension (mainly culled from other films ('Alien' and 'Jaws' especially).
Finally mention should be made to the DVD cover which is the biggest bit of hype ever and deserves an Oscar (if they did them).

The Doorman [DVD]
The Doorman [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dominiquie Vandenberg
Offered by Satsumo
Price: £0.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Van Damme meets Taxi Driver., 30 Jun 2004
This review is from: The Doorman [DVD] (DVD)
An ex-soldier of fortune (Andre Siegel) tries to live 'normally' as a bouncer in a nightclub, but his past haunts him- leading to an explosive ending.
Dominique Vandenberg (Andre) is primarily chosen for his fight skills, but the film is a lot more than a vehicle for this.
The director/writer Jesse Johnson (who's had a wide and varied career) has tried to give it meaning and to a certain extent succeeds.
The music is atmospheric (Sean Murray) and the camerawork suitably murky for a nightclub based film- lots of shadows and light.
Some of the dialogue is corny and Vandenberg's acting is wooden (though considering his character this might be a good thing).
The plot is directionless at times but again mirrors the main protagonist's inner turmoil (or am I making excuses?).
Andre's character is opaque - you gain all emotion from the characters around him. You gain snippets into his life- family & past, but a lot isn't explained - you end up assuming things.
"A man without a plan is not a man at all" as one of his old army buddies says (before he goes off to die in some obscure civil war).
He lives life on a razor's edge. As the film progresses, people begin to want conflicting things from him.....and something has to break.
In the end he sees the light: "It's good to have a goal - a dream", says his ex-girlfriend.
The ending is violent and slightly far fetched but ultimately optimistic.
Not a film for a sunny sunday afternoon.
p.s The DVD itself is of poor quality- the sound is not so good but for the price you can ignore this.

Rashomon [1950] [DVD]
Rashomon [1950] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Toshirô Mifune
Offered by babsbargains *** WORLDWIDE SHIPPING ***
Price: £22.99

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burning down the house., 29 Jun 2004
This review is from: Rashomon [1950] [DVD] (DVD)
An Akira Kurosawa classic.
I've not seen anything this thought provoking or complex for a very long time. I mean - how deep do you want to go?
The framing is superb, the pace sublime, the acting a masterclass. This is a masterpiece!
By now you might have guessed I liked it!
But it won't be to everyone's taste- a low budget, filmed in b&w with subtitles.........
............and you'll need to concentrate too - it's disjointed between narratives and the storyline's not straightforward.
It's a primal tale of right & wrong.
The film portrays 4 versions of the same incident (a rape) that are very different to each other.
the rapist
the raped
the husband
the bystander
Each version is what each person wants to believe - maybe to allay their guilt or conceal a crime.
"men are weak, they decieve themselves"
But who do we believe? There's no way of telling.

Roshomon apparently is a gate that once held out the 'barbarian hordes'. It's where the film begins- and is a ruin. The principal narrators tear chunks off it to make a fire. Mmmm sounds symbolic.
I'm sure people have written books on this. So I won't go on.
Enough to say you couldn't spend your money more wisely.
But then again maybe someone else will put forward a different opinion.....

Death Race 2000 [DVD] [1975] [US Import]
Death Race 2000 [DVD] [1975] [US Import]
Dvd ~ David Carradine
Offered by jayjayandbob
Price: £15.00

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must-see experience., 28 Jun 2004
This is a Roger Corman epic made with the usual low budget ($300k when other films at the time were costing $5 million).
Melodramatic and kitsch: almost a farce at times and overlooking reality the whole of the way through..
But it's a brilliant and highly intelligent film all the same.
With great 70's music, a bit of titillation and a smattering of gore- there's no pussy-footing around.

It's all done with the blackest of black humour: there's the usual message about too much violence in society and at times it's almost anti-American in the send-up of American institutions The presenters are larger than life and the appearance of "Mr President in his Summer Palace in Peking" is inspirational.
In this alternative future, most of the world is an American totalitarian state where the real power is with the secret police. The race is there to placate the population. The drivers are adored by the public but the drivers, far from being important are expendable and replaceable. Shades of Rollerball but done with a wry smile.
The snippets of info on the future are just enough to keep you wondering and there's even hints of a American-European rift (the French Airforce mention is especially funny).
The film sets up a fast pace from the off with an intro to the drivers & their cars:
Calamity Jane
Matilda the Hun
Machine gun Joe (Sylvester Stallone is a natural in only his 2nd feature film).
Frankenstein (David Carradine)
Good DVD extras too

The 13th Warrior [DVD] [1999]
The 13th Warrior [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Antonio Banderas
Price: £3.99

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good adventure epic., 28 Jun 2004
This is not the best known film but has a great pedigree: from a book by Michael Crichton (Eaters of the dead), directed by 'Die Hard's John McTiernan (and it shows) with a great cast of all the Nordic and Arabic-looking actors trawled from around the world, this is a fast-paced adventure\historical\fantasy\horror\supernatural thriller (take your pick!).
Anything goes really- Hey!, you can learn a new language in 5 mins, fight a huge army of 100's of madmen with a party of 13 mercenaries and creep into their lair undetected. It's easy. This suspension of belief for the purposes of moving the story along works fine though. Just sit back and enjoy.
Set in 922 AD it follows the fortunes of an Arab poet banished into the midst of the Norselands. He gets mixed up with a band of warriors on a mission to save a village. It's basically a rip off of 'The Seven Samurai'/'Magnificent Seven'. But there's still enough in it that's 'different'.
The baddies are quite good- weird Earth-Mother worshipping troglodytes. Maybe more should have been done with them- they're very menacing at times.
There are a few other interesting sub-plots too involving the clash of cultures (the uncouth Northerners vs. the cultured muslims) and the Norsemen's unique outlook on life.
Finally I'd like to mention the beautiful landscapes in the film - it was shot in Canada's British Columbia. Incredibly beautiful.
One disappointment is that there are no DVD extras - a bit lax really with other films adding so much.

Rugby World Cup - Official Review 2003 - England [DVD]
Rugby World Cup - Official Review 2003 - England [DVD]
Dvd ~ 2003 Rugby World Cup
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.29

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good attempt but nothing more., 28 Jun 2004
This is more a souvenir than anything else. It's the 'right-on' version with glitzy music and clips sharply edited.
The problem lies with trying to pack so much in it. Only the extended highlights of the games deemed 'exciting' are featured. The rest are assigned a few seconds for tries and conversions.
Even so, you forget how good some of the games were.
At the end of the day though it's a reasonable attempt and quite watcheable.
You'll need to get the final separately.

Mr Men - The Complete Original Series One [DVD] [2003]
Mr Men - The Complete Original Series One [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Mister Men
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £9.92

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plain & Simple.......but fun!, 11 Jun 2004
Just the right size for kids.
13 episodes whizz by over an hour and a half. All episodes compact and simple for kids. Bright colours and easily recognisable shapes. Even if they don't understand the stories it holds their attention.
Very similar to the books too, but each with their own charm.
Arthur Lowe's voice is amazing- very versatile and never boring.
I'm sure you'll find your favorites: the stories range for the basic moralistic (Mr. Happy) to the complex self-referential (Mr. Small).
features (in order):
Mr. Happy
Mr. Silly
Mr. Jelly
Mr. Snow
Mr. Bounce
Mr..erm ummm... oh yeah Mr. Forgetful
Mr. Funny
Mr. Bump
Mr. Tickle
Mr. Small
Mr. Messy
Mr. Greedy
Mr. Sneeze
The music as well is very compelling: I was humming the tune for hours......

Shogun Warrior [1991] [DVD]
Shogun Warrior [1991] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shô Kosugi
Price: £12.89

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling pantomime., 11 Jun 2004
This review is from: Shogun Warrior [1991] [DVD] (DVD)
I'd like to say at the outset that I enjoyed this film. Maybe not the way the filmmakers intended but it DID make an impression.......
The film starts well:
1/ interesting plot (formulaic but with a few twists and turns nonetheless),
2/ good fight sequences (there's a fight-a-minute the whole way through),
3/ purposeful plot (you know where it's going).
It's basically the TV series 'Shogun' meets 'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad'. I checked on IMDB and it seems the director was responsible for the latter! This is no suprise........
It moves from Japanese 'Shogun' movie, to 'Buckaneering High Seas Adventure' then to 'The Three Musketeers' and finally 'The Thief of Bagdad'. As a result we have at one point a Medieval Knight fighting a Samurai in a joust!!
It's fairly low budget so there isn't a cast of millions let's just say. This becomes evident in the battle and crowd scenes.
The main character Sho Kosugi is great as the Samurai Mayeda. He's credited with a host of Martial Arts films & it shows. Christopher Lee has maybe 5 lines but disappears. The word 'cameo' is of significance here. This is unfortunate as he has prominent billing on the cover.

The turning point come with the introduction of David Essex. The film descends into a directionless pantomime farce. It actually tries to mix a bit of romance and even comedy in! I'm just grateful there wasn't a comic monkey scene......
......although the scene where Mayeda uses his 'supernatural' Samurai powers to make his sword smoke is just as bad.
It's like they tried to please everyone and ended flat on their faces.
But it's inoffensive and good natured.
The ending is particularly good as all the threads need tying. How they do this is beyond belief.

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