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Ben (Scotland)

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The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-ray + UV Copy) [2012] [Region Free]
The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-ray + UV Copy) [2012] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Christian Bale
Price: 7.00

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Knight Rises but then starts to dip the more you think about it..., 29 Aug 2013
The Dark Knight Rises was a film that I anticipated ever since the end credits of The Dark Knight.

When the time came that The Dark Knight Rises was to be released, I was ecstatic to say the least. I was first in line on the day of it's release at the IMAX and I was not disappointed. I was thrilled at the spectacle and swept away by it's action and scope.

On my return from the cinema I was reading reviews and could not fathom the bad reception the film was getting. I decided it merited a second viewing and to my surprise, I wasn't as thrilled as I was the first time. I was able to take it in on a second viewing and actually look at it from another point of view, rather than the excited man child I became on my first viewing.

You have to admire the film's scope, vision and the massive technical undertaking but despite this, The Dark Knight Rises but then starts to dip the more you think about it...

I started to notice all the major flaws in the film and the real lack of substance that I was trying so hard not to see.

The main problem I have with the movie is the extreme pacing issues. The film's opening hour or so is a very well thought out, slow build up. However when the pace is cranked up a gear, I couldn't help feeling that the film was in too much of a rush to squeeze everything in. It doesn't settle on any plot point to let the film breathe before rushing ahead of itself to get to the next spectacle. On a first viewing you can't help but get swept up by it but on return it starts to crack. For instance, the stadium scene was a major focus point of the movie but it was over before I felt it had even started. It leaves you breathless but not in a good way. Important struggles, major plot points and especially deaths were too quick, on the verge of being comical, and character arches were crowbarred in to the point where characters were being referenced and I had no idea what their significance to the film were.

The plot holes and logical flaws are endless in the movie, granted it is a comic book movie so it doesn't have to be totally realistic but some of the issues I have are just common sense. For instance - spoiler alert - sending an entire police force underground is a severe lack of forethought and quite frankly a convenient plot device for the writer to get to the conclusion that he wanted. This then ties in with some editing choices that I started to notice on repeat viewings. There had obviously been some structural issues with the plot which had to be solved in the edit, therefore some scenes feel completely out of place in terms of pacing and in terms actual story telling.

To it's credit though there are good points to the movie to balance this wildly spiraling out of control movie.

Batman's character arch from the 1st Batman movie to now is an interesting one, the battered and out of touch hero who has been deserted by his people is so interesting to watch but if they had just spent a little more time developing that idea it would have given the film more depth and interest.

Bane's a great villain, he's menacing and his sheer power and dedication is to be admired and his character is very well thought out. Tom Hardy brings a lot to the table as well and pulls off a good performance despite nearly his entire face being hidden. I enjoyed his part in the movie but in the end it felt a little anti-climactic if I'm honest.

Anne Hathaway is smart and sexy as Catwoman which surprised me. She brings a certain quality to the role and pulls it off better than you would think.

The Blu Ray is good. The IMAX sequences and surround sound are out of this world, really one to show off your home cinema set up.

Overall The Dark Knight Rises is a fairly spectacular piece of filmmaking, which inevitably would not please die hard fans and doesn't quite live up to the hype. It was going to be a hard task to top the previous Dark Knight as the bar was set so high.

I wanted to love this film so much but every time I watch it I can't help but feel a little let down.

It would have been 3 1/2 out of 5 but as Amazon can't rate 1/2 stars it has to be 3/5 disappointingly.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 24, 2014 8:08 PM GMT

Evil Dead [Blu-ray] [2013]
Evil Dead [Blu-ray] [2013]
Dvd ~ Jane Levy
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 11.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Straight to the point horror, 29 Aug 2013
Evil Dead is a remake of the 1981 classic and wastes no time in jumping straight into the action.

A strong opening tells the audience exactly what's to come and then the story begins...

Exposition at its most blatant and unapologetic is demonstrated, within 5 minutes you are told exactly who everyone is in relation to one another and what you need to know about them. Doing this in any other film always feels forced and clunky but it works in Evil Dead, we just don't care about how long they've been friends or the fact that one of them is a high school teacher and thats why he loves old books. It get's all that necessary information out of the way so we can dive into the horror and trust me, once the horror actually starts there's not a second of a breather.

I love the fact that there is a totally legit explanation for the fact that they can't leave the cabin in the woods, it gives such a realistic and morbid tone that is lacking in other horror films. The thinking and logic of it is a simple touch that just puts the audience at ease and allows them to enjoy the film rather than poke holes in the plot like - "Why don't they just leave?"

The whole film is just a rollercoaster of gore and horror and I loved every second of it. It builds and builds at an incredible rate and the climax is a spectacular, old fashioned fight for survival. An absolute bloodbath is a completely satisfying end to a film that pulls no punches.

As far as comparing it to the original, I don't think too much of a comparison can be made. It's a modern take on an old film by a new generation of film makers, they make their own version and don't pander too much to try and "remake" the original as such. I like the idea that it can exist in a parallel universe with the original, this is talked about a lot by the original film makers. There are throw backs to the original for the die hard fans but it doesn't feel crowbarred in just to please the fans.

The blu ray is good, all the gory fun is spectacular in high definition and the surround sound is a treat with all the splatters and atmosphere.

Evil Dead will leave you speechless and hopefully it will make you laugh, cringe and maybe throw up?

A very strong horror film that doesn't take itself too seriously but delivers a gut punch that has been missing from most of todays horror.


The Conjuring [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
The Conjuring [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Vera Farmiga
Price: 10.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Conjuring, 16 Aug 2013
As an avid horror fan, I always struggle to find a new horror that will scare me as much as when I was a young viewer.

The Conjuring didn't quite deliver on this but it did turn out to be a fun, tense and quite horrifying tale from an interesting director - James Wan.

What the film lacks in originality is compensated by it's extremely effective tension throughout. There aren't many cheap jump scares which is refreshing in modern horror and it uses the camera to direct our attention away from what is actually happening or is about to happen. There were moments that I couldn't help myself from reaching to cover my eyes which is always a good sign.

Director James Wan does a good job in building the tension and utilizes some interesting scares to terrify and torture the audience out of their minds, he milks each and every moment for all it's worth and it actually feels very well paced.

As far as it being based on true events, I couldn't care less. A little gimicky and old fashioned but nonetheless it's as believable as a horror film like this can be. The logic of the film is there which is solid ground to build on for the director that benefits the audience when watching. The audience constantly asks questions that are immediately answered, the writer and director are always one step ahead of the audience which is the way it should be.

The performances are quite good and the children in the movie do well considering. There aren't many moments of horror from the cast rather than the story which is a relief.

The climax is somewhat satisfying but ends slightly abruptly, I would have liked a little more of a breather but it's true with comedy and horror that when the punchline comes, you get out as fast as possible. Which James Wan does so credit to him.

The Conjuring, when watched in the right circumstances, will leave you breathless and reaching for the pillows to cover your eyes.

Well worth a watch, but in the end, nothing really new in the genre. Nonetheless, a very solid horror film for a stormy night with a decent surround sound set-up.


The Purge [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
The Purge [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Lena Headey
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: 9.18

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall? Not great but entertaining nonetheless, 28 July 2013
The Purge has an exciting premise and delivers some extremely effective tension in the opening half hour of the film.

Ethan Hawke is good as always, his association with this new wave of horror films, such as Sinister, has given him a new lease of life.

The stakes are high and the audience know what is coming. This anticipation is exploited by director James DeMonaco as the tension is cranked up slowly, gear by gear.

It does transform into your typical home invasion movie but at the end of the day it's fun and I wasn't expecting much more. To look for a deeper message or a more philosophical angle in this type of horror film is a bit of a lost cause I'm afraid.

In the hands of another writer this film could have been something more but I don't like to think about what could have been, just what actually is. It has an extremely strong opening with an act two that starts to dip slightly and ends with a somewhat satisfying climax?

If you go into The Purge with expectations of being entertained and to see some bad ass story telling then The Purge is for you.

For the premise and the strong directing I would give 5 stars, however for the bumpy script and a story that isn't exactly fresh enough, I have to deduct a star.

Mama (Blu-ray + UV Copy) [Region Free]
Mama (Blu-ray + UV Copy) [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Jessica Chastain
Price: 8.00

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 19 Mar 2013
Mama is a simple but effective film.

Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years.... but how alone were they?

Director Andrés Muschietti does a solid job in building the tension throughout the film. With a slow pace, it gradually picks up speed as the story goes on until the climax where all is revealed. Although it has some predictability in terms of scares, some of the more subtle scares are very chilling and really catch you unawares.

The fact that we are not introduced to Mama until the last act makes for an uneasy sense of dread that is ever present, we are building up the idea of what this creature could be and the pay-off is relatively satisfying. Towards the finale of the film it does turn into a more Guillermo Del Toro style fantasy, which if you are into that sort of thing is great but if not then you may feel it's a little too out of your comfort zone.

A relatively strong performance from Jessica Chastain, she holds the film's emotion and is fairly relatable as a character. She plays alongside a forgettable Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who, in my opinion, wasn't anything special, average at best. Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nélisse do well for their age as the two young girls who were left alone in the forest, believable performances from two young actors with a lot of potential.

Some chilling moments and a few jumps for good measure makes Mama a very enjoyable film.

Fun, simple but effective horror. Not particularly fresh but feels new enough to be enjoyable.


Seven Psychopaths [Blu-ray]
Seven Psychopaths [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Colin Farrell
Price: 5.90

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual little film, 18 Feb 2013
A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster's beloved Shih Tzu.

With a great cast and a fresh script, Martin McDonagh returns from Bruges with Seven Psychopaths.

This film probably isn't for everyone. It isn't a comedy per say but it really is a funny film. An enjoyable mixture of black comedy with elements of a thriller and a good drama. If you have seen In Bruges then you will know what to expect.

The cast play the humour to perfection. Stand out performances from the likes of Christopher Walken and Colin Farrell.

The story is unique and full of twists and turns that you do not expect.

Martin McDonagh's direction is very mature and paced, he manages to keeps you hooked straight from the start with some shocking scenes that are complimented by the laugh out loud moments. Seemingly unrelatable characters become lovable psychopaths.

You will be shocked, you will be thrilled, you will laugh, you will cry and then you will laugh a little more.

Seven Psychopaths deserves 7 out of 10.

The Grinch [Blu-ray][Region Free]
The Grinch [Blu-ray][Region Free]
Dvd ~ Jim Carrey
Price: 6.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Blu-ray fun, 9 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wasn't sure whether or not to upgrade my DVD copy of The Grinch and buy the Blu-ray but it is definitely a purchase worth making.

The film is very soft and cloudy anyway but the Blu-ray helps make it all sharper and clearer. The audio and soundtrack are perfectly crisp. When comparing this to the DVD, it is a vast improvement. Not one to fully show off the quality of your Blu-ray set up but if you are a lover of the film then it is great to have the film looking so good. You can really appreciated the set design and prosthetics in all their HD glory.

What can be said for The Grinch, if you have not seen it then I wholeheartedly recommend it. It is a fantastically funny film that I always go back to every christmas. Jim Carrey is just outstanding as The Grinch, he performs with such energy and confidence that it is hard not to laugh out loud when watching him in full stride.

Well worth the money.


Hero (Blu-ray)
Hero (Blu-ray)
Dvd ~ Jet Li
Price: 5.60

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not 100% sure. A mixed bag., 4 Dec 2012
This review is from: Hero (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
Unfortunately, Hero didn't leave me speechless.

The quality of the blu ray is far from the best I have seen. Occasionally sharp and sometimes blurry, it's really a mixed bag. This is definitely not one to show off the superiority of the blu ray format.
In parts it can look great, with wonderful colours and sharp images. On the other hand, it can be very blurry and not up to scratch. I have not seen the quality of the DVD so cannot compare but I imagine in certain sections it would be a vast improvement. I never watch films with an English over-dub but if you are one that has an aversion to subtitles then the audio is a bit of a let down, however if you watch the original chinese audio then it is very good.

The film itself is, similar to the quality, a mixed bag.

Hero boasts a very good cast, with the likes of Jet Li, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung and Zhang Ziyi. It has a very competant director and producer at the helm but left me fairly luke warm. It feels like it is trying to be bigger than it is. Large emotional and dramatic scenes that should have been more touching than they were. Plot lines that are cast aside make you feel like you have wasted your time.

The action sequences are good but not the best I've seen. Don't get me wrong, it has some spectacular coreography but lacks excitement that other films of the genre have, such as Ip man or Fearless.

If you are a fan of asian cinema and martial arts films such as crouching tiger, hidden dragon then I'm sure you will feel the same as me. You will enjoy it but it will not completely blow you away. For new comers to the genre, it could be a nice way to break you in.

Overall, 3/5 stars seems fair. Not bad but not great either.

Sinister [Blu-ray]
Sinister [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Ethan Hawke
Price: 6.00

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sinister, 31 Oct 2012
This review is from: Sinister [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Finally a horror film that packs a punch and delivers on the hype.

Sinister is a very unsettling, disturbing and scary film.

From the very opening shot you know this film is going to be a ride. I found certain sequences in the movie extremely disturbing and some images were burned onto my subconscious memory long after the film had finished. This is a true horror film in the sense that there are a few jump scares but it does not rely on them which is refreshing and it is not a total gore-fest. It balances the two very well and delivers a very tense atmosphere with some harrowing images.

Ethan Hawke is good, he carries the film confidently as he delivers a very convincing performance. I happily watched him for the entire duration of the film and didn't find myself taken out of the film due to bad acting, which is rare in horror films nowadays.

The Blu Ray is good. Sharp images and some great moments for the surround sound. Not much to add.

This film successfully mixes the POV "Found Footage" style horror with the traditional narrative. Fans of the found footage genre will enjoy this but more importantly those who aren't fans of the genre might find this style works better for them as it blends both styles effectively.

I regard myself as a very hardened horror viewer and I am not easily scared...
When I got home after the cinema, I was spooked. I found myself closing my blinds and turning on all the lights.

Fresh horror, not exactly breaking new ground but it's a welcome change.
Not a particularly pleasant viewing, Sinister accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do.

Good, solid horror film.

Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 14, 2013 12:03 AM GMT

American Dad! Volume 1-7 [DVD]
American Dad! Volume 1-7 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Seth MacFarlane
Offered by BlueBarrelSurf
Price: 46.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection, 21 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Seth Macfarlane's American Dad is a fantastic show, a different style to Family Guy but with similar humour.

Controversial comedy at times but I think that is what makes American Dad so funny and popular.

The collection is great, I am always coming across new episodes that I haven't seen on Television. You will be laughing for days!

If you are a fan of American Dad you should buy this collection. If you are a fan of Family Guy but haven't seen any American Dad, you will probably enjoy this but maybe hold back and not buy the full collection.

Great box set. The most complete so far with some great extras. Will keep you viewing for hours.


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