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D. Neill (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

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Spider [DVD] (2002)
Spider [DVD] (2002)
Dvd ~ Ralph Fiennes
Price: £5.99

7 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg's Worst, 25 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Spider [DVD] (2002) (DVD)
This is unlike anything Cronenberg has done before or since. And not in a good way.
It is a dull cliche-ridden film that depicts the life of a disturbed man by showing him lying in bed or wandering about the street while heavy-handed flashback sequences show us his 'troubled' past- his dad was quite angry, apparently. The depiction of life in 'an english town' is entirely uncinematic and unoriginal- grey streets, old pubs, women who all say 'Blimey!' Cronenberg has done adaptations before: books, comics, remakes etc., but whereas A History of Violence, Crash, The Fly and Naked Lunch are visually remarkable, the imagery of Spider is painfully weak. The 'TWIST' which perhaps worked in the novel (though i have not read it and am not planning on doing so) is so poorly plotted that you will either see it coming from the very beginning and think 'so what?', or you'll have switched off before it even gets that far.

If you're a Cronenberg fan just rewatch Shivers instead. Or The Brood. Or Scanners. Or...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 4, 2016 3:25 PM BST

100 European Horror Films (Screen Guides)
100 European Horror Films (Screen Guides)
by Steven Jay Schneider
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best in the series, 21 July 2009
I had only seen about ten of the films in this book but wanted to get a lot more horror films so i got this as a guide. The reviews, by a range of authors including critic Kim Newman are excellent and i was able to pick the films that sounded most appealing and find most of them on dvd on amazon.

Out of the three i've read in the series (100 american independent films, 100 soundtracks and this) this one is the best and most consistently absorbing.

Dark Star - [DVD] [1974]
Dark Star - [DVD] [1974]
Dvd ~ Brian Narelle

3 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars unwatchable, 21 July 2009
This review is from: Dark Star - [DVD] [1974] (DVD)
I've recently been getting into Carpenter's films (such as the thing, which is excellent) and i'm a big sci-fi fan, so i thought i would enjoy this low budget spoof/comedy.
I had to turn it off about 45 minutes in when the giant beach ball with claws was bouncing on a man's head trying to kill him in an elevator shaft. Sounds funny, but it was just very boring.

I was watching it alone though, so it might be more entertaining with friends and lots of beers. The two stars rating is to allow for this, otherwise it would have one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 19, 2010 4:38 PM GMT

100 Modern Soundtracks (Screen Guides)
100 Modern Soundtracks (Screen Guides)
by Philip Brophy
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars too stuffy, 21 July 2009
This is the third in the series that i have bought (after 100 european horrors and 100 american independent films). Unfortunately whereas those two are extremely readable and useful, this 100 soundtracks book doesn't live up to them. There a two main problems:
first the style, as mentioned in the other review is much too stuffy and needlessly academic in tone. It seems the author is showing off his knowledge rather than writing a good guide on the subject.
secondly, whereas the other two books refer to certain 'genres' and as such are much more cohesive, the soundtrack book has such a disparate choice of films that its easy to lose interest as it jumps from film to film with little to connect them.

Its interesting enough, and the majority of the films make for good discussion/insight into their sound design, but the other books are far better.

100 American Independent Films (Screen Guides)
100 American Independent Films (Screen Guides)
by Jason Wood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book, 21 Jan. 2009
The best thing about this screen guide is that the author's enthusiasm comes through so strongly that you will want to put it down and go watch the films. Its smart and perceptive while being more of a celebration of american indie cinema than a textbook.
My favourite reviews are for popular films like Mean Streets, Donnie Darko, Blood Simple, and Eraserhead, while the writing on more obscure films will make you want to track down old VHS copies.

on the strength of this book i just ordered BFIs 100 Shakespeare films and may get 100 European Horrors.

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