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Phill (New Zealand)

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Death Proof (Two-Disc Edition) [DVD]
Death Proof (Two-Disc Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kurt Russell
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.15

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Emperor's New Clothes, 11 Jan. 2009
Quentin Tarantino made two of the best films in the early nineties with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction producing fresh and insightful, 'slightly plageurising' takes on films and filmmaking. He created tradremark writing and filmmaking techniques and, in the process influenced scores of budding filmmakers who most, unfortunately, tried to write and make films just like the man himself. For a while, many of the films and screenplays produced or doing the production house circuits had the over-the-top bullish, flippant, antagonistic hallmarks of QT. However, nobody like a rip off and whilst may people have tried to emulate QT, most have failed.

It's a shame then, that one of the most interesting and fresh writers and directors has become such a lame and shoddy rip off of himself. Deathproof seems self concious and desperate in it's attempt to become a QT film. It smacks of self indulgence. It fails on three levels. The story itself is poor and anyone but QT would never have managed to get this poor 'first draft' of a narrative financed - it seems his name is enough to still get producers into an orgiastic frenzy. Secondly, the acting, over-the-top and desperately trying to rip of Samual Jackson is third rate (- Kurt Russel is not included in this - he is actually extremely good and pushes his flimsy part into the professional realm he is capable of) Zoe Bell, brought in for the film because of her stunt work, grimmaces and goons her way through her parts and shows that QT has no idea of what makes good acting. The rest of the 'professional' actors are weak and bring nothing of their own 'talents' to the fore, they are simply happy to be yet another QT caricature of his previous films. The third area where this film fails is QT's intentions - he wants to make the best ever car chase movie - wow - great - good for him - so what? Yeah it's a good chase and shows the fact that a film production crew with all the money and technology of the early 2000s can make a better car chase scene than the shoe-string budget filmmakers of thirty to forty years ago. Not really much of a contest is there. QT has shown that he is more than capable of making a far superior car chase scene with all the money and technology available to him. The problem is that whilst he is obviously sitting there masturbating to the fact that he has 'won', he has so obviously made a poor and unremarkable film leading up to the chase scene, which for all the high speed chasing seems nothing less than ordinary for it. By the way, the intial premise for the chase scene fails as well - the female driver should have slowly put her car brakes on and slowed down and stopped and got the Zoe character back into the car - there was ample time to be able to do this and is unconvincing as a plot device.

I think that QT really needs to get a grip of himself. He's surrounded himself with sycophantic 'yes men' who really need to let him know that he is fast becoming a very poor cartoon of his former glory. Lay off the weed Quentin, your films are fastly becoming pathetic and your star's starting to lose it's shine.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 1, 2013 5:34 PM GMT

Under the Iron Sea
Under the Iron Sea
Price: £2.98

6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars oh well the little boys tried hard didn't they?, 29 May 2006
This review is from: Under the Iron Sea (Audio CD)
When will the mass public learn?

Once again the record companies hold up another band to tell the public that these guys are great and you should/will listen to them. Buy enough radio air time and get day time radio presenters to promote them through innocuous bribary and you have yourselves a fantastic group. Oh by the way - the group also needs to play music that is simple, lyrically bland and can apparently touch people deep down in their hearts. Sorry but Keane are about as shallow as a puddle. Under the Iron Sea is yet another example of how a band is unfairly given the limelight and the public is forced to like them. Come on - use your own brains for once - Keane are Ok but they are nothing special - certainly they don't deserve this kind of special treatment.

What do you expect - the album's alright - but they are hardly masters of music and don't display anything here that hasn't already been done many times before (and also better).
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2011 11:34 AM GMT

Selected Ambient Works 85-92
Selected Ambient Works 85-92
Offered by westworld-
Price: £20.00

4 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ambient with a rickety zimmer frame, 28 May 2006
I've only recently stumbled into the Ambient/Electronica genre after collecting Global Communication's 76:14, Aphex Twin's 26 mixes for Cash, Board's of Canada and Four Tet's Everything Ecstatic to name a few. I've been reading up on a lot of the masters of this genre to try and find out where to go next and this album has had one of the best reviews out of everyhting I've read about the 'Twin. Maybe it's just because I'm approaching it from the other side of his work - knowing what it's become but this album just sounded a bit embarressing if I'm honest. There were some excellent touches which alluded to what may come in future work but on the whole I felt as if I was at some cheesy post rave party in the 90s. Luckily I managed to get this out from the local library so I haven't had to buy it - I think I would have been really dissapointed. I think that the best thing that this record can prove to a listener hearing it for the first time with the knowledge of what Aphex Twin has become is that he started off very mundane and progressed to being brilliant - surely something positive to come away with. On the whole - if you didn't know who this was when you first heard it you would instantly dismiss it as being almost laughable. I think most people would only pay attention when they knew who it was and then would try to claim it as good to try and look cool.

May have been boundary pushing when it first came out - it now sounds incredibly dated
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2016 12:26 AM BST

Which Lie Did I Tell?
Which Lie Did I Tell?
by William Goldman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good place to start, 23 May 2006
This review is from: Which Lie Did I Tell? (Paperback)
I am reading this book for the second time at the moment. I read it first before going to university to study film, part of which was doing a screenwriting course. To begin with this is a valuable tool in understanding not only screenwriting but also story telling, structure and narrative devices. It is written in a conversational manner and offers information, ideas and processes in a way that is easy to understand. It is highly recommended for someone who knows absolutely nothing about screenwriting but desperately wants somewhere to start.

As mentioned earlier, this is my second time around. I'm currently writing my first 'proper' screenplay and felt that I should revise everything that I know and have been taught before putting a single letter down on paper. So I pick up this book remembering that it was a very good read before. What I found was that my tastes have changed and that I find it hard to read the book in the context it has been written. I'm not a fan of Hollywood or the (what I feel) mediocre films that they make. I'm a fan of Independant cinema and found it very difficult to read about his problems with films like 'Maverick' which to me isn't a film in the sense of what I think a film should be. Sorry but if I was going into songwriting I wouldn't read a book by the person who wrote the Spice Girls' songs - know what I mean? Unfortunatley (and sadly) Goldman makes me feel that whilst he has a very good grasp of narrative structure he is on a different planet to me as far as screenwriting goes.

But that is the only (real) gripe - my personal taste of subject matter. What Goldman does do, which is again useful even the second time round, is provide excellent reminders to the initiated screenwriter - he gets you to think about different aspects of the basic levels of screenwriting which may be passed by at a higher level.

In all - a definite must for anyone who knows nothing about screenwriting. An invaluable tool for the initiated. A good gossipy read for fans of the films and style that Goldman writes. It's a three star for me because of the subject matter but if you're more into Bruckheimer than Fellini then you won't have a problem with this. One thing for sure - his writing style will mean that all facts will easily find their way into your head - incidently if I can only say one last thing on this book - reading it for the second time I realised that a lot of the points he made subtly influenced my earlier writing and that is the work of a good informative book.

Free The Bees
Free The Bees
Price: £2.58

1 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Erm....?, 2 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Free The Bees (Audio CD)
Hmmm, not really sure if I've been listening to the same album as everyone else who's reviewed. I was (and still am) a huge fan of Sunshine Hit Me - I think it's a very clever and beautiful album verging on experimental and due to the history of how it was made, very intuitive. Which is why I was so shocked and disappointed when I got this one. What the hell is it? I know that they are meant to be reflecting the sounds of the sixties, but whereas Sunshine Hit Me sounded like a homage and progression of those sounds, Free the Bees sounds like a very poor rip off - it's funny - they've been tourig with Oasis lately...
The album Sunshine Hit Me finished with the feeling that the Bees could go in any direction that they liked and they would have an audience for them, it's just such a shame that they've plumped for such easy, unimaginative and boring music. Wasted.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 21, 2012 10:31 AM GMT

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