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Munkyfista (Liverpool, England)

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The Raid [Blu-ray]
The Raid [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Iko Uwais
Price: £8.72

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jackie Chan's violent nephew., 21 Jun. 2012
This review is from: The Raid [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I'm not going to bother going into the plot to this film because there isn't really that much of it, just enough to create various slightly different scenarios where little Asian folk try to kick each others faces off. If you already know this isn't your thing and you're the type of person who watches action films and gets frustrated by the lack of realism (there's no way he'd still be alive after that fall/you can't perform that kind of surgery on yourself with a toothpick...) then this is probably not going to convert you. It's also not for the sort of person who gets squeamish watching Tampax commercials.

However, if you've ever gotten a vicarious thrill from watching one person head butt another to death then this could be your new favourite movie.

For me the pinnacle of martial arts cinema is earlier Jackie Chan stuff like the Police Story and Project A films, largely because the choreography of the action scenes is faultless and the actors are phenomenal martial artists and stunt men. For me I'll happily place The Raid alongside these movies in my collection for the same reasons.

On top of this it has some genius moments of really tough violence as throats are gouged, heads are crunched and spines are snapped.

If you've never followed Asian action cinema but enjoy big scale Hollywood action films generally (Jason Statham, Van Damme etc), I would still say you should give this film a go and see what the fuss is all about. Then if you like it there's over 30 years of brilliant stuff from this part of the world to catch up on, and if you don't at least you can be pretty safe in the knowledge that this genre is probably not for you.

The Raid is a violent, brilliantly choreographed and dizzyingly fast paced action movie.

The Dead [DVD]
The Dead [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rob Freeman
Price: £3.99

17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic zombie!, 22 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
The first thing you'll notice before reading any of this review is I decided to give this film 5 stars. Now, please bear in mind that this a the rating I, as a hardcore fan of zombie related nonsense, deem appropriate. If you have not grown up on a diet of Fulchi, Romero et al then I'm not sure you will respond to the film in the same way as a sad little fan boy like I. That's not to say you have to be familiar with any of these bodies of work to understand or enjoy this movie, as there are some universal qualities it shares with the best horror films. There are many incredibly well thought out set pieces with a big jumpy pay off at the end. There is the kind of gore that is genuinely flinch inducing. It's well acted out and is played so straight without the slightest hint of a knowing wink or smirk your screaming at the telly for someone to say "Pull my finger" and let of a monstrous fart just to relieve the tension. Which doesn't happen, by the way.

The plot is admittedly insubstantial, guy crashes in the Sahara and wants to get from A to B without becoming a walking corpse. That's it. If you look very closely there is a vaguely political/racial subtext in there somewhere but really what this film is about is sequence after sequence of impending zombie doom. This is something the film makers can pat themselves on the balls for achieving with aplomb.

These are your classic old school slow zombies and they look and move fantastic. The threat here is not of the individual zombie but of the sheer numbers(what is the collective term for zombies?), shown brilliantly in the first few minutes of the film where a guy simply strolls around one of them rather than waste a bullet. The way the zombies start to gradually appear anywhere the main characters settle for more than a few minutes is genuinely intense and creepy. This sets up a brilliant tense tone that permeates the entire movie and is increased by the limited supplies - this is not a gung ho zombie killing film with unlimited bullets and where the characters don't need to eat, drink or sleep. Add to that a brilliant score which uses silence to really up the tension and it becomes claustrophobic and oppressive in equal measure.

The special effects are exactly that, special. As I already mentioned the zombies look fantastic and the dispatching of them is done in a brutal and convincing manner. The use of Africa as a back-drop is also inspired. This does not look in any way shape or form like a low budget work.

So, certainly by modern standards I'd say this is up there with the best of them. It stayed with me after I saw it and made me want to watch it again immediately.

But as I pointed out at the start, I'm a geek.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2011 3:07 PM BST

The Beyond (Beyond Terror) [DVD] [1981]
The Beyond (Beyond Terror) [DVD] [1981]
Dvd ~ Katherine MacColl
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.81

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 star film but this is Vipco version, 6 Jan. 2011
Not going to go into a review of the movie here because I agree with all the positive reviews already posted, but felt the need to clarify I am referring specifically to the item listed on Amazon as "The Beyond (Beyond Terror)" because there are reviews posted here clearly not for this specific product which led to me purchasing it and being a little let down. This doesn't come with any extra features other than a filmography and trailers and is not presented in widescreen. It is the Vipco Screamtime version in different packaging, so it is uncut but there are much better versions out there. Not bad for the price just not good.

Tokyo Fist [DVD]
Tokyo Fist [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shin'ya Tsukamoto
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £6.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cult class, 24 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Tokyo Fist [DVD] (DVD)
If you are already familiar with Shinya Tsukamoto's work (the most notable being Tetsuo Iron Man and Tetsuo 2), you should have a good idea of what to expect from this movie and will not be disappointed. For those unfamiliar with his work he would be best described as an amalgamation of David Lynch, Miike Takashi, Darren Aronofski and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. This goes no where near giving this guy the credit he deserves though as he has such a distictive visual style that is recognisible immediately, a true auteur. Filmed with a minimal budget Tsukamoto uses all the tricks in the book to create a visceral energy that jolts, shocks and amuses in equal measure. This is a film with fantastic surreal flourishes, unusual cinematography and editing that holds true to Tskumoto's dynamic and original visual style. Essentially this is a love triangle but we are also treated to body modification (a running theme for Tskumoto), power struggles and some brilliant and bloody boxing fights. It also has one of my favourite scenes in any movie ever featuring a prolonged scene of a woman puching a man in the face as he grins and giggles like a maniac as his face is slowly turned into a grotesque blackcurrent. Bold, original, funny and violent - if you are a fan of extreme, surreal asian cinema this should be right up your street.

Enter the Void [DVD]
Enter the Void [DVD]
Dvd ~ Natheniel Brown

9 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A pretentious disappointment, 10 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Enter the Void [DVD] (DVD)
I was ecstatic when this film finally did the rounds at indepenent cinemas recently as I am a huge fan of Noe's work with "Seul Contre Tous" and "Irreversible". After the first 20 minutes of this film I could see Noe was doing something really radical and was thinking this could be his best work to date. Then gradually, with each of the remaining 140 minutes my enthusiasm declined at a rapid rate until I was severly bored and restless.

What this film does exceptionally is show a first person portrayal of drug use that is chillingly accurate. It also uses the cinematographic flushes that have made Noe's work so distictive on a new level and creates some astounding and hypnotic visual set pieces.

Unfortunately, it seems to rely far to heavily on the hypnotic potency of these visuals which I genuinely don't think will work on many not actually under the influence of drugs whilst watching the movie. My main gripe with this movie is not it's length, uniformly awful acting or it's complete lack of narrative. All of these are things I have experienced in other films I cherish.

What really alienated me was the complete lack of emotional engagement this film instilled. That was something I was not prepared for after having my blood pressure sent to dangerous levels in Suel Contre Tous and feeling such terror, anguish, sadness and real warmth in Irreversible.

Other than one scene involving a young girl in a car (easily the best actor in the movie) I didn't care about anyone in this movie or feel anything other than how increasingly uncomfortable a cinema seat can become when you're bored beyond belief. I just feel this film has what should be some challenging elements but they are delivered in such an alienating manner it's hard to care at all. I just couldn't wait for this to end and in fairness at least when it did the whole cinema had a good laugh at the final scene, even though I'm not sure that was the desired reaction.

A real disappointment but still, I can't wait to see what Noe does next.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2015 8:31 AM GMT

A Serbian Film [2010] [Blu-Ray]
A Serbian Film [2010] [Blu-Ray]
Dvd ~ Srdjan Spasojevic
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £19.99

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unpleasant yes. Disturbing, not really., 10 Dec. 2010
I think I have to start by clarifying that I'm a pretty big fan of extreme cinema so I was always going to seek this film out. However, I must admit such is the hype around this movie I did start to worry that maybe it would be a little heavy even for my tastes. Luckily my perversity over-rode my reservarions and I dove in feet first and watched the uncut version. I have also since had a thorough look on the BBFC website to see exactly what has been removed from the version available here. Firstly, as long as you hardened to strong, gory "horror" there isn't really much in this film you will lose any sleep over. Yes, it is violent and features some over the top scenes of sexual depravity that are in many ways unmatched by most films. However, tonally the film is much closer to the "Saw" movies or possibly "Inside" in it's hysterical nature than anything I have found genuinely disturbing such as "Salo" or "Irreversible". It is also not quite as good a film as any of the above(well, it is better than the Saw franchise), though that's not to say it is bad. I found the acting fantastic and this has obviously had some proper money spent on it with good, solid special effects. There is also a surprising amount of fun to be had from it's relentlessly hysterical nature and eagerness to offend and shock. Really, I can't help but feel that the BBFC and alot of others have massively over-reacted to this film. Even the most famously "challenging" scene involving the newborn baby is just too obvious a shock tactic to take seriously and almost reminded me something you would see in a Troma movie. In fairness though, as far as I can tell alot of what has been removed will not really impact on the overall experience of the movie one way or the other. If you like you're films nasty give this a go, but don't expect the gruelling slog this has been touted as.

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