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Into The Woods [DVD] [2014]
Into The Woods [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Meryl Streep
Offered by Bartlett's HiFi
Price: £4.25

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Careful What You Wish For, 13 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Into The Woods [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
Four famous fairy tale stories we all heard of as children - Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel - are being retold simultaneously. The stories are intertwined by a Baker and his wife on a quest to break a curse placed on them by a witch preventing them from having children. I love seeing all the fairytale stories being retold as I remember them as a child but also watching them cross paths at the same was fun and clever.

It is beautifully shot, the sets and costumes were great. The songs range from dramatic, hilarious, sadness, the music and singing was fun and doesn't get too distracting and all serve the story. The acting from everyone was amazing: Meryl Streep was funny, scary and emotional as the Witch; James Cordon and Emily Blunt as the Baker and his Wife have great chemistry and make interesting protagonists; Anna Kendrick was great as Cinderella (I don't know why so many think she's miscast) I found her likeable and sweet; Johnny Depp is creepy and funny in his small role as the Big Bad Wolf; Chris Pine is hilarious so is Billy Magnussen as the Princes; Mackenzie Mauzy is cute and emotional as Rapunzel (I thinks she's my new crush, I would've like to have seen more of her); Lilla Crawford and David Huttlestone have great futures ahead of them, perfect as Red and Jack; Tracey Ullman is crazy as Jack's Mother; Christine Baranski, Lucy Punch and Tammy Blanchard are hilarious as wicked Stepmother and Stepsisters.

A lot of people have complained the second half is too dark, probably belonging to another film. But much to my surprise I appreciated the film more for it, as the characters have to face realities of their situation and the consequences of their action. The only real problem I had with the second act was the pacing, parts of dragged a bit while other parts went too fast.

This may be a little dark for younger children as it does deal with a lot of adult themes, a lot are done subtly and most of the violence is handled off-screen, 8 or 9 year olds should be fine and they could learn some good messages from the dark themes. For adults it would be nostalgic to look at their childhood stories taken to adult levels.


True Blood - Season 7 [DVD] [2014]
True Blood - Season 7 [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Alexander Skarsgaard
Price: £10.99

32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fitting end to an amazing show, 27 Aug. 2014
As a result of Governor Burrell and Sarah Newlin’s experiments on vampires, a virus known as Hep-V is affecting vampires worldwide. The residents of Bon Temps are now in danger as a group of sick vampires are infesting the town trying to survive on as much blood as possible. Sookie and her friends must find a way to defend themselves, as well as finding other friends who have kidnapped by the sick vampires while half the town goes rogue and the law into their own hands.

This final season has succeeded in twining the multiple plots together similar to Season 1. The first half of the season is mostly about the action and consequences. The second half is mostly about the characters and their personal arcs. A lot of time is taken to end all the main character’s journeys and bring the whole series full circle.

The finale is very light on the action but makes up for it with emotion, it pulls your heartstrings at just the right moments. Personally I was happy where all the characters ended, sure some could’ve been better but you can’t always get what you want: Sookie, Bill, Eric, Pam and Jessica’s endings were perfect; Jason, Sam and Tara’s stories could’ve been handled a little better but they were still fitting ends to their characters. Everyone else Lafayette, Arlene, Andy etc. end right where they should be.

May not be the most exciting of the seasons but it’s dedication to the characters and giving the audience closure more than makes up for it.


X-Men: The Last Stand [DVD] [2006]
X-Men: The Last Stand [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Hugh Jackman
Offered by The Happy Zombie
Price: £1.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Risky but worthy addition to the X-Men franchise (Spoiler-filled), 17 May 2014
Before I start, I should say this review is very spoiler-heavy. Also I am not a comic-book reader, although I have read about the source material and I have watched the 1992 animated series, which I heard is very faithful to the comic. I should also note that the first film was pretty much my first experience with X-Men, I knew of the comics and the animated series which I didn't start watching until after seeing X-Men: The Last Stand.

While this has flaws, I do not think this is a bad film by any means. The biggest problem I have is that there are too many characters and it should've been longer, so some of them could've benefitted with more screen time. Is that why they didn't involve Nightcrawler?

What saves this film for me is the chances it took, they had to have known a lot of fans would rage against these decisions but they felt were worth taking the risk for.

*****Spoilers*****

It didn't bother me that Cyclops and Xavier were killed by the Phoenix in the first half, not only is this one of the few superhero films with the balls to go to kill off big characters but it also raises the stakes. The Phoenix is a genuine threat to our heroes, whether it's Jean or not, and losing Cyclops and Professor X gives us that danger. The X-Men begin to lose hope and they learn to fight as a team with what they have left and knowing that they could die. I don't recall the Phoenix causing any harm in the animated series (yes I know it's a kids show).

Yes it does kind of suck that Mystique loses her powers and Magneto's abandonment of her is heartbreaking. The scene is successful, not only does it make you feel sorry for a villain but the sight of Rebecca Romijn naked does not detract from it. This moment reminds me of when Bobby's family disowns him for being a mutant in X-Men 2, in this case Magneto disowns Mystique for being human. It does show that prejudice is a two-way street and that it overshadows the love you have.

Rogue taking the cure has annoyed a lot of the fans, I'm not bothered so much because her tragic arc justifies her doing so. The film doesn't set out to tell us that taking the cure was the right thing or wrong thing, it was that they had the right to choose, as she says "It's what I wanted". It should also noted there is an episode in the animated where Rogue was considering getting her powers taken away which she didn't go ahead with. So I praise this film taking that chance with her going through with it. Yes, I know Rogue's not the same tough, kick-ass woman from the comic and animated series and it's kind of underwhelming that she was downgraded to a vulnerable teenage girl. But I do think vulnerable can be just as interesting as strong, by stripping away all the strength we are left with a sympathetic character who is afraid of her own power, she can't touch anyone without causing serious harm to them. They do a great job using the character to portray the tragedy of being a mutant. Just watch the train scene in the first film and try not to feel sorry for this character; every time she was onscreen I just wanted to hug her, even if it killed me. That being said it would still be cool to see badass Rogue in the films, if you watch True Blood then you know that Anna Paquin can play a tough southerner.

Hugh Jackman is awesome as usual, as well as the returning cast Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Romijn, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, James Marsden. Both Ian Mckellen and Halle Berry get the chance to upgrade their performances as Magneto and Storm from the first two films. New to the cast - Kelsey Gramer as Beast (absolute perfect casting), Ellen Page as Shadowcat, Ben Foster as Angel (wasted but great casting), Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut.

The one that steals the show for me is Famke Janssen as Jean Grey/The Phoenix. There's been a lot of complaints the Phoenix saga has been ruined, honestly I didn't know anything about it before seeing the film so as a first-timer I enjoyed this plot. Easily my favourite in the film. It was an interesting look at multiple personalities and how far someone can be pushed to breaking point. It's also a look at consequences of taking regretful actions- Professor X, trying to psychically contain the Phoenix, thinking he's doing the right thing but ends up making it worse. I find that more compelling than having her be possessed by a cosmic force. Famke Janssen doesn't overplay it with shouting or laughing, she plays it with subtlety and successes at being both scary and sympathetic. The final confrontation between Phoenix and Wolverine was very emotional, the decision for Wolverine to kill Jean was very well handled, I'm grateful that The Wolverine shows us what an impact killing Jean has on him. The look of the Phoenix has been questioned like - why not use the fiery eyes and fire-bird? Why black eyes and black veins on her face? Here's an explanation I came up with, which may get contradicted if future sequels decide to revisit it - The fire was the "Light Phoenix" that Jean was in control of, her powers would've evolved whether the beast in her was freed or not. The fire in her is shown when she is being heroic, deflecting the missile and the flood. The fire-bird in the water was probably more of a symbol of her evolving power (presumably from good Jean's subconscious while she was cocooned) which goes with her ending monologue. The black eyes and veins is the "Dark Phoenix". There are subtle fire references notice her eyes go a golden colour before turning black, and her black eyes have a fiery tint in the middle. Also her hair kind of resembles fire, as it seems to have an orange glow and the way it flows.

This is also the first X-Men film to have a full-fledged battle between X-team and the Brotherhood. While it sucks that Mystique, Rogue, Nightcrawler and Cyclops were not involved, it was still an awesome battle sequence.

My favourite scene in the film, probably the whole franchise, is the Grey house sequence - we got Wolverine vs. Juggernaut, Storm vs. Callisto. But Phoenix vs. Professor X as the house rises was epic, had me on the edge of my seat.


Carrie [DVD] [2013]
Carrie [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ ChloŽ Moretz
Price: £5.75

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Adaptation of a Great Book, 9 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Carrie [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I'm a big fan of the Stephen King book. I enjoyed the original 1976 film, which is a classic for a reason however I always thought there was room for improvement. As some of the character development wasn't very well done and the bullying issues isn't as well utilised. This version is nearly exactly the same as the 1974 film even down to it's running time, however I feel the big difference is that it does a better job with it's characters and bullying issues.

Chloe Grace Moretz was fantastic as Carrie White, it is instantly noticeable that she's nothing like Sissy Spacek. For one she's so much younger and even clearly younger than her teenage co-stars which works considering Carrie has her first period late so she she's a late bloomer. I hate that people are saying "Chloe is too pretty to play Carrie". Ok first of all you don't have to be ugly to be a bullied victim, second yes Chloe is very pretty but guess what - so is Carrie in the book, she's just made to feel ugly.

Julianne Moore was amazing and absolutely terrifying as Carrie's mother, Margaret White. The relationship with Carrie and her mother in this film is actually quite fascinating, you really do get the feeling that Margaret genuinely loves her daughter and wants to be a good mother. But it's incredibly disturbing the way she treats Carrie yet she really believes she's doing the right thing, yet she is trying to fight what `the bible' is telling her.

The teenage characters benefit really well here. Gabriella Wilde is quite likeable as Sue Snell and you really get a sense how guilty she feels after bullying Carrie and how she feels giving up her boyfriend and prom ticket just to make things up to Carrie. Portia Doubleday is great as the evil bully Chris Hargenson and you do get a slightly better understanding how she goes from throwing tampons to dumping pig's blood. It was also great as we get to see a conflict between Sue and Chris and how they both go in the opposite directions in how treat Carrie. Ansel Elgort was a surprise to me, the character of Tommy was incredibly forgettable to me in the original but I found this version Tommy I found incredibly likeable and it was a great to see how he dislikes the idea of taking Carrie to prom but then ends up genuinely enjoying her company. When he tells her "You're beautiful" you believe that he means it. Alex Russell was a good Billy Nolan, much better than John Travolta's laughable version, his screen time was limited but you get the idea he's pulling Chris' strings and you get an awareness of an abusive relationship between the two.

Judy Greer is well cast Miss Desjardin but I wish she had more screen time as she felt the least utilized of all the characters. She does however create a sweet mother-figure to Carrie, a cool contrast to scary Margaret.

The bullying issues is well emphasized, being a modern re-adaptation it reflects issues we have today with the growing use of technology and social media. And this asks the question "What did Carrie ever do to you?" twice a rhetorical that would make any bully cringe.

The famous "Prom Massacre" is brilliantly recreated, the effects are fantastic and many of the deaths are awesome. But it's Chloe's performance during that makes that scene, not everyone will like it and they'll prefer Sissy Spacek's wide-eyed catatonic performance, but with Chloe there is a lot of body movement and facial expressions which is likely a more realistic look of a bullied victim getting their revenge.

Really the biggest problem I have with this film is that I wanted a longer running time, there were more scenes from the book that were apparently filmed and were cut out, which is a shame these scenes could've distinguished this film as it's own creation as apposed to just another remake. Here's hope these scenes are restored in the DVD. But besides that problem, which as we all know is not unusual with most films anyway, it's still a great adaptation. Director Kimberly Peirce clearly cared about the characters and that is where she succeeded the most, which to me was the most important aspect.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2014 10:31 PM BST


True Blood - Complete Season 1-7 [DVD] [2014]
True Blood - Complete Season 1-7 [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Alexander Skarsgaard
Price: £44.99

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Supernatural Soap Opera, 17 Sept. 2013
This is one of the most addictive shows ever. This is very silly, even down to it's premise: The whole world knows vampires exist and now vampires become part of mainstream society. But what makes it work is that the show doesn't take itself too seriously, it's very self aware, satirical and smart.

The show centres around the residents of Bon Temps, a small town in Louisiana and their encounters with the supernatural, not just vampires. There are Shapeshifters, Werewolves, Witches, Maenads, Fairies etc. Like with a lot of supernatural shows, it uses the supernatural as allegories for what we have to deal with in our lives. What makes it unique compared to other supernatural shows is the environment it creates, set in Louisiana it has a trashy hillbilly-ish feel yet succeeds in being super-sexy. This show has some of the most unique bizarre sex scenes you will ever see.

With a serial narration every episode ends on a cliffhanger, especially the finales. The show has come under criticism for having too many storylines, however this is a soap opera style show multiple subplots that may go nowhere were bound to happen. Like with most soap operas what happens in the stories doesn't really matter, what matters is the characters.

Speaking of which, this show has awesome characters and well casted actors portraying brilliantly. The main character telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse, played by Anna Paquin, gets a mixed reception since she can be stupid, irritating and has to be rescued a lot. But she feels real, and she can be very loveable, sympathetic and hilarious. She really balances out sweetness and feistiness. Even when she becomes damsel-in-distress you never get the feeling she's going to give up. Her supernatural ability makes her feel like an outcast and has her questioning her humanity, which makes her interesting and relatable. The two main vampires are: Bill Compton who is gentlemanly yet darkly mysterious, then there's Eric Northman who is a bad-boy vampire yet hiding a soft spot. These two vampires are like the yin to each others yang, perfect contrast.

Other characters include: Sam, a shapeshifter; Tara, Sookie's feisty best friend; Jason, Sookie's equally dimwitted brother; Alcide, a werewolf; Jessica, a teenager and newly-turned vampire; Pam, a sarcastic vampire and Lafayette the most hilarious gay character ever, even homophobes won't help but love him.

The main theme of the show is Acceptance. Vampires want to be accepted in human society and Sookie has to accept what she is. There are characters singles and groups all with various views and actions For or Against people who are different and characters either proud or ashamed of what they are (whether they're vampires, gay, different race, supernatural etc.).

Season 1 - A serial killer is on the loose killing women who associate themselves with vampires. Sookie is in danger of being the next victim as she falls for vampire Bill. The chemistry between Sookie and Bill is perfect (it's no surprise the two actors got married) he's the dark to her light. The season does a very good job at introducing the audience to this universe and characters, bringing the audience into this alternate. This is also the most smoothly narrated season juggling a lot of ongoing storylines.

Season 2 - Sookie and Bill head to Dallas searching for a missing vampire, which leads them to an anti-vampire church The Fellowship of the Sun. Meanwhile, a mysterious woman called Maryann possesses the residents of Bon Temps. This season ups the ante, creating more havoc. The Maryann story is very interesting but does drag in the middle and gets confusing, you'll be scratching your head trying to work what she is. However it does get explained and the conclusion is very satisfying and Michelle Forbes is fantastic in the role. The highlight of this season however is Jessica coming to terms with being a vampire, it's fun getting to see her learn and the character is just so likeable.

Season 3 - Bill has been taken by the Vampire King of Mississippi and Sookie, accompanied by Alcide, searches while discovering secrets about Bill and herself. This season introduces werewolves, while underused they still look awesome instead of using cheap CGI wolves or costumes they use real wolves. This season is full of revelations we discover the secrets Bill is hiding and we find out what Sookie is, which makes this season take a darker turn than the previous two. Most of the characters actually this season go on a dark path. Russell Edgington is so far the best antagonist of the series he is fun to watch and a vampire wanting be the evil vampire you see in films, definitely doesn't see humans equal to vampires.

Season 4 - This is my personal favourite of the seasons. Sookie returns to Bon Temps, after being away with the fairies (get the metaphor) and realizes a year has passed without her. While the vampires are recovering their image in the press, now that Bill has become king of Louisiana, a coven of witches are set to bring the vampires down! This is my personal favourite of the seasons. The leader of the witches is Marnie played by a perfectly cast Fiona Shaw, who isn't playing the typical wicked witch, to start with she's just shy and vulnerable but once she's possessed by the spirit of Antonia she can be quite menacing. The highlight though is romance between Sookie and Eric, great chemistry between the two that has been built-up since Season 2. Eric losing his memory from the witches curse does develop his character a lot as we get to see his inner goodness that he's been hiding. The love triangle with Sookie, Bill and Eric was very well written and the decision Sookie makes at the end was very well handled. The finale is fun and it's set on Halloween and it takes advantage creatively with that. It was great fair mix of supernaturals: Vampire, Witches, Werewolves, Ghosts, Fairies and Shapeshifter, as well as focusing a lot more on the media of vampires.

Season 5 - Bill and Eric have been arrested by the Authority, Russell has escaped his cement grave and Sookie is becoming sick of life and on the verge of breakdown. This season has multiple villains, but neither you can call the main antagonist, the main villain can the Authority itself and the misuse of power it has. It certainly causes Bill and Eric to take a turn on different paths, just after we get to enjoy their new bromance relationship. This season also goes into vampire mythology and even into vampire's own form of religion. It was great the direction Sookie's character goes, she takes a back seat in the main story and has her own subplot for us to follow. First of all she's now single! And after everything she's been through the past seasons you wonder how long her sanity will last. Then, she along with Jason set out to finally find out how their parents have died, it was great seeing their brother-sister relationship unfold. This season is also the golden era for Tara, the direction her character is a surprise twist and her relationship Pam (who is also at her peak this season) is one of the main highlights. The season finale is jaw-dropping and a bloody mess and ends on it's biggest and most shocking cliffhanger yet!

Season 6 - After drinking the blood of Lilith Bill has become powerful and unstoppable than any vampire. Sookie and Jason are on the hunt for Warlow, a mysterious vampire who killed their parents and has been contractually promised to Sookie, helping them is Niall their Fairy-Great-Grandfather, played excellently by Blade Runner's Rutger Hauer. Eric, Pam, Jessica, Tara and all other vampires are in danger, with the Authority destroyed the Louisiana Governor has taken to control with new weapons and vows take down the vampires once and for all. The humans vs. vampires story is great, it feels more like the social commentary from earlier seasons even sees the return of the vampire hating Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) from Season 2. Bill's story was interesting and doesn't just resort him to an evil monster but gives him a real character arc with consequences not just for him but those he cares about. Sookie's story has many twists and turns, we get the revelation of who Warlow is and he is not just the killing monster we're lead to believe but a complex character with revelations that hits a raw nerve with Sookie. This season ups the ante as everyone is in danger, especially the vampires and there are deaths that have actual consequences. Which results in stripping the show back to basics making the last 2 episodes feel like Season 1 again.

Season 7 - As a result of Governor Burrell and Sarah Newlin's experiments on vampires, a virus known as Hep-V is affecting vampires worldwide. The residents of Bon Temps are now in danger as a group of sick vampires are infesting the town trying to survive on as much blood as possible. Sookie and her friends must find a way to defend themselves, as well as finding other friends who have kidnapped by the sick vampires while half the town goes rogue and the law into their own hands. This final season has succeeded in twining the multiple plots together similar to Season 1. The second half of this final season has dedicated a lot of time to end all the main character's journeys and bring the whole series full circle. The finale is very light on the action but makes up for it with emotion, it pulls your heartstrings at just the right moments. Personally I was happy where all the characters ended, sure some could've been better but you can't always get what you want: Sookie, Bill, Eric, Pam and Jessica's endings were perfect; Jason, Sam and Tara's stories could've been handled a little better but they were still fitting ends to their characters. Everyone else Lafayette, Arlene, Andy etc. end right where they should be. May not be the most exciting of the seasons but it's dedication to the characters and giving the audience closure more than makes up for it.

Overall this an awesome vampire series, along with the likes of Buffy and Being Human, with it's own unique take on the genre. The show is certainly not perfect, it has flaws, storylines don't go in directions you think it should, the character's act out of line a lot - this is why I love this show. It relates to real-life, no one is perfect, everyone makes bad decisions and nobody knows where they'll end up in any situation or in life. This show succeeds in presenting issues we have to deal with in our lives in a very over-the-top entertaining fashion.

So watch True Blood it's fun, equitable, smart, satirical and sexy.


True Blood - Season 6 [DVD] [2014]
True Blood - Season 6 [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Alexander Skarsgaard
Offered by Assai-uk
Price: £13.85

74 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Blood gets back to basics, 15 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After drinking the blood of Lilith Bill has become powerful and unstoppable than any vampire. Sookie and Jason are on the hunt for Warlow, a mysterious vampire who killed their parents and has been contractually promised to Sookie, helping them is Niall their Fairy-Great-Grandfather, played excellently by Blade Runner's Rutger Hauer. Eric, Pam, Jessica, Tara and all other vampires are in danger, with the Authority destroyed the Louisiana Governor has taken to control with new weapons and vows take down the vampires once and for all.

This is one of the better seasons, while many will disagree but to each their own since everyone ranks the seasons differently. Despite being two episodes shorter, the stakes (no pun intended) are higher as the characters are in danger, especially the vampires this time and characters actually die, won't spoil who but these deaths leave huge impacts on the characters. Also by upping the ante and character's dying, the season succeeds in stripping back the multiple storylines that the finale promises that Season 7 will feel like Season 1 again.

The throwaway subplots are still there but they are sidelined and even merged together so that the three main stories stay in focus. The humans vs. vampires story is great, it feels more like the social commentary from earlier seasons even see the return of the vampire hating Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) from Season 2. Bill's story was interesting and doesn't just resort him to an evil monster but gives him a real character arc with consequences not just for him but those he cares about. Sookie's story has many twists and turns, we get the revelation of who Warlow is and he is not just the killing monster we're lead to believe but a complex character with revelations that hits a raw nerve with Sookie.

Overall great season! Try not to let negative comments influence you, if love the previous 5 seasons then you'll love this. The show has never been perfect, was never meant be, you just take it for what it is. It has been announced Season 7 will be last and with an interesting cliffhanger the finale left us on the endgame should be a great one.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 17, 2014 10:04 AM GMT


True Blood - Season 1-5 [DVD] [2013]
True Blood - Season 1-5 [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Anna Paquin

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Supernatural Soap Opera, 24 April 2013
This is one of the most addictive shows. This is very silly, even down to it's premise: The whole world knows vampires exist and now vampires become part of mainstream society. But what makes it work is that the show doesn't take itself too seriously, it's very self aware, satirical and smart.

The show centres around the residents of Bon Temps, a small town in Louisiana and their encounters with the supernatural, not just vampires. There are Shapeshifters, Werewolves, Witches, Maenads, Fairies etc.

With a serial narration every episode ends on a cliffhanger, especially the finales. The show has come under criticism for having too many storylines, however this is a soap opera style show multiple subplots that may go nowhere were bound to happen. Like with most soap operas what happens in the stories doesn't really matter, what matters is the characters.

Speaking of which, this show has awesome characters and well casted actors portraying brilliantly. The main character telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse, played by Anna Paquin, gets a mixed reception since she can be stupid, irritating and has to be rescued a lot. But she feels real, and she can be very loveable, sympathetic, brave and hilarious. She really balances out sweetness and feistiness. Even when she becomes damsel-in-distress you never get the feeling she's going to give up. Her supernatural ability makes her feel like an outcast and has her questioning her humanity, which makes her interesting and relatable. The two main vampires are: Bill Compton who is gentlemanly yet darkly mysterious, then there's Eric Northman who is a bad-boy vampire yet hiding a soft spot. These two vampires are like the yin to each others yang, perfect contrast.

Other characters include: Sam, a shapeshifter; Tara, Sookie's feisty best friend; Jason, Sookie's equally dimwitted brother; Alcide, a werewolf; Jessica, a teenager and newly-turned vampire; Pam, a sarcastic vampire and Lafayette the most hilarious gay character ever, even homophobes won't help but love him.

Season 1 - A serial killer is on the loose killing women who associate themselves with vampires. Sookie is in danger of being the next victim as she falls for vampire Bill. The chemistry between Sookie and Bill is perfect (it's no surprise actors Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer got married) he's the dark to her light. The season does a very good job at introducing the audience to this universe and characters, bringing the audience into this alternate reality.

Season 2 - Sookie and Bill head to Dallas searching for a missing vampire, which leads them to an anti-vampire church "The Fellowship of the Sun". Meanwhile, a mysterious woman called Maryann possesses the residents of Bon Temps. This season ups the ante, creating more havoc. The Maryann story is very interesting but does drag in the middle and gets a little confusing, you'll be scratching your head trying to work what she is. However it does get explained and the conclusion is very satisfying and Michelle Forbes is fantastic in the role. The highlight of this season however is Jessica, played by the lovely Deborah Ann Woll, coming to terms with being a vampire, it's fun getting to see her learn and the character is just so likeable.

Season 3 - Bill has been taken by the Vampire King of Mississippi and Sookie, accompanied by Alcide, searches while discovering secrets about Bill and herself. This season introduces werewolves, while slightly underused, they still look awesome instead of using cheap CGI wolves or costumes, they use real wolves. This season is full of revelations as we finally discover what Sookie is, as a result lies and betrayals become exposed which makes this season take a darker turn than the previous two. Most of the characters actually this season go on a dark path. Russell Edgington, played by the brilliant Denis O'Hare, is so far the best antagonist of the series he is fun to watch and a vampire wanting be the evil vampire you see in films, definitely doesn't see humans equal to vampires.

Season 4 - Sookie returns to Bon Temps, after being away with the fairies (get the metaphor? haha) and realizes a year has passed without her. While the vampires are recovering their image in the press, now that Bill has become Vampire King of Louisiana, a coven of witches are set to bring the vampires down! The leader of the witches is Marnie, played by a perfectly cast Fiona Shaw who isn't playing the typical wicked witch, to start with she's just shy and vulnerable but once she's possessed by the spirit of the powerful Antonia she can be quite menacing. The highlight though is romance between Sookie and Eric, great chemistry between the two that has been built-up since Season 2. Eric losing his memory from the witches curse does develop his character a lot as we get to see his inner goodness that he's been hiding. The finale is fun and it's set on Halloween and it takes advantage creatively with that.

Season 5 - Bill and Eric have been arrested by the Vampire Authority, Russell is back and Sookie is becoming sick of life and on the verge of breakdown. This season has multiple villains, but neither you can call the main antagonist, the main villain can be the Authority itself and the misuse of power it has. It certainly causes Bill and Eric to take a turn on different paths, just after we get to enjoy their new bromance relationship. This season also goes into vampire mythology although just like religion there are no straight answers. It was great the direction Sookie's character goes, she takes a back seat in the main story and has her own subplot for us to follow. First of all she's now single! And after everything she's been through the past seasons you wonder how long her sanity will last. Then, she along with Jason set out to finally find out how their parents have died, it was great seeing their brother-sister relationship unfold. This season is also the golden era for Tara, the direction her character goes is a surprise twist and her relationship to Pam (who is also at her peak this season) is one of the main highlights. The season finale is jaw-dropping and a bloody mess and ends on it's biggest and most shocking cliffhanger yet, roll on Season 6.


Dark Shadows [DVD] [2012]
Dark Shadows [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Johnny Depp
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £3.51

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Vampire, The Witch and the Dysfunctional Family, 12 May 2012
This review is from: Dark Shadows [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Horror-comedy involving various supernatural creatures, this is Tim Burton at his best. Burton does not set to direct perfect films he directs how he sees them, he and Johnny Depp really treated this film like their baby. Having not seen the original yet, so not knowing how faithful it is, this review is judging this as a stand-alone.

The cast and characters are all excellent; they all have their moment to shine. Johnny Depp is excellent as always, not his best performance however he clearly cares about the Barnabas Collins character. Eva Green is like an exaggerated version of Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction, perfect choice as the evil witch. Michelle Pfeiffer is wonderful as the family matriarch Elizabeth, this woman does not seem to age. Chloe Moretz is great as a moody teenager, clearly hiding a secret. Bella Heathcote is lovely as Victoria/Josette, so sweet and likeable it is no question why Barnabas falls in love with her. Helena Bonham Carter is hilarious as an alcoholic doctor, Johnny Lee Miller is great as a selfish low-life, Jackie Earl Haley is well cast in a small but effective role as a scruffy caretaker.

Tim Burton's visual work amazingly as usual, every shot in the film is beautiful and artistic. The film is not as over colourful the advertising makes it out to be, just in certain parts, a lot of the colours are actually washed out, in a good way so you won't get a headache. The songs used in the trailers are present in the film, not in the same context, mainly during short montages and they are not overlong as many people are making them out to be. The Collins mansion is very well design, it almost a character itself in the film. The opening credits are very simple compared to Burton's usual opening credits, which is simply following Heathcote through her journey to the Collins with Nights in White Satin playing.

Any criticisms I can think are nit-picks; looking at it from a critical point-of-view the mixed reception is understandable. As a big fan of shows like Buffy and True Blood, and just like them you can nit-pick this film till you bleed but that is missing the point. It's not meant to be taken seriously, it's over-the-top, it's fun, it's got clichés and some decent metaphors involving family problems.

The climax was awesome and over-the-top action and CGI. It kind of reminded me of Jan De Bont's remake of The Haunting, I know it's a bad comparison because that film is horrible, however it works here because Jan De Bont expected his audience to take it seriously; Burton does not he knew his film was silly and took advantage of it. There are complaints of the climax involving a twist of Chloe Moretz's character, yeah it's very sudden but has a great metaphor behind it, especially when Pfeiffer finds out. The CGI effects are quite obvious, however it fits the tone so you won't care; it's still 10x better than The Haunting.

If I had to nit-pick I would say that because there is so many characters their moments felt kind of forced and rushed but I expected that, the story is very slight but this isn't meant to be Memento, and it does feel like it ends too suddenly but it's kind of bittersweet. And leaves it open for a sequel or let you decide what happens next.

This film is an escape not meant to be picked apart, just to be enjoyed with an extra large popcorn. After all films are made for entertainment, it doe not have to teach lessons, make sense or be analysed. Just play to your certain interests, that's where the film succeeds.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 3, 2012 2:10 PM BST


My Family - Complete Series 1-11 [DVD] [2000]
My Family - Complete Series 1-11 [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Robert Lindsay
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £33.09

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious British Sitcom of the Perfect Dysfunctional Family, 12 Oct. 2011
Middle-aged parents grumpy dentist father Ben and control-freak mother Susan who is a terrible cook. Their three children: eldest son Nick who is an idiotic lay-about always between jobs and scams; daughter Janey who is fashion-money-boy obsessed who eventually gets pregnant and young geek Michael who always up to schemes against his parents wishes. Later joining the family is dumb-blonde cousin Abi who steals the show with her with clumsiness and dimwittedness, Ben's co-worker Roger who is stupid and gullible and struggling musician Alfie.
This is a very funny sitcom, it did come under criticism for an American style of humor. However this does target a similar audience as Friends, which was very popular when this show started. So if you love Friends, you'll love this. The characters are very funny and surprisingly likeable, and all the cast match parts perfectly.
Series 1 - Serves a great introduction to the dysfunctional family. The standout episode is "Farewell to Alarms" where they buy a burglar alarm that won't stop going off.
Series 2 - Continues the antics of the main characters with even more laughs, such as Nick's ever changing jobs. The standout moments include Ben hiding in the house while Janey has a party, Ben and Nick in hotel room together and Nick getting whiplash after a motorcycle stunt.
Series 3 - With Janey gone to university, Abi has moved in and breathes new life into already funny sitcom. Standout moments include Ben and Susan role playing as stranger, smoking cannabis to teach Michael a lesson, Nick moving into a flat and Abi's introduction.
Series 4 - Janey is absent however gives birth to baby Kenzo off-screen. The standout moments include the Halloween special "Friday the 31st", flashbacks of Susan giving birth to Nick, holiday in Spain and Abi singing Get This Part Started when she thinks no one is watching.
Series 5- Nick is gone and Janey is back, despite feeling weird buy this change the series does manage retain its humour. Nick does come back for 1 episode "My Will Be Done" working at a funeral place while Ben makes his will. Other standout moments include Susan hiring a cleaner and gets jealous of her and Abi learns long words for a job at the library.
Series 6 - Must've suffered behind the scenes, 2 year gap between series 5, Nick leaving the show and only has 7 episodes and Ben is absent for 2. It's still funny but there is no real standout episode, however the love story involving Abi and Roger is cute and funny and ends with a hilarious proposal.
Series 7 - Is a huge improvement over 6, with more standout moments involving the revelation of Kenzo's father, the family going on The Weakest Link, Ben and Susan renewing their vowels and Roger and Abi getting married.
I stopped caring for the show because series 8 went completely downhill, it was not funny and Abi was wasted and then written out ruining the love story with Roger. While it does improve slightly afterwards with Kenzo becoming more prominent it is still underwhelming also Michael became almost a series of different characters going from geek to rebel to ladies man to gay? Also the Final episode is a sad excuse for a finale, Ben and Susan don't even share a scene. The last episode of series 7 "Life Begins at Fifty" is for me the final episode, though while not perfect but the last scene does have all the main characters (except Nick of course) together having a toast.
So I recommend buying the "Series 1-7" boxset plus the "Four Christmas Specials" DVD that have plot revelation. For continuity the episode "Ding Dong Merrily" takes place after series 3, "Sixty Feet Under" takes place after series 4, "Glad Tidings We Bring" and "And I'll Cry If I Want To" both take place after series 5. I only recommend buying this box set if you're a completist.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 5, 2012 5:47 PM GMT


My Family - Series 1-7 Box Set [DVD]
My Family - Series 1-7 Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Lindsay
Offered by Cash Solutions Reading
Price: £37.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious British Sitcom of the Perfect Dysfunctional Family, 12 Oct. 2011
Middle-aged parents grumpy dentist father Ben and control-freak mother Susan who is a terrible cook. Their three children: eldest son Nick who is an idiotic lay-about always between jobs and scams; daughter Janey who is fashion-money-boy obsessed who eventually gets pregnant and young geek Michael who always up to schemes against his parents wishes. Later joining the family is dumb-blonde cousin Abi who steals the show with her with clumsiness and dimwittedness, Ben's co-worker Roger who is stupid and gullible and struggling musician Alfie.

This is a very funny sitcom, it did come under criticism for an American style of humor. However this does target a similar audience as Friends, which was very popular when this show started. So if you love Friends, you'll love this. The characters are funny and surprisingly likeable and all the actors match the parts perfectly.

Series 1 - Serves a great introduction to the dysfunctional family. The standout episode is "Farewell to Alarms" where they buy a burglar alarm that won't stop going off.
Series 2 - Continues the antics of the main characters with even more laughs, such as Nick's ever changing jobs. The standout moments include Ben hiding in the house while Janey has a party, Ben and Nick in hotel room together and Nick getting whiplash after a motorcycle stunt.
Series 3 - With Janey gone to university, Abi has moved in and breathes new life into already funny sitcom. Standout moments include Ben and Susan role playing as stranger, smoking cannabis to teach Michael a lesson, Nick moving into a flat and Abi's introduction.
Series 4 - Janey is absent however gives birth to baby Kenzo off-screen. The standout moments include the Halloween special "Friday the 31st", flashbacks of Susan giving birth to Nick, holiday in Spain and Abi singing Get This Part Started when she thinks no one is watching.
Series 5- Nick is gone and Janey is back, despite feeling weird buy this change the series does manage retain its humour. Nick does come back for 1 episode "My Will Be Done" working at a funeral place while Ben makes his will. Other standout moments include Susan hiring a cleaner and gets jealous of her and Abi learns long words for a job at the library.
Series 6 - Must've suffered behind the scenes, 2 year gap between series 5, Nick leaving the show and only has 7 episodes and Ben is absent for 2. It's still funny but there is no real standout episode, however the love story involving Abi and Roger is cute and funny and ends with a hilarious proposal.
Series 7 - Is a huge improvement over 6, with more standout moments involving the revelation of Kenzo's father, the family going on The Weakest Link, Ben and Susan renewing their vowels and Roger and Abi get married.

I stopped caring for the show further because series 8 was not funny and Abi was wasted and then written out ruining the love story with Roger, also Michael became almost a series of different characters going from geek to rebel to ladies man to gay? The last episode of series 7 "Life Begins at Fifty" is for me the final episode, though while not perfect but the last scene does all the main characters (except Nick of course) together having a toast.

This boxset is missing the Christmas specials that have plot revelation so I recommend you buy this boxset with the "Four Christmas Specials" DVD. For continuity the episode "Ding Dong Merrily" takes place after series 3, "Sixty Feet Under" takes place after series 4, "Glad Tidings We Bring" and "And I'll Cry If I Want To" both take place after series 5.


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