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Cliffhanger [DVD]
Cliffhanger [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sylvester Stallone
Price: £2.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable 90s Actioner, 7 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cliffhanger [DVD] (DVD)
It's all too easy to dismiss this movie as Die Hard on a Mountain but that would be an injustice to this high octane entertaining yarn from 1993.

Gabe Walker (Stallone) plays a guilt-ridden mountain rescuer who absconds from his job after a rescue effort goes horribly wrong. Months later, he returns just in time to rescue victims of a plane crash, who unfortunately turn out to be Eric Qualen (John Lithgow with an unintentionally funny English accent) & his nasty cronies who have lost 100 million dollars over the Rockies in a botched mid-air raid (as you do).

It's a surprisingly decent performance from Stallone, the action sequences are spot on, it's well scored, there's plenty of shocks in store when we expect heroics but get disaster, young & old innocents indiscriminately blown away and all against the backdrop of stunning photography of the mountain region it's set in.

Highly recommended.

By the way, IGNORE THE 2001 DVD RELEASE OF THIS FILM FROM MOMENTUM PICTURES - that is the Cliffhanger DVD with the orange cover - that version of the film is ridiculously edited & toned down for violence completely stripping the film of some of its most effective moments. This product link will show you the one I'm talking about:

Cliffhanger [DVD] [1993]

Instead go for the 2008 DVD release with the black cover from Optimum Home Entertainment for the uncut version of this really good film. Here's the link for that

Cliffhanger [DVD]

Predators (2010) [DVD]
Predators (2010) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Adrien Brody
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.89

3.0 out of 5 stars Over-dependent on the original, but good nonetheless, 19 May 2011
This review is from: Predators (2010) [DVD] (DVD)
Some argue that Predators does for Predator what Aliens did for Alien and while it is entertaining, it doesn't deserve that high an accolade.

The film is based on a bunch of protagonists headed by Royce (Adrien Brody) who have found themselves regaining consciousness in midair as they parachute into a jungle with no idea as to how they got there or why. By virtue of being a mercenary, a gang member or a prisoner on death row etc, it's soon obvious that they all have one thing in common - they are all killers in some form or another, (although the less said about Laurence Fishburne's input the better) So basically, it's a case of the killers hunting the killers and that's all you really need to know.

Perhaps it's the gap of 23 years since the original (with a few lesser predator movies since then) that makes this film forgivable because it relies on the original to an almost ridiculous extent - the jungle, the score, the `classic' predator, listen out for `Over Here' being whispered, the Gatling Gun, have a look at Royce's knife (identical to Billy's in the original) & a sword fight with a predator that actually happens on screen this time.

It makes for nostalgic fun but in terms of this being a reboot, it is very disappointing - they could have done so much more like exploring the Predator origins or the logic behind their hunts or even their homeworld. A few predator hounds are featured but that's about it. It's revealed they are on an alien planet yet it looks just like Central American jungle - shouldn't an alien planet be more different/weird/interesting?

Plus it's disappointing to discover a scene in the trailer is criminally misleading - Royce is NOT targeted by numerous laser sights in the movie but only one, and there are only 4 Predators in the entire movie rather than the many that the trailer would suggest.

Still, if you're a fan of the Predator movies, you won't be disappointed but let's have a more ballsy script next time.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 28, 2011 2:29 PM BST

United 93 [DVD]
United 93 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Khalid Abdalla
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the 9/11 movies, 10 May 2011
This review is from: United 93 [DVD] (DVD)
In the aftermath of Osama Bin Laden's recent demise & the 10th anniversary of 9/11 fast approaching, interest is sure to rise in these movies again and I recommend this to be the best of them.

It's fair to describe it more a docu-drama than a movie as that's pretty much how it's portrayed, tracking the terrorists' movement onto Flight 93, re-enacting the hijacking & the plane's last moments in real time. It very successfully recreates the tension that must have existed on the plane as passengers eventually learn of the World Trade Centre attack & the impending doom that awaits them and despite their heroics in thwarting it, they still end up as casualties themselves. Nonetheless, their legacy is that it was them & no one else, poignantly remembered at the end of the movie without saturating it in sentiment.

It's also a very interesting film in that it really does capture how caught off-guard the USA was on that awful day, as the chaos & panic in the FAA & Military HQs are portrayed concurrently.

Critics of this movie have bemoaned the fact that we get to know very little of the passengers in terms of their characters, but to expect that is nonsense. Try to remember this was a random bunch of innocent people who boarded a plane in the course of just going about their daily lives in a normal & unassuming fashion. And yet, within an hour they have lost their lives in the middle of a chaotic & unforeseen terrorist event - exactly how much character development are we supposed to see in 40 passengers in that much time in such circumstances?

If I were to describe this movie in one word, albeit a made-up word, it's UN-HOLLYWOODISED and that's its best quality. Its production is spot on - in every scene you hear the background sounds, see the sights, the hustle & bustle of everyday life, giving this movie a very realistic setting. The fact that it is filmed with virtually unknown actors plays into the realism that was random everyday people caught up in this tragedy; filmed with shoulder-mounted cameras proves extremely immersive if not disturbing and the absence of cheesy musical scores is perfect.

This is an excellent visual & gripping account of this very tragic affair.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 2, 2011 3:40 PM BST

Knight Rider (2008) Season 1 [DVD]
Knight Rider (2008) Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bruce Davison
Price: £5.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy your Knight..., 21 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There will always be naysayers who'll tell us `Don't Tamper With a Classic', but Hollywood has already given us huge blockbusters based on Mission Impossible, The Incredible Hulk & The A-Team, while elsewhere they've already revamped old TV series like The Fugitive, Battlestar Galactica & Nikita to name but a few, so why not give one of the most iconic series of the 80s a revamp and see how it turns out.

And as this DVD boxset shows, it turns out pretty well. The premise for the show's return is that the car's original designer, who wasn't featured in the old series, has created a new KITT, is reopening the Foundation & recruits Michael Knight's estranged son to drive him (hey, can't have one without the other, right?) Character-wise, Knight is teamed up with several undercover FBI agents & crooked Government officials, all of which resonates well in today's world of conspiracy, terrorism and espionage.

KITT has certainly moved with the times; he's bulkier, more muscular & instead of countless LEDs on the dashboard with a blinking scanner in front, he now has touch screen technology, access to the web & orbital satellites, advanced weaponry, metamorphic shell and transforming abilities (inspired by the Transformers movies no doubt) to name but a few of cool new attributes.

KITT is ably voiced by Val Kilmer who is as charismatic as a computerised voice can hope to be, not to mention a frequent but subtle humour in his dialogue - typical example:

"Worse case scenario, KITT?
My outer shell will overheat & you will boil to death in your own bodily fluids
And the best case scenario?
You will be unconscious when it happens"

As for the episodes themselves, the pilot very cleverly concentrates as much on the characters as it does on KITT, while its follow-up episode is brilliantly written as the Knight Rider Team & officials begin an uneasy partnership. Other notable highlights include `A Hard Day's Knight' featuring a race against time before Michael succumbs to a poison in his system (reminiscent of the original Knight's close to death finale in the original pilot), `Knight Fever' where KITT is infected by a modern day nano-virus, `Exit Light, Enter Knight' is a real thrill as Michael is trapped in the middle of a bank heist with a seemingly helpless KITT outside, while `Knight to King's Pawn' is a cracker featuring the return of a much beefed up KARR. All in all, `Don't Stop the Knight' is a feature length episode that is unquestionably one of the best in the season with a few shocks & surprises in store.

Obviously, there are other episodes that reek of cheesiness, some over-depend on `Too Fast Too Furious' motifs, another lesser episode is set in Vegas, jammed with so many babes, you completely forget what the episode was about, making it think you're watching Spring Break on MTV, but all in all by the time you watch through the entire series, you'll realise it's an utter shame that they didn't sanction a second season for this show, because it would have gotten bigger & better.

A welcome return.

Resident Evil: Afterlife [DVD] [2011]
Resident Evil: Afterlife [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Milla Jovovich
Price: £2.68

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good old brainless fun..., 14 April 2011
I really don't understand the critical panning & general beef people have with this movie - it's based on a video game, so what did you expect? Oscar-winning material? Compelling plot, character intrigue, intelligent dialogue?

Hell no, this is a mish mash of special effects, flashy action sequences, explosions & gun fights galore. Perhaps it rips off the Matrix a bit with its slow-motion sequences but so what? Could you even guess how many action movies have done that in the past decade?

Plot-wise, (though I use the term lightly), this picks up where 'Extinction' left off as Alice leads a batallion of clones in an attack on Wesker in Umbrella's secret underground facility in Tokyo. Afterward, she travels to Alaska in search of 'Arcadia' a presumed safe haven hinted at in the last movie. Having met up with a bunch of survivors who have barricaded themselves inside a prison, she discovers that Arcadia is not what it seems & neither is what's in it.

There's no shortage of pulverising zombies & Majinis amongst other abominations in the struggle for Arcadia and a lot of the action scenes & monsters borrow heavily from the RE5 video game and it's fun to see in live action.

And that's all this movie is meant to be - unashamed, action-packed, filled with gut-splattering brainless fun so forget all these negative reviews & judge it on its merits

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2-Disc) Special Edition [DVD]
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2-Disc) Special Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shia LaBeouf
Price: £3.04

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Style over Substance - good for the kids only..., 5 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you were to make a complaint about the first movie, you could argue that it focussed too much on humans & not enough on the robots, its title was 'Transformers' after all.

Here, the problem is the other way round to an absolutely ridiculous degree. Whereas the first movie had 14 robots, no less than 46 robots are featured. And they completely take over the screen at every opportunity - cue lots of blurry CGI, enormous explosions & OTT destruction for over 2 hours.

The film's half hearted plot explaining the return of the Decepticons who want to destroy Earth's sun (and thereby Earth itself) is hokum, the human characters are constantly pushed aside in favour of special effects, and it's literally one messy indecipherable CGI sequence after another. Even some of the new robotic characters are cringe worthy - Mudflaps & Skids doing for Transformers what Jar Jar Binks did for Star Wars

In trying to outdo its own predecessor, this film completely lost its uniqueness. It's impossible to like if you're over 10 years old because it's like watching someone playing a really bad video game.

We can only hope they get it right for number 3...

The People Vs Larry Flynt (Special Edition) [DVD] [2003]
The People Vs Larry Flynt (Special Edition) [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Woody Harrelson
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.26

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent with a Capital E!, 4 April 2011
This is the intriguing tale of Larry Flynt & Hustler magazine & how he pioneered porn & adult entertainment in a shocked & naive America, which at the time simply wasn't ready for it. A story filled with triumph & tragedy and how Flynt took on the system, and won.

The cinematography is spot on, the script brilliantly balances tragedy & humour, the dialogue is perfect and the cast is superb with Woody Harrelson putting in a top notch performance with strong support from Edward Norton, not to mention an astonishingly good performance from Courtney Love.

Highly Recommended.

The 51st State [DVD] [2001]
The 51st State [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Samuel L. Jackson
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.24

4.0 out of 5 stars An abomination of British & American Toilet Humour. And it's fun!!, 1 April 2011
This review is from: The 51st State [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
What a mish-mash of humour going on here with the 2 leads in flying form.

Robert Carlyle, playing a Liverpudlian criminal who escorts a kilt-wearing Samuel L Jackson to a major drug deal, is forced to team up with him against criminal bosses, assassins & bent cops when it all goes ridiculously wrong - cue lots of foul language, toilet humour, interracial quips & crazy capers

Rude, crude & a hell of a lot of fun

Titanic [1998] [DVD]
Titanic [1998] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Leonardo DiCaprio
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £2.83

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The most overrated movie of all time, 1 April 2011
This review is from: Titanic [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
The most famous & tragic maritime disaster of all time plays second fiddle to an annoyingly scored and badly scripted love story here, between 2 hollow fictional characters who unlike Titanic, never actually existed in the first place. One wonders but no one ever seems to ask, why should Titanic play background to them?

The true story of Titanic is an extraordinary convergeance of random circumstances that led to complete disaster & the real tragedy is how easily it could have been avoided & even after it struck the iceberg, how easily 1500 lives could have been saved.

It pays to research the subject to learn of this stuff instead of relying on this Hollywood-ised piece of crap spewing nauseating moments like jumping out of a lifeboat to get back to your lusty boyfriend on a sinking ship (yeah, like the women did that in the early hours of April 15th 1912), declaring the moment you first met (yep, that's what you think about when you're frantically trying to stay out of water of lethal temperatures) and worst of all, the whole crew & upper class of Titanic surrounding the grand staircase to applaud while you & your dream guy share a snog - pure drivel.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, the historical omissions & inaccuracies are sickening - how the HMS Californian could see the Titanic & even its distress rockets, yet her Captain took no action, why doesn't the movie address this? Don't forget First Officer Murdoch, a hero in his home country of Ireland for saving lives and according to surviving witness reports, gave up his life jacket to a female passenger before perishing. Yet this movie portrays him to be a coward who took a bribe, shot a passenger dead & then himself. This kind of script writing is all just to provoke an audience rather than tell the real story and it's moments like this that come waaaaaay too close to insulting the memory of real people who died horribly 100 years ago.

It's astonishing that James Cameron can make movies about such far-out fictionalised, but yet such compelling movies such as Terminator or Avatar, that he could get the one movie about a true-to-life story so spectacularly wrong.

Its only saving grace is the re-enacted spectacle of the great ship's destruction as it succumbs to the Atlantic and there are a few memorable scenes that manage to capture the horror that was Titanic's demise, but that's about it - just watch those clips on youtube instead.

Buy 'A Night to Remember' or else some Titanic documentaries on DVD if you really want to get the point this film completely missed.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2011 9:20 PM BST

Titanic 2 [DVD]
Titanic 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Shayne Van Dyke
Price: £5.99

25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is a wreck before it even starts to sink, 1 April 2011
This review is from: Titanic 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Another cheap tacky knock-off from that awful Asylum studio.

Contrary to what its title suggests, this is NOT a sequel to Titanic (not that we'd want one anyway), rather it is a new Titanic built to sail on the same route of her predecessor in honour of the 100th anniversary of its sinking - and you'll never guess what happens: IT SINKS!

(Well, d'uuuhh.....)

Ridiculous plot, terrible acting, awful special effects & CGI so bad, it looks a cheap computer simulation - which it actually is, but you're not meant to notice

It's fitting in the dialogue when they face the impossible as the ship starts to sink that the main protaganist states: 'We never anticipated a side impact' - Hang on, wasn't it a side impact that sank the first Titanic?

That's how ridiculous this film is - it's so stupid it probably sank & landed on top of the old Titanic...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 10, 2013 5:00 PM GMT

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