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SoWasRed (North UK)

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The Exorcism Of Emily Rose [DVD] [2006]
The Exorcism Of Emily Rose [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Laura Linney
Offered by JCJ Internet Savers
Price: £3.94

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharp as a thorn, 19 April 2007
Hidden in a glut of modern day horror swill and pseudo drive-in disposable popcorn flicks, The Exorcism of Emily Rose is surprisingly old-school. A movie of subtly that eschews the standard scares for something that is quite creepy yet at the same time moving. This film was convincing enough, perhaps not in terms of the subject matter but the sincerity of it - though perhaps jarring if you thought too hard about the idea of exorcisms being debated in a 21st or late 20th century court. The scares when they come are slight yet deftly done even for the more jaded of spook-fans, making for some unnerving scenes that are scarier than most 18 cert films currently doing the trashy rounds.

The film has its flaws, yes, just as the argument at the centre does, but this is one horror film that doesn't ask the viewer to suspend their imagination too much despite its spiritual subject matter.

Picture: 4 of 5

Sound: 5 of 5

Extras: 3 of 5

Mystic River [2003] [DVD]
Mystic River [2003] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sean Penn
Price: £3.25

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like eating a chunk of concrete, 8 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Mystic River [2003] [DVD] (DVD)
File this one under "difficult to digest". This film is not so much about the bonds between friends, rather the destruction of childhood friendship. And it's a difficult film to watch. Yet unlike Million Dollar Baby and the Unforgiven, it's a convoluted script that almost revels in the nasty turns of fate that is dealt to each character. Only Kevin Bacon seems to escape unscathed - and yet his character is the background focus, slightly blurred almost as a light relief to the grim turns that occur through out the 132 minutes running time. At the end, you feel numb, not because of the final denouement, but because of the futility of the entire story. Forget the hype - it leaves a lasting impression, but only because of the nasty taste in your mouth.

Picture 4 of 5

Sound 4 of 5

Extras 3 of 5

The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower: (Volume 7)
The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower: (Volume 7)
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surely you jest, Mr SK?, 27 Feb. 2007
And so the Dark Tower ends... Like many, I've followed the series religiously, and apart from book IV which kinda lost the plot a little (especially after a series peak of Wastelands) the quality of the series has been consistent - wobbling between 4 and 5 stars. I would say the first 3/4s of this book merits at least 4 stars, except for the end. I won't spoil it for anyone but I feel that Mr King is having a joke at our expense and after slogging through 7 books the ending was...

...well it meant losing at least one star off the overall rating!

The Secret War
The Secret War
by M.F.W. Curran
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swept Away, 27 Feb. 2007
This review is from: The Secret War (Hardcover)
Some books just strike the right key. I read this on holiday and I was blown away by it. The plot is pretty simple yet compellingly written: two friends are swept away on a perilous adventure not of their choosing, and battle against the armies of the Damned across land and sea. Its episodic, like the adventure serials of the 1930s and 40s, but without the staged cliff-hangers. There's a great affable spirit to the adventures and the heroes are quite likeable. My only minor criticism is that I felt at times frustrated by the possibilities that could have been explored in the book but the author chose to go in another direction (I won't spoil it for you). But this is a small criticism. Hopefully if there is another book (as I suspect there will be), all those questions will be answered. A cracking read.

Layer Cake [DVD] [2004] [2005]
Layer Cake [DVD] [2004] [2005]
Dvd ~ Daniel Craig
Offered by Nr1mediaFBA
Price: £2.72

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant surprise, 27 Feb. 2007
When British films are dominated by Snatch clones or rom coms, this is a pleasant surprise. Sure it's a gangster film, sure it's sassy, but it's more than style over substance, and the characters are likable if not flawed. A film that runs at a fair pace and feels twenty minutes shorter than it is.

A classic British film.

Picture 4 of 5

Sound 5 of 5

Extras 4 of 5

Duellists, The [DVD] [1977]
Duellists, The [DVD] [1977]
Dvd ~ Keith Carradine
Offered by qualityfilmsfromuk
Price: £14.99

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior filmmaking, 27 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Duellists, The [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
I watched this many years ago on BBC2 and found it a fleeting curiosity (being quite young and believing there would be more battles etc. I expected more). However, I've just watched it again (on a very big screen) and reappraised what a gem this actually is. Scott's direction is assured and each frame drips with shadow and washed out colours, like a faded painting of the era. The characters are little clichéd in places, but their motivations are interesting and their constant collisions resulting in duels are suspenseful and exciting. I watched this not long after Barry Lyndon, and must say The Duellists is a superior film.

Picture: 5 of 5

Sound: 4 of 5

Extras: 2 of 5
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 19, 2013 8:43 PM GMT

American Gods
American Gods
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Belly of Amerika, 27 Feb. 2007
This review is from: American Gods (Paperback)
American Gods promised to be a multi-layered and textured novel about the degradation of Gods in modern times - and I looked forward to something both spectacular and jaw-dropping. Unfortunately it was neither - yet while the fantasy content was surprisingly small (especially in view of Gaiman's other books) American Gods is written is with a poetic grace and is not so much a book on Gods, but more a mirror to reflect how far Society has fallen in modern times.

Literary criticism aside - it's well written and engaging, but the end is anti-climatical and you just wish there was something more to it...

Day of the Triffids (Popular Penguins)
Day of the Triffids (Popular Penguins)
by John Wyndham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Daddy of the Apocalypse, 27 Feb. 2007
This is down with HG Well's masterpiece as one of the superlative visions of the end of Mankind. A book that is cunningly written and executed with stark brutality The unrelenting degradation of society is chilling compared to the almost comic idea that killer plants will rule the world, much like George Romero's zombies still shuffle up and down shopping malls and around the countryside. This book screams out to be made into a better film, and something perhaps less rubbery than BBCs camp - yet at times - creepily executed TV series. The book itself is genius.

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