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T. Cosens (England)

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Captain Phillips [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Captain Phillips [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Tom Hanks
Price: 10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captain Phillips, 28 Jun 2014
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Paul Greengrass brings his trademark shaky camera to this superbly taut thriller. A human story about resiliance, bravery and the strength of character.

A cargo ship embarks on a long journey across some dangerous waters. The crew are well trained in what to do in the event of a pirate attack but remain unprepared for the reality of the situation. Captain Phillips is a normal nice guy who is suddenly plunged into this dark and dangerous world. His apparent over caution gives way to someone who is there to protect his team. The crew stand firmly by him as they realise he is their only hope.

Tom Hanks imbues Phillips with some real humanity. The change he makes from a quiet, respectful leader to all out negotiator and saviour is a delight to watch. This is Hanks at his absolute best, a defining role in an already illustrious career.

His relationship with his captors is what grounds the film in reality. It is also a testament to the writers that they have not demonised the pirates. They are misguided and desperate, not evil. They are inexperienced and violent but not sadistic. This is business.

Greengrass injects energy into every tense scene. Especially the seige of the cargo ship. The camera moves around the ship with ease and brings the audience right into the centre of the action. Tension is cranked right up and not a moment is wasted. Greengrass has a canny ability to catch every flicker of emotion on the actors' faces and every detail within any given scene, giving more weight to the situation at hand.

The film never stops tugging at your emotions. It throws everything at you. Even in its final scenes the audience is left reeling at the emotional plight Phillips has been through.

A masterclass in tension.

Bates Motel - Season 2 [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Bates Motel - Season 2 [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Vera Farmiga
Price: 20.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bates motel, 19 Jun 2014
Season two suffers from a case of stagnation. It doesn't feel like it moves on at all focussing on similar story threads to the first season rather than trying to break new ground. The novelty of being set in the famous Bates Motel is starting to wain and the characters are losing their appeal.

Having said all that there are still moments to enjoy here. Vera farmiga is her normal superb self anchoring the whole show with an emotion driven yet measured performance. Also Emma remains an engaging character even though her story arc doesn't ring true.

It looks great and still shows some potential it just feels like it has lost some of its bite. Certainly the thrills are down on the previous season.

Continuing in this vain will see the series end prematurely. Hopefully the next will up the ante and offer something a bit fresher.

A case of that difficult part two syndrome.

The Jungle Book [Blu-ray] [1967] [Region B & C]
The Jungle Book [Blu-ray] [1967] [Region B & C]
Dvd ~ Phil Harris
Price: 10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The Jungle Book, 18 Jun 2014
Hands down the best Disney film ever made. It has the best characters and the catchiest songs all tied up within some gorgeous animation.

This is a bona fide classic and is a must have for any Disney fan. The simple story is superbly and expertly told and flows with real pace and verve. Every character is a stand out and memorable.

You will be humming the jazzy songs for days after.

The Americans Season 2 [Blu-ray]
The Americans Season 2 [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Matthew Rhys
Price: 24.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Americans, 18 Jun 2014
Bigger and bolder than season 1, the new season of The Americans has really found its feet. The stakes are higher and the risks to their family and country have never been so dangerous.

Starting with the brutal murder of an ally and friend and then escalating into a huge murder mystery The Americans season 2 never fails to deliver big. It remains grounded and gritty but has heightened tension throughout. Supporting characters are never safe and right to the very end it is questionable as to whether or not any of the Jenns family will escape unscathed.

The domestic side of things has really heated up too giving Paige more to do and growing her character, Stan's personal life is also taking a battering and some tough decisions lay ahead.

Where season 2 really succeeds is in its unpredictability. It never takes the easy route out. Just when you think it is going one way it takes another turn. With a final episode sting in the tail it certainly leaves you wanting more. Here's hoping for a third season in what is becoming one of the most gripping dramas on telly.

21 Jump Street (Blu-ray + UV Copy) [2012]
21 Jump Street (Blu-ray + UV Copy) [2012]
Dvd ~ Channing Tatum
Price: 7.50

4.0 out of 5 stars A must watch, 16 Jun 2014
The setup of 21 Jump Street could easily elicit some groans and feeling of dread. Luckily the end result is one of the funniest most lovable comedies in recent memory.

Tatum and Hill as so perfectly mismatched that they end up being the perfect pairing. A comedic due that on paper doesn’t look as though it could muster up more than a snigger but in reality offer some real laugh out loud gems whilst maintaining a heart and decent enough story.

The laughs are thick and fast and play out perfectly in the capable hands of Tatum and Hill. The heart of this relies on Tatum and Hill’s chemistry. They bounce off each other like they have been best friends for years. Tatum in particular is a surprise hit with a comic timing few knew he had.

The action is overblown and great fun as well as the supporting characters (Stand up Ice Cube).

A lot of fun. The sequel has just shot to the top of the must see list.

Gravity [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Gravity [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ George Clooney
Price: 12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 12 Jun 2014
Gravity is simply stunning. There really aren’t many other ways of describing it. From it’s opening moments to its blistering finale Gravity will hold you captivated by its tense story and beautiful visuals.

The tranquillity of its starting moments is breath taking. Alfonso Cuaron lets his camera swirl and move round his protagonists taking in the stunning views of our home planet. The voices ebbing in and out as we swing past them and off again into the distance. A feeling of weightlessness is palpable and it is with every trick that Cuaron uses that effortlessly pulls the audience in. You can really feel the cold, the silence, the awe of what you are seeing.

Huge kudos must go to Sandra Bullock for carrying the film. Her Ryan Stone is grounded yet feisty and capable. She never feels anything less than real. George Clooney is also brilliant in an understated role and makes a huge impact on this story of survival.

The effects are astounding and only add to the immense emotional rollercoaster ride Gravity takes you on. Battering you with tense moments, then huge thrills and then back to quietly distressing moments really does leave you drained in a positive way by the end.

Gravity is a huge triumph and one of the best sci-fi films since Moon.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [Blu-ray + UV Copy] [2013] [Region Free]
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [Blu-ray + UV Copy] [2013] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Martin Freeman
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: 19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Desolation of Smaug, 23 May 2014
The Desolation of Smaug is a supremely crafted fantasy film and improves on part one of The Hobbit in every way. It’s pacier, more action packed and full of incredible moments.

Each action scene is a standout and there is certainly no filler here. The dwarves continue on their dangerous journey to The Lonely Mountain encountering the Spiders of Mirkwood and wood elves along the way. The escape from Mirkwood provides us with one of the most thrilling action scenes from both The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. Peter Jackson knows how to set a scene and this one just flows so perfectly that you are easily swept up in the action unfolding.

The camera never stays still but you are always able to see what is going on. Orcs jump from barrel to barrel, each one containing a dwarf. The orcs are closely followed by the elves picking them off with ease and bouncing from tree to tree. It really is a sight to behold.

From then on the action never really stops. Where the Desolation of Smaug really succeeds is in showing us something new. Part one suffered from a feeling of de ja vu. It was a little too familiar. DOS on the other hand takes us to new locations including the formidable Mirkwood and grimy Laketown.

However it is with Smaug that DOS really does soar. A towering achievement, if they got Smaug wrong the whole film would have crashed in spectacular style. A character so memorable and so intriguing he glues you to the screen for the entire third act. Superbly played by Cumberbatch and bought to life by some stunning special effects Smaug is the pinnacle of this trilogy in the same vein Gollum was with the Lord Of The Rings.

Bilbo’s interaction with the dragon is also on par with his riddling with Gollum. Both characters trying to outwit each other in a battle to stay alive. The final action scenes within the mountain are again superb and is easily a standout of the entire saga.

Desolation Smaug simply brings The Lord of The Rings back to where it belongs. Focussing on the characters and the action and not feeling drawn out or padded out. If you were unsure about The Hobbit then let the Desolation of Smaug reinstate your love of Middle Earth!

In a word, stunning!

Game of Thrones - Season 3 [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free]
Game of Thrones - Season 3 [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Peter Dinklage
Price: 30.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Another hit series, 16 May 2014
Game of Thrones season three continues with its epic, melodramatic story. The ante is upped this time with more power struggles and various new characters vying to make their mark.

This season sees many of the central characters disbanded and thrown into uncomfortable situations. Here we see Jamie paired up with Brianne slowly forming a close relationship. In fact Jamie’s character arc is one of the more fascinating going from an absolutely hateful person to someone who evidently has a softer side.

Brandon is slowly traversing Westeros with his unlikely band of heroes and picks up some new helpers along the way whilst bumping into some familiar faces.

As for the rest of the Starks, troubling times are ahead and they provide the meat for one of the most unexpected (if you have not read the books) twists in recent memory.

Game of Thrones continues to enthral and excite with its gratuitous violence and over the top story telling. Dynasty with swords springs to mind. With more money, interesting characters and a story arc that is continuously gathering speed, you can’t help but be swept up in it all.

One of telly’s guiltiest pleasures.

Rec 1 [Blu-ray] [2007]
Rec 1 [Blu-ray] [2007]
Dvd ~ Manuela Velasco
Offered by sir_bubby
Price: 4.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Rec, 29 April 2014
This review is from: Rec 1 [Blu-ray] [2007] (Blu-ray)
Claustrophobic and tense, Rec is a masterclass of its genre. Taking the tried and tested found footage formula and pushing the audience to its extremes, REC is an exercise in true terror.

A journalist looking for a big break ends up escorting a fire crew with her camera man to a call out at a block of flats. Soon after entering the flat the building is quarantined and the residents and fire crew are trapped.

A virus has broken out and is turning people into ravenous zombie like loons. The audience view the unravelling story through the lens of the camera making every turn a tense experience. Your vision is seriously limited to what is staright in front of you which makes for some very scary moments. Rec is a rar horror film which will make you jump on several occasions with not much hapening on screen at all.

Utilising all of its resources Rec cleverly uses subtle changes in your viewing experience to up the ante. The sound will occasionally dip, static invades the screen and then towards the end use of the night vision brings about one of the most terrifying moments of the film.

Rec sets up a series of films and if you are left a little confused as to how this all came about at the end get staright onto the sequel which explains the plot in marvelous detail. There are bigger things going on here which makes the whole series a joy to watch.

Scary, tense and superbly filmed.

Re-Animator (2 Disc Collector's Edition) [1985] [DVD]
Re-Animator (2 Disc Collector's Edition) [1985] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bruce Abbott
Offered by Films and Figures
Price: 19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Genre Classic, 29 April 2014
A splendidly gory b-movie, Re-animator is an absolute genre classic.

It has all the classic elements of a schlocky horror film right down to the story of a mad scientist taking his experiments to the ultimate level. It still has the power to shock today with some stand out scenes and laugh out loud moments that will have you cringing and belly laughing in equal measure.

The acting is sometimes wooden, sometimes campy adding to the overall charm of this 80’s classic. The gore is over the top technicolour and comes thick and fast.

An absolute favourite that must be viewed.

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