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Daniel Baguley (UK)

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Bedevilled [DVD]
Bedevilled [DVD]
Dvd ~ Min-Ho Hwang
Price: £8.00

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film., 28 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Bedevilled [DVD] (DVD)
Bedevilled is a Korean film written and directed by Cheol-so Jang. Even though I saw it at Grimmfest, I wouldn't class it as a horror film, despite its particularly violent ending. It treads more in the realm of a dark drama, with things progressing slowly as we look into the characters lives and watch things steadily unfold over the two hour running time.

The story itself follows Hae Won, a high strung, frigid and callous financial worker living in Seoul. This makes her an unlikeable character from the off (she is one of those people you'd describe as "that b***h from work") and things take a turn for the worse as stress gets the better of her and she's forced to take a vacation. She decides to finally visit her old childhood friend who she has been avoiding that lives on a small rural island called Moo-do. It is here we meet Bok Nam who has spent her whole life living with the nine residents of the island. She's an interesting character, a simple and pleasant person that doesn't want to face her problems but is constantly having to deal with them everyday.

Bok Nams problems are no small feat though because when Hae Won visits her friend, she gets to see the harsh treatment Bok Nam endures at the hands of the other inhabitants, and the pain she's had to hold in for so long.

The other characters, sadly, lack any kind of depth, with the small island community being incredibly despicable and hateful people. The men give off an air of sexual menace and all the old women natter and bicker about needing strong men around to do the work and rarely show compassion in the hardest of times.

The film is shot wonderfully, capturing the natural beauty of the island in contrast to its smalll community. It really does have a rare, timeless quality to it which is hard to find in most films these days, like stepping into an alien world you know little to nothing about but slowly learn about its strange and sometime shocking ways.

There really isn't much else to say about this film. Much like Chan-wook Park's Vengeance trilogy, you will be sent on an emotional roller-coaster, from sadness, appalled, to white knuckled anger but all through it you'll be gripped to the very end. It's a slow burner of a film and any action junkies or gore lovers will be disappointed but anyone that wants to watch an engaging film that is at times unsettling and always testing your ability to care and empathize with characters will certainly enjoy this. That's about it. I couldn't recommend this film enough and its one that will certainly stick with you.

Red Dead Redemption - Undead Nightmare (PS3)
Red Dead Redemption - Undead Nightmare (PS3)
Offered by games.empire
Price: £19.95

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny!, 12 Dec. 2010
This is a review I wrote for Undead Nightmare I downloaded from the PSN and is mainly focusing on the single player player content. The disc version features all previous multiplayer DLC Rockstar released for Red Dead Redemption hence the price difference in the review.

If you've been living under a rock this past year chances are you missed Rockstar's critically acclaimed open world wild west game Red Dead Redemption. Over the past few months Rockstar have been heavily supporting the game with multiplayer (yawn) DLC. The latest DLC, however, added in something that I find worth buying - more single player content.

The fact that you get a short but fun new campaign mode for £8 is a deal breaker itself but Rockstar decided to cram in a few extas just for the sake of it. Arriving just in time for Halloween, Undead Nightmare is set after John Marston has saved his family and headed back to his quiet life on his ranch. Everything seems perfect until Uncle arrives home one stormy night, bloody and acting wild, biting John's wife and infecting her with the same virus that is driving everyone crazy for human flesh and his son soon follows.

Yes, Undead Nightmare is a wild west zombie apocalypse. Its up to John to venture out across the open world in search of a cure. You'll visit all the previous towns you did in the original story only now all the towns are under attack from the zombie hordes. This means there are no businesses, so don't be expecting to buy any ammo or knock back a few drinks in the local saloon. This is a fight for survival meaning all shops are gone with their proprietors dead or long gone.

Old characters appear you will remember from the original story, and the cut-scenes return with their wonderful voice actors and well written script. It should take you about 5 - 7 hours to complete the story, depending on if you stop to do the side missions or help those in need around you. Instead of 'Stranger' missions you now get 'Survivor' missions where you can help people out with various tasks and bounties have been replaced with missing person missions. The random encounters can be quite fun. Finding a small camp where a guy has his zombie wife tied up while they both indulged in some cannibalism was quite a site and you can't help but raise an eyebrow at watching someone shoot a loved one that has turned, only to watch them turn the gun on themselves. But that just means more ammo for you.

On the point of ammo, when you venture from your ranch with nothing more then a shotgun and a pistol, it is quite daunting. The only way to find ammo is to loot the bodies of the undead you put down, which can only be killed by a head shot. This greatly adds to the dread of survival as you wonder if you have the ammo to survive another encounter with a zombie horde and I was very much involved. Sadly you'll find an abundance of ammo and guns quickly, taking away any fear you once had. Combat become repetitive once you find you can use your dead eye aim to take out a group zombies without even breaking a sweat.

Overall the missions are fun and creative in the zombie apocalypse scenario. You can ride around and save every town, which is worth doing for those that need their trophy's/achievements. There is also a new gun, the blunderbuss, which fires body parts of the undead and four new horses of the apocalypse to break in. Bigfoot finally appears after years of rumours of him being sighted in San Andreas and there is even a Unicorn to find.

The combat is repetitive, there's an interesting story that adds in a nice blend of survival horror and Rockstars comedy and nice handful of stuff you can do, including a new multiplayer mode where you can team up with your chums and hold off the zombie horde. All this for £8 or 800 MS points. What's not to love here?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2011 12:37 PM BST

Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Series 1 [Adult Swim] [DVD]
Aqua Teen Hunger Force - Series 1 [Adult Swim] [DVD]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal, funny and always entertaining., 19 Sept. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Aqua Teen Hunger Force is a show that follows three anthropomorphic fast food items that live in New Jersey and attempt to solve mystery's but just end up bothering their neighbour Carl by generally messing with his life and continuously destroying his house and worldly belongings. Its a very surreal show, one that is hard to describe without making you sit down and watch an episode for yourself.

The three main characters, Master Shake (a pychotic milkshake), Frylock (an intelligent box of fries) and Meatwad (a slow, stupid and always cheerful meatball) are all very well voiced and despite being very different from each other, have great chemistry. The real joy of the show are the one off characters that appear that are always incredibly funny and very memorable. Ol' Drippy, a generous peice of mould that evolves from Shakes kitchen mess to Happy Time Harry, a cheap manic depressive doll that struggles with bills to pay, armed with a switchblade and likes to drink. And who can forget The Mooninites, the 2D pixilated aliens from the moon.

Episodes only last between 10 to 11 minutes but always feel like a good length and enough time to round everything off nicely and never overstays its welcome. There is no real continuation between episodes, with characters dying, getting mutilated or disfigured only to return back to normal for the next episode. The humor has been compared to that of Family Guy, which I guess is as close to a comparison you can get but I feel this show stands well on its own two feet without needing such comparisons to describe it.

I picked up season 1 for about £8 and I felt it was completely worth it. Its ridiculous, silly and surreal but always enjoyable as a quick peice of enteratinment. This show is apprently huge in America, spawning 7 seasons and a film and we Brits only got the DVD's a year ago. If you're looking for something a little different and something that doesn't take itself seriously then I wholly recommend Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

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