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Product Reviews

Reviewer:
Hyde2612
 
Top 100  Reviewer Top 100 DVD Reviewer
Reviews:
0
Votes:
1100 (54% helpful)

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  1.  Fried Gold...

    Posted: 

    As a huge fan of 'Spaced' I was literally salivating at the prospect of 'Shaun...' and,thank God, I wasn't disappointed. On the strength of this movie alone Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost should be knighted. This is how all British comedies should be constructed - with wit, intelligence and visual flair. Successfully working as both a romantic comedy AND a horror film and with a fantastic script packed full of clever one-liners and movie references this deserves a place alongside Romero's dead films as a true genre classic. The cast is fantastic with cameos from the likes of Jessica Stevenson, Martin Freeman, Reece Shearsmith, Matt Lucas and voiceover work by Rob Brydon and David Walliams. And for a single disc DVD this puts other 'definitive editions' to shame - 4 commentaries, deleted scenes, featurettes and a fantastic trivia track it is clear that the guys had a blast making the film and you're sure to watch this DVD again and again...

  2.  An improvement on the Theatrical Cut...

    Posted: 

    Average is the best word to describe the Fantastic Four movie, failing as it does to TRULY do justice to the comics. Far lighter in tone than 'Batman Begins' and the Spiderman and X-Men movies Tim Story (director of Barbershop and the horrendous 2004 remake of Taxi) seemed a terrible decision to direct this adaptation when compared to the likes of Chris Nolan, Sam Raimi and Bryan Singer. And Story is by far a weaker director than the aforementioned geniuses delivering a far more mainstream, child-friendly movie than previous Marvel outings. Having said that, however, there is still much to enjoy about the proceedings. The Thing and The Human Torch are portrayed perfectly with their on-going love/hate relationship and Chris Evans proves to be a suprisingly charismatic choice to play Johnny Storm. The action-packed bridge scene is well constructed and the whole affair is suprisingly well-humoured. On the other hand the special effects range from the good to the not-so-good, some of the 'comic' moments sit a little uneasily amongst the action, Jessica Alba seems to have been chosen for her looks rather than her acting and, worst of all, Dr. Doom isn't given the treatment he truly deserves. Changing his genesis from the original comic books is forgivable but Julian McMahon fails to infuse his portrayal with enough menace. But it's certainly not all bad, if you like the Marvel characters and want something a bit lighter than usual give it a spin, it's certainly a vast improvement on what I've seen of the unreleased original version (check out the hilariously bad ending over on YouTube). For this new 'extended' edition a further 20 minutes add some welcome character moments to the original with an amusing scene with Johnny Storm, an elevator and a number of attractive women, some further scenes with Alicia and Ben and a cameo from HERBIE (the robot from the comics and not the Lovebug!) Least successful is the extension of the Reed/Sue date scene with the added scenes dupicating existing dialogue and the awful Wolverine gag (quite terrible SFX) standing out like a sore thumb. So, certainly not as bad as critics will have you believe, and in this extended format a more rounded experience. Pity the UK got shafted with the extra features though, this is a single disc release unlike the R1 edition and only includes a brief featurette about the Silver Surfer to whet the appetite for the sequel. Still, at least it's cheap...

  3.  Heroic bloodshed of the highest order..

    Posted: 

    Since working in Hollywood John Woo has yet to make a movie that comes anywhere near the quality of his outstanding Hong Kong output (Face/Off would probably come nearest) With The Killer he delivered a bullet-strewn masterpiece aided in no small part by Chow Yun Fat who exudes coolness from every single pore on his body. Featuring some quite simply breathtaking displays of action, choreographed to the nth degree the term 'bullet ballet' is perfectly suited to the creative carnage on screen. At times almost dancing amidst the gunfire the classic good guy/bad guy, black/white themes so prevalent in Woo's work is clearly apparent in every frame. Quite simply stunning, it was one of the films that forst introduced me to the Hong Kong film industry and I can't praise it enough for doing so...

  4.  What's this...

    Posted: 

    Easily my favourite festive film of all time and quite possibly one of the most enchanting animated features in many a year. Tim Burton's vision literally jumps out of the screen with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'. A cast of wonderfully realised characters, catchy musical numbers and the typical Burtonesque dark humour this story of Jack Skellington's attempts to bring Xmas to Halloween Town is a film all the family can enjoy and cherish for years to come. Eschewing the usual saccharine sweet tone of your typical Xmas film but maintaining a genuine heart under all the Gothic splendour this painstakingly produced stop-motion masterpiece is a film any self-respecting animation lover shouldn't miss out on. The DVD also includes two of Burton's short films 'Vincent' and 'Frankenweenie' - two animated gems that provide further proof that Burton is a true original, a visionary genius of incomparable creativity...

  5.  It's like technology versus horses...

    Posted: 

    Following up his wondefully surreal, multi-layered, mindbender of a debut movie 'Being John Malkovich' many people were unsure as to what director Spike Jonze would produce next. Thankfully a further collaboration with genius screenwriter Charlie Kaufman resulted in the outstanding 'Adaptation' This is a film that truly has to be viewed again and again to fully appreciate its skill and cleverness. Constructed with quite stunning precision, what starts out as a relatively simple plot slowly reveals layer upon layer upon layer of depth and meaning. Nic Cage is always worth watching but here, playing dual roles as Charlie Kaufman himself and his (fictional) brother Donald, he is on genius oddball form. Playing Charlie as a highly strung neurotic and Donald as an overly ambitious wanabbe screenwriter the scenes featuring the two brothers are a definite highpoints of the film, especially Donald's continuing work on his screenplay for his thriller 'The 3' (Mom called it 'psychologically taut') Not only that but superb support is provided by Meryl Streep as Susan Orleans and Chris Cooper as John Laroche. Initially pitched as a simple adaptation of Susan Orleans' book 'The Orchid Thief' 'Adaptation' morphs and twists into a quite unique film - a factual/fictional account of the successful/unsuccessful adaptation of the book in question by a real-life/imaginary screenwriter. Sure, the ending descends into typical Hollywood predictabilty but that's the whole point. Just watch the movie and it'll all become clear. It may be too complex and surreal for some but if you're the kind of person who simply adores the kind of film that can be endlessly dissected/discussed for years to come that 'Adaptation' is certain to please. First 'Being John Malkovich', then this, then 'Eternal Sunshine' - with this hat trick alone Charlie Kaufman sits proudly on top of my list of best screenwriters of the last decade. If he can produce further films that possess such multilayered, thought-provoking, stunningly original creativity then the future of cinema looks very, very bright indeed..

  6.  There is no spoon...

    Posted: 

    There have been many pretenders to the Matrix's sci-fi crown over the years, as well as way too many spoofs/parodies, but the original film is the real deal. The ground-breaking effects still continue to amaze today, Keanu Reeves finally chooses a role that seems to fit him to a tee, Carrie Anne Moss astounds as Trinity (and provides many a hot-blooded male with a sensational new action heroine) Laurence Fishburne delivers a majestic performance as Morpheus full of grandeur and gravitas whilst Hugo Weaving, in Mr. Anderson, delivers one of the greatest, most persistent-minded bad guys in years. An exhaustive collection of special features to complement a groundbreaking trilogy (the two sequels aren't half as bad as some make out) including some fantastic animated shorts from a variety of anime legends, and some fantastic, not to mention exhaustive, behind the scenes documentaries. The commentaries, by critics and philosophers, are a genius idea, with the critics tearing huge chunks out of the two sequels. A brave decision on behalf of the Wachowski's and an idea I'd love to see implemented on other DVDs. Simple, effective packaging and intelligent extras help to make the Ultimate Collection live up to its name. The Matrix trilogy can be enjoyed on a number of levels - as an adrenalin-fuelled action masterpiece or as a deeper, more philosophical experience packed full of intersting trivia, influences and concepts. Influenced by everything from Hong Kong action cinema, anime and cyberpunk and containing both deep religious and philosophical undertones the Matrix is, without question, a superbly written, multi-layered, action packed, stunningly realised, spoon-bending, kung-fu kicking sci-fi masterpiece...

  7.  Book in today...

    Posted: 

    First things first, Hostel ISN'T the most shocking, brutal, stomach-churning, depraved, disturbing, controversial gore-fest Eli Roth may have you believe. It is, however, one of the freshest, most 'enjoyable' horror films of recent years and marks it's director out as a face to watch in the future. Definitely a film of two halves what starts out as a 'Porky's' sex comedy (with plenty of sex) gradually mutates into a dark, black-humoured gore fest (with plenty of gore). Referencing and homaging past horror classics ('Don't Look Now' and 'The Wicker Man' to name but two)and featuring a classic cameo from Takeshi Miike 'Hostel' (to be followed by a sequel this year) is a perfect antidote to all the feel good, rom-coms cluttering the market and any horror lover should add it to their collection now. This release merely adds a second disc of extras to the already adequate early release. Unless you're desperate for more special features I suggest you stick to the original release (it can be picked up cheap nowadays...)

  8.  If you can read this...you are alive...

    Posted: 

    What plot there is in Jeff Noon's novel revolves around Marlene, a journalist grieving for her dead daughter, and three companions, an ex-thug named Peacock, an ex-soldier named Henderson, and a teenager named Tupelo. They, or perhaps the world around them, are sick with a disease that doesn't have a name, but manifests itself as something called noise -- which, like the static on a phone line, interrupts signals as they move between transmitter and receiver, obscuring everything with hiss and crackle. The world is still there, behind the corrupted messages of the senses, but it can't be understood: words can't be read and music can't be followed and photos can't be interpreted and mirrors have grown terrifying, for to look in them is to fail to recognize what you see. A drug called Lucidity provides some respite - though even with their daily dose most people become steadily sicker. Marlene and the others are on a road trip, hunting for the fragments of a mirror. This job has been given them by a mysterious collector, who wants to reassemble the mirror. Is the mirror Alice's mirror? The Through the Looking Glass mirror, which somehow has been shattered? The collector seems to think so; healed, he thinks the mirror will have some great power. He has given Marlene precise instructions... but as she and her companions drive their failing car through a world hallucinatorily transformed both by noise and by their own increasingly unreliable perceptions, the quest, like everything else, slowly becomes incomprehensible. Some surreal novels are like puzzles; scattered clues and symbols enable you to decipher them, or to guess at what the author is trying to say. But 'Falling Out of Cars' defies this sort of analysis. Marlene's quest, revealed through the increasingly disjointed first-person narration of her diary, spins out in a series of musings, free associations, and bizarre dream-like scenes that, both in themselves and in the way they follow (or don't follow) on one another, give the sense of being pregnant with a meaning that's just within reach, but stubbornly resists revealing itself. This is a novel as opaque as the worlds of fractured perception into which noise forces its victims. Is it an exploration of the unreliability of self-perception, the subjectivity of communication? A portrait of a grieving parent's longing for a lost child? A portrayal of a failing mind's descent into madness? A deconstruction of linear narrative? Yes. And no. Even as one identifies these themes, one has the sense that they're not the point. Or more accurately, that identifying them is not the point. An example: the recurring references to 'Through the Looking Glass'. These rise up out of the book periodically and then sink back into it, like the images in the lost mirror fragments -- Marlene's quest, the characters' chess-playing (in which one of the pieces sometimes stands for Alice), a battered edition of 'Through the Looking Glass' with a poignant added chapter, in which Alice pines for the world beyond the mirror and we learn how the mirror may have come to be shattered. The reader wants to put these things together, to make symbolic sense of them. But when, late in the book, Marlene finally explains to Tupelo why the collector wants the mirror fragments and what he thinks reassembling them will accomplish, we don't find out what she says. The fact that she speaks is conveyed, but her speech is not. If there's any key to this book at all, it's this deliberate stripping of meaning. It works best if you accept from the start that you won't be able to make linear sense of it, and experience it instead as a gathering of shimmering images, a series of uncanny and strangely beautiful episodes.

  9.  One of the suprise gems of 2006...

    Posted: 

    What could have simply turned into just a neat idea (a man starts hearing his life narrated by a mysterious voice) actually turns out to be an absolute corker of a movie. Will Ferrell has always been a talented guy but here, like Jim Carrey in 'The Truman Show', he gives a performance that avoids the usual route of slapstick and mayhem. Aided by a quite simply adorable Maggie Gyllenhall who continues to prove she's one of the freshest most talented actresses around, the typically brilliant Emma Thompson, and Dustin Hoffman on fine comic form 'Stranger than Fiction' is a far cleverer film than first appears. Tackling subjects like fate, coincidence and destiny the tale of Harold Crick is one that will stay with you long after the films conclusion. Celebrating the quirks of human existence and reminding us all to just get out there and live our lives to the full Marc Foster and screenwriter Zach Helm (a name to watch) have delivered a wonderful gem of a movie that will warm even the coldest of hearts. Definitely not one to be missed...

  10.  A milestone for CGI and action movies alike....

    Posted: 

    T2 is action movie-making at its absolute pinnacle, a towering, juggernaut of a thrill packed ride full of everything you could possibly ask for from the genre. Robert Patrick is wonderfully chilling as the new generation Terminator and the liquid metal CGI effects, though not QUITE as jaw dropping as back in 1991, still remain a cornerstone in special effects history. Linda Hamilton takes the character she played from the original and pumps her up to awe-inspiring levels to create one of the defininitive female action heroines of all time (only Ripley from the Alien franchise comes close). Edward Furlong is perfect as the rebellious youth and future saviour of the human race John Connor. The action is gobsmacking, perfectly constructed and absolutely relentless. The story is suitably complex, full of paradoxes, twists and turns and Arnie is...well he's just Arnie really, but no other role seems purely created for him and him alone. As the Terminator he brings an unstoppable force to the screen, and even manages to humanise the creation a little this time round. This is every bit a perfect example of action movie making and, if there is any criticism, it's that James Cameron should stop messing about underwater with his ships and whatnot and get back behind the camera ASAP to deliver another movie of such awesome magnitude. Then, and only then, will I consider him the true king of the world...