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After the success of horror classics of the 1970s and early 1980s most prominently The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street horror movies were in high demand and you couldn't move without a new horror film coming out at you, trying to cash in on the success of the above titles thereby trying to copy a formula that had become a winner without thinking of what made them a success in the first place.
As a result the quality withered and films were being made for the sake of it and thereby the horror genre died.
That is until the year 1996 when Wes Craven the director of A Nightmare On Elm Street teamed up with writer Kevin Williamson and created the film 'Scream'.
Scream rejuvenated the horror genre, bringing something totally different, a new scope on the horror genre. Ridiculing previous horror films by saying and doing things that would of previously automatically get you into serious trouble in previous films, namely killed.
Scream gave the horror genre a shot in the arm a bolt of energy that it so desperately needed therefore the horror genre was REBORN!!!!!
Jesus Of Nazareth: The Special Edition (2 Discs)
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Robert Powell stars as Jesus the Christ and gives the performance of his life in undoubtedly the greatest biblical piece of film making ever produced even though it was primarily made for television. His performance was so affective and believable that behind his haunting blue eyes you could honestly believe that this man was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Jesus Of Nazareth is only some what rivalled by The Passion Of The Christ for sheer realism and story telling a particular event of the life of Jesus (the crucifixion).
Jesus of Nazareth tells the story just prior to the start of Jesus' life and the events surrounding it from when his Mother Mary is foretold that is she is to give birth to a baby. To his baptism by John the Baptist, to the ultimate act of betrayal by Judas Iscariot, his arrest and trial for blasphemy, his condemnation to death by way of crucifixion and his foreseen and eventual resurrection.
The support cast was exquisite throughout and nothing made since can match the amount of stars that Jesus Of Nazareth had nor do I think it ever will. Stars of yesteryears such as Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov, Donald Pleasence and James Mason to name but a few.
This is one for the collection an excellent account of the events that occurred throughout the life of Jesus. Undeniably Ten out of Ten!!!!
The Omen: Special Edition (2 Discs) (1976)
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Forget about the remake this is the version that you must see if you haven't already.
Although it can be stated that the remake is made for today's generation and the original can be considered dated in places there is only one version I would prefer to watch.
This version of The Omen is more atmospheric, it has more bite to it, more feelings it has a cutting edge that makes you think and it proves that a horror film doesn't have to have masses of blood and violence on show to achieve its objective of having an everlasting effect after the credits roll.
Strong performances from such greats such as Gregory Peck as the Damien's unacquainted Father who doesn't want to believe the true purpose of his son. Billie Whitelaw as Damien's Nanny and Earthly protector, and the child who played Damien himself the fact that throughout the film Damien doesn't have a word to say until the latter stages of the film adds to the drama and mysteriousness behind the persona of Damien therefore making it a more effective performance and that evil smile that makes you think that this child could truly be the Antichrist
This film has a very good ending to the extent that it places you on a knife-edge. An excellent introduction into the world of the Antichrist. Ten Out of Ten!!!
Saving Private Ryan - Commemorative D-Day 60th Anniversary Edition (2 Discs)
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Steven Spielberg quite deservedly won his second Academy Award for Best Director and further enhanced his status as one of the greatest film makers in the history of cinema.
Spielberg's MASTERPIECE on how a group of soldiers led by Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) risk all to save one man paratrooper Private Ryan (Matt Damon) in enemy occupied France after there are told that in one day 3 of Private Ryan's siblings were killed fighting this war, World War 2. The act in which to see if Private Ryan is alive or dead shows and illustrates an act of true courage under fire.
This film shows that there are humans who will do something righteous even though the act itself can be considered suicidal, with not many individuals willing to do the same thing if they were in the same situation even if they were ordered to.
Saving Private Ryan shows sheer realism in what a war situation must truly be like almost to the fact that you can reach out and touch it, as if you were actually there on the frontline. That is film making at its best!!
There is one sequence in particular that stands out for me and when I first watched this film I thought 'Yes' I'm about to watch something special.
That one sequence is the opening war sequence with the Allied invasion of Normandy where the soldiers under the command of Captain Miller are arriving and trying to secure beachhead.
The camera work from the outset is remarkable. The fear on the soldier's faces and anxiety as they are arriving is a true complement to a war situation. The whizzing of the bullets as the soldiers are being attacked and killed whilst there are unable to truly defend themselves is outstanding and makes this film so believable. Its one of the best movie sequences ever it's as if you were behind the cameras eye.
Words cannot express on how brilliant that movie sequence was. The word brilliant doesn't give the film or particularly that scene justice it comprehensively deserves.
Spielberg has excelled once again with this film that there is nothing more for me to say but Ten out of Ten!!!!!!!
The Exorcist - Director's Cut
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The Exorcist, based on the 1973 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty; is without doubt the greatest horror movie ever made, it was ahead of its time when it was released back in 1973 setting the benchmark in which for others to follow in terms of chilling atmosphere, lighting and the story behind it all the forces of Good Vs. the forces of Evil!
Not only a horror movie it possesses a psychological element to it in the form of the demonic possession of a little girl, and seeing her character gradually change from a typical girl getting into mischief and being loved by everyone before turning into a Chess Pawn of the Dissolute One
But without the first-rate performances of Linda Blair as the Satanic Regan McNeill, Ellen Burstyn as the doting Mother who sees her daughter deteriorate and change before her very eyes and being unable to do what all parents wish to do and help there children in their hour of need through forces that she can not control.
Jason Miller as Father Karras who has many exertions to deal with apart from the pending confrontation with Regan McNell such as the loss of his Mother and the sentiment of guilt he feels that he couldn't help her as a result he questions his faith.
Max Von Sydow as the matured Father Merrin who has always known that he must one day participate in one last Battle against his arch Nemesis who is positioned itself within the innocent Regan McNeill.
Last and no means least is the vocal talents of Mercedes McCambridge, who without her contribution behind the Demonic persona of Regan McNeill's character wouldn't have been as so effective. What a Voice!!!!!
This version; the directors cut includes 11 minutes of additional material which were deleted from its original 1973 release including the now infamous spider walk.
This film is one for the ages and symbolises two things that are certain in this world 'Good' and 'Evil'. An Excellent film TEN OUT OF TEN!!!!!
Complete Miss Marple Box Set (12 Discs)
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Joan Hickson was and always will be the definitive Miss Marple and the favoured choice of Agatha Christie her creator.
Her look, acting, mild manor and capabilities to solve the most baffling of cases before the incompetent Police with such persistence and dignity makes her an enjoyment to watch.
This is a collection for all who enjoy to be entertained by watching a good murder mystery and watch it be solved or try to solve it oneselves.
This is for the ages, a detective at the height of their power. Ten out of Ten!!!!
Seven - 2 Disc Edition
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Seven is without doubt David Fincher's best film to date and when the credits start at the beginning you sense that you are about to watch and bear witness to something quite special.
Seven pits a pair of Detectives on totally different ends of a spectrum in terms of Detective work one being somewhat rash and impulsive and the other a more refined thought intensified person.
Both in which have a common goal to catch a serial killer who commits murders in the form of the Seven Deadly Sins; Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Wrath and Envy.
Although this film is graphic in parts it however has an excellent concept/storyline to it and is a breath of fresh air due to the fact that the murders have a significant message behind them and not just being committed by some rambling madman. There is method in his madness to the extent that this killer wants to create what he sees as a Masterpiece which is a reincarnation of the 'Seven Deadly Sins'.
Three performances above all stand out in this film for me and those are that of Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey.
With two exceptional supporting performances coming from R. Lee Ermey as the brash straight talking boss of Brad Pitts character and that of Morgan Freeman's character and Gwyneth Paltrow as Brad Pitts wife who has her own cross to bear.
This film is gripping from start to finish and you as a viewer have no inkling of who the murder is. That is clever. Seven is a film that gets you thinking because you don't see any of the murders being committed. You have to imagine how each has occurred and that is a powerful notion.
Seven is without question one of the films of the 1990s and without question one of the best murder, mystery thrillers around. Uncomplicatedly. Ten out of Ten anything less wouldn't give this film justice.
Irreversible: Collector's Edition
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Irreversible has without doubt one of the most shocking and controversial scenes I have ever witnessed in the world of cinema.
The films events take place over the course of one vexing night in Paris told in a reverse chronological sequence as the completely striking Alex played by Monica Bellucci is brutally raped and beaten by a total stranger in an underpass after leaving a party early.
Her performance is both harrowing and heart felt and one that I don't think many other actresses could of participated in never lone surpass that's a credit to her acting credentials - Well Done!!!!
Upon finding out what has happened in the most coincident of fashions, her current and a previous partner decide to take the law into their own hands by becoming avenging angels and go on a chaotic search to unearth the vindictive and heartless rapist so that they can exact one of the most brutal of revenge ever witnessed in cinema.
This film proves that life is not always fun and pretty and you do not know what can be round the corner. Anyone can be a victim. People may state that the rape sequence is too graphic and goes on for far too long but my answer to them is this.
I very much doubt that something as strong a subject as 'RAPE' is meant to be a pleasant viewing experience.
It may seem that I am putting a constraint on this film but far from it. This film is without doubt a must see film for all film lovers, even those who may detest world cinema the fact is; is that Irreversible is a film that speaks louder than words. Easily Ten out of ten!!!!!!
James Bond: Casino Royale - Collector's Edition (2 Discs)
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To those critics, who critised the decision for Daniel Craig to be the first blond James Bond what do you say now?
Casino Royale is without doubt the best Bond movie since Roger Moore's early outings as the 00 licence to kill secret agent.
Daniel Craig proved to be the ultimate in what an assassin should be like in terms of his style and hard hitting action.
This is a must see for all Bond fans even those who haven't seen a Bond movie before this is a great place to start because it goes back to the beginning where James Bond is giving his 00 status.
Everything about this movie is fantastic, from start to finish and you learn so much into the Bond character and persona, things that watching the other films you wouldn't of known why. For example why he doesn't trust women.
Daniel Craig's biggest test will come in his next outing as James Bond because after such a brilliant first outing the only way it seems is to go down but I don't think so.
This is the Bond for the 21st century I think that Daniel Craig could rival to be the best Bond ever. A strong statement but a possibility nevertheless.
An excellent film ten out of ten!!!!!
The Virgin Suicides
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The Virgin Suicides is a beautiful piece of filmmaking directed by Sofia Coppola telling the story about five sisters in an unprecedented world right amongst the everyday world told in the words of local boys who tried to help them through the mellowing and quite brilliant narration of Giovanni Ribisi who come back to the scene of there teenage years to try and solve the mystery of the Lisbon sisters.
During the course of this haunting movie the Lisbon sisters are kept away from having a social life and being under the constant guard and supervision of their hardened mother and backless father that their means of living and watching the everyday world pass them by just becomes too much.
A unique and quite haunting piece of filmmaking. My honest advice is just watch it for yourselves and you maybe pleasantly surprised I know I was. Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ten out of ten.