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Bruno (Reversible Sleeve)
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Sacha Baron Cohen was initially regarded (at least by myself) to be a slightly-uninspired comedian making most of his barely audible laughs out of the satirical character Ali G.
Amidst his other comedic creations - including the popular Borat - was that of the titular Brúno.
Brúno was a homosexual member of the fashion elite, incredibly open with regards to his sexuality which is where most of the humor arose. Even though this character wasn't especially popular - and seemed to be a one-trick-pony as far as the jokes were concerned - Sacha has chosen him to be the centre of his new venture.
Most modern comedies rely either on a well written script, a well made film or a well chosen cast. Brúno has it all. It literally delivers on every beat, with perfect timing, delivery and substance. Barely five minutes will pass without you laughing uncontrollably or cringing wholeheartedly.
The plot, (which there isn't a lot of since it tends towards the documentary side of filmmaking), focuses on the idol himself trying to become famous in the USA after being effectively ostracised from the fashion scene in his mother Austria.
The exploits which follow are as interesting as they are hilarious. As well as being ridiculously over the top with regards to the situations Brúno finds himself in, each one highlights either the idiocy, ignorance, ridiculousness or stupidity of modern conventions and opinions.
Be it emphasising how fad and trend-based contemporary culture happens to be or stressing the sheer lack of intelligence people can have when it comes to a persons sexuality, Brúno accomplishes everything that Sacha set out to achieve.
This is illustrated to the point of epitome come the denouement of the movie. So as not to spoil it entirely, Brúno essentially does what Brúno sets out to do....at a place none other than an anti-homosexuality ultimate fighting tournament.
The entire film can easily be said to be very important, owing to the messages it conveys. It shines a light - albeit a humerous one - on the more taboo subjects in society that we seem to denounce as being taboo or wrong, and forces us to re-evaluate such unfair opinions.
I can't recommend this movie enough (at this point, it's still in theatres) and is worth every penny you happen to pay in order to watch it.
Better than Borat by a thousand miles, which in my opinion, is saying something.
I Love You, Man
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There are by far too many comedies being manufactured these days to satisfy a young generation who deem it amusing if they recognise a low-brow parody.
Thankfully, there exists a small range of actors, writers and directors who still have a sense of what's both amusing as well as entertaining. To name but two of them, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, the stars of the movie.
The film presents us with the mild-mannered Rudd who has never had any close male friends, and yet is about to be married. So enters Segel, the epitome of the modern laid-back dude, to teach him what it's like to be, essentially, a guy.
The film is hilarious. There is no other word for it. Digging a little deeper, yes, there are certain imperfections in the character development and the way things work between the characters themselves. All of this is merely overshadowed by the acting ability and the number of laughs it contains.
The movie isn't as ridiculous as others in it's category, (such as the awesome "Step Brothers"), but still maintains a basis in the frat-house comedy stylings. The entire film doesn't rely on the two main actors either, (albeit their shining proof of how funny each can be), as they are supported by a cast of sheer delight.
Segel pilfers the plot and steals the show, proving himself to be as funny as any acting counterpart. After watching the piece, you'll want nothing more than to watch it again just for him; or simply seek out other things he's been in!
I thoroughly suggest this film as a perfect couple comedy. It suits boyfriends and girlfriends as well as the two best mates after a laugh. Best of all, you can relate to it, making it all the more humerous!
Best way to put it: a real treat. Simple as.
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This often overlooked gem of the 90's is just one of the pre-Rings Peter Jackson classics (such as Braindead and Bad Taste) that never fail to entertain.
Michael J Fox plays a conman who can see ghosts, and utilises this ability to fool people out of their money by pretending to exorcise their homes (when in reality it's his poltergeist pals fooling around). Things go awry however, when a certain hooded apparition begins killing innocent people.
The story is thankfully quite good, and the movie as a whole is executed well; the oscar-winning talent obviously shining through even at this early stage of the director's career.
The special effects, in all fairness, are quite dated and almost a bit jokey; yet this simply suits the movie perfectly, with its quirky storyline and unique characters.
Easy to watch and easy to become a fan after the first viewing. A treat for everyone!
Lie To Me: Season 1 (4 Discs)
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American television tends to churn out shows the are simply wash-rinse-repeat versions of other programmes with slight changes in subject matter.
Although "Lie To Me" sounds a lot like one of these types, (a detective show with a quirk to it), it is by far more intelligent and interesting than a plethora of the aforementioned shows combined.
Tim Roth is absolutely spell-binding as the human lie detector, able to pick up on the tiniest (and very real) details that we give away when we lie and utilise the information in order to solve the case.
Although there is neither anything special nor overly interesting about the co-stars, they are not the worst actors in the world and thusly add yet another decent support to the show.
Popular culture is often scrutinised within the show, taking famous examples of people lying in the media and explaining what gives them away and why. This alone makes the show worth watching, regardless of the well-written storylines and attention-grabbing methods of deduction.
If you haven't seen all of the episodes (or haven't the means to do so) then this boxset is the perfect investment for entertainment and what is soon to be one of your favourite shows.
Perfect from Tim Roth.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (With Exclusive Special Feature)
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There appears to be a hurricane of comic-book films engulfing the current media circuit, ranging from Oscar-worthy to sheer and utter popcorn fodder.
There was nothing perfect about the "X-Men" series of films, but they did what they set out to do: to make money and entertain the majority of the public (despite an interesting curve of artistic license when it came to the characters themselves).
It should therefore be of no surprise that "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" continues such a trend of imperfection, taking even greater liabilities with much beloved characters to the point of near-destroying them.
The plot is thin, on the verge of being non-existant, and seems to have been threaded in after all of the action scenes have been filmed. This alone demonstrates where the priorities lie when making such a film; it is nothing short of ironic that the special effects and action sequences appear overly fake and underdone.
Since the entire basis of this film is meant to be an origin story, you would think that continuity would be paid strict attention to so that everything makes sense.
Right? .... Wrong!
The plot has more holes than Hugh Jackman's string vest and makes little or no sense if compared to the existing three films. As if to rub salt in the wound, there is not a single nugget of enjoyment for any person who is a fan of the comics or the characters.
A movie made for the masses who have no interest in the subject matter, and who want to see the charachature that they label as "Wolverine" hurt people and destroy things.
At the very least, if you're desperate to see it, wait until it's less than a fiver...it's the only point that the film would be worth the money you pay to see it!
New In Town
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It's an incredible shame that some wonderful and inspirational independant films struggle to have so much as the name of their movie mentioned by a local paper, when a piece of so-called "entertainment" like this gets a general release in cinemas and a DVD.
I won't waste the energy, letters or brainpower to sum up anything to do with the plot (or lack thereof) but rather detail it in the plainest way I can.
Generic chick-flick that even by the most low-brow of standards must be considered below par.
Don't waste your time contemplating this film, let alone the money that would be used to watch it.
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This film is especially odd to review, owing to the sheer pick 'n' mix style of its content.
Where some aspects previal with flying colours, other elements leave you wanting a full refund for the film you've just watched, (of both your money and your time).
Without giving too much away, the plot deals with a lecturer, (played by the ever-stoic Cage), who finds a series of numbers which happen to be counting down - one destruction at a time - to the end of the world. Amidst the wanderings of questions, mysterious beings keep appearing leading to a deeper puzzle than first presented.
The story and plot has a lot of promise, but seems compelled to leave no ambiguity whatsoever: in no way, shape or form does it want to leave you wondering about anything in the film. In not so many words, it talks to down to the audience thinking them a lot more stupid than they are.
However, the visual presentation of the film is indeed worth a watch. There are several scenes (all of which involving the aforementioned destruction) that will satisfy even the hardiest of action enthusiasts. Long takes (reminiscent of Alfonso Cuaron's "Children of Men") help emphasise such remarkable efforts.
To sum up, this movie will not make you think whatsoever and treat you as if you can't work out a thing for yourself. Yet, this is balanced with mindblowingly well done special effects and visual treat followed by visual treat.
Essentially: Nicholas Cage fans need only apply.
James Bond: Quantum Of Solace (2 Discs)
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Ok, here we go...
The announcement of Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig, was met with dissaprovement, boycotting, annoyance and frustration. Yet, when it was finally seen by the public, the reboot heralded a new generation of fans and even a new breed of Bond for the modern day. All due to the fact that Casino Royale was, in itself, a very good film.
It is nothing short of ironic that Quantum Of Solace was eagerly anticipated and hyped up by anyone who heard any single thing about it; when in fact it should have been the other way around completely.
The film is not brilliantly made, the script isn't fantastic, and the acting is therefore hindered by such things.
I am not, for one second, condemming the series of Bond. If anything, I'm a huge Bond film myself and loved Casino Royale; I was one of the aforementioned people who highly anticipated Quantum's release simply because of how high it's predescessor set the bar.
Every element of the film could have been done better or, at the very least, didn't even attempt to live up to the reputation that was given to it before it was even released.
Without giving too much away, but detailing it fully........The action scenes seem to have been filmed too close to the action making it impossible to see what's going on, the plot (Bond seeking revenge for the death of his beloved Vesper) is practically never addressed excpet for the short introduction and the last ten minutes of the film. The infamous Bond villain (a short, awkward Frenchman) is nothing short of a dissapointment after his predocessor (a huge bad guy who cries blood). Even the Bond-Theme itself isn't as impressive as others, sounding cheap and tinny at the best of times.
I plead that you don't think I'm not a fan of where Bond is going: I sorely am. If anything, I pray that this film is simply a bridging piece from one awesome film to the mind-blowing finale of a reboot trilogy. This sadly doesn't stop the film itself from being quite basically poor.
I suggest that you do buy the film if you loved Casino Royale like I did; it will give you a whole new level of appreciation for it!
A poor dissapoint. A real shame.
Kung Fu Panda
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Since the early days of animation, resulting in classics like Toy Story and Shrek, the public have majoritively had to put up with samey sequels and uninspired computer cartoons that were occasionally interpuncted by the surprise smash.
"Kung Fu Panda" however makes the rest look like their punching above their weight. The sheer amount of themes and aspects within the film alone makes sure that it cannot be written off as an unoriginal cash-cow of a kids film, but rather a sincerely well done piece of animated film-making.
The casting of the voices for the film (Jack Black, David Cross, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman and even Jackie Chan) is nothing short of inspired and makes these 3D characters far from two-dimensional personas.
Everything about the film is awesome (with a surprisingly amazing soundtrack which I cannot rate higher either) and the story leaves you craving for more!
I love the prospect of a sequel on the horizon, as this is the kind of film that really needs one. Regardless of your age, this film is accessible by everyone and anyone.
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As a horror film, this movie deserves a minimum of four stars. It packs a punch, keeps you a few inches in front of the edge of your seat and will make even the manliest of men check the locks of their doors at night.
But why only three stars, you may ask?
This is, esentially, a review of the DVD itself with a simple mentioning of the film's storyline and impact. As for the film, it does exactly what it says on the tin. It's incredibly scary without resorting to the cheap shocks of jumping out at you (quite the opposite really) and even resorts you to seeking out company and peace of mind the night you watch it.
However: the film relies on sheer attention and taught emotion. This, in all fairness, can only be achieved in a cinema screening. The screams and shocks tend to be fueled by the adrenaline that only comes with sitting in a dark room and a huge screen.
Don't get me wrong. Please. This is a brilliantly scary film, and has practically been made for those horror fans that feel like the genre is dying.
My advice: DO buy it. You WILL get scared. SO LONG as you simulate a decent viewing experience:
Dark room.Only yourself, or one other person with you.The sound up.Prepare to be scared.