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Star Trek XI (11) (With Digital Copy) (Exclusive Steelbook) (3 Discs)
I saw this film at the cinema and pre-prdered the Blu-Ray shortly afterwards. The steel tin version is that little bit nicer than the 'standard' version and has the added advantage that you can easily slide the film disc out without bending of disc or case.
When a film that has the huge footsteps of the prior 10 Trek films to fill you never know what you are going to get. Thankfully Abrams pulled this film off admirably with a departure from the original films in much the same vein as the Bond movie-branch that occured with Casino Royale.
Rather than examinations of the human condition or commentaries on society as seen in the earlier films we have a non-stop, fast-paced, delight of an action film.
The main points that make this film extra special are:1. A plausible departure from the original storyline.
2. A superb cast of actors to fill all the lead roles, as ecelectic as the original.
3. The best CGI of the year so far.
Is there anything negative to say about this film? Yes. It is too short, with a film like this you just want more!!!!
I have shown this film to about a dozen friends, some of whom have never even seen a Trek movie before! They all universally loved it, not a single person that I know has a bad thing to say about this film.
It is always hard to write a review about a good film, what do you point out? There are sad moments, there a few funny moments, there are a fair amount of white knuckle moments and there is entertainment everywhere!
So in brief; if you want to be blown away for 2 hours, stick this disc in, pull the chair up to the 50" Plasma TV, set the 7.1 amp to 'Loud' and immerse yourself. (If you haven't got theses items then it is worth getting them just for this film!)
Terminator Salvation (Terminator 4)
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Every time I write a review with less than 4 stars people mark it as unhelpful, lets see if this one can buck the trend and be rated objectively.
I can sum this film up in one word - McG.
McG directed this film and it shows, his prior claims to fame are directing Charlie's Angels 1 and 2. How that qualified him to direct this film I have no idea but obviously someone decided he would be perfect, he wasn't. I know that Bay and Abrams were busy doing Transformers 2 and Start Trek XI, but surely there was another action-film director they could have chosen!
All of the improbable stunts that are spread throughout the CA films are here, it is impossible to immerse yourself in a film when the laws of physics are so blatantly ignored. The actors are all absolutely amazing shots (single hit kills with a grenade launcher, one handed from a speeding vehicle!) while the 'machines' have got Stormtrooper syndrome (unable to hit a barn door at 5 meters with a gatling cannon). Huge explosions have a blast radius of about 1 metre and the human body can be thrown, crushed, stabbed, shot, blown-up and still walk away.
Cliche's abound in this film, I won't reel off the extensive list; just wonder why the 'bad-humans' are inbred hill-billies 'lookie what we found!' when they see a woman. Why are random fires dotted around deserted cities, in the rain, flaming barrels, flaming cushions and flaming debris. Is there some pyromaniac wondering all the cities setting fire to everything they can see?I could go on but won't as I am sure you are getting the picture.
For every 1 good scene there were 2 bad, cliched, contrived scenes more reminiscent of a bad student movie than a hollywood blockbuster. The script was so bad that not even Christian Bale, (a superb action-actor) could do anything with it.
Plus Points...* It has kept the Terminator franchise going* It has hopefully ended McG's career sparing us from more of his abortions* Michael Ironside* Good SFX (ILM were busy this year!)
Bad Points...* Cliches abound* Contrived scenes and sub-plots* Lack of realism & disregard for the laws of physics* Very poor story
So why 3 stars?It is a loud, fast paced action film. A visual and audio fanfare that for mere sensory impact has great potential. Unfortunately for all the reasons above it is not a great film.
Do I blame McG? Yes. He is now second on my hated directors list after George Lucas.
Do I blame the writers? Yes. John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris. These two are responsible for such tripe as 'The Net' and 'Catwoman'.
----It should be noted that the Director's cut has more violence and a bit of boob that the theatrical release didnt, apart from that there is not a huge difference between versions.
War Games 1 & 2 - Doublepack
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Wargames was the computer film of the 80's.It is responsible for more than many people know, for example the DefCon scale of 1-5, this was the first time it was used in a popular film and they got it the wrong way around! Since then almost every movie I have ever seen has also got it the wrong way around!This film has it all, phone phreaking, cracking, hacking and all before people even knew what these words meant.
I loved Wargames as a kid and love it just as much now, a true homage to 80's technology. If you have seen Hackers and liked it, definitely get this, the two finest films of the genre.
On the other hand Wargames 2 is disappointing. As usual the film falls into the 'Enemy of the State/Eagle Eye' trap of going too far with what technology can actually do and you can do with it. It lacks the excitement and desperation of the first film and to be honest I would much prefer if they called it something else and didn't have a sequel to the superb Wargames.
Buy this if you want the complete set, otherwise just get the original Wargames with the brilliant 80's cover art.
Wargames *****Wargames 2 *** (only because of Joshua's cameo!)
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This is a true classic of the genre, a 1950's Sci-Fi with all the best bits of 1950's Sci-Fi!
Special effects that will leave you speechless.Acting that has no comparison.Stereotypes that have long since been condemned.Unintentional humour.Scientific experts with beautiful daughters.Nuclear ignorance.
Do it, buy it then watch it either after a few beers or on a bored Sunday afternoon. You never know, this may be the film that 'turns you on' to classic Sci-Fi. If it doesn't... well, the case art looks pretty cool or use it as the offices 'Secret Santa' gift, better than my friends tin of dog food secret santa gift (the recipient was not impressed).
The Fearless Vampire Killers
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I read the former reviews of this film and was expecting a Hammer style horror film with some comedy thrown in. I was mistaken. I actually fell asleep for the last ten minutes (the climax was that gripping).
The film boasts a slow, awkward and stilted storyline. The attempts at humour are plain to see and fall painfully by the wayside. I think I chuckled twice more out of pity than any real amusement.
The only virtue of this film is the stunning Sharon Tate (the late Sharon Tate who was brutally murdered in 1969 whilst pregnant by followers of Charles Manson), her appearance in any scene always brings it to life, but alas she was in too few scenes and was under-utilised. I believe she married the director of this film shortly after release.
I don't normally write reviews for films I don't like, but in this case I wanted to save you from the drudgery and dreariness that is this abortion of a 'comedy'. My first ever 1 star rating I do believe!
Outland is quite simply a 'Space Western'. The 'small town' is now a mining station on Io (pronounced eye-oh as the film helpfully points out), the 'bad guy' is the mayor/station chief, the hired goons are hired goons, the miners are miners, the hookers are hookers, and the weapons basically haven't changed with Sean's weapon of choice being a shotgun, there are no ray-guns in this film.
Superb performances from all the cast make this film a keeper and there are plenty of familiar faces to remind you of how old you are now.
You usually know what to expect from Sean Connery, including his Scottish accent and distinctive acting style, this film is no different and he delivers an outstanding performance as a Scottish Sheriff.Personally I am not the biggest fan of Sean; (Russian submarine commander with a Scottish accent, Spaniard with a Scottish accent, English secret agent with a Scottish accent, the list continues...), but the Scottish accent is not out of place in this case and helps to distinguish him from the rest of the stereotypes in the film.
The brilliant special effects are a testament not only to the original film-makers but also the DVD 'clean-up' and more than once you will find yourself wishing that they would use more models in some of the new films that are being made, they are in numerous ways superior to CGI.
I do recommend this film to both Sci-Fi fans and Western fans, you will both like it and the superb DVD restoration makes this film a worthwhile addition to the collection.
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The story was good and the way the 'prophecy' came about at the end was nicely handled. The acting was great with emotions, thoughts and feelings being portrayed as much non-verbally as verbally. The fights were graphic enough to feel that we weren't being mollycoddled but not over the top and the pace of the film was just right.
But none of the above matters when compared to the absolutely stunning filmography and attention to detail that is present throughout this film. Mel Gibson must have gone to the Peter Jackson school of making sure that every minute detail is 'just so' and it shows; from the weapons to the costumes to the scenery. And what scenery! Filming in jungles and rain-forests is notoriously hard but the quality of the filming was akin to the best BBC nature documentaries.I watched this on an upscaling DVD player on a 50" plasma and it was astounding, I am definitely going to get the Blu-Ray version soon.
I recommend this film to all adults, and for once it is actually an 18 for reasons other than drugs or senseless gore. Even if 'this type of film' is not your type of film you will probably like it, there are plenty of emotional scenes, there is plenty of action, and there is more than one perspective to many of the scenes. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it as it is 'not my type of film', or so I thought!
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I Robot + Enemy of the State + 2001 A Space Odyssey
Imagine HAL from 2001 (complete with 'red eye' and a comtemporary 'my mind is going' scene). Add to his psyche the megalomaniacal tendency and 'its for your own good' delusion of the I Robot mainframe and finally sprinkle in the big brother elements of Enemy of the State.
Now take all the farcical over the top parts of Enemy of the State, remove the philosophical aspects of I Robot and any other reference to Space Odyssey and you have this film.
It is flawed on multiple levels and as other reviewers have pointed out these flaws I will not rehash them here.It is also a fast paced, typically Spielbergian (he produced it)rollercoaster ride of a thriller that doesn't let up for the duration of the film including a couple of nice plot twists and an ending that was good five minutes before the real ending.
For some reason I kept on being reminded of Wanted while watching this film, so if you liked that film and you liked Enemy of the State you will probably like this film.If like me you found the whole implausability aspect of Enemy of the State off-putting then do your best to disengage your brain and watch the pretty effects and odd twist.
I am giving this 3 stars, it probably deserves 2 for most of the film but some bits do warrant 4.
Oh, and that guy who you 'know from something else' is Ben Grimm (The Thing) from Fantastic Four.
Revell: Star Wars: TIE Interceptor EasyKit Pocket
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I bought this kit as a present for a friend but the shiny packaging looked too tempting so I put it together myself.
A small pair of clippers to remove the components from the sprues is all that is required, it was easy to assemble, very cleverly designed and looks brilliant. The detail is quite impressive even down to the lights on the control pads in the cockpit.
I have it hanging from my desklamp and have already had a few complimentary comments with people holding it up to the light so that they can view the internal detail through the clear cockpit windows.
When assembled it looks larger than the dimensions suggest which is fine by me!
I recommend this item but can imagine that anyone with larger than average fingers or under the age of 10 would struggle a bit.
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I first watched this when it became available for hire years ago, since then I have watched it at least 50 times, in fact I have now bought it twice! It is a very underrated comedy that tickles all the right comedy receptors in the brain. It also includes a bevy of beautiful babes.
Everybody I have shown this too has agreed that it is hilarious and it is ideal for late in the evening with a few friends.
Don't be put off by the cheesy blurb, this film is much more than those couple of sentences would lead you to believe, it doesn't even mention the Swedish National Sun-Tanning Team!
In all a great, easy to watch comedy that will leave your sides hurting from laughter.