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We have all seen a disaster movie before. Some person/group of people are leading their normal lives, a (insert disaster) causes chaos, and the government tries to help save the world by pulling the movie's protagonist(s) into it.
Well the happening isn't like that. The movie is about an unknown airborne toxin that causes people to commit suicide. It's focused on a small group of people who try and evade being infected. Any more information than that and it runs the risk of spoiling the movie.
The movie starts well by setting up the atmosphere for what is about to happen, through showing us what has happened and the outcome for anyone unlucky enough to be infected. The problem with the way the movie flows is from how the director decided to deal out the information about what is happening. We, the audience, are shown what happened to te people in New York city at the start of the movie, and later on what happens in another city, yet throughout the movie we see mark wahlbergs character seeking information, but because we are already aware of what has happened, there is no desire for us to feel tense and connect with him because we already know what he is trying to find out. I think if we were only given the same amount of information as him then we could connect with the character more. Movies like The War of the worlds (remake) do a good job of this, by only showing us what the characters see.
The acting in this movie is bad. Mark Wahlberg really does chew up some of the scenes he is in, and some of his timing is way off. After seeing him in the departed, I am surprised that he did such a bad job here. Zooey Deschnnel did a better job, but still wasn't that good. She seemed to be devoid of many emotions, and at times her facial expressions didn't really match the situations. The best performance of the movie for me came from Betty Buckley (Oz), which is saying a lot considering she was only in the movie for a short while, but she did a great job.
I am a fan of M. Night Shyamalan. I have liked a lot of his movies since The Sixth Sense, but some more than others, and even enjoyed the lady in the water. So when I watched this movie I always had the disbelief that this was a bad movie. I knew it wasn't going to be great, but I was expecting it to be better much better than it was.
Worth a rent, and maybe a buy if you are a fan, but don't expect a lot.
The Thing (1982)
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I have been a huge fan of this movie for years, starting back on VHS, then on DVD and now finally on Blu-ray.
What does need to be pointed out though is if you didn't like this movie 20 years ago, then you probably aren't going to like it now. What I can confirm for you is that this the best transfer of the movie available. It is clear within the first five minutes that this movie looks good. The snow looks incredibly fresh and powdery, the fire looks sharp and the darkness of the night makes a great contrast from the snow. The sound is complete 5.1, and it fits the film well. Best of all, there are very few visual issues such as grain spikes, which for a film that was made in 1982, is really impressive.
The one area where the HD doesn't do the film justice is the special effects. The effects still look incredible and are astoundingly graphic, but the small imperfections of the effects are made much more clear, but for a film that uses so many prosthetics, it still holds up very well today. If you are like me and have been a fan of this movie for years then it is definitely worth picking up. Overall....
...This is the ultimate edition of The Thing.
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One of biggest problems with making movies in this day and age is that a lot of great ideas have already made their way onto the big screen. It is one of the reasons that Hollywood has taken to creating a multitude of remakes, not to mention making book and game based movies. There is however, another type of movie making, in the form of directors that have been inspired by other movies. Quentin Tarantino is one such example. Neil Marshall has also taken this philosophy and this is also what lends to the positive and negative sides of Doomsday.
On one side of the coin, it is a fun and enjoyable homage to other great films, with elements of 28 days later, Alien, Mad Max and Escape from LA. The other side of the coin holds the biggest problem for this movie. There isn't an original bone in its body. There are scenes that are a blatant rip off of Mad Max. There is one scene in particular that borders on Plagiarism. What is most disappointing is after watching Neil Marshalls last film 'The Descent', I was expecting the same quality, but it sadly wasn't there.
Although the movie isn't at all original, it is still a fun and enjoyable film and serves as a great homage to films that have past. You won't get bored and you will enjoy your time with the movie. Just don't expect the same experiences you had watching 28 days later or Mad Max. I can honestly say that if you have the time and money then pick up the Mad Max films, the Alien Quadrilogy and 28 days later. If not, then this serves as a great homage.
The Hellbound Heart
First off let me clarify that this book is not 320 pages long as it is described, but it is in fact 128 pages long with an extract from another Clive barker novel: Imajica at the end. However, don't let its short length put you off because this is a great read.
The basic story, without spoiling the book, is concerned with a mystical box that is used to summon Cenobites (you will love these guys). The idea is that the Cenobites will provide other worldly pleasures, unlike anything experienced on earth, for those who can solve the puzzle that is Lemarchands box. But the Cenobites' ideas of pleasure vary wildly from our own. Enter frank....
The characters in the book are well formed with some given great motivations and interesting interactions, but leaving enough mystery to question some of the decisions these characters make, and the Cenobites within the hell bound heart are created with grotesque imagery that makes your skin crawl.
I would definitely recommend this book to any fans of Clive barker or horror in general, and this has definitely persuaded me to get a copy of the books of blood.
Wall-E (2 Discs)
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This is a review of the Blu-ray specific version of Wall-e, and I am going to review the Blu-ray disc instead of the movie, as the movie is clearly a 5/5.
This is such a great movie whether you are 5 or 105, and best of all the Blu-ray version looks fantastic; it is crisp and is definitely a great movie to pop in the player when showing people just how great Blu-ray looks, the colours are always vibrant and the contrast is great when comparing the different shades of colours, there are also some parts in the movie where the objects really stand out, especially the curve on the robot EVE.
The special features are the same as those of the DVD except there are addition features that take advantage of the Blu-ray; included in both versions are a few animated shorts, but specific to the Blu-ray is an addition short called "'Burn-E' with boards", which is focussed around a particular robot and includes the story board, which is displayed in the corner, to show the steps upon how the short was created. Also specific to Blu-ray are a few games and as I use my PS3 to play my Blu-rays, it's possible to use the controller to play the games, which are variations of classic games such as asteroids, but with Wall-E characters.
Another special feature is 3-D set Fly-through, and it is just as it sounds; it allows you to select certain parts of the ship and then gives a High Definition fly-through showing you the areas that are in Wall-E in more detail, such as garbage disposal, coach class, bridge, docking bay etc.
Geek-o-rama is a high definition video showing the people behind Wall-E, such as animators, sound designers, lighting experts etc, but it also explains the design behind Wall-E, and where the design idea came from. Ultimately it is showing how geeky the people behind Wall-E are, which is great.
There are also more Blu-ray features, not to mention the standard DVD, but ultimately it is safe to say that any fans of special features will not be disappointed, from the Commentary features, to storyboard, to games, it has them all. Overall, the improvement in picture is well the few extra pounds alone, but the slew of special features make this a must own on Blu-ray.
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This was the first John Grisham book i have read, and my impressions of the author are definitely high. He paints a good picture and helps to set up some great character developement, that is important to a book such as this.
My dissapointment with the book came after reading the entire book only to realise that the book IS about a man hiding and trying to survive, however that is only a small part of the book, about 80% of book is focussed around the main character coming to terms with his new surroundings, from understanding the cuture, sampling the different foods and learning the language, you see the book is more about how a foreign person adapts to a life in another country, with the CIA plot as an after thought. It is not that this is a bad book, because it IS well written and is very detailed, but the made focus of the book isn't why i picked it up, i wanted to read about CIA conspiracy and not so much a fictional guide to surviving in another country.
As for people thinking about picking up, i would recommend trying another Grisham book first. It is clear that the author is able to set up great scenes and characters, it is just a shame that the book wasn't quite as described.
Seinfeld: Complete Series Set (33 Discs)
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This is a must watch TV series that has been enjoyed by millions. This box set has all 9 seasons complete with every extra feature from each season such as Commentary, inside looks and short cartoons based on scenes from the TV show, as well as many other features. The show alone will take about 90 hours to watch, so you will get both quality and quantity. To top it off, it comes complete with a coffee table book (no, it's not about coffee tables) that gives facts and funny info on each episode and is a great flick through. At the back of the book there is an additional DVD, which is an hour length round table discussion, talking about things such as why they ended the show as well as discussing certain moments in the show, and the controversy about the way it ended.
My only concern is that it is a huge box, about 1.5 x the height of a DVD, about 1.25 x the width and about 5/6 times the depth. Now, to be honest it does look a little out of place on a DVD shelf, but there again with the vast number of DVDs in the box it is expected, plus the box is an inoffensive black with gold labels and writing, so it still looks pleasing on a shelf. Overall it is worth every penny and it will keep you entertained for literally just under 4 days straight, not including the extra features!!
Xbox 360 Elite Console + Fallout 3 + Fable II (2)
This is one of the best deals out for the Xbox 360; not only are you getting an elite console, which has a 120gb hard drive and a HDMI output, but you also get 2 fantastic RPG games. Now granted I can' tell you how good fallout 3 will be but from the early reviews it seems like the sequel to fallout 2 and spiritual successor to oblivion that everyone wanted, but I own fable 2 and it is a great impressive RPG that may not be as heavy as fallout 3 but is still just as good in many ways.
I can't express just how good of a deal this is, usually companies bundle together either one good game and one mediocre or include a large number of mediocre games, but this bundle has two great games.
Let me put this in perspective, a year ago I bought an Xbox 360 (20gb) with a WWE game (that I didn't want) for the same price.
My only warning though is that if you plan to play online there is still no wireless built in but you can buy wireless adapter separately and there is also a yearly fee of around £35 to play online, but it definitely worth it.
Basically a great games console with a large catalogue of games, and comes complete with two incredible games and a massive hard drive. Plus with the game selection of games being released this quarter, it makes this a great time to become an Xbox 350 owner.
Saw 4 (IV): Extreme Edition
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When the first Saw movie was released it was somewhat of a great concept; people being tortured for the way they have chosen to live their lives, and although the plot was quite basic with a few obligatory twists, it was ultimately a 'torture-porn' movie, trying to make the viewer uneasy with it horrific scenes. And to Saw 4s credit, it still does that.
The main story to SAW 4 revolves around detectives trying to solve Jigsaws legacy and trying to find detective Eric Matthews, and that is all you need to know from the start, I would definitely recommend watching the preceding films first in order to appreciate the story for what it is though. It is reasonably well acted with only a few scenes that felt a bit over acted, and just like the other movies it has high production values.
The main reason for watching this movie is to see how these people get tortured, it was the reason to watch 1,2,3 and now 4, and it will be the same when 5 comes out. Although many people do enjoy the Saw franchise, I personally lost interest after number 2 because with movies such as Hostel and Saw they are high on deaths but tend to have predictable plots, it isn't that you know the plot or in some cases can guess, but because every Saw has had at least one twist, it just isn't surprising when the twists are revealed because you are waiting for them, and I am much more concerned with natural story elements instead of the contrived endings that saw is famous for. Do yourself a favour and check out movies such as inside and frontiers instead, they are both excellent movies and not only are they full of gore but have better overall stories and much stronger impact and longer lasting impact once you have finished watching them.
For all its faults Saw 4 is still a good choice for a movie if you plan to watch it with a group of people, but I wouldn't recommend it if you plan to watch it alone. I guess if you enjoyed SAW 1,2 and 3 then definitely watch saw 4, but just don't expect to have the same experience as when you first saw the first film.
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I like a lot of people have played many of the different versions of Tony Hawk and found that as the series progressed it had become better until out of the blue it became an over-the-top game with ridiculous jumps and tricks, and eventually introduced vehicles, it was at this point i had lost all interest in skate boarding video games.
This is where SKATE comes in, it is a much needed breath of fresh air with its unique method of performing tricks through the use of the right analog stick and realistic physics. The object of the game is to get the photos in two different skate magazines, and this is achieved by completing video challenges, challening pros, photo challenges as well as unique events such as X games, and having many other things to do.
Having the tricks on the right analog is such a great approach it makes you wonder how you played any other skate boarding game without it, its intuitive and makes sense, especially with ideas such as pushing down and then up to ollie and the reverse to nollie. However, as good as this new approach is, there are a few problems. Because of the large range of different tricks that you can do, it can become a strain to try pull off some certain tricks when the techniques for doing so are so similar, which has lead to me having some frustrating moments, with challenges asking me to perform specific tricks.
Skate is a great game, and i would definitely recommend picking it up because there is no other skate boarding experience like this one.