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Flight Of The Conchords: Season 1
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I am a massive fan of alternative comedy (whatever that means these days) and I am always on the look out for new things to watch. I caught the trailers for this on BBC4 but didn't know when it was on and ultimately missed it.
As soon as I saw it on DVD and read a review I took the plunge and just bought it. I think I can safely say that I don't regret it.
This is a marvelous comedy that is part Mighty Boosh, part Tenacious D, part Napoleon Dynamite and part This Is Spinal Tap. The chemistry between the two leads, Jermaine and Bret, is brilliant and the support characters are very well drawn and highly amusing.
Then there are the songs. As well as playing like as a comedy it also showcases the duos skills as songsmiths. I think music and comedy does not work well all of the time but here it really hits the spot. It is brilliant as each musical piece references a certain artist or type of music.
If you like outrageous songs, witty one liners and loveable losers bag this now.
DVD had no extras which is a disappointment but features all 12 episodes of series 1 over 2 discs.
28 Weeks Later
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I did not have much faith in this film when I heard it was going to be released.
I naturally thought here comes a cheap Hollywood re-hash.
However I was wrong.
This is good.
Not as good as 'Days' granted. There is not time for major character study here but as a continuation of a story it is very much like 'Aliens' to the original 'Alien'. A bit gung-ho but the main idea / concept is very thrilling.
If you like the first film and / or thrillers and horrors I think you will enjoy.
DVD extras are very good and should not be sniffed at.
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2 Discs)
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As the new Potter film (Order of the Phoenix) is due to be released and the last book is out a couple of weeks later my household has been over-run by all things Harry Potter. Please note there are no children in my home (says a lot about me).
I decided to go back over the last four Harry Potter films (look at my other Harry Potter reviews, if you want) and get the feel for them again before watching the new one at the IMAX.
So onto the review:
With a new director the third Harry Potter film has a new look and a new feel to it.
This could have gone so wrong but this film feels a lot more 'grown up' and the acting from our main characters has improved ten-fold.
I am terrible for inconsistences. Example of which, "Why has Hagrids hut moved?", and, "The Whomping Willow wasn't there in the second film". This is just my own bad habit which actually makes me question the film makers rather than enjoying the film.
I enjoyed this film so much I let it pass (that does NOT happen very often). This film has a much better feel to it that the previous two offerings due to the colour pallette used, the set design / special effects and the fade ins and fade outs. It has a feel of a very old film.
The supporting cast need a nod here as Gary Oldman, David Thewlis and Alan Rickman on screen together was fantastic and made me want more (role on Order of the Phoenix).
Excellent film and brillaint DVD package again. Do me a favour and play the catch Scabbers game just to hear the immortal line, "There is Scabbers, the dirty, little rat", well it made me laugh.
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (2 Discs)
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I forgot how dark this film actually is. The final battle with the Basilisk is the stuff of horror, the threat of death hangs in the air and there is a big spider ready to much down on our heroes. Dark and foreboding yes?
That is all good. However I couldn't help but shake the feeling that this just wasn't as polished as the first film (Philosophers Stone). Yes the special effects were good and yes the sets look excellent but it just didn't 'feel' as epic as the last film. It had a feeling of just getting this film out as quickly as possible after the first.
This is not a bad film at all but it does seem the weaker film of the four we have on DVD at the moment.
Talking of the DVD again this is excellent packaged and had fantastic features in keeping with the style of the film.
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (2 Discs)
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Goblet of Fire is by far the best book of the franchise. The character development is spot on and the story arc is very good. To fit all the story into two and a half hours is no mean feat.
Is this achieved? Well sort of.
Watching it back I realised that the first 20minutes or so feel very rushed but once we are back at Hogwarts it gets paced better. I felt that characters such as Reeta Skeeter were just there for show and that it was a mistake to show Bart Crouch Jr. so early on (would have been nice to guess who was the menace for the non-readers).
This is just me nit picking though really. I really enjoyed watching this film of the four and in places made me laugh out loud! The humour is well placed in such a darker film and the story flies along brilliantly up to the brilliant face off with Voldermort.
If the new film is like this one we are on for a treat!
The DVD package is what you have come to expect now from the franchise. Nicely detailed and games to keep the little 'uns (or big 'uns) entertained.
The Work Of Director Michel Gondry
Michel Gondry showcases his work in this informative and complete look at all of his work.
Firstly music videos. Obviously if you like the music and artists you are halfway there but as little pieces of film art there is no better showcase to show Gondrys twisted child like genius. From huge hands (Foo Fighters) to Lego (The White Stripes), Gondry has a distinctive style that cannot help but please.
As well as music videos there are short films to watch which are entertaining and amusing.
If you liked Gondry's directorial stylings or if you are a fan of the music showcased this is a no brainer. Buy it now.
The Science Of Sleep
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Michel Gondry is a genius. Fact.
If you have ever watched a strange music video you are probably watching the work of Michel Gondry. Strange and child-like his work is engaging and humourous.
Watching 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind' was a satisying experience and whilst 'Science of Sleep' never reaches the polished heights of Gondry's earlier film this is still a charming film.
A film about two people who fall in love but are scared of being hurt by it. The film follows Stephane who gets confused between his dreams and reality. Will his dreams get him what he wants in the end?
A beautiful and touching film but if you don't like a strange storyline of weird visuals then don't purchase.
The Adam And Joe DVD
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For those of you that got in late at night after the pub this was the best TEE-VEE of the late 90s early 00s.
Really just a bunch of stuff. Two grown men acting like children for no reason at all really but very funny.
The best bits were the toy send ups of films.
Remember when you were a child and you acted out all sorts of things with your toys well this is the same but better. Imagine 'You've Been Framed' hosted by Chewbacca from Star Wars and you get 'Chew've Been Framed'.
Comedy for the MTV generation.
Little Miss Sunshine
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OK for four English pounds and ninety nine pence you can own a fantastically well observed comedy drama. Not convinced?
Well allow me to retort.
This has very strong characters which are all tragic but comedic. As soon as you start on the journey with this family and as crazy as the ride gets you are there with them.
I bought this film on a whim because I had read reviews and seen the trailer and thought it might be worth the watch.
You are watching a dysfunctional family that was so segmented come back to together becuase of a beauty pagent for little girls (which I may add is horrifyingly real in America).
Very funny, very witty and very touching. I felt really good after watching this film and that can not be a bad thing.
The Night Of The Hunter (1955)
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This film has stayed in my mind for a very long time.
I remember sitting down on a Sunday with my dad watching old films and this film has always stuck in my head. Especially the bringing of two hands together in the struggle of LOVE and HATE.
I bought it recently and watching it back made me realise why it made the impact on me that it did.
This is a fantastic piece of cinema. The themes are very knowing (surprising for the 50s) and the way it is shotis amazing. Some shots linger a bit too long and others are from far away in shadow which give that sense of foreboding.
The thing that holds this together however is Robert Mitchum.
An absolutely amazing turn as the charming, handsome preacher at one minute and then the murdering, cunning and calculating killer the next.
The scene where he chases the children to get at the money he has lusted over for so long is well worth the watch itself.
Beautifully filmed and great casting. Sorry to use an old adage but they don't make 'em like they used to.
Disappointing DVD package however, it would have been nice to see some extras.