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    While I would love to give this series a higher rating it pains me to have to mark it down so low. That being the case my issues with the series stem from the writing and the overall story arc rather than from the production values and the acting both of which are much more settled and in the case of the acting (especially of the three main leads) is brilliant! There is also a nice balance of old and new monsters cropping up (even in fleeting appearances)and the humour is still very present and very good for the best part of the series.

    With regards to the acting, Matt Smith continues to be a fantastic lead as The Doctor (Tennant who?!) and is such a good actor that he can balance the comedy, serious and eccentric elements of the character very well and in relation to this series he certainly carries the show especially when the scripts are below par. Karen Gillan also continues to impress as Amy Pond (see The Girl Who Waited) with the character settling down much more this series and being better written while Arthur Darvill is equally as good as a companion and provides some brilliant relief with Smiths Doctor. The production values are also less of a worry this series with the most being made of the budget (despite rumours of it being cut) and the new elements (new tiles, theme tune etc) are now more settled and easier to get used to. The second half of the series also contains two fantastic episodes in: The Girl Who Waited and The God Complex while Night Terrors is a decent traditional romp and Closing Time provides some necessary light relief (just ignore the cop-out of an ending to the latter episode).

    Sadly where this second run and the sixth series as a whole are let down is with the two story arcs. The first featuring the death of the Doctor is pointless as we know Smith is staying for series seven which makes watching this story for weeks less than rewarding. The other story arc featuring River Song is quite frankly boring now due to overexposure and has gotten to the point where you wish she would just disappear! In addition to this the worst episodes of the series, or at least in my opinion, are the ones that feature the story arcs and the ones that are written by Steven Moffat who in the past has given us such gems as: The Empty Child, Blink and The Girl In The Fireplace. Sadly he doesnt give us anything near as good here! Now I am all for story arcs in a show as it makes the whole thing more compelling to watch but the arcs we are given this series are either pointless or become boring. In my honest opinion Matt Smith deserves much better scripts than some of the ones he has been getting. Heres hoping series seven gets things back on track, moves away from Moffats constant use of timey-whimey stuff and gives us a decent story arc ala series five. 3.5 Stars.



    Drawing comparisons to Avatar, Jurassic Park and Primeval, Terra Nova follows mankinds attempt to start life over again in the past after the future Earth becomes overpopulated, overdeveloped and polluted. When a portal to the distant past is created several members of the human race head back to the lush, natural environment of dino times to start their lives again in a new fresh environment, however a group of natives and an evil corporation seem determined to strip this new world of all it is worth leading to an ongoing battle with the new residents. With obvious input from Steven Spielberg, Terra Nova certainly has an interesting concept behind it that is sadly not explored to its full potential.

    While the scale of the show is impressive and the story arc shows some promise, the show, sadly, focuses too much on the wooden and very dull characters of the Shannon family rather than the interesting ones (and there are several). In addition to this the show seems to take a story-of-the-week approach for the majority of the time, which is disappointing as it could be so much better than this! As well as this, the desolate future shown in the series opener and finale is not given enough screen time to make you care about the main narrative point of the show. It is also worth noting that the CGI dinosaurs, while impressive, are not up to the standard of Spielbergs Jurassic Park films. That being said, not everything about the show is bad. The locations and sets are stunning, the special effects are decent for TV, there are several interesting characters, there is a decent story arc when it does surface and of course it has a big name like Spielberg behind it.

    Overall, the problem with Terra Nova isnt the concept, the production values or the story arc, its the fact that the show focuses too much on the Shannon family and their escapades both in the past and future and to be brutally honest none of the characters in this family are very interesting and at times they are very wooden. As a result the series becomes quite domestic and dull for the best part with the show just plodding along. That being said there are three interesting characters in Taylor (Stephen Lang), Lucas (Ashley Zuckerman) and Mira (Christine Adams), the production values are brilliant, the story arc with the Sixers, Lucas and the Badlands shows some promise and the two part finale is the best thing about the show! While this (first) series of Terra Nova is far from perfect there are certainly some promising signs of things to come should the show continue however if it does do then Id rather the writers and producers stuck more to the interesting characters, the developing arc and include more scenes set in the desolate future.



    After the disappointingly hit and miss series four, Primeval comes back from extinction with the brilliant fifth series and easily its best overall series since series two. While some of the fun that was present within the first couple of series is still missing from the show and anyone like me will still be pining for Cutters return, the show itself is very strong this series right from the outset. With this series pretty much being a continuation of series four the plot strands are already set up so the show doesnt get bogged down establishing a new narrative again which is good. Another plus side is that the cast is the same as it was from the previous series which is a good thing as we dont have to get used to another new batch of characters. With regards to the newer characters, Matt (Ciaran McMenamin) is much more likable this series and far less wooden. Jess (Ruth Kearney) is also much more likable this series and her sub-plot romantic interest with Becker (Ben Mansfield) is a decent way at giving the actors more to get their teeth into rather than just being their in the background. Alexander Siddig is also brilliant as the villain (if he is really that?!) although I do feel he was maybe a little underused at times.

    In terms of the established cast, Connor (Andrew Lee Potts) is on top form again (although his character is a little more serious this time with a little less humour) while Abby (Hannah Spearritt) is given a lot more to do this series than she was last time. Lester (Ben Miller) is also on fine form once again and provides us with the much needed humour and he even gets in on the action a couple of times a la series two which is brilliant and funny to see. In terms of the overall plot it develops well and leads to a suitably strong finale, although the finale itself is not quite as good as the few episodes that went before. Despite this all the episodes of the series are very strong and certainly the strongest run we have had in a while with episodes three through six being the best of the series. The mixture of different creatures this time around is also great to see as series four felt like all the creatures were the same (grey, small etc) whereas this time around we get various different types, shapes and sizes (even a T-Rex loose in the city!) and the CGI for these creatures is brilliant.

    Overall series five is easily the best series of Primeval since series two. The cast stays the same for the first time in a while and the plot continues from what went before without having to introduce too many new things. In general it feels a lot grander and darker than previous series, the acting is pretty decent all round, there is a good mix of different creatures and the CGI is top notch. On top of this the narrative reaches a decent conclusion but sets things up well with a strong and interesting cliffhanger should the show return (heres hoping it does) and the anomalies finally go worldwide which could also set things up nicely for the series to continue or even develop a spin-off. Despite the lack of overall fun from the earlier series, Primeval is certainly back to its best. Heres hoping the show continues and at this quality.



    Last year/series I felt that the show was very good in terms of acting and stories but felt that the production values and the unnecessary revamps of certain elements severely let the series down, this year however I think the opposite is true. While this is only the first part of series six and theres still more to come it has to be said that this first run is somewhat a disappointment. Nevertheless the issues that I thought plagued series five seem to have been sorted out as the current theme tune and opening credits really do grow on you over time (Im still not keen on the logo and insignia though!) and the special effects and other production values seem to have been upped again and at times the quality is outstanding.

    In addition, Matt Smith is also blooming brilliant as The Doctor and continues to get better and better, somehow managing to act and look older than his years and his performance is a very welcome relief following Tennants hammy, shouty and over-rated portrayal. Karen Gillan also continues to impress and her character is much better written this series coming across far less cold and blunt which is a welcome relief. The permanent addition of Arthur Darvill as Amys boyfriend Rory is also a very good move as Darvill proves himself to be a decent actor and very good at comic relief. His double act with Smiths Doctor is also another highlight of the series. Sadly where this first run of series six is let down, in my opinion, is with the stories. For starters we have the opening two-parter set in America (which makes a nice change from a constant UK setting and does provide us with some stunning backdrops) which in my opinion is massively over-rated and very sloppy with parts of the story.

    The second two-parter also had the potential to be brilliant (especially as it was written by one of the genesis behind the brilliant Life On Mars) and at times it does shine (Matts double take on The Doctor for example and that brilliant cliff-hanger) but overall it is very slow going and a tad boring. The episodes that do however shine are the very under-rated Curse Of The Black Spot (a standard who adventure with a nice little twist to the end), The Doctors Wife (which has a classic who feel to it and contains many references to the shows past) and of course the mid-season finale A Good Man Goes To War (the disappointing River Song reveal aside!). Overall, I think a lot of these episodes, especially the opening two-parter are purely set up for the overall story arc and for whats to come. Also this series appears quite dark and some of the fun is gone which a shame although it is nice to see Matt smith portraying the role so well. Finally, Steven Moffat still appears to struggle to write an episode as good as The Empty Child or Blink while running the show which is another disappointment. Heres hoping that the best (story wise) is yet to come. 3.5 Stars.

  5.  US V THEM


    I dont care what anyone says, but to me the first season of this revamped series of V was very well done indeed and certainly brought the show into the present for a modern audience while also remaining truthful to the original which sadly had become very dated, especially in terms of looks. Despite this the first season had its faults (some ropey special effects at times and a couple of wooden performers namely Logan Huffman) but overall it was very good and one of the better series remakes. Therefore this second season was very welcome and like the first it is also a very good watch. This second season continues the trend set up by the first and by the mid-way point things have really got kicking as the series goes beyond the quality set by the first series until we reach a fantastic conclusion.

    Again this series contains a limited number of episodes (ten here, two less than last time) which allows the story to move at a quick pace and the majority of these are brilliant with the stand-outs being Red Rain, Laid Bare, Siege, Devil In A Blue Dress and the finale Mothers Day. The acting also continues to be decent with the odd exception to the rule (Huffman, who is still more wooden than a coffee table and unbelievable drippy) although the most interesting character of them all still remains Kyle Hobbes (Charles Mesure) yet thats not to say that the others arnt good as they are with Elizabeth Mitchell putting in another strong performance, Scott Wolf is put into the narrative more this series and is given more to get his teeth into which is good to see while Laura Vandervoort continues to impress, especially when she is away from the dull Tyler/Lisa romance sub-plot. In addition to this we also get some great nods back to the original series with both Jane Badler and Marc Singer being added to the cast which is a very clever move and one that works quite well.

    Despite the series continuing to get better there are still a few downsides. Firstly some of the CGI is still quite ropey which is disappointing (an obvious example being the backgrounds in the episode set at the Vatican) while we still have to put up with some dodgy performances by a couple of players. In addition to this the sidestory of the human soul is a little hard to take at times and Anna (Morena Baccarin) does become a little pantomime at times this season which is a shame as Morena is a strong actress. That being said the pace is quickened yet again, more players are welcomed into the mix, the fifth column finally gets an army and the characters that have reached the end of their lifecycle or those wooden performers who have plagued the show are finally gotten rid of. In all this is a very good series indeed that sets things up for an all out war between the humans and visitors that sadly we will now never get to see as the show has been axed. Nevertheless the series is very strong and although the ending is somewhat a cliffhanger it is very impressive indeed. 4.5 Stars.



    From the men behind The Office and Extras (Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant) comes this coming of age tale set on Cemetery Junction, Reading in the heart of the 1970s. The film itself follows three friends, all very different and all with very different ideas about life, love and the future. Despite this they all share one common goal, to break out of their small town and become someone and do something significant with their lives, yet saying so and doing so are two different things.

    While this type of tale has been done numerous times before and as a result is slightly predictable, it still makes a very strong watch and the attention to detail is fantastic and the seventies atmosphere Gervais and Merchant manage to create on screen is fantastic, almost up until the point where it is nostalgic. As with any Gervais and Merchant production there is the usual brand of humour thrown into the proceedings but that doesnt deter from the drama that makes up the film or the characters which despite the films running time are very well written and relatable. The acting, by a relatively unknown younger cast, is very good, especially the three lead performances by Christian Cooke, Tom Hughes and Jack Doolan while the younger performers are balanced out by a few older more experienced performers such as Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson and Burn Gorman (Torchwood).

    Even though the story has been done before, Cemetery Junction is a very good watch and even during its short running time you certainly feel something for the characters as the film progresses as the roles are so similar to real life situations we have all been through. There is also the attention to detail and nostalgia for the time period that this film gives off which is brilliant as is the acting of both the old and younger cast. Ricky Gervais bit part is also very good and easily one of his better performances in recent years. Stephen Merchant also pops up in his usual cameo role and there is the usual dose of humour in there as well. Despite the quick resolution and the short running time, I have to agree with the critics that this is certainly the best thing Gervais and Merchant have done since The Office. Well worth a watch.



    For once this was one of those overhyped movies that when watched actually lived up to the hype. Loosely based around the graphic comic book of the same name Kick Ass follows Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) in his efforts to become a well respected superhero pounding the streets of his town after wondering why superheroes arent there in real life. Only he discovers there are some heroes out there and in some ways they are worse than the villains.

    While the film is essentially a comic book adaption it is quite dark and mature so it probably isnt really that suitable for younger viewers. That being said it is very faithful to the comic book with only a few minor changes to the story and the characters and it is very well put together. It also manages to retain the great characterisation and dark humour of the book which the cast carry off well. In terms of the cast, while it is mainly led by the teenage stars they do a pretty impressive job, especially rising star Chloe Moretz who once again proves what a strong actress she is going to make. The older cast is also pretty decent with Nicolas Cage putting in what is probably one of his better performances.

    Overall this is a comic book adaption with a difference. It feels fresh, original and at the same time it lives up to the comic book and the hype surrounding it. Kick Ass certainly isnt a kids film nor is it just for die hard comic book fans as I myself Im not really into comic books or the film adaptions of them, that being said this film was a very entertaining watch, very well put together and despite the mild gore at times it is very funny indeed. Highly recommended.



    While it isnt likely to win many, if any awards, Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus is a very good film and a very very funny one at that. Even though I have given it four stars, there is no way it could match up to those four star big budget movies but when viewed as a low budget flick it is actually quite good and entertaining. The plot itself is quite standard and easy to follow with two giant marine animals (see the title!) who have been released from their watery prisons that they were encased in many years ago to wreck havoc on the earth and the human population. Cue a mission to locate, trap and destroy the beasts.

    Despite the fact that the acting is stilted and more wooden than a log cabin, the special effects look like something produced by a student filmmaker and that the film itself is very over the top, it is still very entertaining and manages to somehow keep you hooked for the duration of the movie. You could even go so far as to say that this is actually some sort of parody of those 50s and 60s B-movie disaster films as there is certainly some nods to previous productions in there.

    Either way the film itself is certainly low budget but the production company have certainly done the best with the money they had and have created an hilarious film that will certainly keep you entertained and laughing throughout and as another previous reviewer put it, the shark jumping out of the water and eating a plane scene has to be seen to be believed and is one of the main highlights of the film. This is certainly a movie for those people that like their low budget creations of those that are so bad their actually good. In all, many laughs are guaranteed with this hilarious low budget masterpiece!



    Back long before Christian Bale was the dark and brooding caped crusader, Adam West (Family Guy) was the camp, morale, sixties man with the cape and Burt Ward was his youthful sidekick Robin. Having played the roles on the small screen in an equally camp and sadly unreleased TV series of the same name, this film saw the characters and the actors move to the big screen to take on their most common and deadly adversaries: The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), The Joker (Cesar Romero), The Riddler (Frank Gorshin) and Catwoman (Lee Meriwether taking over for Juile Newmar) who are working together to hold the world to ransom having stolen a super high powered de-hydrator to use on the world leaders!

    Even though it is camper than a row of tents and contains more cheese than a supermarket, for me it still remains the best adaption of the characters ever and the cast that carry it off is superb with many famous faces appearing as well as the well known ones from the TV show and while it doesnt have loads of money thrown at it, it is even funnier and more entertaining as a result. There isnt much to the plot, the special effects or the (deliberately) pantomime and camp acting but the nostalgia value of this film for fans is priceless and any viewer is certainly going to be entertained by the crazy antics of West and co. in this now famous and heavily parodied film, which has so many stand-out moments. Look out for Batman disposing of a novelty bomb, an attack from a clearly rubber shark, Batman always having to explain the plot, the ridiculous traps and reasons for escape, the constant unnecessary labels on various props and much more, its all in here in its original laugh out loud entirety.

    In all, this certainly feels like the forerunner to things like Airplane and The Naked Gun and fans of films and shows like this will probably like this camp fest. Also for fans of the TV show this is a perfect piece of nostalgia especially as the much loved TV series has never been released which is a shame as alongside this it is certainly one of the best and most hilarious adaptions of the caped crusader to ever grace the screen big or small.



    As with series three of Primeval, series four is very hit and miss. Firstly, theres yet another new set of characters to get used to, although this is worked nicely into the cliff-hanger from series three. It does however mean that we are given a slightly wooden new lead man Matt (Ciaran McMenamin) and the initially annoying but beautiful Jess (Ruth Kearney) yet over time these characters do start to develop, especially Matt whose mysterious storyline is quite intriguing. As well as this, Alexander Siddig shows up now and again in a slightly underused role that appears to be that of the new villain, which makes a nice change from the constant return of Helen Cutter which was becoming quite boring and pantomime. In terms of regulars, Andrew Lee Potts is back as Connor and Ben Miller is also back as James Lester, both of whom steal the show, with Connor getting some decent mature character development. Hannah Spearitt is also back as Abby, who sadly this time around, doesnt seem to do much and in all honesty is quite boring this series. Recurring characters Emily (the stunning and talented Ruth Bradley) and Ethan (Jonathyn Byrne) are strong supporting actors but sadly arent given much to do this series until the brilliant finale.

    Next theres the production of the series, which appears to take place solely on an industrial estate in Ireland (where the series is now filmed) or in the surrounding buildings where there are little to no extras which makes things hard to believe when the series is supposed to be taking place in London. As well as this the creature of the week storylines seem to dominate the series with the anomaly investigation taking second place and only becoming prominent in the final few episodes, which is a disappointment as the monster of the week angle is getting very tired now after three plus series. In addition to this most of the monsters this series all appear to be (look) the same, which makes it look and feel quite boring and repetitive. There is however a good side story of the time travellers coming through various anomalies which adds a different if underdeveloped angle to the series that comes to a decent enough cliff-hanger. In terms of episode highlight, episode two and episode seven are easily best with the latter being the finale which is one of the best episodes of the show in a long while.

    Overall this is a decent enough series with some strong elements with boring or dull characters like Sarah Page from series three being gotten rid of, some strong character development for the longer term residents, some decent enough new characters, some funny humour, the return of some old faces for continuity, some anomaly investigation, a couple of very strong episodes, a new fresh villain with a mysterious agenda and a strong ending. It does however suffer with some things that are quite frankly unforgivable. Firstly it all appears to be shot in the same place, with little to no support in the form of character extras and secondly the monster storylines seem to be taking priority with the anomalies coming second which is becoming tedious and boring after chasing creatures around for over three series. However, giving the excellent cliff-hanger this series it looks like were moving into something darker and anomaly related which is good but I just hope the writers and producers can up the production values and inject some fun and entertainment back into the show like we had with series one and two and first part of series three as this is what seems to be missing as of late.