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The Amazing Spider-Man (2 Discs)
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I was very sceptical when hearing that the series was being rebooted, but keeping in perspective that Sony did this to hold on to the Franchise rights so it wouldn't go to Disney then made it understandable.
I found within the first half hour that Garfield was somewhat more plausible than Maguire as he seemed like a much more relatable teenager with the he's very distant as he doesn't know who he is or what he's supposed due to the absence of his parents from a young age. As Spider-Man he nailed that essence of the other half of the role on the first take and did in 5 minutes what Tobey Maguire could not do - have humour and crack jokes.
For decades Spider-Man has been a wise-cracking jokester clown that uses his wit as a facade to mask his true feelings. This is best demonstrated in the very popular and still enjoyable 90's Animated Series Spider-Man the animated series. And Andrew became the Spider-Man for the big screen that we have been waiting to see for ages.
Maguire was good for his time but I got the sense that his portrayal as Parker was kinda generic as the Teen he was a dime a dozen whereas Garfield has this very unique way of portraying Parker that stays true to the comics but is also relatable to modern aspects of teenagers and humour.
And that's another thing that this movie really expanded on - comedy. It's not a flat-out comedic romp, but it's humour within action implied.
Sheen and Field feed off each other as their comedic sense and timing is just what the movie needed to add with Spideys humour.
I felt Ifans was good as Connors but the Lizard could have done more. It's still a good Villain for a re-introduction to the story, but it could have done with a more depth and fleshing the character out.
Emma Stone was a joy to watch as Gwen Stacy. Kirsten Dunst was good as Mary-Jayne in the first flick 10 years ago but over time I felt she got flatter with each performance where as Stone is just solid from start to finish in this flick. She is a strong minded female supporting protagonist, resourceful, intelligent and she also displays a tender side that's needed to give the character heart.
I cannot say a bad word about Denis Leary as every line he says is just golden. He has that same blunt attitude that he has in his stand up shows and he carries himself the same way in this but obviously toned down for the PG-12 market and he does it so well that even when he is being a douche you cannot help but like the guy.
Sheen in my mind was a better choice for Uncle Ben, although the late Cliff Robertson was a good Ben Parker, I just felt at times his portrayal could be a little wooden whereas Martins version just feels more organic and you can actually believe the performance he puts in.
Sally Field gives a very good performance as May Parker. Granted, this is a slightly younger version of the character but it's irrelevant as she has such a good conflict with the choices that Peter makes in this flick with her concerns for him as well.
Some have narked on the score by James Horner claiming it's too generic. I never found that, I personally feel that it gave heart to the flick and made it feel dramatic where it needed to be and tender where you had to feel sympathy for the characters.
This movie is best in 3D in my honest opinion and the 3D has improved to such a point that it really does jump out at you and looks so authentic.
All in all, this is a very well presented, new yet faithful take on the origin of the character that in many ways is the version of web-slinger that audiences have been waiting for.
This Spider-Man is Amazing.
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I began watching the 21st Century adventures of Sherlock Holmes after reading reviews in the press and after one episode- I was hooked. The casting is flawless: Benedict Cumberbatch is perfectly placed as the consulting detective with Martin Freeman as Dr.Watson who has massive respect despite Holmes' ecentricity.
The stories are well written as they are as clever as they make Sherlock out to be, I think the humour mixes in well with the writing and story arches and Cumberbatch has the best of the quips and the comeback lines in the first episode- a Study in Pink.
The second episode advances Holmes' abilities and character as a detective and just how quickly he is able to solve these mysteries.
The 3rd episode is the very best out of the 3 that were broadcast and it is a pulse racing experience that leaves the story on a cliff hanger.
I am looking forward to the next batch of episodes when they get produced as the BBC are onto a winner with this series and in my honest opinion- this is the first decent franchise they have produced since Walking with Dinosaurs.
Because of this Franchise- my faith in TV has been renewed again.
Shelby Black GT500KR 1:18 Scale Model Car
Gifts & Gadgets
The 2008 Shelby GT500KR Mustang is exactly as it appeared in the Knight Rider Second Generation Pilot, with the exception of the customised dash with KITT's iPhone screen.
It is amazing how accurate model companies are becoming when they produce things of beauty such as the KITT-Stang.
The finish is clear, interior is well detailed for it's size, the hood and trunk open smoothly and the engine looks convincing, again for a model.
If you're a serious model collector and also happen to love Mustangs and Knight Rider, then I recommend adding this to your collection.
Knight Rider: Season 1 (2008) (4 Discs)
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The new Knight Rider or Knight Rider SG as it's known as in some parts on the Net has to be one of the best new shows on both sides of the Atlantic. It got positive responses on their Premiere showings on NBC and Sci Fi UK and it never strayed out of the top 3 in the US.
The new KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) which is a 2008 GT500KR Mustang (AKA the KITT-Stang) is the most advanced AI car to date which has the ability to transform into other vehicles through the use of nano-technology. Val Kilmer is actually a good voice for the new KITT. Granted, he doesn't sound like the original KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand, an '82 Pontiac Trans Am) who had a very nasal continental way of speaking. But it's 2009 and Kilmer suits the car's personality and he got better with each week.
Paul Cambell who plays Billy is the most amusing side-character- he's funny, witty and it's amusing to see how he interacts with Zoe, played by Smith Cho.
One of the best aspects that was added back into the show was the very sight of KITT turbo boosting like the original did on a regular basis in the original series.
If you loved the original Knight Rider, then you will love Knight Rider: Second Generation.
Slayers: Next - Complete Season 2
Region 1 DVD
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What we have here is arguably one of the best animes ever produced. It has slapstick, satire and like Monty Pyphon it has random humour and it doesn't take itself too seriously.
Season 2 of this continuity of the great Anime produced by Central Park Media picked up from where it left off with the First Slayers season- with Lina causing trouble, stuffing her face and slapping Gourry around for laughs.
The voice cast give the best performances for this season. Lisa Ortiz is great as Lina, Eric Stuart (Brock from Pokemon) is well suited as Gourry Gabriev the clueless swordsman, Veronica Taylor (Ash Ketchum from Pokemon) is Princess Amelia Seyruun, because no one else can do the role justice. And the coolest male character of the cast- Crispin Freeman as Zelgadis Greywards. Zel is the eternal grouch and fallguy. He puts up with all the non-sense and normally takes most of the physicallity of Lina's plans and antics.
The story arch' of this season is one of the best I have had the privillege of watching in anime for a long time. From start-to-finish, you have to watch each episiode to see where the story goes as you will miss pivotal scenes if you skip episodes.
Like Medieval stories, sorcerey, slapstick humour and all out anime fun, then Slayers Next is the anime for you.
Iron Man: Special Collector's Edition (2008) (Exclusive Steelbook) (2 Discs)
Is is better to watch this movie once or twice? I say, is it too much to see it five times?
Saw it once, loved it. Saw it twice, wanted more. Saw it thrice, wanted even more. Then got to 5 times. I have a simple phylosophy as a Movie goer/critic/reviewer; if a good Movie is worth watching once, then it is worth watching multiple times.
Iron Man was the first live-action feature film under Mavrel's own Movie studio brand. And it has to be said; if Marvel had made the Spider-Man, X-Men and the first Hulk movies with this kind of writing; then chances are they would have been better.
Since Marvel know how to do their characters best for the silver screen, it was only natural that they would be superior to those who tried before. True, those that did Spider-Man like Sam Raimi and Tim Story that directed Both Fantastic Four Movies put their own stamp on it as they were fans of the comic growing up, and although they were good; you couldn't help but thinkin that there was something missing.
With Iron Man; no such thing. Robert Downey Jnr was perfect as Tony Stark; for starters he looked like what Stark would look like if he were real and he had the wit and sense of humor.
As for the Suit...I've seen a few variations of the generations of the Iron Man suit down the years and this one is the best by far to date.If anything; the movie makers took all the best features of the suit from when the Red & Gold suit first appeared in the 60's to the celebrated 90's animated series.
I felt the ending was a little weaker than the rest of the movie, but it was still a good end to a Grand silver screen debut which I have no doubt that will be rewatched and talked about for years to come.
The DVD steelbook edition, exclusive to play.com, is a nice feature for the DVD release. Mind you, I did predict that Marvel would do this, a movie about a metal-super hero in a metal case. Predictable, but pleased all the same.
Bring on Iron Man 2. Which I hope will be entitled 'Iron Man 2: the rise of the Mandarin.'
Batman: The Dark Knight (2 Discs)
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Just when you think Batman could not have been done any better with Batman Begins in 2005, TDK takes the story to a whole new level.
The story is now much darker and more chaotic than last time; as said by Gordon in the last movie; escallation would be a factor. Things will get worse before it gets better.
And that is pretty much how this story pans out. Bat's and Gordon slowly begin to win the war on crime, until the Joker steps into the fray.
Now a lot of people believe that this movie was over-hyped because of Heath Ledger's death. Not so. The hype is justified because Ledger performance as the Clown Prince of Crime is untouchable. True, he does not crack as many jokes as previous incarnations of the Joker, but he is just as sick as first depicted in the comics. He is particularly creatively sick and inventive on what other uses a mobile phone can have and where it can be placed. I'm not saying anymore on that one.
Sir Michael Caine is brilliant once again as Alfred Pennyworth with his brand of wit. Aaron Eckhart was the biggest surprise as Harvey Dent; I had never seen Eckhart act before this flick and I was genuinely pleased with his performance as both Dent and his transformation into Two-Face.
Garry Oldman was first class once again as Jim Gordon; there is no one else that could play Gordon in my opinion.
Maggie Gyllenhal replaced Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, and to be fair, I think they should have gotten her for Batman Begins as I personally think that she was the better choice.
It is a shame that they might not bring the Joker back, but then again, how could anyone topp that performance by Ledger? It will be a long time before anyone will play the Joker again or even out-do Heath Ledger as the Clown Prince of Crime.
Eckhart says in the trailer 'the night is darkest just before the dawn', he was right.
Batman truly became the Dark Knight.
Iron Man (2008)
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Another year always gurantees at least one thing; there will be at least one Marvel comic book movie to start the summer season of movies off.
And this year; it was Iron Man's turn. Robert Downey Jr fleshes out the role of the legendary metalic superhero and his billionaire playboy alter-ego, Tony Stark.
Downey is so convincing in his role that he made Stark look so real and made the role his own; from the cocky witt to the synical sarcasm that only Downey could deliver.
The movie remained very faithful to it's comic book origins, but modernised it for the contemporary age by having the story begin in Afghanistan and not Vietnam like the first comics did in the late 60's and early 70's.
I like how Stark went through the change in attitude after witnessing what his weapons were doing to innocent people and then went about perfecting his suit from the first crude design that he used.
In recent years Marvel had been getting mixed and negative feedback from movies such as SpiderMan 3 and the Fantastic 4 movies that were done by Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox, respectively. This time around, because the script and funding for this picture was done completely by Marvel, they knew exactly how they wanted their character brought to life.
The effects were mind-blowing and to see the red and gold Iron Man suit fly through the air was just amazing.
If this Marvel movie is a sign of things to come for the Marvel movie brand, then I think it's safe to say that they are back on track.
This is one Superhero movie that won't rust with time.
WWE: Royal Rumble 2008
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Another year where the Rumble match is the very main reason to watch. But unlike last year's Rumble PPV, the quality and the layout of matches were an improvement.
Resorting back to just 2 World Title matches and allowing for other important matches to make it onto the card and also the special appearance of legendary Boxing announcer, Michael Buffer, Royal Rumble 2008 kicked off an explosive start to the WWE PPV calendar of 2008.
WWE: Royal Rumble 2007 (Steel Book Edition)
For the very first time in the history of the WWE, the Superstars of Raw, SmackDown and ECW compete at the same time in the Rumble match to fight for the opportunity to advance to the Main Event at WrestleMania 23 and face the Champion of their choosing.
Like any Rumble event over the years, the Rumble match itself is the very reason to watch this PPV.
I personally did not see the point in having 3 World Title matches at one event, to me, it stopped from having other potential matches that could have complimented the event better.
Besides that, still a great event to watch, and the fact that the DVD casing is a steel book edition is a bonus.
Another year and another Rumble and another man's journey to WrestleMania...Begins.