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Product Reviews

Top 100  Reviewer Top 100 DVD Reviewer
166 (73% helpful)

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  1.  Decent Thriller


    21 (2008) - ***
    A film which concentrates on the methods of card counting in casinos, based on a true story. Very stylish, but not quite as sophisticated as it thinks it is. Kevin Spacey is silky as Micky Rosa and Lawrence Fishbourne is wonderfully out of type as a thuggish security guy, Cole Williams. The rest of the cast are all pretty good, but the film never manages to reach past a rather tame level of threat. If money and profit are what gives you the buzz, this is the film for you.

  2.  Great Supplement To The Movie


    Watchmen: Tales Of The Black Freighter (2009) - ****
    Firstly, unless you're really into you're animation, you'll probably only enjoy this if you're already a fan of the movie or comic. Tales Of The Black Freighter follows the story of a The Sea Captain (voiced by Gerard Butler) as he descends into paranoia, insanity and violence. In places, the animation seems a little patchy, as if the project was finished in a rush, but the makers have struck just the right tone of despair. Also on the DVD is Hollis Mason's Under The Hood, which appears as an autobiography in the comic but here is an interview. Pleasingly, Stephen McHattie returns as Mason and the interviews are very interesting, but perhaps only to a fan of the comic.

  3.  Solid 007


    For Your Eyes Only (1981) - ***
    Often overlooked, this confident Bond outing is actually very good indeed.After the bloated space flop Moonraker, the Bond team obviously tried to bring their beloved hero back to earth. Literally. OK, so Moore is past his best, the lead villain is perhaps a little uninspired (but played with menace by an excellent Julian Glover) and the girl is a rehash of Dominique from Thunderball (and not so well performed), but you know what? It's still better than Diamonds are Forever. The credit for this is largely due to a fantastic performance from Topol as Bond's ally, Milos Columbo. He manages to inject enough energy and charisma to outshine the rest of the cast and possibly become one of the most memorable allies in Bond's career. The rest of the cast are also excellent; Julian Glover revels as Aristotle Kristatos, and Micheal Gothard is unnerving as the icy Locque. Also watch out for a small part played by Charles Dance. The girls, Melina Havelock and Bibi Dahl are both quite tame and not the series' most alluring femmes. Moore, who was 54 when the film was released, looks more like Bibi's father than a potential romancer, but thankfully the scenes the two of them share are brief. Moore himself is on great form, his performance is one of best as the super-spy, you get the impression at several points that he is rather amused by all this nonsense, the film could be captioned "Bond on Holiday" as, for the most part, he seems to be having quite a good time. The locales live up to Bond standards, we get an exciting ski run, a trip to Sardinia and a brief underwater adventure which never fails to excite. All in all, this is, if not an essential addition to the Bond plethora, a very enjoyable flick, which should be cherished.

  4.  A Great Departure For 007


    Live And Let Die (1973) - *****
    Live and Let Die sees a dashing young Roger Moore take up the reins as the British super spy. It also sees one of the series' most vividly different story lines. The villains are almost all black, a potentially risky choice, each of them (Yaphet Kotto, Geoffery Holder, Julius Harris and Earl Jolly Brown) are excellent in their roles. Geoffery Holder is wonderfully creepy as the famous Baron Samedi - its a testament to his performance how many people remember him, despite having very little screen time. Yaphet Kotto gives a calculated performance (or performances) and has possibly the most brilliantly ludicrous death in Bond history. Drugs and voodoo seems a long way from the average Bond criminal activity, but the intensity and the grittiness of the film helps to carry this sudden seriousness through - having said that, Live and Let Die is hardly low on good old Bond stock quips ("Animal magnetism"). All in all, a fantastic addition to the series which is the first to climb to something more than a staple "Bond flick".

  5.  "Cloud City Will Be Cloudy Today Followed By Cloud..."


    Robot Chicken: Star Wars (2007) - ****
    This loving parody of Star Wars looks fantastic in the Robot Chicken style and is hilarious from start to finish. Like everyone else, I wish it was three times as long, but well worth a watch is you're a fan of either Robot Chicken or Star Wars.

  6.  A Strong Conclusion To The Series


    Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi (1983) - ****
    The saga comes to close. After a blistering start during the immortal (if, fairly inconsequential) Jabba sequence, things slow down a bit as we bear witness to the death of Yoda and the preparations for the rebel fleet. Things pick up again during the last half an hour during the climatic lightsabre duel, the Ewok battle and Vader's ultimate sacrifice. Cue an unnecessarily schmaltzy ending and the series is completed. Despite a lot of slushiness (and an awkward 'you're my sister' dialogue) Return of the Jedi still manages to be fantastic entertainment from start to finish.

  7.  Breathless, Dark and Unforgettable


    Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - *****
    Easily the strongest in the Star Wars saga and containing possibly the greatest twist in cinematic history, The Empire Strikes Back moves at an incredible pace, hopping from the icy tundra of Hoth, to the goregeous Cloud City, to the eerie Dagobah and even inside a space slug's mouth. The pace never lets up, keeping you on the edge of your seat from start to finish (it certainly doesn't feel two hours long). Kershner brings a artful darkness to the series that is never quite replicated.

  8.  Classic Storytelling


    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) - *****
    A story that now seems to have become somewhat formulaic, is here utilized to perfection in the first (well, sort of) chapter in the epic sci-fi opera. Originally titled simply 'Star Wars', A New Hope follows a young Luke Skywalker as he first discovers his Jedi heritage. Filled with classic scenes such as the Mos Eisley cantina and the final destruction of the Death Star and classic, now legendary characters such as Chewbacca and Vader. The plot is one of the most flowing of the saga, and there is never a moment without motivation, unlike some of the prequels.

  9.  Hand Me Those Rose-Tinted Glasses


    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith (2005) - **
    As much as people seem to try and kid themselves into thinking this installment is the best of the prequels, it is not. All the flaws remain; dull writing, Hayden Christensen and lack of imagination. Okay, so we see what we needed to see (Anakin turning into Darth Vader) but it is done in such an unimaginative and obvious way you'll think you were short-changed. Yet again, the film becomes merely a series of fragmented highlights scattered amongst slush and boredom.

  10.  How Did Star Wars Become This Dull?


    Star Wars: Episode II: Attack Of The Clones
    Again, Lucas seems to have adopted the long periods of dullness and poor acting interspersed with awesome fight scenes. But this time, no Podrace. Instead, we are treated to the oddest couple in the galaxy, Anakin Skywalker (previously seen at about eight years old) and Padme Amidala (previously seen at whaever age she's at now.) Hayden Christensen is instantly unlikeable as the arrogant Anakin and his acting range can't quite pull off any emotion other than irritable. Other than the brilliant fight sequence at the end, highlights such as Christopher Lee and Yoda's fight, there is little to attract even the most dedicated of Star Wars fans.