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Zombieland is a fantastic comedy horror. Very jumpy and gory at times and wonderfully fun and enjoyable throughout. Great comedic performances from the entire cast..the zombies look fab too. It has a brilliant sparkling blu ray transfer and the movie features the greatest cameo ever! A great movie for a great night in.
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A down right brilliant little movie. Epic, emotional, hard edged, exciting, dramatic and down right hilarious! Fantastic top form performances all round, this movie whisks you away to the seedy porn world of the late 70's early 80's and leaves you thoroughly entertained. It is crime this masterpiece isn't more often regarded as an all time great as it has everything a great well movie needs. Great Blu Ray transfer and super price. Do your self a favour. Enhance your Blu Ray collection with this Classic.
Bridesmaids: Triple Play (3 Discs)
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Bridesmaids is a must see chick flick, for men and women! It seems to just get better with repeat viewings. At first I found it a little too long and different than I thought but that was mainly because I had heard so often it was a girls verson of the Hangover of which I feel it isn't. If it hadn't already been used the appropriate title for this flick would be Maid of Honour, as it really is a one woman show. It is very sweet and warm and written beautifully and naturally and very often it is laugh out loud funny and on repeat viewings you find more funny things that you missed the pervious times. Kristen Wiig is fantastic and one to watch for the future. The supporting cast do brilliant jobs too. The picture on blu ray is pretty fantastic and there are some good special features most notable is the very funny gag reel. If you haven't seen it, don't hesitate. A must for men, women, quiet nights in or having all your mates around, and one you'll watch over and over.
Superman The Movie: Special Edition
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On first re watching Superman, I was blown away at how very well it holds itself 30 years down the line amongst recent big box office superhero movies such as the Spider-man trilogy, Hulk movies and the reworkings of Batman. Obviously, the special effects, that were its main selling point back in the late 70's now look very shoddy indeed, but that is the real only thing the recent Superman Returns has over this little gem. It remains arguably the greatest Super hero movie of them all. It is Epic, thrilling, funny, warm, romantic. nicely paced for a 2 and a half hour movie and features the superb, instantly recognizable and powerful theme music by Movie Composer Legend, John Williams!Everything about it works, the great story telling, how it has made such a far fetched idea seem plausible and endearing, a feat poor old Spider-man didn't quite achieve in 2002 with the uncomfortably dreadful and silly looking Green Goblin (although Willem Defoe did as best as he could with the character). The movie tag line was "You'll believe a man can fly", but it could quite convincingly have been "You'll believe a man would wear bright red pants on top of blue tights"! A superb cast with fantastic performances from Gene Hackman as the greatest criminal mind of our time, Lex Luthor, Ned Beatty as his hilariously dim sidekick Otis, as well as Legend Marlon Brando as Superman's father Jor-El, and the not very sexy but extremely spunky Margot Kidder as Lois Lane. But supporting cast, great composer, excellent script and directing aside, it is single handed virtual newcomer Christoper Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman that shoots this movie out of this world! What a performance, so strong and powerful as the man of steel and endearingly clumsy as Clark, I think a lot of what made such an impact on me watching this movie as an adult now, is thinking how perfect Reeves was as Superman and how heartbreaking tragic was this mans poor life to turn out to be. Watching him fly around the globe at the final shot of the movie as he smiles at the camera almost brought a tear to my eye. What a Super hero Reeves was indeed. Virtually unknown for any other of his roles but will be remembered world wide for his turn as son of Jor-El, Kal-El.I wasn't too impressed on 2006's Superman Returns, thought it was a tad slow and the 3rd act was weak and had no real build up or satisfying climax. But not only did new Superman Brandon Routh have to be a convincing Clark Kent and Superman, he had to be a convincing Christopher Reeve, and there will never be another Christopher Reeve.
Superman The Movie: "Still, the best Superhero movie put to Celluloid"
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Following hot off the world wide enormous success of the absolutely brilliant The Sixth Sense, writer, director M. Knight Shyamalan brought us Unbreakable, and in my opinion, arguably his finest picture to date.I went to see this movie in the cinema on the strength of Sixth Sense and I was blown away. I went on my own, the only way any good movie can be enjoyed in the cinema, something I haven't done now for years, and I sat there and really immersed myself into the film and I cried no less than three times during the picture. So very powerful, yet so gentle and subtle a line M Knight can tread so perfectly. One of the most important things I want from watching a movie is to be emotionally involved and very rarely have I been so passionately touched by a movie as I was by this.Most of mates can't understand it, most of them laugh, but I will struggle on to try and get people to see and hopefully be as moved by this flick as I was.It plays as M Knights homage to comics, it is taking the first act of your usual super hero movie and uses that as the structure for the whole movie. David Dunn, An every day man is the unharmed survivor of a horrific train accident. On the strength of this, Elijah Price, a frail and lonely Comic Artwork Store owner believes him to be a super hero and tried to convince him of this. That pretty much out lines the story but with the heart wrenching and beautiful sound track by James Newton Howard feeding its way through your veins and towards your heart, it becomes apparent that this is far from your average super hero movie.It's dark and subdued tones, it's gentle pacing and realistic approach really make this suspense thriller come drama a unique experience, a genre mix you don't come by often, drama and super hero movies, and it works beautifully.I found it easy to relate to Bruce Willis's character, David Dunn, feeling a deep void in his life, that he should be doing something but didn't know what and carrying this burden is bringing his family down and tearing it apart, he can't bond with his son, of whom adores him for all that he is anyway, and he is drifting apart from his wife of whom loves him dearly.We follow David as he investigates his past, at first in denial but then slowly drawn to Elijah's theory that if there can be someone born as fragile and "breakable" as he is, there must be someone at the other end of the spectrum that can't be harmed and is "Unbreakable".Directed perfectly M Knight Shyamalan puts love and thought into virtually every shot and makes you feel part of the movie. The movie can be found as slow by some but it was clear never set out to be a fast paced action film. Although it does build up to a very gripping and scary climax, which follows on from one of the movies best scenes set in the the train station, where David Dunn goes to start working on his super powers. The Obligatory M Knight twist is superb and thought provoking and ends the movie fantastically.I can not rave about this under appreciated master piece enough. If you are thinking of watching a movie and pick up M Knights Shyamalan's The Happening, do your self one huge favour, gently put it back down on the shelf and dig out this little gem, you could do a hell of a lot worse.Unbreakable: "A subtle mix of self discovering drama and thrilling super hero suspense, M Knight Shyamalan's masterpiece"
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2 Discs)
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I sat in the theatre my expectations through the roof, already humming the magnificent theme tune in my head over and over again (thanks again, John Williams! :-)), I would only be satisfied with a mile stone in movie history, a new summer blockbuster to shape how future summer hits would mould themselves, just like Raiders Of The Lost Ark did 27 years ago. Silly fella, there was no way I could leave the auditorium anyway other than disappointed.
And sure as Steven Spielberg loves aliens, I was disappointed. It plodded along at a watchable pace, slightly amusing at times, the action sequences were fun if silly and far from exciting and the film didn't really introduce any real new ideas, well nothing that wasn't done and done better in the first three movies. Harrison did a fine job of bringing back Indy as an old man, I had my doubts that he could do it but he had added age to the character beautifully as although he still often had is short tempered no nonsense attitude, he at times showed signs of being mellowed by the years and having a softer side. Most of the characters were a tad by the book, ie Ray Winstones George "Mac" McHale seemed like he shoulda been in Indy rip off movies "The Mummy" Series rather than an actual Indy flick and although it is lovely to see the still gorgeous Karen Allen back as Marion Ravenwood she soon starts to get on your nerves as she is a tad giggly and annoying, far from how her character was portrayed in Raiders. The always brilliant Cate Blanchett was bordering on terrible as the obligatory cliched baddie, in fact the surprise was the sure-to-be-annoying-side-kick, upcoming and in-everything actor Shia Labeouf was very likable and fun in a role who's revelation half way through the picture was inevitable. A few nods to the previous movies were very welcome. In fact, that was were the movie succeeded and really only had it's strength, and that was by being nostalgic. We are going through a pretty dire time in Hollywood where no real "new" blockbusters are being made and instead the industry is making it's money off of nostalgia by keep bringing back 80's iconic movies such as Die Hard, Rocky (ok, it started in the 70's but had its hiatus in the 80's), Rambo, and the forthcoming Beverley Hills Cop and Ghostbusters sequels, because they know us kids can't resist making that trip to the cinema and handing the cash over for another instant trip back down memory lane.
Indy IV featured several great looking shots of Harrison's instantly recognisable silhouette or shadow as he pops on his trusty hat or stands in heroic mode holding his whip, as the score plays it's goose-pimple inducing theme and don't get me wrong it was watchable if enjoyable, just not really necessary and not as good as could have been and should have been.
I have watched it again since and with my expectations non existent I found myself really enjoying it for what it was, I found it flowed nicely and was good old fashioned fun, although it tries very hard to have the same feel of the original trilogy, it just isn't possible unless they cut the budget by half losing lots of the cgi, and added some better dialogue and most importantly fired the guy who has a passion for swinging monkeys and mole-hill making Gophers!!!
The Blu ray transfer is great except the crucial scene where we first meet Indy, there is a dodgy blatant shadow on the screen. That besides, it looks amazing.
The Incredible Hulk (2008): Universal 100th Anniversary Edition - Exclusive Steelbook
Transporter 2 director Louis Leterrier handled the responsibility of unleashing The Hulk with a lot more respect and with the fans interest at heart, using different origins of the character, noteably the "always on the run" stories from the 70's world wide successful television series. The movie doesn't retell the 2003 Hulk story but gives a brief alternative history to the characters' creation in the opening credits before getting the movie started some 5 years later in Brazil, so it does kind of feel like a sequel without actually being one. The movie is fast and fun as we meet Ed Norton's Bruce Banner in hiding trying to cure himself of the beast or at least learn how to control it. Soon located by William Hurts' General "Thunderbolt" Ross and the military an awesome chase sequence through a small Brazilian town leads us to our first glimpse of The Hulk. The Hulk comes across very threatening and you could feel the danger of his presence on the screen, something that was totally void in Ang Lee's The Hulk. This movie didn't try to be anything it wasn't, it had a simple structure and moved along at a very digestible pace and although I loved all the action sequences served up, I found myself enjoying the non Hulk sequences that joined them very much too. I think the cast handled their roles respectively, none of the talented cast having to push themselves at all but all being pretty solid to support the mighty green fella. I was mostly surprised with how much I enjoyed Tim Roth's character Emil Blonsky, as throughout the movie he is slowly transformed into an arch enemy more that suitable to rival the Hulk, in the form of the menacing Abomination. The climatic battle was all I could wish for for a perfect Hulk movie, the cgi characters never actually looking convincingly realistic but solid enough to get you roaring in The Hulks corner as he really finds his match in the bigger enemy. I left the auditorium fully pumped up, wanting to clench my fists and roar at the top of my lungs and rip the seats out of the floor as I walked past them on my way out and throw them across the cinema! Yup, I was a satisfied customer!
Batman: The Dark Knight
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The Dark Knight hasn't just broke the mould of super hero movies but shattered the thing to tiny pieces. So bold and dark, it often feels like it has more in common with disturbing phsychological thrillers such as Silence of The Lambs than it does with movies about men running around in funny costumes. And it works extremely well, making it as realistic as it can with a host of brilliant and complex characters. It is often quite funny and the action sequences are second to none. The broody and heroic yet unnerving score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard compliments the movies frightening and disturbing atmosphere perfectly. The movie builds such an unrivalled momentum, 60 odd minutes in and my heart was pounding and I was right there in the heart of the movie where Nolan wanted me to be. The movie had just gone form strength to strength, introducing us to new characters and opening several subplots. A superb cast giving top notch performances, one highlight being the often dismissed in his role as Harvey Dent, Aaron Eckhart, who's performance and character is the real centre of the movie and what carries Batman's good on one shoulder and the Jokers evil on the other. I was disappointed with Maggie Gyllenhaal's underused talent as Rachel Dawes. Bale and Caine were brilliant again and have a magnificent screen bond together and of course Ledger, of whom was very good but in my opinion not better than Jack Nicholson's performance of the clown prince of crime, just different. If he wins an Oscar, I am sure it was a sympathy vote.I remember sat in the theatre during the movie, thinking to myself that I was experiencing something very special, a lot of hard work and talent had gone in to making sure this movie wasn't just another action fantasy super hero movie but a movie that people of all ages could enjoy and would be talked about for a long time. I remember thinking this was shaping up to be one of the greatest cinematic movies I have ever seen, a blockbuster that was simply kicking all others out of the competition. It is by far the biggest grossing comic adaptation of all time and deservedly so. It is a dark and mature solid piece of entertainment that just about holds onto it's 12a certificate, because of lack of blood but that is where the movie kind of works at is best, not at its gore, but its solid threat.Yup you guessed it, I was pretty blown away by this amazing motion picture.....but then it went wrong...sadly just before the third act the movies momentum hit it's peak and a masterful climax, I was sure in my head it was nearly finished but the movie kept going. It started to get confusing, a few plot holes appeared and the new subplots and set pieces just weren't as gripping and entertaining as the movie had shown us it was more than capable of earlier. This was extremely disappointing. One of the story threads, that of Harvey Dent, carries the third act OK, but I found by this time, it wasn't strong enough to carry the excellence that we had been treated to up to this point. Had the movie have been 30 minutes shorter it may not have had this problem, or maybe if the first 2 acts weren't so accomplished and brilliant, the 3rd act wouldn't have felt so deflated.I went a couple of weeks later to see it in the cinema again and only found my first opinions of the movie confirmed. This movie really must be seen and experienced to be believed and no doubt about it it has something very special going on but sadly can't keep up the pace and thrills for the full duration of the movie."A truly masterful, epic and deeply atmospheric summer blockbuster with a blistering score and superb action sequences and sturdy performances, just sadly disappointingly flawed"
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Stallone went out to make an old fashioned style action movie, with next to no CGI but using old school action sequences, stunts and explosions, it definitely delivers. With a running time of barely over 80 minutes, it flies by at a break neck pace heading towards a climatic battle that brilliantly and brutally goes on for almost ten solid minutes and I enjoy every second of it, cheering at the screen as each of the evil, nasty and short Burmese soldiers are blown to pieces or decapitated one by one, blood soaking the screen, this movie is not for the faint hearted, although once you get used to the idea of the extreme violence it increasingly becomes easier to digest.Pulsating, mindless macho action aside, this movie sadly brings very little in the way of a plot or decent story development. Had Sly put a little more thought in it, it could have been quite an epic movie. Instead, its story is pretty much a mix of those of Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III and it takes up only the first 20 minutes to half an hour of the movie, then is left on the river bank as Rambo takes his rag tag mercenaries up river to Burma to kick some ass! Another very noticeable flaw is Sly's inability to create any remotely rounded or interesting characters. A whole collection of flat two dimensional characters support the lead character as he comes to terms once again with who is, what he was born to be and what he is trained to do.
I think there is only one female lead with dialogue and I found she really had no meat to chew into in regards of a decent relationship with John Rambo. I know Stallone can write pretty deep and amazing characters, a re watch of the original 1977 Rocky establishes that fact instantly but here and pretty much so in Rocky Balboa too, we are given a one man show where all the attention is pretty much aimed at how one man feels, thinks and acts. As this movie is based on what life is really like for the people of Burma, its deeply upsetting torture scenes and village raids, of which Sly researched immensely to make it as realistic as possible are enough to leave you shocked and horrified at what is actually going on over there, also helping make this movie more relevant and meaningful than your average shoot-em-up flick. Composer Brian Tyler brings back Jerry Goldsmiths classic theme "It's a long road" from the original First blood movie and brings his own stirring and emotional score to help bring a heightened level of sympathy to many of of the documentary like scenes of torture and brutality of innocent villagers. Giving credit where credit is due, I think Sly did a brilliant job with directing this movie, where he lacked in story telling and character development he brings a very gritty and grainy rough feel to the screen and lots of hand held camera work make you feel part of the picture and at Rambo's side, if not, being the man himself, lots of rain and brooding colour drained shots really capture the tortured beauty of the earthy locations, I think it is a shame Stallone isn't as respected a director as he clearly deserves to be.
Stallone fully achieves what he sets out to do, bringing back to the big screen, a masculine, pumped up old school action movie with a message, bringing a serious issue to light but solves it in a way that is very satisfying to watch if totally impossible.
Looking stunning on Blu Ray with some great documentaries too.
RAMBO "Doing what he does best and proving he has still got it by the bucket load now in his 60s, if it is a fast paced ultra violent action fest you want to fill 80 minutes of your time, RAMBO, is your man!"
The Station Agent
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I taped this little movie late one night on BBC1 a few months ago after a mate of mine recommended it to me, and I finally got around to giving it a going over last night. I had an idea of what it was about but my pre concieved perceptions of it were very wrong. Although a modest budgeted independant movie, it is a lot more digestible and comercial than I had expected it to be.
It is a very gentle and bitter sweet light comedy drama about a very lonely and ostracised Dwarf of whom is left an unused train station in the will of his only friend. Finn heads out to Newfoundland, New Jersey to live in solitude and spend his days trainspotting. While there, he meets young at heart Cuban, hot-dog stand vendor Joe, played brilliantly breezily by Bobby Cannavale, who is running the business while his dad is very ill, and Olivia, a middle aged lady of whom tragically lost her child 2 years earlier and is in the middle of a crumbling relationship with her husband, played to perfection by Patricia Clarkson. The motley crew find solace and comfort with each other and bond through their flaws and struggles with life.
First time director and writer Thomas McCarthy does a superb job at subtly bring together these characters and the world they are in, all the time bringing in enough sweet and delicate humour to keep the movie from ever feeling too heavy thus keeping it a very satisfying experience. A brilliant little cast including the magnificent and stunning Peter Dinklage as Finn, help bring the movie to life and drive it your heart.
A very creditable and harmless movie is even more poignant to me for its bringing to light the life of a dwarf. See as a movie fan, if I think of Dwarfs on film I think either of them being terribly and constantly type cast as Ewoks or little aliens/wizards/talking ducks in George Lucas movies or as bait for a host of terrible and offensive jokes in Austin Powers movies. Here, we really get to see and feel how much crap is thrown at poor harmless Finn every single day, just to and from his way to work, kids laughing and sniggering at him as he passes and shout out comments about snow white and the seven dwarfs, and these scenes that open the movie brought a lump to my throat. It is hard enough struggling through life when you don't have any physical inadequacies and through modern cinema such as Me myself and Irene, we are led to believe that dwarfs and midgets "like" being "humiliated" about their stature, well The Station Agent and Peter Dinklage's deep and heart felt performance confirm that people with dwarfism are very much emoting human beings too.
The Station Agent "A fine and enjoyable first effort for writer, director Thomas McCarthy who brings a lot of heart to this gentle and wonderfully acted light hearted drama"