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I saw this film at the cinema when it first came out as I'm partial to a movie with plenty of action - and this film has it in buckets. From the opening scenes where Jake Gyllenhaal wakes up trapped in what looks like an overturned tank the movie rushes along at a cracking pace until the end where all is revealed (no plot spoilers from me) and the film closes with a fairly horrible shot of our soldier hero and the promise of films to come. This film isn't going to win any oscars - shame - but director Duncan Jones has made a very reasonable B+ film here, Lots of action, a very good plot very well scripted, just the right amount of exposition then it's back to the action until as I say, the pensive, thoughtful and sad ending. Good stuff & certainly well worth the price of the dvd. Much recommended.
Stressed Eric: The Complete Collection (3 Discs)
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What a cruel world to laugh at a character so stressed but honestly - you can see the prat falls coming a mile off & they are just SO funny. I cannot fault this comedy and am thrilled to see it on dvd. This series is an absolute gem, I can recommend it wholeheartedly and am just sorry it's not on tv right now so thank heavens for dvds. Bring it on!!
Red Cliff (aka Chi Bi): Special Edition (2 Discs)
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I absolutely agree with the previous reviewer; I'm a real fan of all sorts of Asian movies not just especially the big pictures such as Hero, Crouching Tiger, but also films such as Audition & Ong Bak & how wonderful to see John Woo paying homage to his Asian roots in this stunning picture. Saw this at the cinema on the big screen & now will have to buy the discs to catch all the details I missed with so much going on. The attention to detail, the wonderful colours, the understandable story, the muscular action scenes all combined to mix up a faultless film but I can't understand why it seems to have slithered from view.Come on all you action-film watchers, give this a try - I just know you won't be disappointed - I certainly wasn't.
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Saw this at the cinema as I'm a bit of a fan of in-yer-face mud & mayhem & this movie had rain, bad teeth, even worse medical care in spades. Don't you just love living in the 21st century? Solomon Kane's story was utterly incidental - who cared where he had been fighting & that his mortal soul was in peril? What mattered was how Solomon was going to fight his way through a really naff plot, limited budget, being compared to Hollywood & still keep a straight face. Oh - and look really good in black leather in the chucking rain. Superficial describes this movie reasonably well; it's not going to win any oscars, it's not going to win any prizes but anyone with an eye for an action movie with realism in buckets will enjoy this film. Don't buy it looking for dazzling but enjoy it on a weekday evening, suspend disbelief & get carried away booing for the bad guys & cheering for Solomon to win in the end.
The Vampire Diaries: Season 1 (5 Discs)
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Well, what a surprise this series turned out to be; don't know the books, don't know the background & thought that the first couple of episodes were a bit Buffy but goodness me, what a stunner this has turned out to be. Each episode has come up with the requisite surprises and 'page turners' to keep me tuning in for the next episode, the repeat then the repeats of the repeats. Think I'll just have to buy the boxed set when it comes out & watch the repeats all over again. The characters might look a biit flawless, polished, gleaming but the storyline and acting cover over the relentless gorgeousness and the plotlines move the story along effortlessly from one twist to another. Although the story revolves around teens with the adults acting as gravity the slick production values keep the whole thing afloat. Sorry it's only four stars, the five stars rating is reserved for True Blood which is the daddy of the genre at the moment I'm afraid. Nevertheless, the Vampire Diaries is a first class product and if you like vampire stories then this is a first class production and much recommended. Enjoy!!
The Book Of Eli
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I really, really, really liked this film primarily because Denzil Washington could film a takeaway menu & make it a winner. The post-apocolyptic premise is a bit threadbare & pretty much is always bleak, smelly, arid, worrying & cannibalistic but the film's plot twists came just at the right time to keep the film story shifting along. The twist at the end in the printing press was just lovely - slotting the last book into the last gap on the shelf was an excellent touch. However some viewers might think that sitting through a couple of hours of nuclear dust & threatened progress might be a sit too far to get to a neat twist at the end, hence three stars. Denzil Washington can film pot-boilers with the best and made a good fist of a rather thin plot. Of course, this being the 21st century, the girls get to have a go at taking over the world - or what's left of it but not in this film, not yet, not in Holywood's stuck-in-a-rut imagination. Anyway, it's a good enough film for a weekday evening but not an Oscar winner I think.
District 9 (Nine)
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D'you know, I really liked this film partly because it was beyond the clutches of Holywood & partly the premise of the film being shot as cine verite was a really nice touch. I know that there was a gaping plot hole where there was a whopping space ship parked over Johannesburg with not one American in sight - not one anywhere - which is a bit hard to swallow but as a satire on how the South Africans treat 'others' this premise is hard to beat. Did you like the idea that Nigerians protested at how they were portrayed in the film? It's just a film,guys, not a documentary! Just as Australian cinema is out of the clutches of the American Fim Sausage Making Machine so this film should be celebrated as a fresh take on how we look at aliens - literally in this instance - are treated by the host nation. Are we here in England listening to people talk about East Europeans in Britain? And the aliens' numbers had, during the length of the film, doubled from one milliion to over two & a half million aliens .. can you feel a sequel coming on?? All that & a love story too; watch out all you romantics for when the fresh roses stop & stainless steel flowers arrive at your door. If this is an example of what South African cinema is kicking off with then I hope that their films can only get better. Keep up the good work.