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51 reviews in total 
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Essex Boys (2000)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Competent, but nothing special, 1 November 2001

It shouldn't have mattered, but it did. Every time I saw Tom Wilkinson, I thought "Gerald Cooper" (_Full Monty_), not "John Dyke". Just couldn't take him seriously as a hard man. Similarly, Sean Bean, who I normally find very entertaining, was only lukewarm in his portrayal of the psychotic gangster.

I really wanted to like _Essex Boys_, being a big fan of gangster cinema, but it just didn't do it for me. Nothing stands out as particularly bad, but equally nothing stands out as particularly fresh or original either. It seems fairly standard for British crime films to be less manic and slower-paced than their American counterparts, but _Essex Boys_, for whatever reason, didn't have that spark that makes an interesting and memorable film.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Excruciatingly slow, 27 October 2001

_Talos_ is excruciatingly slow-paced. For a film that is supposedly horror, this is the kiss of death. The special effects are in general rather poor, and for a large portion of the far-too-long running time we are treating to the spectacle of people being chased and killed by demonic rags that look remarkably like moving toilet paper.

9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Complex, powerful, moving, 16 February 2001

_Waterdance_ explores a wide variety of aspects of the life of the spinally injured artfully. From the petty torments of faulty fluorescent lights flashing overhead to sexuality, masculinity and depression, the experience of disability is laid open.

The diversity of the central characters themselves underscores the complexity of the material examined - Joel, the writer, Raymond, the black man with a murky past, and Bloss, the racist biker. At first, these men are united by nothing other than the nature of their injuries, but retain their competitive spirit. Over time, shared experience, both good and bad, brings them together as friends to support one another.

Most obvious of the transformations is that experienced by Joel, who initially distances himself from his fellow patients with sunglasses, headphones and curtains. As he comes to accept the changes that disablement has made to his life, Joel discards these props and begins to involve himself in the struggles of the men with whom he shares the ward.

The dance referred to in the title is a reference to this daily struggle to keep one's head above water; to give up the dance is to reject life. _Waterdance_ is a moving and powerful film on many levels, and I do not hesitate to recommend it.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Slow, plodding and dull, 16 February 2001

Usually, what you're looking for in a horror movie is horror. _Vampyros Lesbos_ fails to deliver in a big way.

The soundtrack is intrusive and jarringly mismatched to the action, such as it is, and each character appears to have selected at the outset the expression that he or she is to wear for the remainder of the film.

In essence, there is very little here to recommend, or to salvage the film from interminable boredom and chronic confusion. Abrupt editing does nothing to aid comprehension; frequent recourse to gratuitous lesbian erotica, similarly, adds nothing to the film as a whole.

More questions than answers, 14 February 2001

_Vacant Possession_ explores some fairly common ground as the death of a mother brings a daughter home to Sydney, where the old family home begins to bring old wounds more and more to life. Initially, the flashback sequences are well defined, but as the story unfolds they become more and more seamlessly blended with the present.

There is little here that hasn't been covered numerous times in other films, although it is possible to read the film as a metaphor for the history of white Australia. Ultimately, however, _Vacant Possession_ leaves more questions unanswered than answered.

3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Aimless and unsatisfying, 10 February 2001

Amnesiac women who remove their clothes at the drop of a hat (or a blouse?) are about the only stand-out points in a film that is otherwise slow and aimless. Although the basic premise of the story offers a wealth of possibilities, they are never developed to any satisfying degree, and exposition is almost non-existent. A large proportion of the film is mere wanderings through the corridors of a multi-storied clinic/hospital. The overall effect is bleak and sterile, a la THX-1138.

If warped humour is your thing, this is for you, 28 November 2000

-Kondom des Grauens- is an odd beast. Although at times outlandish to the point of absurdity, it is always played pretty much straight. The wonderfully gruff and sleazy Detective Luigi Macaroni is a great parody of every hard-boiled detective ever portrayed. Overall it's worth at least a look, although definitely not everyone's cup of tea. It sits nicely somewhere between -Bad Taste- and -Eat and Run-.

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Sex, danger and eroticism - a heady brew, 27 November 2000

_The Indecent Woman_ draws out several themes, among them the tension between the desire to loosen restraints and the fear of losing control. Emilia, the central character, muses at one point that "fantasies are so contradictory", which captures the mood of the film perfectly. The potential for an individual to lose him or herself in desire is a key issue as the story unwinds.

There are several much more explicit scenes, but keep an eye out for the "shadow foreplay" sequence, which is perhaps the most tense and erotic sequence in the film. Later, the shadows resurface, this time as a threat, mirroring the progressive change in the relationship between Emilia and Leon.

The Craft (1996)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Lots of eye candy, but not much else, 24 October 2000

Given the scope offered by the subject material, _The Craft_ was disappointingly unimaginative, although the uses the young witches put their powers to are probably a fair representation of the ends a teenager might find for magic. Apart from a few glamour spells, petty revenges and several spectacular temper tantrums, none of the four young ladies stretches her powers to any great extent.

There are some subtle and interesting undertones relating to female subjectivity and relationships (most of the male characters being either cardboard cut-outs and/or pawns for the females), but on the whole _The Craft_ falls rather flat.

Spawn (1997)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Just another revenge flick with some nifty effects, 24 October 2000

In the end analysis, this is merely yet another revenge film with some flashy effects. The special effects themselves are fairly uniformly well done, with the exception of Satan who is without a doubt the worst effect of the film.

There were several elements that I personally found very distracting and annoying that made me suspect that _Spawn_ was made with a very unsophisticated and even cinema-illiterate audience in mind. The snippets of expository narration and, more importantly, constant use of flashbacks to underscore important plot points became irritating fairly early in the piece. More generally, the movie had an MTV feel, as though it was one long rock video, complete with flashing (and illegible) credits.

_Spawn_ is worth seeing for the effects, but not much else.

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