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Fight Club (1999)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not the film the hype made it out to be..., 4 May 2000

I really wanted to see this film at the flicks but never got round to it. Having rented it on video I have to say I enjoyed it immensley BUT this movie is NOT the movie you think it is at all. All the trailers and articles you may have read make Fight Club out to be a testosterone fuelled macho fight movie with a few philosophical notions chucked in for good measure. While these elements are there, Fight Club is more a psychological thriller, an insight into the psyche of one man who on the outside is just as conforming as most of the rest of us but inside longs to express his chaotic primal instincts in a definitive and liberating manner.

The twist towards the end took me totally by surprise but it also made a few scenes early on in the film make a bit more sense and overall gave the film a more powerful edge. David Fincher is fast showing himself to be a talented and very capable director with such films as Se7en and The Game to his name. His artistic and gritty direction also almost made Alien 3 good too.

Acting is fine all round and Meat Loaf (in the first acting role I've seen him in (Spice Girls movie doesn't count)) proves to be a pretty good actor too. There are quite a few funny moments too although I'm sure some of the things I found funny weren't meant to be (the liposuction raid (ok maybe it was meant to be then)) and other people probably didn't find that amusing but thats my problem.

All round a film worth seeing but don't be fooled by the advertising and hype. Thats not the movie you're getting at all.

Oh dear..., 25 February 2000

It's been a few years since I saw a really decent horror film and I'm sad to say that House on Haunted Hill did absolutely nothing to change all. The original was great for it's time and I must admit that the opening scenes of this remake with all the loonies taking over the asylum and wreaking havoc set the scene nicely but the rest of the film fails to live up to expectations and to be honest I found the movie had a certain contempt for it's audience that I frankly found insulting.

It was unbelievable that no one thought of looking upstairs for a way out of the house until the last 10 minutes, the majority of the movie being spent in the basement. The characters are totally flat and you really don't give a rats arse who dies or how and again the ways in which the characters are bumped off are, if not predictable then totally "seen it all before" kind of stuff.

The dialogue is ludicrous and actors attempts to ham it up fall flat. As you can guess I didn't like this film at all and the fact that the only way I could get my GF to see it was to pay for her to get in (she either didn't want to waste her money or knew what was coming) added to my dissapointment. It wasn't scary at all although my GF jumped in a few places. The effects were ok but the "Token" monster at the end was cliche and stupid and if it hadn't done so already then basically it really fell apart at the end. Unless you're desperate to fill 2 hours of your life with something, anything, then I wouldn't bother with Haunted Hill at all. I thought the Haunting was a lot better and that wasn't brilliant. Avoid.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Excellent., 25 February 2000

What a great film. This is one movie the whole family is garuanteed to enjoy. The animation and textures are absolutely superb, theres all the ingredients that made the first one such a hit, it's pace never lets up. My kids were totally engrossed all the way through and so was I. And there was also a totally breathtaking trailer for another CGI movie called Dinosaur at the start of it so all in all an afternoon well spent...

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Looooong and depressing...., 25 February 2000

I missed this film at the cinema so snapped up the chance of renting it on video instead. I was expecting this to be along the same lines as Saving Private Ryan which was absolutely tremendous, however I was really dissapointed with this movie.

While some of the characters where excellently realised and portrayed, esp. Elias Koteas, I found the film to be way too long with a lot of it being very boring. The middle section which had charlie squad pushing it's way up a hill in order to secure the top was the only part of the movie which really had any substance, or story for that matter. Most of the films narrative has it's various characters pondering the futility of war and life in general. A lot of this narrative is obscure and seems pointless but still wears the viewer down, like much of the rest of the movie. The pace is very slow too but it has to be said the most of the acting is very good indeed. Especially of note are Elias Koteas, Sean Penn and Nick Nolte. Ultimately this film is the movie equivelant of Pink Floyds "The Final Cut". Long, depressing, and once you experienced it you don't really want to hear/see it again.

Great Entertainment..., 18 July 1999

I saw The Phantom Menace last night and although I tried to ignore all the hype and expectations that this movie had to live up to (which was difficult as TPM has to be the most hyped movie EVER !!!) and go in there with a totally open mind, when I saw those immortal words came up on that screen at the beginning I found myself sat there thinking "Please let this be good, please let this be good..". And thankfully it was.

Sure this movie isn't without it's flaws. The first 20 minutes or so seem very awkward and I was really thinking that if it carried on this way it was going to be the biggest let down in movie history. But seeing as George Lucas hasn't directed a movie in some time he obviously had to get into the swing of things again and I was prepared to let it go. The film did pick up immensely though and although there was very little background to any of the plot and practically no character development whatsoever, the film built up nicely to an absolutely blinding lightsaber battle finale. I'll go with most critics view that this film just opened loads of possibilities and then left them to be explored in later episodes which was a shame as I'm sure George Lucas could have stuffed enough in there to keep us satisfied, add a little more substance to the movie and have plenty more surprises for later installments.

And I don't know if it's just me or not but considering the story is supposed to be set 40 years ago the technology of the age seems vastly superior to that seen in the other 3 movies which is strange...

Of the acting I thought Ewan McGregor did a great job of playing Obi-Wan Kenobi. There were times when he spoke where I swear it sounded just like Alec Guiness. But unfortunately Liam Neeson gives the most wooden and uncaring performance I've ever seen for some completely unfathomable reason. Natalie Portman is good as the Queen AND her handmaiden Padme and the character voice are good if slightly cartoonish. I liked Watoo the owner of the junk yard who sounded just like Marlon Brando from the Godfather but the crappy dubbed sounding Japanese accents of those aliens at the beginning that worked for Darth Sidious. Pleeeeeaase!!! There are some nice humourous touches too like Jabba the Hutt introducing the pod race and then his aid waking him up when it's all over. And the botched heroics of Jar Jar Binks who, despite what you might have heard is not nearly as annoying as you might think. Still, with that said the action sequences are faultless and keep you on the edge of your seat, the FX are, as expected, stunning and although it doesn't quite have that Star Wars buzz (partly I feel due to the new mediums and technologies used in TPM.)there are still enough ties to the current Star Wars universe to give it good continuity.

When I came out of the cinema I thought to myself "was I satisfied with that as a part of the Star Wars Saga...?". And I came to the conclusion that Yes I bloody was and I can't wait until Episode 2. Come on George, get your finger out, do you really expect us to wait until 2002..?

Toonstruck (1996) (VG)
16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Great entertainment..., 6 June 1999

I wasn't that struck on the demo for toonstruck. It just seemed like an average if entertaining enough point and clicker but on seeing it in the cheapie bin at my local PC shop I thought I'd give it a go and was actually surprised to discover that my original impressions where totally misconstrued.

Toonstruck is a brilliantly conceived adventure game. The game and cutscenes are interweaved seamlessly and the story is great if slightly unoriginal. The old human gets sucked into toon world routine that we've all seen before in Roger Rabbit and Cool World. This game has touches of both, the humour is very good and theres plenty in there to keep kids and adults alike amused although some of the gags are a little adult orientated they will probably go over most kids heads.

The character voices are excellent and the characters are mostly all interesting and for the most part you actually don't mind hearing what they have to say. Not like some adventure games (discworld springs to mind) where you just want them to shut up so you can get on with the game. Christopher Lloyd is great as Drew Blanc, an animation artist who nods off on his drawing board (or does he) and gets sucked into the toon world of Fluffy fluffy Bun Bun, one of his early (sick inducingly cute) creations. Count Nefarious (Tim Curry in good form)has created a melevalator, a machine which turns everything that is cute into the epitimy of vile corruptness. Not a bad thing you might say and actually half way through the story takes a twist in that direction. You must find the objects to create a cuteifier which reverses the effects. The set peices are genuinely funny and icludes quite a few belly laughs. terribly underated, Give this game a shot, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Enjoyable movie..., 31 May 1999

I caught this movie completely by accident one bank holiday morning and the only reason I watched it basically was because it had Arnie in it. With Kirk Douglas. I thought what the hell is this movie, I didn't remember Arnie and Kirk starring together in anything especially as the film looked a few years old too. Arnies acting in this movie is actually quite passable, better than most of the stuff he does today and of course Kirk Douglas does an admirable job as the villian out to rob him blind who just doesn't give up. The whole movie has a kind of cartoon feel to it as Douglas's character constantly screws up his attempts of getting the better of Arnie and his lady companion....

If you like old time movies you could do worse than this one. See it even if just for the curiousity value of seeing a young Arnie actually doing some acting for a change....

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Pants, ridiculous, plop, crud, honestly this movie is awful!!, 22 April 1999

What the hell happened???? Even the 3rd (which was at least watchable and entertaining) was miles better than this. The opening fight in the museum was a farce. Never before have I seen so many people leaping about so obviously on wires. The dialogue is a complete joke (so Joel Schumacher doesn't quite get all the blame),the situations are completely ridiculous and the acting is abysmal. Batgirl's appearance was completely pointless and I was pretty much bored senseless after the first 5 minutes and couldn't wait for the end. I think the director was trying to recreate the campness of the original series which was a big mistake in a big budget (yes big budget) movie like this. After seeing this film you just feel like the last 2 hours were spent in a timeless hole somewhere of which you have no memories when you emerge....

All the darkness of the first 2 movies is completely gone and it really looks like Joel Schumacher didn't give a monkeys about this film at all.

Bring back Tim Burton

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Better than expected..!!!, 22 April 1999

I'd heard a lot of negative comments about this film so waited until it came around on video before seeing it and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Sure it's pretty much the same old formula but nonetheless Mel Gibson and Danny Glover make a good pair and have a lot of on-screen chemistry. There's enough explosions, gunplay and wisecracks to keep the average action fan happy and some (although admittedly not much) character development. There isn't any mention at all though of Murtagh's supposed retirement at the end of Lethal Weapon III or why he's still on the force which was a bit strange. Surely it wouldn't have taken much to chuck in a few lines of dialogue to explain this. Ever since the 3rd movie, the studios obviously figured, since the movies were successful, they would aim for a wider audience and so tone the movies down a bit. I think the last 2 films although good still didn't have the edge of the first 2. The 2nd was the best in my opinion. I'm not sure if making the same film again will be a good plan if there is ever a Lethal Weapon 5. There was a rumour going around that Danny Glover's character was supposed to die in the beginning of the movie. I think this would have probably been better, or something similar as Mel Gibson seems to be losing his "Lethalness". Seeing Riggs go totally off the deep end a'la Unforgiven would have made this a lot better......probably!!!

The Hunchback (1997) (TV)
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Flawed but entertaining nonetheless., 23 March 1999

Technically this movie sounds a bit of a dud. Terribly understated, little to no character development (even the Disney version had more if only just), dodgy make up even though Mandy Patinkin still manages to give an exeptionally sympathetic portrayal of Quasimodo, showing him as the man more than the monster. Some of the scenes remembered from the classic were downplayed where a little spectacle wouldn't have hurt. Most of the performances are 1 dimensional but the 3 main characters are good, Richard Harris is quite menacing as Dom Frollo. Direction is a bit sad in a lot of places giving the feel that the director just wanted to get the scene out of the way and move onto the next one. But despite all these flaws it's still pretty good. You really feel something for Quasimodo, all that he's been through, and the characterisation of him as a man rather than a monstrosity makes you all the more sympathetic. Worth Seeing....

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