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9 reviews in total 
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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
a unique series about life on the "frontier", 11 July 2003

"Quirky" is the best way to describe what is a typically British comedy about life in the Cornwall town of St Gweep. Cornwall is Daphne Du Maurier country, and the cinematography enhances the bleak, stony seascape that affects the mood of the town's inhabitants who are simultaneously dour and lovable. There is no ongoing plot so to speak, each episode chronicles one incident in the week of the town - whether it is a shipwreck that washes Tupperware up on the beach or a power strike that leaves the one character with a generator to capitalize upon the situation. Dawn French and Catherine Tate are excellent in their roles of the understated lesbian shopkeepers, and Anne-Marie Duff is hilarious as the proprietor of the local witchcraft museum. I really hope there is a second series.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Magic Realism, 7 May 2003

Films are meant to open up new worlds for you, and invite you into

the magic that comes with it. What i loved the most about "Whale

Rider" is that it is quite subtle and restrained. There were times

when i wanted to leap into the screen and whack the domineering

but loving grandfather with his own cane for not recognising the

fact that his granddaughter Pai could lead their Maori tribe despite

her gender, yet instead of some huge immediate showdown we

are allowed to see the heartache come across through movement

and expression rather than bad writing. There were many subplots

and characters who linked back to the trials Pai experienced, and

instead of distracting from her they strengthened her story by

offering juxtaposition and comparison. The final fifteen minutes

are magical, fantastical and heartbreaking. I can't give it away here,

although they do hint at it in some of the trailers - but i hope you get

hit by the same wave of emotion as nature and humanity collide,

and destinies are realised. I know the audience in our session


1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Disney is back on track!, 11 November 2002

Films by the Walt Disney Company have been in danger of becoming stale recently - and although there have been valiant attempts to stray from the well-worn fairy tale musical (such as the recent Atlantis: The Lost Empire, a Jules Verne homage of nineteenth century explorers attempting to find the fable underwater city, strangely enough for a Disney film, without song), it has only been the CGI offerings of Pixar that has revitalized Disney with such modern classics as Toy Story and Monsters Inc. But how was Disney to reenergize itself with its traditional cel animation? The answer lay in the story of a small Hawaiian girl called Lilo, and her pet "dog" Stitch. Lilo is not a traditional Disney heroine. Unlike Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Lilo is not the perfect girl who puts everybody before herself. She is a deeply troubled girl who cannot come to terms with the death of her parents in a car accident. She deliberately ostracizes herself from her peers, and even goes out of her way to antagonize them. She also frequently clashes with her sister Nonnie, who is trying to hold the remnants of their family together even though she is no more than a child herself. Nonnie is also not perfect. Lilo annoys her, and even though there is a desperate love between them it is their differences and inability to grieve properly that brings them to the attention of the child welfare authorities. Nonnie is given a short period of time in which to prove herself fit to be Lilo's guardian, and to try and cheer her little sister up she decides to adopt a family dog. Enter Stitch - the product of an alien genetic experiment who has escaped from his homeworld, and is followed by an intergalactic united nations to attempt to bring him back. Stitch will prove to be a kindred spirit to Lilo, as he is also on a path of self-destruction. He has been programmed to destroy everything that gets in his way, but under Lilo's guidance and away from the influence of his creators he becomes open to the Hawaiian concept of "okana": family. Nonnie and Lilo operate by the maxim that in a family nobody gets left behind. And that grows to include Stitch as his secret is revealed, but he proves his worth in a family that is trying to piece itself together. The film does lag slightly towards the end though, as there is the sewing up of a vast and imaginative plot when the other aliens reveal themselves. But is a slight hiccup in what I feel to be one of the best films of 2002. In the end the characters realize that a family can be composed of many elements, and that members do not have to be of the same bloodline. You can choose your friends, and in that respect they can become your family as well. This is an extremely heartfelt film, but it is not as saccharine as past Disney offerings. There are some true moments of madness to be discovered, and also great poignancy as we watch Nonnie and Lilo trying to rebuild their lives after a tragedy. This is helped by the beauty of the animation itself - Disney has reverted to the traditional watercolouring method that was apparently only last used in the forties. It is a method well suited to bring out the vibrancy of the Hawaiian setting, and the movie rocks along with an Elvis Presley soundtrack which works surprisingly well. All of this adds up to part of the Disney canon which proves that the old Mouse Factory's non-CGI animation department isn't dead yet. There is a breath of fresh air rolling through, and it has been provided by Lilo and Stitch.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
my faith in disney is reaffirmed, 20 September 2002

let's face it, disney films were becoming a bit stale. while everybody was raving about the cgi masterpieces toy story and monsters inc, i was hoping for a return to classic disney animation. although atlantis: the lost empire was a valiant effort at trying something new, a musical number-less jules verne-ian adventure, it still lacked a certain sense of disney spirit. lilo and stitch has brought that back. although it still retains traditional disney ideals, it is irreverant and cheeky. lilo and stitch are not the classically endearing characters from the mould of ariel and belle, and we can breathe in relief from that. it is because of their lack of social graces that we love them more, they seem all the more real to us. what adult, looking back, cannot remember a period of their life when they felt just as isolated and unhappy as lilo, and needed a friend like stitch to bring them back from the brink again? the animation is beautiful, and the location of hawaii and the hawaiian people also bring a fresh perspective to this movie. the soundtrack of elvis presley songs make a surprisingly effective backdrop to the story. i cannot heap enough praise on this film, but shudder at what the inevitable video sequels might do to ruin this classic.

366 out of 535 people found the following review useful:
love lynch, or hate lynch, admit he's a master, 28 January 2002

"twin peaks" and "blue velvet" have always been two of my favourite pieces of film-making, and even though past films by lynch have been slightly disappointing for me they have always been worth watching a number of times. to be pretentious, lynch can be like a good wine - he must be savoured and mulled over. but in the end you must make up your own mind about what you have seen, for lynch never gives you the full answers.

many people will walk out of "mulholland drive" possibly wanting to throttle themselves over the mind-bending visual jigsaw puzzle that has just unfolded before them. but there is a twisted logic to this film, you just have to look for the clues. betty (naomi watts) arrives in hollywood, doe-eyed and in search of stardom. she then finds an amnesiac in her bathroom who has escaped from an attempted murder on mulholland drive. together they try to uncover the secrets behind the amnesiac's life. this all leads to a club called silencio, where a blue box will reveal all. and that is when the film throws everything out the window. people we thought we knew are entirely different people altogether... is it a dream? a reminiscence about life's previous escapades? you will either love this film or hate it. david lynch always draws such extreme reactions from his viewers. but as his universe itself is always about extremes, it is fitting that his films provoke such reactions.

It is best to look at this film thematically, rather than as a straight-forward narrative. and appreciate the fact that lynch is a film-maker who will still let you draw your own conclusions. he has had many imitators as of late, particularly in "vanilla sky", where a mind-bending film decides to give you all the answers in the last rushed five minutes, and you will probably forget about that film as soon as you walk out of the cinema. mulholland drive will haunt you.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
gets better every time you watch it, 28 January 2002

The first time I saw "moulin rouge", I liked it well enough, But with

each subsequent viewing it has grown and grown until it has

become one of my favourite films of all time. This is not a film that

you can be cynical about - you just have to let the emotions and the

visuals wash over you and envelop you in its magical charms. Ewen McGregor and Nicole Kidman are perfect in their roles, and

have such a realistic chemistry between them that you will forget

their real-life personas and simply see them as Satine and

Christian, starcrossed lovers in the most exciting nightclub at the

closing of the nineteenth century. Baz Luhrmann returns to the themes displayed in his previous

works, "Strictly Ballroom" and "Romeo and Juliet". And although all

three are wildly different, they also exist in the same

Luhrmann-esque universe of the wildly hyperkinetic and tragically

baroque. So much so they have been rechristened "the red curtain

trilogy". Lurhmann films are about emotion, and succeed with the viewer if

they let themselves open to it. So enjoy "moulin rouge !" for what it

is - a beautiful and colourful ode to an opulent era seen through

modern eyes.

better than you think!, 30 August 2001

A fun, cheesy flick that guarantees a good video night - "Bring It On" actually resembles "Clueless" in it's tongue-in-cheek mentality. There is nothing wrong with cheesy flicks, but I like them even better when they are being a little bit subversive. We are introduced to the world of cheerleading through the eyes of Missy Pantone (Eliza Dushku), a gymnast with a punk outlook on life. She becomes friends with Torrance (Dunst) when she joins the squad, and gradually we begin to see a world that is totally alien to us and it beomes the norm. "Bring It On" probably won't win any awards, but it has several clever little scenes which lift it above many other teenage romantic comedies. Most of the scenes between Torrance and her potential love, Missy's brother Cliff, are done without words - particularly an early scene in which torrid passion is displayed through the act of teeth brushing! Dunst displays a comedic talent in a role which could have made the whole film fall flat if played incorrectly. Her little gestures and idiosyncracies will bring out a smile even if she isn't meant to be playing it for laughs in a scene. Kudos also to Dunst and Jesse Bradford for giving deeper layers to the relationships between siblings which is often overlooked in films of this ilk. It's not just a cheerleading movie.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
the apes lose the plot!, 25 August 2001

I have just returned from the cinema, having looked forward to this film as Tim Burton is god and I have always liked the original film.

However, what started as quite an enjoyable sci fi romp quickly degraded into a godawful mess. We were expected to believe in the characters and actually feel for them, but how could we when we barely knew their names? When discussing the film with my friend afterwards we were referring to "blonde slave girl" and "helena bonham carter" and "that guy from the green mile". but that wasn't the only problem with the film. The script was full of so many plot holes that by the time the end rolled around you were scratching your head and wondering if they were going to explain it. they didn't. and then the ending... well, when trying to fit it in with the context of the preceding story it smacks more of an opening for the sequel... will marky mark escape from the planet of the apes, tune in same time next week! oh, tim, tim tim... i still believe in you.

Gladiator (2000)
overrated and overawarded, 29 March 2001

i avoided this film when it came out at the cinema, and when it won at the oscars i begrudgingly agreed to watch it on video. "gladiator", although a technically well made movie, suffers from bad writing and average acting (although joaquin phoenix is good). russell crowe is always a good actor, but even he seems weighed down by the action and special effects to be able to give an in-depth performance - i can't help but feel his oscar was more of a nod for his performance in "the insider" more than anything else. i admit it would have been a good movie to see on the big screen, but even then there are some backdrops that look.. well, like backdrops. overall, it was eyecandy trying to be something more, and out of the five nominees for best picture it was the weakest.

liked the tigers though - why weren't they given