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A quality show
It's my Mothers fault that I became hooked on this show. She never misses it and now nor do I. The scriptwriting is superb, the directing is excellent and all the actors and supporting cast are amazing. It never feels like there is a main character because it revolves around Alisons family and colleagues more than her. I've yet to see a bad episode of this show and doubt I ever will as long as the successful combination they have remains.
To anyone who hasn't watch this I highly recommend this show. It will keep you coming back for more. The quality of shows Britain imports from the USA is amazing - NYPD, CSI, Law and Order, Prison Break, 24, Supernatural, Lost, Heroes, The Ghost Whisperer, the list is nearly endless. Long may the quality continue!
Monkey Life (2007)
Touching and educational.
What a superb show. This show features great insight into the lives and personalities of ALL the monkeys at Monkey World. I found the people interviewed and the narration by Andy Serkis to be a perfect combination to the program. It was amazing to see how different all the primates were. It was very funny at times (Seamus the "mad" monkey) and very sad at times. The program was made all the more poignant by the sudden and very unexpected death of the parks founder, Jim Cronin. His passion for the primates was touching to see. Both he and his wife Alison went to great lengths to help and protect monkeys all around the world. It was heart warming to see how happy the monkeys were once they settled in at the wildlife park and to see what Mr and Mrs Cronin had to go through in order to get the result that would benefit the primates. All the staff were so dedicated and enthusiastic and it certainly rubbed off on this viewer. I found myself eager for the next episode to see how the new additions to the menagerie settled in.
The last episode was a real tear-jerker and the program did end on a very sad note, but what a legacy Mr Cronin has left behind him. Thanks to the work of him and his staff so many amazing monkeys have been rescued and now enjoy a full and happy life.
It gave me an understanding and a fondness I never had before. One of my favourite was Sally, the mothering monkey. She was so maternal with the young orphaned chimps.
Nothing I could write can ever do this program justice. I just want to say thank you to all the people involved for creating such an educational and moving documentary which has completely converted my view of primates.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
A bad case of a missed opportunity
I was majorly disappointed with Spiderman 3.
Not enough, or barely any, time given to new characters and too much stuff repeated from the previous films.
I'd say almost every character (alive or dead) who had been in the first or second film re-appeared in the third. Fair enough Raimi likes to keep the story running in continuity like it happens in the comics, but enough of the re-hashing. Do we really need to see Parker's landlord again or his goofy daughter? That was already covered in Spider-man 2. Shouldn't Mary Jane either succeed or fail as an actress? Having her in the same place she's been for 2 movies was silly. Also, Aunt May and Peter sharing another scene where they talk about Uncle Ben. OK we get it. We got it in the first two movies!
Harry Osborne changes allegiance about 10 times, which I personally found quite annoying.
Thomas Hayden Church was great as Sandman but barely got any dialogue.
Venom is a superb character but did nothing. He had 1 great line at the very end when Spiderman tries to reason with the Eddie Brock part of his personality, to which Venom retracts the mask and says "I like being insane". That brilliantly sums up the character and highlights what they should've showcased throughout the film. Like other users have said, there is no explanation to Venom's origins (they could have at least used his origin from the original Spiderman animated series of the 90's). Also how on earth could Eddie Brock see it was Peter Parker removing the alien costume when he was so high up in the church and Eddie was on the ground?
In the comic (and the way it should have been on screen) Eddie Brock is older than Peter Parker and more of a brute force. Venom never once said "We" instead of "I" in the film (which could have been explained had the story been played out properly over the whole film), plus his voice was just the same as Eddie Brock's, where was the menace of that?
The last 30 minutes or so are a drag and the script seems to have been written in a hurry and Venom added purely due to the pressure from fans to see him on screen. He didn't even look as menacing as he should have done.
All in all this film makes me think of Batman and Robin, in that it features 3 villains and one of them is seriously misused (Bane in Batman and Robin was wasted as a pseudo-Frankenstein's Monster) and here we have Venom, completely misused.
Talk about missed opportunities.
Parker goes bad and does what? He says at one point "Ive done terrible things". What's that then, doing a John Travolta impression and wearing a dark suit? They should've had him kill Harry at least that would have made sense and been dramatic, but sadly Raimi went for the audience pleaser.
Good Points: The Sandman emerging and using his powers. The alien costume was well done, especially right at the end when separated from Eddie Brock.
Bad Points: Not enough villain screen time. A rushed script and Venom being added just for the hell of it.
To sum up: They should have probably given Venom a cameo role at the end of this film and continued the story in Spiderman 4. If this is to be Sam Raimi's or Spiderman's film swansong, it has failed to go out with a bang and remains the weakest of an all together excellent film series. Poor script, lame action, and clichés coming out of all corners. A missed opportunity to do something special. X-Men 3, Alien 3, Terminator 3, Superman 3, Rocky 3, Star Trek 3 - the curse of the threequal has struck again!
Let's hope Fantastic Four 3 doesn't disappoint.
Long Weekend (1978)
Atmospheric horror at it's most unique best
This is a horror film quite unlike most others, as it deals with the natural aspect of the supernatural. The Urbanite couple of the film (Peter, played by John Hargreaves and Marcia, played by Briony Behets) are experiencing marriage problems following an abortion. So they decide to utilise the holiday weekend and go back to nature by camping in the woodlands beside the coast. While on the way there Peter runs over a Kangaroo. Instead of stopping to check if the animal was OK he runs over it completely, quite a vivid, disturbing scene. After hitting it and stopping briefly he later tells his wife about it, who is even less bothered about it than him.
Some of the creepiest parts of the film are on the heavily wooded track with overhanging trees on the way towards the spot they stop at. There is also the screaming they hear at night and as the film goes on it happens during the day as well. It is a sound of an animal in distress, but with a mix of other natural sounds. Very creepy.
The lead characters create no sympathy as they continue to make a bad situation worse by damaging the local wildlife and not treating the beautiful area with the respect it deserves. If anything both of the characters are seriously annoying as they have ample opportunity to try and correct the situation, but instead they are so wrapped up in their own shallow lives that they fail to see the bigger picture of what is happening around them. By the time they do realise it is too late.
What happens to them is never properly explained, but that is part of the beauty of this film (as with a lot of 70's horror/thriller films). There are a few plot holes; the most noticeable being the camper van and the other couple along the beach from the main characters. You are left to speculate about that situation.
I seriously can't emphasise how excellent this film is with the raw sound quality and camera work. I don't understand why this film is not wider known, as it really is appropriate for modern times and if anything the main protagonists are not as careless or destructive as a lot of people are these days.
If you want a claustrophobic/impending atmosphere, suggestive horror and a truly chilling film, then this piece of celluloid is for you.
Also of note is that in the Region 2 edition, the trailer states that they had upset the forces of evil - the only evil in the film were the two main characters.
Please note that this is the same review that I placed on my Amazon.co.UK page (MrX).