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Prom Night (2008)
High School Musical with blood!
There was not one segment in this film that I enjoyed.. oh apart from the one one when the end credits rolled! Every character was so unlikeable! I wanted to pick up an axe myself and decapitate them all. From the nauseatingly Saccharin sweet lead female, Donna, to the most unconvincing psychopath I have ever seen in a movie (he just wasn't scary)each and every one of them would have been better use in High School Musical 6 or whatever.
There were so many stupid and implausible story lines at work here, but here are the BIG THREE.
1. If a whole hotel had just been evacuated because of a psychopathic killer on the loose, and you needed to ensure that you were safe.. WHY would you go home? Wouldn't she have been safer at the police station? 2. Upon getting home..why would you at first go upstairs and not stick together in one room? Furthermore why would the whole family then decide to turn in for the night? I think you would be sitting up, each armed with a bread-knife! 3. When he was trying to find her in the hotel suite, why did the killer not look for Donna under the bed immediately? I would have thought that this would be the first place that he would have tried CONSIDERING he had already stashed a body under one of the beds!
Friday the 13th (2009)
Seeing Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th
I saw the late showing of this at my local cinema. I thought it would be good to see it on Friday the 13th (the day of its release here in the UK).
I wouldn't exactly say I was disappointed with this, but I certainly wasn't pleasantly surprised either. Let's face it you know what to expect from a Friday (even a remake). There was nothing new here. Gratuitous sex was put in (excuse the pun) to make up for a lacklustre script. I find it insulting when these totally unnecessary scenes are inserted to supposedly appeal to the younger audience, who I am sure have access to porn dvds, should they wish to indulge themselves. Of course like many porn films every sexual scene was directed to ensure that the woman's body was on full show, while the man's was obscured. Nice bit of 80s sexploitation there. I have nothing against sex in movies. I thought the sex scene was totally essential to the plot in films like 'Fatal Attraction'. But I think that the formula for character development for this was that if you can't think of anything for a character to do, either show them having sex, or failing that, have them talking about sex. Even if they weren't doing it to one another, they were attempting to do it to themselves. Twice the 'porn mag' routine was used when the writers clearly had no other ideas.
The camera work at the beginning was deliberately jumpy, and I found this totally unsuitable for this type of a film.
Only one saving grace was Jason. It was good to see him behaving more like a mortal once again, than the superdemon that he had become in the later Fridays. BUT the problem with the film in general was that Jason just wasn't frightening. We saw too much of him early on, and the 'less is more' theory certainly went out of the window in this production.
Seeing this at the cinema added nothing to my experience of this film, and my advice would be to save your money and see it when the DVD becomes available to rent. This film has less of the death factor and more of the cringe factor!
The Royle Family: The New Sofa (2008)
I am disappointed with The New Sofa
The Royle Family has to be one of the best shows of the last ten years. What made it so dynamic was the writing and of course the brilliant acting. The writing was always subtle and always carefully steered away from obvious gags. Its sheer genius and its main strength was the believability factor. This was evident in every episode ever made, and meant that we could all identify with at least one of the characters as being like a member of our own family.'The New Sofa' started off promisingly, with the four main characters indulging in the usual banter that we all love, and have sorely missed. However, after the first few minutes everything changed. I didn't recognise my old favourite, as it disintegrated into a farcical sitcom. Lines as subtle as a punch in the face, meant that you had guessed the gag, five lines before the punchline was delivered. Denise and Dave's frozen turkey farce was lifted straight out of an early 70s sitcom, and provided zero laughs, as they attempted to defrost the bird in a hot bath, kicked it in to an airing cupboard and then finally took to hacking it with various power tools. I quite enjoyed the scene with the reclining sofa. The line (referring to the sofa): 'It is flame retarded' was a particular favourite of mine. For me the saving grace was Helen Fraser, who played Dave's mum. It was refreshing to see her play a completely different role to her character in Bad Girls. She emerged as the only believable character, avoiding some of the pitfalls that the other actors had fallen into, due to the sledgehammer humour of the script. In fact some of the better parts of this episode were between the two mothers. I missed the next door neighbours; and I missed Nana. Having her photograph etched on a Christmas tree bauble wasn't enough. This episode lacked the pathos that every episode had given us previously. The format had been unwisely changed and the result was the only sub standard episode ever produced. On the plus side, this is still probably much funnier than any other sitcom that is on our screens today.
Five Across the Eyes (2006)
Scraping the bottom of the barrel of horror
The writers and producers of this little outing have plummeted new depths of depravity. Did writer's block set in so badly, OR had ideas dried up so much, that they were forced to include a disgusting scene where a young woman defecates in the back seat of a van, and then promptly throws the excrement at the car behind (mind you at least this summarises what this film is worth). We had already been treated to one of the other women urinating over one of her friends at gunpoint, as well as numerous episodes of graphic vomiting; once would have sufficed... we got the message! This really is taking toilet humour to another level! Had the script and acting been better then I could have easily forgotten that I was watching a film shot entirely on low budget video. This was a fairly original storyline, with a clever (the only) piece of direction in that we only ever got to take the viewpoint from inside of the van; thus making it feel much more real. We never got to see inside any other locations, such as the store or the field where several of the women disappeared, and this could have added much needed tension.
The script was dire. Lines like: 'I don't feel too good... I want to go home' after one of the girls has been pursued by a psychopath; subjected to rape by a screwdriver and shot at, seem a little undercooked.
The acting was diabolical (apart from the maniac). Did all the main 5 actresses in this learn acting by taking a correspondence course during a long postal strike! The sound was so bad that I had to watch the entire film with the subtitles on.
The director seemed to have an easy job in this. It seems that the only direction he must have given was: 'Scream girls'.
AND AS FOR THE SCREAMING...... If you watch this please be sure to have some paracetamol at the ready!
Bouquet of Barbed Wire (1976)
Bouquet of Barbed Wire
I agree with Siobhan Rouse -Disturbingly convincing.
Although the first reviewer makes some salient points regarding the writer's complacency towards the violence during Prue and Gavin's marriage. Even in the follow up series: 'Another Bouquet', you have Gavin once again confessing to hitting another woman. The response (from Cass-his mother in law, a supposedly academic woman) is a sigh and an 'oh no.. I haven't got time for this'. Hardly the appropriate response to a wife beater.
However, this was an enjoyable drama and does hold its head way above 'soap opera' performances. I remember watching this when I was about 8, but many of the scenes had stuck in my memory; so just goes to show the power of TV, even then. I agree that the script was, for the best part, over written, and I longed for a character who didn't speak in that text book upper middle class accent. Surely even the Mansons crossed paths with the 'common people'. The Oedipus element of the drama made the series in my opinion. I have no idea how I wasn't completely screwed up after watching both of these series. What an amoral lot! Definitely worth buying the DVD.