Reviews written by registered user
stevewest-1

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113 reviews in total 
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"24" (2001)
0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Season 3 review, 27 August 2004

I saw seasons one and two on TV at a rate of mostly one episode per week and I taped season 3 and watched it over about 4 days. Season 1 being the original and all was must-see viewing, season 2 seemed a bit ho-hum in comparison but lightning still struck twice. Seeing Kim Bauer at CTU in the first episode of season 3 I thought "they've gone downhill even further than last season, it's just standard TV viewing fare, I'm taping it! I can wait". 24 is a hell of a lot better when watched in a continuous stream at one's leisure, I'm sure the best way to see it though is to watch the whole 16 hours worth (minus adverts) over a 24 hour period timed to coincide with the clock on 24. Eg. for season 1, watching it from midnight to midnight, season 3 1pm to 1pm.

Season 3 was a lot better than I expected, I think the storyline of a deadly virus worked better drama-wise than a solitary neuclear bomb. The action scenes, casting and the writing were as good if not better than the first season, I like it that I didn't get that feeling of "it's a quiet bit, that means we're due for the next twist" like I did with season 2 especially. With the compressed viewing schedule I felt like I had gone along with the journey with Jack. I will mention a few points where 24 could correspond to the real world more, mainly in regard to season 3:

- Jack would be a wreck by the end, after not only having been awake and active for that period of time but after going through the traumas, the beatings, the heroin withdrawal, the extreme stress of the events and trying to stay on top of it all, Jack would be seriously fatigued.

- the characters are too alert and with it, if the whole series was shot in 24 hours it'd be a different story.

-Chase held up superhumanly well given that he was electrocuted for an extended period into unconsciousness and was shot through the hand.

-Tony Almeida's neck wouldn't be nearly so flexible given that he was shot.

I heard something recently about "visit the set of 24" so I know a fourth season is in production, I'll be interested to see how it turns out, what scenario they use and what characters will be left over following the events of season 3.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Michael Moore's latest film Fahrenheit 9/11, 16 July 2004

I went to an advance screening today (would've had to wait two more weeks to see it otherwise) the theatre was about 2/5 full, and I had the misfortune to sit next to the two noiseist people in the cinema, a middle aged couple where the woman was sighing or 'tut'-ing at every opportunity and constantly making asides to her husband. Only after I got back home did I realise that I hadn't been assertive, I should have just "felt the guilt but do it anyway" and told them to keep the noise levels down. But the film I was trying to concentrate on was what I'd been waiting to see these past few weeks, Fahrenheit 9/11. I was a Michael Moore fan before his films, for whatever reason, have had every man and his dog in the US talking about them and attracting attention elsewhere.

I wasn't there as a "gee that Bush sucks" kind of moviegoer like about a third of the audience was, I just wanted to see Michael Moore's much-discussed work. Overall (ignoring the dozens of articles about Moore and F911 I came across on the internet and rabid forum discussions), it was just a Michael Moore film, although with a different flavour given the bigger issue that was being addressed here. Dead soldiers, war and a grief-stricken Mum are never going to be as light as topics like gun control or corporate criminals.

So I've seen Fahrenheit 9/11, noticed that other people trying to discredit Moore and his film focussed on inane things like September 11 footage being blacked out (it felt like you were there in New York) or Moore cutting to Bush at a coincidental moment. I can't believe people were going into paragraphs about the oil pipeline thing.

I didn't realise the end was the end until the credits started rolling, I kind of thought "Good film. People were giving 15 minute standing ovations at this point?". Distraction may have factored in here so I'll have to see it again on DVD to see if I perhaps didn't miss something due to lack of concentration.

Frankly I can't see what the fuss is about, sections of the population in the US must be quite uninformed if this is all news to them. Flying into rages and wishing Moore would step into their houses so they could shoot him is a world away from where I am. The destruction one part of US society has caused (the republican/wealthy elite/bible belt alliance) speaks for itself. He (Bush) got in the first time, if he gets in the second time around there will be something seriously wrong with humankind in general.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Mountaineering comes alive, 5 July 2004

Touching the Void may be old news in a lot of countries but in Australia it's just been released in cinemas. The upcoming release of Fahrenheit 911 got me interested in seeing documentaries in the cinema, I started off with Super Size Me, now Touching the void and at the end of the month Fahrenheit 911. The cinema is a surprisingly good place to watch documentaries, I thought a film had to have a certain level of entertainment to be worthwhile on the screen but a well made documentary like the ones above definately keep your interest. Touching the Void would have to be the best mountaineering documentary I've seen, the documentaries that were shown last year on the 50th anniversary of the Everest summit climb were good but don't hold a candle to this in terms of recreating a story, plus against-all-odds stories of survival are always the most interesting.

When I heard about Touching the Void using re-enactments I was a bit unsure whether it was worth going to the cinema for as re-enactments are usually cheesy looking and poorly done. The re-enactment was more along the lines of a re-creation in that they actually did the re-enactments on location, and used actors that looked similar to a young Joe and Simon. This is the sort of 're-enactment' that's on par with Cliffhanger or Vertical Limit.

If Touching the Void is still playing in theaters in your country see it now!

0 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Gave me more insight into Martin Short than I needed., 3 July 2004

When the host needs a number-two man you know it's only a matter of time before things start to deteriorate. Martin seems like a very cheerful, good natured host until you see that's just the way he operates all the time, and his dark side comes out in sketches like the messed-up Jimminy Glick (Short's revenge for all the other stars having more success than him I think!). It was obvious Martin Short had some issues and no surprise his show didn't last too long. If Short wasn't such a loser this could have been a legitimate variety show.

8 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
What the 80's and being a kid was all about, 26 June 2004

This used to be shown at 3:30pm on weekdays and I used to get off school at 3:10pm, I got held back after school for bad behaviour once and set a new record getting back home in time to catch The Real Ghostbusters (it was always a great way to finish school, and schedules were such that I had the house to myself). This was one of those cartoon series like Robotech that brought the viewer to its level rather than lowering itself to the viewers level. It had great stories, great characters, it made The Ghostbusters so much more than just the 100 min feature film. Looking at the cartoons today I think the 80's must have been a golden age, todays cartoon landscape is like a desert in comparison.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Not worth watching., 26 June 2004

If like me you are or were curious about the Planet of the Apes movies and TV series etc. my advice is to just treat Planet of the Apes as a standalone product and just watch the first one. I have not seen any of the Planet of the Apes movies after Beneath the Planet of the Apes or the TV series and I feel fairly safe in saying it's better off to leave them alone (I did see the recent remake though). It looks like this was one of those cases where a franchise was not left alone and run into the ground until every last possible cent was extracted. Beneath the Planet of the Apes has this guy who looks like a casting reject from the first film, who spends all his time doing a bad Charlton Heston impersonation and says "TAYYloRRR" at every opportunity. Heston himself only makes a cameo and the rest of the film is so sub-par that it's obvious nobody actually tried to make a decent film, they were just following half-assed orders from above. Even the "mutants" just look like normal people who happen to have no skin except for when they're hiding under their "normal skin" disguises (and have strange mental powers). The whole thing with the holy bomb is done in such a way as to make it look like a joke (not of the har-har variety). I think the people who worked on this were only doing it for the paycheck. Take my advice, just stick with the first one and the remake.

Recommended viewing for fast food patrons or anyone over their correct weight., 17 June 2004

If it wasn't for Bowling for Columbine this kind of "film essay" (as I like to think of them) wouldn't be showing in theaters. Spurlock's appearances on Letterman and shows here in Australia focused on his three-meals-a-day for thirty days straight diet but Super Size Me is about a lot more than Spurlock's dietary experiment. He does prove though that a person cannot live indefinitely on fast food (McDonalds at least) alone . If you were trapped with no food source but a McDonalds and salads weren't on the menu your days would be numbered.

Regarding fast food consumption, the rest of the western world is only one step behind the USA. If the issue was never addressed it would only be a matter of time before giant cokes and fries were on the menu, and soft-drink and junk-food became school lunch staples. America is known for having a sweet tooth, but America at present is a glimpse into the future for the rest of the countries with high fast-food outlet saturation. The place where fast food originated is now having to deal with the end result of it's overwhelming success. Large servings (witness Spurlock's first attempt to eat an entire super-sized meal), high calories, and toddler-up marketing may make for a successful business model, but at what price? Obesity is now an issue of the times and Spurlock is among the first to bring awareness of the situation to the masses.

CyberWorld (2000)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
I thought IMAX had some kind of quality control..., 16 June 2004

March 2004: I'm in Melbourne by myself, having seen the Grand Prix the day before, exploring this new museum complex in the city that had an IMAX theatre. An IMAX movie was definitely on my itinerary as I loved the IMAX films I saw back in America a decade ago on a family holiday. Thought I couldn't go wrong with whatever I chose to see, the poster for Cyberworld 3D had Antz and Simpsons characters on it, a winner no doubt I thought.

I came back an hour later when the session started, collected the well-used 3D LCD-flicker goggles and took my seat. The sequences tying the assorted 3D clips together were OK, and the clips of Antz and the bit from the Simpsons where Homer discovers the 3rd dimension behind the bookcase were great. The rest was boring, somewhat depressing filler, I thought Cyberworld 3D must have been made in the mid 90s as the rest of the clips had pretty basic and unevolved computer animation. The clip with Pet Shop Boys music was the sort of thing I would expect from a computer animation demonstration circa 1990 ("why am I seeing this up on an IMAX screen?" I was thinking to myself at this point).

Overall Cyberworld 3D is a pretty lazy effort using yesteryear's computer graphics, sucking in customers through prominently displaying Simpsons and Antz characters on their posters (when together they only make up about 10 minutes of the total runtime). Only recommended for kids age 10 and down who have never seen a 3D film before.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Did Not Disappoint, 10 June 2004

Let me get started by saying that I like Godzilla, I consider it to be a pretty well done film of it's type. I expected a brainless but enjoyable action/monster flick and that was exactly what I got. Seeing that The Day After Tomorrow was by the same guy, I thought "must be good" as it seemed to have an interesting scenario and decent actors, Quaid and Gyllenhall. I'd heard that it got some bad reviews, and on here there were a fair amount of the same, but given that the feelings toward Godzilla were mixed I felt I could safely discount them.

From the opening scenes in Antarctica I knew this was going to be good, I was glad I didn't wait for it to come out on DVD, and even if the science was fairly heavily stretched I wasn't expecting a documentary on climatology. The weather will never change from today's weather to an Ice Age over a week in a single storm, but if that were to happen it'd be pretty spectacular. Overall this is another slick, visually appealing film by Emmerich and anyone who likes this type of film should definately see it in the cinema if they haven't already.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Wish I had seen it in the cinema., 18 May 2004

I remember seeing Cliffhanger in the cinema and being blown away by the cinematography. On video it was just a formulaic action flick. I suspect Master and Commander is one of these sorts of films, meant to be seen in large-screen format. The film has everything except for the curious fact that not much actually happens, it's a bit like that phrase of when someone talks a lot but says little. A film that recreates 19th century oceans and naval warfare so well can't really be faulted, I'll just add that Master and Commander is more of a small-time film than I was led to believe.


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