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Les vampires (1915)
24 for the Great War generation
It's a cheesy, Empire style comparison to compare Les Vampires to 24 but, for me, there are many similarities. First of all it is episodic, although there is only 10 in Les Vampires.
However the big thing that I noticed about Les Vampires was the pace of it all. Whilst I have watched and enjoyed many silent films, often the pace seems to be a lot more leisurely than I would like. With Les Vampires it's pretty much full steam ahead. This means, that you don't have time to think about the actual story which can be quite illogical, over a chapter and particularly over the whole film. Characters die and retrun to life, plus the most unbelievable oc-oncidences occur (just like 24!).
I really enjoyed Les Vampires though, it rockets along and is great fun. If you enjoy silent films I would definitely recommend watching this.+
Skid Row: Roadkill (1993)
13 year old roadkill still not decomposed.
I was inspired to watch the video after rediscovering it whilst trawling around IMDb. After finding it hidden behind a load of other ancient videos in my bedroom I chucked it in the video player, ready for 2 hours of live concert metal.....
As a Skid Row fan (obviously) I think most of the songs still hold up and I found myself singing or humming along on a number of occasions. However I have always found watching live bands on TV nowhere near as much fun as listening to a live CD (where you can imagine whats going on in your head or do something else whilst listening)or even better actually being there.. No matter how entertaining a band are on stage, at the end of the day it's just a bunch of guys or girls running around. Skid Row, especially Seb Bach were a very good live band and the video certainly projects that but to get full enjoyment of it I guess you had to be at one of the concerts.
In between songs are camcorder footage of the band acting like stereotypical American tourists, which ranges from incredibly boring to mildly amusing. I'm guessing this may be one of the first band videos to use camcorders for such a long time but as with all watching of other people's home movies, it gets very boring quickly. The best being seeing the sights in Brazil from a hand-glider. The least interesting 5 minutes of the band ordering food from various places on the road and smoking drugs in Amsterdam.
Other between songs footage includes 2 very boring mini movies made by Rachel Bolan- Faceless people and another day. As well as this there is the usual backstage footage of the band goofing around, which as one of the last hair bands is kind of a prerequisite. I'm sure all the bands nowadays still do the exact type of thing, only they pretend they are above all that.
Beside the music the best things to recommend about this video are Seb's rant at Wemberley Stadium, the sight of Rob Halford dressed up like Kurt Cobain, a drunk Lars Ulrich failing to play the drum solo in One, Phil Anselmo's frat falls, cover songs - C'Mon and love me, delivering the goods, cold gin (which actually are the best songs on the whole tape) and the mad Brazilian fan. As a big Skid Row fan, definitely buy this for the music (if you find it at an old second hand shop) but don't expect any fascinating insights on the band.
Mutiny on the Buses (1972)
Forgive me father, for I have laughed.
As a Hammer completist I was dreading the time when I would have to raise the courage to watch this film and the one following it, Holiday on the Buses. I had seen One the Buses the film and thought it one of the worst films I have ever seen. It was full of all the awful comedy that plagued British TV screens around the early 70's.
I am ashamed to say that there were actually parts of this film that I laughed at. I don't know if it was because I was now familiar with the characters and enjoyed some of the situations, knowing how they would react. I found Blakey particularly funny, although I could swear at no point in the trilogy does he say his catchphrase, "I'll get you Butler".
Having watched Holiday on the Buses the jokes were starting to wear thin and these three films could be compared to an early Hammer trilogy, Dick Barton, in that the second film made is the best (although this is probably the only way they could be compared).
The only people who would want to watch this film are probably fans of the TV series, who will no doubt enjoy this, and Hammer completists like myself. To the completists I would say that this film isn't that bad and I can certainly think of worse Hammer comedies.
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)
Since my first Star Wars experience was Return Of the Jedi I have always had a soft spot for those furry fellas. I know a lot of older fans consider them the weak point of the first trilogy, but I think they're great, especially the song at the end of Jedi!
I had seen the first spin off, Caravan of Courage, a long time ago on video. So when I got the Caravan of Courage/Battle for Endor double bill, despite this being the second film, I watched this film first.
Was I in for a surprise. Not only does Principle Dick Vernon from Breakfast Club turn up, but a lot of the major characters from the first film die very early in the film. Although Deej and Shoda from the first film appear, the only Ewok to feature prominently in this film is Wicket. He, along with the girl from the first film, an old man plus a speedy little thing called Willy eat up most of the film with their crazy hi-jinx. I have to admit to to having a smile on my face through most of the comedy middle part of the film and even chuckling a few times.
Also |all the Ewoks seem to be be able to speak English with no problem at all! The ending of the film has the real shock for me. The Ewoks manage to get their hands on some firearms and seeing them shoot within sharpshooter accuracy is a bit disturbing.
Despite all the changes difference from Ewok canonlogy (is that a word?) and the very ropey special effects, I prefer this to the first film. It may not be that great a film, but anyone like me with a soft spot for the Ewoks will probably get something from this.
Hababam Sinifi (1975)
It may be funny if you are Turkish. It's definitely funny if you like Police Academy.
I've read a lot of reviews about this film from Turks who claim the sense of humour is very Turkish. I don't know if this is true but I know I didn't find a substantial amount of the lowbrow but innocent humour that funny. It seems to be a Turkish institution with all the sequels. However Carry on films and the police academy films could also be considered to be national institutions so that's not necessarily a good thing.
Nonetheless, there were a couple of scenes that made me laugh a lot loud and whilst I don't understand the obsession with cucumbers I did find their constant references amusing. The film also had a surprisingly sweet and uplifting climax which ended the film on a high.
So if you have seen all carry on films and enjoyed them I'd certainly recommend this as something a bit different. In fact it beats all the carry on films in my book.
9 Songs (2004)
I know some people say this is thought provoking film about love and the passage of time but it just seems like a third rate porn film with some live music chucked in to pad out the film. In fact the only reason I would recommend this film to anyone was if they were a fan of any of the indy bands playing the "9 songs". However none of the live performances are at all interesting. This may be due to the fact the camera focuses on the couple a lot during the songs or that they are rubbish live. With a lot of them I expect it is the latter. So on to the love story...
One of the main problems I had with the film was that despite (or maybe because of) the real sex scenes there was no chemistry between the 2 actors. The woman seems intent on perpetuating the believe that all American women are whiny neurotics and the bloke seems constantly bored with her. The only reason they seem to be together is the sex (but maybe this is the point?). Their relationship never seems to go anywhere, apart from when a trip to a strip club results in the woman developing a taste for battery operated pleasure much to the man's displeasure. This, however is cured by some nice oral action on the woman's behalf and everything is OK. I'm sure this happens in every relationship at some point :) The film ends very abruptly with no sense of the relationship running it's course or ending at a logical point, it just ends. I'm obviously a very stupid person as I just cannot see the art or reason in making this film. If you like any of the bands go see them live or get a live video and if you like to see people actually having sex go see a proper porn film.
Top notch Hammer Holmes
This is one of the best hammer films around and in my opinion the best Sherlock Holmes film ever. Cushing plays a more uptight Holmes than Rathbone, less tolerant of others and his constant movement suits the overall pace of the film. Morell's Watson is portrayed as less bumbling and more intelligent than Bruce's and since the middle part of the film revolves around him he is allowed to really shine. Lee, obviously relishing playing a romantic lead and not a monster, puts his all into the role. The support is good, especially the comedy bishop portrayed by Miles Malleson. Thankfully, the hound is rarely seen, but its howling add greatly to the tension. Typically Hammer change the original story, and anyone familiar with it will be surprised to see Dr Mortimer being portrayed as the prime suspect.
The style and direction of the film is very similar to other Hammer films made at around the same time, the film moves along at such a pace that you don't have time to think about logic and dialog. The start of the film would make a good film on its own. All in all a great film and its a shame there were no other Hammer Holmes films.
Another theory on an intriguing film
After reading the comments below I have another theory on the film. Jon believes he raped Amy because he was very aggressive during sex, but Amy was so in love with Jon at the time she was willing to let him do whatever he wanted (including being violent). With time Amy grew disgusted with herself for doing this and hence is angry with Vince for being reminded of what she did and not so much at Jon since she let him. Whether I'm right or wrong (but probably wrong) it is a very interesting film with surprisingly effective acting and you even forget about the annoying DV camera work.
This review is sugar coated so as not to cause offence
I'm going to be as kind as I can about this film (some people, including directors!, can get quite upset when reviewers speak their mind) so...
There is a nice car accident and the opening credits look good and... that's it; everything else bites the big one. All the acting is appalling, the script is embarrassing, the special effects look like they were done by school children on cheap computers. All in all this film has serious bowling shoe tendencies.
As a horror film it's not very scary and if it supposed to a "thinking man's" horror film well it succeeded on some level, I kept thinking that the end of this film is an awfully long way away. It may actually be an ironic look at bad horror films and I'm missing the point but I somehow doubt it.
This is a complete car phone warehouse of a film and I could not recommend it to anyone, and it does pain me to say this as I eagerly await the resurrection of British Horror.
If you don't agree with this review, that fine, it's just my own opinion, and I'm sure someone out there will love it (the director's Mum for instance).
King of the Ring (1996)
More than just 3:16
Although this PPV is mainly remembered for the birth of 3:16 it was actually quite a good event.
The free for all match between the New Rockers and the Bodydonnas, although not shown in its entirety is an excellent opener.
The first semi final king of the ring match between Steve Austin and Marc Mero is good, however the second, between Jake Roberts and Vader is disappointing with a lame ending.
The final between Roberts and Austin is again a bit of a disappointment with respect to action but tells a good story and Austin's post match coronation is legendary with good reason. That promo would go on to generate millions of dollars of merchandise due two well known phrases first said during it, "Austin 3:16" and "cause Stone Cold said so".
The other matches range from poor to superb. The Warrior-Lawler match is just a squash, whilst the Godwins-Gunns tag match is average. The Undertaker-Mankind match was very good and also the start of a great feud. The Goldust-Ahmed Johnson match pleasantly surprised me and the world title match between Shawn Michaels and the British Bulldog is an undiscovered classic.
Also worth noting is the good job Owen Hart does as a colour commentator.
Overall well worth a look.