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Wisconsin Death Trip (1999)
Wisconsin death trip is not really a film that can be accused of being "entertaining." entertainment implies that you will sit their gripped by the story and enthralled by the narrative, and this can be applied to most documentaries, such as Bowling for Columbine or Spellbound.
However, Wisconsin death trip is not most documentaries. there is no narrative or story. instead, we are given a litany of deaths and events in the life of a small town in Wisconsin, USA. obviously, this is not going to be the happiest of films.
filmed in a soft black and white, with the exception of some shots of the town in modern times, we are given an insight into the strange events and deaths in the - whose name I forget ^_^;; - over the course of four different seasons.
for some reason, I found this film to be strangely compelling. whilst not having a huge running time, it gave me a morbid curiosity that kept me watching. strangely enough, you do start wanting to see what could possibly happen next in this small town.
In conclusion, whilst it is a slow-paced film, it can be compelling if you let it, and by the end you're wondering how many strange deaths one area can actually suffer.
Most Haunted (2002)
I... I can feel, the spirits... Hail Derek Acorah!
possibly one of the funniest series on TV. unfortunately for MH, it isnt actually a comedy. the documentary goes to various locations around the uk, and initially has a fairly objective view of ghost events.
then they bring in Derek. oh dear god. The bloke is so entertaining that, along with Yvette fieldings locked-in-a-dark-room escapades, he carries pretty much the entire series on his own. its hilarious. as soon as he appears, a pack of marlboro sticking out his pocket and a loud shirt, he starts talking about how he can feel the spirits in the room and how they're talking to him. it should be noted that Acorah is an ex-liverpool football player. this could probably explain why he hears voices.
It'll make you cheer, it'll make you cry, it'll make you seek psychological help.
***SPOILER WARNING, ALL SHIPS STEER WIDE!!!***
EoE is probably the ultimate ending to an anime series. Neon Genesis Evangelion is the greatest anime series of all time in my opinion, and although the ending was confusing, it was still pretty happy.
End of Evangelion is NOT happy. lets get that straight right from the start. Anno was pressurised into making this series by the fans, who werent exactly kind about it, and, in the words of Amanda Winn-Lee (the voice of rei ayanami and the director of the English Language version) the whole movie is one big f*** you to those fans. oh, Anno gave them everythig they wanted, alright, but not in the WAY they wanted.
We get all the revelations about the characters pasts and relationships. although the scene of Shinji Masturbating over a Comatose Asuka is fairly disturbing, it goes some way to illustrating the state of mind Shinji is in at the start of the movie. to use his own words he is "So f***ed up."
and thats the core of EoE. Shinji is in such and emotionally shattered condition - he has just been forced to kill his friend in Kaworu, Misato and Rei have become so distant they scare him, and Asuka is in a coma, so Shinji is at so low a level as to be open to precisly waht the shadowy group SEELE wants to do with him.
and they want to initiate third impact. yeah, great idea.
so, what funn stuff do you get for your hard earned cash? well, you get Asuka coming back from her coma in a blaze of light, destroy the JSSDF, and shredding a load of mass-produced evangelions in 3-1/2 minutes. you get Shinji finally resolving his own emotional turmoil, and you get all the characters going "SPLAT!" literally.
Batman Beyond (1999)
Sure, it isnt for the puritans, but for someone like me, this series has a great deal of appeal.
allows me to elaborate (hey, this is my review, you dont have a choice!)
Batman of the Future (as it is sold in England) is, as the title implies the tale of a gotham city in the near-far future. instead of the traditional batmobile, you get a fancy hover-craft type thing, and instead of Bruce Wayne, we get some teenage ex-juvey hall would-be crimefighter, who is, in the early epiosdes, scarred emotionally in much the same way that Bruce was in the original storyline.
in terms of most of its story, it aint a patch on the original animation series. but there are definite moments. the emotional pseudo-father relationship beteween Bruce and Terry is a joy to behold at points, and the inclusion of a new Commissioner Gordon - Barbara, AKA Batgirl, was a nice touch, if untrue to the comics.
where this series truly excels is its animation. any Anime fan, like myself, will easilly spot the references to that animation Area. as a previous reviewer mentioned, the cityscape of Gothaam looks disturbingly like the post-apocalyptic Neo-tokyo from Akira, and the inclusion of a gang called the Jokers is a slight nod to both the original Batman villain and the gang from Akira. the animation is amazingly fluid, and in the fight scenes theres a definite amount of anime stylisation.
I like it anyways.
Être et avoir (2002)
One of the most touching films I've ever seen.
I didnt want to go and see this film. seriously. I got dragged along to see it in London as part of my media studies course, and me and my friends were determiend to get out of seeing it, any way we possibly could, and go shopping instead.
needless to say, we didnt manage it, and I'm actually pretty glad.
this was one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. coming from a family where both my parents are teaching in the same age-range as mr Lopez, this film had a certain mirror-image quality for me, which made it hit even closer to home. Being British, some of tend to look a the French as an Alien species (sorry!) and seeing a French teacher in some of the same situations as my parents of faced was amazingly poignant.
the amount of time and Effort that Lopez put into his teaching was beautiful to behold. his compassion and cool manner makes me think that just about every school in the world can benefit from a teacher like him.
In criticism, however, I do beleive that the editing was used to make it appear that Lopez remained PERMANENTLY calm. I've been with teachers in a classroom situation, and even with a class that small, its impossiblwe to keep your cool all the time. I would have appreciated some scenes of Lopez having to deal with any anger he might have occasionally faced. it might have added even more humanity to his persoanlity, and although I empathises with him, the only pure emotion we see from him is at the end, when the tears in his eyes as his class leaves are painfully apparent.
Far superior to the remake. (spoilers)
This film is one of the prime examples of why horror should be taken out of the hands of America. its creepy, touching and downright frightening, without having to rely on the "In-your-face" tactics of the remake.
Unlike "The Ring", in Ringu, the girl in the video, Sadoke, is an almost completely anonymous threat. other than the brief glimpses in the video and the psychic contact in the one flashback, you hardly see or hear her at all until the final scenes.
again, the sequences where the video is watched, which get longer each time they are viewed,are far more effective than the similar scenes in the remake, which just ran straight through.
an excellent horror, that redefined parts of the urban-legend genre. accept no substitutions.
Meiô Project Zeorymer (1988)
Good idea, badly executed. (dubbed version)
Unfortunately, Zeoraima has the downside of being an anime with an excellent plot idea that feels ridiculously rushed. this is a genuine pity, because it deserved to be much better, yet it suffers from bad animation and absolutely atrocious voice acting. the plot works, but only in such a way as is confined by the rest of the anime.
get it on rental - don't waste £15 like I did!
this series isn't given nearly enough credit. as a spin-off from Bubblegum Crisis, it involves the AD police fighting "boomers" - rogue robots, and revolves around an elite unit. it tends to focus more on character development, although there is plenty of action, and the plot that spans the entire series will leave you both sad and happy at the end.
Dog Soldiers (2002)
miles better than trashy american horror.
having been one of the few people in my area who was supporting this movie from the very start, I am glad to say that my support was never unfounded. this film had me gripped from the very beggining, with it's non-stereotyped characters, and atypical action.
although the plot does very closely resemble "aliens", it never once felt cloying, and the same tense atmosphere that made "Blair witch project" so watchable is used to far better effect here. you rarely see the actual werewolves themselves in more than two second flashes, and for this reason their badly made costumes never really dissapoint you. the fact that the film uses very little, if no CG effects in no way detracts from it.
even the "wolf-vision" camera, which would be corny as hell in another film, feels right here, because through it you still manage to empathise with the actual characters of the film, and you do feel like you're being hunted.
once the actual action starts, the film only improves more. the fact that black comedy prevails all the way through the films is part of it's immense charm, and rather than detracting from the action, the nervous comic banter only serves to draw you in even more. you genuninely feel for these characters.
even the more corny scenes (fistfightin an 8-foot tall wolf, anyone?0 fell good, because it's a desperate situation. this moveie feels exactly how it should feel, and proves that you can have a horror movie that doesnt involve a bunch of whining teenagers getting killed by the person who everyone could blatantly see was the killer from the very start of the movie.
Kaubôi bibappu: Cowboy Bebop (1998)
one of the ultimates.
if you ever meet one of those people with the compulsive need to put Anime down, just sit them down and make them watch this series. you can pretty much guarantee a conversion. right through this series, you will be astounded at the wry humour, the intense action and brilliant characterisation.
this series has everything. excellent music, dogfighting, kung-fu, gunfights, romance... you name it, cowboy bebop has it.
and the final episode has a gun battle that puts the Matrix's government lobby sequence to shame.