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Doctor Who: The Eleventh Hour (2010)
In the first episode, the only black face belongs to a Rottweiler!
The first thing I noticed with the new Doctor Who is that the only black face in the first episode belongs to a Rottweiler. And that the only sexual reference is a heterosexual one.
Is Steven Moffat, the new Producer, trying to make a point here?
While I sometimes tired of the histrionics of Russell T Davies's plots, I could always chuckle at the thought of middle-class parents cowering behind their sofas while their children were entertained with stories of black/white/gay/lesbian/alien love-triangles, and heroes drawn from the Daily Mail's hate list: single mothers on benefit; gay ex-servicemen; chavs and hoodies a.k.a the working class. Even his first timelord came from that little know northern suburb of Gallifrey: Salford, near Manchester.
Contrarily, Mr Moffat's first solo-offering seems to hark back to days of old. All the episode was missing was some understated misogamy, the Brigadier, and morris dancers dancing around a maypole on the village green, and you have a rehash of the 70's classic: The Dæmons.
Hopefully I am prejudging, Steven Moffat did create Captain Jack in "The Empty Child" back in Series 1. Already there is the hint of child abandonment for young Amy Pond, and maybe she has a whole Belle-De-Jour back-story from her "kiss-a-gram" days? Doctor Who meets Pretty Women anyone?
So despite what I have just said, sheepishly, I would say the omens are good. Karen Gillan and Matt Smith can certainly act and have a curious chemistry - hopefully more Mulder and Scully than Romeo and Juliet - and with Moffat's fine pedigree of past episodes (Blink/ Silence in the Library) it would appear that we have an exciting journey ahead of us.
Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead (2009)
Planet of the dead is correct ... and they died of boredom.
Well, David Tennant is pretty much going through the motions these days, and it seems Russell T. Davies is doing the same.
Nothing really catches your eye in this 30 minute episode needlessly stretched out to an hour. Even the monsters don't make much of an effort; just a bunch of flying alien stingrays, and not a Steve Irwin joke in sight.
If your birthday is after 1998, then this might just keep your interest, but that's about it.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed there are better things to come, and that Matt Smith (the new Doctor Who) will not be the 21st century's equivalent of Sylvester McCoy and end up killing the franchise for another 15 years.
Blue Crush (2002)
Spicegirls on surfboards.
Yes, there's a baby spice, a scary spice (played to type by Michelle Rodriguez) and posh spice (Kate Bosworth) evens gets her football player (don't worry it's a soccer reference).
It can't have been hard pitching this film: take three sexy girls, one with her baby sister in tow for authenticity; add a pinch of Good Will Hunting; a touch of West Side Story, and serve up, ala' Baywatch, on a stunning beach in Maui with all the key participants wearing skimpy bikinis. This film has chick-flick mediocrity written all over it and yet I feel strangely compelled to give it a 7.
Formulaic it could have been, but a strong cast, good direction, cool cinematography, and a dose of gritty realism provided by the surfer subculture wiping out on their surfboards, provided a connection with the character and what she was attempting to do, so that in the end I actually cared whether she succeeded or not, which lifted this film out of the hole in the sand it could have so easily ended up in.
However if what I've said still doesn't convince you, then boys: the girls are easy on the eye, and the soundtrack will keep you interested; and girls: what more do I need to say
The Thing Below (2004)
So bad they named it twice...
I had the misfortune to catch this movie on Cinemax in Asia, where it had been renamed "Sea Ghost" for reasons that are now obvious.
The film brought back memories - unfortunately not pleasant ones - of science fiction past: the shaky sets; the cinematic clichés; the blatant plot inconsistencies; and best of all, the very shaky special effects, which appear to have been produced on one of the production assistant's kid brother's home computer.
Yes, it sucks big time. Only watch it if it the last movie on earth, and it's a quiet night in oblivion.
PS Sometimes it hard to compose a 10 line comment for a movie this bad!
Life of Brian (1979)
Classic seamless comedy.
This film is by far the best of the Python outings. It ranks as one of my favorite films of all time, which unlike 'The Holy Grail', hasn't dated with time but improves with repeated viewing.
The Pythons supposed take on Christianity, which caused outrage when it was first released (mostly by people who hadn't seen it), is actually a take on cults, both religious and political, and the people who follow them.
Brian, our hapless hero, is confused, horny, and constantly mistaken for the Messiah; who just happened to be born in the manger next to him. Brian just wants to be left alone, and to pursue his love for Judith, a member of the People's Front of Judea. Judith just wants the Romans to go home; but only after they've left the sanitation, the medicine, education, irrigation, roads, public order, etc., etc. ... oh and don't forget the wine!
Will Brian's love for Judith go unrequited? Will only the cheese makers be blessed, or does this refer to all manufacturers of dairy products? And just what have the Romans ever done for us?
It's subtle; it's anarchic; and it's possibly still banned in Norway. This is classic seamless comedy at its best. 10/10.
The Extreme Team (2003)
Extreme Team: extreme tedium
If you're an extreme sports fanatic ... well you've probably got better things to do than watch this movie.
I however am not an extreme sport fanatic, but after this movie ended I too contemplated throwing myself off a tall building.
I confess I missed the beginning of this movie; I must also confess an overwhelming sense of relief I missed the beginning of this movie. I cannot stress this enough: THEY STOLE 60 MINUTES OF MY LIFE AND I WANT IT BACK!
If you like breathtaking scenery, fast past action, witty dialog and extreme sports: go watch the Discovery Channel. Do not watch this movie under any circumstances.