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14 reviews in total 
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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Makes the very best of a small budget., 6 October 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*review contains spoilers*

Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later it without a doubt the best British horror film of recent times. It has some genuinely chilling moments, some great subtle humour, and best (and most importantly) of all, its a pretty original piece of work.

'Jim', played by up and coming Irish actor Cillian Murphy emerges from a coma in a London hospital. he is alone. He goes out into the corridor - he is still alone, and the place is trashed. He goes out into the street, and by jove, the whole of London is completely deserted... And its great! Immediately the audience is asking "what the hell is going on here?" Its something we're just not used to - never before have we been struck with such scenes in a British setting, and it is truly startling.

Unfortunately for Jim, the answer to the current state of his country, is that it has been obliterated by a virus that infects and overcomes its victims in seconds with 'rage', turning them into almost unstoppable violent monsters...

The first hour of the film is great, and Boyle uses every second of his deserted London footage perfectly, building an incredibly creepy atmosphere, but its even in these early scenes that we see that the lack of budget is apparent - there are no bodies in the streets, it all seems just a little too TOO empty. However, this does add to the isolated theme even more.

The film slows a little as it makes its way through the second act. The whole movie was shot on digital film, which has been tweaked to give the film a grainy, moody look, and as much as this works, it does not disguise the fact that the film begins to lose its way a bit. As the characters trudge on in search of hope, the continued isolation of the two main characters becomes steadily more uneventful, rather than unnervingly lonesome. Although thats not to say it doesn't have its moments - Boyle gives us a few little set pieces in the moments to follow, but they just don't seem to do the premise justice - if all of Great Britain has been decimated by this virus, there should be rampaging hoards of infected crashing at them at every turn - but no-one, NO-ONE is around!

Its a shame though, because everything that could have made the last half of this film great, would cost lots of money. If you don't have it, you cant make it. Due to this, and a bad turn in story, the last third of the film descends into the unwanted, the unbelievable, and it just seems like such a waste.

Let me explain:

The infected humans in this film are just that - people who are overcome with a virus. They are not undead, thay are not zombies, as the director has stressed on many occasions. This means they sprint after you, not hobble like a pensioner with typhoid. One adversary is as dangerous as many. Most of the chills come from this fact, because as isolated as the survivors seem, what may be around the next corner could devastate everything. Whenever a few of the infected are on the screen, the tension is cranked up to breaking point - its edge of the seat stuff.

So why, why, WHY in the last third of the film are these brutal, scary enemies replaced by a much more idle threat? A few cockney soldiers! NOOOO! We almost completely forget about the infected masses, and are tossed into a completely new world where the bad guys are soldiers who all seem to have lost their minds, and have decided the only useful thing left to do is to rape a woman and a 13 year old girl. Useless. But wait, this shows us people we don't like! Baddies! I wonder what will happen to those guys...

Thankfully however, the final segment of the film makes up for it, all hell breaks loose before your eyes, people get mauled, blood is spilled, and it seems like a fitting payoff that leaves you satisfied with what has gone before.

One more gripe however. The acting throughout is very solid. From everyone. Except Megan Burns, who plays Hannah. She is young, fair enough, but her performance is so incredibly bad, she almost wrecks every single scene she is in, its ridiculous. There is no way Danny Boyle could have been satisfied with her acting, and there simply MUST have been something preventing him from replacing her.

Still though, all in all, the film works. Its unique, its scary, and it raises the bar significantly for bigger budget British films. Lets hope we get more of the same in the future, only without Megan Burns.

7/10. SP

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
It's a wonderful film..., 19 September 2004

Well, to kick off, i had never seen this film before this afternoon (Im 21), when i decided to grab my mothers copy off the shelf and stick it on. Everyone saying that this was one of those 'must see classics' finally got to me.

I was very pleasantly surprised. I must admit i tend to favour more recent films - these days i like to look out for groundbreaking acting, superb camera movement, stunning cinematography etc , but 'It's A Wonderful Life' just goes to show that all that does not make a good film. Its the story, its the characters.

Released in 1946, a whole 36 years before i was born, i thought this would just be another film that the oldies loved, but is just no match for todays masterful film-making techniques. I was wrong, and that makes me happy...

The film is all in the story, detailing George Bailey's struggle to get out of his small town, but always putting others before himself and continually sacrificing his chance to live his own life and see the world. By the end, his life takes a nasty turn or two, and he ends up considering suicide to make available his life insurance money to help his family - until a gentle angel named Clarence arrives to show him what life in his town would be like if he was never around...

Very well acted (for its era) and very well told, 'It's A Wonderful Life' really is one of the most uplifting films i have ever seen. Frank Capra gently takes us from step to step with our subtly heroic lead, throughout the highs, the almost lows, and the real lows, and you really feel for the guy - He is never presented as perfect - he sometimes yells at his family, his friends, he gets frustrated like all of us, but always does what he can to right his wrongs, and help his townspeople. We like this guy because he's decidedly human, but a good man overall.

The films big payoff comes in its finale - after George realises how much he has to live for, he immediately sets about doing just that, embracing his family like he hadn't seen them in years, despite his financial turmoil and seemingly grim future.

If this film had been made today, no doubt the ending would be deemed cheesy and unrealistic - today it seems impossible to have a happy ending without the film being accused of taking the easy way out, which is crap - let people end their movie in the way that seems best to them. This film however, though simply shot and unremarkably acted, is truly affecting. George finally realizing that he was cherished and appreciated all along by his friends and clients is a touching moment, and to be honest, i was in tears, crying like a baby with a smacked arse by the end credits.

I really urge anyone who has not seen this film to give it a go, even if you think its way, way off your normal movie map. I like Michael Bay films for crying out loud, and i still loved this! Go watch.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Almost a great horror movie..., 31 July 2004

Eli Roth promised he would bring back the good days of horror with Cabin Fever, promising lots of gore and nudity, in his mind, this is what horror should be all about.

The premise of a flesh eating virus being the danger, rather than some masked chainsaw wielding nutter is a good one, and, for the most part, is used effectively enough.

The introduction is standard stuff - a bunch of horny teenagers head to a remote cabin to drink beers, smoke weed and have sex. Blah Blah. The origin of the flesh eating virus is never revealed - we just see a hermit staggering through the woods with his face hanging off, but its no biggie. When the film gets rolling though, the infection of our teenage buddies is gradual, creepy and effective. The acting is convincing enough on the most part, however aside from Rider Strong, the male roles come across as rather untrained, nervy performances.

But hey, since when have kids in horror movies been good actors right? Roth's script is good enough for its type 99% of the time, but there are some silly lines, and daft unnecessary events that take away from the movie big time. The 'Police Officer' with the persona of a 17 year old party obsessive is beyond stupid, and could have been played way more effectively as a suspicious older lawman. Then there's the 12 year old inbred hick karate expert who shouts 'pancakes!' and bites people - im sure it was a funny idea at the time guys, but surely someone must have said "well yeah, but thats going to ruin the entire film Eli, you big, big fool you?" Shame.

There are plus points though. The gore set-pieces are top notch, a few of which had the audiences in the cinema i work in screaming out loud, or grinding their teeth and whimpering at the now infamous 'leg shaving' scene. The scripting/acing errors arent quite enough to ruin the film though, however the ending very nearly is... Roth for some reason extracts all the menace out of the story once again by parading a bunch of dummy dummy rednecks ingesting the virus, to some very dummy dummy redneck music.

All in all though, Cabin Fever is still one of the most entertaining little horror films to hit our screens in recent memory, because it doesn't hold back, thank God. It does remind me of the time when horror was good. And had breasts. Its worth a watch for the jumpy moments, and decent humour, but only just. I just hope more skilled actors/directors realise that horror is making a comeback, and capitalise on it.


9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Chucklesome stuff., 30 July 2004

Yes, this is a couple of hours of footage of rather silly chaps jumping off things, getting drunk/stoned/peed on, whatever. Obviously, this is funny to most people, including me. Each Steve-o DVD is basically a lower budget version of Jackass, with more trashing of hotel rooms etc than actual stunt-work, if you can call it that. It's nonetheless entertaining though, as long as you laugh with pity at these hapless gents, rather than look up to them... - Take Heed Kiddies!

There is some stuff on this DVD however, that is a little too much. The sight of Nick Dunlap getting wasted on Jack Daniels and trashing a bar filled with nice people while his buddies laugh isn't funny - they just make themselves look like immature nasty little men - which most of them are. Presenting footage of these moments takes away from the healthier illusion that these guys have good hearts, and like to goof around without harming anyone else, so you feel less inclined to laugh for a while afterwards when you realize that they have a bit of a crappy side to their personalities.

Steve-O and his buddies are not big, and they're not clever, but they can entertain, and they are willing to use pee-pee and pooh-pooh to get the desired effect - what more can you ask? If your under 80 years old, and aren't into antiques and whatnot, this should raise a laugh or two, or at least make you thankful you've never taken PCP...

34 out of 59 people found the following review useful:
Horror makes way for humour and gore, 30 July 2004

Final Destination was a decent film. Original idea, pretty suspenseful directing, and some death scenes that while inventive, were creepy to boot.

This time around, with a new director and a new approach, we get a very different film. The first movie was a horror - this is'nt. In fact its not even a thriller, its basically a load of silly dialogue acted out badly by very silly actors, with some dead people in-between.

The thing is, that doesn't make the movie all that bad - The deaths and the gore are the pay-offs, and great care has been taken to ensure that all of them would get a great reaction from a packed cinema theatre.

The car pile up at the start is bone crunchingly violent, with buckets of blood being splattered everywhere - and its very entertaining stuff.

Various methods have been used here for the subsequent death scenes (CG, green screens, puppets, models) but it all cuts together very well, and most of the deaths would have your average cinema audience whooping with crimson tainted delight...

The impressive trickery used in killing off each character, intertwining supsense and surprise, is so effective, that many people will come away from this film forgetting that there wasn't actually anything else good about it - apart from the eye candy of course.

Worth a watch - you'll recoil in disgust and laugh more than you would watching most movies of this genre. try to catch it before you die.

59 out of 73 people found the following review useful:
A Different Slant..., 25 July 2004

The Cable Guy has now all but been forgotten by the movie world. It was released when Jim Carrey was on his way to being the new A list comedian, and thus, was considered only a slightly funny version of 'Ace Venture'. or The Mask' Or whatever. Personally, I don't consider The Cable Guy a comedy at all. Sure, there are some side splitting moments - Carrey is hilarious alongside Matthew Broderick's by the numbers 'average Joe', but id suggest that anyone who was not taken in by this film to look at it a little differently...

This is a horror film. I swear!

For me, Chip Douglas does not come across to me as a harmless lisping clingy chump - HELL NO! The guy is a maniac. An obsessive, intelligent, controlling, stalking "Fatal Attraction" styled nutter!

Watch it again!

For me, this is Jim Carrey's career launching performance. He has a lisp right? after a while, you don't really notice it do you? Right. This is an incredibly difficult task for an actor - maintaining a speech impediment for an entire film, keeping it level, and not exaggerating it, its really something to take a look at. Carrey's character is sick, and very very creepy. With Broderick et al giving relatively standard performances, Carrey's performance is a stand out, and Ben Stiller should be proud of this film and what it lead to in terms of Jim Carrey's career.

Trust me, if you didn't like this, take another look, and prepare to be freaked out by a very not funny, very creepy Carrey performance...


0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Furious Action, Outrageous Comedy, 22 July 2004

Ah yes, everyone hates Michael Bay don't they? He should be directing music video's, yes? Why would anyone want an action director to be into fast cuts, close up in your face shots, and endless car chases, followed by explosions, followed by mega-bucks live action sequences, with incredible stunts, over loads of CG work? Whats the matter with people!?

As he did with the very small budget on the first film, Michael Bay has made a very good job of Bad Boys II. He uses his money well, and presents us with some real edge-of-your-seat set pieces, all cut together at a furious pace. BUT HE'S NO MCG! Bay never crosses the line of being simply stupid.

The performances from Smith and Lawrence are just as expected - they obviously sway from the script many times, choosing to improvise scenes more often than not - there are few double acts in the business who can do this so effectively, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson perhaps being an exception. Will Smith manages to hold the scenes down as Martin Lawrence hams it up as the nervy, slightly crazed family man thrown into hellish gun battles every day on the job. Smith remains the only actor who can star alongside Lawrence, and have him be funny rather than annoying...

Some of the stunts in this movie are incredible, and the 1st big car chase is something that will have any action fan falling off their mosquito infested cinema seat - forget the Matrix Reloaded - this is the greatest car chase ever captured on film.

The script is patchy, making way for more improvised gags rather that creating a deep story, but in a film like this, deep plot just isn't what fans want.

Joe Pantoliano is again a highlight as the Captain, and has to be considered one of the best police captains since that old guy from the police academy movies...

All in all, a near-perfect action comedy. Wrongly slated by too many people, but hey, i loved it...


1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Utterly Dire, 24 April 2004

Usually any B movie with at least a little gore, and some lingering gratuitous nudity is worth a look, but man! This is the worst script, worst acted piece of nonsense ever. Some B movies can be loved because they are so bad, they're actually really good - see 'Hybrid' by Fred Olen Ray for an example of this - but Alien Species goes so far down the pipe that its just not funny any more. The only funny thing about it is the lead guys ridiculous hairdo.

Atrocious waste of good film, that i would have happily used to wipe my buttocks with.


2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Honestly, its really quite funny..., 21 February 2003

Slammed by the critics, The Martin's never really had a chance. Simple.

However, being a heuge fan of Lee Evans, i went along anyway, and thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the cinema. The Martins has flawless performances throughout, and while being cheap, and to be honest, very badly written, it still provides enough laughs to keep you in your seat.

Lee Evans never gets the opportunity to truly show his comic genius, but does do his job well enough to keep fans entertained. And as British as he is, he really should be given the opportunity to take on some more roles in Hollywood, and be given more screen time than his previous well received efforts, such as in Mouse Hunt, and The Fifth Element. The Martin's is not great, but certainly worth a watch. 5/10.................................................................


Evil Never Dies..., 3 December 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As an avid fan of all the RE games, I eagerly anticipated this movie for years, and when it finally hit the cinemas, i was not disappointed.

Paul Anderson both wrote and directed Resident Evil, and decided to make it pretty different from the games, which worried a lot of fans.

He is however, introducing many of the games characters into the sequel in 2003.

*review with SPOILERS*

Resident Evil was slated by many critics, and its easy to see why. One look at the cast would put most critics off, because it is plain to see that Resident Evil was written and casted to be a COOL movie, not a well acted thriller. Simply put, it is the type of movie that the critics love to hammer.

The first half hour of the film is all build up, getting more and more intense as Milla Jovovich wakes up in a mansion confused and without memory. Soon she is confronted with a crack military team, who explain that she is a security officer in the mansion, which is merely a front for the underground biological weapon research lab that lies beneath it...

The crew along with Jovovich head down into the 'hive' to see what has gone wrong, and to shut down the 'Red Queen' (the automated computer which controls the hive). Needless to say, the place is crawling with zombies, and all hell breaks loose.

The performances in each of the lead roles are solid enough, apart from Eric Mabius, who is a bit wooden. Milla Jovovich is surprisingly good in the role of Alice, and does well in the martial art-type action scenes.

Paul Anderson has decided to make Resident Evil as much of an action movie as it is a horror, making it all the more entertaining, and while the jumpy moments and scares are second to none, with perfect timing and an excellent score by Marilyn Manson all adding to the effect, each of the action scenes - particularly the ones including the Hellhounds and the licker, are edge of the seat stuff.

The finale of Resident Evil is a thriller and then some, with the remaining survivors trying to escape via a speeding underground train. We then see the unexpected return of the licker, which, after shredding Martin Crewes to pieces, is disposed of with great effect.

Anderson also does a good job of presenting us with cliches, such as Michelle Rodriguez being so close to death, but getting the antidote to the virus at the last second - but then totally reverses them by allowing her to turn anyway. He also used the old, "unexpected survivor who returns at the end" ploy (Crewes), but then allows him to be obliterated unexpectedly as well, confirming to the viewer that no-one is safe.

The last ten minutes of the movie are very, very impressive, with the final scene being so powerful, that it sets up the soon to come sequel perfectly...

As with any movie, there are a few things that could have been better.

The CGI effects on the licker in its earlier scenes could have been much better, but this was probably down to the budget.

Also, a few more scenes where one or two zombies appear, and are quite easily disposed of would have been nice, instead of the mass hoards of them constantly flooding the rooms.

All in all, Resident Evil is everything it was meant to be - a cool gory action horror, with a lot of death, and a few surprises too...

Superb. - 9 out of 10.

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