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99 and a half wont do!
Anyone over a certain age may say that '84 was where it was at although for Break dancing in the UK it really became popular in the summer of '85. This movie and then the big Chaka Khan hit made that happen. I watched this movie back in 1984 and had not seen it since until now, 30 years later in 2014. I wont diss it with a cheap shot and dismiss it as being dated - that would be wack! The scenes depicted in this movie really makes you wish to have been there in L.A. back in those days. In saying that, west coast Hip Hop did not gain a lot of recognition during the 80s to be fair. Therefore taking that into account, the movie itself has some great hip hop culture elements and fantastic breakdance choreography. In particular the first challenge scene against the rival crew called 'Electro Rock'.
Whilst Breakdance the movie does not go overboard on Hip Hop culture, and the street talk that was such a big part of that culture back then it still feels right but if you want an 80s street knowledge style Hip Hop movie watch Beat Street instead. Or just watch both if you want to find out about the mid 1980s. Soundtrack takes you right back too.
quality docu-drama about space
ten years from its own genesis...'voyage to the planets' still looks as good as it did back in 2004. At that time I actually caught it on TV by sheer accident and for about 15 minutes actually thought it was a real event....as in a space version of Big Brother - in those days anything seemed possible.
So, this is a great space documentary that serves its purpose as being good eye candy but also informative. As a person who has always wanted to go to Pluto, I was delighted to see what the surface of the last unchartered area of our galaxy looks like - all thanks to the BBC. Likewise, the landing on Venus was jaw dropping to watch at that moment in time. The view of Jupiter from Io, also devilishly spectacular!
However, the biggest thumbs up for this documentary is that after 10 years it sill looks good and still feels as good to watch, CGI hasn't dated it yet. It is also has a good quality running time which is great for sitting back, slow-motion tossing popcorn and squirting orange juice while pretending you and your buddies are in zero gravity. The DVD release is also a 2 part set which follows the same format as the original TV showing. Cool.
Turbulence 2: Fear of Flying (1999)
Entertaining Mindless Thriller
Whilst not as entertaining as its prequel in this series, Turbulence 2 is nevertheless a good action movie where once again a 747 is taken over by a sadistic terrorist, who demands nothing more than no cops and refuelling at a runway of his choice. The story isn't as flimsy as it's reputation suggests and is worth a watch at least once.
Actually as the main bad guy, the character Elliot (played very well by Jeffrey Nordling) is pretty good in the way he scares the plane passengers for 90 minutes (almost being nearly as entertaining as Ray Liotta in the first Turbulence), with the pick of his one liners being where he throws a lawyer out of the plane over Seattle at 10,000 feet and shouts "put a good word in for me". Classic....I reckon Ryan Weaver would of been proud of that one.
On the ground, Tom Berenger mans the control tower with possibly the smallest shift in history and with seemingly with a liking for drinking pints of milk in the control tower, whilst managing a code red.
So the FBI decide to shoot down the plane but luckily the good guy on board who saves the day is a hero who designs 747s, is good at hand to hand combat, knows Morse code, is familiar with the field of telecommunications - therefore knowing how to tell an ATC what radio frequency to secretly use, is able to throw a heavy container containing anthrax out of the cargo bay, land a 747 (out of a storm that has been rocking the plane for the last hour) with no ILS and no experience of landing 747s. Then he eventually makes off with the pretty girl. Only chink in his armour being that he is scared of flying, which is a handy plot line seeing as it is a plane disaster movie.
highly entertaining mindless action movie
Action/disaster movies involving planes are good and enjoyable (Die Hard 2, Snakes On A Plane, Con-Air, Air Force One, Executive Decision etc). Same goes for action movies where the bad guy is a total lunatic. So this personal favourite of mine has the best of both world's - a wisecracking total lunatic in charge of a 747 he intends to crash.
Ray Liotta is absolutely excellent as a sarcastic lunatic in this movie! I love indulging in Turbulence every now and then. Just to watch Ray Liotta's character 'giving it large' to his nemesis - some cop who framed him - on a plane that he intends to crash, just for him (the cop) - to make him famous cos he was hopeless at catching Liotta and had to plant a teddy bear in his car to get a conviction (Liotta's character supposedly strangles women after giving them a teddy bear for Christmas btw).
Anyway, the dialogue on the plane between the cast in the early stages is quite good. Especially the drinks and dinner menu scenes. Once the movie becomes cat and mouse between Liotta and the air stewardess, some of the dialogue is very good and quite amusing if you view it from the point that Liotta's character is a crazed psycho with nothing to lose but wants to have a bit of fun along the way.
Some of the scenes involving the landing of the plane are quite good as well especially when it almost collides with a hotel restaurant and you get a POV on it. Forget that it is a stupid idea where a stewardess gets a crash course from the ground crew (pun intended) to land a 747. Plane movies are always spectacular when they involve some kind of crash idea or a novice attempting to land one.
So Ray Liotta as a crazed psycho with a grudge against a cop and on a hijacked empty 747, a guy who is destined for the chair and with nothing to lose is pretty good idea for a movie....in my opinion. The premise may be mindless, but who cares - it's a wonderful life.
Bei Jing ai qing gu shi (2014)
it is a Beijing story...
this movie is based on a very popular Chinese TV show of the same name. The movie itself is basically five short stories that deal with all manner of situations that occur in Chinese relationships and how tradition and modern ideas are so different depending on the couples' generation:
- a young pregnant woman with a boyfriend of no means or security - a womaniser who realises what he has lost once it has gone - a teenage romance that faces a distance test - a married couple who have grown apart due to successful careers - a senior couple who are faced with the tragedy of reality
It is a decent and enjoyable movie (with English subtitles) but is a bit too long and I did not really see the point of the inclusion of one segment that deals with a high school romance, however the movie picks up again after this segment towards the end with a different example of love and this is when the movie starts to make more sense. There are humorous and serious elements in the script that are portrayed well on screen.
Benefits Street (2014)
puts 'Shameless' to shame
Basically, Shameless eat your heart out.
This is a documentary that is basically about real life dossers on the rock and roll. It is an accurate portrayal of Brum life which features examples of people from Brum who can't be arsed, don't think they have a hope or don't want anything apart from dole money, cans of lager, spliffs, roll ups and swearing.
What is jaw-droppingly intriguing about the programme is the raw elements of effing and blinding (even in front of kids), the squalor, the crime, the thuggery and nature of the people who live in this street towards anyone not in the clique. Quite frankly, the scenes depicted on Benefits Street is Brum proper.
Bad Ass (2012)
bad meaning bad not bad meaning good
Having enjoyed both Machete and Hobo With A Shotgun I was expecting this to be non-stop nonsensical revenge with a baseball bat. Particularly as I was unaware of the factual events that this movie is supposedly based on, until i read other reviews here.
Bad Ass starts off at a reasonable pace with the bus fight, but from that point it tends to lag and whilst the flashback scenes are kind of interesting, I thought they were also a tad boring and not a stereotype that veteran (no pun intended) movie goers have not seen before.
The fight scenes involving hand to hand combat were absurd, unrealistic and comical to even imagine let alone take seriously. Also, quite possibly, the idea of a fit woman like that being interested in 'Bad Ass' was also absurd.
In between the romance plot and the annoying little pithy comebacks from the kid you would just love to smack, the film ends after he takes out the big ass dude who killed his friend and that is it.
Overall a bit disappointed but will still remain a watcher of Danny Trejo movies cos at the end of the day he is a hard mutha f*cka.
If you want a 'nonsensical' modern day revenge movie go for Hobo or Harry Brown.
Nazi Collaborators (2010)
well written, well produced
Narrated by Alisdair Simpson, 'Nazi Collaberators' is a different approach to the WWII years in documentary. Each episode documents the actions of a proved conspirator, not only covering what they did but asking why they did it.
"Many did it for financial gain, others for the promise of elevated status, whilst others would later claim they would be killed if they refused". Stories include the Belgian and Norwegian splinter SS, plus the Lithuanian Murder Squads.
However, The first episode is the most awesome, as it is about the Lodz Ghetto and Chaim Rumkowski's 'Give Me Your Children' speech - widely regarded as one of the most appalling political incidents of the Second World War.
This is a very good documentary for WWII historians and should not be missed. As always with this subject, some of the footage is harrowing.
Fun Factory (1980)
long forgotten kids show
Fun Factory, was a Saturday morning kids show that replaced - or rather filled - the void (albeit temporarily) left by Tiswas. Due to the sudden axing of Tiswas, ITV needed to come up with a quick fix and Fun Factory provided it. However, unlike its predecessor, the show was not a mayhem fest but more a studio produced variety show, as followed later with other kids programmes such as 'No. 73' and to an extent, the BBC's 'Going Live'. Guests from UK TV and music would come on and join the presenters, fronted by a then largely unknown Jeremy Beadle.
It was on for a couple of hours in the usual time slot and in terms of music, Fun Factory had some decent performers on it. Early 80's bands like Duran Duran, Madness and Landscape to name a few, with Duran Duran in particular doing a good job - notably performing the debut single 'Planet Earth'. Kim Wilde's 'Kids from America' video was another.
Name That Tune (1983)
name that tune in 1
The above line has since become a catchphrase of the English language for trying to guess the impossible! When 'Name That Tune' came on ITV back in 1983 it was a pretty cool show, hosted by Tom O'Connor who at that period of TV history was a household name in the UK.
Basically as the title of the show would suggest it was a music based quiz between two teams. Each team would get a question then a snippet of music, with the naming of the tune in a lesser time gaining more points. The 1,2,3 etc was measured in seconds! The music was from drawn a wide range of genres not just pop music.
At the end of the show the winning team would get the chance to name that tune and win the star prize. A selected member of the team would go into a booth and be played a very short and sometimes obscure piece of music. Once the contestant gave his response, O'Connor would then produce the answer out of a golden envelope as if it was the Oscars.
Can't recall too much about Lionel Blairs hosting the show, but being a showman himself he did a good enough job and it was a shame when the programme was axed. Name That Tune is definitely a classic of 1980's British TV.