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stargazer-lea

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5 reviews in total 
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Spiral (2007/I)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Slow Burner but worth the wait!, 5 December 2012
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've been searching out low budget indie for a while now and came across Spiral and just thought go for it. The story revolves around Mason, who seems to be a complete pathetic loser. Dead end job, no real friends only his boss who seems to pity him more than like him and really is his own worst enemy. A social misfit who's only outlet is art and jazz music. during a lunch break a girl starts talking to him out of the blue. Amber. She is his opposite, chatty, friendly and seems likable and rather than pities Mason, enjoys his company. She agrees to let him paint her in poses he sketches for her but the happier he gets the more we see him crack up mentally.

Mason is played by the talented Joel David Moore, probably most recognizable as being the awkward and funny lab tech in Bones. He also co-directed it along with the versatile director of HATCHET. This is nothing like Hatchet being a much slower, less violent and less gore hungry of the two. Spiral concentrates on character development and performance over attacking the senses of the viewers with copious amounts of blood, in fact only 2 scenes show what could be blood in the entire 90 minutes. The acting is well done, Amber Tamblyn is as always, perfect while Moore fits into his role as Mason like a hand in a glove.

My only complaints are the twist is kinda obvious sometimes. I don't know if this was intentional but I feel it made the ending have less of an impact. Also, sometimes it was heavy handed in the set up for the ending and the story would almost grind to a halt making it sleepy and dreamlike and I did drift off once or twice and have to skip back a minute or so. Overall I really enjoyed it and give it a 7/10!

1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Devastating but Brilliant!, 24 February 2012
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I first watched this years ago. My boyfriend had told me that I MUST watch it and that is it one of his favourite films. Since then it become one of my favourite's too.

Dead Man's Shoes is low budget, written and directed by a British director, Shane Meadows and lead role Paddy Considine. It's set in a beautiful Midlands countryside where Richard (Considine) returns home from military service. He soon realises his precious brother (The brilliant Toby Kebbell) had fallen in with a bad crowd in his absence. Kebbells character is that of a man who seems to have the mind of a child and his new "friends" have used this to make him the subject of their entertainment. Richard wants nothing more to take out his revenge for what they put his brother through. He does this in an emotionally and physically violent way eventually resorting to murder which to him is completely justified.

The story is distressing but beautifully told. It hits you where it hurts every time they show the bullies tormenting or humiliating Anthony. I found myself not wanting to see anymore but was completely unable to pull my eyes away. Every scene is beautifully shot, the lighting is near perfect and the scenery is stunning. The acting by all is amazing. The dynamics between Kebbell and Considine makes their relationship completely believable. The bullies made me hate them but equally feel for them when they were meeting their demise. The reveal at the end was so perfect but so heart breaking. Only Meadows can stir these emotions with little or no dialogue in a scene. Even the score was so perfect it added so much to the emotional impact of each and every scene.

If you're looking for an easy ride, stay away from this but I do believe everyone should see this at least once. This film stayed with me for months and it still has the same upsetting effect every time I watch. Without a doubt this is a 10/10. If you like This is England you will love this.

Oldboy (2003)
6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A great intro to Asian Cinema!, 19 February 2012
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a fan of Manga and Anime, it was only natural to give Asian cinema a go. Oldboy has been tossed around in conversation and articles and compared to numerous new Korean movies on a forum I frequent. So, I thought well, why not! The story is about Oh Dae-Su, a delinquent husband and father who we can tell is useless, a drunk. In the first scene we see him in a police station acting the fool. He is kidnapped and held against his will in an unknown location with nothing but a TV to keep him up to date with life on the outside world. Suddenly, 15 years after his incarceration, he is released. He is given 5 days, enough money to see him through and a cell to find out why he was kidnapped and by who.

The story is fairly basic but with lots of twists and turns along the way. A slow burner to say the least. However, it doesn't feel like a long slow film. The slow scenes are broken up by action sequences which are thrilling and stunningly presented. The story is completely mesmerising. The discomfort with certain scenes is perfectly balanced with entertainment and the conclusion was so well thought out that the realisation fills you with a sense of disgust visually and mentally. The characters are brilliant. I believed every single one of them.

If I was to nit pick I'd say sometimes the colours and lighting was a bit too dark.

I advise even people who dislike Asian cinema to at least give Oldboy a go. The story is that good I forgot I was even reading the whole time. It became second nature. It is the perfect film for a newbie to foreign films. The dialogue is paced well enough that it's easy to keep up with.

I recommend this film to anyone who likes horror, shock cinema, foreign films or thrillers.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Worth the watch!, 3 February 2012
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm not sure what I expected when I put Donkey Punch on. I didn't read much about it and only vaguely remember a trailer for it back in 2008.

The basic plot is girls decide to go on a holiday to Spain to take their friend's mind off her cheating ex. Cue sun, sea and nightclubbing where they meet three young men and later another man who just happen to be a part of a crew of a yacht. More sun sea and partying with kinky stories told of a the movies namesake. During a graphic sex scene between five of the revellers one of the girls is accidentally killed. Lies and desperation the men try to hide their crime while the girls want to expose them, leading to a fight for survival.

The story was all well and good and the acting was very well done especially the characters of Bluey and Kim. Some have said it was predictable and it does follow a slightly typical storyline of boys vs girls. However, there is more. Unlike Hollywood productions like this there is no stalking serial killer in a mask, no thick girls screaming while running upstairs instead of out the door. The script was sometimes a bit disjointed and I did lose interest once or twice which was a shame.

Overall it was interesting, brutal but enjoyable and entertaining. The deaths were not over the top and sometimes it felt quite realistic. It was easy to forget it was so low budget. Not for everyone and not one to watch with your Nan but definitely if you are a fan of Brit flicks give it a shot.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Deliciously violent and clever!, 20 February 2010
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Simply put...NOT FOR CHILDREN!

A lot of anime is somewhat violent and sometimes disturbing but Higurashi is something else! The violence is untamed and brutal. The story is surrounding a little village that is led by 3 families. It all starts when a young boy Keichii moves to the little village from the city in the month of June 1983. He makes friends with 3 girls, Rena, Mion (and later her twin sister Shion), Satoko and Rika. All seems well until he learns the village has a lot of secrets of murder and unexplained deaths. In a series of different chapters (arcs) the story is repeated all based around each character in turn. Each character goes mad and a lot of the time at least one of the group of friends is murdered brutally by one another. The stories explore murder, suspicion and even aliens!

It's not something i would recommend to everyone but certainly one I'd recommend to those who don't mind a bit of violence!