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The Woman in Black (2012)
A Hammer Horror Hit
I had high hopes of this film, having seen the stage play in London a few years ago which was genuinely a very chilling experience. The film didn't disappoint and although Jane Goldman's screenplay alters elements of the original story the overall feel of the film , dark village , misty atmosphere, unfriendly locals , things that go bump in the night certainly kept myself and a packed cinema on the edge of our seats for a roller-coaster ride of horror thrills and chills.
Daniel Radcliffe does well and is ably supported from actors more known for TV work in the UK like Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer.
Lighting is used well throughout the film and and the encounters with the spirits and spooky events are genuinely hair-raising and jump out of your seat moments.
This film also proves that you don't have to over do the gore content to have a scary film and much of the suspense and fear for the audience is created in the mind , or from a glimpse of what you see.
One of those films where on leaving the cinema you are half expecting to encounter a spooky spectre on your way home !!!
The Broken (2008)
You Won't Look in the Mirror Again
This is an eerie little movie that isn't perfect, but is nicely shot using the lighting and sound well that creates a good atmosphere for the viewer. All classic horror movie shots are used to good affect, the London Underground, Mirrors, Bathroom scenes all with nods to classic horror films like Psycho and American Werewolf in London.
Lena Headey carries the movie well in a very different role from that she plays in Terminator:The Sarah Connor Chronicles with good solid support, particularly from American actor Richard Jenkins as her father.
Watch this movie late at night, and I dare any of you to then go and look in the Mirror without thinking twice !!!
Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)
Avoid At All Costs !
I quite enjoyed Cabin Fever, so was hoping for a half decent sequel when I sat down to watch this, how far wrong could I be ! The film itself seemed to have succumbed to a virus, it was a poor script, poorly shot, poorly edited and poorly acted. It was neither scary nor funny and all the high school students looked like the were in their 30's.
So if you happen to be thinking Cabin Fever was an o.k. movie and you might want to check this out, then think again. It is 80 plus minutes of your life that you won't get back so spend your time doing something more constructive.
Reggie Perrin (2009)
A Modern Twist to a Classic Comedy
I wasn't aware that the BBC were making a new Reggie Perrin, so this came as a big surprise, but I am pleased to say a pleasant one and so far after five episodes very enjoyable.
Martin Clunes makes for a very different, but equally entertaining Reggie, with excellent support from Fay Ripley as his wife and Neil Stuke as his new boss, and some great turns from Wendy Craig as Reggie's Mum and Geoffrey Whitehead as his wife's father.
There are many nods to the old series, but it is just as watchable to newcomers and whilst in many aspects a commuters life (train delays etc) is no different to the 1970's (bowler hats aside) has incorporated modern gadgets and business jargon and trends into the show seamlessly.
Lucy Liemann as Jasmine Strauss also adds some excellent support and the target of Reggie's many daydreams! All in all, well worth watching and proving that you can re-make a classic well if you successfully bring it into a modern setting.
Congratulations to the BBC, keep up the good work.
Alone in the Dark (2005)
Avoid at all Costs !
Take a minute to think what can sometimes be bad in films, poor script, bad editing, ill conceived plots, poor acting, bad use of soundtrack, etc etc. Director Uwe Boll manages to deliver in all these areas, and then some. Quite frankly, I would like to find the man and thrash him soundly, and ask for 1 1/2 hours of my life back ! Alone in the Dark I thought, spooky game on the console, Christian Slater as a paranormal investigator, sounds promising, please do not be misled, other than the name of the film and the characters name, this has absolutely nothing to do with the game.
Compared to this Aliens Vs Predator would have swept the board at the Oscars and probably be named as the best film of all time.
Quite, how anyone could actually make such a bad movie is hard to ascertain, but if you have a spare few million and would like to throw it Uwe Boll's way in the future I am sure he can oblige.
I can't even bear to go into detail about the film, because quite frankly, I don't really care, but lets just say JJ Abrams managed to turn out better episodes of Alias every week than this film could ever dream of in relation to ancient artifacts and government conspiracies.
Thank the Lord, Christian Slater is back in the Theatre now, because he definitely needs to put this complete bomb of a project way behind him.
Avoid at all Costs !
The Skeleton Key (2005)
Something a little different !
Taking a side step from recent Horror films, The Skeleton Key takes a different pace, but still delivers the goods.
You kind of know what is coming by the end , but you are still wondering will they or won't they right up until the last couple of minutes.
The deep south, voodoo (or hoodoo in the case) sets the scene for a dark and disturbing tale , where Kate Hudson's character arrives to look after an elderly man who has had a stroke, or has he ? Solid performances from Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands and John Hurt all make the film worth watching, but Joy Bryant's character is seriously underused as the best friend who basically is used to explain what could be behind the mysterious goings on in the spooky plantation house.
Certainly better than average, and with one or two nice touches, The Skeleton Key hits the mark.
Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
The best sports movie ever ?
It is quite rare for a film, which is essentially about sport to actually be good as well. This film works on all levels, the cast are great, the script is great, plenty of laughs and a real feelgood factor. I am not surprised that the two leads have gone on the bigger and better things. You don't even have to like football to enjoy it. Thumbs up from me.
The Hole (2001)
Slightly disturbing, but worth a look !
I expected the film to be something along the lines of Jeepers Creepers, I know what you did last Summer etc, but for once a nice surprise. Of course you will have to go and see it yourself to find out, but again a strong performance from Thora Birch, who is fast becoming one of the best young actresses. It is also a chance to see Keira Knightley in one of her first roles and boy is she a chameleon. Is this really the same girl from Bend it like Beckam ?
I have been more spooked and scared, but this is definetely worth a look and in its own way quite disturbing.
The Mexican (2001)
Far too long !!!
Sounds promising, Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt. Sounds, is about as far as it went though. A bit more editing was needed to trim the film down from a rather lengthy two hours. For something billed as a comedy the laughs are pretty few. There is no chemistry at all between Brad and Julia and generally the acting is pretty dire. Probably the only saving grace was James Gandolfini. One to watch if you are a Brad Pitt or Julia Roberts fan only I would say, or perhaps you are suffering from insomnia !
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
It brought tears to my eyes
This movie was slow to start, but about one hour in, if you can stick it that long, boy is it worth it. The pace really picks up, you suddenly are able to understand Russell Crowe's mumbling and you begin to get a feel for the anguish that the people in the film are going through.
It would have been interesting to see what the effect was on Nash's son of his condition, but I guess to cover a whole lifetime in a couple of hours was stretching it at best.
By the end , when he was recognised at Princeton and collecting his award, I was in tears. Maybe I am just a big old softy, but I don't cry at most movies I see.
And Jennifer Connelly , well there's an actress with perserverance, she has been in more than her fair share of dud movies, but finally a great part and she cleans up at the awards ceremonies. Bring on Betty Ross and the Hulk.