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jmupton2003

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65 reviews in total 
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Alien³ (1992)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
The SE Treatment Really Brings This Film TO Life at Last!, 6 April 2004

When Alien 3 was first released, it was plagued by studio politics, idiot preview audiences who said 'there's too many bald English blokes in it' and execs who really did not know what they where doing.

The end result was a film that the Director refused to have anything to do with and I cannot blame him! The huge gaping holes in the plot where plain to see and the true spirit of the Alien franchise that had so characterised the first two instalments was lost or at least heavily diluted.

Thankfully sense has prevailed and the new Special Edition puts the film as near as possible back the way it should have been. Don't get me wrong, its still not as good as the all out Directors Edition of Aliens and it still drags a little in places but it is still a darn sight better and well worth the investment. Once seen, you will never want to see the now dreadful original version ever again.

Its just a pity that this treatment did not manage the same kind of transformation on Alien Resurrection!

I'd stick to the theatrical release if I where you!!, 6 April 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Here be spoilers….

Whilst Alien Resurrection was by no means as good as the first two instalments in this highly successful series, it was certainly a lot better than Alien 3 (until that is the much much better Special Edition).

Where as the Special Edition treatment transformed Alien 3 from an ugly duckling into a wonderful film, the same treatment for Alien Resurrection has done the reverse.

The original version (with the exception of the thankfully few scenes with the cutsey Alien Newborn hybrid) was good, the action kept moving and there was some interesting ideas here. All right not all of them worked but at least thought went into them.

However the Special Edition now adds an atrociously badly done opening title sequence that is both meaningless and has nothing to do with the story whatsoever. It gets worse as well with some added clunky dialogue that really should have been left on the cutting room floor.

The new ending on Earth with the devastated Paris (or is it Blackpool!!!) is rather poor CGI (again as per the opening sequence) and is a rip off of the closing sequence of the excellent (CGI free) similarly devastated Sydney city-scape in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

All in all I would recommend that for better viewing, avoid the Special Edition and stick to the original release, a piece of advice I reverse for the other three editions of this hugely successful series.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Moore's last Bond is a respectable effort., 16 July 2004

After the atrocious Octopussy, it was good that Moore did one more Bond so he could go out on a decent performance. A View To A Kill brings a pretty decent fast paced plot with some good action that is not too over the top.

One of John Barry's best soundtracks certainly does a lot to enhance a really rather good entry in the ever ongoing Bond series while an amazing collection of supporting characters, many of them familiar to British TV viewers (David Yip and Patrick McNee in particular) add to the overall reasonable quality level of the film.

Needless to say this has its faults, the biggest one being Tanya Roberts as leading Bond lady Stacey Sutton who seems to act poorly and do little more than look pretty, scream ‘James' a lot and wobble her breasts provocatively during a punch up in her house.

This also marked the last appearance as Moneypenny for Lois Maxwell in addition to Moore's retirement from the Bond role after 14 years, and sadly he really did look too old for the part here so it was time for a fresh face in the role.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Nice penguin, pity about the rest of it……, 4 May 2006
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It could have been so good. Bring together the two most fearsome off world life forms in movie history in a face off and then drop some poor schmucks in the meat grinder along with them.

Sounds good doesn't it? What a pity therefore that five films of back story (all right, six if you must count Alien Resurrection!) were all but disregarded in favour of this dreadful mess.

OK, lets get the good points out of the way first as it will be quicker. The soundtrack was a little generic but good and the penguin was cute.

Now for the bad bits, I hope you are sitting comfortably as this could take a while….

First the cast, some interesting choices and bringing in the original Mr Weyland in the form of the now very old looking Lance Henriksen was a good idea but the rest of the cast (with the possible exception of the aforementioned penguin of course) were forgettable, even the one or two established actors such as Colin Salmon.

The characters were woefully underdeveloped but in the majority this didn't matter too much as many of them were fairly swiftly dispatched in one PG-13 style ungruesome manner or another. It is remarkable though that Mr Weyland hired the best so called experts money could buy yet most of them seemed to know about as much on their so called specialist subject as I know about nuclear physics.

They weren't helped of course by a ropey script, some really atrocious dialogue and one of Hollywood's most infamous and indeed talent less directors.

Then there are our two main players themselves. The Aliens did their bit but for the majority of the time they seemed to content themselves with lurking on over hanging ledges and laughing themselves silly at the Predators.

The Predators provided the aforementioned amusement by being lumbering and inept beyond belief, the fact that they also appeared to have overdosed on coffee, doughnuts and pies adding to the unintentional comedy.

If this was a stand alone alien life forms having a punch up story (i.e. the Alien and Predator films did not exist) then this would just about worked but it isn't so it doesn't, and quite badly at that! The one thing that marked out the original Alien films apart from their overall attention to detail, excellent lighting, photography, cast choices etc was that after watching one of these, you would look around you in the dark, a little nervous as to whether an Alien was lurking just over your shoulder waiting to pounce, they were that good.

This family friendly padded rubbish had none of this gritty tension and even those parts of the 'plot' that were all but lifted verbatim from the original Alien and Predator films were so badly used, filmed and directed that even the most die hard fans of the two series could do nothing more than shake their head slowly in sheer disgust.

The really bad news is that this stinking turkey is to get a sequel - WHY? Has the cinema going public not suffered enough from this one. One predicts the murky world of straight to video may be the sequel's (better than deserved) fate.... I hope! Strictly a film for the bargain bin only, and then only if you cannot find your Alien ultimate box set or Predator DVD's.

Commando (1985)
A Comedy Classic……, 10 August 2004

If you want to see a prime example of the zenith f 1980's gun ho action movies then Commando should be your intended destination.

It is quite simply hilarious. It has everything you need – corny one liners at every turn, violence, dizzy female side kick, violence, nutty villains and associated loons, violence, Arnie flexing the muscles, did I mention violence?

There is also the obligatory Arnie film scene in an Army Surplus store as Arnie gets tooled up with a wide variety of mad weaponry – where have we seen something like that before?

And then we see Arnie take on an entire army single handed with just two machine guns, a couple of grenades and the odd anti personnel mine or three and manages to finish off every single one of them with barely a scratch.

It is clear that by the second half of the film, everyone had given up taking it seriously as some of the scenarios where so ridiculously (and unintentionally) funny that it descended into wonderful slapstick and weird plot holes `Look here is a picture of an amphibian aircraft' being a prime example of unlikely coincidence and sends much of the audience into fits of giggles every time it is shown.

It does have some very surreal moments – that title sequence was very strange – just what was the deer all about? And Jenny managing to spot from some considerable distance away that the Bell Jet Ranger helicopter belonged to the Army was also bizarre – she have bionic sight or something?

Still, despite its foibles, this is a hugely enjoyable romp with line that you will be quoting ad infinitum for days afterwards. It is a rime example of 1980's action film and sadly they don't make them like this anymore……

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
An all time classic…., 9 August 2004

This has everything, exciting action, sword fights, a well written script and probably one of the best ‘Sword and Sorcery' genre bad guys in the form of the wonderfully evil James Earl Jones in a role he seemed born for.

The action sequences are excellently executed with great swordsman ship and stunt work as Arnie does his usual trick of despatching several hundred goons almost single handed.

Add a great soundtrack by Basil Poledouris and some wonderful cinematography and all in all you have an entertaining and exciting film that has been rarely bettered.

Pity about the sequel…..

8 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Dire sequel to a timeless classic – what happened?, 9 August 2004

In the ever present Hollywood dash for cash, it seemed inevitable that the wonderful Conan the Barbarian would get a sequel, and what a total turkey it was.

Where do we start? Well the plot basically has Conan on a quest in search of that seemingly illusive and rare item in this film – a decent script.

Accompanying him are a rat tag bunch of loons including a double crossing heavy, a dumb blonde bird with a bad English accent, the Chinese wizard from the first film, Grace Jones (this just gets funnier folks!) and a desperately unfunny comedy sidekick thief who serves no useful purpose whatsoever and should have been left on the cutting room floor.

Add to this some atrocious editing and cinematography plus the cut and shut job on the recycled soundtrack from the first Conan movie and you have this utter turkey.

Even the sword fight scenes, a strength of the original, where badly scripted and edited and let this film down enormously.

And that is before we have even mentioned the dreadful crystal castle that creaks and groans for no adequately explored reason – either that or it has a serious termite problem. Then there is the weird gorilla in the red frock with the mirror fixation and finally the monster at the end, a sort of one horned turd that looks like he was knocked up cheap in someone's lunch break.

All in all a mess – go watch the original and only look at this if you are seriously desperate and the DVD is in the bargain bin – trouble is the R2 release is pretty dire as well!

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Straight To Video 'Die Hard' Rip Off on a Mountain!!, 22 August 2006
4/10

Maverick cop with family problems and fondness of using his gun – Check! Isolated location with valuable object which is begging to be stolen – Check! Tasty looking love interest – Check! Assorted band of dumb cardboard cannon fodder villains with dodgy European accents – Check! German sounding bad guy played by an English actor with a piece of corny dialogue for every occasion – Check! Corny one liners – Check!

Deary me, does this film take the wee wee or what? The clichés come as thick and fast as an avalanche and most of the cast just stand around gawping at just how bad the script is!

In a blatantly cheap and cheerful straight to video rip off of Die Hard only set on a mountain (complete with some nicked lines from the aforesaid) we have all the usual action move cliché's ticked off progressively as we go along with some good old fashioned violence and nudity thrown in to wake up anyone in the audience who may just have nodded off.

Jack Wild is the cop in full on John McClane mode here who even manages time for the ye ancient bad guy with gun has used all his bullets gag at one point.

In amidst this mess, there are a few well known recognisable faces who I can only assume needed the cash and/or were simply playing it for laughs right from the pointless opening scene that had nothing to do with the plot whatsoever through to the final implausible conclusion complete with ropey dialogue and even ropier effects.

Looking up this three quid from the Supermarket bargain bin effort on IMDb I am astonished to find that this dud spawned not one but two sequels, I have got to find these gems on DVD! It looks like the first sequel is a rip off of Under Siege 2 and the second sequel, well goodness knows! One thing that is always a bad sign is that the actor playing Jack changes with each film and even the character's name seems to change for the third instalment.

Still, blind purchases of cheap DVD's just would not be the same if studios didn't keep trotting out material of this awful quality!!

Creep (2004/I)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A 'Death Line' for the 21st Century, 22 June 2005
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Basically what we have here is little more than a remake of the hilarious 1970's classic kitsch horror 'Death Line' which ironically was like this cobblers, also partly filmed at the disused Aldwych underground station.

Making good use of the now disused Jubilee Line platforms at Charing Cross as well as the aforementioned Aldwych, this film contains basically the same plot - dodgy murdering mad zombie in the tunnels preying on the lost passengers who have missed the last train - originality is not this film's strong point.

Indeed strong points are sadly lacking. The gore ranges from the poor to the unnecessarily over gory whilst the sub-Gollum nutter is never really fully explained as seems little more than an under developed plot device.

Franke Polente has little to do with a thin script than run down a lot of tunnels and scream every so often, indeed she was like pretty much everyone else in this film, out-acted by a small dog and a pack of tame rats.

If creepy films set on the London Underground are your bag, or you just want to play 'spot the tube location' them pick this up on DVD when it hits a bargain bin. If you are looking for classic horror, go and dig up a copy of Death Line (aka Raw Meat).

If you are looking for a quality well written and acted film, you will need to change trains.....

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Well it could have been worse....., 12 July 2004

But not by much! Sean Connery's last official Bond series appearance was this badly Americanised mess with some cringingly bad dialogue (even by Bond standards!) and finished off with some messing around in moon buggy's and then a rather lack lustre finale on a second hand oil rig that they just conveniently seemed to have lying around.

The whole movie sadly screams cheap! The leading Bond Lady Jill St John does her best with a bad script and I swear Connery was dozing off in one or two scenes.

With a more refined script and better special effects, this could have been so good and a more than fitting finale to Connery's Bond tenure, but sadly it just lets the side down.


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