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Great animation and fun story but they forgot to add any jokes!
I love Family Guy but this episode just wasn't very funny at all. They have obviously stepped up the quality of animation. It looked fantastic and it was a great premise for an episode, spoofing Agatha Christie thrillers. However it was let down by a serious lack of actual comedy. I laughed out loud twice in 50 minutes of screen time. The writer had no idea how to write lines for many of the characters apart from occasionally Peter and Quagmire.
It was intriguing that they killed off some of the characters but personally I would have gone further, slight spoiler follows as I name people that survived. Can they do anything more with Herbert, he has harassed the hell out of Chris for years and it just isn't funny anymore? Or with Consuela who was a one joke character anyway? Or with Mayor West who again seems to have run his natural course in the show?
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)
Enjoyed it but not the absolute comedy classic I had hoped for...
I absolutely loved the preview and expected a bit much perhaps from the movie. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it but I felt it didn't quite live up to its promise, perhaps because almost every plot point is detailed in that preview including many of the good jokes. There is almost nowhere to go apart from moving towards the very expected ending, sad to also note some nice lines from the preview didn't even make it into the final cut.
At its heart this a surprisingly old fashioned film, a love story that teaches how different sex is with "the one" you are meant to be with blah blah. Actually after "Knocked Up" and now this I think that Seth Rogan is starting to specialise in romantic comedy aimed at men.
One last thing, I don't want to sound like an old man but I felt like a lot of the swearing seemed there just for the sake of it which is fine, whatever, but it made much of the dialogue seem clumsy. People don't swear THAT much in real life. We throw in occasional words to make a point. There are some excellent scenes and performances and I have recommended it to my mates but I can't imagine watching it many more times.
Beautiful People (2008)
First episode very engaging with some great characters...
I thought the first episode was very engaging with some great characters and laugh out loud funny. It is so hard to create a whole universe in one episode, introduce the characters and have time for a story but it really worked.
As one review put it, it is not just gay friendly it is gay delirious, it is the story of Simon growing up in the 80's, wearing dresses, battling his family and school friends with the help of his best friend Kylie (or Kyle as he is really called!).
When was the last time a British comedy actually had great lines and delivery? Excellent fun.
Nasty and brutal but missing tension...
We saw the remake of Halloween last week. The original is perhaps my favorite horror film, it terrified me as a kid and I still watch it a couple of times a year. What stands out is that that with very little gore Carpenter managed to ramp up the thrilling tension to breaking point with the use of suggestion and that fantastic score pumping away in the background.
The remake goes in the opposite direction, it is filmed in a very matter of fact way, almost like a documentary studying Michael Myers from childhood. The first long scenes set the tone for the rest of the film, constant arguing and swearing in Michael's home in front of a small crying baby, Michael's sister, very dark and they leave a bad taste in your mouth. It is much more Michael's film than Laurie's film. The murders happen with almost no tension or buildup really, cold and vicious, gore gore gore.
It is to be applauded that they tried to do something very very different with the same story but at the end of the day I just didn't find it satisfying, I wanted excitement, there is very little, I wanted jumps and thrills... they go for clinical examination. It had more of the feel of the original Texas Chainsaw than Halloween, see what you think !!!
4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Okay after a slow start, some good sequences but not amazing
I was lucky enough to get tickets to the world premiere in London, it was very cool to walk down the red carpet (which was actually blue) surrounded by the stars and hundreds of screaming people.
Some background, the first film I had heard such bad reviews of that I never saw it until last year when I caught it on TV in the US and I liked it much more than I thought I would. The Silver Surfer starts very shabbily I thought, about twenty minutes of lame humour around the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm and the interpersonal relationships between the four. If I had paid to see it I would have been kicking myself at this point. However once the story kicks in properly and the action sequences start the next 70 minutes are very enjoyable indeed.
The story concerns the Surfer coming to the Earth and the four quickly realising that his presence means that the planet is doomed since any planet he inhabits is destroyed a few days later. They must find a way of communicating with the Silver Surfer to find out why he does what he does and then battle an old enemy in order to save the world. The last hour contains some fantastic sequences that it would be a shame to spoil but by then there is finally a great balance of humour and excitement. I must say they have a kick ass new mode of transport and I particularly loved seeing the sequences in my city of London.
There are some rather poor by modern standards CGI early on especially the Mr Fantastic stretching which looks cheaply done but later effects are much much better with the Silver Surfer himself looking fantastic. I wouldn't say rush out and see it but not bad at all.
Black Christmas (2006)
Scooby Doo has more compelling believable story lines
I am a fan of all sorts of horror films including stalker / slasher type movies and this is perhaps the worst modern example of one of these I have ever sat through. None of the characters are likable so you do not care if they are murdered, in fact there is so little character development that they are all interchangeable. Despite some reasonable gore there is so little tension that it drags on for what seems like hours.
In the end it simply does not work because of so many unbelievable situations. They are stalked around a sorority house that is miles from anywhere (are you not supposed to share these to live NEAR a campus ?). Even when dead bodies start to pile up they still go off into the dark on their own to check out noises !!! Every situation is ridiculous, how the killer fools the guard at the asylum for example. No one would ever act in the way the guard does and this theme follows the whole film through.
You do wonder how the inept script was ever green lighted. One to avoid, even for fans of the genre.
Amazing film (minor point, James Hanlon is terrible !!)
Let me get the bad out of the way first, James Hanlon is absolutely terrible trying to act his descriptions of what was going on with the rookie training and events of the day. Really it is in stark contract to the other fire fighters without acting aspirations who are natural in their delivery.
That said it is an amazing film that is impossible to watch without tears in my eyes. I am an English guy from London but I love New York and have visited many many times before and after September 11th. It is a second home to me and I can't help but feel devastated at the loss of life but also the destruction of part of such an amazing beautiful city. This is the real deal, in with the fire fighters with everything collapsing around them. I am so glad the footage exists to show people how it was on the day. It is a shame that they didn't use any footage of people jumping from the buildings because friends who were there tell me this is such a major part of their memory, it should be included to show future generations just how terrible it really was.
Conspiracy theorists can go to hell by the way.
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
Exactly what I expected ! Good brainless fun !
I went into this with hopes that it would make me jump, make me laugh out loud and gross me out with some gore. I got everything I wanted in this fun but brainless film which was never going to stretch anyone in the audience too much emotionally.
This reminded me of going to the cinema as a youngster to watch the disaster film of the 70's - The towering Inferno, Earthquake and the Poseidon Adventure etc. You meet some characters, things go badly wrong and then you get to see some of them die a horrible but often fun death as circumstances spiral out of control.
I enjoyed the performances particularly Samuel L Jackson who obviously had a ball making this. It thunders along a great pace and has some genuine moments of excitement mixed in with the fantastically gratuitous violence. Shame I saw it a lunchtime screening with only a couple of other people there, in a full crowd I bet it is a blast !
Nighty Night (2004)
Savage brilliant black comedy
I can understand why some people review this show here and call it "rubbish" because it is not easily watchable. It takes you out of your comfort zone and is not banal safe comedy that often seems to often thrive on television. The main character Jill is a savagely cruel person, when her husband is diagnosed with cancer she drops him off at the hospital and goes to a dating agency to find a new man. When a couple move in next door she thinks nothing of wearing the disabled woman down physically and emotionally to get at her husband. You get the idea. Many of the lines are superbly witty in an outrageous "she can't say that" type of way. Interestingly Julia Davies has both naturalistic supporting characters like Cath and Don the couple next door and exaggerated broad comedy characters that inhabit Jill's world without the mix of the two jarring in any way. It is easier to watch a second or third time if you give it the chance, then you seem to be able to concentrate on the savage humour without feeling too much pity for the put upon characters involved. Superb.