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The Unit: Side Angle Side (2007)
not the best episode of the series
with the quality and intensity of the previous episodes, and the climax building with Molly's back story, this was a poor episode.
Two reasons stand out.
First; when The Agency showed an episode set in London, some years ago, it was outdated with it's portrayal of 21st Century London. Unfortunately The Unit has not actually been to London and it shows.
As stated before, Red phone boxes, Red buses are no more. I understand this was shot on a back lot in LA, but could someone please update it. Get BT to export you some new phone boxes for starters.
Second issue, character development, or lack of in the London characters. This is not the high standard that made this show a hit, and despite the writing issues at the time, it will not do for a show of this quality.
I hope that the next season gets back to the standards of Series 2 and early Series 3.
Had fun predicting what happens next
That was the most fun from watching this on ITV1 over the weekend, predicting the next cliché, and we got them all right. Okay to be honest that is slightly unfair, it's a disaster flick, so you know so many characters will die, face peril, and eventually survive. however it was all a bit obvious. The cast on paper look superb, all with excellent previous work, but they were not given enough meat on the bones of the script. Too many characters being used, Day After Tomorrow focused on essentially 3 core groups, and you cared about them, and what happened. That was not the case here. The effects team, brilliant both CGI and the sometimes harder physical effects or making water go where you want, worth watching for that alone. However two irritating factors, or traps really, that other filmmakers have also fallen into recently (or washed into) First is the haunting choral music either just before or after someone dies, please, silence would have been more effective, or hearing the water. Second that freeze frame with black and white highlights, overused so loses it effectiveness. Overall, watchable, but unfortunately forgettable.
The Last Enemy (2008)
BBC trying hand at US style drama, and failing
A score of 5 for starters as I wondered when it was going to pick up the pace. I understand that they had to establish the initial threads, but it did drag it's feet a little. The computer tech stuff was clumsy, but did assist in speeding up the action (but lose the computer voice) The OCD habits of Benedict Cumberbatch's character Stephen were excellent, and his performance was subtle. Unfortunately some of the dialogue spoils his excellent physical performance. The testament to this is Robert Carlyle who actually does not say anything, but his sheer brilliance conveys his intent and capabilities. Max Beesley although headlined, is only in a few minutes of flashback material, see if he turns up in further episodes. The cast list is impressive, and I am sure that actors of this calibre do not sign up for drivel.
Many people may be put off with the slow start, but I suggest they watch the second hour this weekend. If that is of the same ilk then switch over to another channel, only then might the BBC get the message, that wasting such talent is borderline criminal.
In summary, trying to be John Le Carre, with a budget of a soap opera, so they did the best with what they had. Peter Berry is an excellent writer, but the material on screen so far is falling short of gripping.
Wait and see
And I waited and I saw, and I then selected a DVD and enjoyed that instead.
Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2007)
Billie is great
Ms Piper is quality, her timing and playing to camera are excellent, a female Alfie?
What lets the program down is the 30 minute time slot, and this restricts the progression of the narrative. I would have liked to see more of the meeting between her agent and the girls. The lingering exterior shots are reminiscent of US series, and perhaps that is a future target for this show, however they just seemed like fillers.
The amount of information that the book and blogs provide, should easily fill the time, and a decent (or indecent) series.
Made me laugh, and the bit with the saddle, brave people. I hope they did not have too many takes, looks exhausting.
By and large a good attempt at a difficult subject, I wonder what Channel 4 would have done with the same book?
As for the aforementioned Ms Piper, sultry and naughty, very good. Watch it and laugh at how ridiculous we can all appear during sex.
Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Bruce back to the future, and about time!
After a very long wait, and watching the original films on DVD far too many times for healthy eyesight, Bruce returns in the franchise that made his name. People forget that Die Hard was released in 1988, Twenty years old next year and was at the cutting edge for stunts at the time. This time they have gone old school, and all the stunts are the real deal, only the jet shown on the trailer is CGI (apparently you cannot fly combat jets low level in US cities, bet they asked) Anyway, when you see the stunts you will gasp, the pauses for plot are not too frequent or wordy, and you see the original John McClane shining through. Yes he is different to the original wise cracker, but people change. If they just did die hard 1 over again, you would be bored and complain. However there are nods in the direction of the first movie, so watch out for them.
This movie is brilliantly directed by Len Wiseman and the entire crew did a fantastic job. If you think, oh just another sequel, it is not, this movie can stand alone and will probably outlast some of this summers poorer offerings.
Casino Royale (2006)
blonde bond bombshell
Well certain people thought Daniel Craig could not pull it off, but he has and with style and a cold steel edge, not seen since Sean Connery.
This is proper action hero stuff, but he actually looks like if he wanted to he could kill you.
With an opening sequence that will stop you from blinking for 20 minutes.
The film is class, from the cinematography, to the three dimensional villains, and Bond's rapid learning curve.
Like Dr No, you see a killer, just he is on our side.
Don't read reviews, just go and see it, and tell your friends what you thought, you won't be disappointed.
Final Destination 3 (2006)
you can become death (well on DVD anyway)
Well there had to be a third movies, its to be expected from teen flicks. like the other two, you know where this is going, but like a roller-coaster just enjoy the ride.
however with the DVD release, you can decide what happens, there is an option to choose theatrical version, or the version where you decide the outcome and decide their fate. You don't get to say live or die, but subtle things that may change the outcome, in line with the premise for the film.
It is a refreshing change for a DVD to actually use the functionality built into the system.
As for the movie, others have reviewed it, so read all their comments. this is purely for those of you who like to play, so enjoy and see what the film does.
Black Dawn (2005)
black dawn, or big yawn
well my wife spotted this, and we wasted one and a half hours of our life watching it.
Spoilers (no honestly it is possible)
the idea behind it is great, and you can see inspiration from 24 for the plots and secrets etc. but it shows how you can do this, without the panache of 24. On the DVD the extras on how it is made, are well a little over simplified, and just check out the lead actress on justifying her performance. The fight scenes are few and far between, and badly executed, you can see it is NOT Mr Seagal, as his hair length on the back shots changes between shots.
Overall, a nice idea done badly, i would not rent this if i where you. There are better low budget films available in this genre.
Sahara, not all sand and camels
well if you want all the elements of a good popcorn movie, this has it.
Matthew, looking as tanned and attractive as always (my partners comment) and Penelope and Stevy giving admirable support.
Good fun, well paced, with some great stunts, and very funny partnership of McConaughey and Zahn. William H Macy, who is just, as always, class.
A simple plot, or so it seems, swerves a bit and does not fully explain how the boat got into the desert from America, but who cares about details like that
Just enjoy the spectacle, a small human story a subtle romance, and rollicking good ride
Enjoyed it, bought it on DVD.
if you like it comment, if you didn't don't be too negative