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Wolf Creek (2005)
Dull, derivative insultingly bad horror
14 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Exactly why does this film exist? Theoretically based on the true story of people going missing the outback, the film in reality consists of 1hr of "character building" (literally nothing "horrory" happens in the first 2/3rds of the film) followed by 30mins of distilled slash horror cliché.

The first hour might have been fine if it wasn't for the fact that the inexperienced actors fail spectacularly to make you in any way interested in them, or their fate. A botched love story consists of "She fancies you" "oh" followed by 1 kiss and then the car breaks down out in the middle of nowhere.

They are "rescued" by a passing stranger, then tied up and tortured. The 2 girls break free but as separately captured and killed, one by shooting after the worst car chase ever and one stabbed while trying to steal one of his cars to get away.

As an aside, this film is so derivative it actually, without any recognisable trace of irony, pulls the "Killer is hiding in the back seat of the car" trick. Seriously. And that ranks as one of the more imaginative moments.

Then the bloke, who was nailed to the wall, escapes while the killer is out chasing girl 2, runs through a solar eclipse for absolutely no readily apparent reason before being picked up by Swedish caravanners. He's taken back to civilisation where the police don't believe him, can't find any evidence and apparently eventually release him without charge after 4 months. That last sentence is only explained in text at the end of the film. The entire last 3 paragraphs take 25 minutes of this 90 minute farce and comprise the only action.

It's first dull, then simply stupid and dull and doesn't even manage to be "so bad it's good" due to treating its inane subject matter with absolute seriousness. In my opinion it's not even that gory. The nearest thing to a really gory horror is when annoying girl 1 has her fingers cut off (cut to obviously fake fingers rolling along ground). It's at this point the film desperately tried to attract tension with the good old "shakycam" technique, Not funny, not scary, not gory, not interesting, not recommended to anyone ever, anywhere.

I don't just want 90minutes of my life back, I want an extra 30 minutes as some kind of goodwill credit for having to sit through the very worst film I've ever encountered.

Don't. Just don't.
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I don't normally do emotional movies.
9 July 2004
I don't normally do emotion led movies. I'm vastly more a pixar, or Naked gun, or even Tomb Raider kind of person. The likes of Big Fish are usually about my limit.

I watched this because it looked from the trailer like it would be quiet funny and because I had a feeling Bill Murray would be 100% brilliant.

I was right on one of these counts. Bill Murray is right on top of his game here. Right from the start I never doubted for half a second that he WAS Bob Harris. He makes Scarlett Johansson look almost average which is grossly unfair on her for a very good performance.

This movie is not funny. Most would even find it dull (and in parts of the middle I would consider agreeing with them) but it has become one of the few movies of this type I not only enjoyed but which actively moved me which is astoundingly difficult to do.

I'm not claiming it's perfect and fans of this type of movie may not even consider it one of the better ones but coming from the outside I loved it and would recommend it to anyone who "wouldn't normally watch something like this".
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Like a 90minute episode of Spaced, and all the better for it
9 April 2004
This works. The premise of most of the Spaced team writing a film could have meant 30 minutes of material being asked to fill an hour and a half. In short it worked out better, if you like any of Spaced, Black Books or Phoenix Nights you'll like this.

For the rest of you, this is a romantic comedy that just happens to occur while zombies are taking over the planet. Shaun (writer Simon Pegg) is a complete loser who still works in an electronics store aged 29. He lives with his best mate from college who hates his best mate from Primary school who came round to visit 5 years ago and didn't leave. He's so obsessed with shuffling through his normal boring life he fails to notice the entire world being overrun by zombies.

As the title implies these zombies are very much from the Resident evil / George Romero school. They're essentially useless and just shuffle round stupidly until you encounter them in packs at which point they become a problem.

The zombies are not really the major point of the movie. Unlike the americans who in Bruce Almighty try to have us believe a TV presenter living with Jennifer Aniston is a loser, Shaun really is. He spends his life at work or the pub and you do warm to him and the group of friends he drags round with him.

In short, it's funny but actually survives the serious bits too. Probably the best brit-com in ages.
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Ice Age (2002)
29 March 2002
While definetly a kids film and a little thin plotwise, there is definetly enough for any adult fancying a laugh. The "Squirrel" bits were superb and the last 3 minutes of the film some of the funniest "anything" ever.

In general a little over-sentimental, 1 death was deliberately left ambigous and one just didn't happen (trying not to spoil here of course)

Overall worth seeing if you have a silly streak, a great break from the "think" movies recently and something any kid with a real sense of humour should like. (I gave it 8)
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The Amanda Show (1999–2002)
Patchy but good
17 March 2002
Occasionally they'll really hit the mark on this show. Everything with Penelope is gold, most of the staged audience participation works well too.

However, and maybe I'm just too old, sketches like Judge Trudy and the prank phone calls simply don't work. I get the feeling Moody's Point is an effort by Dan Schneider (who appears to be behind the whole thing) to get Amanda something a little more up-age-market. She deserves it.

While a little keen to rely on stereotypes (hillbilly moment, "I'm from Tenesesse(or however you spell it)" etc) there's usually enough moments, especially in the later ones (recognisable by a new title sequence) to keep most people with a silly mind occupied.

At least Amanda doesn't have the big problem that always stopped me watching K&K. Namely that inability to say anything without shouting.
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Avoid, even if you have to saw your arm off to get away
31 May 2001
Now where to start...

The special effects budget was clearly enough for about half the film, since minutes 1-20 contained lots, 80-107 contained lots, and the middle hour had NOTHING.

Every scene change for the first 20 minutes was accompanied by a long drawn out camera pan over the CGI location. After using this constantly for 20minutes it was only seen once again.

Almost every shot of any kind of action was so close in that you saw legs and arms just go flying past and get so utterly disorientated it was scary.

And what the HECK was that bit tacked on the end after the "looked like the end" pan out from the tower. "oh don't worry he's not really dead".

As for plot. Well it's kinda there. Somewhere. Although they could easily have cut 20 minutes off that middle hour. And yes, the main boy / girl characters kiss. (yes I was shocked too)

Although the kiss happened halfway through the film we never hear about it again and they never get close to each other again except for a hug (woah!) at the end of the film.

And the dwarf. Who is clearly there only to fill the character quotient since his participation in the actual plot is somewhere between zero and non-existent.

If you're not a D and D fan you'll be screaming at it. If you are, you'll be screaming at it. If like me you're neutral, you'll be wondering if it really is possible to sleep in cinema seats.

I avoided the mummy returns and saw this instead. I have the awful feeling I went for the least intelligent film. At least the mummy returns might have a special effects budget for more than 40% of the film.

I feel dirty.
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19th time Lucky...
27 November 1999
I personally think this is the best of the James Bonds. Brosnan is rapidly laying a claim to be the best ever Bond, although I suspect people old enough to have seen the Connery films in the cinema might disagree with me.

The rest of the cast are all great choices, although Denise Richards struggles a little at first and it's always nice to see female characters who actually have character.

It manages to balance action and actual story perfectly and particular mention goes to John Cleese who will make a superb replacement Q when Desmond Llewelyn finally calls it a day.
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This Is Your Life (1955–2003)
Biography of the stars...
22 November 1999
Although initially a spin off from the US series of the same name, so far the UK version has outlasted it by 38 years and still going strong.

Every week a celebrity is suprised and has their own mini-biography read of the "big red book", including re-meeting many of the people they've worked with/met along the way.

Although of course you don't get a celebrity you like each week it's always interesting descovering the early career of someone you've seen on TV for years.
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Fundamentally flawed...
3 June 1999
The problem with a film like this is that, in order for it to work you have to care about the characters and when that character keeps making the stupidest possible decisions regarding getting away from the killer then that just doesn't happen and you say "Oh just kill her".

The blatant sequel (and now it appears threequel) setting up ending really doesn't help either.

The strange thing is, it actually left me wanting to see the sequel
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Liar Liar (1997)
Content : Funny (100%)
24 May 1999
Whether you were convinced by the Truman show or not, it's very obvious that Jim Carrey is brilliant at comedy and never has he been better but here. The concept of the lawyer who can't lie for a day is a brilliant one and if you can ignore the slightly over the top sentimentality in places you will find it funny to stop laughing for the vast majority of the film. Go see. Now. No, put that coffee down, you can drink it later.
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This is NOT the jungle book
31 January 1999
The first clue you get is the credit "based on the characters of...". This is not the jungle book. It is a bad copy of it with all the charm of the original sadly missing.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what's wrong. From the stereo-typed characters, to a plot that's so predictable it becomes less predictable the 2nd time you watch it, to some patchy acting and some glaring timing errors...
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Mortal Kombat (1995)
Street Fighter is probably better
19 January 1999
It's not as good as Street Fighter but it follows the plot from the games very well and still manages to be very entertaing. Whether it's worth seeing without a working knowledge of the game characters is another question. Unlike Street Fighter it doesn't really work on its own.
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Spice World: The Game (1998 Video Game)
Frankly dodgy dance em up
18 January 1999
Before I start the slagging let me say that if you're a fan like me, it's probably still worth having for the sheer laughter value

However, unless you're a diehard fan you'll notice that the mixing doesn't work, the dance moves are limited and the whole process rather dull. You won't care about the excellent remixes that background the menus or the faithfully animated replicas of the girls.

But if you're not a fan. Was this ever for you?
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Spice World (1997)
As good as it was ever likely to be
18 January 1999
Even if you're not a fan, this is worth a look. It's not got a plot to speak of but a lot of the individual scenes are written with such style and humour it's hard not to laugh and every single one of the many celebrity guest stars are superb.
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Vastly better than it had any right to be
18 January 1999
It's definitely either for kids or fans of the game but speaking as someone who played the games you could definitely see the characters emerging and the fun of spotting the characters from the game before they are named made this worth watching.

Raul Julia was nothing short of brilliant and even Jean Claude Van Damme was pretty good, the plot was at least consistent, if obvious as hell and the whole thing seemed well thought out.

The ending however is nothing short of crap, leaving a very, very huge loose end.
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