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Independence Day (1996)
Incredible visuals, brilliant action - Independence Day delivers!
Independence Day is really just patriotic drivel in means of plot and adventure. But the film comes into its best moments when the action sequences hit the screen. Buildings explode and men die in beautifully choreographed fashions that raise the bar for many modern action films today.
The film is predictable, and none of the characters are particularly memorable - you aren't really bothered whether they live or die. The plot is so much like War of the Worlds, with more sky battles and aliens, that you may feel that it is just another remake under the same title.
But Roland Emmerich (the director) deserves to be called the undisputed king of action movies - he beautifully directs his films, and the special effects and sound in his films are truly stunning. This was his biggest success, and deservedly so - though The Day after Tomorrow was just as spiffing.
The script ain't strong and the plot ain't great, but this is an action-epic film, and on that scale, Independence Day delivers. It is an extremely memorable experience, and beats action flicks that are being made ten years on. A stunning job that deserves to be called a huge success (in the box office, of course). Great! 8/10
The Producers (2005)
Hilarious, if a little over-silly...
The Producers was probably one of the most hilarious films I have ever seen. Even if most of the comedy relied heavily upon the characters' abilities to just be plain idiots, at least they did it well. The whole movie felt like a play from start to finish - it could even have been filmed on stage. It was expertly choreographed and made and gave us some great musical numbers - all with dashes of humour and style. However, I do feel that the "Keep it gay..." number was a bit too long and extravagant, and the character of Leo Bloom was not very exciting. The movie just became too silly at times to bear - it started off quite funny, but after a while became hard to watch. And I don't care if Bloom managed to score with Ulla - his reunion with Bialystock in the court was dripping with homo-erotic tension. Maybe these issues are a little too taboo to discuss on IMDb, but I'm sure this has been said in another review of this film. And for good reason. There's no denying that I enjoyed The Producers - anyone who thinks it is boring and uninspired should be shot, even if they haven't seen it. The film itself is rather bad taste, so we can excuse all the Nazi propaganda and... those areas. The acting was great - not a dull performance was delivered, and the cast were truly an inspired bunch who brought this classic play to the screen with added flair. But I love realism in films, and lights suddenly appearing in prison cells and scantily-clad ladies jumping out of cupboards in the most boring accounting centre on Earth ensure that this film is really just far-fetched nonsense. But hilarious far-fetched nonsense, and far-fetched nonsense that I REALLY enjoyed. I might buy it - I don't know. I'm seeing the actual stage play soon, and having seen this film, I have a good idea of what it will be like. This film is quite a good taster for those who haven't seen the actual stage play, with the rather theatre-style cinematography, music, dances and acting. But I don't think this film did too well at the box office, for the simple reason that some things just lose a bit of their essence in the translation from stage to cinema, no matter how good you think the translation might be... 8/10
Something that went out at the right time...
They did the right thing killing Futurama. It would have been nice to have a few more seasons, this being something truly inspired, but because they did that, this will be remembered in years to come as something great, whereas the Simpsons will be shamed as something that they wore down for too long until it became the pure bullsh*t that it is now. Setting it in the year 3000 ensured that Matt Groening and co had literally millions of ideas at their disposal. They could send the characters to Mars, have intergalactic battles, have some crazy cult of robots plotting something... the possibilities were endless. It is a shame that this died after a few seasons - the characters were an interesting bunch too. Bender was my favourite and I absolutely hated Leela - but without Leela, the Planet Express crew would have been a bunch of thick d**kheads who couldn't do anything, so I guess she had to be there. And at least I could always laugh at this - in today's Simpsons, the humour is so poor and canned that I find it hard to smile. They still show it on Sky occasionally - and it is worth a watch as a reminder of when MG actually produced quality stuff. This could always warrant the viewing of a whole episode off me - in the case of the Simpsons, I now normally turn over for something else. It has real hilarity, humour, character, sci-fi and fun - when will they start releasing Futurama episode guidebooks like they do for the Simpsons? It had better be sometime soon before this gem is forgotten... 10/10
Poketto Monsutâ Aka (1996)
I liked them.
I really used to enjoy the Pokemon games. I still can't believe they're making them now - I think Pokemon should best be left as a thing of the past rather than be constantly remade and remade until everyone gets fed up of it and it isn't hailed in 40 years time. There is so much gameplay in these games - it is quite easy to see how Pokemon changed the world. Superb originality and lots of collections of many things ensured that Pokemon was to become a worldwide craze. Not to mention the many different landscapes you could go through - you always had to keep playing for something great. And you felt a real sense of accomplishment upon completing the game - I remember the days when Pokemon was the in-thing at my school. Now, it would just be called "sad". Perhaps because these games symbolise how little we've moved on since the 1980s in the world of gaming. The graphics are something that was possible for about 10-15 years before the release of this, and everything was done from a birds-eye-view, like Pac-Man, which shows the real simplicity of this game. But the simple charm always helps things, be they movies, games, or artwork. And it helped this. Nowadays, I would find it hard to play on this for hours on end, but six years ago, I could spend a day on this with ease. But now there are better things to do. Saying that, I'll probably be playing on this again in 40 years time when there'll be even more cr*p in the media industry than now, and thinking of the good old days when this was new. 9/10
The Ring Two (2005)
Fear comes half-heartedly...
Shame, really. After seeing the first The Ring, I didn't think the conclusion did it justice. A second film should really have sorted everything out and made everything click in my mind. But nothing else was resolved, and when the end came, I couldn't help wondering why they bothered. It really is just the same as the first Ring, with a bit more mystery added just to keep you watching, not bothering to resolve anything left unfinished from the first film. The film does become more interesting towards the end, even if Rachel going inside the TV was only played for a real climactic finish. Even if it proved nothing else, this film did at least tell me that Aidan could be a bad guy... But even worse, there's going to be the need for a third film now. And the mysteries in this film were all gratuitous and unexplained, unlike the first Ring in which they were justified and at least made sense, even if left unresolved. If they do make a third film, I demand this - no more new mysteries! This didn't exactly do a grand job, even with the director of the original Asian horror "Ringu" films on board (on which this is based). There was the occasional bit of jump-out-of-your-seat horror - if only it could have made more sense... 4/10
Could have been better...
Pokemon The First Movie wasn't bad. But it wasn't great. It was merely OK. Personally, I cannot see how this movie inspired several sequels - it wasn't that great and the plot was a bit simple and uninspired, even if it had a dark feel and had a far more epic scope than the cartoon series - hugely climactic battles at a stadium and massive storms at sea combined both of these aspects to give the film a more cinematic feel that would work better in cinemas than just a standard episode. But the film just does not feel inspired. Mewtwo may have been quite an effective villain and he was sure someone who you really grew to hate (or should I refer to Mewtwo as an it? I don't know), but there was something slightly sterile and square about him that just didn't work. And I'm fed up with the sentimentality! Tears bringing Pokemon back to life who then slaughter massive monsters may be all good and nice, but it is just so boring and will make people take the rip. The score wasn't that great either, and Misty and everyone else except Ash and Pikachu were just kind of sitting on the sidelines watching the action instead of doing much. This film was short and action-packed enough to ensure a very small number of people walked out on it, but it should have been far more intelligent and less predictable to be called something truly special. 5/10
Cats & Dogs (2001)
It's good for the kids - that's all that matters...
I personally thought Cats and Dogs was really good. The espionage war between the cats and the dogs was an inspired, if not so original idea, and the fight scenes were hugely amusing - the ninja cats had me in stitches, to say the least. The way Mr. Tinkles suddenly finds a way to make his plan succeed is a little rushed - how did the fainting of his owner suddenly change everything? There are several plot holes in this film, and a little more explanation wouldn't have done harm. But this film didn't try to be intelligent or gripping - it's basically the Cold War with pets for most of the film, but with a climactic finish in which everything is suddenly resolved and all the baddies are ruined. Even if it is not a corkingly intelligent piece of cinema, it sure is an amusing one, and it isn't badly done either. In fact, the climactic finish is brilliantly done and very amusing - machine guns are replaced by spraying machines, and bombs are replaced by spraying machines too (you'll see what I mean). It stays funny throughout, and it is amusing to see how all of the espionage happens behind all the humans' backs. Even if it does make human beings out to be a bunch of idiots who could quite easily be invaded by animals, this is still a great film which will tickle anyone's funnybone (unless you're a cruel, heartless critic of course...) 7/10
Meet the Parents (2000)
Great and occasionally cringe-worthy comedy...
Meet The Parents is far better in terms of genuine comedy than most of the cr*p we get in cinemas nowadays. It has its cringe-worthy moments, it has its hilarious happenings and it has its occasional disgusting humour (especially when Focker flushes the toilet and covers the back garden in poo), but it actually manages to fit in a real plot and real character, rather than just feeling like some sort of overlong sketch show. A lot of the humour relies heavily on Focker getting himself into very sticky situations - and some of the more serious things will have you cringing to death. As the movie continues, luck gets worse for Focker and the cringe factor gets higher, until the end in which everything is resolved. From cats to shrines, Focker finds himself having trouble with everything he encounters. The ending sets the scene for the sequel - which was just as good, if not better. Sometimes the emotions become painful in the film - especially at the dinner table when Jack reads the poem in memory of his mother - which only helps to make Focker get into even more trouble. There's nothing better than building up the tension... 9/10
Recess: School's Out (2001)
I thought it was great
I used to really enjoy this film. It wasn't just a boring, derived big-screen adaptation of some cartoon - it is evident that the producers and creators had their inspiration, what with the school being turned into some sort of futuristic sci-fi base. It would never happen in real life, but the fantasy of this film shows that people actually wanted to make this film, rather than having to make it just to satisfy all Recess fans. And the flashbacks to the 60s only help matters and give the film a really interesting plot, with real character being revealed. If only Prickly and TJ's escape from their cage could have been slightly better thought up and executed, I would have given it a 10. This film really helped develop on the characters from the original show - all of TJ's gang actually showing some ambitions in life (eg. space camp, baseball camp, army camp), and Prickly not being the cruel, harsh principal he was made out to be. The film did not do badly at all - I hope its current average rating of 5.9 starts to increase. Because this film actually had some inspiration and was very funny - highly-trained guards and police being outfoxed and beaten by schoolchildren, anyone? More cartoon big screen adaptations should be like this - this felt not like one overlong episode, but a proper movie in its own right. And I definitely enjoyed it. The film had a very satisfying conclusion, which rounded off something that we only wish to see more of in cinemas today. 9/10
Great action film...
Twister may not have done amazing critically, but let's be honest here - not many films have rides based on them built at Universal Studios. Twister has a ride there. And even though the ride is only there because Twister's huge explosions and scenes of chaos would work well at a theme park and frighten the nippers, it's still not a bad film. None of the science makes sense, and even though the invention that our main characters have built is interesting and easy to understand, it isn't the most exciting of things, and the end does get a bit silly - crushed up Coke cans being used as probes, anyone? But as I've said, most people care about it for the explosions only. And Twister sure delivers on the action. The start of the film is brilliantly intense (if a bit silly) - and is explained to us later in the film in a highly emotional scene - it has a link to one of the main characters. And that is the only scene which tries for sentimentality - which is good, because if the whole film tried to be a gory tear-fest (*cough*Saving Private Ryan*cough*), it would have been ruined. Character development is tried upon, but you won't really care about any of the characters by the end - you'll only want to see them going through hellish weather anyway. Some of it is breathtaking and fabulously done - take the scene where the main character scientist guy (I've forgotten his name - that's how much the action rams the characters out of your mind) and his girlfriend (forgotten her name too - and I'm not even sure if she's actually his girlfriend) have to drive straight through a house which has landed in the middle of the road (yes, it really did happen) - and some of it is a bit silly, like the cow flying through the air (this could happen in real life, but not with the results shown), but it is all action-packed and very fun, even if not that environmentally conscious. But things have changed a lot in the past 11 years. Although if this film is anything to go by, films haven't changed much. Twister may not be a masterpiece, but it will keep you entertained and will NEVER bore. 8/10
Very strange, yet quite fun...
Nobody will take this seriously. Serious Shakespeare fanatics would be advised to look someplace else. And the animation isn't exactly Wallace and Gromit standard, but saying that, it's not cr*p either. And it is far easier to understand and watch than other longer, more boring adaptations. Though you can't understand what the characters are saying most of the time, it works far better than most stage performances, and it's good to have a laugh once in a while. Though Caliban and the villains are hardly intimidating at all, and everything seems rather dumbed down, this still makes for interesting viewing even if it doesn't feel a thing like traditional Shakespeare. This may not be a gem or a classic, but they're being released on DVD now in releases of two 25-minute shows, and though a £10 investment isn't the wisest of ideas, it is still worth a rent, even if it is just to poke fun at the rather stupid-sounding characters. 6/10
The Young Ones: Boring (1982)
The opposite of boring!
This was probably my favourite episode of the Young Ones. Packed full of riotous laughs and alternative-ness, this is everything the Young Ones should be. The return of the Balowskis was absolutely hilarious - Billy's performance had me in stitches, especially when he was talking directly to us saying, "I've not always been mad, y'know..." Also featured in this episode - a terrorist siege in the Young Ones' house, on TV as a newsflash (interrupting Vyvyan's favourite programme "Bastard Squad), reported to us by BBC reporter Dan Prick (come on, just the name made me roar!), the Young Ones go down to the pub in which Madness are playing where Vyv meets someone from way back, and the Young Ones' house literally becomes "hell". Come on, when a TV episode's called "Boring", you know it's going to be anything but... 10/10
Ed, Edd n Eddy (1999)
Okay, but no classic...
Ed Edd n Eddy was not terrible. The show's main originality lay in the rather sketchy style of animation - which made it interesting (if not pretty) to look at. There's lots of character in it as well - Ed being the idiot, Edd being the swot, Eddy being the "cool" guy (that's as best as my memory serves me). And it is fun, even if the humour is quite weak. But it got boring and derivative after a while, and it is extremely unrealistic. The theme tune is cr*p and after a while, I got a bit bored of hearing the word "dork" once every two seconds. I do suggest that Cartoon Network produce more shows like this - at least this was more fun than uninspired tosh like Beyblade, even if the animation on that was better. Now that we live in the age of cr*p, this would probably be a lot more enjoyable to me now. I used to like it, but I go off everything, this being no exception. This won't be remembered as a classic, but it is better than most of the stuff on CN now. 6/10
The Powerpuff Girls (1998)
Had it been aimed at boys and had blood, I may have liked it.
Isn't it depressing how the most violent cartoon on Cartoon Network is aimed at girls? While I'm not watching soldiers getting shot and blown up on Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers, it would be nice if there was a cartoon or at least something on TV I could watch to satisfy my violent urges. And something that I would not get made fun of for watching. I did see some episodes (I should really be shot for this) and had to sit through the movie (now, where do I find a gun?), and it is quite clear that this lost its spark after the first few episodes. If you like seeing 500-foot monsters that can destroy huge cities in seconds getting slaughtered by toddlers about one foot tall, this is a must-see. But it does get very boring after a while, and with a show like this, even original ideas become chiefly dull. The movie just felt like one overlong episode (I can't remember any of it), and the villain should have been far more intimidating than a green monkey. This show is a laughing stock. It churns out the same basic premise episode after episode after episode, and though it may try to have some mystery and intrigue once in a while, the ending will always be the same - "The Powerpuff Girls save the day!" All is good and nice, but all is very, very repetitive... I give it 3 out of 10 for being the only danged cartoon on CN to revolve around violence, although it is aimed at girls, so I won't be tuning in for it ever. I've established myself as a fan of war and violence films and I won't have that reputation destroyed... 3/10
Hugely epic and well-made, The Two Towers is another success for the Lord of the Rings.
The Two Towers dwarfs The Fellowship of the Ring in size, scale, and the grandeur of the action scenes. While FOTR followed Frodo and co. as they started their journey across Middle Earth to destroy the Ring, TTT is our first glimpse at what happens in the bigger world as the Fellowship breaks - a war is being fought over this Ring, and the war is starting now... Needless to say, TTT is a bigger film than FOTR. Instead of about 100 Orcs and a troll against nine men, we have armies of thousands of Orcs and Uruk-hai, against armies of thousands of Men, and proper big weapons. And the results are amazing. The battle for Helm's Deep is brilliantly done - Braveheart can pack its bags and go home, this is the new champion of sword-fighting epics. The way tension was built up to the battle was brilliant - you found yourself practically drooling by the time the Men were gathered on the outer walls of the castle, ready for battle. And besides from ending with the smaller fights and starting with the larger wars, this film also started off some new plots - the story of King Theoden and Eowyn and the first meeting with Gollum (we got some glimpses of him in the last film but this film is his real introduction) - and develops these plots sufficiently for them to be continued and ended in the next film - the epic close to this great trilogy. This film definitely did not pass on anything, and though the relatively slim budget (believe me, $93,000,000 is not much for a film of this scale) tells you that a lot of it is CG, it is still bloody impressive, and builds more on the LOTR trilogy's status as an epic series. The Fellowship has broken, but the story is still far from over... 10/10
Good, but LOTR is still better...
Narnia was a very good film in terms of all-round quality. It had the epic feel, the big budget CG and a screenplay that remained loyal to the text, creating the most epic realisation of Narnia that has yet been seen. While the world of Narnia has lots of spirit and is beautifully made, I couldn't help feeling that New Zealand's beautiful landscapes could have been used more. It is evident that a lot of the sets were either CG or studio-created, and while it did look good, it just didn't possess the natural beauty of Peter Jackson's Middle Earth. And the battles weren't quite as epic or intense as in LOTR, though to be honest, this is aimed at younger people than LOTR, although I'm sure everybody has heard of The Chronicles of Narnia and will delight in seeing this epic film that brings it to the screen once again. It has the emotion and the grandeur, but Narnia needs more natural beauty - it could have quite possibly been done in the UK, and let's be honest, NZ has far more in the way of scenery to offer. But aside from that, Narnia was another great adaptation of C.S Lewis's work - and one that definitely had me checking inside my wardrobe back home (you may be surprised to hear that there wasn't a fantasy world in sight...) 9/10
Well, I used to like it...
I really used to like Pingu as a young kid. To be honest, which 3-year-old idiot doesn't like seeing a little clay penguin getting into rather childish adventures? Well, I did. Pingu is always enjoyable - though there's no real wit or any words spoken, it speaks a lot through action and sound. The animation isn't Happy Feet standard, but Pingu's charm lies in its simplicity, and it isn't badly done either, considering it's 20 years old. If only more Antarctic fun could be produced by TV nowadays rather than s**t like cooking shows and bilge like Tweenies. Other characters included Pinga who was Pingu's sister, Pingu's mum and dad, and that grey seal - I've forgotten his name. They all had their charms too, and helped to make this show even more fun. The shows are only 5 minutes long each, ensuring Pingu never gets boring. I mean, I'm just 14 years old, and already this can give me a sense of nostalgia. Those were the good old days... when the Simpsons was good, when we didn't have cr*p like Strictly Come Dancing on, when the music charts weren't full of rubbish... 9/10
A Picture of Britain (2005)
One of art's better series...
Personally, I thought this art-related documentary series was very good. Aside from revealing to us the histories of some of our nation's most prestigious artists and pictures, this show also helps to prove that there is still a lot of beauty left in Britain and that what there is of it has inspired some of our nation's proudest artistic accomplishments. If not all of them. An effective musical score only improves the all-round quality of this documentary, and the photography is great in parts - making for a documentary that is not just limited to art fanatics only - it can be watched by anyone who wants to learn. Some of the artwork featured on A Picture of Britain will make you gasp with wonder, some may not muster such an overwhelmed response, but one thing remains the same for all of the outwork - it is all inspired. I won't be buying the DVD, that's for sure, but A Picture of Britain still stands above most other documentaries in terms of quality and accuracy and is definitely interesting. A grand job. 9/10. (P.S. Did anyone else notice the Lord of the Rings theme tune being played once during the series?)
Very good war documentary...
This programme was made to commemorate the 90th anniversary of WWI's Battle of the Somme, and I think it is a great homage to the soldiers who died on the battlefield. It is informative and actually recreates the battles - rather than just boring old diagram after diagram, we actually see soldiers going over the top against the German guns. The commentary is informative, and as the programme is based on real historical forces, expect 100% accuracy in all departments and a well-researched and made programme. One of the most striking things you will see is that the soldiers actually walked across the battlefield rather than running. This undoubtedly cost many more lives and just went to prove the true stupidity of the generals at the time. The soldiers were, as it was put, "lions led by donkeys". And this effective doc, packed with drama, emotion and action, will only help to prove this case even further. Though it would have been far more effective to see it on the 90th anniversary day (which I did), I still strongly recommend this programme to anyone who doesn't know much about the Somme. Brilliant. 10/10
Enough "gripping" sci-fi drama!
Our TV world revolves around three main types of show - hospital dramas, crime dramas and sci-fi dramas. Some of them are corkers (there are corkers in all three categories) whereas some of them are total cr*p. Threshold just is. It serves no real purpose and is really just made to try and hook a few more people who were going off Sky a bit. But it didn't hook me. I watched about five minutes of it before I switched over - it is mundane and uninspired. The Threshold logo looks interesting and the trailer is superbly gripping, but all trailers for crime/sci-fi series try to put in as much action as possible to get you into them, when all you're really going to be watching is a group of boring old gits talking to each other in buildings rather than blowing things up. At least Doctor Who is enjoyable and action-packed. This is just boring and shows a lack of imagination and ideas. My review can't be very detailed because I've seen so little of it, but that helps prove my case even further, if you get my drift. 4/10
Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
A fun sequel and one of 2006's better animated films.
Ice Age 2 was less than universally acclaimed, but it's done bloody well for itself otherwise - grossing over $600 million at the box office. The animation is better than in the first Ice Age - with lusher textures and richer colours. Manny the mammoth is back with his smaller friends - and so is Scrat with that damned acorn. The plot is cheap and cheerful, the humour is as you'd expect - laugh out loud in parts, mildly amusing in parts and also bad in parts, and there are some life-risking escapades to give the animated film the dark and epic side it requires in parts. These are easily resolved as you'd expect, but there are three reasons why this film is something enjoyable rather than something we've heard and seen a thousand times before:
1. Ellie the mammoth. She is one of the film's new main characters and brings along another bunch of small pests to follow along with Manny and his crew. The fact she thinks she's a possum isn't that funny and we know from the start that a love interest between her and Manny will develop, but things are helped when we learn more about where Ellie came from. Who can honestly say they weren't touched when they saw the little mammoth freezing in the snow? This also helps to explain why she thinks she's a possum and how she met her friends. To be honest, a flashback isn't the most original way to reveal character, but this film is an animation, and that's exactly nothing different either. And as long as we can give a damn about the characters, I'm easy.
2. Scrat the squirrel. Kids always enjoy watching him try to rescue his beloved acorn whilst getting into a number of humorous (yet unrealistic) escapades. It's also nice to see how his scenes happen completely separately from the actual plot itself and shows a bit of inner child within the filmmakers. He's just there for the sake of it, really, but he's interesting. And even though he gets a bit annoying and predictable after a while, the kids like him anyway and we all come to associate him with Ice Age in the end.
3. The conclusion. It's nice to see some imagination and thoughtfulness was put into this. Manny having to make difficult choices was captured very well, and though it really is just sentimental mush, at least we've come to care a bit more about these characters on their journey. And the ending with Scrat was funny and imaginative as well - even if it wasn't exactly genius, it kept me amused, and the two stories of Scrat and the main characters actually did intertwine at the very end. And a good conclusion is what every film needs. Ice Age 2 had one. And it also opens the door for a third film. I hope there'll be one. After all, all franchises work best in trilogies. Haven't we learnt that over the past ten years...
Ice Age 2 deserves to be called a success - it is often very funny and turns an originally dull and derived plot into a film that will satisfy most nippers, even if not as many adults. There is little for the older generation and no meat on its actual subject matter - global warming - but this is a kid's film, and the kids loved it. And that's all that matters. 8/10
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Better than most action flicks.
Man, it's amazing how easily Hollywood can burn up $200 million these days! X-Men: TLS has proved to be another one of those films the folks at Hollywood had to invest so much in. But at least, unlike Terminator 3, the results of a $200m budget really show in this. The special effects are amazing - forget mystery or character in any form, this film should only be watched for the climactic final battle which is one of those scenes that shall be hailed as "classic" in years to come. Strong acting also helps matters - Ian McKellen has once again proved to be a well-played card in the gambling game that was making this film. And, special effects aside, there really is enough of a plot and mystery to keep an intelligent audience hooked. They had to chuck in a love story for the romance-loving medium, but this does help the film (and trilogy) reach the emotional conclusion it wanted, and really, the film could not have worked without it. The X-Men are well and truly back in the 21st century, and have ended their trilogy on an explosive, epic note. I really must see the two previous X-Men films. X-Men is close to perfect, but it could have been a bit longer. But seeing as it is one of the action films of the decade, it is good that things didn't drag. 9/10
The hospital feels real, but that's about it...
I am not a Casualty buff, but what I do see of it is always quite good. It is drama at its most realistic - you are instantly brought into the serious, morbid, emotional world of modern hospitals. The lack of blood and gore only make everything seem even more real. When a death occurs, you sure do know about it - it manages to hit really hard, unlike in Hollywood movies. The drama itself is superb and somewhat painful at times - anyone who has been in a hospital will feel things coming back to them after an episode of this. The lack of musical score save for the credits and the complete lack of glamorisation in any form strip this down to the bare bones of realism. But sadly, this show is not perfect. While there's enough to warrant a viewing of a full episode, there really isn't much to make you want to keep coming back. And though the characters feel like real people, you just don't really know them and you can't sympathise with them - and that is the worst thing for a show like this. This is a real zombie of a show - it is moving and aware, but just doesn't feel alive, and just kind of drones for the hour each episode it plays. And, in spite of what I said earlier, there's way more blood and sweat in real hospitals too. 7/10
The Young Ones: Sick (1984)
Snot flies through the air in gloopy streams and blows up glass vases. Petrol bombs explode and clear sinuses. 6-inch nails are used for acupuncture. Bin bags are tied over heads and knives about to be rammed up bottoms before crazy homicidal maniacs come in and hold everyone hostage. This is what happens when the Young Ones are ill. And it is truly hilarious to behold. Everything happens in abundance in this episode - the green liquid flying from Neil's mouth, the size of the petrol bomb exploding, and a riot happening outside started by the Young Ones. Though by the end of the episode so much has happened that you'll have forgotten the Young Ones were ever sick at all, this is so funny that you won't care, and besides, when does the Young Ones stick to set agendas? Brilliant and truly sick! 10/10
The Young Ones: Summer Holiday (1984)
A great finale to a great series.
The Young Ones was a brilliant comedy show. The second series was truly the strongest, but there was never a duff episode. It was something different to the usual hospital and murder drama schedule that the BBC always had in mind. And the last episode is truly a great sign-off. The show stays amusing throughout - the ending is amusing and also emotional, depending on which way you look at it. All of the characters are once again as wild as they always were - Rick's luck is at its worst here, and Vyvyan even admits that mindless violence (his usual hobby) can be boring. Neil once again suffers, and Mike is his usual cool (yet rather uninteresting) self. This episode had loads of laughs on offer - the "Fascist Pig Bank" based on the Natwest had me in stitches. It is good to see that this show had no really emotional, sentimentalised conclusion in mind - it ended on the note that it had set for itself these past 12 episodes - a note of wildness and unpredictability. Though the death of SPG, the death of Rick's parents and the loss of the Young Ones' home were kind of setting things up for the end. But to be honest, every comedy show needs a real sign off. And the Young Ones had one. I will sum this comedy series up in one word - CRAZY. And spiffing as well. 10/10