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Constantine (2005)
8/10
a good comic book move?
3 April 2005
First off, i have to say i have never read the comic that 'Constantine' is based on (that would be the DC/Vertigo comic book 'Hellblazer'), so i guess i can't really comment on if the movie reflects the comic. However, as a movie in its own right, 'Constantine' is nothing short of near perfection (or at least that is how i saw it). As the movie ended I thought back throughout the movie and realised that at no point was i ever bored or horrified (in the bad way).

This is a neat little movie which is great fun to watch, makes perfect sense, has just enough comedy without being stupid and has plenty of action (without being too dumb). They could have made it so stupid, but they kept it quite intriguing and not a comedy. Even Keanu Reeves (who is often faulted in his roles) did a good job. It was great fun to watch, some great visual effects, some subtle humour and some nice twists as well. A surprisingly good movie and one i believe everyone who likes a good supernatural action/thriller will like (especially those with largely religious stories). It is also the best anti-smoking message i have ever seen. In short, well worth seeing.
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Casshern (2004)
spectacularly stunning
27 February 2005
As soon as I saw the trailer for this movie, I knew I had to watch this movie. I was lucky enough to see it at one of the few cinemas to be showing it here in the UK before it is released on DVD. All I can say is, wow! I knew from the trailer i would love it, but the movie just blew my expectations wide open. Every scene was beautifully choreographed at the soundtrack was absolutely brilliant. This is one of the best Japanese movies I have seen in a long time, and certainly makes a change from all the horror movies. Sometimes the movie felt like it was getting slow and boring, but then something would happen which would totally grab your attention. Not as hard to understand as some people might say, but still requires some thought. Even if you don't get it fully, you can still just sit down and marvel at the pure movie goodness.
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Puni Puni Poemy (2001– )
7/10
don't get it? don't worry about it.
28 January 2005
Trust me, even if you have seen Excel Saga, you still won't understand this, because there is nothing to understand. Its just a bunch of crazy stuff happening. This is a crazy take-off of Excel Saga, and since Excel Saga was absolutely crazy to begin with, Puni Puni Poemi truly takes no prisoners. Whilst something like FLCL is insane, this is insane for different reasons. Puni Puni Poemi is more of a 'duh!' kind of insane, with doors opening upwards instead of outwards and super-fast talking schoolgirls, in fact, it is almost impossible to describe just how utterly insane this anime is, just watch it, but be prepared to be turned totally brain-dead.
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Street Fighter Alpha (1999 Video)
8/10
not better than SFII, but still good
27 January 2005
by now, you've probably heard that Street Fighter Alpha movie is not as good as Street Fighter II: The Movie. However, Street Fighetr Alpha is still amazingly good. Take the example of Matrix Reloaded. On it's own, it would have been a major success and everyone would have loved it. However, before that came The Matrix. The Matrix was so unbelievably good, so perfect in every way that Reloaded didn't really stand a chance. And it is the same here. Street Fighter II movie was so good, exactly what fans of the game wanted to see that anything after that would pale into comparison, which is exactly what happened to Street Fighter Alpha. The truth of the matter is, Street Fighter Aplha is an amazingly good movie. Sure, it has it's faults, but so did Street Fighter II. Still, Street Fighter Alpha is very entertaining and sticks well with the whole street fighter universe, and it is perfect for those who have played the ASlpha games, introducing new characters in the movie. The whole movie is more dark and mysterious and incredibly fascinating. You will not be disappointed, although Akuma could have done so much more in the movie, it was a waste of a good character.
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FLCL (2000–2018)
9/10
the most insane anime ever?
21 January 2005
when you start to watch this anime, it won't be long before you go... "what the heck!?". of course, this is exactly what it wants you to do. there is no use trying to understand it, and there is no point you getting upset about it. if you don't like it, don't watch it. this is an anime which stretches your imagination, as well as the boundaries of animation. this is one of the most beautifully animated shows i have seen and without a doubt the most charming. the wonderful mix of characters and weird story, along with a cruel and wicked sense of humour and craziness makes for one outrageous anime which will not disappoint. a must view, just make sure to not give up on it, after a few viewings, you'll start to notice new things and realise what a true masterpiece this really is. you want something really different? fed up with all the usual rubbish? you can't get further from reality than FLCL.
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9/10
best video game to movie transfer
21 January 2005
there is no denying that this movie had everything a video game to movie transfer needs. it remains faithful to the game and it has plenty of action to boot without going too over the top. i've only seen the USA version, but i'm assuming the Japanese version is just as good. i was a little shocked with the choice of music but after repeated viewings i think i understand why it was chosen and it does seem to fit. in fact, i can barely find a thing i do not like about this movie (although the 'truck' ending was a bit stupid and i'm not sure why but all the characters seem to be majorly bulked up). this movie had everything, action, jokes and even suspense! i also think the Chun-Li/Vega battle maybe the most violent (without being overly violent) and heart-pounding scene i have ever seen in an anime. if i was to nit-pick i could say Chun-Li didn't get enough action, but then again, she does have the best fight (and wins) and she does have way more than most characters, so i'm happy. hell, any more and it would have ruined the movie by being unnecessary, and here inlies the point where all other movies of this nature seem to fall. this movie managed to keep the fans of the game happy and create a decent story and movie without loading it down with a load of stuff not needed. the animation itself is outstanding and deserves rightful praise. in conclusion, and excellent movie, not just in anime but in the whole genre of video game movies. well worth watching, especially if you like the game and/or are interested in anime.
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quite an interesting anime
9 January 2005
to say the least, this is quite a crazy anime. It's difficult to describe the basis of the story but it simply follows the lives of a group of high-school girls and their teachers, each with different querks. although each episode is pretty much stand alone, the whole series follows the girls through their three years in high-school, from entrance to graduation. as long as you watch the first few episodes (which introduce the characters), you'll understand what's going on (the episodes really seem like the manga, which itself are a bunch of four panelled stories which stand alone well, but when put together make a great series). of course, nothing matches watching the full series. it might not have much action, but it's great fun and well animated, it's guaranteed to make you laugh and smile and it's just so adorable you'll feel a special bond with each character by the end. you'll find yourself drawn into the character's world and you'll be sad to say goodbye to them when the series ends.
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7/10
a simple look at a movie about life.
9 January 2005
looking over some of these comments, i can tell lots of people love this movie, and lots hate this movie. to tell you the truth, if you (like me) are totally in love with all things Japanese, you'll love this movie simply for giving a slightly different view on Tokyo than you might have seen before. The basis of the movie is a friendship between two mismatched people stuck in a city which they find confusing and a little scary. if you have ever been to Tokyo (or Japan for that matter), it is surprising how anyone can be bored, but it does happen. This is an emotional and funny story about two people becoming friends and discovering more about themselves and life from each other, whilst trying to comprehend a city which to them makes no sense. it might not be very actioney and some people will probably find this boring but it's a nice look into the minds of people forced to look at themselves in a different light, and i'm sure we've all felt like we don't belong at least once.
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R.O.D the TV (2003–2004)
a spectacular anime series
9 January 2005
Some people may have been put off by the somewhat 'slow' start to the series. If anything, this is just introducing the background to the characters, enabling the audience to associate with them. This character development is something the Read or Die OAV was seriously lacking. Once you start getting settled into the series, hints are dropped about something under the surface, soon you find yourself deep in a large story which you never knew you were heading for. Quite simply, this is by far one of the best anime series at the moment. It has great characters, great action and has some great comedy and emotional bits too. It is also very involving and by the end of the series, there is lots of twists and turns which never lets up until the very end. If this wasn't enough, the soundtrack to this anime is really good. This is well worth watching, and rewards those who keep the faith and see it through. You can skip the first few episodes, but you would miss so much in the way of character development and background story you'll most likely get lost.
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8/10
is it worth seeing?
5 January 2005
We seem to be at a point where Asian movies are becoming more popular and 'House of Flying Daggers' is the latest movie to reach western cinemas. First of, this is not a movie that should be watched half-assed. If your intent is to watch a movie in order to relax or to feel better, this is not the movie for you. It requires you to keep your brain in use throughout the entire movie. Secondly, if you are seeing this movie just for action, you will be disappointed. Although there is still action here, the main basis of the movie is its love story. While many have probably seen enough love stories in their time to groan at this idea, the theme in 'House of Flying Daggers' not only involves love, but also that of honour and loyalty and contains enough twists and turns to keep the audience entertained. Some people, however, may find the movie quite boring, especially the beginning, but the ending is quite spectacular and is guaranteed to impress. Just like Jet Li's 'Hero', the imagery on show is quite superb. Quite simply, this is a sad love story with martial art elements. If you generally don't like these sort of movies, there will be nothing here to sway your mind. If, however, you are willing to sit and pay attention, the movie draws you into it's own little world and you leave feeling sad but satisfied.
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8/10
Better than the first?
14 October 2004
I always expected the worst from this movie. It's not the sort of movie that does well in the eyes of its fan base, it always seems to fall short and this is exactly what has happened here. 'Resident Evil: Apocalypse' is bigger and better than its predecessor ('Resident Evil: Biohazard'). However, it is not completely perfect. Not by a long shot. For starters, the whole movie completely looses any sense of tension present in the first 'Resident Evil' movie (when they were trapped in a large underground laboratory along with hordes of the undead) and replaces it with full-on action. The result is a movie which is more like a computer game, and which follows the line of the 'Resident Evil' games much more (which is a bonus for fans of the games who felt disconnected with the first movie) but isn't scary or shocking in the slightest. The movie also has a lot of plot holes. These can be overlooked but some parts of the movie really do ask you to be almost brain-dead to enjoy it (and also ask forgiveness for the inclusion of completely stereotypical characters which seem to be lifted from a computer game with absolutely no character development at all). Saying this, the movie is also partly confusing. It tries to follow too many stories and doesn't explain anything in a great detail. The ending will also test even the smartest of brains. The movie just doesn't get the balance right. Perhaps this can be chalked up to the first-time director Alexander Witt, but it seems for likely to be from trying to please everyone, and ultimately pleasing no one. Despite being different from the original, it still manages to include throwback references including an outline of the plot from the first movie, and a few ideas which were used in the original are used here again. If your looking for a movie like 'Biohazard' in the sense of tension, then look elsewhere. If your a fan of the game or the first movie, then there is still plenty here in order to keep you entertained. All we have to do now is wait patiently for the third movie installment of 'Resident Evil' (names which have arisen so far include 'Aftermath' and 'Afterlife') to determine whether this turns out to be a cohesive unit when placed together as a trilogy ('Apocalypse' ends on a great cliff-hanger which will leave you hungry for the next movie and gives little hints about what the next movie will be about). It's a shame that in a year seemingly filled with great zombie movies such as 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Resident Evil: Apocalypse' doesn't manage to bring anything new to the genre, but still manages to be entertaining.
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Ying xiong (2002)
10/10
you've read the reviews... so is it really worth seeing?
5 October 2004
As you might have read, 'Hero' (Ying Xiong) is either a movie you love or hate. However, it's hard to tell through all the praise and hatred that surrounds this movie whether it's actually any good. 'Hero', (or to give it it's full western title: 'Quentin Tarantino Presents Jet Li's Hero'), is not a movie for the average movie-goer. For a start, it's subtitled (for now anyway, no doubt the DVD release will have a dubbed track). This has already got a lot of people against the movie. It seems westerners can't be bothered with reading subtitles (which I find very unsettling). The plot is also slightly skewed (it aims to follow the same line as movies such as 'Memento' or 'Kill Bill' by mixing up events), but instead of being in a mixed order, the events are told as a continuing story. However, as each chapter is ended a new truth is discovered and it goes back to the beginning of that chapter and plays out again. With the new information in mind, the whole movie changes, including the characters, which can make things confusing. I've noticed a lot of people didn't like this repeat of ideas, but i actually found it very clever. It gives new ways of looking at the movie and with a change of colour scheme in every change-over it's definitely a bold move but it works really well. Speaking of the colour scheme, this is where the movie is at it's most excellent. Not with the plot or ideals but with the cinematography. As most people know, the reason you go to see 'Hero' is for all beautifully choreographed fight scenes and stunning grandness of ever scene. It is an amazingly beautiful movie, which uses all the best cinema tricks (including great camera wide shots and close up action sequences), and a few new tricks to create a visually stunning movie. However, is this beauty enough to cover up the problems with the script and plot? When you watch the movie you have to let yourself go and just let the movie engulf you. This way you will find that the plot actually makes more sense. The small script is enough to keep your attention whilst the actual visuals fills in the gaps. The tiny dialogue actually works with the visuals to create a movie with a wonder which stays with you long after the movie is over. The movie is also very comedic in places, making the movie more enjoyable without making a mockery of itself. The movie is also good in the fact that the characters are actually believable. You get to see everyone's character played out in full as each different take on a scene introduces a new personna of a person. This movie is doing well in cinemas at the moment so it must be doing something right. Of course, it's not on par with the likes of 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' (Wo Hu Cang Long), and it looks to be overshadowed by the upcoming Asian movie 'House of Flying Daggers' (which is a much better title that it's alternative title, 'Lovers') (Shi Mian Mai Fu), due in cinemas this boxing day. 'Hero' wasn't very popular in Asia, where most people thought it was more aimed at caucasians. Which is true, the movie isn't aiming to be politically correct, it is a movie after all, but neither was 'Crouching Tiger'. So, it does have it's faults, but it's definitely worth seeing. Many people may not enjoy it, but if you liked 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' it's a good night out. Of course, if you prefer something a bit more entertaining and less controversial, there are plenty of other movies to go see, but 'Hero' is one of those movies that will be remembered for it's sheer beauty rather than it's actual content. It's a little different than most movies, but very enjoyable, a must for fans of Asian cinema. The choice is yours.
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10/10
A great live performance of England's top rock act
11 April 2004
Quite simply, Muse are one of England's top rock acts of the last decade and with their new album, Absolution, out now and going stellar, they show no signs of slowing down. Most people who know about Muse already know of this DVD/VHS release and should own it already. It is a top performance by one of the best live bands ever (as agreed by fans and music journalists alike). People outside of Europe (except a few certain places like Japan) will not know much of these songs and the band unless they have acquired Muse imports (for example, Absolution, which was released after this performance, is the only official American release). Needless to say, if you don't like Muse, or don't know who they are, then this is not for you, but for fans of Muse or of music in general, this is a must purchase. The actual recording of the performance is top notch, and the DVD boasts a great sound quality. The songs are work of art and come mainly from Muse's first two studio albums and b-sides. If you want more information, check out the bands website.
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The Animatrix (2003 Video)
8/10
do you need to watch Animatrix to understand The Matrix Trilogy?
8 April 2004
First off, the Animatrix is not a movie, but a collection of nine animated shorts (one being CGI based) which basically delves into the world that is The Matrix. Animators come from Japan, Korea and the US and include many world renouned animators (the first animation, Final Flight of the Osiris, was made by the same team who created the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within movie). Below is an outline of each animated short and what relevance it has in the Matrix world.

1. The Final Flight of the Osiris: CGI based animated short involving the discovery of the machine army and the delivery of the evidence to the drop point noted in the Enter The Matrix video game.

2. The Second Renaissance Part 1: One of four of the nine animated shorts written by the Wachowski Brothers and details the creation of artificial intelligence and the rise of the machines

3. The Second Renaissance Part 2: Continuation of the previous short film based on the war against the machines and the enslaving of the human race.

4. Kid's Story: Remember the Kid in Reloaded and Revolutions? this animated short is about how he came to be in the real world, including his encounter with Neo.

5. Program: This animated short is set in a training simulation and focuses on betrayal and escaping the real world back into the matrix, just like Cypher tried to do in the original Matrix movie.

6. World Record: Based on the idea that exceptional people with exceptional skills can in effect wake themselves up without being unplugged from the matrix, this short focuses on an American sprinter who runs so fast he escapes the rules of space and time and sees the real world.

7. Beyond: A glitch occurs in the Matrix and weird things starts to happen, time slows down and one girl is caught in the middle of it.

8. Detective Story: A private investigator is hired by Agents to track down Trinity, but he soon realises that he is a pawn in a conspiracy which ultimatly will lead him to see the truth.

9, Matrixulated: This animated short is about a team of human resistance which captures sentinals and uses the sentinals to fight for them. They, however, do not reprogram the sentinals but mearly show them an alternative choice and let the sentinals make up their own minds.

Every animated short is well made and really pushes the boundary of animation. Also, the script for each one is great and the whole experience really does make you feel part of the Matrix World and does answer questions as well as raise some more. But, does it infact help the understanding of the Matrix Trilogy? Basically, yes it does, however, not all the animated shorts do, only a few. The rest are just extra stories, opening up a whole new can of worms and filled with philosophy which made the original Matrix great, but are still worth seeing. The Animatrix develops the story of the Kid in Reloaded and Revolutions and Morpheus' speach about the human/machine war in the original Matrix movie. So, only very slightly does it actually alter your view or answer any questions on the Matrix Trilogy, but that is not the reason why you should see the Animatrix, see it because it is simply an amazing ride through the Matrix and should be watched by fans of the Matrix and animation alike.
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9/10
Kill Bill: Volume 1, stand-alone material?
15 March 2004
I have seen Kill Bill: Volume 1, both in it's original form and the slightly tweeked Japanese version. For those who are not familiar with Quentin Tarantino movies, they are violent and bloody but ultimatly entertaining. Although this movie is mostly Japanese in idea (with the anime section a good example of this), This movie is so much more. From great fight sequences (some which rival the might of the last two chapters in The Matrix trilogy) to incredible acting, this movie has it all. The script itself is also an added achievement to Quentin Tarantino's filmography with a lot of pop-culture references and humour to stand along side previous classic works such as Pulp Fiction. This is the reason why Kill Bill: Volume 1 is rated so highly, its individualitly along with great dialogue and action make for an explosive and entertaining movie. The idea to split this movie into two halves was not the greatest idea in the world (it seems to be happening an awful lot lately). Does Kill Bill: Volume 1 stand alone? Just. But when put together with the stunning conclusion Kill Bill: Volume 2 will undoubtbly bring, then you can't help but believe that this will be another sucessful outing for Quentin Tarantino. And for those of you who can, i suggest you see the Japanese version of the movie which has a slightly extended anime sequence and full colour in the battle between The Bride and O-Ren's army (no black and white).
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7/10
ahh, not another pirate film?
2 January 2004
When i was at the cinema waiting to see The Matrix Reloaded, a trailer appeared before me for a certain pirate movie. The first thing which went through my head was, oh God, please not another pirate movie, especially one made for the kids during the summer holidays. My fears were confirmed when the Disney logo appeared at the end of the trailer. There was no way in hell I was going to see this movie. Then, people started telling me about a certain guy called Johnny Depp. Now, I have never seen a movie with Johnny Depp in it, so I wasn`t really moved when people told me that he was the best thing in this movie. Anyway, lately a friend and I decided to rent the movie just to see what it was like. I watched it and I must say, it IS a Disney pirate movie made for the kids for summer. However, it is also a very entertaining movie, in parts. I can see why it has done very well at the box offices around the world and why people keep going back to see it. If you haven`t seen this movie, the fact that it is a Disney movie should not discourage you, and the fact that it has pirates in it, well, in all fairness it is one of the best pirate movies I have seen, well worth a try, you won`t be disappointed.
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The Matrix (1999)
10/10
not the greatest movie of all time, but definitly one of the best
2 January 2004
I only wish I saw this movie at the cinema when it was out. To be able to say I was there at the beginning of one of the best movie trilogies of my time. For this movie, along with its not so great sequels will be the defining cinematic moment of my life. It is the movie that is the basis for all the other movies after it and quite literally it made me care about movies. But is it any good? Well, yes! Although it has been said that the actors have no emotion this is neglect able in the face of one of the best action movies of all time. A deep intriguing story along with action sequences only really rivaled by its sequels. Copied by many, mastered by none, this truly is one great movie. If you haven't seen this movie yet then you can't really call yourself a movie fan, and with this also being the best selling DVD of all time, there is no excuse. Believe the hype, this is one cool movie. You will never feel the same way about movies again.
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Equilibrium (2002)
8/10
is it really a matrix clone?
1 January 2004
Equilibrium, (or "Rebellion" if your from Japan), is said by most to be simply a copy of The Matrix. But is it really just a copy? The short answer is, no. It does owe a lot of it's inspiration to The Matrix and other action movies, but what major action movie since the original Matrix movie hasn't? (Bulletproof Monk springs to mind). Infact, whereas in any movie nowadays, as long as it has some gun scenes and some slow-motion action it is automatically labeled a Matrix clone, Equilibrium holds it's own in the sense that it tries, and succeeds, to actually have a good story. At many points during this film I felt for the main character, played excellently by Christian Bale. The main plot of the movie is that to stop any more war or crime, all emotions have been outlawed. As our hero (a supercop intent to inforce this zero-emotion law) starts to feel emotion again after almost a lifetime of keeping it repressed we see him break down and see his battle for, quite simply, our right for freedom of expression. That's not to say there is no action in this movie, far from it, and so what if it does seem to copy The Matrix and other action movies at certain points, if you were going to use any movie for inspiration, you can do a lot worse than the Matrix, and, as they say, impersonation is the sincerest for of flattery. If you¡¦re looking for a good action movie to while away a few hours, you could do a lot worse. If you are looking for a highly entertaining movie, which will make you look at your life, and examine it and make you thankful for what you have, this is perfect.
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