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La La Land (2010)
10/10
Tommy Wiseau fans! Watch this!
19 August 2018
Writing another quick review here because...one of the episodes features (by accident) a certain Tommy Wiseau of The Room fame and more lately The Disaster Artist.

Just buy this and see! "I am an American!"
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La La Land (2010)
10/10
Brilliant stuff yet again!
6 January 2018
To the reviewer above who says its a knock off of Sasha Baron Cohen...

You don't know what you are talking about. If you bothered doing any research you will know that Marc Wootton was doing this AGES ago with the even better Cyderdelic, My Best Friend and Shirley Ghostman. Don't get me wrong....Cohen is very good but Marc Wootton is better. Check out his other stuff and tell me I'm wrong - you wont regret it.

La La Land isn't quite as good as his previous stuff but its still absolutely hilarious. Just far too many bits to mention here!
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8/10
Iraqi Twins of Scarface!
1 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I recorded this off the TV not expecting much and got round to watching it yesterday. Wow! I was not expecting this! This is certainly not for the faint-hearted mind. Dominic Cooper is mesmerising in his roles here and I don't think I was the only one that could not believe, on the film ending, that he actually played both roles...brilliant performance. And when I actually found out that most of this is based on the truth or certainly near to it that made it even better for me.

Its fascinating because although the dialogue is all English, it doesn't feel like a US/UK film at all. I think they did the right thing in doing the dialogue all in English overall even though doing it in the native language/dialect would have been interesting as well.

If you like The Godfather, Scarface, gangster films but want to see a bit of reality as well give this film a go. I have just ordered the Blu-ray so I can watch and hear it in HD which Im sure will make it even better. Its not one of my favourite films but its a solid 8/10 no problem and that makes it a buy for me.
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A Bronx Tale (1993)
8/10
More Goodfellas?
20 July 2011
I've only just seen this having managed not to for years. Its very good indeed and certainly kept me watching.

However, I enjoyed the 1960 part more than the 1968 part. And it did seem a bit 'forced' at times. Also - why hasn't anyone else mentioned Goodfellas?! Just after it started I was thinking "Goodfellas" all the time. Its very similar indeed - especially at the start. Not that this in necessarily a bad thing but the resemblance was uncanny - and I notice this came out only 3 years after Goodfellas too! Having said all that, like I said above, I definitely enjoyed it. Not too long either. Nice cameo by Joe Pesci at the end too - which reinforced the Goodfellas thing even more of course! I also noticed a bit of a nod to Once Upon A Time in America from time to time too - again, not a bad thing at all.

All in all - don't expect a 10/10 classic like Goodfellas or Once Upon A Time in America and just watch it with an open mind. I think some of the 10/10 reviews here are a little over the top. And its way better than anything De Niro has been in for the last 12 years of course (needless to say).
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6/10
Is it a nature documentary? Or is it a war film?
23 December 2010
This gets a 6/10 from me for the excellent war sequences. Unfortunately, they are very few and far between! I might give it an 8/10 as a nature documentary perhaps...

Honestly, I've seen this film three times now and I still cannot understand the praise it gets. Firstly, its looooong - far too long. I kept thinking "they could have cut all that bit out". Secondly, is it me or does this seem like a (very well shot) nature documentary?! Im not joking...it does seem like Malick had to shoot a war film but thought "I know, Im not really into war and stuff really - Im going to shoot a nature documentary at the same time". Honestly there is far too much arty nature footage in this film - sometimes I forget its a war film or that there is a war actually going on in the film! If I want to watch a nature documentary Ill watch a nature documentary.

Thirdly - and my biggest problem with this film - the romantic sub-plot/flashbacks. My god these bits are dull, useless and completely irrelevant! They were obviously inserted to add more "poetic meaning" etc - they really DO NOT work! I can just imagine even the people who love this film wincing a bit when these bits are on. They also help to destroy any momentum the film has (and its struggling in this department as it is what with the constant filming of swaying grass, monkeys, tribal people etc which of course have nothing to do with the plot - what there is of it). Why the editors of the film couldn't see this is beyond me.

I've no doubt that the recent blu-ray release looks fantastic and perhaps this has influenced people's opinion of the FILM itself (god forbid ;) ). My clock-watching during this film was almost constant.

To sum up - I think Malick wanted to film an arty nature documentary - the cinematography is indeed excellent. But as a war film? Forget it. You could halve the running time of this film fairly easily and it would still seem a bit bloated. Im sure its very poetic and has a lot to say about how man is bad and nature is good etc - zzzzz. Im amazed I stayed awake till the end.
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Tony Manero (2008)
5/10
Its not Travolta - its Detective Hanna!
20 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Well he might be trying to look like 70s John Travolta (he doesn't!) but he does look just like Al Pacino circa Heat! This film did keep me watching, Ill give it that. But its ultimately disappointing - especially the end where it seems they run out of money/ideas/script! I think there is a very good film trying to get out here - maybe if it had been more about the actual times (Pinochet etc) rather than one man's fixation on Saturday Night Fever, it could have been better? I didn't understand why being obsessed by Saturday Night Fever turns you into a killer and a freak either...its not that bad!

There were some rather nasty undercurrent themes in this too - its most definitely an 18.

To sum up - its interesting but not worthy of a re-watch. I think it could have been a lot better had the script been different. I didn't understand the need for all the unsavoury bits (not just the two? murders) - just not needed and difficult to watch.
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Vanilla Sky (2001)
7/10
Quite a nice surprise!
17 October 2010
This one has been sitting on my PVR for a while so I finally got round to watching it...

Wasn't what I expected! Its not great but its certainly good. As a Lynch/SF fan I appreciated those elements but its certainly no Mulholland Drive (another reviewer here thinks Vanilla Sky is better which did make me smirk quite a lot!).

It gets 7/10 for me because although its very good in places, its rather drawn out in others. The music didn't help either - I pretty much hated or didn't like or the music used in this film. I can honestly say that if this had had a good soundtrack (like Mulholland Drive for instance ;) ) I would have liked it more.

To conclude - its a bit long and the soundtrack is pretty horrible (unless you like this kind of bland middle of the road rubbish). BUT if you are a Lynch/SF/mystery fan give it a go. I can see this one appealing to women as much as men but its not a straightforward date film - you will have to think a bit (and it might get you thinking too!)
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Westworld (1973)
8/10
Classic dystopian 70s sci-fi
16 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Well I've seen this film loads of times, I hadnt watched it for years so thought Id give it a go last night. Well it certainly still grips me. Yeah (as you'd expect for a 70s sci-fi film) its dated a little but its still great fun. I was amazed that I never realised how much Terminator copied Yul Brynner! Also - his heat seeking vision (with the very first computer graphics? yeah it looks dated but we are talking about a 1973 film don't forget) is directly ripped in Predator of course.

I thought James Brolin in particular (Im assuming Josh Brolin is his son because the resemblance is unmistakable) was great in this - in a modern film his character would have survived to the end I think! To sum up - great 70s dystopian sci-fi and a must for the collection. Ill certainly be picking this up on blu-ray when it arrives in that format.
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Jabberwocky (1977)
10/10
Forgotten gem!
29 July 2010
Jabberwocky is a great, very funny film. If you like Monty Python you will like this. If you like anything by Gilliam you will like this. Jabberwocky has something that The Holy Grail hasn't - even though the Holy Grail is a great funny film it doesn't stand up to repeat viewings half as well as Jabberwocky does in my opinion! (and I've seen both films about the same amount of times in case you were wondering!) There's so many funny quotable bits in this film that I don't know where to start. Also - there's just about anyone who was British and funny in the 70s in this film as well! Its my dad's favourite film of all time (hes only slightly annoyed - still - because he was going to be an extra in this film and couldn't make it due to work!).

Don't get me wrong, I love Holy Grail (Life of Brian is better) but Jabberwocky tops Holy Grail for me now.

Give it a try...you might be surprised how much you like it!
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6/10
More genius from the mind of Godfrey Ho...
13 June 2010
All I can say is other directors could take some lessons from Mr Ho. Im guessing this one is a little later than his other masterpieces like Ninja Terminator and Ninja Squad as this one seems to be more straightforward and actually makes sense - in a way - unlike his earlier films which had more twists and unexpected moments.

Richard Harrison goes for the camouflage ninja suit again in this one. His performance is brilliant, yet again, despite him not having much actual screen time.

Anyway...back to reality! Pay a couple of quid for this and stick it on with your mates round after the footy. Guaranteed laughs. Im not sure its up there with the mighty 9 Deaths of the Ninja or Ninja Terminator but its another solid Godfrey Ho. More soft porn bits in this than the usual output from the mighty Mr Ho if thats your thing...don't get too excited as they are rather dull lol.

The endings a bit crap. I wanted more from Bruce and Richard's climatic fight but we cant have everything!
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Speed Racer (2008)
1/10
Good - if you're about 10 years old or less...
18 January 2010
Its difficult to state just how bad this film is...

I managed to watch about 15 minutes on blu-ray before I gave up. Yes, the visuals are stunning but stunning visuals cant hide the sheer awfulness of this film! Its cheesy beyond belief. The CGI is terrible, very very obvious - so obvious that it was really off-putting. The acting is awful. The kid at the start (his name is Speed for gods sake!) is just so annoying and cheesy you want to throw something at the TV.

I could go on and on but I wont. Its not bad in a funny way, its just plain bad. I couldn't even recommend this as a demo disc to show off your new plasma etc. Good job I rented it! Its difficult to understand exactly what the Wachowski brothers (who made the Matrix) were playing at here.

Words fail. The worst film I've seen in a long time and like I said - I didn't manage 20 minutes before ejecting the disc - just as well as if I had to sit through the whole thing I wouldn't be responsible for my actions.

Avoid. Unless you have a young son/nephew who enjoys driving films!
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Moon (2009)
9/10
Excellent low-budget sci-fi
2 January 2010
2009 has been a great year for sci-fi films (in fact its probably been the best year this past decade which isn't difficult) and this film is one of the reasons why..

Im not going to say anything about this film and it was very difficult to avoid reading anything about it before finally watching it - and Im glad I didn't. I would describe it as a cross between 2001 / Solaris (this is just as big an influence as 2001 in my opinion) / Blade Runner / Silent Running / Alien. So its in good company! I have a feeling this one is going to be one you repeat-view a lot like all the best films. Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey were excellent. I particularly liked the emoticons on GERTY - nice little modern touch and very clever in my opinion! Excellent.
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7/10
Happy Happy Halloween! Silver Shamrock!
25 November 2009
Caught this again on TV after remembering it from years ago as pretty creepy and funny. And it still is! Far better than the other Halloween films (apart from the classic first one) and far more fun. Far more weird too haha! OK - there's plot holes galore and there are a couple of cheesy laugh out loud bits that are not supposed to be funny but thats part of the charm I think.

The music is so cool! If you like John Carpenter's early films or you like old 80s synth stuff you'll like his soundtrack in this. The bad guy is great, even more menacing than he is in Robocop 1 & 2. There's definitely little elements of The Thing, The Fly, Blade Runner and most of all - Invasion of the Body Snatchers - in this so if you like any of those, give this a go.

And that Halloween song....jeez it will stay in your head for a long time after watching this. Its in my head now....aaaarrrgghhhh!!!!

Happy happy Halloween....Halloween....Halloween Happy happy Halloween....Silver Shamrock!!!!!!!

You want to scare your kids off trick or treating? Try this film!
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8/10
Better than the much acclaimed Gomorrah...
13 November 2009
I've only just watched this on TV but have been meaning to watch it for a while now (never seemed to be sent from my rental list!).

I recently watched Gomorrah and was disappointed with it considering the ridiculously over-hyped reviews it got. Gomorrah made no sense, seemed to be edited badly and like one other reviewer pointed out - had some information at the very end of the film that should have been placed at the start...I don't know what the makers of the film were thinking! Very confusing to watch and the five strands didn't really mesh together well. Some good parts thought but not good as a whole.

Romanza Criminale on the other hand...straight away you are introduced to the characters and know where you are with them. Much better for the viewer compared to Gomorrah. The translation for Romanza Criminale is 'Crime Novel' and this made me think 'Pulp Fiction'. However, this is more like an Italian version of Goodfellas with a bit of Once Upon a Time in America thrown in - we see the protagonists as kids then grown up etc.

Im not going to go into details but if you want to see a gangster film with a difference, watch this! The subtitles don't distract you at all and the performances are great.

Better than Gomorrah. By far.
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Mask of the Ninja (2008 TV Movie)
1/10
Too good to be bad, too bad to be good....zzzzzzzz
27 October 2009
I saw this on TV last night unfortunately, well I say watched - I wasn't really paying much attention.

Its too bad to be a good film and too good to be a bad film - its just boring to be honest.

No good laughs in it like the old ninja films because its too polished. But you cant take it seriously because its so stupid! So this film doesn't know its target audience lol.

If you want a funny ninja film go back to the 80s....9 Deaths of the Ninja, Ninja Terminator, Ninja Squad, American Ninja etc etc - they are all far better (and funnier) than this.
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9/10
The best Ninja film of all-time!
16 October 2009
Firstly, this isn't the worst ninja film of all-time...if you want to see proper Ninja badness try any of Godfrey Ho's works of genius! (Ninja Squad / Ninja Terminator / Ninja Dragon / Golden Ninja Warrior etc etc) - They have production costs that make this film seem like the most expensive production of all time.

Secondly - this is the funniest Ninja film of all time. I suspect that the cast and crew of this film were not completely sober the whole time - in fact, most of the actors(not Sho Kosugi!) seem drunk/out of it/stoned. Watch it and see! Sho Kosugi is under the impression that he is James Bond....from the opening (extremely cringey) credits you can see this...its quite funny to watch as he seems to be the only actor taking this seriously. Sho Kosugi doesn't really do hardly any actual martial arts in this film which is a bit weird considering its a ninja film.

Third - Alby the Cruel. Now this is the best bad guy of all time! He has a pet monkey. He drives round in a wheelchair (even though he doesn't need it). Hes an escaped gay Nazi (I think the film makes this clear). Hes totally demented. His private army are a bunch of lesbians lead by the most demented woman you have ever seen on your TV (watch her crazed face and eyes - she is definitely on something during the whole film - its that or shes the best actress in the world ahem). Hes like Dr Strangelove - on acid. Every time he is on the screen Im almost crying laughing....and this was when I was sober! You want more? OK - how about the all-American hero whose nickname is 'Macho Man' and is a contender for worst actor of all time. How about their boss who is so wooden he must actually be the worst actor of all time - I think he must be the money behind the film as there is no other explanation as to how he could get on film (I checked into this - and my suspicions were correct!). The blonde 'communications expert' is the eye-candy of the film - shes very nice to look at but while you're watching you will notice how she seems completely stoned all the time! See how her eyes are barely open even when shes talking and the fact that she slurs all her lines! Its quite amazing...

Even more? OK - how about the "7ft pervert" (quote from the film) who gets released from jail and keeps laughing all the time? For no apparent reason. He is so bad he bursts kids balloons for fun! There's also a Peter Crouch lookalike with bad teeth who is pretty funny too.

I don't know how to stop talking about this film! I got the Korean Region 0 DVD - its in proper 2:35 format and the picture is really good compared to the old USA 4:3 one I had. Definitely get the Korean one if you can because its way better than the USA one (you can find it on Ebay easy enough).

I've been re-watching all the old 80s ninja films and they are all funny to a degree or so. Some even are quite good in a no-brainer action way. But - none of them are as entertaining as this one. Even if you don't like ninja films (in fact, if you hate them that might help!)you will love this unsung gem...

Have I convinced you yet? Are you ready for the 9 Deaths of the Ninja?
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8/10
Godfrey Ho - Best director of all-time?
16 October 2009
Watched this again last night just to remind myself what a great director like Godfrey Ho can do.

Ninja Terminator is unbelievable from start to finish. Notice the clever, abstract almost Lynchian touches where he seems to be showing us a different film from the one we are watching. See the amazing lifelike crabs in Richard Harrison's kitchen - not steamed crabs but drunken crabs...Now I ask you, what other film has got drunken (or steamed) crabs? Hmmm??? None! Thats right...and that shows why Godfrey Ho is ahead of the pack.

The acting, as usual, is superb. The sheer presence of Richard Harrison carries the film as usual with a Godfrey Ho epic but the Jaguar Wong character also engages with his non-stop smiling persona and seemingly limitless energy as he beats up assailant after assailant with no problem at all.

For more evidence of the greatness of Godfrey Ho and Richard Harrison look no further than their masterpiece, Ninja Squad, which I will review at a later date. Ninja Squad is perhaps an even better showcase of Godfrey Ho's talent and genius.
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10/10
Forgotten comedy genius...
11 October 2009
This is yet another comedy series that has been totally forgotten about - A big part of that was probably Marc Wootton being interviewed (in character) on Jonathan Ross - he was either very drunk or acting drunk incredibly well (its difficult to tell with Wootton as you will know if you've ever seen this or Cyderdelic for instance!). There was a bit of a fuss after this appearance in the media and his show was quietly taken off the air - it has never been repeated.

Do you like Most Haunted? Or do you know someone who likes Most Haunted (or other shows of that ilk). Well if you like them you wont like this! But if you find them funny in any way you will probably love this! I cant recommend this enough - go and buy the box set and get his other genius series thrown in (My Best Friend).

You haven't seen anything like this trust me!
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My New Best Friend (I) (2003– )
10/10
Tiffany....you and me....How much to lose the lad?
11 October 2009
More comedy genius from Marc Wooton! (Make sure you watch Shirley Ghostman and Cyderdelic as well) I had to smirk a bit at the other comment here already - the reviewer was disturbed by the one episode which I thought was hilarious...you do know this was the intent don't you??!!! The other comment also mentions the one character, Matt, as the only likable guy of the series - I didn't, I thought he was really up himself! This just shows the genius of Wooton even more - making us 'take sides' with certain characters. I have to admit wanting them all to fail (except perhaps the girl in the last episode who put up with possibly the most embarrassment of all of them!) Im not going to comment on the episodes - just buy the Shirley Ghostman box set (which is genius) and this TV series included - the best DVD extra of all time no question!
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Equilibrium (2002)
7/10
Its good but its not The Matrix or Brazil or Blade Runner!
9 October 2009
I saw this one ages ago and thought it was pretty good, saw it again on TV last night.

There's a lot of holes. Its best not to think too much about them and just watch the action. I cant buy the no-emotions thing at all, for instance the black guy who is Christian Bale's nemesis seems to smile quite a lot and, for me, shows a lot of emotion - more than Christian Bale's character does anyway! Having said all that, its a good bit of fun. The gun-kata bits seem a bit sped up to me, watch closely and you can see it which spoiled it a bit. And whatever anyone says about it being better than the Matrix...sorry its not in the same league! There's elements of Brazil and my personal favourite, Blade Runner in there too.

To sum up - definitely worth a rental, perhaps a buy. Don't expect too much and it might surprise you!
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District 9 (2009)
9/10
I wasn't expecting this...
4 October 2009
Well Im a big fan of sci-fi so I had high hopes for this one...but I deliberately didn't read much about it and didn't see any previews or look it up on the net (learnt the hard way there in the past).

One word sums it up...wow! The start of the film shook me a bit because I was thinking...oh no not another Cloverfield clone (and I liked Cloverfield don't get me wrong). The Peter Jackson and Halo the game influences are there for all to see - the prawns bear a striking resemblance to the Arbiter and there are little nods to Bad Taste there if you look. I really wasn't expecting the CGI to be so good, I had trouble accepting that there couldn't be humans in the Prawn suits! (yes the CGI was that good). There's a big nod to Robocop near the end too which all Robocop fans will appreciate ha ha! This is a must-buy for me on Blu-ray at the end of the year - when it will look even better than my local (very old) cinema. I can only imagine how good the Halo film might have been - you can tell that hes adapted parts of Halo to this. Its a bit of a shame Halo never got made but District 9 more than makes up for it!

Best film this year. Best sci-fi film for a long old while. Go and see it!
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Sunshine (2007)
7/10
It could have been so good...but he obviously watched Event Horizon....
19 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I was really looking forward to this film! The visuals looked fantastic, the cast seemed interesting and the soundtrack was by Underworld which sounded promising....

Started great...obviously influenced by 2001, Dark Star, Solaris and Alien which is fine by me! I really got into this film...the plot built up nicely, the effects were great, the crew interaction reminded me of Alien (definitely a good thing) and the soundtrack was great - just the right kind of atmosphere (no pun intended) was created.

And then....about 2/3 of the way through...it all goes badly wrong. For some unknown reason...lack of ideas? budget? pressure from above? who knows but for some stupid reason they decide to go with the man-on-his-own-goes-crazy-and-kills-the-crew thing...

Why??!!! It was building up great - I could have thought of a better idea than what they came up with?!! For gods sake - why did they think making it like Event Horizon would be a good thing (and its not as good as the ending of that to be honest!). It then just gets dafter and dafter and I get more and more depressed. Halfway through this film I had already told myself "I am buying this DVD tomorrow" coz I could tell it was one I would come back to. Half an hour later I was thinking "No way am I buying this nonsense".

To sum up....

If you want to see a modern sci-fi film that this should have copied (instead of Event Horizon) watch Solaris. Or watch my favourite sci-fi film - Blade Runner. Or watch Alien or 2001. Just don't bother with this - you'll regret it! The soundtrack is a saving grace - I might buy that but I certainly wont be adding this to my sci-fi collection!

EDIT!!! OK a couple of years have gone by and I've changed my mind on this one a bit. I've now seen the blu-ray a couple of times and I've decided its a very worth 8/10 now. Its still a little disappointing resorting to the zombie stuff 2/3 of the way through but if you can look past that its a very good film. I still think it could have been a classic though...never mind!
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Hannibal (2001)
9/10
The BEST Hannibal Lecter film....just give it a chance!
19 November 2007
This film is just amazing....as a Ridley Scott fan Im biased yes but I never ever get bored of watching this film and since buying the Special Edition a few years ago I watch it at least every 6 months without fail.

To those who don't like it I suggest this....get the book, read it. Then watch the film straight after. OK, the film does chop bits out of the book (as just about any book-to-film does) but the film 'captures' the book brilliantly and then you've got Ridley Scott's amazing visuals. After watching the film all I could think about was going to Florence - I still haven't made it for one reason or another but I will one day! And its not just the film, the great acting, the amazing visuals...one of the best parts of this film is the....sound! The soundtrack is fantastic - I have to admit that without the soundtrack it would not be half as good as it is...If you like the film go and buy the CD - and if you can, try and track down the 2xcd set (Ive got both of course!) Most people think that Silence... is the better film. You wont catch me watching Silence.. again and again and again. Not that its a bad film...its a very good film but it doesn't stand up to Hannibal! On watching it again the other day I would say that Hannibal does start slowly...indeed Ridley Scott on his commentary even admits that he ummed and ahhed about the shootout at the start but couldn't think of a way round it. Give it a chance though and Hannibal will suck you in...and you'll be obsessed as I am about the film!
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5/10
What a disappointment
23 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I got round to watching this one last night. I thought any film with Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland in it has got to be worth watching.

First impressions were promising, quite a few scares a bit reminiscent of the Exorcist an an interesting story set in a place and time which has not been covered much by films in general. It certainly kept me watching which is more than I can say for some recent horror films.

However there were a few clues about halfway through that made me think "is it Donald Sutherland's character abusing Betsy" and the ending confirmed this. This explanation doesn't satisfy me at all as it doesn't explain why the spirit that Betsy has conjured up is also punishing her for starters...

There are too many loose ends designed to throw us off the real explanation but these loose ends make no sense at all. The ending was terrible, no point to it whatsoever.
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Cyderdelic (2002–2004)
10/10
The funniest TV series I have seen in the last five years...
20 June 2006
...and yes I am including the likes of the Mighty Boosh, Little Britain, Shirley Ghostman! This reality? series follows 3 raver/eco-warriors (Su, Beetle, Frogger) as they fight against the government, pet shops, petrol stations, fast food stores etc. I think you have to be of a certain generation to get all the jokes etc but its actually a lot cleverer than it may first seem! I remember one of the episodes (I actually timed it on watching it for the umpteenth time) had more jokes and sly comments in the first 10 minutes than many other comedy TV shows have in their whole series! I really urge everyone to give this a go, there seems to be lots of people who have never heard of this (mind you the BBC didn't help with this as they tended to show it at 2.00 at night most of the time...) and who will really enjoy it! Smash up the government big style...
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