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Thorne: Sleepyhead (2010)
Great book - rubbish adaptation
There is a reason that Mark Billingham's original novel Sleepyhead was such a huge Bestseller when it came out. Watching the TV show version you would be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss was about. The novel was an ripping edge-of-the-seat page turner with twists and turns that would make your head spin. This is the most unfaithful adaptation imaginable, with terrible writing and clichéd characters and a completely re- written and boring plot. The book does make brief mention of one of DI Thorne's previous cases, a gay serial killer. The TV show decides to expand this mention while simultaneously reducing the story from the book to virtually nothing. The resulting story is a deeply confusing hotchpotch of incongruous ideas and fumbled attempts at carving a new direction. TV SHOW ENDING SPOILER: The killer from the book is completely different to the show with a genius MO missing from the show version. I have little doubt that author Billingham would be mortified at what has been done to his brilliant book and beloved characters.
Alan Wake (2010)
One of the most boring games I've played
The fact that this game was mired in development and hype for five years and that far superior games like Dead Space have been and gone in the interim makes Alan Wake's crapiness all the more unforgivable. The landscapes and water effects are rather stunning but the cut scenes especially facial mo-cap fx are frankly bloody awful, silent hill 2 on the PS2 puts this game to shame. The combat is unbelievably repetitive and dull. Worst of all the story and dialogue are BOOOORING! The main character is a total ass. It's hard playing a character who you don't identify with. He's a diva who throws a strop every time one of his adoring fans recognise him or someone merely mentions writing. The rest of the characters are equally dull
The Little House (2010)
This was aired in the UK in November 2010 in two parts on ITV to great hype. The story concerns a woman who moves in with her new husband after unexpectedly falling pregnant. The couple initially move in with her husband's parents, Annis' creepy mother and her meek, doting hubby. The first part is extremely creepy, well written and acted by all and very believable. The plot concerns the mother-in-law's seemingly unhealthy fixation on her new grandson. Does she have a secret agenda or is it all in the mind of our young protagonist, the baby's mother? The paranoid tension is sustained throughout the first episode and we are left gagging to find out what happens next. Unfortunately, the second part doesn't do so well. Sub-plots are tantalisingly introduced and promptly dropped, e.g. a long-distance call from the grandparent's estranged daughter, the main character's mysterious background involving a car-crash and her missing parents, the main character's friend and confidant (who has feelings for her) and who it turns out has nothing to do with the story, and the grand-father who has a bewilderingly unexplained out-of-character change of heart toward the end. Worst of all though is a deeply unsatisfying and unbelievable cop-out of an ending that seems to have been made up on the spot. Perhaps they should have stretched the plot out to three episodes to allow the story to breathe and the plot threads to be resolved. Overall, an exciting drama but one I'd have reservations in recommending due to the silly ending
Best show on TV right now
Where DID this show come from? Though it's not the most original concept (freak lightning storm strikes and gives a ragtag bunch of community service workers special powers) this show rises above Heroes and the many clones by bringing enough freshness to the table. Now I'm judging this show having just watched the first two episodes. At first it looks like your average Skins type rip-off but it very quickly establishes an intriguing plot with lovable characters and unexpected twists aplenty. The script is sharp like a razor and offers laugh-out-loud moments and witticisms to rival the best episodes of Friends or Fraiser. All the misfits are perfectly cast and brilliantly acted with just the right amount of cynicism and pathos and the situations don't seem forced like Heroes often does but emerge logically and organically from the characters. Even the powers themselves extend from the character's personas. Fantastic show. I cannot recommend it enough!
The Wizard of Gore (2007)
An irritating assault on the senses
I recently saw the Herchell original and it holds some mild fascination and is camp as hell but it wasn't really good except in an early John Waters style OTT sort of way. With the advances in SFX technology, it should be easy to make a remake of higher quality and better gore. No? Well compared to this turgid stool of a remake, the original is a masterpiece. What should have been an uber-gross-out popcorn remake turns out to be a navel-gazing, existential self-rimjob on... to be honest I haven't a clue! Only watch this film if you can stomach a 'plot' with no focus, where you never know if the main character is awake or dreaming due to the fact that he keeps waking up in a cold sweat every five minutes covered in blood... and then... 5 seconds later - with no blood! Oh, so that was the dream? No wait, this is the dream! Or was that the dream before? Who cares. What doesn't help is a plot with characters that have their own motives and actions but it's almost impossible to follow since it's always unclear which parts are real and which are imagined - and the direction is so poor you don't feel the film deserves the energy to unravel it all. Like Guy Ritchie's Revolver this is an absolute nightmare, and not in a good way. Crispin Glover is surprisingly bad in the titular role. His hair has been buffeted up into a bouffant so he resembles a church evangelist and it's a gratingly annoying performance. Intead of trying to bring something new to the role (creepiness? / scares?), he seems happy to just mimic the campness of the original. And as for the SFX, the old version may have looked poor, but at least it didn't hide the crappy effects behind a smoky screen so you couldn't see anything that was happening like this film does! Give this one a miss