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 What I've just watched

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:59 pm



7/10



I've yet to see a duff Bogart film 9/10
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:40 am

Tropic Thunder (2008), Ben Stiller returns to directing for the first time since Zoolander (2001), here he makes a very funny satire on Hollywood movies and the egotistic actors that inhabit it. It all takes place during the shooting of a big-budget Vietnam War epic, which has been going over-budget, mainly due to a few on-set accidents and it's over-pampered actors, which includes action star Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), gross-out comedy actor Jeff 'Fats' Portnoy (Jack Black) and intense Australian Method actor Kirk Lazarus (a blacked-up Robert Downey Jr. Shocked Very Happy). In an attempt to save the film, it's director Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan) decides to shoot the film guerilla style, placing the actors in the middle of the jungle where there are real guerilla terrorists, but non of the actors realise this, thinking it's all part of the film!! It's good to see Stiller back directing, here he's created a very funny film with some funny moments and it's well made as well. He's been able to attract a big name cast for this film, including Nick Nolte, Tobey Maguire, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Voight and an unrecognisable and foul-mouthed Tom Cruise!! Shocked Very Happy It's Cruise and Downey Jr. that are well worth the price of a ticket alone!! Wink 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:00 pm



5/10



7/10
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:11 pm

The Name of the Rose (1986), based upon Umberto Eco's allegedly "unfilmable" novel. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud creates a visually dark but beautiful whodunnit. Set in a Benedictine Abbey in the 14th Century, unconformist monk William of Baskerville (Sean Connery), is asked to help solve a murder which has occured on the eve of an important conference. He and his apprentice Adso of Melk (Christian Slater), investigate the murder, but to complicate matters, more deaths start occuring throughout the abbey. It's a very dark and very grotesque film, but it's well shot, and director Annaud gets good performances from his actors, (one of Connery's better roles), plus, the sets designed by the great Dante Ferretti are mind-blowing and very authentic. Oh, and look out for a cameo from a young Ron Perlman, as the demented hunchback Salvatore. Wink 4/5



Revolver (2005), poor Guy Ritchie was really clutching at straws when he made this confusing take on existence, brainwashed by his wife's interest in Kabbalah. It has confidence trickster and gambler Jake Green (Jason Statham in a dodgy wig), who after 7 years in prison, is out to get revenge on crime kingpin Dorothy Macha (Ray Liotta), but he finds himself working for 2 low-life loan sharks Zach (Vincent Pastore) and Avi (André Benjamin), in which his money has gone into funding their illegal enterprise. There's a good film in here somewhere, but it's all too confusing to make a head or a tail of, it's as if Ritchie has an intellectual, philosophical twin brother, and he turned up to make a film. It's guaranteed to leave you with a big headache, Ritchie bit off more than he could chew with this little experiment, and the sight of Liotta walking around in his underpants is a truly traumatising sight!! Shocked 2/5



The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), Woody Allen creates an enjoyable homage to the old detective films of the 1940's, as well as the fast-talking screwball comedies of that era as well. Woody plays insurance investigator CW Briggs, who is non-plussed at having the office where he works at being re-arranged by efficiancy expert Betty Ann Fitzgerald (Helen Hunt), however, at a party, they're both hypnotized by a criminal hypnotist The Great Voltan (David Ogden Stiers), who after the show is finished, telephones Briggs and has him carry out jewel heists on estates for which he designed the security systems for. It's a light and breezy film, not Woody's best film but far from his worst. He does good with recreating the look of New York in 1940, and has a good supporting cast, including Dan Aykroyd, Elizabeth Berkley and Charlize Theron. 4/5



Cliffhanger (1993), one of Sylvester Stallone's best films, post Rocky and Rambo. A very suspenseful action film, and one of the few great action films of the 1990's. Sly plays Gabe Walker, an expert mountain climber and rescue worker, who quit his job after a tragedy. But, he is soon called back to those perilous peaks once again after a heist involving the theft of 3 cases containing $100 million which belongs to the U.S. treasury is lost in the mountains by a bunch of thieves led by Eric Qualen (John Lithgow, with a comedy English accent Razz). But, Gabe isn't gonna take any shit from this lot, and tries to ensure they don't get away with it. It's very well made and it's very suspenseful as well, with some of the rock climbing stunts being amongst the most breath-taking ever caught on film, director Renny Harlin also does well with the action as well, it's very violent, but in the long term, it's just a load of big, dumb fun!! Very Happy 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:05 pm

The Departed 5/5

The Prestige 5/5

The Last Of The Mohicans 5/5
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:50 pm



Cobblers with a capital C -5/10

Though 1/10 for Hugh Jackman's comedy hairdo Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:36 am

Nicola wrote:


Cobblers with a capital C -5/10

Though 1/10 for Hugh Jackman's comedy hairdo Very Happy

Part of this films charm is its utter uselessness. I love it!

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We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
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Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:02 am

.


I like to call it 3 Men On A Rope, due to the amount of rope swinging in it. Shocked

Still by no means a terrible film, throwaway entertainment that couldve been SO much more given its rich source material and it's potential for nigh on excellence - i mean c'mon Dracula, the Wolf Man AND Frankenstein's Monster?!! Recipe for awesomeness if ever there was one. Pity Jackman was so wooden in it.

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:43 am

Basic Instinct (1992), Paul Verhoeven, cinema's most beloved dirty Dutchman, was at the peak of his powers after Robocop (1987) and Total Recall (1990), he was then given an exciting erotic thriller. Set in San Francisco, it has troubled police detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas), who is leading an investigation into the murder of ex-rock star Johnny Boz (Bill Cable), who was killed with an ice-pick during a session of wild sex. Curran's investigation leads him to crime thriller author Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), who was having a relationship with Boz, she proves to be very clever and very cunning. even though Curran believes it was her who killed Boz, they enter into a psychological but erotic love affair, but when a couple more deaths occur, Curran suspects Tramell even more, and his psychiatrist Beth Gardner (Jeanne Tripplehorn), who knew Tramell from college, becomes a suspect. The film is famous for the leg-crossing scene, but that aside, it is a very suspenseful and gripping thriller, it still stands up over a decade on. It has the usual touches of over-the-top madness you'd expect from Verhoeven, but it also has touches of Hitchcock about it, (especially Vertigo). Alot of people are quick to dismiss this film as cheap erotica, but they're wrong, it's very stylish and well made. However, Verhoeven and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas would next do Showgirls, and we all know what happened there... Razz 4/5



Melinda and Melinda (2004), after a few flops, Woody Allen got his act together, and pulled off a film with a similiar structure to his own Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). It starts off with a dinner between two successful playwrights, Max (Larry Pine) and Sy (Wallace Shawn), who hear a story about a woman called Melinda (Radha Mitchell), who is trying to get her life in order after some troubles. What follows is two versions of her trying to get her life together, as the two playwrights discuss whether it can be a tragic story or a comic story. There's a tragic version where she is a suicidal depressive, who finds brief solace with her old schoolfriend Laurel (Chloë Sevigny), her husband actor Lee (Jonny Lee Miller) and musician Ellis Moonsong (Chiwetel Ejiofor). In the comic version, it has Melinda as a free-spirited neighbour to filmmaker Susan (Amanda Peet) and her stuggling actor husband Hobie (Will Ferrell). After Melinda becomes friends with her neighbours, Hobie finds himself falling for Melinda. It's a very clever film, and the two segments of the film compliment each other, the tragic version is very powerful, and boasts some very good performances, whilst the comic version, (the better of the two), has some of Woody's best dialogue in a long time, and quick appearances from Steve Carell and Josh Brolin. One of Woody's better recent ones, before he went off to London and Barcelona... Wink 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:33 am

Grease (1978), the Original High School Musical, still looking good and being a load of big cheesy fun 30 years later!! Wink It's still the biggest musical of all time, and it got the most recognisable songs from any movie. Set in 1958, it's mostly set at Rydell High School. It follows the relationships of Danny Zuko (John Travolta) and Aussie foreign exchange student Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John), who fell in love over the summer, Sandy was due to go back to Australia, but there was a change of plan, and is now at Rydell High, as they attempt to rekindle the spark that made them attracted to each other in the first place, the path of true love doesn't run as smoothly for their friends. Alot of people might be keen to criticise the film, but the fact of the matter is that it's one of the most enjoyable and likeable films ever made!! The songs including Grease is the Word, Summer Nights, Greased Lightening and You're The One That I Want still stand up after all this time, it's well made, (kudos to director Randal Kleiser). One of the top 10 greatest musicals of all time, and one of the best films of the 1970's as well. Grease will ALWAYS be the word!! Wink 5/5



Crumb (1994), a very candid and offbeat documentary about one of the best cartoonists and artists of our time, Robert Crumb. Born in Philadelphia in 1943, it documents Crumbs life and times, and how he became interested in cartooning, he became famous for the likes of Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural and the album cover for Cheap Thrills by Big Brother and the Holding Company. It also explains how drugs would help bring out a darker and sexually explicit side to his work, we also meet his extremely dysfunctional family, his mother, two brothers, wife, ex-wife and ex-girlfriends are interviewed as well, and it ends with Crumb and his family upping sticks and moving to the South of France, where he's lived ever since. Produced by David Lynch, and directed by Terry Zwigoff, the film paints and extraordinary but dark picture of Crumb, although he is a very talented artist, you can't help but feel sorry for his family, (his brother Charles, who was see as a recluse, committed suicide a year after he was filmed.) But, in the long term, it's a very good picture of a man who loves to draw, and he loves old rare blues records he plays on 78's. For Zwigoff, he later went on to do Ghost World (2001) and Bad Santa (2003)!! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:40 pm



6/10
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:56 am

Quite a bit of catching up to do!

Revolver (1st view) – A weird one this, isn’t it? It has pretty much all of the elements in place that made Guy Ritchie’s earlier films Lock, Stock… and Snatch successes, but it lacks any sense of cohesion as it nears the end. The first half is really not bad at all, all style and no substance perhaps, but still enjoyable. Things take a turn when the identity of a mysterious crime lord is revealed, and then it’s downhill all the way to the end credits. Shame really – 3/5




The Hills Have Eyes (1st view) – Wes Craven’s 1977 original, much better than the recent remake. While the newer film relied on excess gore to provide thrills, this version does have some incredibly tense scenes. The rather unpleasant deaths don’t make it the nicest film to watch, but it works well as a “lost in the wilderness” horror film – 4/5




The Diving Bell and The Butterfly/Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (1st view) -After Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a massive stroke, he was completely paralysed except for his left eyelud. With the help of his nurses, he learns how to communicate by blinking, and in turn writes a bok about his experiences. Painter turned director Julian Schnabel diretcs with sensitivity, a great deal of the film taking place from Baubt’s perspective. All the cast give terrific performances, especially Matthieu Amalric as Bauby, and Marie-Josée Croze as his nurse. Deeply moving (the scene involving Max Von Sydow's telephone conversation is a real heartbreaker), but almost every review praises the film as inspiration. It’s not. It’s bloody depressing – 4/5




The Departed (2nd view) – The first time I’ve seen this since the cinema, and I think I like it a bit more now. Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio are both on fine form, and there is some excellent support from the liked of Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin. Jack Nicholson lets me down though, hamming it up like many of his performances in the last 30 or so years. Not one of Scorcese’s very best films, but a weak Sorcese pic is still a winner – 4/5




Cops (2nd view) – Wonderful Buster Keaton short film, in which a series of unfortunate and unintentional mishaps sees Buster being chased across town by a whole army of policemen. As visually impressive as ever, with some breathtaking stunts (The best of which is when Buster grabs hold onto the back of a moving car, and is whizzed, right off his feet and off the screen. Can’t imagine any of name actors of today even thinking about something like that) – 4/5




The Usual Suspects (6th view) – Not seen this for a few years, and I’ve always admired it rather than liked it, but this time I found it to be a whole lot more enjoyable than before. Spectacularly well cast, a marvellous screenplay and some genuinely surprising moments, not least the twist. Still, the twist is also something of a letdown; even thinking about it briefly undoes a lot of what came before. Small matter really though – 4/5




Pulp Fiction (5th view) –I’m fairly certain that I first saw this during he week of the 9/11 attacks, when the BBC replaced Strange Days with this (at least, I think they did). At the time, the only Tarantino film I’d see was Jackie Brown, which I loved, and I wanted to love this as well. I didn’t, and every time I go back to it, I still don’t. It’s far from a bad film. Travolta and Jackson have never been better, it’s the only film in which Thurman doesn’t irritate me, there’s a wonderful sense of humour, some of the dialogue is pure joy and the disjointed story works exceptionally well. But I just don’t love it all that much. Maybe one day I will. (Sorry Maddy!!) – 3/5




True Romance (4th view) – Scripted by Tarantino, this film was apparently intended to have a chronologically-mixes storyline, but director Tony Scott made it linear. Whether that would have benefited the film, who knows? Nevertheless, this is a cracking crime drama, back from the days when Christian Slater had promise and Patricia Arquette wasn't only to be found in TV (though I’m glad that’s the case, as Medium is ace!). Both stars are fine, and a whole host of supporting actors back them up, Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken's shared scene being a highlight. Great stuff overall – 4/5




Evan Almighty (1st view) – Well I liked it. It was never going to be a masterpiece, a whole bunch of the jokes fall flat and come the end of the day it feels like both a cash-in and a wasted opportunity. Still, go with the flow and there is quite bit to enjoy here – 3/5




Fargo (5th view) – I think this was the first Coen brother’s film I saw (it might have been the second, after Raising Arizona) and it’s probably my favourite of the bunch. A genuine sense of warmth and heart can be found in the character of Marge Gunderson, and Frances McDormand is excellent. She’s matched my William H Macy, absolutely wonderful as the man who sets up for his wife to be kidnapped, only for everything to go wrong. Special mention to Carter Burwell's score! Brilliant – 5/5




The Big Lebowski (2nd view) – The Coen Brothers follow up to Fargo sees Jeff Bridges as The Dude, trapped in a web of mistaken identity and double crossing. Bridges is excellent in the lead, but all the cast are on fire, John Goodman in particular has never been better, as the Vietnam vet with a grudge. Frequently hilarious – 4/5




Stardust (2nd) – I’ve read a bunch of reviews that say that this is The Princess Bride for the noughties. That’s bobbins; Stardust outdoes Bride in pretty much every way. A great fantasy fairy tale, a sharp sense of humour and some fine performances. It’s not all great (Never darken my TV screen again Mr Gervais!) but this is thoroughly enjoyable. Fantastic score also – 4/5



Pierrepoint (1st view) – Biography of Albert Pierrepoint, who worked as a hangman from 1932 to 1956. Despite some very big liberties with the truth, this is still compelling and moving stuff, with Timothy Spall excellent in the title role, and a nice turn from Juliet Stevenson as his wife – 4/5


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:10 pm

I just had to comment on the fact that I love reading your reviews Gimli!! They're always a pleasure to read cheers I suppose I can let you off this once on a difference of opinion Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:32 pm



8/10
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sun Sep 28, 2008 1:00 pm

The New World 3/5

Great Expectations (1946) 4/5
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:22 pm

Night at the Museum 3/5
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:35 pm

The Mad One wrote:
I just had to comment on the fact that I love reading your reviews Gimli!! They're always a pleasure to read cheers I suppose I can let you off this once on a difference of opinion Very Happy

Cheers! I'm of the opinion that I couldn't write anything decent to save my life, so it's nice to hear otherwise. And if I based my reviews on soundtrack alone, Pulp would be a clear 5/5!

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We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:51 pm

Gimli the Inept wrote:
The Mad One wrote:
I just had to comment on the fact that I love reading your reviews Gimli!! They're always a pleasure to read cheers I suppose I can let you off this once on a difference of opinion Very Happy

Cheers! I'm of the opinion that I couldn't write anything decent to save my life, so it's nice to hear otherwise.

Way to harsh on yourself.


The Fugitive 5/5
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:28 pm

Shattered Glass 4/5

Master and Commander The Far Side Of The World 5/5

US Marshals 4/5
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:43 pm



7/10
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:46 am

Going To Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (1st view) – A documentary that does what it says on the tin. Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Stan Winston, Tom Savini and Rob Zombie are just a few of the filmmakers who voice their opinions on the slasher genre that peaked in the late 70s/early 80s, and it’s great to see the passion they have for the films from that time. It’s chock full of footage as well, often from films I’d never even heard of, and the splatter and gore on show puts many modern films to shame. Still, at just 80-odd minutes. It never really settles down on any particular area and discusses it in depth, which is a great shame. What we do get is interesting, but it feels like skimming the surface – 3/5




A Good Woman (1st view) – In 1930s Italy, a bunch a wealthy English folk start gossiping when new arrival Mrs. Erlynne (Helen Hunt) seemingly starts having an affair with a newlywed, a fact that his wife (Scarlett Johansson) is oblivious to. That’s pretty much all that happens and I can only suppose that the play its based on, Oscar Wilde’s lady Windermere’s Fan, is a good deal better. Both Hunt and Johannson are way out of their depth, and only the ever-excellent Tom Wilkinson leaves an impression – 2/5



Sideways (2nd view) – Alexander Payne’s follow up to About Schmidt sees Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church head up to California’s wine country to spend the week before Church’s wedding. Both male leads give excellent performances. Church was rightly Oscar nominated, as was co-star Virginia Madsen, but this is really Giamatti’s film and he gives what is probably his best performance. Incredibly funny at times yet also poignant and moving, it’s one of the finest films of the decade – 5/5


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:06 pm

Glad to hear you liked Family Plot, Nicola!! Wink

Death Race (2008), Paul W.S. Anderson, a director most people love to hate, finally makes a good film for the first time in a decade!! Shocked He's remade the cult Roger Corman production Death Race 2000 (1975), but instead of going bigger and better, as what alot of remakes do, Anderson goes in the other direction, making it dark, gritty and bleak. Set in 2012, it has ex-NASCAR racing driver Jensen Ames (Jason Statham), framed for the murder of his wife, and is sent to the most notorious prison in America, Terminal Island. Here, it is also host to Death Race, a deadly car racing sport broadcast on the internet, masterminded by Prison Warden Hennessy (Joan Allen), where prisoners can win their freedom or die trying in the race. She wants Ames to become the new Frankenstein, a mysterious racing driver who was killed 6 months earlier, but no-one knows that. Whenever Anderson brings a new film out, it's normally a cause for panic or dread. Not this time, he's found something he's actually good at. It's dumb B-Movie fun, with some really good car stunts, the film is the anti-Speed Racer, (Anderson actually had something similiar in mind for this at one point.) It just goes to show that when Anderson puts his mind to it, he can make a good film, maybe we've underestimated him... With appearances from Tyrese Gibson as Machine Gun Joe, and Ian McShane as lead mechanic Coach, it makes for a painless hour and a bit of viewing. Oh, and listen out for David Carradine!! Wink 4/5



Death Race 2000 (1975), the original and best stab at the deadly race car sport, a good piece of cheesy and violent sci-fi done on the cheap for $300,000!! Based upon a short story by Ib Melchior, produced by Roger Corman and directed by Paul Bartel. Set in a now dated vision of the year 2000, where America is a fascist police state co-run by the church. The people of America are kept entertained by a violent road race across America called the Transcontinental Road Race, in which drivers win points for every pedestrian they kill. The racers include the mysterious Frankenstein (David Carradine), Machine Gun Joe (Sylvester Stallone), Matilda the Hun (Roberta Collins), Calamity Jane Kelly (Mary Woronov) and Nero The Hero (Martin Kove). The race is sabotaged along the way by a Resistance group led Thomasina Paine (Harriet Medin), who is trying to have Frankenstein murdered, and Paine has also got her granddaughter Annie (Simone Griffeth) to act as Frankenstein's co-driver. But, Frankenstein soon sees the error of the sport's ways. The film is like an adult version of Wacky Racers or Speed Racer, but it's also a satire on the world's media, and how far they would go with violent sports, (they've nearly got it right as well!!) But, it's a product of it's time, the cars decorated in cheesy day-glo designs and colours look silly rather than scary, but that adds to the films appeal. We need more films like this today!! Wink 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:46 pm

Donald McKinney wrote:
Glad to hear you liked Family Plot, Nicola!! Wink

I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it, but it was really good Very Happy




9/10
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:06 pm

How To Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008), Toby Young's memoir of his ill-fated time at Vanity Fair magazine is adapted for the big screen, with a few changes here and there, but it retains alot of the events described in the book. This has Sidney Young (Simon Pegg), a bumbling small-time London journalist and social misfit, who is invited by Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges, in a weird wig), editor of Sharps magazine, if he would like to work for Sharps in New York. Young agrees, and he immediately doesn't fit in. In fact, the only person who seems to be able to tollerate his stupidity is fellow writer Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst), but Young is starstruck on winning the attention of rising actress Sophie Maes (Megan Fox). The film is the old fish out of water story, but there are some very funny moments in this film, and Pegg is a likeable lead, (he proved that last year in Run, Fatboy, Run), and his performance is complimented by a good cast which also includes Danny Huston, Gillian Anderson, Bill Paterson and Miriam Margolyes. Alot of the situations Young gets himself into are fun, but you can't believe anyone can be THIS stupid!! tongue 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:37 pm



4/10



6/10
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