Explore
 Lists  Reviews  Images  Update feed
Categories
MoviesTV ShowsMusicBooksGamesDVDs/Blu-RayPeopleArt & DesignPlacesWeb TV & PodcastsToys & CollectiblesComic Book SeriesBeautyAnimals   View more categories »
All reviews - Movies (45) - TV Shows (4) - Books (8) - Music (1) - Games (2)

The Wheezemeister General Rides Again.

Posted : 4 years, 9 months ago on 19 November 2012 12:06 (A review of Absolute Power)

Watching this I think it must have heavily influenced (and was certainly influenced by) other political comedy greats. I first encountered this as the radio series and fully expected the TV version to be a substandard copy since the writing for the former would need to be so much tighter. Further, since the contemporaneous nature of the material ages rapidly it becomes less accessible and I would fight to understand it. I was wrong on both counts. Even more acerbic, even more pretentious and even more ludicrous and all whilst being thoroughly enjoyable the skills of Charles Prentiss and Martin McCabe are still much in evidence. The TV version offers a much more convoluted plot which entertains and satisfies, once it can be synchronised but plenty of familiar faces and as the series progresses, the shape of the plots becomes more sharply defined in their execution. Never knowingly out-wheezed. Indeed Charles. Indeed.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

Naked review

Posted : 4 years, 9 months ago on 15 November 2012 02:22 (A review of Naked)

Sedaris has a unique style, a blend of fact and fiction - "faction" perhaps. His deprecating style, that most frequently includes himself, reads so easily that it's deceptively alluring. He can bring you up with dazzling wit delivered in a gut-wrenchingly honest way and then dash you to bits with a handful of words a few sentences later. Even when it's grim the sun is just behind the clouds and you know that the weather won't last for long. What he teaches us about ourselves is where his writing shines the brightest. He gives voice to the unworthy thoughts we all have from time to time and often takes them, step by step, into a realm of farce that always stops short of being entirely implausible. When I picked this book up and began to read, I didn't put it down again for seven hours until I regretfully turned the final page.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

The Deer Hunter review

Posted : 4 years, 9 months ago on 8 November 2012 10:39 (A review of The Deer Hunter)

One of those rare movies that is powerful and tender simultaneously. A love story that feeds into itself without resorting to needless sentimentalist imagery.
If you approve of Michael's "one-shot" policy - and anyone who loves animals as much as he does could not do otherwise - you'll not fail to make the vital connection that this film projects.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

Black review

Posted : 4 years, 9 months ago on 8 November 2012 09:46 (A review of Black)

Some games are destined to become classics. This one ought to be because of the lush and creative sets that seem to offer limitless possibilities. Some people like to play this game as a full-on charge-n-blast game but for me it was infinitely better as a sneak-n-pop headshots. The only disappointment is towards the end of the game when the action becomes ludicrously dense and ... for what? Well, you'll have to play it to understand how frustrating it can be. But overall, a top-grade 1st person shooter that you can take at your own pace.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

The Dictator review

Posted : 4 years, 9 months ago on 1 November 2012 12:24 (A review of The Dictator)

Typically irreverent and sacreligious but not one of Sacha's funniest, though it has its moments. As always with Baron Cohen's work there are salty truths and messages buried within. Towards the end - "Why are you guys so anti-dictators? ..." - it delivers a stinging rebuke outlining how America has managed to put the mock in democracy whilst morally bigging itself up to other nations.

The quality of cinematography is of a high order and the music, by Sacha's brother Erran, is fresh and apt. The elfin (and rather cute) Anna Faris was well chosen for the rom-com aspect of the piece but overall the thing lacked focus. It seems to be a part of Baron Cohen's ouvre that he can confuse, shock and tickle you in as few words as possible. Sometimes that appeals, sometimes it doesn't.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion review

Posted : 4 years, 9 months ago on 30 October 2012 10:44 (A review of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)

This game is the very best of its kind that I've ever played. The graphics and physics are stunning - even the night sky has recognisable constellations that slowly creep around and shift with the seasons.

It's basically an adventure game with some scrapping, puzzle solving, charming others into your way of thinking, collecting herbs and mushrooms to concoct potions, buying, stealing, selling things that you find ... it goes on. And on. And on.

There is so much to this game that it's a joy to play and seems like it would never end - indeed for me it still hasn't. The realism of the visuals is so well crafted that when roaming around in the damp dungeons I could almost smell the muskiness. Romping around the meadows amongst the butterflies I could smell the fragrant blossoms. Scrapping with imperial soldiers I could smell the metal of clashing swords.

And the music. This is one of the few games that the music does not grate after the n-teenth repetition. Jeremy Soule composed the soundtrack and it is top-notch superb quality. If you're bedridden or housebound for some reason and it will be some time before you recover, this is a very pleasant way to while away the time. Don't forget to break for meals!


0 comments, Reply to this entry

This Island Earth review

Posted : 4 years, 9 months ago on 29 October 2012 08:13 (A review of This Island Earth)

I saw this as a very young child and it entranced my impressionable mind so much that I became absorbed with science and began building an interociter of my own. (It produced some impressively smoky pyrotechnics when I plugged it in - probably a fault in my dithermic cross-breeder flux capacitor - and I learned some new words as my father groped around in the dark to replace the house fuse. I went hungry that night and the workshop was off-limits for a while.)

It looks a little hokey now but for the time the science underpinning the story was surprisingly advanced and believable. Great for propeller-head kids. And Faith Domergue isn't unpleasing to look at.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

La Vita Nuova (Classics) review

Posted : 4 years, 10 months ago on 17 October 2012 02:35 (A review of La Vita Nuova (Classics))

If you have experienced unrequited love, as so many people do at least once in their lives, Dante's work is a pleasant stroll through the purity, nobility and delight of such love.

For me, at least, it taught the salutary lesson that although such a love can never be outwardly returned it will also never die. It's a commonly recurring conclusion in literature since but, as far as I can tell, Dante was the first person to write about it.

There's only one kind of love that lasts - unrequited love. It stays with you for ever.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

A shadow of what it should have been

Posted : 4 years, 10 months ago on 17 October 2012 01:25 (A review of American Psycho)

I'd rate this film higher but for a crucial element of the character that was entirely absent - charm.

Having read a fair amount of literature from respected criminologists and criminal psychiatrists (which confusingly holds that psychopathy might be linked to a disconnect/dysfunction in the amygdala as frequently as it cites environmental influences) the one thing they all agree on is that high-functioning psychopaths are often charming, engaging and highly intelligent.

Yet Bateman's character is as smug and charmless as can be imagined, to the point of cartoonishness. The film therefore misses out on the one element that would introduce a genuinely spine-tingling response; that the charming, friendly, talkative, interesting and apparently helpful man smiling at you across the table is mentally visualising how best to dismember you once he gets you home.

Given that Silence of the Lambs preceded this film by a wide margin and showed us how a real pure psychopath would behave there really is no excuse. To be fair, they got his profession right: alongside Politics, Law-enforcement and Special Forces, the density of psychopaths in the financial sector is much higher than anywhere else in society. (This is not a criticism, just a fact that positions of power/control/authority is naturally where psychopaths congregate).

It wouldn't have been rocket science to portray Bateman correctly and hint at his darkness in separate, less pleasant, vignettes. Unfortunately the Bateman we see is aggressively psychotic in broad daylight and to anyone who sits "below" him on the socio-economic scale. His lack of interaction with any kind of employer to whom he must show at least a modicum of manners skips the chance to demonstrate the truly self-serving and ruthless nature of this kind of creature. In the wild, such a man would not remain undetected and at liberty for long.

The film is entertaining enough I suppose on a frenzied-bout-of-violence level but to anyone who has done a bit of reading on the topic it's mostly two-dimensional and barely believable.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

Disturbing & worthwhile

Posted : 4 years, 10 months ago on 17 October 2012 01:04 (A review of The Machinist)

This is a remarkable film and, in my experience, an original one. Reznik's painfully wasting body and sleepless existence is an excellent allegory for the withering of his self esteem and the nagging conscience that would not allow him to rest, respectively. It reminded me of The Picture of Dorian Gray and of Mark Twain's delightful essay The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Conneticut though it probably has more lineage than that.

Thankfully I watched the film without thinking too hard about it meaning that, unlike others in attendance, I was blindsided by the twist until the conclusion and so most probably enjoyed it more than my fellow viewers enjoyed their smugness at having worked it out "in the first twenty minutes".

Though the plot is somewhat skeletal and hopeless (rather like Reznik) the film has a message worth selling to anyone in posession of a conscience - psychopaths & sociopaths need not apply. Bale's performance is very good though his appearance is distressing and his apparent desire to drop to 100lb skirts frighteningly close to the mindset of an anorexic. Indeed his physical sacrifice for the role was, for me, the absolute limit an actor should push for his art.

Bale has constantly (and pleasantly) surprised me ever since American Psycho and as he ages I'm sure we can expect to see his range given more room to project his talent.

A disturbing but interesting work.


0 comments, Reply to this entry


« Prev12 3 4 5 6 Next »

Insert image

drop image here
(or click)
or enter URL:
 link image?  square?

Insert video

Format block