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since 26/07/2000


Halloween H2O - Twenty Years Later Halloween 7 (DVD) 19/09/2001

A strong finish but stop now

Halloween H2O - Twenty Years Later Halloween 7 (DVD) WARNING - SPOILER AHEAD SYNOPSIS : Micahel Myers returns this time to hunt down his siter Laurie who though thought to be dead is actually living under the name of Keri Tate as the headmistress of an exclusive boarding school. Myer's finds Laurie's file at the house of his former doctor's {Loomis} nurse Marion Whittington but not before disptaching her and two male teens. Myers traces Keri Tate to the school and she begins to see him around the grounds. At first this is just her imagination. However when most of the pupils go away for a week to Yosemite it quickly becomes obvious that Myers is back. John, Laurie's son and his girlfriend Molly lose two friends to myers and John is attacked. They escape Myers and all are about to leave when Laurie orders the two out of the grounds for her one-to-one showdown with Myers. She eventually gets the better of him, and after a moments empathy with her "brother" she decapitates him. CRITIQUE:If any of you have read my other reviews you will notice that I believe the Halloween franchise gets progressively worse the more the sequels pile up. Who would have thought this could be so different. If the pattern had persisted after the truly abysmal Halloween 6 then this film would be up their with Driller Killer and Showgirls. Thankfully Steve Miner has turned in a film that is only bettered by the original movie. Something about Halloween's subsequent sequels was the feeling that the script had been written an hour before shooting ...

Friday The 13th - Part 5 - A New Beginning (DVD) 19/09/2001

A bit of a black sheep

Friday The 13th - Part 5 - A New Beginning (DVD) WARNING : SPOILER AHEAD SYNOPSIS : Tommy Jarvis, the survivor from the previous movie is now 18 and on his way to the Unger institute - he is still disturbed by his encounter with Jason Vorhees 6 years previous and is having hallucinations and dreams that Jason is still alive. He arrives at the institute and meets the other patients most of whom seem perfectly okay to be in a mental home. One of the kids, Joey is bugging the others and asks Vic, a fellow patient if he can help him chop wood. When he refuses Joey shouts at him and receives an axe in his back for the trouble. Vic is taken away and two ambulancemen arrive to take away the now dead Joey. After this event people start dying - a couple at a diner are axed, two guys broken down in the woods are dispatched and two foul mouthed yokel neighbours are picked off with a clever. Slowly members of the institute start to die too and suspicion immediately falls on Tommy. Pam the institute's helper and Reggie, a relative of a patient go and visit Reggies brother with Tommy - when they leave, the brother and his girlfriend are killed. Each of the three return seperately - Reggie discovers the bodies of the murdered patients and Pam returns and they make their escape from Jason {or so it seems} - they run through the woods and make many grisly discoveries and get split up - Pam returns to the house and again finds more bodies {this film has the highest body count}. Pam is pursued again and nearly killed but Reggie returns and ...

HOLLOW MAN (DVD) 05/09/2001

The hollowest of plots

HOLLOW MAN (DVD) HOLLOW MAN - 2000 with Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Shue and Josh Brolin. Invsible Man horror gone awry. THE PLOT - A group of scientists led by the eccentric Sebastian Caine {Kevin Bacon} discover through numerous testing the secret of invisibility. Their latest subject, Isabelle the Gorilla undergoes the treatment and success is declared as she disappears and re-appears in the two stages of the experiment. However, the group agree that a 100% human experiment would be even more-groundbreaking and Sebastian volunteers to put himself under the microscope so to speak. The first part of the experiment goes well as, like Isabelle Caine disappears, but as fate would have it the procedure to bring him back from invisibility fails leaving Caine in a permanent state of invisibility. To allay his discomfort somewhat a latex face mask and gloves are made to give Caine some kind of appearance but his lack of appearance is slowly driving him insane - okay, that's the somewhat sensible plotline out of the way. Then Sebastian goes rampaging killing all and sundry! SYNOPSIS : Oh dear. Do you remember at school. You had spent weeks in class constructing a nice little story, all nicely detailed, impressive. Then you find out that you only have 10 minutes to finish it so you just slap on the old "it was all a dream" ending and your mark reads "starts off well, ending weak". Well although Hollow Man doesn't strictly end like that you do kind of get the feeling that all imagination was spent ...

Channel 4 - Hollyoaks 04/09/2001

Has its ups and downs

Channel 4 - Hollyoaks I admit to watching Hollyoaks regularly but it's certainly no masterpiece, and hardly something that's gonna win any big drama awards. The problem with Hollyoaks is that when it's good it's very very good but when it's bad it can be mind-numbingly dull. Since I began watching nearly two years ago there have been some great plotlines - for example the return and subsequent death of the evil Rob Hawthorne and the rape and trial of Luke Morgan - since Neighbours went all relationshippy on us and ended its reputation as being extremely far-fetched, Hollyoaks is really the only soap which can be relied on to suspend belief and realism in favour of action filled, highly unlikely but rather exciting storylines. Soaps are after all about escapism and what better way to escape than a few explosions, fires and kidnappings. But then we come to the bad points. The acting on Hollyoaks is risible at the best of times and you get the impression the cast's previous acting talents was appearing school plays and commercials. Secondly the show features a variety of dislikeable female characters. Hollyoaks is one of those shows that delights in the bad qualities of men but portrays women as strong, independent and empowered. This is extremely insulting to male viewers and promotes the view that only women enjoy soap operas {and that's insulting to you too gals} and thinking about it now there isn't really a weak female character in the show.On the contrary there are many male characters ... 04/09/2001

Fun but frustrating after a while I joined Tombola about a year ago now and thought hey this looks like fun and being a person always on the lookout for money I don't have to work too hard for I signed up and have played nearly every day since. The site is well designed with a colurful layout and easy navigation - the games usually load pretty quickly and if you don't win you are quickly. The page is regularly changed to add a bit variety and current events and dates are often reflected for example there was a Euro 2000 game last summer and a Christmas game in December. So in these respects the site is good. But..... Yes, we have to come to the problems. As I mentioned I have been playing for over a year now and to this day I haven't won a bean, nothing, zilch, squat - I'm not saying I expect to have won the top prizes of £5000 and upwards but surely for persistent users such as myself there could be some kind of loyalty scheme - just a fiver for being loyal or something would encourage more people to keep coming back thus increasing their revenue through advertising. The games are also a bit predictable. Every day I always miss out on a prize by just one point or whatever which adds no surprise to the games and one day it'd be nice if I didn't get anywhere near the prize {better still if I got them all} Secondly, every month or so you get a newsletter with people who've won with most of them saying "wow this is the first time I've ever played and I won £10000" which to persistent users like me is ...

Stand By Me (DVD) 08/06/2001

One of the best from the 80s

Stand By Me (DVD) WARNING : SPOILER AHEAD SYNOPSIS : 4 12 year old boys, living in the small Oregon town of Castle Rock are going on a mission. Ray Brower, a boy their age, also from Castle Rock is rumoured to be dead, hit by a train whilst out looking for blueberries - the boys want to find his body and claim the victory of doing so so they set off for a night and two days on the search. The boys are sensitive Gordy who recently lost his brother in a car crash - tough guy Chris who underneath is deeply misunderstood and judged by his thuggish brothers. Teddy, who is abused by his father but defendes him as a hero and scaredy cat Vern who talks rubbish and is contantly flinching. As the boys go on the search they start to learn things about each other - in addition to the usual stuff like smoking, swearing 'cause it's cool and talking about whether Mighty Mouse could defeat Superman in a fight Gordy learns that his storytelling talents shouldn't go to waste - it is his voice we hear narrating the story. Chris' tough gy demeanour also breaks down and he confesses he is fed up with being judged on what his brothers get up to. When they finally reach the body a silence comes over the boys - that is until the boys older brothers and their friends turn up and threaten the boys, hoping to take the glory of finding the body for themselves. Gordy threatens the gang with the gun and they leave - the boys then decide to leave too, with an anonymous phone call to let the authorities know where the ...

Channel 4 - Friends 08/06/2001

A victim of it's own success but still great

Channel 4 - Friends Friends is perhaps becoming a victim of it's own success - it does at the moment seem to be one of those shows that is fashionable to dislike and even it's fans say it is losing it. I have to say I'm a massive a fan of the show and will watch it til it ends. People say it is in decline but this is just a little unfair - when the show started it was so witty, so sharp and the writing very tight. Not much has changed but like most things you can never beat the originals - of course the writing is not as tight as it used to be - there are fewer avenues for the characters to explore and most of the obvious plotlines have been used up. The thing about the newer series is that you feel like you really know the characters so whatever they say seems funny so the writing doesn't have to be quite so witty - in contrast, when the show started none of the characters were established and all vying for our attention so the writers had to work extra hard to ensure they did this. Nowadays we know everything about Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler and Joey which also means the show can also work as a drama as well as a comedy, offsetting the more serious moments with good jokes and funny, and mostly believable situations. So how about this new series, the seventh, thought to be the penultimate one - well so far so good. The continuity is a little slack but it's still great to see these guys in all manner of new situations. And there are many more things to look forward to - Chandler ...

South Park - Bigger, Longer And Uncut DVD 08/06/2001

Look beyond the swearing

South Park - Bigger, Longer And Uncut DVD WARNING - SPOILER AHEAD SYNOPSIS : When the South Park kids go and see the new Candian movie Terrence and Philip they are bombarded by swearing and toilet humour - when they exit the cinema they begin to emulate their heroes and soon Terrence and Philip fever is spreading the town - however, the boys mothers particularly Kyle's mum Sheila find out why the kids are swearing and sets out to have Terrence and Philip executed - after appearing on the Conan O'Brien show they are captured and taken, along with all other Canadians to labour camps, awaiting their execution at a show put on for US troops. Outraged, our three main protaganists set out to rescue Terrence and Philip - Kenny is unfortunately burnt to death trying to copy a scene from the movie and is sent to hell. Whilst our three heroes form an organisation called "La Resistance" to rescue the two stars, Kenny now in hell meets the devil and his gay lover Saddam Hussein who plan to take over the world if Terrence and Philip are killed. Kenny visits earth and warns Cartman about the Devil's plan - however this move jeopardises the plan and a war breaks out between the Canadians and the Americans and Terrence and Philip among others are killed. As their blood spills on the ground the devil and Saddam rise to earth - however the power hungry Saddam is killed by the devil who is fed up with being used by Saddam for sex - the Devil realises he can never live on earth grants Kenny a wish - he sacrifices himself and ...

The Shining (DVD) 17/05/2001

Better than the book

The Shining (DVD) SYNOPSIS : The Torrances are planning to move to the Overlook Hotel deep in the mountains to maintain it over a long winter. This is Jacks first stable job in years so he and his wife are thrilled to be involved in the project. Danny their son however is less optimistic and is beginning to see images of the Overlook which scare and disturn him. On arriving at the Hotel Jack begins to write his novel while Wendy and Danny explore the place. Jack however finds writing more difficult than he had anticipated and begins to become frustrated and irritable at the claustrophobic situation he has got himself into. Danny in the meantime sees visions of two murdered girls in the hallway. Later he is attacked by a mouldy old woman in one of the hotel bedrooms. Jack, becoming more and more distant from his family meets Delbert Grady {a waiter at one of Jack's party hallucinations} Mr Grady it transpires is a former caretaker like Jack, who murdered his family years earlier. Jack later dinds Wendy snooping through his work - the line "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" typed over and over again - Jack threatens Wendy and she in turn attacks him leaving him unconscious. After being imprisoned by her in the walk in pantry he is released by Grady and Jack runs amok with an axe. Halloran, the hotel Chef who has been communicating with Danny through his visions or "shining" arrives at the hotel and receives an axe in the chest. Jack chases Danny through the hotel maze and on losing him ... 13/05/2001

A gold star for Blackstar Though I love DVDs I must say that my collection of gorgeous VHS videos all lined up next to each other is probably my most treasured posession - but you know what it's like. Go down into town and all you can pick up on VHS is mainstream dross - heaven forbid you wanting that weird little film you remember vaguely from channel 4 late Saturday night as unless you want the latest Mel Gibson movie or somrthing to that effect then you ain't gonna find anything to left of the middle - heaven help us then for Blackstar, without doubt the best place on the net to buy your vids! Here's a rundown. THE SITE : After typing in the URL you'll arrive at a very well thought out and easy to use database. For the casual user this is great as you can type in the video you want and proceed straight to the checkout with ease. However, if you're really into your entertainment Blackstar offers a vast array of services - you can select your favourite cinemas and see what's showing locally, set up your favourite tv programmes and be told when they're showing, find out the filmographies of cast members and watch out for new films from your favourite director - selecting a film also shows you five recommendations which might interest you so you can surf for hours checking out new titles and remisicing about the old classics. Most of the films feature a short review and a re-production of the sleeve. It is in a word amazing. THE SERVICE : I have been ordering videos from Blackstar for nearly 6 ...

Channel 4 - Shipwrecked 13/05/2001

Irritating but must-see TV

Channel 4 - Shipwrecked Shipwrecked, a series which had it's first series last year is back again with another bunch of twenty-somethings picked to live on a tropical island for 10 weeks. The group must learn to survive by going back to basics, foraging for food {though they have rations given to them}, constructing a camp and making fire. The series worked well last year though the exposure given to the people was short-lived and much like the stars of Big Brother they have pretty much all disappeared from the public eye. So how is this series going. Well I'm afraid I would have to agree with others on this subject given the fact that most of the cast have been picked as token members of society. We have one lesbian, a gay man, a punky girl, a black man, a black woman, the laddish ones, the sensitive ones, and the blonde girl - oh and some Australians thrown into the brew. However, while this is glaringly obvious is doesn't really make the show any less compelling and entertaining, Lucy Masoud, the lesbian on the island is one of the nastiest people I've ever seen on TV {and don't think I'm homophobic - I have no problem with that, just her as a person}. She causes arguments amongst the group, feels the need to proclaim her lesbianism loudly even though everyone's cool about it and doesn't care and steals food from the crew - when confronted about this she confessed after much persuasion from all the islanders but she retracted her apology to the cameras the following day claiming she had done ...

BBC1 - Neighbours 13/05/2001

Neighbours - what's happening to you

BBC1 - Neighbours NEIGHBOURS - AUSTRALIAN SOAP OPERA - BBC1 - WEEKDAYS - 1:45p.m., 5:35p.m. As a 19 year old I suppose I could be classed as one of the Neighbours generation - ever since the age of 6 Neighbours has been must-see TV, something that couldn't be missed and was exciting to watch. For those who don't know much about it, Neighbours began in Australia in the mid-eighties. Meanwhile, the BBC were looking for something to fill their lunchtime schedule so Neighbours was bought for this slot - however, the show was so popular with kids ill off school that a repeat was commissioned in a teatime slot - Neighbours was an overnight pheonomenon and still continues to attract a healthy amount of viewers, sometimes up to 10 million. In the early days the soap was de-rided for being unrealistic which of course was the ratings grabber - where else could you see endless car crashes, explosions, hallucination sequences, tragic, mysterious deaths, and all manner of plots which are too numerous to name. I remember every week hating the end of the Friday episode as I knew I wouldn't see the exciting cliffhanger resolution for three days. Yes the show was trashy but in a way that no other programme had been before and it worked. Then, and I don't know when, everythings started going wrong. I guess we could really pinpoint the show's demise to when the final original character, Helen Daniels passed away. Since then the show seems to have started to make an effort to be more realistic. Now I ...

The Hole (DVD) 08/05/2001

A hole lot better than you think

The Hole (DVD) THE HOLE - STARRING THORA BIRCH, EMBETH DAVIDTZ, KEIRA KNIGHTLEY ET AL. WARNING - SPOILER AHEAD - YOUR ENJOYMENT OF THIS FILM WILL BE RUINED WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. GO STRAIGHT TO CRITIQUE IF YOU WANT TO JUST KNOW AN OPINION OF THIS MOVIE. SYNOPSIS : At a public school in the south of England Liz Dunn is obsessed with American pupil Mike Steel - several attempts at getting him to notice her fail so her best friend Martin offers to help - he shows her, Mike and their friends Geoff and Franke to an underground bunker deep in the woods - the thought being that somee time with him will ultimately make him love her. Martin agrees to seal the hole and come back in three days - initially the teens have fun, but this soon stops when they realise that Martin isn't coming back - they ealise that he is toying with them and come up with a plan to foil him - it works and they are let out - the end of the movie - it seems not. This version of events is told by Liz to Dr Philippa Horwood who is trying to get to the bottom of what went on in the hole. They take Martin in for questioning who has a different take on the events. He claims that though he had shown Liz the Hole he had never taken the group there at all. Liz takes the group herself and they start a wild of general debauchery - sex. drugs, drinking and loud music. However tensions soon arise but when one of the group tries to get out they realise that they are trapped. A strong alibi means that ... 07/05/2001

Just a little bit sinister I started ciao last year as a means of making money - I was waiting to go to university and had no part-time job so I figured that writing opinions would be a fun and creative way of making a little extra cash. Since then I have realised that ciao is no substitute for a job {unless of course yoiu sit there the whole day writing endless opinions and getting multiple reads} - money is fortunately no longer the big issue where ciao is concerned with me and finding the ability to voice my opinions and have others comment on them is certainly now the most important aspect of the site - so here is my rough guide to ciao, whether you're a new user or not. GETTING STARTED : If you're a beginner to ciao be prepared to write some pretty damned awful opinions - looking back now at some of my previous efforts I can now begin to see why I got so few reads - I stuck to the minimum amount of words necessary, gave very little background information and my views were really quite weak - fortunately ciao users are quick to criticise and it helps to take criticism on the nose rather than whining that someone gave you an unhelpful rating. Always write on something you're interested in not just a topic that seems to be getting popular - the best opinions come from topics you feel most passionate about and there is a great satisfaction to voice your opinion on something like that. I have realised that internet related topics are the most read opinions on ciao but I have no interest in this ...

Pieces of You - Jewel 08/04/2001

Track by track review

Pieces of You - Jewel So what to say about an album which, two years on is still in regular rotation in my CD collection - "Pieces Of You", the debut album by American singer Jewel has been around for years now but the British people still don't seeem to understand just how good she is - this album is criticised for being a little naive and while it is at times it helps to remember that Jewel wrote may of the songs herself at the tender age of 16 - here is a track by track desccription. 1. Who Will Save Your Soul - a great start to the album and quite a radio friendly tune - basically the one most people have heard of - like Jewel's best work the theme is sinister but compulsive - this version's okay but for true excellence check out the live version on her Cd "Bits and Baubles". 2. Pieces Of You - the album's title track and again quite sinster - some of the lyrics are a little naive but the message is good, attacking those who alienate gays, ethnic minorities and bad looking people - for some reason I was expecting a love song but this delivers so muchj more. 3. Little Sister - a short little ditty and again wth a good message at heart weaving a story of a sister addicted to drugs and in turn making a statement about drugs in society - a great song with a good fast tempo and great singalong lyrics {if you can learn them} 4. Foolosh Games - the album's first track to truly deal with love but Jewel isn't ready to move into slush territory yet - the song is melodic and slow but one of ...
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