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since 02/08/2007


Charlie Wilson's War (DVD) 01/07/2010

Charlie Wilson's War is annoying and too Hollywood.

Charlie Wilson's War (DVD) Affable, self-important, womanizing congressman cares about Afghan children after being enlightened, in exchange for sex, by a self-important, rich lady (Is it me, or has Julia Roberts' acting always been as bad as an outbreak of cholera?). Hanks befriends an odious maverick CIA agent and singlehandedly secures the money for the Mujahedin to defeat the Ruskies in Afghanistan, only to feel a bit down in the dumps when the US fail to fund the reconstruction of the country. Based on a true story? Yeah, right! This film is full of holes. Hanks and Roberts in the same film is my worst nightmare but I persevered to my misfortune. To show the Commies indiscriminately murdering civilians and not suggesting the US did likewise is irritatingly lopsided. I'm not defending the Russians - read about what they are doing in Chechnya - if you can find an investigative reporter who hasn't already been assassinated by the state. But warfare breeds brutality and inhumanity, and the Yanks are as guilty as, if not more so, than most. So, perhaps, if we'd funded the reconstruction of Afghanistan first time round, Islamic extremism wouldn't have flourished? Shut your mouth, Hollywood, you're full of it. (In my opinion)

The Descent (DVD) 07/08/2007

NO Spoliers - watch it without knowing!

The Descent (DVD) The less you know about this movie before you see it, the more you will get out of it. Fortunately, for me, all that I knew was it was a horror film, and my ignorance allowed this movie to blow me away. So I will try and steer clear of spoilers. I cannot recall a film in recent years that has been so effective in scaring the living daylights out of me. I am a horror fan but I find myself laughing at most, even the ones that go out of their way to be sick and shocking (eg the 'Saw' movies). From the first 'jump out of your skin' moment that occurs in the first five minutes of this movie, an uncomfortable atmosphere pervades throughout. This is bolstered by an amazing soundtrack by David Julyan which has you constantly on edge. This is one hundred times better than 'Dog Soldiers' which had some really bad acting, dodgy script writing and ludicrous monsters. The horror in this movie comes from the utterly realistic and believable. It is physically uncomfortable to watch, especially if the viewer has a fear of enclosed spaces. And it never lets up as tension is piled onto tension. If ever a horror movie was guaranteed to give you nightmares then this has to be it. I only watched it last night, and after a broken sleep, I am still feeling rather uneasy. An absolutely fantastic horror classic - a must for horror fans but I must warn you - it messes with your mind and could genuinely disturb.

What is your opinion on pornography? 06/08/2007

Porn and why it may exist

What is your opinion on pornography? This is such a sticky topic and I don't mean that in a crude way. I am pro-choice and against censorship, yet also strongy against exploitation. There are many different types of pornography from the graphically repulsive to cheap thrill tittilation. Whatever arguments are put forward one thing is for sure - porn is here to stay. Knowing that annual American porn dollars are greater than the whole of the Sub-Sahran African debt, it would seem that the campaign for porn abolition is an ideal that will never be achieved. A bit like fighting for global vegetarianism. There is no doubt that men and women have different attitudes towards sex, and this can be explained through biology and evolutionary theory. Men are attracted more by physical appearance over personality and I would argue women are the opposite. Biologically this makes sense as men have the capability to father thousands of children during their reproductive life meaning if the woman they chose isn't fit to rear their genetic offspring effectively, then they can just move on to another. On the other hand, women are limited in the amount of children they can have in comparison meaning a much thorough selection process for their mate. Undoubtedly, homo-erectus woman's role was to rear the children while their mate had to be strong and provide food, protection and shelter in early hunter/gather society. The modern day repurcussions of this are clear, with vacuous men more likely to commit adultery and treat their ...

Bill Hicks - Sane Man (DVD) 06/08/2007

Cashing in - there is better stuff out there.

Bill Hicks - Sane Man (DVD) Bill Hicks is the king of comedy, but unless you are a die-hard fan who needs to own all of his products then I would advise you to stay away from this and buy 'Relentless' and 'Totally Bill Hicks' instead. Almost all of the material used in 'Sane man' has featured on other DVDs and CDs. A younger Bill struggles with an odd looking audience in Texas and is shot cheaply giving the footage a slight grainy quality. You will see his famous smoking routine and marijuana sketches. Towards the end of the show Mr Hicks runs out of ideas and starts impersonating Elvis. This section is pretty cringeworthy and definitely not Bill's finest hour. The main annoyance on this DVD is when it occassionally mixes in backstage footage over the main picture. Another section has the routine cut away to Bill riding a motorbike with the stand up going on in the background. This is a major distraction and is used, it would seem, to promote the image of Hicks as a cult icon. Undoubtedly, the man is a genius but this comes from his comedy. By interrupting his performance by slowing down parts or layering images the producers have distracted from his routine, and therefore his impact. This CD is a shameless cash-in on the comedy God and one that even Bill would encourage not to buy. ...

Inconvenient Truth, An (2006) 06/08/2007

An important DVD

Inconvenient Truth, An (2006) Climate change is the biggest issue of our generation and this DVD goes a long way in explaining why. The movie consists of Al Gore giving his lecture on global warming which he has taken all over the world, interjected with insights into his personality and character. He comes across as very affable and sincere and delivers his talk in an engaging style full of whit and colour. This has clearly been made for an American audience. The sections where Gore talks about his upbringing seem a little forced but the reason behind this was obviously to convince the audience that this is not 'sour grapes' at his election defeat. Put these sections to one side and you have an excellently presented argument for why we have to act now to tackle what is more than likely irreversible changes to our planet. Factually, this is very accurate although some critics have suggested that Gore exaggerates the possible rise in sea levels. This is a much needed documentary and is made more effective being delivered by a prominent global figure. I was left with doubts, though, wondering if Gore had become president would he really have had the will and courage to tackle big business - the main culprits in exacerbating the global climate.

Stewart Lee - Stand Up Comedian (DVD) 04/08/2007

A king of comedy

Stewart Lee - Stand Up Comedian (DVD) Many may know Stewart Lee from his television shows 'Fists of Fun' and 'Richard not Judy', but stand up comedy is where this man really excels. This performance filmed in Glasgow is a brilliant example of his work. Lee is quite unique among stand up comedians in that he has no fear of audience silence. He deliberately draws out some of his stories leaving many uncomfortable pauses but this adds to the overall comedic effect. There are no taboos within his act and he is able to tackle such sensitive subject as 9/11 and Princess Diana's death. He can get away with this because the insights that he offers are intelligent, articulate and well researched. If you are wanting a laugh a minute then this probably won't be your cup of tea. However, if your comedy tastes are for clever, well thought out material delivered in a frank and no-nonsense style then I would suggest there is no better comedian around at the moment than this man. He is confident, brave and has great ad-libbing skills. His analytical approach is excellently delivered. This is a DVD that anyone who is interested in Stand up comedy should buy. It is hilarious, bold and refreshing.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (PS2) 03/08/2007

More of the same

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (PS2) For those who have played the other games in the PS2 Grand Theft Auto then you will know what to expect: Colourful characters, satirical script writing, excellent voice acting and plenty of mindless violence. And of course lots and lots of high speed driving. You take on the role of Victor Vance, the sensible brother of Lance from the original Vice City game. After being ousted from the Army early on in the game he has to fend for himself, trying to earn money for his sick brother. For Grand Theft Auto fans this is a must buy, but don't expect it to push the boundaries of the genre. Out of all the games in the series thus far, this is probably the weakest. What lets this down is the lack of imagination in the missions. It has a feel that this was thrown together quickly and the storyline seems laboured at times. Of course, as usual the music is exceptional and the comedy is spot on, but there is nothing here that compels you to keep playing. The new feature of taking out gangs and creating your own business empire is welcome but could have been developed further. Like the other games there are hidden items (red balloons), unique stunts and lots of rampages but the rewards for completing these side quests are minimal. Overall, it's an enjoyable game to play, but probably the weakest in the series. ...
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