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since 30/11/-0001


Exorcist 3 28/12/2005

This Time, You're Going To Lose

Exorcist 3 Fifteen years ago, in a small American town, a young girl named Regan Blair was possessed by an African demon who refused to leave the poor girl's body. Following a lengthy and traumatic exorcism, the demon was finally expelled from her body by a young priest named Damien Karras, who tragically fell to his death from the young girl's bedroom window. The church was keen to disassociate itself from the events and in spite of the obvious trauma, Regan and her family recovered and moved on. Fifteen years ago, however, other terrible events were also taking place in Georgetown. A serial killer nicknamed the Gemini Killer was on the rampage. With his signature killings, the Gemini Killer would horrifically mutilate his victims before leaving the body for the police to find. The police finally believed that the killer had been captured and a man named James Venamum was executed at the electric chair. The case was closed and the people of Georgetown breathed a sigh of relief. Fifteen years later, however, Lieutenant William Kinderman wonders whether his worst nightmares have come true again. The body of a young black boy has been found murdered, displaying the exact trademarks of the Gemini Killer and soon after the body of a priest is found in similar circumstances. Swiftly ruling out the possibility of a copycat killing, the murder trail quickly leads to the general hospital where Kinderman's involvement in the case becomes far more personal. In the hospital's psychiatric ...

The Descent 26/12/2005

Six Chicks With Picks - #1 of 2005

The Descent When Sarah's world is torn apart by personal tragedy, her friends persuade her to join them for a group holiday one year later. The friends are all keen extreme sports fanatics and this time round one of them, Juno, has persuaded them to go potholing in a popular local cave system in North America . With the route planned out and everyone equipped for the harsh terrain they embark on their adventure in high spirits. When they reach their destination, they cannot help being taken back by the astounding beauty of the cave system several hundred feet below ground level. Huge cavernous spaces loom up beneath them, with nothing but natural phosphorescence and their torches to light up the dark tunnels and passages. All goes well, until an unexpected rockfall blocks their main exit passage and they are forced to try and find another way out. As they keep heading deeper underground, they encounter harsher territory and a growing sense of peril. As the lights and hopes fade Sarah can't help thinking that she is starting to suffer hallucinations, a common experience of pot-holers and cavers. Although she remains convinced that she has seen a man crouching at the end of one of the passages, her friends insist that this isn't possible and try to hurry her along. But Sarah simply cannot shake off the feeling that the six friends are not alone. And she would be right…… Occasionally, you see a film that entertains you so much, it seems likely that your head will pop by the time ...

King Kong, Peter Jackson 26/12/2005

The Eighth Wonder of the World - #2 of 2005

King Kong, Peter Jackson When the young actress Ann Darrow loses her job, her prospects look bleak. Unable to find more theatre work, her only real chance of employment seems to be a seedy strip club and she simply can't bring herself to do it. Budding young film director Carl Denham is halfway through his latest project when the studio management team calls him in for a review. Unimpressed with his output, they cancel the project altogether - but not before Denham can steal the incomplete reels and disappear into the night. Intent on completing the film of his dreams, he decides to carry on regardless and manages to persuade / con a number of people into helping him out. When his leading lady lets him down, however, he finds himself walking the streets, where he finds himself outside a seedy strip club and spots a lonely, yet beautiful young woman walking away from him. Needless to say, the woman is Ann Darrow and before long she is enrolled as the new leading lady in Denham's movie. Denham tells everyone that the location filming is to be based in Singapore and with a combination of charm, luck and bribery he manages to get the cast and crew on board a hastily commandeered ship before the New York police can catch up with him. Denham, however, hasn't been strictly honest with everyone. He has no intention of filming in Singapore at all. Having previously acquired an ancient map, Denham believes that fame and fortune will follow if he can discover - and film - a long forgotten island known ...

War Of The Worlds (DVD) 26/12/2005

They're Already Here - #3 of 2005

War Of The Worlds (DVD) Divorced dockworker and father of two, Ray Ferrier, is on baby sitting duty. With his wife and her new partner off for a short break, it falls to Ray to look after his teenaged son Robbie, and his young sister Rachel. Ray dotes on his children, but there is friction in the relationship between him and son Robbie and things do not bode well for a peaceful weekend. When a strange storm hits the city, Ray and his neighbours venture out into the garden to marvel at the dark, swirling skies and fierce winds that seem to defy the laws of physics. A series of lightning strikes hit the city, not far from Ray's home and, curious as to what is happening, he leaves Robbie to look after Rachel and ventures into the city to see what is going on. He finds mayhem. An electromagnetic pulse has disabled just about everything in the city, and hordes of people are gathering in the streets to investigate the point of impact from the lightning strike. The ground rumbles, creaks and starts to split and before the terrified onlookers very eyes, something emerges from the ground. It would seem that mankind has been under surveillance. Watching and waiting for the right moment, an alien race has finally decided to reveal itself and the terrible destiny it has planned for the human race. For Ray Ferrier, it is time to start running. Three years after the acclaimed science fiction movie Minority Report, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise once again found themselves united in one of the year's ...

Wolf Creek (DVD) 26/12/2005

Head On A Stick - #4 of 2005

Wolf Creek (DVD) Two English backpackers, Liz and Kristy, are holidaying in Australia where they hook up with a local guy called Ben. Invited to a big party, they decide to buy an old car and drive across country, stopping off to do some sightseeing on the way. The sight they intend to see is Wolf Creek, the site of one of the world's largest meteorite craters, renowned for its remote beauty. The car is bought, the bags are packed and the three youths set off on their travels. When they eventually reach Wolf Creek, they are not disappointed. Its enormous majesty reigns over the surrounding landscape and in spite of the miserable weather they find themselves transfixed by the stunning views. Having returned to the car to set off again, however, things don't go so well. The car is completely dead and simply won't start at all. Stuck literally in the middle of nowhere, they struggle to maintain high spirits until, much to their relief, a truck pulls up alongside them and help seems to have arrived. When an offer of assistance is made by a man who seems to be their very own Crocodile Dundee they willingly accept, albeit a little nervously, and take up an offer for shelter for the night whilst the stranger fixes their car. Many miles and hours of driving later, they arrive at an abandoned mine and settle down by the camp fire where the four of them exchanges stories, shortly before they all nod off, warmed by the fire and exhausted by the day's exertions. It's still night time. The darkness ...

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) 26/12/2005

Harry Potter and the Rush of Hormones - #5 of 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) (Conscious of the fact that not everybody is completely addicted / obsessed with Harry Potter I will try and strike a balance between assuming that you know nothing of the Potter heritage and assuming that you know everything.) In a mysterious house in a dark, remote village, evil is afoot. When the housekeeper spots lights in one of the windows, he suspects that some local children are up to mischief and goes into the house to investigate. Creeping up the stairs, he sees a group of men gathered around a lage chair, whoe occupant cannot be seen, but whose hissing voice curdles his very blood. When the housekeeper's presence is spotted, his fate is sealed….. Harry Potter is now about to embark on his fourth term at Hogwarts school for wizards and witches. Following three years' previous adventures, he spends the summer before his fourth term in the company of his best friends Hermione and Ron (also students at the school). The trio travels to see the final of the Quidditch World Cup (a sporting event for young wizards) but after the excitement of the games, the group hurriedly makes its escape when dark forces converge on the site and the "Dark Mark" appears in the sky above them. When the teenagers return to Hogwarts school, the entire school is thrown into a feverish air of anticipation when the head teacher, Professor Dumbledore, announces that the school is to host the famous Tri-Wizard tournament. One gifted student from each of three schools is selected by the ...

Dangerous and Moving - t.A.T.u. 20/12/2005

Teenage Lesbian Love Angst Bile Situation

Dangerous and Moving - t.A.T.u. Once tagged "the most controversial band in pop", t.a.T.u. returned to the charts in 2005 after a two-year absence. Personally, I'd pretty much forgotten who they were and I don't think I was alone in thinking that they weren't really missed. Yes, they came up with some fairly catchy pop / rock but they always struck me as a two-hit novelty wonder. Hell, they couldn't even win the Eurovision Song Contest. So why then, did I buy their new album? It was All About Us that did it. With its hypnotically addictive chorus line, I loved the tune from the first moment that I heard it on one of the music channels. It did OK for itself, chartwise, but it didn't set the world on fire. The album, Dangerous and Moving, was released shortly afterwards but that didn't set the world on fire either. All this is actually quite a shame because I think Dangerous and Moving is pretty good all in. If you've never heard of t.a.T.u. it wouldn't surprise me. The name is pronounced "tattoo" but I couldn't begin to tell you what the initials stand for, if anything at all. The group was spawned from the imagination of a Russian video director named Ivan Shapovalov who, in 2000 destined to play simultaneously on both the sexual inhibitions and inner prejudices of the world at large. Two young girls (they're actually in their twenties) provide the vocals, more often in English and spend every waking moment of every performance cavorting around in school girl outfits and leading us all to believe that ...

The Cave DVD 19/12/2005

Jocks and Rocks

The Cave DVD When a group of scientists discovers a network of miles of caves deep underneath the ruins of a 13th century abbey, they realise that they need a team of specialists to explore the undiscovered waterways. Jack, his brother Tyler and an assorted team of experts are the best in the business and with funding secured, they travel to the Balkans to join the expedition. The trip is fraught with danger. The team believes that nobody has ever navigated the underwater passages before them and must tread water carefully. Using the very latest technology, each cavern is carefully mapped and plotted before the expedition progresses. But the team is not alone. Strange carvings inside the ancient ruin tell stories of strange creatures and deep in the dark the divers are being watched. When a freak accident leads to a rockfall, their exit is blocked and they are forced to go further into the tunnels to try and find another way out. It's deep, it's damp and it's very, very dangerous….. If you enjoyed The Descent, then you'll probably hate The Cave. If you liked Alien Vs Predator, you'll see dislike The Cave. In fact, if you like any half-decent movie, then the chances are that The Cave will leave you cold. Trailing in the shadows of the year's most triumphant (and thoroughly British!) horror (The Descent), The Cave was always going to struggle to be any good. A straight to video release path may have justified its paltry existence, but instead, it hit the multiplex first off and ...

Intruder (DVD) 16/12/2005

Chop 'Til You Drop

Intruder (DVD) It's the end of another hectic day and the staff at a large American convenience store are getting ready to close the store for the day. Two young girl friends chat happily away at the checkouts about their love lives. Jennifer is sweet on one of the male staff but isn't sure whether he is single or not and her friend, Laura, is keen to encourage her that he is. None of the customers is particularly interested, apart from a strange-looking young man in a leather jacket who eyes Jennifer in a different way. It turns out that the man is a former boyfriend gone wild, and when he won't leave her alone, a scuffle breaks out, forcing the store's employees to track him down and throw him out. With the unwanted guest expelled, they lock up for the night and set about pricing stock and replenishing the shelves. Jennifer, however, cannot really shake the feeling that she is being watched. And she's right. As the staff members go about their business, somebody waits and watches from the shadows. And then silently, he strikes. I hate supermarkets. I always have done. Dreadful, brightly-lit, garish, soulless places ripping everyone off by convincing them that cheap means good. I have not, however, considered supermarkets a particularly dangerous place to be, until now. It is a view that I have since reconsidered as Intruder has pointed out to me just how many different methods exist in your local Tesco to help your average psychopath mutilate and murder unsuspecting ...

Unleashed (DVD) 13/12/2005

Get 'Em

Unleashed (DVD) Danny is a slave to his uncle Bart. Literally. Reared like a caged animal, Bart exerts complete control over Danny via a simple collar worn round the young man's neck. With the collar in place, Danny is completely submissive, doing and saying nothing and literally waiting for the command to go into action. When the command comes, it is a simple one. The collar is removed and Danny is told to "Get em!". And so he does. Punching, kicking and screaming until every one of his targets is on the floor. It's a very effective technique, and one that has kept Bart in business for a very long time. After one particularly fraught episode, Danny's potential is spotted by an unscrupulous businessman who lures Bart with the promise of huge winnings on the underground fight network. Yes, for Bart business is good. For Danny, it's pretty miserable, but that's nothing new. Until an unexpected moment of salvation releases Danny for the grip of his cruel "uncle". Released into the streets, Danny seeks out the only other person he knows - a blind piano tuner called Sam. Sam takes him in and along with his stepdaughter, the three become very closely-knit, teaching Danny the delights of simple pleasures like music and cooking. It seems that Danny has finally left his former life behind. Sadly, the trouble with trouble is that a trouble shared isn't always a trouble halved. Sometimes, it's just a trouble shared. And soon Danny's old life comes crashing in on his new one. Luc Besson has a ...

Dark Water (DVD) 11/12/2005

Dark Waters Run Deep

Dark Water (DVD) When young mother Dahlia splits from her husband, Kyle, she finds herself embroiled in a bitter custody battle for the couple's daughter, Ceci. Unable even to agree where they will live, a cash-strapped Dahlia moves to Roosevelt Island in New York, leaving her irritated husband in Jersey City. With both time and budget available in limited amounts, Dahlia is forced to take on a dark, dingy apartment that has clearly seen better days and quickly moves in. A new coat of paint brings a new leash of life to apartment 9F and with Ceci just a couple of blocks away from one of the city's best schools, the pair initially settle in quite comfortably. It isn't long, however, before things start to go wrong. Ceci's school teacher reports that the child has inherited a new imaginary friend named Natasha. At night, Dahlia and Ceci can hear footsteps in the apartment above them, even thought the real estate agent insists that nobody lives there. And then a small, dark, damp patch appears in one corner of the room. Day by day, the damp patch grows and unable to persuade either the caretaker or the estate agent to help her, Dahlia decides to find out for herself exactly what the source of the water leak is. But the answers may not necessarily lie behind the door of apartment 10F…. Just as comic book to film adaptations seem to be all the rage these days, another growing trend is for Hollywood to remake Asian horror films. It started with The Ring, was followed by The Ring 2 (what a ...

Fantastic Four (DVD) 09/12/2005

Good Evans Kicks Up A Storm

Fantastic Four (DVD) OK. What happens when you make a movie adaptation of one of my favourite comic books of all time and then put the second sexiest man in the whole world in one of the leading roles? It must surely be a recipe for success, right? Well, maybe… When Reed Richards wants to undertake groundbreaking research in outer space, he needs the financial backing of multi-millionaire Victor Von Doom. With this secured, the only thing left to do is enlist the crew. Apart from Reed himself, he takes on Benjamin Grimm, a lifelong friend and trusty assistant, Susan Storm (Victor Von Doom's assistant)and Johnny Storm (her hot-headed brother). With Victor along for the ride, everything is going swimmingly, until a cosmic storm hits Von Doom's space station, bathing the four main crew members in cosmic radiation. When they awaken, they are all in hospital, seemingly unharmed by their ordeal. But as the hours roll by, each of them starts to manifest a strange new power. Johnny finds that he can ignite his entire body to terrific heat. Susan can turn herself invisible at will. Reed finds that his body acts like some bizarre plastic, enabling him to bend and stretch like a human rubber band. Poor Ben Grimm comes off the worst. His body mutates into an orange, rocky matter that makes him super strong but robs him of his very humanity. The Fantastic Four is born - and everyone seems to love them. Everyone, that is, apart from Victor Von Doom who believes that Reed Richards has stolen everything ...

Great North Eastern Railway 04/12/2005

Gawd - Nearly Everyone's Rude!

Great North Eastern Railway You know, I can tell you for nothing that I'm going to enjoy writing this review far more than you will probably enjoy reading. Over the last twelve months plus, you see, I have developed something of a love / hate relationship with GNER. I love their services (particularly when benchmarked against the other UK rail companies) but I hate their staff with every vengeful bone in my body. I'll provide evidence of why this is, if you'll bear with me. About GNER GNER are an old-fashioned railway company, embracing the traditional values of the British railway. They still seem to believe that rail services should be comfortable, reliable and that they should cater strongly for customers who want to travel in style on a long journey. Virgin Rail, for example, may offer Club Class, but it always feels like an afterthought to me, with one lonely carriage tucked at the back of the train, as opposed to a GNER vehicle with several glorious first class carriages, and a restaurant car. First Great Western aren't much better and then when you start to hit some of the smaller operators, it's like something out of the Third World. There's no doubt, therefore, that GNER sits way ahead of the competition in terms of style and standards and this is a key contributor in the regulator's decision to renew their operating licence. Network and Destinations The GNER network essentially connects London and Scotland with routes that link the East Coast, Yorkshire, and the North East. In old ...

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose 02/12/2005

We'll Not Be Dealing With Emily Rose Tonight

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose The trouble with true stories, or films based on true stories, is that they tend to be, well, true. As such, the possibilities for imagination stretching are nowhere near as unlimited as you might expect in fiction. For a true horror story, then, things are even harder. To get round this, directors and writers create films "based on true events", with a core of truth embellished by a superficial layer of fictional dressing. The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a film based on true events. I didn't realise this until the opening titles rolled, and at that point, I had a feeling of dread. Just how mysterious could this be? Well, just over an hour and a half later, I had found it. When the coroner is called to the Rose household, he is asked to pronounce the cause of death on one of the family's teenaged daughters. Although the girl is covering in wounds and suffering from starvation, the coroner is unable to pronounce a verdict of death by natural causes. As such, the finger of suspicion is pointed at a local priest, who has been tending to Emily during her illness. He is arrested, charged with criminal neglect and sent for trial. Understandably concerned about both the priest's welfare and the Church's reputation, the priest's diocese hires a leading defence law firm to defend Father Moore. The job is given to Erin Bruner, a high flying defence lawyer who has recently won a very high profile murder case. Bruner is initially reluctant to take the case, failing to see what ...

Motorola V3 29/11/2005

Razr Sharp

Motorola V3 I've had a lot of phones over the years. I used to a devoted follower of Nokia, largely due to the fact that if I ever tried to use anyone else's phone, I couldn't get my head round the menu structure. However, I've lost interest in Nokia styling over recent years. The big competitors - Sony, Samsung and Motorola - seem to have left Nokia behind and it was really only a matter of time before I succumbed to the strong lure of the V3. Look and Feel Sometimes referred to as the Razr, the V3 is extremely stylish. Have you seen the adverts with the room that keeps folding in on itself until the glamorous young lady in the middle is left holding nothing but her V3? The whole image is based on being sleek, compact and desirable and I have to say that Motorola have hit the right spot on all three. Size-wise, it is roughly the same surface size as a credit card, and when folded in half, it's about one centimetre deep. As such, it is one of the most portable phones that I have ever had, and slips into just about any pocket, wallet or compartment in which it is deposited. The phone is currently available in three colours. The silver (the original and still the best, in my opinion) is polished, satin silver. The black is quite groovy but for some reason feels cheaper to me and the pink one is a bit too much of a gimmick (but great for the girls). The phone isn't very heavy either, adding to its all round portability. I even think that the phone is easy to put together - I always ...
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