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in 2013 my life's direction changed, film reviews went out the window. I stopped watching them, and started making them. In 2016 while waiting for films to reach final edit, I found I suddenly had time on my hands.

Reviews written

since 31/10/2005


Fujifilm LH-X100 Digital camera accessory kit for Fujifilm FinePix X100 10/11/2012

Proof Not To Beware Of Cheap Imitations

Fujifilm LH-X100 Digital camera accessory kit for Fujifilm FinePix X100 The Fujifilm X100 is a piece of amazing camera technology, but like every camera it’s not without it’s flaws. To prevent damage to the lens, and rogue beams of light it’s always best to have a lens hood. This Lens hood constructed by JJC comes with both the hood, and an adapter (more on this later). The design is sleek, and robust, as is Fujifilm’s own version of this, with a slight difference however, Fujifilm’s own version is nearly £65 more, and constructed of the same alloy. The difference being, this what some may call inferior version comes with an adapter ring, the Fujifilm variation does not. A secondary difference however is that you need the adapter ring to fix the hood, with the JJC version, and the Fujifilm variation fit’s directly. The addition of the adapter ring however means that you are able to attach screw on lenses to the X100, which takes the camera into a whole different league. The hood provides a more focused image through the camera, it cuts out lots of stray lights, especially when shooting at night, where lighting is all around (if shooting in built up locations). But it’s not just about light, you now have the ability to shoot in light showers too, or in areas where stray “bodies” may be blown towards the camera. Because of it’s robust alloy construction, it’s also now protected from some falls, I’m not saying you can chuck it on the floor, but as any photographer knows taking the right photograph can at times take you off balance, and usually ...

Apple TV MC572FD/A 09/11/2012

Only Worth THe Money If You Are Prepared to Truly Use It

Apple TV MC572FD/A Apple TV is on the surface nothing different from what we already have available to every household with todays modern technology, so with a price-tag of between £79-£99 you do have to ask whether Apple TV is worth the investment. I for a long time believed that Apple TV was not worth the investment, that was until I had a conversation with someone else. At roughly the same size of two credit cards placed vertically side by side, Apple TV is by far the smallest box you can connect to your TV. With a height of just under an inch it can slot into a multitude of slots, so no need for new cabinets, or a bold reshuffle of appliances to give it a home. Unlike most other television set top boxes however it does not provide any transmission material, or allow the streaming of the likes of BBC Iplayer, or ITV Netplayer etc. Well in principal it does not anyway. Apple TV offers a library of movies to rent or own, once purchased (if buying) they are yours for life, in a digital form that will work on anything that has iTunes compatibility. If you ret something, it’s yours for the agreed rental period. Television comes under the same remit as the movie option, either buy or rent, the choice is yours. Music allows you via iTunes Match to synch up your iTunes music library to your television, as the track plays, the cover is displayed on your TV screen. The biggest gain is for Netflix users who can watch movies on their subscription service via the box, dependent on your Broadband ...

Fujifilm FinePix X100 08/11/2012

State Of The Art, Hidden In A Retro Design

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Despite taking it up as a “option” (now there is an old term for you) when I was at school, to be honest photography has always alluded me. I’m very much a point and click kind of guy, I like a camera to focus for me, and essentially be a perfect shot. Being a grown up now, and deciding I wanted to know more about filmmaking I started some weeks ago to go to film school, and the subject of photography and framing keeps on raising it’s ugly head. I felt it was time to take the plunge and invest in a digital camera, having been swung by it’s elegant good looks, and it’s overwhelming ratings I opted on the Fujifilm Finepix X100, the most desirable camera of 2011. The X100 is not the cheapest of cameras out there, with a scaling price of between £599-£999, I certainly could have made a cheaper starting selection as a “grown up camera”. But it’s the retro look that really swings it, that tough alloy case, encased in a imitation leather through it’s central point, makes it look so much like the camera I used when studying photography at school. It may also be worth mentioning than many professional photographers cite the X100 as their off duty camera of choice. The scariest aspect of the camera is that it is incredibly complex, there are more knobs and dials than I care for, and during my first couple of hours playing around with the camera, I sat with my jaw gapped open as I racked my brain trying to understand what it does, and more importantly how to translate the manual into ...

Hobo With A Shotgun (DVD) 14/09/2011

Homage, Of Worse Times

Hobo With A Shotgun (DVD) Please note, you will find the F word in this here review! ;o) In the late 1970’s and early 80’s; the world became obsessed with what was going to happen next, nuclear war? Out of control crime? These were serious issues that concerned everyone, prayed upon by film studios seeking an opportunity to line their pockets cheaply. During this time in Europe directors started making hundreds of movies that played on our fears, generally dressing up parts of Italy to look like America, and recruiting big movie stars of yesterday to give them credibility, or American film-makers recruited cheap European directors wanting to break into the Hollywood market. These movies were so far fetched, and appallingly done, yet to some degree the audiences of the day really thought such a day would come. This is where Hobo With A Shotgun comes in. In a future or parallel world, a hobo (Rutgar Hauer) walks into Fuck Town, the armpit of society, where things could not get any worse. The town is controlled by a man called The Drake (Brian Downey), and his two sons, who rules his town with a rod of iron. As Hobo arrives he sees Drake decapitate one of his own family in order to satisfy his own blood lust. Hobo understands that this is not the way things should run, and when he arrived in town he planned to buy a lawnmower and set up his own business. In the pawn shop instead of buying a lawnmower, he opts to purchase a shotgun, sick of the decline of society he vows to clean up the ...

Friends with Benefits (DVD) 09/09/2011

Sex With Catches

Friends with Benefits (DVD) Dylan and Jamie have something in common, they both are successful in their working lives, but on the personal front there are big problems. Relationships fall apart for the pair all the time, too much cliché, problems in bed, to much attention to work. So when Jamie headhunts Dylan for a job in New York, taking him from his native Los Angeles, the two start up a friendship, with so much in common, and so much mutual understanding it seems rational that the two of them form a strictly sexual relationship. Typically enough, what sounds good on paper, is not always that way in reality. Friends With Benefits is a term often banded about nowadays, a frequent expression used with “twentysomethings” even if in jest. It seemed unlikely that a movie bearing the same title would not soon appear, it’s just amazing it took so long. As a movie, this quirky romcom is fairly entertaining, most of the humour coming from lead actress Mila Kunis as Jamie, who says a lot of the things most people would like to say, but do not have the guts to. It’s not just what she says, it’s what she does, whether it be just general mannerisms, or something more bold such as spitting up a vile drink all over a woman as she leaves the building. Leading man Justin Timberlake plays our hero Dylan, much has changed with Timberlake’s acting over the last six years, since he first became an official actor in Edison. I remember thinking back then that he really should be stopped from acting, thankfully he was ...

Apollo 18 (DVD) 07/09/2011

In Space No One Cares If You Scream

Apollo 18 (DVD) It seems that it is found footage season! This at times interesting concept in horror movies began over three decades ago with Cannibal Holocaust, then was picked up again in the late 90’s by The Blair Witch Project and The Last Broadcast. Over the last ten years there have been several movies of the type, but now, suddenly out of the blue we have Troll Hunter, Atrocious, A Night In The Woods, and Apollo 18 all having a stab at what is at times movie gold. Apollo 18 is a story based on a fictitious 18th mission, a mission that nobody ever got to hear about, because during that flight something went terribly wrong. The small crew launch out into space, with one flying over the surface of the moon the other two head down to the surface in order to carry out a range of missions set out by the American Government. When strange things begin to occur, they head off out across the moons surface looking for answers, what they find is an abandoned Russian space vehicle, a lot of blood, and a body. I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of done with these found footage movies, I say that, but after watching Apollo 18 I’m thinking, maybe, just maybe I can tolerate a few more. Apollo 18 works because it’s a totally alien (literally) environment, you can justify in your head exactly why everything is being filmed, you can also justify all the unexplained elements, after all its an alien landscape, and somewhere we know nothing about. Previous found footage movies have generally ...

A Lonely Place To Die (DVD) 06/09/2011

Mountain Climb To Hell

A Lonely Place To Die (DVD) The final movie of this years Frightfest was A Lonely Place To Die, an all out roller-coaster ride from start to finish. Five mountaineers head out into the wilderness for some intense climbing. At the most remote spot, they hear a strange vocal noise, upon investigation they find a pipe sticking out of the ground, a breathing pipe. Beneath the pipe is a chamber containing a young Serbian girl, having freed her from her tomb they attempt to take her to the nearest town, but it seems their discovery is part of a deadly game, and now they must become hunted in order to try and get the girl to safety. Set against a beautiful Scottish mountain backdrop, A Lonely Place To Die, is an incredibly dark piece of film-making, which bursts into action from the very minute the film starts, and to be fair never calms down until the very end. Always good to expect the unexpected in a movie, and this is one of those movies that does that incredibly well. The passage of events after the discovery of the young girl, led for many excited ripples through a packed auditorium. For some of the audience, there was far too much trauma for their liking, especially after a series of mountain falls, sighs and head in hand situations were the order of the day; on it’s own not an achievement, but you have to take into account that the UK premier took place at a festival of horror movies, filled with die hard horror fans, that surely has to be an accolade that director Julian Gilbey must be proud ...

The Theatre Bizarre (DVD) 06/09/2011

Sick Eaters

The Theatre Bizarre (DVD) The final movie on the first night of the 2011 Film Four Frightfest was The Theatre Bizarre, a dark and twisted anthology movie, which aims to re-invent the wheel. Enola Penny is obsessed with the seedy looking theatre across the road from her apartment, and one night heads off across to have a look. Once in she discovers Pegg Poet who tells her (and a surprisingly still audience) a series of disturbing tales, the results of which bring about a strange transformation for Enola. The Theatre Bizarre is really a difficult movie to get to grips with, possibly made more difficult due to the fact that the UK premier started at near on midnight, when the crowds were a little bit worse for wear. The main issue though is its heavy hitting subject matter, the stories which include a woman who has power over toads (and may even be one), food and confectionery fetishists, a women who steals fluid from the eyes of women at the time of their death and injects it into her own eye, a couples marriage collapsing, a man with fear of castration, and a creepy road traffic accident involving a biker and a moose. Each one of the instalments is far from normal; one could argue that the segments are a little “Channel 4” back in the 1980’s. There is a complete lack of emotion from many of the characters in many of the segments. And rather interestingly similar themes, although all the writers state they were working independently of each other. Directors Karim Hussain, Tom Savini, Douglas Buck, ...

Fright Night 3D (DVD) 05/09/2011

It's NOT The same, Neither Is It Trying To Be

Fright Night 3D (DVD) When you’re in the movie business it does not matter how successful you’re film is, there must always be things that you can see in a movie after it’s made and improve upon them. For Tom Holland he had the opportunity to work magic twice in 1985 he worked solely as writer and director of Fright Night, in 2010 he got the chance to go back and breathe new life into his cult classic, with the aid of screenwriter Marti Noxon. Many dreaded the remake of Fright Night, a movie that is no better, or no worse than the original, and by choosing not to remain faithful to the origins, it really is a different film altogether. Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) has just moved up a level at school, not in grades, but in status. A few months ago he was a nerd, but now he has the hot girlfriend, and all the coolest kids around love him. For others though, like Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who are left behind, things are not so cool. Worse still Ed has uncovered a sinister secret about Charley’s new neighbour that means he could really use the help of an old friend. Charley’s reactions are too late, he dismissed Ed telling him that new neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell) is a vampire, and now Ed has gone, it takes this disappearance to make Charley pay attention, and when he realises the truth there is nowhere for him to turn, or is there? Fright Night is so far one of the highest points of the Frightfest 2011 film festival, a rollercoaster ride of 100 odd minutes, that never wanes, never ...

The Holding (DVD) 04/09/2011

A Straight To DVD Gem

The Holding (DVD) You get a vibe as to how a movie might turn out to be, and The Holding had a largely unappealing feel about it, the fact that it received it’s World premier today, and that it is due straight onto DVD in the next few weeks does not fill one with confidence. The wonder with this sort of film however, is that you can be proven wrong. Set in England’s Lake District, a woman harbours a dark secret while struggling to maintain her farm and stay on top of bills. Facing pressure from every single angle Cassie (Kierston Wareing), has to balance local pressure, and the pressure that comes from owing money. She has two options, sell her farm, or marry a man from the next farm, a man she despises. That is until Aden (Vincent Regan) turns up. Aden has all the answers and works hard to make sure that Cassie keeps her farm, but what secret does he hide. This really was an enjoyable movie; it bears resemblance for classic movies like Night Of The Hunter. The build up was really well paced, first Aden is the hero, the next the villain. You get a great snapshot of skewering relationships that occur in small villages and towns, when things do not run to expected course. The mystery of the movie is leaked slowly to the viewer, first of all you need to get to grips what happens at the very start of the movie, then you have to bamboozle yourself with questions about who is Aden, and what has happened to a number of characters, are they dead, or something else. Kierston Wareing gets to ditch ...

HTC Desire 04/09/2011

The iPhone Killer

HTC Desire I’ve not had the greatest of experiences with touch sensitive mobile phones, LG’s Prada Phone was ok at first, Samsung’s Jet a spewing pile of widgets, and Nokia’s phones more often than not never even got off the starting block. Having owned an iPod touch and loving it to bits, because the sensitivity is just perfect it seemed the viable option that my mobile phone upgrade would take me in the direction of the iPhone. Sadly my network “3” did not offer the iPhone (until straight after my upgrade anyway) and with iPhone’s being on the market for a couple of years now I doubted the event would ever happen, so with some hesitation I decided to upgrade to the HTC Desire because having read dozens of reviews it seemed that this might be a really good alternative to the iPhone. HTC have the tagline quietly brilliant, and from first switch on I was a believer, they keep advertising to a minimum, yet most people know about their products. Being familiar with the iPod Touch (very similar to the iPhone) there are a lot of similarities from start up, but also a lot of differences. If I’m honest from the first impressions I was impressed and disappointed, the options and built in applications are far superior to the iPhone, however the navigation was a little less impressive. However the disappointment was very short lived, because as I spent more and more time rummaging around the menu’s I grew more and more impressed, and navigation became so much easier. And a visit to the Android ...

Bush BFSAT01HD 04/09/2011

What A Lovely Box

Bush BFSAT01HD I’ve pretty much always had Sky (or Virgin) but in 2010, the year the proverbial hit the fan, I decided I needed to cut some costs, first thing out the window was Sky. Towards the end I really never felt like I was watching the channels that cost so much, but six months on there were some things that were missing. Freeview is fine, but I really felt the need for a little more than what was on offer. So it was time for a little cash injection to feel the gap. An easy option when it comes to free satellite if you have had Sky before is to stick with the existing box you have, just not to have a subscription. The trouble with that option however is that there are some channels you cease to be able to get, and also some facilities on Freesat that are not offered by an old used Sky box. So in order to get the best value I felt the need to get a Freesat box. I’m of a generation that to use the brand Bush is much the same as spitting in your grandmothers mouth, its just plain wrong. When I was being dragged up if you had anything that has the brand Bush on it you were either poor or tight, and worse still if you had anything with the brand Bush on it sods law meant that the minute you really wanted it, it might just pack up. But you have to now take into account that I’m a pauper now, I’m not in the same financial situation I was, in 2009 to a degree if I wanted it I got it. So a quick trip to Ebay found me The Bush BFSAT01HD a Freesat box with HD capability and an Ethernet ...

With Or Without You (DVD) 04/09/2011

Maybe Without!

With Or Without You (DVD) Since as far back as I can remember one British director has caused controversy film after film, after film; that director is Michael Winterbottom. More recently the director has tackled a vicious killer in The Killer Inside Me, a sex and music romance in 9 Songs, and the docu-drama The Road To Guantanamo that looked at the treatment of suspected terrorists in the notorious prison. Since the early 90’s however Winterbottom has been pushing the boundaries with his sexually charged dramas, Butterfly Kiss, and I Want You being real gems. When the opportunity arose to see the now little seen With Or Without You, I of course jumped at the chance to see it. Vincent (Christopher Eccleston) and Rosie (Dervla Kirwan) have it all, good jobs, nice home, a beautiful car; yet something is missing. For this loving couple the thing missing from their lives is a child and try as they might they just cannot get pregnant. While the pressures of trying to get pregnant cause a certain amount of strain, the couples bond is still strong. Strong that is until Benoit turns up on the scene. Travelling from France to Ireland Benoit has decided after years to go to see his long time pen pal Rosie, even despite the fact that they have not spoken for years. Benoit’s arrival is greeted with a level of caution by Vincent, and as his relationship with Rosie begins to crumble (a combination of the pregnancy and the visit), he becomes insecure and begins to look fondly upon old lover Cathy. So much about ...

Parcel2Go Euro Service 04/09/2011

It was a good marriage.... while it lasted

Parcel2Go Euro Service The UK seems a little antiquated in its ways of handling post, and this is why Parcels 2 Go were such a great success when they launched several years ago. The problem with handling parcels is that unless you deal with a company a lot, it can be incredibly expensive to post parcels once in a blue moon. Parcels 2 Go alleviate that concern, they get you the best possible price (or at least they did) and will use one of the major UK parcel networks to collect and then in turn deliver your parcel. My company has been using Parcels 2 Go for several years and to be honest never had a single problem, but suddenly since December 2010, things have gone progressively down the pan. Up until December a package regarding it is within certain size restrictions and below 25kg used to cost us £6.99 + VAT, the parcel would be collected that day if we booked before a certain time. Delivery would generally be the following day. Parcels 2 Go essentially are a hub for post, a third party if you like. You can select to post through DHL, Yodel, Parcel Force, Fedex, TNT, and HDN to name but a few. They make their money by grouping mass parcel collection, and reducing the cost to them. In December though the January/February snows we have become oh so familiar with came early, much earlier than usual and the country ground to a halt. The collections on all Parcels 2 Go offered services stopped, Fedex seemed to hold out the longest, but stopped too. However Parcels 2 Go were still allowing people ...

Final Destination 5 (DVD) 04/09/2011

Taking The Tale Full Circle

Final Destination 5 (DVD) You kind of think that everything has been done with the Final Destination series, and the thought of seeing Final Destination 5 on the big screen, was not really my idea of a good time. The movie follows exactly the same scenario as previous movies in the series; some guy has a premonition of an incoming event, and tells those with him. They escape but death feels robbed, and finds ways of getting its bodies back, through incredibly freakish means. This time round the action takes place on a massive suspension bridge, which to much delight gets completely destroyed like an old disaster movie,but aside from this the story is pretty much the same. 3D is the big draw of the movie, and bloody amazing 3D it is too, a lot of 3D features have a tendency to just offer you a bit of depth; here is something gets thrust forward whether it be animal, vegetable, or mineral you really feel like its leaving the screen; although this being said by the time the lengthy title sequence has completed you do to some degree feel that you have seen as much 3D as you can handle. Some of the biggest things that occur in the movie, sadly are not properly handled by the 3D aspect, although this being said a rather heinous impalement is far too good. Watching it at it's UK premier, on the odd occasion I did glance over to see audience members ducking and dodging things that were flying towards them. Given that this is such a watered down franchise, as a whole the audience I believe were pleasantly ...
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