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wampyrii

wampyrii

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since 30/11/-0001

772

Underworld (DVD) 29/01/2004

Fangs For The Mammories

Underworld (DVD) The world is at war...but no one knows it. At least, no one who walks in daylight. It is a war which has raged for a thousand years in the darkest of places, between the darkest of warriors plucked from the shadowy recesses of human nightmares and other-worldly dreamscapes. An ancient blood feud between vampires and werewolves is being played out under the very noses of the 'educated' masses who have long since convinced themselves these creatures are nothing but legends born of medieval fears. The greatest lie the Devil ever told... Vampires and werewolves are changed. Goodbye neck-nibbling tortured souls, hello throat-ripping plague bearers in sexy black skin-tight leather. And I for one applaud the revamp...if you'll excuse the pun. This modern update to the old mythology gives rise to movies like Underworld - brain-on-hold entertainment in its purest form. Despite an unecessary volume of eyelid-sagging exposition around the mid-point(aka. laying the ground-work for a sequel or ten), you're left with nothing but fangs-out, gun-toting, balls-fer-ear-rings action. You'll either see it as enormous fun or brainless dross, I doubt there's too much middle ground to lay claim to here and I stand with both feet firmly planted in the former plot of unhallowed ground. Underworld kicks off with a jumbled cacophony of audio/visual noise, ramping up the pace with quick-cuts and an adrenaline pumping heavy metal soundtrack and never lets it slacken off until it's time to let the ...

The Sword And The Sorcerer (DVD) 08/10/2003

More Cheese Than You Can Shake A Broadsword At

The Sword And The Sorcerer (DVD) Greetings cheesy 80's B-movie nostalgia fans! Greetings also to all cheesy sword and sorcery action movie fans! Welcome to the DVD review of "The Sword and the Sorcerer" an "action packed adventure saga, filled with brutal battles, luscious maidens, savage monsters and more!"...so proclaims the box anyway. The "more!" in this instance by the way is a cheesy script, over-ambitious clunky plot, not-so-special effects and a lazy-cum-pointless DVD transfer(Anchor Bay sucks)...but don't let that put you off. As hack 'n' slash 80's B-movie adventures go this is one of the better ones. The Sword and the Sorcerer is probably not something most people out there will be rushing out to rent...or, as is more likely the case, *buy* seeing as it's now around 20 years old. I remembered seeing the first 15 minutes of this as a child before being hustled off to bed after the opening scenes of a blood soaked necromancer ripping out a witch's heart threw my mother into censorship mode...and then watching the rest upstairs and wishing i hadn't afterwards. I'd pretty much forgotten all about it until Peter Jackson decided he would revive the whole fantasy genre(or at least to drag it out of nerdy bedrooms and thrust it onto the big screen again) and then cruelly leave huge gaps between film releases with few others daring to step up to fill the void! I doubt i'm alone in hunting around for more fantasy movies and I doubt I'm alone in noting the same names turning up time and again on top ten ...

HOLLOW MAN (DVD) 07/08/2003

Shallow Man, Hollow Movie, Great DVD Package

HOLLOW MAN (DVD) [Region 2 DVD review. The contents of other formats may vary] Hollow Man is a movie which I reeeeeally wanted to see after catching a minor TV spot around the time of its release. I loved the 30's film version of The Invisible Man starring Claude Rains and was looking forward to seeing more of the same ideas explored with all the additional benefits modern day special effects technology might add in the eye-candy department. James Whale's 1933 classic tracks the slow decent into madness of a man trapped in a world of shadows, saying much about the human condition along the way and leaving much to ponder upon and it's fair to say I was looking forward to more of the same but without the naivity of 30's cinema from Hollow Man. Unfortunately, despite some of the claims to the contrary on the DVD commentary, Hollow Man appears absolutely uninterested in exploring anything other than its special effects technology and a one dimensional theme of sex and violence. Paul Verhoeven directs and yes, this is arguably a typical set of Paul Verhoeven themes (although usually with some kind of intelligent undertone which is lacking here) but it's a crying shame as the concept demands much more. I should say that this is perhaps in no way a re-working of the classic The Invisible Man story despite my pre-amble above but more of a typical Hollywood thriller with an invisible bloke at the centre. Hollow Man presents us with a secret Pentagon funded research project involving a small team ...

Demetrius And The Gladiators (DVD) 04/07/2003

Camel Lips, Thy Name Is Gladiator

Demetrius And The Gladiators (DVD) "The Robe" is one of the classic movies from yesteryear. It's one of those lavish, sermonising, somewhat naive biblical epics which simply wouldn't work in modern cinema but makes for highly entertaining Sunday afternoon viewing whatever your religious persuasion in modern times. I saw The Robe recently for the first time and aside from the odd chuckle and frequent eye-rolling(because I am a cynical heathen) thoroughly enjoyed it as many have before me. Somewhat lesser known however(to me anyway :oP) is its sequel, "Demetrius and the Gladiators", which follows on directly from the events which conclude "The Robe" but this time focuses entirely on the greek slave Demetrius(Victor Mature). In a nutshell, we pick up with Roman emperor Caligula's(Jay Robinson) continuing search for the robe(as worn by Jesus when he was crucified) which he now sees as being the source of Christian insurrection and as having the power to raise the dead. The robe is now in the possession of the Christians, under the protection of the freed greek slave Demetrius who would lay down his life for its protection. We follow Demetrius as this desire to keep the robe safe leads to his capture and to his enforced gladiatorial duties (an unfortunate position as a Christian who refuses to fight) after he catches the eye of labidinous senator's wife Messalina(Susan Hayward) and later to his position as her concubine(or whatever the word is!) as he struggles with his Christian faith under the pressure of ...

What I'd put in room 101 01/07/2003

Cave Rectum

What I'd put in room 101 This'll be the first of my bi-annual forays into the Ciao Cafe then. I should warn you I am life intolerant but I'll try to keep it to just 5 banishments as per requirements... ;o) First to go... No. 1 - Testicles What?! OK I have no problem with testicles, in fact, I'm rather fond of my own and realise that any banishment of such things to Room 101 may have somewhat dire consequences to the human race (only dogs would be able to hear men speak for a start) but I do have a complaint. The very nature of testicles shakes the very foundation of my beliefs. I'm an evolutionist. I'm quite happy to believe that giraffes have long necks because over time they evolved that way to reach the more succulent buds at the top of trees or that tigers developed stripes for camouflage and baboons grew big red arses to amuse the rest of the animal kingdom. It works for me. Testicles, just don't fit. No one can convince me that after thousands of years of evolution, the strongest of the strong had the most sensitive part of their anatomy dangling between their legs just begging to be kicked, punched, sat on, caught in a zipper etc.! What's with that!? Surely there's somewhere more CONVENIENT for them?? Like erm, 'inside' where they tend to run if kicked, punched, sat on etc. anyway! (incidentally I thought I had seen evolution in action once until I realised it was a guy with a bad case of piles). Testicles simply do not fit in with my theory of life, the world and ...

Enemy At The Gates (DVD) 29/06/2003

Hide 'n' Seek Ain't A Great Spectator Sport

Enemy At The Gates (DVD) Never let it be said that Hollywood doesn't love a war. This particular easy money-spinner transports us back to Stalingrad during WWII...a period of history you'd have kinda thought Hollywood's head honchos just may have tired of milking by now but never cease to drag up again with increasingly underwhelming results IMHO. Anyhoo, this movie has absolutely no intention of looking at the broader perspective of the war but instead focuses upon a small band of (real and fictional) individuals and their personal involvement in the conflict. In some ways it works, in others...well erm, it bored my arse off to be perfectly honest but I've seen mostly positive reviews from other 'real' consumers so erm, each to their own I guess. ;o) The movie opens well, with scenes which are reminscent to the opening of Saving Private Ryan which I now suppose will be an obligatory inclusion in all movies of this type until something else comes along to emulate. New recruits are bundled into crude boats and sent across the river into Stalingrad whilst heavy shelling decimates the city and aircraft swoop down picking off the newbies with the greatest of ease. Those who try to jump ship and swim to safety are shot by their own officers as deserters, those who make it into the city have a one in two chance of actually getting handed a gun or of being sent into the conflict weaponless and being told to follow someone else around until they get shot and they can pick up their weapon! It's a tough and ...

Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever (DVD) 25/06/2003

Boom Bang-a-Bang

Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever (DVD) "Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever" is a strange action movie. Strange because it is packed full of thrills, spills and one big explosion after another which is exactly the kind of thing which should keep any action movie fan on the edge of their seat for the entire running length and have them leave the theatre happy and yet...it's all so damn unsatisfying! I’m trying to think of something which doesn’t get shot at, blown up or nuked in this movie which is erm, a good thing in my eyes to be fair (hell, even the two stars get blown up a few times!) so why then will it leave you feeling so deeply unsatisfied and quite possibly bored as I was? The answer is simple...Ecks Vs. Sever misses the point of what has made the numbskull action genre so popular over the years - it forgets that all this killing, nuking and general mayhem is meant to be, above all else...FUN!!! Ecks Vs. Sever simply fails to inject any sense of fun into the mayhem and that’s all there is to it. We have Lucy Liu as an ice-cold assassin avenging her murdered child, Antonio Banderas as an alcoholic ex-FBI agent drinking himself into an early grave after his wife was killed before his eyes, no wise cracks, no Arnie style one-liners, no humour injection whatsoever and all set against a cold grey cityscape during the fleeting daytime shots whilst the rest is shot at night in the pouring rain...it’s about as upbeat and thrilling as your average family funeral. Murdered children? Dead wives? Not your typical notion ...

Kangaroo Jack (DVD) 04/04/2003

Bite Me Skippy

Kangaroo Jack (DVD) There are few (non-stoned) people in this world who could think the idea of a kangaroo stealing the mob's money before legging it into the Australian outback with a hairdresser and a slacker in not-so-hot pursuit sounds like the perfect foundation for a hit movie. Few people other than Jerry Bruckheimer that is! Just when you thought this guy couldn't plumb the depths of mediocrity any deeper than he already has then along comes another stinker. This time, he has almost made it into the IMDB's top 20 WORST movies of all time list...#21 and the only way is DOWN(or is that up?) from now on! What the hell was I thinking? Why the feck did I watch this?! Firstly, the name "Bruckheimer" attached to a movie should tell you it's going to be brainless but Bruckheimer making a movie starring a kangaroo, the local mob and one of Hollywood's most annoying bit-part sons could only be bloody awful. And bloody awful it is, heck it's almost insulting to think that someone out there honestly thought a cinema audience might enjoy this! No, I take it back...it *is* insulting and no, no cinema audience will enjoy this in case you were wondering. The ludicrous plot is basically that two bumbling fools lose the local mob a few million dollars and as punishment get sent to Australia with $50,000 in a brown envelope. Now I'd call that a "vacation" but anyway...they have to deliver it to 'some bloke' for 'some reason' but shock horror, they mess up again when a kangaroo steals it and legs it ...

Pop-Up Stopper 01/03/2003

Wave Bye-Bye To Pop-Up Advertising

Pop-Up Stopper Most people have come to appreciate that in order for the internet to carry on thriving there needs to be some means by which site owners get paid for their time and dedication spent in bringing these sites to us. Affiliate schemes, banner advertising etc. are amongst those revenue generating schemes, which most of us can deal with because they aren't too intrusive upon our own browsing experience, but pop-up ads are a different thing entirely for many. Having another window, often a full screen one these days, sometimes with sound and video playback (grrr!) opening up unrequested is not only annoying, but also slows up your browsing experience as well as, it has to be said, seeming to be the cause of the most crashes on my system. Ignoring switching to the Opera browser as a means of combating these things, there are fortunately a number of different pieces of software out there which can be used to suppress these pop-ups and keep them from erm...'popping up'. Of all the ones I've tried, I've found Pop-Up Stopper to be the simplest and most stable of them all which is why I choose to review it here - but you'll find plenty of alternatives if for some reason it doesn't float your boat as you quite expected. It's a difficult program to talk about to be honest, there really isn't too much to say because it simply does exactly what it's name suggests and nothing more. But here goes: Pop-Up Stopper is quite a popular program and therefore should be available from all the ...

Shadow Of The Vampire (DVD) 20/02/2003

I Feed Like An Old Man Pees

Shadow Of The Vampire (DVD) Murnau: "Why him you monster, why not the...script girl?" Orlock: "Oh yes, the script girl. I'll eat her later..." Nosferatu, he says, hoping at least some reading this will have watched it and the rest know what he's on about, is one of the most influentual movies of all time. Originally supposed to be the first complete cinematic retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula its production ran into difficulty when Bram Stoker's widow refused German director F. W. Murnau access to the books' copyright. Consequently the film was still made but names and places were changed...slighly. Count Dracula became Count Orlock for starters but the story is still very obviously hugely inspired by the novel and remains for many the first true rendition of the Dracula story. It also remains the creepiest despite being a silent black and white movie filmed over 80 years ago. Much of this comes down to Max Schreck's magnificently creepy and very believable portrayal of the Count and Murnau's superlative directing. The ficticious story of the production of this movie is what Shadow Of The Vampire is all about. "Yawn" you say? "NO! I say, far from it. Shadow Of The Vampire takes the absolutely ingenious, but entirely ficticious idea that the vampire at the centre of Nosferatu was actually played by a real life ancient vampire who Murnau found living in an old ruin whilst researching his movie. He gives the vampire the name Max Schreck, telling his crew he is a Russian method actor who will ...

Pitch Black (DVD) 05/02/2003

Are You Afraid Of The Dark

Pitch Black (DVD) • The Movie Sci-Fi movies have always been something of a mixed bag in my opinion. For every good one there are countless other bad ones...or should that be really bad ones. Fortunately, you have places like this to let people in on the good ones and this, dear reader, is a good one. The plot is simple and derivative but in terms of great ways to spend an evening in front of the goggle box, it provides all any fan of the sci-fi/action genre could wish for. We begin in space with a routine flight to the planet dubbed New Mecca. However, it is doomed to never get there as a meteor shower forces its crew of of hyper-sleep and into a crash-landing on the nearest planet, a desert planet burned constantly by the white heat of its three suns. Few survive and amongst those is a multiple murdered who was being transported to a prison planet in chains but who escaped in the confusion after the crash. There is no night here, just eternal day and no life whatsoever. Or is there? It's no secret to say that the crew soon find that day turns to night here once every 20 years and that murderer Riddick's(Vin Diesel) escape is the least of their worries because when it does, the beasties come out to feed...and guess what? It's soon going to be feeding time and the crew who imprisoned and were hunting Riddick are going to need to turn to his love of violent chaos to help them through the night... David Twohy takes a smallish budget here and manages to turn in a stonkingly ...

Romeo Must Die (DVD) 03/02/2003

Shakespeare It Ain't

Romeo Must Die (DVD) "Romeo, Romeo...wherefore art thou Romeo?" "Over here kickin' ass beeatch!" • The Movie • Romeo Must Die was Jet Li's breakthrough movie into mainstream Western cinema. Yes, I know before then he had appeared in Lethal Weapon 4 but let's be honest, no one was paying much attention to him or knew that back in his homeland he already had around 20-something movies under his belt and was one of their biggest stars when they saw that now were they? Mention he was in it now to people and they're like "oh that was Jet Li?" (or "who?!" of course lol) so this was his big break as a Hollywood movie lead. Compared to his previous movies it's umm, well it's not that good but as an introduction to his work for Westerners it's not a bad place to start. Unfortunately since then he has turned in some real tripe, like "The One" after apparently turning down(!) the part subsequently offered to Chow Yun Fat in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon...but hopefully the descent into B-movie hell will be halted there. The world really doesn't need a 21st century replacement for Jean Claude Van Damne et. al. but Hollywood could do with a Jet Li on top form...not that they seem to have a clue how to use the likes of him and Jackie Chan but you live in hope eh? Anyhoo, Romeo Must Die is basically yet another reworking of the Romeo & Julliet thing with a whole heap of martial arts action thrown into the mix. We have a black gang and a chinese gang warring over a bit of docklands turf and a ...

WordOx (PC) 30/01/2003

Scrabble With Attitude

WordOx (PC) Bored with movies for the moment. It's that time of year when there really isn't anything worth watching anyway at the cinema...well, aside from The Ring maybe which I do want to see but not when it keeps bucketing down with rain and blowing a gale around these 'ere parts. I was tempted to bore you all with the umpteenth Lord Of The Rings review or finally post that Spiderman op. which has been knocking around my hard drive for months but no, I'll bore you with this instead. Wordox: yet another way to waste time online. Hurrah! In fact, this is one of the very worst timewasters there are online, it being very easy to actually spend hours here without actually realising it once you get to know people at the various sites which offer it. Wordox is basically Scrabble but with a vindictive streak and whichever site you play it at the rules are the same although the graphics of the game can be very different. To summarise the rules of a game is quite difficult to do in its entirety so I'll not bother any further than to give you a taster: It is a game for 2 - 4 players which, as mentioned is rather similar to Scrabble. You have a board with letter squares, 8 letter tiles in front of you and must lay these tiles down onto the board in order to make words following the usual Scrabble rules about building off of other words, not using proper names etc. The difference begins when you realise that each player has and can see the same 8 tiles in front of them and that there ...

Blade 2 (DVD) 28/01/2003

Do Fear The Reaper

Blade 2 (DVD) • The Movie When I first saw Blade at the cinema I wasn’t impressed. I’m not too keen on the idea of modernising the old vampire myths and you don’t get much more modernising than a half-human/half-vampire ‘daywalker’ kicking Vampire butt in modern day America with martial arts skills and a variety of weaponry! Subsequent watches drew me in to what is basically a comic book action movie with loads of action, some supremely camp moments and of course Wesley Snipes on top form which you just have to like. Of course when I heard they were making a sequel I was first in the queue to see it - especially when I heard horror maestro Guillermo Del Toro was going to be the man behind the camera this time. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of Whistler(who died supposedly) making a return, nor with the idea of Luke Goss(from 80s pop icons BROS) starring as Blade’s most evil enemy yet, but none of that was going to put me off. I suppose I’m the wrong person to be reading a review from - fans aren’t often the most reliable sources of information! Well, a number of years after the original came out the 'Daywalker' is back and this time faced with a new menace, one which threatens vampire and humans alike, indeed one which threatens to upset the whole world order! Something new is stalking the night, something which feeds on vampires as its main source of food, something tougher, faster, stronger and more relentlessly evil than a vampire could ever be and they’re worried. Worried ...

The Haunting (DVD) 28/01/2003

A Laughable Splurge Of Special Effects

The Haunting (DVD) The Haunting is yet another of the seemingly endless stream of Hollywood remakes of usually far better movies released a number of years ago. The original version of The Haunting was apparently an atmospheric horror movie which worked rather well at raising the hackles on the back of the viewer's neck whilst this Jan de Bont remake is a pile of special effects driven tripe capable of causing eyes to roll but leaving neck hairs perfectly coiffured. Why do they remake perfectly good films when there are so many decent, new and unused screenplays flying around? Apparently because it is less of a financial risk to the studio but seeing as most of them end up turning out being crap and being compared unfavourably to their predecessors you have to wonder how much benefit this practice really is! Err yeah, anyway, this is a remake and you'll be better off watching the original apparently, I wish I had. The Haunting is basically your typical haunted house story with a little extra plot fluff thrown in to distinguish it from all the others. This time, the three house guests who find themselves inside the house are there because they think they are being paid a rather large sum of money to take part in an experiment about dreams. They include, Eleanor(Lili Taylor), a mousy woman who has spent the last umpteen years caring for her domineering and now recently dead mother and finds herself turfed out onto the streets by the viscious old bat's will. Theodora(Catherine Zeta Jones), a ...
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