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All reviews - Movies (29) - TV Shows (1) - Books (17) - Games (6)

Help me Obi Wan

Posted : 10 years ago on 17 December 2008 11:31 (A review of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977))

It was 1977 when my father and I went to see the original Star Wars, it blew me away! In the following years, I slept in a Star Wars sleeping bag and filled my home with plastic toy figures of all the cast.

This movie is a true classic and changed all subsequent Sci-Fi movies, and especially their budgets, forever. In the thirty plus years that have followed, this movie has been pulled to pieces by fans, critics and experts. We now know that the tie-fighter attacks were exact copies of World War 2 footage from American bombers. In fact the whole movie is really a patchwork of the best bits of other movies, but what this different is that it works as a whole. In an age before CGI this movie blew the audience away with cutting edge effects and created Industrial Light and Magic.

This is the movie that also launched a new religion (Jedi) and made all its cast internationally well known.

May the force be with you

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Keep on Running

Posted : 10 years ago on 17 December 2008 09:50 (A review of Run Lola Run (1998))

“Mankind, probably the most mysterious species on our planet. A mystery of open questions. Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? How do we know what we believe to know? Why do we believe anything at all? Innumerable questions looking for an answer, an answer which will raise the next question and the following answer will raise a following question and so on and so forth. But in the end, isn't it always the same question and always the same answer?”

This is the narration at the start of Run Lola Run, so you know the following movie is going to be something different. As the title suggests, the action focuses on Lola and tells the story of her efforts to save her boyfriend Manny, and those that cross her path in the process. The whole story unfolds and ends within twenty minutes, the length of time Lola has to save Manny. Unsuccessful, we rewind to the start of the story and Lola has twenty minutes to try, and try again. The repetition could be boring, but slight changes to the story and the development of other characters around her keeps you riveted. Nothing is what it first seems. The dramatically different results of each attempt to save Manny and the resulting end are created by very minor changes by Lola and clearly demonstrate the butterfly effect, far better than any science lesson could. An enjoyable viewing experience and one of the best endings!

If you think you recognise the lead actor, it’s because she went on to become the love interest in the Bourne Identity/Supremacy films.

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Thank heavens for KFC!

Posted : 10 years ago on 17 December 2008 05:39 (A review of Howard the Duck (1986))

I actually read the novel whilst waiting for this movie to go on general release. The story that came from the pages was entertaining, clever and in places I actually laughed out loud at the humour contained within the lines. I was so eager to get to the cinema!

Sadly the movie ‘Howard the duck’ was a travesty. Anyone who also has endured this movie will know just how disappointed I felt, although I also had the indignity of having to pay to see this rubbish!

Howard the duck is a wise-cracking creature from a parallel planet where ducks, not man, stood tallish and industrialised their world. Through a science experiment gone wrong on Earth, Howard is grabbed and pulled through space and lands on earth with a thud. Saving the young damsel in distress he then tries to romance the young singer and fit in to his new home. This could have been the whole story in itself (similar to Short Circuit), but the science experiment also pulls Dark Overlords to Earth and so it’s down to Howard and friends to save our planet. The real problem with this movie is the target audience, there just isn’t one. There are movie references and Howard isn’t shy about showing his appreciation for the human female form, with a lot of work it could have become a cult movie classic among adults. But sadly this movie also has an equal focus on entertaining the children, with comical baddies, an over simplistic plot and slapstick.

There are worse movies out there, but being the least offensive of a pile of excrement isn’t something to be proud of. Certainly one to avoid!

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Do not miss this movie!

Posted : 10 years ago on 17 December 2008 10:26 (A review of Grand Hotel (1932))

A lot has changed since 1932, when this film was first released. After watching this movie I realise that not all the changes in film making since then have been for the better.

A few of the stars from this movie made such an impact that they are still known today, such as Greta Garbomay and Joan Crawford. But It isn't the stars, cinematography or acting that will win you over. There is no CGI, no explosions here, what this film does have in heaps is a sense of realism. There is a gritty edge to the story that you don't expect from a movie of this era. Plots cross over and the ending is superb and quite unexpected, leaving you wanting much more.

The Grand Hotel isn't without its flaws, its dated, and there are stereotypes a plenty here, from the evil rich boss, to the thief with a heart of gold. But despite that the movie remains wonderfully unexpected at times. You get a sense that you are watching just a few visitors to a 'grand hotel', who arrive with a past and whose stories will continue after their stay. If ever there was movie made for a number of sequels, this is it. Thankfully no one has ever dared and as a result the movies magic remains (take note George Lucas!).

Watch it late at night, expect a predictable romatic drama and be very pleasently surprised! A 1932 best picture Oscar award winner for a reason!

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Posted : 10 years ago on 12 December 2008 10:11 (A review of Taxi (1998))

From the writer that penned Leon and Nikita, comes a very light and enjoyable buddy movie, where even the car or rather the driving is often the star. Characters are well developed and interesting, plenty of light humour balances the chase scenes and there is even a little social commentary for the literati to pick up on. The movie is filmed in French, so it is subtitled in english, but don’t let this make you opt to watch the American remake - which is absolutely dire. This movie is a must watch for every pizza delivery boy around the world and an absolute pleasure for all the rest of us. You’ll get goose bumps every time you hail a Taxi, if you don't miss this ride!

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