Tim Lee's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

UglyDolls
UglyDolls(2019)

In the different town of UglyVille, weird is celebrated & strange is very special is embraced as more than simply meets the eye.
Here, the free-spirited Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) and her UglyDoll friends, Ox (Blake Shelton), Uglydog (Putbull), Wage (Wanda Skyes), Babo, (Gabriel Iglesias) & Lucky Bat (Wang Leeham) live every day in a whirlwind of bliss, letting their freak flags fly in a celebration of life and its endless possibilities.
There slash modules (animated humans) in a different world. (Reminds me of The parent trap 1961)
Then there is singer named Lou (Nick Jonas) That lives far from Uglyville. With the spy girls named Kitty (Charli XCX), Tuesday (Bebe Rexha) & Lydia (Lizzo) And a female slash module with glasses named Mandy. (Janelle Monae)


Uglydoll's is most movie I'm 100% Excited for. Cuz it's a musical, & It feels like a concert.

It's definitely going to be a 10/10.
I love Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, Blake Shelton & Janelle Monae.

Beauty and the Beast

Disney brings their classic 1991 animated movie to life with a reimagined live action version, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the Beauty and the Beast respectfully.

Whilst the set pieces are visually very impressive, the 3 dimensional live action version felt strangely flat in comparison to the animated version and struggles somewhat to replicate its magic or charm.

Emma Watson is a little inconsistent. She seems a little wooden in places, but more charming in others. Many of the rest of the cast seem miscast also; although they all perform well.

It has its moments, and you've got to admire the scope of what they were aiming for, particularly in the musical numbers.

An enjoyable watch. But I'm struggling to find much that it offers that isn't already offered by the fantastic original film; which begs the question of why a life action version was needed in the first place.

Ethel & Ernest

Not ashamed to say I'm a blubbering wreck after watching this. I can't recommend it highly enough. Raymond Briggs is so clever in the way he brings out the emotional impact of the 'everyday.' Loved it.

X-Men: Apocalypse

History's first mutant with the ability to take on the powers of others is resurrected with unlimited power and more than a little bit of a God complex. Professor X and his gang of young heroes have to stop him before he fulfils his plan to take over the world.

As a lifelong fan, any X-Men film is always going to be pretty good in my book. That said, I probably found this chapter the most hit and miss of the series and a bit of a let down after the brilliant Days of Future Past.

Whilst there were some great moments and it looked great, Apocalypse seemed like a 'pick n mix' of ideas and elements thrown together, rather than a consistently engaging whole.

Worth a watch for any fans of the franchise, but don't expect it to blow you away in the same way as some of the other X-Men films.

Trick 'r Treat

Just dreadful. A bunch of bad sketches barely stitched together. A film that tries to be scary, funny and different and fails to hit any of these notes.

Not even in the 'so bad it's good' field, just plain bad. One of the worst films I've ever seen, and I don't say this lightly.

One to miss

Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire)

Truly remarkable for it's time and a real landmark in film history. It suffers from the same melodrama style that dates Metropolis in some way, but once you get over this and watch it for what it is, a film that has stood the test of time over the last 86 years(!) you can see why this is in many ways the most iconic vampire film. The use of shadows and dark are both particularly effective, and I'm glad I finally got to see it.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari)

I'm glad I finally got to see this iconic film of the silent era. The best films create a world of their own that we can step into for a couple of hours, and this film definitely does this. I loved the cinematography, the use of lighting and shadows, the jaunty angled sets and use of lines and perspectives. A truly intriguing piece of film history.

A Clockwork Orange

There's no other film quite like Clockwork Orange, both in look and in content.

Whilst the violence may be unsettling for some, I found it to be quite theatrical and stylised, more like a proto-Tarrantino film, and you can certainly see the influence Kubrick had on him here.

I love how you approach the film from the point of view of the psychopath at the centre. His actions are particularly unpleasant, but you can't help but like 'your humble narrator,' one of the best 'anti-heroes' in cinema.

I particularly liked the cinematography and lenses used in this film too; which give an almost 'fisheye' effect of putting you straight into the action.

An acquired taste no doubt, and not one I'd watch every day. But this film has great style, a wonderful 'made up' language (which I found much easier to follow on screen than in the book) and memorable characters and is definitely one of the most unique films of its time.

A Fistful of Dollars (Per un Pugno di Dollari)

Clint is great and I enjoyed this one but found it a little slow and confusing at times. A lot better than Once Upon a Time in the West, but not quite as good as The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. 3/5.

12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men)
½

A masterclass in direction.

I was a bit reluctant to check out this one on our trek through the IMDB Top 250 films list. It looked a little dull on the face of it, 12 guys in one room arguing about a court case. But after it was recommended to me by more than one person, I thought I'd give it a go.

The acting by all 12 is excellent, the questions asked are intriguing and make you rethink the judgements you make, and the suspense and tension is measured brilliantly throughout.

The physical 'action' as such isn't the main driver of the film, so it won't be to everyone's taste, but I found this to be a superb character piece that definitely deserves the accolades it gets.

The Filth and the Fury

Interesting interviews and surprisingly touching in parts.

The Maltese Falcon

First time watching this classic film noir. Bogart at his acerbic best and I love the clothes, cars and fast slick-talking of this era! I didn't find the plot overly interesting, but the memorable characters and the punchy script keeps it well afloat.

Zootopia
Zootopia(2016)
½

I wasn't expecting a great deal from this one. Apart from a pretty funny trailer, the characters looked generic and the story uninspiring.

However, I took my stepdaughter to see this and really enjoyed it. There are laughs aplenty and the story, which was essentially about 'not judging a book by its cover,' was both highly poignant for the time and timeless.

Really worth seeing.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

The Turtles are back, warring with other genetic mutant favourites Bebop and Rocksteady, as alien Krang and co. try to take over the world.

Unlikely to top any lists anytime soon, but it's a fun kids' film that has the spirit of the original cartoon.

The Lovers
The Lovers(2015)
½

A guy from the future gets the bends whilst trying to save his girlfriend and falls into a coma; which transports him back in time to 18th century India, where he falls in love with an India. Soothsayer.

Beautiful scenery and the acting was...ok. But that's all the good I can say about it I'm afraid. The characters are forgettable, the story confusing at best and doesn't feel worth the investment to work it out. One to miss.

Skyfall
Skyfall(2012)

Glad I'm seeing this again after revisiting all the others, as it's definitely a celebration of its own 50 year legacy, whilst managing to be one of the best of all of them - no mean feat when competing with the weight of its predecessors! Easily the most beautifully shot Bond film, with everyone on top form and a real thrill ride from beginning to end. 5/5

The Quatermass Xperiment

I'm glad I finally got to see one of the most influential pieces of British science fiction from the 1950's. And I'm pleased to say I wasn't disapointed.

The writing, direction and acting are all great for the time, and you can tell the film-makers have thought about what they're doing - showing just the right amount of the action and leaving the rest to the audience's imagination. This is a technique often forgotten by many film-makers, and adds nicely to the suspense; letting the watcher become more involved in what they are watching. This, coupled with the black and white film and dark, brooding cinematography helps you appreciate why this film was effective in scaring the pants off movie/goers at the time, even if it's not particularly 'scary' by today's standards.

The main character, an astronaught who becomes infected by a strange alien parasite, is excellently embodied by Richard Wordsworth, who genuinely looks emaciated, ill and terrified throughout. This gives, what could have easily fallen into 1950's 'B' Movie territory, a gravitas and reality that is enticing.

The camera shots are also well thought out; employing focus, panning, tracking and lighting effects to further throw the watcher into the uneasy setting of the film.

Overall, a very effective early science fiction film that is only equalled in my eyes by the superb original version of The Day The Earth Stood Still.

I really want to see the TV serial now!

The Straight Story

A really warm, gentle and touching film that is very different from what I'm used to from David Lynch's 'usual' nightmarish surreal worlds, but equally great. Whilst many might struggle with the slower pace, personally I loved it. Some wonderful performances, gorgeous cinematography and beautiful music from Angelo Badalamenti. Well worth seeing on a wiped out Sunday.

Goosebumps
Goosebumps(2015)
½

Forgettable characters, terrible CGI, fairly fun story idea. And although I love Jack Black, even he is pretty irritating in this one, playing a dislikable character with a dreadful English(?) accent. One to avoid.

The Revenant
The Revenant(2015)
½

Best Grylls meets 'Dances with Wolves' in this mostly brilliant story of a man who is mauled by a Grizzly, then has to fight his way back across dangerous terrain to face the man who left him for dead and killed his son.

There's no denying the film looks beautiful and the acting is strong. Leonardo Dicaprio is particularly good; managing to convey the pain and hardship he goes through with very little dialogue, and grunting and groaning his way towards an Oscar in the process. The way the camera uses sweeps and close ups makes you feel you are in the middle of the action, and the music is quite against type for this film, which makes you sit up and take notice.

The plot is quite 1 dimensional, as is the CGI bear, which really let down the importance of this pivotal scene. The pace dragged a bit as the main man goes from set-piece to set-piece facing native Americans, French settlers and a harsh Winter as he moves towards his goal.

Overall I would say this is a good story that is well executed, and I would recommend it, but I wouldn't be in a rush to see it again straight away (though maybe in a year or two).

For Your Eyes Only
½

Pretty forgettable one this one and not one of my favourites so far, but some good scenes here and there.

Rebecca
Rebecca(1940)
½

Like other earlier Hitchcock films, such as the Lady Vanishes, I found this more difficult to get into than later films such as Psycho or Rear Window. That said, it rewards patient viewing and the suspense builds up as the film goes on. I get the feeling I will grow to like this film much more after repeated viewings, and I think it's certainly worth the effort.

Interstellar
Interstellar(2014)
½

In the future, the Earth is becoming uninhabitable and a former pilot is drawn to a project to find another planet to house humanity on the other side of a wormhole.

Stunning visuals and some very interesting ideas. The cast are all strong, but the characters are very cliche, especially the main man, who is the usual 'maverick who plays by his own rules' idea that's been done a million times (though he acts it well).

Beautiful and compelling to watch, if you can get past some of the weaker moments.

When Harry Met Sally

Harry and Sally are two swift-talking and opinionated singletons who randomly meet and quickly develop both a strong chemistry and an even stronger dislike for each other. Over the years they keep re-meeting and re-acquainting; and their 'love/hate' relationship grows ever more tense and comically frustrating.

Ok, I must admit something terrible now....it's taken me 25 years to watch this film. Along with other classics such as The Great Escape or Rocky (I know, I know!) I've just never got around to it.

And I'm glad I did. There's no denying the huge debt the film takes from another of my favourite 'rom-coms' Annie Hall. But in many ways this film is its legitimate offspring - taking Woody Allen's blueprint and focused it into something more coherent and accessible (for better or for worse). The characters are three-dimensional and memorable, the script manages to be at once shrewd, witty and warm.

It moves along at a great pace, with some really funny scenes and a great chemistry between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, who really bounce off each other brilliantly throughout. I still struggle a bit to warm to Ryan fully after the whole Parkinson thing, and Crystal's character is a terrible advertisement for some of the worst cliches thrown at men, but the film transcends these flaws and shines as one of the most intelligent and likable of it's genre. Definitely worth watching, I was really glad I finally got to see it and I would watch it again.

Muppets Most Wanted

Kermit's lookalike Constantine is an evil jewel thief who manages to swap places and use a Muppet's world tour as a front for his diabolical schemes.

Is it as good as the last one?...no. Is it as heartwarming, funny or memorable?...no. Does it still have some hilarious moments, great songs and great fun scenes?...yes! The last film was such a momentous 'reboot' for the franchise that the 'sequel' was always going to be seen in it's shadow. But in many ways this is unfair, and this is a really fun film that any fans of the Muppets will no doubt love. It doesn't quite have the emotional 'heart' of the last one (or 'Muppet's Christmas Carol' or 'Muppets Take Manhattan'), but it does have many laughs and great Muppet moments (I would put it most closely with 'Great Muppet Caper' I would say). Well worth watching if you're a fan.

American Hustle

I was really disappointed with just how bad this was. The cast is excellent, and the film looks and sounds great. But after a promising start, the wheels seem to fall off and there doesn't seem to be any discernible script or direction. It felt like some sort of awful amdram workshop, in which the actors are given free-reign to say and do what they like. And even with the calibre of actors involved, this just doesn't seem to work. It's never quite sure if it wants to be a comedy, heist or action movie, and doesn't really cut it as any of these. I seem to be in the minority, as each person I went to see it with thought it was great, and the critics are raving about it. But I'm very confused as to why this is, as I found this a deeply unsatisfying experience.

Gravity
Gravity(2013)
½

Sandra Bullock is 'lost in space' as her rocket is gradually destroyed by satellite debris and the rest of her crew are killed.

Good acting all round, and palpable suspense throughout. Whilst I tend to think of 3D as mostly a gimmick, this is the first film I've seen that really uses it well, and the whole thing was the closest you'll get to being on a thrilling ride without actually being on one. I'm not sure how this will translate to the small screen however, and this remains to be seen.

So many things go wrong for Bullock's character that it does start to become unintentionally funny in parts. Bullock's character also seemed quite ill-equipped at times to deal with the sorts of things you would expect an astronaut to be trained in.

But overall this is a fun film with great effects and some good performances.

The Conjuring

Truly awful 'horror by the numbers.' Shamelessly aping other, much better horror films all over the shop, and if you think you've seen it all before, it's because you have. Worth a miss.

House of Wax
House of Wax(2005)

Awful. A few 'so bad they're funny' scenes, but not enough to make me want to watch it again. I have a distant memory of the 1953 version being pretty creepy, so I'll check that out and hopefully it will make up for this terrible remake.

K-PAX
K-PAX(2001)

A 'man' turns up in a psychiatrist's office, reporting to be an alien visiting from another planet. But his knowledge and demeanor is so convincing, that even the psychiatrist starts to wonder if he's telling the truth.

It's difficult to imagine anyone else but Kevin Spacey being able to play the role of 'alien outsider' with quite so much magnetism, and he absorbs the role in a way that makes you think he was born to play it. Jeff Bridge's character also works on several levels; presenting both an intrigued doctor and a flawed family man; lacking some of the 'humanity' that his 'alien' friend/subject has to teach him.

What is also satisfying about this film is that it doesn't patronise the audience. Had this been a simple 'alien visitation' story, it would have fallen short, but there is enough mystery remaining in the film to let the viewer decide whether the 'alien' is what he says he is, or whether he is delusional. And the clever part is that either way, this film works - through a clever script and interesting characters.

A mixture of elements from 'Harvey' and 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' with Spacey's own unique idiosyncrasies thrown in. Well worth a watch.

Little Miss Sunshine

A weird and wonderful film in which 6 very different and disparate family members are forced together on the way to (the ultimate American celebration of the inconceivably strange) a childs' beauty pageant. What makes you care about this film is how 'fleshed out' and individually realised each of the characters are. This is a warm, funny, moving and ultimately real film. O.K, so the reality of life for most of us doesn't include a drug taking grandad, suicidal uncle or a selective mute son. But for many of us families, for better or for worse are a selection of disparate people, forced together; with all the warm, tragic and funny moments that come from this. And this is why this unique film portrays this so well.

Acted beautifully throughout by all 6 characters (even the young girl, who suffers from none of the annoying traits that most child actors do), this is certainly a film that will last the test of time.

Rope
Rope(1948)

Based on the Leopold and Loeb case and the ideas of Nietzsche, this film centres on a professor's theory that the 'intellectually superior' in society are beyond 'good and evil,' and his former students who decide to enact the 'perfect murder' of their friend from his influence.

Based on a play, and filmed as if on the stage, this film has a very unique feel to it and is quite unlike any other Hitchcock film I've seen. The dialogue is superb, with great witticisms that feel like a modern take on Oscar Wilde play (to a lesser extent). The subject matter is a strange and intriguing one, but the main characters didn't really convince me enough to pull it off completely. James Stewart is great as always, but plays a character that is very different to what I'm used to, and is actually quite a complex and flawed one, rather than the inspirational 'every man' he is known for playing.

Overall, an interesting Hitchcock film that is well worth repeat viewings, although on first viewing I've not completely made my mind up about it.

Ted
Ted(2012)
½

A series of one-liners that doesn't quite work as a full film. However, the story is a novelle one, Ted himself is actually very believable, and the jokes are, for the most part hilarious. Well worth a watch for fans of Family Guy.

Lockout
Lockout(2012)
½

A wise-cracking con, 'guilty of a crime he did not commit,' tries to save the president's daughter from a prison in space..no seriously.

This would almost be a candidate for the 'so bad it's good' category, until you look at the fact that Luc Besson was involved, at least at the ideas stage. Seriously, this is the guy that wrote Fifth Element and Leon..

A serious amount of money and time has been ill-advisedly spent on this modern day B-Movie; but the result is an unintentionally funny 'count the cliches' event - falling from a tethered rope..check, diving from a ticking bomb..check.

We also have some interesting attempts at American accents from the main characters who are in turn..Australian, French and English. The only ones allowed to talk in their own voices seem to be the bad guys..who all seem to be Scottish for some reason.

One to miss.

Baise-Moi
Baise-Moi(2000)

Not really sure what to make of this one. On the one hand, you've got to admire the gumption of the independent film-makers for attempting to make a film that pushes every envelope they can think of with a restricted budget. On the other hand, what starts as a Thelma and Louise style crime thriller soon descends into a 'how many taboos can we break in the time we have,' kind of film - rape - check, blowjobs - check, graphic murder - check. I suppose I'm desensitised to it all, but what should have been shocking didn't really feel as such. Not a bad attempt though, and well worth a watch for fans of gritty drama. This won't be to everyone's taste.

Creep
Creep(2005)

Very 'creepy' and disturbing thriller. Thoroughly unpleasant at times, but some good Hitchcock-esque suspense and some good performances throughout.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

The cliches fly thick and fast, and you can work out the plot within the first five minutes. But its fun, well written and has a good cast, so worth a watch if you're after an easy-to-watch rom-com.

Haywire
Haywire(2012)

Humourless, riddled with cliches, with characters you couldn't care less about and action scenes that feel cold, drawn out and lifeless. A real waste of a strong cast, really let down by a weak plot, direction and script. A real mess of a film, one to miss.

The Dark Knight Rises
½

So there we have it, the third and final Nolan Batman film, and huge kudos to both he and Burton for taking the character and 'world' of Batman and making it so unique and entertaining, in different ways. Overall, this was a great action/superhero film and one that is well worth watching. I would say out of the three, the Dark Knight was my favourite, and the Joker is much more effectively sinister and compelling a villain than Bane, although he does a good job. Bale's 'Batman voice' still makes me chuckle, sounding rather like an adolescent, overcompensating for a shaky pitch by putting on a low growl, but as Bruce Wayne, you can't fault him, beautifully played as always here. The supporting cast are all strong and the action scenes are excellent. Its nice to see Catwoman back, and Anne Hathaway is perfectly cast as both sexy, charismatic and super-intelligent, smoldering in all her scenes. I also liked the way that Robin was introduced, in easily the least cheesy way ever.

Emotionally, it didn't punch as heavy as the other two films, but its still a great action film with inspired scenes that will reward repeat viewing.

Kramer vs. Kramer

Glad I finally got to see this film. I had some idea that it was going to be good, but didn't really know what to expect. The acting is superb by all (even the kid is great!), as is the directing. This, added to an intelligent and genuinely moving script (Dustin Hoffman helped write it from the personal experience of the divorce he was going through at the time) make this one of the best character-driven dramas I've seen in quite a while.

The Amazing Spider-Man
½

With the last adaptation still fairly fresh in our minds, this was always going to suffer from comparisons throughout. But although there are some plot similarities (inevitably since they come from the same source primarily) the overall theme and feel is different â" taking on more of a teenage, Twilight/Hunger Games kind of feel, rather than the more comic book feel of the last version. But thatâ(TM)s not to say itâ(TM)s dark and brooding like the recent Batman either â" it has a lot of fun and funny scenes. The villain let it down a bit, showing once again the limitations of CGI in live action films. But overall I thought it was a good effort all round and certainly worth a watch for any fan of the genre.

Prometheus
Prometheus(2012)

I've just come out of this film, and I'm still not sure what to make of it! On the one hand, the acting isn't brilliant and the characters aren't particularly memorable, apart from the always reliable Michael Fassbender, who ironically gives the most convincing and notable performance as an android. The plot is pretty simplistic and daft (bunch of scientists and religious types go in search of the creators of the human race, to find out they're evil and have unleashed alien squid monsters...?), and although the CGI is amazing, it still leaves some of the scenes looking like an X Box 360 game. Right...all the criticisms over....overall this was a breathtakingly imaginative film. Scott shows that he has lost none of his brilliance and the film is both beautiful and dark; retaining much of the great H.R Giger's groundbreaking design from the first Alien film. The sheer scope and vision of Ridley Scott is unparralelled, and it feels great to be back in his brooding, dark and iconic take on science-fiction. Whilst many sci-fi action films seem content to trot out the same cliche 'in-your-face,' overblown noise, Scott once more delves into F. W. Murnau and Hitchcock territory to bring us something much more thoughtful and chilling. And whilst I was left scratching my head at the end, thinking 'what the hell did I just watch?!' I haven't had that feeling in a long time with a film, and in many ways that can be a good thing, and a sign that a film will continue to reward repeat viewings.

Although there are many flaws to the overall delivery of the film, there is so much to admire and commend, and this is definitely the most interesting slice of the Alien saga since the third film.

A Fish Called Wanda
½

I'm glad I finally got to see this, after years of wanting to. Whilst it's not a patch on the Python films it will no doubt be compared to, it has a great cast, memorable characters and enough witty moments to keep you interested throughout what is a pretty 1 dimensional plot. A lot of fun to watch.

The Dictator
The Dictator(2012)
½

If you've seen his other films, you know what to expect, and whether you're going to be offended by it.

Once again, Cohen sends up every taboo, stereotype and prejudice. There are some extremely funny moments, but also some misses here and there. I really enjoyed it, though satirically I didn't think it was as intelligently executed as Borat - which really held up a mirror to the real life ignorance of people he hoaxed.

Some good ideas, funny moments and well worth watching for anyone who enjoyed his other films.

Dark Shadows
Dark Shadows(2012)
½

A bit of a 'one joke' movie, in which too many producers spoil the broth. There were some really funny moments here and there, but it didn't work as a full movie, and was more a 'Burton by numbers' affair.

American Reunion
½

Funny and surprisingly poignant at times. Probably the best of the series since the first one, and really interesting to see the characters, (who were around the same age as me back then, and of course are now) grow up and take on the different steps in life that we all face. Wasn't consistently brilliant, but was certainly worth a watch and I'd watch it again.

The Hunger Games

Battle Royale goes all out Hollywood....with everything you would expect this to entail. Its bigger, brasher and a little bit dumber too. Its certainly not terrible, and there are some good scenes and an interesting premise. The costumes of the futuristic aristocrats were lavishly designed, and there are some good action scenes with a certain amount of tension in them. The acting is ok, and Jennifer Lawrence's character is very cute and likable. It wouldn't endanger any top ten lists for me, but then I'm hardly the target audience for this film, and I reckon most young teens would enjoy this.

Not great, but watchable enough, with some interesting ideas and some fairly good action scenes.

The Passion of the Christ

Well made and acted. This is the best adaptation of a much told tale I have seen since Robert Powell's performance in Jesus of Nazareth. It injects a much needed dose of reality into a story that is so well known as to ironically detract from it's power and dilute it somewhat in our minds. There is nothing diluted about this film, which shocks and moves you in the way that a film about such a crucial turning point in history should - whether you believe in what happened and/or it's significance, it is a huge part of our culture and how different societies throughout history perceived Christianity and this, the 'ultimate sacrifice.'

I don't agree with the criticisms of anti-semitism, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Jesus (the 'hero' of the piece) IS Jewish (something that people often seem to forget) as are many of the disciples. Also, it was the Jewish leaders that persecuted Jesus, as it says in the Bible, but the majority of Jesus' supporters were also Jewish. Finally, the Romans are portrayed pretty badly in this film too, but that it isn't to say that it is 'anti-Italian.' Without the perpetrators of the horrendous death that Jesus went through, this film wouldn't have half the power that it does.

The fact that it is acted in Hebrew may discourage a lot of people from watching, as will the graphic brutality. But it is just this sort of devotion to realism that sets it apart from many other interpretations. One of the things that other films of Jesus' life and death often lose out to are a more reverential style (in the same way as many big screen takes on Shakespeare) and, in doing so ironically lose much of the power to move or compel the audience. This is something that I believe this film is more than capable of doing.

Family Plot
Family Plot(1976)

Its difficult to criticize someone so iconic and important to film as Hitchcock. He directed his first film in the silent era (around 1922) and continued to drive and shape cinema through the next 50+ years of some of the most incredible films the likes of which have never been seen since. But it does feel kind of a shame that he ended with this rather subpar offering - the casting and acting doesn't work, the scenes are unrealistic and lacking in any real drama (the scene where the car's brakes don't work could've been very suspenseful but ends up being one of the worst I've seen in his films. The script is fairly good, but falls flat in its delivery. Even compared to his previous film before this, the rather brilliant Frenzy, this pales and falters.

So, if we are using this film as the bookend of an incredible career, then the master deserves all the praise and accolades he gets - a truly one off that will never be matched. But standing on its own merits, this is a disappointing edition to his canon of films.

Frenzy
Frenzy(1972)
½

Hitchcock goes all out Cockney in this return to both England, and to a much better form than his previous few films. The pace is a lot better and the action more gripping than his late 60's films, but still not a patch on the great master at his best. Whereas previous criticisms of his '60s work were that the former torch-bearer who had been ahead of his time was now 'past it,' this film (for better or worse) is brash, lewd and most definitely the early '70's writ large; the serial killer's rape scene being particularly disturbing and a departure from the less blatant violence of his late 60's output.

A definite return to form, perhaps not up to the standard of his earlier films, but very different in style and all the more interesting for it. Personally, I thought it was a pretty good Hitchcock, and one that stands well on its own merits - I'd definitely watch it again.

Topaz
Topaz(1969)

This one didn't really 'do it for me,' visually, it was nice, but didn't grip me like other Hitchcock films. I think maybe I need to see it again to really see its strengths, but on first watch it seemed a very lackluster Hitchcock film.

Torn Curtain
Torn Curtain(1966)

A few good scenes, but seems to lack the conviction of some of Hitchcock's best films. The easiest comparison in the style of this film to other Hitchcock films I've seen is North by Northwest, but it is a much less memorable affair than that film. I found it difficult to see Julie Andrews in a different enough way from Sound of Music or Mary Poppins, propably because of the era of the film rather than any fault on her part (I didn't have the same problem in '10' for example), and Paul Newman is handsome and suave, but lacks the punch or charm of other leading men from Hitchcock films like Cary Grant (North by Northwest) or Sean Connery (Marnie).

Watchable, with some good moments, but not one of his best.

Marnie
Marnie(1964)

A blonde bombshell who moves from workplace to workplace stealing money from the vaults is stalked by a dashing man who forces her to marry him in exchange for keeping her compulsive theft a secret. Haunted by her rough childhood and unloving mother, she is deeply disturbed, having anxiety attacks whenever she sees the colour red or when anyone tries to touch her.

The chemistry between Connery and Hedron is good, and its difficult to imagine anyone playing such a creepy possessive character in such a likable way as Connery is able to. By the standards of Hitchcock films such as Psycho or Rear Window, this is disappointing, but on its own merits, it moves well, with an interesting story and characters and is certainly worth a watch for any Hitchcock fans..though don't expect anything as memorable as the great director at his best.

The Birds
The Birds(1963)

A lot more 'B Movie' in style to his other films, and perhaps not one of the better Hitchcock films I've seen, though this is isn't a bad film. Actually quite eerie at times, even though the effects are quite dated at times. The characters and script are good, and fans of films like Jaws or The Blob might like this, but as much as it was an ok film, it lacked the depth or interest of films like Vertigo, Psycho or Rear Window.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
½

As a fan of Aardman animations, I wasn't disappointed. Its great to see them using claymation again (over the more widespread CGI), and their animation style continues to be jawdropping and unique. The story and characters are perhaps not as strong or memorable as Wallace and Gromit or Chicken Run, but there are some really funny scenes and its great fun from beginning to end. I loved the irreverent humour and there is something here to keep both the kids and the adults amused.

Vertigo
Vertigo(1958)

An intriguing, mysterious and unique film (I really can't think of any other film like this one). Hitchcock's use of paranoid, psychadelic visions of mad dreams and phobia is ahead of its time. James Stewart is on top form (as always), and cinematically it is as spell-binding as Psycho. His use of colour, which may seem dated by today's standards, but for the time he was working it stands as testimony to the great scope of ingenuity Hitchcock had at a time when this technology was in it's infancy. The colours are sumptuous, and the visuals still striking today. It is easy to see this film's huge influence on films that have come after it, and in many ways it is a benchmark for what was to follow. Entertainment-wise, I think this film is a 'grower,' in that it was more difficult to get into than some of his other classics I have seen, like Rear Window and Psycho - but you get the feeling that this is a film that rewards repeat viewings and further understanding.

Beyond the Gates
½

A story that needs telling, and is told in the most realistic, harrowing, brutal way, but also in the most gripping and personal way. A truly great film.

Chico & Rita
Chico & Rita(2012)
½

One of the most classy films I've watched in a long time. A little slow in parts, but yhe music and animation are absolutely beautiful, and the characters are believable and interesting. Excellent stuff!

2001: A Space Odyssey

I must admit it took me three times to attempt to watch this all the way through. It is incredibly slow and drawn out, working more as a piece of art; a collection of ideas than a coherent, enjoyable film. It some ways it feels like the sort of epic silent films of F. W. Murnau or Fritz Lang, rather than the Science Fiction adventure films like Star Wars or the Alien series. In fact, although it was hugely influential of George Lucas and co, Kubrick's style here could not be more different - relying on long, sweeping views of space stations, set to classical music - all of which are beautiful, but very ponderous and without the context to keep most people interested throughout. The more I'm watching it however, the more I'm slowly falling in love with this film, and it very much rewards repeat viewings. The cinematography and effects still look absolutely beautiful, and its difficult to imagine this came out in the '60's, as it is way before its time. The segment of the film with the rogue computer 'Hal,' is very effecting and suspenseful, calling to mind the work of Hitchcock before and Ridley Scott afterwards - great scenes in which the simmering, mono-toned computer threatens the crew 'all so politely' still feel great.

Overall, I would say this is an acquired taste and takes a great deal of effort to get into, but it is well worth it, and is one of the most interesting films I've seen from that era; a real milestone in film history.

A Dangerous Method
½

Excellent script and very interesting story. The acting for the most part is excellent, though Knightley isn't quite a good enough actress to carry the whole film. She gives it a good shot though and is better by far here than any other film I've seen her in. Predictably very cerebral throughout (though Freud's ideas are presented more clearly than Jung's I thought) and this won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I thought it was a clever and well made film with some moving scenes.

Pan's Labyrinth

Guillermo del Toro's modern 'fairytale,' of a young girl struggling to survie simultaneously through the horrible reality of Spain at the end of the 2nd world war and the ensuing fascist rule there, and a fantasy world of giant fauns, grotesque toads and child-eating monsters she stumbles into.

Whether the fantasical world is real, or imagined by the girl as a way to deal with the very real terrors of her newly appointed 'father,' a monster in the shape of a fascist captain her mother is involved with, is never fully explained and this is one of the truly wonderful things about the film. Just as in other great films, such as 'The Man who Fell to Earth' or 'The Silence of the Lambs,' the viewer is given the space to fill in the gaps and complete the story in their own way.

You can choose to follow the girl's belief that she indeed the reincarnation of a fabled princess, who must return to her magical kingdom via a set of tests given to her by a large faun creature (wonderfully realised with anamatronic features and creaking, earth-like sound-effects), or to view the fantasy as a metaphor for the twisted world of violence and hatred she is living in.

The fantasy world itself is surely no 'fairy tale' either; not in the modern context which we know it to be now at least. It has more in common with the macabre and disturbing vision of the original Grimm Brothers (the stories, not the disapointing film of the same name). Whilst watching this film, there were moments where I almost wished the more disturbing parts (and some of the scenes were indeed the most shocking I have seen in a long time) could be taken out - as children would have loved some of the fantasy creatures (particularly the disgusting toad creature). However, to take the dark elements out would have had the effect of losing the spirit and dual nature of the film.

The film as it is evokes the suspense, horror and yes hope that the lead character feels as she is plunged into her trials of life and fantasy.

this is a superbly inventive film that draws you in, shakes you up and doesn't let you go. A disturbing but brilliantly realised adult fantasy that is as original as it is challenging.

Cowboys & Aliens

The thing that is so disappointing about this film is not how shallow the story or how crummy the dialogue - these things can often lead to a 'so bad its good' film and I've got nothing against them! But the thing that makes this so shocking is just how much talent is wasted in one film. If anyone was to tell me that there was a film starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde, that it was being produced by Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard, I would automatically think it was something special. But it falls far from the mark.

The premise is such a ridiculous one; inextricably forcing together two contrasting genres in a way that doesn't really show off the best of either. Occassionally it works well as a Western, and Daniel Craig does pull off the role of 'man with no name' with a good deal of conviction. But as a sci-fi, it doesn't really work from the get-go.

Starts off watchable, and becomes rapidly more and more stupid.

Not terrible as such, but really not great either, especially when you look at the people who worked on it!

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Even after I saw Lucas ruin 3 of my favourite films (certainly my favourite trilogy) with naff CGI and pointless extras; I still had had such high hopes when news of the prequels came through. And then Episode 1 happened. The fact that I had been a colossal fan of the originals actually blinded me so much, that it took 4 viewings before I realised just what a crime Lucas had committed. In the space of 3 hours or so, he managed to destroy all my childhood love of the story; reducing it to an fx spectacular of nifty imagery and crappy plot. Such a waste of a good idea.

Part of the problem for me was that I was quite happy to let my own imagination shape all the bits that were touched upon but not fully explained in the originals. I liked the fact that the origins of Darth Vader were mysterious, and that of Yoda and co too. My images of the history talked about was fine by me. Secondly, I loved the feel of the originals. For the first time the spaceships in a sci-fi looked beaten up and rusty, the droids had attitudes and the scenery was bleak and fantastical, not polished and clicheâ which unfortunately became the case with the prequels, again ruined by CGI.

The Muppets
The Muppets(2011)

Its difficult to give an objective review, as I was SO excited to see this film, and its true there are a couple of moments here and there that don't work..but this is the only negative thing I can find to say about what was one of the warmest, funniest, most muppetational of the Muppet films yet! I absolutely loved it from beginning to end and can't wait to see it again and again! It really felt like the Muppets are back (for some of us they never went away ha!) and this is a real new peak for the franchise! Fantastic kid's film, irreverent and brilliant - go see it!

Beverly Hills Cop
½

Undeniably 80's - big, brash, colourful, and a hell of a lot of fun!

The Proposal
The Proposal(2009)
½

Yes, its a 'chick-flick,' yes, you can guess the ending within the first five minutes of the film starting..but it has two great leads, a good script and, if you're in the mood, this is a lot of fun and well worth a watch.

The Artist
The Artist(2011)

I wasn't sure I was going to like this film, and it did take a while to get used to the lack of spoken dialogue. But once I got used to it, I realised this is a charming and fun film that really captures the heart (and at times the 'hamminess') of the golden era of Hollywood it salutes. The set-pieces, costumes and music are all beautiful. Although this won't be everyone's cup of tea, I really enjoyed it and admired the courage it took to make something so different. And yes, the dog really did steal the show!

The Iron Lady
½

When I first heard about this coming out I was unsure what to make of it...and after seeing it I'm still in two minds. The most frightening thing to me was that history would be rewritten and that Thatcher would be heralded as some kind of Feminist hero of our times, someone to remember fondly. There is a certain element of this in the film, which did make for uncomfortable viewing. But it wasn't a completely glowing portrayal, and there were at least some references to the upheaval she caused; the riots, the blanket privatization, the Falklands War, the breaking down of community etc.. but this was mostly portrayed as some sort of patriarchal naivety of the old school that she was bravely sweeping away, which was hard to watch.

But whatever my personal feelings of the politics of this film, there's no denying that it is a well made film - Meryl Streep is superb as Thatcher, and it is impossible to imagine anyone else coming close to portraying her with as much depth. Jim Broadbent is brilliant as always, and the other cast are all great too. The tackling of dementia is very well executed, as are the prosthetics etc.. that show Thatcher at different ages. The film is well shot, paced and the narrative is strong.

A well made film that I found difficult to watch at times because of its content, but which I respect for its production.

The Third Man

An author flies to Vienna on the request of an old friend. As he arrives however, he discovers that his friend has been killed, and the police believe there is a connection with underworld dealings they suspect he has. The author also believes there are suspicious circumstances to his friend's death, and begins a personal mission to uncover the facts by exploring the dangerous secrets that the city is hiding.

I'm glad I finally got to see what is deservedly a classic. The photography, the scenery, the locations, everything is stunning. The casting is perfect, the script is excellent, and although it is occasionally hard to follow (at least on this first viewing), it is always intriguing.

There are a collection of a few films that are truly pieces of art in their own right; Hitchcock at his best, epic early masterpieces such as Metropolis, and this beautiful film. You also get the impression that it will improve with every viewing, and I look forward to seeing it again.

Arthur Christmas

Sweet, funny, original and fun, I really enjoyed this great kid's film and would definitely watch it again!

Terminator Salvation
½

Not bad, but not great. A LOT better than Terminator 3, but still not a patch on the original 2 and it just didn't grip me like these earlier films. It has this strange 'sheen' to the whole film which makes it feel more like an XBox game than a gritty vision of the future full of dread that the franchise once had. Christian Bale CAN act very well, I've seen him in the Machinist, so I know this. However, he falls into the same routine as in Batman, where he feels the need to put on a strange Barry White style deep voice (see Keanu Reeves in the Matrix for another annoying example of this!) and over-plays it if anything. A personal thing for me, but the CGI distracts from the power of the film (ironically, as this is one thing that amazed me in Terminator 2, but it is overdone here to the point where it's difficult to believe in). The film picks up at the end, with a great battle scene with the Arnie version of the Terminator, but it feels a little too little too late by this stage. I think this franchise could pick up again with this film, but it has a long way to go to reach it's heady beginnings.

Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines
½

Unnessesary sequal that has none of what made the first two special. For all its fancy effects, it feels cheap and thrown together. Tries to be comical, further cheapening what was a gritty and innovative franchise. The actor who plays John Connor is unconvincing and nothing like the way Edward Furlong played him, and the rest of the characters are pretty pointless, as is the plot. Do yourself a favour and stick with the first two.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Understandably a classic action sci-fi that is simultaneously a non-stop adrenalin rush and also pushes the genre in all sorts of creative new directions. It is still visually stunning, and the groundbreaking CGI really adds to the story, rather than distracting from it, as was one of the problems with Salvation. What makes a truly great sequel (a real rarity), is that it manages to expand on the original and take it to logical progressions without detracting from the essence of the original, and this is what makes Terminator 2 so good. On the one hand, it has all the darkness of the original, but it also expands the emotional intensity and development of all the main characters. The fact that a one-dimensional killing machine from the original can grow into the most unlikely of father figures for the young Connor is testimony to the scope of this sequel.

The Terminator

Often overlooked in favour of it's flashier sequel, this original is an excellent '80's sci-fi thriller that has stood the test of time. Surprisingly dark for it's time, it's as good as the sequel and leagues above 3 and 4.

Anchorman - The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

Comedy genius! Immensley stupid, and a little hit and miss at times, but overall really daft, funny and fun! Really liked it.

Interiors
Interiors(1978)
½

Three daughters struggle to deal with the aftermath of their mother's breakdown and increasing obsession with building an entirely muted, grey world around her. They also have to come to terms with their father's gradual seperation from their mother and how this adds to their mother's ill health.

Woody is wearing his Bergman influence on his sleeve here, and combining it with his own unique way of examining the human condition.

It's a slow, depressing, but beautifully acted film, that I liked for it's frank observations on family tension. However, although it is interesting to see such a different facet to Woody Allen's talent, most people will struggle to stay with it - especially if they are expecting the sharp comic wit of Annie Hall or Manhatten (the 2 films that bookended this one).

Take the Money and Run
½

One of Woody's earlier 'silly' films, and one of my favourite 'pre-Annie-Hall' ones. Some really funny scenes, such as the cello player in the marching band, and the ticklish prisoner. Doesn't quite make it as a full movie, and a little hit and miss at times, but there are enough funny moments to make this an enjoyable early Woody film.

Three Amigos!

Ok, perhaps not the best comedy of the 80's, but a whole lot of silly fun, and what's wrong with that?!

Daft., but in a likeable way.

In Time
In Time(2011)

'Time is money' is made literal in this interesting dystopian vision of a future in which everyone dies at 25, unless they can pay for more life. With their fleeting life counting down on a computer inplant in their arm, power and wealth are visible to all by the amount of time a person has left. The rich keep adding to their time, never aging but living forever, or as long as their money lasts. Justin Timberlake's character lives in the ghettos, where money, and therefor life is a daily struggle to survive and pick up more time. He takes it upon himself to travel to the richer areas and play a futuristic 'Robin Hood' character, stealing back the riches that have been acquired by the oppressive ruling class and distributing it more equally amongst the poor.

The biggest surprise in this film is that Timberlake is actually a pretty good actor. I don't mean that in a patronising or insulting way to him, but its a rare thing to find someone who excels both in the music industry and the acting industry simultaneously, but he seems to have the potential, if only he could find the right vehicle. This isn't an awful film by any means, but although the ideas are interesting ones on paper, they just don't seem to work when fleshed out to a full film, and what could've been a modern day Blade Runner, given the right treatment ends up rather a mediocre affair.

The Adventures of Tintin

If you were to pick the imaginary 'dreamteam' to make a film..if you were to write down a list of all the very best people to work together, it may well look like this. Its almost too perfect - Spielberg directing, Peter Jackson producing, Steven Moffatt writing, John Williams composing!

Yet unfortunatly, I can't say that what results is the perfect sum of these impressive credits. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad film by any means - it is very entertaining, full of very impressive action scenes, some good acting, interesting characters and plot and just enough of an Indiana Jones feel about it (perhaps not surprisingly) to make it fairly timeless. But its not half as good as it could've been, and there are parts where you do feel the film lacks the 3 dimensions that it needs to bring the classic story off the comic book page and onto the silver screen.

I would watch it again certainly, and it will no doubt make a great Christmas or Bank Holiday film in years to come. I did enjoy it, but I wasn't 'wowed' by it, as the ingredients that went together to make the film would have you believe.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Woody has assembled a fantastic cast, but seems to totally wast them in this very poor performance. Its difficult for me to say this, being as I am a huge fan of his work, but what really lets this film down is both the writing and the direction. Excellent actors, such as Naomi Watts (who is stunning as always, with one of the most convincing English accents I've heard by an American actress) and even the great Anthony Hopkins seem to walk around utterly lost. There are whole scenes that are cringeworthingly bad and ineffective.

Woody's love affair with London just doesn't seem as convincing or powerful as it was with New York in the 70's and 80's, and I wouldn't recommend this as his finest hour by any means.

Hocus Pocus
Hocus Pocus(1993)

Whilst its not going to top any kid's films polls any time soon, I found this to be a really fun film, with funny scenes and lots of action, akin to similar films of the time, such as Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Heaven Can Wait

Very cheesy and over-the-top as you would expect, but a clever script with some really funny lines and certainly good fodder for a rainy Sunday.

Green Lantern

Whilst nowhere near the heights of the genre (X-Men, Spiderman, Batman etc..), this is a fun romp with enough of a different story to make it stand apart from all the rest.

I thought the design in particular was very good, and although pretty generic in parts, it had some good action scenes and is well worth at least one watch.

Zodiac
Zodiac(2007)

Based on the true story of the notorious 'Zodiac Killer,' who led police and the media on a merry dance, changing his M.O, killing people in different states by different methods and so on; revelling in the infamy he built around him.

Whilst perhaps not as remarkable or memorable as Fight Club or Se7en, this is a really smart and well made crime thriller that is highly watchable and one of the best of its genre I've seen in a while. As with any good thriller, the fright comes from what is not seen, and this film is one of those that doesn't patronise or hand everything to you on a plate.

The cast are all great, as is the direction and production. Well worth a watch for any fan of the genre.

MacGruber
MacGruber(2010)

Just appalling. I can see what they were trying to do - sending up cheesey 80's action films etc.. but unlike other great films that do this..such as Team America, Hot Shots or Top Gun (thought I'd get a Kilmer reference in there ha), this really didn't work for me.

Johnny English Reborn

Good, but not great..rather like the first one..but slightly better in my opinion. Some really funny scenes, and worth a watch for a good few chuckles. Always great to see Rowan, and especially great to see Tim McInnerney (who played Percy and Captain Darling in Blackadder) also making an appearance!

Inland Empire
½

Please don't get me wrong, I LOVE Lynch's films. I love the dream/nightmare quality where elements that make 'sense' combine with elements that don't..like some beautiful, dark trip. But, on first viewing at least, I found this film very difficult to get into. There are a couple of things I like about it. The cinematography and music give film a really classy feel - and Laura Dern in particular still looks radiant in this. I also like the way in which it feels like a 'film within a film,' but I did find the constant moving between the two to be confusing (and not in a good way, like, say Mullholland Drive or Twin Peaks). On first viewing, this one left me a bit cold, in comparison to most of his other films.

Jaws
Jaws(1975)
½

Chuffed I FINALLY got to see this in full (though it was one of those films I felt I'd already seen from the amount of times it's been referenced in popular culture). I'm glad to say I wasn't disapointed. Quite a straightforward film, but in a good way, and it flowed a lot better than I thought it would. Great cast, fun film, glad I got to see it!

Robots
Robots(2005)

A really fun kid's film with lots of funny scenes.

Source Code
Source Code(2011)
½

Extremely original, intelligent and interesting film.

A man awakes to find he is reliving 8 minutes of someone else's memory over and over again. He is able to access this memory through a 'source code,' which allows echoes of a person's residual memory to be looked into and reused. By revisiting these last minutes of a person's life, he must ascertain who has blown up a train in a prelude attack, in order to find out when and where they are about to launch their main attack to come.

The cast are all excellent, the plot is confusing, but in a good way, and the production is very tight and captivating.

A very enjoyable and thought provoking film that I would highly recommend.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
½

I was really disapointed by this film..ok, I know a lot of people will rightly say it's 'over my head' etc.. but I'm not putting down the story, the production or the idea - in fact there are many similar spy stories I like, particularly the excellent 'Cambridge Spies' series from the BBC a number of years back. Indeed, there are all the ingredients to make for an amazing film - a great author and a cast that reads like a 'who's who' of some of the best actors this country has produced, both past and present..

But even with all these elements together, I found this film to be one of the most mind-numbingly boring 2 hours I've had for a long time. Just brain-crushingly dull and tedious throughout. I really wanted to like it..but after the first hour I found myself contemplating the intricate workings of the projector, or wondering just how many felt tiles were on the roof of the cinema.

I'm sure I'll be criticised as a philostine for my bad review, and I can understand why, because, as I said, the cast are unbelieveable. But, for me personally, once I'd basked in the wonder of the assembled talent..there was nothing left to keep me entertained..sorry.

Paul
Paul(2011)
½

Some really funny scenes and great chemistry as always from Pegg and Frost. It didn't work for me as consistently throughout as Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, and there were a few parts of the script that weren't quite up to the same level of humour or commitment. Still a fun film though and well worth a watch for any fans of their other films.

Final Destination 5
½

Have you seen any of the other Final Destination films?...well, then you've seen this one too. You know exactly what to expect, and whether you'll enjoy it or not. Supremely stupid and ridiculous. Its certainly fun..but the sort of fun that will make you want a brain enema afterwards ;-)

The Inbetweeners

Not quite as consistently funny as the series, but with some hilarious scenes that will have you crying with laughter. Highly recommended for fans of the show and new newcomers alike.

The Green Hornet

If you can imagine Batman if it was written by stoners, you've pretty much got the Green Hornet!

Seth Rogan plays the drop-out son of a millionaire, who is left the richs and responsibilties of his father after he dies. However, taking the help of one of his employees, who happens to be both a genius and a kung-fu specialist, he decides to become an anti-hero in LA. But instead of some inert will to be a champion of morality, he does this more as a 'laugh,' and to give himself some sort of direction that his life has been missing.

This film doesn't take itself at all seriously, and is more of a sophomore
buddy comedy at times; more Amican Pie than Watchmen I would say.

The first half of the film is really fun, and there is a good chemistry between the main leads. But after that, it does become pretty tired pretty quickly..and my attention did wane quite a lot towards the end.

Quite different in its field, and worth a watch, with some funny scenes and some good chemistry.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Erm..not sure what to make of this one. Its a really dumb film, filled with unconvincing CGI and even less convincing plot..but it is quite fun to watch!

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D
½

Ok, I've got to give them credit for trying something new with the '4th dimension' thing (although who would've known it was smell haha!), even if they all smell the same..

But the film is truly appaling. The script, acting, story, everything is just terrible. A couple of funny scenes make it just about bearable, but unless you really have nothing else to watch, I'd avoid it!

Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso)
½

A Sicilian boy develops a love for the cinema and a friendship with the local projectionist at the Cinema Paradiso in his home town, following their friendship and the changing fate of the cinema from just after World War II through to the old projectionist's death.

I'm always wary of seeing classic films like this for the first time - being recommended it so many times, I worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations. I'm happy to say though that this is a really beautiful film, full of warmth, humour and humanity. The music, script and acting (particularly by the young boy who is a real star) are all strong and its a simple but very effectively told life-story based on a passion for film. I highly recommend it.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

A bright schoolkid devises ingenious ways to fake the ultimate last day off before he has to graduate.

A slightly simple premise that could've been fun, but rather one-dimensional, had it not had a lot of thought, wit and character development put in.

Matthew Broderick's main character is actually somewhat of a suburban philosopher, talking to the audience directly; encouraging us to shake ourselves out of our conformity towards 'ceasing the day,' or as he puts it 'Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.' You can tell that this is no 'deadbeat' and that he is actually more intelligent than the majority of the people he is rebelling against. This makes him a memorable and likeable anit-hero for a decade that was all about high-pressure and high-commerce.

In fact, he can't even be seen as 'opting out' of education or society, as, say James Dean's character in Rebel Without a Cause, but embraces a sort of 'self education' that his own school is lacking - he goes to art galleries and joins in with parades, he does all the things that enrich him and his friends; away from the drudgery of his usual experiences at school.

I think what makes these sorts of films resonate so effectively in us is both that Ferris represents the personal freedom we all wish we were confident enough to strive for, but also that his experience (and the experiences of other teenagers in similar films such as American Pie or The Inbetweeners) represents a 'right of passage' that is missing from our Western culture.

Always fun, and often surprisingly thought provoking - one of the best films of the decade.

Police Story 2 (Ging chaat goo si juk jaap) (Police Force II)
½

One word...genius! Great action scenes and funny as hell.

The Karate Kid
½

As a big fan of the original as a kid (who wasn't?!) I didn't think I would enjoy this half as much as I did.

Jackie Chan is excellent (as always), Jaden Smith is actually pretty effective in the main role and not nearly as annoying as I thought he would be. The story isn't bad and is quite touching in places, in much the same as the original one, which it tips its hat too, but doesn't try to emulate too closely (a good idea).

A fun movie that most kids will definitely enjoy.

Cars
Cars(2006)
½

A big city racing car meets smalltown fols..er..cars and learns to appreciate others more.

A pretty daft idea true..and this is no Finding Nemo or Shrek..but it is a REALLY fun and easy to watch film with a funny script and memorable characters. I enjoyed this film and would watch it again.

Flight of the Navigator
½

Surely its many kids' dream to own their own spaceship, I know it was mine! And in this film, the main character gets to do just that! This is a really fun film, with pretty good fx for its time, and actually quite a lot of heart. Ok, its no Back to the Future, but in many ways, this is a hidden gem of the '80s.

Captain America: The First Avenger
½

Whilst I loved Captain America comics when I was young, I didn't think it would translate well to the big screen in the same way as the other Marvel heroes. I'm glad to say I was wrong however and this was a really fun, action-packed and engaging film. Ok, like most superhero films (with the notable exception of the X-Men films) you know the story isn't going to be over challenging or inspiring, but you know you're going to get a lot of adventure and cheesy fun, and this film delivers on both fronts.

Whilst I didn't think the historical setting would suit many fans of the genre, this actually works well and makes it different enough to make the film stand out from the others. There is also a superb cast of notable actors all performing great turns - Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving and Samuel L. Jackson to name three.

I'm not sure I enjoyed this as much as X--Men or the Spiderman trilogy, and I doubt its a film I will return to again and again, but I think Marvel did a good job and its well worth a watch.

Europa Europa

In this moving real-life story about a young Jewish man who escapes death by posing first as a Russian and then as a Nazi.

Ths script and acting are strong. Also, on a seperate note, as a huge fan of the Three Colours films it was nice to see Julie Delpy in one of the main roles, and to hear another excellent score by Zbigniew Preisner.

Its difficult at times to relate to the character, who's constant turn-coating seems rather immoral when viewed against a backdrop of suffering and persecution of his family and community. But who is to say that, put in the same situation any one of us would'nt act in exactly the same way to save ourselves? And thankfully in the end his guilt at pretending to be a Hitler youth wins him over and he tries to find his family again.

A really well made and thoughtful film.

Double Indemnity

This classic film noir teams the superb writing of Raymond Chandler with the excellent direction of Billy Wilder (Some Like it Hot, the Apartment) to create an intelligent and dark murder suspense. Brooding and stylish, with a razer sharp script. It takes a while to get into the tempo of the speech, which is pretty fast and complex at times, but once I got into it I found it to be probably the best example of this genre of film and definitely worth watching for any fan of classic films.

The Big Lebowski

There are a few films that different people in my life often say 'you should see that film..you'd love that film' etc.. This includes Napolean Dynamite, Anchorman and the cult classic The Big Lebowski.

The only problem with people telling you you're going to love something, is that you often over-hype it in your head and end up dissapointed. I'm glad to say this wasn't the case with this great film.

The characters are brilliant and highly memorable. I've always loved John Goodman, and he's great in this film as the 'Nam obsessed veteren. Jeff Bridges' 'The Dude' is so iconic that he has become understandably a kind of anti-hero, and he is possibly the most fun character I have seen him play.

The script is sharp and full of witty one-liners that will no doubt be repeated for some time to come. The film manages to be ultra-cool without ever trying to be 'hip' or too certain of itself.

A great film that I will definitely be watching again soon!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

Spellbinding (excuse the pun!) finale to one of the finest Children's series of recent times. It manages to both stand on its own as an excellent film in its own right, and also effectively weave in elements of the other 6 1/2 films that preceeded it, acting as a fitting end to a great series of films.

This film in particular is pretty epic, with battle scenes to almost rival some of the Lord of the Rings spectacles. The CGI seems much improved (one of my bugbears with some of the other films, particularly the dragon, that I thought was amazing. The pacing and dedication to making the best film possible is also evident - this is leagues above The Half Blood Prince for example!

One slight criticism I would have is that the films have tried hard to 'out-dark' each other from the third film onwards, to the degree where this is probably too dark and violent for most younger children (this film carries a 12a certificate, which is older than Harry in the Philosopher's Stone, to put it in context) and its a shame; though I can't see how they could've lightened it without losing the drive or feel of the film. It also means that the comic relief that Rupert Grint and others brought to the earlier films is missing somewhat - this is a heavy film finale. But saying this, it is also rarely inaccessible and it is action-packed throughout.

I still have a problem with some of the portrayals of the characters - the relationship between Harry and Ginny still seems quite forced and wooden for example, but for the most part the cast put on really effective performances, including Mr. Radcliffe himself.

I took my Godson to see this film and he was captivated throughout. I noticed many other kids his age were also sat transfixed at the film, and, as they a generation who basically grew up alongside Harry, I realised just how important this coming of age film was to them. It was even emotional for big kids like me too haha!

As with any great writing, universal age-old philisopichal issues underpinned the story - the duality of man, the idea that we all possess the potential to be both Harry or Voldemort, depending on the choices we make in life, and that ultimately it is these choices that define who were are - and were woven into the action. Deep stuff for a kids'film, but then this is what separates a great film from a good one, and this is what will no doubt make the Harry Potter series last the test of time, as this generation's answer to the Narnia chronicles.

An excellent and fitting finale to a great series of films.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles
½

The Odd Couple meets The Out-of-Towners in this feel-good film about an uptight business man who gets majorly stuck on the way back to his family for Thanks-Giving. The great combination of two comedy giants - Steve Martin and John Candy assure that this is a really fun film, filled with hilarious scenes and enough heart to make it one you'll want to watch again and again. I really enjoyed watching this again after so many years!

The Princess Bride
½

I may be biased on this, but the 80's were full of some of the best kid's fantasy/adventure films; from Labyrinth to Willow, Legend to Neverending Story. What seperates the Princess Bride from the others however is a shrewd, witty script and great direction from Rob 'Spinal Tap' Reiner. This, added to some great action and memorable characters make this last the test of time much better than some similar films. Ok, it drags slightly at times, but as 80's action/fantasy/comedy films go, you won't find much better than this.

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
½

This has got to be my joint favourite concert movie, along with Paul Simon's 1991 Concert in Central Park. Bowie is captured at a critical point of his creative powers; reaching the zenith of the Ziggy phenonemon he had worked so many years to achieve and yet also reaching the end of that phase and the unknown beginnings of the next. Mick Ronson and the rest of the band are on top form, and it is captivating to hear the songs that were so well produced on the record come to life on the stage.

Kung Fu Panda 2

Ok, its not going to top any kid's polls of favourite cartoon films any time soon and compared with the first film, I didn't think the story was as interesting. But there are enough great gags and action-packed scenes to make this equally as enjoyable, if not more so, than the first one.

The War of the Worlds
½

The best film version in my opinion. Superb special effects for the time and leagues above the B Movie sci-fis around in '53. Ok, so held up against the book it looks rather cheesy and 'Hollywood,' but compared with the other science-fiction around at the time its a real milestone.

Swordfish
Swordfish(2001)

Not a bad action-heist, but not really my cup-of-tea. Felt like a bit of a waste of such a great cast. Not terrible, but just not as brilliant as it could've been

Hero
Hero(2004)

It's difficult not to compare this film with Crouching Tiger, as the styles are so similar as to almost make it feel like a sequel/prequel. And like Tiger, the visuals, music, cheography are all absolutely gorgeous, as are the sumptuous locations. However,these thingsnot withstanding, the focus of the stories is quite different - whilst Tiger concerns personal identity and forbidden love, hero has a grander, more political focus; examining the violent origins of waring provinces that would become the empire that China became. But more than this, the film is concerned with the 'politic of truth,' as we examine the story from the point of view of different main characters. I particularly liked the way this was represented by different colours (ared hue for Jet Li's character's version of events for example).

The story feel grander and more epic than Tiger, adding a fascinating historic edge to the tale. On first viewing however, this grandness did make it more difficult for me to relate to the characters, and the erratic flow of the story made it hard to follow.

I'm guessing this film will improve with repeat viewings, and it was always going to be compared unfavourably with Tiger in my head, as this is one of my alltime favourite films. This is perhaps an unfair judgement however, and judged on its own merits it has all the ingredients of agreat film. Given the objectivity of time and repeat viewing, I'm sure I would connect better with it. But on first viewing I'm not entirely sure what to make of it.

X-Men: First Class
½

What seperates the x-men stories from a million other action films is their rare measure of both brain and heart; there is a depth there that runs throughout all 3 original films, and thankfully through both spin-offs/prequels too. Ok, so its an action film, so there's still the 'cheese,' the plotholes and occassional bits that don't work too well. But this is nitpicking at what is overall a great action film and addition to a great series.

Once again the X-Men show why they are on top of the Superhero genre.

Thor
Thor(2011)

Thor was never going to be the first choice of hero for Marvel to bring to the big screen. Whilst they make a business out of making the wildest ideas into semi-plausible movie scripts, some stories were always going to be more far-fetched than others. The idea of a 'God of Thunder' who's arrogance gets him banished to the human realm is about as far-fetched as even most fans of the Super-Hero genre are likely to accept. But wisely Marvel doesn't try to cover this up, but uses the ridiculousness of their hero as a basis both for humour and fun as well as the necessary drama.

You know what to expect from this film from the outset; and it is ridiculous, it is cheesy, but it is also a lot of fun, full of action and has some great scenes. The idea of a God trying to aclimatise to being a mortal leads to many of the funniest moments in the film, and there are also some very effective action scenes with some amazing CGI.

Its not up to other Marvel films such as Spiderman, but then I was never likely to relate to this 'Jock's wet dream' of a hero over the more easy-to-relate-to nerdiness of Peter Parker now was I?

Enough cheese to stock a deli, but not a bad effort by Marvel to bring a difficult hero to the big screen, and worth at least one watch for any fan of the genre.

The Eagle
The Eagle(2011)

Enough holes to strain spaghetti - from the American accents of the Romans (including shall I add the British actors!) to African looking Scots and seemingly seemless (and time-jumping) travel from South to North Britain in one scene. It becomes clear early on, that this is going to be no Gladiator..or even Braveheart.

But as long as you go into the film knowing that its going to be rubbish and you don't take it seriously, this is a fun enough romp through well-trod action territory.

Probably worth a hung-over bank holiday watch, but nothing much else.

Foo Fighters: Back and Forth

A great music film should make you want to start a band as soon as the credits roll, or if you're already in a band it should give you an injection of energy to challenge and influence you. The Joy Division documentary definitely did that for me...and so does this awesome film!

I've not been that excited in a cinema for a long time! I just wanted to get up and dance throughout most of the film haha. This is a fantastic documentary - tragic, beautiful, raw, honest - in essence the perfect rock film, and a must-see not just for Foo fans but for anyone interested in the highs and lows of being in a rock n' roll band.

Carry On Sergeant

The first of the Carry On films sets up some of the formula that would make the long lasting series so iconic - many of the cast and personel are there and create some great comedy moments . The humour in these early films is less brash, and there is a certain amount of warmth to the film also. Great to see William Hartnell in another role (other than Doctor Who) and for the most part this is a lot of fun, though slow to get started.

Carry On Spying

Some great one-liners and a good cast, but not really the best Carry On there is. Still good fun though!

Ghostbusters 2

All the right ingredients are there again, but its perhaps a bit over-baked! Still a great deal of fun though and a great sequel! Can't wait for Ghostbusters III!

Ghostbusters (1984 Original)

Aw, you just can't beat this film!! All the ingredients are there - you couldn't ask for a better cast, wittier script, more fun music - all in all this is just the best feel-good film ever! Never gets old!

The African Queen
½

I'm glad I finally got to see this classic teaming of two of Hollywood's finest; Bogart and Hepburn. Both actors excel in this character driven piece about two very different people (a burly captain and a Methodist minister's sister) who are forced together by their mutual need to escape the Germans as they invade their part of Africa. They take the perilous journey down a great river, coping with rapids, crocodiles, German soldiers, and..most difficult of all each other.

During the way of course the inevitable happens - Bogart's character learns to be less boarish, and Hepburn's character learns to be less prudish, and over time an unlikely love affair blossoms.

Not necessarily one I'd watch every day, but the script is good, the casting and chemistry between the main players is excellent and for a great slice of Sunday afternoon escapism you can't get much better.

Eraserhead
Eraserhead(1977)
½

A man discovers that his girlfriend is having a baby...a strange mutant baby that has many mutant siblings on the way!

David Lynch's first film shows much of the originality and style that would make him stand out so much. The dream-like nature of his work starts here; with ideas existing in a kind of half-logical, half-surreal state that many dreams take on; twinning the strange with the familiar. The ideas are presented in a kind of sketch style, which makes it difficult to follow at times, but for all its weirdness and incomprehensiveness, it is always compelling.

Impulsive and funny in parts, disturbing in others. Not a film that will ever have 'mass-appeal,' but one that will no doubt continue to challenge and provoke strong reaction (both good and bad) from film-fans and arty types. A real 'cult classic' if ever I saw one.

Enchanted
Enchanted(2007)

The tradition with Disney has always been to plough a safe and cutesy image, whilst it's competitor Warner Brothers took the more edgy, 'madcap' approach (kind of like the difference between Nintendo and Sega in the 80's/90's if you want to get nerdy ha). As a result, when Disney goes against this formula, it tends to feel laboured and uncomfortable and rarely works. One notable exception however is Enchanted, Disney's satirical attack on its own legacy. Every Disney clichà (C) is lambasted and lampooned here; from the purest of pure princesses to the seemingly unrealistic 'happily ever after.'

What makes this work so well however is that Amy Adam's breathes so much life into her naive princess lost in a modern day New York, that you can't help but be swept up by her whole sweet, unscathed view of the world as she meets with cynical and jaded modern reality. What could well be just another sickly sweet Disney film ends up being much more than that; a commentary on how we lose our childhood innocence as we grow up and how, in many ways this is to our detriment. An intelligent film that does a lot for Disney's crumbled reputation and showcases just what a great actress Amy Adams is.

Not to be taken on face value I'm proud to say I loved it!

Rango
Rango(2011)

A lonely chameleon housepet finds himself stranded in the desert. Making his way to a town, he convinces the people there that he is a brave and fearless hero, and they adopt him as the Sheriff and champion of their cause to renourish their water supply.

I thought this would be awful, but its not bad. Ok its not going to get into any top tens any time soon, and I wouldn't say you should rush out and see it, but its fun enough for a Saturday afternoon. The animation is good and the script is witty and will appeal to kids and adults. The characters are pretty obvious, and although they are well realised I didn't overly warm to them. The highlight for me was probably the owls, who narrate each section through song. Its also nice to see the Western genre being done in a cgi kid's film; which does lend a touch of originality to the film. Whether its enough to make this film stand or survive the test of time is another thing however.

The Wild One
The Wild One(1954)
½

"What are you rebelling against Jonny?
What you got?"

This film manages to both encapsulate a time in American history, and remain fairly timeless in its exploration of teenage rebellion (along with Rebel Without a Cause this was one of the first times the term had been explored). Brando does what he does best; seething with anger and a toughness that makes him compelling to watch. You can see how influential the attitude and verve of this film was on the culture of the time, from Elvis to The Beatles and beyond; though some of the jargon and acting may seem a little dated by today's standards.

As far as Brando's performance goes; I enjoyed it, though I didn't feel he was quite as stretched here as in other classic performances such as On The Water Front or The Godfather.

Natural Born Killers

As influential as Stone is on other directors, this shows that he can be equally influenced in turn; taking on the style of the edgiest directors of the time - Tarantino and Lynch, and putting his own slant on their work. The film follows a 'Bonnie and Clyde' style couple of mass murderers, trawling the country for their next victims in the hope to increase their notoriety to a psycho-obsessed media.

Stone pays tribute to the diversity of media styles, giving recognisable genres of film and T.V disturbing twists; most notably for me in the scene depicting domestic violence and abuse in the style of a situation comedy. This shows the Lynch influence of scratching the suface of 'picture-postcard, perfect America' to show the awful truth beneath. He also takes on the Tarantino style of showing violence in a comedic and comic-book way; such as showing the murderers in comic-strip style at times.

Challenging, interesting, but relying rather too heavily on other film-maker's styles to be as original as some of his other films.

Pink Flamingos

Glad I finally got to see this famous cult film. The story of rivals for the title of 'filthiest person in America' gives you some inclination that to say its an acquired taste is the understatement of the century.

John Waters shows he is the rightful successor to Andy Wahol's by surrounding himself with the most degenerate, messed up 'freaks' he can find, pointing a camera at them and creating a disgusting and challenging world all of his own. Scenes of acted abduction, violent sex and all-too-real animal mutilation is thrown at the viewer.

The acting is so appalling that it must be done on purpose. The tagline that it is 'an exercise in bad taste' shows the main thrust of this film; to shock and appall middle-America. And I have no doubt it was succesful in doing this, as well as inspiring many indie film-makers to push the boundaries of acceptability and taste in cinema. You can also see direct influences on stories such as The Rocky Horror Show.

Truly original and unique, though maybe not one I'd watch every week!

Grosse Pointe Blank
½

A dark twist on the Rom-Com genre; with John Cusack playing a hitman who returns to hometown for a 10 year school reunion and the girl he left stranded on prom night. Following him into town are rival hitmen and the FBI, all after his head.

A smart script and good casting make this a fun and very watchable film.

The Apartment

I think the underlying theme of this film is one most people can identify with, and this is why this film strikes a chord with so many film-fans, though on first glance you wouldn't necessarily imagine it would.

The film tells the tale of two disparate people trying to find the courage and conviction to stand up for themselves in a world that is perenially dumping on them.

It deals just the right amount of Wilder's characteristic ascerbic wit and shrude social commentary with a certain pathos that will have you wanting to laugh and cry in equal measure - not an easy thing for a writer to pull off I would imagine.

A beautiful film with a fantastic script and great acting. Jack Lemmon is on top form (when isn't he?!) as CC Baxter, definetly one of my favourite characters I've seen him play. Shirley MacLaine is amazing too as the tragic Miss Kubelik.

I recommend everyone see this movie, it's romantic, funny and moving - what else could you want from a film?

Aliens
Aliens(1986)

Once again everything is right here. The direction, acting, cinematography, design, lighting, music...everything is perfect!

Brilliant film that crosses genres between Sci-Fi and Horror effortlessly. Probably my favourite of the series

Tears of the Sun
½

Its time to play 'spot the cliche' in this predictable no-brainer war film. If you go into it knowing you've seen it all before and if you're just after a non-taxing shoot-em-up this is fairly well made with some touching (if again predictable) scenes. And you start to wonder at some points whether Willis has soiled himself, as he seems to have a permanently pursed face the whole way through the film.

It tips its hat to Saving Private Ryan, Platoon, Apocalypse Now and lots of other films it wishes it was as good as. In other words - It might pay homage to some great war films, but Platoon it aint!

Worth it if you're after an easy, fun slice of action, but don't expect any Oscar scenes ;-)

Doctor Who - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

Snother odd but interesting addition to the series, full of creepy clowns and psychotic rapping ringmasters.

Ace and the Doctor arrive at a barren planet where the main attraction is a 'psychic circus' where the entrance ticket is really an invitation to be killed in front of a ravenous audience.

The story is confusing but enticing, and although I wouldn't call this a classic from the era, I would say it certainly has enough to make it worth a watch, with enough creepy scenes and characters to leave an imprint on many a kid's mind (I can certainly remember elements of it from when I saw it as a 7 year old). The 'rapping' segments reminded me of the embarrassingly strange sung introductions to each scene in the Hartnell story 'The Gunfighters,' and make the show feel pretty dated. But the main clown enemy is superbly frigtening and well realised, and some of the scenes are up there with the best of the 7th Doctor's tenure. Not consistently great, but it has its moments.

Mysterious Planet

After the show was put on hiatus for 18 months it looked in real jepordy of being cancelled all-together. The head of the BBC had voiced his dislike of the show and the ratings had been steadily dropping.

You can tell there have been a few meetings in the Who camp about changes to try and bring the programme back to its past glory. The Doctor, as played by Colin Baker seems to have mellowed into a much more aimiable, funny character than his harsh abrasive self in the last season, and the warmth between him and Peri seems to have grown. The opening shot of an epic spaceship shows a lot of promise that there is a new level of professionalism and commitment to effects being given - even though this does quickly fall back into its usual style and design.

The story is fairly interesting (though not spectacular) and you can tell there is the commitment there to make something more consistently watchable and cohesive in the over-arching story of the Doctor's re-trial (the first trial and subsequent punishment having been dealt on the second/third Doctors of course) by the Time-Lords who accuse him of 'meddling' in other cultures and times (something they don't encourage).

There are some great cameos, one by the inimitable Joan Simms as Queen Katryca and Lynda Bellingham as the Inquisitor (Time Lord Judge).

Still not brilliant, but a welcome return for the show and a vast improvement on many of the elements it had seemed lacking in for the last season.

Doctor Who - Timelash

One of the better C.Baker stories but still not really a 'classic' or particularly memorable. I liked the mutated bad guy (although a name like 'Borad' does unfortunatly bring to mind the Sacha Baron Cohen creation, which takes some of the sting out of it ha).

The pacing is fairly good here, even if the story seems to jump all over the place. I actually found myself rooting for the 6th Doctor for the first time in a while, though his usual arrogance and abusive nature towards Peri soon returned my previous dislike.

Doctor Who - Time-Flight
½

A concorde flies into the path of the Tardis as it materialises, forcing the plane to disapear into the time-vortex, arriving in pre-historic times (or at least I think this is what happens!). When the Tardis follows in hot pursuit, it finds that there is a crazed conjurer sitting at the end of this time vortex ('like a spider at the end of a web) that can manipulate the perceptions of the passengers and thus control their actions.

Altohugh this premise shows promise, and the supporting cast are pretty strong, the serial started to lose me after this point, both in interest and cohesion. The conjurer turns out to be the Master in a zombie mask, doing an embarrassingly cod Chinese accent(?) and the plot takes on so many directions as to feel like a pick and mix of different half-finished ideas mashed into one, confusing package. Its very difficult to know what to make of this one, to be honest.

Doctor Who: Black Orchid (NO. 121)

A mixture of Victorian murder mystery and Phantom of the Opera, this serial deals with the Doctor trying to uncover a families dark family secret. Whilst the story may have dragged had it been a full 4/6 parter, it works well as a 2 parter (the first since The Sontaran Experiment) and the costumes and prosthetics make it a watchable (if not overly challenging or memorable) addition to the Davison era.

Doctor Who - Seeds of Doom
½

The Doctor takes on a race of alien killer plant-life after they are reawoken by Artic botanists. Sounds ridiculous...and it is, but as is often the case with this era of Doctor Who, witty writing and excellent cast propel it above the sum of its parts.

Tom Baker is on excellent form again and it is easy to see why he was so liked by the student fraternity, in that although he is a lot older than that demograph, he has intelligence, rapier wit and enough youthful idealism to make him seem dangerous to any staid older professor he comes into contact with. Elizabeth Sladen is also on top form again as the ever reliable Sarah, who bolsters herself above the usual level of screaming companion to become engaging in her own right. The supporting cast are also a lot better than I have come to expect from a Who story.

Although this will no doubt seem unbelieveable to most adults watching the programme, it is easy to see how a child would become engrossed in the suspense generated by the writing, acting and overall feel of the serial, which sits in other stories that draws from classic horror films. This story in particular brought to mind the original Quartmass Xperiment film and, of course Day of the Triffids.

A six parter is always going to be a slog, and this does have the odd episode that seems to draw the story on more than it needs to. But overall, this is an enjoyable addition to the series and a fitting end to an excellent season.

Doctor Who - The Tom Baker Years
½

I couldn't find a page for The Android Invasion, so here's my review:

The Doctor lands on Earth and quickly finds himself attacked by astronaught-looking robots with more than a striking resemblance to those in the Pertwee story The Ambassadors of Death. The differences here however are the pace, story and production are all greatly improved and what is a fairly simple story is still a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

An alien race (the rather excellent Kraals, who look rather like a melted version of a Ferengi from Star Trek) are capable of creating facsimile robot versions of humans, such as Harry and Sarah, and plan to take over the Earth using their creations and also a deadly disease to wipe out the human race.

Whilst this won't necessarily be remembered as one of the best of the Tom Baker era, I enjoyed it and thought certain parts, such as the tearing off of human faces to reveal their robot insides would have been particularly effective at scaring the pants off me as a kid.

As with every story of this period, the real highlight is the wonderful chemistry between Tom Baker and Elizabeth Sladen, which is arguably the best of any Doctor and his companion.

The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde inseglet)
½

A knight returns from the crusades and discovers that death has come for him. Wanting to prolong the inevitable, the knight offers to play death at a game of chess; the prize of which will be his life or death. During this prolonged time, the knight meets a band of travelling actors, who are on their journey to escape the ever spreading black death.

I love Persona and really wanted to love this film. After two attempts to watch it I must admit it is a beautifully shot, but very complex film that I didn't quite 'get' at times. I can tell though that its one of those films that improves each time you watch it, and maybe I'll feel more qualified to comment on it more intelligently after a few more watches.

As much as I can ascertain, the film tackles the notions of 'good and evil,' 'life and death' and what we do with the time we are given. Some pretty weighty subjects, but well tackled here by one of the great masters of cinema.

Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time

On the one hand this Children in Need special has so many inconsistencies, contradictions and plot holes as to make what could have been a fan's dream into a nightmare. Where to begin - the Doctors are much older than they were when they regenerated, they are able to co-exist in the same time-line, companions of different Doctors know each other and, most importantly, what the Hell are they doing in Eastenders?!

But on the other hand most of these issues are present in all the specials, from the '3 Doctors,' to the '5 Doctors' to '2 Doctors' and, more recently in the 'Time Crash' special, also for Children in Need. In all of these cases however, there are certain ways in which this strange nerdy author copes haha. Firstly, keep telling yourself - 'this is a kids' show!' and try not to get too upset by how strictly it sticks to its own canon. If this doesn't work, try telling yourself it's not 'strictly canon' with the rest of the show, but it more a celebration of the show's history and a way to introduce new and old fans alike to the legacy and history of its cast and characters. And lastly, if this doesn't work I opt for the final get-out clause - that this is all part of some alternative line of continuity, through some parrellel dimension or time-line, in which all the inconsistencies work - the Doctor took much longer to 'die' before regenerating each time, in which time he re-met his old companions as his new self and vice versa and so on. As for the Eastender's tie-in....you're on your own haha!

So sit back and try to enjoy it for what it is, a one-off special that has little to do with the series other than to help you appreciate its history - and however poor this special is, this cause is worthy enough. Just don't expect it to be in your top 10 of Who stories!

Doctor Who - Delta and the Bannermen

This is a contender for the strangest of the McCoy years, and that is up against some stiff competition! A space-age Ken Dodd, a charabanc-shaped 'space-ship' and green soldiers who resemble plastic toys....no really, these things are all in there!

Dire.

Doctor Who - The Mark of the Rani
½

The introduction of Kate O'Mara as a renegade Timelord called The Rani is a fairly interesting one - a Timelord obsessed with experimenting on what she sees as lesser species (such as humans) was supposed to be a contender for the Master, and as long-running. However, the series is in such dire-straights by this point as to make even a story involving both this potentially interesting character plus the Master himself fall flat and feel tiresome. The Doctor continues to be arrogant and as irritating as hell (certainly not someone you could imagine kids wanting to emulate). Peri has her heart in the right place and is a good actress, but has the emotional backbone of a wet cabbage. Anthony Ainley continues to play Delgado's sinister creation as a pantomime baddy, and Kate O'Mara, whilst injecting some life into her character, isn't too far behind him.

There are some effective ideas, and I thought the Rani's plan to remove the chemical that allows sleep, therefore turning humans into violent creatures that could be manipulated, showed promise that could've been further explored. But unlike the recent series, the 45 minute run-time of episodes in season 22 just stretch how watchable the stories are. It seems the series has run out of the energy and is posessing a distinct lack of any real desire to make classic television by this point.

Doctor Who - Mawdryn Undead
½

The Black Guardian is back, using a carrot-topped schoolboy to assasinate the Doctor(?).

It's always great to see the brilliant Brigadier, who returns after a 6 year abscence from the show. The schoolboy (Turlough) is also an interesting character, at least on paper, and there are a few clues that he is perhaps not what he appears to be, which I'm guessing will be further explored in the next episodes. However, the actor doesn't really work in this role, and a potentially promising side-kick doesn't really 'cut it' in my eyes, although there are moments of brilliance from the young actor, its not consistent throughout the serial.

By episode 3 it all gets fairly complicated, and a seemingl unconnected story of aliens who have harnessed the power of the timelords to regenerate using a stolen machine have trapped themselves in an eternal flux of 'undeath' and need the Doctor to sacrifice his own regenerations to let them die...

Erm...did I say it was nice to see the Brigadier again? ;-)

Doctor Who - Terror of the Zygons

The perfectly creepy whispering coral looking Zygons are so well realised as to mask a pretty stupid story - aliens who plan to take ove the world (just for a change ha) using the powers of the Loch Ness Monster(?!). This aside, its classic 'behind the sofa' time in this well directed drama, which harks back to the best of Pertwee and even earlier science fiction of the 1950's. The end of episode 1 for example, where the alien hand reaches over Sarah-Jane' shoulder is reminiscent of a similar still from War of the Worlds that used to creep me out as a kid - and I'm sure had I watched this as a kid, this serial would've had the same effect.

Doctor Who: Visitation

I liked the character design of the alien and the android, but the story was as dull as dishwater.

Mulholland Drive

Once again Lynch proves he is the king of weird in this deeply confusing and disturbing film that had me pulling my hair out at times (even if I have seen Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, so I wasn't expecting to understand all of it haha). You've certainly got to hand it to David Lynch, he's nothing if not completely unique! The only way I can try to understand Lynch's films are to view them as a kind of 'twisted dream,' which have some foundations in logic, but then go off in all sorts of seemingly illogical tangents. And are all the more wonderful for it. I found this less satisfying than Blue Velvet but still highly compelling.

The Fifth Element

Luc Besson manages to create a vision of the future that is both unique and totally captivating. The visuals are sumptuously bright and colourful and some would say this is the campest science-fiction fantasy since Flash Gordon. The cast are amazing, particularly Gary Oldman and, surprisigly (to me at least) so was Milla Jovovich, here in her first dramatic role I think. The story is a little daft in places, but you go along with it because it is also very interesting throughout.

A slightly acquired taste perhaps, but personally I thought this was a really likeable film and I loved it.

Lakeview Terrace
½

Samuel L. Jackson plays a racist, ultra conservative right-wing cop that becomes obsessed wih intimidating his neighbours who are in a mixed relationship. The cliches comes thick and fast, but the cast and direction is good enough to stretch out a fairly thin plot for the first hour, after which it gets a little boring.

Wild At Heart

Dark, twisted, erotic, comic, disturbed...this is what happens when you give David Lynch a love story to direct haha. Any fan of his other films will know what to expect and if they're likely to enjoy this or not. People not acquanted with his strange and often unsettling style may find this an acquired taste.

Nicholas Cage is at his crazy best as the free living murderer on the run, and Laura Dern is smoking as his highly sexed, Wizard of Oz obsessed girlfriend. In fact, the iconic film is referenced often in this film, in an interesting twist to Lynch's signature perversion of all things middle-America, and this helps the film both find narration (Laura Dern's character sees it as her escapism from her abusive past) but also take the film off in different dream-like directions that Lynch does so well.

Even though the story is very different from Twin Peaks, there is a certain similar vibe here, generated by having some of the same actors crop up, and the always beautiful score by Badalementi, who did the original Twin Peaks theme.

Overall I liked this. Perhaps it wasn't quite as consistently good as Blue Velvet, and some of the scenes seemed mor effectively realised than others, but it is certainly up there with some of Lynch's better films, and I'ld recommend it to any fan of his weird and wonderful mind.

Doctor Who - Logopolis
½

Tom Baker bows out after an unprecedented 7 years as the arguably the most popular actor to play the part of the Doctor. Understandably towards the end the huge presence of the actor had led to it being a one man show in some ways and, to his own admission (in interviews) he had begun to believe his own hype, getting more irasible with people on set and more difficult to work with for those around him. This comes across in the later shows too, where the companions and story seem rather insignificant at times; rather too 'clever for their own good,' whether through the irreverent humour of Douglas Adams (which worked a lot better on the groundbreaking Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy), or his successor John Nathan-Turner's drive to take the series in new directions that would ultimately change the show from how the Tom Baker era had mostly looked. At this last juncture however, the series seems to be slightly uneasy in its transition, and the introduction of a rather pantomime version of the Master does little to improve things. Anthony Ainly from the outset plays the character as a pantomime baddie, and lacks the menace of Delgado or the more recent portrayal by John Simm. He's not awful, but he doesn't really carry the same gravitas to make the character as interesing for me.

Whilst its really sad to see one of my favourite Doctors step down, I can see why this was a good time to pass on the torch and inject some renewed energy into the series (how's that for mixed metaphors?!).

Goodbye and a HUGE thank you to Baker for really solidifying the importance of the series and for taking it in new brilliant directions that have never really been supassed since. Now...bring on the Davison!

Doctor Who - Paradise Towers

Words cannot describe how truly appalling this is. I hd to try to watch it twic, and had I not wanted to watch all of the Slyvester years I would've avoided it like the plague. Where to begin - the acting is attrocious and really dodgy (the teen-gangs acting like toddlers was very strange and disturbing), the 'story' is just awful and all over the place - cannibalistic grannies, psychotic hoovers, murderous robot fish and a bureaucratic police state that talk like train spotters - all aspects of the story that don't seem to have any meaningful connection to each other. I've always loved Richard Briers, but whatever character he has been told to play is really embarrassingly beneath him (though it is nice to see him in Who). I could go on...the companion is completely dislikeable, the Doctor is portrayed as a comedy character for the most part...but I run out of adjectives to potray what a laughable mess Doctor Who was in at this time. Thank God the series recovered enough of its dignity to go out with a bang before its cancellation, so moments like this could be forgotten.

Doctor Who - Attack of the Cybermen
½

By relating this story to great Cybermen serials The Tenth Planet (first Doctor) and The Tomb of the Cybermen (second Doctor), this serial makes an interesting connection to its own history. However, these references also serve to remind the viewer just what a mediocre serial this is by comparison. The Doctor finally fixing the Chameleon Drive (which changes the appearance of the Tardis to match its surroundings - the reason why it was a Police Box in the first 1963 stoy) is a memorable first in this story, but not even this, joined with the twin highlights of a cameo from the great Brian Glover and Peri's tight-fitting costumes can rise it above averageness...well, ok, maybe the latter can ;-)

Doctor Who - The Leisure Hive
½

Producer John Nathan-Turner comes in for his first story, and tries hard to make the series much more serious and science-based than the more jokey, silly style of Douglas Adams. He does rather over-do this intention, and the result is a story that is more earnest than accessible, more sombre than interesting. The majority of the script is inpenetrable for most fans I should imagine, and its difficult to understand why anyone would want to relax in such a setting.

On the plus side, the effects and sets are both great, and the movement towards more thoughtful stories does go someway to saving the show from its own comedy-cleverness - but it replaces this with an equally pompous scientific approach that has the affect of alienating half of its audience. Some good scenes, such as the Doctor's dismemberment and ageing effects, but this is not my sort of 'Who.'

Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder

The story is patchy and pointless, the jokes are very hit and miss, and a lot of the sparkle that made the series so great are missing.

But, when all's said and done, its just great to spend time with such great characters, so its always going to be a fun watch to fans of the series like myself.

Like the other 3 films, it doesn't work half as well as the episodic format, and I'm glad to see there is another series - I just really hope it revitalises the old magic.

The Devil Wears Prada

I'm definitely not in the demograph this is aimed at, and I never would have chosen to watch this, or am likely to choose to watch it again.

That said, someone else chose it..I watched and..it ain't bad. The cast are very strong (you can't fault actresses of the calibre of Meryl Streep or Anne Hathaway,who are both excellent) and the story, whilst completely predictable and in many ways daft, is watchable and interesting.

I'm surprised and not ashamed to say..not a bad film..if you like that sort of thing ha! ;-)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
½

Firstly, I'll get the cliche thing out of the way that us stuffy aduts feel the need to say - I much prefer the books to the films, and no film could fully d justice to the amazing original story..there, I said it.

Ok, now that out of the way, I actually thought this film attempted a pretty good stab at an epic and action packed book. Its probably my favourite of the 7 books, and its probably my favourite (so far at least) of the film adaptations.

As always I found he CGI annoying and uncnvincing, but then that's my feeling towards most CGI in live action films, and the job they've done isn't too bad. As is often a criticism levelled at the Harry Potter films, a lot of story is squeezed into a relatively short film, and as such it des seem a bit diffiult to follow at times.

The casting is excellent, particularly the always brilliant Georgie Henley as Lucy, who was born to play the part and carries the film well with just the right mixture of courage and compassion that makes you root for the character. Will Poulter is also brilliant as Eustace and gets the character just right.

But, most importantly, the film-makers seem to have captured most of the spirit of the book well, and I'm happy to say this is well worth a watch for any fans of the films.

Doctor Who - Kinda
½

The TARDIS lands on a seemingly peaceful planet that is being assessed for potential colonisation by a human team; who aim to laud over the seemingly primative, peaceful and harmless inhabitants. Although of course, this is Doctor Who, and the peace doesn't last long (as you would expect), and various people are possessed by the spirit of the evil snake-like Mara. This makes for odd scenes; sometmes odd in a 'good' way (some of the surreal scenes are great); sometimes odd in a 'bad' way (what was the point of the stupid jester? Why did the possessed humans hav to start acting like toddlers?)

I paricularly enjoyed the Tegan scene (I doubt there is any other Davison story where I can say that!) in which she wonders into an area of the forest that hypnotises her and drags her into a hell of her own making; complete with Bowie-esque scary mime-artist type creature - of whom I know had I watched this as a kid would have totally freaked me out. The hallucination scenes are very trippy and creepy, but its difficult to know on first viewing how much I like this strange and seemingly disjointed story, which is a little bit Avatar, a little bit David Lynch ha. Certainly one of the most interesting and compelling of the Davison years I've seen so far.

Doctor Who - Revenge of the Cybermen

This serial is often considered weak by fans, mostly because it follows (and ends) one of the best seasons the show has had. Indeed, judged by the standards of Genesis of the Daleks or The Ark in Space, this is pretty subpar - but judged on its own merits its not a bad story at all really. Ok, its not one of the best serials your likely to see, not even the best of the Cybermen stories, but its great to see them back after not appearing at all in the third Doctor's time. And although the story takes a while to get off the ground, it builds momentum and is pretty action packed towards its second half.

not brilliant, but not bad either, worth a watch.

The King's Speech
½

A stellar cast star in this interesting portrayal of vulnerabililty in the highest echelons of power. Colin Firth puts in one of his best performances (also being superb in the recent A Single Man) as Prince/King George, Geoffrey Rush is excellent as always and Helena Bonham Carter puts in a good show as the infamous Queen Mother.

This attempt to 'humanise' the royal family doesn't quite ring true at times, but it is a sweet story and quite moving at times.

Family Guy Presents: It's a Trap
½

I could pretty much copy and paste my review of the last two here - as the trilogy is pretty consistent (unlike the original trilogy some would say ha). Very geeky, so will only be appreciated really by fans of both the series and the films. A bit hit and miss, and some of the jokes fall flat, but there are enough hilarious moments to make this one of the most necessary of SW spoofs for the descerning nerd like myself ;-)

Doctor Who - Four to Doomsday

Erm..well the sets are good. But the story is pretty piss-poor (a giant toad with God delusions wants to take over Earth and turn everyone into robots?) coupled with dislikeable companions and a pretty average Doctor (I like Davison, but he's no T.Baker!) make for a mediocre serial. Not awful, but not really classic Doctor Who.

Doctor Who - Horror of Fang Rock

The inhabitants of a lighthouse, joined by the stranded crew of a small vessel are 'haunted' by a strange glowing, electrical 'beast.' As with most Who however, there is a twist to this old ghost tale - and the beast turns out to be the sworn enemies of the Sontarans, a jelly-fish looking race called the Rutans.

After complaints from parents about the violence in the last season's stories (such as The Deadly Assassin), the new producer takes more of a subtle, brooding, less obvious approach; but manages to lose none of the suspense or scariness of the show. Its a straightforward show that isn't classic Who particularly, but I found it a lot of fun and a great little story to watch.

The Miracle of Bern
½

This felt a bit like two films to me, but with enough good direction and acting to make it work. On the one hand, it is a film about the difficulties in a family adjusting to their father returning from 11 years imprisonment in a Russian Prisoner of War camp, on the other it is the story of the 1954 German team's World Cup journey. The central figure is a young boy, enthralled in both of these worlds, and in this way it works.

Whilst this is mostly a film about the 'beautiful game,' an area I know nothing about, this is a good enough film for it really not to matter. A well made film that is one of the best German films I've seen since Goodbye Lenin.

Blur: No Distance Left to Run

Fascinating and compelling documentary that really captures the life of a bandl; the drive to succeed, the ups and downs, the friendships and quarrels, the ectasy and the agony.

Anyone who has never been in a band, or is interested in the pschology of male friendships should definitely watch this...and Spinal Tap...and it will tell you everything you need to know.

Brutally honest and very interesting to watch.

I Am Legend
I Am Legend(2007)
½

Based loosely on the 1950's book of the same name, and the 1960's Vincent Price film adaptation 'The Last Man on Earth.' An adventurous film that isn't bad, but fails slightly to live up to its potential. I found the CGI unconvincing (maybe I'm being biased here, but the British equivalent '28 Days Later' was much more effective on a fraction of the cost!) and the acting too sober for my likeing. Not terrible by any means, but not really a classic Will Smith film in my opinion.

Tron Legacy
Tron Legacy(2010)

The graphics and music zre awesome (much better than Avatar in my humble opinion), and the plot is slightly more fleshed out than the original - though don't expect anything challenging on that front - it is afterall more groundbreaking for its visuals than its story; again like the first film.

The only bit of graphics that didn't work for me was the young Jeff Bridges. Whilst the neon landcapes were breath-taking, and you can tell they have really tried to push the envelope as far as possible with the close up CGI as well, the point hasn't been reached yet, in my opinion, where they can create a computerised face (particularly eyes) that is as convinving as the real thing.

Also, my criticism of the first film applies here too - it feels overlong and the main premise seems completely daft at times.

But this said, it was visually sumptuous, had some really interesting ideas, action packed scenes, amazing music and was a lot of fun to watch.

A Single Man
A Single Man(2009)
½

Colin Firth excells himself in this nicely directed sad film about a man trying to cope with life after his lover's death. Much more watchable and compelling than it sounds, and its interesting to see the portrayal of depression from a male perspective. I usually like Julianne Moore, but it's Firth who steals the show here in the best role I've seen him in. Not a film I would rush out to see again and again, but certainly a very well made film.

Doctor Who - The Deadly Assassin

The Master lures the Doctor onto his home planet Gallifrey, where he sets about his revenge - from the framing of the Doctor in the murder of the leader of the timelords, to trapping him within the Master's own crazed mind. The timelords this time are portrayed as more old and bumbling; rather than intimidating, as they had been portrayed in the 2nd Doctor serial 'War Games,' but this is explained well by the Doctor, who points out that they are not keen on action and shy away from it, leading to a certain pompous expectation that nothing should be interferred with (which ties in well with their unease with the Doctor). The Master returns to being a sinister character, both visually and in the way he is acted - something that I don't believe was equalled until John Simm played him in the recent series. An excellent addition to Doctor Who, playing at the top of its game at this point.

Doctor Who - Planet of Evil
½

I enjoyed this return to more darker territory. Probably the best teaming of Doctor and companion (Tom Baker and Elizabeth Sladen as the excellent Sarah-Jane) are on top form here, during one of the high peaks of the series. The effects are great for their time, incorperating proto-Tron style super-imposing of light effects; which may look a bit naff by today's standards, but I think they're some of the best of Who up until this point. The Forbidden Planet style of the serial works well and lends a timelessness to the story. Not the best Tim Baker story, but certainly up there. Highly enjoyable.

Doctor Who - Lost in Time: The William Hartnell Years

There was no page for 'Edge of Destruction,' 'Marco Polo,' 'The Rescue,' 'The Time Meddler' or 'The Romans' so I hope you don't mind me using this one!

Edge of Destruction -

Strange double parter in which the TARDIS malfunctions, leaking its energy into the control room. This causes all sorts of problems, as the crew rapidly seem to lose their minds, becoming suspicious, paranoid and even aggressive towards each other.

Whilst this so called 'bottle' story (because they stay in one set throughout) isn't quite as watchable or compelling as the two which preceeded it, it is interesting to see the first exploration of the TARDIS as a tempermental machine with dangerous potential (something that was further explored in the later ChristopherEccleston episodes), and this isn't a bad story, if you can put up with Susan's ever increasing over-reacting to everything ha! (although she is still one of my favourite companions, in spite of this!)

Marco Polo -

It's such a shame so many of these early stories from the first and second doctor are missing; it seems amazing in the 21st century where media is so accessible that the BBC would consider simply throwing away so many of their recordings, but that's what they did with many of their programmes, including the very popular Doctor Who serials of the 60's-early 70's.

Thankfully, you can still follow this story on youtube (and as an abridged version in the extras on the Edge of Destruction dvd). What remains of this serial are photos and the audio track, but you can tell that this is probably one of the most lavishly made of the 4 stories so far; with beautifully decorated sets and great 12th century period costumes.

Whilst I'm not a big fan of the 'history' stories, my complete ignorance of this area of history helped me get into the story more, and I found this to be an interesting and fun addition to the series.

The Rescue - A short and sweet story about the Doctor and co rescuing an orphaned girl from her crashed ship. Landing on an almost deserted planet, the Doctor finds that the surviving 2 members of a murdered crew are being kept prisoners by a monster, and must find a way to try and rescue them both.

A well written 'who done it' style murder mystery. Whilst not the most groundbreaking of the serials so far, quite an easy watch, with some good scenes (such as the Doctor and Ian trying to escape the caves through Indiana Jones style traps), and I was surprised to find I didn't find Vicki (the new companion) half as annoying as I thought I would - she doesn't seem half as 'screamy' as Susan (though saying that, I did still miss Susan a bit in this). Not a classic of the serials, but worth watching.

The Time Meddler -

Not the best of the Hartnell years, but watchable and interesting. As a huge Carry On fan, it was great to see Peter Butterworth in a very different sort of role; though he wasn't always convincing as the evil monk (a baddy with a progress chart?!). However, it is interesting to see the first appearance of a rical time traveller - who would not doubt inspire the creation of one of the Doctor's most famous adversaries - The Master!

Hartnell doesn't seem as strong in this serial, transgressing from his original grumpy, mysterious, dark character to a strange giggly thing that bears more in common with some of the Troughton or early McCoy representations of the character instead.

The new companions are also ok, but I agree with Vicki - I do miss Ian and Barbara!

The Romans -

Not a big fan of the 'history' episodes, but compared to 'The Reign of Terror' this is much snappier and consistently watchable throughout. The writing is pretty strong and the chemistry between the main characters also works well

Forbidden Planet

So glad I finally got to see this Science-Fiction classic. Although kitsch and camp by today's standards, this is a great example of the best of the genre at the time. Many of the ideas and effects that we connect with the original Star Trek series are showcased here for the first time - teleportation. Quite slowand sober, so it takes a while to get into. But still a lot more entertaining than othe films that have been held in higher regard, such as Space Odessy. Great to see Leslie Nielsen in one of his early serious roles too.

Juno
Juno(2007)
½

For all it tries to be hip and edgy, this is a deceptively sweet film that works really well. The acting, script and plot are all strong and this is one that will no doubt stand the test of time well. Great soundtrack too.

Family Guy Presents: Something Something Something Dark Side
½

I'm in geek heaven again! In a similar way to the first Family Guy Star Wars parody, this will only really make sense to Star Wars fanatics like myself who also have at least a basic knowledge of the Family Guy series (I suppose the clue is in the title though ha) and it is a little hit and miss in places, just like the first one. But when it gets it right (and it frequently does) it is hilarious, making me laugh out loud on several occassions. Well worth it for fans of the classic trilogy and Family Guy and probably the best parody since Spaceballs!

Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen

I agree this is one of the best 'horror' films ever made, but not for any of the reasons it has become famous. For me, the most interesting part of this film is the priest's journey - from the guilt of his elderley mother being put into a care home; through the loss of his faith and the challenge he undergoes in trying to help the sick girl in the central role. The characters are well-rounded and believable, and the acting is very strong. I doubt you will find this 'scary' and if you are going to see it expecting it to be, you will be dissapointed. But if you want to watch the rarest of rare things, a truly challenging and interesting horror film that makes you think, this is one of the best examples you are likely to see.

Carry on at Your Convenience

Whilst the main 'plot' of this one is weak, the jokes are consistently strong and this would certainly make my top ten of Carry On films, if perhaps not my top 5

It's a Wonderful Life

Aw! This film is so good! Touching, and not at all smaltzy as you'd expect. It's genuinely moving and genuinely makes you appreciate life. 5 stars!

Doctor Who - The Reign of Terror
½

I'm not a huge fan of the 'history' stories, and this one in particular doesn't really seem to 'go' anywhere. It's interesting for a couple of reasons, the first 'location' shooting, outside of the studio (in the countryside), and seeing the Doctor's more violent side, as he takes out a particularly nasty slavedriver at the side of the road (who is then shown to be 'snoring' so as not to implicate the Doctor too harshly).

An amazing first season, that goes out on a bit of a damp squib with this mediocre serial (not terrible, but not a patch on The Sensorites or The Aztecs for example)

Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks

An odd one this one. Humans, zombie-like creatures, daleks and hoover attachments go face to face in a real mishmash of a story that I found confusing and difficult to connect with. I have to admit I slept through most of it.

Doctor Who - The Web Planet

The Doctor faces his strangest challenge yet - tackling an all out battle of giant wasps versus giant ants?

Well, the costumes are lavish, but this is pretty ridiculous even by Who standards, and this isn't the finest hour for the Hartnell era.

Doctor Who - The Time Warrior
½

Great to see the debut of Jane Smith AND the Sontarans. One of the better of the Pertwee serials.

Doctor Who: The Day of the Daleks

Day of the Daleks (3/5) -

By Pertwee standards, this isn't bad, and elements such as the Planet of the Apes style aliens, the Ogrons, are a nice addition.

Compared with Who at its best, this is still pretty run-of-the-mill (apart from the action-packed finale) and will probably be unsatisfying to Dalek fans, as the iconic monsters don't take centre stage as much as you would expect.

Genesis of the Daleks (4/5) -

As, rather unbelievably, there is no flixter review page for Genesis of the Daleks, I hope you don't mind me using this one!

I have only recently begun to watch the classic series again, after being a big fan as a kid (through the Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy years) and reigniting my interest with the more recent Eccleston/Tennant/Smith years. Having a very avid and generous Who fan who is willing to lend me his dvds helps too!

Anyway, I started off with a few of the Troughton series and was surprised to find that after only one series (The Tomb of the Cybermen) he was fast becoming my favourite doctor. So my expectations were high when I watched my first ever Tom Baker story online - The Talons of Weng-Chiang. And unfortunatly I was really disapointed. The doctor seemed fine, but nothing special. The story seemed dated and irrelevant. The acting seemed cringeworthy. Something was not right.

So, I'm happy to say I can now join the masses again in declaring that, after seeing Genesis of the Daleks, I was mistaken - Tom Baker was BORN to play the doctor; I now totally get it! He's superb in this story, which has got to be the joint best (along with Tomb of the Cybermen) I have ever seen. The production, acting, pace, story, pathos, morality - everything is perfect. The fact that I managed to watch it all in one sitting shows just how well written and produced it is, especially for it's time.

So, thankyou Genesis of the Daleks, you have restored my faith in all things Baker. Now to tackle the problematic Colin ;-)

Reservoir Dogs

Tarantino re-invents the heist movie in the confident debut, which just oozes cool. The sharp, relentless witticism picks you up by the scruff of the neck at the beginning and then doesn't relent for the remainder of the film. It didn't, for me, stand up to the best work of Scorsese or Coppola; partly because you don't get the same feeling of character development as you do in their films - but hey, maybe a little mystery helps the film, who knows.

Disturbing film with great dialogue and acting, and some great scenes, but certainly not one for the squeamish!

Doctor Who - Lost in Time: The Patrick Troughton Years

I can't believe there's no page for 'The Invasion,' or 'The War Games,' so I'll use this one for now.

The Invasion (4.5/5) -

Wow, I wasn't expecting this to be as good as it was. I've been going back and watching the classic series for the last few months and of all the serials I've seen, this is definitely one of the best, incorperating all the ingredients that make for a great Doctor Who story.

I would maybe say it should've been condensed to a four partenr, that it takes too long to get going and the final part wraps it up too quickly, the action overall is well paced and captivating. The direction seems more filmic and expansive than previous installments; moving out of the studios to army bases and factories. Along with the music, cinematography and acting this lends the story more of an almost 'James Bond' feel that would be continued in part by the third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) with his flying cars, kung-fu fighting and secret Goverment allies. The main support and adversaries to the Doctor in this - the terribly English Brigadier (superbly played by Nicholas Courtney) and the meglomaniac Tobias Vaughn certainly have an air of the Bond friends and enemies respectively.

It takes rather a long time of running about factories and hiding from security before we get to the main point of the story - the Cybermen invasion of Earth. When this happens, it is excellently shot in the now iconic scenes reminiscent of The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Something about the build-up of suspense and then seeing the Cybermen walking along the streets of London, in front of St. Pauls and so on, is done in such a thoguhtful way that it no doubt had countless young children darting behind the sofa for safety. And I still believe the direction, scenes and acting have stood the test of time better than most of the earlier Doctor Whos, and thank goodness Cosgrove Hall and the BBC saw fit to restore this classic story.

For anyone who doesn't know, the BBC in it's wisdom (and more likely financially motivated) decided to wipe many of it's old television series to reuse the tapes. In this cull went many classic episodes of Doctor Who, including 2 episodes of this serial. Cosgrove Hall have painstakingly gone through all the old audio tapes (many of which were recorded and donated by fans) and animated the missing material. They have done an admirable job, and although it is obvious the gap between the animation and live action episodes, they have I believe really captured the feel of the other episodes. And the black and white really adds something to the animation I believe.

In short, an excellent addition to the series that is probably the best of the Patrick Troughton era (which is difficult for me to say as I LOVE Tomb of the Cybermen and didn't think it could be bettered) and possible one of the best of the whole series.

The War Games (3.5/5) -

As much as I love Troughton, a 10 parter was always going to be a slog, and although the pace is kept up throughout; over time it descends into a 'loop' story or 'capture-escape-capture' that is often the fall-back for longer Who stories.

However, the sets are lavish, the script sharp and the plot is an inventive spin on the 'history' theme that had been employed so many times before.

A couple of other great points in the production - firstly, the range of 'baddies' is diverse and strong; from more 'pantomime' bad guys to the always excellent Philip Madoc, who plays the seething, restrained terror of the War Lord. It's great to see the debut of the benevolent Time Lords, and to get some back story on the Doctor; who had been shrouded in mystery up until this point.

End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones

Exhaustive, but never exhausting, this is one of the finest (and frankest) rock documentaries I've seen. Littered with interviews with the band themselves and the people that knew them best, this is an honest portrayal of the life of a band through exceptional circumstances. Touching, tragic and hilarious in equal measure, this documentary pulls no punches and doesn't try to present the members of the bands as 'heroes,' but as the talented, yet flawed people they all were.

As you would expect the music is also excellent, and this is a must-see for any fan of rock music in general, and particular the influential early-mid '70's beginnings of the Punk Rock revolution.

Melinda and Melinda

Good idea for a film, but seems like Woody going through the motions here, and not a patch on some of his 'later' films such as Sweet and Lowdown or Mighty Aprodite

Doctor Who - The Aztecs
½

Whilst I'm not a big fan of the 'history' serials of Doctor Who, this would be one of my favourites of the early 'back-in-time' stories.

The sets and costumes are beautiful, and it's nice to see Barbara (along with Ian definitely two of my favourite of the companions) take more of a leading role.

Not the best of the early stories, but good kid's drama that is worth a watch from any fan interested in the Hartnell era.

Doctor Who - Planet of Giants
½

This serial is more aimed towards the younger demograph than other Hartnell stories I've seen such as Marinus or The Sensorites, which of course is no bad thing - this is after all a kid's show! Reminded me somewhat of the Land of Giants series I used to watch as a kid. A lot of fun and the giant sets look great, especially considering the budget they were working with.

The doors to the Tardis open during 'materialisation' and as such the crew on board are shrunk to the size of insects. A simple idea that works well and has of course been used by other shows and films since.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1

The last film had felt like a massive dissapointment. Poor direction and acting turned a potentially moving and important Potter story into a cold and indifferent one. When you feel little or no connection with the death scene of one of the main characters, you know there's something amiss.

As a result, my expectations for this 7th helping of Potter were pretty low I have to say. But I'm very happy to say that this film was everything the last one wasn't! From the outset, the dark and serious tone of the film captivates you, and the action-packed scenes keep you interested throughout. And, most importantly, you CARE about this film, which I for one didn't feel with the last film. This is a beautifully shot film that is certainly a contender for the best yet.

My only reservation would be that its epic length and occassionally quite frightening and even bleak scenes will have the effect of alienating its younger fans (the film is a 12A, which seems a bit of a shame really as I'm sure if it was slightly less scary it would be loved by younger kids too). Having said this however, to 'tone it down' would be to lose some of what makes this a great film, so herein lies the difficulty with later Potter films - not quite 'adult' enough for the adults, not quite 'young' enough for youngsters; it occassionally falls into the trap of pleasing neither fully; yet at other times manages to reach across the age barriers as, simply put, a great family film.

The only other 'quarm,' and it is a small one really, is that, as this is part one of a two parter, we are left with the usual inclusion of a proper crescendo, which is kinda disapointing at the end of a lengthy film.

Overall though, this is a great film, that is probably my favourite since Prisoner of Azkaban. A must-see for any fan of the films/books.

Doctor Who - Pyramids of Mars
½

All the great mid-70's Doctor Who ingredients are there - Tom Baker is on top form, arguably his best companion Sarah-Jane is by his side and the story is daft but fun - in other words your perfect Who serial ha. Enjoyable addition to the series.

Doctor Who - The Twin Dilemma

"I am the Doctor, whether you like it or not."

The first serial for the 6th (and most unpopular) Doctor is often stated as one of the worst ever. I wouldn't say it is great by any means, but I found it interesting in parts, which is more than I can say for some of the serials I've seen (such as the appalling Revelation of The Daleks for example).

The first serial of any of the Doctors is always an interesting one, because he is often thrown into mad mood swings or other strange behaviour as his new body/mind settles down. In the previous regeneration from Tom Baker to Peter Davidson, this took on a comedic style, as Davidson excellently portrayed his four predecessors as they circled around his brain. This time around, the unsettled Doctor is a dark and dangerous incantation, even trying at one point to murder his companion.

Although the change in character was confusing to audiences at the time, I can kind of understand why they did it. Davidson had played him as a charming and heroic character; leaving only really one direction to go in if the Doctor was going to progress in depth and interest. Colin Baker was given the very difficult task of turning a once likeable and friendly Doctor into a complete areshole, and he does this with admirable zeal.

But the difficulty of course is that to have a hero we all want to enjoy watching, he has to be likeable and someone we want to emulate. Colin's Doctor from the outset is obnoxious, arrogant and very difficult to like. Whilst this worked with the cantankerous beginnings of the first Doctor's character (who is no doubt an influence on the way Colin plays him) because of his age and the fact that he had never met humans before at this stage; when it comes to the 6th Doctor it seems rather self-destructive to the programme; which of course it almost was.

I don't want to bad-mouth C.Baker for the sake of it - he's often slagged off by fans and to be fair it's really not his fault. He has the difficult job of taking the Doctor back to his darker roots and he acts this with gravitas and authority that most actors would struggle with. He also has moments where he manages to make the Doctor's character completely his own, which is not an easy job when you think that 5 people had already played him at this point.

Anyway, all of this is of course not telling as to whether this is a good serial or not. As with all first Doctor stories I have seen though, it tends to take second priority behind the important task of introducing the Doctor himself; which this one manages well, even though the story itself is pretty poor. Slug men versus human fir-cones is the best way I can describe it. A weak story that has none of the fleshing out needed to make it understandable or particularly interesting.

But the main crux of this story is about the change in the Doctor, which makes this an interesting, if unlikable addition to the series.

Doctor Who - The Two Doctors
½

Not terrible, particularly by mid-80's Who standards; but even though a lot of interesting ingredients are put together - the fantastic Patrick Troughton returns as the 2nd Doctor, The Sontarans return as the joint bad guys with a rogue time-lord and even Colin Baker's unlikeable Doctor has settled into more of a watchable character - there is something missing here that makes the story (especially at 45 minutes an episode) difficult to get into or care that much about.

An American Werewolf in London

I really enjoyed this classic '80's horror about an American who gets bitten by a rabid wolf on the night of a full moon on the Yorkshire moors and ... well you can guess the rest! The characters are likeable and the film is inventive, fun and watchable.

The special effects of this film are often touted as some of the best of the time and you can see why - the first change from man to beast is particularly well done, making you really empathise with the pain and terror the unfortunate man is going through. This scene alone makes the film stand head and shoulders above 100 CGI-laden modern horrors; but it isn't the only thing this film has going for it. In essence, it has stood the test of time because it is a lot of fun to watch - a perfect film for a Friday night in.

Doctor Who - The Sunmakers

A very mediocre affair with little to make it standout as a classic Tom Baker story. The plot is one often explored by Who; rebels take on an oppressive regime. However, this serial takes on more of a politically motivated style; satirising bureaucracy, taxation and strikes - all issues at the front of people's minds in the late 70's no doubt.

There are a couple of saving graces. The main villian is suitably slimly and repulsive and some of the ideas are interesting ones. But the script and acting is pretty poor and the sets look like rejects from Chock-a-Block in the '80's ha.

Certainly not one of the Baker serials I would recommend.

Doctor Who: The Hartnell Years
½

I couldn't find a page for The Chase, so I hope you don't mind me using this one.

The Daleks develop their own time machine and pursue the Doctor through time and space. After watching the Space Museum, this story seems rather half-hearted weak. There are some decidedly odd moments throughout, such as footage of The Beatles (who were huge at the time this came out) being broadcast in the TARDIS, causing all onboard to start to start dancing inanely and the Doctor exclaiming 'oo, those are my favourite Beatles!' - I'm not lieing,this scene really happens! likewise, they land in the middle of a haunted house, complete with robot versions of Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula et al.

Worth a watch if only for the sad departure of Ian and Barbera (defintely two of my favourite companions I've seen so far), and fairly entertaining, if supremely daft.

Doctor Who - The Crusade and The Space Museum

The Crusade (2.5/5) -

The team land in the midst of the Crusades and have to assist Richard the Lionheart.

I found it difficult to get into this one; due in part to only 2 out of the 4 episodes existing (though it was nice to see the extra recordings made for the video by an aged Ian Chesterton, explaining what we had missed).

the serial itself was pretty fast paced and action packed, but something felt missing and I didn't find it as consistently enjoyable as other Hartnell serials.

The Space Museum (3/5) -

This is more my cup of tea. Not the best of the Hartnell years, but I found this enjoyable and watchable. Barbera is great as always, and Ian is kickass as the unlikely (yet well played) science teacher turned action hero. Vicki is likeable and not half as annoying as I thought she would be. Hartnell is at his grumpy, bumbling best. The close studio sets make for an effectively claustrophobic feel. The story is an interesting take on determinism - exploring the main characters' reactions to seeing their own future deaths (as they are turned into frozen museum exhibits), and trying to prevent the seemingly inevitable.

Doctor Who - Battlefield

The effects and costumes are great, and it's good to see the return of the Brigadier, who doesn't disapoint. The other UNIT characters are also well played, particularly his female replacement.

Unfortunately however, the story itself is pretty ridiculous (characters from Arthurian legend come through time to destroy the world?), and the potential here is lost. The pacing seems lagging and interesting characters such as the scary 'destroyer;' whilst having superb effects for the time, are not fully explored. I love McCoy, but he tries to outreach himself a bit here, taking on a darker edge to the character, but not really having the gravitas to pull it off.

Not one of the better McCoy stories (I would say Fenric and Remembrance were those), but very good effects, some nice cameos and a few good moments along the way.

Mary and Max
Mary and Max(2009)

I can't recommend this enough - an excellent film!

I absolutely loved this dark, but touching comedy about 2 lonely people - a 40something man with depression and Aspergus Syndrome in New York, and a bullied girl from Australia - who strike up an unlikely pen-friendship after she decides to choose at random someone she can write to.

The animation is wonderful, and the script is hilarious and tragic in equal measure, made even better by Barry Humphres narrating it.

Sleepy Hollow

This was a lot better than I thought it would be. The casting is strong and the effects are great. The story is a good one for Burton to explore, and he does it with a certain amount of panache, but it feels a little 'lacking' in places, even though the elements are there. I lot better than his more recent live-action output, but not quite up there with Burton at his best.

Wallace and Gromit in 'A Matter of Loaf and Death'
½

As with all Wallace and Gromit animations, this is superb. This was the one part of last Christmas that was equally enjoyed by all the extended family - from 8 to 80 - which is often a sign of something that will last the test of time. Nick Park's brilliantly North England sense of humour hasn't been effected by his sojourn into Hollywood and fans of the series of films will not be dissapointed.

If comparing this to the other Wallace and Gromits, I would say this wasn't quite as good as Grand Day Out or Wrong Trousers, about the same as A Close Shave and better than Curse of The Ware-Rabbit.

Doctor Who - The Stones of Blood

If this was held up to the series as a whole then this is rather a mediocre affair without much depth or resonance (attack of the polystyrene rocks?!). But weighed against the rest of this particular series; which is not a highpoint for Who, this stands up rather better. Ok, it's not the most entertaining or memorable, but I found it a lot more watchable than the previous two (The Ribos Operation was bland and irritating, The Pirate Planet was too pantomime for my liking) and it made me want to watch the next installment instead of not caring less, which was my reaction to most of the aforementioned stories. Baker is back on form, and Romana seems a lot less irritating in this one.

Not a great story, but watchable and a big improvement on the others I've seen in this particular series so far.

Doctor Who - The Key to Time: The Complete Adventure

The Androids of Tara -

Mediocre and forgettable, the perfect addition to a pretty lousy season.

The Power of Kroll -

Not terrible, but not particularly extraordinary or memorable either. I quite liked the Swampies as an interesting alien race, but Kroll itself was a bit too 'Jon Pertwee era' for me.

Armegeddon Factor -

The last of one of the worst run of Doctor Who stories I've seen so far, manages to go out on rather a high and almost redeem itself in this final chapter.

The acting and pacing are for the most part OK, much better than most of the season; the characters are dark and quite scary for a kid's programme (always a good thing for Who to be!) and the claustrophic, dank sets are like a more aggressive bleak version of the Ark in Space, which is no bad thing.

I never thought I'd say it, but the first Romana has actually grown on me and I shall miss Mary Tamm - certainly one of the sexiest of the Doctor's companions, and a very good actress to boot; even if she was beyond annoying in the first and most of the second installments she was in.

Baker is getting to the end of a very long stint as the Doctor and has a couple of scenes throughout the series where you worry that the magic has gone - though he'll soon wow you again with another great nonchalent aside that reminds you he's still on the money.

The acting of the ensemble cast is, for the most part terrible throughout the season, with a couple of notable exceptions.

Overall, I'm glad I sat through the whole thing and I feel like I can call myself a 'real fan' now, whatever that means ha!

Unless you have a similar desire to sit through some of the worst Doctor Who you are likely to see, I would personally stick with The Stones of Blood and this last installment and skip the rest!

Robin Hood
Robin Hood(2010)

Ok, granted I only got to see half of this 2 1/2 hour epic, but I found what I saw rather an unsatisfying experience. Scott plays fast and lose with the story (as I know it anyway) and Crowe plays 'rent an accent' as he moves up and down the British Isles with an ever-changing Scottish, Irish and Scouse accent throughout the film. Although Blanchett is an excellent actress who I loved in Lord of the Rings, her portrayal of Marian is rather unlikeable and cold here. In fact the overall feel of the film is so solumn and humourless that it's difficult to warm to any of the characters. Which considering this is one of the best assembled casts I've seen in years, under one of Hollywood's best directors. this does feel like a real waste.

If I was to summerise this in three words it would be...Gladiator it ain't ;-) ha.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

James Stewart doing what he does best; portraying the 'everyman' who goes up against the greatest odds and wins the moral victory. In fact, had any other actor done this in so many films, they may have been tarnished as a 'one trick pony,' but this is to greatly under-sell the brilliance of Stewart's performances. As with Harvey and It's a Wonderful Life, he plays the put-upon innocent with such great conviction and life that you can't help but love the guy, to root for him from the very beginning.

the film itself is excellently made - well paced and acted throughout, with an intelligent script. The story at times seems a little far-fetched or naiive, but this could well do more with the cynical world we now live in than any fault on the film's behalf.

Overall I didn't find this as an enjoyable experience as Harvey or It's a Wonderful Life, but I thought it was equally well made and a very interesting comment on the corruption of power in politics; something that I would presume hadn't been tackled by Hollywood at this point, certainly not so succinctly. I'm glad I finally got to see what is understandably a classic.

Doctor Who - The Pirate Planet

I was so dissillutioned after seeing The Ribos Operation, that I was probably over-negative about this serial too. In the first 2 episodes of this serial the same problems remain - the acting is embarrassing, the Doctor doesn't seem to care anymore and the assistant is irritatingly smug and obnoxious.

But either my standards dropped or the serial improved (I like to think the latter) and by the end of the serial it wasn't too bad at all. Still not a patch of other Tom Baker stories like The Hand of Fear or Genesis of the Daleks; but the captain himself is a well designed and interesting character, as are the telepathic natives of the planet.

The production has a real pantomime feel to it, and fans of Doctor Who at it's most camp and over-blown (such as Happiness Patrol from the Sylvester McCoy days) will no doubt enjoy this, and I'm sure it is also much more enjoyable to young kids; which, let's face it, is who Doctor Who is really aimed at after all ha!

A huge improvement on the Ribos Operation, but still not up to Doctor Who at it's best.

Family Guy - Blue Harvest
½

Being a bit (understatement! ha) of a Star Wars geek I had to check this out, and I wasn't disapointed, it's hilarious and full of so many geeky references and spot-on moments that it can make sad Star Wars geeks like me very happy ha. Like most of Family Guy, it can be a little 'hit and miss' at times, but when it delivers its absolutely brilliant!

Doctor Who - The Ribos Operation

As the central premise of Doctor Who is potentially such a ridiculous one, it only really works when everyone is onboard and really cares about what they're doing. In the late '70's all the ingredients were there, one of the best actors to play the Doctor, a huge fanbase, one of the most imaginative science fiction writers ever (Douglas Adams) as script editor and writer. But the wheels seem to have definitely fallen off the wagon and what we are left with is a pale imitation of Who at it's best.

The sets, the monsters, the acting - all are embarrassingly lacking. Tom Baker doesn't seem to care anymore and has become more of a pantomime version of his great characterisation of the Doctor. The assistant is smug and arrogant, doing all she can to make one of the greatest minds in science fiction drama into a ridiculous, blundering fool - surely not what any fan wants.

A very dissapointing serial that is worth missing unless you're a sad completist like me ha!

Back to the Future

Classic '80's film that has lasted the test of time! Great fun from beginning to end!

Three Colors: White (Trois Couleurs: Blanc)
½

Like 'Blue,' this is a very tragic film that pulls at the heartstrings. I don't really know why it's referred to as a 'comedy,' maybe because the poor man that suffers so much in this film at the hands of a cold and cruel ex-wife is portrayed as rather a cowardly tadpole. And yet it is rewarding that he is eventually vindicated of all the pain she has caused him, albeit through rather drastic measures! As with Bleu, this is beautifully acted and directed and evokes the senses throughout, something I've noticed (with my very small experience!) that French Directors seem to do better than any other country(?). I can't quite work out which is my favourite, White or Red (Blue is beautiful, but so depressing I don't watch it as much as the other two ha), because they are both such wonderful films for different reasons.

I really can't understand why this is seen as the poorest of the three. The story, the acting, the shots - everything is perfect.

Yogen (Premonition)
½

I suppose you could call this a slow, brooding, much better written version of Final Destination - in that it concerns the premonition of someone's future death and one man's struggle to prevent the seemingly inevitable.

But this comparison is rather an unfair one - this is a much more intelligent and thoughtful film, which delves into the ideas of fate and guilt really well.

A little too slow and brooding at times for me, but a well acted and very interesting plot.

Jabberwocky
Jabberwocky(1977)
½

A surprisingly poor film from the mind behind Time Bandits and Brazil.

I really wanted to like this film - it's too easy to cast it off as a 'Python solo project' and compare it unfavourably to the fantastic Holy Grail and Life of Brian that bookended it; especially as three out of the six are involved in this film. So I wanted to take it on it's own merits wherever possible. But they are few and far between.

The script has some brilliantly witty moments (which would have perhaps worked better on paper than the way they are delivered) but the pacing is slow, the plot erratic and the acting lacks any focus to pull off rather expansive ideas.

To its credit, it is a real 'who's who' of British comedy, and has some great cameos, but they often feel a bit wasted and not used as well as they could've been.

In fact, after about half an hour, I found myself switching on the director's commentary, with Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam, which I found much more entertaining and watchable. Listening to them talk about how they made the film did make me think maybe I'm being a little harsh on the film - it does have very well produced action scenes for example - but I think I'd have to see it at least once more to try and see the positives in this difficult to watch film where you get the sense of brilliant ideas that just don't seem to work.

Doctor Who - The Curse of Fenric

This is by far one of the best Doctor Who offerings of the '80's and a joint best for the 7th Doctor along with 'Rememberance of the Daleks.'

Whilst the story and production itself is strong for the era (the latex vampire-masks still look pretty cool and the acting for the most part is quite strong for a seventh Doctor serial) it is the relationship between the Doctor and his companion Ace that makes this stand out as something special. This relationship is an interesting one - a troubled young woman who is desperate for some sort of focus and faith from someone, and who finds it in the shape of the eccentric time traveller. The Doctor becomes both a father figure and best friend to Ace, and helps her to realise she is worth far more than she ever realised. And, as with much great drama, the extent of this relationship is only really felt when it is pushed to it's limits, as it is in the final episode (where the Doctor has to convince Ace that he doesn't care about her in order to save her - a truly heartbreaking scene). Unlike many other Doctor Who serials from the time, the writers seem to really CARE about what they are doing here, and show what a strong format Doctor Who can be when it has the right sorts of people at the helm.

In many ways this would've made a much more suitable ending to the classic series than the final serial that followed it - the terrible 'Survival,' which had a nonsensical plot about teleporting cats?!

An excellent serial which shows the potential of the series, that in many ways wasn't actualised by much of the other late stories.

The Last Exorcism

I was expecting a real 'no-brainer' here, on a parr with Piranha 3D - but I found this actually quite an interesting and original take on the genre. The acting is strong, and the documentary style makes the build-up of the film particularly effective.

The main plot centres on a dissillutioned minister who decides to prove that exorcism is fake. In a climate where Christianity is under increasing criticism I did find this depiction of redneck crazy zealous right-wing brainwashed simpletons a little patronising and negative, but as long as you realise its all a bit of tongue-in-cheek you can look past this, and, hey its a horror film; what were you expecting haha.

As the main character is placed so ardently in one cynical viewpoint on exorcism, it's hardly surprising when the twists start to come later on in the film - it's like the cocky guy in a thriller, you just know he's going to be the first to snuff it ha. What starts as an interesting idea from this point rapidly falls into supremely daft territory, but again this is unsurprising as it was never really going to be anything else was it?

The use of documentary, first person perspective was rather nausea inducing, but the Blair Witch style of fumbling around in the dark did lead to some genuinely scary moments too.

I'd watch it if it was on tele, but it's not going to top any classic horror lists anytime soon.

Doctor Who - The Green Death

After the Colin Baker years, Pertwee's time as the Doctor would have to be my least favourite era. As much as I like him as an actor, most of his stories can be encapsulated by the name of one of his worst serials - 'Carnival of Monsters.' With a few exceptions (Planet of the Spiders, The Silurians) the pantomime monsters over-take the priority for a great story; which is made worse by the contrasting sternness and aloofness of Pertwee's playing of the character. I've got nothing against 'monsters' in Doctor Who at all, but in order for them to work they have to be used to underpin a great story. Without the story or the effects needed to warrant them, they do just seem kitsch and pointless. The example of both extremes can be found here in The Green Death, and conversely in The Ark in Space. Both had similar monsters and effects, but the latter had much more depth and purpose to carry it off.

Although I do like Jon Pertwee as an actor, I much prefer listening to him in interviews, where he is so much more charming and likeable than the way he chooses to play the Doctor - a characterisation I just can't seem to warm to. His companion Jo also isn't a patch on the best companions such as Sarah Jane (4th Doctor) or Barbera and Ian (1st Doctor).

The story is ok, but pretty grim and unpleasant (not in a good way - see The Invasion from the 2nd Doctor for that!) and at 6 episodes its rather a slog. It's also quite preachy in trying to bring ecology and 'green' issues to the masses in an age when this was very much in debate, and although this could be seen as a good thing to many, it didn't add anything to the story as far as entertainment is concerned.

Compared with Doctor Who at it's best, this was a pretty unenjoyable serial. For a much better Pertwee story I would recommend Planet of the Spiders.

Doctor Who - The Hand of Fear

Whilst perhaps not one of the best of the Tom Baker era, this is one of my favourites of his I've seen so far. whilst I do love his nonchalent, dry wit, it's interesting to see a more sober, serious side to him here; which adds to the rather effective suspence generated in this creepy addition to the series.

The enemy - a cystalised alien that feeds on nuclear energy - is really well conceived, constructed and acted, and (rather rarely for Who) stands up to the test of time. I should imagine this character would be genuinely terrifying to small children - which of course is one of the things the series has always prided itself on. The only suggestion I would have would be to condense the story into a 2 parter - as the first episode and last (apart from Sarah's final scene) aren't half as good as the middle 2.

It's really sad to have to say goodbye to Sarah in this serial; who I, like countless others have come to love as the best companion/Doctor pairing since Barbera, Ian and Susan with the first Doctor. The chemistry is undeniable, and you can teel that friendship between the two is more than just acting.

Doctor Who - The Masque of Mandragora
½

There's no denying it's a well produced and well acted story. But I tend to find the 'back in time' ones (I don't want to call it history as it's not based on specific events) more difficult to get into, and I found most of this one quite dull and tiresome when compared with other Tom Baker stories. Not badly made at all, but quite slow and hard work I thought. It does improve a lot by the last episode, which is pretty good, but it feels like a long time to get to this peak. They've done the whole 'mad cult' thing before, in serials such as Planet of the Spiders and The Brain of Morbius, and I would say to better effect. Although you can't beat the sight of the Doctor sword-fighting ha!

Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon)

I'm so glad I finally got to see this. It's amazing to think that this is nearly 100 years old and that we're still able to enjoy suxh a historic depiction of what was possible in early film making. It's incredible to think of, not only the age of the film, but the use of many special effects that, for the most part are being used and presented for the first time.

It's interesting too to watch the production and direction of the piece. This is still a time when theatre and melodrama rule entertainment, and this is represented by the manic over-acting and physical exhuberance of the actors (who at times resemble an ADHD convention they're moving around so much ha) an in the set design, which is straight out a lavish stage show. This said however, I believe this has really stood the test of time, and the fact that each and every scene was created by hand, and that the story manages to weave action, suspence, science fiction and fantasy into a 13 minute film is enough to make this silent film a must for anyone interested in the history of the medium.

Inglourious Basterds

Whilst the subject might be a new one for Tarentino, his trademarks are all over the place - from the cartoon style visuals to the witty and ascerbic script. His use of violence is here in abundance too, and in parts this works in a comedic way, other times it just seems to be a little on the unsettling side(even for a fan of Peter Jackson's early gorefest films!), and it's difficult to know whether you're supposed to be taking the film seriously or not at times. It skates a thin line between a serious war film and a satire about propaganda and national stereotypes in war-films - but nevr quite manages to fulfill either completely. The Americans are presented as the real heros of World War Two, doing all the tricky stuff whilst the British lend a hand, and it's difficult to tell if this is taking the piss out of Saving Private Ryan which portrayed the same misconception, or whether they actually mean to portray it in this way. Either way, it's worrying to think that there are no doubt some people who believe that Hitler was really assassinated by the Americans. The re-writing of history however, it part of the joke in this send up of popular war films.

When Tarentino makes a heist film (Reservoir Dogs), you know it's going to be like no other heist film you've ever seen; and this also goes for when he attempts a war film. It's not the greatest of it's kind by any means, but it's as original and unique war film as you're ever likely to see, and shows that Tarentino still has to power to turn whatever genre he tackles into his own style and direction. I would recommend it to any fan of war films or of his work in general, but I wouldn't rush out to watch it again and again.

Garfield - The Movie
½

I hated this film when I first saw it, but on second viewing (I must've been in a better mood ha!) I found it a lot better than I had thought. It's no way near a classic, but is a fun kid's film with the perfectly cast Bill Murray in the main role. The CGI doesn't really miz that well with the live action, and the plot doesn't really add anything to the much superior books, but it's throwaway, rainy day kind of film.

Doctor Who - The Five Doctors

I couldn't find a page for 'The Three Doctors,' so I hope you don't mind this intrusion!

The Three Doctors -

I know one of the main things that makes the Doctor Who serials is their camp, quirkiness, but I'm still finding the Pertwee period slightly too camp and too quirky to get into as much as the Doctors that preceeded and succeeded him. The special effects are rather cringeworthy, as are the costumes and the acting (the villian in this story is particularly melodramatic, in the original sense of the word). I do like Jon Pertwee very much as an actor however, and this serial does grow on you as you watch it.

It's certainly not classic Who, but it's great to see Patrick Troughton (still probably my favourite of the Doctors so far) and William Hartnell (who I also love, even though he is understandably showing visuable signs of faltering health and acting capability at this stage - you still can't deny his screen presense, and he delivers some of the best one liners in this story) back in the role/s.

The Five Doctors -

First and foremost this is a celebration of the first 20 years of one of the most iconic television series of all time. To this end, the producers try to weave in as much of the Doctors, companions and monsters as possible. However, to do this weaving in 5 Doctors, 4 companions and 6 nemeses is inevitably at the cost of a coherent or credible plot. The only way really to enjoy this then is to simply not take it too seriously, but to just sit back and enjoy the spectacle of so many elements that made the classic series so enjoyable being forced inextricably together. Don't expect a great story, but do expect a lot of fun and nostalgia. It's just a real shame William Hartnell wasn't around to join in (though Richard Hurdnall does an admirable job as the grumpy old first Doctor).

Doctor Who - Resurrection of the Daleks

The series returns to more dark territory in this slightly creepy (and a little over-serious) attempt to reininvigorate and regenerate the Doctor. Although not without faults, this is one of the better of the Davidson era I've seen. Davros is at his maniacal best and Davidson puts in a good performance too (to be honest he's always pretty good, even if not one of the most popular of the portrayals), but the other actors aren't quite up to the same standard. The companions are some of my least favourite in this. Tegan, though rather gorgeous, doesn't really have the punch or character of my favourites such as Sarah Jane or Ace, and the ginger guy is no Ian Chesterton. Some interesting (if perculiar) cameos from Dirty Den and one of the likely lads don't really add any comic relief to what is quite a grim and unpleasant addition to the series.

Pretty scary and violent for kids this one, and a million miles from the daft and terrible slide Colin Baker and early Sylvestor McCoy would take.

I'm usually complaining that the serials aren't taking themselves seriously enough (such as Time and The Rani or The Happiness Patrol), but this seems to be on the other extreme, a little dry and needing some lightness to go with the dark. As with many Davidson serials, it's not at all bad, but not quite Doctor Who at it's best. The Daleks are much more interesting and deep, manipulative characters than in some of their other stories, which is good to see, and it's a well written way to take the Daleks and Davros story forward, although 'death by shaving foam' was a bit disapointing haha!

Doctor Who - City of Death
½

Great locations and sets, and some interesting (if rather far-fetched, even for Doctor Who) ideas, but not really one of the best of the Tom Baker era in my opinion. Not bad, but not on the same consistent level as The Ark in Space or Genesis of the Daleks.

Doctor Who - The Sensorites
½

The Doctor takes on his 3rd alien species and his first mind control story (a stable of the series, following with The Master and The Ood to name two). I really enjoy these early serials and although this isn't quite as 'classic' or memorable as An Uneartly Child or The Daleks, I found it much more watchable and cohesive than The Keys of Marinus that came before it (yet at 6 episodes a little over-long for my liking). The aliens' use of telepathy to control the crew of a ship is an interesting one, and the pace is much more fluid than previous serials.

Hartnell seems to be struggling a little with the script in this one, but he holds his own and is still one of my favourite of the Doctors I've seen. Its interesting to see the relationship between the Doctor and Susan his Grand-daughter as she starts to go through her teenage rebellion from him, and these earliest companions are still some of my favourites in the whole series.

Piranha 3-D
Piranha 3-D(2010)

The first big laugh I got came just before this film, when a girl behind me turned to her friend and said 'this better be good.' I felt like turning round and saying...'It's called PIRANHA 3D!..what part of that sounds good?!' hahah.

In other words, you know what you're getting from the outset. Appalling script..check! Terrible acting...check! Questionable plot...check!

The film moves so much between the 'so bad it's good,' and 'so bad it's just plain bad' and back again that it makes your head spin. Did I enjoy it and laugh my ass off - hell yes! Would I run out and buy it on dvd - hell no! haha

Some of the lines in this film you play over and over in your head, because you really can't believe anyone commited them to paper...some notable examples..

"When I say 'Tit,' you say '..ies'"

"It's like fish..but with boobs!'"
"well, if fish looked like that...I would fuck fish!"

"JAKE! They took my PENIS!"

The fast-paced shifting and balance between scenes of terrible CGI monster fish and scantily clad swimmers is such that again it's difficult to keep up or know whether your eyes will ever be the same again.

So, basically what I'm saying is that...if your two favourite things in life are fake breasts and killer fish - you've just found your Citizen Kane.

If, however, you enjoy movies with some sort of purpose, logic, story, acting and dignity..you may need to leave your sensibilities at the door if you are going to find enjoyment in this total assault on the senses.

But, with a name like Piranha 3D, it was never going to be 'good' as such, so just sit back, turn off your brain and sense of taste and enjoy it for what it is...a gloriously stupid, wonderfully ridiculous, hilariously dumb film.

The Neverending Story
½

Nostalgia-central!

A picked on kid escapes into what he believes to be a story-book. But where does reality end and fantasy begin?

One of the most inventive and fun of all the 80's fantasy films (of which there were a spate around this time); full of great characters and superbly realised creatures. The animatronics and other effects in my opinion still look great.

As soon as I hear that score, I'm back in 1984, and I want a luck dragon to fly on ha!

So nostalgic and has stood the test of time well I feel.

Tango & Cash
Tango & Cash(1989)

A complete cheese-fest, as you would expect! It ticks about every mindless action cliche in the book, but if that's what you're in the mood for (and we're all in the mood for that sometimes ha!) then you an't go wrong with this really. The pairing of Stallone and Russell doesn't seem to work at first, but it grows on you, and if you stick with it and are in the right mood, this is a lot of fun.

Doctor Who - Survival
½

Just what happened to the classic series? Did the writers run out of stories? Did people stop caring? Did they want the series to end this badly? :-(

For their part, Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred do their damnest to save this. The production level isn't bad either - the costumes are well designed and the effects aren't too bad for the time. But the story...'planet of the cheetah people?!' 'cats who can teleport through time and space without any sort of explanation?!' Hale and ****ing Pace?! (as much as I loved their comedy series as a kid, what the hell are they doing in Doctor Who?!).

A sad end (there wouldn't be another series for 16 years, robbing a whole generation of an iconic science fiction series) to a programme that offered, and at it's best realised so much potential that no other show came close to. Thank goodness this wouldn't turn out to be the complete end.

The only redeeming feature I can think of is the last 30 seconds or so. Even though it's only a T.V series, I found something poignant about watching the Doctor and his companion, walking off together, never to return (not for a long time anyway)..as if a little part of my childhood was going with them. Pretentious, melodramatic yes, but there it is ha.

Doctor Who - Silver Nemesis: The Extended Version
½

It's so sad to see such a great series 'degenerate' (excuse the pun) throughout the 80's. Hartnell's era was so full of drama, innovation and wonder, that carried on well through Troughton, dipped a bit (in my novice opinion) with Pertwee and had a complete new lease of life with Baker. Some of Davidson's serials are good, and he wasn't a bad doctor. Colin Baker I find very difficult to warm to as the Doctor (although I like him as an actor), and Sylvester is great, as is Ace - but they just seem really let down by a lack of budget and good stories. It seems they were being tugged either way, by a BBC that wanted rid of what it saw as 'old hat' at the time, a rapidly disinterested public and producers who were trying everything to try and aide it's recovery. They brought back the Daleks, and it worked, they brought back the Cybermen, and unfortunatly it didn't. Rather like the Master, the Doctor's 'third' biggest adversary has gone from being an innovative and dark villian, to being a pantomime baddy with none of it's former menace by the end of the 80's when the classic series was cancelled. The difference here is very much in the writing. In Remembrance of the Daleks, it worked because the Doctor and his foe were given the right amount of good writing and production to make the viewer care. In this serial however, the writing goes from being over-complicated (It moved all over the place and I've no idea what any of this story was about to be honest) to ridiculous (the acting is awful in most scenes).

I want to like this era, 'my era' (when I first watched Doctor Who), but I'm finding it increasingly difficult, even with the wonderful Sylvester and Sophie at the helm!

Doctor Who - The Brain of Morbius

Doctor Who meets Hammer Horror in this only partly brilliant dark turn to the series.

Tom Baker is at his wise-cracking best, and it's great to see the return of Philip Madoc (most famous as the Nazi captain from the 'don't tell him Pike' scene, but making his third appearance in Who here!), who always plays a convincing bad guy - breathing life into the rather cliche role of mad scientist. It's also nice to see the series return to darker, less daft territory.

Some aspects don't work so well however. Characters such as the Igor/Frankenstein's Monster inspired assistant are pretty cringeworthy and pointless, the pace is slow and the story complicated.

As is often the case with Doctor Who, the ideas are too big for the production values to do justice to or realise effectively.

O.K, maybe I'm being a little harsh here. The sets aren't bad really, and there's certainly been a lot of thought into how they were designed. You've got to admire the scope and ingenuity of the writers in trying to continue to push the boundaries of science-fiction television, and this is a good attempt at taking the series in a new direction.

Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.

More action packed than the first Cushing film, and stands up quite well as a camp 60's sci-fi/action kid's film. If it was a competition though, I'd still much prefer the T.V series.

Doctor Who - The Happiness Patrol

I want to like the Sylvester years, I really do! He was THE Doctor when I was young, and I really like his madcap portrayal of the character. So there's a bias there that forgives a multitude of sins. Likewise, my 8 years old crush on his companion Ace makes me want to love these stories. And yet, there's no getting around it, stories like Time and The Rani and this are just so dreadful as to almost spoil the whole legacy of a great show.

Somewhere along the way, the dark and gritty sci-fi drama of the Hartnell years melted away, to leave something that was trying too hard to be 'quirky,' to the detriment of a good story. Instead of trying to expand kid's minds, they started trying to play down to them, and in occassions like this, it fails miserably. And it doesn't sink any lower than this.

Thankfully, not all Sylvester stories are rubbish by any means - I loved Rememberance of the Daleks, Ghoslight was ok, and my hopes are high for Silver Nemesis. But unless you're a true completist, I'd steer a wide berth of this and pretend it never happened haha.

Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet

One of the problems with any sci-fi programme/film that sets itself in the not too distant future, is that when that time arrives, it loses most of it's believability and ends up looking rather daft. In this, sadly the last of the first Doctor's stories, we are told it is '1986,' and yet the fashion and technology are very much from the 1960s when it was shot.

This aside, this is an ok story; rather slow even for the first Doctor, and I found my attention dropping quite a lot. I found the companions rather annoying in this one, and I definetly missed Barbera and Ian, who I've also become fond of in discovering these early stories.

However, I actually liked the early cybermen and thought they would indeed have scared me as a kid, as 'naff' as they are by modern standards. The strange-intonations in the voices do sound like something you could imagine in a computerised mind trying to interact with humans, and to me to 'gimp masks' were pretty creepy looking. I suppose I'm a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to early Doctor Who episodes, as I feel the black and white hides a multitude of sins, and I do find it a lot easier to get into the 'dodgy' effects from the Hartnell and Troughton days than those of the third Doctor.

As much as I love Troughton's Doctor, I'm sad to see the first doctor go, and I'm really impressed with how much depth Hartnell brought to the character, that 10 others (so far) have explored since he lay down the prototype.

Doctor Who - Dragonfire

As much as I love Sylvester McCoy, it does take a while to get into his era as the Doctor; it all seems rather dated, Ace's dialogue smacks of the late '80's/early '90s, the acting by the majority is still cringeworthy and although the sets are pretty impressive, the production, music and effects just haven't aged well.

This isn't a bad story, there are some interesting ideas and some scary moments (I liked the guy who could freeze you to death with his hands, and his own demise is pretty spectacular in itself) and it's great to see the introduction of the lovely Sophie Aldred - although her clothes and language haven't aged well, her character is much more 3 dimensional and interesting than the human scream-machine Mel. Her relationship with the Doctor is really sweet; she has never had a family and has a very troubled past, relying on her own resiliance to survive, until the Doctor arrives to look after her and show her a new life of adventure. And she is a companion that has just the right level of strength and vulnerability to make her the most ideal companion since Sarah-Jane Smith.

Not a terrible story, watchable and action packed, if perhaps a little on the cringeworthy side at times, when compared to the heights of William Hartnell, Tom Baker or David Tennant. It's certainly an improvement on the Sylvester stories so far, and leads nicely into probably the best in my opinion - Remembrance of the Daleks!

Doctor Who
Doctor Who(1996)
½

The third attempt to bring the classic sci-fi television to the big screen, and I'm not quite sure how I feel about this one. I'm not going to slag it off for trying to revive Doctor Who in a new way - the series had been taken off our screens 7 years earlier and looked likely never to return, the relaunch was another 9 years off, so I'm glad they tried to bridge the gap and reignite the public's desire for more 'Who.' I'm not going to slag off the TARDIS either - I don't know how the Doctor does it, but it has been established before and since that he is capable of changing the design of the TARDIS interior (even if the 'chameleon drive' is stuck on Police Box eternally...erm stick with me here haha!), so this isn't a new idea - and I quite like the semi-Victorian/semi-medieval look of the film.

Ok, the last good thing I can say about this film (apart from the effects, which stand up well against the new series) is that the Doctor is well realised - Paul McGann gets the character spot on in the 'one third strange/one third friendly/one third powerful' way it needs to be played, and he manages to bring his own look and character to the Doctor in this very short stint. The Master is less convincing in some sort of poor man's Terminator guise.

Ok, onto the bad bits - most of the continuity is respected, apart from 2 obvious things that really didn't need to change - the Doctor is apparently half human (why?!) and the TARDIS has an 'eye' as it's heart (in another room from the control panel) which, when open changes the whole molecular balance of the Earth (I'll repeat...WHY?!).

The setting is an obvious ploy at trying to sell the franchise state-side, and it really doesn't work. The acting is attrocious, as is the plot. As a T.V film, it doesn't really work; as a continuation to the franchise..it doesn't really work either.

What we are left with is a rather dissapointing slice of Doctor Who, which works better than the '60's films, but takes the series off in a direction that loses alot of it's charm and potential. Thankfully, it didn't take off and we were given a second change in the later series.

To summerise - a good attempt, which adds nothing to the original series except another interesting Doctor and some good special effects.

Doctor Who - The Ark in Space

Doctor Who goes all out Star Trek in this futuristic story of the last remaining humans, suspended in time as they wait for a decimated Earth to recover from a cataclysmic event thousands of years ago. As they wake, they find they are not alone, as a giant parasitic lava has started to take over the ship and its inhabitants.

The ideas are intriguing ones, reused in part in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Red Dwarf series. The sets are by far some of the best I've seen on the Who series; taking influence from Space Odessy and Star Trek. Unfortunatly though, the 'monster' itself is a real let down, and does somewhat ruin what is a good story. It's a shame there wasn't better material available to the production team than bubblewrap and clingfilm, because this makes what could have been a classic piece of sci-fi tele into rather a laughable one at times (though not throughout I wouldn't say). Still, the Doctor, his companions and even the bit-part actors do well in this story and it's a pretty watchable addition to the series as a whole; showing rather an exciting potential for the 'new' Doctor of the time.

Doctor Who - Robot

When compared with probably the best of the Jon Pertwee adventures that preceeded it (The Planet of The Spiders), this seems to be a farely run-of-the-mill adventure about a friendly robot programmed to do bad. Yet the story is really secondary and more of a vehicle to introduce the new Doctor, in the form of the inimitable Tom Baker. From the outset, Tom gets the character so spot on it's as if he's been playing him for years, and he really adds a new depth and 3 dimensions to what has already been established three times before him. Whilst at times he seems to vere towards the silly, he quickly balances this with a kind of pathos and introspection that is uttlerly compelling - all those ranting monologues to himself as he ponders morality and what action to take are so great to watch that you can understand why, to many he is seen as THE Doctor of all Doctors.

Not the best of the Tom Baker stories I've seen, but a good way to introduce the 'new' character side to the Doctor and great to see Tom making it his own in such a watchable way.

Doctor Who - Planet of the Spiders
½

Whilst I'm not really a fan of the Pertwee years (the Doctor's too serious and straight-laced, the effects seem more lame than the previous Doctor's episodes), this is definitely my favourite of the serials from this era I have seen so far. The direction and acting are tight and compelling, the ideas are interesting (telekinisis, the occult, spirituality etc..) and I reckon had I seen the giant spiders as a kid (even though they look pretty naff by today's standards) they probably would've scared my rigid (which is one of the things Doctor Who is supposed to do I guess). Sarah Jane is also a huge improvement on Jo as a companion, and I am starting to see why she's the favourite companion of so many fans. The story is also very action packed, including hovercraft/speedboat and helicoptor/flying car chases - what's not to like there!

Not amazing, but I do like Jon Pertwee as an actor (even if not particularly as the Doctor), so I'm glad to see him go out with a bang and this stands up well against any of the other Doctor's stories I've seen.

A Scanner Darkly
½

Very interesting and original visuals, but I found it difficult to relate to or care about the characters or plot - which was disapointing when the cast is full of such notable actors.

Doctor Who - Time and the Rani

I've just started watching this and...oh dear! The production of the show by this point has really hit a low, and they appear to be trying to re-address the unlikability (is that a word ha) of the previous Doctor by making this 'new show' full of bad jokes and chirpy acting - which; as much as I love Sylvester McCoy, really doesn't work. Melanie the companion is almost as annoying as Adric from the 5th Doctor's time, and it's unclear why the Doctor even considered taking such a liability on board the TARDIS in the first place! Any redeeming qualities? The bubble traps look pretty cool, and I remember the bat-style creatures as being pretty scary as a kid.

Thankfully I've seen Rememberance of the Daleks, so I know this series gets much better, but at this transitionary period, the fate of the series, let alone the Doctor, seems to be in the balance, and the balance is decidedly wonky.

The Wolfman
The Wolfman(2010)
½

A stellar cast unfortunatly can't save this rather dry remake of the horror classic from being for the most part uninteresting. The action scenes are very well produced, particularly the final battle scene, but it takes so long to get to this point that I found my attention waning considerably. Not a bad film really, but slow and takes itself a bit too seriously in trying to emulate the success of the Bram Stoker's Dracula remake of the '90's.

Doctor Who - The Keys of Marinus

Probably the most ambitious story so far, weaving in all sorts of novel ideas. That said, I did find this quite a difficult one to follow and get into and I found my attention wandering, even though it was quite action-packed. Maybe this serial will improve with more watching, but apart from the great sets (the cliche that the early sets were wobbly and cheap are actually not fair really, as the sets for serials like this, Marco Polo and The Daleks are very well built for the time) and a couple of interesting scenes, this is more taxing I thought than the previous serials so far.

Doctor Who - Vengeance on Varos

The Colin Baker era is still (at the moment at least) my least favourite, but this would be the best I've seen from that era so far.

The extremities of reality T.V is the base of the story here; in a future where live torture and execution are televised for the masses in this 1984 style dystopia story.

I still find this Doctor and his companion utterly unlikeable, but 'Sill,' the grotesque reptillian alien is a great, thoroughly vile foe and one of the most effectively realised I've seen so far. And, on a sidenote, it's great to see the great actor who played King John in the brilliant kid's show Maid Marian and Her Merry Men in a different role.

Doctor Who - Earthshock

Not the best, but not the worst either - action packed and fun to watch. It's good to see the cybermen back again after a bit of a hiatus, but I kinda prefer the more robotic sounding, emotionless editions from The Tomb of The Cybermen to these more 'Darth Vader' style baddies (maybe they were cashing in a bit?).

Adric is still pretty annoying and whiney here, but kinda sad to see him go - I'd say he went out with a bang, but that might be rather disrespectful ha! His slightly annoying boy-genius companionship is more than made up for by watching Tegan run around in a tight uniform haha! ;-)

Well directed and shot, quite fun to watch and not a bad addition to the series, but probably not a classic.

Dr. Who and the Daleks

Not a bad attempt to bring the early Doctor Who series to the big screen, and the production much more lavish - being more akin to American sci-fi series of the time such as the original Star Trek.

I think it works better as a camp, light-hearted kid's action sci-fi film for people unfamiliar with the early series, rather than as a big-screen representation. I think my recent interest in the William Hartnell episodes, which I've started to watch for the first time, has clouded my enjoyment of this slightly, as much of what I like about the original stories has been adapted. Though the plot remains pretty much the same, certain crucial elements (Barbera is now the Doctor's grand-daughter and Ian has been reduced from heroic to bumbling idiot - and what's with everyone calling the Doctor 'Who?!') are changed to the detriment of the film I believe. Nit-picking perhaps, and I'm sure most kids would love this action packed film.

Although I thought it wasn't bad, I much prefer the grittier, darker T.V version.

Inception
Inception(2010)
½

Very interesting and clever film about the power of dreams and the subconsious. Lots of different aspects are explored, such as the fine line between fantasy and reality, in an original and action-packed way - though at 2 and a half hours, it does drag slightly by the end, and you'll be forgiven for thinking that your own life has slowed down ha! ;-)

Pretty good film, but take lots of popcorn!

Dawn of the Dead
½

Everything you could ask for from this sort of film - terrible acting, dodgy one-liners, gorey special effects and dark humour. If zombie films are your bag, you won't find a better example than this!

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3(2010)
½

Action-packed, funny and above all heartwarming - the perfect way to finish a great trilogy

Doctor Who - Ghost Light
½

Pretty odd and incomprehensible, even for Doctor Who; I'm not quite sure what to make of this one, and whether I like it or not.

Interesting ideas discussed, but not really the production or level of acting needed to pull them off. Would be an interesting one to rework in the new series.

Doctor Who - Castrovalva

Not the best Dr. Who serial, but not bad and worth watching, with some really good scenes. I particularly liked the scene in which Davidson, struggling to regenerate into the Doctor's 5th form, takes on the personalities of the previous 4 Doctors, doing a funny impression of each.

The Master is the main foe in this, and I struggled to take to him; being much more a fan of the recent work by John Sim. Instead of the great backstory that made John's Master much more believable and deep as a characer, Anthony Ainley's Master, whilst effective, is more akin to a pantomime villian or something from a 1950's adventure series (such as Flash Gordon or Robin Hood).

Production-wise it reminded me of the excellent Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy T.V series, which isn't surprising I suppose, considering that Douglas Adams was involved with the series at the time.

Not awful by any means, but not one of the best either.

Predators
Predators(2010)

I was expecting this to be terrible, but it wasn't actually too bad. Similar in style to the original, it carries on the series much better than Predator 2 (and don't even mention AVP 1 and 2! ha). The CGI is not overpowering and works well, the action and suspense are pretty consistent throughout and although it's by no means a classic action film, it's not a bad one by any means.

Ok, Brody's Stan Laurel looks make it hard to connect with his narled mercenary character, and a lot of the suspense of the original has gone (as we already know what the creature looks like and is capable of), this is a good watch for any action film fan, if perhaps not a particularly memorable one.

In short, the best sequel the original could have...but probably not worth more than a couple of watches.

Shrek Forever After
½

Ok, first and foremost I LOVE Shrek (that is the first film with the name)! It's very rare that a kid's film has so much heart, so much life, and especially rare that this film will also be at the cutting edge of technology. The second film carried on the stunning animation, memorable characters and great gags, but by the third one a lot of what made the first so unique had gone; replaced with the usual things that make the third of any series a pale imitation of the original (see Back to The Future 3 for another example) - trying to be too much in an attempt to further the series (too many characters, too much deviation from the formula and so on).

So, whilst even Shrek at it's worst (as in Shrek the Third and even parts of the second film) is still usually better than most kid's films at their best, I was slightly apprehensious of yet MORE of a diluting and stretching of such a great original. But I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed with this one! Ok, it's never going to be as good as the first one, but it does a very clever thing in effectively taking the series back to it's beginning; by thrusting Shrek into another time and place in which none of his friends or family know who he is. This means that he has to try to make Fiona fall in love with him all over again, and in doing so he gradually starts to appreciate all the things he loves about his life - and reminds us why we fell in love with the franchise in the first place.

The amazing animation still manages to really surprise you, even after seeing the other three films, the plot is much stronger and much more watchable than the last film and the newer characters seem more a help than a hindrance to what is a real return to form.

A highly watchable and enjoyable film.

Doctor Who - The Daleks
½

I must admit I'm really enjoying these earlier, slightly grittier Doctor Who serials that I've never had the chance to see until recently. Although they could be seen as rather 'dated' by today's standards, they are very watchable and actually stand the test of time as classic sci-fi television. The producers do all they can to work with the materials they had and I think the effects are actually less 'cringeworthy' than, say the Jon Pertwee days, and maybe black and white (which often covers a multitude of sins) has something to do with this; adding to the suspense and drama. The action, particularly in this serial is strong, and the main characters (the Doctor, the two companions and his granddaughter Susan) all act their parts well - though Susan's constant terror at almost everything she comes into contact with..Daleks, people...lightning (ha!) did start to grate slightly towards the end.

Both the Doctor and the Daleks are quite different from the characters we've come to know - The Daleks seem a lot more philisophical and individual, the Doctor seems much more selfish and manipulative; happy to leave most of the heroics to Ian (his companion). Whilst there are these stark differences to both the Doctor and the Daleks, I didn't feel that these were 'out of keeping' with the rest of franchise - it's believable that the Doctor (who is a renegade from the Timelords and is so likely to be quite guarded and unsociable at the point where the first episode 'An Unearthly Child' finds him) softens as he becomes more fond of humans (most likely through watching the heroic and noble actions of characers such as Ian and Barbara). It is also believable that the Daleks 'devolve'/'evolve' (depending on your viewpoint) to the relentless amoral killing machines they became - they are in the process of mutating both physically and mentally in this early series, which is set a long time before the events of later stories.

Another great early story that was full of action, suspense and continued to show the strong seeds of one of the most iconic sci-fi TV series of all time.

Doctor Who - Carnival of Monsters

What the *@#^ is this?! hahah!

Seriously though, once I got over the ridiculous visuals, music etc.., this is an interesting premise (similar in some ways to The Mind Robber from the 2nd Doctor's days), in which the Doctor and his companion are trapped inside a miniture world/playground in which they must fight against monsters for the entertainment of punters outside the 'scope.'

Unfortunatly a good premise is rendered rather laughable by the special effects, costumes and acting, which have dated much less kindly than the black and white stories of the first and second doctor (I don't quite know why, but it just seems more believeable in black and white?) or the more darker series of the fourth.

I do really like Jon Pertwee as an actor, but so far (and granted, I've only seen two of his serials so far as the Doctor!) I have found him difficult to warm to in the role, compared with some of the others.

Doctor Who - The Sontaran Experiment
½

Short and sweet, I wasn't expecting this to be half the length of a normal story from the classic series, so in some ways it felt a little 'lacking' in depth. That said, I did like the Sontarans (although I probably prefer the updated ones in the newer series), and the story was an interesting one. Not one of the most memorable Doctor Who stories, but watchable and not bad at all.

Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks
½

After seeing the rather awful Revelation of the Daleks, I had almost lost hope in 1980's Doctor Who. The acting was cringeworthy, the music and special effects embarrassing, the Doctor unlikeable. But I held out a tiny vestige of hope that Sylvester McCoy's Doctor; 'my' doctor as it were could save things. I'm sure every Doctor Who fan has a soft spot for whoever was playing him when they were little, and Sylvester McCoy played the Docter from when I was 8 to 10, the perfect Doctor Who demograph (the fact that I'm still watching it now tells you all you need to know about my level of maturity as an adult haha!).

And thankfully I wasn't dissapointed. Ok, it's very of it's time; the music, the language, the special effects all smack of 1988. But the fun is there, the dialogue is great, the Doctor (whilst not a popular one) has actually returned to being one of my favourites. He doesn't quite carry the 'weight' of the Doctor at his peaks (1970's, 2000's) but he pulls it off with enough oddball conviction to make the character likeable again.

And of course, I haven't forgotten the huge crush I used to have on Sophie Aldred (who plays 'Ace'), who is great as the all-action companion, which of course helps ha.

In short, not quite up to the level of early or recent Doctor Who, but fun, watchable and, for me very nostalgic.

Twin Peaks - Fire Walk with Me

The first thing to hit me was the credits - you find yourself saying out loud..David Bowie?! Chris Isaak?! Kiefer Sutherland?! But in less than 5 minutes, you're straight back into the wonderfully weird world of Lynch/Twin Peaks.

If you've seen the series, you'll know if you're likely to like this or hate it, and the film assumes a great deal of prior knowledge of the series in it's viewers. Even with this knowledge however, you are unlikely to penitrate this confusing and almost inaccessible film. But if you're expecting to be confused, then you can just lie back and enjoy one of the most gloriously creey, sexy trips you'll have seen since the series.
The music and visuals are both gorgeous, and although it's a real acquired taste, I personally loved it.

Criticisms? It does kind of seem like two films forced together, with some interesting characters introduced in the 'Cooper half' of the film, but abandoned after the first half an hour or so.

It never falls for the prequel cliche of solving all the mysteries, leaving nothing exciting for the viewer; but actually leaves you with yet more questions. It works on it's own merits (though will probably won't be able to follow it at all without some knowledge of the series), or as a fitting ending/beginning to the classic series.

Doctor Who - An Unearthly Child
½

It's great to get to see the first ever Doctor Who for the first time and I wasn't disapointed.

Whilst the rest of the series is a pretty lacklustre affair of cavemen and so on, the first twenty minutes are so iconic, and establish so much of the premise of what was to follow over the next 40 years of the classic television series. Many of the things we now take for granted - the Doctor, the T.A.R.D.I.S, the idea of travelling through the 4th and 5th dimensions of time and space.

I was surprised how well produced and gripping this first episode was for it's time; playing almost as a sci-fi thriller (in the Quatermass style). The episode also sets up the doctor as at first rather a guarded, almost frightening character who wants to hide away from humanity (afraid that knowledge of his advanced technology to people from 1963 would disturb time itself. I'm guessing his character will lighten as the doctor experiences more of the human world (which seems at first to have been his granddaughter's idea).

The acting is stronger than I imagined it would be and the feel of the show is less 'camp' and 'kitsch' than the ones that followed.

The rest of the series is watchable but not great - but the first 25 minutes are essential viewing for any fan of sci-fi.

Doctor Who - Revelation of the Daleks

Growing up with the 1980's doctors (Davison, Baker and McCoy), I didn't realise just how bad some of these episodes were. It's not until you revisit the Doctor at one of the peaks (such as Troughton, T. Baker, or later in Eccleston and Tenant) that you realise how embarrassing some of these are. Granted, some of the Davison ones I've seen aren't too bad, but this was truly awful.

Where to begin? The Doctor is smug, angry and unlikeable. The assistant has a stupid accent and little connection to him. The acting of the other actors is cringeworthy, as are the effects and music..and added to this Alexi Sayle playing a terrible character called 'the D.J.'

Good to see Davros again, but this doesn't save what is essentially a pretty dire addition to the series.

Lost In Translation
½

Two lonely lives connect to the backdrop of a city which is simultaniously great, impersonal and unfamiliar city Great film, frustrating ending

Doctor Who - The Mind Robber
½

Slightly trippy addition to the series, in which the Doctor 'leaves reality' and encounters all sorts of mythical creatures. Supremely daft at times and not the best Troughton story, but quite fun none-the-less and interestingly different to the rest of the 2nd doctor's stories.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
½

Yay, Indy! All the Indiana films are ACE! I particularly like Temple of Doom, but I love them all. The action continues thick and fast in this great 3rd installment of the classic kid's action film.

Doctor Who - The Caves of Androzani
½

As I've only recently started to re-watch (or watch for the first time in the case of the first 4 doctors) the classic series, I have to admit this is the first I have seen (or remember seeing) of Peter Davison's doctor. Whilst I wasn't expecting much - I remember him more from All Creatures Great and Small, and, in following on from Tom Baker's highly popular and long-running doctor, he had some big shoes to fill - I was pleasantly surprised by what is one of the best of the series I have seen so far. It is cringeworthingly 80's at times, but the main leads (including the villian who puts in a masterful performance as the Phantom of the Opera style Jek) put on really good performances and this is a highly watchable series. And the biggest surprise for me - Davison is actually a pretty good doctor, and one I shall be taking more time to watch in my revisiting of the classic series from now on.

Doctor Who - The Krotons

Patrick Troughton's doctor remains probably my favourite as I start to explore the classic series (thanks to my friend who is an avid and generous fan who lets me borrow his collection!). This isn't one of the best (not a patch on other Troughton series I've watched - Tomb of the Cybermen and The Seeds of Death) but quite fun to watch and explores interesting notions of oppression and rebellion against insurmountable odds. If only the enemy was a bit less naff and sounded a lot less like small breaded soup accompaniments ;-)

Doctor Who - The Tomb of the Cybermen

Along with Genesis of the Daleks, this has got to be my favourite of the Doctor Who serials I have seen so far. Patrick Troughton is excellent here, giving just the right amount of oddness mixed with compassion and world/time weariness to embody all that William Hartnell and all the actors after him have strived to convey. Although in parts it is laughably outdated (the 'cyber-mats' for example are rather more on the comical than sinister side), the series is very intriguing and kept me wanting to watch more episodes until the end. The Cybermen themselves, whilst being far less well conceptualised than what they will become (and in some ways they are more interesting for this reason) there characters (or lack of) are just as creepy and unsettling. This has got to be one of my favourites so far and has certainly set the bar high for discovering more of the classic series.

Doctor Who - The Talons of Weng-Chiang

I know it's sacrelige to criticise the most popular of the doctors, but this was probably one of my least favourite of the stories I've seen so far. It seemed very dated (particularly the guy who was made to look Chinese was a bit cringeworthy) and 'of it's time' as opposed to other stories I've seen (like the Genesis of the Daleks) that stand alone as classics.

Doctor Who - The Dalek Invasion of Earth

Slightly slower paced than the Troughton doctor onwards, but still one of the best of the earlier series I have seen. I really liked the 'dystopia' feel of it that actually felt quite believeable, and it reminded me somewhat of the classic War of the Worlds in some respects. Interesting to see the original doctor, who I've not seen much of yet. He certainly sets out many of the character traits that have been adapted and evolved since.

Doctor Who - The Seeds of Death
½

Although I am still somewhat of a Doctor Who novice, I've been lucky enough to have an avid fan as a friend and am gradually making my way through some of the old series. And at the moment I can say that Patrick Troughton is fast becoming my favourite of all the incarnations. He has just the right amount of 'quirkiness'/oddness mixed with compassion to embody all that makes the doctor 'who' he is (excuse the pun). I enjoyed this story, based on an alien race (The Ice Warriors) taking advantage of a future in which over-reliance on technology has rendered humans vulnerable to attack. It lags a little here and there, but is still one of the best I have seen so far.

Kindergarten Cop
½

The premise of this film is sure to send any arnie fan's cringe-detector into over-drive. But he delivers a surprisingly warm and believeable performance in what is actually a very good family film. I enjoyed it from beginning to end and found it funny and highly entertaining. Whilst it was never going to win any Oscars, it is very watchable and not a bad film at all.

Time Bandits
Time Bandits(1981)
½

It's still probably the best Gilliam film so far and certainly the most fun. As with every genre he has delved into, Gilliam injects his own uniquely mad, Dali/Bosch inspired vision into this film and populates it with some of his most loveable, if not entirely heroic, band of diminuitive thiefs. Whilst it does drag in parts and is perhaps an acquired taste (as with all of his films), this is certainly the one I return to the most and find the most fun to watch.

In short, my favourite Gilliam film, a real '80's lost gem!

The Incredibles
½

I really enjoyed this Pixar spoof on the superhero genre, in which a retired superhero has a midlife crisis and aches to return to a life of fighting crime. Whilst perhaps not meeting the heart and appeal of Finding Nemo, it still stands as one of the best and often overlooked of Pixar's classics.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
½

Probably the best of the Trek films (certainly from the first crew). It doesn't really stand up to sci-fi heavyweights such as Alien, but it does set the bar much higher for the franchise, and contain enough action to keep the least initiated happy.

Alice in Wonderland

The first adaptation of the Lewis Carrollâ??s classic is charming and fascinating to watch. It's fairly 'jumpy' and difficult to follow at times unless you know the story well, but it's really interesting to see a whole range of early special camera effects being used over 100 years ago! Understandably, the film is heavily decomposed and damaged, but the BFI have tried to restore it as much as they can, and to be honest this just adds to the charm.

True Lies
True Lies(1994)

I'm not quite sure what this film is meant to be - a poor man's Bond? (the series itself had lost it's way at this point) an action comedy? a rom-com? It doesn't really work as any of these. And Arnie isn't really convincing in the role of secret agent unfortunatly. It's throwaway fun for a rainy day, but don't expect anything mindblowing or challenging.

The Final Destination

Cheesier than a swiss delicatesson on delivery day. But if you've seen one of these before you know exactly what to expect. And as this is EXACTLY the same film as the others, so if you enjoyed those, you'll enjoy this. Appalling acting, cgi and 'plot,' but mindless fun that is worth a watch if that's the mood you're in.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

What the Hell happened?! Theyve taken all the inguinuityHarrison will always rock, he is one of the truly great movie actors and he can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. He is great in this film, as in every Indy film, but although it had some really good bits and kept some of the spirit of the originals, I didn't like it as much (maybe it's because I'm older than I was when I saw the other 3!). Still a lot of fun though!

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Right from the beginning, it's clear that this is a non-stop thrill-fest of a kid's action film. As a 4 year old, this hit me at just the right time and it's just such a fun film from beginning to end; from the super-cool Chinese kid to the super-creepy 'Thugee' guys at the end. A must for any fans of great kids' action films.

Days of Thunder
½

Everyone plays their part well, but no one can save this from being essentially Top Gun in race cars. Very similar plats, very similar similar routine. The comedian Rich Hall once made a great observation about Tom Cruise films..

"Tom Cruise plays a cocktail makerâ?¦ a pretty good cocktail maker too, until he has a crisis of confidence and canâ??t make cocktails anymore. Then he finds a good woman who restores his faith in cocktail making. Tom Cruise plays a race-car driverâ?¦a pretty good race-car driver too, until he has a crisis of confidence and canâ??t race cars anymore. Then he finds a good woman who restores his faith in car racing.... "

Whilst this is perhaps slightly harsh (he has shown himself to be one of the best actors of his age, in diverse films such as Born on the Forth of July and Rainman, to give just two examples), but this film isn't really a stretch for him and, whilst it's not a terrible film, I doubt it would be anyone's favourite.

Raiders of the Lost Ark
½

In the same way as Return of the Jedi was the first Star Wars film I saw, The Temple of Doom was my first Indy film. As a result, I didn't really appreciate what were probably the best of the respective series (Raiders and Empire Strikes Back) until I was older, so I tend to think of Temple and Jedia as the better films through child's eyes.

Anyway, this is a very long winded way of saying that this is a great action film, though not as enjoyable for me as the other 2 (I'm not even going to start on The Crystal Skull!). It seems to drag slightly when compared with the faster pace of the successive films, but hey, it's Indy, so you know you're getting the very cream of kid's action films from the outset and every scene is a classic. If you haven't seen this before, you won't be disapointed!

Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2(2010)

Downey Jr. returns as the swaggeringly arrogant eccentric Tony Stark in this fancy follow up. It continues the series well and is a fun film, though doesn't really add anything new to the first film.

Return to Oz
Return to Oz(1985)

I can totally understand why people would hate this film at first sight. Trying to make a sequel to one of the most groundbreaking and beloved films of all time, some 40 something years after it was made seems pretty much unforgivable. However, two things manage to salvage it for me. Firstly, L. Frank Baum wrote 14 Oz books (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz being one, and this film being based on two of the others), so the idea of doing another Oz film isn't such a strange one. Secondly, this film is so very different from the original as to make it stand out on it's own merits. Whilst it could never achieve the same sorts of achievements as the original 1939 film, it doesn't really try to, relying more on natural scenery than set pieces, employing a much darker tone overall (although nothing could be darker than the original wicked witch!) and steering the series in new surprising ways. Gone is the chirpy optimism of the original, replace with electric shock treatment (to 'cure' Dorothy of her visions of Oz and the sleepless nights she is having as a result) and creepy 'wheelers,' who take on the characteristics of 1950's bike gangs.

Whilst it doesn't stand up too well when compared with the revolutionary 1939 classic, it does stand up rather better when compared with it's 80's fantast contempories, such as Legend or Never Ending Story - to both of which it is much more alike than the Fleming version.

Well worth watching for a very different view of Oz; as long as you don't judge it on the merits of the original.

Lost Highway
Lost Highway(1997)

Slow paced and brooding at first, with excellent us of dark and silence to build tension as your imagination fills in the gaps. It then seems to go off on a complete tangent and become a very different film at about the hour mark (about half way through) and it lost me a bit. As a big David Lynch film, I'm not expected things to make sense or follow a strict linear patten, but I guess I still often rely on some sort of hooks to hang my understanding on; it doesn't have to be in order or make sense, but I kind of need some idea of how the characters relate to each other, and on first viewing of this I find this very difficult - much more difficult that Blue Velvet or Twin Peaks for example. That is Lynch's perogative though, to confuse and often to frustrate, and to challenge you to put more effort in and ultimately to get more out as a result. I'm hoping on repeat viewings this film will grow on me, but it didn't really connect with me as much as his other films at this point.
The film seems to explore the similar aspects of identity and possession as in other Lynch films, but in quite a different way. Interesting, but not as entertaining for me as his other stuff (at least on first viewing).

Edward Scissorhands

A truly original modern fairytalke, with the heart of the brothers Grimm and Mary Shelly. The winning formula of Burton, Elfman and Depp is still fresh and all three combine to create a timeless cult classic which is as moving as it is edgy and unique. Depp is perfect as the loveable doe-eyed outsider, whilst Elfman's theme is hauntingly beautiful and Burton is still at the point of having a lot to prove and delivers one of his best films to date. Keeps getting better with each passing year.

Uncle Buck
Uncle Buck(1989)
½

Fun slice of 80's cheese that is more edgy than most family films of the time, due mostly to Candy's madcap style. Slightly overlong for sitting through for an evening's viewing, but great Sunday afternoon fodder. And the late great Candy is on top form here, both comedically and actually in the straight scenes too.

Kick-Ass
Kick-Ass(2010)
½

I really enjoyed this dark and twisted take on the superhero genre. Not the greatest film in the world, but a lot of fun and with enough geeky references to keep a nerd like me happy for weeks ha!

Life Is Beautiful (La Vita è bella)

Excellent film about a perennial joker and hopeless romantic who manages to use this ability to find optimism and cunning in the most bleakest and harrowing of situations that he faces, in order to try to keep his wife and young son alive. Very moving (as well as at times very funny), this is a great film that is well made, wonderfully acted and highly watchable.

Clash of the Titans

Truly awful. Gladiator it ain't! ;-)

Bearable as Bank Holiday T.V fodder if nothing else, but certainly not worth the 3D price of £13 or more

28 Weeks Later...
½

Another great gritty zombie film that follows on nicely from the last film, but with enough differences to make it an interesting and worthwhile sequel. The only thing I would criticise is the moving towards more of an 'American' feel (whereas the original was a quintessentially English take on the genre), but this doesn't really detract from what is a fast-paced, well shot gore-fest of zombie madness. Well worth watching!

Walk the Line
½

I enjoyed this biopic, which was well made and acted. Instead of trying to do an impression of Cash, Pheonix puts his own spin on it - which in some ways works better. He certainly has a surprisingly good voice; pulling off the signature vibrato sound (if perhaps not the low pitch) of the man in black himself.

I didn't enjoy this biopic as much as Ray or La Vie En Rose, but it was still very well directed and acted and certainly one of the best of the genre.

The Iron Giant

A sweet take on the original Ted Hughes classic.

Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider(2007)
½

Supremely daft, with enough cheese to stock a delicatesson for a month! That said, it is an interesting twist on the whole superhero/anti-hero genre, and it's certainly more watchable than, say The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer for example.

The Mummy
The Mummy(1999)

A very cheesy but fun action film

Stingray Sam
Stingray Sam(2009)

Very strange but unique mini-series/film that follows the adventures of a space cowboy/ex con as he and his friend strive to rescue the last remaining upper-class girl after cloning and gender-choice drugs wipe out women from the 'ruling class.'

With an astute lambasting of sci-fi, politics, westerns and some very funny and catchy songs, a film that is quite difficult to get into at first rewards the viewers persistance and acceptance. Whilst the films seems filmed on a shoe-string, the film-makers use this to their advantage; turning the limitations of special effects and such into glorious Monty Python style collages of archive pictures and sarcastically pompous narration.

Some funny scenes, great music and shows a great deal of originality. Not likely to be to everyone's taste, but worth checking out for any fan of weird and wonderful leftfield comedy.

Platoon
Platoon(1986)

Unremittingly brutal and harrowing film that doesn't let up from beginning to end. Charlie Sheen follows in his father's footsteps, and although he doesn't quite match him, he puts in a good performance as the main character here.

This is probably the best war film of the decade (along with perhaps Born on the Fourth of July) and well worth watching. The devastating use of Barber's Adagio for Strings alone will stay with you forever. Chilling and difficult viewing, but essential for any fan of war films.

Alice in Wonderland
½

Ok, first the disclaimer I always seem to be saying recently about these sorts of films - I love C.G.I but hate it in live action films! No matter how amazingly done it is, as soon as you add live action the two look pasted together like a cartoon stiched onto 'normal' film, and this is no exception - though it is less distracting as the nature of the film is quite cartoon-like anyway. Secondly, it would've been nice to see Burton try something a bit different, as all his films seem to now involve a close-knit team of Depp and Carter in main roles and Elfman scoring. I suppose it's a case of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it,' and granted they are all on their usual excellent form here.

That all said, the film itself is great; with enough of Burton's unique filmic idiosyncrasies, wit and originality to make sure this isn't just another remake of a well-loved story but very much his own take on it. The cast are all great, the characters beautifully designed and the visuals are stunning. Well worth watching.

Small Time Crooks

I didn't think much of this when I first saw it, but it improves on second viewing. Still not the best Woody film from the time, but watchable none-the-less. Some funny scenes, and it's interesting to see Woody playing a (slightly) different character from the one we've come to expect.

Me, Myself & Irene
½

I couldn't really get into this one. It has some funny scenes, but on first viewing I didn't find it half as entertaining as Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary or Kingpin. Maybe it would improve on more viewings.

Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no haka)

From the outset, you realise this is not just another cartoon film, but an epic and chilling commentary on the effects of war. The film follows a boy and his young sister as they struggle to overcome poverty and starvation after the death of their mother and destruction of their home from American air-raids. The fact that the ever-looming threat comes from the Allies is itself a thought-provoking twist on the usual war-movie formula I have become accustomed to. But more striking is that this is a cartoon that still manages to be as harrowing and tragic as any other 'war' film I have ever seen. A beautifully animated and moving story.

The Lovely Bones

A girl is murdered by a serial killer and travels through different ethereal layers between life and death. She also watches as the people back in her life try to cope with their loss and try to find her killer.

A well made and directed film that is interesting and compelling to watch. The main actress brought to mind a young Cissy Spacek in films like Carrie and acted a difficult part well. The film is original in it's take of a difficult book to turn into a film, and seems quite erratic at times; not knowing fully what it wants to be - a thriller, a teen-movie, a family film, a mystery etc.. But it is watchable and well put together; even if I wouldn't necessarily rush out to buy the dvd.

The Shawshank Redemption

Story-telling, film making, acting - all perfect. Pure class.

Deconstructing Harry

Rather disjointed and difficult to get into, and characters that it's difficult to care about (some of the acting leaves a lot to be desired). However, the script and plot are razer sharp and edgier than any other Woody film I've seen, showing that he is still capable of surprising us, even into his 70's (I never thought I'd hear him say the 'C' word for example!).

Although I found it less easy to connect with than his other highlights of the 90's (Sweet and Lowdown and Mighty Aphrodite), it stands up as one of his most original and provocative films of any decade.

The twists here to the usual 'formula' of intellectual neurosis is an erratic editing technique (chopping out whole sections within a scene to give it more of an immediate, confrontational feel) and the interaction between 'real life' informing his character's writing and his writing 'leaking' into his own 'reality' (such as his short story characters confronting him in his daily life). This makes for a confusing watch at times, but is well done as a way to watch the film from his own confused point of view.

Not what I had expected at all, and certainly worth a watch, but not as 'entertaining' as some of his other films, though certainly one of his most challenging and interesting in it's execution.

Carry on England

A couple of funny moments, but it's obvious by 1976 (with 27 of the films behind them and most of the cast either moved on or tragically departed) that the spark has gone and the remaining cast are treading over old jokes with none of the same irreverant energy or wit. Being a real fan of the Carry On series, I wanted to like it, but it was pretty dire from the outset I'm afraid to say.

The Flying Deuces
½

Classic Laurel and Hardy, with some really funny scenes. A lot of fun.

Gregory's Girl

Relatively unknown and a real gem (rather like Clockwise). A hilarious and heartwarming film in equal measure. It reminded me of school and myself at that awkward age, and I think that's part of the appeal of this film because the brilliant way he plays it will probably remind most guys of what they were like! ha. I also loved the 'it's a well known fact' guy who has some great scenes. It's quite a simple and 'nice' film if that makes sense, and anyone expecting a rollercoaster of none-stop action will be disapointed, but if you want a sweet and funny film about coming-of-age, there's few better than this.

The acting is brilliant, particularly from such young actors and actresses, and it's a real trip down memory lane with the '80s high school and memorable hairdos! A real 'feel-good' film and well worth watching if you can get hold of it.

Coach Carter
Coach Carter(2005)

Not bad, but not brilliant. You'll have seen it all before and the cliches come thick and fast. But Samuel L. Jackson seems determined to believe in the film and it's hard not to be swept along with that. Some good moments, and it's not bad to watch, but it didn't grab me particularly.

Gladiator
Gladiator(2000)

The best epic action film since the 1960's in my opinion. Russell Crowe was born to play the part of Maximus and imbues the character with the depth it needs to drive this long film along. A great director and plot also ensure that it is never taxing despite it's length, and remains captivating from beginning to end.

Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane(1941)
½

Itâ??s almost impossible to say anything about such an iconic film, and please forgive my naivety and ignorance, but as someone with little to no knowledge of the art of film, hereâ??s a laymanâ??s review. That might account for not giving the â??best film in film historyâ?? less than five. Technically you canâ??t fault it; the cinematography goes from epic to beautiful and back again, but is always well thought-out and compelling. But I didnâ??t find it as â??watchableâ?? or enjoyable as other classics Iâ??ve seen, such as Brief Encounter, Casablanca or Carry on Abroad (ok, that last one was a joke, as I could hear the sharpening of many a film buffâ??s axe ha).

It all starts off with a great Bergman style (who probably nicked this from Welles like so many other film-makers!) opening; all strange close-ups and symbolism. The film then goes into a documentary style, showcasing what must be the first use of insertion into historical footage (utilised in Zelig and more famously in Forrest Gump). This spans most of Kaneâ??s life and achievements and starts to portray some of the complexity of the main character. It then zooms out to the makers of the news reel, who decide to scrap what we have just seen and try to find out more about the life of the great mogul from the mystery of his last word â?? â??rosebud.â?? This is an interesting idea for discovering the central figure through interviews and flashbacks from those characters that had worked with him or tried to befriend him. Over the course of the film, they build up a picture of a complex man who dreams of being a philanthropic socialist, but who is consumed by his gargantuan ego and becomes more of a megalomaniac through his growing power and influence.

Adopted from poor parents into a life of prosperity and privilege, he ignores requests to take over investments in seemingly secure investments; instead deciding to take on a struggling newspaper and transform it into the most successful newspaper of the capital.

This film works as an â??essayâ?? (see, itâ??s impossible to talk about this film without sounding like a film student haha) on how easily fame can be bought in exchange for principles (echoes of Faust and his pact with the devil etc..). There are also great lines throughout, such as: â??People will think what I tell them to think,â?? and â??I donâ??t know many peopleâ?? â??I know too many people..I guess weâ??re both lonely.â??

A great testament to the stretching the possibilities of film, but one I found quite hard going and not one I would watch often. Rather like the difference between a classic album that challenges you but you only listen to once in a while, and the classic album that you would listen to all the time. Great to have in your collection, worthy of every accolade and technically stunning, but not one I would want to watch for sheer enjoyment.

Father of the Bride

Rather sickly sweet, but a nice (and occassionally funny) film. As a 'heart-warming' Steve Martin film, I would rather recommend his Woody Allen inspired 'L.A Story' as the better film, but this is harmless enough Bank Holiday fodder, with some good moments.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Time to play 'spot the cliche' in this no-brainer action film. There's the 'Amirken' gung-ho marine, the 'wise-cracking best friend,' the 'smart yet deadly love interest' etc.. etc.. It felt somewhat like a cross between a crap video game and Team America without the jokes. I suppose if I was between 5-10 (the last time I guess I was interested in Action Force/G.I Joe) I would find it slightly entertaining, but otherwise I'd miss this one.

Spirited Away

A beautiful and unique film that picks you up and 'spirits' you away, literally. I was gripped from beginning to end.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

The adapted script and plot are confusing and dart all over the place; the embellishments adding nothing really to what is already a brilliant story. That said, the character design and animation are so wonderfully done as to compensate for any shortcomings the film might have. As much as I like CGI, it's so refreshing to see 'physical' animation on the big screen again after a number of years.

Ponyo
Ponyo(2009)

I LOVED this for the same reasons that I loved Totorro - it is adorably cute, without ever being sickly sweet (take heed Disney!), was wonderfully imaginative and captivating from beginning to end. It's a shame his films don't get a wider distribution as so many kids from this country I'm sure would love this film!

Sherlock Holmes

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Victorian hero gets the James Bond treatment and Robert Downey Jr does his best to put a different spin on the much adapted detective. This works out as far less annoying than the awful trailer had me believe he would be. I really thought it was going to be utter rubbish, but it wasn't too bad. It's nothing to write home about, but it is watchable, the script is clever and the action scenes well made. It's also great to spot all the scenes that utilise Manchester Town Hall so well. Overall, watchable, well made but underwhelming.

Police Academy

80's cheese-tastic! Not quite as funny as I remember it as a kid, but still a lot of fun!

Flushed Away
Flushed Away(2006)

I LOVE Ardman, but this really didn't grab me, apart from the excellent singing slugs. Not a bad film particularly, but not great and a shame the 'kings of clay' feel the need to take the CGI route of other companies in this one, when what sets it apart is it's great claymation, such as Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit. There's no denying though that they make this transition to the other medium beautifully; even if the plot and characters didn't quite engage me as much as their other work.

March of the Penguins

Stunning cinematography. Adapting it into more of a drama style is a great way to encourage kids' interest in nature. Morgan Freeman has one of those voices you could listen to all day.

Snow White: The Fairest of Them All

An interesting take on the well know story, with a leaning more towards it's darker Grimm Brothers' roots. Not the best film in the world, but good bank holiday fodder. Well worth it to see the wonderful Miranda Richardson (we all need a 'Miranda moment' every so often!) and Kristin Kreuk is an added bonus. I've been 'madly in love' (haha) with Miranda ever since I was a kid watching her as the inimitable Queenie in Blackadder II, and she looks fantastic in this film! It's good to see the Highlander bad-guy in something different as well, though I could've taken or left the film really, not terrible, but not amazing either, just not bad to watch on a lazy day.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
½

Genius, obviously! What's not to like?!

Big Trouble in Little China
½

Over the top and nonsensical. Inventive special fx, but drags over a 2 hour span, is inconsistent and doesn't really work overall. That said, it is an original take on the action films of the time. Fun, yet daft - the '80's writ large.

Queen Margot (La Reine Margot)
½

Epic 16th Century French drama of corruption and infidelity amongst the royal family. Cue lost of sword-waving, bosom-heaving, bloody action and murder most horrid - vive la France! ;-)

Liar Liar
Liar Liar(1997)

Not bad, but not his best. Surfs the line between his great 'crazy' roles, such as Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura, and his more 'straight comedy' roles , such as Bruce Almighty or The Truman Show. Unfortunatly, it doesn't seem to lean either way particularly well, and he seems a bit too 'crazy' in the 'straight' scenes and...well, you get the idea. An alright film that's fun to watch, but I preferred the films I've mentioned.

Where the Wild Things Are
½

Strange and unique film, that feels as if it has really has come from the mind of the young boy at the centre of it. This means that it does feel disjointed and nonsensical in parts, but also thoroughly imaginative throughout. Doesn't work all the way through, but there are some really good scenes and original ideas.

28 Days Later
½

Really interesting and different take on the 'zombie' genre (though the word is never used). Full of intelligence and originality.

The Constant Gardener

Very nicely shot, beautiful scenery, irritating characters, fairly good story, powerful message, need to watch again to know for sure.

Rear Window
Rear Window(1954)

Fantastic film, full of Hitckcocks inimitable suspense (when you find yourself doing 'controlled breathing' like a woman in labour, you know they've got you haha. Jimmy Stewart is on top form as always, Grace Kelly is breath-takingly beautiful and a great actress to boot, and the plot delves into many interesting issues about voyeurism and privacy, as well as paranoia and obsession.

Born on the Fourth of July

An interestingly different take on the 'war genre,' in Oliver Stone's own characteristic way. There are some interesting issues tackled, such as patriotism, masculinity and disability. Along with Rainman, this is the best I've seen Tom Cruise act. The editing didn't always seem as good as it might have been (losing some of the most powerful elements of a scene by over-running or shortening it) but this is a small criticism of what is a powerful film.

The Snowman
The Snowman(1982)

There's nothing really like this film. So touching and sad, so full of hope and wonder. Beautiful music, beautiful animation and a lovely story of friendship and imagination.

Oldboy
Oldboy(2005)
½

An intriguing film; as original and compelling as it is confusing and disturbing. Leaves a bitter taste in your mouth that you're not in any hurry to repeat for a while after seeing it, yet there's no denying this is brilliantly crafted film that goes for the jugular from the beginning to the end credits.

Amélie
Amélie(2001)
½

Amelie seems to live in a world in which everyone (especially herself) is repressed and just out of reach of their dreams and desires. By helping people to discover this, she in turn finds a way to open up her own dreams.

After returning a man's childhood posessions, she finds she has a taste for philantrophy and can start to relate to the world around her in her own unique, quirky way.

As with Jean-Pierre Jeunet's other great film Delicatessen, he manages to create his own stylised, comic-book France that aches for a time that never really existed, but is all the more charming as a result.

A touching fairy-tale of a story, with beautifully inventive cinematography. Amelie is one of the most fascinating and feminine characters I have ever seen on the big screen, and you just can't keep your eyes off her in this film.

Like the Three Colours films, what stands out is the sensual importance of seemingly random moments. The ultimate life-affirming, feel good film.

Carry On Behind

Not bad, but not one of the greatest. Some funny bits here and there.

Blue Velvet
Blue Velvet(1986)

Very strange and disturbing film that puts pay to the idealism, but also scaring sterility of 1950's poster America and the seedy underbelly that could be but one doorstep away.

Once again Lynch proves that he's a one-off in the film industry, with this uniquely harrowing film.

2012
2012(2009)
½

Hollywood at it's bloated, CGI-loving, cheesiest best. For those who love lots of explosioons, a bit of 'spot the cliche' or just a bit of mindless fun, you might like this. A word of warning though - at over 2 and half hours you can be forgiven for wondering if the world will have ended when you step out of the cinema again!

Body of Lies
Body of Lies(2008)

To be fair it's not really my sort of film at all, and it wasn't badly made as such - but I did find it about as interesting as watching paint dry, but without the noxious fumes that might have helped get me through it ha ;-)

Fight Club
Fight Club(1999)

I stayed away from this film like the plague for 10 years, because it seemed to represent everything I oppose. The idea it seems is that underneath every 'civilised' man is a violent animal wanting to get out is only a short step away from the damaging and misconcieved radical feminist teachings that 'every man is a potential rapist.' This film expects us to believe that each man secretly desires the pain and destruction of others. The film-makers are playing into all the misandry ideas of the modern age. Men, it seems, are the 'second sex' and women are the more evolved of the species.

To believe in the ideas of this film is to give up on hope; to give up on the human race. And whilst I agree we are all flawed, I'm not ready to give up just yet.

So, is this a good film? It depends on your outlook I guess. If a film's main purpose is to provoke, then it is a very good film - I don't think I've been this angry or dismayed about a film for years. If a film's main purpose is to entertain, then I certainly can't say I 'enjoyed' this film; even though there is no denying how well it is made. I suppose the reason why I love his other film 'Se7en' but find this film so difficult, is that in 'Se7en' Kevin Spacey's psychotic is seen as just that - whereas in this film we are encouraged to think that what these borderline psychotics do is not only accurate, but 'right.' That is a idea that sits very uncomfortably in me.

A very well made film, but not an ethos I can subscribe to.

The Man on the Train (L'homme du train)

Not bad - slightly slow and dull in places, but interesting in others. Good acting and nice idea for a film about two very different men who form an unlikely friendship.

Chris Rock: Never Scared
½

Probably the funniest standup dvds I've seen.

10
10(1979)

The irreplaceable Dudley Moore stars in this light, funny romp as a 40-something going through a â??midlife crisis;â?? which in this case takes the form of his dream woman (Bo Derek). Itâ??s great to see the forever loveable Julie Andrews and Dudley in such different roles than Iâ??m used to seeing them in. Not the most exciting or provocative film in the world, but fun and very watchable.

Mississippi Burning
½

Interesting and well made film that delves into a dark chapter of American history. It felt more like a 'Made for TV' film, and wasn't quite as exciting as, say Silence of the Lambs which came a few years later. It lost a little of it's focus and direction at the end for me, but there's no denying the importance of this film, or the effort that went into how it is presented.

Backbeat
Backbeat(1994)
½

I really liked this 'biopic' of a snapshot of the early Beatles' trip to Hamburg and their troubled former bass player Stuart Sutcliffe. Ian Hart is particularly good as Lennon

Guest House Paradiso

So so disapointing after such an amazing couple of series! I can't work out what went wrong with this, as I love both the actors and the characters they play!

Disney's A Christmas Carol

Whilst perhaps not quite as fun as other adaptations such as the Muppets' Christmas Carol, this was a well made film that was enjoyable to watch. The CGI is nothing short of incredible and probably the most realistic I have seen. The script seems to be mostly taken from the classic book itself and is made all the better for it. Carrey is on top form as both the main character and all three of the ghosts. I liked it.

Keeping the Faith
½

Not a bad rom-com. Another one that seemed heavily influenced by Woody Allen (like When Harry Met Sally and L.A Story) and I found this watchable, but not overly special.

The Odd Couple

One of the first 'frustration comedy' films such as Meet the Parents or the Out of Towners. This is a fantastic film that starts off being quite sad and forlorn and gravitates towards the funny interplay of 2 friends who love each other when living apart, but discover how much the differ when forced to live together. The script in particular is superb, with some hilarious and spot-on lines about the challenge of living with people.

A priceless onscreen chemistry between two comic legends; combined with a sharp ascerbic script that rivals Woody Allen or Billy Wilder, assure that this is an intelligent yet accessible comedy that has stood the test of time.

A must see for both Jack Lemmon fans and lovers of classic comedy.

WarGames (War Games)

Fun slice of 80's cheese that I'd not seen before. I love the amazement at which the characters approach computers; particularly the scene where Ally Sheedy's character is blown away by how the computer can 'talk' through the speakers! It's great to see the old green writing on the screen or the old printer paper being gurgled out by the over-sized printers. Ok, so the plot is ridiculous, the acting beyond cheesy and the special effects rather laughable, but hey, it's an 80's teen movie, you've gotta love it! And if you're in the right mood for a fun Sunday afternoon film, this won't dissapoint.

Drag Me to Hell

Three words...SU..BLOODY..PERB! haha.

I don't think I've ever felt compelled to give a standing ovation after seeing any Horror/Comedy before, but I couldn't help it after this one - so much mindless fun, what's not to love about this film?!

Black Sheep
Black Sheep(2006)

Original and funny, in a similarly irreverant style to the excellent Braindead. Not the best film in the world, but a lot of fun and well worth it for fans of this sort of humour (such as Sean of the Dead etc..)

Night of the Living Dead
½

The original Romaro classic. It might look slightly tame to some viewers used to watching the various versions it has spawned. However, I really enjoyed this surprisingly well scripted and acted (well, for a zombie flick anyway ha) suspense filled horror. The great 60's news bulletins are well worth the 'ticket price' alone!

Up
Up(2009)

Why do so many trailers make good films look terrible?! When I saw the trailer I thought 'great, another CGI film which is all style over content,' but I am glad to say I was wrong with this one. Ok, it's not quite up to the standard of Pixar classics like Finding Nemo, but it's a sweet and funny film that went some way in restoring my faith in the medium after seeing dire films like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Igor. The first 10-20 minutes I found really moving and my eyes were welling up a little. Watching the lovely couple grow up and old together was done in such a touching way as to inject real heart into the film and give much more depth to the 'grumpy old man' character at the centre of the film. The kid was kind of annoying at first, but became more loveable as the film went on. Watching it in 3D was pretty amazing too and it's plain to see how Disney/Pixar are advancing this medium also. A fun film that dips a little in places, but that has a strong plot and a lot of heart and I think a lot of people will appreciate this.

Sleeper
Sleeper(1973)

Probably the most uniquely strange and different sort of Woody film. Fitting somewhere in the 'early silly films' phase; it consists of an equal mixture of Chaplin-style sight gags and slapstick on one hand, and Marx-style quick one-liners on the other. Woody's love of Dixie land jazz didn't really work with the decidedly 60's-inspired future, but there are some really novelle ideas and funny scenes. It didn't quite 'hit me on a gut level.' ;-)

Dead Alive
Dead Alive(1993)

I was first introduced to this film in the mid 90's, and I thought it was the funniest and most over-the-top gorefest/comedy I'd ever seen. 15ish years later and it's still by far the best zombie flick I've seen - complete with some of the most memorable comedy dialogue commited to celluloid. This for me is made even funnier by the New Zealand accents, which take the usually Hollywood-based genre and makes it seem more 'everyday' and as a result more funny (in the same way as Sean of the Dead did years later).

The prosthetic make-up is incredible and it's even more breath-taking to think how little money they would have had to make this. Though this couldn't be more different from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy if it tried, the unique creative talent of Peter Jackson is all over this.

Certainly not for the squeamish, but understands everything that a good zombie should be - gloriously gross and over-the-top. If you like stomache-turningly dark humour like Evil Dead, you will love this!

West Side Story

Probably one of the best musicals there is, the wonderful West Side Story was in many ways ahead of it's time, yet in other ways perfectly placed there. Whilst it may look rather tame by today's standards; it was the first musical (to my mind) that really tried to inject some realism and drama into what had become rather a staid Vauderville theatre experience. The music is just breath-taking and the acting and singing suffers from none of the over-polished, theatre-school style that usually send me running from musicals as fast as my feet will carry me. An excellent film, on a parr with Rebel without a Cause for capturing the 'birth of the teenager' in the 1950's, and on parr with South Pacific or Les Miserable for perfect songwriting.

My Neighbor Totoro
½

Such a sweet film, in which 2 young girls encounter the mysterious but benevolent spirits of the forest. Not quite as dark or deep as Spirited Away, but just as beautifully animated. It's a shame this isn't more widely distributed in this country, as I know most kids would love this film.

1984
1984(1984)
½

As there isn't a page for the 1954 version starring Peter Cushing, I'll use this to review both the 1954 version and the 1984 version (starring John Hurt).

It's very difficult to fully appreciate any adaptation of this film after reading the book, because the book is just so incredible and the pictures it conjures in your head are so vivid and terrifying.

Peter Cushing version (1954):

This was the second film version I have seen (after John Hurt's 1984 rendition) and I thought it was an excellent attempt for the time that it was made. It seems rather dated now in some ways, and the acting (apart from Cushing who really surprised me, and the part of O'Brien) is rather 'hammy' and over the top, which is more a reflection on films of the time really, but the spirit of the book comes through well and it seemed slightly more true to the book than the 1984 version. I think I slightly preferred Cushing in the title role too, which I never thought I'd say, being such a big John Hurt fan. The torture scene at the end of the film was much more akin to the horrific images conjured up in my mind by the book (the dark room for example), and although I don't think it could ever come close to how provocative and challenging the book is, it certainly comes close at times.

John Hurt version (1984):

Both Hurt and Burton are on top form and the landscape (apart from the torture scenes, which I imagined very differently) is very well thought out. It didn't have half the power of the book and was much more confusing, but it did a damn good job of doing the seemingly impossible - portraying such a powerful book on the big screen.

Man Bites Dog

Probably the nastiest and most disheartening film I've yet to see. I've given it 2 stars, not because it's a badly made film, quite the contrary it shows a great deal of originality and talent in the way it is shot, the excellent acting and the guts it must have taken to make such a 'different' kind of film. I've scored it badly however, because it is not a film I would ever want to watch or think about again - that's how sickening it really is (and I'm sure is meant to be).

Ben is a serial killer who takes great pride in his 'work.' This is hardly a new idea as such; especially as this came out at a time when the serial killer in films was really coming to prominence (Hannibal Lector and Henry being 2 such characters in the cinema around the time). What does make this so disconcerting is that it takes the form of a documentary/reality TV program, in which a crew follows him around and casually film him as he proudly maims, tortures and kills innocent people. It's not so much the killer himself who disturbs you (in fact it often makes you wonder how he hasn't been caught earlier, as he seems as subtle as a brick through a window!) but the crew who keep filming (or even take part) as he induces an old lady to heart-attack, rapes an innocent women and suffercates a small child - all whilst explaining his methods to them as if he were simply a plumber or an electrician describing his methods; the crew listening intently as if it's the most natural thing in the world (I told you this was a nasty film!)

This presentation of horrific acts as if they are common place is, I guess a way to try to challenge where our morality comes from and whether it stands up when we are being told that what we find abhorrent is not the majority view. We are also challenged to question our own voyerism point blank. We are forced to listen to his rants on everything from architecture to classical music as he guides us through his twisted mind, and we, as viewers of the film are forced to become part of his twisted world as if we are willing participants in it.

Another side of the film which is hard to take (and made me pretty angry, which I'm guessing is the desired effect) was the double standards presented. On the one hand, human life (particularly innocent and vulnerable people such as the elderly and children) is presented as being throwaway and meaningless, as if worthy game for his sick and twisted sport. Yet, when the sound man receives a fatal bullet from a man trying to defend himself, the film maker is filmed crying and shaken; saying what a terrible injustice it is. I'm guessing again that what the film makers are trying to say here is that we seem to have a gradient of worth for human life in the media; seeing out 'enemies' as sub-human and expendible, but our love ones as sacred.

A very clever film, that does what it sets out to do in provoking you to examine (and hopefully strengthern) your own morality in the face of such a horrendous outlook that is presented here.
Not one I would recommend or want to see again however!

The Marine
The Marine(2006)

I borrowed this from a friend and I don't think I'm qualified to review it properly - I'm hardly the target demograph; having had little interest in WWE since the halcyon days of the Ultimate Warrior back in the early 90's. But for what it's worth, here goes:

Imagine if you will a live action version of Team America. Now take away the jokes, parody and irony. You're hopefully starting to get a glimpse of how spectacularly awful this film is. 'I'm a marine, fuck yeah, kill some foreigners, yeah, make love to my woman, huh, kill the bad guys' etc etc..

I would've given this fewer stars, but for the fact that, if you know what you're getting it is fairly fun in parts (it's cool to see the bad guy from T2 in something else for example) and fancy something akin to a sugar-rush brought on by 15 litres of sunny 'D' (other 'E' number filled products are available!) combined with 10 packets of malteasers, then this will provide at least some entertainment. Probably fun to watch with very drunk friends after one too many brewskis, but otherwise avoid like the plague.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Just what America needs, fast food falling from the sky! Hollywood is still so anamoured with the power of CGI that it is happy to keep shovelling money into bad films - and this is a stinker! Sure, it looks very impressive, but that doesn't make for a good film alone! There are great and notable exceptions to CGI's style-over-content saturation of the film-world, including Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Shrek and The Incredibles; but what these had that so many other CGI based kids' films don't is depth, plot and characters that you care about. Not quite as bad as Igor last year, but pretty damn bad.

Batman: The Movie
½

I used to love the series as a kid, but watching it as an 'adult,' especially after seeing the Michael Keaton and Christian Bale versions, this unashamedly camp and riduculous original is difficult to take. Once you've surrendered all attempts at taking any of it seriously though, it is a fairly fun, if shockingly bad (in a good way?) film. The exploding shark has got to be the best bit!

Persona
Persona(1966)

This is the first Bergman film Ive seen and I can see why people rave about him now, because Ive never seen anything like this before.

I would say its the closest thing Ive seen to a nightmare, in that it is so disturbing and worrying, some of it making sense, some of it taking that sense and stretching it into something strange and unnerving.

He is really adept at wrenching the most primal feelings out of the viewer, whether it be disgust (I dont think Ill ever forget that horrendous real life footage of those protesting monks burning themselves alive) or intimacy and sensuality (the two women showing what seems like real affection for each other, but what actually seems to turn out as a kind of parasitic love, the one feeding off the identity of the other or at least I think thats what happens, its rather confusing this film! Ha)

I also like the way in which the film seems to look out at the viewer at times, such as the boy at the beginning, staring out at a huge blurred face on what seems like the wrong side (I.E the viewers side) of the cinema screen), or the mute woman staring out at you with those huge, beautifully melancholic eyes.

All in all a very disturbing but intriguing film, that is unlike anything I have ever seen before.

Let the Right One In
½

I'm not quite sure what to make of this one. It doesn't fit neatly into any category; which I suppose is part of it's charm. On the one hand it is one of the most brutal and unforgiving 'vampire' films I have yet to see - made more uncomfortable viewing by the fact the blood thirsty 'vampire' is a 12 year old girl. On the other hand however it is quite a touching talk of a 'vampire's' friendship with an equally outcast boy.

There's no denying that this is a real labour of love; with fantastic acting from the mostly young cast (the girl reminded me of the brilliant performance in Pan's Labyrinth somewhat) and some of the cinematography looks stunning. But it isn't an easy film to watch even though it is obviously well made. I found this a fascinating, if challenging film, and I would probably watch it again (you get the feeling it would improve with time).

Husbands and Wives
½

Very disapointing film from Mr. Allen here. Some of his films are a masterclass in using (seemingly) improvised scenes to heighten realism and emotion, but the actors seem totally disinterested in their roles. There is no chemistry there between any of them and they look like they're walking through a bad play rather than starring in a film by one of the best writer/directors in film history! For his part, it doesn't feel like Woody has given them any direction in this and as for his acting, he is playing a parody of the great neurotic he always plays, but without the usual wit. It's telling that the best scenes are his monologues to camera, rather than the group scenes. I love Woody and I love his films, but this felt tired, detached and sluggish. Thankfully he made Manhatten Murder Mystery a year later and Mighty Aphrodite after that, two much more satisfying films.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

A beautifully shot (it just makes you fall in love with the country) and acted film, which combines the rare elements of being action packed and a brilliant plot. A brilliant film.

Airplane!
Airplane!(1980)

This must be one of the films I have seen the most (including once in French, which made the pun jokes make no sense at all, haa), and yet it still manages to make me laugh out loud each and every time I watch it. Totally ahead of it's time and full of some of the funniest lines and visual gags in any film!

Dumb and Dumber

The perfect film to watch when you're feeling silly, or in need of cheering up. Full of humour and surprisingly moving in places, this still makes me laugh every time I watch it.

The Music Box
½

This has got to be my alltime favourite short film. Classic!

Crimes and Misdemeanors

One of his best I reckon, certainly one of the better 'serious' films. It explores both choice and consequence through 2 very different, seemingly disparate stories that run in parralel

Sweet and Lowdown
½

Another classic Woody film, full of heart, depth, humour and emotion. The main character is a complete arsehole, especially to Hatty, the woman who loves him (and who he can't admit that he loves, until it's too late), and yet it is so well acted that by the end, I feel sorry for him. The end always moves me to tears - and not just because it sees the death of a beautiful guitar! Haa.

Play It Again, Sam

Some really funny bits, and shows the beginnings of what would become classics such as Annie Hall and Manhatten. Doesn't quite work all the way through, but most Woody fans should like this, and it's one of my favourite earlier ones.

Manhattan Murder Mystery

Some Woody films I instantly love and can watch again and again, like Annie Hall, Crimes and Misdemeanors or Sweet and Lowdown. This is not one of those. Some Woody films I instantly dislike and can't wait to finish, like Everybody Says I Love You, Zelig or Cassandra's Dream. This is not one of those either. Somewhere in the middle are the films he makes that are just fun to watch, without necessarily moving you or blowing you away. The sort of film where you can chill out, do the ironing or whatever and just appreciate a few great one-liners from the man himself - especially when he's joined by Diane Keating. I would put 'average' Woody films like Play it Again Sam into this category, as well as this film. Fun story, funny lines, great chemistry from a good cast. Not amazing, but not bad either.

All-in-all, I very long-winded way of saying it was O.K haha

Dorian Gray
Dorian Gray(2009)
½

I was pleasantly surprised by this version of the film. Being a huge fan of the book, I was always going to go into the cinema with a certain amount of predetermined dissapointment. But although nothing could really match the pictures that the book conjures in your head, I thought they really captured a lot of it's spirit here and it's certainly the best adaptation I've seen so far.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

I didn't like this version at all and it had none of the power of the book I'm afraid

Austin Powers in Goldmember

Some funny bits, but the poorest of the three, as Myres gurns his way towards the spluttering end of the characters. A shame, because he is such a talented an d funny guy, and you want him to do well. Yet he hasn't made anything close to his best (unless you count the first Shrek) since before this film. I'd love to see him go down the 'rom-com' avenue that he did so well in 'So I Married an Axe-Murderer,' but I can't see this happening anytime soon. I found Goldmember himself quite funny, but Beyonce and Michael Caine didn't add anything to what is essentially a lame-duck.

The Jungle Book
½

Certainly a contender for one of the most classic of all the Disney films. The animation still impresses today, and this, coupled with strong characters, memorable songs and great scenes ensure it has very much stood the test of time.

The Patriot
The Patriot(2000)

Surely a contender for one of the worst films I've ever seen. Certainly one of the cheesiest, and not in a good way. It views like a 'paint-by-numbers' of every film cliche imaginable. But then, as a 'nasty Brit' I would say all this haha.

North by Northwest
½

Two things that Hitchcock does so well are to instill a sense of growing paranoia and to build tension. Here is one of his most charged examples of this. The main character (played brilliantly by Carey Grant) is embroilled in a lethal case of mistaken identity, leading to him being pursued first by foriegn agents, and then (by taking their car and later running from one of their murders) by agents from his own country. I'm ashamed to say this is the first Carey Grant film I have seen, and it took a while to dissasociate his quick talking charm from the less-than subtle parody of Tony Curtis in the classic 'Some Like it Hot.' After my initial ignorance had subsided however, I could start to see why Grant is such an icon; playing the charismatic playboy/intellect to Jimmy Stewart's 'Everyman' in other Hitchcock classics. Another aspect of Hitchcock's film is the iconic 'big moment' that stays in everyone's mind. In psycho it is the descent down the stairs shot, the revealing of 'mother' and of course the historic 'shower scene.' In Rear Window it is the scene in which the 'watcher' becomes the helplessly 'watched.' In North by Northwwest, once again Hitchcock doesn't dissapoint, with the iconic scene of Grant, running through the deserted plainsm being pursued by a crop-dusting plane, shooting at him from above.

Whilst this probably wouldn't by my all-time favourite Hitchcock movie (which would still probably be Rear Window or Psycho), it is understandably a classic, and has encouraged me to watch more of the great Hitchcock and the great Grant's work.

Casino
Casino(1995)

It's Scorsese, De Niro, Pesci and Stone - some mighty ingredients - so it should be a fantastic film. And in many ways - the acting, shots, direction and plot - it is. But watching this after Goodfellas, I felt I wasn't really seeing anything different from the actors or the director and it felt over-long compared to that film, even though they are about the same length. De Niro still plays the brilliantly 'brooding psychotic that threatens to spill over at any time' character that he has made his trademark. Pesci still plays the brilliantly 'short fuse, kill first-think later, wise-talking, ball-breaker' character he has made his trademark. And Scorsese still delivers his sumptuous shots and great use of music and script that have become his trademarks. In other words, this is another great Scorsese film, but doesn't seem to offer anything new. But if you love his films, as I do, this winning formula won't dissapoint.

Watchmen
Watchmen(2009)

I'm not quite sure what to make of this one. On the one side it is one of the most original superhero films I have seen; taking the 'serious,' 'dark' approach started (in film at least) by Tim Burton's 1988 revisioning of Batman, and running with it to it's extreme. However, the cartoon hero characters, such as 'Hawkman' sometimes sits uneasily with this reverent style. And at 2 1/2 hours, there were times when it lost the snappiness it needed. I found it an interesting film, with a deep enough plot to no doubt give it the cult status that the seminal graphic novel warrents.

All-in-all not bad, interesting and quite fun, but overlong and not one I would return to again and again.

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
½

Good acting, but characters that I didn't really care that much about. A kind of 'coming of age' film, with some poignant moments, but not one I would watch more than once or twice.

Charlie Bartlett

Interesting film about a teenager's struggles with ADHD and the medication his doctor puts him on; which he sells on to kids at the school, becoming both counsellor and drug-dealer under the radar of the unstable headmaster (played in an interesting change of character by Robert Downey Jr.).

Not a film I would watch again and again, but some interesting subjects covered and some innovative ideas.

The Saddest Music in the World

One of the strangest films I've ever seen. As with any good spoof, it is important to truly know what you are spoofing in order to keep the authenticity and thus increase the effectiveness of the spoof. Guy Maddin has obviously painstakingly studied 'silent' films and particularly the more arty images of film makers such as Fritz Lang or Ingmar Bergman, and presents some beautiful cinematography that they would've been proud of.

Madden takes the potential pretentiousness of these sorts of 'art films' and takes it like any good spoof to it's logical extreme. This creates an incredibly strange, surreal and challenging film, with some great lines like - 'Tape worm are more chewers than talkers...I always trust my tapeworm.'

Apart from funny lines like this, the always mesmorising Isabella Rosellina and other great ideas such as beer filled glass prosthetic legs (not many people could've thought of that idea!), this is a hard going film that isn't to everyone's taste, but I enjoyed a lot of it.

La Double Vie de Véronique (The Double Life of Veronique)
½

A confusing film that I struggled to 'get.' As with the 3 colours trilogy however, his films seem more about evoking the senses than keeping the narrative going, and if you're in the right mood, there is nothing as sumptuous or moving as both that trilogy and this one. Seems less focused than the trilogy, but I think I could watch his beautiful shots of Irene Jacob all day! He manages to conjure up an intimate and dreamlike world that is so compelling, that this and the other 3 are the perfect films if you have a couple of hours to yourself and you just want to escape somewhere calm and pensive.

The Prestige
The Prestige(2006)

I don't really know what to say about this one. It's ok, interesting and features good turns from a great cast. But it's probably not a film that I would watch again and again. It's always great to see Bowie on the big screen, even though I'm not quite sure what to make of his accent (Dutch? Scottish? Finnish?). He looks great as always though.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

A lot of very important things happen in this 'episode' of the series, but on first viewing I strangely found it difficult to connect emotionally with most of it. I've tried to work out why this would be - poor direction? The law of deminishing returns? A huge book overly-condensed? Me getting old? Whatever the reason, I was left feeling a little indifferent about things that (as a fan of the films) should've hit me hard. I went to see it again a couple of days later, and it did slightly improve, but I still didn't enjoy it as much as the others. Maybe it will improve the more I watch it. It is certainly one of the best of the series visually, but seems to lack the same direction and clout.

Public Enemies
½

Not terrible, but didn't really grab me at all, and I usually like this sort of film. Depp is great as always, but the films seems to lag behind him and even his good performance can't save what, to me, felt like a poor man's untouchables.

Seven (Se7en)

Inventive and original thriller, which is as engaging as it is deep. The only thriller that in my mind can rival Silence of the Lambs for it's brutal intensity. All 3 main characters (Pitt, Freeman and Spacey) give some of their defining performances in this film.

Repossessed
Repossessed(1990)

I watched this before I saw the Exorcist, so whilst it was funny, it didn't make much sense haha. I'll have to watch again!

Wilde
Wilde(1998)

Wonderful acting from Stephen Fry once again, but I much preferred him in Peter's Friends

Bell, Book and Candle
½

Great cast, with two of my favourite actors, but not one of my favourite Jimmy Stewart or Jack Lemmon films. Good in parts

Three Colors: Red (Trois couleurs: Rouge)

God I love this film; beautiful, simply beautiful. There is such elegance and sensuality to these three films, and in some ways it's difficult to understand what it is that makes me love them so much; rather like a great painting, I just love it, without necessarily understanding it fully.

GoodFellas
GoodFellas(1990)

Epic film with some really classic scenes. It's testimony to a good film when you can really like it even when you're not a big fan of the genre, and this is how I would view this film; much more than a gangster flick.

Right from the beginning, with gangsters brutally stabbing one of their own in a trunk, you know this is going to be a film that pulls no punches. I never thought I'd like gangster films, but after seeing this anti-hero classic it encouraged me to go back and watch other such amazing films like the Godfather series.

Carry On up the Jungle

Not one of the best but still very entertaining as all Carry Ons are! Probably one of the most cringe-worthy by today's standards, but just sit back and enjoy it in the tongue-in-cheek way it was meant!

My favourite moments were probably the introduction of Charles Hawtrey; and this great quote in the middle!:

Lady Evelyn Bagley: There is my reputation to think of. You would need to be very circumspect.
Prof. Inigo Tinkle: Oh, I was! When I was a baby!

Bridge to Terabithia
½

I really liked this, and I thought it was a welcome break from the fast-paced, cgi saturated films, to a more gentle and heart-felt exploration of childhood friendship and imagination. It also has a very sad ending, which tackles how children can approach death and loss (in much the same way as 'My Girl' did), and I found this surprisingly moving.

A young boy who feels isolated from his all-girl family and out of place at school is brought out of his shell by a new girl at school who introduces him to an imaginary world with 'squoogers' and trolls. By taking on imaginary monsters together, they learn how to tackle real life bullies and come to terms with themselves. It sounds very sentimentalised, and it is, but I found it to be a genuinely moving film, with a certain amount of pathos missing from most kids' films.

A bit of hidden gem really I think.

Rosemary's Baby
½

Creepy creepy film which I found a bit disturbing to watch, in a similar way to The Wicker Man (original). What starts sunny and almost sickly sweet, like a Doris Day film, slowly descends into a a macabre nightmare; as the (literal) neighbours from Hell gradually take control of the young couple's lives and that of their unborn baby.

Mia Farrow is spellbinding throughout as the vulnerable lead character in this strange and disturbing story. A long film that rewards a patient viewer.

The Hangover
The Hangover(2009)
½

Ok, so it's patchy, inconsistent in parts and makes Harold and Kumar look like Citizen Kane. But above all else it's just SO MUCH FUN!! Speaking from the point of view of a man who works in a completely female workplace, it was like a huge solace and wave of relief to sit through a film that is so unashamedly blokey and testoserone fueled. You can keep your Bridget Jones's, Sex and the City's and Mamma Mias - it's time for the guys to have fun too! And this is a film that, if nothing else is the most fun I've had in a movie theatre in long time!

Carry On Loving

I wasn't expecting this to be one of the best and I was pleasantly surprised! Not quite up there with my favourites like Carry On Abroad or Camping, but some really funny bits and some good characters.

Awaydays
Awaydays(2009)
½

Two Liverpool lads trying to find a sense of belonging and friendship in the late 70's seeds of football hooliganism. I'm surprised this has garnished bad reviews, as although the message is rather a bleak and negative one at times, the acting (particularly for such a young cast), music and production are all excellent. In fact the young cast manage to bring a certain warmth to the gritty reality of violence in the film. Very challenging, but in a good way.

Carry On Girls

Not the best of the franchise, and rather dated by today's 'post-feminist' sensibilities (Feminism is treated much in the same way here as Trade Unionists are treated in Carry On At Your Convenience; basically seen as 'spoilsports' wanting to ruin everyone's fun). However, this is a bloody Carry On Film, it was never meant to be taken seriously! So, surrender your political correctness at the door and just enjoy it for what it is - a funny slice of quintessential British postcard humour that you either love or hate..and me, I love it! Not one of the best, but some great one liners and a lot of fun to watch.

X-Men: The Last Stand

Another excellent superhero film (still one of the best franchises of the genre without doubt!) but such a depressing end to such a cool franchise.

Rebel Without a Cause

It's hard to believe that there was ever a time when there were no 'teenagers' (or at least when the term wasn't coined). But films such as this, the Asphalt Jungle and the Wild One really gave a voice to a generation. While it seems slightly tame by today's standards, what seems cliche now was very daring at the time - and it's important to realise that much of what we call 'cliche' was started by this film and only became cliche when a hundred other films followed in it's blazing trail.

James Dean steals every scene he's in, and you can see the influence of his iconic 'anti-hero' everywhere in cinema. This is also an early example of 'method acting,' and although I didn't feel he was as capable with this as Brando, there is a difference in age and experience of the two actors, and I thought James Dean showed incredible range and substance for such a young guy. It becomes easy to see why his legacy was built in just a few films.

Angels & Demons
½

Not a bad action/mystery film. I felt a little 'got at' as a Christian in this one, though I suppose it's difficult to tell this sort of story without some sort of satire of the organised church. Some interesting ideas and well executed, but not one I would see again and again.

Coraline
Coraline(2009)
½

Beautiful animation and music. It's difficult at first to like the main character, who follows a recent trend (in these enlightened post-feminist times) where young female characters seem to have to have an attitude problem that is brash boardering on plain nasty (see Golden Compass for another example) - especially to their equally cliche 'dumb boy' character counterparts. The one thing she does have however is a curious nature, which leads her into another paralell world where she has another mother and father, who seem to be everything she wishes her regular parents were.

The film is visually stunning and althought the plot is slow to get going and the characters difficult to like at first, both elements pick up as the film reaches it's dark and macabre finale.

Not a bad kid's film, and I think it would improve with a second viewing.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)

A stirling effort all round. Enough 'geekery' and reverence to the Star Trek 'canon' to keep nerds like me happy, whilst supplying more than enough action to please any fan of fine action and or sci-fi films. I hope this is enough to 'regenerate' the franchise for future 'generations' to enjoy!

Mean Streets
Mean Streets(1973)
½

A who's who of great actors earning their wings in this early Scorsese classic. This very much established the Scorsese/De Niro partnership of later classics such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. It's also great to see De Niro playing such a different sort of character. On first viewing though, this doesn't seem to have quite the consistency, focus or power of these later films, but it's still a great film, especially for a fledgling director! All the ingredients are there for later great films like Goodfellas. Oh, and fantastic music to boot!!

X-Men Origins - Wolverine
½

I wasn't sure if this was going to be a let down after X Men, but I couldn't have been more wrong - this a fantastic, action-packed movie that is every bit as good as the X Men films!! Hugh Jackman kicks ass in this!

Love and Death

One of Woody's last of the 'silly' period, and whilst it still is hit and miss in parts, he has honed the sketch-show format of earlier films like Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex and Take the Money and Run into something more consistently funny and engaging. For me, I'll always prefer his films like Annie Hall or Crimes and Misdemeanors, but this is certainly a lot of fun and definetly one of his best of this period. The way he molds the high-brow (such as the way the main characters keep tieing themselves up in philosophical debate - a lot funnier than it sounds on paper!) and the slapstick together to bridge the gap between his Marx Brothers influence and his more structured later films.

A lot of fun, and I'd recommend it to any initiated Woody fan (though I probably wouldn't show this as a first film for first-timers). If you love Woody films, there's a lot to like here.

Cassandra's Dream

Terrible, just terrible! Starts with an Irish and a Scottish star both doing the worst cockney accents since Dick Van Dyke (it seems America just can't handle different UK accents?). Woody's organic script style relys on the ingenuity and chemistry of the actors, and at it's best this can create some truly touching and/or realistic scenes. However, this is unfortunatly not Woody at his best, and the actors are left looking lost and uninterested in their roles. Woody seems to have garnished knowledge of England through 2 minutes theme chasing on a wikipedia page, and his portrayal of English life and dialogue is embarassingly off the mark. The film does get slightly better towards the end, and there is at least one scene that has some suspense, but it's too little too late, and by this point you have either stopped caring, or started to create your own plot twists - not a good sign!

I know Woody can do a Hell of a lot better, and I'm hoping his new one proves this, but unless you're a completist, this isn't worth the watch really.

Waltz with Bashir

An Israeli soldier who has blocked out the horrors of the Lebonese conflict in the early 80's tries to retrace his steps through visiting his surviving comrades. Superb animation which amalgamates comic book stylings with 3D CGI to create a look and character to the film. I'm not sure whom this film is targetted at, and I found it difficult to get into or to follow at times. But you can't deny it's a very well made film with a fresh and innovative way of presenting the documentary. Some of the scenes are very powerful; particularly the harrowing scenes of massacre that move from cartoon image to very stark and very real archive footage. I was left rather confused as to what the film's 'message' is, and to whom the film aportions the 'blame' for the attrocities. This is certainly not a film I would watch again and again for entertainment, but as a documentary about an important moment in time, it stands as a unique portrayal, shown in an engaging and thought-provoking way.

Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

I actually enjoyed these Ewok spin-offs, and although they don't come close to the Star Wars films (to put it lightly!) they are actually a lot more entertaining than the first 2 'prequels,' in my honest opinion.

Meet the Feebles
½

Peter Jackson's adult take on puppetry (before such comedies as 'Puppet Up' or 'Team America' did it) revolves around much of the gross-out humour that made Braindead and Bad Taste so funny (this is certainly no Muppet movie!!). But, whilst I love those films, this one (with the exception of some great songs - such as the classic 'Sodomy' song and 'I Got One Leg Missing') is so dark and stomach churning as to actually make it fairly hard going at times and not as entertaining for me as those other early, 'so gross it's hilarious' dark comedies that I loved. Good fun and very funny in parts, and certainly inventive and well made, but not one for the squeamish!!

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

The first film I ever watched at the cinema, this film just blew me away. Here was a whole other excited world, with spaceships, monsters, and an underlieing thread of good versus evil. There is something new with ever viewing of this film, and the climactic duel and ultimate redemption of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker at the end is still as moving today as that first time I saw it.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
½

This is where the series got serious; moving from the kid's aciton sci-fi series influence of the Flash Gordon television series, to much more adult and poignant essays on the relationship of good and evil, destiny and free-will. This was probably my least favourite as a child, but as I've grown up (kind of ha), I am appreciating more and more why this is to many the greatest of the 6 films.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
½

It's difficult for me to understand the impact this film had when it came out, as I wasn't born for another couple of years, but I certainly remember the impact that Return of the Jedi (the first film I ever saw at the cinema) had on me - which did much to infuse me with the love of film that I have now - the drama, the tension, the spectacle, the fear; all those emotions that film can conjure up were introduced to me by this film series. I saw the 'first' film a few years later, on my friend's video player (before we had one) and it had much the same effect as Jedi, though not quite the power as it was on the small screen. The plot borrows from much folklore and ancient stories of good vs. evil, and is made all the richer from following in the noble footsteps of these great story-tellers. Cinematically, it also borrows from other great genres, such as Westerns and Swashbuckling action films. It marries all these elements together to create something new, that in turn had the power to inform and influence the majority of cinema that came after it. It would take the next film, The Empire Strikes Back to give true meaning and gritt to this sci-fi serial - and this first helping doesn't have quiet the seriousness or depth of the second. But what it does have is a fresh approach, stunning visuals and characters that you care about.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

I had almost given up hope on the rather stupid prequels to Star Wars. Even after I saw Lucas ruin 3 of my favourite films (certainly my favourite trilogy) with naff CGI and pointless extras; I still had had such high hopes when news of the prequels came through. And then Episode 1 happened. The fact that I had been a colossal fan of the originals actually blinded me so much, that it took 4 viewings before I realised just what a crime Lucas had committed. In the space of 3 hours or so, he managed to destroy all my childhood love of the story; reducing it to an fx spectacular of nifty imagery and crappy plot. Such a waste of a good idea.

My woes were hardly quashed with Episode 2. Granted, it was a vast improvement on the first film, and wasn't a bad film at all - but again it had none of the humanity of the originals, none of the life.

Part of the problem for me was that I was quite happy to let my own imagination shape all the bits that were touched upon but not fully explained in the originals. I liked the fact that the origins of Darth Vader were mysterious, and that of Yoda and co too. My images of the history talked about was fine by me. Secondly, I loved the feel of the originals. For the first time the spaceships in a sci-fi looked beaten up and rusty, the droids had attitudes and the scenery was bleak and fantastical, not polished and cliche which unfortunately became the case with the prequels, again ruined by CGI.

So, after nearly ten years of disappointment, it was with an almost heavy heart that I approached the final in the epic saga, The Revenge of the Sith (geeky fact - the Return of the Jedi had once been called The Revenge of the Jedi, until the script people realised that revenge is not akin to the Jedi way of life). I really wanted it to be good, as I had wanted the others to be - this was one of my major childhood influences, I didn't want to purposely scorn it, I wanted to egg it on, even after all this disappointment.

And I was so grateful that I was at last granted a film almost on a parallel with the originals. Granted, the acting is pretty weak at times (but then, the originals had their fare share of howlers, I just forgave more when I was younger!), the CGI was still back in abundance, but finally the prequels had something to say - a timeless story of how good can be so easily corrupted by the trappings of power, selfishness, arrogance etc..

I won't give away the story for those of you who haven't seen it yet (and I suggest you do, because it is a return to form - not as good as the originals definitely, but still a crackin' film), but there are elements of religion, politics, love, psychology, in short a deep and moving film, and a worthy end to the saga.

It's quite dark in places, which it definitely needed to be, and the characters for the most part are believable and you care about what happens (unlike JAJA for example!). The Emperor is back on top form, as is Yoda, who would still have been better as an actual puppet, but is looking a lot better in this one.

It actually manages to tie things up nicely at the end, and in the last 20 minutes, for the first time in almost 20 years, I actually thought I was at last watching a real Star Wars film. Especially when Luke and Leila were born, and I actually surprised myself by really welling up; it just felt like the story had all come together and it all made sense.

In conclusion then, a great film, full of action, great story (finally!) and some great moments. I would definetly recommend, almost as good as the originals!

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
½

My woes from Episode 1 were hardly quashed with Episode 2. Granted, it was a vast improvement on the first film, and wasnâ??t a bad film at all â?? but again it had none of the humanity of the originals, none of the life.

The Golden Compass

Inventive, but difficult to get into and (like the recent Narnia films) relies too heavily on CGI, to it's detriment.

Not as entertaining as Stardust or Inkheart, and I found it overlong and dragging. Not a terrible kids' movie, but not one I'd rush to see (and I am usually a big fan of these sorts of films).

Rocky Balboa
Rocky Balboa(2006)

A good comment on ageism, and how you're never too old to deserve respect or achieve in what you're good at.

I'm ashamed to say I've never seen the rest of the Rocky films, but I would be much more interested in doing so now, after seeing this. It's not the best film in the world by any means, but it has heart, and I was pleasantly surprised by what a good actor Sly can be.

Marley & Me
Marley & Me(2008)

Very sweet film, and I'm not ashamed to say I blubbed like a baby haha

Midnight Cowboy
½

Interesting film about a troubled 'country boy's' escape to the bright lights of the big city. With the intention of hiring himself out as a male prostitute to wealthy city women, he believes he will find the city paved with gold; but instead he finds himself embroilled in it's underbelly of sleeze, crime and depravity. Embodying all of these things is the conman Rizzo, who offers to manage him, but swizzles him at the first available opportunity. Dustin Hoffman, who was a rising star at the time - having played the iconic Graduate 2 years earlier - took a chance in playing such a different character from that which had made him famous, but he is on top form here, earning an Oscar nomination for his troubles. The development of the brotherhood of the 2 main characters in particular - from hating each other to eventually relying on each other, is surprisingly moving by the end of the film.

Whilst the portrayal of New York as a gritty urban dystopia has the hallmarks of later films from the 70's, such as Taxi Driver, there are some interesting uses of flashbacks and dream sequences that seem straight out of Bergman and the quintisentially 60's vibe of acid parties and fast paced editing.

Overall, a very brave and forward-thinking film for the time, with great performances. It doesn't seem to quite 'gell' in parts and it's not a film I would watch again and again, but it's certainly well executed and thought out, and I would recommend it to any fans of films of this type.

Jamón Jamón
½

Sexy, sultry and seductive - but I have to admit I didn't have much of a clue what was going on most of the time! I'll have to watch it again I think.

Pollock
Pollock(2000)

Superb and sadly overlooked bio-pic that sees Ed Harris on top form as the manic-depressive, alchoholic artist

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The first 'talkie' version of the Robert Lewis Stephenson classic is quite ahead of it's time, for special fx and production. It's interest use of 'point of view' camera angles serves to challenge the viewer to consider that the horrible monster dwells below the surface of all of us. The use of metormorphosis techniques also still looks impressive today - which when you consider that this film is 78 years old, is no mean feat.

The story is an original take on the age old idea of an inward struggle between each person's light and dark side, and the titular hero's attempt to split himself in twain - in an attempt to rid himself of the 'beast within.'

Unfortunatly, the fact that the beast looks like the bastard child of Freddie Mercury and Lee Evans does distract from the power of the film somewhat. But although this isn't necessarilly 'scary' by today's horror standards, the scenes where he intimidates a goads Miriam Hopkins' character are still uncomfortable viewing at times.

This remains an understandable classic of the early spoken film.

Antisocial Behavior

A self financed, independent film about 1 man's battle against the intimidation from local 'youths' terrorising the neighbourhood. Not my sort of film really, but nicely made.

Raging Bull
Raging Bull(1980)
½

No one portrays simmering, animalistic anger like De Niro, and here he gets the chance to show (with the great direction of Scorsese) how brutal he can be; given the right character. It is testimony to the great man that he manages to make you care about what is a pretty unsavoury, unlikable character. But, for all the talents of De Niro, he is also supported by all the right ingredients in this film - a great supporting man; Pesci is every bit as good as he is in Goodfellas here - great music and great photography. The only minor quarm I have here is with Cathy Moriarty, who I thought was miscast in this role, though she doesn't do a bad job. All in all, not a movie I would rush out to see again and again (like, say Godfather 2), but I can certainly appreciate this for the great film that it is.

Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur(1959)

This is one of those epic, classic films that I've alwas wanted to see. However, without meaning to sound like a complete philostine, I found most of it excrutiatingly dull and slow paced (and not because of the age of the film or the length - 2 of my favourite films are the Apartment which is from a year later, and Lord of the Rings trilogy, which runs at over 16 hours!) .

It's true that the chariot race scene is incredible to watch (and made even more amazing in that it's all real - all the people, all the danger, all the amazing camera work). But getting through the 3 or so hours of almost slow motion pontificating to get to the race feels gruelling and unsatisfying (at least the first time, it might grow on me the more I watch it).

It feels wrong to slate what is understandably a classic. I have to agree that it is beautifully shot, the story is good and Charlton Heston's acting in it is great. But the pace and span of the film was just not entertaining to me personally.

Shallow Hal
Shallow Hal(2001)

A lot of fun, and a sweet and original take on the 'Rom-Com' formula. Not one I'd rush out to see again and again, but it's a good film none-the-less.

Saturday Night And Sunday Morning

A classic British film with Albert Finney stealing the show as England's answer to Marlon Brando; trying to make sense out of a life which exists entirely between the walls of the factory and the pub. Gritty and realistic, this is a must for anyone interested in an alternative history of the '60's or just anyone who appreciates great acting.

The Hunger
The Hunger(1983)
½

Very dark, yet sensual vampire film, much in keeping with the feel of the original Bram Stoker book. Bowie gives one of his best performances as the rapidly ageing vampire from another time. Interesting, but unpleasant viewing at times.

On the Waterfront

I'm chuffed I finally got to see this great movie. Brando is mesmerising in it and gives his all in what is one of his defining roles. The rest of the cast are also brilliant, and the story presents more of a resonant essay on the difficult nature of morality and standing up for what's right than I think I have seen before in a film. It's gritty realism seems surprising for 1954 (it reminded me somewhat of Saturday Night, Sunday Morning in the way it's main character is trying to find meaning in the toughest of lives), but it still has the power to move a modern audience and many of the issues it raises are very much relevant today.

A Chump at Oxford

A lot of fun, with some funny scenes. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as Way Out West or the Music Box, but it's certainly one of their best.

The Muppets' Wizard of Oz
½

Some funny bits, but the movies seem to have lost their way as late, and this isn't a patch on the other films really. Finger's crossed for the next one!

Bagdad Cafe
Bagdad Cafe(1988)

I can see why people like this, but I found it very difficult to get into.

A Grand Day Out With Wallace and Gromit

Superb. It's difficult to belelieve how original this was when it came out, but I remember seeing it many years ago on a late animation show and being wowed by it. Nick Park brings such humanity to his creations, and it is easy to see how these characters have become so loved.

Way Out West
Way Out West(1937)
½

Some really funny scenes. The scene where Stan is laughing and crying simultaniously whilst the woman tries to steal the will from him had me rolling on the floor laughing. Some great songs too.

Good Bye, Lenin!

Original and touching film of one boy's attempts to shield his mother from the changes that have happened after she awakes from a coma. This becomes somewhat problematic however, as they live in East Germany at the turn of the 90's, and the changes include the fall of the Berlin Wall, the demise of Communism and a complete overhaul of everything she knows and loves. What starts as a small lie grows into a fullblown world of the son's creation, as he tries to save his mother from a truth that could send her over the edge. Funny and moving, with some great acting.

Deliverance
Deliverance(1972)
½

Slow to start, but very effective in scaring the pants off you (so to speak ha). Very unpleasant and uncomfortable film (in the way that the Wicker Man is I thought, but very different story obviously) that is well made and that I liked, but probably wouldn't rush out to watch again and again.

The Deer Hunter
½

Great performances from a stella cast. One of the best war films I've seen (or at least the effects of war), but very harrowing and difficult to watch in places.

Richard Pryor---Live in Concert

Hilarious - A comic master at his peak

The Usual Suspects

Top notch performances and interesting to watch, but I think I'd have to watch it a few more times to fully appreciate it.

Futurama: Bender's Game
½

A lot better than I thought it would be, this is much like the other movies, in that it's not as good as the series, but has it's funny moments. Fans will like it, but probably not for the uninitiated.

Kill Bill: Volume 2

Much the same as the first film really - great action scenes mixed with a strange combination of brutal and comic-book that is uneasy at times to watch. Uma is on top form again and this is good fun to watch, if you're in the right mood.

Run Fatboy Run

Good fun, with some touching and funny moments. I didn't enjoy it as much as Hot Fuzz or Sean of the Dead and it didn't entirely 'work,' but a fun film none-the-less.

High Fidelity
½

Along with 'When Harry Met Sally' this is one of the best films to come out of the Woody Allen mould. This is the ultimate music geek's film; with the main protagonist reducing all of life's trials and tribulations into top 5 music lists. The first person narration throughout can become a bit too much at times, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Cusak. He manages to portray a complex character that can be both likeable and dislikeable, sometimes within the same scene.

Manhattan
Manhattan(1979)

One of my favourite Woody films, full of beautiful shots and music that all works to increase the emotional character of the film. I find the age-difference relationship a bit difficult to stomache at times, even though it is played in a sensitive way. I'm a sucker for black and white and this film looks great. It's also one of Woody's most heartfelt performances. Certainly a must for Woody Allen fans.

Kill Bill: Volume 1

Finally got around to watching this forth Quentin Tarantino film, and although it is quite different in some ways from the others, it is still steeped in his trademark dark humour and graphic violence. The acting is great (as always) from Uma Thurman, and the fight scenes are some of the most intense I've ever seen, but the juxtaposition between comic-book effects, MTV glamour and very real carnage might not be to everyone's taste. Tarantino could never be accused of 'settling' in his movies and he tries out a lot of new ideas here. The cinematography and colours are as rich and colourful as the brutal action.

Peter's Friends

A great and much over-looked film with a stella cast who all give some of their best performances. Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are particularly brilliant. Great soundtrack too.

Brazil
Brazil(1985)

When I first saw this I had not read 1984 and it seemed totally imaginative and unique. After reading the book however, this film loses a lot of it's power and it is difficult not to see it as a pale imitation. What Gilliam does manage to do however is to weave the ideas of Orwell with his own darkly comedic, dream-like and epic imagination and create what is, in some ways slightly more entertaining and watchable than the 80's film version of 1984 (which is still an excellent film by the way!). I preferred Time Bandits, but you certainly can't knock Gilliam's scope in this lavish production.

The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
½

Still with some very funny bits, but the formula is wearing slightly thin by this stage and it's not quite up to the none-stop humour of the other 2

Man on Wire
Man on Wire(2008)
½

A documentary made thought provoking and emotionally resonant through breath-taking photos, beautiful music and the obvious drive of the man himself. His enthusiasm and unswerving focus is contagious, and he tells the story in such a way that you can see why people believed in him and his seemingly crazy stunts.

Society
Society(1989)

Gross, disgusting and vile, and that was just the acting and the script! The effects were pretty horrible too ha

Carry On... Follow That Camel (Carry on in the Legion)

Not a drastically different or stand-out addition to the canon, apart from the lack of Sid James. But if you love the films (as I do) you will definitely find this one a lot of fun.

Awakenings
Awakenings(1990)
½

Pretty good, with great acting from DeNiro and Williams. I preferred 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' which is a similar sort of film in some ways, but this is a good film that explores some interesting ideas.

The Warriors
The Warriors(1979)

A film about one gang trying to travel through other territories to get home after a big pow-wow of different gangs from all over the area. This is made much more difficult however when they are wrongly accused of assasinating the head honcho of said meeting and every gang goes after them. This film is unintentionally camp and ridiculous; trying to present itself as a gritty mixture of Boys in da Hood and A Clockwork Orange, but looking instead like Westside Story meets 60's era Batman - thanks to the comic book script and kitsch gang uniforms (baseball players vs. mime artists anyone?). But the fact that this film takes itself so seriously, whilst looking and sounding so daft is actually part of it's charm, and it does manage to pull off the 'so bad it's good' criteria. As long as you watch it with tongue firmly placed in cheek, this is a fairly enjoyable film.

Star Wars: Holiday Special

I can't believe I actually sat and watched this - albeit over a number of days; viewing 10 minutes at a time to pace myself through what is one of the most agonising spin-offs imaginable. It's pretty confusing, even if you're a complete Star Wars geek like me, and this isn't helped by the fact that the majority of the film takes place on the Wookie home planet, and the majority of the dialogue is grunts and groans (and not in a good way haha). I actually preferred this in some ways to the Phantom Menace, but it really is rather painfully embarrassing to watch, and should only be approached with tongue firmly in cheek!

Top Gun
Top Gun(1986)
½

The epitome of 80's cheese, but SO much fun!

Ali
Ali(2001)

Telling the life story of one of the most iconic and inimitable figures of the 20th Century was never going to be an easy task, and although this doesn't quiet manage it, it certainly gives it a damn good try. Will Smith is at the top of his game, but it is difficult at times to imagine him (or indeed anyone else) as the great man; although again he comes probably closer than any other actor would have.

I wasn't as moved or effected by this as other bio-pics, such as Ray or La Vie En Rose. Although it didn't cover a vast amount of time in his life, the film seemed over-long at over 2 1/2 hours. But, this isn't a bad film, and will hopefully encourage people who don't know too much about this cultural and historical figure to find out more.

The Machinist

Disturbing window into the mind of a chronic insomniac; who begins to fall into a sleepnessness-induced paranoia of halucinations and harrowing waking nightmares. Christian Bale totally suffers for his art here; starving himself for the role, he looks painfully emaciated and not at all well. His efforts pay off however, in what is an interesting and unique film. Not one I would want to watch again and again, but certainly one I would recommend to any fan of psychological thrillers.

Inkheart
Inkheart(2009)
½

A fun kid's fantasy film, on a parr with Stardust. Not brilliant, but fun to watch.

Slumdog Millionaire
½

Good film, based on what seems like a pretty unbelievable precept; that a child rises from severe poverty to win the Indian version of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' - through answering questions that convieniently tie-in with emotionally charged events from his life. In the hands of some directors, this wouldn't have worked and would have lacked credibility. But the direction here is spot on, the scenes are paced just right, the acting is superb (particularly from such a young cast) and some of the shots so harrowing and moving in equal measure. A very unique, yet watchable film.

Scrooged
Scrooged(1988)

A fresh and funny take on the Dicken's story, and probably my favourite version. Bill Murry is on top form, and although this isn't a patch on Ghostbusters, it's a lot of fun and a good Christmas movie.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

There are few films that can make me roll around on the floor laughing out loud like this one - Airplane! and Dumb and Dumber are the others probably. Great comedy that holds a mirror up to the underlieing prejudice and racism in American History, and does it in much more effective a way that many documentaries ever could.

Yes Man
Yes Man(2008)
½

Good, but not great. I preferred similar Carrey films Bruce Almighty and Truman Show, but this one is still worth seeing - although I probably wouldn't watch it again on the big screen, I probably would if it was on tele. It has a good message about being more positive about life, but does it in a funny, rather than preachy way. Overall, average.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Pointless and overlong 'addition' to the franchise; which does nothing to develop the established characters and introduces pointless new ones. To it's credit it has great graphics and some impressive action scenes, and is better than the Ewoks films (which I loved as a kid, so I probably would've loved this film too), but it is dissapointing to see Lucas dredge the depths of a once great story at every available opportunity.

Saw
Saw(2004)

A fairly original horror film, with some fairly good scary suspense-filled scenes. However, the acting was pretty poor and overall this movie didn't fully 'cut it' for me ;-) haha

Three Colors: Blue (Trois Couleurs: Bleu)

Wow. A very moving and powerful film that explores grief and depression in more real a way than I have ever seen before or likely to again. The way in which one loses the capability to think, feel or function normally; with the tiniest aspects of life (such as the desolving of a sugarcube in coffee or the scraping of knuckles on a wall) become hugely important and emotional, because the big things in life are out of reach - this is beautifully portrayed in this film. The use of close-ups, colour, light and shade perfectly places us in the mind of the character, who it is impossible not to fall in love with, through the wonderfully emotive acting of Juliette Binoche.

A very emotional film that is hard-going at times, because this is reality through a lense, or as close as film can get to it.

La Vie en Rose (La Mome)

Beautifully acted and shot, a real labour of love. I admit I don't know much about Edith Piaf or her music, but this didn't detract from what is a very moving film about what is such a tragic and fascinating story in equal measure.

White Christmas
½

Classic slice of music-hall Hollywood, with great songs and dances that any fan of musicals will enjoy. The plot and chemistry didn't quite resonate in me the same as say It's a Wonderful Life, but it's a good fun family film.

Beauty and the Beast
½

Certainly a contender for the best Disney film and full of all the ingredients to make it a classic animated film - great music, characters that you grow to love, tip-top animation (a milestone for Disney at the time, this was the first hand-drawn to combine with CGI in the breath-taking ballroom scene) and a warm, unashamedly romantic story. This is the perfect reminder of when Disney get it right; when they're not trying too hard to compete with technical wizardry to the detriment of a good story. This is a classic you'll want to come back to again and again, one of the best for sure. My only criticism is that I preferred the beast before he changed back, but I think that says more about me that the film haha

Lord of the Flies

An ambitious story which explores the very extremes of human behaviour and sociology; and the fine line between civilisation and savagery. But it does this through a scaled down society of children trapped on a desert island. When presented with paradise, this society chooses power, war and brutality against each other - A chilling commentary on our own world at present. The acting is pretty wooden throughout (Piggy's voice is particularly annoying; though you do warm to the character), and the 'Hardy Boy' mentality of some of the boys may seem (unfortunately) dated in an age of modern technology and so on. You are left feeling that here is an extraordinary story that could well be more compelling in it's original book form (I've yet to read it, but I'd like to). This said, it doesn't suffer greatly from the things I have mentioned, and is a fun and thought-provoking film once you get into it. Overall, I liked it.

AVP - Alien Vs. Predator

Not half as bad as I thought it would be, particularly as I saw the second, much worse AVP film first. It's probably better than Predator 2 and Alien 4, though it's predictably nowhere near Alien 1-3 or Predator 1. Thematically it shares more in common with the (in my opinion) superior Alien series and has at least a homage to the suspense of those films, even if it doesn't really pull it off. The acting is pretty poor throughout, with some cringe-worthy lines such as 'if they surface, everything..everywhere...dies."

I'm not a big fan of how this film tries to 'expand' the story of both, and particularly not the way in which the 'Aliens'/'Xenomorphs' are bred by the Predators to be essentially their 'bitches.' I personally think the 'Aliens' are a much better creation (no offence to the Predator designers as it is a very original and iconic creature in itself - but H.R Giger really went all out on his designs back in the '70's) and so to see them demoted to the level of prey is pretty soul-destroying. I'm pretty sure though that the film presented them as being 'bred' by the Predators for sport, rather than 'created' originally by them, so I suppose I can live with that! ha.

I can't knock the special fx either, which are very impressive throughout; apart from maybe the CGI; but I always moan about that in any film haha.

Overall, certainly not a great film, and rather an embarrassment for the Alien franchise; which was already flagging with Alien Resurection. It's probably the best thing to come out of the Predator camp since the Arnie days however; and is probably worth a watch - as long as you don't compare it to the other films.

Predator 2
Predator 2(1990)
½

Not a patch on the first 1, this film seems to be running with half a heart, with less of a story. You don't believe in or care about the characters and the acting by all is dire throughout. There are a couple of good scenes with some good suspense, and the ending is pretty good; if you can make it through that much of the film!

Commando
Commando(1985)
½

Pretty poor Arnie film, with terrible acting and a paper-thin plot. Worth it though for the funny one-liners and 80's music.

Mallrats
Mallrats(1995)
½

Some funny moments, but the ideas aren't as well drafted out as..say Clerks, and you care a lot less about the characters than that earlier film

Let It Be
Let It Be(1970)
½

It's great to have a glimpse into the creative process of such an amazing band as they jam together and work on songs. It's also quite sad to see the band near the end of their time together, as the sparks fly and the resentment simmers - I guess this is why Paul doesn't want this released on DVD, preferring the Beatles to be shown at their best and most friendly times. The film does suffer slightly from not having so much of a structure, and if you're not a big fan of the music or interested in how bands work together crafting songs etc.. your attention may lag, but I found this a really interesting look into how these legendary people worked together.

The Big Sleep
½

Understandably a classic, with a stellar cast taking on a classic book. The dialogue is quick-fire and brilliant throughout, but the rate at which the script and the plot unravels left me scratching my head throughout most of the film. This is a film however where the unwritten - in this case the simmering sexual tension and obvious chemistry between Bacall and Bogart - is every bit as important as the great script. I look forward to watching it again and hopefully understanding it a bit more from repeat viewings!

Quantum of Solace

A good Bond film. Daniel Craig and Judi Dench are on top form again and the action scenes are amazing. The villian didn't really do it for me - well acted but not enough back story or purpose for me. Not the best Bond film in the world, but certainly a good one.

Clerks
Clerks(1994)

An interesting and original film; which sets itself out as the filmic voice of the 'grunge' generation - a stoned out and tired look into 90's America and the lack of opportunities for guys in their 20's in middle America. And yet it deals with some pretty deep questions, of destiny and choice, of identity and self-actualisation. But it does so in such a funny and unique way. My one criticism would probably be the acting, which at times consists of actors obviously reading their lines off walls in the background or newspapers in front of them. And yet, in a way, this only adds to the cultish charm and home-made feel of the film. Not one I would rush out to watch again and again, but certainly a necessary edition to anyone's collection.

Blue (Trois Couleurs: Bleu)

A beautifully acted and shot film that is so captivating. It is hard to explain, but I would describe this as a 'sensual' film, in that it evokes the senses with it's rich colours and explorations of touch and emotional pain and love. Such a tragic film and the best depiction of grief and depression I have ever seen on film. You can't help but fall in love with the character, she's so beautiful, strong but vulnerable, and you feel her pain throughout - the sign of a truly great actor and director.

Robot Chicken: Star Wars

Some hilarious scenes that any Star Wars geek like myself will love, but only approach this if you have an unhealthy knowledge of Star Wars or it might leave you confused in parts.

Bananas
Bananas(1971)

Probably my favourite of his early 'silly films' I really liked this one consistently throughout, which I can't say for Sleepers or Everything you wanted to know... Not a patch on his later films, but funny and fun none-the-less.

Bus Stop
Bus Stop(1956)

I like Marilyn's character in this, but she's not up to her Some Like it Hot peek yet, and the story seems over-long and hard to stick with, particularly with Don Murray's character, who is rather over the top and difficult to like. Maybe I need to see it a couple more times.

Carry on Matron

Great stuff as always from the Carry On team. Sid and Bernie are a bit wasted in this one, but I love Kenneth Connor in this one!

Blackadder Back & Forth

Great as always, everyone on top form and some really funny scenes. Maybe not as good as the series, but hey, it's Blackadder, it's always going to be great!

Sympathy for the Devil (One Plus One)
½

I loved the Rolling Stones footage as they work together in the studio on crafting the song, but the rest of the movie was annoyingly pretentious and pointless in my eyes, but maybe I 'didn't get it!' Not for me at all this one

East Is East
East Is East(1999)

Interesting look at family and wider racial attitudes in Northern England in the 1970's. Great acting and characters you really care about.

Carry On Screaming!
½

Great stuff, but not my favourite of the series. Some hilarious scenes as always though!

Carry On Abroad
½

Probably my favourite of the series. It incorperates all that I love about Carry On films, with some really classic scenes. You either love these films or hate them, and if you love them like me, you'll love this!

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
½

I don't know if it's just that I was knackered when I watched this, but I found it quite hard going at times. It's a very inventive look into drug-fuelled twisted reality, and is presented in a trippy and colourful way that could only have been attempted by the great Terry Gilliam. But, as with many of his films (apart from the brilliant Time Bandits and Brazil) spectacle and visual inventiveness overtake story, and the structure is difficult at times to get into as a result. Some great scenes though, I particularly loved the bit where everyone in the room turned into giant reptiles! ha.

Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko(2001)

Understandably this film is a cult classic, as it is an original and unique look into the human psychi, a window into mental illness, and in many ways an ode to finding your own identity. Well acted throughout, with enough humour and twists to keep you interested from beginning to end. I like the way (in much the same way as Pan's Labyrinth) the viewer is left with the choice to believe the existential plot twists that the 'hero' of the piece unravels, or to see them as a reflection of his worsening paranoid schizophrenia. You get out of this film what you put in, and this is often the sign of a great film, which in many ways this is.

Delicatessen
Delicatessen(1992)

As with Amelie, Jeunet creates a totally unique and almost cartoon-like world in which colour and facial features seem exagerated and caricaturised by his own way of shooting scenes and people.

Whilst this film showcases a certain amount of the romantic nature and humour (albeit much darker) of Amelie (which came about 10 years after this film?), it differs in feel dramatically. It is much more macabre, more Saw than Annie Hall, as it paints a gruesome picture of the grotesque, blood-thirsty residents of a small villiage, who are sustained by the butcher's acquirment of fresh human meat; usually resulting from the last poor victim who answered an advert to work for him.

Jeunet manages to create his own genre in his films, which you'll either love or hate. I particularly liked some of the choreography of the scenes, which are presented at times almost like a silent film.

A very interesting, unique film that is well worth a watch if you're not squeamish!

Igor
Igor(2008)

Such a waste of a potentially good film. It had some of the ingredients to be good, an interesting cast, inventive character design (on a par with some of Tim Burton's creations) - but the story, pace, acting and script were so embarrassingly bad that it really had nothing to offer kids or adults. Excrutiatingly unfunny and I wouldn't suggest anyone waste their time with it. A real shame for what I feel could've been a good movie.

The Silence of the Lambs
½

Excellent psychological thriller (one of the best for sure) showing that you don't need a huge budget to make a great film. What the film doesn't show you is as powerful (in some ways more so) than what it does, and this is one of the things that this film does well, and which it's sequel lacked in spades. It allows you the viewer to fill in the gaps, giving you a peep into a world of depraved madness and letting you imagine the rest - this is what makes it such an effectively scary film.

In much the same way as someone like De Niro or Pacino will create suspense through a simmering, measured agression, Anthony Hopkins' Dr. Lector delivers a veneer of polite and almost affable doctor conceeling a hideous monster within, waiting to surface at any point. This creates for a great tension. Joined with this is the interesting relationship between the up and coming FBI trainee Clarice Starling (played beautifully by Jodie Foster) and the psychotic Lector who builds up (through a series of meetings regarding another serial killer) a kind of odd kindredship and mutual fascination.

It is unfortunate that many of the things that make this movie so great are missing from Hannibal etc.. but this film will always stand out as one of the most iconic (and rightly so) films of the last 20 years.

Explorers
Explorers(1985)
½

Great, often overlooked kids film of the '80s.

Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music

A must for anyone interested in the history of culture and music in the late '60's 'hippy' movement. Here it is, warts and all.

Some amazing music (as you would expect) and an interesting portrayal of the time.

The BFG
The BFG(1989)

Great animated version of a classic Roald Dahl book. Fun from beginning to end.

The Purple Rose of Cairo
½

One of Woody's better films, with an interesting premise - that a woman in love with films steps into the film she loves.

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

If you're expecting anything on the level of Spinal Tap or even School of Rock you might be dissapointed. However, if you loved the hilarious Tenacious D videos, you're in for a treat!

Scarface
Scarface(1983)

I know it's a bad idea to compare this with the Godfather films, but it's difficult not to when analysing 2 of Pacino's most iconic characters.

I think the difference between the 2 characters can characterise the differences in the films in many ways. In the Godfather (1&2), he is much more of a brooding and paranoid individual, slowly descending from respected veteren into a cold and calculating murderer. It is almost thrust upon him and he tries to deal with it in all the wrong ways, as the power and the paranoia consumes him. He has none of this class in Scarface, violently attacking anyone who stands in his way towards his lust for glory and power; he 'wants the world' from the beginning and is prepared to mutilate anyone who gets in his way.

In the same way, the Godfather films are much more 'classy' and well executed, whereas Scarface is much more savage and patchy, much less subtle. The cheesy 80's music distracts you also. However, Pacino himself is on top form, showcasing once again that unique simmering rage that he portrays so brilliantly in his eyes - the suspence of a cat about to pounce.

All in all not a great movie when compared to Godfather, but certainly one of the best and iconic gangster films and a must for any fan of the genre.

Five Easy Pieces
½

Good, but not great early Jack Nicholson, film, showcasing his knack for playing the nonchalent outside who is slightly on the edge

Predator
Predator(1987)

Take away the Predator itself and this is just another no-brainer Arnie film, with little to no plot and cringeworthy (but brilliant for it) cheesy lines.

However, the difference here is a hugely original and well designed alien, which is so mysterious and unique in it's appearance, sound and methods as to keep you pretty much gripped throughout, wondering where and how it will strike again. This makes what could have been quite a lacklustre action film into a much more exciting and suspense-filled movie.

Persepolis
Persepolis(2007)

A very unique film, both for it's original animation style and the way in which it covers such grand themes, war, feminism, religion, ideology, relationships, morality, politics and so on, in such an accessible and touching way - turning the political into the personal through the eyes of one Iranian woman's life in Iran, Austria and France.

Freaks
Freaks(1932)

It could be easy from the title to misconstrue this as being a shameful attack on disabled people and something that should be buried and forgotten about in a more 'enlightened age.' It is certainly true that watching it now it is quite disconserting how the 'freaks' as the people are called, are treated. But this is the point, the film, which is actually quite forward thinking for it's time (in the 30's disabled people were shut away from society in huge institutions where they were often abused terribly and denied all human rights) challenges the viewer to see the disabled 'freaks' as the heroes of the piece; the misunderstood characters with much more to offer the world than that world will afford them, whereas the people deemed 'normal' are the villians, the money-grabbing immoral monsters that their disabled counterparts have been portrayed as.

In essence, this is a disturbing look at how labelled people are viewed by a society that segregates and labels them. A very important and unique slice of cinema.

The Great Muppet Caper

Probably the worst Muppets film, but hey, it's the Muppets, so even at it's worst it's gonna be great! There are some funny scenes (I particularly like the running gag of people mistaking Fonzie and Kermit, the 'identical twins' haha) and good songs, but the human actors are pretty cringeworthy in it.

Good fun, but not one of the best of the series (I much prefer Muppets Take Manhatten).

The Out-of-Towners

Such a frustrating, but equally funny film. Jack Lemmon at his neurotic 'everyman' best

Leroy & Stitch

A strange edition to the Disney canon. Quite sweet in parts, but not as 'timeless' as say Beauty and the Beast.

Alien Resurrection
½

Not a great addition to the francise, but fun none-the-less. Rather more 'comic book' than the other three and although Weaver still rocks, the rest of the characters, especially Ryder are pretty lame.

Howard the Duck

Genius haha. Surely George Lucas' most famous and acclaimed film? Oh yeah, and there's that one set in space, I forget its name.

Live and Let Die

One of my favourite Bond films, great action scenes.

The Bridge on the River Kwai

Excellent film, with beautiful scenery and classic performances. Explores nobility in the face of adversity and does so in a way that is so refreshing to watch now. So glad I finally got to see it.

Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs
½

I much preferred this one to the first, so it's strange to see its not as liked. Very funny and full of great scenes fans will love, though again, like the first, it doesn't really keep your attention as a feature-length and trails off in parts. It's better to watch it in 20 minute segments, like the original series really I thought. Still great though.

The Castle
The Castle(1999)

A funny and rather touching film about one family's struggle to keep their home from being 'acquired' by the nearest airport.

Zelig
Zelig(1983)

Not one of Woody's best, but inventive none-the-less. This follows a man with a condition that makes him turn into whoever he is around, earning him the nickname of 'the chameleon' in the style of a documentary.

Not very watchable, but good none-the-less.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Genius! ha.

Very strange and unique film in the Russ Meyer's collection, about an aspiring girl's rock band in the swinging '60s.

Not that I've seen many of Meyer's films of course ;-)

Airplane 2 - The Sequel

So disapointing after the first one, which is hilarious and one of my favourite movies of all time. This is a lacklustre regurgitation of all the best jokes, but with half the delivery. Avoid like the plague!

About Schmidt

An interesting look at isolation through the eyes of a guy in a mid-life crisis, played impecably as ever by the great Mr. Nicholson. A bit depressing in parts though.

Carry On Camping

The ultimate 'pick-me-up' movie, guaranteed to put a smile on your face. It's light-hearted cheeky British postcard humour at it's best and a must for any fans of great comedy.

I would say it's in the top 3 of the Carry Ons also, along with Carry On Abroad and Carry On Doctor.

Futurama: Bender's Big Score

It's great to see Futurama back, and this 'feature-length' episode has many of the hilarious and spot-on satire that made the series so great. It does suffer from being in the feature-length format however, and doesn't hold up well against the series. It's also one for fans only really, as it mentions so many things from the series that it's almost impossible to follow without this prior knowledge. This said though, it's Futurama, so it's always going to be a fun and imaginative production.

Parenthood
Parenthood(1989)

Touching, poignant and funny - Steve Martin at his best

Roxanne
Roxanne(1987)
½

Along with LA story, this is probably Steve Martin's equally best film, which twins his mad-cap humour with great acting and a plot which brings Cerano di Bergerac into the 20th century. If anyone had forgotten how good Steve Martin used to be (and who could blame you!), this is a reminder, along with LA Story and Parenthood, of how good he can be.

L.A. Story
L.A. Story(1991)
½

One of the post-Annie Hall Woody Allen influenced rom-coms (along with other 80's films like When Harry Mey Sally) with funny twists and playful scenes, with a sweet, romantic centre, this is a much under-rated Steve Martin film and is as funny as it is moving.

The Dirty Dozen
½

Probably my favourite war movie

Muppet Treasure Island

Not one of the better Muppet films, but all Muppet films are fun! There are a couple of brilliant scenes, particularly the 'Cabin Fever' scene, where they turn insanity into a colourful musical moment - as only the Muppets can ha!

Battle Royale

A very disturbing film in which teenagers are pitted against each other in a fight to the death.

An interesting idea which makes for good viewing for anyone who loves a bit of suspense and gore, but certainly not one to watch on your own or with your dinner on your lap ;-)

Red Sonja
Red Sonja(1985)

A pretty sub-par 80's fantasy film, kind of on the level of Krull, but nowhere near as good as Labyrinth or it's easiest comparison, Conan the Barbarian.

Not too bad to watch though.

MirrorMask
MirrorMask(2005)

It's great to see the Henson company continuing to make inventive fantasy films in keeping with the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. This film depends much more on digital imagery rather than puppetry, and tries a little too hard to be edgy and modern, but it is a lot of fun and still very creative. Not quite as watchable as Labyrinth, but still very interesting and original

Best in Show
Best in Show(2000)
½

Probably the best post-Spinal Tap outing for Christopher Guest so far. It's not quite on a par with the mighty Tap, but it is a very funny and poignant film for many of the same reasons. The characters are made funny through their very real foibles and neurosis, and the script (which again feels improvised in many parts and all the better for it) is really inventive. A lot of fun.

Carrie
Carrie(2002)
½

Quite a unique 'horror' because the hero turns into the villian. Because you have been championing her through her troubles with bullies and a psychotic mother, you begin to question your own morality when her revenge begins to become fatally enacted towards those who have wronged her.

I've always thought of this film as being an adult, dark version of Matilda by Roald Dahl if that makes sense haha.

Bad Taste
Bad Taste(1989)

It will be hard to believe for anyone unfamiliar with Peter Jackson pre-Lord of the Rings that this was his first film, but for any lovers of dark humour and/or zombie/alien flicks this is well worth a watch. Full of great lines, make-shift fx from a shoe-string budget, this is an original film that might not be to everyone's taste, but surely the title should warn them off! Personally, I love it!

High School High

Pretty poor, but certainly worth it for Tia Carrere!

Wild Child
Wild Child(2008)
½

Harmless fun for the Brats generation. I wouldn't have chosen it myself, but it wasn't half as excrutiating as I thought it would be.

Thumbsucker
Thumbsucker(2005)

Interesting ideas, looking at how we perscribe to the expectations of society, even if it is to our own detriment. Not a film I would rush out to see, but certainly interesting and original

Ali G Indahouse

Not a patch on either the series or the Borat movie, this doesn't really work on the big screen or in script format; losing all the satirical edge of the interviews. Som funny bits, but pretty inconsistent

The Producers

I was really disapointed with this film, especially as I love both Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks.

The Witches
The Witches(1990)

Probably the best adaptation of Roald Dahl's brilliant books, next to the original Gene Wilder Chocolate Factory. The effects (provided by Jim Henson's Creature Workshop) are also excellent, and this is a great kid's film.

Pokémon - The Movie 2000
½

This is the most surreal film I've ever seen and made absolutely no sense whatsoever haha

The Elephant Man

Superb film, beautifully shot and acted.

Wallace and Gromit in the Wrong Trousers

Totally uncomparably brilliant! One of the best short animation films of all time. Perfectly executed, with classic British humour and astonding creativity. A must for all film fans.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask
½

Some really funny scenes, but quite inconsistent and slugging - Woody hasn't quite reached his peak yet. I prefer some of his other earlier films to this one - Take the Money and Run and Bananas

House of Sand and Fog

A very dark and miserable film. both great actors are on top form, but not one you'd rush out to see again and again.

24 Hour Party People

Great slice of Northern English history and it's importance in the history of music over the last 30 years - From punk, through to Madchester and Rave.

The film is equally funny and moving, showing both the ridiculousness of the music and entertainment industry and the unique people who move music on and create a new lanscape in art.

The Joy Division sections in particular are very well acted, and the film as a whole is a great introduction for anyone interested in exciting and innovative music or one of the greatest musical cities in the world!

Everyone Says I Love You

Probably my least favourite Woody film, don't like the opera/musical element of it at all, plus it has Julia Roberts in it, which always makes me run from the cinema screaming! ha.

It's an interesting, original idea, but not a patch on his great films around that time such as Mighty Aprodite

Masters of the Universe

It's hard to believe this film was ever made, and even harder to believe this almighty cheesefest was ever released haha. Pretty piss-poor kids film, but one of those that is so bad it's funny to watch.

Dune
Dune(1984)

Pretty over-complicated Sci-fi, with pretty poor acting. The Book's much better

Dancer in the Dark

An incredibly powerful film, totally unique in many of its ideas and techniques. Rather like the first lady of Avant-Garde herself, the film is an acquired taste, and for me personally the musical parts are difficult to watch when following straight on from the rather brutally emotional scenes that sandwich them. That is the whole point in a way though, we are seeing the world through the eyes of the main character; who escapes the dark reality she faces by her passion for musicals and for seeing the musical nature of all things.

Bjork shows herself to be quite a brilliant actress. In the most dramatic scenes, it doesn't feel like you are watching someone act, you are watching reality played out in front of you, and there are not many actresses who can pull this off to the same level, particularly ones who are singers first. The hand-held camera approach of Von Trier also adds to this level of realism and makes for quite a shocking and challenging film.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe (The X Files 2)

Not bad, but not great. It didn't really have a lot of 'umph' and dragged in places. I think it would make a good late evening TV watch, but doesn't sustain your interest effectively on the big screen. Glad to see the old team back together, but not a film I would rush out to see again.

Carry on Cruising

One of the 'not bad' Carry Ons, better than most, but not up there with Abroad or Camping. There are some really funny bits, and most of my favourite Carry On regulars are there. I'm glad the chef guy isn't in many though, as he's really annoying!

Sid James laughter quota is also shockingly short hah - only 7 at my count (when compared with 30+ in Camping).

The little old lady is very funny, I wish she'd been in more ha.

Metropolis
Metropolis(1927)

So ahead of it's time and not comparable to anything before or since. Did a lot to show people the power of cinema in it's infancy, and to me it still looks incredible some 90+ years later.

The imagination and vision of Lang's skyscraper landscapes and draconion underbelly of poverty as it's hidden foundation speaks just as loudly to today's world as it ever did.

Truly inspirational film making.

The Dark Knight

One of the most talked about films of the last few years, unfortunately due to the sad demise of the talented actor Heath Ledger. And for all the hype, he doesnt disappoint in what will no doubt become one of his most remembered roles (along with Broke-back mountain. He has big shoes to fill (this is no clown reference ha) to do justice to a part that was so brilliantly portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the equally dark Tim Burton version and I dont think he does it better, as my friend next to me suggested, but I do think he does it as well as Nicholson, and that is no mean feat.

Whilst the first film (of the new ones) was dark for being dark sake, the second one has more substance and works better as a film. Christian Bale is great as Bruce Wayne, but I find him quite disappointing as Batman, something about the voice that he puts on puts me off. Heath was excellent though, showing a really complex range in the Jokers personality. I particularly like the way he keeps changing his back-story, which is a sneaky commentary on the ages need to give reasoning behind evil depicted in films to help flesh out the characters (such as unhappy childhood etc..)

Overall, this is an intelligent film that actually manages to raise some pretty interesting philosophical ideas, but dresses it in so much action that the long length of the movie flies by.

Im not sure where they can go from here if they want to keep the serious adult dark approach I cant see this working as well for some of the other of Batmans enemies. But I think this film as it stands, regardless of all the over-hyping and mythologizing is very well made and acted throughout.

The Killing Fields
½

A harrowing potrayal of a story rarely shown; the war in Cambodia that came in the aftermath of Vietnam. The main character struggles to show the truth against media cover-ups and the daily reality of kidnap.

You can tell that this has been made thoroughly and with passion, but although the action was shocking and compelling
(though not something I would want to see again probably), the characters didn't 'grab' me in the same way as other similar films of this ilk, such as Apocalypse Now or Platoon. The music too (a synthesiser score by Mike Oldfield) seems dated and detracts from, rather than enhancing the film.

A harrowing film that needed to be made and is definetly worth a watch, but not one that I will probably watch again.

A Mighty Wind

To say that Mighty Mind does to Folk music what Spinal Tap did for rock is not perhaps selling it too well, but this is a hilarious film which finds the natural humour in life in much the same way as Spinal Tap did.

A must for any Christopher Guest fan.

Waiting for Guffman

Christopher Guest continues to create films which are as moving and satirically accurate as they are hilarious, and this (in the same vein as his Best in Show and Mighty Wind) doesn't dissapoint. It's not quite up there with Best in Show or Spinal Tap though, imho.

Krull
Krull(1983)

Good fun 80's fantasy film, as good as Legend, but not as good as Labyrinth

WALL-E
WALL-E(2008)

It's difficult to imagine making a movie about automated machines on an industrial dead planet (in this case Earth in the far future) sweet, but this film manages it, creating rather a touching love story in amongst the rubble and rust.

Wall-e is a loveable service robot with romance and imagination beyond his circuitry, who meets and falls in love with a rather more top-end, high-spec scout-droid, in what makes for a rather unconventional, but still moving story of friendship and love over diversity.

I think some kids (who, lets be honest, this film is primarily targetted!) will struggle with the more slow paced, essentially silent movie (there are little words spoken by the robots, all the emotion showed, rather brilliantly on the faces), that will be a change from the quick-fire blockbusters they may be used to.

But I think what this film has over many of those films is originality and a cetain timelessness that I think will serve it well in the long term, though I doubt it will be as huge as it's mass-advertising warrants. In time perhaps it will be though.

Clockwise
Clockwise(1986)
½

Great, under-rated film which is perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon

Carry On Doctor

One of the best of this classic series of films, full of great characters and one-liners

Monty Python's And Now for Something Completely Different

A selection of some of the best scenes from the series, joined together in film format. Each of the scenes is a winner (as opposed to the Meaning of Life which is more hit and miss) and it scans well for such a disparate group of scenes.

Brief Encounter

A fantastic film, with brillant acting that is subtle and realistic, and although the dialogue seems a little dated at first, after the first few minutes you forget all about this and are totally emersed in what is understandably a classic film. It's not often that I am so emotional after a film that I just sit there for 10 minutes or so, not wanting to move, but this film had this effect on me, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good story and real romance. Brilliant.

The Godfather, Part III

Taken on it's own merits, this is a pretty good film, with good acting and a fairly good (if confusing) plot.

But unfortunatly it can never be judged on it's own merits, as the shadow of 2 of film history's greatest films loom over it. The result is a rather lacklustre (if still watchable) film that significantly pales in comparison.

You care a lot less about the characters, and the plot does nothing really to add (or to it's credit detract) from the original 2.

One of the things Coppola can not be matched on however is the way he juxtaposes scenes to heighten or compliment each other, and he doesn't disapoint in this film, bringing up the tension beautifully by twinning attempted assassination in a theatre with the dramatics unravelling on stage, or Al Pacino's characters tragic holding of his dead daughter with the joyous dancing of the two in happier times.

So, in conclusion, a good film that can certainly never be called bad, but one which is pales considerably when compared with the other 2.

Mighty Aphrodite
½

I once asked a friend and fellow Woody fan how he thought Woody Allen manages to make at least one film every year for the last 40 years or so, to which he replied 'they're all the same.' Maybe this is a slightly harsh assessment of the great man, but it could be applied to many of the characters that he sets himself, and this film is no exception, showing him as the anxious neurotic we've all come to know and love. Each film of Woddy's, however similar they may be at times, has a certain twist on the genre. In Everybody Says I Love you, the story was sung, in Zelig it was in documentary style, in Purple Rose of Cairo a movie lover jumps into the screen and becomes part of the movie. In this film, which is certainly one of the better of his more recent films (along with Sweet and Lowdown), the twist is that the narration of the plot is done by a Greek chorus throughout, offering a Greek tragedy slant to the story of a man who wonders where his adopted son's great intelligence comes from, leading him to search out the boy's mother and discover that all isn't what he'd imagined.

It's a similar film to many of Woody's, but there's a certain comfort in that. To sit and watch a great writer at the top of his game, doing what he does best can't be a bad thing.

The Doors
The Doors(1991)

Definetly one of my favourite musical bio-pics, which has Oliver Stone written all over it. One of the most trippy films I've seen sice Easy Rider, and is best watched with a couple of beers after a hard day, because it totally takes you away on a ride to another dimension, rather like the music itself

Muppets From Space

Not in the same league as Muppets Christmas Carol or Muppets Take Manhatten, but very funny and a lot of fun

The Muppet Movie

Yay! Any Muppet movie rocks, and this is no exception. It doesn't scan too well as a movie, and although there are really funny and inventive scenes, you can tell they're trying out the movie format for the first time. This said, it is a lot of fun and great to see all my favourite characters in thier first film!

So I Married an Axe Murderer

Inventive, under-rated performance from Mik Myers (one of his best), showing a warmth and depth that is missing from some of his movies, apart from maybe Shrek.

A Muppet Family Christmas
½

Not one of the better Muppet films, but still fun to watch!

Wallace and Gromit in A Close Shave

The dynamic duo are back in an equally brilliant third enstallment, showing the true brilliance of Nick Park once again! Funny, moving and totally unique and a pleasure to watch

Freddy Got Fingered

It takes a lot to shock me, but this film takes gross-out humour (which I must add I usually love) to a new level, and not a particularly nice, or funny one.

Journey to the Center of the Earth

A complete cheese-fest of the highest order! The plot is terrible, as is the acting, the effects...I could go on.

But the film has a good sense of it's own ridiculousness and doesn't take it, playing it's limitations as strengths and turning this into a fun, if rather pointless no-brainer for a good Saturday afternoon throw-away film.

Trog
Trog(1970)

I can't believe I used to find this film terrifying as a kid - I even used to have nightmares about it. I watched the trailer just now and it's hilarious!

The Godfather, Part II

A really epic (in a good way!) continuation from the first film, showing the story of Marlon Brando's character's story juxtaposed with the continuing descent of Pacino's character into a world of increasing paranoia and violence.

As with the first film, this one is superbly acted and directed, and is a truly great film that any lover of movies should see.

Breathless
Breathless(1961)

I thought this movie was really difficult to get into, but might improve on a second showing.

Book of Shadows - Blair Witch 2

So disapointing after such a great first film. All the things that were great about the first one they've ignored and gone for a cliche horror film that doesn't tick any boxes for me

A Hard Day's Night
½

Terrible acting, great music. A must for any Beatle's fan

The Wild Thornberrys Movie
½

Great soundtrack and ok film for a bank holiday or something

My Best Friend's Wedding

Hated this film! I suppose I'm not the demograph for it though! ha

The Godfather

A great film that I'm glad I finally got around to seeing after years of saying I would!

There is the wonderfully menacing presence of Brando, the complex character of Michael, played by Pacino and the epic ups and downs of the family, played out under the inspired direction of Ford Coppola.

One of the strongest parts of the film is the gradual and irreversable change in Pacino's character; from the respected war veteran at the beginning to a less subtle version of his violent, all powerful father by the end.

2 scenes stuck out for me in showing this beautfully. Firstly a scene in which he is trying to muster up the conviction to shoot the person who has made an attempt on his father's life, the suspense echoed by the sound of an impending train. Secondly, near the end, the scene jumps between the christening of his own godson (and his own baptism) and the planned killing of all his foes by his design - showing the true extremes of his character and the depths of cold-hearted evil he has now reached.

Great film, worth much of it's hype

Kung Fu Panda

This film was a lot of fun and didn't suck half as much as I thought it would. Ok, it's not the greatest film in the world, or even one of the best of it's kind, but it's got enough funny bits and a good moral about learning to believe in yourself, that there are a lot worse ways to spend an afternoon.

The Incredible Hulk

Pretty poor, but not as bad as I was expecting. The fight scene at the end was particularly good, as was the first 30 mins or so.

I find it frustrating that Hollywood seems to have a blind love for CGI, when, to me, it always ruins a live action film. However well it is done (and they have obviously spent a LOT of time on the CGI for this film), it still looks fake and out of place in live action, and this film is no exception.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

I could say the books are far superiour; that I prefer the TV version; that I'm sick of crappy CGI; that the plot has been mucked about with.

But all of these things would be 'adult,' boring and snobby to say. The spirit of the books remains, for a new generation to enjoy. And what that generation have of the story is lovingly made and no doubt something they will rightly cherish; a story as pertinent now as it ever was.

8 Heads in a Duffel Bag

Such a dissapointment after such a great title!

The Seven Year Itch

More famous for the poster than the film, this isn't one of Marilyn's best, but it's still a fairly good film

The Wicker Man

Very strange, unique film. I liked it, but I could understand why people wouldn't too.

Top Secret!
Top Secret!(1984)
½

Good, but not great addition to those gloriously silly films like Airplane! and Naked Gun.

What About Bob?

Fantastic, under-rated film! One of Bill Murray's best parts, and a hilarious movie.

I Am Sam
I Am Sam(2001)

Good film, and I was impressed by Sean Penn's depiction of Autism, but it was a little over-sentimental at times and I prefer Rainman for a comparative movie. Not a bad movie though, with good acting, an interesting and moving plot (there were a couple of truly heart-wrenching scenes that were acted beautifully, especially by Penn) and a great soundtrack.

Apollo 13
Apollo 13(1995)
½

I always fall asleep in this film, but there are some good bits. It's a bit of a bank holiday film really

The Scorpion King

Cheesy in the extreme, and not a patch on the Mummy films, but worth a laugh on a rainy day

Match Point
Match Point(2005)

My least favourite Woody Allen film. The acting was poor, the story not great and I have to say I missed him being in it!

Willow
Willow(1988)

Great '80's fantasy film. Not as good as Labyrinth, but better than Legend