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IzzyS

IzzyS
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Member since: 31.10.2008

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    • The Big Year (DVD) / DVD / 66 Readings / 64 Ratings
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      01.12.2013 16:55
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      A somewhat original comedy, its pretty entertaining although perhaps not greatly memorable.

      - Story -

      The Big Year tells the story of three bird watching enthusiasts in the US who decide to compete the for the prestiguous 'Birder of the Year' title, involving spotting as many different species as possible in one calendar year. This becomes quite a competitive sport as it were, with the three of them bumping into each other regularly in different far flung places as they travel throughout the many states of the US, including Alaska, on the hunt to spot as many birds as possible. However, life gets in the way with work and family issues threatening to throw a spanner in the works.


      - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions -

      Although this movie may seem to have a rather bland plotline, it is quite watchable and fairly entertaining overall. It pokes fun at the competitiveness of Americans in such seemingly boring, or anorak, interests. There is definitely comedy here, although its (as you may expect) fairly subtle and not of the laugh-out-loud variety.

      The storyline does work in as much as having a clear start, middle and end, although it should be noted that this is an adaptation of a novel, so it makes sense that its structured that way.
      The movie features quite alot of big names in the cast, with the three main characters being played by Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin. There are also (if brief) appearances by Brian Dennehy, Anjelica Huston and Dianne West.

      Pace wise, I'd say its neither fast nor slow really. Its quite a gentle movie I suppose and has a bit of a sentimental feel to it, following around the different characters (or twitchers you could call them, ie. birdwatchers) - we learn more about their backgrounds and personal lives as the movie continues and there are some quite amusing scenes when they bump into each other and try to out wit one another. I found it less dull and more pleasantly watchable in general - I don't think the cast found it a challenging movie at all, it was probably a walk in the park for them to act in a movie such as this, so I couldn't call it remarkable but equally at only about an hour and a half long, it was a good length and I didn't feel bored to tears - I thought the characters were quirky in their own ways and I did feel somewhat reeled into their world, so it kept my interest for the duration of the movie. Themes include companionship, competitiveness and the importance of family life, I suppose.

      This movie could be watched as a family movie, as it carries a PG certificate there's little to offend or scare younger viewers, indeed I can't think of anything worth mentioning as far as thats concerned - no real violence, very strong language or anything like that. Children (or people in general I suppose) who find it hard to concentrate would probably find it a bit boring though but thats maybe another issue lol.

      Overall, there's not a great deal that can be said about this, I feel. I thought the ultimate message it sent out at the end was perhaps a bit preachy and cheesy, which wasn't great but it by no means really ruined the movie or anything like that. At a short running time of approximately one hour and a half, it kept my interest enough to not be bored enough to want to switch it off, which I'll freely admit does happen on ocassion. I thought the plot was interesting, the cast was good and there were some amusing moments, which kept me entertained, so overall its worth a watch.


      - Would I Recommend It? -

      Yes, I think I would recommend this movie as a rather pleasant and fairly entertaining movie suitable for the whole family pretty much. Its not exactly remarkable but its perfectly watchable - if your looking for a great laugh out loud comedy then this may disappoint but if your a fan of the cast or the story interests you then I think its worth checking out.

      Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for any and all rates and comments.

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      • Ghost (DVD) / DVD / 51 Readings / 48 Ratings
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        30.11.2013 16:37
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        A well known, supposed classic movie which I felt was disappointingly average.

        - Story -

        Sam and Molly are a very happy couple who are unfortunate victims of a mugger that shoots and kills Sam while they walk home one night. Sam becomes a ghost and realises that his death was no accident and he must warn Molly that she could be in real danger, although being a ghost that can't be seen by most humans, that causes issues and so he ends up relying on a rather highly strung spiritual medium who can communicate with him, to get in touch with her and somehow make her believe in her ability to communicate with him and solve the mystery of who killed him and why.


        - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions -

        I've been aware of this movie for quite some time, since I was a child. However, it never particularly appealed to me, due to the fact that I don't tend to enjoy romantic movies, although this is certainly not purely a romance movie. When I saw it was shown on TV recently, I decided to give it a go as I know most people have already seen it, so I wanted to see if lived up to its cult classic status which I believe it has.

        At first it seemed rather cheesy and didn't appeal, as I expected, although the story got more complicated and the concept of a ghost trying to communicate with the living to prevent her from being harmed did interest me. By about half way into the movie, however, I felt rather detached from the characters, with Goldbergs character starting to get on my nerves. She plays another usual highly strung character, in the form of a spiritual medium. I just got to a stage where I felt that I wasn't entirely bothered about the outcome of the movie or the characters - the story seemed to get a bit complicated and for one reason or another, I lose interest. There are some satisfying scenes, where Sam gets to scare people off and so on, which were entertaining to watch. I stuck with it and enjoyed some parts of the movie but overall I'd say that, to me at least, it came across as quite average overall.

        Swayze puts in a good performance as the very caring and concerned Sam - you can't deny that he cared very much for Molly and the interactions between Molly and Sam certainly seem quite genuine, the acting is decent enough (perhaps apart from Goldberg being slightly too over the top but that should come as no real surprise, especially if your not too keen on her, perhaps) - if anything perhaps its a little too over the top - the 'cheese factor' did put me off watching it initially, since I was aware of this lol. However, if this is the sort of thing you enjoy then you should definitely check it out but I'd imagine you probably already have by now, given the movie is hardly new (it dates from 1990 according to IMDB.com).

        The movie is quite tense and dramatic in short bursts, with one or two rather boring segments inbetween. The story got a bit too long drawn out for me personally I think, although im sure others have and will enjoy it all the same, I just didn't entirely feel interested in the details about the motive behind the killing, once certain details were found out during the movie.

        I do tend to be interested in movies that portray angels and ghosts, the potential afterlife and things related to that but this particular movie I felt didn't really cover much in the way of new ground as such, if that makes any sense. In terms of similar romantic dramas, I still much prefer City of Angels but then thats almost literally a whole other story (angels not ghosts and no-one dies to start with lol).

        As far as content is concerned, there is blood and violence, so be aware of that. There are infrequent uses of strong language as well, although I'd hardly say they swear throughout but there is the ocassional swear word used. Obviously its a bit dark in content in terms of the themes it covers (death, the afterlife, revenge etc.), so its not really suitable for very young children to watch but it should be fine for teenagers, hence the 15 certificate it carries. The movie has a total running time of just over two hours - it may have helped if it had been a bit shorter and the story hadn't been strung out for so long.


        - Would I Recommend It? -

        Overall no, I don't think I would specifically recommend this movie myself. I'm sure it will appeal to and entertain some but for me, it was a bit too cheesy and something about the plot mid way through turned me off. I do think that others would get more out of this than I did, I'd say that the cast is decent and there certainly are some good scenes but for me it didn't appeal enough or stand out enough compared to other movies on similar subjects for me to be able to recommend it. Personally, I felt it was rather average overall, so to me it isn't much of a classic but im sure others will disagree with me(!).

        Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful. Thanks for any and all rates and comments as well.

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        • Everything Must Go (DVD) / DVD / 41 Readings / 41 Ratings
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          29.11.2013 19:54
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          Dreary and not very memorable, a Will Ferrell film that isnt very comical (not that its meant to be)

          - Story -

          The movie starts with Nick Halsey losing his job after falling off the wagon as an alcoholic recently and when he returns home, he discovers his wife has kicked him out of the house and all his possessions lie on the lawn outside. He feels quite defeated after unsuccessfuly attempting to get inside and decides to take up residence on said lawn, until the cops get involved after he's seen drinking alcohol (apparently its not legal to drink on his own front lawn(!)). A friend of his in the police department recommends he tries to put on a yard sale so it looks legitimate having everything there, although he doesn't feel too motivated, until a young local neighbour inadvertently gets involved and friendships may blossom. Where will this lead and will he learn to move on and find himself? watch the movie and find out (perhaps).


          - Thoughts and Opinions -
          *Note there is a hint or two about the direction the movie plot line takes, so if you'd rather not know then perhaps skip this section, just to be on the safe side - thanks*
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          This is quite a dark and solemn movie for the most part. I found it at times hard to feel much remorse for the main character, someone who seems quite lost and self absorbed. At times the dialogue is somewhat poignant, other times it seemed slow and rather bland...the movie, much like Nick, seemed to rather lack direction for the majority of the way through and if your someone who relies on plot twists and action to keep you watching, then you'll find this both boring and slow, so not really worth bothering with I'd say.

          I didn't feel this movie really made any new ground in terms of the messages contained within it - at times it felt a bit cheesy, when things started to pick up a bit and the light and optimistic background music or muzak suddenly kicks in and Nick interacts with people. I liked another of Will Ferell's more serious style movies, called Stranger Than Fiction - in my opinion, that movie is much better than this, this is rather middle of the road, if not rather disappointing. The way the roles change between the few who show an interest in Nick and help guide him, to him advising them, it came off as quite cheesy, there's just something about it I didn't entirely buy. Its rather slow paced and dreary in parts and when it lightens up, it feels too 'Hollywood' for my liking, so I really don't feel I can say much good about it, although I don't like to ordinarily totally write off a movie.

          I think some people may enjoy it for the more positive messages that come out of it toward the end - I'm thinking that a somewhat similar movie in terms of the community coming together and supporting the loner type character would be the comedy drama 'You Me and Dupree', which I'm also quite keen on but I'd definitely rather watch that than this.

          The relationship between Nick and Samantha was one of the sticking points for me - it didn't seem entirely likely or plausible to me somehow and had me thinking oh brother(!). It was all just a bit too obvious somehow, I suppose. I do feel maybe im being a bit harsh on it and there may well be people who find it deep and endearing but I can only share my own thoughts here and personally, I didn't feel it came off great to me. I think Nicks character development just wasn't thorough or established enough for the viewer to feel invested properly enough in him, to be too bothered about the final outcome - I was rather indifferent about it, as you can probably tell and found it hard to feel too sorry for him. Maybe im too harsh but thats how I felt.

          Content wise, there's some strong language and a sexually suggestive scene but nothing else likely to offend.


          - Would I Recommend It? -

          No, personally I can't recommend this movie. It felt cheesy in parts and too dreary in others and certainly didn't seem to break any new ground at all, it really wasn't very memorable and overall I found it to be rather bland and disappointing. If you'd like to see Will tackle a serious (non-comedic) role, I'd recommend checking out a movie called Stranger Than Fiction, or if you like movies about a local community coming together to help the down and out guy (which seems to be the main theme here), then I'd recommend watching You, Me & Dupree over this movie, which is much funnier and works better, in my humble opinion.

          Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful. Thanks for all rates and comments as well of course.

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        • Men in Black 3 (DVD) / DVD / 40 Readings / 40 Ratings
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          28.11.2013 20:43
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          Another Men in Black movie - some good comedy and quite entertaining fun but quite cheesy

          - Story -

          Seeking vengeance, a ruthless alien by the name of Boris the Animal breaks out of an intergalactic jail and chases after Agent K (played by Tommy Lee Jones) who broke his arm while arresting him in the past. Agent K ends up being killed and Agent J (played by Will Smith) has to travel back in time to when K originally apprehend Boris to try and change things so as to spare Agent K (I hope that makes sense? its a part time travel sci fi movie).


          - Thoughts & Opinions -

          This Men in Black follow up features all the usual aspects of a Men in Black movie ie. lots of CGI visual effects, wacky characters and a detailed alien species related plotline. Will Smith again plays Agent J, Agent K's wise cracking, self assured partner, who does his best to keep his cool, while seeming to be in over his head, as usual.

          The movie features a fairly heavy use of incidental music and a musical score used to add emphasis and add to the sense of panic, of time running out etc. the pace is pretty fast, with few dull scenes and there's a good amount of dark comedy present as well, with more revelations as historic figures are revealed as being 'one of them' (ie an alien being).

          I felt that the storyline got a bit complicated in parts, with the background information on the Trogladytes getting a bit long winded and sounding rather complicated perhaps, although the basic plotline is pretty simple to follow but I guess I felt that perhaps it tried a bit too hard to create a serious background story when it maybe wasn't entirely necessary, although im sure sci fi fans will disagree. The character interaction between Agent J and the younger Agent K is part of the appeal of the movie, as with the other Men in Black movies, their dialogue being quite quick witted and amusing.

          I felt that one or two scenes or parts of the story seemed a little convenient and it does get a bit 'mushy' you could say in parts, which makes it a little cheesy but for me, the visual effects, good use of the musical score and the general action/fight scenes and pace made the movie more than entertaining enough for me to continue watching and not feel too put off.

          The villainous Boris is expectedly grotesquely alienesque, with exaggerated visual appearance and loud booming, distorted voice, coming across as perhaps a bit of a patomime villain, again in a very similar vein to the 'baddies' in the previous Men In Black movies.

          This movie in no way breaks new ground but then it is the third in this series of movies, so what do you expect, I suppose?. The cast give decent performances and its certainly entertaining, if not a little daft perhaps but thats probably part of the appeal. I particularly liked seeing Emma Thompson as Agent O, who is also very self assured, seemingly running the department. Other noteable members of the cast include Josh Brolin who portrays the 1960s version of Agent K and Nicole Scherzinger (known as one of the Pussycat Dolls) who has a smallish role as Boris's girlfriend.


          - Would I Recommend It? -

          Yes, this is an entertaining movie with plenty of CGI visual effects and a good use of the musical score. Its rather cheesy and emotional in parts which may not appeal to all and it doesn't really break new ground as such within the movie franchise, I suppose but otherwise its worth a watch, so I'm happy to recommend it.

          Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found useful. Thanks for any and all rates and comments.

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        • Derailed (DVD) / DVD / 45 Readings / 44 Ratings
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          27.11.2013 20:14
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          A gripping movie with some decent plot twists, although it could be seen as slightly over the top

          - Story -

          Two successful business people (man and woman) bump into each other on a train journey and end up attempting to have an affair in a nearby hotel. However, their interrupted by a violent criminal who commits rape and blackmails the man, Charles, putting his family in danger. He has to have his wits about him if he's to avoid losing everything - will he lose everything or will the criminal be brought to justice? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.


          - Thoughts & Opinions -

          This is quite a violent movie, with dark themes obviously. There are a few plot twists present which I found myself quite shocked at and yet again its another movie that starts off appearing to be quite mundane and boring even, before the story really takes off. Its almost more shocking, particularly when the twists become apparent, because of how plausible and how run of the mill the story starts off as. I think including the aspect of their daughter being ill added to the sense of vulnerability for the Schine family, who seem like quite an ordinary, upper middle class family. Whether or not you feel a great deal of sympathy for what happens as it first appears, given the fact that Charles was seemingly happy to have an (even if short lived) affair, is up to you but the extent to which the criminal rapist tries to control him by threats and issuing multiple demands is quite extreme and shocking, particularly the way that he manages to manipulate other members of his family, unbeknowst to them. This makes the movie really quite gripping, as you wonder whats going to happen next.

          I'm not particularly a fan of Jennifer Aniston as an actress - she does ok when appearing in romantic comedy movies and suchlike - in this movie she was about average I'd say, if that makes sense. I didn't feel her acting was especially awful, she can put in an alright performance but I just/equally somehow feel like she never puts in a particularly noteable performance. Her character is good and I felt that the movie was well scripted.

          Clive Owen is well known for appearing in such drama/action movies and for playing gritty roles such as that of Charles, who seems pretty mild mannered at first but certainly his character is tested to the extremes and he rises to the challenge, appearing as very determined while also being in reality rather a desperate father and husband and having to play the role as a successful businessman as well. I thought that Clive did a good job portraying Charles - I have no criticism of his performance, that I can think of.

          Vincent Cassel gives quite a haunting performance as the psychopathic criminal or token bad guy of the movie, a man known only as 'LaRoche'. He comes across as very sinister and unpredictable, the interaction between Clive Owen and Vincent Cassel as their respective characters is pretty good. Also present in the movie are hip hop stars Xzibit (known for presenting the US MTV show Pimp My Ride) and Rza. Xzibit plays one of LaRoche's henchmen, Dexter and RZA plays a friend of Charles, Winston.

          There is quite alot of strong/heavy language used, so if your easily offended by that then this should be avoided, although I suppose it adds to the grittiness of the movie, if that makes sense. The effects are quite good and its very gripping once the story really hots up, as it were. As far as sex scenes go, there is very few, only the key scene where the rapist criminal first appears, for obvious reasons, which makes for uncomfortable viewing, although there isn't any full frontal nudity. The movie carries a 15 rating, although it is quite gritty but I suppose the violence etc. isn't as gratuitous as it could be.


          - Would I Recommend It? -

          Overall I thought this movie was quite gripping and I enjoyed the plot twists, which I didn't really see coming (although I seem to be someone that often doesnt see plot twists coming in general, I suppose). I thought the script was good and the characters were decent, although perhaps one or two parts of the story may seem a little over the top but generally it was pretty good, quite gripping and watchable, if you don't mind the strong language and violence, so yes I'd recommend this movie, particularly to fans of Clive Owen.

          Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for any and all rates and comments.

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          • The Last Boy Scout (DVD) / DVD / 53 Readings / 53 Ratings
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            26.11.2013 20:34
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            A very violent movie with some amusing dialogue - this isn't for everyone but its pretty good.

            - Story -

            A down-and-out detective (Joe Hallenbeck played by Bruce Willis) teams up with an American football star (Jimmy Dix played by Damon Wayans) to investigate a murder case involving a sports team and a politician.


            - Thoughts & Opinions -

            This movie features plenty of action and violence, as well as very strong language, so be aware of that. Its a very gritty, urban action movie, with some dark (lit) scenes and plenty of wisecracking dialogue. There are plenty of explosions, which are quite impressive and some scenes took me by surprise, plot wise.

            I know America loves an underdog and I suppose that applies here, with Joe the down and out detective being looked on not particularly well by those around him. The film is rather dark in tone and could be seen as quite depressing - I felt that some scenes that focus on character development were perhaps a bit unnecessarily long, although without any of course there'd likely be criticism for it lacking substance. Both of the main characters are shown to have plenty of issues.

            There's some comedy to it, which is rather dark of course. If I had to choose a favourite supporting role/character, it'd have to be Joe's daughter, Darian, who can stand her own ground; impressively so, I thought she particularly stood out. I thought that at times the background music came on a bit too strong, it seemed practically cheesy, over emphasising the fact that a scene was supposed to come across as really tense to the viewer.

            The story generally speaking wasn't anything entirely new or groundbreaking but then I guess it is 20 years old - the visual effects and action scenes make it pretty watchable and there are one or two surprises toward the end. There are some scenes involving cars rolling downhill which made for pretty gripping viewing, the ending of one of those scenes being quite comedic, it took me by surprise.

            This movie is like many similar action movies, in that it lags a little mid way through but heats up towards the end - the final scenes being really quite gripping. There are some interesting camera angles used and the effects/explosions all seemed very realistic. I also felt that the villains came across as quite creepy and sinister. Also worth mentioning is that Halle Berry makes a brief appearance as a girlfriend, looking pretty young (though she always does look young IMO).


            - Would I Recommend It? -

            Yes I'd recommend this movie, if your ok with the rather graphic violence (mostly blood from gunshot wounds) and very strong language. Its rather dark and has some fairly amusing dialogue, the characters are ok, with Joe's daughter Darian being the one stand out character, in my humble opinion. There are plenty of explosions which are quite impressive, the action scenes are decent enough and although in one or two parts it maybe lags a bit, its certainly entertaining and watchable, so overall I'd recommend it.

            Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful. Many thanks for all rates and comments as well of course.

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            • 21 Jump Street (DVD) / DVD / 62 Readings / 59 Ratings
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              25.11.2013 20:01
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              A fairly entertaining movie which doesn't really break new ground.

              - Story -

              A couple of underachieving young cops who barely graduated (Schmidt and Jenko) are sent on an undercover job to pose as high school students to help bring down a drug ring operating in the school.


              - Thoughts & Opinions -

              This is a fairly amusing movie - its pretty formulaic but not without a few funny scenes. Its very much like movies such as Superbad. I guess its fair to say that its a stoner movie set in a high school, with the usual guys who should know better in the main roles as supposed undercover detectives, the defective detectives you could say.

              This movie covers pretty old ground, so its nothing new but its pretty entertaining none the less. It contains various instances of strong language and obviously drug references, it carries a 15 certificate which is about right, I'd say.

              There isn't much substance to the movie (pardon the potential drug related pun!), its mostly visual/slapstick comedy based. The best part of the movie, in my opinion, is/are the scenes between Ice Cube, who plays the local Captain and really lays down the law and the two main characters, Schmidt and Jenko.

              Some of the dialogue is quite funny, not witty just daft and silly/amusing and it features one or two dramatic chase scenes - its a parody of police movies for teens, I guess. Its funny when they talk about the unspoken rules of high school, returning to the school in their new roles they think they know how things work but of course, are sadly proven wrong - thats what the movie is like. Given there isn't a great amount of substance (for want of a better word) to the movie, I'm not sure there's a lot I can say about it. Its pretty amusing in parts due to the visual comedy but its nothing new and its not the kind of movie I'd be likely to want to watch again or remember much about days after seeing it.

              Its overly dramatic in some scenes, particularly towards the end, when there's a car chase involving limos which is quite entertaining to watch, the background musical score adding to the tension - the ending becomes quite thrilling and is pretty good, though the pace is a little slow earlier on (plot wise). Its pretty watchable and I'd imagine this would appeal to and be enjoyed by teenagers and young adults. Its pretty juvenile but its also fairly entertaining. It uses some funny bright colours and images to represent different stages in the process of being stoned which some might find amusing.

              I think overall this is an ok movie, its pretty formulaic but not without its appeal - some people will probably find it really funny and others will think its too predictable.


              - Would I Recommend It? -

              I guess that would depend on the person I'd be recommending (or not) it to - this is, in my opinion, by no means a new take on the genre, or anything extraordinary but it does provide a few laughs and is entertaining enough to be at least fairly watchable, which I imagine not all such movies are. To me its pretty clear middle of the line but everyones different, so you may like it more than I did I guess.
              Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful. Many thanks for all rates and comments.

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              • Race with the Devil (DVD) / DVD / 43 Readings / 43 Ratings
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                24.11.2013 20:19
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                A sinister but low in gore horror movie from the 70s

                - Story -

                Two American couples decide to treat themselves to a road trip/holiday on an RV (large motor caravan) but things take a creepy turn when they accidentally witness a satanic murder ritual while parked in a rural setting. They realise they've been spotted and thus have to drive off quickly with hopes of out running whoever were behind the murder - they make it to the next big town alright but have they really escape from those behind such a heinous crime? what will happen if they catch up with them? will they find out the truth, was it a genuine murder or not? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.


                - Thoughts & Opinions -

                This is quite a spooky movie, although by todays standards its certainly not very scary in terms of visual shocks. Its a bit similar to The Wicker Man in that there's a constant eeriness in the people that they come across and the feeling that communities are hiding a big secret - also the satanic references, of course.

                There are some fairly thrilling car chase scenes but they don't make up the majority of the movie, otherwise its mainly the characters interacting with people they come across on their road trip. Somewhat stereotypically, the women (/wives) end up as the delirious ones, shrieking about most everything, while the men try to save the day.

                It is quite sinister in parts, although some scenes may seem a little mundane at first. When shocks do come, they are fairly sudden but their spaced out, so don't expect a constant stream of scares, this movie is more about building an overall feeling of paranoia than anything else.

                Towards the end of the movie, the action really hots up with a frantic chase scene that seems rather implausible but it certainly quite thrilling and entertaining to watch. Some camera angles make it particularly engrossing, watching what happens from various cars point of view as well as from further back. There's a heavy reliance on the musical score during the shock scenes (as it were) and chases, which is quite sinister at points.

                Personally I felt that the supposed shock twist ending was a bit obvious (although also quite sinister) and so a slight disappointment - it felt that this movie was very much modelled on The Wicker Man (as previously menioned), indeed that came out two years prior to this movie, according to IMDB. It does a good job of making the viewer question alot, its fairly creepy although I wouldn't say its by any means entirely original but then of course it dates from the 1970s and there would have been fewer similar movies then.

                The acting overall I'd say is mediocre - I didn't think it was particularly great, it didn't stand out as such, although I felt the movie did become somewhat engrossing in parts, so I suppose thats partly due to a decent enough cast, so I guess its mediocre to average at best. I do think there are good aspects of this movie, it was quite entertaining by the end so I thought it was fairly good but not especially good - this is a movie that I'd give a 3.5 star rating if such a rating were allowed on Ciao - as it isn't, im going with a 3 star rating instead (I hope this makes sense).

                One thing I liked about this movie is that its not too long drawn out, lasting barely an hour and a half, making it fairly short but sweet.


                - Would I Recommend It? -

                Its a movie of its time, one that could be seen as rather laughable by some now, although it does seem a bit sinister in parts. If your looking for a gory horror/thriller then I'd say your better looking elsewhere, this is more of a drama with sinister undertones. This movie isn't without its thrills in part, it does a good job of creating a sinister feeling of doubt and paranoia for the viewer so I wouldn't necessarily totally discount it but I don't know I'd go out of my way to recommend it as such, so I'll leave it up to you whether you think its something you'd like to especially seek out and watch.

                Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful. Thanks for all rates and comments as well.

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              • Rampart (DVD) / DVD / 29 Readings / 28 Ratings
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                23.11.2013 15:13
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                A well made, very gritty, urban movie - its quite bleak but features a good cast.

                - Story -

                Dave Brown (played by Woody Harrelson) is a brutal LAPD cop with a bad reputation for being violent and who has earned the dubious nickname 'Date Rape Dave' through the rumour that he murdered a suspected date rapist. He lands himself in hot water after being filmed repeatedly beating someone after they crashed their car into his and that person dies. He has to defend himself against many accusations about the type of person he is, as a cop and in general, being seen as a racist, mysogynist womaniser, among other things. His family life is clearly very troubled, as he openly sleeps with both of his ex-wives while trying to keep up an image of a happy family for his two young daughters.


                - More info., Thoughts & Opinions -

                This is a very bleak, gritty movie, featuring lots of very strong language, so if your not keen on that then isn't for you. It also features some sex scenes and sex references, so bare that in mind too. Dave comes across as a typical (if there is such a thing) renegade cop, someone who doesn't care at all about 'playing it by the book' and has his own agenda. Being a classic rebel character I suppose, he's seen smoking in almost every scene, which I thought supposedly led to an automatic 18 rating for films but perhaps that was just an urban myth?.

                This movie is another one which is very much dialogue based, with some clever lines, such as when he tries to reassure someone that he's not racist, claiming 'I hate everyone equally'. Its clear that he's slowly losing control of things and heading in a downward spiral, which is rather depressing to watch although it does also come with a degree of curiosity, to see what becomes of him, how he reacts to his situation. The story is rather slow and winding but it still kept my interest. The film features a strong cast, apart from Woody Harrelson in the main role there's also Sigourney Weaver as Joan Confrey, representing him legally I think(?), Cynthia Nixon as his ex-wife Barbara and Anne Heche as her friend Catherine, plus Steve Buscemi who makes a rather brief appearance, although I can't recall who his character was.

                I think this movie is, in alot of ways, about control and loss of control - there's quite alot of poignant dialogue, some scenes are a little shocking but there's not much in the way of action, of course there are a few moderately violent scene and moments of rage which are well portrayed, I think Harrelson was a good choice to play the role of Dave Smith as he plays the troubled cop very well, looking very much the part, seeming determined yet lost and with alot of anguish coming across through his facial expressions etc.

                I found that some of the scenes were literally so dark that it was a bit difficult to keep track of what was going on - I'd maybe suggest that this not be watched in a light room as that would make it more difficult if the screen has reflections. Some scenes are hard to watch but they are also quite convincing, there's no real cheesiness present here, that's for sure. I felt that this movie was well thought out, which is good as the topics involved are of course quite serious. The end is quite poignant and also quite sudden and I felt that we were probably left with more questions than answers, although thats perhaps to be expected from this sort of movie. I also felt that the musical score was good, particularly in the final scene it really added to the atmosphere, with the different camera angles and shots used, it felt really quite haunting, continuing on to the credits appearing on screen almost in a ghost like fashion.

                Overall this is a dark, gritty movie and so it won't be for everyone but I felt that it was well made with a good cast and script, so for what it is, its a pretty solid movie, in my humble opinion. It has a running time of around an hour and 45 minutes and as such I don't think it suffers from being too long and drawn out, although like I say it is a fairly slow moving story but it kept my interest throughout, mainly due to the way Dave is portrayed, he's quite a complicated and troubled character and as a viewer I felt intrigued to find more and follow his story, as it were.


                - Would I Recommend It? -

                Yes I'd recommend seeing this movie as I felt it was overall a well made movie and it features a decent cast, among other things discussed above. This again isn't a movie for everyone, it is quite bleak and dark literally and metaphorically plus the strong language and other elements will likely put some off watching this but for those interested in it, I'd say its worth seeing.

                Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for all rates and comments.

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              • Up In The Air (DVD) / DVD / 37 Readings / 36 Ratings
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                22.11.2013 21:28
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                Overly sentimental movie with a lack of focus

                - Story -

                Ryan Bingham works by travelling around the US visiting various companies and firing employees on their behalf. He spends most of his life on the move and so he tends to live his life out of his suitcase but his life takes a sudden, unwanted turn when the company he works for effectively grounds him, after asking him to train a younger employee ready to take his place (Natalie). Ryan has spent many years building up airmiles on his loyalty card, his goal being to reach the 10 million airmile point - can he achieve this in time before he's cut off and is he really as happy as he seems to preach, to live his life in such a way?.


                - Thoughts & Opinions -

                * side note - please be aware that I felt I couldn't really comment on much without giving away some plot details which could be seen as spoilers - if you hate reading spoilers then please skip this section - apologies for that*
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                This is yet another movie with seemingly little focus to start with, I questioned why we as a viewer should feel sorry for Ryan, given he seems rather self obsessed and smug. This is mainly a dialogue based movie, there's little visual comedy or action, the comedy is quite subtle, to be honest its not a movie I laughed very much at, some parts are mildly amusing and there are some witty lines at times but its fairly sutble - its certainly not a laugh-out-loud comedy.

                I liked the idea of his job basically being to fire other people - I thought it was quite dark at points with the dialogue he'd use to communicate with the people he was firing, hinting at there being a longer relationship between him and them, trying to create a sense that their being fired was the start of something much more positive and the voice over of him confirming to the viewer this wasn't the case. The more you think about it, the more depressing it is in a way but then its one of those movies where you can't help but feel like its commentating on bad practices in real life.

                Natalie is an interesting character - she relies on Ryan to teach her the ropes as far as travelling and firing is concerned - she's seen as the new generation of the company, I suppose. She shows naivety and Ryan isn't much impressed with having to show her how things are best done, pointing out even little things such as how much time is wasted to check in just one bag for a flight (if you calculate it based on the number of flights he's had to take, it equates to a whole week of queuing up each year(!)) and claiming to ignore it when people who have just been fired by them threaten to hurt themselves (of course their upset, who wouldn't be? its just talk), which comes back to haunt him later on. She finds it hard to settle in to such a turbulent lifestyle and while the transition is going on with Ryan knowing he's effectively on his way out himself afterwards, he tries to cling on to a relationship, if but a superficial, ocassional one, he has with who I think is an airline representative (or a similar occupation, I don't remember exactly), that being as far as he'll go in terms of commitments. Towards the end of the movie it becomes clear that his lack of a family, infact given other sub-plots it becomes clear that his family is particularly distant from him, barely able to spend much time with him, that is what sets him apart and while he seems almost happy with that being the case, there's also a clear irony present. At least a couple of times we see him present a speech at events all about peoples luggage (metaphorically speaking) but that becomes quite a bittersweet message by the end.

                I was surprised by how sentimental this movie ended up being - the main message behind it is certainly nothing new, infact the sentimentality is a bit off-putting. I was expecting this to be more of a romantic movie given the short blurb about it that I'd read, a romantic drama perhaps but I wouldn't say thats the case. Having said that, it is quite a quirky movie, there are quite a few interesting characters, with a sub-plot involving a cardboard cut out being particularly random and kind of funny in a random way, there is certainly something appealing about it and if you like sentimentality and don't mind the ocassional sex reference and possibly some strong language, then you might enjoy this. I wasn't entirely sure what to make of it overall, I'm not sure there's a great deal I can say really, I found the comedy to be pretty subtle or dark and it seems to be telling the viewer a message or two about the importance of family, which some might balk at but if thats your kind of thing then you might also find it quite touching, I suppose it depends.

                The acting is all pretty top notch, I didn't notice anything 'wooden' and I felt that Ryan and Natalie were particularly well portrayed, they both seem quite believable as different people, the way they interacted was good. I feel this movie provides a new spin on perhaps an old concept. Personally, I felt that overall this movie was perhaps a bit lukewarm, to me it was maybe a little overly sentimental, that didn't particularly appeal to me but I can see why some people might quite enjoy it, it does have the feel of a movie that hasn't been rushed out, the cast put a fair bit of effort into portraying their characters, with Clooney ultimately coming across as pretty vulnerable and reticent perhaps even at the end, which may be a surprise for some.

                I suppose I could say that this movie didn't seem to have a great deal of focus but I guess it does, it just isn't very clear what that is until almost the very end and we may not expect it - it is ultimately a bit mushy and certainly sentimental although not in maybe the traditional format that some movies feature that in (if that makes any sense? I know what I mean :-/).


                - Would I Recommend It? -

                Personally, I don't feel that this was really a particularly memorable movie, so I suppose I wouldn't personally recommend it, no. It has its quirks, the characters are all of some interest to an extent certainly and the performances are decent but I personally felt it ended up being a bit too sentimental and I felt somehow the main plot lacked focus and was even perhaps a little confusing at times. This is an average to good movie that by the end I couldn't help but feel overall a bit lukewarm about, hence my 3 star rating, however I imagine other people might like it more than I did, so its up to you to choose whether you'd like to see it or not. I hope that makes sense lol.

                Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for any and all ratings and comments.

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                • Out Of Time (DVD) / DVD / 38 Readings / 37 Ratings
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                  21.11.2013 23:20
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                  A decent enough action/drama movie - one Denzel Washington fans should enjoy.

                  - Story -

                  A police chief from Florida (Matt Whitlock) (played by Denzel Washington) is in a relationship with Ann Harrison (played by Sanaa Lathan). It turns out that she only has months to live as she finds out an aggressive cancer has returned and she decides to change the sole beneficiary of her life insurance from her husband Chris (played by Dean Cain who used to play Superman in the 1990s version of the TV show) to Matt. Things take a particularly sinister turn when an arson attack takes place at Ann's house one night and two burned out bodies are found. Matt wasn't at the house that night and so he has to rush to try and find the real killer while getting rid of any evidence that might point to him being the main suspect for Ann's murder, while his police partner Alex (played by Eva Mendes) vows to find the killer.

                  Will he be framed for the murder and if he didn't kill them then who did? is all as it seems? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.


                  - Thoughts & Opinions -

                  I found this to be a very tense drama, with moving camera angles and some dramatic instrument based background music to heighten the franticness of certain scenes.
                  I liked the story in that its not one I've seen before - its very gripping at times, with Matt having to work very quickly to divert suspicion from him. Its true that the plot took a fair while to build up, at first it didn't seem to be going anywhere, with a few saucy scenes between Matt and Ann. However, I suppose it helps to give more of a background on the characters, or more specifically Whitlock and Ann's husband Chris. I found it a bit hard to believe in the scene where Ann was diagnosed as having an aggressive form of cancer and given months to live, like she said herself, she felt fine but who am I to say how realistic such things are.

                  I somehow felt that Eva Mendes didn't fit in, in this movie - her character (Alex) was obviously needed but to me she stuck out as I suppose the token eye candy, for the men anyway- im not sure precisely what it was but it felt to me like that was the main reason for her being in the movie and that she otherwise came across as perhaps a bit nondescript. If you think about it much, you (/I) can't help but wonder if she lived locally, how she hadn't noticed Matt being close to Ann before the arson attack. Ok this movie is definitely more action and drama based than anything else and certainly there are many quite gripping scenes, where I did feel as if I were on the edge of my seat to see what happened, so it was certainly tense and entertaining, very watchable, just it has one or two flaws if you bother to think it through but I certainly wouldn't say that the downsides render the movie unwatchable or anything like that.

                  I felt that Denzel Washington gave a decent performance in this movie - I like some of his other movies and I wouldn't say his performance in this movie entirely stood out as one of the best in his career but I wouldn't say that its particularly bad either, its middle of the road I suppose. As an action/drama movie, it contains some mild to moderate violence, one or two pretty brief sex scenes and some strong language although nothing especially gratuitous, other than that I don't think there's anything much else worth mentioning. At first I wasn't too impressed, the story is quite slow to build up to and it seemed a bit tacky but after a while it certainly picked up pace and it did become quite engrossing - I dare anyone to watch this and say that they didn't find at least one or two scenes to be quite engrossing. Its a pretty solid movie overall, one that doesn't fall into the category of being over two hours long with unnecessary padding mid way through, as this runs for 1 hour 45 minutes; which was plenty long enough I felt, any longer and it may well have become quite tedious, especially if the start hadn't picked up pace when it did (your left wondering when the main event in the story is going to happen).


                  - Would I Recommend It? -

                  Yes I'd recommend this movie as its quite gripping once the plot has properly developed and the story is at least somewhat original. The acting is average to good, maybe a bit run of the mill but I guess I've seen worse, overall I did enjoy watching it though and there's a plot twist which I hadn't seen coming, that I thought was good as well so overall yes I'm happy to recommend it based on this.

                  Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for any and all rates and comments.

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                • Midnight in Paris(DVD) / DVD / 37 Readings / 36 Ratings
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                  20.11.2013 22:33
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                  An engrossing movie which is somewhat sentimental but also very atmospheric.

                  - Story -

                  A young American couple (Gil and Inez) are staying in Paris. Gil is an aspiring writer working on his debut novel, who harks back to the 1920s, that being when many of his literary idols were around. One night, as he's stumbling around the streets at night on his own trying to find his way back to the hotel, the clock strikes midnight and suddenly it seems that he's transported back to the 1920s and its not long before some big names from the past are showing an interest in him and his work - is this possible? are there lessons to be learnt from a trip to the past and will this be a recurring event? to find out what happens, of course you'll have to watch the movie.


                  - More info., Thoughts & Opinions -

                  The movie opens with an extended montage featuring shots of different parts of Paris, set to a slow piece of instrumental music that harks back to probably the 1920s-1940s, 'the good old days'. There's quite alot of music used both in the background and foreground, some Parisienne accordion music and other more general jazzy music, which certainly helped to set the scene. The film also features quite a strong yellow tint to it throughout, the lighting used giving even the modern scenes a quite retro feel.

                  This is a very atmospheric movie, its clearly very nostalgic and quite sentimental. Its pretty slow in pace and a little confusing I suppose when he goes back in time for the first time as its not obvious what has happened (presuming it to be down to drinking too much vino at a wine tasting earlier). The dialogue is quite poignant, with a subtle humour throughout - its a very subtle, sentimental movie overall, though there are some moments that are more funny than others but its not what I'd class as a laugh out loud comedy as such. The depictions of various famous characters from the past (Picasso, Hemingway etc.) all come across quite solidly as it were, with a good cast present (including Martin Sheen, Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson, as well as some lesser known names playing Gil's idols, apart from Kathy Bates who plays Gertrude Stein, Hemingway's publisher I believe(?)) with the scenes set in the past seeming rather realistic and yes, quite atmospheric. Gil's naive confusion and optimism show clearly, with Owen Wilson once again playing the role of a rather happy-go-lucky, head in the clouds type, I suppose you could say.

                  This is a very...pleasant movie, I think thats probably the most appropriate term to use, if I had to describe it in one word. One issue could be if you don't feel much interest in the main character Gil, for being clearly rather upper class, the fact that he seems to be slowly distancing himself from his fiancee and her plans and interests while he explores his personal, some could say selfish literary interests may not exactly bring out the tissues as such but I found myself quite curious to follow the story and see what the ultimate outcome was for him and his novel - I can't deny I was rather engrossed by it mid way through, mainly due to the good use of cinematography, the realistic retro feel it had, something about it does pull you in I think, or it did for me.

                  One thing I would note (though it is rather trivial) - as authentic as it clearly tried to be, having been to Paris myself, I found it a bit unrealistic in the scenes set in the 20s how clean and tidy the streets all appeared to be(!) there's plenty of fog/smog but the pavements and roads seem immaculate, which I don't believe would be the case at all lol but then thats probably more a reflection of Gils mind depicting his dream version of Paris in the 20s. Also I should point out that there is a fair amount of French spoken and there aren't any subtitles, although one of the characters (I can't remember her name, sorry) translates some of what is said back to English for Gil, who (as you might expect) barely knows any French. Finally, it would be hard to talk about this movie without pointing out that its both written and directed by Woody Allen, so that might help give you an idea of the type of movie it is.

                  There is a message present which becomes clear by the end, one about looking back to the past, although I suppose I shouldn't perhaps spoil it by saying exactly what it is but it does make you think. The movie also features a few plot twists, which are fairly small but quite nicely done, things I (obviously) didn't see coming. Overall, as a movie I enjoyed it, its naive and has some amusing dialogue, plus its very atmospheric and quite engrossing due to that, if your interested enough in the story.


                  - Would I Recommend It? -

                  Yes I'd recommend this movie, as I say its quite atmospheric, with a good plot and cast. It may be seen as a bit sentimental or 'namby pamby' to some people perhaps, its certainly not an all out laugh out loud comedy as such, being alot more subtle in comedy but I found it to be pretty engrossing and all in all I enjoyed watching it, so on that basis I'd be happy to recommend it.

                  Many thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful. Thanks for all rates and comments as well, of course.

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                  • Wedding Daze [2006] (DVD) / DVD / 30 Readings / 30 Ratings
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                    19.11.2013 21:54
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                    An entertaining, if not rather cheesy, parody style romantic comedy with some funny moments.

                    - Story -

                    After cruely losing the woman of his dreams, Anderson (played by Jason Biggs) doubts his ability to fall in love with anyone else but his friends urge him to not give up and he ends up, on a whim, proposing as a dare to an unhappy young waitress called Katie (played by Isla Fisher). Taking him by surprise, she agrees but can they really form a meaningful relationship? is it truly possible to fall in love from afar and will it ever work out? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.


                    - Thoughts & Opinions -

                    The movie features plenty of visual comedy thats likely to appeal to adolescents, both male and female. Its pretty childish, with some sex references and strong language present. The characters are quite exaggerated in nature, in the way they interact and put themselves across, seeming quite happy, joyous even in a slapstick, comically over the top way almost at times and looking suitably awkward and dour at other points.

                    The mix of serious and comedy moments made it seem a little confusing to me in a way but then I guess the serious moment were laced with irony and a dark humour to counteract the more obvious, blatant humour present at other times. Some of the dialogue is quite funny, with short like when Andersons friend passes him a bottle of vodka and he says he doesn't want to drink, so the friend replies 'yeah I was just hoping you might be able to open it for me' (or words to that effect) (I can hear the cymbals clashing in the distance).

                    Overall the movie is very watchable, though some scenes are a bit gross (think toilet humour - I did say it appealed to adolescents). I found that the sub-plot involving Katies parents was particularly amusing, involving his father who escapes from prison in hopes to be able to walk her down the aisle.

                    The movie is quite cheesy in parts and I guess you can say it pokes fun at the rom-com, chick flick genre but its quite amusing as well - if your ok with it being a light watch and don't mind the odd bit of slightly bad taste comedy I guess. Its hardly breakthrough material but for an average movie of its type, its alright and I can imagine some/most people would get at least a few laughs from it. If you know who is in the cast then you should have a good idea of what sort of movie it is anyway, given previous movies they've appeared in.

                    There isn't a great deal else I can think to say about a movie like this, its rather quirky and amusing in moments, with all the characters being quite comical and providing a laugh or two, including some policemen. Its quite a quirky and warm movie, which isn't to be taken seriously.

                    Edit - I should maybe also add that having taken a quick look at the ratings other people have given this movie (after originally posting my review), most people don't seem too keen on it. I haven't read the other reviews fully but I'd hazard a guess that its due to people mis-reading or interpreting the basic story, presuming it to be more of a chick flick, a perhaps more sentimental rom-com, which I'd warn that its really not, I wondered earlier if it would be fair to say that this might appeal a bit more to men than women although that might be sexist, as I did get a few laughs from it and obviously im female lol its more a fairly lewd comedy than a 'chick flick' really, so its worth being aware of that - depending on what your looking for, you might quite enjoy this or be disappointed by it I suppose. One or two scenes involving the police and other characters including family members somehow reminded me of the comedy seen in movies such as the Police Academy movies and National Lampoon movies.


                    - Would I Recommend It? -

                    Overall, yes I'd recommend this movie - its pretty entertaining with a decent cast and has some quite amusing moments, although the type of humour won't appeal to everyone. Given the type of movie it is (a rom-com parody (not really a sentimental chick flick) that would mainly appeal to adolescents, at a rough guess), its pretty good and its also pretty short, at an hour and a half long, its another movie that doesn't 'hang around' with too much unnecessary padding as it were, which goes in its favour. If you like the type of comedy I've described and other movies featuring the main cast (Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher), then I reckon your likely to enjoy at least some of this movie, so on that basis im happy to recommend it.

                    Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for any and all ratings and comments.

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                  • Raising Helen (DVD) / DVD / 28 Readings / 28 Ratings
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                    18.11.2013 22:29
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                    An alright family movie.

                    - Story -

                    A young adult (Helen) is shocked to discover she's been instructed to look after her sister and brother in laws children after they die suddenly in an accident. She doesn't have kids and isn't sure how to take on this sudden extra responsibility, one that annoys her other sister Jenny who has looked after quite a few children herself, so she can't understand why Helen has been selected as their legal guardian. Helen agrees to give it a go but can she cope? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.


                    - Thoughts & Opinions -

                    * Below are what could be seen as one or two fairly minor spoilers - avoid this section if this might annoy you. Its very hard to review such a movie without giving hints or explaining elements of the story, though I don't think anything I mention should really ruin the movie for you but I prefer to add a warning like this to some reviews when I think it applies most, just to be on the safe side*.

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                    Raising Helen is a rather heart warming family story that offers a few laughs primarily in the form of sentimental 'aww, cute' type moments. Its quite 'bright and breezy' as it were, with likeable characters and a story that while not entirely gripping or fast as such, it moves at enough of a rate to keep you watching.

                    I thought the story was in part rather predictable, especially with the romantic slant with the school pastor but then some people probably like that in movies such as this when you know roughly what your getting, with it being quite a girly movie, a light romantic comedy for the most part but otherwise mainly a movie about family for most of the family (it carries a PG rating although there's little to offend or scare children, thats probably due to the death related theme which could perhaps upset young children), sometimes its nice to sit down and watch a movie that you know won't offend and that won't tax your brain - its an easy watch basically. I guess you could say that its a movie about discovering strength, self doubt and re-adjustment, although all in quite a sentimental, light way, if that makes sense(?).

                    There's a good cast present with some big names apart from the lead character Helen played by Kate Hudson, including Joan Cusack who plays Helens sister Jennifer (aka Jenny), Helen Mirren as Dominique (another relative I think) and Hayden Paneittere (more well known as having played a key character in the first season of the cult drama series Heroes) as the eldest child, teenage daughter Audrey, who is reluctant and hesitant about aunt Helen taking over in mum role and thus acts out, distancing herself. Helen is tested by her behaviour, ultimately turning to Jenny for guidance as she doesn't feel it right for her to interfere in Audrey's life in some ways (feeling it would be somewhat hypocritical given her past), again re-inforcing the message about the importance of family supporting each other over all else and how family can come together in challenging times, 'family can conquer all' almost, I suppose (cheesy I know but I suppose thats roughly correct).

                    There are some noteably tender moments with the youngest daughter as well, when Helen has to learn to visualise their late mum and think what would she do? to show she can relate and take over in teaching some basic things.

                    Its also true to say that this is a movie about how things can change in a moment, which is highlighted by the scene in which Helen takes the phone call in which she's informed of the deaths, which was previously, until that moment, a fun, jovial social situation.

                    I found the scenes involving Helen flirting with the Lutheran school head pastor to be a bit too cheesy, or as I like to say cringeworthy. Its a bit 'airy fairy' as my mum would probably say but then thats not always such a bad thing I suppose. Its quite funny when she tries a bit too hard to convince him that her and the children are authentic Lutheran Christians, which is something British parents can no doubt relate to, trying to get their children enrolled in better private, often religious schools, preferring that than the rather more run down local public schools which may lead to children or teenagers mixing with what would be seen as the wrong crowd.


                    - Would I Recommend It? -

                    As a light comedy/drama movie, I suppose its alright, its not particularly awful or really good, its ok. I'm not sure if I would outrightly recommend it as such but its unlikely to be a movie that you'd walk away feeling seriously disappointed with, neither is it likely to stick in your mind or be seen as particularly clever, it doesn't cover any new ground and is if anything a bit predictable but then for the kind of movie it is, thats possibly seen as a good thing for a change (if you like a movie where you have a good idea of roughly what your going to see before you put it on, if you know what I mean?). Its alright but no great shakes as it were, so I'd probably say its only worth going out of your way to watch it if your a big fan of the cast and want to make an effort to see all their films, something like that, otherwise I'm not sure I'd say its worth paying to see, so I think I'll just go for undecided as far as the recommended question on Ciao is concerned.

                    Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for any and all rates and comments.

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                  • Hot Tub Time Machine (DVD) / DVD / 38 Readings / 38 Ratings
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                    17.11.2013 18:34
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                    A somewhat poor time travel parody that has little comedy or substance - one for teen boys

                    - Story -

                    A few friends decide to go for a fun break at a ski resort and when they try out the hot tub in the chalet their staying at, their accidentally sent back in time to 1986, when their nephew was about to be concieved. Realising whats happened, small details start to happen differently in their version of 1986 than what they remember, so they realise that they better ensure their nephews mum and dad still get together or he'll cease to exist. Will time be changed forever?.


                    - Thoughts & Opinions -

                    Two words come to mind when it comes to summing up this particular movie - seriously mediocre. I usually quite enjoy time travel based movies, the premise behind them and I presumed this movie would be pretty zany, not heavy on plot but quite funny in a daft way, I guess and quite saucy, which the former it isn't really but the latter; it is.

                    As far as the time travel element of it is concerned, the movie definitely takes elements from the first Back to the Future movie (which fans of that movie should recognise given the basic storyline mentioned above) in that the characters go back in time and have to ensure the same course of events happen to ensure someone still comes into being, as it were - thinking about it, they go back in time to 1986, which is the year that Back to the Future (the original movie) was made and that the present was based in. The main difference with this movie is that there's alot less of a story behind it, there's no real deadline or even clear reason why their back in time - well ok there *is* but it doesn't come across much in the movie, its certainly not edge of your seat material in any way. This is a movie that will, in my mind, mainly appeal to adolescent men, with heavy use of strong language and sexual references, plus drug references.

                    I knew not to expect much from this but all the same, it really didn't interest me much at all. The characters all came across as quite smug, petty and selfish, plus (in my humble opinion) there was too much dialogue and not much in the way of action or intrigue, so I felt bored and distracted. This movie definitely has the 'gross out' factor that teenage boys enjoy but I don't think it'll appeal to many people outside the teens to early 20s age range.

                    Probably one of the main or only reasons to watch this movie would be the presence of quite a few classic 1980s American power ballads, although it might be eaiser just to buy the soundtrack instead, or even better I'd recommend the American Anthems compilations but thats a side point I suppose...anyway I'd say there is an element of 80s nostalgia present in the movie. There's one or two fairly amusing scenes but it still doesn't really save the movie for me, as it were. To me this movie doesn't really stand out, its not a movie that your likely to look back on fondly after having seen it, if anything it might be better viewed when somewhat tipsy, then you might find it more funny - when it comes to similar movies based around a group of fun loving middle aged men, I'd think of movies such as The Hangover, which also appeals to a similar adolescent audience as well as to a slightly older audience and that movie I thought was funnier and more entertaining, personally, by way of comparison. I think if there were more in the way of visual comedy then this could have been better but there wasn't enough to it (as it were) to keep me feeling particularly interested in the characters or the eventual outcome, although I do think that perhaps younger males may enjoy it more than me for some of the dialogue but if their/your looking for a strong plot and some decent action then you'd likely still be disappointed. Overall im giving this a 2 star rating as some might find it somewhat amusing but other than that, its really not worth bothering with, in my opinion.


                    - Would I Recommend It? -

                    Funnily enough, no I wouldn't recommend it. This doesn't cover any new ground and isn't even particularly funny, as I'd hoped it might be. There's too much dialogue and not enough drama and so I found myself feeling bored and distracted at least by mid way through the movie. If you like heavy swearing and the 'gross out factor' and enjoy movies about middle aged men going back in time to rekindle relationships/mess around with women then you may enjoy this but otherwise I wouldn't recommend it, certainly as a time travel movie it wasn't much cop.

                    Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for any and all rates and comments.

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