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ralfschumacher

ralfschumacher
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    • Van Helsing (DVD) / DVD / 38 Readings / 35 Ratings
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      14.01.2008 13:18
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      Van Helsing.

      What's the Story?

      Basically Van Helsing is a monster hunter who is sent by some guy to Transylvania to stop Count Dracula (Played by Richard Roxburgh) from unleashing more evil doings. When he gets there he meets up with Kate Beckinsale's character where they team up to battle the count. They battle with werewolves, frankenstein and the Count's three brides.

      I know the above story sypnosis sounds kind of lame but that's because it is. Van Helsing basically is a guy who goes round killing monsters and that's it.

      The movie starts off in black and white as a homage to the old horror movies such as the ones that starred Christopher Lee. This was something that I quite liked as the CGI seemed less irratating than when the flick was in colour. Not that all the CGI was bad or anything it was just that I felt it was overused in some places in the film.

      As the movie progresses passed the black and white stage we are taken ahead 'one year later' and then the action starts. We are taken straight into another 'CGI' battle between Van Helsing and Mr Hyde (aka Dr Jekyll). Many people have referenced 'Hulk' with this movie because some of the characters are like that and they are right. This first major battle was so obvious with the CGI like the hulk was and to me that's just anoying. Call me old fashioned but in some places in films I would rather have some guy in a mask than make a real-life character look like a cartoon, because to me that's how it was.

      As the first battle is over the story sort of begins to unfold and gives you some sort of plot but nothing that gives you any great insight. Mainly this film is about action and killing monsters. To some people that's okay but to me regarding this film it wasn't. I can watch loads of action films with no plot and still like it but this one just didn't do it for me.

      On the upside though I really enjoyed the theme tune and some of the background music that played as Van Helsing travelled to Transylvania and when the movie ended. It was a very loud and aggresive score that was very catchy and went with the movie well.

      I was also impressed with some of the performances, mainly from Kate Beckinsale as she had to put on an acent which she pulled off very well. Some may find it anoying but I didn't. Also just looking at her got me through this movie. Hugh Jackman was okay but there was nothing special from him. He was great in 'Swordfish', but he didn't shine here. On to Richard Roxburgh who played Count Dracula. His performance was very good I've always liked his acting roles that he has chosen such as 'M:I-2' and 'Moulin Rouge' as he always makes his presence known on screen without going over the top. Though this wasn't my favourite of his roles. The next actor that I really thought would have saved this movie was Kevin J' O Connor (Benny from 'The Mummy' to most of us) who played Egor (Count Dracula's sidekick) but he wasn't written much into the story. It's a shame because he could have done something really amazing with his character but wasn't able to do so. This was his third movie with director Stephen Sommers and the worst in my opinion. He was excellent in 'Deep Rising' and of course 'The Mummy' but as I said before he didn't have enough lines to show his character's full potential. Last are 'the three brides'. These three lovely looking bit***s were so anoying in this movie that I wanted to get a shotgun and pop them off one buy one. Their constant wining really put me off this film. If their job was to anoy the audience then they would get 5 stars for definate.

      Overall the film was okay in places but really really bad in others so I would not reccomend buying the DVD but if have to see this film then just download it. Also another thing that put me off this film was that it reminded me of the dreadful movie 'League of Extrodinary Gentlemen' starring Sean Connery. I really hated that movie and this film just brought the memories back. DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS FILM.

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      • Spider-Man 2 (DVD) / DVD / 33 Readings / 30 Ratings
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        13.01.2008 15:24
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        The sequale to the spectacular "Spider-man".

        This time around the story came from the guys behind the hit TV show 'Smallville' in the form Alfred Gough & Miles Millar and was made into a screenplay by 'Unfaithul' screenwriter Alvin Sargent. I think this combination of writers has worked out very well for the film because not only did the movie have some great drama and action scenes but they also chucked in some really great comedy momments as well, mostly with the character of J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) who plays Peter Parker's boss at the Daily Bugle. It's also great where they added these particular scenes into the film too as the audience are kind of feeling downbeat because of the troubles that are unfolding around Tobey Maguire's character, Peter Parker.

        The studio decided to keep original director Sam Raimi, who might I say, done a fabulous job on the first installment and this one. Sam Raimi has also directed such films as the Evil Dead Trilogy, A Simple Plan and The Gift. He also be produced 'The Grudge' which went on to be very successful and made a sequel. The first Spider-man movie was very succesful, grossing over $400 Million Dollars in the U.S alone and totalling a massive $822 Million worldwide. The sequel has more than matched that. And with a production budget of 200 Million it has made good profit.

        The story starts off with our main character Peter Parker who is trying to juggle around a double life of being a normal teenage boy who is attending university and a superhero who is saving lives. This is what carries the story through to the end because we delve deep into his character and see how he changes over the course of the movie. The writers have decided that we know enough about the superhero side and it's now time to explain the difficulties of being Peter Parker. This part of the story made me feel really sorry for him because his life is just falling apart around him. He has no job, his grades are falling and he can't tell Mary-Jane (Kirsten Dunst) about his true feelings for her, mainly because there's another part him who has to run off at any momment to save someones life. Also because of all these things he actually questions himself if he does want to be spider-man or not or if he does actually have a choice.

        Peter is also very short on cash so has to keep trying to avoid the landlord because his rent is due. The only way he can make money is by offering the Daily Bugle pictures of Spider-man, but he really doesn't want to do that because of the lies that they write about him. His Aunt is also struggeling to pay the mortgage on her house which adds more complications to his already complicated life. He hasn't got any real support from his best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco) either as he blames Peter in a way for the death of his father. This is because he found out that Pete takes pictures of Spider-man for money. This leads to Harry believe that he is protecting spider-man and that he knows who he really is. This tension between them makes for some great scenes in the film and shows just how much Harry Osborn want to kill Spider-man and avenge his father's death.

        Peter's other friend MJ feels angry with him because of the amount of times that she has been let down by him. For instance he tells her that he will see her new play but he doesn't turn up. In the end she has had enough of waiting for Peter to express how he feels about her and decides to accept a marriage proposal from another guy.

        The other story that is happening is with the scientist Dr Octavios (Alfred Molina) who has been transformed into a destructive mental case with four long metal arms. So now Spider-man/Peter Parker has to put his worries aside and try to stop Doc Oc from causing mayhem and havoc. Doc Oc also wants to continue his project, but he can only do that if he is able to get an important and vital ingrediant from Harry Osborn. Harry makes a deal with him that if he brings him Spider-man he will give him all that he wants. This search for Spider-man leads to some spectacular battle scenes and great action. The highlight would have to be the train sequence which was just amazing.

        Overall this was a fantastic film that equalled the first one. Good writing and direction once again was backed up with some great performances from the cast. The best performnce though in my book would definately have to be from Tobey Maguire. This is because he made his character look more mature than the in first film, yet gave him a sense of confusion as well. Kirsten Dunst looked great as Peter's friend and love interest but we were not really shown much about her character. But as the title of the film suggests, this is about spider-man not MJ and even though there wasn't a lot on her character she still performed very well. James Franco, who played Peter Parker's, obsessed-with-spider-man friend, also put in a steller job and like Tobey Maguire's character, made him believable. Out of the minor characters the one that stood out the most has to be JK Simmons (Peter's Boss) who gave a great comedic performance and got everyone laughing in the cinema. Aunt May was okay, in fact all of the cast was great. The music for the film was flawless with Danny Elfman producing another great musical score as usual.

        So overall this an excellent film that lives up to it's high expectations. I still don't know if it's better than the first but it's definately on the same level. So I recommend this to anyone who liked the first film and for people who like a good combination of good humour, action and drama. Also Kirsten Dunst gets wet again, just in case what I've said so far hasn't convinced you too see the film.

        Rating: 9/10

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        • Final Destination 3 (DVD) / DVD / 30 Readings / 25 Ratings
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          12.01.2008 17:42
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          FD3

          I thought Final Destination 3 was an average, fun movie, but nothing more. Basically it's the same premise as the other two films but is set at an amusement park where a high school student (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has a premonition of a rollercoaster accident involving herself and her friends. Most of them do get off the roller coaster and survive, but it's not long until death catches up with them (again).

          I loved the other movies in the series so I kind of knew that I was going to like this one anyway. For this third installment they brought the original writers and director back behind the camera. For me there wasn't a drastic improvement or anything but they did do a good job with what they were able to work from. Also I think the writers new that it would be hard to keep the audienced gripped for a third time with the same story so they added a bit more comedy than the last movie FD2, which in my opinion has worked out quite well.

          One thing I thought was really good was the opening to this film (though I would say that about the other films too) at the amusement park because of the way it built up to the big rollercoaster sequence. I must admit that I was expecting more from that particular scene but it done the job. There's also some other good and terrifying scenes in the movie but everything was kind of average. On the acting side of things everything was just okay. I thought the lead in the movie was very good but everyone else was just so so.

          Overall I would say this an average movie that is mainly for fans of the Final Destination series though others may get a kick out of it. 6/10

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          • Writing / Discussion / 43 Readings / 28 Ratings
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            11.01.2008 17:18
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            An action movie. Well it tries to be.LOL

            Okay, I know this is really cheesy but I wrote it quite a while ago and I remember that I was trying to write something resembling a John Woo style but it came out all wrong. But comments are appreciated even if they are bad.

            1. EXT ROAD - (LOS ANGELES) - AFTERNOON

            A Birds eye view reveals two cars on a main highway. One seems be chasing the other in a game of cat and mouse. The two cars are dodging through other vehicles at high speeds.

            A loud roar sounds as a car rushes around the corner just missing TWO PAEDESTRIANS as they cross the street. The TWO PAEDESTRIANS quickly rush to the sidewalk on the other as the chasing vehicle swerves round the corner hitting a trashcan.

            2. INT: CHASING CAR - MOVING - CONT'D

            The car is quite new but looks damaged. There are bullet holes and dents on the outside. Inside the vehicle there are two men DETECTIVE HARRIS and DETECTIVE ROBERTS.
            ON DETECTIVE HARRIS

            In his late thirties, clean shaven and is holding a pistol. He is sitting in the front passenger seat.
            ON DETECTIVE ROBERTS

            Early thirties, wearing sunglasses and is rugged looking. He is sitting in the drivers seat holding a walkie-talkie.

            DETECTIVE JACK ROBERTS
            (Holding walkie-talkie to mouth)
            This is Detective Jack Roberts in pursuit of silver Porshe, licence plate Z790SLY, requesting immediate backup. Over.

            OPERATOR (O.S)
            Hold for one moment Detective.
            For a couple of seconds all you hear is the loud sound of the engine roaring and the agressive changing of gears.

            OPERATOR (CONT'D)
            Tango S3742 there are currently no units in your area, nearest officers can be with in 10 minutes. Over.

            JACK doesn't respond, instead just looks at his partner disapointingly. JACK then, while driving, pulls out his pistol from his gun belt and turns to his partner.

            DETECTIVE JACK ROBERTS
            Take the Wheel.

            JACK gets up out of his seat and puts the top half of his body out of the window with the gun pointing at the SUSPECT's car. JACK's partner HARRIS reaches over from his seat to take control of the wheel.

            Now with the top half of his body out the window JACK fires his weapon at the back left wheel of the SUSPECT's car. JACK hits the SUSPECT's wheel causing the vehicle to swerve but the SUSPECT manages to regain control..

            3. EXT: BACK ALLY ROADS

            The SUSPECT enters a side road in a deperate attempt to lose his pursuers, but, closely folowed by the TWO DETECTIVES, he bursts through a pile of boxes and ends up in a dead end.

            The SUSPECT tries to back up but is immediately blocked by the other vehicle. HARRIS and ROBERTS exit their vehicle, position themselves behind their car doors and point their pistols at the wanted man.

            DETECTIVE HARRIS
            (Pointing gun at Suspect)
            Come out with your hands up. Throw your weapon to the ground and lay flat down on the floor.

            The door to the SUSPECT's vehicle opens. His arm appears with the gun dangling from his hand, he drops the gun and begins to exit the car.

            ROBERTS and HARRIS begin to approach the SUSPECT. Silence. In a quick reverse of pace the SUSPECT turns in a flash and pulls out a gun from his back and fires upon the Detectives.
            HARRIS fire back followed by ROBERTS. In the middle of exchanging fire the SUSPECT jumps on his car, still firing at HARRIS and ROBERTS and jumps over a fence into another ally.

            ROBERTS and HARRIS get up from their positions and begin to give chase. ROBERTS pulls out his walkie-talkie and begins to talk to the OPERATOR.

            DETECTVE ROBERTS
            (Running and breathing quite heavily)
            We're heading down an ally off 32nd on 2nd. We need air assistance.

            OPERATOR (O.S)
            Air assistance and ground vehicles are on the way.

            CUT TO. SUSPECT

            The SUSPECT sees and open fire escape to what seems to be an apartment block. He enters the building through the fire escape closely followed by his shadows.

            CUT BACK TO HARRIS AND ROBERTS

            4. INT: APARTMENT BLOCK - DAY

            HARRIS pokes his head around the corner to the next hallway and just catches a glimpse of HIM entering a room at the end of the corridor. They also hear screaming that may mean the SUSPECT has a HOSTAGE.

            CUT TO. SUSPECT

            As the SUSPECT enters the room he holds his gun to a WOMAN who was inside and takes her hostage. The WOMAN screams for help.

            SUSPECT
            (Holding his gun at the hostage)
            SHUT UP! SHUT UP! I said shut the f*ck up. Okay.
            The woman complies immediately.

            CUT TO. HARRIS AND ROBERTS

            HARRIS and ROBERTS sneak up to the door where they believed the SUSPECT had entered. Once they are outside the room they position themselves and cautiously prepare to enter.

            THEY reload their weapons and then turn and look at each other. HARRIS nods at ROBERTS as a signal to make a move. ROBERTS nods back to acknowledge him. They take a deep breath, make a 180-degree turn and kick down the door.

            5. INT: HOSTAGE'S APPARTMENT

            When DETECTIVES HARRIS and ROBERTS enter the apartment the Suspect is not there. Suddenly they hear more screaming.
            In another room we see the SUSPECT and HOSTAGE. The SUSPECT is holding a gun to the HOSTAGE's head.

            HOSTAGE
            (Trying to stuggle away)
            In here...In Here!!! Help!!
            The SUSPECT pushes the gun harder into her head.

            SUSPECT
            I said to Shut Up what part of that don't you understand.
            CUT TO. ROBERTS AND HARRIS

            ROBERTS points to the room that he thinks the SUSPECT is.

            JACK ROBERTS
            This way.

            They move toward the room and go inside.

            6. INT: BEDROOM - HOSTAGE'S APPARTMENT

            The SUSPECT points his gun at the DETECTIVES to halt them.

            SUSPECT
            Hold it there! Any closer and i'll shoot the her.

            HARRIS
            (Still pointing gun at the Suspect)
            Come on, take it easy, all we want to do is talk and settle this. Why don't you let the woman go,she's got nothing to do with this.

            SUSPECT
            NO! NO! NO! Stop f*cking with me. Put you weapons on the floor and kick them over to me. NOW!

            HARRIS
            (Lowering his weapon)
            Okay, okay. We're doing it.

            HARRIS and ROBERTS comply with the suspect as they fear for the safety of the YOUNG WOMAN he has hostage.

            SUSPECT
            (Waiving gun at them)
            Now stand over there with your hands on your head.

            HARRIS
            Look, there's always a way out.

            SUSPECT
            No my friend, what I do there's never a way out. There's only winning and losing and at the moment I'm winning and your losing.

            Suddenly the SUSPECT pushes the HOSTAGE to the ground and fires on the DETECTIVES. The HOSTAGE quickly runs into a closet and closes the door.

            The TWO DETECTIVES dive to the ground but HARRIS gets hit. Still moving slowly HARRIS and ROBERTS grab their weapons and attempt to fire back.

            HARRIS is too injured so he gives his pistol to ROBERTS. Now with two pistols in his hands ROBERTS gets up, turns, jumps over the sofa and begins to fire on the SUSPECT. IN SLOW MOTION ONE BY ONE THE BULLETS HIT THE SUSPECT causing him to fall to the floor.

            ROBERTS walks over to the SUSPECT to see if he is dead and then lowers his weapon. ROBERTS then looks across the room to see HARRIS spilling with blood...

            Thanks for reading.

            This was also on the ending but I decided to take it off and end it where I did.

            HARRIS
            (Holding his hand over his wound)
            Arraghh!!! Jack I don't think I'm going to make it. Tell my wife... that I love her and that she will always be in my heart.

            ROBERTS
            (Trying to stop the bood)
            Harris! Harris! Please don't die on me. Wake up!!
            Just as HARRIS dies the S.W.A.T team arrive.

            S.W.A.T GUY
            (Holding gun at Roberts)
            You get away from him.

            ROBERTS
            Wait I'm his partner, I'm going to reach for my badge. Don't shoot.

            S.W.A.T GUY
            Do it. Slowly.
            ROBERTS shows his badge and the S.W.A.T Guy apologises and escorts him outside.

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            • The Bourne Supremacy (DVD) / DVD / 27 Readings / 24 Ratings
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              11.01.2008 14:29
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              The excellent sequel to "The Bourne Identity".

              The executives at Universal have decided to stay with most of the original production team including screenwriter Tony Gilroy who adapted the first film. Though, as most of you already know, the director of the first film 'Doug Liman' has decided not to return to helm the sequel. This was a true disappointment in my book because I was really looking forward to his return. In to replace him for directorial duties is Paul Greengrass (Bloody sunday). I didn't really know anything about this guy before this film but I reckon he's done a good job overall. This shows at the box office too, as the film has gone on to gross around $175 Million in the US and around $100 Million worldwide so far. So with a production budget of $75 Million, that's a nice profit.

              In the first film 'The Bourne Identity' Bourne (Matt Damon) had amnesia and was trying to discover who he was but even two years later not everything is clear. What he knows so far is that he is a lethal multi-million dollar agent that worked on a project called 'Treadstone', where his attempt to pull off an assasination went wrong. He also remembers other things that he writes in a notebook but it's all in a muddle. He gets nightmares too of things that he's done but he can't put anything together. Now he lives in Goa, India, with the woman he loves, Marie (Franka Potente) but it's not long until his past catches up with him when he finds out that a deadly assassin has tracked him down to kill him. So once again Bourne must go on the run. After he evades the assasin, who thinks Bourne is dead he decides to leave and travel to Naples, only to get stopped at passport control. As you can guess these dumb-ass passport officers don't hold Bourne for long and that's when Bourne finds out that a CIA team are after him. So Jason decides to go straight to the hot zone where he learns that he's being accused of a double murder that took place a week before.

              I was very cautious to how the final cut of the film would turn out with a new director at the helm but it turned quite good. Supremacy kept to most of the same visual tone as the first film with a dark look and European settings but this time the director has decided not to use many still cameras at all. This is what lets the film down a bit because straight from the first scenes in Goa to the climax the cameras are shaking around the place. In 24 they do this sort of camera work but they don't do it for the whole episode if you know what I mean. The director has made his technique work in some places in the film such as when Bourne is on the run and the car chase but in most places, especially the fight scenes, I would rather have watched it without the cameras shaking. Don't let this put you off too much though because once you get into the story of film you kind of get used to it.

              As with first film this has some great action scenes with best being another amazing car chase. As I said the director gets away with the cameras on this bit but some may still find it a bit hard to follow because of the aggressive cuts. In my opinion though this is the best scene from the movie and is in the ranks as one of the best car chases ever. I also thought that John Powell's soundtrack was put to excellent use in that scene too adding more excitement than the usual music you get in some action scenes. There are also some other great set pieces in the film such as the short chase at the beginning and some more fight scenes. The one major fight scene between Bourne and another agent was quite hard to follow though because once again we didn't get to see it from a wide angle and instead the shaky cams come into play. My brother and I were actually laughing at this scene because everthing was happening so quickly that it looked like a bitch fight. From the angle the camera in at one stage, it looked as if Bourne was biting and scratching the other agent.

              I thought the casting for the movie was excellent with everyone giving all round good performances. Firstly Matt Damon has continued to pull off the Role of Jason Bourne with ease and manages to keep the audience intrigued with his character, such as when he starts yo get flashbacks of past events and so fourth. In this film though he does have less dialogue than he did in Identity but still makes his character interesting. The new addition to the cast is that of Joan Allen who plays CIA operative Pamela Landy. To me she was a great addition to the cast and puts in a great performance with the material she was given. Returning for the sequel from the first film is Franka Potente, Brian Cox and Julia Stiles. All of them play out there characters well and put on a good show. On to the director. I wasn't too impressed with his style of filmaking but when it comes to the end of the film you realise that, despite the camera positions, he has actually produced a very good action thriller that has delivered what it's supposed to. I keep thinking to myself though that if some of those scenes were re-shot with still cameras it could have been so much better.

              On a whole I would definitely recommend Bourne Supremacy. Mainly because of the great action set pieces and some very good acting from the cast. Also if you liked the first film then you will like this one too as it's on terms with the first. If you are looking for a word for word adaptation of the book then I guess this is not for you as the book was mainly just a basis for the movie.

              9/10

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              • joblo.com / Internet Site / 29 Readings / 27 Ratings
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                10.01.2008 23:27
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                A brilliant site that has everything a movie fan could want.

                'I Love Joblo.com' are the words of Steven Spielberg so it must be good right? Yes it is. I have been going to this site for years and years now and love reading all the different movie and DVD reviews. Sometimes Joblo is spot on with the reviews and sometimes he is not. But who isn't. His reviews are easy to read and well structured. He rates the films out of 10 and also includes a sypnosis about the film. At the bottom there is a space where you can give your own verdict on the film in question. This is good because you can see how different peoples opinions are compared to Joblo. Also there are links to other reviews that are similar to the one on that particular page.

                The website it self has quite a nice design which got changed from the old one a couple of years ago. It's not to dark so the text is easy to read. Also I really love the graphical cartoon of Joblo with his thumb up in the top left hand corner of the site, which I think is a nice touch. At the top of the main website are the links to the various categories of the site such as 'Movie trailers', 'Reviews', 'Wallapapers' etc. Though even though it does have a Box Office page, the link appears to be missing. If you do want to check it out the link is http://www.joblo.com/box-office.htm. I go to that web address every week to see the U.S Box Office results. It shows the top 10 films and also has a link to that particular film if he has reviewed it already. Another thing is that when you do click on a link from the main page it takes you to the old section of the site because I don't think they're bothering to update that bit yet.

                On the front page are some other side menus that include all the latest things that have been added to the site. Such as the latest reviews, DVD reviews and Arrow reviews and also includes the latest news and rumours about upcoming movies. On the main part of the page there is usually a featured article for something, such as an interview. Last week 'The Elisha Cuthbert interview' was featured where it says he had to restrain his eyes from looking down at her cleavage. Lucky so and so!!

                If you don't have a firewall on your computer then you will probably get a few anoying pop ups. This is what you get on most sites anyway and if you like the reviews and content on the site then you should show your support. There are also a few banners as well that could be anoying to a few.

                Other sections on the site include the 'Arrow in the Head' which features reviews of mainly sci-fi and Horror flicks. These reviews are also layed out a bit different to the joblo ones but are still very interesting and easy to read. They are rated out of 4 and also include sub-comments on the movie such as 'The Gore', 'Soundtrack', 'directing' and others. The DVD Clinic is also another review section of the site but as you can guess from the title it's about DVD's. The reviews are of region one DVD's only though, as it is an american based website. For me this is fine as I usually buy region 1 dvd's anyway.

                There's also a section with Movie trailers which I think is good because it has links to some old trailers where the links might be hard to find. On the main trailers page there are links to the newest trailers though if you have a firewall you will need to turn it off otherwise it will block the images that have the links to the new trailers.

                Overall this is a fantastic site with great reviews and other resources. As I said I have been going to this website for years and will continue to do so. Truthfully I don't know where I would be without with Joblo because I agree with most of his reviews. Accept his Lord of the Rings reviews where he gave them quite a low rating which I didn't agree with. Anyway I recommend this site to any movie fan who enjoys honest reviews.

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                • Blood And Chocolate (DVD) / DVD / 25 Readings / 22 Ratings
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                  10.01.2008 21:16
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                  An average werewolf movie.

                  Okay this is not the best werewolf movie I have ever seen but I thought it had a good artistic quality to it and was something a little different to most of the werewolf movies out at the moment or werewolf movies I have seen before. It didn't do to well at the box office but I think the main reason for that was because the trailers were promoting it as a werewolf action movie, where in my opinion it was more of a Romeo and Juliet type love story with some action scenes in it. Also from what I've heard the movie is based on a novel of the same name bu has obviously been changed in parts.

                  The film is set in the beautiful city of Bucharest, Romania where one of the last remaining wolf packs survives. One of them is a young werewolf named Vivian (Agnes Bruckner) who is trying to live a normal life by working in a chocolate shop. One day she has a chance encounter with Aiden, an artist who is researching in to werewolves. Aiden falls in love with Vivian and pursues her but it's not long before she has decide about telling him the truth about who she really is.

                  I thought the actors did a good job in portraying their characters but nothing overly good. I thought the best performance came from the lead actress, Agnes Bruckner who I thought pulled off her character very well.Her chemistry with Hugh Dancy was also a plus for the film. I would say the worst performnce came from Oliver Martinez because he just seems very one-dimensional in his acting. The location of the movie in Bucharest is definitely one of the plusses for the movie because the scenery is really beauthiful and the building arcitecture is great to see.

                  Overall though this an average but enterataining movie. I would recommend it but it won't be to everyone's fancy. I suggest you rent or download "Underworld" or "Underworld: Evolution".

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                  • More +
                    10.01.2008 12:57
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                    It has happened before. It will happen again.

                    Battlestar galactica (BSG as it's also known) is an intelligent and action-packed sci-fi drama series and is definitely one of the best series' I have seen in a long time. It is based on the 1980's series of the same name that starred Dirk Benedict and Richard Hatch but rather than just being a remake of an old series it's more of a re-imaginging and is somewhat different from that series. Most notable is the fact that they changed one of the main character's (Starbuck) from a man in the original to a woman in this new version. Also, technology has come a long way since the original series so the special effects are definitely a big change compared to then. By far though the visuals are some of the best I've ever seen in a sci-fi series and are reminisant of the cancelled show 'Firefly'. Another thing that also reminds me of 'Firefly' is how they zoom the cameras into the spaceships and then zoom out again. A very effective technique. I also really liked the design (or update) of the Cylons because they look more realistic and not so blocky as they did in the original series.

                    In this new re-imaging there are some brilliant and very well written storylines but the one that caught my attention the most is the one that runs throughout the entire series and that is decision by the writers to have Cylons disguise themselves as Humans. Actually, disguise is probably not the word because although these 'copies' are Cylons (machines) they can also have emotion and have feelings. Also, some of them don't actually know that they are really a machine until they are activated. And when it gets to that point in the story the show becomes very thought-provoking and intriguing.

                    There's also a lot of other important issues that are emphasised in the series such as race, terrorism and politics. These excellent storylines against the backdrop of the war between the Cylons and Humans is what makes this such an imaganitive series that I would highly recommend watching. I must admit that when I first started watching BSG I wasn't totally hooked but I think that was mainly because the series is very grown up in a way and deals with a lot of serious issues rather than the usual fare you get in a lot of other sci-fi shows. But anyway I recommend it so watch it.

                    Picture and Sound Quality

                    Both picture and sound quality are really good though you do notice some grain on the picture. I wasnt really too bothered about this as it blends in well with the style of the show. Kind of like a documentary style technique as seen in Collateral. The show has some really good music and also sounds really good with the 5.1 sound.

                    Special Features

                    This UK version doesn't actually include any extras except for a few deleted scenes but the R1 version (which I'm refering to) has a load of good extras. These include:-

                    - Commentaries with the Director and Executive Producers.
                    - Behind the Scenes.
                    - Deleted Scenes.
                    - Battlestar Galactica Series Lowdown.
                    - Sketches and Art.

                    These were some good extras and gave a lot of good info about the show and why they decided on doing a new version of 'Battlestar'. The best extra would have to be the commentaries because they give a lot of first hand insight into what went on when making the series. I would say though if you love the series so much that maybe you should wait and get the HD DVD version which includes some new and exclusive special features. The new features will also be interactive.

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                    • Green Street (Hooligans) (DVD) / DVD / 30 Readings / 28 Ratings
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                      09.01.2008 23:56
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                      Green Street Hooligans starring Elijah Wood

                      Green Street Hooligans was directed and co-written by german director Lexi Alexander. I never heard of her before this film but I definitely have to give credit where it's due and there's no exception here. Alexander has done a great job in producing an insightful and interesting piece on the real life 'firms', not gangs, that involve themselves in football hooliganism. The story focuses on Matt Bruckner (Elijah Wood) an American student who has just been kicked out of Havard and comes to England to stay with his sister (played by Claire Forlani) and her husband Steve (Marc Warren). On arrival Matt meets Steve's brother Pete and later gets invloved with his firm who support West Ham United.

                      Green street Hooligans didn't do too well at the box office and quite a lot of critics slated it but in my view it should have got more credit than it did. I found the film very interesting and insightful. The fight scenes in the film were some of the most violent I've seen and the way that the director has captured this on film is excellent. I also admire the director's work with the composer as they have managed to blend the right kind of music with what is going on on screen. This shows especially in the last fight in the movie. There is also a great build up to that particular scene.

                      The acting in the movie was fairly good with the best being from Elijah Wood in my opinion. It was great to see him in a movie like this after 'The lord of the Rings' because it was something different for him and us the viewer. I also think the casting people did a great job in casting him as Matt Bruckner because he does make this character very believable. The other members of the cast also done an all round good job on screen.
                      So overall I recommend this movie quite highly but if you don't like anything to bloody or violent then this is definitely not for you. If you don't mind that kind of stuff then you'll get a kick out of this.

                      7/10

                      The DVD doesn't include an audio commentary but we so get a few cool bonus features. Firstly we get a solid interview from Elijah Wood entitled 'From Hobbit to Hooligan' which has a few of his views on how he came in to the role and how he prepared himself for it. Next we get a feature called 'A clear direction' which is just another interview but this time with the director, Lexi Alexander. To round off the DVD we get two more featurettes, a music video and a couple of trailers.

                      DVD Score 5/10

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                      • More +
                        09.01.2008 21:24
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                        DaVinci code by Dan Brown

                        When I purchased this book in January 2006, I was aware that it was a best seller and that millions of people had read it. I had ignored the reviews and had little idea of the content. Some reviewers early on had said that author Dan Brown's research was "Fantastic" Brown's editor continues to stand by his man, saying that Brown made nothing up save the fictional, contemporary story wrapped around religious controversy. After I browsed through the story initially, I realized what I was in for, and why all the ensuing critical flack from art historians, religious scholars. As a result, I can still identify with those who find inspiration from The Da Vinci Code, which relates the following:

                        At night in the Louvre Museum in Paris, an albino monk dressed in a hooded cloak shoots a curator in the stomach. The monk, Silas, is a radical member of the ultra-conservative Opus Dei sect of the Catholic Church. He wears a cilice, a thong that cuts flesh, around his thigh, and he flagellates himself bloody as part of a self-purification cult, in accordance with Opus Dei guidelines. Silas works for someone he knows only as "the Teacher," a wealthy Briton who we later finds out is obsessed with finding the Holy Grail of Arthurian legend. The curator happened to be the leader of a secret sect (the Priory of Sino) that hides and protects the Grail and a cache of ancient manuscripts that could prove Jesus Christ had fathered a child, Sarah, with Mary Magdalene. According to a fringe legend, Mary and her followers, as the true Christians, fled to France and perhaps England to avoid persecution from Peter and the Apostles. Their "secret" and the Jesus bloodline were protected through the centuries via other sects like the Templers. In the novel, a conservative Pope (guess who) has died, and a new, liberal leadership in the Vatican emerges, one that would rescind Opus Dei's significant status. The Teacher, identified at the end as Leigh Teabing, the wealthy Briton, finds a way to manipulate the Vatican and Opus Dei to get his hands on the Holy Grail.

                        Sir (he is a Knight) "money-is-no-object'" Teabing utilises the latest in surveillance equipment and extensive research to pin down that the secret about the Grail should have been unveiled, but he does not want to be exposed as the one who forces the secret from the Priory. So he devises an elaborate scheme. He convinces the Opus leader that the Grail secret will indeed be revealed, creating a catastrophe for Roman Catholicism and wiping out Opus Dei's reason for being. The Opus leader, a bishop, has a secret meeting with Vatican officials who now know about the potentially devastating Grail revelation, and they strike a deal. The Vatican pays the Opus leader 20 million euros in Vatican bonds to find the Grail and destroy the evidence. In return, Opus would retain its standing, and the Church could survive. Teabing, however, plans to get the Grail for himself in the end.

                        Enter Robert Langdon, a well-known Harvard professor of religious studies who specializes in symbolism and arcane wisdom. Langdon is a bachelor described as early middle aged with slightly greying hair, and he wears a tweed jacket. He was in Paris and was to meet with the curator. Langdon had written a manuscript that inadvertently revealed the secret that the curator and only four others held. The elderly and bleeding curator somehow managed to strip off his clothes, then arrange his body according to a famous Leonardo Da Vinci drawing of a naked man in a circle, "the Vitruvian Man." The curator, Sauniere, also managed to write some symbols in visible and invisible ink and in his blood on and around his body before he expired on the museum floor near the Mona Lisa. Enter Sophie Nevue, a French criminal investigator and code cracker, along with Bezu Fache, the lead French crime investigator. Sophie happens to be the curator's estranged granddaughter. As a result of the curator's codes and mysterious anagrams created at the crime scene, Sophie and Robert are drawn in (so to speak) to solve the murder and, later, the Grail mystery (and they fall in love in the end).

                        Brown chooses character names with symbolic meanings to add literary spice. The plot moves from Paris and France to the United Kingdom. Brown's Sophie ends up as a true daughter of the royal line of Magdalene and Jesus, as the renewed Sophia. So, if this is mere fiction, why all the fuss? The book inspired a rounds of debates in the media, I think all the response is because Brown appears to take this seriously: If you think about it, a lot of things would be very different right now if the opposite outcomes occurred. Brown does claim at the beginning of the book "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."

                        Because the title features this renowned genius, let us see just what Brown claims Leonardo included, in his paintings and drawings. In Brown's book, the Mona Lisa is far more esoteric than merely fine. Brown's character loads symbolism derived from an interpretation of seeming inconsistencies in the landscape behind the figure. In effect, Brown creates a mockery of Leonardo's intent as an experimental artist. A pentagram (or star) that appears on the dead curator (drawn in his own blood) indicates to Langdon, the symbolist, that Sophie's grandfather knew a code Leonardo had used to indicate the sacred feminine eschewed by the Roman Church. Leonardo allegedly inserted, as a kind of subtext, subliminal signals about the "goddess" and the female principle, about sun worship and pagan truths. In my view, Leonardo's aesthetic use of geometry transcended any mere reference to goddess worship-this was a scientific as well as an aesthetic approach to beauty, not a devious one. Leonardo may not have been the ideal Catholic (Brown's book relates that he was homosexual), but he certainly was not the conniving occultist described by Brown.

                        The French police initially target Langdon as the prime suspect. During their flight from Fache and the police, Langdon and Sophie meet with Leigh Teabing, apparently an ally, at his sumptuous villa, where he shows them a large reproduction of Leonardo's famous mural, The Last Supper. "One of you will betray me." This is slightly amended version.

                        Teabing, the Grail expert, points to the lack of a central chalice in the design as proof that the Grail is not a material cup. He goes on, with Langdon's noticing a "V" shape between an Apostle to Jesus' right, and Jesus as a symbol of the female. He identifies that apostle as Mary Magdalene, not the Apostle John, who art historians see. Indeed, Leonardo painted John as young and effeminate. If that is Mary, where is John? There are only thirteen figures. Teabing also claims that there is a disembodied hand with a knife (next to Judas) The Da Vinci Code is a decent thriller if the reader is either unaware of or manages to suspend the reality that undermines the story. In the spiritual-thriller genre. Brown covers just about everything imaginable in that murky, mysterious world. Including Magdalene as Grail, conspiracies to protect hidden scriptures, and Disney cartoons that hide occult wisdom. The ending does go slightly flat and can be predicted, but I would still say it is a worthwhile read.

                        Every faith in the world is based on fabrication. That is the definition of faith-acceptance of that which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove. Every religion describes God through metaphor, allegory; Metaphors are a way to help our minds process the unprocessable. I'll end with a quote: "Our cause is a secret within a secret, a secret that only another secret can explain; it is a secret about a secret that is veiled by a secret.

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                        • Blood Diamond (DVD) / DVD / 27 Readings / 27 Ratings
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                          09.01.2008 18:20
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                          A gripping and moving film about some of the true events that went on in Africa.

                          Blood Diamond is a brilliant and gripping movie and is by far the best film I have seen this year. It's combination of realistic storytelling, spot on acting and all out action scenes is what makes this movie work so well. I must tell you though that this film is definitely not for the faint hearted as a lot of scenes can be quite violent and bloody.

                          The movie is set in 1990's Sierra Leone against the backdrop of a raging civil war and is the story of two men, Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) and Danny Archer (Leonardo Di Caprio) whom have to work together in order to find a rare pink diamond. While in prison for smuggling, Archer learns that Solomon, who was captured by anti-goverment rebels and forced pan for diamonds, has found and hidden the stone. So with the help of an American journalist named Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), the two set off on a dangerous journey into rebel territory to find the diamond.

                          The movie is directed by Ed Zwick whom also directed 'The Last Samurai' and 'Glory'. I think he has done a brilliant job bringing this movie to the screen because he has managed to convey both the dramatic aspects of the story and the fanatstic action sequences without it leaning to one side. This is what I believe will keep audiences gripped to the end, like it did with me. Another aspect that kept me entertained throughout was the chemistry between the two lead characters and the way that DiCaprio's character 'Archer', changes over the course of the film.

                          Overall I think both DiCaprio and Hounsou have done a great job and both deserve oscar's for their performances. Jennifer Conelly didn't have such a major role but she was also good in the film. But mainly I would have to give credit to the writer and director, whom have manged to bring to the screen an intriguing and gripping movie. 9/10

                          The DVD has brilliant picture quality and the sound is equally as good. The big action scene in the middle of the film sounds brilliant and has good bass sound. The DVD also has some good extras but the best would have to be the commentary and the 'Blood on the stone' documentary. Both of which give an excellent insight into how the film was made.

                          For the DVD I would give an 8/10 score.

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                          • The Day After Tomorrow (DVD) / DVD / 19 Readings / 16 Ratings
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                            10.02.2005 14:26
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                            Day after Tommorow Movie review. As you can't post movie reviews on Dooyoo I posted this in the DVD category instead.

                            I am quite a big fan of big action disaster movies such as 'Armageddon', 'Independence Day' and 'The Core'. So I was really looking forward to this one and after seeing the trailer it was on my top 10 list of films to see. Though I actually was going to see Harry Potter on that day but it was sold out.

                            The film opened in the US with a very respectable $70 Million Dollars into the number 2 spot of the Box Office as Shrek 2 still was hoilding the no 1 slot on it's second week and totaling up $238 Million. 'Day after Tomorrow' was made on a $125 Milion budget so it will easily get it's money back in the US alone and the worldwide intake will count towards profits. So it looks like something else may come from the director 'Roland Emerich' further down the line.

                            The film is made and written by, as I stated above by Roland Emerich who made films such as 'Godzilla', 'Independence Day, 'The Patriot' and 'Stargate'. He also recently produced 'Eight Legged Freaks'. So all in all he has a very good filmography but does this film live up to the reputation of his past projects?

                            Well as you know the story is kind of based on true facts of something similar that could happen according to scientists. The main storyline is basically about a natural disaster of the ice melting and then falling into the ocean causing it cover the North of the Globe with disasterous weathers and tidal waves.

                            The main characters in the film are Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), Sam Hall (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Sam's love interest Laura Chapman (played by Emily Rossum). First off in the story Jack is giving a speech about global warning or something to goverments from around the world at a summit in India and tells them that the effects of global warming will start to appear in a hundred or so years. He asks for funding to help try and prevent any major disasters but his comments are discounted by most, especially the vice president whom later realises that Jack was right. So obvilously disaster strikes in Los Angeles and New York. Jack's son who is in New York with school friends gets caught up in it all when the tdal waves hit so the four take refuge in the public library with others who have managed to escape the deadly tidal waves that have washed New York's streets clean out.

                            As with most action films we start off straight into the action when Dennis Quaid's character and his associates are in Alaska (or Anatarctica?) and the ice starts to break away forcing Jack to do a cheesy stunt to save their lives. We then move more into the story when Jack gives his speech. After that the action really starts when all the mini disasters start happening so as it can lead up to the big event in New York.

                            The first action sequence takes place in Japan when it starts raining with massive hail stones the size of footballs. This was a funny sequence as there was some old guy who looked like Miogi from Karate Kid who was like standing their just looking around him at people getting hit by these hail stones for about 3 thirds of the sequence and didn't get hit once. He did finally manage to take cover under a truck in the end. The effects were quite good but this wasn't a very heavy effects sequence to the ones to come.

                            We then went onto the hurricanes in Los Angeles. This was very loud and amazing to watch. The speakers in the cinema were practically blowing up as the twisters smashed through office blocks, vehicles and houses. The visual effects were put to good use here and were very beliveable of something that could happen. I would though, have liked to seen more in this particular sequence in the movie.

                            Finally about an hour or so into the film we come to the main action tidal wave sequence in New York and I must tell you you won't be dissapointed. There is a big build up to this scene and it's worth the wait becuase the set pieces are excellent and just seeing the people fleeing for their lives as a tidal wave comes up behind them just adds to the excitement. People are running in to each other, on top of cars, trying to get into buildings and basically anything to escape, that's why this has to be one of my favourite scenes in the movie because it's got the action and the characters to go with it. Unlike the Los Angeles scene where it was mainly just reporters saying that there are hurricanes around them and that they are destroying buildings. Who cares about that shouldn't you be running all ready? Anyways thats why with the scene in New York you can actually imagine you are there running for your life and pushing people out of the way as you try and get cover or something.

                            That scene had obviously havey use of CGI and it worked really well. I didn't like the overhead shots of the tidal waves coming from the ocean into Manhattan as it did look a but fake but the bits on the streets were great.

                            After the main action is over we concentrate on the four friends who are in the library. I didn't mind this part and was very entertained throughout. There was also a love story thrown in with Jake Gyllenhaal's character and Emily Rossum's caharcter which I think worked quite well as there was good chemistry between them. All of the characters in the library scene were very good and I was impressed by all their performances. This was something that helped the film dramatically after the big event as these characters kept the film alive and watchable to the end.

                            The story also followed Dennis Quaid's character and his two colleagues who go off to New York to search for Dennis Quaid's character's son. Dennis Quaid's performance was very strong throughout and was the best overall in my opinion because he made his character very interesting as climatologist and also brought out the father side of his character.

                            Although not in much of the film I quite enjoyed Ian Holm's (Bilbo from Lord of the Rings) input to the film as the Proffesor who first noticed that something was going wrong. Jack Hall's wife played by Sela Ward was also quite good but as she didn't have that many lines in the movie wasn't able to show her full potential but overall gave a pleasent performance.

                            So altogether I thought this was an amazing movie with a special effects extravaganza but I somehow felt that things were left out and thought that the ending was a bit predicatible. I though that the director/writer may have tried something new for the ending but didn't. The direction was good but the writing needed a bit of sorting out. Overall though the combination of exellent performances and great special effects makes me gives this a thumbs up and a good rating. I recommend you have a look at this film on the big screen.

                            Thanks for reading.

                            Previously posted by me on Ciao. http://www.ciao.co.uk/The_Day_After_Tomorrow_2004__Review_5420495

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                          • Popular / TV Programme / 14 Readings / 12 Ratings
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                            09.01.2005 16:30
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                            This was a great show that got cancelled way too soon.

                            I don't know if many of you remember this show but it used to come on Sky One in about 1999/2000 and was also repeated by Channel 5 in about 2003. It has now finally been released on DVD so I thought I would do a short review on the new boxset just to refresh your memories about why this show is so good and why you should purchase the box set or not.

                            I purchased the DVD boxset for 'Popular: Season one' for around 25 pounds which, I thought was a really good price, even just for the episodes alone. I had been waiting a long time for this release and was so happy when it arrived so I could not only watch the episodes again but so I could also catch up with the ones I missed in DVD quality. The only thing that bothered me though was that fact that the original press release that I read at tvshowsondvd.com said that there would be several 'making of's' and other special features that haven't actually been included anywhere on the set. It's weird too because they left space on the last disc for the extras buy only putting 2 episodes on that disc. Hopefully though these features will be on the second season box set that comes out in March 2005. Included in this DVD set is all 22 episodes from the first season along with a couple of bonus features. I'm not sure when it will be released in the UK but it should be sometime early next year. Though it might not come out at all.

                            Why was it cancelled?

                            As with a lot of good TV shows (particuarly ones I review) this was another one that was cancelled. The reason for that is somewhat the same as any of the other shows I've reviewed and that is bad ratings. Though it didn't start off like that. Like 'Sliders' this had good ratings to start with, hence why the network gave it a second season but then by the second season when it changed time slots it went from getting 3 Million viewers in the first season to 1 Million viewers. There was also another reason and that was that the show was getting to real and was emphasising on more serious subjects such as Harrison's lukemia storyline.

                            It lasted a total of two seasons but left fans wondering what was going to happen next because of the massive cliffhanger at the end of season two. The story is that episodes 21 and 22 of the second season were going to be a two-part special but although both scripts were written, only the first part was filmed before the network had cancelled the show. Many fans of the show have petitioned for a TV movie to finish up the show properly but there has been no luck so far. At least the actors are up for it though, if it was ever on the table, according to one of the audio commentary tracks. But what I liked so much about this show was that it wasn't your usual teen drama like for instance 'Dawson's Creek'. It had a great comedic twist about it and the characters were so well written in to each of the different and wild storylines that you could easily associate yourself with one of them. The show also touched on a lot of different subjects around the 'Popular' theme throughout it's two seasons that gave for loads of different plots and sub-plots. What the creators have done with 'Popular' is unique and will always be remembered as another good TV show that was ended way before it's time. This showed at the awards ceromonies as it picked up a fare few awards and nominations including a win for 'Best breakout show' and 'New series'.

                            - The show -

                            Popular was created by Gina Matthews (Jake 2.0, The Mountain) and Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck), whom also wrote some of the episodes. The show takes place at a high school called Kennedy High and is based around around two girls who absolutley hate each other but are brought togther when Brooke's dad and Sam's mum fall in love and get engaged. To make things worse Sam has to move in to Brooke's house. One is popular one is not.

                            The show stars Leslie Bibb (ER, Line of Fire, The Skulls), Carly Pope (Orange County), Christopher Gorham (Jake 2.0), Bryce Johnson, Ron lester (Varsity Blues), Leslie Grossman, Tammy Lynn-Michaels (The L Word) and Sara Rue (Pearl Harbour) and tells the story of the Popular and the not so popular guys and girls at Kennedy high. The Popular ones are Brooke McQueen, Nicole Jullian, Mary Cherry, Brooke's boyfriend Josh Ford (the quarter-back) and Sugar Daddy. The not so popular include Sam 'Spam' McPherson, Harrison 'Joe' John, Lily Esposito and Carmen Ferrera. There are also some other recurring characters such as their bilogy teacher, Roberta 'Bobbi' Glass (Sir), Brooke's dad Mike McQueen, Sam's mum Jane McPherson, Cherry Cherry (Mary Cherry's mum), Emory Dick, Freddy Gong and loads more. There are also some great guest appearences throughout the season including one or two from Erik Astrada.

                            The opening theme song for Popular was 'Supermodels' by Kendall Payne and the closing theme song was 'High School Highway' by Sydney Forest .

                            The first season overall was amazing and is probably my fav out of the two though I must admit I did miss quite a few episodes from season two. The thing I most want to compliment is the writing because it was very different and must have been hard for the writers to keep the right amount of comedy and drama on screen without it leaning to one side, therefore keeping it as a dramedy. The performances by the cast were also on top form with my fav being from the duo of Leslie Grossman (Mary Cherry) and Tammy Lynn Michaels (Nicole Jullian) because of the great comic relief they gave and also Diane Delano (Sir/Ms Glass) just for making me think she was a man. The one I most fancied though was Brooke McQueen (Leslie Bibb). There were also some amazing standout episodes such as 'Caged!' where the girls get locked in the restroom and come clean about their deepest secrets and also 'Fall on your knees' (the Christmas special) where they do a sort of 'Christmas Carol' episode where Nicole Julian is the Scrooge character. I also enjoyed the last episode 'Two Weddings and a Funeral' among others.

                            - Technical Details -

                            The show is presented on the DVD in full screen and although there is the odd occasion of grain this is a really good transfer, as always though I would have preffered a Widescreen version just because it seems to look better. The sound for the DVD is regular Dolby Surround. This is a great mix and works well for a show that doesn't have any big action scenes.

                            - Extra Features -

                            As I said at the start of the review the extra features were for some reason cut by the company that makes the DVD's so all we are left with are the three audio commentaries by some of the cast and crew from 'Popular'. I wasn't dissapointed though as they more than made up for the abscence of the making of's, additional footage and other stuff.

                            On Disc one there is an audio commentary with Ryan Murphy, Jamie Babbit, Christoper Gorham, Leslie Bibb and Bryce Johnson. This disc also includes a couple of trailers for other Buena Vista releases such as Alias: Season three. On disc four there is the second of the three commentaries with the same members as before but this time there is the inclusion of Leslie Grossman. Disc Five has the last and final commentary which includes the same members as the last commentary minus Leslie Bibb.

                            All three commentaries were brilliant as the cast and crew had a lot to say and left no quite momments but for me the most informative was the commentary for the pilot because they tell us how they got picked up by the WB network and how the show was recieved by the fans. They also comment on the cast auditions and that the role of Josh Ford was originally given to someone else (Kip Pardue) but they decided to re-cast the role and give it to Bryce Johnson. On the second commentary Leslie Grossman joins them and gives a great input and reflects on her experiences on making popular too.

                            - Final word -

                            This is a great DVD for a great show and I can't wait for the next release. I hope you enjoyed the review and decide to take a look at this show.

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                            • Sliders / TV Programme / 2 Readings / 14 Ratings
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                              16.08.2004 16:46
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                              A brilliant sci-fi series that should have been allowed a 5th season.

                              I'm a big fan of Sliders and was very happy when it was announced that the first and second seasons would finally be released on DVD in a 'Dual Dimension' collectors box set. I had been waiting a long time for this day and it wouldn't have happened without the determenation of the fans that sent numerous letters, emails and pettitions off to the executives of the show. I bought my Box set for around £28, which was a bit high considering most TV shows that have 22 episodes cost around £23 or so, but I didn't care, I could finally get one of my fav sci-fi shows on DVD after all these years of waiting.

                              [The History behind Sliders]

                              Sliders started life on the Fox channel for the first three seasons and was then picked up by the Sci-Fi channel after Fox cancelled it. It's a weird history behind Sliders because it has been cancelled quite a few times. It was initially put on hiatus after 9 episodes out of the 22 were completed in the first season. This was because Fox wanted to change the nature of the show and have more action than it actually had. So because of late production on the next lot of episodes, after the hiatus period, these episodes were aired a year later and were known as season two. Fox then officially cancelled the show after the episodes were aired.

                              Fans were devasted at the decision by Fox, so decided to start a campaign to bring the show back. Their efforts worked and Fox gave Sliders a full 25 episode season, exactly what the fans wanted. For that season Sliders done quite well in the ratings but Fox decided to cancel it again because they wanted to go ahead with another show in the time slot that Sliders usually had. Lucky enough though, the Sci-Fi channel saw the potential in Sliders and decided to pick it up for a Fourth and then a Fifth season. After good ratings (First place in Season 4 and second place behind Farscape in Season Five), fans thought that Sliders would surely get a Sixth Season, but no they didn't. Sci-Fi cancelled the show. That decision was mainly thought to be because of problems with the budget the Sixth season would have had but I'm not sure. There are also rumours that Sci-Fi tried to pin the blame for the cancellation on the actors, saying that none of them signed up for a Sixth Season, but they responded by saying that they were never asked and went on to do other projects.

                              Not only has Sliders been cancelled several times but key members of cast and crew left the show too. Most notably was the removal of John Rhys-Davies (Professor Arturo), Sabrina Loyd (Wade Wells) and of course the main star Jerry O'Connell (Quinn Mallory). This was what let the show down in the fourth and Fifth seasons. There were loads of goings on with pay disputes and what not but nothing could be settled. The only actor who stayed for all five seasons was Cleavant Derricks (Rembrandt Brown), who became the lead character after Jerry left. Rembrandt was a good character but after seeing Jerry O'Connell as the lead for so long it felt very different. Various writers and producers left too, which was why a lot of the stories didn't turn out that well. There were so many cast/character changes as well that didn't help the matter. These included Kari Wuhrer joining the cast in Season three and Tembi Locke and Robert Floyd joining in Season Five. This was of course because many of the original actors had left the show for one reason or another.

                              Sliders has been a hit all round the world and like another cancelled show 'Farscape', continues to play on the sciFi channel. So if you want to catch a few episodes then the best thing is to check if you got that channel. They used to air Sliders on BBC2 but the BBC decided not to purchase Seasons Four and Five after they aired on Sky One. That left many of us who were watching on BBC2 in a bit of a bother because we didn't have Sky.

                              [The characters]


                              Quinn Mallory [Jerry O'Connell] aka Q-Ball

                              Quinn spends most of his time in the basement of the house, where he often conducts various experiments, one of course that led to sliding. He lives in San Fransisco and when he was 12, his dog Bopper went missing. His father died in a car crash at the same time. After his father's death Quinn got interested in 'Quantum Physics' and decided to go to the University of California to study the subject. There he attended lectures by Professor Arturo. He also works part time at the Doppler Computer Superstore as a repairman. His friend Wade also works there.

                              Wade [Kathleen] Wells [Sabrina Lloyd]

                              Wade is the best friend of Quinn Mallory and works at the Doppler Computer Superstore. She also has feelings for Quinn but she is considered to be more like a sister to him, so their romance doesn't really go anywhere to start with. Over the course of the season they do kiss but Wade becomes more closer to Rembrandt because they agree on more things than she did with Quinn.

                              Rembrandt [Lee] Brown [Cleavant Derricks] aka 'The Crying Man', 'Remy'

                              Rembrandt first started life as a singer with his music group 'The Spinning Tops' but once he left them his success went downhill. He was named 'The Crying man' after he cried real tears on stage and often provides a lot of the comic relief throughout the seasons.

                              Professor Maximilian P. Arturo [John-Rhys Davies]

                              Arturo has to be most sarcastic out of Sliders but he is very knowledgable and his bright ideas and plans help the Sliders out in most sticky situations. He's a teacher of Cosmology and Ontology at the University of California and is one of Quinn's lecturers.


                              [How does the story for Sliders start out?]

                              Quinn Mallory accidently opens up a portal to another dimension while he was trying to discover anti-gravity. After several tests he then invent
                              s a timer so that if he goes through the gateway he can return home. This is when the story really starts. Quinn decides to enter the portal and lands himself in a parallel-world that is slightly different to his own, where for example, on a traffic light, red is go and green is stop. This world was only a little bit different but as you will see later in the seasons some worlds are totally different.

                              When he returns from his sucessful 'Slide' he finds out that he is being blamed for things he hasn't done while he has been away. That is when he finds out that a double from another world has also invented sliding and has come through the gateway into his world.The double has been Sliding for quite some time and just as his timer counts down to the last second he tries to warn Quinn about something with the Timer. The double Quinn isn't able to finish what he is saying as the portal opens and he is sucked through.

                              Later Quinn invites his friends Wade and Arturo round to his house to show them what the device can do. The two are amazed when they see Quinn's basement full of gadgets and gizmos but what really amazes them is when Quinn opens up the portal. Wade wants to try it out but the professor looks at it from a more scientific view and questions whether or not it would be stable for all of them. After, they all decide to travel through the vortex but first Quinn decides to increase the power so that the portal will be large enough to carry all of them through safely, but once they enter the vortex something goes wrong and causes the portal to enlarge and travel out into the street where it gathers up Rembrandt in his cadillac.

                              When the four 'Sliders' arrive on the next world they stumble upon disaster, so Quinn must advance the timer and open up a new vortex for them to escape. This saves their lives but has also caused the timer to erase the co-ordinates of their own world, which therefore begins their journey sliding through numerous worlds in an attempt to make it back to their own someday.

                              [The Seasons]

                              [Season One Intro] What if you could find brand new worlds right here on Earth, where anything's possible? Same planet, different dimension. I've found the gateway!

                              [Season Two Intro] What if you could travel to parallel worlds? The same year, the same Earth, only different dimensions. A world where the Russians rule America, or where your dreams of being a superstar came true, or where San Francisco was a maximum security prison? My friends and I have found the gateway. Now the problem is, finding a way back home!

                              Overall both seasons were excellent and it was a great ride sliding through the different worlds. Some really great episodes were produced and among my favourites would have to be the feature-length Pilot episode. This was because it not only set the story for sliding through different dimensions but because it almost felt like a sort of movie. There were so many other great worlds that the Sliders visited such as the one where men are are considered the weaker sex or where most of the world's population of men have been killed by a virus. Whatever world Sliders takes you to it's always great fun. The visual effects for the show were also very good and were considered the best for a TV show at the time Sliders was made. Obviously when I watch it back now the effects are not as good as say Farscape or something but one thing that is still realistic is the vortex, which the Sliders jump through when they travel from world to world.

                              [The DVD]

                              The 6-disc Dual Dimension DVD set is region one NTSC and is not available on Region 2 at the moment. The best thing is, if you've got a multi-region player, is to puchase it from a cheap canadian site like me or to get it from cdwow.com, Amazon or playusa or something. You have to watch out though because a lot of these sites ship there DVD's direct from Canada so you can get a customs charge a lot of the time. I was lucky this time, I avoided getting charged. But now that probably means when I order my next box set, a £9 something charge will be waiting for me. I really hate it when this sh*t happens. Why can't you just order it and get it delivered to your house like your suppose too?

                              [The Packaging]

                              The packaging for this box set is very different and original to most sets that I buy. This is because there is an illusion that makes the discs looks as though they are floating. This has been done quite simply with a piece of foam which is stuck on the left with six slots for the DVD's to slide in and out of. When you pick it up it does feel kind of cheap because it's nothing like the normal package you would get. I hate the design and think they should never have had this design. The outta case is a shinny silver in colour with an image of sliders on the front. It also has the sliders logo in a purple colour. There is also a transparent plastic cover that slots into the case so you can see the discs 'float'. There is no writing on the back and comes with no booklet, which is a shame. Many people thought that the discs would get scratched up if you keep pulling the discs in and out but various sites have tested it several times and say that the foam does not cause the discs to get scratched.

                              [Technical details]

                              Sadly the two seasons are not in Widescreen, but instead a nice cleaned up fullscreen version is included, which I am happy with. It's probably one of the best fullscreen transfers actually, for a TV show. The colours are all in the right contrast and despite having some dust are very good quality. On the audio side of things everything is fine, considering that I first thought that there was going to be a Mono track rather than the Dolby Surround track that is actually included. It's not the best but it does the job at recreating the stunning Slider
                              s sound effects and music. The set also contains English, French and Spanish subtitles but there are no other language tracks included.

                              [Extra Features]

                              This is a big let down because there's so much that could have been included, such as various outtakes, interviews, behind the scenes segments, extra commentaries but we get none of that and are stuck with only a total of three features. These are:-

                              [Audio Commemtary with writers/co-creators Robert K. Weiss and Tracy Torme]

                              Considering the pilot was about an hour and a half long we are given quite long commentary, which is one good thing about the extras. Overall I thought the commentary was great and very informative. We were let in a few behind the scenes mishaps and they talked about the actors, among other things. One highlight would have to be when they explained how John Rhys-Davies wanted to do this stunt where he had to roll under a truck. They told him that they wanted to use a stunt double but he kept insisting that he he wanted to do it. So they finally let him and guess what? He rolled under the truck split his head open.

                              [The Making of Sliders]

                              This was mainly featurette fluff with loads of clips from the show but it did have quite a few good interviews in there. Out of the actors though, only Cleavant Derricks and Jerry O'Connell are interviewed. It would have been nice to see what some of the others had to say but nothing from them was included. So overall it was an okay feature.

                              [Photo Gallery]

                              Some photos come on the screen with some music playing in the background.

                              [Final Word]

                              Overall it was a great two seasons and I really enjoyed seeing them again after all these years. As I do with most of my TV show DVD reviews I would like to recommend the show to anyone who is into Sci-Fi. It's a great show and these two seasons were the high peak of Sliders.

                              Thanks for reading!

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                              • SFX / Magazine / Newspaper / 1 Reading / 13 Ratings
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                                06.08.2004 17:29
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                                I have been subscribed to SFX magazine for quite some time now and although I can get a lot of the news and other info from the internet I still enjoy the read. So as you can probably guess from the title, the mag will appeal to anyone who is into the Science-Fiction and Fantasy genre. This can range from Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter to Farscape and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Whatever you're into there's always something interesting to read.The magazine is 122 pages in total and covers all of the latest news and views in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy world. The magazine costs around £3.60 in the shops but you can get it cheaper if you subscribe. I currently pay £8.90 for every 3 issues, which works out at about £3 each. You will need a debit card though, if you want to subscribe. When you do subscribe you get the latest issue early and you also get a limited edition cover that doesn't have any writing on it, apart from the logo. You sometimes get free stuff too. A couple of issues back I got a free copy of Total Film and Playstation 2 magazine. Not bad if you ask me. Before we get to any of the main features we are given a teaser of what's to come. This is done via the 'highlights' page. The page basically gives the reader an idea of the main stuff that he/she can expect in this issue and also tells you what page these things are on. We then move on to the 'Contents' page. This shows what page each topic is on so you can skip ahead to something you really want to look at. I know that in this issue, as soon as I found out they had 'Farscape: Peackeeper Wars' pics, I jumped to that page straight away. The contents page also shows that the magazine is split into four different sections. The four sections are entitled 'News', 'Features', 'Departments' and 'Reviews'. When we turn to the next page we land on the trailers page. Each issue they analyse a new Sci-Fi or fantasy trai
                                ler via screencaptures and also include a short summary about the movie, the trailer is advertising. The views of the SFX team are also included. In this issue they analysed the trailer for the upcoming Sarah Michelle Geller horror 'The Grudge'. Some of the info they included was that the film was a remake of a Japanese horror film and that this was the film that prevented SMG from being in the last episode of Angel. The SFX team's views are quite funny too. The 'Mailbag' page is next and is probably one of my favourite parts of the mag. In this part we get to read the letters and emails from SFX readers who want to shout out about something or want to ask questions to the SFX team. In this issue they had a side section for some of the Angel letters they recieved about the cancellation of the show. They could only show a few because they got so many. I haven't written in yet but I'm planning to at some point. We now move on to one of the main sections, 'News'. This part includes the topic 'Strange Tales' which basically has all of the latest news and rumours in movies and TV. As I said before there was a nice Farscape page in this issue which included some really great teaser pics, but who knows what it might be in the next mag??? Also included in this part is a 'US TV round up' that includes casting news and other info about some of the US TV shows such as Tru Calling and Smallville. There can be some exclusive news so it's always a great section to look at. 'Features' is the next main part of the magazine and includes a great array of intresting reads. First off is 'SFX Profile'. This part usually includes two or three articles about people in sci-fi/fantasy. In this particular issue they included a great article about Chris Barrie who was the star of Red Dwarf. Next is the 'cover feature' which, in this issue is 'The 69 Sexiest Aliens and A.I.s' whe
                                re the winner was Enterprise's Jolene Blalock who plays T'Pol. I don't know if I agree with that but all I can say is that SFX must have a lot of Star Trek readers! I would have wanted the Buffybot to win or Claudia Black who plays Aeryn Sun on Farscape. Still in the same section, we move on to the next load of load features. In this issue these were 'On Set: Smallville' which was basically a look back at Season 3, On Set: The Chronicles of Riddick', this was a behind the scenes look the set, Interview: Dominic Keating', 'On Set: Stargate SG-1', 'On Set: I Robot' and 'Past Perfect: Doomwatch'. So as you can gather this section is very packed and will definitely last you until your next copy. I know it takes me ages to get through all of this stuff but when I do sit down and finally read it I find it very informative and at times humourous. The quality of writing is top-class and easy to read, even for the casual reader like myself. The last two section are 'Departments' and 'Reviews'. 'Departments' includes more articles and most notably this where all the info is if you want to enter the competitions. You can also find out about the latest subscription offers too. 'Reviews' as you can guess is full of DVD, Movie, books and comic reviews. Although not always right their reviews are always a nice read and remember if you don't agree you can always write in. So overall this is a fantastic magazine with lots of great articles and other reads to get stuck into and always delivers the top-class writing and humour that is associated with SFX magazine. I recommend you pick up a copy today. I don't think this is a very good review because when I read it back it seams as though I have repeated quite a few words and it doesn't make that much sense. If you feel the same way I would be greatful for a few edits to spice it up a bit. Thanks for read
                                ing anyway. Also posted on Ciao.

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