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Game Of Thrones is the ambitious recreation of George.R.R.Martin''s epic, sprawling fantasy series of novels on the small screen and is one of the most-watched/ most pirated shows on television at the moment.
Set in a medieval world where dragons and magic have long since died out, the plot follows a mythical land thrown into chaos when a conspiracy is revealed that indicates one particular family, the Lannisters, are working hard to control the throne. Ned Stark is an honest and highly moral man who fights to uncover the truth as the King''s hand, but soon finds himself involved in a very deadly game!
The first thing you need to know about this series is that it is complicated. When the Kingdom descends into chaos, suddenly everyone wants a piece of the throne and it can be difficult at times keeping in mind who is who, but believe me when I say the pay-off is worth it!
This is one of the most brutal shows ever to be featured on television and things you can expect to see include incest, infanticide, glorious depictions of both sex and violence that are not ashamed to flaunt themselves openly and more intrigue and political subterfuge than you can shake a stick at!
If you like hard-hitting fantasy that is less Lord Of The Rings and much more War Of The Roses, this is for you. There are Dragons, but they only come much,much later.
No expense has been spared making this show and it''s backdrops as life-like and realistic as possible. One of the most breath-taking sights is the wall of the North; a 700 foot wall of ice, made to keep those known as the White Walkers on the other side. But everything about this show is as beautiful and as wonderfully created as it is dark!
This show has had such a wide appeal that it has become one of the highest ranking shows of all time already and seems to have a very wide and varied appeal.
As a big fan of the books, I am very pleased at its success and though this first season takes a little while to truly get off the ground, once it does I dare you not to become hooked!
The best thing about owning this DVD? As well as giving you the chance to re-watch the show as often as you like, it also includes a guide to all the various families.
So what are you waiting for? Season 4 has just started, time to catch up...
The most misleading thing about this film is the title. It is not a Good Day To Die Hard, more like a sad day for the franchise.
The last film was okay, had lots of action and was fun even if it was, at times, nonsensical. This film is just dumb with a capital D!
Bruce, after traveling to Moscow to see his son, just seems to be going through the motions and, in many scenes, looks tired and bored as though just waiting to cash in his paycheck. The guy playing his son is so nondescript I cannot even bother to remember his name and seems pretty much surplus to requirements throughout. All in all this was a total waste of an hour 4o minutes of my time!
There are so many plot holes in this film, it might as well be Swiss cheese.
In one scene early on, we are supposed to just accept the fact that Bruce has lost all sense of moral compass as he plows across the busy motorways of Moscow with no care or regard for any innocent motorists who get in his way and the lack of any significant Police activity would be laughable if this film wasn''t quite so bad.
As it is, when they do turn up, the local Police are just used as cannon fodder - removing any chance of Bruce liaising with them in a nostalgic Red Heat kind of way which was something I had been hoping we might see.
Indeed, when I heard this was set in Russia, a new spin on the classic Red Heat was exactly what I was hoping for. I would have loved to see Bruce Willis teaming up with his Eastern European counterpart, but unfortunately apparently this was not to be!
All this film consists of is mindless action, car chases and violence with nothing of substance to back it up! If you want a film that leaves you feeling like your brain cells are dying and you are slowly getting more and more dumb with every scene, then this is for you.
It is difficult to come up with even one redeeming feature!
Hopefully this will be the last in the series. Die Hard With A Vengeance was the last truly decent entry and everything since has just gone downhill.
Even the camera work on this is appalling, making it a Die Hard film really in name and name only.
You want to know what I really think? You could''ve called this anything and still got away with it. Calling it Die Hard is just a way of them making more money but unfortunately this tactic may well have back-fired on them!
Well, after talking to several of my peers, it seems I am in the minority but you know what? I'm used to that.
My name is Sparkymarky and I have a confession to make: I hated The Dark Knight Rises!
Batman Begins was excellent. It set the pace and direction for future Batman films and was one of the better Superhero films around. The Dark Knight, I felt was notable only for Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker but otherwise forgettable. This though was the worst of the three yet.
The only stand-out performance here (other than Morgan Freeman who is always awesome) was Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. I thought she had Selina Kyle down to a tee. It was just a shame the direction was all over the place!
There was absolutely nothing about this film I liked and, for neither me nor my wife, it had no redeeming features! Hell, it took so long for Batman to actually appear I wondered if I was watching the right film!
Bane too left me unimpressed. He seemed to lack motivation and the whole respirator thing on his face just made him look silly. In the comics he is a serious threat - the man who broke The Bat. Here, he just seemed like a stupid villain - almost a caricature of the evil he was supposed to represent.
There are not many comic-based movies I hate. I even didn't mind Daredevil and Electra. In fact the only one I can think of that I hated was Spawn.
This though left me cold, it left me unimpressed and it left me bored.
I wanted to turn this off after 45 minutes, my wife insisted we watch till the end to see how it finished and also because she thought it might get better. It didn't.
I honestly hope they treat Batman better in the new Superman/ Batman upcoming movie, but seeing this I have my doubts. I also don't know how they will tie it in to this trilogy following this films ending.
Marvel are a virtual master-class when it comes to Superhero films. If D.C want to compete, they need to do much better than this!
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs was brilliant, simply brilliant. One of the best kids films I had seen in a long time. I mean really funny. So a sequel was always going to great right? Right? Right?
Unfortunately not. I mean don't get me wrong, it's still funny - just not AS funny. The jokes feel a little lamer second time around and the evil mastermind who spends most of his time waving his hands around like a maniacal contortionist just got on my nerves a bit.
The idea isn't a bad one. The island of Swallow Falls has to be abandoned after Flint Lockwood's food catastrophe in the first film, while a team of scientists move in to clear it up. Flint is finally given a chance to work with the scientist who inspired him, but soon finds it's not all it's cracked up to be. Meanwhile, the deposed town people start getting restless and antsy as to when they can return.
When things go a bit wrong over on the island during clean-up, it soon becomes apparent that Flint is the only man who can sort it out. So he and his buddies, including love interest Sam Sparks, head back to find out what is happening.
The food has come alive!
Over on the island, Flint discovers a whole new Lost World of his own creating; made real by the machine thought destroyed in the first film. But what is his mentor's true intentions and what exactly does he really have planned for the island?
This is a good film. No, really it is. It's good. It's just NOT great. And that's a shame because the original deserved slightly better than this. Steve the monkey is still sublime and the whole thing very humorous, it's just not quite as rip-roaringly as funny as before.
My daughter loved this and it kept her quiet (well, apart from her going around saying 'steve' for a couple of days), daddy was not so sure about it.
Maybe I'm just getting old but I didn't think this was a patch on the original, still one of my favourites of all time.
Taken 2 is the slightly unnecessary sequel to the film that saw Liam Neeson stepping forward as an unexpected action hero.
As you may recall, in the first film his daughter was taken into a white-slave ring to be sold off as a prostitute whilst on a trip to France. Liam Neeson, her former Special Forces dad, waded in to the rescue and pretty much kicked the ass of anyone who got in his way with explosive consequences.
This time around, it is Neeson and his wife who are taken. The father of the guy responsible in the first film wants revenge on Neeson for killing his son and is willing to use Neeson's family to do it.
This time around, it is the daughter that must come to the rescue...
I loved the concept and the whole message the film is trying to convey- that if you participate in violence and violent actions, you promote an endless cycle of revenge killing and people seeking vengeance for what they consider wrongs. I just thought the message got lost along the way and that this film ended up just being very similar to the original. That's not a bad thing- if it ain't broke, don't fix it - but it did make for a film that was ever so slightly lacking in places.
Neeson is simply superb as always, Famke Janssen her usual fairly wooden self. The action is fast-paced and relentless and there is a whole point here that the Directors seem to be trying to make.
It's just that you can't help thinking watching this, "yeah, seen it, wore the t-shirt...check please!"
It was actually better than I expected, but seeing as I did not have high hopes for it, that is not that big a recommendation. I do think if you liked the first one, you should watch this, just not too close together as you might easily get confused which one is which??!!??
When I heard they were rebooting Spiderman, I admit I despaired. Not because the original films were so hot, because they weren't, but more because the thought of another remake/ reboot/ call it what you will it's the same damn thing, made me want to just curl up and die.
Even putting this on, and I had to watch it as a long time Spidey fan, I had my doubts. These were not made any better by my first sight of Andrew Garfield.
'OMG, what have they done? He's a skater boy!' Was my first cry. Then something happened...
Was it the script, was it the fact that everyone in this acted so damn good, was it because it stayed almost entirely more faithful to nhe comics than Sam Raimi ever did?
Actually, it was a combination of all three. I am now convinced.
Andrew Garfield IS Spiderman!!!
The script follows Peter Parker's original story: bit by a radioactive spider, he develops spider- like abilities and, after the death of his Uncle Ben, goes onto become one of Marvel's mightiest heroes.
In this film, it is all about The Lizard. Doc Connors wants to replace a missing limb and uses a genetic procedure involving lizards to make it regrow at Oscorp, the company he works for.
Of course it goes wrong and Parker is forced to take on his old mentor to try and stop the Lizard from rampaging through town. There's more to it than that but to say any more would give it away.
This film expertly sets things up for future installments. It introduces Oscorp as a company responsible for genetic experimentation and is where Parker first gains his powers. Gwen Stacey is introduced as a love interest as well she should be and there are glimpses and hints of Oscorp's ailing founder, Norman Osbourn.
With star turns from Stan Lee, Sally Fields and Martin Sheen, the only thing missing hee is J.Jonah Jameson!
Even the Daily Bugle gets a cameo, as does Parker's early journalism career!
Ignore the critics, this film is superb. This is how good it is: as soon as it finished myself and my wife looked up when the new one is released and swore we would see that one at the cinema!
This really is Spidey's best outing to date and I simply loved it.
Bring on The Sinister Six!
A series of mysterious ghostly events occurring all around a military base in Germany, an ancient curse, a missing nuclear scientist...how ARE all these things connected? One person, a local Baron, thinks he has some of the answers but before he can reveal what he knows, four high level military operatives find themselves caught up in a fight for all humanity...
Part thriller/ part fantasy, this book is one that probably shouldn't work with all its separate elements, but somehow it does! Tabitha Baumander has done an excellent job of pulling together all the various plot strands and has crafted together an addictive and highly compelling read. I loved this, thought the concept was original and amazing and could hardly make myself put this down!
The story combines elements of a real-life Dungeons & Dragons game with a tough, uncompromising military thriller and if you were to think of F.Paul Wilson's The Keep, you would be on the right tracks as this is every bit as clever and well thought out. Featuring a race against time and the ultimate battle between Good and Evil, the book is one of the best from a new author that I had the pleasure of reading last year.
The first of Tabitha's stories I have read , judging from this first effort this author looks to be a formidable tour-de-force that it would be well worth keeping an eye on in the future!
I really, really enjoyed this and eagerly look forward to whatever this author has to come next!
Odd Tales Of An Old Man is an anthology with a difference and an awesome offering from this brilliant author Ed Cardillo. Connor and his brother Sean have started to feel detached and separated from their mother almost as though they are all living different lives so when she introduces them to her dying father, at first they are less than enthused. But slowly as their grandfather regales them with scary and terrifying tales told in the form of a series of anecdotes, the brothers begin to warm to the old man and his stories.
I really loved this, thought the concept was an original and a clever one and thought all of the stories included within were simply sublime. From tales of a wicked fairy who gets more than he bargained for when he invades someone's home to the tale of a boy who befriends a monster and the story of a soldier who finds himself confronting his fears in a moment of courage, all of these nifty little shorts entertain, amuse and send a little shiver down the spine.
With this collection, Ed proves what a versatile and talented writer he really is and I will certainly be picking up more of his work when I get the time! This was one of those books that I struggled to put down and I found it both highly inventive and clever the way the author utilized a central plot to link all the stories together.
Certainly it gets two big thumbs up from me!
In a future where taking part in harsh Reality television shows has become the only way to feed your family, three teams of contestants find themselves dropped into a brutal re-imagined landscape and given a limited time frame in which to survive and make it to the finish line. The catch? They are sharing this landscape with dinosaurs, cloned and brought back from the past!
But it is not just the dinosaurs the contestants have to worry about....there is also the local flora and fauna, their very limited supplies and each other! Think Battle Royale crossed with Jurassic Park and you won't be far wrong!
A big fan of Dahman's work, this book likewise impresses. The first in a trilogy of stories, the book keeps you riveted to your seat as more and more of the contestants find themselves falling prey to the dangers waiting all around them! Not for the faint of heart, this book is up there with Catt's best and a great satire/ parody of an uncertain future which I hope to see more of in subsequent books!
The story does an excellent job of painting a very grim and possible future and, reading this, you could well believe such a scenario could come true. Okay, maybe not the dinosaurs per se, but the increasing need by the general public for more and more extreme reality shows is echoed in this book beautifully! You even find yourself sympathizing with many of the contestants- for them, choosing to go on this show has become the lesser of two evils as the rest of America slowly collapses into economic ruin.
Of course, this is just sci-fi right? Nothing like this future could ever come true right...? right?
Yes, I am a loyal fan but yes, this book really is a awesome read!
Catt Dahman really has done it again! Yes, I am a loyal fan but yes, this book really is a awesome read! This book excellently shows that this author really can turn her hand to any subject and still do it well!
Bring on book 2.....
I've been a reviewer for a while now and I love discovering new authors. Keith Milstead's recent debut though quite literally blew me away!!!
Yes, it's a short novella and yes, it doesn't last long but Keith packs more punch into a little over 10,000 words than some authors can in 50,000. And that's not all just stuff and bluster!
An intrepid television presenter whose fishing show is in jeopardy from over exposure and over ambitious longevity has one last trick to pull out of his bag. A rarely seen fish located behind enemy lines in a remote part of the middle-east.
And so he sets out for shores unknown, determined to discover and locate the fish that could make or break the last few days of his career and save his show from the dump truck. But just how far is he willing to go and what will be the ultimate cost?
I loved this! It is well written, well thought out and a nod to the monster stories of old that you used to find in Alfred Hitchcock anthologies when you were growing up. I could see this easily being an episode of The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits or Alfred Hitchcock Presents....it is that kind of tale.
The big question though is just how IS Keith Milstead going to top this?
This is an author who has lots of potential and I predict big things coming from him in the future....
With Sharknado 2 just announced, I thought it high time I shared my thoughts about this, the first movie in what will hopefully be a very short-lived franchise!
The plot couldn't be more simple. Flooding, tidal waves and tornadoes threaten a small coastal resort and threaten to overwhelm it. This has brought sharks to the bay who, of course, are hungry for human flesh.
A group of patrons at a local beach bar decide to try and flee the oncoming disaster and head out for the highway as massive waves assault the pier, but there is an added threat to their survival. The sharks have been swept up from out the sea by a tornado and now are being catapulted through the air.
Yes, that really is the basis of the plot. No, I'm not making it up.
I had heard about this in a kind of 'so bad, its good' kind of way so, in my immense stupidity, decided to give it a go. I will never ever ever get that time back.
Every time I insisted on turning it off, my wife stopped me with 'maybe it'll get better'. It doesn't!
Tara Reid is as wooden as much of the backdrop, maybe more so, and looks now like a melted wax candle. John Heard, who has had some fairly respectable roles over the years, turns up looking much bigger, fatter and preposterous as I have ever seen him. Oh, how far the dad from Home Alone has fallen!!! He must really need the money to have accepted this, I mean Tara I can understand - she has to pay for all that botched surgery- but John Heard....?
The special effects are decidedly 'special' in that they look lifted from all manner of various documentaries and then pasted in the final cut. The sharks make the ones in the Jaws movies look totally authentic. What is worse, huge chunks of the action don't make any sense.
In one scene the group rescue a load of people by telling them to abandon their cars and flee because a wave is coming. Loads of people get out and run but where to? A second later literally as the wave hits they are gone. Where? Who knows but the audience never sees them again nthat's for sure!
The ending is just ludicrous and yes, I know, this isn't supposed to be good - the whole point is that it is meant to be bad, but this bad?
It's not so bad it's good- it's just bad. Bad, bad, bad, bad ,bad!
Avoid, avoid, avoid!
You'll regret it, I'm warning you!
I am currently watching the full series again to make way for the forthcoming Days Of Future Past that is set to put the X-men films right back on track again after some slightly shaky entries.
Wolverine Origins goes deeper into the flash-backs we caught glimpses of in X-Men2 and looks at the creation of arguably the franchise's most popular character.
James (known later as Logan or Wolverine) and his brother Victor (Sabretooth) leave their home after a family dispute that sees their father being killed. It is here, right from the start, that we learn Logan's claws are intrinsically a part of him; in these early days they emerge from his skin as bone.
After several skirmishes in almost every conflict onwards and upwards from the American Civil War, the two brothers find themselves incarcerated for wounding a superior officer during Vietnam. William Stryker approaches them and recruits them for a special mutant team he is building.
But any resemblance to the X-Men is soon lost. These guys are essentially hired assassins...and they have a purpose!
Logan goes his own way and, for a long while, lives his own life. Then the past catches up with him...
This is a great film that more than makes up for the very unstable Last Stand or X-Men3. Despite critical reviews and much grumbling by fans, I thought it was above average and featured enough cameo appearances to keep even the most geekyist of fanboys happy.
There have been complaints that this does not fit in exactly with what we have seen before and, indeed, First Class (the next film) would muddy the waters even further. To me, that doesn't really matter. This is a cracking good Superhero movie and an awesome action flick!
Let me tell you why the continuity errors don't concern me!
I have read A LOT of the X-Men comics and one thing true fans will know instantly is that their continuity is skewed. Comic series Ultimate X-Men messed with established characters and events that had been built over decades of print. Not only that but even in the regular comics, time travel and alternate futures, presents and pasts were forever getting involved. Things many people thought had happened, suddenly happened. Xavier, for just one example, has been dead more times than I can remember and in and out of his wheelchair more times than Matt Lucas in those Little Britain sketches!
Of course, everyday you n me folk won't know this and so can be forgiven for being confused.
Hopefully, Days Of Future Past might set right some of these continuity flaws as it claims to be doing.
Until then if you haven't seen this yet, take a look and make up your own mind.
I liked it, maybe not quite as much as first time round, but I liked it.
Next up: First Class!
When he was still alive, Richard Laymon was largely dismissed as one of the true horror masters of his time. Many people thought his books a bit b-movieish and kind of pah-paahed over his literary talent in favour of the likes of Koontz and King instead.
Sadly Richard Laymon passed away a few years ago now on Valentines Day, but, like many under-rated artists whilst they were alive, since his death his writing has been sorely missed and there are many horror fans out there now who have begun to see just what it was Laymon brought to the table. In short, since his death, his books have increased in popularity.
Thankfully, amongst his many hundreds of fans, there are a few budding horror writers themselves who strive to carry on in his memory and create their own homages to his work. Catt Dahman is one who, despite being labelled initially as a zombie writer, has gone on to prove that she can write true horror just as well as Laymon ever did and many of her novels serve as a tribute to him.
A newcomer to the horror scene, Jim Goforth is another writer who writes very much in the style of the late, great Richard Laymon.
Plebs is his debut novel and a tremendous one it is at that!
Corey and two of his friends are coming back from a wild night out when they stumble across the local lake. It is here that they meet a group of girls, as feisty as they are attractive, who promise to show the boys a good time if they will only perform a small favour. Namely to rescue two of their number from a cult clan of creatures known as the Plebs.
Of course Corey and his two pals acquiesce and set off to perform their good deed for the night, but when their efforts end in tragedy, the group quickly find themelves in much deeper water than they expected...
As well as the Plebs, now Corey and his pals find themselves facing a rogue troop of tough-ass Amazon girls determined to kill and torture them all and an old high school enemy who has joined forces with those who want to kill them!
What started out as a wild night with the lads begins to get even more wilder as events rapidly start spiralling out of control and things are just getting started...
I loved this. Some have described it as Grindhouse horror, depicted on the page instead of the screen; others as a violent, bloody excursion into terror that takes you on a non-stop roller-coaster ride of emotional response. Me, I just thought it was very well written with well thought out characters, a tight and exciting plot and Laymon-inspired down to a tee.
Think Blood Games, Darkness, Tell Us - those sort of novels- and you will come close. Truly this is an exceptionally good book and one I wouldn't hesitate to read again!
Jim Goforth has a strong voice. He shows you what is happening, he doesn't tell you - and thsat is a great talent for a writer to have. There were many times reading this that I was right there, in the thick of it, with Corey and his mates!
I cannot recommend this enough and can't wait to read more from this author!
I definitely think he will be one to watch in the future...
VHS/2 is the sequel to the honestly appalling first film that uses the same 'found footage' style to give us more scares, thrills and chills in exactly the same way as before. I had high hopes for this, despite hating the original, because I had heard it was a vast improvement and just the trailer creeped me out! Thankfully, my expectations were realised!
My first piece of advice is ignore the story that frames this film. It is bobbins, makes no sense and only exists to give the film some meaning.
My second bit of advice: don't watch this in the dark. Or alone. Or late at night.
This film is an improvement on the first in every single way. I don't want to give too much away because part of the fun in watching this is not knowing what to expect, but trust me - it is as gruesome as it is nasty!
As before, two people break into a house - this time because they are Private Investigators looking into the disappearance of a teen - only to find it empty but stacked with mysterious videotapes. Whilst the man looks around the house, the female partner begins playing tapes only to find each one nastier and more horrific than the last. Try as she might, she feels compelled to keep going even though she can barely believe what she is watching...
The only link to the first film is that this is supposed to be the first house and that a quick snatch of footage of the teens from the first film appear momentarily on one of the numerous television screens on which the video tapes are broadcast. Other than that, there is no real connection.
The ending is as confusing as the rest of the frame narrative but ignoring this, what you are left with are a group of rather extreme and not-for-the-faint-hearted video nasties!
The videos this time around are much better shot, much better scripted and much, much more fun!
I really want to tell you more but I can't, I just can't. Let me just say if you like nasty horror films, and I mean proper nasty films not Paranormal Activity 12, then you will get this!You will really get this!
It is probably not shocking when compared to the likes of say A Serbian Movie, which I have not seen and profess no wish to, but it is more bad ass than most of today's supposed alleged horror movies!
I really, really enjoyed this and that is a strong recommendation coming from someone so disenheartened by horror flicks of late.
It's not perfect, hence the 4 * score, and the frame plot is like an awful version of Blair Witch in that it is all a bit nonsensical, but if you are looking for something nasty and sickening at times then the videotape segments are exactly what you are looking for.
One of the best horror films of the last year, I only lament that part one was not as good!
Part 2 of The Dark Knight returns continues almost exactly where Part one lets off.
The Mutants gang has been disbanded following their leader's disgrace at the hands of the Dark Knight and now have split off into splinter groups. One of the biggest of these is The Sons Of Batman who paint blue bats on their face and who practice vigilantism.
But this a dark world and dark times we are living in. As Batman more and more makes his presence felt in Gotham, old arguments begin to surface once more - is Batman a threat, a menace or a cure for society's ills? With Gordon now retired and a new Commissioner in place, a war breaks out between the Dark Knight and the forces of Law and Order as local Police strive to bring him in.
Meanwhile, a certain caped superhero a few States away finds himself in consultation with a President who bears a striking resemblance to Ronald Reagan. He wants Batman dealt with. By any means necessary.
Frank Millar's dark themes and undertones are brilliantly brought to the screen once more in what is a veritable tour-de-force for the Batman franchise. The old villain around which this story focuses is The Joker. Long incarcerated in a home for the mentally unstable, for the last ten years he has been in a fugue state, Batman's exploits reawaken The Joker's madness and it is not long before he is back out on the rampage again...
All of this builds alongside the threat of nuclear war. America is being dragged into a conflict with Russia which does not look like it is going to end well. Superman finds himself draw into the conflict and, in one of the most amazing set pieces ever to be animated, finds himself facing the absolute limits of his power. I will not give anything away but there is one scene here above all else that absolutely begs to be watched. Recreated authentically and believably from one particular part of the graphic novel, truly you will never see anything like it again and will probably come as a big shock to those unfamiliar with the source material!
Of course, the movies climax ends with probably one of the biggest battles ever to hit the screen. But we also get to see the consequences of that battle.
I am not going to say anything more as I don't want to spoil anything but truly this second part lives up to the promise of part one and even, sometimes, exceeds it!
If you only ever watch one animated Batman movie- make it these two films; part one and part two of The Dark Knight Returns.
Arguably the best graphic novel ever written, now Dark Knight Returns is arguably the best Batman movie thast has ever ever been made!