Posts filed under ‘Reviews’

Review: Mallcop

Paul Blart: MallCop (2009)

Certificate: PG

Director/Writer: Steve Carr / Kevin James

DT’s Rating: 7.5/10

I think that I must be a bit of a comedy snob. So often, after experiencing dismal (in my opinion) films like ’40 year old virgin’ or ‘about schmidt’, when I see a particular brand of comedy such as things like ‘you don’t mess with the zohan’, ‘the hangover’, ‘ evan almighty’, ‘knocked up’ and ‘mall cop’, I tend to cringe away and turn my nose up at it, expecting it to be awful. Usually I expect that they’re low budget, often tasteless cringe-comedies with rather irritating American comedians.  However, in the case of Zohan, Evan and Mall Cop (the one’s I’ve brought myself to see) I couldn’t be more wrong.

So, I hereby solemnly swear to stop being such a snob….

Well, I’ll try anyway. 😉

Now, to the review. Paul Blart: Mall Cop was, to this little snob, a big surprise, and a really pleasant one. What I expected as substandard acting, unlikable characters, cruel fat jokes, silly slapstick and cringe-comedy and a plot that was very quickly dull. Thank god it was none of these. What I got instead was a genuinely humble and sweet, genuinely very funny comedy with warm values and a nice little plot that didn’t  take too many obvious routes, a a selection of actually very well written and real-to-life characters. Also props to Kevin for his seamless mastery of his Segway – lol

Paul Blart is a security guard (or ‘officer’ as he prefers) who has been working at the mall for 10 years after he repeatedly fails his entrance tests to join the police force, due to his Hypoglycaemia frequently causing him to collapse when his sugar intake gets too low. Therefore he throws himslef passionately into his job as mallcop, in both his adherence to the rules as well as his creativity for new ideas, and seems to be the only one to take the job seriously. While training a new mallcop he comes across a wig shop vendor Amy, and promply falls in love with her. However he messes up his chance and, as usual, is forced to rely on the support of his loving and ever-supportive mother and daughter at home to perk him up. Come Black Friday at the mall, his problems take a turn for the worse when the mall is taken over my robbers and hostages -including amy- are taken. having been distracted and therefore remained in the mall, Paul has to decide: does he do what his co-workers do and run out to let the police do the heroism, or does he use his unprecedented knowledge of the mall to try to take the criminals down in order to protect Amy?

Warm, funny, with nice values and the ability to make fun of the main character without being unnecessarily cruel (which, ironically, comes across as even funnier), I was impressed. it’s a great weekend comedy to curl up in front of, and you’ll come out feeling better about yourself.

Also, oif you’re into your ‘extreme’ sports like skateboarding and parkour – you will adore the villians and their excellent stunts.

So, all in all..

7.5 / 10


10/09/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Review: BBC’s Sherlock

Sherlock (2010 Tv Series)

Name: Sherlock

Created/Written By: Stephen Moffat [Doctor Who] & Mark Gatiss [League of Gentlemen] based on the novels by Arthur Conan Doyle

Origin: BBC – TV  [British]

Running Time: [series 1]  3 episodes (90 mins each)

DT’s Rating: 10/10

Well, I’ve been raving about this long enough to warrant a review, but I’ll try to keep it short and sweet (especially after last week’s lengthy rant on inglorious basterds, lol).

So: Sherlock Holmes. The story itself (or rather the characters) are a real British institution that has spread worldwide. For me, I always watched The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett (1984-94) repeated on TV, which I loved; Basil of Baker Street- the Great Mouse Detective (1986) that I watched as a little kid; and of course there was the great 2009 film Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law (who benefit form both being extremely good actors at making the roles their own..and are also being very yummy. Of course :D) And I’ve read a few of the great stories (but not nearly enough ><).

So, when I heard that the Doctor Who regulars Moffat and Gatiss were going to air a modern version on Sherlock Holmes, I was of course thrilled. This only increased when It was announced that Martin Freeman (the Office/Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Hawking) would be playing the main roles, and (later when I watched it) I loved that Gatiss would be playing Mycroft too.

So, a great cast, great writers…but did it live up to the expectation?

In a word – yes. For one, the format of the mini series allowed for longer episodes at an hour and a half each, which acted like mini films and allowed a heck of a lot of character development and the cases to stretch out in more detail. In my opinion, all of the best crime dramas are at least an hour long or more, such as the Columbo series or Inspector Morse. Like Columbo, the longer format allows you to get a real feel for the chase and game of mental wits. This was the same in every episode of Sherlock, and it also allowed more time to be spent in constructing the relationship of the new flatmates as Watson and Sherlock lean more about one another. Furthermore it allows plenty of humour to flourish without detracting from the main thrust of the plot.

What I think is remarkable about this series, and sets it apart from other Sherlock adaptations that I’ve seen, is that it effortlessly moulds it into the modern setting as if it belongs there all the time, and also how it focuses so well on the relationships between the characters.With the modern setting: Watson is a soldier who’s wounded in Afghanistan and, having to survive on an army pension, ends up moving in with Sherlock – who he’s just met and is introduced to by an old schoolmate. His personality is the strongest that I’ve seen in any adaptation, and while he of course has to play second fiddle to Sherlock’s ego -as ever- he exists individually and can take care of himself and is a genuinely good character even when separate from the detective. Sherlock is modernised by updating his sexuality, adding nicotine patches to his arsenal of addictions and perfectly characterising him as a technological whiz. Similarly, Sherlock is a very strong character which seems both faithful to the book while constructing a version of his own – and it’s fascinating especially as we see his flaws (he calls himslef a ‘high functioning sociopath’) and how his mind works (for example, his complete lack of knowledge on the solar system being ‘deleted’ to make more relevant space in the ‘harddrive’ of his brain.) This, mixed with Watson’s sensible character makes for some hilarious and genuinely interesting scenes, such as what Sherlock gets up to while he’s bored – which is often. Furthermore, smaller characters are beautifully written into strong characters, such as Mycroft (and his rather hilarious sibling rivalry with Sherlock), Molly (the girl at pathologiy who has an unreciprocated crush on the detective), Lestrade and the police force and -duh duh duuuhn!- the brilliantly original portrayal of Moriarty.

[Come on, it’s hardly a spoiler. No budding Sherlock adaptation would be complete with him at least making an appearance in some form. You knew it was coming.]

The three episodes are quality through and through and, in short, I adore them.

And, to make things even better, they have tie-in websites that are written to be made by the characters themselves. So, as the series goes on, you can actually read John’s blog, and Holme’s website, and even Molly’s blog. Not only does the series allude to what’s on the website, but they even have comments from the more minor characters and it grounds it all in reality – genius! The show is scattered with little touches like this that aren’t strictly necessary, but are layered to make the whole viewing experience even better. For example, at one point Watson -like trained soldiers in hostage situations- blinks out ‘SOS’, and at another point we hear Paul Megan (the 8th Doctor) narrating. These, like these websites, are added extras that you can;t help but love, and the show gets bonus points for it. Check out the websites, but beware of spoilers, since they were updated sequentially for the uk viewers as the series went on:

Sherlock’s website – ‘the science of deduction’

John Watson’s Blog

Molly Hooper (the Pathologist’s) Online Diary

Connie Prince’s (murdur victim)’s personal site


So – 10/10! I encourage you to go and watch it.

The DVD is out in the UK Aug 30th. And I’ve been told that the series is released in the US in October. Enjoy!


(Just in case you won’t be able to see it for ages :p)

A Study in Pink (ep 1):

“Oh, look at you lot. You’re all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing.”
— Sherlock

“I’m not a psychopath, I’m a highly functioning sociopath. Do your research.”
— Sherlock (to Anderson)

Donovan: “Are these human eyes?”
Sherlock: “Put those back!”
Donovan: “They were in the microwave!”
Sherlock: “It’s an experiment!”

John Watson: “Where did you get this? Detective Inspector Lestrade?”
Sherlock: “I pickpocket him when he’s annoying.”

“We can’t giggle, it’s a crime scene.”
— John Watson

“And since yesterday you’ve moved in with him and now you’re solving crimes together. Might we expect a happy announcement by the end of the week?”
— Mycroft Holmes

The Blind Banker (ep2)

“I’m the great Sherlock Holmes, I work alone ’cause no one can compete with my massive intellect!”
— John

Sherlock Holmes: I need to get some air – we’re going out tonight.
Dr John Watson : Actually, I’ve got a date.
Sherlock Holmes : What?
Dr John Watson : It’s where two people who like each other go out and have fun?
Sherlock Holmes : That’s what I was suggesting.
Dr John Watson : …No, it wasn’t. At least I hope not.

The Great Game (ep3)

Sherlock: “Look at that, Mrs. Hudson. Quiet, calm, peaceful… isn’t it hateful?”
Mrs. Hudson: “Oh, I’m sure something will turn up, Sherlock. A nice murder, that’ll cheer you up.”

John: “A severed head!”
Sherlock: “Just tea for me, thanks.”

27/08/2010 at 9:00 am 5 comments

Inglourious Basterds Review

Inglourious Basterds

Genre: War Drama

Date: 2009

Director/Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Synopsis (by IMDB):

In Nazi occupied France, young Jewish refugee Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the slaughter of her family by Colonel Hans Landa. Narrowly escaping with her life, she plots her revenge several years later when German war hero Fredrick Zoller takes a rapid interest in her and arranges an illustrious movie premiere at the theater she now runs. With the promise of every major Nazi officer in attendance, the event catches the attention of the “Basterds”, a group of Jewish-American guerilla soldiers led by the ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine. As the relentless executioners advance and the conspiring young girl’s plans are set in motion, their paths will cross for a fateful evening that will shake the very annals of history

DT’s Rating: 6.5/10

The Review:

There’s a problem when you’re an established cult-gone-famous director like Quentin Tarantino is that your audience will always approach your films with a set of expectations. For me, my expectations with the great writer/director was: excellent script (especially where one-on-one dialogue is concerned); comic book/cult references; top notch dark comedy; silly/exciting action; brutal violence ; larger-than-life characters firmly grounded in reality; and,most of all, great enjoyable quality. A film director can either embrace these expectations and make the same film again and again, or they can try and break away from them. To me, Tarantino tried to do both with dubious success in this film, somehow presenting some expectations but not realising them beyond half-hearted and shallow gimmicks, and yet relying on previous popularity without actually presenting a fully finished film. In short, it was disappointing but yet had such potential.

Granted, it did well. A lot of critics rave about it, which is what attracted me to it (as well as it being from one of my favourite film writers), so to give it such a low rating is difficult for me, because the film is tricky. It’s not incredibly bad. It has good moments. It has some quality. But, and here’s the clincher, it’s not enjoyable. It sets up goalposts that you expect – since Tarantino is so highly regarded – and yet it falls just a little short.Let me break it down, if you will, and hopefully I can explain myself better.

The expectations.Like I said I approached the film with certain expectations as I’m sure any Tarantino fan will do, so I’d like to demonstrate how the film lived up to them:

Excellent Script (esp in dialouge)

First and foremost, we have the script. Now Tarantino is a good writer, no doubt about it, and the plot of Inglourious Basterds has some great bits. For example, how it is rooted down in reality through the ground-level machinations of various groups of characters, and how these all weave together to meet in the middle for the end, that’s fine. I especially liked little touches like how a simple hand gesture can reveal a spy. And the dialogue between characters who are ‘relaxing’, such as in the pub (think pulp fiction) or, more importantly, the ‘casual’ exchange in the beginning of the film when the Nazi Jew Hunter is subtly interrogating the dairy farmer are all well done. This is written by a man with an ear for how people really talk, and an appreciation for layering up subtlety to layer up tension at a torturous pace. While I personally didn’t mind the dialogue scenes taking a long time (after all, they were there for tension and it worked), for the film as a whole it made it too long – a problem that was further exacerbated by the fact that most of these were in subtitles. (yet again, being quite a fan of subtitled films, I didn’t mind, but the people I watched it with were fast losing the will to live. It made an already laborious process that required utmost concentration even more tedious). Individual pockets of the script were, admittedly, excellent. But, and this is a big but, the script overall didn’t work. Characterisation wasn’t properly realised beyond a few flashes and what they revealed immediately in the dialogue. For a film that, in the trailers, boasted to be a violent action/revenge film, there was precious little action. for example, the Basterds themselves were practically cameos and served very little purpose at all, which was dissapointing, as they had so much potential to be fascinating. Most of all, the script was dull, and you didn’t much care whether the plan succeeded or failed or indeed if any of the characters lived or died.

Comic Book / Cult Devices

This was the perfect example of Tarantino trying to live up to audience expectations of him, but falling short. Little comic book touches were added in – for example the occasional titling of names of characters in a  dramatic panel-style clip. there were little flashes of half-scenes meant to flash an important bit of info at the audience without going into detail – eg goebbles relentlessly shagging his secret girlfriend, or one of the basterds getting flogged. And finally little sketchy names and arrows to point out important nazis in the cinema. While these are fine  little devices that Tarantino practically pioneered, in this film they appear without context, without necessity, without particular origionality, and so come across as shallow crowd pleasers. the rest of the film, (unlike how these devices were brilliantly used in killbill), is not sculpted in mood to allow them without them looking foreign and ridiculous.

Top Notch Dark Comedy

That, my friends, is the funniest thing in the film. The ONLY funniest thing.

I realise that a lot of the humor was dark, and subtle mockeries of nationalities, but for it’s potential it fell very short of Tarantino’s previous ability to weave humor throughout dark films. Again the trailer and film didn’t match up. The trailer showed a film that had it tongue so firmly wedged in it’s cheek that hilarity was supposedly inevitable, and it the very least it would be fun. The real film? Not so much.

Silly/Exciting Action

Action? What Action? Again the trailer led us to believe a completely different thing to this film. There’s a couple of massacres. Which aren’t exciting. I think that this is the reason why the film falls flat again. The trailer lets you believe that you’ll follow around the basterds in their quest to kill nazis…in reality they have about 15 mins screen time in a 2 1/2 hour film. And they don’t do much while they’re there. In fact, it makes me wonder why they’re in the film at all. and when your title characters seem to be purposeless and dull, you know you have some real problems.

Brutal Violence

There was some gore. Especially at the end. I suppose it looked realistic. And the violence, when it happened, was no-frills and gory, again real. That’s not a bad thing, but again it is all done without excitement, and to characters which you don’t give a damn about (read: all of them).

Larger than life good characters that are firmly grounded in reality.

The more I think about it, the more I relaise what gets my goat with this film. I found that come the final curtain I knew next to nothing about the characters but for the superficial appearances, that i didn’t know most fo tehri names and even found some hard to recognise (eg – what? 2 basterds just got murdered?! And I don’t realise this until someone steps over and blatantly tells me that they’re basterds? and that guy was the british spy? granted, shaving off his moustache threw me off, but you could have developed his character a bit before you killed him off. jesus…). I admit that Tarantino focuses on the here and now, which usually works. for example in Killbill the bride’s backstory is only gradually revealed (in the wrong order), but at least she does have a backstory. In Pulp fiction it’s more or less the same. but in these films at least there is character development. in Inglorious basterds the only character development is shown with sosanna the jewish girl who escaped at the beginning, and that is thin. Landa is the one I liked most, but only because he got all the best dialogue. I couldn’t give two hoots about the basterds, and had difficulty recognising them as standing out from the background characters. there was no development or fleshing out of them like the killbill gang. Even Brad Pitt, the leader, has nothing two him. keen eyes would notice that he has a scar from a hanging, but we never learn about what that was from. All we know of him is that he has a retarded accent (sorry, but seriously, was it that bad and clichéd on purpose or can brad pitt just not do accents?) and that is where is characterisation ends. It is hard to like or hate any of the characters, and you don’t know who’s even the main characters you should root for. The film is full of cardboard cut-outs made apparently only to support the decent dialogue and little else.

There is something worse in film than inadvertently hating the main characters, and that is to not give a damn about any of them. And I did not give a damn.

And that was what most disappointed me from a writer who is brilliant at making memorable characters.

Great, enjoyable quality.

Because of all the reasons above the quality just consistently wasn’t there. you could see potential for quality, but it never quite added up together, as if someone had tried to complete a puzzle when they had halves of two different jigsaws.

The potential was certainly there, and if anything that makes you more bitter that it wasn’t realised.

In conclusion, the film was disappointing to me, yet still – from an educational point of view for a wannabe writer – it gave some little gems to pay attention to and learn from. the films strength was in it’s one-to-one dialouge: the little scenes where tension was eked out over a long period of casual and real talking, making it very sinister and real, and here is where the  jew-hunter Colonel Landa was in his element and supported the film…but as for an enjoyable piece of cinema, it falls short. For fans, you really should watch it, because only you can decide if, like me, you find it a disappointment, or like many others, you find it one of the best films of 2009. Apparently there is no middle ground.

For me, it was the weakest of his films (I have seen so far), so:


20/08/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Review: Toy Story 3

Name: Toy Story 3 (2010)

Company: Pixar

Rating: U

Dt’s Rating:  8.5/10

-The Review-

Finally, after over a decade, we get a conclusion to millions of teenagers, young adults, and tweens favourite childhood film – Toy Story. Being one of the generation that were young enough to appreciate Toy Story when it first came out (but old enough to actually remember it), this film is a special treat. As soon as it begins you’re pulled back into the brightly coloured plastic world. the Style is the same  (though the humans look slightly less terrifying now. Thank god for that), the characters are the same, and the spirit is pretty much the same.

However there is a big difference in the theme of the story which we saw hints at with Toy Story 2, which makes me think that while this is definitely a kid’s film, it was designed mainly to appeal to the kids (now young adults) and parents of the original generation of watchers. Essentially Toy Story 3 is a touching film about moving on, growing up, family and loss – but with all these things said I was happily surprised that it wasn’t as depressing as people seemed to make it out. As Andy grows upthe toys are left not played with, and have to choose where their loyalties lie – with Andy or with the opportunity for a new life where they can be ‘reborn’ in a way and played with all over again by new people. The risks are high too, though, with the risk of unhappiness at a wrong decision, and even toy death at the hands of the trash.

Speaking of the latter, a genuinely touching and extremely emotionally well handled scene is done about confronting death, which is far far better than the usual disney-esque ‘omg he shot Bambi’s mother let’s traumatise kids forever’ type of melodrama, but I won’t say anymore for risk of giving spoilers. All of the difficult issues present are subtly handled in a mature and very real way, which is what really impressed me about the film. It’s so easy to over-egg the pudding, as they say, but Toy Story 3 never does that, but similarly doesn’t shirk away from the very real issues and drama of these rejected toys lives.

Now, that all said, we return to the very important element – fun. Even with big (and let’s face it, quite heartbreaking to think about) issues, Toy Story 3 is still a very fun film. The jokes are clever and hilarious, the characters are as brilliant as ever and the animation is ingenious and eye-catching. There is everything here that you loved about the first 2 toy story films, and the new characters just add to it very nicely. Perhaps, because  of juggling genuinely scary or serious drama and issues into a kid’s story that is full of jokes as well, they aren’t as much of a laugh-a-minute as the other films, but the quality of the jokes are still great.

Finally, the ending (without spoilers). Toy Story 3 was made as an ending to the series, and the film itself is all about endings and new beginnings. The film does a brilliant job of knowing its audience. Andy is 17 and leaving for college, so it’ll emotionally appeal to the original watchers who are facing that position now, or did so recently. The toys reflect this too, the toys in a way taking the role of parents and those left behind, as well as having their own unique take on it, obviously – yet again the subtle parallels with the experience of loss and death there too. Essentially the issue of moving on and whether it’s right to try and be happy anew after sharing so much of your life with someone. All heavy stuff when you look deep into it, but the film, as ever, deals with it very nicely and without melodrama. The ending – which is happy by the way, so don’t worry – is perfectly done and very touching.

All in all I loved it. While I don’t know if it’s a film I’d watch again and again and again, it still is a very well thought out and well executed end to a wonderful series, and it goes out with the smile it deserves.

So I give it a very well earned 8.5/10

29/07/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Friday Review: Gran Torino

Name: Gran Torino

Genre: Drama

Starring: Clint Eastwood (also directed and produced by him)

DT’s Rating: 9/10


I watched Gran Torino fairly recently, not quite knowing what to expect. It had gotten good reviews, but my relationship with Clint Eastwood as an actor was vague (i never did get to watch Dirty Harry, though i intend to one day, and I’ve never been a cowboy fan) so i didn’t know if it’d be my cup of tea. Luckily, i wasn’t disappointed, and it’s definitely worth the good reviews it’s gotten.

Basically, Clint is an ageing, sour, blatantly racist veteran who is recently widowed with a no-good selfish family (but not in a ‘wicked stepmother’ kind of way, but a more subtle and real hopelessly self-involved and clueless way). He is left in a street that has soon become a ghetto for the Asian immigrant community and refuses to move out. There he meets a mhong (pardon me if I got the name/spelling wrong) family who he both fights with and warms to, and gradually becomes embroiled in the gang conflicts within the neighbourhood centring around this family and the young man he soon takes under his wing.

The trailers of this film seemed to try to play on Clint Eastwood’s gritty action roots and craft this up as some sort of kick-ass vigilante film. In reality it’s much subtler (and in my opinion, better for it). The thrust of the film is mainly in the well written and oddly endearing character of Clint’s, his progression as a person who comes to accept his neighbours, and his relationship with the teen he gradually helps to turn into a man. It’s slow paced and quiet, but in such a way like many good films are, allowing the characters plenty of room to breathe, which means that when the community-shattering violence -(which is very real in portrayal and frank without being melodramatic)- happens, it hits all the harder. The ending of the film is quite a twist (though the predictability of it can be debated), but certainly takes a step away from cliché to give a moving end to a great little film and a great character development.

I’d definitely recommend it. 9/10

23/07/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Friday Review – The Green Mile (Book and Film)

The Green Mile – By Stephen King

Name: The Green Mile

Author: Stephen King

Certificate: Film = 15  Book= mature

DT’s Rating: 10/10

After almost 3 years of barley reading any proper fiction as I’ve been reading and researching like the clappers all non-fiction history books for my course, I finally managed to find time to get back into reading. Naturally, I turned to one of my favourite writers – Stephen King. The man’s a legend and,apart from Salem’s Lot, I’ve never read a bad book by him and ,having seen ‘The Green Mile’ film and added it to my list of all time favourites, I knew that the novel which it was inspired by would be a cracker.

And it was.

The story follows Paul Edgecombe, first starting out as an elderly man in a old people’s home writing his memoirs of his life as a Death-row prison officer on the ‘Green Mile’ (so named because of the green linoleum floor that leads between the cells and off to ‘old sparky’ the electric chair) and follows his experiences with the remarkable prisoner – the huge black man named John Coffey (‘like the drink only not spelt the same’) who has been arrested for the rape and murder of twin girls. It soon becomes apparent that John is far more than he seems.

As ever with Stephen King, the supernatural is weaved excellently with the normal, thus grounding it in extreme realism. It’s written beautifully, providing a very realistic and insightful commentary on humanity as a whole and how people work. Each character is believable, flawed and yet with good parts – each an individual well rendered – no cardboard cut outs here. There is drama without melodrama and, while it’s technically a thriller, and while it has the supernatural, the main villains are normal people you could meet on the street, fighting over pettiness, cruelty and selfishness like anyone in the real world, and are darker and more frightening because of it.  for example, the ‘bad guy’ in the nursing home I found especially unsettling, which was heightened by how he struck parallels with the ‘bad guy’ in the memoirs. Similarly, the bravery and subtlety of what makes the ‘good guys’ good is done with such a modesty that it is again more real, and more emotionally touching. The story if funny in some places, tragic in others, and poignant in others without being preachy.

And I tell you, no other book will make you care so much about the fate of a single mouse either.

Still, I can’t say much more than that without ruining it to a degree. Just take it from me that it’s excellent – easy one of Stephen King’s best, and definitely a fantastic novel.

Now for the movie. I saw the 1999 ‘The Green Mile’ film before I read the book – and it struck me as one of the best and most poignant films I’ve seen. Of course, the majority of this is from the excellent story, which the film takes great care to follow to the letter, but for necessary emissions or simplifications (eg  the final fate of Paul’s wife is omitted).

What really makes the film is the casting which was, in my opinion, just perfect. Tom Hanks is an amazing actor, and he handled Paul Edgecombe brilliantly, acting the character’s goodness, his version of dignity and humor, uncertainty and (heck) even his urinary infection perfectly – making him jump off the page. Doug Hutchingson does an amazing job of the ‘bad guy’ of Percy Whetmore, getting his young, clingy, cruel, insecure ‘I-have-connections’ nastiness down to a T. Also David Morse does a very good job of Brutus Howell, even if the character is secondary to the main ones, conveying his quiet kind dignity perfectly. As for the inmates, Sam Rockwell as ‘Wild Bill’ Wharton -the main villain – is perfectly unsettling and crazy as a genuine psychopath, and Micheal Jeter does a good turn as Delacriox. Finally the talented Michael Clark Duncan does a perfect act of John Coffey that practically destroys your heartstrings. And James Cromwell takes up his typecast role of prison Wardon as Hal Mores – but he’s typecast because he does it well.

In short – a stunning film from a stunning book.


09/07/2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Review Corner – Sex and the City 2

Name: Sex and the City 2

Genre: Chick flick / comedy-drama

Certificate: 15

DT’s Rating: 8/10

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a confession to make.

I…….am a girl.

Yeah, no big surprise, the internet’s full of ’em don’tcha know, but nevertheless I usually don’t class myself as a girly girl. I usually cringe at chick-flicks and some rom-coms (though mainly those roms without the coms. Talk about soul destroying boredom), and avoid the soppyness. I like my action movies and action-fantasies, and not only for perving over Hugh Jackman. But there’s something so endearingly feminine about sex in the city, without being boring, which seems to just be a joy to me. It’s pure and utter escapism. And it always makes me smile. Darned if I’m going to apologise for that 😉

Escapism is the name of the game with this movie. Unfortunately I missed the first one, but the sequel easily picks up anew. The girls are older and more settled down. Miranda and Charlotte are mothers and feeling the strain, Carrie is in her marriage with ‘Mr.Big’ going through a rough monotonous patch, and sexy Samantha is facing the horrors of the approaching menopause. It’s completely different to the singleton life of the series, and yet the new problems they face bring a  new vitality (and in the motherhood case, a new and rather touching critical honesty) to the women’s lives, and the humour is still as sharp and hilarious as ever.

It’s always been a hobby of me and my mates to completely take the piss out of Carrie’s outfits, and boy she does not disappoint. Some (ok, most) are ridiculous – look out for the hat (oh Jesus the hat!) and had us giggling. The rampant fashion materialism is always well offset by her fashion faceplants. The Sex and the City escapism takes on a new level as we travel around the exotic and indulgent location of Abu-Dhabi too for their misadventures, which breathes new life and is a feast for the eyes.

All in all the film was funny, girly, at times silly, with touching moments and some real life messages in there too.

If you love the series you’ll adore this. And it’s a perfect film to curl up to with popcorn and a glass of wine after a crappy day when it comes out on DVD.



09/06/2010 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

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