Saturday 3 April 2010

DVD Reviews

One Eyed Monster
Starring: Amber Benson, Jason Graham, Ron Jeremy
Director: Adam Fields

Available Now - £5.99 (DVD)
Review by Blake Harmer

The opening disclaimer at the beginning of this movie sets the tone for what to expect: “In February 2007, ten people went to the remote mountains of Northern California to shoot an adult movie. What happened next was something no one expected, but everyone saw coming”. That’s right - those suspicions are correct: this is a monster movie where the monster is...Ron Jeremy’s penis!

(Insert dramatic “dun dun dun” music here if you will)

Whilst filming an adult movie with some other porn stars, the director and film crew, Ron Jeremy has his penis taken over by an alien who then separates from Ron and goes on a killing spree by fucking things to death.

If you thought this premise sounds stupid, you wont be surprised to find that this horror comedy is just that: very stupid and very funny. With good death scenes such as a character being choked to death in a sort of Sausage-from-Red-Dwarf sort of way, and a porn star with a hole in the back of her head, but I’ll let you guess how that happens.

However, despite some good one liners, the film does end up being a bit of a one note joke, which is fine in itself providing you’re aware that you are in for this sort of humour for the next 80 minutes. At the end of the day, this is a fun film, just don’t expect to get a well thought out and intelligent comedy masterpiece, because you’ll just get a load of dick jokes instead.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Quite gory but not as bloody as some horror movies, the fact that half the deaths are done by a giant killer penis makes up for this though.
Sex/Nudity: A few boob shots, and lots of Ron Jeremy Wang although obviously prosthetic.
Swearing: Lots of swear words, but used in comic fashion.
Summary: One Eyed Monster delivers exactly what it says on the tin, a monster movie where the monster happens to be Ron Jeremy’s penis, in a fun but stupid horror comedy. The film in itself is a bit of a one-note joke, so if the premise doesn’t grab you, the film is unlikely to either. At the end of the day though, One Eyed Monster is fun film, and nothing more. 7/10

Hard Revenge Milly
Starring: Miki Mizuno, Nao Nagazawa
Director: Takanori Tsujimoto
Cine Asia

Available From 5th April - £15.99 (DVD)
Review by Brad Harmer

Written and directed by Takanori Tsujimoto and starring Miki Mizuno as the eponymous heroine, the extreme Japanese splatter action-thriller Hard Revenge Milly and its sequel Hard Revenge Milly: Bloody Battle are bundled together on this DVD.

Hard Revenge Milly

In a near-future, post-apocalyptic Japan, Tokyo has become a wind swept desert while Yokohama City has been taken over by gangs of vicious criminals, the worst among them being the notorious “Jack Brothers”. Butchered and left for dead by Jack and his gang after being tortured and forced to witness the murder of her husband and infant child, Milly awakes in a deserted hospital to find herself miraculously alive and now in possession of a partly mechanised body. With nothing left to live for and driven only by revenge, Milly vows to hunt down the killers and to settle the score. First learning the art of sword combat from a master swordsman, she eventually embarks on a journey that can only lead her straight to Hell.

The first movie sets the bar ridiculously low. Whilst competently acted and directed, the project is hampered with serious technical flaws from the start. The lighting is so terrible that everything looks terribly flat – and some scenes appear to have been shot wholly in natural light. Combined with the terrible film stock, this looks like something a kid would shoot with a camcorder.

Everything moves ridiculously slowly. A good two or three minutes are spent on Milly sitting on a couch looking wistful. Forty-five minutes long, and it still needs padding? That’s not good. The terrible CG and the terrible, irritating dialogue makes this hilariously bad.

The gore work’s not bad, though. 2/10

Hard Revenge Milly: Bloody Battle

Having confronted and tracked down the Jack Brothers, Milly is approached by a beautiful girl named Haru who asks her to help find and kill the person responsible for murdering her boyfriend. Initially reluctant to become involved in any more bloodshed, Milly recognises and identifies with Haru’s passion for vengeance and agrees to train her so she may exact her own revenge. But no sooner have they begun than they are accosted by a gang of Jack’s sycophants who want Milly dead once and for all. Led by a cyborg-armed psychopath named Ikki, they prove not only to be a match for Milly and Haru, they are also found to be in possession of a secret that could drive a deadly stake between the two women.

You know what, after the first movie, I was really worried about this one.

This sequel features much higher production values, a nice anime style feel, and some pretty entertaining and hard-hitting fight scenes. In other words, it’s literally everything that the first movie should have been. Squirting blood, gore and bullets left, right and centre whilst a leather clad woman kicks arse. That’s a fucking splatterpunk movie.

There’s even room for some surprisingly good acting and dialogue. And I don’t mean “good for the genre”, I just mean just good in general. The only thing letting down this movie is that, irony of ironies, the one thing the first movie did right, this sucks balls at. The prosthetics look really cheap and dated. 7/10

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Evisceration, decapitation, gore, blood sprays, mutilation, torture, gunfire, stabbing and...everything.
Sex/Nudity: Implied rape.
Swearing: Some strong uses, but relatively infrequent.
Summary: A fun, double-whammy of splatterpunk that will satisfy gorehounds, but there’s not enough true substance here to please many others. 5/10

WWE: History of the World Heavyweight Title
Silver Vision
Available Now - £29.99 (DVD Box Set)
Review by Omer Ibrahim

WWE’s history DVDs are confusing. On one hand, they come across as an attempt to portray the glory of wrestling. On the other, they are a confused bunch of lies tied together by some sort of secret McMahon propaganda that I’m not sure anybody understands.

The DVD kicks off with an over-long sequence that makes lots of wrestlers look deformed. I’m sure it wasn’t intended, but it made me drinkspit at the sight of HHH with teeny-tiny arms.

WWE spends a fantastic amount of time covering the early World Champions, tracing it before Carl Gotch, back to The Bible. Heroes such as Lou Thez, “Nature Boy” Buddy Rodgers, “The Amawican Dweam” Dusty Rhodes, and the Funks and Briscoes are given the respect that they deserve. Of course, “Nature Boy #2” Ric Flair’s arse is kissed repeatedly too. (Am I the only person that actually finds a lot of his matches boring? Sure Ric, you wrestled 678 times a day in forty-four different countries, but why use so many of the same spots?)

The DVD fails in the newer era. It glosses over every champion from mid-WCW onwards. Chris Jericho does get to talk about unifying the World/WCW and WWE Championships, but then we see a clip of Eric Bischoff awarding the World Championship to HHH, devaluing Y2J’s accomplishment.

Then there’s the lies.

I understand that old-timers protect the “reality” of wrestling. I agree with it, and think that it’s a vital part of the art. However, Gene Kiniski’s insistence that he lost the belt because he suffered a “temporary memory lapse” and forgot that he wasn't in a two out of three falls match is ridiculous.

And now;


(Yes, that includes Brock Lesnar’s stomach tattoo.)

It is acknowledged early that the true World Championship is the National Wrestling Alliance Championship. This belt ended up in WCW. “WCW wanted to make a new identity for itself” so walked away from the NWA. The NWA took its belt and WCW created the WCW World Championship. The DVD acknowledges this.

Hold it!

So, the big shiny belt that went through WCW and into WWF/WWE isn't the World Championship? Nope.

So the DVD follows the belt into TNA? Nope.

It ends there and doesn’t corrupt history?


WWE somehow forgets what it just said and starts showing us the WCW belt as if it is the “true” World Championship. Soon, HHH is telling us what an honour it is to hold a belt that can be traced back to Carl Gotch and Lou Thez. Aaaaand, it’s all gone wrong.

The sheer weight of bonus matches is worth noting, but the majority of them are slow, until we get to the later matches (Especially Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker from No Way Out 2006).

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Blood. Lots of blood.
Sex/Nudity: Men wear pants.
Swearing: None, amazingly.
Summary: Disappointing. Watch the first half, and the matches, and you may enjoy. 5/10

Mystic River
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins
Director: Clint Eastwood
Warner Home Video

Available Now - £17.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Blake Harmer

In the summer of 1975, three kids are playing when one is abducted and sexually abused for several days. Jump ahead to several years later and the three of them are now broken men. Dave, the victim of the abuse, is haunted by his memories and is very protective of his own son. Another one, Jimmy, is an ex-con and father of three, and the third, Sean, is a homicide detective who has become estranged from his pregnant wife. However, when Jimmy's teen daughter dies, Sean investigates, Dave's a suspect, and Jimmy vows to find the killer before the cops - but is Dave innocent? Or is there more to this murder than meets the eye?

Mystic River is an outstanding murder mystery superbly acted by a star cast of Kevin Bacon, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins & Laurence Fishburne. It is also brilliantly directed by Clint Eastwood. The story is very well written with some great plot twists and revelations. This Blu-ray edition also has more extras over the older DVD release.

However, despite this being a stellar film, and while the Blu-ray transition has cleaned up the movie quite a bit, I think the transition to HD could have been better. There are better examples of older movies making the leap to HD. Also, whilst there are more extras for the Blu-ray release, the fact that you can pick up a copy of the DVD for half the price makes newcomers question whether it’s worth shelling out for it.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Some, but the violence is quite gritty and realistic.
Sex/Nudity: A reference to child abuse at the beginning of the film but nothing is shown (for obvious reasons) and a clothed sex scene. Not enough boob for an E14 bonus point I’m afraid.
Swearing: Some.
Summary: Mystic River is an outstanding movie and one that should be watched by fans of crime thrillers and Clint Eastwood’s directing. Fans will like the new extras but as the DVD is a lot cheaper, I would recommend newcomers to try that before upgrading. 9/10

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