Saturday 10 April 2010

DVD Reviews

A Perfect Getaway
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Milla Jovovich and Chris Hemsworth
Director: David Twohy
Momentum Pictures

Available Now - £17.99 (DVD) and £24.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Brad Harmer

What should have been a paradise turns to hell as Cliff and Cydney (Milla Jovovich – Chaplin, The Fourth Kind) star as an adventurous young couple celebrating their honeymoon by backpacking to one of the most beautiful, and remote, beaches in Hawaii. Hiking the wild, secluded trails, they believe they’ve found paradise. But when the pair comes across a group of frightened hikers discussing the horrifying murder of another newlywed couple on the islands, they begin to question whether they should turn back.

Unsure whether to stay or flee, Cliff and Cydney join up with two other couples, and things begin to go terrifyingly wrong. Far from civilisation or rescue, everyone begins to look like a threat and nobody knows whom to trust. Paradise becomes a hell on earth as a brutal battle for survival begins.

A Perfect Getaway is an airport novel of a movie. It’s brainless, fast moving, and I wouldn’t spend money on it. The characters are all pretty dull, and the dialogue – whilst admittedly well written – is dull. It doesn’t matter how realistically they’re talking if what they’re saying is redundant.

And what’s with the guy who seems to be channelling Bill Paxton? If you’re going to be a knock-off of someone, why they hell would you want to be Bill Paxton?

The acting’s okay, it’s slickly produced, and competently shot, but it’s just all so dull and uninspired that by the time the Big Twist arrives, it’s hard to give a crap anymore.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Punchy, shooty, stabby. Pretty graphic, but not frequent.
Sex/Nudity: Milla Jovovich keeps her clothes on again. You’re losing your touch, Milla.
Swearing: Frequent, although still realistic.
Summary: A flat and lifeless airport novel of a movie. Not as clever as it likes to think it is. 4/10

Dolan's Cadillac
Starring: Wes Benley, Christian Slater, Emmanuelle Vaugier
Director: Jeff Beesley
Momentum Pictures

Available from Monday 12th April - £15.99 (DVD) and £19.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Brad Harmer

Middle school teacher Robinson (Wes Bentley) shares an idyllic life with his beloved wife Elizabeth, but things take a sinister twist when Elizabeth witnesses an execution in the Nevada desert carried out by notorious crime lord Jimmy Dolan (Christian Slater – Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Hollow Man II).

When his wife is then suddenly murdered, and the accused Dolan walks free, Robinson is forced to find strength from within and wreak a terrible revenge on those he holds responsible.

While the untouchable Dolan basks in his freedom amidst the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, Robinson devises an ingenious downfall for the man who destroyed his life.

When Dolan’s Cadillac is firing on all cylinders, it provides some great performances, some excellent dramatic tension, and some fantastic cinematography. Unfortunately, these moments of greatness are spread pretty few and far between, and the rest of it – whilst far from bad – is resoundingly average.

The dialogue is its biggest failing, frequently stodgy and badly written – probably the one thing you wouldn't expect from something bearing Stephen King’s name. At far too many points it feels like you’re watching a flat episode of some crime drama on TV. Christian Slater is a disappointment, as well, doing nothing besides channelling Jack Nicholson. Again.

To say that this movie is bad would be wrong. It’s not. It’s competently put together, the acting is passable, and the story itself solid enough – if not especially original.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Some gunfire, punching, slapping and corpses.
Sex/Nudity: The sex trade is a major theme of the story, but there is nothing explicit.
Swearing: Frequent, and strong.
Summary: An average crime/revenge movie that delivers few surprises. 5/10

Starring: Jessica Harper, Alida Valli
Director: Dario Argento
Nouveaux Pictures

Available Now - £15.99 (DVD) and £19.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Brad Harmer

Suzy Bannion is an American ballet student, travelling to Germany to study at an exclusive dance academy in the Black Forest. After one of the students and her friend are hideously murdered, Suzy discovers that the academy has a bizarre history and, as the body count rises, she gets involved in a hideous labyrinth of murder, black magic and madness.

In terms of Dario Argento, Giallo, and horror movies in general, there’s not a lot I can say about Suspiria that hasn’t already been said. It’s an awesome movie that looks great, sounds great and scares the pants off of you – something that, let’s be honest, few films can do. Modern horror movies (or, as they’re sometimes called, “remakes”) could learn a lot from this great film.

What this package is about is the re-master job, and it is fantastic. Watching this on a DVD up-scaler through a 1080p HDTV, I have to say that I was suitably impressed. The motion is fluid, the picture could have been made yesterday (apart from the haircuts, but that would be a serious remaster job). The extras are a bundle of informative documentaries and commentaries. It’s a fantastic set, and at a very reasonable price, too.

Horror buffs owe it to themselves to replace that crackly old VHS, and pick this up. They will not be disappointed. And newcomers, well, this is how horror movies should be made.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Defenestration, stabbing, hanging, barbed wire wounds, lots of blood, some fire/explosions.
Sex/Nudity: Amazingly, very little. Apart from some very frumpy nightshirts.
Swearing: Some mild uses.
Summary: A excellently paced, tense and well put together horror that has stood the test of time rather well. Horror buffs should own this. 10/10

Forbidden World
Starring: June Chadwick, Dawn Dunlap, Jesse Vint
Director: Allan Holzman

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

Set on a far off desert planet in a distant future, Forbidden World combines horror and sci-fi in a gory tale of a genetic experimentation that goes disastrously out of control. When Federation Commander Mike Colby is sent to investigate reports that a scientific research team’s ambitious quest to create a brand new creature from human cells has gone horribly wrong, he makes a terrifying discovery.

Now, there’s a monster on the loose and it’s threatening to wipe out all human life on the planet. Colby embarks on a desperate race against time to destroy the creature but unknown to him some people have a sinister interest in keeping the thing alive and completing the top secret project from which it was created.

Back in September, I reviewed the movie Creature, which I described as a shameless knock off of the movie Alien. Well, it’s no longer alone, as Forbidden World has arrived.

Besides some admittedly excellent gore work, there is virtually nothing to recommend this cheap looking knock-off of Alien. Even the non-stop parade of gore, tits and monsters fails to excite. You’d think that such a tawdry tableaux of titillation would amuse on some level, but it doesn’t. It’s all been done a hundred times before, a hundred times better, in a hundred different ways.

If you’re looking for a bad movie to watch with a bunch of mates and take the piss out of Mystery Science Theatre 3000-style, then you’ll have a great time with this one – but for genuinely good movie making...what can I say? Avoid the name “Corman” like The Black Death.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Several highly gory moments.
Sex/Nudity: Two women in a random nude shower scene for no explicable reason. Maybe they’re dirty, I guess.
Swearing: Some uses, but nothing noteworthy.
Summary: A collection of cliches with a barrel of gore and no budget. Not “truly dire”, but certainly glances it occasionally. 3/10

Set 25 years after the events of the original game, Supreme Commander 2 begins with the assassination of the newly elected president of the Colonial Defense Coalition. The CDC members - the United Earth Federation, the Order of the Illuminate, and the Cybran Nation - deny involvement, blame each other and a galactic war ensues!

As one of three enigmatic commanders, you must strive to achieve global supremacy by forging vast armies over land, air and sea, complete with experimental war machines that could tip the balance of power at any moment. Prepare to experience brutal warfare on a breathtaking scale!

Supreme Commander 2 is the next installment in the award-winning Supreme Commander series that boasts numerous game enhancements, in-depth Campaign Mode, multiplayer online and a unique storyline that represents a new dimension in real-time strategy gaming.

Thanks to our friends at Square Enix, we've got a copy of Supreme Commander 2 to give away! For your chance of winning it, send us an e-mail to with your name and postal address before midday on Saturday 17th April (UK time). The first name drawn out of the electronic hat will win a free copy!

1 comment:

  1. After reading the review of the perfect gettaway, it seems that;

    The Perfect Getaway = The Beach starring Leonardo 'made my name on a sinking ship and now my career resembles such a dive to the ocean floor" DiCaprido?

    are lower budget film makers running out of scenarios to make films about? in which case why are they bothering when they could be boosting the stock market on cuban cigars.

    surely, having the same plot as a movie made nrly 10 years ago but adding more people doesnt make it a new film..

    in fact a better film with the SAME scenario.. ok add a couple of zombies is called 'Doomed'.. check that one out.