Saturday, 31 July 2010

DVD Reviews

Clash of the Titans
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Sam Worthington
Director: Louis Leterrier
Warner Home Video

Available Now - £19.99 (DVD) & £26.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Blake Harmer

When the son of God Zeus, Perseus (Sam Worthington Terminator: Salvation and pretty much any other action film recently), is helpless to save his family from Hades, vengeful god of the underworld, he volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus (Liam Neeson - Fallout III, Darkman) and unleash hell on earth. However, with the odds stacked against Perseus and his warriors, will Perseus accept his power as a demi-god to defeat Hades?

Let's get one thing straight about Clash of the Titans: it is an action movie. This is not meant to be an Oscar winning performance about Greek Mythology; it is about spectacular special effects and lots of action and violence, and considering that is what it set out to do, Clash of The Titans delivers by the bucket full. From Giant Scorpions to flying demons to the evil Medusa itself, the film has some brilliant monsters, superbly brought to life with great special effects. These monsters also means the action never lets up too, and you are treated to lots of death and destruction, especially in the films climactic battle.

However, the film does have its weak points. I would have liked to have seen a bit more character development amongst the other warriors that Perseus is with, as I didn’t really have any feelings towards when they died, which led to a sort of “oh, he’s dead, ah well” mentality whilst watching the non-stop action. I can only assume that this was done to cram in some more action scenes. The film is also a case of style over substance in many cases, with the action taking priority over the plot, which normally means that the passage of time can advance quite quickly to the next battle with very little addition to the plot aside from a brief explanation.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
Lots of high action set pieces, with some cool deaths, especially in the fight against the Medusa.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: Mild profanity, but there is hardly any swearing at all. We obviously like our Greeks to be gentleman like in their bloodletting.
Summary: If you’re after a good brainless action movie to cover an evening, you can’t go wrong with Clash of The Titans. It set out to be a brainless action movie with good special effects, a lot like the original Harryhausen movie before it (even though it is even more brainless than the original), and like the original, it succeeds on what it set out to do. 8/10

Second Opinion: A spectacular, pulp-fantasy ride of a movie. Sure, it’s brainless, arcade fun, but that’s what it tried to be, and it has succeeded. 10/10 - Brad Harmer

Robo-Geisha
Starring: Hitomi Hasebe, Aya Kiguchi, Takumi Saito
Director: Noboru Iguchi
Showbox Media Group

Available Now - £15.99 (DVD) & £24.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Blake Harmer

Robo-Geisha is - and I have seen quite of a lot Asian cinema - probably one of the weirdest films I have ever seen. From acidic breast milk to a giant castle robot walking up Mount Fuji with the intent of blowing up Japan with a bomb seventeen times more powerful than a nuclear weapon, you really don’t know what to expect next.

When Yoshie and her sister who is a Geisha is abducted by the Kageno Steel Corporation to be trained as a secret army of female Geisha assassins, the two sisters attempt to out do each other to be the best by having robotic implants put inside them. However, when Yoshie is double crossed, she sets out to destroy the Kageno Steel Corporation, who intends to take over the world through military armaments (hence the large atomic bomb), with the help of the parents and guardians of the other girls who have been abducted and turned into vicious killers.

It is the insane weapons that are the star of this film, from the swords that come out of Robo-Geisha’s armpits, mouth and buttocks to her wig which can open up and fire napalm at her attackers, you always find yourself surprised at what you're going to see next. It is this over the top feel that gives this tongue in cheek action film most of its laughs.

However, it is probably this over the top feel that also provides the films biggest flaws. The film’s poor special effects let it down in places, but at the same time makes you wonder if it is meant to be shonky to add to the humour, because I probably wouldn’t have laughed at some parts if the special effects were up to scratch. It is this doubt as to whether some of the humour is intentional or unintentional which leaves you to question whether the film takes itself seriously at all, which means that Robo-Geisha can be easily dismissed as a shonky curio rather than to be treated as a decent comedy.

Despite these crippling flaws however, Robo-Geisha knows it is mad and tongue in cheek, and as long as you go in expecting this from the movie, then you will not be disappointed.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
Lots of mad, OTT violence where you don’t expect how the next death is going to occur, will they be killed by shuriken fired from an assassin’s buttocks, breast mini-gun, or from acidic milk being fired from their breasts? It really is that insane.
Sex/Nudity: None, to my recollection. It could well be that I was so bedazzled by the sheer madness of the film that I just simply didn’t notice any.
Swearing: Quite a fair amount of swearing, and it is normally said in an over the top amount of rage before the violence and gore continues.
Summary: This film is very hard to be described with sheer words, (hence why this review has been incredibly difficult to write). The film is heavily flawed with terrible special effects, a paper-thin plot, and some poor acting. However, the film is so over the top and tongue in cheek that you can almost forgive it for all it’s shortcomings and enjoy it for the madcap bloodbath that it is. Fans of Asian comedy and gore films should give this a try, I am certain though that this is definitely not for everyone’s taste though. 7/10

Slumber Party Massacre
Starring: Debra Deliso, Andre Honore
Director: Amy Holden Jones
In2Film

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

When an eighteen-year-old high school girl is left at home by her parents and she decides to have a slumber party, she invites her friends as well as the new girl at her school. However, when the girl overhears the other girls saying her distaste for her at school she decides to stay at home with her younger sister. Meanwhile, a murderer who likes to kill people with his power drill is on the loose, and eventually makes his way to the party. Will the girls survive, and will the new girl be able to save them (especially as she lives conveniently across the street from the party)?

As one can expect with a lot of Roger Corman movies, this film is downright shash. The murderer never explains why he is killing people, as it seems to be out of boredom. The murders can be downright stupid. For example, a man is found dead in his car after being decapitated. This is coming from a murderer who kills people with a twenty inch drill (for what purpose a twenty inch drill bit has, I am still yet to find out). I am still waiting to see how someone can be decapitated with a drill but sadly, because you do not see this murder take place, I never will find out. The acting is cheesy, the plot clich├ęd, even for a film that came out when slasher flicks were fresh and original, and the fact the killer carries a drill around which obviously doesn’t have a power pack leads to disbelief the moment you first witness a murder.

The film does have a few saving graces though, the deaths can be quite gory at times, and the characters are so hateful that you actually celebrate when each of them is slaughtered.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
Lots of death scenes, some believable, some not so. Plenty of gore to be seen though which will keep E14 fans happy for a little while before realising the terrible movie they are watching.
Sex/Nudity: You get boobs several times throughout the movie, and even within the opening minute. Which is a bonus E14 point in my book.
Swearing: Lots of swearing as is traditional in these sorts of films. It doesn’t stop it from being a big steaming turd of a movie though.
Summary: With so many brilliant slasher movies out there, it is nigh on impossible for me to recommend this movie unless you have a relative who was involved with the movie, and even then it would it only be to make you feel ashamed of them. There are enjoyable things to be seen here, but seeing as other movies do the same thing only better, it’s probably best you avoid this. 4/10

WWE: Extreme Rules 2010
Starring: Batista, John Cena, Edge
Clear Vision

Available from Monday 2nd August - £17.99 (DVD)
Review by Omer Ibrahim

Extreme Rules is the pay-per-view that replaced Backlash, the traditional backstop after the extravaganza that was Wrestlemania. It is used to create new storylines for the year ahead and advance new talent. Well...It used to...

“Operation: Stick-Everyone-In-Front-Of-A-Camera” is go in the first match as The Miz and Big Show run a gauntlet comprising of R-Truth and John Morrison, MVP and Mark Henry, and The Hart Dynasty. What could have been a complete clusterfuck of a match actually turned out to be a well paced, fun contest.

CM Punk puts his hair on the line against Rey Mysterio in a highly athletic affair full of intricate high spots. Very entertaining.

Strap Matches are known to be predictable and boring, but JTG and Shad Gaspard try to change this stereotype. They fail.

An Extreme Rules match has some rules. Or none. I’m not sure. Either way, Randy Orton and Jack Swagger have one over the World Heavyweight Championship. Not a bad match, but not outstanding. On the plus side, Orton doesn’t wrestle at the speed of paint, and it’s an improvement.

UNINTERESTING GINGER TURD UPDATE!
Yup, Sheamus is still shite, even though Triple H tries incredibly hard to get him over.

The Women’s Championship is up for grabs as Michelle McCool defends against Beth Phoenix. Apparently its an Extreme Makeover match. I’m not sure what that is, either, but I think it translates to “Incredibly Violent Sexism”. The two girls go all out, cracking each other with buckets, brooms and ironing boards. It pays off, actually, and is really quite a good match.

A steel cage lowers into the arena as Edge and Chris Jericho are locked inside. What follows is an incredibly innovative cage match in which both men exploit the fact that they have a cage to experiment with. The match is, however, let down by Edge’s face. The guy is a natural heel, and his “sadistic good-guy” routine is so badly done, that it is totally unbelievable. Without the suspension of disbelief, it all just seems so...fake.

In the main event slot, Batista gets a shot at John Cena and his WWE Championship in a Last Man Standing Match. It’s a slow, but really quite epic contest. They pretty much throw everything at each other and keep getting up, and the crowd really start to get into it. Add on an ingenious finish, and you have an impressive match.

Recommended matches:
Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
Batista vs. John Cena

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Violence:
Apparently cages and weapons don’t make you bleed any more.
Sex/Nudity: Men in pants.
Swearing: “You idiot!” is about as bad as it gets.
Summary: Not a bad PPV, but you can tell that all the good ideas were used up at ‘Mania. Grab it in the sales. 7/10


More than a decade in the making, the world's favourite real-time strategy game - Starcraft 2 - is finally returning. The original is still played by millions but this sequel makes the whole experience accessible and relevant to a whole new generation of players.

Once again you can choose to play as one of three races - the Terrans, Protoss and Zerg - as you're given complete control of their armies and their wildly different attack units and buildings. A new non-linear storyline featuring the human Terrans (expansion packs will cover the other two races) teaches the ropes and adds to the series' mythos with stunning new cut scenes.

It is online that the game really comes alive though, with ranked matches that instantly connect you to a player of the same skill level. Whichever way you play though the game combines all the action and immediacy of an action game with the complex strategy that has made the previous game such a legend.

Thanks to our friends at Blizzard, we've got three copies of Starcraft 2 on PC/MAC to give away! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to starcraft2giveaway@yahoo.co.uk with your name and postal address before midday on Saturday 7th August (UK time). The first three names drawn out of the electronic hat will win a free copy!

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