Saturday 7 August 2010

DVD Reviews

Deep Blue Sea
Starring: Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson, Thomas Jane
Director: Renny Harlin
Warner Home Video

Available from 9th August - £17.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Brad Harmer

In search of a cure for Alzheimer's Disease, a team of scientists experiment with the brains of sharks, making them smarter and faster. When a corporate executive comes to tour the facility the sharks start an uprising that threatens not only the project but the lives of the team.

The CG, never all that good when Deep Blue Sea was first released, has aged very badly. The sharks – the real stars of the movie, if you don’t count The Punisher and Nick Fury – look pretty fat and stupid for the most part.

Even though Thomas Jane is in it - and we all love Thomas Jane round these parts – the only really likable character is the chef played by LL Cool J. Yes, writing that sentence hurts a little, but credit where credit is due, he’s funny, quirky and entertaining. The rest of the cast, really aren’t.

Some moments – such as the shark bite, air-lift, window-shatter death (that makes sense if you’ve seen it) are so gloriously over the top that with a little effort Deep Blue Sea would have made a hilarious parody. As it stands, it blunders through a series of genre clichés, blissfully unaware of how dumb it’s being.

The picture has been cleaned up reasonably well, but the sound level has been pretty badly botched. You will find yourself constantly adjusting the volume up to hear the characters talking, only to click it down again with each shark attack/orchestra stab.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Ultra-violent and over-the-top shark attacks. Some scuffling, shooting and harpooning.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: Some, but not all that much, all things considered.
Summary: A bunch of brainless rubbish that essentially boils down to Jurassic Park in the water, only nowhere near as good. Some good jump moments, but there’s no reason to part with your cash when it’s on TV relatively often. 4/10

Starring: Elena Anaya, Mar Sodupe, Hugo Arbues
Director: Gabe Ibáñez
Optimum Home Releasing
Available now, RRP £17.99 (DVD), £22.99 (Blu-Ray)
Review by Blake Harmer

From the producers of Pans Labyrinth and The Orphanage comes Hierro, which tells the story of a woman’s quest to find her son after he goes missing whilst travelling on a ferry to the island of El Hierro for a holiday. When the mother is called back to the island to identify a body, which was mistaken to be her child, she stays on the island to see if she can finally unravel the mystery of what became of her son.

Hierro is definitely all about the eye candy. The cinematography is truly brilliant and there is an artistic feel to the whole film throughout. Special mention should go to the backward water effects that are used and the way they capture the main protagonist’s despair throughout the film. The acting is good and the story keeps you entertained throughout.

However, the film, whilst highly enjoyable for the above reasons, suffers from a crucial flaw. The main problem is that as a thriller, which is meant to keep to you guessing, the big plot twist at the end is too predictable and foreseeable from early on. Despite the film’s desperate attempts to keep you guessing, it never truly succeeds in fooling the viewer and this can be quite damning for a thriller.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence: a pretty brutal fight scene involving various kitchen utensils looks realistically violent and is quite rough and tumble like most real fights.
Sex/Nudity: You see the main protagonists boobs a couple of times although this is probably more for arthouse purposes rather than titillation. However, it still doesn’t divert the viewer away from the see-through plot.
Swearing: None.
Summary: An enjoyable thriller with excellent cinematography, let down by a lacklustre plot with an easily foreseeable plot twist. Virgins to the thriller genre may enjoy this. But unless you are a fan of cinematic art, then there is isn’t a lot to recommend repeated viewings of this, and it is for this reason that I foresee Hierro becoming a cult film. 7/10

From the creators of the smash-hit series The Office and Extras and based on the original record-breaking podcasts, comes the new animated comedy series, The Rickey Gervais Show.

The series is an animated version of the original podcasts that earned a sport in The Guinness Book of World Records for the most downloads. It is voiced by Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and colleague and friend Karl Pilkington whose offbeat musings inspire many of the storylines.

Thanks to our friends at Warner Home Video, we've got two copies of The Ricky Gervais Show: Series One on DVD to give away! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to with your name and postal address before midday on Saturday 14th August (UK time). The first two names drawn out of the electronic hat will win a free copy!

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