Saturday, 13 November 2010

DVD Reviews

Get Him to the Greek: Extended Party Edition
Starring: Russell Brand, Rose Byrne, Jonah Hill
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Universal Pictures

Available Now - £19.99 (DVD) & £24.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Charlotte Barnes

Get Him to the Greek stars roguish Russell Brand in a reprisal of his role as debauched rocker Aldous Snow from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Can overachieving record label intern Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) escort sex fiend Snow to the first date of his $100 million tour before it's too late? As the countdown to the concert begins, one innocent young man must navigate a minefield of London drug smugglers, New York City brawls and Las Vegas lap dances to deliver his charge safe and, sort of, sound...all while trying to remain faithful to his med student girlfriend. He may have to coax, lie to, enable and party with Aldous, but Aaron will get him to the Greek.

I thought the point of a sequel was because the film had more to give or the story could be improved upon. This film didn’t manage to accomplish either of these tasks. It did however manage to make me groan and stick my tongue into my bottom lip...so at least that is an achievement.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall was actually quite funny and I really like Jason Segel, but Get Him to the Greek has bugger all to do with it. Sure it has Aldous Snow in it, but that is it, my friends. Even Jonah Hill’s character is completely changed. He has gone from being a fanboy waiter to a music industry intern who has never met Snow. If this doesn’t deter you, P.Diddy has a rather large part in it, playing a music industry executive (he must have spent days researching this role) and he is a cocking awful actor.

This film made me feel dirty when I laughed at it.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
None.
Sex/Nudity: Some shagging in a loo cubicle, dildo abuse and a really unattractive threesome.
Swearing: Normal for the genre.
Summary: Boring film. Don’t buy or rent it and if you are given it as a gift, turn it into a shiny ornament for your coffee table. 4/10

Fanboys
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Sam Huntington, Seth Rogan
Director: Kyle Newman
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

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

In 1998, four childhood buddies with a shared love of all things Star Wars reunite for one final odyssey. Their insane plan: a cross-country road trip to storm George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch and steal a copy of Episode I before it's released. With the police, a crew of angry Trekkies, and a crazy pimp hot on their trail, what could possibly go wrong?

I first heard whispers of this movie a good couple of years ago, and had been busting to see it ever since then. Of course, as with all geek humour there was the chance of it disappearing up its own self-referential wormhole (Trust me, I’ve been there and had to fold space to get back out again). Sure there are a lot of Star Wars gags and reference to other geeky things (Star Trek, comics, etc.), but what’s at the heart here is a road movie about a group of friends desperately doing something to help one of their number.

The gags are great, and the cameos are all fantastic, generating huge gut-laughs, and there’s plenty of Rush on the soundtrack, too. Which is always nice.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
Several fights and scuffles.
Sex/Nudity: Several references.
Swearing: Frequent and strong.
Summary: If you’re into geekery, Star Wars and/or Rush, then Fanboys is a movie you’re going to love. Well worth picking up. 8/10

Daughters of Darkness
Starring: Paul Esser, John Karlen, Delphine Seyrig
Director: Harry Kuemel
Elevation Sales

Available Now - £15.99 (DVD)
Review by Brad Harmer

A recently eloped, troubled young couple book into a luxurious but desolate hotel. Valerie is young, naïve and curious, where as Stefan's sadistic tendencies are slowly bubbling to the surface. When a mysterious, exotic countess arrives at the hotel with her voluptuous assistant, things take a turn for the bizarre. As the nights draw in, the newlyweds are slowly seduced into an erotically charged, supernatural world of uncontrollable lust and murder. Can they resist the lure of fevered temptation or must they submit to their darkest fantasies?

Very much of its time, but also definitely solid and MILFy, Daughters of Darkness is a good, Hammer/Amicus type vampire movie, with tits and blood ahoy. The pacing is kept up well, and it’s like a very well written short story. Some of the attempts to tie in with real life history feel a little forced (it’s telegraphed within the first fifteen minutes that one of the women is Elizabeth Bathory), and it may have been better just to have her “A Vampire” than a historical figure, but this is a minor flaw.

Daughters of Darkness has no major flaws in fact, but it has no real advantages either. The acting’s good, the direction is good and the story presents an intriguing little mystery...but there’s not here that really lifts it above plain average. Fans of 1970s horror should certainly add this to their “to see” pile, but everyone else can wait for it to come on TV.

Rob Zombie sampled a couple of lines from this, though, so it gets a bonus point.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
Some fighting, biting, blood and explosions.
Sex/Nudity: Strong sexual overtones through, including lesbianish vampires. You don’t see a lot, but you don’t really need to.
Swearing: Mild.
Summary: An entertaining enough vampire movie, but there’s nothing that lifts it above the run-of-the-mill. Catch it when it comes on TV, but there’s no need to go out of your way for it. 6/10

Family Guy: Season Nine
Starring: Alex Borstein, Seth McFarlane, Mila Kunis
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Available Now - £27.99 (3 DVD Set)
Review by Blake Harmer

As I had originally feared in my review of Family Guy’s previous season box set, Family Guy is becoming more and more hit and miss to the point that the quality of the episodes are beginning to suffer. However, that isn’t to say that this is not a good Family Guy offering overall.

The humour sticks to its roots with the traditional loose plot line with a lot of random sketch gags thrown in throughout. A lot of these episodes, whilst not as strong as episodes from previous seasons are still consistently funny for the most part. Particular highlights include the Road To the Multiverse episode which has Stewie and Brian visiting multiple alternate universes including a Disney style universe and a Robot Chicken universe, and an episode where Brian tried to legalise Marijuana. There are also some nice DVD extras including sing-along versions to pretty much every Family Guy song, which is also a good bonus.

However, this is definitely a weaker season than previous box sets. There are a few episodes that were quite weak and only raised the odd chuckle, and I found that some of the references to comedy were a little too obscure when compared to other sketches and I found myself not really getting the joke. This could be because it may have been more American but even so, there wasn’t enough there to make it funny unless you had seen the show or film that the reference was parodying.

It is the decline of the overall quality of the show, and with Seth McFarlane going on to do other projects like The Cleveland Show and, to a lesser extent, more American Dad, that maybe Family Guy has almost run its course. There were a couple of moments whilst watching this season that I thought the well of ideas was running dry and that a “shark jump” moment wasn’t far away. However, there is still enough here for Family Guy fans to enjoy here. I’m just hoping that this season is just a dip in quality and that it will hopefully return to true form next season.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
Lots of comic violence with some blood, but nothing truly sickening in terms of gore.
Sex/Nudity: Some, but bits are normally covered up, there is a sight gag where you do see Peter’s penis though (I’m not kidding).
Swearing: Lots of heavy swearing as with the previous season, but not as frequent throughout.
Summary: Definitely a weaker season than other efforts but fans of the series will still like its over the top and random style of humour. I’m just concerned that it’s looking like Family Guy is starting to run out of ideas. 7/10

FlashForward: The Complete Series
Starring: John Cho, Joseph Fiennes, Lee Thompson Young
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Available Now - £35.99 (6 DVD Set)
Review by Charlotte Barnes

Everyone in the world blacks-out at precisely the same moment - for the same amount of time - and awakes to find themselves amidst a state of chaos and confusion. But as the truth begins to unravel, people realise the black-outs were instead visions of their life almost seven months into the future. Now begins a global race to uncover how lives and events are connected, if the moments people experienced will come true, and whether or not you can change fate. And most importantly, what or who could have caused all this to happen - and why?

To be honest, I tried to watch FlashForward when it first came on to TV in the UK, was not that fussed for it, and stopped watching after the first episode. By picking up the DVD copy and forcing myself to give it another go it really surprised me. I genuinely enjoyed watching this TV series, it had just the right mix of sci-fi, conspiracy theory, investigation and clever writing. The characters were also well developed and the storyline seemed believable. Of course, there were lots of twists and turns but surprisingly this was a positive thing even with the continuous change in characters and plotlines, it only left me wanting more.

It has been announced that ABC won’t be continuing with the series which I think was a good decision, I think it would just suffer from the Lost Syndrome where it becomes more about the famous actors in it and how clever the writers are rather than the substance of the original series.

On another note, it was a pleasant surprise to see so many Brits in an American TV show!

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
A fair amount of shooting guns, strangling and some good old fashioned fisticuffs!
Sex/Nudity: There is plenty of sex and nudity, but doesn’t seem to distract from the main story line.
Swearing: A few “fuck” and “shit” uses.
Summary: Gripping, action filled TV show that will leave you wanting more. 8/10

The First Men in the Moon
Starring: Mark Gatiss, Rory Kinnear, Alex Riddell
2entertain

Available Now - £15.99 (DVD)
Review by Brad Harmer

The year is 1909. Bankrupt businessman Julius Bedford is going nowhere - until he meets the eccentric scientist Professor Cavor. Because Cavor has invented an extraordinary substance. Anything it touches becomes lighter than air! Together, the two men devise a wild scheme. Why not go to the Moon?

But the lifeless world isn't quite as dead as it seems. Soon Bedford and Cavor are pitched into a thrilling struggle deep beneath the Moon's surface and an encounter with its terrifying alien masters - the Selenites!

Mark Gatiss is, bizarre as this may seem, perfectly cast as Professor Cavor. He’s charming, eccentric and endearing, all without every crossing the invisible line into “annoying”. The first half of The First Men in the Moon is a wholesome dollop of family entertainment, and expectations are high.

Unfortunately, it all falls apart at the half-way line.

The CG special effects and blue-screening are awful to the point of distracting you from the actors – who are really good. The aliens are awful, and the CG backdrops flat and dull – and not in the way that they’re supposed to be. The second half flies past at a rate of knots, and features a truly bizarre Georges Méliès style dream-sequence. By this time it’s obvious that they production is no longer sure who its target audience is supposed to be, and the last few minutes are just played for laughs.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
Some scuffling and melee combat, with alien gore.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: None.
Summary: A brave attempt, let down by woeful CG and a lack of target audience. 6/10

Gary – Tank Commander: Series One
Starring: Stuart Bowman, Robbie Jack, Greg McHugh
2entertain

Available Now - £15.99 (DVD)
Review by Brad Harmer

Gary McLintoch is a Tank Commander in the British Army who loves getting a sun tan, drinking Baileys and philosophising about everything from pizza to the peace process. Having just returned to Edinburgh from Iraq, Gary and his tank crew of Jacko, Charlie and Adam, are soon reminded that Mid Lothian can be almost as eventful as the Mid East.

This series sees Gary accidentally recruiting his friend Julie, using a tank to collect a cooker in the middle of a training exercise and trying to prevent an American General from causing an international incident. All this is made more difficult as Gary and the boys have to stay one step ahead of the Captain and the fiery Sergeant Thomson, who delights in punishing them in cruel and unusual ways.

Gary: Tank Commander really shouldn’t work. “Gayed up” military comedy has been done over a hundred times before in Sgt Bilko, Carry On Sergeant and It Ain’t ‘Alf Hot, Mum. However, Gary: Tank Commander has several moments that lift it above the average, and prevent it from falling into the trap of being too twee. There are several great one-liners and dialogue exchanges in it and some marvellous moments of the absurd. The absolute highlight being when Gary’s Dad phones to ask them to pick up a second-hand cooker, and you hear the phone exchange “Yeah...no, that’s not too far...yeah, we’ve got the tank...”.

One to watch out for in the future.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
Some artillery.
Sex/Nudity: Frequent bawdy references, but nothing explicit.
Swearing: Some “pish” and “shite”.
Summary: A middle-of-the-road comedy that is actually endearing rather than annoying. The pacing is sometimes a little off, but there are plenty of good moments to warrant a closer look. 8/10

WWE: Money in the Bank 2010
Starring: John Cena, Kane, Randy Orton
Clear Vision

Available Now - £17.99 (DVD)
Review by Omer Ibrahim

WWE’s Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View is confusing. On one hand, the multiple-man ladder matches are exciting, and give a chance for newer stars to break through. On the other hand, this PPV includes two of these matches, which seems overkill. adding the Wrestlemania MITB, three a year seems to dilute the spectacle of multiple men falling off of ladders. Add to this a Steel Cage Match main event, and we have gimmick overload.

First match up is the Smackdown! MITB ladder match which pits Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Matt Hardy vs. Christian vs. Kane vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Big Show. Most of the eight wrestlers pull out all the stops in some incredible spots as they reach for the briefcase in the rafters. The inclusion of Big Show’s re-enforced double-ladder is genius, as it makes a stable platform for the others to use. Highlights include Kofi legdropping from a ladder, Kane chokeslamming McIntyre from a ladder, and Big Show being buried under ladders. An innovative stunt-fest, with top performances from all.

Next is Alicia Fox vs. Eve for the WWE Diva’s Championship. They enter a stunning and enthralling match. Oh, no, wait, that’s not what happened. This resembles some form of wrestling fog. I can’t see what’s happening, and I want it to end. Also I’m wet.

The Hart Dynasty defends the Unified Tag Championships against The Usos. This is a real next-generation match as the Harts are obviously affiliated with Stu, Bret and Davey “Boy” Smith, and The Usos are the sons of Solofa “Rikishi” Fatu. I really enjoy these four as they put in a decent match with nice timing.

Fourth match is Jack “Not Kurt Angle” Swagger trying to regain his World Heavyweight Championship from Rey Mysterio. It’s a shame that the WWE has turned Swagger into an Angle-wannabe, he showed promise. Now he does the Ankle Lock the same way that Kurt does, and even uses his suplexes, including the running-up-the-ropes overhead suplex. The match is okay, but it really pangs of copycat-syndrome.

Women's Title. Layla vs. Kelly Kelly. Fog fog fog.

RAW have their MITB next, featuring Randy Orton vs. Edge vs. Miz vs. John Morrison vs. Mark Henry vs. Chris Jericho vs. Evan Bourne vs. Ted DiBiase. Less innovation in this one, but still an exciting affair. Bourne flies all over the place, Chris Jericho is awesome, and even Mark “Inexplicably Employed” Henry looks good.

UNINTERESTING GINGER TURD UPDATE!

Sheamus defends the WWE Title in a Cage Match with John Cena. The two perform some interesting sequences, but I don’t care because Sheamus is here. He is my care-void, if you will. If caring was a race, Sheamus would make me lose. If it was a marathon, I’d stop at the first water-station, and that turd would be handing out water, and I would shit on the floor, just to have something interesting to look at, instead of that uninteresting turd. Then I would go home. And all of my charities would be let down. And it would all be Sheamus’ fault.

Fuck you, Sheamus.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Violence:
Not even cage matches make you bleed now.
Sex/Nudity: Fog.
Swearing: Only me.
Summary: A hit-and-miss PPV. The Nexus angle is interesting, and the MITB matches are fun. Lots going on, but not all of it good. 7/10


THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DOOM TREADER

Lucy and Edmond are spending a dreary holiday with their cousin Eustace Clarence Scrub, who is a rather dour and mean spirited little boy. They are unexpectedly drawn into Narnia when a painting of a ship on the wall of Lucy's room comes to life, and the three children fall into the ocean to be rescued be the Dawn Treader.

Once safely on board, Lucy and Edmond are greeted by their friend Caspian (now King Caspian) who has undertaken a quest to find the seven lost Lords of Narnia, as he had previously promised to Aslan. Lucy and Edmond are delighted to be back in Narnia, but Eustace is less than enthusiastic. Reepicheep is also on board, as he has vowed to find the seas of the 'utter east'.



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