Saturday 17 July 2010

DVD Reviews

Doctor Who: Kamelion Tales
Starring: Peter Davidson, Gerald Flood, Mark Strickson
2 Entertain Video

Available Now - £29.99 (3 DVD Box Set)
Review by Brad Harmer

Featuring Peter Davidson as the Fifth Doctor, Doctor Who: Kamelion Tales follows the Doctor’s battles with the shape-changing android Kamelion.

It is 13th Century England and King John is visiting the castle stronghold of Sir Ranulph Fitzwilliam. Ranulf’s personal fortune has dwindled away, freely donated to King John to help fund the crusade. When the TARDIS materialises and disturbs a jousting duel, the Doctor’s party are proclaimed friendly demons by the King, who seems strangely interested in their “blue engine”. Before long, the Doctor becomes embroiled in court politics, and he realises that there is far more to the situation than a simple battle of honour between nobles.

This is a pretty fun fantasy/sci-fi mash-up. Some of the sword-fighting choreography is downright laughable and the “twist” in the ending feels rather forced, but this is – all things considered – a pretty fun Doctor Who story. I think it’s a little bit of a con that this fifty minute arc takes up a disc all to itself. Got to make their money somewhere, I guess.

In the second adventure, a strange signal from Earth draws the TARDIS to the island of Lanzarote. While the doctor tries to track the source of the signal, his companion, Turlough, rescues a young girl, Peri, from drowning. She is holding an artefact made from platinum bearing a strange symbol – the same symbol that Turlough himself carries on his arm, branded into the flesh...

This one feels much more like traditional Doctor Who territory than the first story. Look, they’re even in a quarry! There are no real surprises at any point, but if you’re into Doctor Who, this is a pretty satisfying story. It pushes all the right buttons, checks all the right boxes, etc. The only real question is whether Kamelion ever really deserved its own box set. As a character the writers never really knew what to do with anyway, this feels like a scraping from the bottom of the barrel.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Some scuffling and sword-fighting.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: None.
Summary: A collection of a couple of episodes that – all things considered – are pretty pointless in the greater scheme of things. Kamelion was a terrible effect and a terrible character, who hardly deserves his own box set. One for completeists only. 5/10

TNA Genesis 2010
TNA Wrestling
Available Now - £19.99 (DVD)
Review by Omer Ibrahim

The big fuss about this Genesis is that it’s the first to fall under the Hogan-Bischoff regime. “Big changes” are afoot in TNA, and it’s visible by the fact that the six-sided ring has been replaced by the traditional four...

The crowd don’t like it.

The first thing we are treated to is Hogan telling the crowd they are going to “save TNA”. When the crowd start chanting “We want six sides!”, Hulk screams “Well you had six sides, and it only got you so far!”. How professional. The crowd may have been the highlight of this show.

The first wrestling we get to see is Amazing Red defending his X-Division Championship against Brian Kendrick. Decent match, but could have been faster.
Crowd Highlight: “Lets go Spanky!” (Kendrick wrestled as Spanky in ROH and Japan)

Sean Morley has tortoises humping in his entrance video as he takes on Daniels in a boring match, which is not Daniels fault.
Crowd Highlight: “That’s his move!” (As Morley hits Blue Thunder Driver, which Daniels uses.)

ODB’s Knockout’s Championship is up for grabs against Tara in a 2/3 falls match that fails to excite.
Crowd Highlight: “*insert silence*”

Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams put the tag belts on the line against Matt Morgan and Hernandez. A good match, but Hernandez and Morgan need to tag more. (By the way, Doug, keep doing that hold-your-own-wrist, head-shake thing. It’s hilarious.)
Crowd Highlight: “Ole, ole ole ole!” (For no reason.)

Submission exhibition time with Desmond Wolf as he tangles with “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero. Classy wrestling match by both with a high-energy finish.
Crowd Highlight: “I don’t think that’s legal!” (As Wolfe turns Pope’s legs into something that resembles spaghetti.)

Ric Flair is talking...Can’t hear him...It’s on full volume. Going closer to the TV...ah! He went WOOOOOO! Fuck you, you nonsensical, saggy old bastard!

It’s time for Beer! Money! Inc to wrestle Syxx Pac and Kevin Nash in a nice match, even with the style clash. Nash is in the best shape I’ve seen him in years and is more energetic than ever, which is scary, considering he's 51.
Crowd Highlight: “BEER! MONEY!”

Abyss’ versus Mr. Anderson is limited as Abyss can't go hardcore, which is his strength. Could have done with being shorter, but its entertaining enough.
Crowd Highlight: “Overrated!” (At Anderson...constantly.)

Main event time as Kurt Angle challenges AJ Styles for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Both of these men are on top form, and know exactly what the crowd want to see. They have an epic master class of a contest, that is completely raped in the arse by a screw job finish featuring Ric Flair. Fuck you, you nonsensical, saggy old bastard!
Crowd Highlight: “You’re both awesome!”

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Nobody bleeds actually, so it’s mild.
Sex/Nudity: ODB removes some bra padding.
Swearing: For some reason, swearing is bleeped and the middle fingers are pixelated.
Summary: Disappointing. There’s good matches here, but only one of them is great, and it gets ruined. 5/10

Harpoon: The Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre
Starring: Pihla Viitala, Gunnar Hanson & Terence Anderson
Director: Júlíus Kemp
The Associates
Available now, RRP £12.99 (DVD)
Review by Rob Wade

Harpoon sees a group of tourists out on a whale-watching expedition, stranded by one tour guide and victim of a cruel accident with the other. After being picked up by a fishing boat with seemingly good intentions, they very quickly (and I mean very quickly) discover that the people who picked them up have anything but good intentions for them…

As with many of the horror films traditionally associated with this genre, this film doesn’t take long to get to the point where people are running for their lives.
Unlike films in this genre though, storyline seems to have been done away with in favour of all-out OTT carnage instead. In this regard, the film is at least partially successful, in that it doesn’t fuck around in getting to the point. There’s no back-story for any of the characters bar one, and even she’s not very exciting, nor is she the focal point of the film.

The violence in the film is pretty heavy-duty as well, with ice picks, harpoons and Kamikaze old ladies blowing themselves up. This stuff is done pretty reasonably, and looks grisly in its realism at times. The deaths are reasonably imaginative at times as well. One other positive thing I must say about the film is that the pacing is really good once everything kicks off. Sadly, that’s where the good points end.

The film is marketed as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on a boat”, and the film is contrived by comparison, mainly as it seems to be trying too hard to emulate the famous predecessor. The characters are annoying, with clichéd characters, annoying stereotypes and often inexplicable actions performed. Can anyone explain why one girl decided, during a time of crisis, to go into the bridge and sing Bjork songs until she started crying? No, I didn’t think so.
On the plus side, two of the character deaths are really well done, with a good old-fashioned Mexican standoff with a twist. The ending, too, isn’t bad at leaving threads open, and leaves you wondering what happened to some of the characters.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence: Axe to the face, a guy gets run through, a bloke stabs a woman in the head, harpoon through the back from a harpoon gun, someone gets burned by a kamikaze Japanese woman, a flare in the face as well.
Sex/Nudity: Some tits and an attempted rape.
Swearing: Several uses of “Fuck” “shit” and “bitch”.
Summary: A well-paced movie, but ultimately pretty contrived on the face of it. The characters are annoying, which is a shame as the movie isn’t too bad otherwise. 5/10

His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th
Stax Entertainment
Available Now - £14.99 (DVD)
Review by Brad Harmer

30 years ago, a small horror film gave birth to 11 sequels, an endless body count, and one of the most terrifying icons in horror history. Special-effects gore legend Tom Savini hosts this documentary, including behind the scenes look at the franchise that broke horror box-office records and made Jason Voorhees a pop-culture icon. With over 80 interviews from the cast and crew of the Friday the 13th movies, including the remake, these accounts behind the scenes photographs offer an in-depth look at the history of Friday the 13th.

The Friday the 13th films cut a gore-laden swathe through the 1980s and '90s, making it one of the most successful horror franchises. This documentary revisits the hockey-mask-clad phenomenon of Jason, an impassive killer who shed pint after pint of teenage blood at the campgrounds of Crystal Lake before taking the show on the road to New York City and even Hell.

As documentaries go, this is a cut above the average. It’s well produced, comprehensive and better than the sort of thing that shows on all those documentary channels in your cable package that you never bother to watch.

The interviews are a mixed bag. Some like the Sean S. Cunningham and Kane Hodder – who are undeniably central to the franchises success – are informative and engaging. The jobbing actors who have died at Jason’s hands over the years are not so; often coming across as irritating and desperate for the attention. It’s a shame that Savini is wasterd as the host. He’s pretty cool at the job, but it would have been better to see him interviewed.

Generally though, the overall package is a good one, and the second disc is absolutely loaded with extras to keep Jason fans happy.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Violence: Some sequences from the original movies, which are pretty violent and gory.
Sex/Nudity: Only if you want to wind up dead.
Swearing: Some casual uses.
Summary: A well put-together and entertaining light documentary. Will likely be worth a rental to most Friday the 13th fans – but the dollops of extras will make it essential for hardcore fans. 7/10


Monty Python star Terry Jones presents this award-winning documentary series, featuring ancient inventions, the surprising history of sex and love and the hidden histories of Egypt and Rome.

In Ancient Inventions Terry presesnts a view of some of the ancient world's most remarkable inventions. History enthusiast that he is, he takes us on an unconventional myth-busting journey revealing the unexpected, whilst discovering that the ancient world was every bit as inventive as our own.

In The Surprising History of Sex & Love, we examine the shift in social attitudes and practices 0 and the unexpected route of how sex got from strict social represion to the full-frontal glossies of today.

Bringing to life the everyday details of the ancient Egyptians, The Hidden History of Egypt, Terry debunks the myths and false beliefs surrounding Ancient Egypt - and painting a very different picture indeed.

And finally, in The Hidden History of Rome, Terry asks the all important question: "What have the Romans ever done for us?"

The Ancient World According to Terry Jones is out on DVD from Monday, priced £19.99.

Thanks to our friends at Seventh Art, we've got two copies of The Ancient World According to Terry Jones 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 24th July (UK time). The first two names drawn out of the electronic hat will win a free copy!

1 comment:

  1. It's 2-Entertainment's tactic of releasing the stories on the lower of the quality spectrum when it comes to Doctor Who. Take two/three stories, find some sort of themetic link and get 'em out there cheaper than it would be to buy 'em all individually.