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All reviews - Movies (276) - TV Shows (42) - Books (13) - Music (75) - Games (82)

The Da Vinci Code review

Posted : 10 years, 9 months ago on 11 February 2007 04:22 (A review of The Da Vinci Code)

So much hype surrounded this movie during its filming and subsequent release, but at the end of the day I don't really see what all the fuss is about. Despite many people disliking this film, it does have a very capable cast.

That said, I still think it's drawn out and much longer than it needs to be, but as a stand alone film it is fine. People would be far less interested in criticising this film had it not been for the media frenzy whipped up by the so called 'sacrilegious' content or the book. Who cares? It's just a film adaptation of a piece of literary fiction!

One particular gripe I had about this film was that, other than Paul Bettany, none of the conflicting parties seemed to exert any dominance, they had no physical presence which made you believe they were capable of vile things. I can't really elaborate on that any more without giving away spoilers.


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Amazing

Posted : 10 years, 9 months ago on 11 February 2007 03:50 (A review of Downfall)

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I thought the emotion conveyed by Bruno Ganz as the worlds most notorious human being was amazing. Seeing him slowly deteriorate into a desperate and psychotic person, while his trusted inner circle began to abandon him was pretty touching.

Perhaps inspiring empathy for Adolf Hitler isn't a good thing, but it isn't what this film sets out to do, merely something that the actors manage to achieve during the three hour masterpiece. Atmospheric and extremely claustrophobic, it is clear to see how degraded the price of human life was during this period.


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The Prestige review

Posted : 10 years, 9 months ago on 11 February 2007 03:42 (A review of The Prestige)

The acting in this film is definitely one of its strong points. I don't recall seeing any other film quite like this, but at the same time I also thought that the storyline was rather drawn out. I did find myself getting a little bit bored throughout the middle of the film, and as one previous reviewer stated, there was a fairly obvious secret behind the principle magic trick in the film.

I was disappointed to see Scarlett disappear completely from the film towards the end (Maybe that was just another magic trick!), especially when her cleavage had done much to wake my from my day dreams partway through the film.


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Not overhyped!

Posted : 10 years, 9 months ago on 11 February 2007 03:35 (A review of Crank)

Personally, I don't think that Crank was overhyped. In fact, if I remember, it was released in cinemas with very little fanfare at about the same time as Snakes on a Plane, a film with much more pomp and expectation.

This film is essentially a piece of good, clean fun. It is not the 'Transporter 3' as some people have suggested, but rather a far more entertaining and humourous movie. In my opinion, this outshone the truly overhyped Snakes on a Plane and I thought Jason Statham was marvellous.

The stunts are far less ridiculous and laughable than any of the Transporter films (which take attrocious stunts to the next level) and when I left the cinema, I did so with a smile on my face.


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Neuromancer review

Posted : 10 years, 9 months ago on 6 February 2007 12:19 (A review of Neuromancer)

One of the most fascinating and engrossing books I've ever read and easily the most interesting of the 'sprawl' trilogy.

The society which he manages to create is just truly marvellous and I can just appreciate the kind of world in which the stories take place. The bionic body modifications and the concepts of cyperspace, microsofts and self-aware AI's just paint such magnificent visions of the future that I just wish I was born about 10 generations down the line!

His ideas have spawned an entire subculture and after reading this, you can see where so many other modern novels, films and games have 'collected' their inspiration from.


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Collateral review

Posted : 10 years, 9 months ago on 2 February 2007 07:51 (A review of Collateral)

Pure brilliance.

Tom Cruise's performance as the ice cold assassin is fantastic. An extremely atmospheric and stylish film, this easily deserves the same level of recognition as Heat.

This film sometimes receives criticism for its ending, but it certainly didn't impede my enjoyment. Coupled with great musical accompaniment and one of the greatest scenes I've ever seen in a cinema, and you've got yourself a thoroughly enjoyable film.


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Donnie Darko review

Posted : 10 years, 9 months ago on 2 February 2007 07:35 (A review of Donnie Darko)

The most overrated film ever made? Probably. One of the most uninspiring, pretentious and unneccessarily complicated pieces of film I've ever seen. I can not believe this holds a place on the IMDb top 250 films. Watch this at your peril.

About as scintillating as watching paint dry.

I purchased this on DVD for £3 and it's one of the blackholes of my collection.


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Post-rock powerhouse

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 20 January 2007 01:03 (A review of Born Into Trouble As the Sparks Fly Upward)

As an avid fan of post-rock I've listened to a fair bit of it in my time. Like many people, Godspeed You! Black Emperor were one of the first bands I encountered and came to love in the genre. I think GY!BE produce untouchable and flawless music and thus my excitement shot through the roof when I first heard about A Silver Mt Zion, who are an offshoot of the band, containing several members of GY!BE.

My first experience with ASMZ was not all fantastic. At first I was exclusively opposed to the somewhat scratchy and whiny lyrics I heard in their most recent album Horses in the sky. I kept the faith and attained their debut album He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms... and it was a significant improvement, but still it did not match the heights of anything I'd heard from Godspeed. Finally I uncovered Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upward and I think I can safely say that no other post-rock album has made such a lasting impression on me from the first listen. This album is beautiful.

With eight tracks and weighing in at approximately 50 minutes there are no epic, thirty minute songs but instead just some extremely melodic and captivating tracks. The album starts with Sisters! Brothers! Small Boats Of Fire Are Falling From The Sky which mysteriously ambles along quietly until some powerful strings come in and turn the track into a masterpiece. Then comes the piano which adds yet another dimension to the song. What I particularly appreciate about this album is the reliance on strong string elements and very little vocals. This song is easily one of the most haunting and beautiful post-rock tracks I've ever heard.

After this epic opener comes a track which acts as a foil, somewhat calming things down a tad. An earth-shattering bass can be heard during this track which reminds me of Esmerine. This can only be a good thing.

The third track on the album begins with a monologue recited by a schoolgirl who is somewhat upset with how things are in the world. I don't find this sample particularly annoying or detestable, despite it being a common trick to try and play on the senses of the listener. In fact, I think it's a masterstroke! She has the attitude and tone of voice which suggests that people will not stand for how things are anymore. Go forth and stand up for yourself little girl! You have all the weight of a thunderous seven-piece mini-orchestra behind you!

Once the third track is said and done, the album takes a turn towards the more angry and violent. The forth track subjects us to the vocals of Efrim Menuck and as usual, they are more scratchy then the 'dirty-violins' which sound behind him. They are entirely tolerable however adding much to the passion of the track. Following this agitated aural assault comes the epic Could've moved mountains. This track could quite easily pass off as a Godspeed track. It slowly builds up into a beautiful song, not quite reaching the epic crescendo you might expect, but still managing to maintain interest throughout. It's what I have been looking for in a hundred or so post-rock acts!

I think the album peaks here and then maintains an extremely high standard throughout the remaining three tracks where the mood manages to change from sinister to angry to sombre as you approach the finale of the album. As with most post-rock albums from this group there is an overwhelming feeling of unhappiness with the establishment, yet from the ultra-doom, there are specs of hope and happiness which you only begin to discover after an extraordinary amount of listens.

The final track - A triumph of our tired eyes is only the second track to incorporate vocals and once again, they do not impede on your enjoyment of the song.

This album is definitely one of the heavyweights of the post-rock genre. It is littered with beautiful and thought provoking songs, despite the obvious message that the band are not happy. If all Silver Mt. Zion albums sounded this good, I'd have no trouble professing them as my favourite band of all time. I would definitely recommend this album to any fans of the genre who haven't heard it yet.


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