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Posted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:08 pm
by streetrw
Finally managed to see Silent Hill last night.

Fantastic. Best/most horrible vision of Hell I can recall. Despite being over two hours long (an insane length for a horror movie - and IMDb claims the original cut was an hour longer than that!) it didn't drag. I'll have to check, but this could be my favourite genre film of the year so far.

Posted: Fri May 12, 2006 9:48 pm
by streetrw

Amazingly, When A Stranger Calls isn't too shabby. I haven't seen the original in many years, and in truth most of my familiarity with it comes from the numerous excerpts in Terror In The Aisles, from which I can certainly say that chunks of psycho-to-babysitter phone dialogue are verbatim (not that that helped The Fog). In fact this new film is basically an over-extended version of the original's first act; ending with the police showing up. Worst thing about it is probably the score, which is almost constant and based around constantly building strings and synthy noise pads and shock stinger effects - although I'm probably going to buy the CD when it comes out - at almost no time is silence given a chance. It's also too long. Best thing about the movie is the fabulous house design - I haven't looked it up to see if it was a real house, but the end creds say it was filmed in studios. It's also gorgeously shot and looks stunning. Not much in the way of horror, though - I never jumped once.

I really wasn't expecting anything but more remake dross (but as Alan Jones pointed out in a recent blog entry, don't many genre fans have to see them regardless?) but was pleasantly surprised.

Posted: Sun May 14, 2006 1:37 pm
by STun
Ok, its not horror or fantasy, but I saw Brick this weekend. Good little indie film, but nowhere near as amazing as the critics have been saying in my opinion. It is definitely not this years Donnie Darko in my opinion.

Also saw The Omen remake trailer. I'm sick of remakes. Why cant there be more original horror these days. The Descent was awesome last year. Bring on more quality movies like that.

Posted: Sun May 14, 2006 8:12 pm
by thesavageintruder
I agree, WHEN A STRANGER CALLS wasn't that bad, though it falls into the category of watered down PG-13 "horror" movies that aren't really horror movies at all...the whole point in the original was that the "stranger" kills the kids, hence the repeated veiled threat of "Have you checked the children". In this movie, new characters such as the non-American housekeeper, are introduced solely to be killed off, but we're never in any doubt that the kids will survive. Still, at least it tried to capture the tense mood of the opening sequence in the 1979 movie - that feeling of being alone in a strange house, where even the most innocent sounds and objects (liked the bit with the dressing gown on the hook) can take on threatening form. The original movie, by the way, remains quite underrated : destined to be remembered solely for the single sequence that the new version remakes, it actually veers away from the standard stalk n slash stuff after the initial shocks. The midsection of the 1979 STRANGER is low key and disturbing, following the miserable life of a killer who, unlike most of the villains in these movies, isn't a faceless robotic monster but a drab, ordinary-looking and very disturbed loser. And by only focussing on the opening stretch, the remake missed out on recreating a FABULOUS scare at the very end of the 1979 flick, involving the stranger in Carol Kane's bed...

Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 12:58 pm
by Alex Kidd
Got to see The Da Vinci Code yesterday, putting it briefly it's way too long and very slow, almost boring in places.

I didn't like the book but at least it works as quick page turner, Ron Howard seems to have dropped all this and just sucks any life out of the story. He also plays down the codebreaking aspects, Hanks seems to just figure the codes out as he goes with out any effort.

Not a terrible film, just very tedious.

Posted: Sat May 20, 2006 7:54 pm
by Alex Kidd
Just come home from a doublebill of Once In A Lifetime: The Story Of The New York Cosmos and When A Stranger Calls.

I wasn't going to bother with When A Strangers Calls untill people posted good things about it on here, and they were right, it's quite fun, not perfect but it's quite clever and tense in places. Was fun seeing something like this in the cinema, I quite liked the ending as well, quite different.

Once In A Lifetime is a documentary about the New York soccer team The Cosmos, who were the kings of American soccer in the 70s. I hate football but this documentary is fantastic, so interesting and so many great stories, plus a fantastic soundtrack, well worth watching, even if you hate football.

Posted: Fri May 26, 2006 2:08 pm
by Alex Kidd
Sometimes it's worth talking to people with clipboards in Leicester Square, they're not always after money; sometimes they want to give you free cinema tickets.

And consequently last night myself and a few friends were lucky enough to get to see a test screening of the new Hannibal Lecter film, Hannibal: Behind The Mask.

This is Hannibal the early years, based on the forthcoming book written by Thomas Harris, who's also written the screenplay to this. According to IMDB the release date for the film is Feb 2007, the book itself I think is due to come out October 2006. So this was a very early screening.

Unfortunately it wasn't very good, to sum it up very quickly it's far too generic, it's really just degenerates into a standard revenge film, when it needed to be so much more.

It starts quite well, the WW2 sequences look great and the first 30 minutes are quite intriguing and look promising but as soon as you realise what the main thrust of the story is then you realise that you've seen it all a 1000 times before.

One of the good points is director Peter Webber (Girl With A Pearl Earring) who brings a very arthouse quality and feel to the film, so the look of the film is great. It's just that he's saddled with such a boring and generic plot, there's no where for him to go with the story apart from heading straight to it's boring conclusion.

Gaspard Ulliel does a fairly good job of portraying young Hannibal, although again he's a victim of a script that immediately turns him into the Hannibal we know from the other films. We never really seem him developing or learning his analytical skills, he just seems to arrive fully formed.

Still overall it's not a terrible film, you just come out feeling very under whelmed, when it could have been so much better.

Plus what's the deal with all the mask stuff in the film? In Silence and Hannibal he doesn't choose to wear the mask, it's not like he runs around killing people wearing the mask, it's something that's forced on him. So why all the allusions to him wearing masks, standing near masks and cleaning masks in this film?

Posted: Fri May 26, 2006 2:36 pm
by rawshark
Saw The Warrior King on tuesday (the new Tony Jaa film) and it rocks...

Personally, I enjoyed it even more than Ong-Bak and Born to Fight put together. Sure, there's no intricate plotting, or high-arc character development (believe me when i say the elephants are the best actors in the film), but you're not watching this film for that, you're watching it for the amazing fights, and what amazing fights they are.

The standout scene simply has to be the 4 and half minute one-take shot of Jaa kicking and punching his way through around 100 guys whilst running up four flights of stairs! Technically amazing, this sequence will surely go down in history as one of the best fight scenes ever committed to celluloid.

There's also a great 'arm-breaking' fight at the end, and heaps of terrific stunts, including a great boat chase that emulates the boat chase in Live and Let Die.

Due out in the UK in July, this is one cinema appointment you should definitely keep. If you liked Ong-Bak, you are going to fall head-over-heels in love with The Warrior King...

(see trailer here -

Posted: Fri May 26, 2006 3:14 pm
by AndyJWS
The Warrior King - that's the UK title for Tom Yum Goong, right?

Posted: Fri May 26, 2006 3:17 pm
by Alex Kidd
Tom Yum Goong (Warrior KIng) is fantastic isn't it.

The staircase fight sequence is just so amazing, really want to see it on the big screen.

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 10:49 pm
by Alex Kidd
Has anyone else seen X Men: The Last Stand yet? If not, a word of warning - it's diabolical! It's so terrible, I really really really hated it. It takes everything that Singer did in the first 2 films and just flushes it down the toilet, it really is a stinker of a film.

All the character interaction is gone, there's way too many plot threads, Vinnie Jones is so bad, there are some pointless deaths.

X3 is to X1 & X2 what T3 was to T1 & T2, it just feels like some cheap knocked off straight to video follow up.

To be fair it's not a fault of the acting, you can tell everyone is trying, but they're not given anything interesting to say or do. There are some good ideas in the story as well, but nothing is given enough time or space it needs to be developed. It's like they tried to squeeze the next 3 X Men films into one.

If you do go and see it though, make sure you stay right to the end of the credits, there's a bit of footage right end which is quite important.

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 11:04 pm
by thesavageintruder
Maybe it's just me (and i have only recently got out of prison after "manoeuvring" an old woman into a hot saucepan)but i thought X MEN THE LAST STAND was cracking entertainment. I didnt think Ratner - he responsible for the blandest Hannibal the Cannibal flick - ruined it at all. I liked the new characters (tho Vinnie Jones was, obviously, crap because he is, generally, crap), the action set pieces were spectacular and i happen to think franchises like this one need some prominent character deaths to keep things unpredictable and give them some edge. I thought it was a first rate sequel, tho i actually rather liked TERMINATOR 3 too so what do i know...!

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 11:18 pm
by AndyJWS
Saw it on Thursday, and worked every showing we've had of it since. Thought it was pretty good, the special effects handled and integrated far better than Brian Singer could ever have dreamed of (something bolstered by the at times embarrassingly poor effects in the Superman Returns trailers. In all honesty, would not have lost anything by adding about 15 mins or so back in, which may be on DVD, altho to be fair as is the brisk pace never flags in this cut. Personally I thought it was nice that this version had the balls to kill characters as well, and I have to disagree about Vinnie Jones - apart from one awful line which was added thanks to an internet fan ring, he was a lot of fun once dissociated from his regular size compared to the makeup (hey, if I can do it for Frasier...)

Now for the shock - working every show since, the vast majority of the general audience and at least 90% of the fanbase audience have come out saying it's the best of all three films! I wouldn't go that far - while I wasn't impressed by the first (unneccessarily slow and some very dodgy dialogue - step forward and be shamed, Joss Whedon!) I don't think I can say this was actually better than X2. In fact, The above comments are the worst I have heard - nothing against Alex Kidd, everyone is entitled to their own opinion :), but our audience at work is usually less consistent no matter what the film is! :shock:

EDIT: As we're mentioning T3 as well, my thoughts on it were that it had great action scenes but spent too much time concentrating on trying to solve the plotholes and inaccuracies left by the previous films as a common side-effect of the subject matter. Oh, and superb ending!

Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 11:25 pm
by Alex Kidd
Maybe it's just me then, but I really hated it, didn't go in wanting to dislike, it, really gave it my best shot, but the more I think about it the worse it gets in my mind.

For me it just seemed to be missing everything that I liked about the first 2.

Posted: Mon May 29, 2006 2:06 pm
by lupogirl
I saw X Men 3 yesterday. I rather enjoyed it!!! :lol:

No real plot but absolutely stunning effects. Worth seeing on the big screen. Thought there was not enough of Bird Man!!

Saying that I enjoyed X Men 1 more than 2 :wink:

Good to see mix views on this!!!! :shock: