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Gabez 07-24-2005 08:00 PM

Seen any good films lately?
The Descent - a group of girls get trapped in a cave and are hounded by trogledytes (at least *I* say they're trogledytes - me and the people I saw the movie with had a massive discussion about what they really were, I mean pixies, orcs, what? Most of us decided on "hob-goblins" but I'm sticking to trogledytes. Or possibly ghouls). Anyway, they're hounded by these cave beings who have evolved to be killing machines in the dark. They can't see but they have super hearing (though in the film this just means you can't talk or sneeze - but whispering and breathing loudly is fine!) The film got mega good reviews and was supposed to be scary so I went along to see it, and I wasn't dissapointed though to be fair I wasn't blown away either. The cinematography is great; the cave feels very wet real and claustophobic - surpising as most of it was film in Pinewood - and there are some great moments. Ultimately it's nothing hugely special, but worth seeing all the same if you're in the mood for a scare. 4/5

Sin City - excellent film noir. Lacks subtilty, though - a bit crude at times and one or two jokes fall a bit flat, but overall an excellent film to see. The black and white/colour thing works brilliantly, as do all the sylised effects, and I hear it's a very good adaptation of the graphic novels. I'd been looking forward to it for a long time, and it didn't dissapoint. 4/5

War of the Worlds - a very good film and very well done, but I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn't already read the book. I dunno, I just prefer my book adaptations to be more like the original material, and giving the guy a family, changing all the characters, changing the time and the ending and the place and the detail of the events... it was just a bit much. They got the main theme that life is sacred but missed commenting on a) colonisation b) the evils of social-Darwinism and c) religion (through the curate just being a "mad guy"). Still good though. 4/5

Kung-fu Hustle - if you like Martial Arts films (Crouching Tiger, Hero, House of Flying Daggers as some recent examples to have made it to the West) then you'll love this. If not then you'll probably love it anyway. It's very funny, very cool, very endering and overall just a great film to see. Nice soundtrack too. 4/5

Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy This one's a bit late but I thought I'd mention it anyway. Basically it does a pretty decent job of adapting the book to the big screen, and if you know the book then you'll know that this film must be great. It's not perfect, but it is definitely worth watching. 4/5

And then there's Revenge of the Sith which I've already reviewed on Mojo.

Oops, I gave all those films 4/5 - I didn't mean that to happen, honestly. If I had to pick one film out of that then it'd be Kung-Fu Hustle though, easily.

I'll probably also see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I guess Batman Begins isn't out of the picture, though it doesn't look that special. Skeleton Key, another horror film looks cool though. Dark Water looks so-so and Fantastic Four looks lame.

Anyway, over to you.

scabb 07-25-2005 12:35 PM

I really wanted to go see Kung Fu Hustle, anything that involves Yuen Wo Ping choreographing is usually ace. Pfft at Skeleton Key. The flood of Japanese horror doesn't do anything for me, although I did appreciate The Ring a little (The Americano version). On the other hand, the flood of superhero titles is still very much welcome. Batman Begins was absolutely brilliant, especially the comical Batman voice that Bale uses to "terrify". I'm pretty much expecting Fantastic Four to be terrible, but I'm still off to see it tomorrow. ;)

I'd give Sin City a firm five stars too. It's certainly not subtle, but why does it need to be? It's apparently a nigh on perfect adaptation of the comics too, looky. I'm glad I don't pass any bookstores on the way back from the cinema, as I'm in enough debt as it is. War of the Worlds was good too, very scary. I've not read the book, but I was aware of how it ended... however:
What was up with the ending? Miranda Otto and family apparently live in an invincible house within the neighbourhood of alien ignorance?

Films that I wouldn't particularly recommend would be Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Wedding Crashers. I recognise how clever Douglas Adams was, but I don't find him particularly funny, in the same way I'm not a big fan of Monty Python or Terry Pratchett I suppose. Wedding Crashers was just a poor American comedy flick too, certainly not in the same league Zoolander, Old School, Dodgeball or even Anchorman.

Finally, I would also like to heartily endorse Danny Boyle's Millions. It's really just Shallow Grave for kids, but it's still ace. Very sickly-sweet though, the more cynical should probably avoid.

Gabez 07-25-2005 01:20 PM

Kung-fu Hustle is as brilliant as you think it probably is. Can't wait for the DVD so I can watch it again.

No idea if Skeleton Key will actually be any good, but it looks better than Dark Water ( 3 stars in Empire - so it must suck really bad!) and I prefer ghostly fear to more obvious ghoulish jumpy fear as in The Descent. I'll wait for some reviews, but the trailer looked promising enough.

I like subtilty in my film noirs, which is why the slight crudeness of Sin City bothered me slightly. But then I suppose the graphic novels aren't classic film noir nor are they trying to be.

As for War of the Worlds...
How come he survived at the end? There was a massive explosion, it defies logic and seems completely dumb! Also the ending suggests that humanity is invincible against alien attacks because of the germs whilst in the book it says that the martians will no doubt be back with protection against microorganisms (it isn't that hard for an advanced race!) and that the future may belong to the martians and to to us... much better I think.

Wedding Crashers looked lame, though I did like to look of Millions, though it also looked a bit too sweet for my liking.

Joshi 07-25-2005 02:39 PM

Haven't seen Kung Fu Hustle yet, but I heard it was good fun, so I might catch it. Haven't seen the decent, don't intend to, not really my kind of movie.

Being somewhat of a movie buff as well as a book... buff, I can appreciate how hard it is to adapt a book to the big screen and how you can't try to keep it exactly the same as the book if you want to make a good movie. That said, I can also appreciate how many people don't agree with that and wish the movie incorporated more of the book. Having not read WOTW, I can't really comment on that aspect of it, but I did like the movie. I also agree with what is said in both spoilers above though.

As for The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy, whilst they have kept it very faithful to the book, with a new scene or two (as I believe the new stuff was written by DA before he died, although Disney may have changed parts of it for their own liking) and while Martin Freeman played Dent very well, I can't help but think that it was too much like the book. Some may not see this as a bad thing, but being a fan of the book, I hardly laughed at all throughout most of the movie as the jokes were imprinted onto my brain and instead of being "adapted" for the big screen, they were just copied, or at least that's the feeling I got. I daresay, other people probably found such things as funny as I did upon first reading them, but some of the jokes seemed to be lost on a lot of people in the movie theatre. In the end, they kept it the same as the book and yet changed too much for me to call it a good movie in myself (there's a difference in keeping a balance and what they did). But I would still recommend it for people who didn't want to read the books, or for those who have and just want to see what the movie would be like. The limited "special effects" was a nice touch inkeeping with the tone.

With Sin City, I have to say, I liked it... a lot. It was a great movie with a decent tone to it. I agree with Gabez, it's not entirely a noir film, but then it seems to create a genre all of it's own. From what I've seen of the comic books (and the film is very faithful to them), they seem to want to create an art style of very bold colours where needed and where they aren't, just very contrasted black and white. The film encompasses this very well.

Alien426 07-25-2005 03:27 PM

Can't say I've been to any movie other than Hitchhiker's Guide. That was 15 minutes ago and I'm torn. In the end it just moved a little too fast. Our cinema usually only sucks because movies are just too damn late (I wonder when they will show Batman Begins). Today for some reason the sound was ****ed up. I didn't wanna complain as I'm thankful the cinema is there at all. There were like ten people in the show and I hope the next time I want to watch a new movie I won't have to leave town.

I've read the Hitchhiker books and I think it has been adopted reasonably well. The explanations by the off-voice were to be expected and graphically there was little to gripe.

Sin City will be released in mid-August in Germany, but with all the praise it gets I will be sure to check it out and Serenity is a must. I hope it won't be long after the American release...

Can anyone comment on the new Flight Of The Phoenix (probably sucks) and Mr. & Mrs. Smith (I like killer movies like Lon, Ghost Dog or Coldblooded)?

Joshi 07-25-2005 05:35 PM

I can comment on Mrs and Mrs Smith. It pretty much relies on how much you like Brad Pitt and/or Angelina Jolie. As an actor, I can sort of respect Pitt, he's had some good roles in the past. As for Jolie... well, personally, I'll see most movies with her in (with the exception of Tomb Raider 1, I saw the second and was told the first was worse...). Apart from that, I might as well say it was as good as most other summer "big explosions and lots of shooting and action" movies, if not slightly better. Starts off slow although the humour factor makes up for it if you like the comedy value of a surburban couple who feel there's "something between them", but as soon as they figure out who each of them are, not only is the action picked up (no, I'm not an action whore, I'm just telling it like it is) but so does the comedy, especially with the revalation after revalation of how much of a lie there marriage actually is (nothing so huge that you'd get pissed off about) and the frequent attampst to kill each other. Overall, a fun movie that you probably won't want to take too seriously (I'd say the same about Sahara if you haven't seen it, it was out ages ago and is soon to be on DVD, but it was one of the better dumb action movies around)

I haven't seen Flight of the Pheonix.

Gabez 07-27-2005 06:05 PM

Just got back from Batman Begins, and I'm definitely in agreement with scabb on that one - it was absolutely brilliant. Can't believe I almost didn't see it. Great script, acting, plot, CGI (not overused for once - I hardly knew any CGI was used at all, but I pressume it was) and also a really great super-hero. Batman is definitely the coolest thing ever, and the move to dark sinister ninja from camp 60s pedophile was definitely apreciated. Batman Begins isn't just a good super-hero flic, it's also a great film in its own right. 5/5

(Incidentally I gave Kung-Fu Hustle 4/5 even though I enjoyed it as much as Batman, but Hustle is a harder to recomend because its silly visual gags, whilst funny, are hardly brilliant material worthy of full marks.

I actually saw Batman over seeing Silver City, which got completely panned on Newsnight (not that I trust their reviews that much - their opinions range from terrible to mediocre, but they made some good points and the clips I saw of the film made it look fairly dire). Anyway, if anyone sees that film (check your local arts cinema) then let me know. Empire gave it 4/5 so it's probably not complete cack.

Joshi 07-27-2005 06:09 PM

I can also whole heartedly recommend Batman Begins, completely makes up for Batman and Robin.

scabb 07-31-2005 01:11 PM

I've seen Fantastic Four and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory in the past week. Now, I was expecting very little from F4, and it is definitely a cheesy hollywood CGI-type film... but it's not too bad. I enjoyed myself. The half-naked Jessica Alba scene was excellent; painfully gratuitous, and they definitely got the Human Torch & The Thing spot on. They messed up the rest of the characters, though - especially Doom - but the end result was still watchable, if a little embarassing.

Now, Chocolate Factory - excellently cast, Johnny Depp certainly made for an interesting Willy Wonka, although he wasn't exactly the quick-talking enthusiastic Wonka of the book. I didn't particularly care for Wonka's back-story - it brought him back down to earth, which isn't where Wonka belongs. Burton seemed to want to tack on some sort of moral about how nothing's more important than family, and while this wasn't exactly done badly, it was unnecessary. I think Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory ended on a better note, with the great glass lift bursting through the ceiling of the chocolate factory and sailing off into nowhere. Don't get me wrong though, the film was still pretty good - it was just nothing special, pretty much run-of-the-mill Burton.

Joshi 07-31-2005 05:05 PM

I'm not that interested in F4, but I'll probably go see Charlie and the CF tomorrow, I've been looking forward to it, being a fan of the book and not the Gene Wilder original (Gene Wilder's a great actor though) and despite Burtons track record (it's not bad, he's had some good films and some bad films, but I have to say mostly good) I think it'll probably be pretty good. Of course I won't know until tomorrow so I'll report back then.

Kjlen 08-06-2005 03:18 PM

I agree with Joshi, Batman Begins was an extremely good use of the Batman license. The Dark Knight is better represented as he is in the movie. Though, Bruce screwing up his voic elike that when he's suited up is a bit awkward, it's not all that distracting.

Joshi 08-06-2005 03:29 PM

Well, Finally saw Charlie and the Chocolate factory. I agree with Scabb, the added background given to Willy Wonka was a bit much, I did like it a lot better than the older film, but I think Roald Dahl drew up a pretty nice ending which was sort of elongated here and wasn't as special as it could have been (although admittedly, if they'd done it like the book, people would have said it was too much like the older movie, but it still could have been done better).

Also, Johnny Depp plays Willy quite uniquley if not a bit too cynically though, I remember the book version to be a lot nicer to the kids (he had the same reactions to their mishaps, but he seemed happier to be entertaining them). All in all, a good movie, but not the greatest and not really up to my expectations.

Kjlen 08-06-2005 03:43 PM

Ah, and I had been hearing so many good things about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. So, what would you give that luke-warm review? Perhaps a 3 out of 5?

Joshi 08-06-2005 03:46 PM

I'd give it a 4, it's almost a faithful adaption (I probably would have hated a perfectly faithful adaption, so that's a good thing) whilst it's still a good movie, just a few gripes, nothing to bad, so definately a 4

Joshi 10-09-2005 06:54 AM

Attention Browncoats.

To some of us, 'Serenity' was a long time coming, for other people, they probably haven't even heard of 'Firefly' (and then there are those who have but didn't think much of it, we don't talk about those people).

Yes, Joss Whedon's unique vision, as some have put it, (Whedon of Buffy and Angel fame) has finally reached it's audience in all of it's splendor. First for a bit of background regarding the show rather than the story. So Joss creates this show and airs it on Fox, what's new there? But Fox screw it up, they show the thing out of order, somehow prefering to air the pilot episode as the last episode shown, making people confused and therefore such people didn't really care much for the show and it never got it's target audience. Hence why, after only 15 episodes, the show was cancelled. DVD sales of the show skyrocketted though, and as anyone who's watched the DVD will know, there's a really good story there and Whedon finally came into his own with such things like exposition, storytelling and most importantly for him, dialogue ("do you know what happens to a toad that gets struck by lightning?" a lot of people still cringe at that one). This sparked interest from Universal Studios who gave the OK for Joss's first shot at a movie, and hell what a good movie.

As for the story, well, I won't really go into it, there's a lot of it and it's all really good, if you want it, either get the TV series on DVD, or better yet, watch the movie. The really great thing about the movie is that you wont have had to have seen any of the TV series to get any of it, it all works and it's all perfectly understandable, and yet at the same time, fans of the series won't get bored with things like repeated information, most of that is done pretty well. The story of 'Serenity', the movie, is pretty complicated. The whole thing is set 500 years in the future, people have colonised other planets that have been 'teraformed' so that they're livable by inhabitants of earth, and then there was a war and technically, the bad guys won, but in this universe, it really does depend on your point of view as to who the bad guys are, especially when the first time we see our "hero's", they're robbing a bank.

Anyway, Serenity is a space ship and the story revolves around the people onboard it, Mal, the captain (and as blasphemous as it may sound, he is the new Han Solo) and his Crew, especially the Doctor, and the Doctor's sister River Tam who was a very gifted child, so the Alliance (the bad guys who won the war) took her, and did experiments on her and such until she became a walking weapon and a psychic...and psychic is as far as it goes in terms of anything magical or mystical, the rest is plain sci-fi, or at least 'western'. The Alliance now want her back, cue movie.

Despite my bad summary (most of which is done a whole lot better in the first 2 minutes of the movie :p), this film is actually really really good and well worth seeing. For people who haven't seen the TV series, this is the perfect introduction, you're guided into the world very smoothly and at the end, you will end up caring enough to really enjoy the movie and weep at the appropriate parts, if you're so inclined. For fans of the series, this is the sign off we were all looking for although I wouldn't be surprised if it spawned a sequel or even revamped the TV series. Some fans may be slightly annoyed at Whedons choice of unexpected death umong the main characters though, and when I say unexpected, I mean it. Still, it all works. Now, go see the!

Oh, I give it a 5

Alien426 10-09-2005 08:27 AM


Originally Posted by Joshi
Now, go see the!

Can't until 24 November 2005. But you can bet your rain stick that I will see it!

ThunderPeel2001 10-09-2005 06:57 PM

Yup, I also enjoyed Serenity and intend to backtrack and catch the series on DVD.

I'd also like to add that the 40 Year Old Virgin is the best comedy I've seen in years.

90SK 10-13-2005 05:55 PM

Yeah, Serenity rose to my "top 10" list pretty quickly. Does anyone know if the series was similar to the movie? I would assume so.

Gabez 10-13-2005 06:27 PM

Saw The Business, a British gangster film, barely saved by the 80s soundtrack... 2.5/5

Also Pride & Prejudice (sssh) which was very enjoyable. 4/5

And I guess Last Days too. Good but way too slow. 2/5

Alien426 10-14-2005 01:29 AM


Originally Posted by CaptainSkye
Does anyone know if the series was similar to the movie? I would assume so.

Since I didn't see the movie yet, I can't compare the two. The series is great. Great great. Fantastic! I'm watching the DVDs once again and they got a solid 5 star average on That alone should mean something, considering that it's based on 1733 reviews!

Get more info and links on Wikipedia.

Joshi 10-14-2005 06:14 AM

Since I've seen both (seen the movie twice now, I have a 3 cinema going rule on all films I thoroughly enjoy) and can definately say that Wheedons kept the same feel for the movie as he has for the series, and that include the shaky cam feel on the crew and the sense of humour. There's also a whole load of realism there that was never missing from the series. That said, they didn 't waste their big budget, the graphics on the Firefly and all other CG is no longer under par, but clean, if anything, it just adds to the realism without getting in the way. The movie doesn't rely on it. The film has a less grainy feel to it as well, which some hardcore fans may say is bad as that gave the series it's feel, but with the story, dialogue and character's, there's very little that'll take away from what made the series truly great.

There's even a couple of lens flares.

neon_git 10-21-2005 07:08 AM

There were only two things that i think should have been in the film from the tv show but weren't:

hawaiian shirts and horses.

Aside from that i'd say it's spot on.

Gabez 10-21-2005 08:39 AM

Oh, I saw Wallace and Gromit last night... really great film, up there with Batman Begins Kung Fu Hustle and Star Wars for me. Everyone should see it.

90SK 10-22-2005 02:28 AM

I can totally agree with you on that one, Gabez. W & G was one of my favorites; well worth the long, long, long wait. My only gripe is with the Hans Zimmer soundtrack. A little overkill, don't you think? Not to say that it's bad, it just seems a tad excessive. I mean, they did just fine in "A Close Shave".

Anyway, it's a Wallace and Gromit based film, and that should be reason enough to see it.

Joshi 10-22-2005 07:11 AM


Originally Posted by neon_git
There were only two things that i think should have been in the film from the tv show but weren't:

hawaiian shirts and horses.

Aside from that i'd say it's spot on.

I never noticed the Hawaiian shirt thing, but he definately has his three magic buttons above him, which more than makes up for it (as far as I know, both Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion fought to have those buttons back).

I just got the Serenity Soundtrack (actually I ordered it from Amazon over a week ago...long story) and it was definately worth the wait, but I do have a few gripes, not so much in the way the music is done, but the way the CD was put together. For a start, a few of the track names give away huge spoilers for the film (
Track 10: Sheperd Books Last Words, Track 20: Funeral/Rebuilding Serenity
) and also, one of the tracks I was really looking forward to (the introduction of Serenity) ran at a huge 50 seconds long. It wasn't too bad, but to be fair, it was one of the few out of the 23 tracks that actually kept the flavour of the TV series, the rest kind of had the general David Newman movie score feel about it. Still, some of the action sequence tracks are done very well, I've heard a lot of gripes about this soundtrack, but I'd suggest it to anyone who loves movie soundtracks like myself.

Gabez 10-22-2005 09:36 AM

I loved the soundtrack Skye, but I can see what you mean by it being over the top. I think they wanted to "cinematise" it more than the shorter films so they went for a more dramatic score.

It was, at least, great to hear the good old theme-tune, especially when it kept on coming back in resquenced forms a la Star Wars.

90SK 10-22-2005 10:26 PM

True. I admit, I got a smile when the movie opened and we hear the unassuming Wallace and Gromit theme waft in. It was really nostalgic for me. :)

MrManager 10-23-2005 02:28 AM

"Stay," which was just released here in the America, is worth watching. The cinematography rivals that of a Tim Burton movie, yet it's actually related to the story of the movie.

Again, worth watching, especially if you're into psychological thrillers and "Jacob's Ladder."

neon_git 10-24-2005 02:06 PM

My local cinema did a tripple bill the other day with W&G, Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride.

Sadly I missed it, I had other commitments, but hopefully they'll be doing it again soon.

Oh and Joshi, I've been told that actually there *were* hawaiian shirts, i guess I just wasn't paying enough attention. Shame on me.

Joshi 10-25-2005 10:26 AM


Originally Posted by neon_git
Oh and Joshi, I've been told that actually there *were* hawaiian shirts, i guess I just wasn't paying enough attention. Shame on me.

I wasn't paying too much attention either, but if there were then it was perfect (horses aren't really that important)

Huz 10-26-2005 06:53 AM

Over the past few weeks I've seen:

League of Gentlemen Apocalypse - this started incredibly badly, but did get better. Nowhere near as good as the TV series, but still worth watching for the medieval scenes if you like the Gents' messed-up sense of humour - just about.

Batman Begins - great! I really enjoyed this. I loved seeing Gotham City's decline into the gloomy, oppressive city we all know and love, and the atmosphere of the film was just right.

Serenity - not an awesome film, but I enjoyed it more than any other sci-fi film I've seen in a long time (with the possible exception of the final 10 minutes of Star Wars Episode III). It had an interesting storyline and it was compelling. Quite an achievement for your classic adventure-in-space sci-fi film, because I'm generally not a huge fan of them... although TV series with the same premise are invariably great. Funny how that works. I think I'll buy the Firefly box set, if one exists...

[whatever's in the cinema at the moment] of the Dead - mmm. Zombies. People being eaten and stuff. Telegraphed 'scares'. I'm not a fan of zombie movies, but eh, it was enjoyable I suppose.

Next on my DVD rental list: the American movie 'Jackal'. Because I've just finished reading Day of the Jackal and it was ACE. I've already seen the original British film version.

Joshi 10-26-2005 07:34 AM


Originally Posted by Huz
I think I'll buy the Firefly box set, if one exists...

There is, and it's well worth the money.

Skinkie 10-26-2005 06:47 PM

I just finished it and am going to the movie this weekend. Joy has pervailed.

Huz 10-27-2005 08:22 PM


Originally Posted by Joshi
There is, and it's well worth the money.

Right, it's in the post!

90SK 10-27-2005 09:35 PM

Nice! You'll have to tell us how you like it when you get it. :)

Say, where did you buy it?

Joshi 10-28-2005 05:26 AM

I didn't think they were that hard to find, I found mine in a local Silvescreen store, I'm sure someone like Amazon would have it. I'm still not sure whether I prefer the TV series or the Movie better, I think because I've seen the TV series so many times by now I might prefer the Movie (which I've only seen twice), but I think the series may be better. Good music as well.

Alien426 10-28-2005 07:16 AM (Quebec Version) (German)
CD Wow


Originally Posted by Joshi
Good music as well.

The Firefly soundtrack will be released in November!

Joshi 10-28-2005 08:14 AM


Originally Posted by Alien426
The Firefly soundtrack will be released in November!

Hey, that's not long, can't wait to get that, I'll get to listen to teh Ballad of Serenity over and over and over...

neon_git 10-28-2005 12:21 PM

I saw this on dvd not at the cinema so I don't know if it counts, but I recently watched Bubba Hotep.

It's a very hard film to describe, could say that it's Elvis Presley and JFK in an old peoples home fighting an evil mummy who's dressed like a cowboy. That description might give the wrong impression about the film though, it's not an all out comedy - it's very slow and thoughtful.

It's got Bruce Campell from Evil Dead as Elvis and it's well worth a look. It's a lot better than I could explain (I'm not very eloquent) and the soundtrack is awesome.

Commander Obi-Wan 10-29-2005 03:22 PM

Some movies I haven't seen "recently" but I would recommend seeing (if you haven't seen them) are: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the Star Wars trilogies. I will list more later as I remember them.

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