DVD Reviews 3

11 05 2009

It’s that time of the month again. Here’s my DVD reviews from the current issue of the Big List….

DVD Reviews

Role Models

What do you get when you put McLovin’ from Superbad (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) Stifler from American Pie (Seann William Scott) and that dude who all the chicks liked from Knocked Up (Paul Rudd) together in one film? Comedy gold, that’s what. Role Models tells the story of two blokes who end up banged up in prison and their only way out is to do some community service which involves looking after some kids (thankfully, it’s not in a “Gary Glitter” type way). Possibly the funniest comedy you’ll see all year, this film is highly recommended for people who like Kiss and think dudes getting hit in the balls is funny (so that’s nearly all of us, then).


Bride Wars

While this writer has never had the, err, “pleasure” of getting hitched just yet, I understand that it’s quite a stressful time in people’s lives. Well, what better way to relive the chaos than to watch other people go through the same hell on a big screen, eh? Bride Wars features Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway as two best friends who unwittingly schedule their weddings for the same day. To be honest, this film will split people down the middle with most ladies laughing with glee as two hot women do unspeakably nasty things to each other, while the blokes will probably shake their heads and wonder what the fuss is about, desperately trying not to oogle Hathaway in her skimpy clothes. Don’t worry men. Your secret’s safe with me…



On paper-a film like Frost/Nixon shouldn’t really work. I mean let’s face it, how many movies do you know that are based around disgraced politicians and hard hitting journalists that are actually any good? I can’t think of one, until now of course. Featuring a barn storming performance from Michael Sheen as David Frost, this Richie Cunningham from Happy Days directed picture is riveting from start to finish and feels more like a documentary than a dramatized account of that legendary TV interview which changed politics forever. Good work Ritchie. Fonzie would be proud of you and no doubt giving you a double thumbs up. Eeyyyyyy.


 Underworld 3-Rise of the Lycans

What’s better than Kate Beckinsale in skin tight leather? Rhona Mitra in skin tight leather of course! Underworld 3 is actually a prequel to the first two “vampire versus werewolves” flicks and sees Mitra take over from Beckinsale with ease. Granted, it’s not that hard to mince around while posing for the camera wearing fake, blood covered gnashers but our Rhona does a great job. Plot-wise there’s nothing too taxing on offer (some dudes get hairy when there’s a full moon about and other dudes get randy whenever it’s night-time-you know the drill) but it’s a fun way to spend two hours. While we’re not exactly in the Underworld fang club (see what we did there) it’s definitely worth a watch.


 The Spirit

Proof that not every super-hero movie is going to be a success, the Spirit (based on Will Eisner’s legendary pulp hero) is comic book icon Frank Miller’s (Sin City, Daredevil, 300 etc) first foray into film-making in his own right but sadly it’s all style over substance. While Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson sizzle up the screen, there’s no real chemistry between any of  the performers and the plot is as limp and lifeless as a left over sausage. If you find yourself in a super-hero mood this month, we recommend you watch the much maligned Incredible Hulk starring Ed Norton instead. There’s nothing like watching a 7foot green bloke destroying tanks to put you in good form.

DVD Reviews 2

9 04 2009

More DVD reviews from the latest Big List. Check it.

DVD Reviews

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

If, like this writer, you consider computer animated films to be the work of the horn-headed dark lord from down under (no, not Paul Hogan) then no doubt the arrival of Madagascar 2 will make you all a-quiver (and not in a good way). Telling the story of a bunch of marooned animals who hatch a plan to escape to Africa, this Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and that bloke who was “on a break” with Jennifer Aniston in Friends helmed vehicle is forgettable at best and relies too much on the “cutesy” penguins for their jokes. I like a penguin as much as the next bloke, but two hours of them is enough to drive anyone mad.


Transporter 3

Ah, just what the world needs, another Transporter film where everyone’s favourite slaphead hardman Jason Statham blows shit up and looks tough. Grrr. This third installment of the “epic” trilogy (we only joke because we care) once again uses the theme of transporting things to the criminal underworld, only this time, Frank Martin (Statham) is electronically tagged and his life depends on getting his package to his clients before the bald man go boom-boom. Yikes! This film is perfect fodder for a Friday night in that it’s ultimately brainless, but is still good fun watching men get their asses handed to them.


Gavin & Stacey: Christmas Special

Released just in time for the Yuletime season (errr, wait….it isn’t Crimbo???) this DVD features the Christmas special of the much loved BBC3 series Gavin & Stacey. For those who have yet to see the sit-com, the series revolves around the story of two lovebirds-one from Billericay in England and the other from Barry Island in Wales. They get married, the parents go a bit doo-lally, Stacey turns into a moaner and the fat bloke (James Corden) gets his moobs out at the drop of a hat. This Xmas themed episode sees the two families (the West’s and the Shipman’s-see what they did there?) celebrate the season by having dinner together in England. While the special isn’t up to the high standard of the previous two series, it’s still worth is for Uncle Bryn (Rob Brydon) who steals every scene he’s in.



Based on the books by Stephanie Meyer that sent millions of teenagers batty for vampires, Twilight has been described as Harry Potter with fangs. In this writer’s opinion that’s a little unfair though, as Twilight owes more to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mills and Boon than to JK Rowling’s world of wands and wizardry. For the uninitiated, the film tells the story of social misfit Bella who falls in love with the fangless, but still slightly blood thirsty vamp Edward. Even though he’s sworn off plasma for life, once his new squeeze gives him new feelings in the nether regions, he finds that she’s also reawakened his passion for neck biting. While Twilight may be a little cheesy, it is one of the few modern vampire films that doesn’t suck.


Max Payne

Based on a computer game (just like all the best films….) Max Payne stars former underwear model Marky Mark Wahlberg in the lead role. Basically what you get for two hours is some old school “maverick cop” action with Marky trying his best to hunt down those responsible for the murder of his family. It’s not the most original of plots, but hey, it beats watching a Murder She Wrote box set (which is also out this month folks) any day of the week.


4 03 2009

These days I write for a lot of different people (seven on a weekly basis) and about five months ago I jumped aboard the good ship Big List (www.thebiglist.co.uk). I’m very happy with how everything’s panning out so far and this month’s issue features (among other things) DVD reviews by yours truly. In previous months I handled CD reviews, but to be honest I decided to step back from them for fear of burning myself out. Anyway, here’s said reviews. If they raise the odd smirk, then I’ve done my job right.

DVD Reviews

James Bond: Quantum of Solace

Continuing on from the stern-faced, high octane adventures of Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s Bond is an odd beast. More action hero than ladies man, his portrayal have split fans into two camps-those who miss the days of Roger Moore’s wonky eyebrow and daft double entendres and those who just want to leer at Craig swanning around in his cacks all day. When you watch it purely as an action movie, Quantum of Solace is a great flick with some jaw dropping set pieces, but as a Bond movie it’s quite weak and isn’t a patch on Octopussy.


Zach and Miri Make a Porno

They say that the secret to making a great comedy is to cram as many jokes in there as possible. Someone really should have told this to director/writer Kevin Smith as his latest vehicle Zack and Miri Make a Porno is about as funny as a funeral and the two hours it takes to tell its outlandish story (two broke friends decide to make a blue movie for cash) is lifeless and dull. Even the man of the moment Seth Rogan (you may remember him as the fat bloke from Knocked Up, the fat bloke in Pineapple Express and, er, the fat bloke from Superbad) can’t save this utter turkey of a film. Avoid.



Quarantine is a nasty little horror movie that focuses on television reporter Angela Vidal and her cameraman Steve Harris (sadly not the same Steve Harris from Iron Maiden). One night they are assigned to spend the night shift as a Los Angeles fire station and after following a routine 911 call they arrive at an apartment only to hear blood curdling screams coming from one of the buildings. Pretty soon they release that these people have been infected with an unknown virus and they are unwittingly quarantined with their only lifeline being their TV cameras. Quarantine borrows heavily off of the Cloverfield, Blair Witch, Diary of the Dead style of gonzo film-making. If shaky cameras and blood and guts aren’t your thing, then avoid this like the plague. On the other hand, if you enjoy watching fat dudes meet sticky ends then book your seat on the sofa now.


How To Lose Friends and Alienate People

How To Lose Friends and Alienate People stars the super smug Simon Pegg as Sidney Young, a disillusioned intellectual who both adores and despises the world of celebrity, fame and glamour. His alternative magazine, Post Modern Review, pokes fun at the media obsessed stars and bucks trends, and so when Young is offered a job at the diametrically opposed conservative New York based Sharps magazine its something of a shock. It seems Sharps editor Clayton Harding is amused by Young’s disruption of a post-BAFTA party with a pig posing as Babe. Thus begins Sidney‘s descent into success and hilarity ensues. At least, that’s what we’ve been told anyway. Sadly this writer barely raised a smirk at most of the jokes in the film and I really couldn’t relate to Young (a smart-arsed journalist) at all…


Survivor Series 2008

If, like this writer, you enjoy spending an evening watching over-grown men cavorting around a square ring, dripping in baby oil and wearing an odd concoction of feathers and lycra (I swear it isn’t as camp as it sounds) then you’ll know that WWE’s annual Survivor Series is one of the best events of the year. ‘08’s card was as strong as it’s ever been with Shawn Michaels’ Team HBK going up again Team JBL well worth the admission price alone.