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Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


DECEMBER 16, 2011

Will the team be able to administer the same one, two punch as the first film? What catches our attention immediately is the length of the film at 128 minutes; exactly the same as the first. Perhaps this an intentional superstitious contrivance to not only duplicate the impact of the original film results, but keep them on a great path out of sequel hell.

When the audience concentrates on the story alone, there are small black holes that are filled with the already established time-lapse fight sequences. The balance keeps the movies from sequel purgatory, but is it enough to keep the audience spreading the word? Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprise their roles as Holmes and Watson, respectively. Clearly these two have great on-screen chemistry in conjunction with Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kenberg, as well as fast paced dialogue that they continue to dominate. This was the perfect week for this release as the competition for the top spot is limited. Date night movie? Probably not, but Downey and Law together could easily bring in date night dollars.

This sequel was very Americanized with the humor played out with a very blatant delivery. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was of Scottish descent, but wrote Sherlock in a very, very English rendition. The humor was layered deep, as Doyle never wrote down to his readers. He knew that those who read his books would turn their backs quickly if they felt the story was sub-par. He stayed on course with strong, adventurous crime solving along with detailed descriptions that led the reader to follow the path to the guilty party. His anecdotes were complete, leaving little room for an alternative ending. Sherlock illustrated step by step how he came to the conclusion in each case.

The tangles and twists laid out by the screenwriters are lukewarm at best, as they chose to concentrate on presenting the audience with small remedies of how Holmes would escape these inescapable binds he found himself in. This could not be further from anything Doyle would have ever written. Those involved in the writing and directing chose to present dialogue related directly to the story in a less than complete fashion while relying fully on the visual aspect of the film.

The movie has entertaining value with the cast and visual cinematography dramatically overshadowing the story. Those who flock to see the best new release this week of December 16, 2011 will walk away with a feeling of delight.

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There Are Two Kinds of Grey's Anatomy Season Finales

Grey's Anatomy Season 8 DVD commences along with hr 1, "Free Slipping. inch Reunite using the Seattle Sophistication physicians to understand exactly how poor points tend to be with regard to Meredith, in the event that Christina will probably be the mom, as well as exactly how Kepner functions since the brand new Main Citizen.

The harmful scenario simply leaves the actual physicians battling to remain in existence whilst attempting to conserve their own friends; Bill as well as Bailey come to a decision; Teddy will get the attractive provide; Rich programs the supper for that citizens.

This particular episode's patients-of-the-week tend to be acquainted encounters in order to all of us enthusiasts: Chloe through twenty-four (Jane Lynn Rajskub) as well as Jimmy Barrett through Angry Males (Meat Fischler). However in this particular display, these people perform the thrice-married few that restore a good intestinal tract earthworm through poor sushi these people consumed within Thailand.

You will find 2 types of Grey's Physiology period finales. There is that certain great occurrence exactly where every thing had been pleased as well as gleaming (period four whenever Derek as well as Meredith met up in the home Made from Candle lights). After which you will find all of the other people exactly where originator Shonda Rhimes puts a lot misfortune on to the woman's figures it can make Work think about themself fortunate.

Mer as well as Cristina appear simply times as well past due, as well as following Mer grieves on her, these people journey away to locate Derek. Mer includes a anxious break down convinced that each the woman's sibling as well as the woman's spouse tend to be lifeless. However the woman's freak-out notifications Derek for their placement, as well as he or she discovers all of them before collapsing. These people consider him or her to the actual fuselage, take a look at their injury, after which Mer safety-pins this close. It is possibly the grossest point we have actually observed actually. Indeed, 2 evers.

The fact is, Little Grey, played for five seasons by Chyler Leigh, didn't stand an opportunity. Caught underneath the damaged fuselage, your woman had been hardly in a position to state your final farewell in order to negative former mate Tag prior to your woman ended up aside within the episode's very first 20 min's. The actual passing away brought on the crisis within sibling Meredith whilst Tag (a good similarly amazing Eric Dane) totally turn off.

This particular becoming the actual often-overwrought Grey's Physiology, Lexie's last couple of minutes had been filled with the actual required melodrama. Following this grew to become obvious which Tag wasn't heading every single child proceed the actual particles away Lexie as well as conserve the woman's, he or she sitting along with the woman's because your woman died, the actual bottom-half associated with the woman's entire body smashed through the airplane.

I can not wait around to determine the way the display will cover all this upward following period, simply because at this time Personally i think such as Meredith as well as Cristina, dropped within the forest, encircling through airplane particles as well as passing away. Many thanks, Grey's Physiology, with regard to an additional beautifully heartbreaking closing. You need to appreciate the display that isn't scared to become this particular darn dismal.

On the eighth season finale of Grey's Anatomy, the actual physicians should battle to remain in existence whilst attempting to conserve the actual life of the friends, since the long term of every citizen hangs within the stability.

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Movie Review: The Adjustment Bureau

I was expecting The Adjustment Bureau to be dark and sinister, instead it turned out to be a meaningful cross - genre, uplifting love story which wasn't very sinister at all; which leads us to question the choices we make and events of chance or fate that adjust our 'plan' every day.

The part Sci-Fi, part love story between Senator elect Norris and contemporary dancer Elise starts with a 'chance' meeting in a men's room; not so curious when we find the free-spirited gal is gate-crashing a party. The chemistry of this first encounter and the following charming, witty and convincing chance encounters immediately elevate our belief in the romance and allows us to invest care in our would be lovers from the start. This makes The Adjustment Bureau work best as a love story; Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are great together as the beautiful, but thankfully unpolished and believable lovebirds. Further events of chance, fate and intervention by "the people who make sure things go according to plan" conspire to pull apart and push our lovers together.

The inevitable head scratching and guesswork starts when we cross genres and first meet 'Mad men's' John Slattery and Anthony Mackie as the initially one dimensional chase-giving men from the bureau; tasked to "nudge" Norris back in the right direction. The later entrance of the superb Terrence stamp as the quite ruthless 'Thompson' brings some overdue peril and even grander revelations about "the appearance of free will".

It is here where this hybrid could have gone very wrong, but first time director Nolfi manages to succeed in the mixing of Sci-fi and love story as he ultimately does both very well; binding the two with important thought provoking themes, engaging and often charming screenplay and strong characterisation; in particular Mackies' portrayal as the "case officer" with a heart.

Comedy is provided curiously and possibly unintentionally at times by the suits of The Bureau. Often haphazard, often just negligent in their supposed really important roles, they are one minute virtually superhuman, the next quite inept. Either way, their human like frailties makes for some genuinely funny moments and also leads us to care for them too, when they too question their own sense of right and wrong and the choices they make.

Director and screenwriter George Nolfi sets a solid pace throughout and keeps our attention with some well-timed, but slightly predictable reveals and solid direction, with some beautifully framed shots. The neat score compliments the on screen action well.

Fate, chance and the question of how much free will we are truly afforded run through 'The Adjustment Bureau' and it is these themes that really give meaning to our protagonists struggle to evade the supposed plan. Every choice has always been and always will be of consequence, every act has repercussions and events can often be fateful. Even random chance events have great resonance, chance seemingly being far more influential than any supposed predetermined plan. The film and the mixed genre experiment works because of these themes as we too begin to question for ourselves and not just follow what transpires on screen. Everything we do causes a "ripple" and you will be left with one big question - "24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case - coincidence?"

I WAS expecting The Adjustment Bureau to be dark. I am glad to say that the lighter, uplifting and meaningful film I got, rather than the expected sinister one (suggested by menacingly toned pre-release posters and trailers) was in the end; welcome. This perhaps made for a more enjoyable ride than a more formulaic, dark figured men in raincoats (been done before) chase movie. Not to say The Adjustment Bureau sometimes didn't follow a well-trodden formula and isn't without flaws; It was executed well and just balances slightly better as a charming meaningful love story; smartly tied together by the things that matter to us all.

Kevin Clare writes at his movie review website

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Review: Point Blank

In most action movies, you can expect for the hero to have some kind of "tough guy" job. He'll probably be a cop, a bounty hunter or maybe even a Navy Seal or something else along those lines. The French film Point Blank takes a different approach and has their protagonist dreaming of a job that you wouldn't normally associate with an action hero. This dude wants to be a nurse.

Samuel Pierret (Gilles Lellouche) is an aspiring nurse who has a pregnant wife (Elena Anaya) at home and about to give birth soon. After returning home on a night where he saved someone's life at the hospital, he finds himself in a state of desperation and fear when his wife gets kidnapped. He learns that a criminal named Sartet (Roschdy Zem) may be involved in the kidnapping when he gets a mysterious phone call. The person on the other line tells Samuel that he has to do what he's directed to do in order to see his wife alive again. Samuel agrees and suddenly finds himself in the middle of illegal activities with cops and criminals on both sides coming after him.

I didn't know what I was going to get by watching this movie and I put off seeing it for a long time. My faith in the French action genre had taken a hit after viewing some of the movies from this genre. I'm being nice when I say the one's that I had seen before this were rather boring and uneventful. I finally chose to take a look at Point Blank one night when I didn't have much to do, and I felt like taking in an a short action that I had never seen before.

Giving it a chance turned out to be good for me, because I got exactly what I was hoping for and a little bit more than that. This is certainly an action packed flick, but it largely depends on the suspense that the movie includes. The film's energy and personality is created by the frantic pace that is set early on and it consist of constant movement, relentless levels of angst and the overall point of not knowing everything from the outset.

The actual action scenes take a back seat to all of the other aspects of this suspenseful thriller. The shootouts, fights and other acts of violence are certainly good, but none of it ever really stacks up to the rest of the action and anticipation that go along with the twists and turns that the viewers will experience here. Those elements are so important to Point Blank that I even forgot about the guy's future aspirations and all of that stuff, because I was completely focused on the actual story that's being told.

Like the rest of the movie, the end of Point Blank is filled with suspense. It does however suffer from a flaw. The ending isn't as good as I had hoped and it didn't stand up to the rest of the film. I took issue with the film's climax, because it's simply implausible. That hurt the movie a bit for me and I didn't score it as high as I wanted to because of it. I will say that the ending isn't bad and it's even better if you suspend your use of common sense and you just ignore the fact that you know that what happens is almost impossible.

I also feel the need to point out the fact that this is another recent movie that uses the shaky camera technique. This technique has numerous appearances in several movies since it was popularized by The Bourne Identity back in 2002. You can say that it's overdone and overused these and that may be true to some degree. With that being said, I do believe that the shaky cam can still be utilized and put to good use if done correctly and under the right circumstances.

Point Blank uses the shaky cam the way that it should be used. It's done in a couple of scenes and they're into service properly and are barely noticeable. If directors are going to continue to use things like this to add more intensity to their scenes in film, this would be the way to do it. In this movie you can always tell what's going on when everything is shaking and it never gets in the way for the simple fact that it's not being abused or used in excess.

Despite me having some issues with the ending, I loved Point Blank as a whole. Having a fast paced action movie filled with suspense, conspiracies and mystery will always be something that I'd be willing to pay attention to. This is a movie that I foolishly underestimated going in. I gave it a chance and I'd say that I was actually rewarded with a quality action thriller that I wish was a little longer than it is.

Score: 3.5/5

Rating: R

Director: Fred Cavayé

Gilles Lellouche
Roschdy Zem
Gérard Lanvin
Elena Anaya
Mireille Perrier
Claire Perot

Film Length: 84 minutes

Release Date: July 29, 2011

Gaumont (France)
Magnolia Pictures (US)

Country: France

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Movie Review: Troll Hunter

Rock and Troll!

Trolls only exist in fairy tales, right? Think again!

Troll Hunter begins with the inevitable 'real' video footage testimony, whilst as ever trying to create a sense of realism, dissatisfies slightly these days after now having over two decades of the supposed steady cam genre, pioneered by 'The Blair Witch Project' and carried on by 'Cloverfield' and 'REC'. 'Troll Hunter' has no need to sell itself this way as we all know what's in store. Happily, this is only a small gripe as 'Troll Hunter' is a thoroughly enjoyable monster ride.

The hunt begins while three students are investigating suspicious bear killings in the cold and bleak, yet beautiful Norwegian wilderness. They begin to monitor the movements of a locally known caravan dwelling hunter, whose initial dismissals do nothing to deter the naive students from their curiosity, but we all know what curiosity did. Sheer persistence leads them into the wilderness where the 'hunter's' real prey is stunningly revealed.


We soon realise that there are more to trolls than just what we believe from 'fairy tales' and here begins a tremendously fun and stunning troll hunt which leads us into some terrific and sometimes terrifying encounters.

The trolls are fantastically brought to life with seamless CG, terrific sound and superb creature design, splendidly giving these predators their own characteristics and features with more realism than the lesser garden varieties seen in LOTR and Harry Potter.

It is the unique design that gives real belief in these creatures which is later supported with a believable scientific insight that trolls are more than mere creatures but are a vulnerable living species that "eat, s**t and mate".

It is the lone 'troll hunter' whose job it is to control their movements; possibly for their own good, not just ours.

Troll Conservationist?

It's our hunter - 'Hans' who provides the gripping and often hilarious insights into the variety, behaviour and long history of trolls and is more than just the stereotypical veteran, his vague back story provides a past glimpse of his suitability as "someone who could" hunt trolls and a remorseful history that suggests he is not just a brutal slayer. This guy lives and breathes his work but is also just a frustrated 'employee', having his own axe to grind which self-justifies his agreement to allow his role responsibilities to be recorded.

The Norwegian Landscapes look beautiful and may well turn out to be next on your list of holiday destinations. Bleak, haunting and open snowy backdrops provide tremendous scale for our troll battlefields.

The students are realistic, more believable and likeable than the polished protagonists of 'Cloverfield', marching on with a charming adventurous spirit, buoyed by the euphoria and realisation from their first troll pursuit, which is then slowly eroded away by each sapping troll encounter, but it is Hans who is the true human star of the show.

A fantastic climactic pursuit echoes the rear view mirror perspective of the iconic T-Rex assault of 'Jurassic Park' and so comparisons with other monster mashes are inevitable, but Troll hunter manages to feel more unique, striving for a more believable tone, putting meat on the bones of troll fables; they have always existed in the real world, in many unique forms and are nothing like the unknown other world invaders we have seen before.

'Troll Hunter' masterfully brings the troll myth to life with some stunning set piece action and amazingly unique creature design, and is a believable monster ride that may also do wonders for Norwegian tourism. Just don't book any place near to massive electricity pylons - you may get more from your holiday than just a dodgy T-Shirt!

Kevin Clare writes at his movie review website

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Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Napoleon Dynamite is a 2004 comedy film distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures. It stars Jon Heder as Napoleon, Jon Gries as Uncle Rico, Aaron Ruell as Kip, Efren Ramirez as Pedro, and Tina Majorino as Deb. It is written and directed by Jared and Jerusha Hess.

Napoleon Dynamite is an indifferent high school student who lives with his grandmother and older brother Kip. The grandmother gets hurt motor biking and sends Kip and Napoleon's Uncle Rico to look after them until she gets better. Uncle Rico regularly uses his younger nephew to make a name for himself in the door-to-door salesman area. Meanwhile, Napoleon befriends Pedro, a new kid from Mexico, and Deb, a sensitive and quiet classmate. Together, they help Pedro run for class president.

This film essentially follows stereotypical high school life. What makes the story work is its accuracy. Every single high school has characters such as these. There's Napoleon, who seems completely indifferent as to what happens around him. Then there's Pedro, the awkward new kid who seems to be very similar in personality to Napoleon. Deb is the introverted girl who has few friends. Summer is the blonde and popular high school cheerleader and her boyfriend Don is the jock.

Another aspect of the storyline that seems to stand out is Napoleon's fascinating stories that he tells everyone. For instance, towards the beginning of the film he tells the story of him and his uncle hunting wolverines in Alaska. Later on, he shows Pedro a picture of his "girlfriend" who, in reality, was just a model in a photo that Deb had given him earlier. Napoleon also informs Deb that she better pick up the things she left on his doorstep, which he had taken and stored in his locker, so he can fit his "numbchucks" there again.

To wrap, if a movie with a detailed and thoughtful plot is what you're looking for, then Napoleon Dynamite is definitely not for you. On the other hand, if you're in search of a story that accurately depicts high school life, then you will enjoy this film immensely!

Kevin T. Dillehay has written more than 100 movie reviews from all genres. He provides a unique perspective on the movies you see all the time but may not stop and think about in depth. You are invited to check out his work at

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What Are the Best Film Websites to Stream and Rent From?

There are 3 main websites at the moment offering a rental/streaming service for movies and TV shows online, they are LoveFilm, Blink Box and Netflix. All three websites have their own take on the market which makes them able to attract vast amounts of new subscribers.

First of all I will examine LoveFilm.
In January of 2012, LoveFilm made an announcement that it had reached a huge two million subscribers! It says on their website that they have over 70,000 titles, and over 4 million DVD, Bluray or Games rentals per month across five countries. Through a series of large business deals the company has, in just a few short years, become arguably the leader in the online DVD rental and streaming market in both the UK and across Europe.

There are various sign up options with Lovefilm, involving a postal only rental option, online only option, and combinations of them both. This gives Lovefilm a good edge in the market as it has various different subscription options to suit buyers needs and make it the best film website for certain movie watchers.

Next up on my examination table is Blink Box
Blinkbox has near to 3 million users a month, which puts it above most of its competition. Blinkbox is a video-on-demand (VoD) website that is based in the UK and allows users to watch over 10,000 full length premium movies and TV shows online through purchase or rental options. The advantage for BlinkBox is that there is no subscription and it is essentially a "pay as you go" system, allowing users to pay to watch whenever they feel like it.

It also has quite a foothold in the smart tv market, expanding from sole PC/Laptop usage to the living room movie experience. For those who enjoy that experience they would probably consider BlinkBox the best movie website.

Finally I Will Talk about Netflix
Netflix is originally an An American company that due to its success, expanded worldwide. In 2009 Netflix was offering a collection of 100,000 titles on DVD and had over 10 million subscribers throughout the globe. Netflix has delivered over a billion DVDs to customers in it's operation. In 2011, Netflix announced 23.6 million subscribers in the United States and over 26 million worldwide. This accounts to a huge revenue (around $1.5 billion).

The shear amount of titles available through Netflix gives it a major advantage for the movie lover, making it by far the best film website for amount of titles available,

Which provider you choose is up to you, for more help on the subject check my link at the bottom for a site that compares the three, maybe this will help you decide once and for all which is the best film website!

Compare The 3 Giants Of Movie Rentals For Price And Suitability At

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Review: Safe

When do you get to see a movie that has both the Chinese Mafia and the Russian Mafia? Safe has both groups and it may be the first time that I've ever seen it. Seeing as they're both included and the movie also has an R rating, you should expect to see a large amount of violence and action right?

Luke Wright (Jason Statham) is a mixed martial artist that not exactly successful at his profession. One night he runs into some trouble with the Russian Mafia when he accidentally wins a rigged fight. Wanting their revenge, the mafia murders his wife and threatens to kill anyone else that ever associates with him. This leaves Luke completely alone and broke as he is now homeless, friendless and with no money. He lives this life with virtually no human contact until he witnesses a young girl (Catherine Chan) who appears to be on the run from some gangsters that he recognizes. Not knowing who she is or why they want her, he decides to risk his own life by trying to save hers.

You probably know what to expect from a movie like Safe. It's a "by the numbers" action flick that doesn't try to be different in the least bit. Using a formula that's familiar is not always a problem for me as long as the makers of the movie deliver something that's entertaining. That's what I was hoping for with this movie.

There are some decent action scenes, but there's nothing spectacular or even memorable. Many of the scenes contained some erratic camera work and it didn't always allow you to see all of what was going on. It was somewhat similar to the camera work in The Hunger Games. I'm guessing that this technique is being utilized to make the violence in these scenes appear faster and more hectic, but I think you can also say it's done to hide the simplicity (and sometimes crappiness) of the action that's being shown.

I certainly hope that this style doesn't catch on anymore than it has, because it sucks. You're hurting the film and one of its primary selling points when you use this technique during fight scenes and shootouts. People want to actually be able to see the action and some of the fun and entertainment value is being hindered when you can't see what's going on in these situations.

One of the other primary flaws of Safe is that there's a complete lack of quality outside of the action. Nothing in these non-action scenes allowed me to develop a substantial amount of interest in what's taking place. They could have used this time to build on the stories and the people who drive them. Doing so would have created a better chance at connecting to the characters, so when you hear about their life stories you might actually care a little bit.

I don't want to keep complaining about the negatives in this movie, but I have to talk about some of the acting. I'm not going to name names, but some of the actors in Safe need to double down on the acting lessons. I've never really seen most of these other guys in the movie and based on some of their performances, I understand why. Some of them were just bad and others were simply overacting. As far as Jason Statham is concerned, he does what he usually does and plays the same guy that he plays in most of the movies that he appears in. That can be good or bad depending on if you like Statham or not.

Safe is an action movie with average action at best and below average everything else. If you're going to make a movie rated R, you might as well go all out and show more of the gratuitous violence that's actually in the movie. You can do that and help your own cause by not using the shaky cam during fight scenes and shootouts.

If for some reason you feel that you absolutely need to watch a movie about a little Asian girl being kidnapped, I would suggest watching The Man from Nowhere. It's an award-winning South Korean film that is better than this movie in pretty much every way imaginable. Even if you exclude the fact that there better movies out there with the same premise, there just aren't too many reasons to watch Safe. I can understand if you're a fan of Jason Statham and you might want to check it out, but even then, there are other movies from him that are simply better than this.

Score: 2/5

Rating: R

Director: Boaz Yakin

Jason Statham
Catherine Chan
Reggie Lee
Robert John Burke
James Hong
Chris Sarandon
Anson Mount

Film Length: 95 minutes

Release Date: April 27, 2012

Distributor: Lionsgate Films

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Vampire Diaries: More Than Just a Fantasy

For movie enthusiasts, the Twilight series is one of the most popular fantasy movies in recent times with its introduction of romance between a vampire and a human. It's not exactly an original concept but the author added some extra features like how vampires sparkle and also the concept of a love triangle with a werewolf. Just like in movies, TV shows have its fair share of popular fantasy shows such as True Blood, The Walking Dead and Smallville. One TV show that aims to be another memorable show is the CW's "The Vampire Diaries".

Vampire Diaries follows the story of a girl, Elena, torn between her romance for two vampires who happens to be brothers. Looking at that plot alone, people may judge it as a copycat of other several vampire stories. While it may not be that original in terms of its concept, the show makes up for it in their storylines and subplots. It doesn't exactly focus on the trivial facts about vampires but on the relationship of every character, especially the main character, who finds out she is a descendant of another vampire and whose life has changed when the people around her has been affected by the presence of the vampires. Elena, played by Nina Dobrev, finds herself in the company of Stefan and Damon who tries to capture her heart. But the decision is not easy to make for her as she has fallen in love with both of them. The other characters in the show have also captured the interest of the viewers with their own storylines which are in some way connected to each other in the greater side of things. One of Elena's best friends, Bonnie is a witch who grew up under the care of her grandma and another one of her friend is Caroline who was turned by a vampire and fell in love with a werewolf, Tyler, who happens to be one of their friends. We have seen these characters grow throughout the show's run especially when Bonnie strives to have more power as a witch and finds out about her mother is alive all these years. We also see Caroline's maturity as she makes her transition from a human to a vampire. We see how she struggled with helping her boyfriend turn to a werewolf and try to keep their relationship even if vampires and werewolves were not supposed to be together. Elena also has her own set of problems especially in dealing with her parent's death and the added responsibility of taking care of her brother whom she only has left after their guardian passed away.

One of the major reasons why this show continues to keep viewers watching is that it incorporates real life problems and situations into the show. Most people like to watch drama and this show has plenty of it. There's romance, betrayal, action and a hint of humor to mix it up a bit. While this show might have vampires and other supernatural beings as the main cast of the show, it is something that humans have enjoyed in their TV viewing.

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a 1989 comedy film distributed by Warner Bros. It stars Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold Jr., Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswold, and Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie Johnson. The writer is John Hughes. The director is Jeremiah Chechik.

Clark Griswold wants to give the entire family an "old-fashioned family Christmas". He finds a giant tree and realizes he forgot the chainsaw to cut it down. This is the start of a series of events that seemingly spell disaster for the Griswolds and have them second guessing why they chose to host Christmas at their house this year.

Clearly, the main theme of the film is Christmas with the family and the continuous misfortunes of Clark Griswold in his plan for a good "Griswold family Christmas". Although many of the early mishaps are caused by Clark himself, his dysfunctional family are the reason for the later ones. For example, towards the beginning of the film, Clark has the overambitious plan for the "Griswold family Christmas tree". Not only did he forget his saw but the tree itself barely fits in the living room. Then, of course, there's the outdoor Christmas lights that he has trouble with.

Later on, the grandparents and Cousin Eddie show up. That's when all-out chaos ensues. First, Ellen's mother accidentally locks Clark in the freezing attic before the rest of the family all go Christmas shopping. Next, the senile Aunt Bethany and Uncle Lewis arrive. Bethany unintentionally wraps her cat as a present. It is let out and begins chewing on the tree lights. The poor kitty is fried, leaving a mess of white fur under a chair.

As with most of the Vacation films, Cousin Eddie, portrayed by Randy Quaid, stands out as the main comedic counterpart to Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold. While both are well-meaning, Eddie is the simple-minded unemployed cousin who always brings his humorous red-neck ways to counter Clark's constant miscues. Eddie, the uncivilized cousin, and Clark, the civilized but quite accident-prone husband and father, make the Vacation films something to remember.

To wrap, Christmas Vacation is a wild ride full of hilarious antics and crazy characters that will keep the viewers laughing throughout!

Kevin T. Dillehay has written more than 100 movie reviews from all genres. He provides a unique perspective on the movies you see all the time but may not stop and think about in depth. You are invited to check out his work at

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We All Know That The Sun Rises, But What Else Rises?

We all know the sun rises, but what else rises? What else rises? The "Dark Knight Rises" will be released on July 20, 2012! Now I am 99.99% positive that I can refrain form asking this next question, but for fairness sake, I will ask it anyways. Are you excited? Ahhhhhhh, I am so excited! I can barely hold it in! But, there may be some people out there who do not share my passion and anticipation. That is why I am writing this blog; Well really I am writing this blog for a two-fold reason. 1. To critique "Dark Knight" and share my opinion on "Dark Knight Rises" and 2. To hear your opinion about whether or not you think "Dark knight Rises will be a success.

So let me begin with my critique on "Dark Knight" (MINIMAL SPOILER ALERT HERE) I absolutely loved it, from the intelligent script, to the genius of a director, and to the elegant cast of actors. If you read my earlier blog on the movie "Inception", you will all ready be aware of my love for director Christopher Nolan. He is a genius when it comes to directing because he know how to relate to his audience. Nolan is aware of what his viewers want to see and how to convey that in his pieces of work. And the actors? Simply put, how can one go wrong with names such as Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. Bale is known for his role in the first two Batman movies and of course, will be performing the role in the new and upcoming "Dark knight Rises." But another movie he played an excellent role in was the movie "Prestige"(also directed by Christopher Nolan) But, that is a whole different story and will without a doubt be fully critiqued in one of my future blogs. And Heath Ledger....If you have not seen "Dark Knight", Ledger is enough reason to go see it. I am a huge fan of Christian Bale and his ability to relate to his character's emotion and feelings, but I have to honestly say that Heath Ledger is the aspect that changes this movie from amazing to outstandingly amazing. Ledger hit the nail perfectly as he played the role of the Joker. There was no convincing needing to take place in my mind. He played the role perfectly. If you are fan of this movie I am sure you will remember this quote of his which sends chills down my spine...

"The Joker: Come here. Hey! Look at me. So I had a wife. She was beautiful, like you. Who tells me I worry too much. Who tells me I ought to smile more. Who gambles and gets in deep with the sharks. One day, they carve her face. And we have no money for surgeries. She can't take it. I just want to see her smile again. I just want her to know that I don't care about the scars. So... I stick a razor in my mouth and do this...
[the Joker mimics slicing his mouth open with his tongue]
The myself. And you know what? She can't stand the sight of me! She leaves. Now I see the funny side. Now I'm always smiling!"

What a great moment in this film among several others. Before I ask some questions about the upcoming "Dark Knight Rises", I just wanted to share a short summary of "Dark Knight" for those of you that for some strange reason, have not been able to see it yet. "Dark Knight" portrays Batman as he teams up with Harvey Dent to bring down the opposing vigilante mob and bring peace to the disparaging city of Gotham, but in attempting to accomplish this, let the cat out of the cage so-to-speak. Joker, with his hell-bent passion to turn Gotham against itself, does everything in his power to stop Batman and bring his heroic qualities down to his level.

So questions for "Dark Knight Rises." 1. Do you think this movie will be the last movie in the Batman series? 2. Are you upset that the Joker will not be in it? 3. Do you think it has potential to be the movie out of the series? 4. Will this movie be a success?

If you have just visited my site, you are probably wondering what it is all about. My name is Josh and I am using this blog as a site where readers can receive movie buzz and plugins for movies and share their opinion on those movies. I would love to hear your opinion on whether or not the director and actors did a good job and what could of been done to make the movie better. --

Josh Zerbini

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Review: Sleepless Night (Nuit Blanche)

I'd imagine that one of quickest ways to get on the bad side of gangsters and drug dealers would be to mess up their money. If you interrupt their cash flow, it's probably best if you have a perfectly good explanation. What's even better than that would be you paying off your debt in a respectable amount of time, getting out-of-town or calling the cops. But, what if you are a cop and you're knee-deep into the stuff yourself? In the film Sleepless Night, that's the predicament that the lead character faces.

Vincent (Tomer Gazit Sisley) gets involved with a group of drug dealers when he steals a boatload of their cocaine. These guys want what is owed to them and they'll do whatever is necessary to obtain it. To make sure they get their property, they decide to kidnap his son (Samy Seghir) and hold him as ransom until they get it. Vincent agrees and goes to a nightclub that is owned by one of the dealers to make the trade.

Things become more complicated when some of his colleagues get wind of his dealings and go to take him down. He eventually ends up surrounded by a group of people who don't have his best interest in mind. Now he has to find a way to avoid the cops and survive against angry gangsters, while trying to save the life of his son in the process.

One of the first things that come to mind when I think about Sleepless Night is speed. I'm not talking about the Keanu Reeves movie of that name, I'm talking about the pace that is set here right from the very beginning. It's quick immediately from the outset as it tosses the audience into the middle of a shootout. From there, it does slow down for a couple of scenes only to rise up again and get faster and better as the film progresses.

I like the premise of this movie, what it tries to accomplish and the style in which it's done. Having an action movie where it's in a nightclub or some other crowded place through nearly all of it sounds like a great idea if you can pull it off. In order for movies like this to work, not only do you need interesting characters, but they also have to be given a bunch of stuff to do. In this case, they needed to include the proper amount of mystery and suspense to make things interesting.

They tout this as an action movie, but there isn't a ton of action to speak of in the early going. Outside of one or two of the early scenes, they spend most of that time laying out the story while still not developing the characters in ways that one might expect. We're introduced to the characters and we also get a vague and superficial look at who they all are. We meet Vincent, some of his fellow officers, the gangsters and a few other people that are important to the movies plot, but we're left in the dark when it comes to who some people are and the roles that many of them will eventually play.

Although not at first, the audience does gradually learn more and more about everyone involved and everything that they're doing as the story unfolds. This is done to create a certain level of suspense, but it also makes you want to pay attention. This works wonderfully as the entire movie appears to shift once you start to learn about everything that you need to know and we learn about all of the relationships between the various characters. Almost all of it begins to open up at about the same time and it's done in a seamless, quick and precise manner.

I honestly wish that I could talk about Sleepless Night in more detail and break it down piece by piece. This truly is some fascinating stuff and it's done in a very intelligent fashion. Of course, there's is much of this stuff that I can't talk about, because I refuse to give out spoilers. It's something that you'll have to watch for yourself and I don't think anyone whose a fan of substance filled action movies will be disappointed.

With the speed, intelligence, twists and turns comes a potent action movie that has a range of entertainment coming from all corners. I have to give credit to all parties included with the making of Sleepless Night. It was a movie that I was going to skip over, but I decided to give it a try and I actually liked it. So far, we're only about half way through 2012 and I'd say that this is one of my favorite films of the year.

Score: 4/5

Rating: NR

Director: Frederic Jardin

Tomer Gazit Sisley
Serge Riaboukine
Dominque Bettenfeld
Samy Seghir
Joey Starr
Lizzie Brocheré
Julien Boisselier
Birol Ünel
Adel Bencherif
Laurent Stocker

Film Length: 98 minutes

Release Date: May 11, 2012 (Limited)

Distributor: Tribeca Films

Country: France

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Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is an award-winning motion picture directed by Turkish movie maker Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is essentially a Police Procedural that also serves to highlight the complexities associated with the Human Psyche. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia serves to be a case study on how humans behave, especially when made to step out of the comfort zone. The world of cinema today finds itself at the crossroads. In a bid to satiate the endless demands of the money mongering business moguls the creative aspects of cinema are often forced to take a back seat. The commercialization is not new to cinema, and is something that cannot be done away with. After all, everyone has the right to eke out a living. However, what is worrying is that the business sharks that rule the movie arena merely treat cinema as a money-making instrument. This naked opportunism is not only undermining the efforts of the great visionaries of cinema like D. W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, Yasujiro Ozu, Dadasaheb Phalke, Sergei Eisenstein, Charles Chaplin, and Fritz Lang, who had nurtured cinema with their blood and sweat, but is also posing a great treat to its evolution as an Art form. Over the years, cinema has been undergoing a continuous transformation from being a mere medium of indulgence to being a profound means of self-realization to being a tool to generate the moolah, but in the process it has seemed to lost its golden glory. Most of the attempts to rekindle the dying spirit of Cinema are curbed ruthlessly by the juggernaut of commercialization, but when a valiant effort does succeed in subverting the paradigm, it gives rise to parallel streams in cinema. Amidst the pervasive darkness there are only a handful of creative minds, who are still devoted to fulfilling the true purpose of cinema, not only as an Art form, but also as a great source of enlightenment for the masses. These apostles, who have become the raison d'être for cinema's purposeful existence, are contemporary cinema's only hope to fulfill its promise as an Art form.

With the Japanese, Swedish, Italian, and Russian Cinema having lost their true vigor, and the Anglo-American Cinema already on the verge of no return, the onus truly lies with the Iranian, Korean, Argentine, and Turkish Cinema to be the beacon of cinema's hope of survival as an Art form. Iranian Cinema has seen emergence of auteurs like Abbas Kiarostami, Bahman Ghobadi, and Majid Majidi. Korean auteur Chan-wook Park has delighted the world with his first-rate works like 'Oldboy'. Argentina has produced auteurs like the late Fabian Bielinsky, ubiquitously renowned for his two motion pictures, 'Nine Queens' and 'The Aura', and Juan José Campanella, whose 'The Secret in Their Eyes' won the 2009 Oscar for the Best Foreign Picture. As far as the contemporary Turkish Cinema is concerned, it's synonymous with the name of one Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Ceylan, undoubtedly, is one of the greatest movie makers of our time, and his singularly evocative style not only makes his work poignant and thought-provoking, but, I dare say, also puts him in the same league as Kurosawa and Tarkovsky.

Ceylan delivered a punch with his stunning family tragedy 'Three Monkeys' in 2008. He incredibly manages an encore with his latest flick, the brutal yet brilliant, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. The less one says about Once Upon a Time in Anatolia the better it is, for its true delight lies in viewing, and hence any more elaboration than what is needed would turn out to be extremely futile. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is Ceylan's finest achievement till date, and has already earned him some fine accolades including the coveted Grand Prix at Cannes. The two 'Once Upon a Time' movies by Sergio Leone were indeed masterpieces and this is no less, at least one in the making that is expected to withstand the test of the time. Just like with Leone, Ceylan's camera does all the talking with the dialogue itself taking the back seat. Even in its subsidiary role, the dialogue never loses its weight and packs the punch whenever the need arises. The laconicism in dialogue is well substituted by the cinematographic detail, which forms the backbone of Ceylan's work. The panoramic shots of the Anatolian Steppes are highly reminiscent of Leone's widescreen cinematography in the 'Dollars Trilogy'. The latent wilderness of the Anatolian Steppes is greatly analogous to the secrets that lay hidden in the hearts of the deeply convoluted characters. The deliberate pace of Once Upon a Time in Anatolia adds a great detail to the plot, and also paves the way for character development that is seldom seen in modern-day cinema. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is a fine concoction of Crime, Suspense, and Drama that offers a deep insight into the human emotions.The movie also offers a great insight into the complex procedure adopted by the police to solve murder cases, and the role of autopsy in estimating the actual cause of death.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia acquaints the viewer with the dark side of human psyche. The stark beauty symbolizes the pain-that the characters have experienced right through their lives-which has robbed their inner peace and beauty, and has made them ugly and brutal. The murder mystery that lies at the very core of the plot is just one small part of a highly complex puzzle that has much more to it than meets the eye. The plot allows each character's caricature to have multiple layers, a facet that adds great depth to the movie, and makes second viewing absolutely essential. The Driver, the Police Commissioner, the Prosecutor, the Accused, and the Doctor, who at first come across as run-of-the-mill characters of the quotidian, are in actuality bearers of deeply eccentric personas, victimized by the vicissitudes of fate, stuck in the middle of nowhere, waiting desperately for their eventual doom.

One very unique feature of the movie is the striking yet consistent difference that exists between what the characters try to project, and what actually is going inside their diabolical minds, something that only the viewer is made aware of, but not always. The night scenes in the first half of the movie are absolutely astonishing to watch. The cavalcade of cars moving ahead in the pitch black darkness, made visible by the projection of their head lights, is symbolic of hope amidst abject distress when everything is lost and there's no place to run or hide.

The scene that's my absolute favorite, and that each and every time leaves me completely speechless and awestruck, is the one in which the Mayor's seraphic daughter serves tea to the guests with her pristine, entrancing beauty stimulating a sense of delirium not only in minds of the guests, but also in minds of the viewers. Her piety and pulchritude is incorruptible to such an extent that it has the power to purge the evil that resides in others. The divine glow of her angelic face under the lamp light is worth the luminosity of a million stars in the Universe.

Overall, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is a fine specimen of movie-making that elevates contemporary cinema to new heights, both as an Art form as well as a medium of entertainment. The movie's multilayered plot and complex characters make second and probably a third viewing absolutely essential for a deeper and clearer understanding. 9/10

Murtaza Ali is an independent film critic, sports writer, and content developer based out of Delhi. He is the author of the movie blog 'A Potpourri of Vestiges'. He has been writing movie reviews at IMDb.COM for over four years. He is also associated with F1India.ORG as a content editor.

Cinema is not only his passion, but also his greatest obsession. His all-time favorite movie-makers are Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick, Luis Bunuel, Andrei Tarkovsky, Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Satyajit Ray, Fritz Lang, Sergio Leonne, Francis Ford Cuppola, and Martin Scorsese.

Author's movie blog, 'A Potpourri of Vestiges' is dedicated to cinema, in particular its Art form. The blog aims to acquaint the viewers worldwide with the true purpose and potential of cinema, especially as a great source of learning and enlightenment, by trying to keep alive the cinematic gems that are rapidly fading into obscurity owing to commercialization.

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Watch Movies Online - How to Protect Yourself

Movies are the excellent stress busters that never let you fall prey to boredom. You can enjoy them wherever you want, in a cinema hall, at home on DVD player or online. Whereas these ways accompany varied benefits, they also have certain associated pitfalls. For example, visiting a theater and making all those expenditures on tickets, popcorn and soft drinks could take a heavy toll on your pocket. Likewise, the quality of DVD you play at home may or may not be up to the mark. Interestingly, the freedom to watch movies online without paying single penny sets you free from adopting the first two options. But whether this method is safe or not, let us find out.

Security concerns while watching flicks online:

Like all the other activities you perform online, enjoying online movies as well demands sedate security measures. Unfortunately if you lag behind at any step, you are likely to get trapped in the network of hackers and consequently your computer data could be at grave risk of being stolen. In addition, copyright owners could file lawsuits against you on the offense of copyright infringement. You would definitely not like the idea to get caught amid such hassles, would you?

Suitable protective measures:

With so many demerits of accessing movie websites, and downloading one to enjoy in your free time, you can easily decide to avoid this activity. But if you can bear a little bit patience and follow certain essential tips, protecting yourself from online hassles during your stint with online movies won't be that hard affair. Below are some important tips in this context:

• Keep distance from unsolicited links that ask you to download your preferred movie, they can trick you to open doors for the malware to enter into your system

• Utilizing a Virtual private network could let you add an additional security layer towards your endeavor of relishing a movie over the internet. It will hide your real IP address with a different IP and hence will keep you anonymous online.

• Browse through websites that allow you to watch or download movies legally. Prominently two types of films fall under this category, viz a viz, public domain flicks and movies that are licensed for online viewing.

Insight into safe film categories:

Public Domain Films: These types of motion pictures are copyrighted but have their links over the web for a very short span of time. You are free to enjoy them through live streaming or by downloading them, to watch later on. These films mostly belong to classic genre and hence could be of interest for a selected category of movie buffs. You may be asked to register with the concerned websites before moving ahead.

Licensed Films: This second category of legal films is duly licensed to be watched online. Compared to the first type, movies falling under this class are latest, laced with superseding sound feature and own high quality graphics. These flicks are often accompanied by short duration commercial ads, which could be termed as one the downsides to this film type. You would not be asked to register while accessing any such site, offering licensed films.

Hope you guys know very well now, How to be safe Watching Movies Online!

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Review: The Avengers

You've probably noticed that there's been a plethora of movies featuring comic book superheroes that have been released over the past few years. There's been quite a few from the Marvel Comics brand in particular and that's because the people at Disney wanted to make a film involving multiple heroes coming together in one big summer blockbuster. Well, that blockbuster is here and it's called The Avengers.

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), leader of the agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D. finds it necessary to recruit several people that he feels are the only ones that can save the world. Those people feature the likes of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chirs Hemsworth) and The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). This super group unites with Fury to take down a menacing force known as Loki (Tom Hiddleston), an extraterrestrial dead set on ruling Earth and everything in it.

After the film's opening scenes, I was kind of disappointed with what I saw. They proceeded to take this particular time span in the movie to reintroduce the audience to the superheroes and get us back into their stories. While I understand that and had no problem with them doing it, I didn't think that they had to make this portion of The Avengers so long and boring. It was filled with small talk, terrible jokes and not much else. This caused the movie to drag on and it took away from some of the positives in the grand scheme of things.

One of the other criticisms that I have of The Avengers is that they didn't let the superheroes do as many of the superhero types of things that I would expect to see. You'd think that with all of the heroes in this movie, they'd be able to come up with things to do right? Not in this case, and that also had to do with what I was talking about in the paragraph above. I came out thinking that the heroes in this movie were severely underutilized. There's something wrong when you have a superhero movie that lasts for about two and a half hours and you somehow can't or choose not to play to the strengths of the characters properly or even give them enough screen time doing what they supposedly do best.

I don't mind pauses in action and it happens in almost every action/adventure movie that's out there. It's a little different in The Avengers since there's just way too much small talk that leads to nowhere. There didn't even need to be any added violence or action per se. Having them fight more, having them hunt down the bad guys or at least searching for them in some way would have been better in the early going. The bottom line is they should have reduced the number of unnecessary scenes that are presented at the start and focus on the heroes being more active in other ways.

When they finally got passed the stuff in the movie that bored me to death, they actually put some good things on the screen. Everything that I thought I was going to see is here and it's actually pretty entertaining. Whenever they started up the action, they kept it going for a while and that is certainly a positive in this case. These scenes (especially the final one) are fast and all over the place. They're all over the place, because there's supposed to be so much going on and there are a lot of people to pay attention to. I'll at least give director Joss Whedon some credit for handling those scenes well.

To go along with the long action scenes, I also think the characters themselves were solid. I didn't have any issues with any of the characters or the actors that played them, but it would have been nice if most of them would have been allowed to do more. I say most of them because there are two guys that got a ton of screen time and were able to flex their acting muscles more than the others did. Samuel L. Jackson is one of them and he received way more time than I thought he would. I was thinking that he was going to be hovering in the background for a large portion of the film, but he probably got to be on-screen more than just about anyone.

The other actor that I'm talking about is Tom Hiddleston. I remember watching Thor and saying that the main villain that he portrayed (Loki) was a little boring and lacked something. So knowing that he was going to be the main villain in The Avengers didn't sound like a good decision at first, but he's much better here than he was in Thor. He's the same character at the core, but he has more personality and charisma this time around. His performance here is one of the best and most memorable things about this entire movie. In actuality, he had to be good since he's literally the only bad guy worth noticing and is basically asked to carry much of the film. Although he and Jackson don't get top billing, I would say that they are the actual stars of The Avengers.

In order to score The Avengers, I have to look at the film in its entirety. The earlier parts are sub par to say the least, but the later scenes when superheroes actually begin to do superhero stuff are quite good. If you can sit through all of the scenes from early on with the bad jokes and the excessive and meaningless small talk, you should be able to get into this movie. A sub par first half and a fun, but familiar second half makes The Avengers what it is.... an average movie.

I also want to point out one last thing to potential viewers. Anyone with any sense could figure out beforehand that there would be a sequel right? So technically I'm not spoiling anything when I say what I'm about to say. As a matter of fact, I'm helping you guys out. You need to stay until after the end credits start rolling. They're going to show you a couple of things that you need to know for the sequel. It's what they did in the Marvel films that led up to The Avengers, so you shouldn't be surprised that I'm telling you to stay and watch after the credits begin.

Score: 2.5/5

Rating: PG-13

Director: Joss Whedon

Robert Downey Jr.
Chris Evans
Chris Hemsworth
Samuel L. Jackson
Tom Hiddleston
Scarlett Johansson
Jeremy Renner
Mark Ruffalo
Gwyneth Paltrow

Film Length: 143 minutes

Release Date: May 4, 2012

Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

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Piranha 3D (2010)

Piranha 3D is a 2010 horror film distributed by Dimension Films. It stars Steven R. McQueen as Jake Forester, Elisabeth Shue as Sheriff Julie Forester, Ving Rhames as Deputy Fallon, Jerry O'Connell as Derrick Jones, and Christopher Lloyd as Carl Goodman. The writers are Mark Canton, Mark Toberoff, Alexandre Aja, and Gregory Lavasseur. It is directed by Alexandre Aja.

A small earthquake in Lake Victoria splits the lake floor and allows prehistoric and super-aggressive piranhas into the lake. After a fisherman's mutilated corpse and boat are found, the sheriff contemplates closing the beach. But it is Spring Break, a very difficult time of year to close a beach when the small town needs the revenue.

Piranha 3D isn't just your average science fiction/horror film; it is a "splatter" film. For those who don't know what a splatter film is, it is a film with so much blood and gore that it is borderline humorous. In short, it excessively displays the human body's vulnerablity for strictly theatrical purposes. Perhaps the most notable scene of this is the beach massacre scene late in the film. The viewers witness people literally having their arms and legs chewed off and their bodies ripped to pieces. Some shots even reveal these limbs floating around in the water with all the blood. It is not something a person should see on a full stomach.

The blood and guts seem to cover up any attempt at a strong climax. Normally in film like this one, there is an attempt to destroy the problem species which is, in this case, piranhas. But, we don't see this until the final moments of the film. Up until that time, we only see people getting saved or being eaten alive by the little sharp-toothed creatures.

To wrap, if blood and gore are what you're looking for, then Piranha 3D is definitely a film you'd enjoy thoroughly!

Kevin T. Dillehay has written more than 100 movie reviews from all genres. He provides a unique perspective on the movies you see all the time but may not stop and think about in depth. You are invited to check out his work at

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Poltergeist II: The Other Side

Poltergeist II: The Other Side is a 1986 horror fantasy distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It stars Craig T. Nelson as Steven Freeling, JoBeth Williams as Diane Freeling, Heather O'Rourke as Carol Anne Freeling, Zelda Rubenstein as Tangina Barrons, and Will Sampson as Taylor. The writers are Mark Victor and Michael Grais. The director is Brian Gibson.

One year after the events of the first film, the Freeling family has moved in with Diane's mother, Grandma Jess. She reveals to her daughter that she is clairvoyant and she and Carol Anne are too. Her life force had kept "the beast" from tracking down and harming Carol Anne again. That night, Jess dies of natural causes. This allows "the beast", revealed to be Reverend Henry Kane, a cult leader in the early 1800's, to locate and attempt another abduction of little Carol Anne.

Actor Julian Beck portrays the evil Kane in this film. Kane, in his human form, appears as a sickly old man. What many film viewers may not know is that Beck, in real life, had been diagnosed with stomach cancer shortly before accepting this role. He may have looked physically weak during production. Now, this may seem a bit inappropriate but his real life cancer may have actually caused him to better physically fit the description of what a ghostly and seemingly weak old man like Reverend Kane would look like. In short, Beck getting sick actually helped him fit the role of Kane better. I apologize to any of my readers who may have been offended by these comments.

Unlike its predecessor, this film features a sort of guide to help the Freeling family from the beginning, one who understands right away what's happening (the previous film's guide, Tangina Barrons, doesn't appear until near the end of the film). This guide is Taylor, the Native American shaman, who first appears right after Kane's failed attempt at abducting Carol Anne. He informs them that it would be useless to flee as "the beast" would find them wherever they went. Taylor also gives Steven the "Power of Smoke", which is some sort of Indian spirit that can repel the evil Kane.

To wrap, I believe Poltergeist II: The Other Side is a quite worthy sequel and is worthy of your attention.

Kevin T. Dillehay has written nearly a hundred movie reviews from all genres. He provides a unique perspective on the movies you see all the time but may not stop and think about in depth. You are invited to check out his work at

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Wes Anderson's Throwback 'Moonrise Kingdom' Brings Innocent Quirkiness to the Forefront

We've all been there. We've all felt detached at some point, with the need to make some sort of genuine connection. Whether it be as a child, feeling left out of the more popular kids' game of tag or as an on-the-go adult with very little personal time, let alone time to find some smidgeon of companionship with a partner. How about being a child, with multiple siblings, feeling total estrangement from your parents - who are both there, but really aren't? These are all themes explored by indie filmmaker Wes Anderson's latest little film; the quirky, cute and sometimes hilarious Moonrise Kingdom.

Despite being the supreme film buff that I am, it pains me to let you (indie film purists) know that I would be leading you astray, via a bold faced lie, if I sat here and claimed I feel Wes Anderson to be the GOD of all things cinematic. That's simply not true, in my very humble opinion of course. As sarcastic and dry as I can be, nor am I a big fan of his style of humor. However, I completely get it - and on occasion - he'll catch me off guard, having written lines (when delivered properly, by the right actor) that will come off in absolute gut-busting fashion. See Gene Hackman and Danny Glover's kitchen exchange in The Royal Tenenbaums for proof. Moonrise Kingdom is no exception to this rule. Anderson's uncomfortably longer-than-usual takes, awkward scene transitions and character interactions leave you feeling like you're seeing too much past what was originally intended. Like watching a neighbor walk through their front door, only to peek through the side window (not that we've ever done anything that sick...what are we, voyeurs?)...moving on.

In Moonrise Kingdom, we follow a 1965 New England Boy Scout Troup, headed by Scout Master Ward (played brilliantly simple by Edward Norton) as he sets out with his group of gangly boys to find young scout Sam (the talented Jared Gilman) who has apparently given up and gone AWOL, having fallen in love with little, eerily dark Suzy (Kara Hayward), with whom he feels a genuine enough connection to flee. Needless to say, on a small (but larger than you might think) island, two missing 11 year olds can be cause for panic, despite Sam's "commendable" scouting abilities. Ward and his khaki scouts, flanked by Suzy's worn down, together-for-the-kids, attorney parents (Bill Murray and Francis McDormand), Bruce Willis' subtly hilarious Captain Sharp and Tilda Swinton as Social Services, who is disturbingly hellbent on retrieving abandoned children, turn the small town upside down looking for the runaways.

At each and every turn, we find someone trying to make a connection with someone else. Either that, or fleeing any situation where a connection hasn't been or can't quite be made, in utter desperation. There is simply no denying Anderson has a phenomenal eye, using unconventional methods of cutting - as opposed to the 180 degree line when shooting two people in conversation - he'll shoot a medium angle of both subjects perpendicular to the action or cut back and forth, straight on, between the subjects and their interaction. It's completely awkward, but really allows the viewer to access the full emotional range given by the actors, who are all wonderful here. Particularly Gilmore and Hayward, who anchor the film in innocence. Seeing the sense of urgency, created out of the burning desire to be wanted, reminds us of just how fast kids of today are growing up and becoming "old souls" too far ahead of their time. Let's face it, half of the technological breaches of the world, post 2000 have been accomplished by prepubescents who haven't stopped wetting the bed or watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. While most parents past 35 still don't know what "LOL" means. Kingdom also happens to come off as a call to parents to be more parental, taking more of an interest in their children and their need for that support structure, lest they run off and attempt to elope at the ripe age of in a tent on the rocky surface of some small, coastal New England town.

Despite stretches of some slow pacing (par for the course in Anderson's films), with a couple of pretty hilarious cameos from indie faves Harvey Keitel and Jason Schwartzman, as well as a great musical selection, Moonrise Kingdom is innocent fun with a good moral message for everyone. Having the film based in simpler time, where the very same issues being dealt with by people today don't really differ all that much, speaks to Anderson's brilliance as a filmmaker. The juxtaposition offers just enough contrast to make you really pay attention to the things that need tending to in your own life. While not quite as funny as some of his previous offerings, this is another solid character study, masked in a quirky innocence.

3/5 Taped Glasses

Nate 'The Great" Smith
Owner/Author, Geeks On Movies
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Review: The Bourne Identity (2002)

If I asked you to think about the genre of film involving espionage, you might think of James Bond right off the bat. It's understandable due to the fact that they've been making Bond movies since the sixties I believe and it's easily the most popular spy franchise in film. While that may be the case for most, I myself am a little different. Why I think of spy movies, I think of a movie like The Bourne Identity.

After waking up with bullet wounds in his back, a man (Matt Damon) with no memory sets out to discover who he is and where he's from. He eventually finds out that his name is Jason Bourne, but several questions still remain. Even more questions arise once he finds a gun, a bunch of money and multiple passports in a bank account that's in his name. Bourne is eventually pursued by several people who don't appear to have his best interest in mind and he comes to understand that he can't trust anyone. He now must fight for survival in order to answer the questions about himself and the deadly circumstances that surround him.

The Bourne Identity was a bit different for Matt Damon when it was shot. At the time, he was known for doing dramas more than anything else. This film of course, is a spy thriller that had all of the makings of a summer blockbuster. If he wasn't a big enough star yet, he was about to be as he began to cross into a well liked book franchise.

Obviously, he was careful about selecting his first real action movie in which he was the lead actor, because although this is a summer blockbuster type of film, it still maintains a lot of substance. There's a well told story with good acting, writing and directing from the people involved.

For anyone who knows the story of Jason Bourne, you know that much of the film is focused on his quest to find out who he is. While he's trying to figure this out, we also get a look at the clandestine network that employs him and what they're trying to do to fix all that is wrong with this situation. This is one of the primary things that bring about the dangerous predicament that we witness in The Bourne Identity. They don't know what happened either, but they don't necessarily want answers, they want results and a solution before it gets out of hand.

In the scenes where Bourne is trying to find out who he is and why so many people are after him, there's a good amount of action on display. The action that we see is given to the viewer in various ways. We're given a couple of chases sequences, some hand to hand combat and some shootouts to top it all off.

Out of all that I just mentioned, it's hard to say what the best aspect of the action is. I might go out on a limb and say the hand to hand combat is my favorite, but I'd practically be splitting hairs when it comes down to choosing. Regardless of what I liked the best, all of it is well done and includes an amazing car chase that runs through the streets of France.

To go along with the fast-paced and action packed set pieces, one of the other things that I liked about the movie comes from the realism that is implemented and the fact that they felt that it was important enough to include. The Bourne Identity uses some of the tactics and skills that are apparently used by operatives in real life. Being the spy geek that I am, it's surely something that I was happy to see. It's that attention to detail that helps turn this into quite the movie experience.

As much credit as I give them for paying attention to detail, I also feel the need to point out one minor flaw where that attention went missing. It doesn't really have anything to do with the film or its overall quality, but I think it's funny and I look for it whenever I watch it. There's one scene early on that shows Bourne disappearing into thin air at the exact same time that a small truck drives by him, but you can actually see Damon running along side the truck as it's going off-screen. Once again it's no big deal, but I just wanted to point it out.

Anyway, there's enough entertainment value in this suspenseful action thriller set in the world of espionage. I think fans of the Jason Bourne novels from the late Robert Ludlum will be satisfied, but I also believe people who aren't familiar with the books can also get into it and enjoy it. From a personal standpoint, it's one of my absolute favorite spy stories and is a fantastic movie overall. If you want to watch a quick, smooth and unglamorized movie about spies, The Bourne Identity is surely one to look at.

Score: 4/5

Rating: PG-13

Director: Doug Liman

Matt Damon
Franka Potente
Chris Cooper
Brian Cox
Julia Stiles
Clive Owen
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Gabriel Mann

Film Length: 118 minutes

Release Date: June 14, 2012

Distributor: Universal Pictures

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Remembering Planet of the Apes

"It is a story, and science fiction is only the pretext. I wouldn't even know how to define SF...I think it's the genre where you can deal with and imagine unhuman characters, but in my book my apes are men, there is no doubt. I believe it was triggered by a visit to the zoo where I watched the gorillas. I was impressed by their human-like expressions. It led me to dwell upon and imagine relationships between humans and apes." -- Pierre Boulle.

Fast-talking producer Arthur P. Jacobs had been looking for a King Kong like story to bring to the screen when he found the next best thing, French writer Pierre Boulle's 1963 novel La planète des singes, or Monkey Planet, later renamed Planet of the Apes. Early in the project's development Jacobs came up with a dazzling inspiration. Unlike the book, which mostly took place in an alien world, what if the main character was on Earth the whole time and both he and the audience didn't know it? Jacobs took the story idea to the creator of TV's The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling. A former Purple Heart recipient who had been wounded in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944, the very anti-war Serling wrote an extremely serious, almost humorless screenplay set in a simian city that resembled 1950s New York and initially proved far too expensive for any Hollywood Studio to produce.

"Imagination... its limits are only those of the mind itself." --
Rod Serling

After making the rounds and being soundly rejected by Hollywood executives, the ever-hustling Jacobs approached the forty-two year old former John Charles Carter, who upon deciding to become an actor had renamed himself after his mother, Lila Charlton, and his stepfather Chet Heston. By that time a well-established movie star, Charlton Heston was going through a political metamorphis. A lifelong Democrat, Heston had been shooting the historical drama, The Warlord, on location in Northern California in 1964 (The film was released in 1965). Each morning on his drive to work the Lyndon Johnson supporting Heston passed by a campaign billboard that pictured GOP nominee Barry Goldwater with the caption," In your heart you know he's right." One day, it simply hit Heston that the sign was true, Goldwater was right! Heston still voted for Johnson in 1964 but was on his way to becoming a well-known champion of conservative causes. Although he later called Jacobs "a slippery character" Heston was intrigued by the Apes script and committed to the project almost immediately with the suggestion that Warlord director Franklin J. Schaffner be added the creative team. Not only did he smell a hit, but Heston also felt Apes could make a powerful statement about the flawed nature of man.

"As much as any character I have ever played, Taylor reflects my own views about mankind. I have infinite faith and admiration for the extraordinary individual man - the Gandhi, the Christ, the Caesar, the Michelangelo, the Shakespeare - but very limited expectations for man as a species. And that, of course, was Taylor's view. And the irony of a man so misanthropic that he almost welcomes the chance to escape entirely from the world finding himself then cast in a situation where he is spokesman for his whole species and forced to defend their qualities and abilities - it was a very appealing thing to act." -- Charlton Heston.

With a bankable movie star as part of his pitch, Jacobs found Apes to be an easier sell. After expressing reservations about humans in monkey make-up being taken seriously by audiences, Twentieth Century Fox studio President Richard Zanuck, son of the legendary producer Darryl Zanuck, shelled out fifty grand to film a screen test showing Heston facing off against an intelligent ape, played by Charlton's former co-star from The Ten Commandments (1956) Edward G. Robinson; the results were convincing enough for Planet of the Apes to be green lit. To save money the fictional Ape City became primitive, rather than the modern metropolis imagined by Boulle and Serling. Principle casting included former child star Roddy McDowall as the sometimes sarcastic, but ultimately well-meaning chimp archaeologist Cornelius. Kim Hunter, a previous Oscar winner for A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), whose career had slowed after being accused of having communist sympathies and being blacklisted, played McDowall's soon-to-be mate, the empathetic animal psychologist Dr. Zira. When Edward G. Robinson could not handle the daily arduous Apes make-up process he was replaced by Shakespearian actor Maurice Evans as the orangutan Minister of Science and Keeper of the Faith, Dr. Zaius, Heston's main adversary in the film, who had no compunctions about performing lobotomies on humans. And the beautiful twenty-two-year-old Linda Harrison, who at he time was dating and would later marry studio boss Zanuck, was hired to play Heston's love interest, the mute, animal-like Nova.

I had never thought of this motion picture in terms of being science fiction. More or less, it was a political film, with a certain amount of Swiftian satire, and perhaps science fiction last." - Planet of the Apes Director Franklin J. Schaffner

Blacklisted writer Michael Wilson, whose credits included another Boulle novel-turned-into-film The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), was brought in to add both political messages and some needed laughs to the script. The different ape species took on varying characteristics, the chimpanzees were depicted as both seekers of knowledge and pacifists, the orangutans became politicians and not surprisingly were portrayed as hypocrites, leaving the military operations to be carried out by the very threatening gorillas. In one of the movie's most frightening scenes, the human hunting gorillas are momentarily hidden behind eight-foot-high swaying corn stalks, before both the audience and Heston get their first view of the menacing creatures on horseback (one possible explanation for their aggressiveness may have been that there were no female gorillas in the movie). When Heston's astronaut character, George Taylor, was put on trial by the orangutans, Michael Wilson wanted the scene to resemble the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings in 1951 where Wilson had given the impression that he was a communist sympathizer. Heston and Schaffner tried to lighten things up by suggesting the orangutan tribunal cover their mouth, ears, and eyes, imitating the famous 17nth Century Japanese monkey carvings: "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil"; Heston later admitted the ape's facial gesture scene was over-the-top and clichéd and was a bit embarrassed that it was left in the finished picture; he blamed the inclusion on Apes testing well in sneak previews and the producers not wanting to take a chance on changing anything.

"Masks are in the oldest tradition of the theatre and there is something exciting about reviving an ancient art." -- Roddy McDowall

Planet of the Apes was a difficult shoot for practically everyone involved. The early scenes that took place after the space ship crashed into what appeared to be a desolate planet were filmed in the Arizona desert; one of Heston's doomed fellow astronauts fainted In the over 100 degree heat. The kind-hearted and very professional Heston helped his on-screen love interest Linda Harrison, still a novice at film acting, learn how to work the camera to her best advantage. Heston, who bragged about never being sick, spent a challenging summer getting clubbed, being dragged around by a leash, hanging in nets, being pelted with fruit, running through poison oak and standing naked in front of the company during the trial scene; the happily-married star laughed when a coffee girl complimented him on his buns. At one point Heston came down with the flu, he made the most of it when in a very hoarse voice (fitting, since his character had been shot in the throat) he uttered what many considered the signature line of the film," Take your stinking paws off me you damn, dirty ape!" Method actress Kim Hunter spent a lot of time studying monkeys at the Los Angeles Zoo, took tranquilizers each morning so she didn't squirm out of the makeup chair, suffered through nightmares in which she was uncertain of her humanity, and got sick of joking crew members who kept offering her bananas. The illusion was so complete that after months of working together when Hunter greeted Heston in her natural, Homosapien form at Planet's first screening he had no idea who she was. Before the film, Hunter and Maurice Evans were good friends but on the set in between shots the make believe chimps, gorillas and orangutans only associated with their own kind. The English born Evans noted that after spending long hours in an orangutan mask laced with 180 proof alcohol he was too buzzed to drive himself home. On the other hand traffic came to a halt one day on Pacific Coast Highway from the sight of a station wagon that had been commandeered by what appeared to be a bunch of gorillas. And the chain-smoking Roddy McDowall loved driving down the 405 freeway in his full ape costume, waving at the other motorists while stuck in traffic. Roddy also had fun at the expense of his old friend and co-star from Broadway's Camelot Julie Andrews, who was working on the Fox lot. Late one afternoon an exhausted Julie, who was then undergoing psychoanalysis, returned to her dressing room and shut the door. What looked like a giant talking chimpanzee popped out from behind a cabinet, and gave the actress the fright of her life.

"The Forbidden Zone was once a paradise. Your breed made a desert of it, ages ago." -- Maurice Evans, as Dr. Zaius in Planet of the Apes.

Planet of the Apes was very well received, spawned several lesser-thought-of sequels, and largely because of it's impactful surprise ending, generally credited to Rod Serling, was considered to be a classic by many critics and cinemagoers. In his later years Charlton Heston became the President of the National Rifle Association and to the chagrin of many of his liberal colleagues in Hollywood, some who lived in mansions with signs on their lawns that said "armed response", proudly expressed the quite logical viewpoint that the Second Amendment which protected individual gun rights was the key element in the US Constitution, without it none of the other promised liberties would survive. His pro-gun sentiments seemed to be at odds with the powerful anti-war message of Apes. Looked at another way, with the remains of the Statue of Liberty on the beach, revealing that New York was destroyed by an apparent nuclear attack, the film's ending perhaps indicated what would happen to America if she couldn't defend her self.

Author Stephen Schochet is a professional tour guide in Hollywood who years ago began collecting little-known, humorous anecdotes to tell to his customers. His new book Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! Contains a timeless treasure trove of colorful vignettes featuring an amazing all-star cast of icons including John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Errol Flynn, and many others both past and contemporary. Tim Sika, host of the radio show Celluloid Dreams on KSJS in San Jose has called Stephen, "The best storyteller about Hollywood we have ever heard." Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or wherever books are sold. For more information go to

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Review - Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

Whether it's through television, movies or video games, Mission: Impossible has managed to stay relevant and hang around for a very long time. While the television series rose to prominence in the 60's, the film adaptation starring Tom Cruise was created in the mid 90's. This film series has been around ever since and it continues with the next film in the franchise called Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol.

Super spy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) finds himself in an impossible situation. The IMF is shut down once they are suspected of being involved in a terrorist bombing plot and Hunt and his team (Paula Patton, Simon Pegg) are now left out in the cold. Now that they are fugitives, the team knows that they have to clear their names and save the IMF. In order for this to happen, "Ghost Protocol" must be initiated. Going off the grid with no help and no solid plan, Hunt and his team must go undercover and do what they do best. If they choose to accept it, they must complete their mission by making the impossible seem possible.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol features almost everything that you would expect from movies in the spy genre. You have your hand to hand combat, weapons, high-tech gadgets, a mad man with an eye on world destruction and of course espionage. It can also be a source for quite a few laughs due to the film's attempts at comedy. This aspect of the film is usually carried by Simon Pegg, but the others get involved on the comedic side of things once in a while and usually with good results.

This movie didn't do much as far as character development is concerned. Instead of focusing on that, they throw you into the action right from the very beginning. We get a little bit of back story, but that ultimately just adds to the main story and not really the characters themselves. In Ghost Protocol, the action is more important than anything else and it's delivered in a fun way with high-paced energy. Some of it is what you'd expect, but they also tossed some new wrinkles into the mix.

One of my favorite action sequences that used one of these wrinkles was a chase scene that starts off on foot, but eventually turns into a car chase. That alone was great, but what made it better was the fact that all of it was supposed to be taking place in the middle of some terrible weather. This scene and many others were artistically done and made to look beautiful. Imagery and style stand out in this movie and it adds to the overall experience of watching it.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol maintains the soul of this franchise. With its crazy gadgets, classic theme music, action and flare, it feels like it's supposed to right from the beginning. It has its flaws and it doesn't have a ton of emotional substance, but the pure fun and entertainment that's brought to the table more than make up for that. In my opinion, this film may be the best in the entire series and it's certainly something worth checking out if you're a fan of the franchise or if you just want to watch a good action movie that contains some solid comedy.

Score: 3/5

Rating: PG-13

Director: Brad Bird

Tom Cruise
Jeremy Renner
Paula Patton
Simon Pegg
Michael Nyqvist
Anil Kapoor
Tom Wilkinson
Ving Rhames

Film Length: 133 minutes

Release Date:
December 16, 2011 (Limited)
December 21, 2011 (World Wide)

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

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What Other Good Film Rental Websites Are There Like LOVEFiLM?

Part of the Amazon Group, LOVEFiLM appears to own the European stream and DVD rental market nowadays. Word on the street is that it has now over two million subscribers, renting over four million DVDs per month! Not to mention it's online streaming option "LOVEFiLM Instant!"

There are many different options to become a member of LOVEFiLM. First of all you can opt to just rent actual DVDs by post (no streaming). Secondly there is a sole online streaming option. Finally you can combine the two with several price options to suit even the most obsessed film fanatic (see resources below for info and free trials on LOVEFiLM and Netflix). So I wondered, what other websites are available that do a similar job to this one? Are there any that actually do a better job? Let's take a look at the alternatives.

Blink Box

I first took a look at the UK based Tesco owned company, Blink Box. I first of all noticed what could be a distinct advantage over LOVEFiLM, you don't need to pay a monthly subscription fee! When using Blink Box, you "pay per title" so you only have to fork out when you actually feel like watching something. This would definitely appeal to a casual film watcher. It also has a wealth of titles available, it seems maybe even more than LOVEFiLM in the online streaming department (boasts over ten thousand available). Some films are even free to watch, and prices to rent seem fairly reasonable. So far so good for my search! Blink box seems to offer a good alternative to people who wouldn't want to fork out every month just for a few movies. Let's move on and have a look at another website then.


Netflix is another website that has similarities with LOVEFiLM. However the pricing model is a lot similar offering one flat subscription rate (£5.99 a month, one month free trial). It was founded in the US and has a massive amount of customers over there, boasting around $1.5 billion revenue in 2011. It is also currently smashing it in the European market and boasts to have over 100,000 titles on offer to watch online, from films to television series. In my opinion, for the shear number of titles available, Netflix beat LOVEFiLM hands down in terms of value for money.

So it seems there is more out there than just LOVEFiLM! For free trials in both Netflix and LOVEFiLM and to compare prices etc. Check out my resources! Cheers. - To get a free trial at Netflix and LOVEFiLM! And also to compare price plans and find out which one suits you!

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Review: The Bourne Supremacy

Whenever a film franchise sees a change in the director's chair, you have to wonder how much the style of the film is going to be altered. This change could be good or bad depending on the circumstances and the quality of the directors that you're talking about. It's a risky proposition in the first place, but it's even riskier if the first movie was popular. That's because all involved might want to stay at least somewhat faithful to what's already been created, while the new director would more than likely want to add his own imprint on the picture. That's the case for The Bourne Supremacy as Paul Greengrass took over for Doug Liman, the director of The Bourne Identity.

In this sequel, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is still trying to put his past together as he's trying to gain his memory back with the help Marie (Franka Potente). Bourne and Marie have moved to a secluded area where they believe no one will find them. That dream soon fades once they realize that someone is out to eliminate Bourne for good. Believing his old organization is behind the attack, Bourne sets out to do as he promised the last time he spoke to them. He goes out of his way to "Bring the fight right to their doorstep."

Seeing as I am a big fan of the first film in the Bourne franchise, I couldn't wait to see the sequel. I was hoping it would be entertaining and I wanted it to live up to its predecessor if possible. As Greengrass took control, I had to wonder how similar the two films would be, but I also wanted to know how far the films would venture from the original material in the novels.

Although there is a new director and a darker tone, there are actually a ton of similarities that remain when comparing the two movies. Some of the music is exactly or close to the same and even some of the scenes are almost mirror images of what's shown in the first one. I understand wanting to stay close to the original, but I didn't like taking so many scenes from the first and only making slight alterations to them and placing them in the sequel. It makes it look like they didn't put too much effort into it even though I'm sure that's not the case. I think they were trying to build some continuity within the franchise and wanted them to connect in that way.

As far as the connection to the books goes, staying faithful to them wouldn't be legitimately plausible when bringing The Bourne Supremacy to the big screen. That's due to the fact that some of the characters that are in both the first Bourne movie and the novels have been either killed off or excluded all together. You obviously wouldn't be able to use the dead guys and they probably felt that a couple of the characters that are excluded wouldn't necessarily fit here. The inability to use these characters can actually be seen as a positive of sorts, because it opens the door for changes that allow the story to travel in new directions. That enables both new and existing fans alike to get into the movie and discover new things whenever they occur.

Another thing that's positive here are all of the action sequences. Much like the first film, The Bourne Supremacy contains a mixture of car chases, foot chases and hand to hand combat. I loved the car chase in the Doug Liman film and I loved the chase in this one just as much. They're done differently, but they're both equally exciting. The one in the Greengrass version is more violent, physical and like the movie as a whole, it's darker.

A good portion of the action that is shown in this film is also done differently, because it has more of a faster pace working for it. Some of it has a nice build up right before everything breaks out and the actual action set pieces are not as low-key or as patient as most of the set pieces in the original film. The faster style definitely makes this feel more like an action film than a spy film at times. I thought all of it was fun to watch, but if I had to point out the weakest part of the action that's on display here, I would have to say that it's easily the hand to hand combat. It's not bad, but it simply doesn't hold up to the car and foot chases that we see.

When compared to The Bourne Identity, I can't say that The Bourne Supremacy is as good simply due to the fact that it's not. It does have several good things about it though. The actors perform well with Matt Damon once again standing out in a role that was seemingly made for him, and everyone else handles their jobs just as professionals should. There's also a solid story and as I stated earlier, a ton of action. This is a fast and thrilling spy movie that offers fun and excitement while doing a great service to the franchise that it's created for.

Score: 3.5/5

Rating: PG-13

Director: Paul Greengrass

Matt Damon
Franka Potente
Brian Cox
Joan Allen
Karl Urban
Julia Stiles
Gabriel Mann

Film Length: 108 minutes

Release Date: July 23, 2004

Distributor: Universal Pictures

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