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All reviews - DVDs (11)

Black Hawk Down review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 25 November 2006 03:02 (A review of Black Hawk Down)

123 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.


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Bewitched (Special Edition) review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 25 November 2006 03:01 (A review of Bewitched (Special Edition))

Thinking he can overshadow an unknown actress in the part, an egocentric actor unknowingly gets a witch cast in an upcoming television remake of the classic show "Bewitched"


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Behind Enemy Lines review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 25 November 2006 02:58 (A review of Behind Enemy Lines)

A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him


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Be Cool (Widescreen Edition) review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 25 November 2006 02:56 (A review of Be Cool (Widescreen Edition))

Disenchanted with the movie industry, Chili Palmer (John Travolta) tries the music industry, meeting and romancing a widow of a music exec (Uma Thurman) on the way


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Batman Begins (Single-Disc Widescreen Edition) review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 25 November 2006 02:55 (A review of Batman Begins (Single-Disc Widescreen Edition))

The story of how Bruce Wayne became what he was destined to be: Batman.


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Bad Boys II (Two-Disc Special Edition) review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 25 November 2006 02:52 (A review of Bad Boys II (Two-Disc Special Edition))

Two loose-cannon narcotics cops investigate the flow of Ecstacy into Florida.


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AVP: Alien vs. Predator review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 25 November 2006 02:50 (A review of AVP: Alien vs. Predator )

During an archaeological expedition on Bouvetøya Island in the Antarctic ocean, a team of archaeologists and other scientists find themselves caught up in a battle between the two legends. Soon, the team realise that only one species can win


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Assault on Precinct 13 (Widescreen Edition) review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 25 November 2006 02:49 (A review of Assault on Precinct 13 (Widescreen Edition))

A police sergeant must rally the cops and prisoners together to protect themselves on New Year's Eve, just as corrupt policeman surround the station with the intent of killing all to keep their deception in the ranks


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A Nightmare on Elm Street review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 25 November 2006 02:41 (A review of A Nightmare on Elm Street )

Its reputation is a bit flattering but still a very good low budget horror film, 9 July 2004
Author: MovieAddict2006 from themovieaddict.com

Every small-town neighborhood has an old legend that never dies. For the residents of Elm Street, Fred Krueger is the demonic soul that plagues their nightmares. Krueger was an evil child molester, burned alive by the parents of the children he had slain in the past. Now, years later, he has reappeared in the nightmares of Elm Street's teenagers. Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) continually experiences these haunting visions in which the permanently scarred man chases her through the shadows of a boiler room -- the same room in which he used to slay his helpless victims. Nancy considers her dreams to be typical nightmares one of her best friends is apparently "sliced" to death during a deep sleep in her home.

Soon Nancy's dreams become worse, and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) admits that he has also been experiencing unpleasant nightmares. Together they uncover the truth behind Krueger's death years ago, and vow to stay awake as long as they can and strategize a plan to bring Krueger back into the "real world" and kill him once and for all.

Loosely based on true events, Wes Craven's inspiration for the tale originated after he reportedly read that a number of people across the world had died in their slumber. Blending fantasy with reality, Craven wrote and directed one of the most iconic horror films of all time, which -- similar to "Halloween" before it -- spawned an inferior legion of sequels and imitators, all of which continue to pale in comparison to the original.

The brilliance of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is that it relies on psychological fear vs. cheap exploitation tricks. "Halloween," directed by John Carpenter and released in 1978, had re-sparked interest in the Hitchcock-style horror/thrillers, and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" builds upon this, cleverly channeling the mystery surrounding dreams and using it as a gateway for chills and thrills. Midway through the movie, a doctor played by Richard Fleischer tells Nancy's mother that the process of dreams -- where do they come from? -- has yet to be explained, and the fact that all humans tend to have dreams on a regular basis is essentially why this film remains so scary, even by today's standards. Some of the special effects are quite outdated but, unlike the "Nightmare" imitators, gore plays second to the plot and characters -- something rare in a horror film.

The sequels became sillier and gorier. Fred's name changed to the less menacing "Freddy" (which we all now know him by), he was given more screen time, the makeup on his face was not quite as horrific, he began to crack jokes more often and his voice evolved into a less demonic cackle. In the original "Nightmare" it is interesting to note that Freddy is rarely given screen time at all -- we see his infamous hands (wearing gloves with butter knives attached on the fingers to slice his victims), we see his hat, we see his sweater, we see his outline in the darkness of the shadows, but even when we finally see Freddy up-close, Craven manages to keep the camera moving so that we never gain a distinct image of the killer. Now, twenty years later, there's no mystery anymore -- Freddy's face is featured on the front cover for most of the films and his very presence has become the cornerstone of all the movies in the franchise. But in 1984, long before Craven predicted his character would become a huge part of modern pop culture, Freddy was mysterious and not very funny at all.

The acting is one of the film's weaknesses -- Heather Langenkamp is never totally awe-inspiring as Nancy, truth be told (although she does a decent job); Depp -- in his big-screen debut -- shows a sign of talent to come but basically mutters clichéd dialogue most of the time. The co-stars are acceptable at best. However the greatest performance is -- not surprisingly -- by Robert Englund, as Freddy, who is in the film barely at all. Ironically, as mentioned above, this only makes the film succeed at scaring us.

The direction is not as superb as "Halloween," and for that matter either is the film. Over the years, "Nightmare" has arguably been given an overrated reputation, although it is inferior to "Halloween." However, compared to some of the other so-called "horror films" released during the '80s -- including "Friday the 13th" and other dumb slasher flicks -- "A Nightmare on Elm Street" does seem to stand as one of the best horror films of the decade. Despite its flaws it is quite smart with a surprise "final" ending and one of cinema's greatest villains lurking at the core.

"A Nightmare on Elm Street" is really Nancy's story. The film focuses on Nancy's troubles, Nancy's dreams and Nancy's actions. The ending of the film becomes a bit muddled -- the booby traps are unfortunately a bit goofy and Freddy helplessly (almost humorously) chasing Nancy around her home supposedly trying to murder her is something the film could have done without -- but overall it is a satisfying mixture of horror, thriller and fantasy, a movie that taps into two seldom-recognized everyday events in human life, which are sleeping, and dreaming. Craven's ability to realize this unknown fear in a movie is, needless to say, quite fascinating. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is not a great movie but for horror buffs it is a must-see and for non-horror-buffs there is a fair amount of other elements to sustain one's interest.


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Are We There Yet? review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 25 November 2006 02:38 (A review of Are We There Yet?)

Ice Cube is an effortlessly likable actor, which presents two problems for "Are We There Yet?" Problem No. 1 is that he has to play a bachelor who hates kids, and No. 2 is that two kids make his life miserable in ways that are supposed to be funny but are mean and painful.

Mr. Cube plays Nick, owner of a sports memorabilia store who one day is struck by the lightning bolt of love when he gazes upon Suzanne (Nia Long), who runs an event-management service across the street. There is a problem. She is the divorced mom of two kids. Nick hates kids. But one Dark and Stormy Night, he passes Suzanne next to her stalled car, and offers her a lift. There is chemistry, and it seems likely to lead to physics, but then she sadly observes that they can only be "good friends," because he doesn't really care for kids.

But ... but ... Nick cares so much for her that he's willing to learn.

When Suzanne is needed in Vancouver to coordinate a New Year's Eve party, her ex-husband breaks a promise to baby-sit the kids, and Nick agrees to bring the kids to Vancouver. That's when the trouble starts.

We've already seen what these kids are capable of. One of their mom's dates arrives on the front sidewalk, hits a trip wire, and is pelted with buckets of glue before losing his footing on dozens of marbles and falling hard to the ground. Hilarious, right?

Now it's Nick's turn. He attempts to take the kids north by plane and train before settling on automobile -- in his case, a brand-new Lincoln Navigator, curiously enough the same vehicle that was used in "Johnson Family Vacation." It's the SUV of choice for destruction in bizarre ways through family adventures.

Young Lindsey (Aleisha Allen) and younger Kevin (Philip Bolden) retain the delusion that their father will come back home some day, and have dedicated themselves to discouraging their mother's would-be boyfriends. This leads to such stunts as writing "Help us!" on a card and holding it to the car window so a trucker will think they're the captives of a child abuser. It also leads to several potentially fatal traffic adventures, a boxing match with a deer that stands on its hind legs and seems to think it's a kangaroo, and the complete destruction of the Navigator.

Nick displays the patience of a saint. Far from being the child hater he thinks he is, he's gentle, understanding, forgiving and empathetic. The kids are little monsters. What they do to him is so far over the top that it's sadistic, not funny, and it doesn't help when they finally get to Vancouver and Suzanne cruelly misreads the situation.

I would have loved to see a genuine love story involving Ice Cube, Nia Long, and the challenge of a lifelong bachelor dating a woman with children. Sad that a story like that couldn't get made, but this shrill "comedy" could. Maybe it's the filmmakers who don't like children. They certainly don't seem to know very much about them.


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