DVD review entries

May 16, 2005

Confusing remake, but powerful performance

3 out of 5 stars

This film is a remake and not a great one at that. The original was set in the vietnam war, with the chinese as "The Enemy". This modern version is set against the backdrop of the Gulf War and this time "The Enemy" is not communism but rather capitalism. This irony, however, will be lost on anyone who watches the film. The idea of a large multinational company trying to control the government to extend its influence over the world is now quite common-place. As such, once you have figured out the background story, the plot becomes fairly predictable.

The same, however, cannot be said for the acting. Denzel Washington and Liev Schreiber give powerful performances, ranging from anger over fear to sheer hopelessness. Their characters are portrayed with raw emotion giving us an insight into the emotional cocktail brewing inside them throughout the movie.

I must say, I found the film confusing at times unable to follow the reasoning behind certain character decisions. It felt in part as if bits of the film had been left out after editing that were vital to the storyline.

Though this film is powerful and dramatic, it's rather dull in terms of plot and thrill. The only upside is that I now want to watch the original.

May 09, 2005

"I want to go back to the blue room

3 out of 5 stars

If you haven't seen the original Cube yet, I suggest you go now and watch it! If you like it, you should skip Cube 2: Hypercube and go straight to this prequel.

I won't pretend that this film comes close to Cube, but at least it's far better than Cube 2. It has a plot and a sense. It's not quite as dark, angst-ridden and thought-provoking as the original, but then no pre-/sequel could be.

Cube Zero is set partially inside and partially outside the cube, a machine, where people move from cuboid room to cuboid room in order to find a way out, whilst trying to avoid those rooms which have deadly traps in them. The traps in this film are ace and I'd thought I'd seen the best ones in Cube.

Something that this film has to get credit for is the fact that whilst it is a prequel and expands the storyline of the original, it does not take away anything. The story of Cube and it's mystery are preserved. In effect Cube Zero does not explain why, but rather enlarges on the how.

The biggest challenge for this film was to create an early version of the cube structure (because it's a prequel) and suppress the need to make it more spectacular than the the original. Something that is very difficult for producers, but Cube Zero manages to pull it off.

All in all, a good B-movie with interesting plotlines and ideas, which present an acceptable follow-up to the classic Cube. Three stars.

October 26, 2004

Far too unkown teen flick

5 out of 5 stars

My absolute favourite film and not just because it stars Kirsten Dunst! (although that is a deciding factor)

Berke has been dating the most beautiful girl in school until she breaks up with him and starts going out with a slimy, arrogant prat from abroad. Berke will stop at nothing to get her back. And yes, of course there is another girl involved.

Though not immediatly obvious, this film is a modernisation of "A midsummer night's dream" and loosely based on it.

The great thing about this film is, that it doesn't take itsself too seriously. It's not trying to show the hardships of being a teenager, nor is it trying to make a point of any sort. It's a happy, funky, fresh and, above all, funny film.

Also the style of directing appealed to me, the way we can often experience what Berke feels. The one-shot credit scene at the beginning is to my mind a great example of that.

Other than Kirsten Dunst, this film also stars Tom Hanks's son Colin and Sisquo, before he found fame with 'the thong song'

This film may not appeal to everyone, but I think it's well worth a watch.

October 07, 2004

The White House we all want …

5 out of 5 stars

Saying that "The West Wing" is a series about the White House would understate the brilliance of this show by miles. When I first heard about it, I was rather dubious and thought that this show would only appeal to people interested in politics (or even just american polititcs). After watching the first episode, followed immediatly by the second episode, followed immediatly by the rest of the first season, I can in fact say, that you don't need to be interested in politics at all, this show will draw you in anyway.

The reason behind this is the fact that, whilst you won't be able to get all the references (I still don't know what OEOB stand for), you can make it out and normally, everything will be explained in the course of the episode.
What makes this show so truly outstanding is the writing. We know that Aaron Sorkin is a fantastic writer ever since "A Few Good Men". With this series, he has set the bar even higher than it has ever been before. The dialogue is fast, crisp and spiced with humour.
The issues that are discussed in "The West Wing" are relevant to today and to all kinds of people. But don't expect endless boring political discussions, that make you wish Iain Duncan Smith was there to entertain you, because "The West Wing" presents its themes in a variety of amusing and challenging ways. But that's not even all.
Imagine now, you have this incredible drama series, with its humour, its relevant themes, the lovable cast, the dynamic plot, but you also have a good slice of action in there too. And to be honest, who doesn't like seeing the Secret Service letting off a couple of rounds from their Glocks?

If you are inteding on watching this series, please start on a friday, because you absolutely can't stop after one episode. This series is well worth watching and I would recommend it to anyone without hesitation.

Not just an adult version of "Friends" !

5 out of 5 stars

You can be forgiven for thinking that "Coupling" is just the UK, more adult version of "Friends", but only if you haven't seen it yet.

I will admit that there are basic similarities, such as there being six people, two of which are going out and that there is a slightly wierd woman in the group.
But that is about where the comparison ends. "Coupling" has a quirky, adult sense of humour, which stems from some ingenious writing. But that's not all that sets "Coupling" apart from the rest of the comedy world. There is some fantastic "coincidental" storyline, which you won't find in "Friends", say.

The characters are all loveable in their own right, and there is definitly one character that will appeal to you! The episodes are superbly acted, with great flair and determination.

I've been told that the first season isn't even the best yet, but I can scarcely believe that it can get any better.

Good series, if a little short and well worth the money!

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