The cliché action chase…

The cliché action chase video, from Final Cut King on YouTube.

My boys absolutely loved this one and a really fun channel to subscribe to!

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Starland Vocal Band – ‘Afternoon Delight’…

I’ve put a wide range of music links on this blog over the last few years – this is a killer song.

I’ve just watched Good Will Hunting and this was the end credits tune. Amazing vocalists.

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Film review: ‘Apocalypse Now’…

Francis For Coppola’s legendary Vietnam epic.

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The first scene has always had a big impact on me. The swirling dust, then the fire storm in the trees, then the sound of the helicopter rotor blades merging with the overhead fan in the hotel room. This was something I thought about when I was in Thailand, lying in a very hot hotel room staring at the ceiling fan : )

Touches like the young 19 year old lying dying on the deck of the boat as a taped message from his mother back home plays in the background, asking him to stay safe and not get shot.

The final scene is also significant as Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) emerges from the stone structure where he has just killed Marlon Brando. He emerges to be confronted by the whole tribe. He then throws down his sword, soon to be followed by everyone present – a contrasting end to the violence throughout the film.

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Film: ‘Time Crimes’…

Just watched a pretty good film last night on Love Film Instant…

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Not at all what I expected from the synopsis and the visuals. A Spanish subtitled film which explores the consequences of time travel, within a very tight geographical area and time frame.

Some very nice effects and ideas – certainly worth a watch.

Overall rating: 4 / 5 film reels!

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Films, films and more films…

I had a bit of film-fest last week and watched some good flicks…

we’re signed up to Love Film Instant which gives a huge range of films which you can stream over the internet whenever you want. we also get sent DVDs in the post which we’ve put on our wish list – bit of old school and a bit of right now technology in operation there! I’ve missed watching films in a big way so there’s a bit of catching up to do : )

One of the catchup films was Kick Ass – a film everyone (critics and punters alike) has been raving about since its release in 2010.

This film was awesome – easily a 9/10 on first viewing. A very clever story with an incredible balance of the expected slapstick/silly stuff and the not so expected darkness. The two levels constantly reinforced each other and exaggerated the effects of each different theme.

I comparison to a different type of super hero film (eg Dark Knight Rises), Kick Ass actually has a bigger range and doesn’t take itself too seriously. The result is a fun and entertaining film which has some truly incredible scenes, particularly involving ‘Hit Girl’ and her Dad ‘Big Daddy’ played by Nicolas Cage.

Centurion: A film starring Michael Fassbender (Prometheus) released also in 2010 set in Britain of the 2nd Century AD. Not a bad effort and I would give this 7/10. Nothing particularly ground-breaking here but still a good action adventure based on the real events relating to the massacre of the Ninth Legion by the Picts.

Good settings for the film, lots of rugged landscapes of northern Britain, lots of fighting, running about, a fair bit of suspense and only half a happy ending. Well worth seeing if you liked Gladiator.

The final film was another Love Film DVD which landed on the doormat. Source Code stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan. I would give this just about a 7/10, but the story and ending weren’t exactly that inspiring, but overall a good film and some good acting from the leads. I also loved the main setting for the film – a shiny double decker train. : )

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Prometheus: the review…

AWESOME X AWESOME : )

Just got out of the cinema having just seen Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien world, after a break of 33 years. A huge film set on a massive scale – the opposite of the film which created the Alien universe.

A mixture of high tech and raw savageness propels the characters through a series of electric encounters. There was enough human element to anchor the technology side of the film and the Alien influence crept through each scene.

The special effects were top notch and the acting maybe 7.5 / 10. The story had a good depth and enough to base the next incarnation on…

Overall score: 8 / 10 and a strong modern incarnation which easily beats Alien 3 and 4.

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Blade Runner – Ridley Scott…

Just went back to 1982 to watch Blade Runner. What a film. It’s been 20 years since i’ve seen it and it blew me away. Ridley Scott’s personal favourite film with Harrison Ford at his peak. Rutger Hauer also an incredible performance as the replicant.

Waiting with high anticipation for Ridley Scott’s latest offering: Prometheus!

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Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet…!

I recently tried the boys with an old episode of Thunderbirds and they loved it. The classic Jerry and Sylvia Anderson puppet adventure series from 1965 seems to be a big hit.

This is such a blast from the past and I remember watching all these in my teens after school, especially after games lesson on a Friday. It’s pretty much how I remember it but now i’m noticing some of the adult humour and little details.

Because they liked this so much, I then showed them an episode of Stingray, also from the 1960’s, but made slightly before Thunderbirds. Again, big response from the boys and after a few of those they loved this more than Thunderbirds! They kept signing the theme song…’Stingray, Stingray! Stingray, Stingray! etc etc etc : ) I love the arguments between the characters and there are some brilliant lines in there. Oink the seal pup has the boys laughing.

Because they liked both of those so much, I pulled out the king of Anderson puppet shows – Captain Scarlet! Awesome show, first shown in England in 1967. Again, set in the future, but this time on a much bigger scale, introducing the concept of aliens and a fight against the Mysterons. Lots of cool technology and characters and the intro and end credits are brilliant.

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Film time…

Recently we’ve been finding some of our evenings have been free of kids, washing, tidying and all the other great things which go with being a family! Here are the films and documentaries we’ve been checking out, along with ratings for each!

The Social Network – great film about the start of Facebook. 7/10

Harry Potter 7 & 8 – I had already seen number 7 and got Claire the box set for Christmas, so we re-watched 7 then finally got to see number 8. Really good double film and thankfully a lot more mature than previous films in the series. 8/10

Forks Over Knives – this documentary should be compulsory viewing for all school children (and adults for that matter). A hugely important film which discusses the implications of a western diet, which includes large amounts of animal based foods.

The animal protein Ceasin has been proven to be an initiator of cancer and this is found in all animal products, including meat and dairy. The scary example was the lab experiment using rats, which showed that a 5% level of Ceasin in the diet did not lead to cancer growth, while a 20% level actively promoted cancer. The 20% level is the average ‘western’ animal protein level. A must see film is you care about your health. 9/10

Sherlock Holmes – the second Holmes film directed by Guy Ritchie. Very good and very atmospheric, using all his trade mark slow motion style to good effect. I’m reading the complete works of Sherlock Holmes right now and was impressed by the film. 8/10

King Kong: a fistful of dollars – saving the best till last! This is my number one must see film. We ordered this from Love Film and were sucked into it. This is a documentary about the world of computer game records. This real life tale involves two competing Donkey Kong gamers, battling to be crowned world record holder.

This may not sound like a general appeal film but you will be shouting at the screen when you watch it. Very engaging characters and it got us going – and the ending is legendary! 10/10

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Film: The Boat That Rocked…

We’ve just watched a great film called The Boat That Rocked.

Great film, great soundtrack and I would recommend it to anyone into music, particularly 1960’s classic rock music!

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Film – ‘Food, inc.’

Another good film we’ve recently watched from Love Film was Food, inc. It’s basically a documentary about America’s food industry and more widely about food production in relation to large corporations.

There are a number of interesting themes in this and it is amazing how some of the types of food are produced. The methods of production, the business behind the production and the control of the world food supply are all hugely important ideas which most people just don’t consider.

One of the first concepts is the idea that the range of modern foods is somehow linked to what many people would recognise as a traditional ‘farm’. The documentary looks at the packaging associated, in particular, with meats, showing barns, grass, fields, sunshine etc. Then they show what really happens! Most animals never see a field. It’s mostly factory techniques applied to farming to produce the cheapest food, in the quickest time.

You might already have some idea about the way modern food is produced, but it’s worth seeing this film as an inspiration to change the way you perceive food and to maybe change what types of food are eaten.

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Films: ‘Harry Potter 5, 6 & 7’…

In preparation for the final installment in the Harry Potter series, we’ve been catching up on the films leading up to the final. I’d already seen No.5 (Order of the Phoenix, 2007) at the cinema but it was good to catch up again.

So, next was Half Blood Prince (2009), then the first part of the Deathly Hallows (2010). This was the best film so far in the series and I thought it’s style was the most mature, both from an acting viewpoint and style of cinematography. Emma Watson (playing Hermione Granger) had almost totally dropped her over-acting style from the previous films and Rupert Grint (playing Ron Weasley), had matured into his character.

We’re going to have to try and organise a trip to the cinema to see the final part of the series, now that we’re fully pottered up.

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