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A lovely, complex film
Diane is a young, promiscuous trainee stockbroker, who leads a life that is not unhappy, but is rather empty of meaningful human connection. This is shown in her flippancy towards her friend's upcoming wedding, and her lack of a relationship with her mother.

She receives a sunflower with a blank card, but soon forgets about it. She discovers another blank card in her bag, which she left in the church during her friend's wedding ceremony. After missing the ferry to the reception, she is offered a lift by a friendly seaman in his tug boat. He gives her drugged tea, however, and she wakes up in a strange harem, surrounded by Arabic women and children.

What follows is a brief mental breakdown after wandering in the desert, and being found by the sheikh's falcon. She eventually accepts her fate, and when she does finally meet the sheikh, Salim, she realises he has been watching her for some time, and that she has no real qualms about sleeping with him. He does not share her cavalier attitude towards sex, however. He is a man who is trying to reconcile his Arabic roots with his need to embrace the Western World. This is a complex desire, and his relationship with Diane is equally complex, for it is based upon obsessive love on his side, and conflicting emotions of love and loneliness on hers.

This film has beautiful cinematography, and a hauntingly lovely Middle Eastern themed score. The two go hand in hand to create a film which is atmospheric and lasting in ones memory.

The performances of Ben Kingsley as Salim and Nastassja Kinski as Diane, are both very powerful and subtle. Some have said that Ben Kingsley comes off as dull, but I can not disagree more. He conveys every emotion with his usual subtle brilliance. It is not necessary for him to try and convey his emotions with excessive energy. This is a man who is silently torn by his loyalty to his culture and responsibilities, and his desire for what he knows is unobtainable for a man in his position. Nastassja Kinski gives one of her best performances, and shows Diane's slow emotional maturity, and gradual acceptance and understanding of both herself and Salim. Their chemistry is excellent, because it is genuine and natural. It is sensual and languid, much like the film itself, which is why most people would not enjoy it.

This film requires a large amount of patience in order to truly appreciate its development. It is also not for those who wish to have conclusive answers at the end of the film. The film requires an audience or viewer who is content to interpret its ending as they will. The film's ending while tragic and open, is the only one that it could realistically have.

Harem is very much in the same vein as 9 1/2 Weeks and Wild Orchard, with its distinctive mood and non-linear plot. It does not have the hectic sex scenes of these films, but it has the same sort of message: the examination of loneliness, the realisation of a quiet kind of melancholy which can rule ones life without one realising it, and finally the discovery of another person who is also lonely and unaware of their melancholic existence. Whether or not the connection with this other person is lasting, positive or destructive remains to be seen.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Absolutely brilliant
I know that a lot of people will say that Kristen Stewart can't act, and that although the movie was suitably dark, it was uneven. Well, I completely disagree. The movie was brilliant from start to finish.

The way in which the tired old fairytale of Snow White was re-imagined, was a stroke of genius. Having the huntsman and Snow White form such a meaningful bond, despite most people probably denying what I'm about to say next, did not enter into most people's mind's. Most people thought that like Mirror Mirror, SWATH was going to keep it simple and stick with Snow White being saved by the prince, despite the title's obvious implications.

The film also showed why it had to be the huntsman, and not the prince, who saved Snow White, by displaying the difference in maturity between the two male leads. The huntsman is embittered by the loss of his wife, but is awakened by Snow White's innocence and spirit, essentially he and she come alive in the world together. The prince, although very talented with a bow and good at heart, has not suffered tragedy like the huntsman or Snow White, and his love for her is based on her beauty and their shared history, not a communion of souls and hearts like her and the huntsman's love.

Continuing upon the strain of the huntsman and Snow White's love, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth's chemistry was phenomenal. There was no awkwardness or hesitation in their acting out of the development of their emotional journey together. Every time he touched her, especially in the scene where he shows her how to kill someone with a knife, there was awesome electricity. Their kiss was lovely and gentle, and meaningful, which made her waking up because of it make more sense than if she had woken up from the prince's kiss.

Charlize Theron is magnificent as the main villain of the film, and basically steals every scene she is in. Her performance is not stilted by what is expected in the traditional portrayal of the queen. She seems to take everything that the queen is expected to possess in the fairytale, and mix it in with the ambitions and fear of aging of a modern woman. She is every bit the deliciously wicked, wonderfully frightening sorceress that she should be.

I can not say enough about this film, but I will stop myself from writing a book length review and say one last thing: GO AND SEE THIS FILM, BECAUSE BELIEVE ME, THERE WILL BE A SEQUEL.

Easy Virtue

Biel and Firth steal the show
This film was a wonderful surprise. I usually don't particularly enjoy Biel because I've only ever seen her in films like Stealth and Next, which were both quite terrible. To be perfectly honest I only rented the film because it was based on a play by Noel Coward, whose work I adore. I was ready to be mildly pleased and somewhat saved by Firth and Scott Thomas. I was absolutely delighted when Biel's portrayal of the American female race car driver who has a somewhat shady past was witty, strong and extremely likable. It would be silly to say that Biel does not normally look very attractive; but in this film she looked beautiful and graceful in her evening gowns and fitted trousers.

Firth is as dashing and gorgeous as ever as the laconic father who is silently suffering the harrowing memories of the First World War, and his repressive wife and malicious and empty headed daughters. He provides Biel with the perfect support system, making her performance stand out even more with his perfect comic and dramatic timing. Their chemistry is electric and makes Biel and Barnes' pairing looking rather dull and badly matched. The scene in which he and Biel dance passionately to Latin music during a rigid and contrived Christmas party at the family mausoleum, otherwise known as the family cottage, is definitely my favourite part and the best display of their chemistry.

Overall the film is witty, wonderful and surprisingly deep. Some may feel disappointed, but I feel that this is one of Noel Coward's best works. It seamlessly shows the unhappiness, secrets, suffering and hypocrisy of the outwardly wealthy but inwardly bankrupt upper class British aristocracy; the doomed pairing of two people who are well acquainted strangers who think they are in love; and the pairing of two people who should have been together all along and finally are.

Tales from the Crypt: Easel Kill Ya
Episode 8, Season 3

I love Tim Roth
Although Tales from The Crypt was always a rather cheesy show, and spawned some B grade movies; I always enjoyed it. But I especially enjoyed this episode because Tim Roth is in the leading role.

The episodes script is slightly thin and a bit dull, but somehow he still manages to be an interesting character; and show the good and bad within himself in half an hour. He's also able to be convincing as an artist, and not look completely unrealistic when he is actually shown painting, unlike many actors who just end up looking uncomfortable.

As always Tim Roth shines and saves something that would have been rather lame if a less skilled actor had been cast as Jack. It is true that the twist is rather predictable, and that you don't really feel shocked or even sorry for Jack at the end; but you do feel that you haven't completely wasted your time watching this episode.

Desire Under the Elms

The Price Paid For Forbidden Passion
Eugene 'O Neil's Desire Under The Elms is both beautifully written and darkly executed. The character of Eben is deftly handled by Anthony Perkins. He plays the character with a wonderful sort of power which expresses both his bitterness towards his cruel father; and the intense love he feels for his stepmother in a smooth flow of facial expressions and skillfully said dialogue. The beautiful, seductive and tortured role of Anna is wonderfully played by Sophia Loren, who does not let the fact that English is her second language mar her performance. The scenes between these two young stars is steamy, passionate and sensitive. Their short lived happiness is set to a lush score which shows the lightness of their hearts. But suddenly the winter turns to spring once more, and Anna gives birth to a son. The child wedges a gap between Eben and Anna, and making Burl Ive's character even more cruel and foolish. But the most powerful scene in the film is when Anna admits to Eben that she has killed the baby to prove to him that she loves Eben more than their child. The film ends with Burl Ives being truly alone as Anna and Eben drive off with the sheriff to be hung for the infanticide.

The X Files: Home
Episode 2, Season 4

Sick, but brilliant
The subject of incest is one that is truly disturbing. The practice of it is very rare now a days and can only be found in extremely isolated areas where few people live. In "Home" the corn grows high, the sun is bright and little boys play baseball in corn fields. But, excluded from this perfect, safe life is the Peacock farm. The home of three brothers-and their mother who is suppose to have been dead for ten years; but is really living under her sons' bed. The Peacock family has practiced incest for roughly three generations, and now the gene pool has become so corrupted that it has produced three individuals so grotesque that they look like monsters. The entire atmosphere of the episode is disturbing; from the scene is which their mother is giving birth to her son's child, to the part where the three inbred men beat both the sheriff and his wife to death with hand made baseball bats. What also makes this episode singular and memorable is the fact that is was completely independent of the main plot of The X-Files. There were no extra-terrestrials, and not even a glimpse of The Cigarette Smoking Man. The end of the episode is both unsettling and a clear sign that the time of the Peacock family is over.

My Bloody Valentine

Very Gory
This film is the classic slasher horror which has enough fake blood and guts to make Jason Vorhees squeamish. From the way in which the killer dispatches his victims to his miners garb, it all makes for a thoroughly creepy and bloody experience. Although you see a woman full frontal for at least ten or fifteen minutes of the film, and the main characters are so insipid you don't really care if they die; Jensen Ackles makes it all worth while because he's so gorgeous and actually is the best actor in the film (which doesn't take much). The throw back to the horrors of the 70s and 80s are very apparent here. But while many will criticize this film for it's somewhat predictable ending, this movie really is very enjoyable and good for a Saturday night in.


Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp are wonderful
This film is one of those that you can watch many times and still find delight in. Although it is a sweet tale that bears chocolate treats and a lovely message, it also shows the power of healing and settling down into a life filled with love. Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp's characters are both outcasts from society in their own right, each one too different and vibrant to fit into the mundane mold of society. Through their friendship love is born, and through Juliette Binoche's friendship with Judy Dench another love and comfort is also supplied. Each one of the characters in this story are rich and wonderful, whether they are a repressed wife who steals and is then released from her emotional bonds, or young boy who draws beautifully and has an over-protective yet loving mother. The entire film carries the message of love, hope and new beginnings and what can be made from those new beginnings. It also carries another message: You change the tribe, and the tribe changes you.

Batman Forever

Is This Vegas or Gotham City?
Imagine a director who has made the exploration of mans' darkness into an art, decides to bring the darkest comic book ever written to the silver screen. He creates a city that holds only shadows and hopelessness, a populace who is weak and greedy. And finally he takes the coldest and most haunted super hero ever illustrated and brings him to live in dark blue lighting and a cold, unwelcoming mansion that holds the secrets of his duality. This is what happened in Batman and Batman Returns. So you may wonder why this visionary director was replaced by a man who obviously has a precarious sexuality, and no idea of the motives behind either Batman's actions or the city which he protects. Instead of a city that is bathed in shadow and silhouette, he has created a shining metropolis that resembles the flashing glitter of Vegas. There are no shadows to be seen in this city, only beige sunlight in the day and glowing bronze light in the night. Bruce Wayne is no longer the brooding man who is selfish, cold and yet still strangely honourable with a head of raven hair and dark, soulful eyes; now he has been transformed into a blonde haired, light eyed individual who calls people "Ed" for short. Even the once forbidding citadel which Bruce Wayne dwells in has become bright and Edwardian, possessing nothing of the abode which Batman exists in but sees ghosts of his childhood everywhere in. Even Alfred, his faithful and wise butler, has been given stupid, inconsequential dialogue; making his character seem trivial and arbitrary. Then we come to Nicole Kidman's portrayal of Dr. Chase. She is sexy, blonde and not at all right in this role. Here we should see a woman who is, although beautiful and sexy, far more dark and possessing of her own duality. Her appearance should have not been so overtly Victoria Secrets, and more cool and Gothic. She should also not act like a love sick school girl who's in love with the school's star quarterback; but a woman who is strong and seductive in her desire for the tormented hero. Then there are the two villains, who's appearance and characters are totally cliché. The Riddler should not be some stand up comedian who is trying to make a joke out of every situation, but rather more like a junkie who has little contact with the world and has greasy hair and bad skin, because after all he is a geek. Joel also doesn't explore Edward's obsession with Bruce enough, causing you to forget this obsession through the course of the film. It is also ridiculous that the mind device which The Riddler builds looks like a giant blender filled with rock salt. Then there is Two Face, a character who is suppose to be haunted and completely devout of all emotion. But here he is made a dancing buffoon who laughs needlessly and refers to himself as us. Surely if he truly possessed a split personality he would only refer to himself as me, for most individuals who have a split personality are unaware of it. His two floozies are also completely unnecessary, because surely if he were so scarred and emotionless then he would seek no female companionship. His goons also look like they're wearing gay bondage outfits, when they should be just as dark and twisted as Harvey. And then finally there is Robin who we all despise and feel is the worse sidekick ever created. Somehow Joel manages to rise above all this and make Robin so unbearable that you feel physically sick every time he just stands in the room. The way in which his parents die is tragic and needless, and this should make Robin into a festering time bomb who hates Batman and is so obsessed with murdering Two Face that normal living is impossible for him. In the scene after Robin takes the Batmobile (which is so plastic and lit up that it reminds me of a Christmas tree) for a joyride, Batman should be screaming at Robin and on the edge of physical violence for putting his entire secret in jeopardy. Robin should also be shouting, displaying the fury he feels towards Batman; and telling him that he will be his partner because it will be the key to him killing Two Face. But the biggest joke of all in this film is the Batcave, which has lost all of its secrecy and darkness. The room in which Batman's suits are displayed look like an Armani suit shop and all of his cool equipment from the last two films have been turned into something that looks like cheap Hi- Fi equipment. Overall this film is a joke, a sad reminder that Batman had to wait almost a decade until he was truly brought back to life.

From Hell

What A Film
This film is wonderful. It's so powerful dark and brilliant. Johnny Depp is absolutely magical and enthralling as Inspector Abelaine. The mood of the film is so excellent and contributes greatly to the content of the film. Some will say that too much poetic license was used, but analyzing this movie is boring and stupid. The casting is superb, the sets wonderfully authentic and the costumes a colourful array representing the 19th century. Heather Graham gives one of her only good and solid performances as Mary Kelly. It is a simply masterfully executed film with twist and turns, and the thrilling execution of a well trained butcher.


Good Film
This isn't the best anti-war/ Vietnam film that I've watched, but it's a good solid effort that keeps you entertained and holds your attention for an hour and a half. The cast gives good steady performances with the exception of the actress who plays Sutherland's mother, her character comes across as weak and vaguely vacant. Robert Downey Jr is brilliant as usual, with comic yet tragic and self destructive portrayal of Ralph. Keifer Sutherland is gentle and romantic in his role, a perfect match for Downey's dysfunctional eccentricities. The scene in which Downey takes two LSD tablets then has a seizure is very powerful, especially after Ryder's tremulous speech at her graduation. The film's end is satisfying and manages not to be over the top or sappy, but rather a good emotional moment with a powerful end voice over from Sutherland.

Lethal Weapon 2

What a thin plot
Riggs and Murtough are back but the magic of the first film has disintegrated. The story line is just awful! I mean really, South African diplomats smuggling the mythical Krugerrands into the U.S. It's just painful! And the accents are absolutely abysmal! Can no one get an Afrikaans South African accent right? Or will we forever hear the British or Americans making them sound like drunken Hollanders? The only guy who got the Afrikaans accent right was Tim Robbins in Catch A Fire. Another thing about this movie that i disliked was when Danny Glover so artlessly describes an Afrikaans accent as being shitty! I mean what a slap in the face to the Afrikaans. There's also enough hypocrisy in this film to make me vomit. I mean Mel Gibson's character is like so against the diplomats but then sleeps with their P.A. type! Don't waste your time watching this rubbish non-researched film. If you want to see a film that doesn't completely insult a cultural group then rent Die Hard 2.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Who The Heck Has That Much Blood In Their Body?
The Nightmare on Elm Street films are low budget, sick and vaguely funny but still total cult classics. No one else could be Freddy but England, he's the reason the films work. The story line in this film is very original though, because the idea of your nightmares affecting you in the real world was unexplored before this film. The effects in this film also show that people were far easier to please in the twentieth century than now. The horror scenes in the movie are mostly impossible, especially the part where Johnny Depp dies and like a fountain of blood comes out of him. But overall this movie is extremely entertaining, and something to remember the eighties by.


OK so the guy kills 81 people, BUT IT'S STILL AWESOME
This must be one of my favourite bad action films. With Arnold as the completely focused, determined and not to mention jacked Colonel John Matrix. He uses so many guns and other weaponry that you lose count. You should think him cold blooded at how easily he kills people, but so what he's killing the bad guys. The humour is also completely cheesy yet you find yourself thinking 'good one'. It's also really convenient that the feisty air hostess he teams up with (Rae Dawn Chong) doesn't run screaming in the opposite direction and can also fly a plane really well. The villains also have bad accents, dress in a suspiciously feminine way and definitely don't look fit enough be an ex commando. But hey as long as there's all the above, you know you're getting your moneys worth with this one.

Gospel of Deceit

Double Cringe
I watched this movie last week sometime and had the biggest laugh i've had in a long while. The plot of the film is pretty dumb and convoluted in a badly crafted way. The only plus to be found anywhere in the film are Corey Savier's impressive abs. Alexandra Paul (i think that's her name) is horrendous as the preacher's wife who has a history of depression. Ted McKenzie is gross and his character's a twit on top of it all. And as if the fact that you think she's having sex with her son isn't enough, they throw in needless sax solos at every opportunity! The end and climax of this film is absolutely abysmal and also laughable. I mean who the hell wants to carry the child of a con who tried to make you think he was your son and that you were having an incestuous relationship with him!

Hannibal Rising

Dark and Disturbing
This film is excellent even though it is very disturbing to most. Gaspar Ulliel is wonderfully creepy as the young Hannibal Lecter who becomes a brilliant doctor but is consumed by the obsession with revenge for the atrocious death of his younger sister. Li Gong is lovely as his aunt who teaches him the ways of the Japanese, but can not accept his truly monstrous nature in the end. Dominic West is marvellous as the Inspector who knows from the very beginning that Hannibal's nature is one of a cold blooded killer. The entire film is filmed in a dark grayish colour which adds an even more ominous tone to the movie. The book is wonderfully adapted here and the authenticity is awesome.

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

A Fitting End To An Epic Adventure
This magical series of films which chronicled the ascent of Luke Skywalker from a boy living in the desert with his aunt and uncle, to a great Jedi Master who is even more powerful than his father, captured my imagination as a child. Return Of The Jedi provides those faithful to the films with closure and also a glimpse of a magical film that finished with the brilliance of it predecessors. The special effects of this film are astounding, proving that the movies only improved in this aspect. The beginning of the movie is spellbinding from Luke's attempt to play a mind trick upon Jabba The Hut to their escape from the monster in the desert. The romantic connection between Princess Laie and Han Solo is realized at last, and also adds special meaning to the film. Overall this movie is superb, flawlessly showcasing the genius of George Lucas.

The Doors

Like being on lsd
Jim Morrison is a very mysterious figure who is intertwined in the 60's so completely that it's almost as if he couldn't live part that era. This film is extremely sycadelic and makes one realise how much of a problem living actually was for him. He had so many addictions and so much confusion that it was the end of him when it came down to it. His songs were poetic, strange and brilliant but beyond the comprehension of most. Fame devoured him, and this movie gives a very good depiction of this. His performances are unlike any one since, and perhaps this is for the best because some one as volatile and magical as Jim Morrison is not meant for this life.


Although this film is condemned by many, I find that it is far more poetic than the 1999 version. It is a grand and dramatic adaptation of Cleopatra's somewhat tragic life. Elizabeth Taylor is beautiful and seductive as the last Egyptian Pharoah, even with her excessive amount of eye make up. Rex Harrison is, as always, outstanding and speaks the very poetic dialogue as if he is voicing his own thoughts. Richard Burton is brilliant as the tragic Roman General who lives in Julius Caeser's shadow, and is slowly destroyed by the demanding love of Cleopatra. Roddy McDowell is awesomely captivating as the ambitious and extraordinarily intelligent Octavian who single handedly brings about the dethroning of Cleopatra and the death of her son, Caeserian, her and lover, Marc Antony. The film is VERY long and anyone who could not sit through a film of medium length must not attempt this movie. The costumes and sets of this movie are masterful, creating a very colourful ancient world.

The Gunrunner

Okay, so this movie is not wonderful but it's very entertaining. Kevin Costner looks absolutely gorgeous in this film, and his acting is pretty strong and convincing. The leading lady is suitably older than him, and also experienced looking. She gives one the feeling of an early 20th century lady of the night turned business woman, even though she has an 80's perm. The costumes are authentic and the film's locations are quite sexy and set the mood well. The death of his brother is quite corny, and I wanted Robert to stay kidnapped because he was jerk. The dialogue is b grade however and the plot is average. Overall this movie is worth a look, and is good for a night in.

The Shining

A film made good by Lack Nicholson
Although Stanley Kubrik is a brilliant director, he took Stephen King's masterpiece and reduced it to a horror film with good cinematography and one good performance. In the novel the main character is a good man with many personal demons, but The Overlook Hotel is the entity which is evil and influences the main character. In the movie Stanley Kubrik makes it look like Nicholson's character is evil from the very beginning and that the hotel has hardly anything to do with his madness. Another problem with the film is that the role of the wife is horribly miscast. In the book she is desperate to protect her son and terrified by the transformation in her husband. In the film she comes across as some idiot wielding a knife, and is neither capable enough of protecting herself or her son. The ending of the movie is completely wrong, and conveys none of the sacrifice he finally commits at the end of the novel. Substituting the main character blowing up the Overlook and himself with Nicholson freezing to death in the maze was hardly right, and left me completely unsatisfied.

Torchwood: Captain Jack Harkness
Episode 12, Season 1

A Very Powerful and Memorable episode
This episode is one of my favourite of the first season. It displays

human emotion very well and the performances of the actors back the script up very well. I do have to admit that I wasn't expecting the

kiss between the two Captain Jack Harknesses, but this moment actually made the episode more powerful for me. The kiss was so passionate and lovely, that it made me understand the emotions of the characters in this episode even more. The storyline gave a good depiction of regret, love and sorrow without being overbearing or too much for the viewer. It also showed the prejudice and prosecution that the Japanese suffered at this time. The set and costume design for this episode were also great.


A gritty and truthful film
Jane Fonda plays a prostitute in New York, who is trying to quit being a prostitute and become a model and actress. Her and Donald Sutherland's paths cross when he wants to ask her questions about the disappearance of a man he has been hired to find. A twisted web of lies and deceit, as well as murder, unfold when John Klute (Donald Sutherland) tries to uncover the truth in the underworld of a city that is ugly and veiled by sex and drugs. Jane Fonda's performance is

wonderful, the fact that I didn't expect her in this role, and that she handled it so well, impressed me even more. Donald Sutherland is the anchor of the film though, and provides such a powerful performance as the determined and tender John Klute that it is easy to understand why the films called 'Klute'. This is definitely one of the best 70's thrillers I've seen.


Good Steve McQueen flick
Bullit is a good film, granted not as good as Dirty Harry maybe, but pretty close. The story line is well thought out, developed and executed with many great performances from the main and supporting cast. It has the classic chase scenes of the era, with McQueen burning rubber around every corner and over every incline in San Francisco. The cars ar wonderful, the wardrobes bad and the score extremely sixties with the usual jam session sounding jazz being used in every possible gap. I also have to say that I really didn't expect a lot of the developments in this film and that I was pleasantly surprised in many parts because of the somewhat original plot twists or devices used. I would recommend this movie to all those who are a fan of such action thrillers as Dirty Harry and Point Black, because Steve McQueen delivers that same kind of one minded determination in this film as Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin deliver in their movies.

Ask Any Girl

a lovely innocently sexual film
This is one my favourite early Shirley Mc Claine films which didn't really tap her enormous acting talents, but gave the viewer a pleasant look at her comic talent. David Niven is the star of this film and is wonderful as the uptight, sexually oblivious brother of Shirley's love interest, who is of course a complete womanizer and twit. This movie also explores the different personalities of woman and how men react to them and vise versa. Rod Taylor also makes a good and memorable cameo

in the role of Shirley's boyfriend. The soundtrack is nothing special but is forgotten in the wake of the zany events of this film. I definitely recommend this movie to all lovers of predictable and sweet romantic comedies.

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