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A wasted opportunity
I never bothered to see this when it hit the cinemas as most live-action renditions of shows that were animated, or in the case of Thunderbirds, marionettes, tend to sully the memory of why we loved the show in the first place,. After seeing this on TV one evening, it appears that my boycott was justified as this movie just insults the original series.

There's no need to really go into the story here, seeing as there isn't much of one anyway, however this movie just misses the point of why the original series had such a huge fanbase. While Thunderbirds was always aimed mainly at children, turning the movie into a slap-stick kidsfest was never the way to go with this. I guess there may have been an idea to recreate the financial success of The Flintstones from 10 years earlier, despite the negative reviews.

Anyway, all of the adult Tracy family members are trapped up on the Thunderbird 5 space station, so it's left up to 3 annoying kids, (a teenage Alan Tracy, Tin-Tin and Brains' son Fermat) to save the day from psychic criminal, Hood and his 2 henchmen who take over Tracy island in an attempt to rob the worlds banks. Alan is little more than a hot-head always trying to always prove himself, Fermat is an annoying hypochondriac and Tin-Tin is a precocious smartmouth. Every fight sequence was badly choreographed and reminiscent of the 60's Batman TV series. In place of the "kapow" and "biff" words on screen, they used irritating zings and zoink noises whenever someone took a hit. The bad guys are almost always overpowered with minimal effort and it becomes clear why this movie bombed at the box office and why Gerry Anderson was vocal in condemning this movie and everything it stood for.

With the exception of Thunderbird 4 and Lady Penelope's FAB-1 Rolls Royce, all the vehicles got a sleek makeover but they still retained their main characteristics. Thunderbird 4 looked like a badly designed Capsela toy. The less said about FAB-1, Lady Penelope and Parker, the better. In any case, I don't get why they decided to play it safe and go for the live action when this could have easily been done with marionettes and fans would have applauded the faithfulness to the original source material. Team America was released in the same year and while it may have been a logistical nightmare to get everything the way they wanted, it still worked. I also can't understand why accomplished actors like Bill Paxton and Ben Kingsley would ever waste their time and perhaps even their careers in this garbage. Kids who have never seen the original series won't know what they're missing and won't care about the deviations, but fans, derisively called purists, will hate this and deservedly so

Yummy Mummies

Horrid, pointless, vomit-inducing television.
I've only managed to catch one episode of this vapid, ridiculous show and it was more than enough to convince me that there is generally very little hope left for the human race. This show about 4 absolute wastes of space just highlights everything that's wrong with people who barely have a brain cell to rub against another. but demand the best of everything and somehow manage to have the money to pay for it all.

The one episode I saw has 3 vacuous bimbos travelling to a farm in their designer shoes, handbags, dresses etc to have one of them confront her fears on cows and chickens. Apparently a cow "sprayed" her once and a chicken chased her or some such and this has apparently left her so traumatised that she can barely function in normal society away from coffee klatches and boutiques. Oh gee whiz, why not just wrap yourself in cotton wool and lock yourself away in a turret.

The fourth bimbo is apparently in her final stages of pregnancy and has decided to travel to the Gold Coast to stay at the Imperial Suite of the Palazzo Versace hotel. Despite being due in about 2 weeks and determined to give birth In Adelaide S.A, she tempts fate and travels 2000km for some kind of unnecessary photo shoot.

Not long after she gets there, her water breaks and she launches into one of these "Oh my God, Oh my god, what do I do, how can this happen, I'm at the Gold Coast of all places" panic moments. So instead of calling her gynecologist, midwife, doctor or anybody who can actually talk her through it, she calls her equally vapid mother instead.

Her husband/partner doesn't even bother to call reception, this tattoed, no-necked oaf, just stands there and when he eventually does manage to try and call concierge (and they don't answer right away), there's more bitching on the fact that they are in the Imperial Suite and their phone is not being answered, rather than her baby may be imminent. When they finally do answer, does he ask for a doctor? A taxi to the hospital? An ambulance? No. This meathead instead asks if they have any pads!!. When they inevitably say no, there's more focus on why a 5 star hotel has no pads and let's call my mother again instead.

This whole show is just too stupid for words and is nothing but a monstrous train wreck from start to finish. Before finally making it to a hospital to get checked out, there's the obligatory interview talking the viewers through what she was feeling, what she was doing and several more OMG moments on what was going to happen as if the consistent bimbo ramblings weren't self-explanatory. She apparently loves all things Versace and Burberry so there was more panic of not having all her designer baby stuff with her and there was no way she was going to accept generic hospital provided stuff as if her new born baby would have given a damn about what brand of bottle it was drinking out of.

The 'desperately trying in vain to hold on to her youth' mother, is in a panic as she needs to be there as she can somehow do what trained doctors and nurses can't, so she packs a bag of all the daughters designer clothes and Burberry baby gear. I didn't bother watching the next episode of what the outcome was as very little happened in this episode the constant spoilt whining about brand labels and no sign of common sense gave me a headache.

To be honest, I can't work out why this show even exists. While most, if not all, alleged reality TV is staged for rating success and forced entertainment value, this is just low-brow, bottom of the barrel trash that has no business being on TV and I think it's shameful that Channel 7 allows this garbage to go to air. While there's nothing wrong with designer labels or wanting designer labels, to have this as your main focus and not that you could indeed be having a baby at any moment, should instantly be grounds for rescinding your rights as a mother, if not as a human being as well.

Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County

Nothing but a junk film
I caught this on late night TV and knowing nothing about it, I decided to give it a go and watch it all the way through; but I shouldn't have bothered as this whole movie is pure garbage.

Passing itself off as found footage and therefore an alleged true account of what really happened to this family and put on TV is perhaps the first clue in realising that this is all staged. Those who are in the know, will also realise that this is a remake of a much earlier film. I guess the only thing this and its predecessor has going for it is that it predates the Blair Witch Project which is largely, (at least commercially) responsible for starting the now annoying plethora of found footage nonsense.

In this case, we have a family gathering for Thanksgiving dinner. There's the usual cheesy dialogue that's supposed to represent real family banter, one of the younger brothers who wants to film everything and generally irritate everyone at the same time, the alcoholic mother who perpetually has a drink in her hand, along with the usual prejudice when one of the sisters invites an African American man to dinner as her date. Not long into the movie the house is plunged into darkness and on suspecting a mere blown fuse, 3 brothers including the cameraman (as he has a light), go to investigate the fuse box. On getting there they find that it hasn't merely blown but looks exploded and melted. At a neighbouring farm the brothers see flashing lights and find that a power transformer is damaged and sparking. Near to this they see what appears to be a landed U.F.O and 2 strange figures walking around. One figure uses some kind of red laser on a dead cow and with the 3 bothers seemingly incapable of remaining still, quiet and whispering, they are spotted and the 2 figures/aliens start coming after them. One of the brothers is shot in the hand with a red laser. Upon returning to the house, the brothers are all panicked and not making sense, generally scaring the others, and even with the burnt hand, no one in the house believes anything they are saying. The brothers break out the guns and start securing the house, even though the rest of the family think they're just playing a prank. However as this is found footage and of course no matter what's happening, there's always one who seemingly won't put down a camera, he plays back the tape and then they all start to believe there's something to the story. At this point a high pitched squeal incapacitates everyone except the young girl.

After this they make the plan to leave and head for the truck, but find that the engine is dead and the battery is all melted. They then hatch some cockamamie plan to switch out the battery with another which will waste time instead of just either making a run for it to the nearby road or simply trying another car.

On heading back to the house they hear noises upstairs and realise that one of the aliens has gotten in so they go to confront the intruder. The youngest brother goes to his room to change his pants and comes face to face with an alien who puts him in some kind of trance and checks out his camera. The alien leaves but is then barricaded in a nearby room. He uses his red laser to try and get out and gets shot through the door by one of the brothers. They open the door and see an alien lying prostrate on the floor. The footage is sketchy at best as no one wants to move out of the way in order to get a good shot of it

After all this the 2 older brothers head back out to the truck to try and get it started. An orb makes its way into the house and puts one of the sisters into a coma. The family hear gunshots outside yet are reluctant to open the door to check it out. The "dead" alien that was left upstairs is discovered missing. Matthew, the African American boyfriend advises that his car is just outside and he will go for help. which begs the question of why they didn't check out his car when they all went outside the first time. He's never heard from again. The remaining family then venture outside where they see no signs of Matthew or the 2 older brothers. They only find their badly damaged shotguns and see glowing red lights indicating the aliens approaching. Again they all run back into the house. The camera is left on a bench facing the room and they decide to wait it out. The girl who was in a coma is now deceased and the only thing left to do is to have a meal??! So they sit around the dining table and start picking at the food. The young girl leaves the room, presumably to let the aliens in. They enter, put everyone who's left in a trance and they calmly follow the aliens out of the house never to be seen again. One of the aliens spots the camera on the bench and with a Jedi like wave of his hand, disables the camera and the saga ends.

Throughout the movie we have experts such as a police sheriff, psychologist, film makers etc, cutting in who give their opinions on what's happening in the reviewed found footage, thereby cementing this as a real life abduction caught on film and not faked. The fact is, it is faked, as was the original film that this is based on and it has been faked badly. This is not scary or creepy, it's not well done, it's not amazing, but I agree that it does have good ideas, they've just been done very badly. I simply can't accept all the 10/10 reviews on this as the family spent almost the entire time bickering and wasting time instead of just doing what they all wanted to do and that is LEAVING! If you finally agree that you're being besieged by aliens, with one of them actually being shot in your house, family members disappearing and then culminating in a family member dying, the last thing you would do is sit around and eat. You'd just make a run for it. Sitting around and waiting for them to break through a window wouldn't be an option, especially as they never bothered to try and board up any windows. The aliens have the power of space flight, lasers and mind control, but need to help of a young girl to open the front door as a wooden house and glass somehow stymies advanced beings. You don't need to look for flaws in this film as they are glaring and obvious. It's true that panicked people can end up doing some strange things and act out of character, but arguing that you need to leave only to end up staying for no good reason is not a reaction of alleged real life people. This film is garbage plain and simple and while no found footage movie has yet ever managed to convince me of its alleged validity, there are better ones out there than this.

The Spy Next Door

Painful to watch
Unfortunately I'm watching this drivel as I'm writing this review. I thought it best to get this out now while I can still manage to keep the bile down and not be sick all over the living room.

Jackie Chan must be desperate for work or something as I can't understand why someone so established as him would sign on to star in this directionless mess. In a movie that also has the "talents" of Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez, there was no way that this was ever going to be good and despite being labelled a kids movie and a comedy, I wasn't able to even crack a smile and I reject the idea that this movie is suitable for kids. It rips off so many other movies that have been done better and the former action star or tough guy turned comedian is just no longer funny. It didn't work for Vin Diesel, The Rock, Antonio Banderas, Kurt Russel, a whole host of others and it doesn't work for Jackie Chan.

Jackie is a Chinese intelligence agent working with the CIA who's planning on retiring after his latest mission. He befriends Gillian, his neighbour who's a single mother with three kids and when she has to go away to visit her father he offers to take care of the kids. All 3 kids hate him for some reason, they're all smart mouthed brats who have never been taught any manners and they set about making his life hell as he tries his best to look after them. I'm not sure why, but kids setting a trap where an adult is covered in garbage is supposed to be funny. Personally I think it just conveys the wrong message to kids that this type of thing is OK to do. So despite their efforts to send him screaming from their lives, Jackie uses his CIA technology to thwart their plans to lock him out of his own house and sneak things past him and they gradually start to respect him.

Meanwhile one of the kids downloads a file from Jackie's computer thinking that it's music or a game or something. but instead it's a file leaked from a Russian Terrorist organisation that has developed a bacteria that eats oil. This kid is supposed to be tech genius and considers advanced chemistry as light reading, but can't distinguish a coded file from an mpeg for some reason.

The head terrorist, who's just escaped from prison is made aware of the download and he sends his goons to Jackie's house to get it back. Naturally there's a well choreographed fight sequence with the typical Jackie Chan trick moves and throughout the movie after more fights, Jackie finally reveals to the kids that he's a spy after having a dangerous encounter at a Chinese restaurant. Jackie & co hide out at a hotel for safety, he calls Gillian who heads back to collect her kids and tells Jackie to hit the road and basically leave her alone.

The bungling Russian terrorists show up again for a final showdown and just like every other time, highly trained and determined terrorists are easily overpowered by one man, 3 kids and their frightened mother. The CIA shows up at the last minute to arrest them all, Jackie and Gillian get married as the kids reveal that they now love him and want him as their new daddy and we then have the obligatory post credits montage of bloopers and failed stunts.

As mentioned previously, this is just painful to watch, it isn't funny and I certainly wouldn't let my kids watch it. I know that this is marketed as a kids movie and that it's supposed to be stupid and slapstick, it not really meant to make sense, (there isn't much of a story anyway), and it's just lighthearted throwaway entertainment; but in today's world where bullying is a growing problem and the lines of discipline versus child abuse are more blurry than ever, I don't think we need any more movies marketed to children where kids are abusing their parents, abusing their carers and coming up with schemes that may appear funny on film but can be dangerous if put into practice. The Russian terrorists in this all sound like Boris & Natasha caricatures straight out of a Rocky and Bullwinkle episode. Using bad and unfunny stereotyped accents is just no longer appropriate, even for a comedy, nor is using the same tired techniques that appear in every alleged family friendly movie. You or your children won't be missing anything if you decide to not watch this poor excuse for a comedy/family film.


Nothing more than an insult to Rome
That's all I feel whenever I managed to catch an episode of this stupid show, it was little more than an insult to ancient Rome, their culture and everything that ancient Romans had to endure to just get through a single day.

Bromans is a show where 8 couples are transported back in time to live as Romans lived; the guys as gladiators and their girlfriends as dutiful handmaidens and servants to their fighting men. It's a great concept very poorly executed and labelled as reality TV. All 16 contestants don't appear to have a single brain cell among them and whether or not it's staged for the cameras, none of them seem to have any knowledge of Rome and all they know of Caesar is a salad. I'm sure that most, if not all of these contestants, wouldn't be able to even locate Rome on a map. After every challenge, characters playing a Dominus and a Doctore, meet with the Emperor to discuss which contestant is to be banished. Once they are banished they are stripped of their toga and they leave.

In the first episode we're introduced to the would be gladiators and they are advised that as gladiators, they are now considered slaves and they are to act as such, so they are stripped naked and marched into a small coliseum, there they are shackled and made to stand there while their women are brought in wearing gold bikinis to laugh at them before they are given their first test; to find bundles of clothing buried in the ground and clothe their men. Apparently viewers were horrified when one girl ends up with a few scratches from wrestling with another girl when a bag of clothes is found. I still can't work out what we're supposed to be shocked about, if getting scratched was the worst thing a Roman ever faced, it would never have become a world power.

Over the next few weeks we are then subjected to these low-foreheaded tattooed British idiots as they are put through challenge after challenge while the women get to laze around largely doing nothing except bitch and whinge whenever they have to do what Roman women used to do, like wash clothes and crush grapes and be subservient to men. Ironically if any of these women acted and spoke like these tramps do during Roman times, they'd think twice before ever opening their mouths again. The so called gladiators seem to excel in 2 things, making excuses on why they lost a challenge and hurling insults at one another.

However I can look past all the stupidity and faux gladiatorial matches, I can even look past all the half-witted attempts to showcase what actual Roman life was like, but what really got to me was that none of these idiots seemed to take anything seriously. If any of these "heroes" ever went up against actual real life gladiators, none of them would last 60 seconds. The Doctore would never have tolerated the griping and bitchiness and the constant dismal failure of people he was trying in vain to train. For these contestants it was just one long joke, even during the challenges. You would think that pulling a bunch of rejects off the streets of London and throwing them back into life 2000 years ago would be an opportunity to actually give them an insight into life at that time, but when the whole process is nothing more than an excuse to just not go to work for a few weeks and act like it's one huge bro-fest at the local pub, the supposed entertainment starts to wear a little thin and you long for them to bring on the lions, the charioteers, or anything else that would give these sods a quick and painful death. It's not surprising that the series was cancelled after only one season, with testosterone constantly running rampant and foul mouthed "ladies" clawing at each other and the equally brain-dead public largely having a more romantic view of Rome, it was a forgone conclusion that this series would be dead quicker than a Christian in the time of Nero. Lets hope this show never gets a revival.

The Hills Have Eyes

The hills may have eyes, but sadly, no brains & no purpose
This boring and cliched remake, or re-imagining or whatever they class them as these days, is nothing more than a shameless cash-grab, filled with gore for the sake of gore. Seemingly there is no originality in movie making any more and the only way to get people to watch is to fill it with any and all manner of atrocities and label it as entertainment.

The Hills have Eyes is yet another in a long line of unnecessary movies that try to convince the world that the U.S is full of inbred and radiation affected cannibals and murderers preying on countless hapless tourists and somehow successfully managing to get away with it for generations. While the 1977 version was done at a time when a story such as this was more intriguing, without the copious amounts of gore, this updated version just comes off as stupid and predictable.

Apparently from the the end of the second world war and the early 60's, there were hundreds of nuclear tests complete with the obligatory government denial about genetic defects caused by the fallout. As the movie starts we get historical footage of nuclear tests done in the pacific (nowhere near New Mexico) as well as desert tests with mock towns etc. Spliced in with this footage are random shots of deformed babies in jars and mutated limbs and you can tell that there'd be more than a few people who'd think all this is real, just like the alleged based on true event stories like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or House of 1000 Corpses and dozens of movies like them.

Movie starts with a scientific team collecting samples in an irradiated area for testing purposes and they are all killed off by an unknown, abnormally strong killer using a pick-axe. We are then introduced to the group of unsuspecting victims, a family and their 2 dogs who stop at a, (now wait for it), a gas station! Just in case you didn't see that coming; and who is it who greets them? That's right, it's the unkempt and rather odd acting attendant. Do we have mobile phone coverage? Anyone care to take a guess? Of course we don't. One of them actually mentions that there's cell coverage over 97% of the country and they're in the remaining 3%. It's amazing how often that happens.

What comes next so obvious a blind person can see it coming. Family has no idea where they really are or where they're going, the "helpful" attendant tells them about a shortcut, so of course they decide to take it and not stay on the nice sealed road, tires blow out due to a hidden spike trap, both men go off in different directions, ones finds a massive impact crater with multiple abandoned vehicles indicating that an unusual amount of people have all disappeared in the same area and no one in authority has bothered to really look for them, the other guy ends up back at the gas station and finds newspaper clippings about mysterious disappearances despite all the cars, caravans, boats etc being in the open and easily visible from the air.

The family ends up being attacked, several members are tortured and killed, the baby is kidnapped and the remainder of the movie is a random assortment of violent acts perpetrated by both sides as the remaining family members tries to stay alive long enough to get away in relatively one piece.

Overall, I just can't see why a movie like this even needs to be made or re-imagined and in my opinion, while this updated version isn't a direct scene by scene duplicate, there is nothing here that really ads to or compliments the source material. It's the same as some faceless DJ running an old pop song through a computer and "creating" a soulless dance track; you didn't do anything except suck the guts out of it. If this were an original movie, albeit based on a derivative idea, it'd probably be worse. For some reason the abandoned nuclear testing town still full of mannequin residents, cars, indoor furniture and fixtures has amazingly been hooked up to a generator so they can watch TV. While these towns were designed to simulate the real thing, having TV's that not only work, yet can also receive broadcasts sends an already unbelievable premise hurtling into absurdity.

We're being led to believe that genetically mutated and misshapen cannibals who can barely string 2 words together, can set elaborate traps, evade detection for decades, can conceive children or look after abducted children, construct working generators and working appliances all while subsisting on nothing more than human bodies. Not only is it impossible, it doesn't even work as a piece of fiction. I can see more believability in the existence of Superman, seeing as he was at least alien, than I can in radiation from nuclear testing creating a family of stunted and yet super-intelligent freaks. I get that all artistic work is inspired from something else and is therefore derivative of what came before, but I hate it when there is practically no creative input into ripping off a story that's already been done and done better and then accepting kudos for making it worse. I guess this version will appeal to fans of gore and sadly not much else.

Cop Out

A total waste of time
Having never seen this movie or read anything about it, I thought I'd give it a shot and basically I shouldn't have bothered. Unfortunately there was nothing really else on TV at the time so instead of streaming something, I chose to watch Cop Out. The show is on while I'm writing this review as I wanted to maintain the feeling of dread that this stupidity is giving me and hopefully get those of you who haven't seen it, the opportunity to just steer clear.

2 detectives, Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan are on the hunt for a rare and valuable baseball card that was stolen when it was about to sold to a sports dealer to help pay for the wedding of Willis' daughter. 2 hapless thieves end up tasing Willis from behind while Morgan is arguing on the phone outside oblivious to the goings on. The sports memorabilia store is plundered along with the rare card. They manage to track down one of the thieves who gives them the location of the person who supplies them with drugs in exchange for stolen high end sports merchandise. The drug lord is happy to give back the card on the proviso that the detectives spend their time tracking down his car, which he loves and has been stolen. All of this as well as the ensuing unrealistic situations are supposed to be funny.

The rest of what's going on doesn't seem to make much sense to me at all, probably as this is allegedly a comedy and I never smiled once, let alone did any laughing. Imagine someone trying to sing a song while jumping up and down and you'll get the idea of just how frustrating this is to watch. There's a lot of screaming, a lot of nonsense talk, lots of arguing, swearing and bitching about god knows what and not much else. The scene where they comes across one of the card thieves, Seann William Scott, breaking into a house is so utterly ridiculous I can't imagine the calibre of person who'd find any of it funny in the slightest. Willis and Morgan are about to go and arrest Scott when a mother and son suddenly arrive at the house at the same time. The mother is incapable of speaking below a shout and everything she says is laced with swearing and tough talking abuse. Rather than let the police handle it, she pulls a gun from her purse and just wants to shoot the guy as she doesn't want her hardwood floors, decorated walls or furniture damaged. The fact that no U.S cop alive would tolerate any of this crap and put her in handcuffs on the spot notwithstanding, I guess shooting the guy and letting him bleed all over everything is somehow better than a scuffed floor? Where is the comedy here?

Morgan's predilection to turn half his dialogue into a string of various movie quotes isn't funny and neither is Willis as he remains the stony-faced straight man throughout. Scott is more annoying in this film than in any other film I've seen him in, (and that's saying a lot), so much so that in every scene I wished someone would just punch him in the face. In any case, the drug dealer ends up shot, they search the body for the card, it's revealed that a bullet went right through the card rendering it useless, somebody else pays for the wedding and I wish that I had watched anything else other than this. Kevin Smith should leave the world of acting and movie making to the experts and get a job as one of those sign spinners on excessively rainy days.

Scary Movie 5

Unfunny and Unnecessary
The stupidity of movie goers never ceases to amaze me. The fact that this drivel made almost 4 times it's overall budget of 20 million is testament to just how many people are prepared to sit through garbage that tries in vain to pass itself off as comedy. I caught this last offering on TV one night, so thank God I've never spent a penny on seeing any of these at a cinema, but after 5 movies & 13 years later, I don't think I've ever cracked a smile at any part of this franchise that I've managed to see. The obvious and often infantile humour just seems to be getting worse with each subsequent travesty and yet as long as nonsense like this still manages to rake in a profit, we can almost guarantee a never ending run of sequels. We know they'll never run out of movies to do parodies of, right? In this installment, we're can see renderings of recent Planet of the Apes, Paranormal Activity. Mama, Cabin in the Woods, Evil Dead and I think there's also a segment to Fifty Shades of Grey. Why they threw that in there is anyone's guess, but then again, why they felt this needed to be made at all is actually more of a mystery. If you've seen any part of the previous 4 movies then you'll just get more lame and unfunny sight gags, toilet humour, sexual double entendre and hackneyed slapstick, so you may as well throw any and all expectations of getting a laugh, (even a cheap one), out the window Personally I've never found parody comedies to be funny as it doesn't require any talent when ALL of your source material is somebody else's work. For me, these movies would have been funnier had they only used elements of pop culture, instead of relying on celebrity cameos or a character constantly being confused and eye-rolling in nearly every scene. Hopefully the negative reaction to #5 will mean that there won't be a #6 unless they decide to reboot the series, (rebooting seems to be the rage these days) but knowing the way the movie world tends to work, there's enough idiotic fans of this so-called humour to keep it going, regardless if it makes a profit or not, so there's something we can all look forward to.

Friends: The One with the Girl Who Hits Joey
Episode 15, Season 5

Perhaps one of my most hated episodes
There are 3 separate stories running concurrently throughout this episode and every one of them is a dud.

Firstly Ross has just moved into his new apartment and hasn't even had time to settle in before the head of the tenants committee comes knocking and informs Ross about the retirement of the Handyman who's been working in the building for 25 years so everyone is apparently chipping in $100 and Ross is expected to just follow suit. Naturally he balks at the idea and this makes Ross a pariah with the rest of the tenants. As if this wasn't bad enough, none of his so called friends is willing to back him on this issue and instead it's suggested he just give in. Seriously? None of this is funny and I think the fact he was even asked is the height of rudeness. For some reason it's supposed to be funny for Ross to throw his own "partay" where he intends to sit everyone down and point out his principals. Really? The whole segment just really got under my skin.

Secondly Joey is dating a girl who's into this whole ridiculous playful hitting/punching thing that girls sometimes do. In this instance, the punches are not really playful, they're painful blows that are landing in the one spot on Joey's arm or shoulder and of course it hurts. So not only is joey made fun of by the group, as soon as this girl does the same thing with Rachel, she realises that these punches do indeed hurt and Rachel ends up kicking her in the shin. After Joey refuses to do anything about it, the relationship effectively ends as the girl walks out. I never got the whole punching thing and why it was ever considered funny. I always thought it was a stupid storyline. Joey feeling the need to wear 6 sweaters at the one time for protective padding is also not funny, it's dumb.

Thirdly we have Chandler acting more immature than usual in that he feels Monica has "baby fever" and starts to distance himself from the whole "pressure cooker" as he calls it and they end up fighting. He approaches Monica with the idea of "tell me what to do, I'll do it and you'll think I'm all cute again". It's stupid, it's not funny and while we can agree that Chandler may not be the most mature man, this episode just paints him as nothing more than a child. The funniest thing in the whole segment is when Chandler runs in to the apartment desperately seeking Monica and she's sitting in plain view the whole time. The scene really isn't that funny but it's the only part in the episode that I could at least smile at. Monica referring to Ross simply as "two divorces" is really a low act and perhaps my most hated line in this episode.

The whole episode is just dull and badly written from start to finish. None of the storylines make any sense and while comedies generally take situations to the extreme in order to make them funny, this just takes generally annoying sets of circumstances and desperately tries to make them funny. It tries too hard to be funny and it never ceased to amaze me how this supposedly close-knit group of friends never really supported each other. With friends like these you won't need enemies.

Mulberry St

Ok but not without its flaws
Mulberry Street is your stock standard rat virus that turns people into bloodthirsty idiots movie. Movie starts off a little slow as it introduces the random assortment of characters whose lives are all intertwined by living in a crumbling old New York apartment building. The opening sequence has flashes of rats scampering through pipes, sewers and subways and then focusing their attention on the human world above.

Through random news broadcasts we get the story of people on the subway getting bitten by rats and this leads to the shutdown of the subway system and then the gradual quarantine of manhattan. The first we see of the outcome of these infected rat bites is when the aforementioned apartment building super, finds what he thinks is a dead and almost dessicated rat that somehow springs back to life and still has enough strength to bite into his arm. A while later he finds himself growing extra hair and generally feeling uneasy as he starts to transition from poor excuse for a building super into an even poorer excuse for a rat-man.

More news broadcasts tell us that the rat bites are spreading and the city hospitals etc are being overrun. Before too long, the city streets become a free-for-all as law and order starts to break down and rat infected people start to randomly attack people, first on the street and then by breaking into homes and anywhere where people are taking refuge. Initially the authorities downplay the increase in rat bites saying that hundreds of people are bitten by rats in New York every day, however they don't start to mutate and kill people.

Most of the movie centers around the small apartment block and the survivors holed up in their rooms trying to stay quiet and alive and wait for the military to start operations to sweep the city and rescue them. These recently mutated people have excellent hearing and insatiable appetites and unlike other movies in this genre, they won't just eat humans, we also see cats and other pets being grabbed and killed as anything is considered as food.

By the end heavily armed soldiers in biohazard suits storm the buildings one by one and kill anyone who's infected and take into isolation any survivor. From there the movie just ends once most of the main cast has been killed and only a couple of residents who made it to the roof of the building end up being saved.

As mentioned, the movie is not without its flaws. Most of the action takes place at night and as this was done on a budget, the filming is of the shaky hand-held camera kind. While this isn't a found footage movie, it plays like it's being filmed in front of an on scene camera crew, with all the running, fighting and horror scenes ending up as a blurry mess of action and with all the darkness and shadows you're hard pressed to work out what exactly is going on. In addition there's no real indication of what started the whole rat plague and there is no ending and no outcome. We have no idea if New York is now a no-go hot zone or if the whole island will need to be fumigated once all humans have been removed as there is no reason to assume the plague will fix itself. There is some indication that the plague/virus may have been deliberately generated as the movie focuses on the fact that lower manhattan is due for redevelopment and the apartment building at the centre of this film has been acquired and all tenants were due to make their respective apartments available for rent re-evaluation, however if most people are dead or relocated out of fear of spreading the virus, then development can proceed unhindered. That's at least what I took from this, of course I could be wrong, and unless they come out with a sequel I'm sticking to it.

Murder at My Door

Predictable, garbage movie
The story of the dysfunctional family has been done to death, but this movie takes dysfunction to the point of insanity. Recovering alcoholic husband, one son, Joey, who died in a fire, recent death of grandma and another son, Teddy, in this case played by Johnny Galecki, who's recently been thrown out of school and is a little more unhinged than people would like.

The constant on and off family arguments aside, Teddy's mental balance is put to the test when his grandmother dies as he believes that she was the only one who "got him". Meanwhile, young blonde girls are being picked off and left in grisly, almost artistic poses reminiscent of the "art" created by Teddy. The mother, played by Judith Light, still grieving after the loss of her son and then her mother, just wants to put a silver lining on everything and refuses to accept what's happening around her. How the police investigating this rather obvious mess, didn't pick Teddy up in about five minutes is anyone's guess

Teddy moves into his Grandmother's house as that's the only place he felt welcome and from there just withdraws further from reality. He takes his girlfriend there, goes all Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde on her, the house catches fire, she runs off screaming and Teddy, on seeing images of his grandmother and happier times, ignores his mother's pleas, walks into the burning house and kills himself; but not before informing her that it wasn't her dead son, Joey, that started the previous fire, it was in fact Teddy himself.

The movie is just terrible from start to finish, it's like going to a mystery murder party, finding out the killer in the first 2 minutes and then just sitting around uncomfortably looking for anything else to do. I have no idea why they keep using Judith Light as an actress in anything as she is a horrid, wooden actress, who just can't act to save her life. There's no great story here and there's no real reason to watch it. As the movie progresses you can literally predict with pinpoint accuracy what was going to happen and when you can do this with any movie then it's obvious it doesn't need to be watched.

Accidental Switch

Totally ridiculous & completely unrealistic
No matter how stupid the premise is of these tele-movies, they just keep churning them out, formulating these nonsensical plots and filling them with ham actors. This is really a dumb movie from start to finish.

This roller-coaster ride of stupidity starts when our "star", Jennifer, and the antagonist, Connor, picks up each others bags at the airport by mistake. Yes it can still happen as apparently human beings still haven't realised that they manufacture multiple copies of the same styles of luggage, and a black bag is in no way unique. Anyway, once they both realise their mistake, you'd think it'd be a relatively easy process of just swapping the bags over but then we wouldn't have the rest of this train wreck to look forward to. As such, Jennifer is contacted by Connor and he talks a little "weird" for her liking so instead of meeting up with him, she arranges for the airport to pick up his bag so she doesn't have to deal with it, and that ladies and gentlemen is the only common sense thing in this whole stupid plot.

At some point the airport picks up the bag, however Connor still believes that Jennifer has it and in order to get the bag back he kidnaps her daughter Katey while pretending to deliver flowers and holds her for ransom until he gets his bag back. The rest of the movie has Connor turning into a poor man's Jigsaw, masterminding these games by having Jennifer run all over the city to various places, needing to find a hidden mobile phone all within a certain timeframe or Katey dies. The 2 detectives that Jennifer talks to are nothing more than a pair of bungling idiots who at first don't believe her story about bag switching but when Jennifer's ex-husband is killed by Connor, she's now prime suspect so this untrained and desperate woman is running all over town to places she's never been AND successfully managing to avoid a city wide police search for her all at the same time. Also a woman carrying a handbag, and a suitcase can somehow still outrun and outmanoeuvre trained police.

Through all this, Connor's bag he's so desperately after is patiently waiting for him at the airport. A single call to them and the problem solves itself, so this overly elaborate scheme with kidnapping, disposable phones, and getting Jennifer to prove how she can follow instructions need not have happened at all. Eventually Jennifer and Connor come face to face at Niagara Falls, where Jennifer is waiting with a fake bag in exchange for her daughter. Connor finds out the bag is fake, but can't do anything about it as the Detectives show up, shoot him, he goes over the falls and we all get to have a Merry Christmas.

It turns out there was 50 Million in fake bonds hidden in the lining of the bag. How that managed to get through airport security, especially these days is anyone's guess but if we get bogged down in details then there's no point in watching movies ever again. But one the biggest plot holes in the history of stupid movies is, if you know that there's that much illegal cash & bonds hidden in your suitcase, wouldn't you make doubly sure that you had the right bag BEFORE you took it off the carousel and left with it? Wouldn't you want to grab it first before someone else does and have some unique way of identifying it as yours? I can tolerate some stupidity in movies for the sake of propelling the story along in the name of entertainment, but when a movie is foolish from the get-go and the ensuing events seem to be made up on the spot without any real sense of continuity then there's no point in watching and it is with this. Give it a miss.

The Windmill Massacre

A little silly, but fairly decent overall
Set in the Netherlands, this is another tale where having a chequered past will certainly catch up with you one way or another. An Australian woman posing as a nanny and hiding from the authorities is discovered for having a fake name and history yet before she can be arrested, she manages to board a tour bus headed out to the Dutch countryside on a windmill tour. Among them are several other passengers, notably a British soldier who recently killed a local prostitute. Among them is a Japanese tourist, a photographer, a father & son and a doctor.

During the tour, the bus breaks down near an old windmill and from then on it's a tale of revealed secrets and almost ritual killings for those who choose to live with their secrets instead of repenting. After the breakdown, 2 people, the Australian nanny and the British soldier, try and see if they can get help from a nearby farmhouse and while they were out, a demonic looking figure appears, kills one of them with a scythe, leaving the other to run back to the bus to tell the others. Of course no one believes her, the bus then starts to topple sideways into a nearby lake with the help of a demonic hand and now with everybody off the bus and taking shelter in a nearby cabin, one by one the passengers start having flashbacks to their hidden thoughts and secrets and dying in strange and unconventional ways. They'd start to hallucinate about what they're hiding and the demon would then kill them, however it's then discovered that if they repent and are genuinely sorry for what they've done, the demon is not able to kill them. It's not until this happens that we learn the driver of the bus is in cahoots with the demon as he kills anyone who manages to get a reprieve through repenting. We also learn that the miller who originally lived at the windmill was a devil worshipper and became a demon after he was burned alive by local villagers.

At the end, the bus driver is back in Amsterdam and picking up another load of passengers or "sinners" as he refers to them jovially as well as literally for another windmill tour and you realise that this will never really end.

The Windmill Massacre story albeit interesting and entertaining certainly isn't new as there's a ton of other movies where we have a vengeful demon collecting the souls of sinners for their own needs and the use of idiot human helpers never ceases to amuse me. There's never a shortage of people all too willing to help out demons who for reasons largely unknown all seem to come with a set of rules and caveats for things that they can't accomplish on their own. So while that aspect is quite silly and never fully explained, this is still worth a look and lovers of demonic revenge movies will no doubt get a kick out of this.

Dinocroc vs. Supergator

So bad it's not even funny
Incomprehensible plot, bad effects, negligible acting and cheesy dialogue is what you'll find in this ham-hocked monster movie. Dinocroc vs Supergator may be a hark back to the big bug/monster movies of the 50's & 60's but instead of a subtle nod of acceptance to these prior movies it's nothing but a big middle finger to both them and the viewer.

Drake Industries, headed by none other than Kung-Fu master himself, David Carradine, has set up shop in Hawaii to initially try and cure world hunger by growing monster sized food. The success of this has somehow dictated that they now try the same process on live animals, so instead of choosing something that won't go crazy and kill everybody, like a rabbit or a puppy, they use 2 animals that'll kill you regardless of their size, a crocodile and an alligator.

Of course these things decide to go nuts, escape their pens and proceed to eat everybody they come across. The scientist in charge of this dirty little secret calls back to Carradine, who seems to be suffering from "single location syndrome", and advises him of the chaos so he arranges for a crack team of commandos to fly in and quell whatever is going on there. No sooner do these incompetent idiots land, murder a surviving scientist and shoot aimlessly at CGI monsters, they're all eaten anyway. So they then recruit a game hunter called The Cajun of all things, to go in and do what a professional and fully equipped team was supposed to do but couldn't.

In any event, after these things escape and eat their way through half of Hawaii, their solution is to get both of these monsters together as they are apparently natural enemies and let them kill each other. Here is where we actually get to see Dinocroc vs Supergator for all of 5 minutes before one gets killed off camera and the other is blown up by humans and we all live happily ever after.

Interestingly not many people who appear in this last long enough to get annoying as no sooner are they introduced, they're killed off, so there's no time for any character development, as if that was ever going to happen in this anyway. I guess the funniest part of this is during a guided tour of the stars one woman keeps harassing the tour guide about the location of Elvis' bungalow so when she gets eaten it's a thank God for that moment.

There's now enough of these nonsense movies - Sharktopus - Dinoshark - Piranhaconda - Megashark et al to keep most aficionados of horrendously bad movies salivating for years. I still don't fully understand why the giant sized crocodile suddenly had prehistoric spines running down it's back or why the Alligator was suddenly bipedal. There are a number of moments where this borrows heavily from Jurassic Park from Supergator chasing after an escaping vehicle to when they make roaring sounds. And seeing Dinocroc "galloping" along while chasing another vehicle is a scene I don't think I'll forget any time soon. I'm still not sure on the practicality of growing food the equivalent size of a 2-storey building; how do you cultivate it, ship it, distribute it and so forth. Curing world hunger is great but not if you can't get it into a pot. This movie is a huge lemon and not because David Carradine decided to hormone the crap out of it, it's just a horribly bad movie that should never have been made.

The Void

Great low-budget 80's style horror
Had no real idea what to expect when I picked this up, my decision was based almost solely on the cover and the small synopsis on the back, the same way we used to choose movies back in the day. Well I'm glad I did as this was a very pleasant surprise and although it doesn't break any new ground, it was refreshing to see a new horror done in an old style and still manage to work.

The setting is a largely abandoned hospital that has recently suffered a major fire. A highway patrolman finds a man, a drug addict, lying in the road and takes him to the hospital for treatment. The hospital is now only run by a skeleton staff of one doctor, 2 nurses and an intern. There are only a handful of patients. Not long after arriving the police officer notices one of the nurses killing one of the patients and seemingly under some kind of hypnotic state as she has removed the skin from her face. After she lunges at the officer with a pair of scissors, she's shot and killed. A state trooper who was already on the way investigating a previous murder relieves the officer of his gun.

Somehow the nurse has reanimated and transformed into a grotesque creature killing the trooper. Meanwhile hooded figures have surrounded the hospital not allowing anyone to leave. 2 armed men show up wanting to get their hands on the man who was recently brought in as he apparently has knowledge of what's going on and they believe he's responsible. With communications between the occupants and the outside world cut and the place surrounded, the small group find themselves in a twisted nightmare and a fight for survival as the mystery of what's going on gets more and more complicated until it's revealed that the doctor has been experimenting on reanimation and has instead found a way to transform people believing that they are a higher and more advanced form of life.

The doctor has managed to impregnate one of the patients and the remaining nurse, (ex-wife of the police officer) in an attempt to recover his lost daughter. The police officer, 2 gun-men and the addict venture down into he lower levels to locate the missing nurse and find themselves hallucinating. It's at this point the movie gets a little hard to follow as you don't always know what's real and what isn't. In any event, the doctor, who was actually killed earlier has since brought himself back to life and with all his skin removed and using a hidden sub-basement area for his experiments has been able to open a portal into another dimension which represents itself as a "plains of hell" complete with black pyramids. The pregnant patient gives birth to a full sized creature which is supposed to be the reincarnation of the doctors daughter. The police officer who is now wounded and near death anyway, grapples with the doctor and they plunge through the portal and into hell. He then reunites with his ex-wife as they stand holding hands at the base of a huge black pyramid.

The movie certainly has a familiar feel to it but that doesn't make it any less fun to watch. Anyone who's seen Re- animator, HellRaiser, From Beyond, John Carpenters - The Thing or even movies such as Xtro will find similarities in The Void, and it's clear that the creators of this have deliberately made it that way as they are obvious fans of trashy creature/gore films. The budget in this certainly wasn't high enough to produce the effects to the same quality as huge production features, so instead they opted for low-light more atmospheric shots, where limitations in design were not going to distract the viewer from the overall effect of what they were trying to achieve. It's sad this this only had a limited run in a handful of cinemas as people have really missed out on seeing what can be done using old-school special effects that still hold up today if you know what you're doing and not rely solely on CGI.

Scarecrow Gone Wild

Don't be fooled by the title
I really wish this lame series of alleged horror at the hands of a rather sad looking scarecrow would come to a definite end, as each additional sequel has seemingly less budget, less story and less reason for existing.

Movie starts with some girl running frantically through a corn field, getting herself lost in the process and ends up with a sliced throat for her trouble. She's lucky that's all she got as usually running through corn like that would normally cut you to pieces, but whatever.

We then switch to a college campus where freshmen are being hazed by jerk wads in the shower block. Coach comes in yells at them for hazing, they promise not to do it and as soon as his back is turned they do it anyway, however this time they decide to pile these guys into the back of a truck and drive them to a haunted corn field. One of the guys being hazed is a diabetic but no one knows this yet and in a rage, he lashes out and accidentally punches one of the girls in the face. He gets lashed to the scarecrow, doused in beer and ends up in a coma. At some stage, the scarecrow uses this guys life-force or something to come back to life and proceeds to kill the remaining freshmen who were left in the cornfield to fend for themselves.

The scarecrow then sets off to find the rest of the college fools and their girlfriends who have all gone to the beach while schools out. Forget what you see in the title; this has nothing to do with the scarecrow crashing Spring Break and randomly killing naked college girls. Nor does the scarecrow "terrorise" a resort town. This isn't even Spring Break, it's one carload of idiots who go to the beach to play volleyball for a day. Somehow the scarecrow has tracked them down and naturally one by one begins picking them off. A couple of them soon realise that the scarecrow is somehow linked to their comatose friend, who's now in a local hospital, and they have to try and wake him up in order to sever the link. In the end, during yet another fight for life, the scarecrow transfers into another college student, impales itself on a nearby crucifix, credits roll and movie then ends up in the bin.

I wouldn't have minded this so much if it actually bothered to make any sense at all but every person and virtually every scene is so goddamned moronic! As a side note, the trailer for this movie is far better than the movie itself. I already knew that I was never going to care for anyone who got killed, but the one thing I was hoping for was that the scarecrow would do his murderous job and just get it over with. There's no suspense and every single death is practically broadcasted before it happens. I still don't know how you can be the only person on a stretch of beach and lose sight of your friends who are on the same beach; they're the only ones there, are you all short-sighted? Also after the scarecrow has managed to easily disembowel one of the guys without making a sound, the girl who stands there screaming gets caught and dragged along the beach, towards the rest of the group I might add, screaming all the way until she gets her head crushed under a rock; yet no one else sees or hears anything. The group is being whittled down and no one seems to notice, interestingly no one even bothers to go looking either. In another stupid scene the scarecrow in driving a truck right towards another one of the girls but instead of, oh I don't know, jumping out of the way, running, hiding or anything a normal person would do, she just stands there screaming her head off. When will these girls learn that screaming at something is pointless? What was the scarecrow going to do? Oh no, she's screaming at me, I better stop the truck and listen to NPR instead" I guess this may have been fun to make for the people involved, but just like home movies, the only people who'd enjoy watching it, are those who were in it. Give this a miss.


Identified as garbage
This will be as brief and as succinct as I can in telling you that this is a complete waste of time.

Annoyingly this starts out OK, man driving along on a lonely country road, has car trouble and then encounters something other-worldly and is abducted. Investigative reporters from a small time paper/magazine are dispatched to question all those involved, including a local radar station, some teens, and the alleged abductee himself. Needless to say, no one ends up talking which piques the interest of the editor into believing that there's more to the story, so he sends them back out to keep digging.

From there this movie takes a very awkward nosedive from a remotely interesting, yet albeit low budget alien abduction story complete with obligatory visits from the unseen "men- in-black", to a preachy, bible-thumping rap across the proverbial knuckles by trying to tell us that ALL close encounters are nothing more than satanic and/or demonic tricks designed to turn people away from God.

So the story in a nutshell is, if you believe in aliens, abductions and all of the trappings that comes with it, you're on a one-way ticket to hell and there's naught you can do about it, so you may as well repent now you lustful, wicked, alien-loving sinners! I can accept that this was going to be low-budget and that the acting, dialogue, effects and overall story were going to be fairly run-of-the-mill and maybe unintentionally hilarious, but to then use it as a vehicle to spread a religious message, which is inaccurate anyway, is setting yourself up for a huge fail. Avoid this.

The Road

Not a bad entry to the apocalyptic genre
Overall, The Road is not a bad film, and rather than focusing on the actual apocalyptic event, which is never truly revealed, this is more about the daily survival in the years that follow and a father who just wants to live long enough to give his son the best chance of surviving the future.

In the near future, the world experiences some kind of cataclysmic event, whether it be a nuclear war, asteroid or the eruption of a super volcano, the devastation is global and mankind is allegedly on the brink of extinction. The movie, (nor the book I believe), goes into any detail on what the event was. Also in keeping with the book, there are no names, so the father, son, mother and secondary characters, are known only as "the man", "the boy", "the woman" and so on. The son, is all of 10 years old and by way of flashback scenes we learn that he was born soon after the event, so from that we can assume that it's approximately 10 years since the world as we know it came to an end.

The father and son are venturing towards the southern east coast of the U.S, pushing a shopping trolley with all they have left, in the hope that it'll be warmer and they can somehow be safer. On their way, there are run-ins with various characters, while maintaining their distrust of anyone and avoiding large groups who are predominantly cannibalistic. There is a scene in an old country mansion where barely alive people are being kept in the basement as food for later. The man however, unlocks the hatch to the basement allowing the starving prisoners to turn the tables on their cannibal jailers. The man and boy take shelter in any abandoned building they find, old banks, houses, churches etc. Even a forgotten underground bunker, completely stocked with food. Things like money & jewels etc no longer have any value as food, clothing & shelter now take priority.

We learn through more flashbacks, that the woman ended up abandoning her family either because she lost all hope or to give her husband and son a fighting chance, but she ventures out into the wild, never to be seen again. This makes the man all the more desperate to do what he can to ensure his son's survival before he eventually dies.

After reaching the coast, the father dies, probably due to a combination of general ill health, malnutrition and sheer exhaustion and the boy encounters a family who they admit have been following them. They allow the boy to become part of their family and the film ends.

The Road is a deliberately bleak and hopeless kind of film. There's no hidden valley overflowing with milk and honey where everybody lives happily ever after. The Road presents us with the distinct possibility that despite all the best efforts & intentions, there is no happily ever after; it's only prolonging the inevitable. The movie is fairly faithful to the book and there appears to have been a lot of work done to find locations appropriate to film, so many of the abandoned buildings and ruined areas are actually real places that have been left to decay over time.

My main concern with this is the unlikeliness of it all and the glaring inconsistencies with what would realistically happen if there was a global catastrophic event that wipes out most of the human race. While no one can say with 100% certainty on what would happen, in a world with no animals, no insects and no plant life; human life would be more than likely extinct within the 10 year time-frame of such an event occurring. The ground is unstable and we learn that there is literally no life left in the forests as trees often fall under their own weight and crumble on impact. If this were the case, every tree would have fallen by now and the land would be flat. There would be no fields of dried out grass, and no dead leaves still on trees. Bands of humans subsisting on human meat for the last 10 years would unlikely still have all their teeth or full use of their limbs or be strong enough to chase people, operate firearms, drive trucks etc. If they haven't already succumbed to the various infections that comes along with eating the "wrong" human parts, eating humans that are already half-dying simply won't give you the calories required for continued existence. It was a nice touch for the man to locate a can of Coke in an old vending machine, but the idea of it still being audibly carbonated or even being bubbly, is ridiculous. A can left at room temperature for years would not even be drinkable, it'd most likely be rancid, if it hadn't all leaked out already.

Another thing that irritates me with practically ALL post apocalyptic movies is the number of people that are encountered. If events were taking place only months after global devastation, then one could accept the large numbers of people still hunting for food and trying to hold on to survival, but taking into account the number of years that has passed, the man and boy would virtually see no one, given that they are deliberately avoiding large cities and towns. This would see them on their own for nearly the entire journey. The family the boy meets up with at the end makes even less sense. There's a man, woman, 2 kids and a dog! What the hell have these remarkably healthy looking people been eating all this time and what have they been feeding the dog? It just doesn't add up. It might make for an almost hopeful ending, but unless they have a never-ending supply of concealed food, then their very existence is questionable. A little more attention to detail & this would've been great.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Not bad, but not great either.
They keep trying and somehow failing to get certain iconic characters just right. Whether it be Superman, Batman, X-men and now Spider- man, they love churning out various incarnations of all these characters, but they seem to let personal artistic flair or license get in the way of just telling a simple straightforward story while staying faithful to the source material.

I get that Spider-man Homecoming wanted to re-shift the focus away from the grandiose city levelling action we've come accustomed to in prior Marvel outings, and this was more about a teenager, struggling to come to grips with his new-found powers, his responsibilities of crime fighting and realising he still has a lot of growing up to do, but if they took all the best parts of the last 5 or 6 Spider-man movies, we wouldn't have an Amazing Spider-man, we'd have a Spectacular Spider- man instead.

Of the things I'm thankful for in Homecoming, was that we did not have to sit through yet another origin story of Peter being bitten by a spider and realising "hey I'm a kid with powers, let's go and fight crime", instead of what would really happen; "Hey I have powers, I'm going to do the stuff I've always wanted to, get revenge on everyone who wronged me and live like a god". Other elements I'm thankful for, were some of the action scenes with The Vulture, the way the Vulture was developed, Peter's first crush with Liz Allen, the team ups with Iron Man and the light-hearted humour. But for me there was still a whole lot lacking in this that makes Spider-Man the hero he's supposed to be.

We know that Marvel did a deal with Sony to have the rights to incorporate Spider-Man into the MCU and as a part-time Avenger and that for continuity purposes they re-work many of the character backgrounds to fit the premise in live action films, but there is so much that they either left out or deliberately ignored altogether. I never knew Spider-Man to have a tech suit designed by Tony Stark complete with a head-up display or detachable remote spider drone that somehow fits snugly into a fabric suit. The whole idea was that Peter Parker was supposed to develop his suit, his web shooters & the web fluid all by himself. This version would have us believe that without Tony Stark there'd never be a Spider-Man wearing anything else other than a make-shift blue and red tracksuit.

Other things that bugged me in this was that Spider-Man has no Spider-sense, how is he supposed to be able to see danger coming before it happens? DOes he have to rely on Stark tech for that too? Flash Thompson; Peter Parker's high school nemesis, was supposed to be a bully and also a jock, not a persnickety and sarcastic member of the "Mathletes" or whatever they were. He was supposed to make Peter's life hell at school, not just mildly annoy him with jibes. Why this character was re-tooled is beyond me. I certainly can't see this nothing guy be successful at being Agent Venom. Aunt May played by Marisa Tomei is far too young and not the right fit to portray the ageing good-natured retiree that Peter's Aunt is supposed to be. The depiction of secondary villains, Shocker and Scorpion are lame perhaps what I'd expect from a haphazard DC movie like Suicide Squad, (where villains rarely resemble who they're supposed to be) and not from a big budget and usually well arranged Marvel movie.

Homecoming is certainly enjoyable and a fun ride, but if you're a massive fan expecting to finally see Spider-Man how he's supposed to be, then you're going to see this as a disappointment. Anybody else will most likely love this as a decent addition to the MCU.

Sin City

Incredibly stupid, needlessly violent & childishly executed.
I first saw this when it first hit cinemas and only after I caught this again on late night TV, that remembered just how stupid Sin City really is.

I'm not going to waste time by reiterating what it's all about as there are over 1500 reviews for that, so this is me simply weighing in on how dumb I feel this is.

I get that this is taken from a comic book and this is supposed to be a faithful adaptation done in a film noir style but all that was running through my mind was just how pointless this entire movie is. What surprises me is just how many good actors signed up for this nonsense. Everything is in black and white except for the occasional colour splash by way of red shoes, red Cadillac, blue eyes, blonde hair etc etc. I never got the excessive violence and I've never really been a fan of vigilante justice movies. Violence itself doesn't bother me, but I'm not watching a horror movie here and there's more torture and gore in this than most horrors I've seen.

Every male in this is designed as a mouth- breathing, blood-crazed waste of space and all the females are nothing more than scantily clad gun-toting, knife wielding whores. Practically everybody carries guns or some kind of concealed weapon, cops are worse than useless and virtually no one is ever held accountable for their actions. Cops pull people over for a broken tail light but no one cares about mass murder. I suppose that I'd be considered as unenlightened for hating such a one dimensional piece of crap like this and this review will be deliberately considered as unhelpful out of spite, but even with the unrelenting scenes of violence and indiscriminate killing strewn through the whole movie, it makes for a very boring experience and the ongoing narration of people's thoughts gets tiresome. The one star I gave this is apt for such a dumb movie.


Not sure what this is, but it's not The Hulk
I first saw this when it first hit cinemas, and I've seen it several times since, either on DVD or shown on TV and each time I view it, I'm none the wiser on where this gets off on calling itself The Hulk.

On reading some other reviews, apparently I'm supposed to fall in love with this as for a superhero movie, Ang Lee has attempted (and summarily succeeded I guess), to make this more cerebral and provide an alternate take on what The Hulk is supposed to be about. Personally I think that idea failed dismally. There's nothing cerebral about this, and if they wanted to make a more structured superhero movie then I'm all for it, but when it's done at the expense of the character itself, how am I supposed to enjoy it when all the life has been sucked out of it?

There are more than enough reviews outlining the movie and what happens, but nevertheless - THIS IS NOT THE HULK. It's not the Incredible Hulk, Savage Hulk or even The Sensational She-Hulk! OK it may actually have the Hulk in it, as well as one of his long time adversaries, General "Thunderbolt" Ross, and Bruce Banner's girl, Betty Ross, but aside from the central characters, there is little else in this that resembles such an iconic figure. Putting all the same characters into an episode of The Young and The Restless, won't suddenly make that The Hulk either and so it is with this.

I don't get the Nick Nolte character in this as Bruce's father, David Banner, nor do I get the bastardized origin story where the Hulk gene has been transferred to Bruce through conception, and the extra dose of Gamma radiation he ends up receiving at his lab is what finally tips the scales towards "anger equals Hulk".

I get that this could've been yet another mindless, one dimensional and hollow superhero movie where the Hulk just smashes every "puny human" he comes across and is little more than a rage-a-holic, but there is no semblance in this that honours the characters' origins. The movie is way too long, has outdated CGI (even for 2003), and what in God's name was the deal with the Hulk dogs? David Banner experiments on his own dogs by exposing them to Gamma Radiation and sets them on The Hulk. Naturally The Hulk wins and the each dog explodes in a cloud of green smoke. I never got the significance of the entire scene and the effects were incredibly poor. The dogs looked fake, they weren't menacing and the scene just added unnecessary padding to an already overblown production. I would've preferred The Hulk to fight an actual villain from the comics, not this rubbish.

David Banner then exposes himself to the same radiation and turns himself into a poor man's version of Absorbing Man where, as the name suggests, he can absorb whatever material he touches and then use that as a weapon. This power seems to be more of a side-effect to his experiment, rather than a deliberate result, and I had read that early drafts of this movie were supposed to have Absorbing Man as a villain, so I guess this was their way of ignoring the character completely, while still using his abilities. Next we get David Banner eating into a high power cable and in absorbing all the power, he becomes a high energy being reminiscent of a proper Hulk villain known as Zzzax, however Zzzax never had human origins and again this is another poor attempt to just ignore a good villain while still pilfering his powers and using them elsewhere. The ending is the most convoluted part of this whole misadventure where father and son are fighting each other under a lake. David Banner somehow manages to freeze the lake (maybe this is now his Hydro-man persona or something), thereby trapping the Hulk. The military blows up the lake, and they think he's dead, however he survives and he's absconded to South America to fight the rebels and give medical aid to local peasants.

The 5.7 rating at the time of this review is, in my opinion, substantially generous. Regardless of how much money this made at the box office, the fact that it has been re- tooled or re-imagined twice with different actors indicates that ultimately the portrayal of the character failed to impress. Having said that, I certainly don't blame Eric Bana or his performance in this. I like him as an actor and he did his best with the material, but the 3 key points for ANY superhero movie to at least work with most audiences is - do justice to the character - don't screw up with the villains - and stay as close as you can to the source material. It's not advanced physics, it's a movie. How this managed to turn out so badly and yet have people defend it as being "cerebral" is an insult to over 50 years of Hulk comic history.

The Mummy

A fun, cool ride
This is a fresh take on the whole mummy genre with much better effects than the Brendan Fraser movies, some genuinely creepy scenes and decent action.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Tom Cruise & Jake Johnson play Nick Morton & Chris Vail and are soldiers of fortune/relic hunters on a mission to locate hidden artefacts to sell on the black market. After stealing a map from a hotel one night stand, Jenny Halsey, they end up in Mesopotamia or modern day Iraq and a local town full of insurgents. After being detected, shot at and running for their lives, they call in an airstrike which accidentally uncovers a lost Egyptian tomb. As the location of the tomb is hundreds of miles from where it should be, they all descend into the tomb and uncover a lost sarcophagus of an Egyptian princess, Ahmanet, who was allegedly erased from history. During this time, Chris is bitten by camel spiders and becomes feverish; despite them not being venomous.

At the same time, British workers digging a new underground rail tunnel, break through into an old crusaders tomb from the 12th century and it is revealed that these knights are from the 2nd crusade and the invasion of Egypt, so it is believed that there'll be a number of stolen items buried with them.

The sarcophagus from Iraq is transported back to the UK on a C17 and while en-route Chris apparently dies from his bites, is reanimated and stabs the commanding officer and attacks the rest of the crew. The C17 encounters engine trouble and further problems occur when an unnatural murder of crows disables the plane bringing it down in a field adjacent to an old abbey. Jenny Survives after Nick puts a parachute on her and she's ejected from the plane.

As it was Nick who released the princess from her prison in Iraq, she has chosen him to be her vessel for the reincarnation of Set, the god of death. Due to this, even though everyone left on the plane died in the crash, Nick is brought back to life and wakes up while still at the morgue.

As Nick is spiritually connected to Ahmanet, she convinces him to come back to the Abbey where Ahmanet has killed and reanimated a number of rescue workers and crash site officials into an army of undead helpers. We find out that that next to the abbey is a reliquary where the ceremonial blade of Set was hidden, however the red jewel that makes it work was not kept with the dagger as this was buried separately in the old crusaders tomb back in London.

From here on, it's a roller coaster ride of trying to stay alive while at the same time, not have Ahmanet get her hands on the jewel, sacrifice Nick to reincarnate Set and bring about the end of creation. In order to keep Ahmanet from succeeding, Nick kills himself with the blade which results in Set possessing his body. Unfortunately after Nick sees Jenny laying dead from being killed by Ahmanet, He regains temporary control of his body, kills Ahmanet and uses his new powers to resurrect Jenny.

When we next see Nick he has again teamed up with and newly resurrected Chris and they are back on the hunt for other relics and adventure.

I've read other reviews on this that have crucified this for not having any story or plot, good acting or effects, but considering that this is primarily a horror movie, and that practically ALL mummy movies, going all the way back to the black and white era, are inherently silly in the extreme, to expect anything other than a simple plot and pedestrian formula is equally silly in my opinion. I thought Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe did a good job with the material they had to work with and Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet/Mummy did a great job. The Mummy is certainly a check your brain at the door kind of movie but this is a fun ride from start to finish. The fight scene at the reliquary between Nick and the reanimated horde had me in stitches and the resurrected crusader knights in the London tomb was done quite well; especially the underwater scenes. Don't go in expecting Shakespeare and you'll enjoy this.

Wonder Woman

A decent addition to the DC universe
If you're prepared to go in with an open mind and not expect this to right all the wrongs with the recent DC movies, or compare it to the MCU, then this is worth seeing. Considering the constant conjecture that Wonder Woman was even going to get her own movie and that production on this was in the pipeline for years, the end result is a fairly good movie.

As for much of the naysaying, a lot of reviews seem to be focusing on the plot holes, (of which there are a few), and the implausibility of what WW gets up to and what she does, but even with that, it doesn't make for a bad movie in any way. Yes there are the usual comparisons with Captain America; they're both set during world wars, albeit WW is set in WW1 and CA set in WW2, The Germans in WW1 weren't Nazis just FYI. And yes WW's costume is very American-esque and heavily Stars & Stripes oriented, but keep in mind, the character was invented in 1941 and is a truly American inspired character created during a time in history when symbolism was rife and necessary for both sides, so don't hate the movie just because you don't understand the reasons behind something. Also, WW, like many original superheroes, has undergone a dramatic metamorphosis during the bronze, gold, silver and modern age of comics, so her origins, outfit, abilities etc have also altered, so trying to fit all of this into a 2 hour movie & have it all make sense to the uninitiated is virtually impossible. At one point in history, WW was as strong as Superman, so jumping across gorges and punching through stone was not uncommon for her. As for the feminist undertones in the movie, women from the early feminist movement were used as inspiration for this character, so it's obvious that's going to show through.

With that out of the way, to the movie itself; the idea of having this done as a flashback was a good idea, seeing as the live action character had already been introduced, Diana receives her old WW1 photo from Bruce Wayne which triggers her memories& from that we get the origin back story. The movie is enjoyable with several fight sequences done in a mix of reality and CGI effects, along with that slow motion technique being used more and more in movies. You get a flurry of activity and then a sudden slow-mo mid action sequence and then more flurry. If you hate that kind of thing, then you'll hate this as it's in every action segment. Some people love it, others don't. I don't care either way. The action sequence of WW running the German lines across No Mans Land, when the allied advance was in stalemate is perhaps one of the best parts of the movie. Yes it's unrealistic for German machine gunners to only target her shield (that's too small to really protect her), but it's not enough to make me hate this or the mythos of comic books made into movies.

Personally I thing Gal Gadot was well cast in the role, for the look if nothing else. I wasn't expecting Othello or Henry the V, so again, if that's what you're after, you'll hate this. I like Chris Pine who plays Steve Trevor, but thought that he was miscast in this. I couldn't help but feel that I was watching him just being Captain Kirk in this as well; always has to be right, disobeys orders and generally flies by the seat of his pants. For WW1 it's a bit unrealistic. I also didn't get the recruitment of his crack team of commandos who came with him for his incursion through enemy lines as they ended up being worse than useless. He may as well have brought along a team of cheerleaders for all the good they did. But these are all minor annoyances for me and didn't result in me taking my eyes off the screen.

This all brings me to the underlying issue, which is the lack of any defined antagonist and under-utilising of the ones there are. First we have the Germans, who in the dying stages of the war are preparing to negotiate an armistice to end hostilities and one officer who is circumventing all this by developing a secret weapon to tip the scales along with the aid of an actual WW villain, Doctor Poison. I felt that the Germans were just throwaway villains and didn't really add much to the fight. Secondly we have another WW villain, Ares, god of war. It turns out that he's ultimately responsible for WW1 and the manipulation of the efforts to drag the war on and on, however the fight between him and WW at the end felt a bit sloppy and haphazard, and the CGI effects seemed rather lazy when compared to the rest of the movie. The ending ruined it for me and I likened it to someone running out of time to clean a room, so all the dust is swept under the rug. It just felt rushed and the underlying message is that the real enemy here is war itself, so with all the Germans hugging each other after Ares is vanquished and the war essentially over, it's a very syrupy ending.

Personally I think this is still worth a look, it's perhaps not worthy of the hype that's being generated by "finally" having a female superhero. I don't get the desire of "needing" a woman with superpowers. WW has existed for almost 80 years, plus there's a ton of literary female figures that can empower, so if all it takes is a comic book heroine to provide your empowerment, you never really needed it. It's a good movie, with good effects for the most part. It's enjoyable, funny in parts and sets it up nicely for the Justice League movie.

La horde

Not a bad addition to the zombie family.
Generally I'm not really a fan of subtitled horror movies, as I find reading the text just detracts from the experience, but this French film isn't bad as far as modern zombie outings go.

A group of detectives descend on a run down and almost deserted apartment block situated on the outskirts of the city to avenge the capture and subsequent murder of one of their team by a group of Nigerian led drug dealers. Naturally the operation goes pear shaped and they all end up captured with some of them critically injured while some of the drug gang are killed.

Meanwhile 2 members of the gang are on look out downstairs when they hear strange noises off in the darkness and they become worried for their safety when a dog runs off into the dark, yelps in pain followed by silence. The 2 gang bangers run back into the building and barricade themselves in. In the distance they then see and hear explosions and buildings on fire. By this time the gang upstairs has killed one of the injured detectives and shot another in the leg. However the recently killed detective, along with the dead gang members in the corridor outside have somehow come back to life and are ready to sink their teeth into anyone they get hold of. Amidst all the arguing, screaming and posturing, they've also now managed to notice the devastation of the city off in the distance and "the horde" of zombies milling around outside. As both groups now have severely diminished numbers, an uneasy alliance is created with the sole purpose of finding a way out alive.

As the group makes their way to ground level, they encounter pockets of zombies that were either deceased gang members, cops or recently killed residents. There are some pretty inventive fight scenes, one in particular that takes place in a kitchen between the female detective and a female zombie. Clearly punching and kicking a zombie will only upset it more and I think this is the first zombie death by way of - crushed under refrigerator.

The group finally come across an old world War two veteran resident and a TV broadcast in his apartment tells us of a virus outbreak and a city that's now at war with itself and is spreading. The small group with the war vet now in tow, locate a cache of weapons owned by another resident who's also a gun nut and they decide to head to the lower levels to try and get out via the basement.

As the group is either picked off or sacrificed to buy the others time to flee, they're eventually reduced to only three left. The war vet buys the remaining two even more time using what looks like an old 50 calibre machine gun to create a bottleneck of dead zombies in a narrow corridor, followed by a grenade detonation. It's perhaps the best scene in the movie.

The movie ends with the female detective and one Nigerian making it to the outside where it's now daylight. She then kills him for all the ensuing nonsense that he's largely responsible for as the sounds of The Horde get louder in the distance. The screen fades to black so the fate of the detective remains unknown.

Overall this isn't too bad. It's relatively low budget but they don't seem to have squandered the budget where it wasn't necessary. There's certainly nothing new that hasn't been done before in countless other zombie films but it's still an enjoyable entrant to the genre. My only beef with this was the constant arguing and puffery that seems to go hand in hand with almost all of these movies. Everybody claims to have the right way of doing something and the only way they can get their point across is by waving a gun in someone's face. Fighting your way outside never made much sense to me anyway, considering that's where 99% of the zombies are coming from, what was the plan once they hit ground level? You can't run forever. In any case if you're a fan of blood crazed zombies and/or foreign films this is still worth a look.

Beautiful People

Derivative garbage!
Maybe I'm only one of a select few who's watched this nonsense all the way through, but all I've managed to accomplish is to waste my time.

Movie starts with 3 low-lifes forcing a husband and wife to have sex while their teenage daughter is forced to watch. Apparently this is some kind of sick test for married couples to show their "true love" for each other. When the couple fail to satisfy the head thug, they are slaughtered and the daughter has her neck broken. I can see why people are switching off.

On their second home invasion attempt, they unwittingly choose the house of a doctor involved in human experimentation. The doctor is turning people into zombies at the behest of a clandestine government agency. When the 3 psychos start terrorising this new family, the zombies lurking downstairs in a sealed off part of the house start making noise which makes the invaders suspicious so of course one decides to investigate and thankfully he's killed for his trouble. Needless to say, the other zombies manage to escape their confines and venture out into the house and then outside randomly killing everyone they come across.

At this point you think that this will end up as stock standard fare of people endlessly running for their lives, but when the doctors wife and the youngest of the 3 invading sadists end up almost exhausted from running and fighting, they decide to rest at a rocky shore along a river bank. Despite being wounded, for some reason this loser decides to then rape the debilitated wife who's too out of it to successfully fight him off and after he's done, he smashes her face in with a rock. So she manages to survive a forest full of bloodthirsty undead only to be murdered by a useless waste of life for no apparent reason. After he's done he stumbles off and from memory we don't see him after that.

The film ends by showing a government SWAT team that's turned up at the doctors house where the youngest son is the only one to have survived. However as he hasn't been bitten and is not infected, they no longer need him so he's taken back to the house and executed. It's all these random, meaningless acts of unrestricted violence against people that can't defend themselves that stop a movie like this from being seen as entertainment.

An epilogue in a style reminiscent of the updated Dawn of the Dead or 28 Days Later movies by way of news reports and real life flash footage we see the zombies rapidly infecting all they come across and the country being overrun with armed forces fighting a losing battle with their increasing numbers causing widespread panic.

Beautiful People has stolen heavily from almost every other horror and zombie movie made in the last 30 years. As you watch this you can mentally tick off movie after movie that this garbage borrows heavily from. The Undead look like like left-overs from Resident Evil or Hellraiser. The acting is so poor it's laughable and from what I've read it was done this way so they could focus more of their attention on "story" and "effects". God knows how you can focus on a story that's plagiarised from every other movie, that's why they call it plagiarism; it requires none of your own talent when you copy another's work. There's a difference between influence and outright theft. This whole thing looks like a hamfisted mish- mash of unfinished scripts that have been salvaged out of the recycling bin, and that's where this should've stayed. This is a terrible movie and simply not worth watching.

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