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National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Brilliant movie but not as good as the original
No Sean Bean. Difficult to re introduce his character but he is a quality actor and i missed his acting talents in this.

Some amazing scenes in the original namely the stealing of the declaration of independence. Really fast paced and full of suspense and thrills. That's not to say the sequel didn't have any of that.

Some of the scenes in the sequel felt like they were missing something. I felt like i wanted more out of the 'undercover' moments such as in Buckingham Palace, the White House and the kidnapping of the president.

It also lacked in bad guy chase scenes.

Although the final scene in this was funny it was probably one scene too much.

However i don't dislike this movie at all. I enjoyed it very much but i guess it would always have been hard to better the original.

The Bourne Ultimatum

As with the Bourne Supremacy, the Bourne Ultimatum is tarnished by shoddy direction
Paul Greengrass seems to have been the principle contributor in the disappointing Bourne follow up the Bourne Supremacy. However having got off to a poor start he has managed to step up his act in the Bourne Ultimatum which upon first viewing manages to engage audiences. However despite this, I can't help but feel that with Doug Liman as director the film could have gone a lot further.

I have to comment on the poor camera work. I'm still not convinced that Greengrass' style is the way forward for the Bourne Ultimatum to work. It does have the feel of being very fast paced but it not what I believe to be the most effective in producing a really good Bourne film.

The other problem with the Bourne Ultimatum is that it feels like a check list of places to film. London, New York, Madrid, Morocco etc. It seems to be a case of just continuing the chase and just having different parts of the world to add to its effect.

Much of it feels like a re-run of the Bourne Supremacy and after the first viewing the effect of the Bourne Ultimatum is lost.

The ability of the Bourne Supremacy and the Bourne Ultimatum to go on to better things has been hampered by the poor direction. That's not to say that this movie did not entertain its just that the direction could have been a lot better and continuing to allow Greengrass to direct would not be the way forward. I can not see him changing his style of film making. Relegating Doug Liman to No. 2 proved to be the biggest problem with the Bourne Supremacy and the Bourne Ultimatum.

Big Momma's House 2

Martin Lawrence returns as Big Momma and its a welcome return
Big Momma is back but this time on the hunt for international terrorists.

Martin Lawrence has been excellent in films such as Blue Streak and the original outing for Big Momma. For some reason this film has achieved a low score on the IMDb user ratings. This film deserves much more credit than it has received.

Reasons why this is an excellent movie

Firstly its Big Momma's House. Secondly, it stars Martin Lawrence. Thirdly, its incredibly entertaining.

This film is as good as the the original. Many might slate Big Momma's House for being childish or for not liking Martin Lawrence but to be quite honest what I want in a film is to be entertained. Also, few movies can be watched several times without them getting boring and this movie falls into that category.

Martin Lawrence is brilliant as Big Momma. This is a fun movie that the whole family can see.

It would be nice for another Big Momma's House movie to be made

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

At World's End - A film that is adequately reviewed by its own title
Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End is the third installment of this most annoying franchise and i fear it won't stop here. The words cash cow are written all over it because the makers will milk it and continue to do so until it runs dry.

I really hate this final installment. The only reason why I got by with Pirates of the Caribbean 1 and 2 was because I had read the plot in advance. Not doing this with the third installment was being silly. Even doing that would be silly because there really isn't any plot. It seems like they never finished the script when they started shooting and the editing is poor to say the least.

CGI, lots of nonsense fight sequences, bangs and booms and countless more sequences involving CGI with big bangs and swordfights. Bloom and Knightly are about as wooden can possibly be. Nothing actually happens! Bits and bobs happen but nothing actually happens. CGI doesn't make this an amazing movie, it just adds to the 3 hour bore - its irritating and that's being kind.

Johnny Depp only turns up after 30 minutes and the most ill-judged opening sequence.

Over 3 hours of your life that could be better spent doing something else.

If this is what clutters up the cinema in this day and age, it really is the end of the world.


Refreshing, one of the best television programmes in recent years
This show is a great fusion of mainly Geography and then History and Biology.

Its a great way to get a glimpse of one of the best coastlines worldwide, a tour of Britain.

Neil Oliver presents, a real enthusiast, with the help of faces such as anatomy lecturer Alice Roberts, also Miranda Krestovnikoff and geographer Nicholas Crane.

This is a fantastic documentary show and if geography is one of your favourite subjects, this is great television.

Thank the BBC for coming up with the goods.

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

Garfield 2 - A tale well done
The Garfield movies are obviously aimed at the younger audiences and i have to say that both the first and the second are alright, in fact the second edges the first.

Tim Hill directs - never heard of him but comes up with the goods.

Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow are writing buddies and have written for other decent films before including Toy Story, Cheaper By The Dozen, Evan Almighty and Daddy Day Camp and I must say, seem to have come up trumps here.

Tick more boxes with the cast - Billy Connelly should, to be honest, be credited with the lead role and if you are hesitant about seeing this movie, Connelly himself might just make this movie worthwhile for you. He is very good, works fine as the bad guy, in a film where he plots to rid the cat, Prince, the lookalike of Garfield, voiced by Tim Curry from Carlyle Castle so he can inherit all of the estate and redevelop the site.

A Tale of Two Kitties is sometimes like Dr. Dolittle because there's quite a few animals about, voiced by some of the more well known people around, including Joe Pasquale, Vinnie Jones, Bob Hoskins (who is great as Winston the dog), Richard E Grant and Rhys Ifans.

Also, of course are Meyer and Hewitt returning from the original outing, who you don't actually get to see a lot of (compared to the animals and Billy Connelly at least).

This is good fun and the younger audiences should really enjoy it.

4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Excellent Sequel
I must admit that I'm quite a fan of the Fantastic Four movies and when this one came out, I had to go to the first screening of this in my local cinema.

This film gave exactly what I expected and didn't leave me disappointed. I was impressed by the first outing too and i know i'm going against the majority, but I really do believe these films are better than Spiderman, Pirates, Batman etc.

I think Tim Story is a great director and the special effects in both movies really are fantastic and the cast is spot on. Ioan Gruffud, from Hornblower and Amazing Grace plus Jessica Alba. Wow, great actors and one of the world's best looking girls. The supporting cast is fabulous as well. Chris Evans as Johnny might annoy some but its a fun ride, pure entertainment value and that's what movies are all about. Oh, also Michael Chiklis was great, just as before. Also enjoyed seeing Kerry Washington again.

So in this movie, there's the Silver Surfer character along with Von Doom, which bring about fresh challenges for the four.

There is a scene in London, with the Eye which provides an opportunity to exploit some wonderful CGI.

I noticed the famous line - "I Just Bought This Tux" was replaced and the end credits music is by Simon Webbe, his song Ride the Storm which was alright.

Its certainly refreshing for such a quality movie which many might tend to overlook after the numerous sequels this year, i think I've counted at least 12, but believe me, see this and you won't be disappointed. It's not even that long. Perfect length rather than an unnecessary 3 hour picture such as Pirates 3.

Looking forward to the third adventure now.

Spider-Man 3

A good, solid sequel.
Spiderman 3 is a good sequel, which I feel is a definite improvement on the second film and perhaps slightly edges the first, certainly in terms of action and special effects.

Although Peter Parker has to deal with many forces of evil in this film and may feel to some, complex because of this fact, it is nonetheless a generally simple, easy-to-follow storyline and there is continuity in terms of following on from the predecessors.

Parker has to battle with the sandman, who it is revealed is the actual killer of his Uncle, a man who has recently escaped from prison and fallen victim to a, presumably, DNA change (and you'll see how in the movie). There is also the new Spiderman Bugle photographer, who later becomes more than a match for Spiderman, played by new boy, Topher Grace, also the ever fluctuating relationships with not only Mary Jane but also Harry Osborn who has been developing what his father left behind.

So quite a lot to deal with, but don't let that put you off. If you put this alongside Pirates of the Caribbean, you'll see what I mean if you're trying to get the gist of the plot. This movie is also about an hour shorter than World's End although I'm not slating Pirates of the Caribbean, it's just, I enjoyed Spiderman much more, although I'm expecting bigger and better things from Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, its prequel being my favourite comic book outing so far.

Back to Spiderman and some criticism, yes, even I cannot pass this without some negative feedback, although the weaker parts are usually few and far between. Now, Raimi seems to have overdone Mary Jane here and I have become tired of these endlessly fluctuating relationships between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. If it was me, I probably would have punched the girl, well; Peter does later in the movie so I wasn't far off. Anyway, my point is, how many more emotional outbursts will the audience see from Mary Jane? It's annoying to say the least. Peter should have just dated the tall girl from next door.

Now 'emo', an abbreviation if you like that seems to have about a million negative words associated with it and plastered all over it. OK, so we have the 'emo' idea in this movie as Peter changes character. It provides some humour at times. It's not needed but there's no harm in including this personality change.

The black suit, I'm sure is something everyone is expecting before seeing this film. The exact details behind the suit are not explained, or rather, the story behind the black stuff, that to begin with, is 'attracted' to Peter Parker. This may bother some, it bothered me slightly but don't be put off by this.

Also, I noticed an extra in this film who looked EXACTLY like Willem Dafoe. Whether it really was him sitting in the background in the Jazz club, I'm not sure of, but anyway, I wouldn't be surprised.

The acting was usually at a reasonable level and I enjoyed the score for the most part.

Anyway, overall then a great film, which leaves the door open for a 4th adventure.

Balls of Steel

People might slate Balls of Steel for its, at times, childish humour but one thing is for sure, this is top quality entertainment, however rude it may be
Balls of Steel has now had two runnings on Friday night Channel 4, its first outing being in August/ September 2005 and its latest effort in February and March 2007.

I have to say, this is fun stuff. No matter what people say about how rude or childish it might be, its entertainment at its best, taking much of the idea from hidden camera shows and targeting members of the public.

There are several acts, some did not return for Series 2, a shame really and were replaced by people such as The Escapologist and Mr. Inappropriate. It would have been nice if the World's Worst had returned, you may recall the barman and taxi driver jobs were damn funny from the first series.

Anyway, there are six acts on each episode and the studio audience vote for a winner although I'm not sure whether their votes really count, because the actual winners are usually not what i would say were the best acts each week.

My personal favourites include Neg and his Urban Sports, the Burger Bowl Off and the first series Urban Sprinting were some of the best, then there's Alex Zane and his Game Shows which are bloody hilarious, perhaps some of the first series game shows were the best and for me, 3rd place has to be handed to the Militant Black Guy.

There are other decent acts including the Annoying Devil, Olivia Lee's Prank TV and another decent one, by former All Stars singer (a failed band), Thaila Zucchi or something like that - the bunny boiler where she tries to pull other people's boyfriends.

Some of the acts do get a little repetitive but I would welcome back another series, perhaps with a few fresh acts, anyday, but they would have to keep Neg, Alex Zane and the Militant Black Guy.

Good Fun.

Lady in the Water

Should have been night, night shyamalan after the first to be quite honest
Shyamalan's major film outings have been particularly poor and after the overrated Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, came Signs, which i actually mildly enjoyed for a one time viewing but even that is being too generous.

I have nothing against Paul Giammati, i think he is a fine actor and has put in some excellent performances over the years and is getting known more and more.


This movie is so boring, sadly for Giammati, less watchable than sixth sense and unbreakable.

Poor direction yet again from Shyamalan, another wasted opportunity, half-decent idea but poorly executed.

Shoddy jobs in the past too.

Shyamalan needs to pack up for good.

Mr. Bean's Holiday

Bean 2 is another quality Mr. Bean adventure by the great comedy genius that is Rowan Atkinson, a movie that is sure to put the smiles on our faces
After a quiet last couple of years, Rowan Atkinson returns to the big screen in what will probably be the last outing for Mr. Bean.

Mr. Bean's Holiday sees Bean head off to the South of France after winning a prize in a save-the-church raffle, where, as you can imagine, things don't exactly go to plan as he stumbles across problems in actually getting there. On his travels, he meets the son of a Cannes Film Festival judge (Baldry), his father, a beautiful actress (de Caunes) and a selfish film director (Defoe). The Cannes Film Festival is used to bring the characters together at the film's end in some hilarious final scenes.

Don't go into this expecting something along the lines of the original Bean movie. Bean 2 has less talking and Mr. Bean probably works better with only the odd word. Fewer characters allow for this. The movie has a feel of less like the Ultimate Disaster movie and more like an extension of one of his TV shows, not completely however – it still has many differences.

I am a huge fan of Mr. Bean, having watched all the TV shows from a young age. No work of Atkinson as Bean has ever disappointed and this movie certainly does not either. If I am being critical, I would go as far as saying that the original disaster movie was better – that had more of the feel of a feature film. This was still great however, and if you really like Bean, you will not stop laughing in Mr. Bean's Holiday; I certainly did not.

Willem Dafoe was great in the small role that he had and the kid, Max Baldry wasn't too bad either whilst the performance by good looking French actress, Emma de Caunes was quite good too.

I guess you could put Mr. Bean in any situation and it would still be great. I know the chances of Rowan Atkinson coming back again to play Bean are low, but, I would be so pleased if he could make another movie, or even a few more TV shows.

Rowan Atkinson is pure comedy genius and Mr. Bean's Holiday is great fun for the whole family.

Excellent Movie - 10/10.

When a Stranger Calls

Beautiful girl, nice house but that's about it really
When A Stranger Calls is a remake of a 1979 film of the same name, a movie that i have not yet seen. The plot is quite simple. A high school chick has racked up a large phone bill and to pay it off has to do some babysitting. She babysits in a real nice house packed full of gadgets in a remote location.

Camilla Belle is alone for the most part, she's a good-looking girl and acts pretty well. This isn't really a horror film, it's just about making you scared and it does that well for much of the time but at times it can be frustrating. It's constantly building up tension but to be honest, will little action and that's where it can get slightly boring.

I have a few issues with this movie, but that's not to say I'm slagging it off because it wasn't a bad movie, with suspense and manages to entertain somewhat. But why the did the Mandrakis' need a babysitter in the first place? They had a maid. Why didn't she just look out for the kids? Secondly, if she was there, then why not any conversation between the two. They could have at least said a few words and not just the maid saying hello.

Thirdly, why did Tiffany come along only for a few minutes?. What was the point? and drove all the way up to that remote location. That must have really meant at least 30 minutes or even more she wouldn't be spending at the bonfire party.

And, why didn't Jill go check the kids more?. OK, she did after the stranger's call. But she's the frigging babysitter. Surely, she would have had the decency to check the children are fine more often.

Plus, there was a lot of noise. Phone ringing quite a few times. Jill making noise from being scared, answering the phone, turning on the TV, music, Tiffany talking and stuff like that. Might have woken the kids.

And finally, seems that Jill will be spending more time babysitting after another phone bill she seems to have racked up in the process.

But anyway, who cares, half-decent entertainment, nice looking girl and house.

Children of Men

A truly sensational motion picture
Children of Men, starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Claire Hope Ashitey and Chewitel Ejiofor might well be one of the best movies of recent times...

The future, not too far from now is in decline. Activists, terrorists, immigrants are swarming the streets, graffiti consumes the walls, bombs may well go off when you next stop for a coffee, crime rates are high and it seems that civilization could be coming to an abrupt end.

Women are now infertile. No children for eighteen years and no hope. For government worker Clive Owen, things are about to change as he discovers an immigrant, who to his complete and utter disbelief is about to give birth.

To some, the idea of infertility may seem slightly extreme, particularly as the film is not set too far into the future, but there is a special ingredient or ingredients which combine to make this a magnificent movie and...

I'm not sure quite what it is. It feels somewhat to capture the mood of Orwell's novel 1984, perhaps it's the political side and demise of society that are shown very well and also the cinematography which is stunning. The attention to detail is great and there's a sense of realism (despite it's premise) to all of this. I enjoy movies which take great care in depicting the future world but COM does this much better than the average and is a very different take.

The cast mostly delivers in this, although I felt at times Owens' acting was slightly wooden, but there are plenty of positives from his performance that put some of the weaker work in the shade. The support cast came good, with some good executions from Caine, Ejiofor and Ashitey.

In summary, Curan pulls something very special out of the bag to produce "Children of Men", one of the most compelling, suspenseful, well thought out, political and captivating sci-fi thrillers ever.

Casino Royale

I don't see what all the hype is about
Daniel Craig steps onto the big stage with Casino Royale, a directorial effort from Martin Campbell of such films as the amazing "No Escape" and one of the best bond films to date "Goldeneye" and its with Campbell's CV that perhaps drew me into this initially, but upon first viewing, i was left somewhat disappointed and it wasn't just down to Campbell.

Daniel Craig is still not bond, the movie maybe OK but Craig just ain't bond, does not work, no questions. He doesn't sound right, look right and even act in the right way. A perfect Bond could have been Sean Bean. OK, he was in Goldeneye, but what the hell, he could still be Bond and a quality one it has to be said.

There was some good action scenes, the sequence in the construction yard was pretty good; all this parkour, makes for good viewing but quite unrealistic.

I also partly enjoyed the scene at the airport. I quite disliked the ending, it lacked in action and thrills compared to the previous sequences. I especially disliked the fact that Q did not appear. John Cleese and the guy before him were some of the best parts of bond. He needs to be brought back along with all the great gadgets.

I got tired of the overdone gambling scenes. They dragged on too long and so did the movie to be honest.

I would prefer Pierce Brosnan. He is the most suitable and best bond, having starred in two of my favourite ever bonds.

Prison Break

I'm so impressed with the standard
I'd heard about Prison Break and all the great reviews it received a while ago, but it wasn't until recently i thought i'd get downloading. Other supposed top shows include 24 and Lost, none of which have ever attracted my attention but with Prison Break, there's something incredibly special.

Well, i could start with the plot, there are some amazing story lines and it keeps you thinking, hanging on, hungry, so desperate for more. How could anyone ever imagine there to be so many different things going on. It's not just about the main plot but the sub plot and all the other plots. It's just incredible.

Put simply, it's about some guy called Burrows who's been wrongfully convicted of the murder of the vice president's brother and is due for execution soon. His brother (Schofield) gets himself busted into the same prison as his brother to help him escape.

The way Schofield plans his proposed escape is amazing. He isn't without his difficulties but the idea deserves much praise. The characters and the way they have been portrayed is first class. It's great we're dealing with a bunch of mostly unknown's, often its the lesser actors who pull something out of the bag. I'll admit the only actors I had heard of were Robin Tunney because of her role in Vertical Limit and John Heard, from Home Alone and Big. Wentworth Miller, Purcell, Stormare, Knepper, Callies and the gang really do produce. They slip on the shoes of their characters to perfection; they are actually very believable.

If you haven't seen it yet, then watch it. I recommend getting the DVD's. It's one hell of a show. Well-paced, classy, action packed, intelligent, simply put amazing. It's that good that i don't think there are many shows that could come close to rivaling this gem.

Rogue Traders

One of the few gems still left on TV
Matt Allwright and Dan Penteado are now in their sixth series of Rogue Traders, a show where they clap down on dodgy tradesmen and use the cameras as a way of confronting them there and then.

The show started in 2001 and has been a big hit on the BBC. What's great is exactly that part at the end, the cameras, but now Allwright has make overs to the elderly welsh man Roger, a 20-something and a middle aged man. These are great in that they allow Matt a slice of the action before the film crew enter, in order to spice things up a bit.

I am so grateful for the BBC having commissioned such a TV show and surprise surprise, its caught on and now ITV have their own version, admittedly not as good in House of Horrors where they can only name and shame and not confront. Its the sheer effort that goes into this show, the entertainment value and the fact that rogues are embarrassed and clamped down on that makes it the gem that it is. I am so pleased that the show is in its sixth season, and long may it continue, there is just no substitute. Not many shows these days make BBC primetime which take 3-4 months to produce a one half-hour episode and are massively entertaining.

In fact i recall a show on ITV which only and unfortunately lasted for 1 series called the Man in the Van, a similar concept before Jonathan Maitland started presenting House of Horrors.

I really hope that the BBC can produce a DVD of every series of Rogue Traders or at least a best bits compilation.

Pure genius!

The Hills Have Eyes

Watch it, if you have stomach!
Alexandre Aja gets his break with "The Hills Have Eyes", a blood curdling horror and certainly stamps his authority.

Deformed Canniballs adopt areas of land out in the American desert and when passers-by are misled into taking a dead end by a petrol station attendant, their tyres hit spikes and what entails is a desperate period of survival.

I haven't seen the original outing but can't really see how anything could rival this gem of a movie. It reminded me of "Wrong Turn", almost a carbon copy but out in the desert. Well anyway, i can see that more had been pumped into this gruelling and disturbing movie, and the cast really delivered.

I doubt i will see any horrors in the near future that will come close, a great movie for any true horror fan.


Firewall is a great movie but feels like its been done before
I didn't really have many expectations going into this one however, i was pleasantly surprised. This was a great movie with a brilliant cast, none more so than Harrison Ford and better still Paul Bettany, who really comes to life playing the evil in movies; just take a look at Silas in the Da Vinci Code if you're not totally convinced.

I guess i will have to criticise the film to a point, it really does have a feel of other movies or rather a mix of others and yes its predictable but makes for some great entertainment.

Here goes: A family man holds a pretty respectable position at one of the leading bank's. At a business dinner, he meets some bloke, not out of the ordinary who appears fine at first glance but what entails is not what he expected. As he jumps into his car, about to head home for pizza night, bank robbers, the lead played by Bettany and 4 others, mostly hackers and camera operators and crooks at the end of the day take over his home and Bettany creeps into Stanfield's car (Ford) and leads him into a perilous situation from there.

If you enjoyed Hostage, you will enjoy this one. If you enjoyed Inside Man, you will enjoy this one and if you're looking for a sort of cross between the two, you will enjoy this one. So basically, its a similar plot to a lot of previous movies, new and old, but its got a great cast and delivers in the entertainment department.

So why not check this one out, you shouldn't be disappointed.


This really isn't a bad movie at all
A lot of people feel the need to unnecessarily compare this to the original Poseidon Adventure, a movie that I have yet to see so i am not in the position to comment or compare, but what's the problem? There have been many remakes of classics and anyway, often, much is changed and people for some reason find it hard to accept the idea of taking old movies and 'updating' them.

On the face of it, this was a quality movie. Firstly, it has decent actors, the experience served up by Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss, albeit a menial role whilst the new boys and girls, (well kind of) included the likes of Emmy Rossum, best known for her roles in "The Phantom Of The Opera" and "The Day After Tomorrow" and Josh Lucas of "Stealth" and "Hulk".

Next, was the action. For the most part, i felt entertained and really enjoyed the characters quest for survival, some scenes really were edge-of-the-seat stuff and yes its been done before, but there was a new feel to this and it seemed to work.

I mentioned at the start not to compare, well not with the original anyway, but if you're looking for action blockbusters, then i guess this is the movie for you. I will however compare this with two movies of a similar genre. Those being "Titanic" and "Speed 2: Cruise Control", the latter being my favourite out of the two, although to be quite honest, Poseidon was really actually a lot better than Speed 2 as well. I've never understood why people go crazy over "Titanic" and never will, an appalling, 3 and a half hour picture which is desperately boring and has too much, i mean really too much build up. But what about Poseidon, i could perhaps go as far as saying not enough build up or character development, but I'm not going to whinge. With action blockbusters, its exactly that which you should be after, the action and in Poseidon, as we have already established, you get that.

So at the end of the day, this is a more than decent, action packed blockbuster and should grab the attention of the thrill seekers out there. 8/10

The Sketch Show

No doubts, one of the best comedy shows ever made
What more could you want? Its extremely funny and has, in my opinion some of the greatest comedians ever and Tim Vine has to be the pick of that bunch but they're all great.

I just loved it, nearly every sketch was hilariously brilliant, and i have taped just about both series they made but i was really hoping for a DVD release and that ITV would be kind enough and bring back another series or a few more.

I really don't get it, why do ITV or whoever not pump in cash behind top quality shows like this more and more. Its a great shame and it could be watched by even the much younger audiences. Paramount Comedy were kind enough to bring it back for a bit but still not good enough really.

So it definitely needs more TV time and a great DVD release. Well done Lee Mack and co for a stella production.


Totally awesome
Spellbinder is probably, if not the greatest television series ever made and certainly the greatest children's show ever and really makes itself big for the older audiences as well.

I used to watch this as a 7 year old on CITV and recently it came to my mind, the possibility of owning the series myself and watching them for as much as i wished. I never really understood the show back then, but something made me love it and it was a thing i would wait for after school to see. I guess it was that it was kind of original or something and the cast were brilliant.

I love the suspense and the action; the kind of effort they used to put into kids shows back then which sadly doesn't seem to show up much these days. That theme music was superb and the cliffhangers just kept you wanting more.

Unlike absolute time travel which has been done before, people have to cope with the loss of suburban Paul, his friends Alex and Katrina and ultimately his family who try to get him back after realising what they think really has happened. That being the fact that Paul has somehow wound up in a parallel dimension. Electricity, power surges combined caused a time portal or something of that sort to open up, pulling Paul into what he hoped was all a dream.

This world Paul has accidentally found is a world in the same place at the same time, just totally different. The industrial revolution never took place and Spellbinders rule; they devise laws and if they are broken, they, namely Ashka will punish offenders accordingly. Often, the sentence is banishment.

Whilst there are the Spellbinders and the people that try to live under their regime, there is also another group called the Murodor's or something like that who go against the Spellbinders and there's this thing about them causing darkness or something.

Paul tries to persuade people to believe he's from another 'world' using his cassette player, his camera and of course, his superior knowledge. With the help of knew found friend, Rhiana (a very beautiful, well cast actress), and some other folk along the way, Paul begins the long and difficult task of reopening a portal to get back home.

Spellbinder is undoubtedly a great show and maybe great is not the word to describe it. Really a superior achievement and it deserves more DVD releases and TV time.

Finally, all credit to Australian kids TV for investing over the years and really coming up with the goods, some of the best kids TV series ever made, other memorable shows include Round The Twist and Eugene Sandler, PI and there's many more I've seen, but i cant remember all their names. Plus i would love to see Zbych Trofimiuk (a name i still cannot pronounce) and co. back in action again sometime.


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

A sub-standard fantasy adventure that is no more a sin than harry potter or star wars
I really just don't get it? What's the point? A totally unrealistic trilogy of books that couldn't even chuck in the prequel to them all, and probably the greatest of them all - that being the Hobbit.

I can just about get why people read these books and i would understand that naturally, popular, do-able books get made into movies. But usually, there is so much effort behind these big-budget pictures, such as this one and very little substance.

Its just really dire, and as boring as hell. There is really not much in the plot and although we have half-decent actors such as Domonic Monoghan, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood, which you would expect, there's just nothing but at empty shell of ridiculous fantasy at the end of it all.

Rings...Lords...People with big beards who are magical...over done fight sequences...some cgi, or in fact a lot of it...3 hour motion picture...

all really enough to get you to fall asleep. It just doesn't grab attention, not entertaining at all really. I give it 3/10 for making an OK model of the book itself but hobbits, orcs, goblins, elves and so forth is just plain absurd. It doesn't work in movie format, its just better to read for the sake of reading to be honest.

I'm running out of things to say because there really is not much to say, its just crap, yeah, exactly that.

Really just too common, over-hyped, big-budget s h i t that people settle for regardless of whether it entertains or not.

Mad Love

Not bad
Mad Love stars Chris O Donnell, who sets his sights on high school love, Drew Barrymore.

Unfortunately, the girl he dates does not come across as the average teenager. She suffers from severe depression and this becomes progressive. The outbursts and mental problems threaten to break up the otherwise close relationship but to his credit, O Donnell sticks by her and his love for her becomes clear.

The pair are real opposites but carry a unique love for each other. Leland is the caring, hard-working, clever, shy and conscientious type whilst Roberts is the outgoing, partying and slacking girl, always out for a bit of fun.

Its hard for the guy to begin with but he fits the bill perfectly, low-key and probably slightly shy in reality, really does translate well to the big screen. His tentative first steps to love are shown and arguably, there is not really a better talent out there to slip on the shoes of Leland.

The relationship becomes frustrating but as with any other romantic drama, there are always strains on the relationship. One tends to feel sorry for O Donnell but at the same time, holds much respect for the guy. This could be a very real situation, minus some of the slightly overblown depressive outbursts from Barrymore. There is also the added say from both parents whilst Donnell tries to keep his feet on the ground with his SAT's and everything but ends up giving way to the girl he loves so much. At the end of the day, there is really no substitute.

So, to conclude, O Donnell excels in a masterful albeit low-key role with a half-decent Barrymore to throw in some light-hearted and serious, sad scenes.

Not a bad movie at all. 7/10.

Wrong Turn

An average horror flick
Wrong Turn is one of the lesser horror flicks of recent years but it beats any of its rivals hands down. Its well paced, and doesn't drag on for ages with some great sequences and decent performances from the likes of Desmond Harrington (The Hole) and Eliza Dushku.

The movie begins with Harrington stuck in traffic and late for a meeting. He decides to turn off the beaten track and finds a map at an out-of-sorts gas station. With next to no help from the station attendant, he is fooled into taking such a road.

As he is driving, he manages to lose concentration for a split second and smashes into the back of a car, in the middle of a road, which he later discovers was caught out by some barbed wire.

As they look for help in an old cabin wreck, they stumble across some horrors and soon the mountain men are after them. The true horror of these 'beings' is not discovered until they see their two friends bludgeoned to death in the back of one of the many cars that have been picked up over the years.

It turns into a period of survival as the group try desperately to kill off the mountain people and seek help.

Although being a relatively weak storyline, its simplicity coupled with half-decent acting and great chase scenes makes it fairly entertaining.

Short Circuit 2

A beautiful tale, Stevens is brilliant!
I cannot really fault this true gem of a movie. Its massively entertaining, has got great laughs, some moral, an excellent, well sustained plot and well executed by a magnificent cast, namely Fisher Stevens.

Its great that Stevens was credited with the lead role and rightly so, in an improvement from the original outing. Here, we are minus the Badham influence and that becomes clear, with really no breaks in the movies rhythm at any point with tiring government sequences and computer based scenes.

It feels more light-hearted, captures imagination whilst developing the tone of the previous film. Here, now Johnny Number 5, and not just number 5 winds up in the big city absorbing as much input as he could possibly get. He helps build the toy number 5's in what should be a great money spinner for Stevens and his new found partner and watch seller, McKean.

Along the way are the usual difficulties, those being Stevens' attempt to rid the crooks from his happenings, to fit in with society, i.e. girlfriend whilst hoping to prevent the sale of number 5 by McKean when he discovers the truth of the actual cost of the high-tech human bot.

Although the original was still touching and heart-felt, there is more of this in the sequel, its just beautifully coordinated and will remain a classic for many years to come.

Whilst there is no real feel for seriousness in this one, there is moral in every sense. The feeling of want, happiness and success and the idea of making a true friend, albeit in this case, in the form of a robot.

And who has ever heard a non-Indian do an Indian voice as well as that. Very clever, realistic, Stevens is brilliant. I would really love to see this guy performing a great deal more in more prominent roles.

All credit to Stevens and co, in an improvement to the previous adventure. A truly sensational motion picture.

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