HAMMY’S TOP 10…WORST MODERN DOCTOR WHO EPISODES

Before the latest series of Doctor Who started, I put together a Top 10 List of Best Modern Doctor Who episodes (click here to view). After watching ‘Extremis,’ I thought about a Top 10 List of Worst Modern Doctor Who episodes! In the interests of fairness, of course. Just like the previous list, there’s plenty of choice. Doctor Who can veer from having an incredible episode one week to an absolute stinker the next week. It’s TV series that has few boundaries. It can go anywhere in time and space. It should be delivering great episodes each week. But it doesn’t. And here are the worst offenders….

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Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #23 The Undertaker vs. Triple H (No Holds Barred, WWE Wrestlemania XXVII)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31294205?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania&contentId=66743782&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

At #56, we saw the sequel to this match. The Undertaker and HHH fought in a Hell in a Cell, to consecrate the ‘End of an Era’ (whatever that meant!). That match was spoiled by excessive selling and a strange story being told in the ring. Here, however, the selling is just right (if a little overboard at times) and the story is solid. Out of their three WrestleMania bouts, this bout at WrestleMania 27 is surely their best… Continue reading

Review: Prometheus (2012) (Or…How NOT To Do A Prequel!)

“It must feel like your God abandoned you”

I recently caught ‘Prometheus’ on television whilst holidaying at Llandudno (don’t judge me!). It was fortuitous, considering ‘Alien Covenant’ was due out at the cinema. My experience watching it at the cinema was not a pleasant one. More than anything, the film was dull. Yes, it may have been inexplicable, unsuccessfully fusing horror with pseudo-philosophical questions about the beginning of human life. It may have been riddled with stupid characters making stupid decisions (but isn’t that the core of most horror films?). It may not have answered any questions it posed. But, most of all, I found myself bored throughout the entire film. Would a re-viewing change my mind about it? Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #24 Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage (WWE Title, WWE Wrestlemania VIII)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31348403?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania&contentId=67734570&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

The match every wrestling fan wanted to main event WrestleMania VIII was Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair. It’s the dream match that many thought might never happen. Would Flair ever go to WWF? Go to WWF he did, but Hogan and Flair never fought on TV during Flair’s first turn in WWF. Instead, we received the awful main event of Hogan vs Sid Justice. However, we were still treated to one of the all time great WrestleMania matches: Flair vs Randy Savage. With two of the best wrestling talents ever going one on one, could we expect anything less than greatness? Bolstered by a blistering feud, Flair vs Savage was everything a wrestling fan wanted…

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Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #25 Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels (WWE World Heavyweight Title, Ladder Match, WWE No Mercy 2008)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31277487?contextType=wwe-show&contextId=no_mercy&contentId=66740026&watchlistAltButtonContext=series )

Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels had one of the greatest feuds of all time in 2008. Yes, it started five years before that in 2003 (culminating in their WrestleMania XIX match positioned at #76), but the feud erupted like Krakatoa in the summer of 2008. It involved a Jeritron 6000, a damaged eye, HBK’s wife and much more. The latter feud culminated in this ladder match at No Mercy 2008. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. An obvious botch midway through the match dissolved my suspension of disbelief. And, I wondered, why did two veterans have a ladder match? In a ladder match, you expect the frantic, risk-taking actions suited to younger wrestlers. I was disappointed. However, viewing it now, I see it in a better light.

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HAMMY’S TOP 10…MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE FILMS!

With Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 already released over here in the UK, and shortly to be released in the U.S., I thought it was about time that I listed my Top 10 MCU films! The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become the franchise that all film companies aspire to possess. Warner Bros have attempted to compete with the DC Universe, and we have plenty more movie ‘universes’ to come. But for now, only one is dominant, and that’s the MCU.

They’ve honed and refined a winning formula of generic origin stories, light-heartedness and humour. Most of all, the majority of them are fun to watch! There have been a few awful films (The Incredible Hulk, most of the sequels), but overall you know what you’re getting in a MCU film. That’s good for now…but will people tire of it in a few years? We’re getting three this year, for goodness sake! But for now, here are my (up-to-date) Top 10 MCU Films…

Mr Blue Sky…

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HAMMY’S TOP 10…FILMS I’VE WATCHED MORE THAN FIVE TIMES

I’m a frequent reader of Den of Geek. Last Friday they posted an article entitled ‘The Top 25 Films (People Have Watched More Than Five Times). Would a Top 10 List of films I’ve watched more than five times be any different than a Top 10 Films of All Time? Well, yes, it probably would be. There are films that would be in my general Top 10 that I’ve only managed to watch once or twice. I’m thinking of the first two Godfather films, Doctor Zhivago, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner, Taxi Driver, or Schindler’s List. There are films that are just too overwhelming to watch regularly, due to their duration or subject matter. 12 Years a Slave was a powerful movie, but one I haven’t watched since I saw it at the cinema.

A great film, no doubt about that, but not one I’d want to watch on a regular basis

But there are those films I return to time and time again, acknowledging and perhaps welcoming the flaws that become apparent on repeat viewing. Or, conversely, there may be films on my general Top 10 List of Films that I have watched more than five times, but that very first time watching them has remained indelibly etched on my brain (the original Spider-Man film is not a great film, but that first experience watching it makes it one of my all-time favourites). There are those films that I put on in a drunken state, that I watch on a rainy day, or that I want to show a new acquaintance who hasn’t seen the film before. Of course, the older the film is, the more chance I’ve had of watching it multiple times. But there are a few recent films on this list as well…

  1. The Avengers

This would not make my Top 10 List of Films. It’s not a film for the ages, but it’s one of the most fun superhero films of all time. Yes, the MCU films are generally full of fun, but this first union of Marvel’s B List superheroes ramps up the fun and fantasy to sublime levels. There are periods that drag, and the plot’s flimsiness is more apparent on every viewing, but the characters, the wit and the action more than make up for the flaws. Loki’s the number one MCU villain and he’s at his best here. And that scene of seeing the superheroes united still gives me goosebumps. A joyous, fist-pumping slice of cinema.

(Click here for my full review!)

  1. Hot Fuzz

Out of the Cornetto trilogy, I’d rank Shaun of the Dead as the best, but Hot Fuzz is the one I frequently return to viewing. It’s overly long and the finale draws a fine line between parody/silliness, but there’s always something new to discover on each viewing, be it a pun, a joke, or just a little easter egg in the background. The jokes are rapid, and hit home more than they miss the target, which is surprising considering the number of them. I may prefer Shaun of the Dead, but Hot Fuzz is the one I frequently quote.

  1. The Empire Strikes Back

I’d include all three of the original trilogy here, as I’ve watched them countless times (and always together!). But it’s undoubtedly The Empire Strikes Back which is the cream of the crop. It’s funnier than the others, but at the same time darker and more mature. There’s not much else I can say about one of the greatest films of all time.

(Click here for my full review!)

  1. Robocop

This is a film which I often put on in a drunken stupor after a night out. Not because it’s sci fi trash, but because it’s a comfort. I’ve seen it so many times since I was young that it’s a part of my history (like some of the other films on this list). It’s a science fiction, satire, and flowing with OTT violence. It may be a Jesus Christ allegory, but I’m sure Jesus Christ never murdered people (even if they were criminals). Clarence Boddicker’s villainy becomes sweeter on every viewing. It’s perhaps Paul Verhoeven’s finest moment.

  1. Back to the Future

Who couldn’t watch this film just the once? It’s a film that begs to be rewatched. Is it the best film about time travel? Maybe, but it’s definitely the most entertaining. It’s through and through an 80s film, which increases its likeability. But the characters make the film, as much as the story or the special effects. Seeing two different time periods of Hill Valley is enough to rewatch the film and compare and contrast, but it’s the characters who I always go back to the film to watch.

  1. The Wrestler

One of the more recent films on this list, it was tough to choose between this Aronofsky masterpiece or his other one, Black Swan. The latter is a stunning film on all levels. But The Wrestler feels like a more honest film in some way. I’ve watched them each more than five times, but it’s always The Wrestler that springs to mind when I think of Aronofsky. From the raw performance by Mickey Rourke, to the grounded camera work, to the bittersweet tale of a man stuck in the past, it’s a brutal but powerful film.

(Click here for my full review!)

  1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The original may be the superior film, but I’ve watched T2 so many times that every sound effect, every beat is a part of my consciousness. It’s a big budget repeat of the original, but it turns the original on its head by making (SPOILER ALERT) Arnie’s Terminator the good buy. Robert Patrick as the bad guy, the T-1000, is just as terrifying as Arnie was in the original. It’s loud, it’s perhaps overly long, but it’s one of the all time great big budget, blockbuster films. Yes, it does lots of CGI, but it doesn’t drown out the story or the characters. And if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, then may be we can too…

  1. Aliens

Alien may be the more streamlined and frightening experience, but for sheer enjoyment and rewatchability Aliens is clearly the better film. This time its war, and a small group of marines (plus Ellen Ripley from the first film) take on a horde of aliens. It’s light on scares, but piles on the tension and action scenes. It’s a nailbiting experience, one that doesn’t lose its tension on repeat viewing. It’s quotable (most coming from the late, great Bill Paxton). It’s star Weaver as the ultimate female bad ass. It also has Ripley inside a mechanical suit taking on the Alien Queen. ‘Get away from her you bitch!’

(Click here for my full review!)

  1. Drive

If I’d have watched ‘The Neon Demon’ a few more times, that might take Drive’s place on this list. But Drive never fails to impress me whenever I slot the disc into my PS3. I didn’t expect much of it on my first viewing, but it blew me away. It’s light on dialogue, but heavy on style, gore and character. You don’t need Ryan Gosling’s The Driver to speak; his actions (and facial expressions) speak louder than words. The brilliant soundtrack propels events along. The car chase scenes may not be as loud or CGI filled as those from other films, but they are raw and feel real. It’s another triumph of style over substance for Nicolas Winding Refn, but it’s a triumph that can be rewatched time and time again.

(Click here for my full review!)

  1. Gladiator

The only epic that I’ve watched more than five times, and probably would make the number 1 slot on my general Top 10 Films of All Time. Me and my friend originally went to the cinema to watch the cool sounding Angel’s Ashes. However, the newspaper had misprinted the title. It was actually Angela’s Ashes, and to our teenage minds, it looked boring. Luckily enough, Gladiator was the only other option. And what an option it turned out to be. A truly grand story or a soldier becoming a slave, who became a gladiator who defied a Roman Emperor. Everything in this film is close to perfect, from the script, the action scenes and the story. And each and every main character is memorable. Russell Crowe deserved the Best Actor Oscar, conveying everything with his face more than words. And who can forget his epic speech, ‘My name is…’?

Honourable Mentions:

Jurassic Park

The Terminator

Battle Royale

Black Swan

The Dark Knight

Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?

HAMMY’S TOP 10…MODERN DOCTOR WHO EPISODES!

Saturday nights are now a night to stay in, because Doctor Who is back on our screens! Yes, Peter Capaldi is a great iteration of The Doctor, but he’s been served by some poor stories. Steven Moffat writes himself into a corner more often than not. He is mesmerised by his own Whovian lore. However, there are still some episodes that can rank as great television. Since Doctor Who was revived in 2005, there have been more than a few cracking episodes. Here are my Top 10 Modern Doctor Who episodes…(I will cheat for some of them by clumping together a two parter…)

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HAMMY’S TOP 10…STEPHEN KING FILM ADAPTATIONS!

I may make this feature a Tuesday regular, purely because “Top 10 Tuesday” rolls of the tongue! Or I could make it on Thursday…Last week, we saw the teaser trailer for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘IT.’ So why not do a Top 10 List of Stephen King film adaptations? It’s probably a list full of obvious choices, but here we go anyway…

The man, the myth, the legend…

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Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017) (Another Dodgy Remake of a Japanese Classic?)

“It’s okay, just breathe”

Within a month or two, we’ve had two live action remakes of classic animations. The first was ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ which recreated the original faithfully but felt wholly unnecessary. Now, we have ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ a remake of the beloved 1995 Japanese anime. Yes, there were concerns about ‘whitewashing.’ Why cast Scarlett Johannsen as the main character? Why not a Japanese actress? But the whitewashing is one of the many problems that one encounters whilst watching ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ A lame script, an irritating Westernisation of the original’s plot and endless shots of the (admittedly impressive) futuristic city are among the other big problems. Continue reading