Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) (The Best Star Wars Prequel?)

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

“We call it the Death Star”

The latest instalment in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, is due out at the end of this week. So it’s time I took a look back at the last Star Wars film…Rogue One: A Star Wars story! I watched it at the cinema, but didn’t write a review because I found the experience mediocre. A rewatch later and I still have the same feeling as I did before about it. It’s intermittently diverting enough to absorb you into its story. However, I couldn’t shake the bad feeling that I’d seen all of this before. I knew where the film was going and how it was going to end…and nothing distracted me from that. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story felt like a remix of the Star Wars films we’d seen before. Continue reading

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Review: The Running Man (1987) (One Of Us Is In Deep Trouble…)

“Without further ado, it’s time to start running!”

So I see that The Dark Tower has been released on DVD today (in the UK, anyway!). Instead of watching one of the worst reviewed Stephen King film adaptations ever, I went back to an old favourite of mine: The Running Man. It’s thirty years old this year and was adapted from The Running Man by Richard Bachman…who turned out to be a pseudonym of King’s. The funny thing is that the film takes place in 2017. It’s fun to compare and contrast with the future of the 1980s to the reality of today. But is the film as good as I remember? Or have I had my mind decayed by nostalgia for the heyday of 1980s cinema/Arnie? Let’s talk about it… Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #85 Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bayley (NXT Women’s Championship Match, NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v400412483/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wwe_nxt

According to the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List, this is the best women’s wrestling match on the WWE Network. There are only two women’s matches on the list, by the way. In an ideal world, there’d be far more women’s matches on the list. But wrestling has been dominated by men for a long time, and it’s only in the past couple of years (in the Western wrestling world) that women have risen in wrestling stature. Sure, you can point to Trish Stratus, Lita, etc, but they existed in an era where a women’s assets meant her breasts. Now, women regularly main event Raw and Smackdown (if not PPVs). And, in my humble opinion, Sasha Banks vs Bayley is the peak of modern women’s wrestling. Yes, they may have moved onto the big leagues, but nothing gets better than this match. Continue reading

Review: Cannibal Holocaust (1980) (The Most Controversial Film of All Time?)

“Man is omnipotent; nothing is impossible for him”

Is Cannibal Holocaust the most controversial film of all time? That’s what it says on the sleeve of the Shameless Edition which I picked up last week. I thought shameless was a reference to the price: 18 pounds! But, I was willing to pay that steep price for something that would shock and disgust me. It takes a lot. Cannibal Holocaust ticks all the boxes for extreme horror: rape, genital mutilation, cannibalism, buckets of blood, disembowelments, real animal slaughters…it’s a film that you couldn’t get away with doing today. Ask Eli Roth: he tried with The Green Inferno, but that lacked any shock value (and was pretty dull as well). As is often the case, nothing could top the original Cannibal Holocaust. Yes, it’s probably the most controversial film of all time. But does that make it any good? Continue reading

Review: Justice League (2017) (Justice Served?)

(SPOILER FREE)

“How many people have you really saved?”

Where do I even start with Justice League? I’ve put off writing this review since Friday because I simply don’t know if I even can be bothered to write about it. It seems Warner Bros couldn’t be bothered with Justice League. The film feels rushed, unfinished, and put together by a child. Even considering the change of directors earlier on in the year cannot excuse the mess that is Justice League. I was a defender of Batman v Superman because that dared to be different. Justice League is a sub-par copy of The Avengers, lacking Snyder’s distinct vision for the DCEU. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: (NEW) #90 Adrian Neville (c) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Tyler Breeze (NXT Championship Fatal 4-Way Match: NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way, Sept. 11, 2014))

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v36306835/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wwe_nxt )

Is this the greatest Fatal 4-Way match in WWE history? Well, since there are no WWE Fatal 4-Way matches in the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List, this is the best match by default! True, I can’t think of many Fatal 4-Way matches from the WWE that are memorable (oh, apart from the Fatal 4-Way match at this year’s Summerslam. But that’s after the time of this 100 Best Matches..List). However, I would try to find space for the Fatal 4-Way match for the NXT Woman’s Championship from NXT Takeover: Rival. Check it out! However, the Fatal 4-Way match from NXT Takeover: Fatal 4-Way deserves to be in the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List (but if you’ve watch #100 you’ll know the end of the match!). It’s a culmination of several storylines and the progression of one storyline in particular that manages to highlight all four wrestlers involved. Continue reading

Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017) (Thor-Some?)

(SPOILER-FREE)

“I know what you’re thinking: how did this happen?”

Thor: Ragnarok is the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film to get a shedload of critical acclaim. I’ve seen it advertised on Twitter as the “best reviewed Marvel film yet.” Of course, whenever something receives high critical acclaim, my Spider-sense tingles. It’s true, Thor: Ragnarok is enjoyable. You’ll laugh yourself silly. But I felt a little nonplussed when the credits started to roll. The third Thor film has little in common with its predecessors. The tonal shift is jarring, the characters involved are used mainly for laughs, and the story seems to have been written on the fly… Continue reading

Halloween Special Review: Stephen King’s Danse Macabre (Waltz With This Book!)

“Why do people want to be horrified…why do people pay to be horrified?”

Who doesn’t love Stephen King? Probably a great number of people, but I’m a lover of Stephen King. He is truly the modern master of horror fiction and understands how to get beneath the reader’s skin and scare the bejesus out of them. I never thought of picking up Danse Macabre before, his non-fiction work about the horror genre (in film, fiction and radio). Yes, I picked up his ‘On Writing,’ but as a budding writer that’s just par for the course. However, I picked up Danse Macabre for a pound from a local charity shop a few weeks ago. If you are a lover of horror, or even just like to dip your toes into the muddy waters once in a while, I insist you pick it up as well. It’s insightful look into what makes horror work is incredible. Continue reading

Review: Battle Royale (2001) (The Ultimate Japanese Film?)

“At the dawn of the millennium, the nation collapsed. At fifteen percent unemployment, ten million were out of work. 800,000 students boycotted school. The adults lost confidence and, fearing the youth, eventually passed the Millennium Educational Reform Act, AKA the BR Act….”

Thus begins one of my favourite Japanese films! Yes, Battle Royale! The DVD of Battle Royale was taken away from her by a me a couple of years ago, so I bought it off Amazon (cheap as chips!). With a few hours to spare last night, she watched it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but oh boy, the quality has not dipped a bit! So let me tell you why I adore Battle Royale… Continue reading

‘Halloween Special’ Review: I Spit On Your Grave (1978) (A True Video Nasty?)

halloween

“You came to a nice place”

Halloween is approaching…so I sought out a true video nasty: the original ‘I Spit On Your Grave.’ Last night I settled down with some tomato soup and popped the DVD in the player…

The plot can easily be summed up: a New York lady (Jennifer) goes to the countryside, gets raped by several men, then in various acts of revenge kills them. And there isn’t much in between: the rape scenes take about forty-five minutes of the film up; the murders about forty minutes. So there is little room for exposition, character development, or any of those things necessary to weave a cohesive story. The lady is a novelist, retiring to the country for some inspiration. Of course, when people retire to the countryside, they get a lot closer to ‘nature’ than they intended to in horror films! The men are no-good hicks, referring to women as ‘chicks.’ According to one of them, city girls only come to the village to get laid. So that’s a perfect justification rape! One of them, Matthew, is a ‘retard’ (in their words). So, they are the main characters, and we don’t find out much more about them. Continue reading