archive for the Movies & TV category

Shadow Company

Movies & TV Tuesday 7th November 2006

I watched a very interesting documentary called Shadow Company the other night. It’s all about the rise of Private Military Contractors, or Mercenaries as they’ve been better known throughout history. It loosely follows the story of one young British guy joining a mercenary company and getting shipped out to Iraq. In between the narrative there are interviews with people from all over the mercenary world; active guys, heads of companies and retired guys. The overall design of the film is very slick and all the captions and neat on screen displays are very well designed. It also has some brief forays into animation, being used to humourlessly describe the different types of mercenary and tactical situations.

The core of the film is why do these man do it? and the big question of what drives a man to fight, for money, if not for his own country? Is it even right to fight for money if you don’t have a cause? There is also an underlying issue that mercenaries are not governed by any law except general Human Rights conventions. Under the “new” Iraqi law, no contractor can be charged with any crime. Now that doesn’t seem right…

My Rating: gold stargold stargold stargold stargrey star

The Black Dahlia

Movies & TV,Reviews Tuesday 19th September 2006

Well, this was a total snooze fest. I was expecting another noir-ish cop thriller like L.A. Confidential or maybe The Untouchables. But this is just a very stylish mess. The plot is hardly even attempted to be explained and it just meanders between Scarlett looking teary to Josh looking confused. The first film for a while where I was actually mildly bored.

My Rating: gold stargold stargrey stargrey stargrey star


Movies & TV,Reviews Tuesday 19th September 2006

Jason Statham (The Transporter) is the bus from Speed. He is double-crossed by his gangster boss and injected with a synthetic Chinese drug. If his heart rate slows below a certain rate he dies. Great! As this means the film doesn’t damn stop for the next hour and a bit. Chuck in some hilarious David Fincher style camera zooms and on screen explanation, a pumping sound track and you can’t go wrong.

My Rating: gold stargold stargold stargold stargrey star

Running Scared

Movies & TV,Reviews Friday 8th September 2006

Just watched Running Scared and I have to say, I was pretty impressed! It’s another of these gritty movies that deals with the low-level mob dudes that do all the real dirty work. Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker, the guy from 2 fast 2 furious) is the mob guy who “disposes” of guns when some shit has gone down. Except he doesn’t dispose of them, he stashes them in his basement… Pretty dumb huh? As you’d expect, this leads to shenanigans and the film follows the next 18 hours of his life as he tries to put everything right. It’s style is very similar to NARC, Training Day and Four Brothers. It is pretty violent and has a particulary twisted moment in the middle which is very un-settling. Has an ace gun fight at the end and even has the bad guy from Hell Boy in it! Oh yeah and there’s a twist…

My Rating: gold stargold stargold stargold stargrey star

Movies & TV,Technology Thursday 10th August 2006

I made my first purchase from Warp’s super cool DRM free music download site this week. It was cheap, easy and gave me a plain old mp3 out at the end. The way iTunes should be…


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Movies & TV,Reviews Monday 10th July 2006

Saw this with Kerry and Jed yesterday afternoon after a cracking ‘Hangover Cure’ breakfast at Double Dutch. This being the second in the trilogy it was always going to be the film stuck in the middle. This is slightly noticeable in the film as the sheer amount of quests and sub-quests they’ve managed to cram in to speed the story along is a bit too much. But, put all of that aside and it’s still an awesomely fun movie. Johnny is still up to his usual tricks and gets his character fleshed out a bit more, Orlando is watchable but as dull as a plank and Keira does her usual hot and feisty pirate wench stuff. Jack Davenport makes a good return as a washed up, bitter (ex) Commodore Norrington. Bill Nighy and the CGI team are excellent as Davy Jones, his tentacles and the rest of his crew were some of the best CGI I’ve seen. Likewise for the Kraken, Jones’ pet sea monster that pulls ships down to the Big Black. I would have liked more naval type engagements and less running around with comedy “natives” and sharp sticks, but hey, this isn’t Master & Commander. Throw in a creepy voodoo fortune teller (straight out of Monkey Island), all the English extras from the first film, an evil scheming Empire East India Company and you’re on to a winner. By the time it got near the end I’d forgotten it was a cliff hanger and so was surprised when it suddenly ended! I think that’s a good sign.

My Rating: gold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey star


Links,Movies & TV Wednesday 17th May 2006

Awesome machinima done in the Counter Strike engine where one of the counter-terrorists begins to question his existence about purpose in life.


Joe FM

Books,Movies & TV Wednesday 22nd March 2006

In Joe’s never ending world domination scheme he has now made it on to Radio Scotland’s Radio Cafe progamme, talking about graphic novels and their corresponding movies. You can of course hear the show online thanks to those nice people at the BBC.



Movies & TV,Reviews Tuesday 22nd November 2005

Wow, Revolver is a total head-f**k (to put it mildly). It’s a surprisingly cerebral movie for Guy Ritchie and I’ll be honest and say that I Googled for an explanation of the plot as soon as I finished watching. Revolver is absolutely nothing like Lock Stock or Snatch other than it has Jason Statham in it and it’s vaguely about gangsters. Ritchie has definitely matured with this movie and I had to shift my brain out of comedy gangster movie mode and up a notch to take this in. I can’t really describe much of the plot without giving it away but there is lots of voice-over and innner monologue from Jason Statham. André Benjamin (from Outcast) is also very well cast in it and Vegas, as always, makes a gorgeous backdrop. I’d recommend giving it a watch, its central theme about the “ultimate con” is intriguing.

My Rating: gold stargold stargold stargrey stargrey star

A History Of Violence

Movies & TV,Reviews Tuesday 22nd November 2005

Viggo Mortensen is excellent in this David Cronenberg directed movie. I watched this knowing nothing about the plot and so was pleasantly surprised at the twists and turns it throws at you. The plot is simple but nicely presented and keeps you guessing right until the end. In typical Cronenberg style the move is very raw, and the violence is sudden and explicit, much like The Sopranos. The ending is Hollywood but not too much of a cop-out and leaves you upbeat but still reeling.

My Rating: gold stargold stargold stargold stargrey star