Category Archives: DVD

Transformers

I never really got involved in the original Transformers, I was aware of it, but I was either too old or just not interested (it’s too long ago to really remember). Of course I knew about Optimus and the autobots and I knew the catch phrase (Transformers! Robots in disguise) but I never had any toys and I didn’t rush home from school to catch it on the TV. However, as should be obvious from the movies I tend to watch, I’m a sci-fi / action / fantasy movie addict, so it was inevitable that I’d get the new Transformers movie on DVD.

It’s ridiculous and yet it’s also great fun. Transformers isn’t really sure if it’s targetted at kids, teenagers or adults and that identity crisis leads to the film having a different feel at different times. Some scenes are gritty and adult and others are almost naive and rose tinted. Overall it doesn’t detract from the entertainment as long as you’re able to maintain the necessary suspension of disbelief.

If you can sustain that and you can ignore some of the more cringe-inspiring dialog, this is a good, solid adrenaline inducing action movie with some amazing scenes and some very gripping moments. The performances of the human actors are acceptable, it’s not exactly stretching, and the animated sequences are pretty breath taking. The pace is pretty good, keeping you interested and tied in throughout the story, and the story itself is engaging all the way to nearly the very end. Nearly the end because what little integrity the story has is pretty much lost when the military starts taking orders from a punk kid and we find out where computers came from.

Despite the 15 minutes of ‘WTF!’ inspired by those sections, this is a good movie, it deserved to do well, and it was exciting and engaging throughout.

Serenity

First of all let me say, I didn’t watch the TV series (Grete did and loved it). But I really enjoyed the movie. Watched it twice on DVD now (it wasn’t on long enough in the Cinema for us to catch it there), and it’s very entertaining. I find some of the acting a little hammy but then lots of Joss’ stuff is like that I find, and it doesn’t always detract. The characters are fun, the plot arc is short and concise and even without having watched the TV series I think you get enough of the background quickly to enjoy what’s going on.

Effects shots are kept to a minimum and used to enhance the story, the bad guy is cool and not entirely traditional (although elements of him are archetypical he’s a mishmash of several sources), the good guys are fun and interesting and even in the short time the movie runs you build an emotional bond and hence suffer along with them.

Definately one to watch, funny, interesting and pacey. I am a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar.

The Last Boy Scout

Bruce rocks 🙂 Ok, so this movie is violent, and has lots of bad language, but it’s sassy, funny, thrilling, amusing, entertaining, and fun!

Typical early 90’s action movie, with the good guys dealing out as many wise-cracks as they do gunshots, and the bad guys getting wasted often and in increasingly messy ways. The good guys spend more time getting beat-up than they do investigating, and a kid is taken hostage 😉

Bruce is excellent, this is the role he plays best, and while it’s not demanding, his attitude is just excellent to watch. Damon Wayans as the side-kick is cool and entertaining, and ensures he never steals the screen while Bruce is on it.

The DVD cut is fine, although it felt as though there were one or two moments with lip-synching issues. Quality is ok, no added extras, but hell, who needs them when you’ve got Bruce kicking arse!

Dungeons and Dragons (DVD)

Ok, so I thought it was terrible in the cinema. But it’s a genre movie, so I bought the DVD. You know, because. In the past, movies that I didn’t appreciate in the cinema turned out better than I expected on DVD, perhaps the second viewing helped, or the small screen worked better, or because I could do other things and keep myself busy during any slow parts. Anyway, did it make a difference with this movie?

No.

It just sucks. It is pants. The story is terrible, the script is shocking, the acting is worse than terrible. The direction is bad beyond belief. Oh dear it’s just all bad – it makes my eyes hurt. It could have been so good. Do not buy this product – you will regret it.

Tomb Raider (DVD)

If you’ve read my cinema review of this movie, you already know how I felt about it. So I won’t repeat that here.

So, how does the DVD compare? Very well actually. The transfer is good, and the special features (mostly background info on the movie, and special effects, etc.) are interesting, absorbing and long.

The film itself is, of course, the same, but at home, you can chat to your wife during the bits which bug you, and talk about the bits you enjoyed, which is why it scores five more on DVD than it did for the cinema release!

It’s good, clean-ish, entertaining, fun. Edge of your seat action. Rent it first, if you like it, buy it.

Pitch Black

Just another Alien clone, I feared. But I was wrong. Several friends had suggested watching this, and while I don’t go out of my way to watch movies which scare the hell out of me, I gave it a go.

It’s good. Well, more than good, very good, but not superb. That may be because I already knew the twist or the edge to the apparent plot, I’m not sure. I mean, it’s not a huge twist, but I’d already had a summary of the movie from several people, and so stuff didn’t come as a surprise to me.

Other than that though, it’s a very good movie. Solid performances from everyone in it, even Claudia Black of Farscape fame. Vin Diesel puts in an excellent performance, and hopefully will be in many more movies to come. The script was entertaining, interesting, the plot was entirely original but sufficiently unique to keep me interested. Cinematography was very nice, even though much of the movie is filmed in very dark situations, the lighting and camera work meant nothing was too hard to see. Some very nice set pieces in the film, which I can’t describe or it will spoil it for you.

All in all, Pitch Black was well worth getting out on DVD, and while I’m not rushing out to purchase it, I may pick it up as part of a buy one get one half price deal at some point in the future.

Aliens – Special Edition

Aliens is a classic, although watching it today on DVD, it is showing it’s age a bit around the edges. Ripley returns to the planet on which she first encountered the horror in Alien, to help out a bunch of Marines. They get attacked, they eventually win! This was pretty much a trend-setter for sci-fi action movies to come, and gave me so many cool lines to use in life for years 😉

The DVD quality is excellent, not many special features, and the quality of the image means that you can really see through the special effects in one or two of the shots, other than that, very engrossing action sci-fi thriller cool-movie fun 🙂

Rush Hour

I’m not usually a Jackie Chan fan, although my wife certainly is. She’s the one that bought Rush Hour on DVD. Anyway, we watched it. It’s ok. I laughed once or twice, and it had some entertaining sequences. I wouldn’t recommend you buy it unless you really like Jackie, or his co-star in this one, Chris Tucker.

Jackie and Chris are forced to work together to solve a crime in the USA carried out by some villains from Hong Kong. They don’t drag out the ‘I don’t understand you’ bit for too long, and the pair certainly seem to have on-screen charisma and work well together.

Nothing in the plot was a surprise, and while I think they could have done much more with it, I didn’t feel let down, it delivered as much as I expected.

Road Trip

Very entertaining and enjoyable movie. I enjoyed Road Trip when I first saw it in the cinema, far more than I originally expected to. It’s just as good on DVD. I’d forgotten some of the moments, and it was a delight to find myself laughing out loud honestly at the good bits.

This film has a feel to it which is similar to American Pie, if you enjoyed that, you’ll probably enjoy Road Trip. A guy in college accidentally mails a video to his girlfriend, of him cheating on her, kind of, and the story details the events that follow.

Tom Green narrates the story, playing the part of the ‘still in college loon’ giving a tour to potential new attendees. It is through his flashbacks that we learn of the events. Tom is excellent.

A fun movie, a sexy movie, a cool movie, some entertaining moments, and a very National Lampoon’s Animal House feel, which is no bad thing at all.