It dawned on me recently that not only am I seriously neglecting my book reading/reviewing, a similar state has befallen my DVD shelf. This isn’t because I have failed to watch any DVDs, far from it, I simply forget to write about them or find it difficult to find the words. For some reason I find visual entertainment harder to write about and fail to form any strong opinions over; perhaps the DVDs are not that great or more probably I don’t glean the same emotional experiences that I gain from a book. Either way, here’s a quick round up of some of the things I’ve seen recently. Plus a list a to-watch courtesy of Father Christmas and his happy little elves.
Who doesn’t love Woody Harrelson?! Well I do. From the first time I saw him as the numbskull bar tender in Cheers I fell in love. I didn’t know anything about Zombieland really, other than he was one of the co-stars and that was enough for me to add it to Steve’s seasonal Santa sack. This film makes no apologies for what it is, which is a light hearted gore-fest somewhere between comic strip and parody, rather slapstick and surprisingly good. The title sequence tells you all you really need to know about the film, there are going to be lots of zombies running around (pretty darn fast actually!) with blood oozing and gushing from any orifice seen. They are pretty unpleasant but not particularly frightening although the tiny princess Zombies sent chills down my spine.
There is the stereotypical nerd-geek-guy, nervous and awkward who you undoubtedly fall in love with (Michael Cera-esq without actually being Michael Cera. Jesse Eisenberg I believe), and who is always going to win the tough-nut girl in the end. Then you throw in the rebellious little sister and the renegade Harrelson and you have a tried and tested recipe for a standard steady narrative. However, the acting of each individual in the plot allows this film to steer a little higher than standard. I laughed out loud, I found it fun and I was utterly relieved to see differences in this film to other zombie films that are around. Much like Shaun of the Dead it doesn’t dwell on how the zombies came to be, nor the desperate plight of the country. It focusses, if it can be said, on the relationships formed during such strained times and how opposites, oh so cinematicly, attract.
Really enjoyable film, will certainly watch again, and more than likely again. Also with one of the best cameos ever!
Again, didn’t really know what the film involved (other than the given information – I really should start reading Steve’s Empire magazines) but the cover gave the impression of a vaguely crass, silly boy-film. Yeah, it was pretty accurate. An OK film but more disappointing than I would have hoped. It tells the tale of a nightmare stag-do in Vegas which resulted in the complete loss of memory for all involved, a missing groom, a stolen tiger, a shot gun wedding and a systematic mass of other very predictable devastation. It is certainly entertaining and forces you to make all the right noises I suppose in the right places, a wince here and a chortle there, but there is certainly nothing intellectually stunning nor anything that genuinely makes you laugh.
Worth a watch, but it will probably be just that once. Oh, it also features possibly the worst cameo ever!
The story of Dexter is one which every writer should watch. Season one Episode one is a master class in how to make an audience swoon and adore a quite frankly, hateful character. Dexter is creepy and weird and has an unhealthy obsession; he kills people. He works for the forensic department of Miami police, his sister unknowingly working against the very being that he is. Season one was swallowed in almost one gulp with every twist and turn devoured with a grin. There is plenty of sinister to keep you on your toes and as Dexter’s history unravels you start fighting for his lust for blood all the more, for this is one killer with a conscience.
Season two, and indeed three, did not disappoint one slice. The writing is marvellous, the story lines engaging and the casting impeccable. So superb in fact that Steve has started reading the Dexter books. Even if you are squeamish and not a fan of crime drama, please give Dexter a go if you can, there is nothing else quite like it.
Now the madness (and illness) of December is over, I am sure we shall be making more cosy room for DVD watching and cinema going in between all the other entertainments we have been bestowed with recently. A selection of which is as follows:
- Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
- Four Lions
- Hot Tub Time Machine [Please note, I bought this for Steve because he complained every week at the cinema that we were not watching it. Joking or not, he now has no option!]
- Complete Box Sets of Sharpe, Dowton Abbey, Merlin and The Royle Family.
This is on top of the DVDs yet to complete:
- Alias seasons 3-the end
- Prime Suspect
- Band of Brothers
I think we might be busy! Hibernation time is about to commence.