Monday, 28 October 2013

New to Netflix UK - 28/10/13

Mostly just 'watchable' releases this week, including some from the last year.

Saboteur - A factory worker goes on the run after being accused of sabotage and finds himself drawn into a sinister conspiracy. Essentially a reworking of The 39 Steps (which Hitch already masterfully adapted), it's still a thrilling movie in it's own right and still stands as one of Hitchcock's better (but lesser known) works.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Framed for treason, the Joe's must find a way to take down COBRA who have managed to infiltrate the White House. The first film was a mess, and this one is no better, but the action is solid and the new faces to the team help make the experience enjoyable enough, so long as you completely ignore logic.

The Lords of Salem - A DJ plays a mysterious record which begins to cause strange events in the town, including reawakening a witches coven. Rob Zombie is very much an acquired taste and while he manages to conjure up a surreal and nightmarish movie, it doesn't really amount to much beyond that.

Bowfinger - A wannabe director and his crew attempt to make one of the 'finest' sci-fi movies ever and cast a leading Hollywood actor, only he doesn't know it. Thanks to a great cast and a great script, this is a really funny movie that will have you laughing more times than you can count.

Justice - After his wife is attacked, a man makes a deal with a shady businessman who promises revenge in exchange for a favour, but when it comes to repaying the favour the man starts to have his doubts. Less-than-average action/thriller with the Cagemeister that has some cool moments but is otherwise generically bland.

Plus, Thor: The Dark World opens this week at the cinema. Remind yourself how great the first one was.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Indie Games - Candy Box 2

A while ago I mentioned a quirky little browser game called Candy Box, which involved you for the most part of eating candies and watching as the game unfolds around you.

Today Candy Box 2 has just been released and it seems to be a completely new fish, while still staying close to the original.
New features include improved ASCII artwork, a more interactive world, new objects and many others I have yet to find.

You can play it here if you have a few hours/days to kill.

Monday, 21 October 2013

New to Netflix UK - 21/10/13

Some promising new titles this week, including some phenomenally awesome cult favourites.

Repo Man - A youth with no real purpose in life finds himself drawn into the local car repossession company, with its colourful and philosophical characters, and becomes part of a wider conspiracy involving revolutionaries, rival repo men, government agents and dead aliens. Seminal cult classic from Alex Cox that's just so out there you have to watch it to believe it.

Where the Buffalo Roam - Loose biopic about journalist Hunter S Thompson and his relationship with lawyer and politician Oscar Acosta (aka Dr Gonzo). The story is all over the place and it lacks the gonzo feel that it so desperately needed but Bill Murray makes a decent Thompson and it's a good enough performance to warrant watching the movie.

Slaughter House Five - A soldier becomes unstuck in time which causes him to experience every moment of his life at the same time, including his time in the war, his family life and his time as a zoo animal for aliens. A faithful adaptation of Vonnegut's sci-fi masterpiece (Vonnegut himself gave it the thumbs up) Roy Hill manages to capture the absurdity of the plot almost perfectly and the result is a weird but incredibly funny oddity of a movie.

Seven Psychopaths - A struggling screenwriter tries to draw inspiration for his movie from the actions of his oddball friends, which include dog-napping for ransom money, but he finds the line between reality and fiction blurring with every page. It's not as brash or Un-PC as In Bruges but McDonagh's follow-up is every bit a must see, combining incredibly likable unpleasant characters with his trademark quick-fire dialogue and the result is a very very funny movie from one of Britain's most promising directors.

Far and Away - Two young Irish  lovers run away to America but life is tough as misfortune waits for them around every corner. Viewed by some as a masterpiece of love in tough times, it does feel like a rehash of other greater stories, but the performance by Cruise and Kidman are convincing enough even if the epic feel the movie went for feels exhausted within the first few minutes.

Cropsey - Documentary following two friends who investigate the disappearance of children in their hometown after they discover the 'bogeyman' from their childhood was actually a real person. Surprisingly creepy for a documentary, the premise is engaging enough but you feel that at the end nothing actually gets accomplished, which will either frustrate you of enhance the actual nature of the film.

Netflix have also uploaded a collection of 30 episodes from the acclaimed Hanna-Barbera adaptation of Peyo's The Smurfs. They aren't in any particular order (so I doubt we'll be getting the full series of 256 episodes) but it's better than nothing and infinitely better than the live-action dreck being peddled to the kids.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Halloween Short - 'Halloween Hugs'

The latest annual Halloween short from ArieScope is here and features some very creepy, furry creatures.

For those of you who don't know, ArieScope is the production company founded by Adam Green (director of the Hatchet films, Frozen and's Holliston series) and every year they release a short movie to celebrate Halloween.

While not the best of the shorts they've released, it's still pretty funny and worth watching (if you're into the campy horror/gore genre...or hate Muppets).

You can check out their back-catalogue of shorts via the ArieScope website or via their YouTube channel.

New to Netflix UK - 14/10/13

Mostly guilty pleasures this week, though there are a couple of more 'intelligent' films available too.

The House Bunny - An ex-Playboy Bunny finds herself in charge of a socially awkward sorority house who only have a couple of months to find new pledges or lose their house. It's a pretty dumb movie, but dumb in a good way, and it's a good showcase for Anna Faris who makes the film just about watchable.

The Help - An author decides to chronicle the lives of African American maids during the 1960's, much to the chargrim of the white housewives. It's a crowd pleaser in all respects of the term but it doesn't ram the social commentary down your throat which makes it a highly enjoyable movie that just happens to have a lot to say on the social status of many American citizens at the time.

Bedtime Stories - A hotel janitor aspiring to become the manager finds that the stories he tells his niece and nephew have the tendency to come true. The combination of Sandler and Disney is enough to put most people off but Sandler is forced to restrain himself, making him watchable, and the result is acceptable piece of escapism that children should enjoy.

A Night at the Roxbury - Two hopeless brothers' dream of opening their own club is brought one step closer to reality when they manage to gain access to an exclusive nightclub. It's pretty dreadful, despite being a guilty pleasure for many, but it does have a good [cheesy] soundtrack and worth watching if you're curious where Will Ferrell started from.

Red: Werewolf Hunter - A descendant of Little Red Riding Hood must protect her boyfriend from her wolf-hunting family after he is bitten by a werewolf. It's a made-forTV movie, so it's not exactly got the best production values but those looking for cheesy fun could do a lot worse and Ms Day is always very watchable.

Identity - Ten strangers, stranded at a motel during a violent storm, have to band together to fend off a murderer. It's one of those movies that starts off as one thing and goes in a completely different direction halfway through, and the result is an exceptionally well-made and intelligent thriller that will have you eager to rewatch it once it's over.

The Odd Couple - After a failed suicide attempt, a man with the penchant of being a 'neat-freak' moves in with his best friend who happens to be a slob. It's a classic for a reason, with Lemmon and Matthau playing off each other with hilarious results.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Cheap Blu-Ray Deals (UK)

Blu-rays are great, but they can also be expensive. To save you the hassle of tracking down the current cheapo's, I've listed the better movies currently on offer below (prices also include delivery).

Anger Management [£2.99]
Rachel Getting Married [£2.99]
The Mask of Zorro [£2.99]
Redbelt [£2.99]
The Thirteenth Floor [£2.99]
The Karate Kid (2010) (DVD + Blu-ray) [£3.26]
Rocknrolla [£3.99]
Edge of Darkness (2009) [£3.99]
Wanted (either Reel Heroes or Standard Cover) [£4.00]
Identity [£2.99]
Almost Famous [£2.99]
Erin Brockovich [£2.99]
The Social Network [£3.89]
The Mist [£3.79]

The Green Zone [£2.65]
Robin Hood (2010) Extended Cut [£2.71]


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps [£4.00]


The Crossing Guard [£3.99]

Monday, 7 October 2013

New to Netflix UK - 07/10/13

A few good movies out this week, though nothing too special.

Grabbers - When blood sucking aliens terrorise a small Irish community, the residents find that the only way to repel them is by getting drunk. It's not laugh-out-loud all the way through (though when it's funny, it is funny) but thanks to a great plot gimmick the movie ends up being a lot of fun.

Hamburger Hill - Tells the story of the men who tried to take Hill 937 from the Vietnamese in was was considered one of the most violent and vicious battles of the infamous war. It's a tough film to both like and watch, though this might be on purpose based on the authenticity they were aiming for, but if you can endure the gruelling experience you'll no doubt forget it in a hurry.

Quartet - At a home for retired musicians, three friends find their performance in the annual concert put at risk when the forth member of their group suddenly turns up and starts acting out. It's very well acted but the film lacks any real depth and at the end doesn't amount to anything more than a charming film, which sometimes is enough.

Pretty in Pink - A teenager finds herself torn between the affections of the her best friend and the most popular guy in school. While the setting may feel dated it is still one of the most iconic high-school stories that's still relevant today.

Orange County - When his application to Stanford is denied following an error in the form, an aspiring writer hits the road with his brother in an attempt to get accepted, no matter what. Fun, if forgettable, movie that has enough funny moments to keep going and is held up by the strong talents of the two lead actors.

Melancholia - As the earth prepares for a collision with another planet, two sisters try to patch their dysfunctional relationship when one of them is getting married. Very weird but very compelling drama from Von Trier.