DVD Review: The Thing (2011)

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The Thing DVD Cover Distributor: Universal Pictures UK

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Kim Bubbs, Stig Henrik Hoff, Kristofer Hivju

Remake, reboot, prequel, sequel, premake, re-imagining – there, that’s got all of those irritating phrases out of the way, although there aren’t many movies that can claim to be most of those in one. Held in high regard amongst genre fans, John Carpenter’s 1982 version of The Thing (itself a retelling of the 1951 sci-fi classic The Thing From Another World) is seen as up there with The Exorcist as one of those films that should just be left alone and not tampered with. Although The Exorcist has had sequels and prequels, none have come close to touching the majesty of the original and, at the very least, none of them ever tried to Continue reading

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Blu-ray Review: Ninja: Shadow of a Tear (2013)

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Ninja: Shadow of a Tear BR CoverDistributor: Lionsgate

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Isaac Florentine

Starring: Scott Adkins, Kane Kosugi, Mika Hijii, Tim Man, Markus Waldow

Of course, back in the golden years of the 1980s you couldn’t move for a tidal wave of ninja films that seemed to fill up the shelves of VHS rental shops across the whole of the country. They were usually made by production companies like Cannon, starred Michael Dudikoff, Shô Kosugi or Cynthia Rothrock (if you fancied a female spin on the genre) and had titles like American Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja, Pray For Death and Ninja III: The Domination. Apart from Shô Kosugi’s Ninja Assassin in 2010, the ninja film hasn’t really been well served since those halcyon days but maybe that will change now that Ninja: Shadow of a Tear is here to dazzle us with displays of brilliantly choreographed violence and a lead actor with Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: The Wolverine (2013)

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The Wolverine BR CoverDistributor: 20th Century Fox

BBFC Classification: 12

Director: James Mangold

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Famke Janssen, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Brian Tee, Haruhiko Yamanouchi

Ever since 2000s X-Men brought the superhero film out of the limbo that Joel Schumacher’s limp Batman & Robin dragged it into in the late-90s, Hugh Jackman’s take on Wolverine has proven to be one of the most popular modern movie protagonists, albeit one that hasn’t quite had his defining film made yet. Despite being the standout character in the X-Men films, they were really ensemble pieces and 2009s X-Men Origins: Wolverine proved to be something of a disappointment to many fans with a jumbled mess of a back-story, too many secondary characters and cheap CGI effects losing ground to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and Marvel’s production line of Avengers-related product. Which brings us to Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: The Last American Virgin (1982)

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The Last American Virgin BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Boaz Davidson

Starring: Lawrence Monoson, Diane Franklin, Steve Antin, Brian Peck, Kimmy Robertson, Joe Rubbo

Every genre of film has what many would call an ‘underrated gem’- a great piece of work that never really gets the credit it deserves – and director Boaz Davidson’s 1982 film The Last American Virgin (a remake of his own 1978 film Lemon Popsicle) is definitely one that fits that description. A quick discussion with anybody about 80s teen sex comedies will always throw up the same few titles – Porky’s, Screwballs, Blame it on Rio, Class, etc. – but for some reason The Last American Virgin often gets overlooked by all but Continue reading