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Thursday, 18 March 2010

5 Must See Documentaries
5. Jesus Camp - Dir. Heidi Ewing; Rachel Grady
Jesus Camp shows how a group of fundamentalist Christians enrol young children into a 'summer camp'to brainwash them into believing that any form of sin will see them cast into the pit of hell fire. Its really scary stuff to see how much they are forced to believe in and to what lengths they'll go to show that faith. No such thing as freedom of choice in this depiction.

4. Fear Of God - The Making Of The Exorcist
A good one this that can be watched on You Tube or if you own a copy of the first DVD release of The Exorcist as an additional extra. Mark Kermode's brilliant documentary on the making of one of the greatest films ever made. His love for the subject is legion and nothing is unanswered. A must see for any Exorcist fan. Which I am.

3. Supersize Me
A film that really shows that one man can make a difference. Morgan Spurlock eats only Maccy D's for 30 days to tell everyone what they already knew, yeah its bad for you but with simplistic ingeniousness shows what actually happens to your health. After the release and success of Supersize Me MacDonalds introduced a whole new healthier range of foods which they ludicrously stated had NO bearer on the film. It put me off MacDonalds for about a year.

2.Grizzly Man
Timothy Treadwell lives with bears. He loves the bears and gives them names like Chocolate. He wants to be a bear. If this sounds a little crazy then you've not even scratched the surface of the intricacies and lunacy of this film. You'll watch this and either find it moving and upsetting or hilarious.

1. Bowling For Coulmbine
You can't have a documentary list without a Michael Moore film in there, and this is his best by far. An astonishing film in every aspect covering gun law, teen angst and the columbine massacre itself. You'll never watch a Charlton Heston movie in the same light again.

The 13 Worst Movies Ever
13. The Happening (Dir. M. Night Shyamalan)
What the hell was that all about. Was it the Wind? Was it the Plants? Was it Mark Wahlbergs acting? A film that makes no sense and almost destroyed the careers of everyone involved. Shyamalan would later try and defend Wahlberg and Deschanel's 'acting' as a throwback to disaster movies of late and work quite well!  Everybody else dis-agreed and is now on most lists of worst movies ever.

12. The Avengers (Dir. Jeremiah Chechik)
Sean Connery in a teddy bear suit. Yup its that bad. Panned by more or less everyone this misfire of a movie has nothing going for it, rubbish performances, a plot that any primary school student could come up with, horrific effects and lazy screenwriting make it a turkey to be reckoned with.

11. Jaws: The Revenge (Dir. Joseph Sargent)
Michael Caine once said about this 'I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific'. This great quote is the best thing to remember about the film, there is nothing to remember about film itself. Avoid. Do not Watch. Beach Closed by order Amity P.D.

10. Date Movie (Dir. Aaron Seltzer & Jason Friedberg)
It took two talentless nobodies to create this unfunny, un-watchable mess of a movie. I'd include the other *add title* Movies to the list but after watching this I've avoided them like the plague. While watching this I actually found myself watching dry paint on a wall, not watching it dry, just watching it. I'd rate that higher than this piece if shit movie.

9. Southland Tales (Dir Richard Kelly)
From the guy who brought you Donnie Darko, so I was expecting weird. I wasn't expecting one of the most baffling (in a very bad way) movies I've ever watched. It makes no sense and was laughed out of Cannes where it premièred. The response from the director, 'You have to read the graphic novel I wrote to really understand the film'. REALLY? I have to read your piece of crap comic to understand this piece of crap film? I did and it still didn't make any fucking sense.

8. Ultraviolet (Dir, Kurt Wimmer)
What. The. Hell. I have no idea what is going on in this film, I think it has something to do with Vampires and shiny clothes. Imagine watching The Clothes Show with swords with a migrane and you might have some idea of how painful it was to watch it. One of the few films I actually turned off and refused to watch.

7. Raging Bull (Dir. Martin Scorsese)
I always struggle to find anyone who agrees with me on this one, so I think I'm on my own. I don't know if it's the film I find irritating or Robert DeNiro's over acting. A bit of both would be the safe answer. The Story of a boxer that has troubles, sorry seen it all before only better made plus making it in black and white holds no creative plus point. The scene where DeNiro bangs his head against a wall is one of the funniest scenes ever but for all the wrong reasons.

6. ElizabethTown (Dir. Cameron Crowe)
This is awful right from the start. Orlando Bloom just comes off as a cocky, arrogant wanker and your glad he gets fired. Kirsten Dunst is more or less the same but with more unnecessary kooky-ness. In order to pan out the last half an hour Crowe just basically plays a mix-tape with Bloom in a car?! No talent there, its in every other music video ever made and that's the problem, the film doesn't know what it is, but I do. Its rubbish.

5. Batman And Robin (Dir. Joel Schumacher)
When held up against Christopher Nolan's Batman's its easy to see why this is in the list but even without Nolans movies it has to be here. Clooney playing Bruce Wayne like some sort of James Bond character, Arnie being just awful as Mr Freeze (and it pains me to say that), ridiculous set-pieces, shite dialogue and of course the batsuit nipples. If Lady Gaga made movies, she'd make Batman and Robin.

4. Death Proof (Dir. Quentin Tarantino)
An hour and a half half of women talking like Quentin Tarantino and a half hour car chase. Nothing much happens, the characters are irritating and the whole thing makes you want to get up, leave, then come back when something interesting occurs (which it never does). Its Tarantino up his own arse thinking he can make any movie he wants. Boring, Dull and unimpressive, watch Planet Terror rather than this garbage.

3. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (Dir. George Lucas aka Franchise Killer)
The excitement, the suspense, the euphoric sight of the starting credits. Its here the new Star Wars movie! 136mins later and its the end theme from the Incredible Hulk and a slow walk past B&Q. Lucas killed millions of Star Wars fans hearts with this turgid, toy story of a film aimed directly at children under 10 and made specifically to sell toys. Feel your heart sink as you hear Anakin say 'Yipee' and everytime Jar-Jar appears. People hate Jar-Jar most about this film, I don't, Its George Lucas by a country mile

2. The Love Guru (Dir. Marco Schnabel)
Dear God, where to start on this one. I've really not one solitary good thing to say about this film, and it looks like nobody else does either. Irritating doesn't even come close, neither does annoying, obnoxious, grating or any other word in planet Earths language. How are people allowed to make such rubbish? Who read this and thought it was any good? Ben Kingsley, what are you doing in this?! If you have a choice of sleeping in a sewer for a year or watching this, choose the sewer. Everytime.

1. Any Hugh Grant Movie
Anyone who has watched a Hugh Grant movie, bow your head in shame. This guy openly says that he can't act and only knows how to play himself on film. I'm sorry but your not an actor then are you?!? A man who has made every other country on earth believe we are bumbling, stuttering posh idiots. The same role over and over and over again, Christ he gets paid for this. I hate this guy and everything he does or is attached to. There are great actors out there who put real effort into work, spend months getting into character for a role and this prick just turns up, stutters, and goes to cash his cheque. That and receive blow-jobs from ugly prostitutes. Classy guy.

I know I've missed a lot of really poor movies but the list is based on the ones that took themselves seriously. If you've anymore to add, comments as always below.

6 Odd Movie Related You Tube Clips
6. Danny Glover And Predators Dancing
Errmmm does kinda what it says on the tin really, an outake from Predator 2. 100% real, no stunt doubles.

5. Dolph Lundgren Live In Concert
Honestly this is a show I'd go see, Dolph sings, dances, plays the drums, smashes wood, blocks of ice and performs a really bad Sean Connery impression all in ONE show. I now have new respect for Ivan Danko.

4. Captain Kirk Is Climbing A Mountain
William Shatner. A mountain. Prepare for mountain love.

3. Han Solo P.I.
The opening credits of Star Wars in tandem with Magnum P.I. Genius.

2. Worst. Fight. Ever.
One of the best worst fight scenes ever placed on film. Flannel hook to the eye.

1. The Worst Ending Ever.
Honestly .... what?

One of my own personal favourites. Taken from the Bollywood film Ellam Inba Mayam (1981) its one of the greatest dance routines you will ever see on film, and the song is quality too. You'll be singing this for days!

Top 100 Films
Top 100 Films as voted for by the good readers of KaihoroTimes!

100. Vanilla Sky
99. Quadrophenia
98. The Lost Boys
97. Grease
96. Home Alone
95. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
94. P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang
93. Arlington Road
92. The Full Monty
91. Harry Potter (collective)
90. Rock N Rolla
89. Dogma
88. Grosse Point Blank
87. On Golden Pond
86. Planes Trains & Automobiles
85. Brick
84. The Goonies
83. The Jungle Book
82. The Omen (Original)
81. Dazed And Confused
80. Philidelphia

79. The Crow
78. High Fidelity
77. The Godfather Part III
76. The Colour Purple
75. Tombstone
74. Black Hawk Down
73. Withnail & I
72. Ghost In The Shell
71. Ghostbusters
70. Dead Poets Society
69. Brokeback Mountain
68. True Romance
67. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
66. Stardust
65. Lost In Translation
64. The Quiet Man
63. Once
62. Shaun Of The Dead
61. The Truman Show
60. Harvey

59. Rocky
58. Kick-Ass
57. Magnolia
56. Good Will Hunting
55. My Neighbour Totoro
54. Gone With The Wind
53. The Thing
52. Life Of Brian
51. Million Dollar Baby
50. Trainspotting
49. Toy Story
48. Slumdog Millionaire
47. Die Hard
46. Sin City
45. Avatar
44. Once Upon A Time In America
43. Gran Torino
42. Full Metal Jacket
41. Back To The Future
40. Gladiator

39. Citizen Kane
38. Amelie
37. Leon
36. Rear Window
35. Memento
34. Once Upon A Time In The West
33. Seven Samurai
32. Casablanca
31. The Lord Of The Rings (collective)
30. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest
29. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
28. Enter The Dragon
27. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
26. Dawn Of The Dead (original)
25. JFK
24. Crash (2004)
23. Platoon
22. Jaws
21. Saving Private Ryan
20. It's A Wonderful Life

19. Raiders Of The Lost Ark
18. Silence Of The Lambs
17. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
16. Star Wars: A New Hope
15. The Dark Knight
14. The Godfather: Part Two
13. Predator
12. The Terminator
11. Heat
10. Aliens
9. The Usual Suspects
8. Seven
7. Fight Club
6. Schindlers List
5. The Godfather
4. The Big Lebowski
3. Goodfellas
2. Pulp Fiction
1. The Shawshank Redemption

Five must see TV series’ of the last decade
Battlestar: Gallactica
No, no – not that one, the new one. When I was first recommended to watch this, I thought it would be geeky even by my own unique standards. Flashbacks of Dirk Benedict’s side-parting and a talking robot were not kindly reminders of the franchise. Nonetheless I agreed to watch the pilot episode (which is 2 hours long) and two months later I found I’d watched all 70+ episodes, resorting to the interweb for the final, unavailable few (due to the American writers strike). Absolutely solid acting, multi-layered characters, a plot that twists and turns like a viper, crisp special effects and a script that grips you like an angry Doncastrian wrestler. The new Battlestar is a must-see, not only for sci-fi fans, but anyone who appreciates a truly polished piece of drama. Plus Starbuck is a chick.

The Sopranos (Guest Written by Pads Murphy)
I've come to accept the difficult fact that every gangster film I've ever watched has been riddled with the most terrible one liners spoken by improbably gracious men who wield a creeping romantic violence. Ridiculous scripts dishing out cringing speeches are in the Godfather, Goodfellas, and especially the Krays. But the thing is, until you watch the awesome wall of reality that The Sopranos paints you'll live in blissful ignorance. In terms of positives the win win win win win that Tony Soprano delivers is his vulnerable reality, and the dawning realisation that you're on the side of a really bad guy - who accepts that he's bad and makes his peace with it. Can you? It's a killer of a show.

HeroesI was lucky enough to catch this on the Sci-Fi channel when it first aired, so by the time it made its mainstream debut on BBC2, I’d already smashed through the first season by obsessive internet download. There’s been a glut of “Super Hero” films and tv programs over the last couple of years and in my opinion they owe much of their success to Heroes for making it cool to want to be a super hero again. What elevated Heroes above some of its peers was its ability to bring normal every day characters and provide the “what if” factor of waking up one day with special powers. Not only did it show the transition from normal to abnormal, but it also highlighted the struggles and sometimes unhappiness associated with their “gift” in the first place. This show has touching realism, three-dimensional characters and a man who takes apart brains like he’s fixing a pocket watch. Awesome.

Sacred Heart hospital might have needed a pacemaker by the time it hit its seventh dismal season, but the earlier airings of Scrubs were nothing short of comedy genius. Taking Zack Braff from absolute obscurity and pairing him alongside the established and talented John C McGinley provided a comedy double-act set in the world’s most surreal hospital. McGinley’s sarcastic and abrasive Dr Cox is probably the most consistently funny character in the series and I still find myself laughing at repeats on Dave even now (and trust me, you watch a lot of repeats on Dave when you’re unemployed and don’t have SKY). Even when it was a little too heavy on the moral message front, Scrubs still laughed at itself for that exact reason whilst passing one-liners out like free meals at a soup kitchen. A superb supporting cast rounds off the quality of the product, except Carla – she just annoys me consistently. Either way, if you haven’t seen Scrubs, you should check in – immediately.

Family Guy
First airing in 1999 and running to present day, Family Guy can only be described as what The Simpsons would be like if Matt Groening had a nervous breakdown and then developed Tourettes Syndrome. Dealing with a dysfunctional family in a variety of absurd situations, absolutely nothing is off limits for Family Guy. Although some of its gags are borderline offensive, it never seems to go too far due to its sharp voice acting and fast moving script. Although Family guy is incredibly funny and a joy to watch (seeing a toddler beating a cartoon dog “Goodfellas style” anyone?) there are two reasons why I almost wish it hadn’t been so commercially well received: 1). The Star Wars spin-off’s which were fairly mediocre and 2). The Cleveland Show, which frankly is about as amusing as getting AIDS for your birthday. If you can ignore the lame sub-products (and I’d implore you to) in favour of a vastly superior comic vehicle you’ll be simultaneously laughing and wincing through every episode.

Submitted by: Dave Gledhill

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Top 5: John Candy Movies
5. Canadian Bacon
Still a John Candy film that sits under many people's radar. A fantastically dry satire based on America trying to make money by declaring war on Canada. Candy plays an American sheriff who takes things way to seriously and takes his own band of misfits across the border to invade. Its a rather more darker comedic role than what Candy usually deals in but as usual he pulls it off superbly.

4. Spaceballs
Ah Spaceballs. A spoof that works when it really shouldn't and right in the middle of everything is Candy as Barf the Mawg (half man, half dog). It's a role that should be way too ludicrous (see what I did there) for you to take seriously, even considering the madness that goes on in the film, but its a measure of the likeability of  the man that makes you root for him. Sure I see this through nostalgic eyes but I still think its a great comedy film.

3. Uncle Buck
Good old Uncle Buck. Soaked in John Hughes's nostalgia (I use this phrase alot, I know) its a fantastic story of the bad guy comes good. If you can even call Buck the bad guy, for me its the mother who's the evil one here. Anyway its a grandstand performance from the big man showing loyalty, protectiveness and some of the best dead-pan humour ever put on film. You know what a hatchet is, don't you, Bug?

2. The Great Outdoors
One of the quintessential Sunday afternoon comedy films. Candy plays Chet, your average joe (he should have a patent on that) up against snobbish Dan Ackroyd's Roman. I struggled to chose between this and Uncle Buck for position number two until I realised that I must have seen and quote The Great Outdoors a lot more than Buck. Subconsciously, for me, this is the better film.

1. Planes, Trains & Automobiles
It was always going to be number one wasn't it. I mean lets face it, you wont see a 'best of John Candy' list and not see Planes, Trains & Automobiles at the top spot. Candy has never been better as the loveable Del Griffith and bounces off Martin superbly. He eats up every scene he's in and convincingly switches between comedy and sentimentally in a heart beat. His speech to Martin in the Hotel room still remains one of my favourite of all time.

Special Mention .........

One of the few serious straight roles for the big man and you know what, he shows he got serious talent for not just comedy. He's only in the film for a few scenes but each time he turns up your amazed that its him, Candy doing seriousness, and doing it well? You better believe it. I truly believe that if he'd lived longer he would have taken more serious roles and really nailed them.

And The Worst ..........

Who's Harry Crumb?
It just doesn't work at all. When you cast John Candy as a smug, arrogant, albeit useless, private eye your onto a loser. I think I've seen this film twice and failed to laugh either time. When you have Candy starring in a comedy which doesn't raise any laughs at all then your film is doomed.

Movie Anagrams
Love them, or hate them here's a little movie anagram quiz I've put together.

Find the the fifteen movie titles and submit your responses (you don't have to answer them all).

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

My Top 5 Guilty Pleasures
5. The Core
One of those films that's so bad its good? Definitely. I just love it. Everytime I come across it on TV (and its alot) it stays on. I love the lunacy behind the idea, I love the over-the-top heroic values of the characters. What's not to enjoy about watching a band of cobbled together, at odds, adventurers tunnelling to the earths core to detonate a nuclear device to restart it spinning! It's not on many peoples radar but it's absolutely on mine.

4. Moulin Rouge
Now this is a film that I shouldn't really like, but really do. A romantic musical that's overly camp? Why not, it just works for me. The love story between Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor is totally believably, kudos to them both for doing their own singing by the way, and the whole thing looks spectacular, spectacular! I may get slated for this but I don't care, its a lovely and enjoyable film.

3. The Sound Of Music
Should this really be a guilty pleasure? Does such a great classic deserve to be in a feature like this? For me, yes. I'm not known for my soft, family friendly, musical, Disney movie side but The Sound Of Music is an amazing film. Julie Andrews best role by far, and yes I include Poppins in that, and the musical numbers by Rodgers and Hammerstein are bliss. I've always enjoyed this and even more so now I have a family of my own dressed in old curtains.

2. Battle Beyond The Stars
Its just an amazing science fiction film. Simply as that. Don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise, although there won't be many that even remember it never mind defend it. Starring that dude from The Waltons, Hannibal from the AT, Napoleon Solo and Roper its a homage to the Seven Samurai with one of the weirdest looking spaceships ever committed to film. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

1. The Notebook
I'm sorry but if your male, and you make one of these lists, The Notebook will feature at some point. You may speak to other alpha males who will dismiss this movie as the fundamental 'Chick flick' and laugh you out of the Turkish Sauna you frequent but secretly, at home, hidden away in their collection, lies the DVD of The Notebook. I didn't cry, honestly I didn't *shifts eyes left to right*

So that's my list, want to contribute your own? The comments section is open as always or drop me a mail if you want a feature of your own adding.