Archive for the 'Favourite Films' Category

Star Trek [2009]

The Star Trek reboot is here and JJ Abrams has done for Trek what Chris Nolan did for the Batman franchise. There’s no doubt that this is a great film - fun, inviting, exciting and downright cool. It has taken Trek from the increasingly complicated beast that it had become, and gone back to basics. Owing more to the original Sixties Trek than later incarnations, the film truly is a reboot whilst retaining much of the canon that came before.

Set well before the original series, the film gives a new and alternative account as to how Kirk became Captain of the USS Enterprise. From the opening few minutes, everything you see here is new and fresh but yet reassuringly familiar. With a whole new cast (save Mr Nimoy in an extended cameo as a much older Spock), the film had the difficult task of retaining the charm of the original whilst appealing to both old and new fans and the result is one of the best films the franchise has seen so far. Great performances and wonderful effects alongside a brisk, no-fluff story give the film plenty of appeal to those with short attention spans and Abrams along with Robery Orci and Alex Kurtzman inject a huge amount of humour that gently pokes fun at the characters and ideas of ‘TOS’ whilst retaining a huge amount of respect.

The Good

Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are great in the roles of Kirk and Spock

The new Enterprise design retains much of the original’s charm whilst adding huge amounts of detail and realism

The story is great swashbuckling Trek of the old-school type. Kirk gets into fights, romps with aliens and saves the Earth

The film isn’t afraid to changed established history in the biggest of ways - who would have thought that they’d be brave enough to destroy Vulcan and leave it that way with no reset?

It’s funny - laugh out loud funny, but it’s also edge of your seat stuff

The effects are stunning - the best science fiction CGI so far - beautiful (if a little lense flair heavy!)

The OK

Whilst it isn’t rushed, one key piece of the story ended up on the cutting room floor - the Klingon capture of Nero and his subsequent imprisonment on Rura Penthe

There are some minor plot holes - but this would only get the nerds up in arms. The rest of us can overlook them.

The Bad

Not much at all - I liked the entire cast, the story, the acting, the direction and the SFX - is there anything not to like?

The Blu-ray

Gorgeous - colourful, sharp, no digital artefacts. The soundtrack is exhilerating too - active, basy and very very clear. The extras are worthy with loads of deleted scenes filling in some of the narrative gaps. The story was there, but pacing reasons meant that some key narrative was lost and now we can see it all.It’s a great overall package and well worth buying, even for non-fans.

Posted on 19th November 2009
Under: Favourite Films, Science Fiction, Blu-Ray, Genres, Formats, Chris Pine, J J Abrams | No Comments »

Favourite Films: No. 20: Almost Famous

almostfamous.jpgCameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical film is amusing and touching in equal measure. It is very much a coming of age tale telling the story of an aspiring rock journalist, William Miller (Patrick Fugit), as he goes on the road with the band Stillwater to write an article for Rolling Stone magazine. Fugit’s central performance carries the film but with supporting turns by Frances McDormand, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee and Billy Crudup all putting in a decent effort.

As Miller travels around the US on the Stillwater tour bus he becomes expose to the excesses of the music world - the groupies, the drugs and the band arguements all combine to force Miller to break free of his mother’s (McDormand) grasp and make his own way in life.

As a director, Crowe, has yet to better Almost Famous with his following films, Vanilla Sky and Elizabethtown recieving mixed critical and fan reaction. Here, he guides the story with a steady hand and the obviously more personal story gives us less flashy, but very successful results. The superb soundtrack also helps to set the film against the perfect backdrop.

Almost Famous is a heartwarming tale that brings genuine humour to the fore whilst offering plenty to bolster the coming of age genre and comes highly recommended.

Posted on 25th July 2006
Under: DVD, Music, Favourite Films | No Comments »

My current top 20

Cribbed (and updated!) from my page over at YMDB, here’s my current 20 favourite films. I’m going to try and write a mini review for one of these film each week…


  • Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
  • Planet of the Apes (1968)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • The Omen (1976)
  • Stand by Me (1986)
  • Spirited Away (2001)
  • Withnail and I (1987)
  • Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • The Terminator (1984)
  • North by Northwest (1959)
  • Life of Brian (1979)
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  • Amelie (2001)
  • Se7en (1995)
  • Léon (1994)
  • Psycho (1960)
  • Citizen Kane (1941)
  • Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  • Almost Famous (2000)

Posted on 17th July 2006
Under: Favourite Films | No Comments »

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