Thursday 24 November 2011

DVD Prizes To Be Won

Win Rare Exports on DVD

This competition is now closed.

Terms and Conditions

Only one entry will be accepted per person.
Entrants must be UK residents and aged 18 or over.
The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Friday 18 November 2011

Win a subscription to The Dark Side

Win a year's digital subscription to The Dark Side.

The UK’s number one specialist horror genre magazine The Dark Side has just turned 21 years old and to celebrate this momentous anniversary in style, along with the help and support of sponsors Network DVD, The Dark Side is offering all its readers, both old and new, the chance to enjoy the magazine’s first four rare collectors’ editions totally free of charge at No longer available to buy as back issues, these archive volumes have been recreated as brand new digital editions allowing readers to take a chilling journey down the dark alleyways of horror history.

If you want to catch up with The Dark Side now then do visit their website for print and digital subscriptions but we're offering one lucky reader a chance to win a digital subscription for a whole year!

To be in with a chance of winning, simply send an email with your name and address to by Friday December 2nd.

Terms and Conditions

Only one entry will be accepted per person.
Entrants must be UK residents and aged 18 or over.
The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Monday 14 November 2011

Justice review

Justice (15, 104 mins)
Director: Roger Donaldson
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

The original title of this batty thriller was The Hungry Rabbit Jumps, a coded phrase that crops up early as we open on a man being secretly filmed while being questioned by persons unknown.

Moments later he’s in his car and being pushed off the roof of a car-park by another vehicle, and how these events are connected with husband and wife Will and Laura (Nicolas Cage and January Jones) soon becomes clear.

He’s a New Orleans teacher and she a musician whose lives are turned upside down when Laura is brutally assaulted. Will is approached by someone calling himself Simon (Guy Pearce) who says he’s with an organisation who will “take care” of the problem. After a bit of thought, it’s an offer Will accepts, and sure enough, Laura’s attacker ends up dead, killed by the husband of a previous victim of crime.

But, just like in The Godfather, Will may be called upon by Simon to provide a service, which starts out innocuously enough, just deliveries and observation. But soon he’s being asked to murder a suspected criminal as payback for the service provided for him, and if he refuses, things are likely to turn very nasty indeed for Laura and him.

Vigilantism always makes for an interesting and provocative subject matter, though one that’s rarely treated well by modern movies. But Justice doesn’t really ask any moral questions of the audience, preferring to quickly turn into the usual innocent man wronged tropes.

It also doesn’t take very long at all to go from silly to preposterous. It’s one of those daft thrillers where practically everyone in it is part of a network of operatives, a springboard for moronic twists that provide absolutely no clue just whose side Xander Berkeley’s cop is supposed to be on.

It’s cheap looking and over-egged when it’s being serious, and twee and unconvincing when it’s trying to be a bit lighter, and all you really get in the way of excitement is shady guys watching and doing things unseen and some extremely low rent chases.

Cage in normal guy mode is like Fun Bobby from Friends when he’s sober – just not enjoyable for anyone to be around, and you realise you miss the wacky, off the wall Cage, who at least brings a certain manic energy to films that are invariably rubbish anyway.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Arthur Christmas review

Arthur Christmas (U, 97 mins)
Director: Sarah Smith
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Arthur Christmas (voiced by James McAvoy) lives at the North Pole with his family, and mostly spends his time reading letters that have been sent to Santa. His dad Malcolm (Jim Broadbent) is the current Father Christmas, but big brother Steve (Hugh Laurie) yearns to take over, and orchestrates the present delivery like a military operation, shown in an ingenious sequence that reveals how the elves manage to deliver to every child in the world in a single night. But when one child is missed out and Steve doesn’t seem to care, it’s up to Arthur and his Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) to get that little girl her bike no matter what. This breezy computer animation from Aardman can only dip after such a fantastic start, and for a while the plot starts to wander as much as Arthur does, as his world tour to deliver the errant present takes him from Mexico to Africa, though with enough wit and imagination to make the journey a pleasant one, and only a bit of steam lost. It remains engaging throughout thanks to cheery voices, the show stolen by Ashley Jensen as Bryony, an elf with very impressive present-wrapping skills, and it’s certainly heartwarming enough to get by.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Tower Heist review

Tower Heist (12A, 104 mins)
Director: Brett Ratner
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Ben Stiller is the manager of a New York apartment building for the super-rich, keeping the place ticking. When one of the residents (Alan Alda) is arrested in a billion dollar fraud scandal, all the staff find their pensions are gone, so Stiller and a bunch of disgruntled employees hatch a scheme to relieve Alda of the $20m in cash they believe he’s hidden in his home. With no skills between them, and Stiller forced to enlist the help of his jailbird neighbour (Eddie Murphy), it should play like a low-rent Ocean’s Eleven, with all the opportunity for breezy caper antics that should afford, and which ought to be the basis for a few undemanding laughs. In its defence, it's the best thing Murphy has been attached to in years, and his performance has an edge that's been missing since his heyday, meaning that what few chuckles there are come from him. But the rest is flabby, with plot holes that aren’t so much gaping as offensive, and entirely lacking in sparkle or surprises.