Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

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We can thank writer Seth Grahame-Smith for mashing up Jane Austen’s classic ‘Pride and Prejudice’ with the undead. It’s something that shouldn’t really work, as it’s two wildly different ideas being melded together. That said, it does work, and work quite well.

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The story really is just the standard tale of love between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, with hordes of the shuffling undead thrown in. Lily James is fantastic as Elizabeth, really getting into the fights, with the dashing Sam Riley playing Mr. Darcy, fighting by her side. Director Burr Steers said that most people couldn’t really figure out how to film the movie as they weren’t sure what direction to take it in. Burr Steers said he took the job because he was just going to film it like he would if it didn’t have zombies in it. Everyone plays it so straight and it makes it a very funny movie because of it.

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The gore is not bad, not as gory as I was expecting, considering we have flesh eating zombies on the prowl. The fight choreography is very well put together, and everybody seems to be throwing themselves into their roles. The supporting cast of Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Jack Huston and even Doctor Who actor Matt Smith are all cast brilliantly in their respective roles.

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The film does lag in the third act, which I was a little disappointed about, as that is exactly when it should be firing on all cylinders. The movie is released on Blu Ray and DVD on 27th June.

3/5

JM

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I, The Jury (1982)

  
After his old war buddy is gunned down, private detective Mike Hammer (Armand Assante) seeks vengeance. However as Hammer investigates, he finds that this is more than a case of simple murder. 

  
As the investigation deepens, Mike and his gorgeous secretary Velda (the stunning Laurene Landon), find out that the government are involved and are using mind control to create assassins with the help of a sexual therapy clinic. It’s a bit crazy, but a lot of fun. 

  

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Hollywood, Je T’Aime (2009)

  
Jérôme Beaunez (Eric Debets) returns home to find his partner having sex with another man. Initially shocked and saddened, he pokes fun at the fact that his boyfriend is now “bottoming”, to which his boyfriend replies “well I never had the chance to bottom with you.” Jérôme leaves, but not being able to face a winter alone in Paris, he books a trip to Los Angeles with dreams of being an actor. 

  
Once stateside Jérôme meets and makes friends with a colourful bunch of folks who make him feel welcome. It’s then that he meets Ross (Chad Allen) and the two fall for each other, but deep down Jérôme misses his hometown and you feel it will have an effect on his holiday romance. 

  
There are some very funny moments during the movie, but not enough to shake the amateurish feel that permeates throughout. I understand that it was made on a low budget, but it felt at times that I was watching a student movie, which hampered my enjoyment. The chemistry between Jérôme and Ross is believable however and reminded me a lot of the chemistry between Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain, which is still one of my favourite movies. You can believe in the romance blossoming between Jérôme and Ross, and would understand that it would transcend mere infatuation. 

  
The supporting cast are humorous, such as Jérôme’s cheating partner, but I felt that they trod the line between reality and stereotype once too often for my liking. Probably not something I’d revisit again, as it just doesn’t hold up to recent gay cinema outings. Be sure to stop by http://www.out.tv and check out what’s on offer. 

2/5

JM 
  

Braquo (TV series) (2009-)

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Wow! What an absolute stunning piece of television this. I could literally use every superlative in the English language to lavish praise on this show, and it still wouldn’t be enough. Jean Hugues-Anglade plays Eddy Caplan, the leader of a group of Parisian police officers, who have no qualms about stepping over the line when it is required.

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They spring into action when their colleague Max commits suicide after being mercilessly persecuted by Internal Affairs, which is headed by the slimy and borderline socio-pathic  Roland Vogel (Geoffroy Thiebaut). The team seek to do whatever it takes in clearing Max’s name, even murder. They are a team held together by a strong bond, and clearly have morals of which they never waver. They all have flaws, some which threaten to bring them down on occasion, but it’s their togetherness which carries them through.

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The action is nothing short of breathtaking. It is visceral stuff, and doesn’t skimp on the gore or sex. The acting is top notch from everyone, there is not one character I would say that lets the side down. The story-lines are equally gripping, showing that sometimes the police and criminals are more alike than either would care to admit.

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The creator of the show, Olivier Marchal, is a former police officer, so the attention to detail is second to none. It’s this meticulousness which really gets across the shows quality. I really cannot recommend this series enough. I did start watching it when it was showing on FOX. I am now on season 3 which was graciously provided by the wonderful folks over at http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk. Season 1 and 2 are available to buy now and season 3 is available to pre-order now, due for release on July 21st. It is a show I highly recommend. If you are a fan of The Wire or The Shield, then you will absolutely love Braquo.

5/5

JM

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Tremors (1990)

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Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward) are two handy men who live in the small, quiet town of Perfection. They get by doing odd jobs, but after one nasty accident involving sewage, they decide it’s time to move on to pastures new. However something is under the ground, something large and very hungry. When people begin to disappear or are found dead, Val and Earl begin to investigate what exactly is going on. Together with seismologist Rhonda (Finn Carter), they discover that there are large, subterranean worms living underground. These large worms can detect the smallest sound and have decided to call the town of Perfection their hunting ground.

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Realising that trying to escape is out of the question, the townsfolk decide to tackle these worms, or Graboids as Walter (Victor Wong) calls them. Together with local gun nut Burt (Michael Gross) and his wife Heather (Reba McIntire), Val and Earl begin to formulate a plan on distracting and dispatching the deadly threat.

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This for me, is one of my all time favourite movies. It has everything. Action, comedy, horror, some excellent lines and is just an all out joy to watch. I have seen this many times since it’s release and it never gets old. The sequel (Tremors 2) was also worth watching, and I will do a review of that in due course. However I would say to steer clear of Tremors 3 & 4 as they are dire. For me this is one of Kevin Bacon’s best roles. He brings warmth and heart to a role that would have probably just been a one dimensional hick in the hands of a lesser actor. Fred Ward is also hilarious as the gruff Earl Bassett. You can see there was some great chemistry between him and Kevin Bacon as it really shines through in the film. I also loved Michael Gross as the gun obsessed Burt Gummer, however I wish he had of given up the role after Tremors 2 as he really just phones it in in the later sequels and subsequent TV series.

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Like I said it’s one of my absolute favourite movies, and is definitely worth a watch. If you have never seen it then you owe it to yourself as a film fan to get it and watch it. It is a classic in every sense of the word and is perfect entertainment for a Saturday night with a drink and some popcorn. Seriously, get it.

5/5

JM

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A Chorus Line (1985)

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Zach (Michael Douglas) is auditioning dancers for a new show he is putting on. A multitude of dancers show up for the audition, but only 8 will make the cut. As the numbers of dancers are whittled down, we begin to learn more about them. We learn about the hardships they face in their daily lives, and how quick you can be cast aside in the world of dancing.

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What first drew me to this movie was the fact that it had the late Tony Fields in it as Al DeLuca. Tony played Sammi Curr in another of my favourite movies, Trick or Treat (1986).  Tony was a brilliant professional dancer, and he doesn’t disappoint here. Zach and his number 2 Larry (Terrence Mann), slowly cut the numbers down to a line of dancers before choosing the 8 that will be in the show. Zach goes through each of the dancers and asks them about their lives. He asks them about their childhoods, their likes and dislikes and why they want to be in the show. As the dancers divulge their personal lives, we begin to see how hard it can be being a dancer and trying to navigate your way through life to find your own identity as a person.

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The whole movie is set in the theatre at the audition. Along side the stories of the dancers, we have the story of Cassie (Alyson Reed). Cassie used to be romantically involved with Zach, and has returned to audition in the show. At first Zach is reluctant, as he believes Cassie to be too talented to be in a chorus line. However he eventually relents and lets her participate. It all leads to a wonderful musical number to end proceedings with a bang.

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I have to say I am normally very hesitant to watch musicals. I just find it hard to get into them. However I did enjoy this. There are some cracking musical numbers, and jaw dropping dance moves. Everyone gives it their all and you can see they are enjoying themselves. Also any film that has a song called ‘Tits & Ass’ in it has got to be worth a watch.

3/5

JM

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Mo’ Money (1992)

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This is another one that I file under ‘guilty pleasures’. I like it and I’m not afraid to admit it. I understand that it’s rotten tomato or imdb score might not be the best, but we all have certain movies we like that others don’t, this is one of those movies. I watched it years ago and it made me laugh, and it *still* makes me laugh. The story involves two con artist brothers Johnny Stewart (Damon Wayans) and Seymour Stewart (Marlon Wayans). The brothers have been making a living scamming unsuspecting people for a long time. However when their latest scam gets Johnny arrested they are warned that they need to make an honest living or face serious prison time next time either of them are arrested.

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Johnny gets a job working in the mailroom of a credit card company after he follows one of their employees, Amber Evans (Stacey Dash), into the building to get her number. Amber works in the upstairs offices and Johnny gets a job working their so he can get closer to her. Johnny’s boss Keith Heading (John Diehl) takes notice of Johnny and catches Johnny stealing a returned credit card. Keith calls Johnny to the office and tells Johnny that he planted the card and knew it was a matter of time before Johnny stole it. Johnny had been using the cards with his brother Seymour to pull more scams and get clothes and jewels.

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Keith tells Johnny that he wants Johnny to start using the cards to get certain items, which Keith will then sell so that he can launder money through the company. When Johnny realises he’s in over his head he tries to back out, but Keith won’t leave any witnesses, and gets his men to try take Johnny, Seymour and anyone else who knows what’s going on out of the picture.

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Like I said this film makes me laugh. There are a lot of funny scenes and some great bits of action. The scene in the jewellery shop always has me in stitches of laughter. It’s another one I don’t think a lot of people have seen, but it’s well worth giving a look. It won’t win any awards, but it entertains and that’s what counts.

3/5

JM

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The Quiet Man (1952)

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I’ll start off by saying that I have never really been a John Wayne fan. I have no love for his westerns and really didn’t ever have much interest for any of his other movies. However that being said, I absolutely adore this movie. The whimsical tale set in Ireland just captured my heart when I first saw it. The picturesque settings are quite simply breathtaking and had me longing for a time I wasn’t even alive during.

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John Wayne plays Sean Thornton, a retired American boxer who returns to the town of Innisfree where he was born. There he meets a fiery redhead called Mary Danaher (Maureen O’Hara). Becoming smitten with Mary, Sean seeks to win her over and eventually marry her. However certain problems arise before courtship can even begin. Sean is looking for a home and enquires about a house owned by Widow Tillane (Mildred Natwick), however Mary Danaher’s brother Will also has his eye on the property and thinks he should be the one to get it. Incensed by Will Danaher’s attitude, Widow Tillane sells the property to Sean. However as strict social rules in Innisfree mean Sean must ask the father’s permission to court Mary it causes problems. Mainly because Mary’s father is deceased and the final say goes to her brother Will, who doesn’t like Sean as he got the Widow’s property.

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Things move forward and Sean marries Mary. However Will refuses to pay a dowry to Sean and Mary which causes problems between Sean and Mary. Not wanting to let Will jeopardise his marriage Sean goes to confront him, kick-starting a long and comical fight all over the town of Innisfree.

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Like I said I just adore this movie. The sets, the scenery and the costumes are exquisite. The acting is not the best in places, but is done with so much heart and the cast are clearly enjoying themselves that you can’t help but get swept up in the fun. I would have loved to live in such a beautiful part of the country, just beautiful. This movie is definitely worth a viewing for some wonderful Irish charm.

4/5

JM

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