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….is indeed Music Night

By Mike Cunningham On February 7th, 2014 at 9:45 pm

A departure from my usual, but the voice of Mary Fahl, along with the song, took my breath away when first I heard it when watching the film.

Could have been a great movie, filmed with great accuracy inclusive of the torments of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg; but ruined by the sermonising and speechifying given by mainly the Southern as well as the Northern Generals.


By Pete Moore On October 23rd, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Bond, Babes and Bardem

In London tonight, the world premiere of Skyfall –

Looking good, and reviews give it the thumbs up. Finally the twin pigs in a poke which were Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton (so wrong) can be forgotten. Just as important as the right Bond – and Daniel Craig does cut the mustard – is the right villain. I suspect Javier Bardem might just be a good bad’un. Skyfall: released in the UK this Friday, 26th October.


By David Vance On April 28th, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Just back from seeing the latest Marvel movie “Avengers Assemble”. The key points? The Hulk SMASHED and the Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff, wore a rather tight fitting outfit…


By David Vance On August 6th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Just back from seeing Captain America (currently being downgraded by S&P to First Lieutenant). Excellent movie with Chris Evans (Not the carrot-topped DJ) putting in a remarkable transformation to become the All American hero. I thought it was a good patriotic movie, full of action, and some gripping moments. Stan Lee made his cameo appearance (Old Stan is a stunning 89 and still going) and Cap’s romantic interest in the form of  Hayley Atwell is stunning. Another cracking Marvel movie.


By David Vance On July 16th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Just back from seeing The Green Lantern! Very good movie – special effects good but the plot was also well paced and lots of excitement.


By David Vance On July 3rd, 2011 at 8:56 am

Went to my first 3D movie last night “The Transformers – Dark Side of the Moon”.

I have to say that although the script was pretty light the 3D aspect to some scenes was pretty spectacular. I was drawn into some of the action as the depth perspective made it really engaging. I think that 3D will really add to certain types of movie, who knows, maybe all movies. Since I love new technology, I certainly embrace the concept. At one point, I turned around and looked at the audience watching the movie. That was quite a surreal moment with everyone wearing identical glasses and staring at the big screen. The downside to the 3D experience is that it tends to make watching the movie an individual experience rather than a shared experience. That’s not such a good thing. Have you been to a 3D movie yet and if so, thoughts?


By David Vance On June 11th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

First Class indeed. Just back from watching the X-Men prequel and have to say I thought it excellent. I’m not that keen on the whole prequel concept but this one works really well – sit back in the early 60’s. Magneto and Professor X are the stars, but other characters such as Raven, Emma Frost and Beast work well.

Next up – Green Lantern. Then Captain America, and Conan the Barbarian makes a late summer entrance! A Marvellous time!!!


By David Vance On May 21st, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Just back from seeing THOR! Very good movie with Natalie Portman aka Jane Foster putting the fizz back into Physics! Not a bad plot with some decent special effects and lots of great overacting – well, Anthony Hopkins does rather overdo it!


By ATWadmin On July 11th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Anyone seen Bruno yet?  I believe I heard that a group of under- age teenagers  in the neighborhood managed to see it last night. And my husband and a group of his guy friends are planning to go en masse tonight. Apparently, a totally gross movie that you can sit and laugh at/with is just what the doctor ordered. But not for me. I definitely will be taking a pass on this one.

John Nolte reviews Bruno at Big Hollywood:

 “…I think it was Andy Warhol who said that after ten minutes of watching porn he wanted to have sex with everyone, but after an hour he never wanted to have sex again. That pretty well sums up sitting through “Bruno.”

and, here:

“Maybe this is just the beginning for Baron Cohen, maybe he’s working his way towards something truly “fresh” and “brave” … something where he sends a Christian into a GLAAD meeting, a cowboy into a La Raza gathering… We’ll see what happens to a parked car with a “NObama” sticker at NYU or MSNBC, or to a screenwriter pitching a pro-Bush script at a Hollywood studio… Better yet, a Berkeley student with a Palin t-shirt, or a white South African running for elected office in a Democrat primary as an “African-American.

the money shot

By ATWadmin On July 12th, 2007 at 4:34 pm

hills20have20eyes20220poster203.jpgAs a personal reference point Jenny MCartney uses her Ulster childhood to begin her extremely well delivered and trenchant argument about the arrival of torture porn on the big screen (or whatever other grimy subgenres are cleverly marketed as mainstream cinema and rake in the cash for your raunch entertainment!).  She wonders at our enjoyment of it all – and the references used.
I agree with her concern that we seem unquestioningly entertained by the downright nasty. The overt use of (mainly) young girls pornographically and graphically tortured, or American backpackers in Europe being sliced to bits Iraq style isnt something that passes me by unnoticed but I dont feel its something you can challenge really without coming off as a prude.  Im glad Jenny managed to put this piece together so convincingly. Im reminded of a scene in Gladiator where Maximus chops some hapless slaves to bloody pieces, the audience cheers and he spits at them angrily "Are you not entertained?"
This ‘genre’ generally trys to trump the video market which has upped the stakes with virtual violence. The abuse and imagery is akin to marketing Iraq, Al Qaeda or Abu Ghraib along side all the other nasty stories that roll across the news every evening. In about 2 years from now films are going 3D (to hit back hard at internet piracy). What next? Virtual colliseums where you reenact your favourite torture porn flic maybe, sort of like a snuff movie? Its probably wise she is asking the questions now. So im asking you guys – is there a line, ever?! Or is it a case of switch off or dont go see ’em!
"The sight of bloodied people begging for their lives, at length, doesn’t feel like entertainment: it feels like a very grim reality….This is not a debate about violence in films, but about the nature and perspective of violence (in them)".
"In interviews, …Roth (director of torture porn movie Hostel) glibly dropping references to shocking real-life events in the news and on the internet, such as the al-Qa’eda beheading of the journalist Daniel Pearl and the torments inflicted by American soldiers on Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib. He invokes them urgently, but vaguely. His logic, which is never fully explained, appears to be that the most appalling kind of torture really does happen in the world, and therefore he is somehow authorised to depict it for scary fun. This doesn’t add up"
She concludes:
‘something has, however, changed profoundly with the advent of ‘torture porn’ as a mainstream genre and the proliferation of real-life terrorist beheadings on the internet. The will and reach of the censor is slipping: increasingly, we will have to take responsibility for ourselves….’ and adds ‘The more of it audiences consume, the less they understand. In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four the panicked hero, Winston Smith, describes a nightmarish night at the flicks, as the audience relishes the sight of a boatload of enemy refugees being bombed, and roars with laughter at a mother’s hapless struggles to protect her small boy from death. We are not so very far away from that now. There must come a point at which audiences ask a different question from what will the torturer do next to his victims on screen? We must ask what watching him is doing to us".
A couple of different critical takes on the first and second films:
"Even if you hate Hostel, it is hard to deny the impact that has been made by allowing a niche genre film, that is equally split between gratuitous amounts of nudity and some truly shocking moments of carnal depravity, loose on over 2,000 screens, and then seeing that same film top out at number one by beating out stalwart Christian epic The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe as anything other than one of the seven signs of the apocalypse. So as you sit down in your soft suburban cells and toss off a copy of Hostel into you DVD player, consider this as you cringe in terror and cower at the streaks of crimson filling your plasma TV’s. Given the box office success of Hostel and its usurpation of industry expectations, is Eli Roth the Messiah or the Antichrist of the new millennium?" 
"The performances are good however the three leads remain frustratingly under-developed so it’s difficult to really care about them when the torturing starts. The biggest problem is that the film’s central death scene is so relentlessly unpleasant that it’ll genuinely make you question why you came to see the film in the first place. The script is uninspired and the film isn’t particularly scary or suspenseful, it’s just plain nasty" (going on to then conclude its natural appeal to gore fans)
(Hills Have Eyes 2 ‘Iraq torture’ poster)