Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Super 8 Movie Review 200

Super 8 is a 2011 sci-fi movie directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning and Kyle Chandler.

The movie begins with 14 year old Joe Lamb(Courtney) who lives in Ohio.His mother dies from some accident and he is left with his dad, Sheriff's Deputy Jackson Lamb(Kyle Chandler). Joe and his pals are making a zombie movie. They are by the train tracks when they see a pick up truck drive onto the tracks and get hit by a train. The train is derailed and it crashes.The kids film some of this and they find some strange cargo on board the train. There are white cubes all over the place. They find the smashed pick up truck and in it is their biology teacher from school. How he is still alive after being hit by a train, I don't know! He warns the kids not to say anything about it or they will be in trouble. The U.S. Air Force swoops in, led by the dangerous Colonel Nelec(Noah Emmerich) and they seal off the area and take everything away, but not before the kids take one of the white cubes.

Strange things happen in the following days and the kids are very curious about what is going on. They film the army as they work. Deputy Lamb asks the Colonel about what is taking place with the train but he gets no answers. People are disappearing around town. Meanwhile, Joe has a crush on a friend of his, Alice(Elle Fanning) but Joe's dad doesn't like it because he blames Alice's dad for the death of his wife. They argue about it. Joe looks at the white cube that came from the train and discovers that it is something alien. It bursts out through his bedroom wall. We find out that there is a monster who escaped from the train and it is loose. It takes Alice. The town is being evacuated by the army and everyone has to leave, but the kids won't go because they need to get Alice back. Deputy Lamb is at the army base and he has to escape as the Colonel tried to stop his asking questions.

The kids break into the local school and get their biology teacher's research. They discover that the monster has come from outer space and it crashed on earth. It was captured and subjected to torture and experiments until it became angry. It turned against its captors and it escaped. The kids get caught by Nelec and he takes them off in his truck but the monster stops the truck and kills Nelec. The kids get away. Deputy Lamb looks for the kids.The army tries to kill the monster, but fail. The kids find the monster living underground and they find Alice who is not hurt. She tells them that the monster just wants to go home. They decide to help it to return to its planet. The monster gathers loads of metal and it rebuilds its ship. It flies away leaving the kids looking after it. End of story.

This film was a mix of Stand By Me and Cloverfield and E.T. I wasn't mad about it. It was okay, but it was more of a homage to old movies than a stand alone film. It is not as good as I thought it would be, so if you want to see a mix of different movies, watch this, but it you are looking for original, don't bother with it. It is getting a 3/10.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hell's Kitchen, Season 9, Episode 9 and 10

Last week, we saw the end of Krupa and Jonathan. Now there are only nine chefs left.

This week's episode begins with Elise thanking herself for running everything on her own perfectly. She is so annoying! Everyone is tired of hearing her bleating on about herself. She couldn't work in a kitchen with a team- she would have alienated everyone in ten minutes with her huge mouth. The challenge this week is to come up with a romantic dessert. Chef Ramsay brings in two chefs to judge them. The girls decide to drop Elise's dessert and when Chef Ramsay tastes it, he tells them that they made the right choice. The red team win and they get to go to Las Vegas. The blue team have to make the dining room romantic for date night.

Service begins and Tommy is told to wake up by Chef Ramsay. In the red kitchen, Carrie tries to communicate with Elise and gets no answer. It is ridiculous. Tommy is messing up his scallops and he gets caught making the same mistake twice. Jamie hands up a dish with a hair in it(watch video above). She gets blamed for it even though she tries to deny it. Tommy is sent out of the kitchen to get some air. Carrie sends up burnt fish and pretends that she did not see it. Carrie is thrown out despite her objections. Tommy comes back with fight in him. In the red kitchen, Jamie seems to be losing her grip and she gets shouted at again. Paul hands up raw chicken and gets thrown out. Elise hands up a vegetarian dish with lobster in it!  She hands Chef Ramsay overcooked oysters. She gets kicked out. Without Carrie or Elise the other three work on. To be honest, I can't see any of the red team winning. I think that Will might be a good frontrunner. The blue team wins and the red team have to pick two to go home. They choose Carrie and Elise. Chef Ramsay chooses Jamie and rightly so.

Episode ten begins with the cows on the red team moaning that Carrie didn't get kicked out even though Jamie handed up a dish with her hair in it!!!!I hate the bully tactics that those women have. Jennifer seems to be particularly mean and it turns me off. Even though Carrie might not be the best chef, I don't like to see one person singled out for hassle. Elise should have been kicked out already for her terrible attitude. Anyway, the challenge this week is the taste test. The red team wins and Elise tells them that she won it for them and gets praise from Chef Ramsay. She loves the attention. The girls get to go to the Hollywood Hills and they have lunch etc. The blue team have to peel and deseed loads of grapes.

That night, the teams have to serve the tables and then cook. The red team decide to serve first and then cook later. Carrie does very well at the waitressing unlike some of the others. Tommy seems to be falling behind again. Natalie hands Chef Ramsay meat which seems to be overcooked. She does it twice. Their time is up and they have to go and serve while the red team goes into the kitchen. Tommy is terrible at waiting on tables and he gets yelled at for his woeful writing on his tickets. Elise hands up raw fish. She isn't as good as she thinks she is. Jennifer starts shouting at Carrie about her dish and she is getting to be as nasty as Elise. Carrie burns her potatoes and gets in trouble. The others are moaning about her. Elise drops her fish on the floor. There is no winner and each team have to pick one person from each team. I knew that the red team would pick Carrie despite Elise's mistakes. The blue team pick Tommy. Carrie gets kicked out and everyone on the red team is delighted, especially Elise(watch video above). I think that Elise should have went home after her bad performance, but for some reason, she gets a pass. I guess the nastier you are, the longer you stay in.... We are down to eight now.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dark Winter Book Review

Dark Winter is a 2001 thriller written by William Dietrich(pictured below) who also penned The Rosetta Key and The Barbary Pirates.

The story is set in Antarctica, in the South Pole. It revolves around a group of researchers who are working in the U.S. research base called the Amundsen-Scott base(pictured below). The temperatures can drop to 110 degrees below zero. The workers have to put on layers of clothes just to go outside and the landscape is bleak and unforgiving.The winters are unbelievably harsh and the people there have to deal with depression, boredom and isolation. Jed Lewis is a newbie. He has come to the base to work on research with the others. He is the last person to join the team and he has a hard time getting used to it. He has to learn all about keeping warm and being careful if he goes outside. He meets the crew and there are many different personalities.

There is Tyson, the mechanic, who is loathed by most of the crew because he does whatever he wants and flaunts all of the rules. There is water rationing at the base and he takes longer showers than everyone else which pisses them off. There is Abby, the girl who Lewis likes and who seems to like him. Then there is the psychologist, Robert Norse who is there to make sure that everyone stays in good mental health. The station manager is Rod Cameron and he has the daunting task of making sure that everything runs well. Jed meets the eccentric astrophysicist Mickey Moss and they talk. It turns out that Mickey found a meteorite which is worth a lot of money and he has it hidden in his office. When he turns up dead, people wonder who did it but they know why. The meteorite is missing too.

Fingers begin to point at the newbie, Jed because he was the last one to arrive there. All the evidence points to him and people begin to treat him like an outcast. He tries to prove his innocence, but the deaths keep mounting and he is in a worse and worse position. Did he do it or is someone trying to set him up? This book is a great action thriller and there are some great twists and turns in it which keep you reading on. It is well worth a read because it is fun to try and figure out who the killer is and when you find out, it is a satisfactory result. I like the whodunit genre and this fits into it nicely. It starts slowly but as you get into it,it gets better and better and the climax is very entertaining. I recommend this and I guarantee that by the end, you won't be able to put it down!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hell's Kitchen, Season 9 Episode 7 and 8

Last week saw the end of Gina and Monterray and not before time! This week we are down to eleven chefs.

So, this week begins with Jonathan realising that he has to pull his socks up or he will be gone.Krupa has too much to drink and she entertains the others. The next morning, she is sick with a hangover. The challenge is to make dishes with beer in them. Krupa is not up to scratch. They drop her dish as it is horrible. The blue team wins the challenge and they get to go to a Grand Prix race. The ladies have to deal with the deliveries. Elise starts crying and she looks stupid. She doesn't pull her weight and just watches everyone else doing the hard work. The others are annoyed and they tell her that. She just doesn't take any criticism and they argue.When they are prepping for service, Elise tries to help them out which is strange.

Service begins and Elise seems to have a new attitude. Somehow, it won't last, I think. Natalie hands Chef Ramsay scallops which aren't cooked properly. Elise hands up soggy salad and she messes up Carrie. Natalie is still not getting her scallops right. She wastes over 30 scallops(watch video above). She eventually gets it right with help from Will. Krupa is getting all of her times wrong. Jamie falls behind too.Elise tries to take over with her loud mouth. Tommy gets into trouble for having his pastry soggy and Jonathan tries to screw him. Elise is pissing everyone off by yelling at them. Krupa overcooks her food. Jonathan hands up overcooked meat also and he gets yelled at and thrown out of the kitchen along with Natalie. The other members of the blue team finish up. The losing team is the red team and blue team. They have to pick two from each team to get the boot so the red team pick Krupa and Jamie and the blue team choose Natalie and Jonathan. Krupa gets the boot and that's that.

Episode 8 begins with Chef Ramsay telling the red and blue team to choose one chef to lead the team. The blue team choose Will and the red team pick Jennifer. Chef Ramsay tells them to pick the weakest link and Jennifer picks Carrie(no surprise there) and Will picks Tommy. The challenge is for each team to cook American classics and Carrie and Tommy will decide what everyone will cook. Elise is moaning as usual. They have a guest chef to judge which dishes are the best. The red team wins and they get to go to a comedy club. The blue team have to clean and prep the kitchens and clean the dorms. They are pissed off. Jonathan gets a mysterious strain in his neck and he misses all of the work. The blue team are very annoyed with him. He finally comes back.

Service begins and there are some U.S. Coastguards in the dining room. Carrie is having a hard time with her pizza. Jonathan isn't cooking his pasta right at all. Natalie is trying to get him to move but he is not doing his job.He hands up pasta which tastes horrible and Chef Ramsay wants a chat with Jonathan(watch video above). Jonathan gives Chef Ramsay an excuse about his neck and he seems to have given up. He tries to fight back. The red team start to work well together. The blue team falls apart. Tommy starts to laugh when Natalie almost falls over him opening the oven. He messes up once again on his meat and Chef Ramsay is very frustrated. The red team are finishing up and the blue team struggle to finish too.The blue team are the losers and they have to pick two people to go home. They choose Natalie and Jonathan. Jonathan gets kicked out and we are now down to 9 chefs.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review 199

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a 2011 movie starring James Franco, John Lithgow and Brian Cox. It is directed by Rupert Wyatt. It is an addition to the Planet of the Apes series of movies.

The story begins with a scientist called Will Rodman(Franco) who is working on a cure for Alzheimer's. The cure is being tested on chimpanzees. The problem is that the monkeys end up with a high level of intelligence. When one of the chimps goes mad in front of the boss, she is put down along with other monkeys. What they didn't realise is that the chimp was protecting her little baby. Will takes pity on the baby and he takes it home. He names him Caesar(Andy Serkis). Caesar is highly intelligent too as the chemicals have passed into him  from his mother.

Cut to years later and Caesar has grown up. Will has a dad who has Alzheimer's and he is giving him the same cure that he gave the monkeys but it doesn't work so well with humans. His dad gets worse and in his confusion he gets into his neighbours car and he damages it. When the neighbour comes out and shouts at him, Caesar intervenes and hurts him. Will has to send Caesar away to a monkey facility run John Landon(Cox) and his horrible son Dodge(Tom Felton). Dodge mistreats the monkeys and he is basically scum. Caesar wants to go home and he can't forgive Will for leaving him in the hellhole. He begins to communicate with the other monkeys and he eventually gets the huge gorilla Buck on his side. He establishes his dominance over the rest of the inmates and he plans to get out.

So, Will begins working on the cure again and he tests it on another chimp. It makes them even more intelligent than before. But, when one of the scientists accidentally ingests it, he becomes very sick. It is actually fatal to humans. The scientist dies. Will is worried and talks to his boss but his boss want to keep testing so Will leaves his job.Caesar has become extremely intelligent and he manages to get out. He goes to Will's and takes all of the cure that he has. He gives it to all of the other monkeys so they are the same as him.
He kills Dodge and they all escape into the city. They go to the zoo and release more. The police are on their trail and they have to battle with the apes but they are largely unsuccessful. The monkeys make it to a forest where Will follows them. He finds Caesar and he tells him that he can protect him if he comes home. Caesar tells him that he is home. Will is shocked that he can speak. He leaves Caesar and his pals in the forest. Meanwhile, the virus is spreading among humans and they are all going to die...

An entertaining movie with some great scenes. The special effects are very good and Andy Serkis does well as the lead Caesar. I liked it and if you enjoyed the other movies in the series, you will like this one. I will give it a 7/10.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hells Kitchen, Season 9, Episode 5 and 6

Last week saw the departure of Chino. So, we are down to 13 chefs.

Episode 5 begins with Elise attacking everyone yet again. She cannot seem to shut the hell up. The challenge this week begins with Chef Ramsay bringing in two chefs who do unusual food. They use all sorts of chemistry to come up with strange recipes. The contestants have to make something just using water. They can boil, poach or steam things. They all set about making their dishes. The red team have to drop one of the dishes as they have too many and Elise decides that Carrie's should be dropped without even tasting it. The others agree. Krupa puts up her dish and she says that it is veal but it isn't. It is a different cut of beef(see video above). The red team are amazed at her stupidity. Also, Carrie's dish turns out to be the best one and they didn't pick it so they lose. The blue team win and they are treated to a day at a spa in Beverly Hills. The red team have to clean the fountain in Hell's Kitchen. They have to prep both kitchens. The girls moan and bitch as usual while the blue team enjoy themselves.

That night, service begins and Krupa is off to a bad start. Jonathan is having problems remembering his menu.
Krupa is sinking fast. Monterray is not having a great night either and he can't handle his meat station. Krupa is thrown out of the kitchen after another mistake. Tommy looks lost in the kitchen and he isn't communicating with anyone. Chef Ramsay is pissed at him. The red team are falling apart as Gina doesn't know what she is doing. Monterray is still getting his meat wrong and he is holding up the whole kitchen. He and Tommy get thrown out of the kitchen. Gina hands Chef Ramsay a raw piece of fish and he throws Elise and Gina out.
As usual, Elise blames everyone else. She takes no responsibility for her own actions. There is no winning team so each team have to choose two people to go. The red team choose Krupa and Elise and the blue team chooses Tommy and Monterray. Gina gets the boot and rightly so.

Episode 6 begins with Elise trying to work on her attitude, but you know that it won't last long. She is delighted to be staying and she pisses off everyone. For their challenge, the two teams have to talk to a high school reunion committee who want to hold their party in Hell's Kitchen. Paul and Elizabeth go to talk to them and see what they want and then they go into the kitchen to create something Hawaiian for them. They are supposed to tell the rest of their teams what the committee wanted. Elizabeth messes up and doesn't tell her team that they wanted Hawaiian. Some of their dishes are not what the committee wanted. Elise gives one of the vegetarian ladies a dish with bacon in it and that does not go down well(see video above). Elizabeth never told the others to have a vegetarian dish. The blue team win the challenge and they get a day out on a yacht. The red team have to decorate the dining room for the Hawaiian night. They fight as usual.They have to assemble a cake and they can't even do that right.

Service begins and Chef Ramsay sees the cake. He is not serving it. The blue team start out very well. The red team doesn't. The usual communication problems surface and Carrie and Elise are at each other's throats again. On the blue team, Paul gives Chef Ramsay raw fish. The red team are leaderless so big mouth Elise steps up. Paul is still handing up raw fish and he is thrown off the fish station. Monterray and Jonathan take over. Monterray is pissed at him because he thinks that Jonathan is not pulling his weight. Monterray hands Chef Ramsay raw fish and he gets the whole team thrown out of the kitchen. The red team finish up their food for them. The blue team loses and they choose Monterray and Paul to go home. Monterray gets the boot.
That's all for this week....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tales From The Crypt Review 198

Tales From The Crypt was a British horror/thriller released in 1972 and starring Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Ralph Richardson and Richard Greene.

The movie begins with five people who appear to be tourists. They arrive into catacombs and there they meet a mysterious Crypt Keeper who has some stories to tell. The first tale is called 'And All Through The House'. We see Joanne(Joan Collins) at home at Christmas with her husband and her daughter. She kills her husband and puts her daughter to bed. She tries to drag her husband's body  but he is heavy. There is a homicidal maniac on the loose(coincidence??)and he appears at her door dressed in a Santa suit. She sees him but locks everything and somehow imagines that he will  not get in! She cleans everything up and tries to make her husband's murder look like an accident. She is going to call the police but she decides to check on her daughter who has disappeared. Unfortunately for Joanne, her daughter has let the killer in, thinking he was Santa...

Next story is called 'Reflection of Death' and deals with Carl(Ian Hendry)who is cheating on his wife with a woman called Susan. He meets her and somehow they have a car accident. He can't find Susan anywhere. He wanders to his home and when he tries to get in, he can't. His wife is horrified to see him. He goes to Susan's place and she has been blinded by the accident. She talks to him and tells him that Carl is dead. He can't understand what is happening. He looks in the mirror and sees that he is horribly disfigured now. He screams, wakes up and then realises that the crash is happening again for real.

Third tale is called 'Poetic Justice'. It revolves around Mr. Grimside(Peter Cushing) who is an old man living in his house with his dog. He is liked by everyone and he gets on well with the local kids. But, two evil snobs, Edward Elliott(David Markham) and his son James(Robin Phillips) want him out so they make his life a misery sending him evil valentine cards and spreading horrible rumours about him. The kids are not allowed to see him anymore and people are turning against him as a result. Grimside kills himself as a result and the two evil snobs are pleased with themselves. One night, a year later, James is in the study when he hears someone behind him. It is Grimside back from the dead and he is pissed! The next morning, the father finds the son and he has had his heart ripped out. Grimside leaves a note saying that because James was heartless, he tore it from his chest.

Fourth tale is titled 'Wish You Were Here' and is about a man called Ralph(Richard Greene) who is in financial trouble. He has a Chinese statue and he says to his wife that it will grant three wishes to the owner. His wife wishes for riches and it does come true. Unfortunately, Ralph is killed in car crash before he can collect the money. His wife wishes for him to be like he was before the accident, but she doesn't realise that he had a heart attack just before the crash. She has to make a last wish and wishes for Ralph to live forever but she hasn't counted on the fact that Ralph was embalmed and now he is alive but in pain forever....His wife is horrified!

The last tale is called 'Blind Alleys' and it is about a blind people's home which is getting a new head. He is called Major Rogers. He has a dog too. He is putting in new cost cutting measures and they don't go down well with the residents. One of them, Mr Carter complains, but gets nowhere. When one of the residents dies from the cold, the others get together and trap Rogers in a room and his dog in another. They starve the dog and then they set up a corridor with razor blades set into the walls. Rogers has to pass through this in the dark and they set the dog on him too leaving no illusions about his fate.Cut back to the Crypt Keeper who tells them that the stories were leading to this moment when they all have to enter Hell as they had committed sins which cannot be forgiven and they are dead. They enter Hell and the Crypt Keeper wonders who is next..maybe you???

An entertaining 70's movie. I liked the stories and it was well worth a watch. I recommend it to anyone and if you are a fan on the American series of the same name, you would like this too...It gets a 7/10.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin