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Rating History

I Want Candy
I Want Candy (2007)
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I Want Candy wasn't a movie I was extremely looking forward to. In fact despite a relatively funny trailer I was actually dreading it at times. You see teenager comedy isn't exactly what I'm into, I find the whole American Pie scene very overrated despite only being 16 myself. Just could never get into the whole idea of sex comedies unless they were really inventive and witty. A shame that very few of these sex comedies have an ounce of originality between them. However it is a pleasant surprise to say that I Want Candy is actually a damn funny and well made movie. Sure its lacking in terms of originality, and I suppose I could complain that the ending wraps things up just a little bit too neatly, but the movie is consistently entertaining. Contains some pretty damn good performances and doesn't scrimp on the laughs either. Its a comedy that has enough dramatic weight to go alongside its great sense of humour. The other surprising fact is that despite it being a 15 (R in USA) the movie doesn't actually contain any nudity or that much swearing. Maybe people might see this as a negative, however it still works and it proves that the comedy doesn't need to rely on these things. Of course its got some rude bits to keep people entertained and keep with the porno theme of the movie, but it never relies on them like a lot of sex comedies have done in the past.

The actual movie isn't perfect. There are flaws. For example the beginning is pretty dull, until they actually start casting the movie does actually struggle to get any momentum. Sure there is fun to be had in those scenes and the humour there is pretty nice and subtle. But its just not what you'd expect from this sort of movie and it could end up actually boring quite a few people. Matters aren't helped by Jimmy Carr who is possibly the most overrated comedian going at the moment. His scenes are funny a times, but the actual actor himself I found more irritating than anything else. However after you get over the mild set back of the beginning and if you ignore the well wrapped up finale the bits in between are just a blast and can get some great laughs.

The performances themselves are generally brilliant. I never though I would be able to praise Carmen Elektra, however she really did surprise me. She manages to deliver a half decent performance here, surprising as all she has to do is really be the eye candy and say a few lines. But her performance is nowhere near as excruciatingly bad as she has been in previous movie, Epic Movie just one of those awful movies. The two leads, Tom Riley and Tom Burke are really likable as Joe and Baggy. Joe might come across as irritating at some moments and Baggy perhaps whines a bit too much in the middle section, but in general they're pretty believable characters and they do some great performances. Michelle Ryan of Eastenders fame does a surprisingly good job as the love interest, at least she'll come out of Eastenders alive and might actually be seen in quite a few movies after this performance. Credit also has to go to Mackenzie Crook in a hilarious performance that reminded me so much of one of my own teachers.

Now then I have to talk about the actual humour of the movie. Now despite a pretty subtle and dull at times beginning the humour really gets going when the porno theme kicks in. We've got an explosive ejaculation sequence that had me crying with laughter, a disturbingly funny bit with a pear, and a bit to make you gaga involving pubes and some butter. But the movie is more than your average sex jokes, its got some genuinely funny lines in there as well and moments that can make you laugh. Its a movie that is full of traditional British humour but has some sex jokes thrown in as well for your own pleasure.

Overall I Want Candy is a great surprise and a British comedy that is one to remember. It won't be to everyones tastes of course, but for the most part its a great laugh featuring some surprisingly decent performances.

The Golden Compass
9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

The Golden Compass in my eyes was the must see film of this Christmas. I am a huge fan of the His Dark Materials books, and was reading all three in preparation for the movie to come, I was praying this would be the new fantasy epic to watch. I suppose I got myself way too hyped for this movie, even the slightly negative reviews didn't stop me from being excited, so what a shame to say this cannot help but be a disappointment for me. I have a few major problems with this mainly, mainly I suppose because of the changes from the book, in fact had I have not read the book I most probably would have completely adored the movie rather than have just liked it. The Golden Compass is not a bad movie, its definitely better than the first Narnia movie and Harry Potter movie, but after reading the book I couldn't help but criticise because I know how amazing this movie could have been. Thankfuly the entire cast, yes the entire cast, are absolutely perfect, there are two notable set pieces and the storyline still keeps its grip on the audience despite being rushed. The lack of the ending from the book actually didn't even bother me that much, so long as people who have read the book are aware its going to be in the second movie then I believe that they won't be that bothered. Overall Golden Compass is an entertaining two hours, that could benefit from another half hour. Its a great film to watch for Christmas and will hopefully do well at the box office so the Subtle Knife is made very soon.

The biggest surprise of the cast definitely comes from Dakota Blue Richards as the lead, Lyra. In the trailers I actually thought that Lyra looked terrible, her voice sounded monotone and the girl showed no expression. Thankfuly in the movie that is far from the truth. Richards pulls off the character of Lyra perfectly, she's cheeky, at times rude but alway likable and definitely well acted. Her cockney accent surprisingly works and never gets too irritating, although at first it takes some adjusting too, and her emotions throughout the film are very well displayed. She carries the entire movie very well and it will be great to see her return in the future films as I know how much dramatic stuff she will have to do. But its Nicole Kidman who practically runs over the hills with this movie. Mrs Coulter was always my favourite character in the movie, and Kidman delivers an icy turn as the villainess. Kidman makes her multi-layered and highly memorable, her best scenes definitely being towards the end. Daniel Craig unfortunately features very little, but he delivers a great performance. Eva Green is superb as Serafine Pekkala but once again features way too little for my liking. The other two superb characters, and my joint second favourite performances, come from Ian Mckellen doing the voice of Iorek, and Sam Eliott who is perfectly cast as Lee Scoresby.

However despite the incredible performances its the cruel way things have been changed or cut that made me incapable of ever giving this higher than a 7/10. I will never understand to this day why the polar bear fight was changed from near the end to the middle, and why the Bolvangar scenes are so unnecessarily rushed its almost cruel. Also changing certain characters and changing certain facts just infuriated me all the more! But the ultimate problem with the movie is the fact it is way too rushed. Occasionally it is a blessing to get a two hour movie rather than a bloated two and a half hour once, but this story requires all the time it can get, and with events just taking up mere seconds and events being cut out (fans of the book will hate The Cocktail Party not being in the film) makes the film feel too short and missing something. Thankfuly the bear fight is as incredible as I hoped for, it ends in very cool way, and the final battle at Bolvangar, while way too short is definitely well done. The movie also packs an emotional punch at times, the intercision scenes are pitch perfect and the ending is amazing in my eyes in terms of emotion. The effects of the daemons are very well done, and the daemons themselves are pretty cool, most namely Mrs Coulter's golden monkey which will terrify kids for a while.

The Golden Compass is hardly the new Lord of the Rings as many, including me admittedly, had hoped for, but thankfully it looks much more promising than the Narnia series and perhaps with a new director, and less editing, this series could really take off. But for now I just need to get over my slight disappointment of it. Still very much worth watching though.

Saw IV
Saw IV (2007)
9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

I am a huge fan of the Saw series, and as a result of this have been condemned by some of my friends as being sick and being a fan of this new genre apparently called "torture porn." Now you see that terminology infuriates me, the term "torture porn" and the way critics condemn the Saw movies even before they have had a chance to see them. While the movies are violent it is not the violence that attracts me to the films, of course the deaths are interesting and are why many people like the films, but I much prefer the storyline and characters in the entire movie. Movies like Hostel are sick and admittedly despite me thinking they are half decent they are a bit too much in terms of gore. However the Saw series in my eyes a entertaining, twist ridden movies that I enjoy thoroughly. But the ending of Saw 3 left me confused as to how they could make a sequel. Its no longer a spoiler to say that both Jigsaw and Amanda (the assistant) are dead. At first I feared the worst and was worrying in case it turned out Jigsaw "faked his death" or it was all a dream or something ludicrous. Thankfully they never do that, Jigsaw and Amanda remain dead, so who is the new Jigsaw? Well that would be telling wouldn't it. Saw 4 in my eyes is the very best of the Saw series to date, mainly because of its surprisingly not as gory as its predecessor. In fact this seemed the least violent to me since the first movie. This will irritate a few people, but its because of this lack of gore that the concentration seems more firmly on the storyline, and boy is it a storyline. The storyline is fast paced and intense and the final twist so brilliant that it rivals that of the original. Admiteddly I half guessed the big reveal, but there were a couple of smaller twists along the way I really did not guess. Overall Saw 4 is a superb movie that once again is being massacred by the critics for no other reason than its violent.

So lets start with the cast of the movie. Tobin Bell does return in this movie as Jigsaw, but don't worry he's not alive. We see him in a series of flashbacks which are some of the best sections of the movie. One of the movies weaknesses I suppose is the fact as a result of his death we get a lot less of him on screen. A shame as his scenes in Saw 2 and 3 were definitely their highlights. Thankfully his past is still a intriguing enough to give Tobin Bell something to do and his voice still chills to the bone whenever the tapes beginning playing and the traps are explained. The man actually having to take part in the traps this time around is Lyriq Bent playing Rigg, a detective who has popped up in previous Saw movies but has never had anything to do. This time we get him for the majority of the movie. He's played very well by Bent, but admittedly he's just one of those characters that you don't really care about. His storyline is interesting but its much better when the twists are being revealed or we see Jigsaw's past unveiled. Costas Mandylor plays Hoffman and delivers a very good performance, Scott Patterson too plays yet another detective hunting for Jigsaw and has some good moment. Donnie Wahlberg makes a welcome return to the series and has a few good scenes to look out for, a shame he has little screen time.

So what of the traps I hear the gore hounds desperately asking? Well as I've said before the traps don't seem as gory, but there are a few memorable ones. There is the knife trap that really made me cringe quite badly and seemed more disturbing than most of the traps in Saw 3, the hair trap that was a bit nasty, a bit involving an eye ball that wasn't as bad as I feared it would be, a two people trap that is superbly executed and I won't spoil, a bit involving a melting ice block that I cannot spoil oh and the sowed up eyes and lips bit that a majority of people have seen. The traps here might not be as gory but are certainly very memorable and well executed. The nice thing as well is that each of the traps have a certain amount of importance to the plot and lead up to the big reveal at the end that had my friend I saw this with in complete awe. What I also appreciated about this movie is that the traps this time round don't make you feel ill but do actually disturb you a bit more. This seems closest to the first movie in terms of tone, a nice thing in my eyes as it prevents the films from getting to repetitive. The only ways this movie disappoints I suppose is the fact that some things are not tied up enough, the ending, while brilliant and superb after thinking about it and finally understanding it, left me a bit confused at first and didn't tie things up enough for my liking. But my guess is that they're waiting for the inevitable Saw 5 to explain things that little bit more, and as a Saw addict I am happy to wait one more year to find out what happens next.

Saw 4 is the best of the Saw series in my eyes and there is definitely life still in this series for it to go on for at least two more films. Not as gory as its predecessor, but the storyline and that superb final twist make the movie more than worthwhile. A great Halloween treat and a film Saw fans will relish.

Black Sheep
Black Sheep (2006)
9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I went into Black Sheep expecting something ingenious brilliant, original and downright hilarious. The premise in my eyes said it all, it was a movie about killer sheep. Snakes on a Plane was brilliant in my eyes and I expected Black Sheep to be along those sort of lines. Alas, Black Sheep is not as good as Snakes on a Plane, nor is a fifth as good as Shaun of the Dead like a lot of reviewers have been comparing this movie to. Black Sheep is entertaining, and the novelty of watching sheep's kill people is an amusing one, but unfortunately this is a one joke movie, and the joke gets stretched very thin by the end of its run time. Black Sheep does admittedly make you laugh, and it certainly does not scrimp on the gore, in fact there are scenes in this movie that made me surprised the movie got its 15 rating! Especially a scene involving, ahem, a castration! The humour ranges from some good one liners, emphasise on some because there are some one liners that fall flat on their faces, to some pretty funny slapstick scenes, a sheep driving a car off a cliff did admittedly provide me with the one laugh out loud moment. Unfortunately though the pretty poor acting and little new ideas after the halfway mark just left me a tiny bit bored after a while. Black Sheep is hardly an awful movie, its just a bit of a disappointing one given the actual idea of it, so at the moment Black Sheep remains just a decent idea with a below average movie to back it up. Still its worth seeing if only to see the sheep kill people.

The acting of the movie is one of the very worst things about it. Lead actor, Nathan Meister walks out of the film with his dignity remained intact, mainly because he does a half decent job with diabolical dialogue. His character remains likable and he does have some good moments in the middle part of the film. Unfortunately though his romance, with co-star Danielle Mason is the very weakest part of the movie. The reason why he romance is weak is because Mason is such a terrible actress. There are moments in the beginning of the movie where I just sat in my chair horrified as to why she was even cast! Thankfuly she scrapes average by the end of the film, but the beginning parts with her awful dialogue and leaden performance were still lingering in my mind. Peter Feeney is a pretty unimpressive villain to be honest and his character remains too complicated and unexplained for me to actually think anything of the character. Tammy Davis as Tucker plays a likable character, but poor dialogue and little to do leave his character pretty superfluous by the end of the movie. In fact it says a lot for the cast when the entire cast of sheep are much better than the majority of them, and all they have to do is go baa!

One thing that did surprise me about Black Sheep is the fact it does have a fair amount of atmosphere to it, and I commend the movie for not using jump scares. If the director had decided to make the movie a serious horror movie I still believe it could have worked quite well, there are moments when I found the sheep to be slightly creepier than I wanted to admit. But the director chose the comedy route, which is partly the movies weakness as it just isn't that funny. The first time you see a sheep attack it is pretty funny, the sheep driving a car over a cliff is hilarious, the sheep attacking people is occasionally funny, and the explosive ending is pretty funny as well. But for a movie that is nearly 90 minutes there just aren't that many jokes. In fact once you have laughed at the sheep running at people three times you get pretty bored by the tenth time they do it. Stoylines are also left a bit unexplained. The quite frankly disturbing section at the beginning is left unresolved and why the character did what he did still remains a mystery to me. I also felt the characters had other parts of information told to the audience, leading me to believe it was important information, only for that character to not show up again for half the movie. The were-sheep also start to wear pretty thin after a while as well.

Overall Black Sheep is a just about above average movie that I think should have been a superb movie. The idea remains brilliant and the great gore and occasionally funny scene make the movie worth watching. But this is a highly unmemorable movie with leaden acting and a dodgy script. Unfrtunately this movie has too many baaa-ad moments (what, I had to insert at least one dodgy sheep pun somewhere) for its own good. [url="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0205541/"][color=#0000ff][/color][/url]

The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising
9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Every year we get a new fantasy movie that is supposed to be the "new Lord of the Rings" or the "new Harry Potter", and every year the contenders are shunned aside as they are most clearly not the next big fantasy epics. So far we've had The Chronicles of Narnia, probably the most successful one to date, Brdieg to Terabithia, superb movie but its not the next big thing, and Eragon, an unmitigated disaster of a movie that I'm ashamed to say I enjoyed on first viewing. And now we have The Dark is Rising, the movie that Fox obviously hoped would be their big fantasy epic after Eragon failed so dramatically. So does is it is going to be the next big fantasy series? Errm, definitely not. Firstly the movie flopped big time in the US secondly judging by the lack of people in my screen today its going to flop in the UK and finally its not that good a movie. Admiteddly its better than Eragon, at least the actors are all half decent here and the movie at worst is still watchable. In fact this is an above average movie, but it just isn't the next big fantasy series because it just isn't as interesting. Love or loathe Potter but the concept is infinitely much better than about a boy who travels in time to find some sign thingies and prevent "the dark" from rising. The Dark is Rising is decent Half Term fare, and the movie isn't long enough to bore in you. In fact there are some impressive set pieces towards the end.

The cast are actually surprisingly decent as a whole, however there are a couple who let the side down. The main kid of the movie, played by Alexander Ludwig is not even a fifth as annoying as he appears in the trailer. In fact I'd go as far to say he does a pretty good job in the role, sure the endless amounts of times he says "awesome" really grates after a while, but for the most part, especially in some of the more dramatic moments near the end, he does a passable job. Christopher Eccleston does a good job on villain duties as "The Rider." Sure he has some clumpy dialogue, some stuff near the end is plain ludicrous what he says, but he does have a decent amount of presence and he definitely steals every scene he is in. However, in my eyes the best actor of the movie is Ian McShane as Will's mentor. Sure he pretty much is the obligatory mythology explainer of the movie, which means way too many philosophical lines for his own good, but McShaine is a competent enough actor to make the lines work well. Frances Conroy also does a decent job as Will's other mentor, she's just such a likable actress in the film you can't help but like her. Of course though one of the child actors has to let the side down, and that role falls down to Amelia Warner in the most pointless role of the movie. Also all of Will's brothers gets their moments to irritate the hell out of the audience.

The storyline of the movie is pretty mediocre to be honest. Boy has to travel through time, well that's pretty debatable as the time travel sequences are pretty pitiful apart from a cool bit involving snakes, and find these signs to save the world. The storyline is relatively simple, well apart from a little twist near the end that is blatantly obvious from the get go. Thankfuly the interesting characters and set pieces redeem the movie. The snake sequence is pretty well done and a few scenes involving crows impress (more on the damn crows later). But its the final stuff that impresses most and sticks in memory longest. But the movie does have an obsession with crows. I get that they are supposed to be the evil things and represent darkness, but a bit where a mall guard semi-mutates into a crow had me in hysterics as it looked absurd. The script of the movie is pretty poor at times, especially some of the mythology filling in bits, and as I've mentioned the ending is just pretty terrible. Anyone with epilepsy cannot see the movie as the final battle is nit so much a fight but lots of flashing lights while people move, it hurt my head a hell of a lot just watching it.

The Dark is Rising is certainly not going to be the next big fantasy series, so for now Potter's crown is very safe. If you want a dumb entertaining movie this may just entertain you enough. And if you found Eragin tolerable this will be a masterpiece to you. However don't expect anything much as this has moments of baffling lameness.