0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Unbreakable (2000).
Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson.
Director: M Night Shyamalan.
Synopsis: A man learns he is 'unbrealable' after surviving a train accident and becomes a super-hero.
Dean's comments: This is genuine rubbish, it's a film that doesn't know if it wants to be taken seriously or treated as a comic book. There is no points trying to bring the world of comic-book heros into sensible discourse, because they are not sensible ideas! Someone needed to tell this to the writers when they pitched the idea. All the stuff about Bruce Willis' character going on some kind of spiritual discovery of his true self and delving into the realm of comics to find it is just plain silly.
Rating: 2/10.

Under Seige (1992).
Starring: Steven Seagal.
Director: Andrew Davis.
Synopsis: A cook on a boat finds he is the only man who can stop terrorists stealing a warship.
Dean's comments: This is just 'Die Hard' on a boat. No amount of 'cool' explosions and Seagal doing his own stunts can make up for the fact that this is a shameless re-make and that it's basicly rubbish.
Rating: 2/10.

Underworld (2003).
Starring: Kate Beckensale, Michael Sheen.
Director: Len Wiseman.
Synopsis: A battle rages between vampires and werewolves in a modern US city.
Dean's comments: This is an extremely cheesy modern 'B-movie' horror / thriller where a vampire warrior falls in love with a werewolf in a bizzare modern interpretation of classic fantasy genres. It has a very 'gothic' and dark style to it, which is its main endearing point. The problems are that despite all the special effects and wonderfully creepy settings, the whole thing seems rather tacky because the actors don't seem to be able to take the plot seriously (and who could blame tham really). Be certain to watch this is you are a fan of fantasy or gothic stylings, but anyone looking for a simple action adventure may be put off by the sheer darkness of the piece and the fact that everyone is a bad guy.
Rating: 5/10.

United 93 (2006).
Starring: Trish Gates et al.
Director: Paul Greengrass.
Synopsis: A speculative historical drama detailing the events onboard the 'missing' flight on 9-11.
Dean's comments: Before the release of 'United 93' I feared that the film would - for fear of alienating the right wing agendas of the US media corporations - turn into a pro-USA patriotic love-in in which the protagonists bravely fought the foreign invader and went down with all hands as the star spangled banner played. I could not have been more wrong. By avoiding overt politicisation and concentrating on the Human drama of 9-11, 'United 93' makes a bigger statement about the cruelty of conflict and insanity of war than any exploitative Michael Moore documentary ever could. The film is essentially set in two locations; in the air control towers dotted around the East cost of the USA and aboard the eponymous flight 93. The story of 9-11 is told entirely from the confused and splinted viewpoint of the ordinary people in these locations, these are the people who were unwillingly became the victims of Al Queada attacks and their own government's inability to protect them. As the air controllers become more desperate at the deteriorating situation, they find themselves out of the military loop and unable to communicate with anybody with enough authority to tell them what they need to know and do. This is then matched against the horror felt by those aboard flight 93, knowing that they were going to die they make an ultimately futile effort to regain control of the aircraft before it reaches its target. Thus the hand-wringing of the government, military and authorities is contrasted against the strength of ordinary people. Knowledge of how the film must end does nothing to reduce the terror one feels as one is on board with the aircraft's passenger. 'United 93' is easily the most powerful film made about the 9-11 attacks, I defy anyone with a Human heart to feel anything but utter sadness for the ordinary people who had the events of that day thrust into their lives.
Rating: 9/10.

The Usual Suspects (1995).
Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Torro, Kevin Pollak.
Director: Bryan Singer.
Synopsis: 5 men are brought in for an identity parade for an unlikely crime, soon they become embroiled in the criminal activities of the mysterious Kaiser Sause.
Dean's comments: 'The Usual Suspects' is always lauded for its twist. This aside, the film is one of the best thrillers / crime dramas of recent times. The quality of the emsemble cast whom play the motley crew of not-quite-big-time-criminals should be enough to tell you that you're about to experience something special. The film is full of unscripted scenes and scenes which were never completed in the way envisaged by the writers. These scenes were kept in because they realised that something special was happening in the chemistry between the actors. 'The Usual Suspects' has something that most film producers would happily pay through their teeth for, such a beautifully set-up plot that the audience wants to watch it again, if only to experience it with the ending in mind. The final 5 minutes is indeed a work of pure artistry, but it only works so well because of the preceding 100 minutes and the way in which the actors worked tirelessly to bring the characters to life. Anyone who hasn't seen this film, and hasn't had the ending spoiled for them, needs to take a trip to their video rental store right now. If you've seen the film already, watch it again and look for clues, watch it again and keep an eye out for the improvised scenes (The line-up at the start is cut together from failed dress rehearsals, all the laughing is unscripted. Benicio Del Toro's speech about Kaiser Sause is totally ad-libbed), then watch it again.
Rating: 9/10.

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