…and then there were 207.

They all had to go… RIP to the DVDs that didn’t survive my collection cull!

TV / Misc
How I Met Your Mother (Seasons 1-7)
Directors: The Spike Jones Collection
Directors: The Chris Cunningham Collection
Directors: The Michel Gondry Collection
Spaced (Seasons 1-2 Collectors Edition)
V (The Complete Seasons)
Manchester United: Champs League Final / Road To Moscow
Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure
Eddie Izzard: Stripped
Black Books (The Complete Edition)
Bill Baily: Tinselworm
Gorillaz: Phase 1 – Celebrity Takedown
The A Team (Season 1)
The Big Bang Theory (Season 1)
Fraggle Rock (Shake, Fraggle & Roll)
Inspector Gadget (Volume 1)
Dylan Moran: Monster
The Class of ’92

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Igby Goes Down
Escape From New York
Hobo With A Shotgun
Say Anything
The Life Aquatic (with Steve Zissou)
Broken Flowers
Half Nelson
Leathal Weapon 1-4
Wedding Crashers
Worlds Greatest Dad
Cover Up / Reverse: Tunnel Vision
The Goonies
Inner Space
Girl, Interrupted
Bugsy Malone
Pan’s Labyrinth
Paper Heart
Girl Next Door
Youth In Revolt
Yes Man
Zack & Miri Make A Porno
White Christmas
The Usual Suspects
Uncle Buck
Up In The Air
Wild Things
About Schmidt
About A Boy
A Complete History Of My Sexual Failures
Alien vs Hunter
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
The Motorcycle Diaries
1408 (Directors Cut)
The Men Who Stare At Goats
Mean Girls
Last Action Hero
Men in Black 2
Aliens/Resident Evil/The Fly (Triple Feature)
Clerks X (The 10th Anniversary Edition)
The X-Files: I Want To Believe
X-Men First Class
This Is The End
Unbreakable (2 Disc Collectors Edition)
Twelve Monkeys
Evil Aliens
Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
Double Team
The Last King of Scotland
I Spit On Your Grave
World War Z
World War Z (I have two copies of this)
The Karate Kid
Nine Inch Nails: The Broken Movie
The Chumscruber
The Social Climber
Superbad (2 Disc Collectors Edition)
Idle Hands
Final Destination 2
Final Destination 3 (2 Disc ‘Thrill Ride’ Edition)
The Emperor’s Club
Empire Records
Dumb & Dumber
The Darjeeling Limited
The Cable Guy
Crocodile Dundee
Cruel Intentions
Bad Boys
Art School Confidential
The Cake Eaters
Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind
Josie & The Pussycats
Johnny Mnemonic
Jennifer’s Body
Dead Poet’s Society
Mr Deeds
Cube Zero
Dark City
Source Code
Scary Movie
The Royal Tennenbaums
The Shawshank Redemption
127 Hours
Lars & The Real Girl
Short Cuts
Sin City
Smart People
Farenheit 9/11
Fast Food Nation
Fever Pitch
Hot Fuzz
Sunshine Cleaning
10 Things I Hate About You
The Peacekeeper
Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downy Jnr)
Thirteen Ghosts
Four Lions
The Science of Sleep
Monster (Asylum version of Cloverfield)
Money For Nothing
The Expendables
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Someone Else
Martian Child
Masters of the Universe
Silver Linings Playbook
The Runaways
Grizzly Man
The Hard Way
Snakes On A Plane
Snakes On A Train
School of Rock
Quiz Show
Mars Attacks
This Is England
Charlie Bartlett
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Pitch Black
Independence Day
Now Is Good
Ruby Sparks
Hot Shots / Hot Shots Part Duex (Box Set)
Hot Tub Time Machine
Bowling For Columbine
The Last Kiss
Dan In Real Life
Bruce Almighty
Look Who’s Talking
The Squid & The Whale
Star Trek (2009) (3 Disc Blue Ray Special Edition)
Starter For 10
Son of Rambow
Red Scorpion
Romeo & Juliet
Little Miss Sunshine
Rocket Science
Rachel Getting Married
Barney’s Version
Big Nothing
The Dark Knight
The Frighteners
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
Planet Terror
Knocked Up
Be Kind Rewind
Beverly Hills Cop
Clerks II


The Darkest Hour (3D)

The Darkest Hour

The Darkest Hour is a film beset by mediocrity. A script that belies logic at multiple turns and expects it’s audience to accept characters making critical decisions with an appalling lack of evidence serves to undermine what was already a stretched cast. Screenwriter Jon Spaihts shows a worrying lack of imagination considering his involvement in Ridley Scott’s upcoming Alien threaded prequel Prometheus. The creature effects go some way to providing some spark to proceedings but when they decide to reveal more of the alien invaders in the final third it ruins the film’s main positive feature.

Events kick off with two twenty-somethings Sean and Ben (played by the distinctly average Emile Hirsch and Max Minghella) visiting Moscow intent on selling their online social networking site. Poised to make millions they boys arrive at the meeting to find that sneaky Swedish businessman Skyler (Joel Kinnaman) has stolen their idea and sold it himself. Distraught they decide to drown their sorrows in a hip local bar where they meet two American girls (Olivia Thirlby and Rachael Taylor) as well as running into Skyler again. After some fairly typical drinking and flirting scenes business picks up with the introduction of our visually stealthy predators.

The aliens spend most of the film in a largely invisible state, giving off just flickers of light be it from themselves or igniting the lights around them (cars, street lamps, shops etc) that allows for some nice set pieces involving menacingly lit urban battlefields. Eventually however we get to catch a glimpse of what’s hiding underneath and some dodgy CGI ruins the good work that had come before.

Our “heroes” spend a few days sitting in an underground store room after the initial attack, but after running out of food and getting tired of pissing in cans they decide that their are going to take their chances and head for the American Embassy. As they emerge we are treated to some empty dust filled shots of a silent Moscow, most of its 11.5 million population having been exterminated, their bodies turned to the white dust now covering the city. The group begin to make tracks for the embassy and on the way meet some more of the floating, near invisible assailants. Within two encounters main man Emile Hirsch manages to make some astounding scientific leaps in guessing how the creatures work and hunt, which given that to this point all we’ve really got form the character is that he’s a bit of a screw up who’s good at finding hip clubs seems a little hard to swallow. He doesn’t inspire all that much confidence as the group’s leader but to begin with that kind of works with some of the group doubting him as much as the audience will be.

They eventually reach the embassy to find it, surprise surprise, as dead as the rest of the city and so move on toward a building with a solitary flat lit up. Upon getting there the troupe meet a youngster scavenging parts for eccentric Russian electrician Sergei, who has turned his home into a Faraday cage like fortress and is building a kind of alien proton pack. For a moment the film looks like it’s going to pick up a little with Sergei a delightful and colourful Russian man who exudes a warmth from his fuzzy bearded face. Alas, no soon has he arrived that the film dispenses with him. He was around just long enough to help the main cast figure out where they needed to go next and tell them how his alien ray gun worked. How disappointing.

The action escalates as they try to find their way to a nuclear submarine bound for safety. They meet some Russian police and discover that the creatures can indeed be harmed and upon injuring one little blighter Hirsch bends down and picks up what can only be described as alien shrapnel and gives it a look that says he’s desperately trying to channel the line “If it bleeds we can kill it.” onto his face but mostly just looks confused and constipated.

Throughout the film they paint pretty wide brush strokes of the characters. Skyler is the one you’ve to want to die from the start, Anne (one of the American girls) is the girl who’s afraid of every decision, Ben’s the sidekick and Sean and Natalie are the survivors. This in and of itself isn’t a problem, many good films work with these kind pieces appropriately placed. Sadly in the case of The Darkest Hour it’s all so poorly written that you just don’t care. The actors are largely wooden and flat in personality and though our two leads try their best they are let down by a script lacking the spark of the alien invaders.

It’s probably not the worst blockbuster you’re going to see this year but there is an such an overarching feeling of missed opportunities, laziness and sloppiness. The film is set in Moscow and so is fairly unique in not being portrayed from an American centric viewpoint but they fail to capitalize on this opportunity in any meaningful fashion. You need more than just a few gloomy  shots of an empty Red Square to create a tense, harrowed atmosphere. You can pretty much figure out what’s going to happen and the flat lifeless scripting means you don’t really care for the protagonists as they are killed off. Ropey physics and unusually astute youths jar; and our leads fail to carry the film beyond being a curiosity. The interesting alien premise and effects will interest for a shot period, but a lack of solid answers to some pretty big questions. We are given no strong motive for their genocidal ways other than hunches about mineral extraction which don’t really cut it as a compelling reason for utilitarian mass murder (When talking about the aliens mining we are given something along the lines of ‘It must be food, we’re just in the way’). It goes for a Hollywood ending where a text message is meant to be enough to make us feel like the world isn’t as lost as we thought. Billions may be dead, but at least you’ve got reception.

2 out of 5

2 out of 5


…From Outer Space!

It Came From Outer Space

A good title can do many things, it can draw in the audience or turn them straight off. Everything from The Constant Gardener to Reservoir Dogs to The Science of Sleep all elicit very different responses. A title can a form a mental image in your mind about the film you’re expecting to see. Often a title and accompanying graphics will be enough to grab a passer by and make them watch a trailer or read an article on sites like imdb.

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Rooney Mara

I have to confess to hearing much but actually knowing very little about The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo before I went to see it. I was aware of the original Swedish movie starring Noomi Rapace (though as yet have not seen it) and that it had been just three years since it’s release. I was interested to see whether this would be a cynical Hollywood cash in or a legitimate attempt to bring a popular story to a wider audience. My first clues to the latter were immediate. Director David Fincher has been responsible for two of my favourite films in Seven and Fight Club as well the strongly executed Zodiac, The Social Network and the often harshly judged Alien 3. My second clue was the blistering credit sequence. A nightmarish mini tale told to a thumping, screaming cover of Immigrant Song sets the tone for the nightmare that unfolds both in the story and characters. This isn’t going to be pretty.

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Ghostbusters 2012?


The will they wont they saga of the supposed Ghostbusters reboot has rumbled on for years now. Speculation has hotted up over 2010 and 2011 with various scripting rumours, cast returns and denials. One thing is obvious, Dan Akroyd really wants to make it happen. What arguably even more blatant is that Bill Murray doesn’t. Most recently it was reported by The National Enquirer that Akroyd has sent a proposed script to Murray, who promptly shredded it and reposted it along with the note “No-one wants to pay money to see fat, old men chasing ghosts.” That would seem like the final nail in the coffin of the Ghostbusters trilogy.

We at the20 however are eternal optimists. It would great to have another outing of New York’s best ghost busting team and we can still hope that it might happen. Looking at it more realistically however; what if they decide to retool the cast for a new era of busting in the best tradition? Who should they chose? Below the20 gives a few suggestions for a new epic team of ghost busting funny men!

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Today I thought I would go back in time to an article I originally wrote in 2006 while studying interactive cinema. This looks at a unique piece called Timecode by Mike Figgis that uses split narrative to tell four separate stories at once.

The general idea behind this movie is that is plays out multiple storylines at one time. It achieves this by splitting the screen into four equal sections, which converge at various times throughout the story to various effects.

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Every movie I saw in 2011 reviewed!


I mentioned yesterday I’d seen around 36 films in 2011… so I decided today I would just go and review every single one of them! Below you’ll find a list of everything I saw in the cinema, a mark out of five and a one line review. If there is anything there you’d like me to write about in more depth then just leave a comment and I’ll earmark it for a future article :)

So here goes…

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