At Last! Film4 is now free!

On July 23rd 2006 at 9pm Film4 went free. Then after Monday 24th July anyone with the right equipment can see free films every day from 3pm to 3am.

Film4

The only equipment you need is a Freeview receiver, and cable and satellite viewers can see Film4 for free.

Film4 is now on:

Channel 31 on Freeview
Channel 315 on Sky
Channel 701/50 on NTL
Channel 444 on Telewest

It’s not completely clear to me exactly why Film4 has been turned from a subscription service to one that is free. It’s going to have advert breaks, which you might or might not think is a good thing. How are they going to finance the classics and Hollywood epics that they plan to show every day, along with the cult films later at night? There will not be an on-screen logo on Film4 which is great because I really dislike the distraction that these logos cause, even when they are very subtle.

In the first month they will be screening a season of Roberto Rossellini filmsand 7 films from Hayao Miyazaki, including Princess Mononoke and Kiki’s Delivery Service.

As well as launching the new free-to-air film channel, Channel 4 is also planning the launch of a Film4 branded video-on-demand subscription service on a variety of media platforms including broadband, mobile and cable.

Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse of the Black Pearl

Disney have been promoting Dead man’s chest for so long now that when I recently saw a newly packaged version of Curse of the Black Pearl in Sainsbury’s I mistakenly bought it thinking the new film had already made the move from film to DVD.

What a muggins, eh? And I already own a copy of Curse of the Black Pearl from when it was first released on DVD. Anyway, can you really blame me for failing to keep the name of the film in my long term memory? After all, I struggle to remember what the Black Pearl was and I’ve seen the film loads of times since I originally bought the DVD. Maybe I don’t pay enough attention…

So, if you are one of the few who haven’t seen the original film that spawned the sequel, what can you expect from the DVD of Pirates of the Carribean – The curse of the Black Pearl?

Pirates of the Caribbean – The curse of the Black Pearl is an action packed movie from Producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The film shot to success on its release in 2003 despite worries over the fact that it was based completely on a Disney theme park ride.

When Elizabeth (Kiera Knightly) is kidnapped by a group of pirates, lead by the villainous Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush) who believes she holds the key to lifting the terrible curse bestowed upon them, it is up to her one true love Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and a renegade pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to bring her back to safety. The unlikely duo must face pirate gangs, sword fights and use their wit and cunning to outsmart the pirates before Elizabeth is lost forever at the hands of the gruesome cursed pirate crew.

Pirates of the Caribbean was without doubt one of the biggest and best films of 2003. With its all star cast, and brilliant acting from all involved you can’t help but be drawn into this swashbuckling adventure that really is action packed from start to finish. Johnny Depp is the obvious star of the show from the start, his portrayal of the slightly mad Jack Sparrow is fantastic and dare I say it… faultless? He gets all of the movies classic laugh out loud lines and is a constant source of amusement throughout the entirety of the film. Kiera Knightly shines as the feisty Elizabeth, and delivers possibly one of her best performances to date.

Another great personality in the film is the character of Captain Barbosa; Geoffrey Rush plays this role so well, capturing the essence of an evil pirate perfectly.

The special effects were done extremely well; the scenes featuring the cursed pirates in their true form were fascinating and brilliant to watch and played a huge part in making this film actually work, frightening the hell out of my kids in the process. It could have easily flopped, but due to its high standards of acting, effects and genuinely fun plotline it has now become one of the best loved films of 2003, having spawned a sequel which is out in cinemas now.

Find the best price for Pirates Of The Caribbean The Curse Of The Black Pearl at Amazon UK

Check back here for the review on Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead man’s chest soon!


The cast of Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse of the Black Pearl : Alosio, Guy Siner, Ian McIntyre, Isaac C. Singleton Jr., Israel Aduramo, Jack Davenport, Jerry Gauny, John Boswall, John Mackey, Johnny Depp, Jonathan Pryce, Jordi Caballero, Jose Zelaya, Keira Knightley, Kevin McNally, Lauren Maher, Lee Arenberg, LeJon, Lucinda Dryzek, Luke de Woolfson, M. Scott Shields, Mackenzie Crook, Marco Khan, Martin Klebba, Matthew Bowyer, Maxie J. Santillan Jr., Michael A. Thompson, Michael Berry Jr., Michael Earl Lane, Michael Sean Tighe, Michael W. Williams, Mike Babcock, Mike Haberecht, Nej Adamson, Orlando Bloom, Owen Finnegan, Paul Cagney, Paul Keith, Paula J. Newman, Ralph P. Martin, Robbie Gee, Rudolph McColam, Sam Roberts, Spider Madison, Tobias McKinney, Tommy Schooler, Treva Etienne, Trevor Goddard, Vanessa Branch, Vince Lozano, Zoe Saldana.

Derailed DVD Review

The new film just released in the UK on DVD: Derailed from director Mikael Hafstrom is a Hitchcock style thriller starring Jennifer Aniston, Clive Owen, Vincent Cassel and Melissa George.

The story starts off simply, Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston meet on a train. Owen has forgotten his wallet and Aniston offers to pay his fare, and so begins the start of their adulterous and dangerous affair. Both of them are married but can’t seem to resist the temptation and the chemistry that is seemingly pulling them closer together. However, no sooner than the affair has begun, the couple find themselves in the middle of an elaborate blackmail scheme. They must then choose which is more important, their money, or their lives and individual marriages.

This is a film that really does have both its strong points and its weak points. It did have the promise of being a truly great film, the storyline is strong and the acting is fantastic but there’s just something about it that doesn’t quite feel right. Maybe it’s the fact that it feels a little rushed, or perhaps it just doesn’t quite live up to the way it has been portrayed in the trailers for the movie. Either way, Derailed just didn’t quite deliver the goods for me. I did however love watching Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen in their roles and felt that they really clicked and gave the performance everything they could. Vincent Cassel was also absolutely fantastic, he had just the right mix of psychotic unstable tendencies and is just one of those characters you can’t help but love to hate.

Derailed

All in all this movie is definitely well worth a watch, but it’s not one worth making a priority to rush out and see. Great performances from a star studded cast, but sadly didn’t quite live up to its full potential as a truly great thriller.


Full cast list for Derailed: Addison Timlin, Aimee Muschamp, Alexandra LoRusso, Angelina Riposta, Anthony Velasco, Big Kalvin, Catherine McCord, Cherie Nichole, Chik konkwo, Claire Lubert, Clifford M. Freeney, Clive Owen, Danny McCarthy, David Morrissey, David Oyelowo, Denis O’Hare, Dozer, Floyd Bradley, Gary Sedlock, Georgiana Jianu, Georgie Smith, Georgina Chapman, Giancarlo Esposito, Ike Ononye, James Bednark, James Crisman, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Joan Taylor, Joey Strobel, Joshua Brail, Kalvin Watson, Leo McCoy, Marcus Holton, Mehru Khan, Mel Raido, Melissa George, Michael Stailey, Nathan Lee, Ortis Deley, Patricia E. Harrington, Rachael Blake, Rayn Romain, Richard Leaf, Richard Strobel, Roberto Rangel, Ron Valdez, Ronald Tanner, Sam Douglas, Sandra Bee, Sue Durso, Sue Follansbee, Tom Conti, Vincent Cassel, William Armstrong, Xzibit, RZA.

Jeepers Creepers DVD Review

Jeepers CreepersDirector Victor Salva brought us one of the most talked about horror films of 2001 for all the wrong reasons. Jeepers Creepers starts off being genuinely scary, as we follow two youngsters: Brother and Sister Darryl and Trish on their journey through deserted outback roads on their way home for a college break. As they are driving along they are run off the road by a mysterious stranger in a black hat and trench coat, they manage to escape, but later when they drive past an old deserted church with the same van outside curiosity gets the better of them and they foolishly rush to take a look. Little do they know that the strange creature they previously saw feeds off of humans and drags their remains down into the tunnels under the church yard. Darryl makes the gruesome discovery and the two desperately head to safety. However, unaware to them they have something that ‘The Creeper’ wants, and he won’t stop until he gets it. What follows can only be described as a cat and mouse chase as the harsh reality soon dawns on the siblings that they may not survive to tell the gruesome tale of The Creeper and his unsuspecting victims.

This film started off in the right direction; with the brilliant and genuinely scary chase scenes between the kids and ‘The Creeper’ but before you know what’s hit you we have seen far too much of the villain to make him menacing anymore. Not only do we now know what he looks like but we have figured out exactly what he wants and how he’s going to get it about half way through the movie leaving the rest of the film just moving along at a steady pace with not much else to look forward to. This is a terrible shame, as the promising first half of this movie had so much to offer; the acting was of high standards and was well built upon by a general sense of fear and suspense that really worked.

The Creeper himself was a brilliant character until he was ‘unmasked’ and the frankly less than impressive makeup effects overpowered what mystery and menace there was about him quickly being replaced by the sudden urge to laugh out loud! In short, had they planned this movie better, panned the storyline out and not given quite so much away too early on this would have almost definitely become a cult classic, instead it received a rather poor reception from both critics and the public. If you get the chance to watch Jeepers Creepers, what I would recommend you do is watch the first hour, get a bit scared then force yourself to turn it off and go and watch a real classic horror movie instead that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve wasted your money when you get to the end. All in all Jeepers Creepers is a sad letdown of a movie that had the promise of being something truly brilliant.

Check out the best price for Jeepers Creepers at Amazon UK


Full cast list for Jeepers Creepers : Angus Barnett, Antonio Valentino, Ben Roberts, Ben Wilson, Brazil Joseph Grisaffi III, Brye Cooper, Bud Mathis, Christian Martin, Christopher Adamson, Christopher S. Capp, Christopher Sullivan, Craig Thomson, D.P. FitzGerald, Damian O’Hare, David Bailie, David Keyes, David Patykewich, David Schofield, Don LaDaga, Dustin Seavey, Dylan Smith, Fox Castro, Finneus Egan, Fred Toft, Geoffrey Rush, Georges Trillat, Gerard J. Reyes, Giles New, Greg Ellis, Gregory Avis-Marie Barnes, Brandon Smith, Chris Shepardson, Clint Wilder, Eileen Brennan, Gina Philips, Jeffrey William Evans, Jon Beshara, Jonathan Breck, Justin Long, Kim Kahana, Patricia Belcher, Patrick Cherry, Peggy Sheffield, Steve Raulerson, Tim Phoenix, Tom Tarantini, Victor Salva, William Haze.

Christiane F. (1981) DVD review

Christiane F. is based on a true story about a 14 year old girl who experiments with a range of drugs, quickly becoming addicted to heroin. It’s an amazing film that I’ve always found to be very deep and engaging.

This film has a strong emotional effect on me, and it was a matter of urgency to find it on DVD to add to my collection.

It’s one of those DVD’s that I watch every few months because I want to experience that strong effect again, like plunging into another world. Among the many effects it has had on me, it makes me want to go to Berlin, and it contains some of the few David Bowie songs that I like, and whenever I look at a desolate inner city tower block I think of Christiane F. and her Mum and Sister.

I have similar feelings about this film to the way I feel about William Burroughs’ book Junky – it’s amazing to have an insight into the life of people who take drugs, and somehow to feel that there is a chance for rehabilitation from an addiction.

Check out the best price for Christiane F. at Amazon UK


Cast list for Christiane F.Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo – Andreas Fuhrmann, Bernhard Janson, Catherine Schabeck, Christiane Lechle, Christiane Reichelt, Daniela Jaeger, David Bowie, Eberhard Auriga, Ellen Esser, Jan Georg Effler, Jens Kuphal, Kerstin Malessa, Kerstin Richter, Lothar Chamski, Lutz Hemmerling, Natja Brunckhorst, Peggy Russiek, Rainer Woelk, Stanislaus Solotar, Thomas Haustein, Uwe Diderich. Directed by Uli Edel. Written by Kai Hermann, Horst Rieck and Herman Weigel.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

Is it possible to review a film before you’ve seen it? No, it’s not. But it is possible to review a review of a film.

And I’m reviewing the review of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest that appeared in the Guardian newspaper a week ago.

It was great, funny, witty and insightful. The idea is that the plot of Dead Man’s Chest is basically the same as the plot of Star Wars. Captain Black is Hans Solo, there is an asexual leading couple, similar plot twists, and so on.

The downside to the Guardian review was that it was all leading to a final joke, that Dead Man’s Chest is “Star-haaarr! Wars”. And that’s great, but it left me feeling the same way I do when I hear a comic onstage telling a joke. It’s all about the laugh, and just make sure you suspend your disbelief. But it made me feel the opinions voiced in the review were weighted towards the joke and away from the facts.

We’re going to see the film this week, and I’ll make my own mind up.

Due South – The Complete First Series

Due SouthDue South features Paul Gross as Canadian Mountie Benton Frasier and Callum Keith Rennie as detective Stanley Raymond Kowalski. Frasier has a pet wolf and they deal with crime in Chicago in the only way they know how, which is weird, interesting and funny.

When it was on TV in the nineties I always flicked past Due South with the remote control because it never engaged me. And now I realize this is a real pity, because my Mum recently lent me the first series boxed set of 6 DVD’s.

Maybe it was because it was a long weekend waiting for the World Cup to play out in Germany, or I just wanted something to take my mind off work, but we’ve had a great weekend, with the whole family sitting around watching it compulsively.

The first episode explains why Frasier leaves his Canadian home and sets up the background that I always missed when I skipped past it.

In summary, this gets an unexpected five stars from me, and it’s just a question of time before I go out and buy the boxed set of series two.

Check out the best price for Due South First Series at Amazon UK


Full Cast list for Due South first season : Alan Murley, Alex Carter, Aron Tager, Arthi Sambasivan, Beau Starr, Beth Amos, Bill MacDonald, Bob Fisher, Bruce McFee, Camilla Scott, Catherine Bruhier, Christina Cox, Christopher Babers, Craig Eldridge, Daniel DeSanto, Daniel Kash, David Calderisi, David Marciano, Dean McDermott, Deborah Rennard, Denis Forest, Djanet Sears, Dominic Cuzzocrea, Eric Fink, Falconer Abraham, George Buza, Gordon Pinsent, Ho Chow, J.D. Nicholsen, Jim Bracchitta, Joe Lisi, Joseph Ziegler, Karyn Dwyer, Kaye Ballard, Kelly Proctor, Ken Pogue, Ken Quinn, Kenneth Welsh, Kevin Rushton, Kimberly Ange, Lee Purcell, Leslie Nielsen, Lisa Jakub, Louis Di Bianco, Marc Donato, Maria Ricossa, Mark Melymick, Martin Roach, Marvin Karon, Matt Birman, Melina Kanakaredes, Michael Donaghue, Nicole Crozier, Paul Gross, Paulina Gillis, Peter Williams, Philip Williams, Ramona Milano, Reiner Schwartz, Rino Romano, Ron Lea, Rummy Bishop, Sam Malkin, Sam Moses, Sandi Stahlbrand, Sarain Boylan, Scot Denton, Scott Gibson, Shawn Wright, Shay Duffin, Sherry Miller, Stacy Haiduk, Stephen Shellen, Todd Schroeder, Tony Craig, Victor Ertmanis, Vito Rezza, William Dunlop.

Arlington Road on Film4

Coming to Film4 this week is a fantastic film: Arlington Road. With an all star cast including Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack and Jeff Bridges this is truly one of my all time favourite movies.

Arlington Road

The basic Plot outline, without giving too much away is that recently widowed College Professor Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) forms a friendship with his neighbours Oliver and Cheryl Lang after he saves the life of their only son. Things seem to be going well, and the couples children soon become best friends, but as time passes Michael begins to get the feeling that his neighbours are hiding a disturbing secret. The more Michael learns about Oliver, the more his concerns grow and eventually lead up to an explosive and captivating ending that is not to be missed.

I cannot praise this movie enough. Tim Robbins plays an excellent role as the creepy and suspicious Oliver Lang, this accompanied by a stand out performance from Joan Cusack (usually better known for her comedy roles) as his equally unbalanced wife and Jeff Bridges as the curious next door neighbour makes for a brilliantly acted and genuinely captivating storyline.

You can’t help but be drawn into this complex and unsettling plot that really gets you wondering “How well do I really know my own neighbours?!” The ending to this movie is one of the best that I have seen; it is completely unexpected with the perfect mix of tension and urgency leading up to the final harrowing scene.

This is the perfect movie to tune in to if you are feeling in the mood for something that requires a little bit of brainpower and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire 117 minutes run time. Definitely worth making time for!


Full cast list for Arlington Road: Auden Thornton, Billy D. Washington, Charles Sanders, Charlie Webb, Christopher Dahlberg, Cindy Hom, Darryl Cox, Dave Allen Clark, Deborah Swanson, Denver Williams, Diane Peterson, Gabriel Folse, Gina Santori, Grant Garrison, Hans Stroble, Harris Mackenzie, Homer Jon Young, Hope Davis, Hunter Burkes, Jeff Bridges, Jenni Tooley, Joan Cusack, John Hussey, Johnathan Gwyn, Josh Ridgway, Ken Manelis, Laura Poe, Lee Stringer, Lin Oeding, Loyd Catlett, Mary Ashleigh Green, Mason Gamble, Michelle Du Bois, Naya Castinado, Paul Pender, Robert Gossett, Sid Hillman, Spencer Treat Clark, Stanley Anderson, Steve Ottesen, Tiffany Grant, Tim Robbins, Todd Terry, Viviane Vives, Willie Dirden.

Napoleon Dynamite on Film4

The 2004 cult comedy Napoleon Dynamite was shown on Film 4 recently and I just couldn’t resist watching it again. It stars the absolutely hilarious John Heder as Napoleon, a dysfunctional, slightly arrogant and very geeky teenager who isn’t really taken very seriously by anyone at school or at home.

Napoleon DynamiteThe film is a refreshing take on high school life, and rather than simply being your usual teen comedy that relies on cheap laughs we have Napoleon who brings a much more dry sarcastic humour with the best thing being he just doesn’t know how funny he actually is.

This film shot John Heder to stardom after fans fell in love with this quirky and naive character he was portraying. He has since gone on to star in hit movies such as Blades of Glory, Just Like Heaven and even voiced a very funny animated chicken in the movie “Surf?s Up” alongside Shia LaBeouf (Another of America’s top actors right now).

Some of the scenes from Napoleon Dynamite have now become cult classics on the internet; I’m sure almost everyone has that dancing emoticon or a video clip of Napoleon doing his unforgettably ridiculous dancing on stage at the school election, it just went on for so long and included so many crazy moves that you cant help but find yourself laughing at some point during the whole thing!

Napoleon’s friend Pedro played by Efren Ramirez was also a particular highlight to the movie and the friendship between the two of them was really fun to watch.

This is definitely not a film that will appeal to everyone, it’s had its fair share of both positive and negative reviews and I think its one that you will start watching and either love it instantly or be so bored that you switch it off straight away. My wife and son found the embarrassment factor to be unbearable and couldn’t watch it, but I was fixated the whole way through.


I’d definitely recommend giving it a go if you are willing to try something a bit different from the norm and like offbeat comedies. It’s worth it for John Heder’s performance alone trust me!Full cast list for Napoleon Dynamite: Aaron Demke, Aaron Ruell, Adam Higley, Alisha Wakley, Alison Downs, Allison Gamble, Alyssa Harrison, Amanda Austin, Amber Larsen, Amy Christiansen, Annette Jensen, Arianna Crosland, Arlando Larsen, Arturo De Silva, Ashely Buck, Ashley Jackson, Audrey Hinricks, Becky Demke, Becky Yates, Bracken Johnson, Braden Hablin, Brady Stokes, Brandon Ostler, Brett Taylor, Brian Davis, Brian Petersen, Brianne Richardson, Brigham Wilcox, Brittany Foster, Brittney Cole, Brooke Beckstead, Cara Alder, Carmen Brady, Cassie Galloway, Chantel Talbot, Charles Fetzer, Charles Sparrow, Cherone Call, Cheryl Hobbs, Christina Child, Christina McBride, Christina Nicholas, Cierra Talbot, Cindy Biggs, Cody Abrams, Cody Hobbs, Colton Hirschi, Connie Owen, Cory Waters, Crystal Wright, Dakotah Gordon, Dale Critchlow, Damon Hull, Daniel Brewer, David Sharp, Dayne Keller, Debbie Hugie, Derik Atkinson, Diedrich Bader, Eden Hamblin, Efren Ramirez, Elaina Horne, Eldean Holliday, Eli Wheeler, Elisabeth North, Elizabeth Miklavcic, Ellen Dubin, Emily Gamer, Emily Tyndall, Evan Harris, Frederick Atkins, Gloria Talbot, Hannah Gibby, Hayley Bowen, Haylie Duff, Heather Benson, Isaac Demke, J.C. Cunningham, Jaclyn Olsen, Jacob Linderman, Jade Christiansen, Jake Adams, Jake Higley, Jake King, Jake Visser, Jamen Gunnell, James Stevens, Jane Christiansen, Jason Linderman, Jenna Griffith, Jenna Packer, Jenny Seamons, Jeremy Burns, Jesse Stocks, Jessica Koller, Jessica North, Jon Bliss, Jon Gries, Jon Heder, Josh North, Julia Ruell, Justin Mason, Justin Poppleton, Kacie Thompson, Kai Fetzer, Karenina Jones, Kathrine Gibby, Katie Keller, Katie Seamons, Katrina Stocks, Kayla Hirschi, Kayleen Jones, Kelsey Roach, Kelsey Stockdale, Keri Kelley, Kevin Jensen, Kim Demke, Kolby Talbot, Kolton Bosen, Kristen Gibby, Kyle Hansen, Kylie Larsen, Lacey Johnson, Lacey Saxton, Lacey Smith, Landon Bell, Laura Oliverson, Lauren Womack, Leatrice Esplin, Levi Morrison, Lindsay Wilson, Lindsey Saxton, Loria Badali, Lynette Phillips, Madison Beckstead, Mandi Dalley, Marc Roberts, Marie Nelson, Mario Mainini, Marla Jensen, Marlene Prouse, Mary Downs, Mary Heers, Matt Hinrichs, Matt Porter, McKell Peterson, Megan Earley, Megan Haslam, Michael Brewer, Michael Kelley, Nanette Young, Nanetter Neilson, Nano De Silva, Nate McBride, O’Leah Corcorran, Paige Christensen, Parker Rawlings, Pat Donahue, Paula Yates, Perrie Sagers, Perrle Sagers, Preston Slaughter, Rachel Talbot, Radine Harris, Randi Roberts, Rionnie Love, Rosie Thomas, Roy Esplin, Ryan Jensen, Sabrena Smart, Samantha Clark, Sami Dalley, Sandy Martin, Sara Phillips, Sarah Barton, Sarah Owen, Scott Thomas, Sean Hobie, Sean Richmond, Shanda Call, Shane Christiansen, Shane Pulsipher, Shantell Parsons, Shawn Oliverson, Shawnee Call, Shelbee Call, Shondrella Avery, Shonee Alder, Shontae Alder, Skylar Ostler, Stephen Rallenson, Summer Coburn, T.J. Adams, Tami Auger, Tara Roach, Taylor Bosen, Telecia Stockdale, Thedora Peeterborg, Tiffany Cole, Timothy Colvin, Tina Majorino, Tom Adams, Tom Lefler, Trevor Mendenhall, Trevor Snarr, Tyler Dodge, Tyler Drury, Tyler Hansen, Tyler Martin, Tyler Waters, Vanessa Stratton, Walter Platz, William Fetzer.